“What it means to me it gives us access to more resources into solving these cases,” Martin said. “I'm confident with the extra resources we can get some kind of closure for these families. Pretty much these families have been put through hell, Shonda's for the last 10 years and 18 years for Woodley's.”
Martin said he believes time has dragged on long enough. “It's community gut check time. Somebody knows something. I''m reaching out to the community for help because someone knows what happened to these victims.”
Martin said applying for inclusion in ViCAP is another way to keep the two cases in the public's eye. “The biggest thing we're trying to do is we want the public to know we have missing and exploited persons,” he said. “My opinion is someone knows, someone heard something, someone has valid information.”
The Stansbury case file.
The last time law enforcement had a valid tip on the Stansbury case, which turns 10-years-old in December, was probably about two years ago, Martin said.
Many square miles of land have been searched in as many as eight different areas, he said, and the police department continues to pursue persons of interest in the case. “Ten years is long enough. We'd like to find out what happened. I've been going over this with a fine-tooth comb.”
Martin believes the case fits the criteria of ViCAP and is positive now that the Stansbury and Woodley cases have been accepted for inclusion there is the potential for positive results.
What actually happened in the Stansbury is something Martin doesn't want to speculate upon. “I don't like to guess. But something happened and I don't think it was something good. We've had no reports of her social security or birthdate being used. She contacted her family on a daily basis. That all stopped. It wasn't like her. We feel like something sinister happened.”
Because there have been interviews with several possible suspects, the police department believes someone has valid information. “We want them to understand we know there is fear of retaliation, maybe that is why they are withholding. If they have information, we have Crimestoppers. We don't want to know who you are. We can meet with you and talk about it. We're not going to put you in jeopardy. The DA works closely with us to protect witnesses.”
With inclusion in ViCAP, Martin said, investigators can break the cases down, see if there are other similar cases. “They can see if there are patterns. They can take it and reach out nationwide.”
The Woodley case file.
The last lead on the 1998 murder of Woodley, Martin said, was more than four years ago.
In both cases there are $5,000 rewards from the governor's office, the reward for the Woodley murder announced during Beverly Perdue's administration.
Investigators conducted numerous interviews at the time, Martin said. “I feel like there is somebody who knows who did this. Someone saw something, saw somebody. We're looking at 18 years. I think it's time for someone to get it off their chest.”
That an armed robbery occurred one street over just before Woodley was murdered in the 200 block of Monroe Street gives investigators hope someone knows something. “The investigators did an outstanding job reaching out to outside sources,” Martin said. “I feel like this case could be aided greatly by ViCAP.”
While it would seem time is against solving the cases, Martin said, “I'm confident an arrest can be made. I feel confident I'm going to find her (Stansbury). I've dedicated myself to the victims and families.”