The Martins were a happy family busy celebrating with Christmas festivities in 1958. The fact that this tragedy struck an entire family and the festive holiday atmosphere makes this case one of the more grim mass disappearances.

Kenneth and Barbara Martin left their home with their three daughters: Barbie, Susan, and Virginia. Their plan was to gather greenery to make Christmas decorations for their home. When Kenneth didn’t arrive at work two days later, the family was reported missing.

There is little evidence about the family’s movements that weekend. In addition, authorities noted that the family hadn’t taken clothing from the house or money from their bank account; they had even left dishes in the drying rack and laundry in the wash when they left that morning. The house showed no signs of a struggle.

Three months later, a rig drilling in the Dalles River hit something unusual. Police were called, and the bodies of Susan and Virginia were recovered from the site. What makes this case truly baffling is that the other three bodies and the family’s car were never located. If the family had met with some sort of accident, why weren’t all five bodies found together? This question still plagues investigators to this day.

Posted by Carrie Dean

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