Serial killer whose victims included 10-year-old Riverside County boy dies at Indiana hospital

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Joseph Edward Duncan III (R), listens to his Public Defender John Adams (L), during a plea agreement and sentencing hearing in the court room of the Kootenai County Jail 16 October, 2006 in Coeur d' Alene, Idaho. Duncan plead guilty to the murder and kidnapping of Mark McKenzie, Brenda Groene, and Slade Groene at their home near Coeur d' Alane in May 2005. Duncan was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences, without parole, on the kidnapping charges and still faces the death penality pending charges of murder and kidnapping in a federal case that involves Dylan and Shasta Groene. (KATHY PLONKA/AFP via Getty Images)

Joseph Edward Duncan III (R), listens to his Public Defender John Adams (L), during a plea agreement and sentencing hearing in the court room of the Kootenai County Jail 16 October, 2006 in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho. Duncan plead guilty to the murder and kidnapping of Mark McKenzie, Brenda Groene, and Slade Groene at their home near Coeur d’ Alane in May 2005. Duncan was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences, without parole, on the kidnapping charges and still faces the death penality pending charges of murder and kidnapping in a federal case that involves Dylan and Shasta Groene. (KATHY PLONKA/AFP via Getty Images)

A convicted serial killer whose victims included two young boys died Sunday at a hospital in Indiana, authorities said.

Joseph Edward Duncan died at the medical center near United States Penitentiary, Terre Haute, where he was on death row, according to a statement from prosecutors in Riverside County, California.

Duncan, 58, had been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.

Duncan was convicted of killing four members of a family from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, in 2005. He kidnapped two children, Dylan and Shasta Groene, from the family’s home and tortured them in Montana before killing the boy.

Homicide victim Anthony Martinez, 10, appears in a photo released by the Riverside County District Attorney's Office on March 28, 2021.
Homicide victim Anthony Martinez, 10, appears in a photo released by the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office on March 28, 2021.

Shasta Groene was the only survivor of the rampage and was rescued when Duncan stopped at a restaurant in Coeur d’Alene and the staff recognized the girl.

Following that conviction, Duncan was extradited to Southern California to be tried for the death of 10-year-old Anthony Martinez of Riverside County in 1997. Duncan, who is from Tacoma, Washington, was linked by DNA to the killing. He pleaded guilty and received a sentence of life in prison.

“While I would’ve liked to witness his execution, knowing he is now standing before God being held accountable for what he has done, what he did to my son, and the horrible crimes he committed to others, that’s the real justice,” Anthony’s father, Ernesto Martinez, said in a statement provided by prosecutors.

In court filings earlier this year, attorneys disclosed that Duncan underwent brain surgery last October and was diagnosed with glioblastoma, stage 4 brain cancer. According to court records, he declined chemotherapy and radiation.

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