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FAMILY PUTS ITS TRAGEDY IN MOVIE

Kathy Longo spritzed hair spray on the actor's bouncing dark curls.

Longo wanted her to look just as Longo did a quarter of a century ago, the day her 7-year-old daughter disappeared.

Both women then stepped out into 98th Avenue, the street where Jennifer Marteliz vanished. Actors and camera crews took their places for the scene.

As the 25th anniversary of Jennifer's disappearance nears, her family is in the midst of producing a movie dramatizing the case. They hope someone - maybe even a grownup Jennifer - will see it and solve the mystery.

"Here's a family that's not letting go," said producer Gordon Tunstall, who is married to Longo's sister.

Jennifer was last seen Nov. 15, 1982, as she walked home from Shaw Elementary School to her father's Sulphur Springs duplex.

Jennifer's case remains under investigation by Tampa police, and no one has been arrested.

Jennifer's aunt, Nancy Tunstall, wanted to do something to raise awareness of the case, so she started writing a movie.

Called She Could Be You, the movie has more than 160 scenes. The family rented the duplex where Jennifer lived and redecorated her room with stuffed animals, just as it was in 1982.

It's funded by the Tunstalls, who have a corporate financial planning company. The couple also started a production company, Diamond Lion Productions, for the film.

Tunstall declined to say how much the project is costing, but he did say it's not cheap to fly in a film crew from California and set up a 24-day shoot. "We're spending as much as it takes," he said.

The family hopes a movie distributor will take interest in the film so that moviegoers everywhere will see Jennifer's story.

"We just feel really strongly that somebody knows something," said Jennifer's sister, Toni Lisa Marteliz, 36, of Land O'Lakes.

News researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Abbie VanSickle can be reached at 226-3373 or vansickle@sptimes.com.

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