LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The body of a 45-year-old Los Angeles Police officer who died due to the coronavirus has been transferred to Forest Lawn Memorial Park in the Hollywood Hills.
Officer Valentin 'Val' Martinez died Friday, becoming the first sworn LAPD officer to die of COVID-19 complications, the department reported.
“His partners stood at attention and saluted Martinez as his procession arrived from the hospital to the mortuary,'' the Los Angeles Police Department wrote on Twitter Tuesday evening.
“It was a solemn moment, but a moment filled with respect, dignity and professionalism -- traits that embody and represent Val.''
A van carried his body 23 miles from Providence Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica to the Hollywood Hills cemetery, ABC7 reported.
Martinez left behind a domestic partner, who is 20 weeks pregnant with twins, according to the LAPD.
LAPD Chief Michel Moore tweeted his condolences to Martinez's family Friday afternoon.
“He worked as a patrol officer within (the LAPD's Mission Division), dedicating his life to the people of LA. To his partner Megan, his mother, and siblings -- our deepest condolences,'' Moore said. “(Officer) Martinez, May God welcome you home.''
Martinez was a 13-year veteran of the department and is presumed to have contracted the virus on duty, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“He was a hero lost way too early in life,'' the Los Angeles Police Protective League Board of Directors said in a statement. “All of our officers have placed themselves and their families at increased risk throughout the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We honor their sacrifice today.''
Martinez is the second LAPD employee to die from the illness. Erica McAdoo, a non-sworn senior detention officer, died from the virus July 3. She was 39.
Family and friends of Martinez have launched a fundraising effort to support his partner and their twins, which are due in November.
Donations are being accepted at GoFundMe, https://www.gofundme.com/f/val-martinez-memorial-fund or ValsFund, https://valsfund.wixsite.com/valmartinez. Checks payable to “Blue Ribbon Trust for Valentin Martinez," account number 2080491, can be mailed to the Los Angeles Police Federal Credit Union, P.O. Box 10188, Van Nuys, Calif. 91410.