Overview of Martha Mertz
Martha Alice Mertz was living in Lancaster, PA with her husband at the time of her disappearance.
Unfortunately, there aren’t many details available about who Martha was. We do know that she was married to her husband, J. Calvin Mertz for 11 years, had no children, and worked at Hubley Manufacturing Co. Martha was known to be fond of money and to also have a reputation for being thrifty.
Martha vanished on the evening of June 22, 1961.
After an argument with her husband, J. Calvin Mertz, about whether the couple would attend a party, Martha’s husband left their home to go purchase cigarettes. When he returned around 30 minutes later, Martha was gone. He noted that her suitcase was also gone, though he was unable to determine what clothing she had taken with her. Martha’s sister was later able to determine that she had not taken a new outfit she had recently purchased, a detail which she found odd.
Immediately after returning to the home and finding that Martha is not home, J. Calvin left the home and traveled to West Palm Beach, FL to cool off after the argument. While in Florida, he checks with his sister to see if Martha had visited.
There has been no sign of Martha since June of 1961.
Martha’s bank accounts, which held around $9,000 total, $4,500 of which was in her savings account, have not been touched since June 22, 1961. She also had a week and a half’s pay waiting for her at the bank, but she never picked up or cashed the check.
Martha was known to have left her husband around six times prior to her disappearance after arguments, but authorities stated that she would always contact a family member shortly after. For Martha, going this long without contacting any of her family members or friends is completely unheard of.
“But she always contacted some members of her family afterward. This time, nothing has been heard of her since she disappeared. Members of her family feel she has been met with foul play.” - Detective J. David Smith.
A friend of Martha reported to police that Martha had told her that “Someday I will leave and no one will know where I am”. She added in her report that Martha told her that she was “fed up with constant marital arguments”. Authorities have not been able to confirm these statements.
Where the case stands today.
Today, Martha has remained missing for more than 61 years. She was declared legally deceased in the summer of 1969 by the Orphans Court Division of the Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas. Her official date of death was listed as exactly seven years after her disappearance, June 22, 1968.
At the time of her disappearance in 1961, Martha was described as a 47 year old caucasian woman with brown hair and blue eyes. She was between 5’-5’2” tall and weighed between 100-120 lbs. Martha was last seen wearing black pedal pushers and a white blouse. If you have any information regarding Martha’s disappearance or her whereabouts, please contact the Lancaster City Bureau of Police at (717) 735-3300.