Family seeks answers after murder of 72-year-old Greensboro woman

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- After one month, an unsolved homicide in Greensboro has left a family devastated and pleading for help.

The six Summers sisters grew up in Greensboro together, taking care of each other and getting involved with local church groups.

After decades of health and happiness as a family, the six sisters are now five.

Mildred Martin, the third youngest of the group, was murdered a month ago.

There's still no explanation for why someone would attack and kill the 72-year-old woman.

Martin was killed in her Hyalyn Court home around Oct. 9, police said. Investigators said her neighborhood, Zornbrook, off Alamance Church Road in Greensboro is not known for crime or disturbances.

Martin was known as "Miss Mickey" to her friends, family and neighbors.

All five sisters sat down with Fox8's Carter Coyle Tuesday to share the pain their family is going through, hoping their story could help prompts tips for the investigation.

Her sister, Barbara Slade, explained, "Since this has happened to Mickey I have asked God why. Why her God? Why? You know, it was okay for you to take her, but why did you have to take her that way?"

Police say Martin was stabbed multiple times. Slade said she's trying to stop questioning God and start seeking strength in her faith.

Mildred Martin was known in the Greensboro community for being a foster mother for more than 25 years.

Miss Mickey also cared for elderly people who needed help until her husband became sick earlier this year. At that time, her sisters explained, Miss Mickey focused on taking care of "Man Mickey," Robert Martin, a well-known gospel singer. He died this summer.

Police say they found Miss Mickey's car in another neighborhood, but couldn't elaborate on where or when.

Captain Mike Richey said Martin's case is a priority investigation in the Greensboro Police Department right now. "We do not have a specific subject in mind so we don't know if the person knew her. We are looking at all avenues. We're looking to see if it could be strangers, we're looking to see if it could be someone she knows."

Martin's neighborhood has only one way in and out, and Cpt. Richey believes a neighbor could have seen something that could help the investigation. "The smallest things can absolutely break a case or cases wide open," he added.

Shirley Tate, the youngest sister of the six, explained how hard it's been to move on. "We talk about her in the present tense because it still hasn't sunk in yet that she's not here."

Martin's sister, Edna Pettiford, said an arrest in the case would help them find closure. "If we could get the person who did this apprehended, I think it would give us a little bit more comfort. A little bit more peace," she said.

Martin's two oldest sisters Rosie Donahue and Lorena Carter both said losing Miss Mickey left a hole in their sisterhood. "There is a loss in my heart that will never be replaced," Donahue said.

They encourage anyone with information to call Crimestoppers.

"She was a lovely lady. And she did not deserve to die the way she died," Slade concluded.

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