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    Jennifer Sophia Marteliz (7) - Tampa FL, 1982

    Missing Since: November 15, 1982 from Tampa, Florida
    Classification: Non-Family Abduction
    Date Of Birth: June 9, 1975
    Age: 7 years old
    Height and Weight: 3'6 - 4'0, 60 - 70 pounds
    Distinguishing Characteristics: Hispanic (Cuban) female. Black hair, brown eyes. Marteliz has moles or beauty marks on the upper part of her chest, on the right side of her nose near her eye, and on her collarbone. She has a mole on the back of her right thigh. Her ears are pierced. She has a cleft in her chin and her upper front teeth are large. Marteliz's nickname is Firecracker.
    Clothing/Jewelry Description: A pink or orange dress with yellow flowers printed on it, maroon ballet shoes, heart-shaped gold post earrings, a hair comb with ribbons and flowers, and peach-colored polish and silver glitter on her fingernails. Marteliz is shown wearing the dress in the above photograph on the left.

    Details of Disappearance

    Marteliz was last seen walking home from school. She was one block from her family's residence on 15th Street and 109th Avenue in Tampa, Florida on November 15, 1982 at approximately 3:00 p.m. Marteliz asked a friend to watch her as she continued to her house; her friend turned away for a moment and Marteliz disappeared. She has not been seen again.

    Marteliz's parents were divorced in 1982, and she lived with her father and stepmother, but her mother had legal custody. Marteliz did not get along with her stepmother, and members of her mother's family had contemplating removing the child from her father's home. Both sides of her family accused one another of hiding Marteliz after her disappearance. Eventually all her relatives were ruled out as suspects in her case.

    Authorities suspected that Thomas Peter Welnicki, a family friend of Marteliz with an extensive criminal history for charges ranging from theft to drug possession to minor assault, was involved in her case. A photograph of Welnicki is posted below this case summary. When questioned by police, he claimed to have a psychic vision of Marteliz's abduction and murder. He said she was abducted and strangled by two men. One of them, he said, was in his forties and had a criminal history, and the other was a blond man in his mid-twenties whom Marteliz knew and trusted, and whose conscience troubled him deeply after the child's death. Welnicki himself matches the description of the blond man. Authorities believe Welnicki's "vision" was actually a confession, but he denies this. He failed a polygraph about Marteliz's case, but this may have been because he was taking medication to prevent seizures. Welnicki he has never been charged in connection with Marteliz's case.

    At the time of her disappearance, Marteliz was a second-grade student at Lassie C. Shaw Elementary School, which was one miles from her home. She was a good student and well-behaved. Her presumed abduction remains unsolved.

    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Tampa Police Department

    Charley Project

  2. #2
    Last edited by KateB; 06-21-2015 at 02:27 PM. Reason: repair url tag.

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