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Missing Martha Martinez Maxwell
Martha, circa 1992; Jeffrey Maxwell in 2011
Missing Since 05/10/1992
Fort Worth, Texas
Classification Endangered Missing
Age 41 years old
Height and Weight Unknown
Distinguishing Characteristics Hispanic female. Black hair, brown eyes. Martha's ears are pierced.
Details of Disappearance Martha's family last heard from her on Mother's Day in 1992. She was living in Fort Worth, Texas with her husband of eleven years, Jeffrey Allen Maxwell. She had kept in regular touch with her family with phone calls and visits. In May 1992, they got a letter from her stating she was leaving Jeffrey.
Police investigated but couldn't find any indication as to what happened to Martha. Jeffrey stated she simply left him, leaving behind her Social Security card, her credit cards, her car and their young son. In 1995, Jeffrey filed for divorce. He stated he didn't know Martha's whereabouts and hadn't seen her since 1992.
Jeffrey is the prime and only suspect in Martha's disappearance. In April 1987, she was found on the side of Interstate 35, about 10 miles north of Ardmore, Oklahoma, and taken to the hospital. She was bound with duct tape, her throat had been slit and she had other severe injuries.
Martha survived and told investigators Jeffrey had bound, drugged and tortured her the night before. Authorities searched the Maxwell home, but didn't find much evidence to support the story. Jeffrey was charged with aggravated assault and Martha took their son and went to live with her parents in Mexico.
While she was gone, Jeffrey wrote her several letters apologizing for his actions and urging her to reconcile. Martha eventually came back to him and stopped cooperating with the police in the kidnapping case. A jury declined to indict Jeffrey in July 1987, and the case was dropped. Martha disappeared five years later.
A photo of Jeffrey is posted with this case summary. In February 2012, he was sentenced to life in prison for the crime. He denies any knowledge of Martha's whereabouts.
Foul play is strongly suspected in Martha's case; investigators believe Jeffrey murdered her, but he has never been charged in her disappearance.
Investigating Agency / Department