Brother of missing St. Augustine girl, Martha Jean Lambert, confesses to accidentally killing her in 1985

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Brother of missing St. Augustine girl, Martha Jean Lambert, confesses to accidentally killing her in 1985

Post by Justice4all on Sat Jan 02, 2010 10:55 am

http://jacksonville.com/news/2010-01-02/story/brother_of_missing_st_augustine_girl_confesses_to_accidentally_killing_her_in_

Mother says David Lambert didn't do it, and that he "makes up tales" to get attention

ST. AUGUSTINE — Twenty-four years after the girl vanished near her home, authorities say they’ve closed the case of Martha Jean Lambert.

Lambert’s mother, though, isn’t buying it. Margaret Pichon remains convinced Martha was kidnapped the day before Thanksgiving in 1985.

And Pichon certainly doesn’t think her son David Lambert had anything to do with her daughter’s death.

But the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office said Friday it was David Lambert’s confession that broke open the county’s longest-running missing person investigation.

Lambert now has told police he accidently killed her during an argument, then panicked and buried her in a 3-foot grave, Sgt. Chuck Mulligan of the St. John County Sheriff’s Office said.

“They want it closed,” Pichon said of the Sheriff’s Office. “They can’t find a body.”

Pichon is right about the body. Lambert led police to the site, but no remains were found.

Because authorities believe it was an accident, because David Lambert was 15 at the time and because manslaughter charges had a statute of limitations in 1985, he will not be charged, Mulligan said.

Authorities reopened the cold case last summer, interviewing potential witnesses and people close to the family, including Pichon and David Lambert. The brother has long told police he and Martha were playing at the old Florida Memorial College site near their home when she left to play somewhere else. And that was the last he saw of her.

But last summer, according to authorities, Lambert changed his story about what happened to the seventh-grader on Nov. 27, 1985. He told police she died in an accidental fall and that he buried her at the former college.

Police dug up the area and brought in dogs during an extensive search in September, but they couldn’t find Martha’s remains. The overgrown, wooded property had been cleared of buildings in the years since her disappearance.

After they found nothing, detectives talked to Lambert again. This time, he provided more details.

Lambert said he and his sister were fighting over $20, Mulligan said. 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 told investigators.

He said he panicked and dug a grave to bury his sister, Mulligan said.

Detectives called Pichon this week and told her the case was closed.

“I told them, 'No, the case is not going to be closed,’ ” Pichon said Friday evening in front of a convenience store near where she now lives.

Pichon said Lambert “makes up tales to look like he’s involved,” in things, as a way of getting attention.

Pichon said detectives separated her from her son during interviews and she doesn’t believe he confessed.

Her daughter, 4-foot-8 tall and weighing 70 pounds, was kidnapped near their Kerri Lynn Road home, Pichon said.

The disappearance destroyed her marriage to Martha’s father, Howard Lambert, Pichon told the St. Augustine Record in 2004. Howard Lambert has since died. Pichon remarried and moved to Illinois, then returned to St. Johns County.

Pichon says she speaks with her son regularly and he lives in Florida, but wouldn’t say where. Neither would Mulligan.

Police aren’t any closer to solving the case than they were the day before Thanksgiving in 1985 when Martha disappeared, Pichon said.

Mulligan said police are convinced Lambert is telling them the truth and that it is not uncommon for families to disagree in these types of cases.

“We certainly understand the complexity and the difficulties these situations bring on a family,” Mulligan said. “These are his words.”
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Re: Brother of missing St. Augustine girl, Martha Jean Lambert, confesses to accidentally killing her in 1985

Post by FystyAngel on Sat Jan 02, 2010 12:02 pm

If what the brother says is true, there should be some sort of remains, where he says they are. How "odd" that the police would believe him NOW, after he has lied for so many years. On top of "believing" his story of it being an accident, there are no remains to even verify such a thing happened.

I can understand the mother not wanting to believe it but I do NOT understand why LE would believe it was an accident after so many years of lying.

I think they are just being lazy and want to close the case.

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Re: Brother of missing St. Augustine girl, Martha Jean Lambert, confesses to accidentally killing her in 1985

Post by Guest on Sat Jan 02, 2010 1:06 pm

This is awful. If no remains were found, then the crime is unsolved. Like you said Fysty, why should they believe him now? Sounds like he has mental/emotional issues and clearly the mother is aware. There should be other ppl who can corroborate the story that he is mentally ill, and his word is not trustworthy.

The actual crime itself may have caused him the mental problems in itself.. Being the last one with his sister who turns up missing wud definitetly impact anyone especially at such a young age.

On account that he says the crime involved such a traumatic wound, why did he have no blood on him?? I cant see that LE wudnt have interviewed him and the scene where they were playing.. Where was the blood? Also, for the mother now knowing that her son cudnt get charged with the crime, you wud think she wud have been suspicious on account of his behavior that day and his clothes... She wud know first hand if he cud have been involved in any way..He was 15 and I doubt he cud have cleaned himself up very well.. Also, he has changed trhe story of what transpired...

Sounds like they dug up the whole place where he claimed he buried her... no remains... no validity

I agree that LE have chosen the easy way out for the sake of closing the file. Hopefully, something new will come up where it will help reopen this case...

I feel so badly for this mother...

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Re: Brother of missing St. Augustine girl, Martha Jean Lambert, confesses to accidentally killing her in 1985

Post by Justice4all on Sat Jan 02, 2010 1:44 pm

I was thinking the same thing about the blood AJ. Even if he somehow managed to clean the blood off his clothes and himself without anybody seeing it, I doubt that he would have been able to clean up all the blood at the crime scene.
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