What Happened To Martha Jean Lambert?




I
wanna give a shout out to my friend Joseph Schmidt who runs
the facebook
page for this case as well as runs The Resource Center For
Cold Case Missing Children’s Cases for suggesting this case to me. He
also helps me run my private facebook group. Joseph co-wrote this entry. 

                                                                                  Shurlock 

MR MISTER: BROKEN WINGS

“We
were not only mother and daughter, we were best friends,” said
her mother, Margaret Pichon


St.
Johns County Sheriff’s Office 904-824-8304




Agency
Case Number: 271329

NCMEC
#: NCMC601793

NCIC
Number: M-293192969


Personal
Information

Date
of Birth:

03/26/1973 to Howard and Margaret Lambert 

(Howard was 73 at the time Martha went missing. Margaret was 33. Howard has since passed away.)

Missing
Since:

11/27/1985
(12 at the time)

Missing
From:

Elkton,
Florida (Presumably last seen walking down Kerri Lynn Rd.)

Height
and Weight:

4’5,
70 pounds

Hair
and Eyes:

Blond
& Blue

Wearing:

Short Sleeved Summer Dress sometimes described as a 2 Piece Bathing Suit

Distinguishing
Characteristics:

Birthmarks
on the front of her Right Thigh and on her Chest. 
(Left
side) 2 Front Teeth protrude. Mole on Left Collar Bone.

Links

RCCCMCC

Charley
Project

Charley
Project Blog Entry

Wiki

Doe
Network

NAMUS

True
Crime Diva

411Gina

ABC
News article

Life
Daily article

Background
on Martha

Martha
Jean Lambert was born on March 26
th
1973 to Howard and Martha Lambert. Martha had a troubled home life.
Her father was an alcoholic and she was in and out of several foster
homes due to being neglected and abused. (
She was often described as dirty in appearance) There was constant fighting in the home. Lots of screaming and arguments. Her two brothers had run away from their home prior to Martha
disappearing. Martha was a 7
th
Grader at Ketterlinus Jr. High and living off Kerri Lynn Rd in
Elkton, Florida at the time she vanished. She was described as a normal kid her age. She had few friends but was described as a friendly young girl. Her case , Like many others of that time was initially investigated as a runaway. However Law Enforcement believes Martha did not leave willingly. At the time she went missing the case was being investigated as a non familiar abduction case. It has since been considered closed.

Another neighbor said it wasn’t unusual to hear Howard Lambert yelling inside the trailer, adding there was “lots of anger in that family.”

 

Details
of Disappearance  

November
27
th
1985  

Note: There are many different versions as to what occurred the day Martha disappeared. When I initially looked into this case the newspaper clippings available were virtually useless regarding the day in question. Most just gave Martha’s physical description and where she was last seen. Most of the details come from the articles written after her brother David confessed in 2000 to killing her. More on that a little later. 

Prior on the day of her disappearance Martha left school and visited with friends at a neighbors home for an undisclosed amount of time. Some articles I read say she stayed until around 7:30 pm. After that she walked to her home off Kerri Lynn Rd. where she and her family lived in a mobile home. She had a small dinner and then left her residence. According to one account she was walking down Kerri Lynn Rd. and was never heard from again. In one of several stories told by her brother David. She left and would not disclose where she was going. David also stated she entered a black vehicle the night she disappeared. In one story told by her mom, Martha said she was going over to a neighbors house and she would be back in 5 minutes. Once Margaret realized that Martha was gone longer than she should have been. She went looking for her. She was reported missing that night. The immediate area was searched. Neighbors and local residents were questioned.  In one sighting a neighbor stated they saw her walking down Kerri Lynn Rd. Some neighbors also reported seeing a Green Van in the area that was acting suspiciously. The residents in the neighborhood did not know of anyone who owned, Nor did they recognize the Van as being from around the area. Law Enforcement initially investigated the case as a runaway. However, Margaret has always believed her daughter was abducted by a non family member.

                  David Lambert 



In 2000 Law Enforcement officials at the St. John’s County Sheriff’s Office were questioning Martha Jean Lambert’s brother David regarding a bad check he had written. At one point in the interview David changed the subject of the conversation to his missing sister Martha. He confessed to killing his sister. Not much is known about this confession however. He did say she was buried in the Coquina Mine Shaft off Holmes Blvd. Her body was not found in that location. In August of 2009, David admitted to killing his sister during an interview about her disappearance since her case had been reopened in June of that year. On November 13th of 2009 he was questioned again. And again he confessed to killing Martha. He stated on the day Martha disappeared they were both near the old Florida College Memorial Site and they had got into an argument over $20. David stated Martha had punched him in the face and he had pushed her in retaliation. The result of the push caused Martha to fall back and onto the ground where she struck her head. According to David she died as a result. He said he tried yelling for help but no one came. In a panic he buried his sister in a 3 foot hole he had dug near where she died. He later recanted both confessions. The 2009 Confession video is below. He later stated he was giving the detectives what they wanted to hear. His mother didn’t believe him either. She stated David was prone to making up stories to get attention. The area where David stated the incident occurred was searched and partially dug up after his first confession. No remains were found. An interesting aspect to the case is that the night Martha went missing Margaret stated that David came out of their house laughing. When she asked what he was laughing about. He wouldn’t tell her. She stated she is still bothered by that to this day. David Lambert has never been charged with his sister’s murder. Nor has any remains ever been found. Prior to David’s confession the area was bulldozed and completely rebuilt. Decreasing the odds even more of ever finding Martha. If we are to believe David’s account. Even if he hadn’t recanted his confessions. Due to his age at the time and the Statute of Limitations, No charges could be filed for manslaughter.  Martha remains missing.

The Miami Herald: January 3rd 2010

David Lambert Interview: November 13th 2009


LORY
POUNDER
Staff Writer

Published
Sunday, November 28, 2004

The
mother is convinced her 12-year-old daughter, Martha Jean Lambert,
was abducted from the street outside her St. Augustine house 19 years
and one day ago.

An
investigator who has studied the case is almost as sure that the
little girl is dead, possibly killed on the day she disappeared.

Both
want to know what happened to Martha, a happy little girl who, on the
day she disappeared, was looking forward to visiting relatives, her
family remembers.

“We
were not only mother and daughter, we were best friends,” said
her mother, Margaret Pichon.

People
who knew her also said Martha was a girl who was friendly but always
dirty, a victim of screaming abuse at home, a little girl with an odd
family. A neighbor said her brothers “were kind of strange.”
Her father, an alcoholic, was 74 at the time of her disappearance.
Her mother was 33.

Since
she has been missing, her father has died, her mother has had two
nervous breakdowns and one of her brothers now goes by the name
Cynthia Jean Lambert.

Investigator
Chuck West, a major at the St. John’s County Sheriff’s Office, is
searching for clues to solve the mystery of what happened to Martha,
who would be 31 today.

The
cold case doesn’t get daily attention, but does get scrutiny every
few years.

“There
is a strong possibility she was the victim of a homicide at the hands
of someone close to her,” West said last week.

To
this day, missing persons posters of Martha hang at highway rest
areas and on bulletin boards throughout the region. Her dental
records and description are registered in national databases.

Martha
Jean Lambert, a 12-year-old Ketterlinus Junior High School
seventh-grader, disappeared 19 years ago from her mobile home on
Kerri Lynn Road.

Martha
disappeared from her home on Kerri Lynn Road off Holmes Boulevard the
day before Thanksgiving, Nov. 27, 1985. It is the oldest missing
persons case in the county.

The
blond, blue-eyed girl was last seen at dusk walking from her family’s
trailer wearing a two-piece bathing suit. It was an average November
day, not rainy, not cold.

Martha
was 4-foot, 8-inches and weighed 70 pounds.

Those
involved don’t agree on much of the rest of the story. The family
members each have different ideas. The detectives also have varying
theories.

“In
this case, witness statements aren’t reliable,” West said. The
dysfunctional family relationships hurt the investigation, he added.

Abuse
played a role in the Lambert’s family life, West said.

After
19 years, some of the details are fuzzy for the family, but the
feelings remain the same. Martha’s mother, grandmother and aunt all
spoke last week on the eve of 19th anniversary of Martha’s
disappearance about the girl they loved so dearly.

After
Martha disappeared, the family was torn apart. Pichon, recently
remarried and formerly Margaret Lambert, said after Martha was gone,
fighting increased between her and her husband, Martha’s father,
Howard Lambert.

“It
broke her dad and I up,” Pichon said Friday. “He was too
much into alcohol.”

Pichon’s
two sons, both older than Martha, have been in trouble with the law.

The
extended family was devastated.

The
father died while still living on Kerri Lynn Road some years after
the disappearance. Pichon couldn’t remember exactly what year he
died. She now lives in Danville, Ill. She left her husband before he
died.

Martha’s
older brothers, David Lambert and Raymond Lambert, are in Florida.
David was last known to be in East Palatka and Raymond in Orlando.

In
2002, the Sheriff’s Office received a tip that Martha’s body may be
buried by State Road 207. They used radar equipment to search the
area, but found nothing. Construction may have covered the grave, if
there is one.

Pichon,
now 52, didn’t understand why the deputies searched the family’s
backwoods for Martha. She was sure her daughter was taken from the
area.

“The
only thing they found back there was dead dogs,” Pichon said.

Martha’s
mother is upset about the way the Sheriff’s Office handled the case.

“I
still remember her last words, ‘Mom, I’m going over, I’ll be back in
five minutes,’ ” Pichon said late last week in a telephone
interview.

Pichon
was at a neighbor’s house with her daughter for a social gathering
shortly before the girl disappeared.

She
would not have run away, Pichon said, and she would never even get in
a friend’s car without permission.

When
Martha didn’t return to the social, her mother went looking for her.
When she walked up to the family trailer, her son walked out
laughing, she said.

“It
bothers me that my youngest boy wouldn’t tell me what he was laughing
about,” Pichon said.

She
said both the boys were devastated when Martha didn’t come back.

“Raymond
kept saying, ‘I hope Martha comes home soon. I hope they find her,’ ”
Pichon said.

West
interviewed Martha’s brother, David Lambert, the night she
disappeared. He was 14 at the time.

First
the teenager told the Sheriff’s Office that he saw Martha get into a
black vehicle. The story didn’t hold, West said. He then said he last
saw her walking down the street to go to the Lil’ Champ on State Road
207.

“He
was covering or protecting something,” West said.

Pichon
agrees her son may know something he has never been able to say. She
fears he may have been threatened by the people who abducted her
daughter.

Alan
Godby, 46, lives two trailers down from the Lambert’s old home. He
helped scour the thick brush behind the mobile homes that extended to
S.R. 207 for four days.

He
remembers Martha spent lots of time at friend’s houses in the
neighborhood.

“She
was friendly,” he paused. “Her brothers were kind of
strange.”

The
neighbors in the area all knew each other. If someone was trying to
take her, she could have run to any of the homes, Godby said.

Godby
is the only neighbor from 1985 still living on Kerri Lynn Road.

“She
wasn’t really happy at home and she never had clean clothes to wear,”
he said as he looked to where the old trailer used to be. A different
mobile home sits at the bend in the road in its place.

Godby
didn’t know Martha’s mother, but remembers being able to hear her
father yelling inside the house. “Lots of anger in that family,”
he said.

Sgt.
Mike Quintieri interviewed Martha’s brother about four years ago.
“Until she is no longer a missing person, no one can put it
behind themselves,” he said.

David
Lambert, 33, of East Palatka, called the Sheriff’s Office in 2000
wanting to talk about Martha.

“I
seen her walk off into the dark,” David Lambert said in the
interview with the Sheriff’s Office. He was the last person to see
her that day and she still lingers vividly in his mind. The two were
close, he said.

He
was on probation for drug charges at the time of the interview.

“I
was just partying every night, trying not to think about it,”
David Lambert said.

Their
mother said, “David was just so protective over her. I don’t
know why he couldn’t have kept her from being kidnapped.”

Raymond
Lambert, 34, is the oldest of the three siblings. His now signs his
name Cynthia Jean Lambert. Where he was on the day Martha disappeared
is not clear. His mother said he was at church, his brother told
detectives in 2000 that he doesn’t remember.

Martha
has extended family living in St. Johns County. Her grandmother, Anna
Jones, and her aunt, Cheryl Elliot, both said they think about her
every day.

Martha
was shy, loved church, always wore a smile and was a good student,
they both said. She wouldn’t have run off, they agreed.

“Martha
Jean was happy being home,” Elliot said. “She never had no
problems.”

Elliot
remembers Martha being excited about Thanksgiving. The family was
going to spend the day at Jones’ house.

“I
even dream about that child,” Elliot said. “Deep in my
heart I’m hoping she’s still alive.”

After
Martha disappeared, Pichon said she got a call with a girl’s voice,
saying “Mom, I’m O.K.,” but it didn’t sound like Martha.

Pichon
dreams of her daughter. Visions of Martha in a warehouse yelling for
help appeared shortly after the disappearance. Her more recent dreams
of Martha show her living in California near lakes.

Pichon
went through stages of wondering what she did wrong, remembering her
daughter and blaming others.

She
moved from St. Johns County in 1990 to start over. She wanted to be
able to think of her daughter as staying with a relative. She also
left so her sons would be more independent, Pichon said.

Three
times since she moved she has come back to the area. Her sons still
call to check in, but she hasn’t heard from them in about five
months.

“They
were sort of lost without her,” Pichon said. “She was a
peacekeeper between the two of them.”

Pichon
keeps a picture of her daughter around a favorite mug. Anther cup has
the age progressed photo of Martha. Soccer, singing, country music,
fried potatoes, spaghetti are reminders of her daughter’s favorite
things.

The
Sheriff’s Office gets reports of a few hundred missing persons each
year, West said.

“We’ve
spent hundreds and hundreds of man hours on this case,” West
said. “It has been worked on by at least half a dozen
detectives.”

Most
missing persons cases are resolved with in a few hours or at least a
few weeks. Martha is one of three that remains open.

“The
case is bizarre,” West said.

Today,
Martha may be a mom herself, or she may be buried beneath the dirt
still in St. Johns County.

Quintieri
said, “The sad part is she is still somewhere.”


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