Memorial service held for model found dead in Missouri mansion

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Friday, December 31, 2010

A memorial service was held Thursday for Adrienne Nicole Martin, the model found dead two weeks ago in the Missouri, US mansion of former Anheuser-Busch CEO August Busch IV. Martin, of Native American ethnicity, was 27 years old when she died of unknown causes, said investigators.

A promotional image of Adrienne Martin from her iStudio.com profile

Martin, who had been dating the 46-year-old Busch for "the last several months" according to friends, was a native of Springfield. She had previously been married to 45-year-old doctor Kevin J. Martin until February 2009, when they divorced, and had joint custody of their eight-year-old son. Adrienne Martin had a profile on iStudio, a modeling website, where she said she wanted to become an art therapist. She also expressed a desire to "to do beer advertising" and work in the modeling industry. At the time of her death, Martin had been working toward a master's degree in art therapy.

The memorial service for Martin was held at South Haven Baptist Church in Springfield. Busch was not among the estimated 100 people attending the service, nor was he mentioned during it. The only speaker was the church's pastor, Scott Watson, who read letters from Martin's friends. Her son and other relatives sat in the front row while she was remembered as a gifted artist and dedicated mother. Lacy Elet, one of Martin's friends, later said Martin was happy that "her life was finally in order." Her obituary in the Springfield News-Leader called Busch "the love of her life." However, one of Martin's uncles, Andy Eby, said after the service, "There are too many questions and not enough answers."

Martin was found unconscious by Michael Jung, who worked at Busch's mansion, at 12:30 p.m. local time (18:30 UTC) on December 19. At 1:12 p.m., Jung called emergency services, saying, "This girl's just not waking up." When asked if she was breathing, Jung responded with, "We don't know. It's dark back there. I'm gonna get a light and try and see." At 1:26 p.m., Martin was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency workers. Law enforcement officials said the room was dark because there were blackout "curtains drawn in the bedroom."

An autopsy on Martin's body did not find any trauma-related injuries, and the official cause of death has not been established by investigators. A toxicology report, expected to take several weeks, will likely be used to determine the reason Martin died. Police said Martin's body did not exhibit any "apparent signs of trauma or other indications of cause of death." According to her ex-husband, Adrienne Martin had a rare heart condition, called Long QT syndrome, which can cause palpitations and sudden cardiac death. Kevin Martin said his ex-wife never sought medical advice on her condition and did not talk about it with friends.

Police said that Busch was home at the US$2 million mansion when Martin was discovered, and that the ongoing investigation is being handled by the Frontenac Police Department and the St. Louis County Medical Examiner's Office. Art Margulis, a lawyer for August Busch IV, said Martin was visiting the Huntleigh residence and that there is "absolutely nothing suspicious" surrounding her death.


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