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The mother of a Fort Myers woman who was killed in 2016 said she has been overwhelmed with  emotions after the arrest of her daughter's husband. 

Isabel Martinez said she met with Fort Myers police on Friday because they needed to inform her they had a warrant to arrest 33-year-old Earl Antonio Joiner. 

Heyzel Obando was found dead in her Maple Crest Apartments home on Valentine's Day 2016. Her death remained unsolved for more than three years.

Joiner was arrested Saturday in Lakes Wales, authorities said. He faces second-degree murder charges in the death of Obando, who was 26 at the time. 

Joiner was being held in the Polk County Jail on Saturday afternoon. He will be transferred to the Lee County Jail.

"As a mother, I understand the pain his mother is going through," Martinez said. "But as a mother, no one is going to take my pain away. 

"Now that he is arrested, I hope he feels the weight of the law."

Police said then that her death was suspicious from the start, and ruled it a homicide two months after her body was found. 

Obando was married to Joiner, who played safety for the Florida Gators from 2004-07 under head coach Urban Meyer, serving as a team captain his senior season. 

He is the second player from that team to be charged with murder, following Aaron Hernandez's conviction in 2015.

A month after Obando's death, Joiner was being held at the Lee County Jail on a violation of probation charge. 

He was released May 8, 2016, according to jail records.

Courts records show Joiner was arrested twice for beating Obando.

Martinez was granted permanent guardianship of her two granddaughters in 2017. 

The girls are now ages 3 and 6, Martinez said. 

"They are getting big," Martinez said. "They are going to school." 

Soon after Obando was killed, Martinez moved from Key West to Miami. 

"I feel so happy in this sense," Martinez said. "This process has not been easy."

Martinez said she goes through the motions in her daily life, but it's been difficult to find happiness …  since Obando died. 

"I feel stuck," Martinez said. "Maybe with this news now I will be able to move forward."

Originally from Miami, Obando was excited to begin work at H&R Block in Fort Myers at Pelican Preserve, according to an old Facebook post from Jan. 12, 2016.

"Got lots of big future plans we are doing," she posted on the social media website, "need to get ready for 2016 will not be easy but I promise I (sic) will be our last hard year of work."

The Fort Myers Police Department investigated with the Polk County Sheriff's Office and the Lake Wales Police Department. 

Connect with this reporter: bbaitinger@news-press.com, 239-910-1743 or Twitter: @bybbaitinger

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