Courts & Crime

Relatives of Texas torturer's missing ex-wife have unanswered questions

FORT WORTH Jeffrey Maxwell will head to prison in a few days, and with him could go the story of what happened to his ex-wife, who has been missing since 1992.

Maxwell, 59, has repeatedly told authorities that he knows nothing of the whereabouts of Martha Martinez Maxwell and had nothing to do with her disappearance. He's told her family the same thing. And last year, as he sat in the Parker County Jail, the Corsicana man denied to his adult son knowing anything about the boy's mother.

"This is really hard on him," said Carole L. Martinez of Denver, Martha Martinez's sister-in-law, referring to the couple's only son. "He attended the first day of his father's trial and he didn't come back."

Maxwell was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison for beating and kidnapping Lois Pearson of Parker County last year, then sexually torturing her for 12 days before authorities found her at his home.

Pearson, 63, spoke to reporters after the sentencing, allowing her identity to be used. Generally, the Star-Telegram does not identify victims of sexual assault.

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