Sergeant Charles E. Mulligan reported to Historic City News local St. Augustine and St. Johns County news desk that the missing person investigation of Martha Jean Lambert has concluded and been resolved.
Martha was 12 years old in November of 1985 when she disappeared from her home on Kerri Lynn Road.
Detectives investigating unsolved cases began re-examining Martha’s file in June of 2009 and have concluded the investigation with what they say is an account of the events that led to her disappearance — and untimely death.
Investigators began re-interviewing neighbors, acquaintances and family members regarding Martha’s disappearance; both from the 1980’s and those who may have garnered information over the years.
The case began to focus on one of Martha’s brothers, David Lambert who had recently turned 15 at the time of Martha’s disappearance. An interview of Lambert was conducted in August at the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office. In that interview, David Lambert stated that he was responsible for his sister’s disappearance and that the information needed to bring Martha home, rested with him.
Lambert guided investigators to an area where the Florida Memorial University once operated on CR 214 near Holmes Boulevard; which is the location where he says he dug a 3 foot grave and buried his sister. The site was located a short distance away from the family home.
During the month of September, extensive digging, excavating and K-9 searches combed both the immediate area and surrounding terrain in an attempt to locate Martha’s remains.
Over the past 24 years, the site had undergone extensive clearing, which authorities believe has removed or scattered any remains that may have existed.
Following a final interview with David Lambert, he told investigators that he and his sister had gone to the abandoned college to play. During that time, Lambert says they became involved in an argument with each other over twenty dollars.
Lambert further stated that Martha slapped him. He said that he pushed her away and caused her to accidentally fall on a piece of steel; impaling her at the base of her skull.
Lambert says that he panicked and buried Martha at the location that had been searched.
The Sheriff’s Office reviewed the case with the State Attorney’s Office. It was determined that the appropriate charge to fit this crime would be Manslaughter. Mulligan explained that there have been changes in the law since 1985 (statute of limitations), and considering the suspects age at the time of the incident and other mitigating circumstances, there will be no criminal charges filed.