Florida Rep usher missing after Fort Myers Beach house started collapsing during Hurricane Ian

UPDATE: Family and friends of Martha “Marti” Campbell were mourning her death after authorities found her body this weekend, about 1½ weeks after Hurricane Ian destroyed her house.

A longtime Florida Repertory Theatre usher went missing after Hurricane Ian, but her family and co-workers still hope she’s found.

“The last her family heard from her, she was in the bathtub on the second floor and her house was collapsing..." wrote Juan Santiago, the theater’s director of operations, on Facebook Wednesday. "I pray Marti is soon found and her family can have the peace of welcoming her back."

Martha “Marti" Campbell lives at 100 Hercules Drive, Fort Myers Beach, according to a flier posted on Facebook and shared by Santiago.

Campbell worked at Florida Rep for 16 years, Santiago says. She usually took people's tickets at the theater doors or walked them to their seats.

"She's extremely sweet," he says. "She is the sweetest, kindest soul I've met."

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Friends and family have posted images of Marti Campbell of Fort Myers Beach on Facebook. She's been missing since Hurricane Ian.
Friends and family have posted images of Marti Campbell of Fort Myers Beach on Facebook. She's been missing since Hurricane Ian.

The retired home economics teacher is one of about 200 volunteers at the downtown Fort Myers theater.

“It’s devastating,” says Florida Rep artistic director Greg Longenhagen. “I’m real concerned about her whereabouts. … We are a family — it’s a tight-knit family here. Many have been working side by side for years.

“And to think that we may have lost one in this terrible storm, it’s crazy. … I’m still staying hopeful, but we all know — I know other folks who perished in the storm.”

Family members didn’t respond to a voicemail message asking for comment on their tip line. Anyone with information about Campbell can call 407-883-0101

Family and friends posted information about Campbell on her Facebook page.

One of Campbell’s cousins wrote that Campbell lived across the street from her brother, Robert Campbell, who was found alive and safe after the storm.

“Please help!” wrote Myra Campbell Miller of Paris, Kentucky. “We have two cousins who stayed to weather the storm and have not been in communication with anyone since early afternoon!  Please share with anyone you know in the area. Addresses are below, 100 Hercules and 105 Hercules.

“They are brother and sisters, homes across the street from each other. Last word from both yesterday was that they were in their homes and water was in second story of each home. One house was already sustaining structural damage.”

Family member Alison Campbell Rodney posted that the Lee County Sheriff's Office has prioritized the search for their "family matriarch."

Connect with this reporter: Charles Runnells is an arts and entertainment reporter for The News-Press and the Naples Daily News. Email him at crunnells@gannett.com or connect on Facebook (facebook.com/charles.runnells.7), Twitter (@charlesrunnells) and Instagram (@crunnells1).

This article originally appeared on Fort Myers News-Press: Hurricane Ian: Florida Repertory usher missing on Fort Myers Beach