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At suspect's home, a startling discovery -- a cop on long-term sick leave

When Hamburg police went to stake out the Lake View home of Dr. Timothy V. Jorden Jr. on Wednesday morning, they encountered an off-duty Buffalo cop coming out of the home who has been on sick leave for about three years.

When Hamburg officers encountered Martin L. Motley III, he was carrying a Rolex watch, about $5,000 cash and a gun -- his own service revolver -- law enforcement officials familiar with the situation told The Buffalo News.

Motley was taken into custody and was undergoing intense questioning late Wednesday by Buffalo investigators who want to know what he was doing in Jorden's $540,000 home a couple of hours after a woman was killed at Erie County Medical Center and police began searching for Jorden.

One official said that police believe Motley is a longtime friend of Jorden and that someone may have asked Motley to go to the house and retrieve the items for the doctor after the shooting occurred.

As of 4 p.m. Wednesday, Motley was "not saying much" about why he was in the house, what prompted him to go there, or why he had the items, sources close to the bizarre probe told The News.

"We're trying to figure out why Motley was in the doctor's house. We know they have been good friends since their days at Bennett High School," one police official said.

Motley could not be reached to comment late Wednesday, and efforts to reach Buffalo Police Benevolent Association leaders for comment were unsuccessful. Thomas H. Burton, an attorney for the PBA, declined to comment when asked about Motley.

Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III also said he could not make any comment on Motley's connections to the homicide case.

Motley, 47, joined the city police force in 1988, according to city records. He made $63,849 in 2011 while being listed as "full IOD," or injured on duty and unable to work even light duty.

Before he went off on sick leave, Motley did patrol duty on the city's East Side and also was a member of the department's elite Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team, fellow officers said.

"He's been on sick leave about three years from an on-duty injury," said an officer who knows Motley and considers him a good police officer. "I know he did a good job before he got hurt."

Motley was a track star in high school and at Erie Community College, and the college named him to its Athletic Department Hall of Fame in 2002. He also belongs to Bennett's Hall of Fame.

Buffalo police asked Hamburg police to stake out Jorden's Hamburg home soon after determining that Jorden was wanted for questioning in connection with Wednesday morning's fatal shooting at the hospital, according to law enforcement officials.

The officials said that Hamburg officers were shocked when they noticed Motley leaving the home, and that, at first, they thought Motley might have been Jorden.

"[Motley] was quickly taken from the Jorden house to [Buffalo] Police Headquarters for questioning," one police official said.

Hamburg Police Chief Michael K. Williams was not available for comment late Wednesday, and his secretary told a News reporter to contact Buffalo police for information.

email: dherbeck@buffnews.com and lmichel@buffnews.com