Judy Martins

Martins, circa 1978; Martins in the wig she may have been wearing at the time of her disappearance; William Posey, circa 1970s

  • Missing Since 05/24/1978
  • Missing From Kent, Ohio
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Female
  • Race White
  • Date of Birth 07/15/1955 (68)
  • Age 22 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'4, 120 pounds
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description A brown and yellow plaid gauze blouse, a beige trench coat, blue denim culottes, a brown belt, a ring on her right index finger, large sunglasses and possibly a curly red Halloween wig and brown boots. Carrying a white imitation leather bag. A photo of Martins in the curly red wig is posted with this case summary.
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian female. Black hair, hazel eyes. Martins wears eyeglasses or contact lenses; her eyeglasses were left behind in her room. She has had her wisdom teeth removed.

Details of Disappearance

Martins was last seen at the Kent State University campus in Kent, Ohio on May 24, 1978. She was a junior at the college that year, majoring in art and minoring in women's studies. She was a good student and was hoping to become a therapist. She last seen walking from her friends' dormitory building, Dunbar Hall, to her own dormitory, Engleman Hall, at 2:00 a.m.

The two buildings were only about 300 yards apart, but authorities do not believe Martins ever returned to her own room at Engleman Hall. She has never been heard from again.

Martins didn't have a roommate, so no one missed her until the following evening. It wasn't until two days after she was last seen that campus officials notified her parents she was missing. The initial investigation into her disappearance was hampered by the fact that most of the students had left for the Memorial Day Weekend; Martins herself had planned a trip to New York with two friends.

Martins is not believed to have left of her own accord, as she was apparently happy and involved in campus life in 1978, and none of her loved ones believed she would have run away. She was a dormitory advisor as well as a volunteer counselor at the campus's Pregnancy Information Center. She vanished a week before spring semester final exams.

Almost of her personal belongings, including her eyeglasses, makeup, clothing and money, were left behind in her dormitory room. It's uncharacteristic of Martins to go anywhere without her glasses or makeup. Only her purse, with one credit card, disappeared with her; the purse was never found and the credit card was never used.

Martins broke up with her boyfriend of five years not long before her disappearance, but they remained on friendly terms. The boyfriend passed a polygraph about her disappearance, and her family doesn't believe he was involved.

After her disappearance, Martins's parents got a tip that she was working as a prostitute in the Cleveland, Ohio area. Martins's brother was able to locate the prostitute and stated she was not his sister, although the woman did bear a striking resemblance to Martins.

William John Posey Jr. was considered a possible suspect in Martins's disappearance. A photo of him is posted with this case summary. In 1978, he lived in an apartment about ten minutes' drive from the Kent State University campus. He was using the name John T. Scorpione at the time.

In 1980, Posey pleaded guilty to the abduction and murder of an Illinois woman. He was convicted of kidnappingĀ Iris Brown in 1981. Brown, who disappeared in 1976, has never been located. In 2008, Posey admitted he had murdered her. He never faced charges in Martins's case, but is considered a person of interest due to his criminal history and his proximity to where she disappeared.

Martins resided in the 33400 block of York Street in Avon Lake, Ohio when she was not at school. She has two younger siblings and graduated from Avon Lake High School in 1973. She had initially enrolled in Ohio University before transferring to Kent State.

Both of Martins's parents are now deceased, but her siblings are still alive and hope for resolution in her case. They characterized their family as a close and loving one. Martins visited her family in Avon Lake just ten days before her disappearance, to celebrate her sister's birthday and Mother's Day.

Her case remains unsolved.

Updated 8 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated June 14, 2023; details of disappearance updated.