Real Name: Martha Eudora Roberts
Nicknames: Doe Roberts
Location: Eads, Tennessee (near Memphis, Tennessee)
Date: August 7, 1992
Date of Birth: Unrevealed
Marital Status: Married
Characteristics: Caucasian female. Suffers from severe asthma.
Details: Sixty-five-year-old Martha Doe Roberts vanished from her Eads, Tennessee home on August 7, 1992; she is believed to have been abducted. She was last seen at 9:30AM when her husband, Allen, left for work. When he returned later in the afternoon, she was gone. That night, he received a ransom call; a muffled male voice demanded $100,000. He threatened to kill her if the demands were not met.
The kidnapper did not call back and has made no demands since. Allen made a personal plea to the kidnapper, stating that he was willing to do anything necessary to save his wife.
Suspects: None known; however, the abductor is believed to be a white male in his forties or fifties who uses a fake, exaggerated Asian accent in the phone messages.
Authorities would like to speak to a man named "Sam Wagner" who may have information on the case.
Extra Notes: The case was featured as a part of a Special Alert in the September 23, 1992 episode, along with Joseph Krantz. An update regarding to the ransom calls was aired on the February 17, 1993 episode.
Doe's case was also documented on The FBI Files.
Results: Solved. After the broadcast, several of Martha's family and friends, along with her husband Allen, received phone messages from the kidnapper demanding $185,000 for her safe return. In some of the calls, the caller had the family member or friend ask a specific question, which would be correctly answered by "Martha". The caller also claimed that Allen had hired the caller to kidnap his wife and that he had not paid them. Allen, however, claimed that this was not true.
In August of 1993, investigators identified a prime suspect in the case: fifty-nine-year-old Charles Jackson Lord Jr, a neighbor and business associate of Allen. It was determined that he most likely made the ransom calls. It was discovered that Lord was in heavy debt and had embezzled money previously from a church and from the government.
Lord later confessed that on the morning of the kidnapping, he called Allen and pretended that he was interested in purchasing a property that he was selling. He did this in order to get Allen out of their house. He then went to their house and kidnapped Martha; he planned on holding her for ransom. He then took her to an apartment above his garage. While there, he raped and suffocated her while his own wife was sleeping in his house. It is believed that this occurred within a few hours of the kidnapping.
She was found buried underneath a compost heap in his yard, her body preserved by a layer of cement and lime. Lord was convicted of her kidnapping and murder. He was sentenced to life in prison. As of 2016, he is listed as deceased.
Martha's husband Allen passed away in 2005.
- Husband vows to pay ransom for missing wife
- Search for woman continues
- State v. Lord (1994)
- 'Doe Roberts' authors will sign their book
- SitcomsOnline Discussion of Martha Doe Roberts (includes articles)
- Martha Doe Roberts at Find a Grave