A Daughter’s Quest for the Truth
By: Stephanie Bellanca
The weather in Flint, Michigan on the night of December 22, 1988, was cold and overcast. Little did I know that it would become one of the coldest and darkest days of my life. My mother, Brenda Lee Harvey-Martinez left the house that night to use the payphone and never returned. I have researched the events of that night carefully, but there is one thing that has always eluded me, why did mom leave the house to use a payphone? Did she know that she was in some sort of danger? Or did she become a victim of opportunity? No one knows the answers to these questions, but it is my quest to find the truth and seek justice.
When mom left the house that night, she was wearing stone washed blue jeans, a pink jacket and boots. I remember that pink jacket well. One Halloween, I buried my face in that jacket when I dressed as a green-faced witch, something that didn’t make her day. I also learned that Halloween that haunted houses just aren’t my thing. Mom left that cold December night wearing that same jacket and never returned. She missed Christmas, Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Years Eve and her 24th Birthday. Even though I was young, I knew something was tragically wrong. Those two weeks have become the longest in my life.
On January 5, 1989, my worst nightmare came true. Her frozen body was found in the Holloway Reservoir Regional Park near Toboggan Hill. No one has ever been charged with the brutal murder, however, some DNA was found at the crime scene, the results are still not back. As I sit and wait patiently for wheel of justice to turn, I am eager for the day when the police contact me and tell me that the nightmare is over. Justice and peace is all I wish for my mother.
If anyone has information on what happened to my mom, Brenda Lee Harvey-Martinez on the night of December 22, 1988, I ask you to please call Lt. Tony Craig with the Richfield Township Police Department at 1-810-653-3565.
About the Author
My name is Stephanie (Harvey) Bellanca, the only child of Brenda Lee Harvey-Martinez. I was only six years old when my mother was taken from me. The road from that day to today has been a difficult one, but I have made it my life’s quest to help identify the person(s) responsible for my mother’s death. I am now a mother myself. I live and work as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist in Michigan. I turned to the Internet last year in hopes of garnering public attention to my mother’s case.