FL MARTHA JEAN LAMBERT: Missing from St. Augustine, FL - 27 November 1985 - Age 12

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3952DFFL - Martha Jean Lambert
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The images on the right have been age-progressed to 24 and 29 years.

Name: Martha Jean Lambert
Case Classification: Endangered Missing
Missing Since: November 27, 1985
Location Last Seen: Elkton, St. Johns County, Florida

Physical Description
Date of Birth: March 26, 1973
Age: 12 years old
Race: White
Gender: Female
Height: 4'5"
Weight: 70 lbs.
Hair Color: Blonde, Shoulder Length
Eye Color: Blue
Distinguishing Marks/Features: Birthmarks on the front of her right thigh and on her upper left chest, Protruding front teeth

Identifiers
Dentals: Available
Fingerprints: Not Available
DNA: Available

Clothing & Personal Items
Clothing: Matching two-piece bathing suit
Jewelry: Unknown
Additional Personal Items: Unknown

Circumstances of Disappearance
Martha Lambert, a 7th grade student at Ketterlinus Junior High, was last seen at her family's mobile home in Elkton, Florida on November 27, 1985. She spent time at a neighbor's residence after school, then returned to her home to have a small dinner with her brother. She has never been seen or heard from again. Martha's family life was troubled, she had spent much of her life in different foster homes. Her brothers had also ran away previously from their home. In 2009 Martha's brother confessed to accidentally killing her during an argument, then panicked and buried her in a 3-foot grave, at the old Florida Memorial College site near their home.

Lambert said he and his sister were fighting over $20. Martha slapped him and he pushed her back. She fell and landed on a piece of steel that went through the base of her skull, killing her. Lambert led police to the site, but no remains were found. Police dug up the area and brought in dogs during an extensive search in September 2009, but they couldn't find Martha's remains. The overgrown, wooded property had been cleared of buildings in the years since her disappearance. Because authorities believe it was an accident, because Lambert was 15 at the time and because manslaughter charges had a statute of limitations in 1985, he will not be charged and the case will be closed unless new evidence surfaces. He later recanted his statements and said he did not know what happened to Martha. Martha's mother believes she was kidnapped.

Investigating Agency(s)
Agency Name: St. Johns County Sheriff's Office
Agency Contact Person: Eugene Tolbert
Agency Phone Number: 904-824-8304
Agency E-Mail: N/A
Agency Case Number: 271329

NCIC Case Number: M-293192969
NCMEC Case Number: 601793
NamUs Case Number: 6278

Information Source(s)
NamUs
Life Daily

Admin Notes
Added: 3/19/19; Last Updated: 3/19/19

edited by staff to add media link
 
Last edited by a moderator:
David loves to talk. That’s why a lot of people don’t believe he killed her and tried to keep it a secret. David is not good at keeping secrets which is also why I don’t think he pulled this whole thing off.
I know he does. I don't believe what the mother said either about her and Martha being like best friends. In and out of foster care. Yeah. I think the mother would have protected David at all costs.
 
I know he does. I don't believe what the mother said either about her and Martha being like best friends. In and out of foster care. Yeah. I think the mother would have protected David at all costs.
I’m not certain about her protecting him but I do see why people think and believe that. The one thing I will say is that I’m no longer focusing on the confession unless new evidence comes to light and can show Martha’s death occurred in that manner because there is none so far.

I don’t think Martha was ever on that college, if she was I think she would’ve been found a long time ago. It was not “abandoned” like the news and media have made it out to be.
 
I’m not certain about her protecting him but I do see why people think and believe that. The one thing I will say is that I’m no longer focusing on the confession unless new evidence comes to light and can show Martha’s death occurred in that manner because there is none so far.

I don’t think Martha was ever on that college, if she was I think she would’ve been found a long time ago. It was not “abandoned” like the news and media have made it out to be.
Oh yeah. I agree. She wasn't. They definitely would have found her. And I wish we could.
 
A neighbor saw the van driving in the area around the time Martha was last seen and told police about it. It was never located and the two men driving it haven’t been identified. Martha’s case was initially investigated as a runaway situation so they probably didn’t spotlight it that much.
Well I'd like to know precisely when/where it was seen and precisely where Martha was reportedly seen walking...I know the info is that she was walking west on Kerri and that she lived at the first curve on Kerri from Holmes...
Do you know where the neighbor's house (where her mother was visiting) was in relation to Martha's?
 
I recall most all of this one but not the fine details as well. To those who do, what age was David when he confessed?

I don't generally believe claims that one falsely confessed very often. I do believe it HAS happened and I think youth are more vulnerable to it but even then I think it would take confusion, fear, cops terrifying or entrapping and more. But I believe a WHOLE lot more people "try" to claim false confession than truly falsely confess.

I am exempting from that statement those that WANT credit for a crime or the notoriety and attention and so they falsely confess. That's a different breed all together than what I'm talking of.

I lean in @Mel70 's direction. I think he confessed because he did do it, or cause it, whether accidentally or not.
 
I don’t think Martha was ever on that college, if she was I think she would’ve been found a long time ago. It was not “abandoned” like the news and media have made it out to be.
Yeah, that makes no sense to me whatsoever, and there are several reasons why that makes no sense, but anyway...
Her parent's info correlates, that is, that Martha told her mother she'd be right back to the neighbor's, and that Martha left her house to go back to where her mother was.
 
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I recall most all of this one but not the fine details as well. To those who do, what age was David when he confessed?

I don't generally believe claims that one falsely confessed very often. I do believe it HAS happened and I think youth are more vulnerable to it but even then I think it would take confusion, fear, cops terrifying or entrapping and more. But I believe a WHOLE lot more people "try" to claim false confession than truly falsely confess.

I am exempting from that statement those that WANT credit for a crime or the notoriety and attention and so they falsely confess. That's a different breed all together than what I'm talking of.

I lean in @Mel70 's direction. I think he confessed because he did do it, or cause it, whether accidentally or not.
Thank you. 😊
 
Yeah, that makes no sense to me whatsoever, and there are several reasons why that makes no sense, but anyway...
Her parent's info correlates, that is, that Martha told her mother she'd be right back to the neighbor's, and that Martha left her house to go back to where her mother was.
I put little stock in what her mother said. Especially IF she was covering for David. Like her best friends comment, When the in and out of foster care certainly doesn't reflect that. Martha was 12 and weighed 70 lbs. She was severely behind on growing. That says to me she wasn't properly taken care of. Studies have shown that children in an abusive or very stressful home can have stunted growth. Once removed from the situation, The grow rapidly.
 
All I’m saying is, we truly don’t know if David was involved. Hopefully if he is, he can actually back up his statements. I also believe it’s possible Martha was kidnapped by someone and I’ve sent my information to the detectives involved. It’s been looked at and is still being pursued.
 
All I’m saying is, we truly don’t know if David was involved.
Well the way I look at it is that there's no evidence that he was.
To me, the first indication of a false confession is from the first one, when he didn't lead LE to the remains. After all, if he wanted to be believed, it was the only way. To me, it's simple; I think he didn't because he couldn't.
Certainly, having had no other evidence, at that point, LE should have at least questioned whether it was a false confession.
 
I'd like to share that I take issue with the repeatedly stated info that Florida Memorial College was "near her home" because my perception is that it's actually a considerable distance from her home. (Now to me, it wouldn't matter whether it was next door, but to anyone who believes David's '09 confession, it's a highly relevant matter since it pertains to whether his story is even possible.)
 
I'd like to share that I take issue with the repeatedly stated info that Florida Memorial College was "near her home" because my perception is that it's actually a considerable distance from her home. (Now to me, it wouldn't matter whether it was next door, but to anyone who believes David's '09 confession, it's a highly relevant matter since it pertains to whether his story is even possible.)
I looked up the distance between Martha’s street and the college. If she and David drove to the college, it would have taken them five minutes. By walking, it would have taken 43 minutes.
 
All I’m saying is, we truly don’t know if David was involved. Hopefully if he is, he can actually back up his statements. I also believe it’s possible Martha was kidnapped by someone and I’ve sent my information to the detectives involved. It’s been looked at and is still being pursued.
Oh. Believe me. I know how hard you have worked for Martha. I am certainly not challenging you. My mind just keeps circling back. And I've stated I very well could be wrong. It's just a feeling I have. I completely respect you.
 
I'd like to share that I take issue with the repeatedly stated info that Florida Memorial College was "near her home" because my perception is that it's actually a considerable distance from her home. (Now to me, it wouldn't matter whether it was next door, but to anyone who believes David's '09 confession, it's a highly relevant matter since it pertains to whether his story is even possible.)
Good point. They should say distance instead of near, Since near is a personal perception.
 
Well the way I look at it is that there's no evidence that he was.
To me, the first indication of a false confession is from the first one, when he didn't lead LE to the remains. After all, if he wanted to be believed, it was the only way. To me, it's simple; I think he didn't because he couldn't.
Certainly, having had no other evidence, at that point, LE should have at least questioned whether it was a false confession.
If someone could give David some dam truth serum. It is confusing. There is nothing cut and dry. If you had a chart of yes and no if he did, You would have checks on both sides. And change sides for the same conclusion. He certainly has made things more difficult. That I don't understand. Did you?. And don't want to tell them because you think no body no charges eventhough you confessed?. If you didn't, Why are you doing this?! You don't want your sisters disappearance solved?. You want them to focus on you?. Why?. Misleading everyone since 1985?! I really don't think a lie detector would work on David. It's clear he's a liar and I think he believes his own lies. But a liar can tell the truth. David is just beyond confusing and frustrating.
 
If someone could give David some dam truth serum. It is confusing. There is nothing cut and dry. If you had a chart of yes and no if he did, You would have checks on both sides. And change sides for the same conclusion. He certainly has made things more difficult. That I don't understand. Did you?. And don't want to tell them because you think no body no charges eventhough you confessed?. If you didn't, Why are you doing this?! You don't want your sisters disappearance solved?. You want them to focus on you?. Why?. Misleading everyone since 1985?! I really don't think a lie detector would work on David. It's clear he's a liar and I think he believes his own lies. But a liar can tell the truth. David is just beyond confusing and frustrating.
Oh, I'm confused by and frustrated (to say the least) with Det.'s Tice and Cole!

As to whether I understand why David falsely confessed, I don't have access to documents that I'd need to analyze before I could come to a conclusion about why- I think in each instance, there could be a different reason- but without that info, there's indication as to what instigated his statements, that is, that the first confession followed an arrest for a bad check and that the '09 confession didn't occur until after detectives had been looking into the case for 5 mos.
 
Oh, I'm confused by and frustrated (to say the least) with Det.'s Tice and Cole!

As to whether I understand why David falsely confessed, I don't have access to documents that I'd need to analyze before I could come to a conclusion about why- I think in each instance, there could be a different reason- but without that info, there's indication as to what instigated his statements, that is, that the first confession followed an arrest for a bad check and that the '09 confession didn't occur until after detectives had been looking into the case for 5 mos.
They screwed it all up by deciding to close Martha’s case with David’s confession which left more questions than answers. They also haven’t ruled out a kidnapping and no one even knows if Martha is dead. There were sightings of her but none were confirmed.
 

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