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TV show focuses on Caroline case

The murder of a Caroline County woman whose remains were missing for 15 years will be the focus of a TV show tonight.

The Investigation Discovery Channel will re-enact the investigation of Lisa Marto Gaudenzi’s disappearance in a 9 p.m. show titled “Happily Never After.”

It will feature friends and family of Gaudenzi, as well as Caroline County Commonwealth’s Attorney Tony Spencer and Virginia State Police Special Agent T.C. Collins, who both worked on the case.

Lisa Gaudenzi was last seen with her husband, Lawrence, on Jan. 26,

1995, in Ruther Glen. She was reported missing when she failed to show up for scheduled officer training school with the Army.

Her disappearance had been a cold case for 13 years until Spencer announced in 2008 that he would be prosecuting Lawrence Gaudenzi for murder following a Virginia State Police investigation.

According to online missing-person reports, Gaudenzi told police he dropped his wife off at a Greyhound bus station in Richmond for a trip to Fort Lee. Police later determined, however, that there was no bus that took that route, according to the reports.

On the third day of his jury trial in May 2009, Gaudenzi pleaded guilty to second-degree murder; he was sentenced to 25 years in prison. He claimed Lisa fell down and broke her neck.

Her remains remained missing until June 2010, when Gaudenzi led investigators to a remote area off Massaponax Church Road in Spotsylvania County. The site was about 30 miles from the couple’s home in Lake Land’Or.

Investigators were able to find remnants of the sleeping bag Gaudenzi used to wrap his wife’s body after her death. They also found at the scene several plastic bottles that had held brick-washing acid.

Gaudenzi had put the sleeping bag inside a metal drum and then filled the drum with the powerful acid, investigators said.

A porcelain dental bridge that she received after a car accident when she was a teenager was all that was left of her remains.

Lisa’s father, Joe Marto, successfully had her last name changed back to her maiden name Marto, so that in death, she wouldn’t have to carry the name of her killer.

Portsia Smith: 540/374-5419


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