An actual school picture of Joey Martin when he was younger.

In November 2007 Peter Cirigliano, an up-and-coming detective with the New York State Police was given several cold cases to look into. One immediately caught his attention –the case of Joey Martin, who went missing almost twelve years before when he was only 15 years old.

The detective contacted Joey’s parents, Cathaleen Martin-Lightstone and his stepfather Lance Lightstone, to let them know that he was taking over the case. Cathaleen and Lance were cooperative, but it was clear their optimism faded with each passing year. Over the previous decade, Joey’s case has been passed through the hands of several investigators, but none of them were able to break it.


Joey Martin was a typical 15-year-old growing up in Accord, NY – a small, middle class hamlet located about 95 miles north of New York City. Joey’s father passed away when he was a young boy and his mother remarried a man named Lance Lightstone, who created friction in their household. Joey was protective of his mother, and as a result, his relationship was contentious with his new stepdad as well as with his older brother Billy.

The last time Cathaleen saw her son was on March 26, 1996. She remembered saying goodnight to Joey, not having any idea where he was headed out for the night. But she felt he would be safe with his two best friends, Daniel Malak and Alex Barsky. The next day Cathaleen got the call every parent dreads. She discovered that Joey never showed up at school, and according to Alex and Daniel, he never showed up to their usual hang out the night before.

Cathaleen called the police but they were unable to find any leads that pointed to Joey’s whereabouts. No one knew if he was dead or alive. Lance Lightstone became a key suspect, but remained adamant that he was “in the dark” regarding his stepson’s whereabouts.

Did Joey’s troubled relationship with his stepdad cause him to run away? Is Joey still alive? Or, did his closest friends cause his disappearance? Will anyone ever be able to solve the mystery of Joey’s disappearance?