Kent State student still missing after 40 years, family seeks answers

Nancy and Steve look through a photo album of Judy. (Source: WOIO)
Nancy and Steve look through a photo album of Judy. (Source: WOIO)
The Martins siblings. (Source: family)
The Martins siblings. (Source: family)
A photo of Judy in the album. (Source: family)
A photo of Judy in the album. (Source: family)

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Thursday marks 40 years since the disappearance of a Kent State University student.

And there are still no leads in this cold case.

Cleveland19 spoke to the victim's sister and brother.

After decades of silence, Nancy Baer and Steve Martins are not giving up hope they'll find out what happened to their sister Judy Martins.

They believe someone out there knows something that could help police solve this mystery.

They hold on tight to the good times.

When we met them, they brought along a photo album full of memories.

"Judy was smart, she was beautiful, she was a great big sister," Steve Martins said.

They grew up in Avon Lake, and Judy was the oldest.

She was an art major at Kent State University.

"She was a normal, 22-year-old girl when she went missing," Nancy Baer said.

But then, just before Memorial Day weekend, they got the call.

"We just knew it was bad, right from minute one. We thought, 'oh my gosh, what happened to her?'"

Baer said.

"I just knew that she wouldn't have left on her own, there was absolutely no way," Martins said.

At 2:30 a.m. on May 24th 1978, Judy left a dorm to go back to hers, but she never made it.

"That's when it all started, it was like a nightmare just blew up," Baer said.

They rushed to Kent.

"She had money in her room that wasn't missing. None of her makeup was gone and she didn't go anywhere without her makeup," she said.

Nancy and Steve have a lot of questions about the investigation when they look back all of these years later.

Judy lived alone as an RA in her residence hall. Martins says police didn't search her room until several days after she want missing.

"They said all the right things, but they didn't seem to be investigating the way they should have. But at that time again, we had faith that they knew what they were doing," Martins said.

"Missing persons are handled so differently then than they are now. Now they would probably call the FBI in or another jurisdictional, but at that time, no," Baer said.

Some students thought they had spotted Judy after she went missing-- but it wasn't her.

Their mom called police for updates every day.

"The not knowing is very, very difficult. It's hard," Baer said.

Both of their parents have passed away, and now Nancy and Steve say it's up to them to keep her case alive.

"We're hoping that the case is solved," Martins said.

"We feel like we kind of owe it to our parents too, to keep it going," Baer said.

Cleveland19 reached out to Kent State Police and Kent Police and we're still waiting to hear back.

Judy's family says university police eventually destroyed her case records because they were so old.

It's legal but that upset them.

They say there were never any solid suspects in her case.

Some people were given lie detector tests, but they passed.

Copyright 2018 WOIO. All rights reserved.