Kim Larrow Carolyn Martin missing daughters
Last Updated: February 16. 2010 11:57AM
No answers after 29 years
Two families keep search alive for missing daughters
Christine Ferretti / The Detroit News
Madison Heights -- Timothy Martin was watching television last March when he was rocked by an image that flashed on the screen.
It was a 3-D facial reconstruction of a Jane Doe who washed up March 31, 1982, near the Monroe Power Plant on the Lake Erie shoreline. Authorities had just exhumed the body from a Monroe County cemetery, hoping DNA could link her to Kim Larrow, a Canton Township teen who went missing in the summer of 1981.
Tests were pending, but Martin was sure the woman was his twin sister, Carolyn Sue Martin, of Madison Heights, who disappeared with her 2 ½ -year-old son, Mark, seven months before the body washed ashore.
"I called the police right then," the Redford Township resident recalled. "I said, 'It's my sister.' "
Martin's odds had been good: The age, weight and features all lined up, and both women even had a chip in the same tooth. DNA testing, however, showed neither family was related to the Jane Doe, and the body was returned to its tomb.
The scenario failed to bring closure, but the investigators and relatives tied to these mysteries say they aren't planning to let the cases turn cold again.
"This was the spark that started it again. We want closure, whether she's alive or she's dead," said Martin, 53. "There's not an end to this until we are ended."
Carolyn Martin's family and friends gathered the afternoon of Aug. 31, 1981, to help her pack for an abrupt move to San Antonio. Her fiance, Hamparsoum "Harry" Kirezian, wanted to relocate there for a job at an auto shop.
She was looking forward to a new start with Kirezian -- the two had recently gotten engaged after years of acrimony stemming from Kirezian's refusal to take care of his son, Mark.
Their relationship took a turn for the better that summer. By all accounts, Kirezian appeared to have a change of heart in June, after Macomb County Circuit Court ordered him to pay $30 per week in child support. He and Carolyn reconciled and were looking forward to a new life together.
It was to be a new start for Timothy, too. He was heading to Oklahoma to find work, and he and his sister planned to caravan together.
Carolyn stopped at her mother's Hazel Park home with Mark that evening to say goodbye. She said "plans had changed" and she was going to take a different route to Texas and wouldn't be traveling with Timothy.
That was the last time the family saw her or Mark.
Madison Heights Police started looking into the case the following spring, after the family filed missing person reports.
Kirezian told investigators that Carolyn got out of the car with Mark near Toledo, according to reports obtained by The Detroit News. He told police she had changed her mind and didn't want to go to Texas. He gave her $4,000 and she gave him permission to discard her belongings.
Kirezian told police he had planned to continue to Texas on his own, but turned around when he had car trouble. He told investigators he returned to Michigan shortly after and had not "seen or heard from (Carolyn and Mark) since." Kirezian, who has since changed his name twice, declined a polygraph test.
Records show there wasn't any new information when investigators discussed the case with Martin's family several times between 1985 and 1990.
Madison Heights Police Lt. Robert Anderson said investigators suspect foul play. Kirezian, who is now known as Harry Kzirian, is considered a "person of interest" because he was the last person seen with Carolyn and Mark, Anderson said.
When contacted by The Detroit News, the man police say was formerly known as Kirezian said he did not know the pair.
Over the years, the family conducted its own investigation, which failed to yield any clues.
They visited Kirezian at his home, but he got a court order to keep them away. Hypnosis and psychics didn't help. And alleged sightings of Carolyn -- in a Highland Park bar and a Kentucky grocery story, near where the family previously lived and had friends -- couldn't be verified.
Madison Heights Police hope they will have better luck.
"The unidentified Jane Doe has brought new light to this case in which we will actively investigate," said Anderson, adding that the case has been assigned to a new detective. "Public attention may bring a tip."
The ordeal led to an extensive State Police review of the Martin case, which will soon be featured on the "America's Most Wanted" Web site. Mark has been registered with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and the family is going public with the story of the Madison Heights mother and her toddler for the first time.
'She's not forgotten'
The possibility of a DNA match to Jane Doe last spring was the closest the family came to a possible break in the 28-year-old Larrow case.
The cases emerged within eight months of each other, and police said both women had a similar build, height and hairstyle. The body was also found in Monroe County, where Larrow had ties.
The 15-year-old vanished June 8, 1981. She had just moved from her father's home in Monroe County to stay with her mother in Canton Township. Police say she was last seen visiting a friend at Stroh's Ice Cream Parlor on Sheldon Road.
She failed to show that evening at Haggerty Field in Hines Park, where she was supposed to meet friends.
The case made headlines a couple of years ago after a cousin, Robert Cooper, worked to re-energize the investigation.
Cooper, a former Toledo Police officer, was disheartened when the DNA didn't link the Jane Doe to Larrow. But he believes he's made progress; Internet searches yield more than a dozen missing persons sites with Larrow's information, and her DNA has been logged in the national database that's cross-referenced with unidentified remains.
"I feel like she's not forgotten. That's the biggest victory," Cooper said. "Nobody was looking for her. That changed. That was what I had control of -- I didn't have control of the result."
Death ruled a homicide
Monroe County Sheriff's officials and Michigan State Police are urging people to come forward with any information they may have on Jane Doe, whose death was ruled a homicide.
She was between 20 and 30 and had dark brown hair. She was found wearing a plaid shirt and a had cord around her neck.
Jane Doe was first buried in April 1982, about a month after her description, fingerprints and dental records failed to produce her identity. Police say autopsy photos and the woman's well-preserved features and hairstyle gave them a lot to work with for the reconstruction.
They remain hopeful.
"We got a lot of tips, but all the people have been excluded or didn't meet the time frame except Martin," said Michigan State Police Trooper Sarah Krebs, who did the facial reconstruction. "We'd love another chance."
In the meantime, Martin's family said they will seek to have DNA retested.
Timothy Martin said his family is thankful for Cooper's persistence, and hopes everyone involved will eventually find answers.
"We are asking all angels to join in our quest to find and bring our loved ones home, as well as continuing the efforts to find the family of Jane Doe," he said.
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