BELLBROOK (AP) -- Ohio investigators and the slain woman's family are still hoping for a break in their effort to identify the killer of the gentle, nature-loving daughter of a corporate leader.
The Dayton Daily News reports (http://bit.ly/14yifvS) that friends and family are still baffled by the shocking 1997 slaying of Martha Oelman, 47. She was beaten to death in a family cabin deep in a southwest Ohio woods. Oelman's father Robert Schantz Oelman had been chairman of the National Cash Register Co., formerly one of Dayton's leading companies.
"She was very private, very professional, respectful of others," said Karen Rebori, an Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation special agent.
At the time, Sugarcreek Township police said the cabin didn't appear to have been ransacked, nor were there indications of sexual assault. Authorities say she died of blunt force trauma to the back of her head.
"We've looked at different people," Rebori said. "We have looked at multiple theories."
Oelman worked promoting homeopathy, a medical specialty that focuses on natural medicines. When she failed to show up at a Columbus event, friends went to her secluded cabin home on land along the Little Miami River. On Sept. 7, 1997, they found her nude body, facing down, on her bed.
"It is still shocking," said Susan Zurcher, a friend. "I think about Martha quite often. When you rip the scabs off, it is still sore under there."
She said Oelman loved to read and cook, and treated her property like a nature preserve.
"She really loved the environment and wanted to protect it," she said.
Brother Brad Oelman said their parents, in their late 80s at the time of Martha's death, died without ever knowing who killed their daughter or why.
"I don't know that my dad ever recovered from the blow he received," Oelman said. "He was crushed by it."
Brad still remembers the sister 10 years younger than him who used to follow him on his paper route.
"Justice will eventually be done," he said. "We'd like to see it done in the person's life, not afterward."