Sharon Ann Martin

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Above: Martin, circa 2006

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Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: March 31, 2006 from Pensacola, Florida
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Date Of Birth: December 23, 1950
  • Age: 55 years old
  • Height and Weight: 5'6, 140 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian female. Brown hair, hazel eyes.
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    Details of Disappearance

    Martin was last seen in Pensacola, Florida on March 31, 2006. She was showing a man and woman an apartment she managed on on East Nine Mile Road that day. She called her husband at lunchtime. She has never been heard from again.

    About a month after Martin disappeared, John Homer Docherty IV was arrested and charged with grand theft, forgery, fraud, and illegal use of a credit card. He'd used Martin's credit card at a local Wal-Mart several times after her disappearance, and he tried to cash a forged check in her name as well. He was a maintenance worker at an apartment complex Martin owned, and they had a close relationship; Martin's husband suspected they were lovers. Authorities searched Docherty's apartment and found a piece of bloodstained carpet in the bedroom that matched Martin's DNA, as well as other possible blood traces. In November 2006, he was additionally charged with Martin's murder.

    A photograph of Docherty is posted below this case summary. A witness stated on the night of Martin's disappearance, he helped Docherty lift a heavy trash can into a dumpster. He said it "didn't feel right" and he even asked Docherty if the trash can contained a body. Docherty gave him $450 in cash after they'd put the can in the dumpster. Another witness saw Docherty looking through the dumpster with a flashlight that same night. Police believe he may have removed Martin's body at that time and disposed of it elsewhere. At his trial in 2008, Docherty's defense argued there was no proof Martin was dead and she might have left on her own. She had dropped out of sight for as long as eight months at a time before.

    A jury convicted Docherty of manslaughter in February 2008, acquitting him of the more serious charge of first-degree murder. He was sentenced to fifteen years in prison. He maintains his innocence in Martin's presumed homicide. Docherty has a prior criminal record for theft-, fraud- and weapons-related charges. He is scheduled for release in 2021.

    Martin is an Air Force veteran and former flight attendant. Investigators believe Docherty killed Martin to obtain her $2.5 million fortune. Her body has never been found, but foul play is suspected in her disappearance due to the circumstances involved.

    Docherty
    Above: John Homer Docherty IV

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    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Escambia County Sheriff's Office
    850-433-7867

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    Source Information
    Florida Department of Law Enforcement
    The Pensacola News Journal
    Florida Department of Corrections

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    Updated 2 times since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated October 26, 2010; details of disappearance updated.

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