February 9, 2010
For 20 years, a local family has been struggling with the fact that their daughter's killer has never been caught. The case captured the Wichita community's attention a little more than 20 years ago and now police say they may be close to solving the case.
20 years of not knowing; 20 years of wondering why. Krista Martin was killed in a neighborhood near Kellogg and Seneca back in October of 1989. Just 20 years-old, Krista was a very outgoing person with a number of close friends. She often went to clubs and parties with those friends, according to police. However, that chilly October weekend, something went terribly wrong inside her home at 506 S. Osage.
"Nothing appeared out of the ordinary. We have no forced entry," said Wichita Police Detective Dan Harty. "It's possible she allowed the person inside the residence. She was known to not necessarily lock her doors."
Inside, lay Krista's lifeless body. She had been beaten and sexually assaulted. A friend who had been trying to check on her discovered her body on the couch. It was about 1 a.m. on a Monday. While retracing her last steps, police know that she was at a local club called Toto's at Pawnee and Hydraulic that Saturday night.
Her friends say Krista was a very generous friend. Often hanging around with the same group of people, they say they sometimes got into trouble, just like many young adults fresh out of high school.
Martin grew up in Haysville and went to school at Campus High School. Although the school is much different today than it was 20 years ago, Krista's legacy lives on with the friends who knew her and loved her.
"It was all about having fun. That's what our relationship was about... having fun," said Lisa Riley, a good friend of Martin's. "We didn't worry about school or parents. We didn't worry about life."
The not knowing still bothers Krista's family. The hurt now somewhat diminished, but understanding that their loved one's killer could still be roaming the streets is bothersome.
"My husband and I would go out to eat and I'd see a family with two little girls and I'd just break down," said Krista Martin's mother, who did not want to be identified. "I mean, one minute you can be fine and the next minute, you're at the bottom."
Martin's family thinks maybe it was her outgoing and friendly lifestyle that ultimately led to her murder.
"She could be a very good friend," said Krista's sister. "I think a lot of people took advantage of that."
After 20 years, police and Krista's family hope someone will come forward with some answers because someone knows.
For 20 years, they've been left wondering what happened," Detective Harty explained. "If we could get some of those answers from someone who would do the right thing and come forward and give us a little bit of information, that might lead us to a successful conclusion."
If you have any information about the murder of Krista Martin, call Crime Stoppers at 267-2111. If your tip leads to an arrest, you will be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000. Nobody will ever ask your name.