Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey: ‘Junny RIos-Martinez Will Forever be Part of Our Community and Hearts’
By Wayne Ivey, Brevard County Sheriff // May 7, 2020
Junny was an amazing young man who was full of life, always had a smile for his family and friends
“There is a phrase out there called “God-Wink,” when an occurrence is so coincidental that it without question is not a coincidence, but instead is a sign of divine intervention.”
– Sheriff Wayne Ivey
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Tonight I want to share with you just such a story that lead to our agency Mascot and my partner K-9 “Junny” being named after a young man who will forever be a part of our community and hearts!
Junny Rios-Martinez who many in our community will recall was abducted and murdered in 1991 was born on May 6, 1979.
He was an amazing young man who was full of life, always had a smile for his family and friends and who’s abduction and death forever changed our community.
On May 6, 2014, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office officially adopted a Bloodhound puppy from the Jimmy Ryce Center to assist in searching for missing children.
As a result of the adoption, our agency decided to do a “Name That Puppy” contest and subsequently posted a picture of our new puppy on Facebook to ask our citizens to help us name the newest member of our K-9 Team.
The contest ran for two weeks on our agency Facebook Page and literally received thousands of name suggestions from our citizens and others around the world.
When our team brought the list of names to me, they shared with me that even though there were thousands of names submitted, they knew I was going to pick the third name on the list, that had been submitted by Raquel Santana. Not knowing any of the names on the list I inquired as to why they were so sure and was told, “because it’s the perfect name for a bloodhound that will be used to find missing children in Brevard County.”
As I began to review the list of names I soon realized they were exactly right, the third name on the list was “Junny” in honor and memory of Junny Rios-Martinez. To be honest, I never looked any further because they were right, “Junny” was the perfect name.
What I didn’t realize then was that “Junny” would one day become the mascot of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office and a household name in our community that carries on the legacy and memory of Junny Rios-Martinez.
What I also didn’t realize back then and actually didn’t realize until just a couple of months ago when my wife asked me when his birthday was, is that “Junny” came to our agency on the birthday of Junny Rios-Martinez even though he would not be named “Junny,” until two weeks later.
Even further, I didn’t realize or ever imagine that “Junny” would impact so many kids, adults, and citizens in our community as he is not only trained to search for missing children but is also trained as a child comfort dog and the mascot of our agency.
Imagine the “God-Wink” that it took for a small puppy to join our agency on the exact birthday of a little boy who was abducted from our community and who forever will hold a special place in the hearts of our citizens.
Imagine the “God-Wink” that it took for that same dog to be named after that little boy and to grow from being a small puppy to a 135 pound giant that calms the hearts of children, softens the hearts of adults, and brings a smile to the face of citizens throughout our community all while carrying on the memory of a little boy who always had a smile for everyone he met.
Happy Birthday Junny Rios-Martinez you will always be remembered and are forever in our hearts.
– Sheriff Wayne Ivey
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