Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

As missing pregnant teen's due date approaches, family calls for more tips

ST. PETERSBURG — Leah Martin thought she might be a grandmother by now.

Her youngest, Morgan, came to her months ago and said she was pregnant. Martin wasn't thrilled, but told the 17-year-old the family would figure it out.

But Morgan went missing July 25 and hasn't been seen or heard from since.

Police say the case is "active," but caution that the likelihood the teen encountered foul play is high. A $1,000 reward for information remains unclaimed. Her mother hopes to start a second fund to supplement that money this week.

Morgan's 18th birthday was Dec. 1. Her due date is Friday.

Before she disappeared, she told her mother she planned to name her baby, a girl, Ja'Leah. It would be Martin's first grandchild.

"I still have hope," Martin, 44, said. "It's not a lot, but I do. … I really just hope she's safe."

Morgan was last seen leaving her family's home, 2808 17th Ave. S. She was on her cellphone and told her family she was meeting someone outside.

She never came back.

Morgan is 5 feet 2, 175 pounds and of mixed race. She has black hair, brown eyes and has a scar on her chin and the left side of her lip. She was last seen wearing a white tank top, a pink jacket with fur around the hood, gray bottoms and fuzzy pink slippers.

Police have interviewed friends, family and the father of the teen's unborn baby. No suspects have been named.

The fact that Morgan, known for calling her mother several times a day, has not had any communication with anyone in her life is not a good sign, police said.

"The circumstances of this are very ominous and would tend to support the conjecture that she may have met with some foul play," said police spokesman Mike Puetz. "But we haven't found any crime scene. We haven't found a body."

Martin said she knows investigators are working hard. She said they've told her they still get tips.

Still, she said, it's hard to cope.

Last month, family and friends gathered at her home, ate cake and wrote messages on 18 star-shaped balloons released into the sky. The family also has started a Facebook page, "Hope for Morgan Martin."

A few weeks ago, Martin discovered an old card her daughter gave her. "It's the little things that are worse than the big things," Martin said. "It can take my whole day away. … You kind of feel like you're lost."

Kameel Stanley can be reached at

Police seek help

Anyone with information about the disappearance of Morgan Martin is asked to call police at (727) 893-7780 or Crime Stoppers toll-free at 1-800-873-8477.

As missing pregnant teen's due date approaches, family calls for more tips 01/02/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 2, 2013 10:46pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Federal study says humans harmed by dispersant used during Deepwater Horizon


    A first-of-its-kind scientific study has determined that the dispersant BP sprayed at the oil gushing from the Deepwater Horizon rig in 2010 harmed human health.

  2. Across Tampa Bay, local commercial banks and credit unions appear healthy


    In another sign of economic vitality, Florida's home-grown banking industry demonstrated strong bench strength in the latest quarterly analysis by Bauer Financial. The vast majority of commercial banks with headquarters in Florida received five "stars" from Bauer, which is the highest ranking of health on its 0-to-5 …

    Several years ago, First Home Bank in Seminole faced regulators breathing down its neck for inaedquate controls and financial weakness. Under CEO 
Anthony N. Leo, the bank has rebounded. It received a top-rated "5" star rating from Bauer Financial in the latest quarter. Most area banks are doing better these days. [SCOTT KEELER      |     TIMES]
  3. Two linemen lose their wedding rings in Tampa Bay. So far one has been found and returned.

    Human Interest

    Two linemen who spent days restoring power in the Tampa Bay area had the same unfortunate mishap: They lost their wedding rings.

    Facebook helped Michael White find the wedding ring he lost while helping restore power in Tampa Bay.
  4. Need is now for new mental health center at Bay Pines, veterans say


    ST. PETERSBURG — Veteran Ellsworth "Tony" Williams says the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System's new mental health center will help fill an immediate need.

    The new mental health center at the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System stands four stories tall and was built at a cost of $92 million. It will centralize services that before were scattered. [HOWARD ALTMAN   |   Staff]
  5. GOP health bill all but dead; McCain again deals the blow


    WASHINGTON — Sen. John McCain declared his opposition Friday to the GOP's last-ditch effort to repeal and replace "Obamacare," dealing a likely death blow to the legislation and, perhaps, to the Republican Party's years of vows to kill the program.

    Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington in July.  McCain says he won't vote for the Republican bill repealing the Obama health care law. His statement likely deals a fatal blow to the last-gasp GOP measure in a Senate showdown expected next week. [Associated Press]