A man St. Johns County investigators said admitted to killing his sister 24 years ago said Wednesday he was forced to make that confession.
When asked by Channel 4's Jim Piggott if he accidentally killed his sister, David Lambert, who was 15 at the time, said, "No. I was mentally incompetent when I made that statement.
On Friday, St Johns County detectives said David Lambert confessed to killing 12-year-old Martha Lambert in Fruit Cove just before Thanksgiving 1985, when Martha Lambert disappeared from her home on Kerri Lynn Road.
In a taped confession David Lambert made to police and his mother, he said, "Not thinking, I pushed her. She fell backwards and her head -- when she fell backwards -- her head impaled on something sharp that was sticking out of the ground."
David Lambert told investigators he panicked and buried his sister.
On Wednesday, he told Channel 4 that never happened.
Lambert was asked why he would tell police one thing if that wasn't what happened, and he responded, "Because they took advantage of my mental capabilities."
The St. Johns County Sheriff's Office said the taped confession tells it all, and that's what they are sticking to for now.
"We had other stories in the past, and this seems to be the factual one," Sgt. Chuck Mulligan said.
Police said David Lambert even took investigators to a wooded area where he said they would find his sister's body. They searched but never found a body.
David Lambert told Channel 4 he did show detectives a spot where he thought his sister's body might be, then added, "Yeah but nothing turned up there."
When asked why he showed them that spot and if he thought his sister's body might be there, David Lambert said, "I don't know."
In the taped confession, he told police, "I regret. I'm sorry that it happened. I regret pushing her. I wish I could go back in time and, and not have done that."
However, on Wednesday, David Lambert said he had "no idea" what happened to his sister.
When asked if he thought her killer is still on the loose, he said, "No, I think she is still alive."