Tampa mother talks about her daughter missing since 1982 - WNCN: News, Weather

Tampa mother talks about her daughter missing since 1982

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TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

Jennifer Martilez vanished after walking home from school in 1982. Her mother, Kathy Longo is convinced she is still alive.

This week, when news came out that three women in Cleveland were found alive, Longo instantly knew what their families have been going through for the past 10 years.

Longo says, "I think they're happy, they can't think of anything else but the excitement of seeing their child again."

She also understands the full range of emotions the families are going through, and experienced some of those same emotions when she first saw the stories from Cleveland.

"I was sad, and I was excited," she said. "I was excited to see these three girls to finally be free from these men and to be able to see their families, but it made me cry to think about all these years these parents have missed with their children."

Longo has written a book and helped produce a movie about her own daughter's disappearance. She hopes the notoriety will keep up the publics interest to help find Jennifer.

Longo says, "There isn't a day that I don't pray every morning that she's found and I pray that I make it through the day that I don't have her."

Over the years there have been a number of theories about what happened to Jennifer.

Kathy has dismissed many, " I'm not going to look to find her body. If they find her body and they present it to me that's a different story, but as long as I feel Jennifer is out there, I'm going to keep looking for her and I hope everyone else will help me look for her."

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