NORTH UNION TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — A little girl has been missing for nearly 30 years and now new information has led authorities to Fayette County.
They will resume searching a wooded area after getting a tip from a woman who used to live here.
Jennifer Marteliz was just 7-years-old when she went missing. The young girl was last seen in November 1982 walking with a friend near her Tampa, Fla., home.
Now, the search has turned to a wooded area off of Gilchrist Road in Fayette County.
According to a search warrant, a woman named Anna Cummings recently contacted police saying she was 10-years-old in 1982 when she lived in North Union Township near a man named Steve Visnosky.
She says Visnosky, now deceased, also had a home in Tampa.
Shortly after Jennifer Marteliz disappeared in Tampa, Cummings saw Visnosky pull a large plastic bag out of his trunk and believes he may have buried it.
“Obviously the terrain has changed in the last 20-plus, 30 years, so they are obviously checking the area to maybe narrow it down regardless,” State Trooper Joe Christy said. “The forensic anthropologists are here with their equipment to be able to narrow that down if the cadaver dogs do hit or regardless … do a grid search of the area that we believe this victim may be located.”
A team of anthropologists from Mercyhurst College will help canvas the area and a cadaver dog is being used to help focus the search.
KDKA’s Ralph Iannotti reports:
“I would expect that we would be able to find all the bones that were present and be able to tell the age, sex and all other attributes of the individual,” Dr. Dennis Dirkmaat, of Mercyhurst College, said.
Kathy Longo, the missing girl’s mother, still has her daughter’s teddy bear and a scrapbook of handwritten notes and newspaper clippings. In an interview with a Tampa TV station, she says she refuses to give up hope.
“I’ll never let go,” she said. “I’m not going to let go. It’s very sad to think that I’ve missed all these years without her.”
Stay with KDKA for the latest developments.