WI SARA BUSHLAND: Missing from Spooner, WI - 3 April 1996 - Age 15

Akoya

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Sara was last seen on April 3, 1996 in Spooner. She was 15 years old.

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Akoya

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http://www.weau.com/home/headlines/New- ... 69781.html

NEWS RELEASE FROM WASHBURN CO. SHERIFF'S OFFICE (05/18/2013)

Sara Bushland


Considered Missing and Endangered Since April 3rd 1996
The Washburn County Sheriff's Office conducted an extensive ground and water search on Thursday May 16th and Friday May 17th, 2013. The search was conducted in cooperation with and the consent of Marie Lambert, Sara's mother and Jim Lambert, step-father, on property owned by Marie and Jim Lambert. We thank Marie and Jim and Sara's sister Lesley for their continued cooperation in efforts to find Sara.
Many agencies and personnel assisted the Washburn County Sheriff's Office investigators in their search to include: Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation, City of Superior/Douglas County Dive Team, St. Louis County MN Sheriff's Search and Rescue, Cadaver K-9 Units from the Midwest, Wisconsin Emergency Management and Wisconsin National Guard.
Why and how this search came about and the results or information learned from this search will not be released, as this is still an ongoing criminal investigation.
Sara has been missing for over 15 years and as far as we are concerned the case remains open and active until such time she is located. We will continue to do what has to be done to provide closure to Sara's family and friends and hold any and all responsible for her disappearance. We will leave no stone unturned in our efforts.
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SPOONER, Wis. (WEAU) -- "You're scared to answer the phone, you never know what's going to be on the other side of the line," said Mike Bushland.
For the past 17 years, that is how he has lived day in and day out since his daughter, Sara Bushland, was reported missing in April 1996.
"I don't think it's good whatever happened but you gotta keep hoping," he said.
Years of waiting for something, and now, some movement in the case.
"They just said they were going to do this search, why I don't know" he said.
He was told by investigators they were going to search his property where Sara Bushland lived near Spooner. He says it had been searched before, but now has gotten attention again.
"They came with three boats and nine dogs and a bunch of people I guess.
He believes 76 people were out there yesterday as well as on Friday. You could see several law enforcement officers on the scene. It is something he has been in the works for the past one to two months.
"It was just a little deal, they have been planning this for a while," he said.
"We'd ride together and sit on the bus together and go to school together and hang out," said Amy Riedll.
Riedll grew up down the road from Sara Bushland and is hearing about investigators searching the property for the first time. More than a decade later, she has not forgotten her friend nor the April day in 1996 when she disappeared.
"She didn't get on the bus the next day and wasn't around and then all the sudden everything came out that she was missing," she said.
"Hardest part is they don't have a body, pretty hard to track it backwards without that," Mike Bushland added.
The facts may be tough to face. But Bushland still holds on to hope, believing there is one thing to be true.
"I'm sure somebody knows what happened to Sara, someone knows," he said.
 

Akoya

Well-known member
By TODAY'S TMJ4 News Staff. CREATED May 1, 2014
May is Missing Children's Month, and we're teaming up with the National Center For Missing And Exploited Children to bring you the pictures and stories of children who are missing throughout the state.

This is Sara Bushland. Sara was last seen on April 3, 1996 in Spooner. She was 15 years old. The photo on the right is what Sara may have looked like at age 28. She would be 33 now. Sara has a mole on the left side of her neck and above her upper lip. If you have any information please call the Washburn County Sheriff's Office, or 1-800-THE-LOST.


http://www.scrippsmedia.com/tmj4/news/Sara-Bushland-missing-from-Spooner-257571021.html
 

Akoya

Well-known member
http://www2.jsonline.com/news/state/...s21072001a.asp

Urgency goes missing in missing-persons cases
Attention given to cases contrasts with that for Levy, relatives say


By MARK JOHNSON and JAMES H. BURNETT III
of the Journal Sentinel staff
Last Updated: July 20, 2001
Five years have passed since Michael Bushland's daughter, Sara, 15, stepped off a school bus near her mother's home in Spooner and vanished.

Missing-person reports recorded in the FBI National Crime Information Center. The number does not account for cases that were closed. No breakdowns are available for adults vs. children.
2001: 428,228 (through June 30)
2000: 876,213
1999: 867,129
1998: 932,190
1997: 980,712 (a record)

Source: Associated Press
Quotable

The worst part is the not
knowing.

- Dawn Bushland,
stepmother of missing girl

But Sara Bushland dropped from sight in a way that Washington intern Chandra Levy did not. Bushland's blond, blue-eyed visage didn't land on front pages or television screens coast to coast. Law enforcement at first considered her a runaway. She was missing, but so was the sense of urgency about her case.

"Of course, we contacted 'America's Most Wanted,' " but the case "is too cold," says Dawn Bushland, Michael Bushland's wife and the girl's stepmother. "There's not enough pizzazz."

Meanwhile, every Father's Day, Michael Bushland prays that his daughter will call.

Missing-persons cases are surprisingly common. Cases such as that of Levy's are much rarer.

This year in Milwaukee, about 2,000 children and adults have been reported missing, and all but 200 or so of those cases have been resolved, police say.

"There are several people reported each day. Most of them are children, and most are found within hours," says Lt. Daniel Ruzinski, a veteran sensitive-crimes detective. "The majority of them, probably 75 percent, are found within a day."

An average of 700 to 800 children are reported missing each month in Wisconsin, state records show.

The majority of those reported missing are found or return home on their own within hours or days, says Randy Romanski, a spokesman and policy analyst in Attorney General Jim Doyle's office.

"On average, about 95 percent of children reported missing are located" in less than two days, he says. "Typically they would be runaways, children told to leave the home - say, during an argument - and then came back or were located. However, there are some that are longer-term cases or more serious."

The children's edge
In this respect, cases such as Bushland's are usually more promising than those such as Levy's. Children are more likely than adults to be reported as missing very quickly. Fewer people report adult friends and relatives as missing, even after extended absences, Ruzinski says.

"Everybody's got a relative you haven't seen for a couple of months, right? Do you report them missing?" he says. "It's not unusual not to hear from cousin so-and-so for two or three months at a time, and all of a sudden he'll give you a call. So I think it's basically because adults can come and go as they please, where children, their parents are responsible for them."

Once adults are reported missing, some factors make them easier to track down. An adult's employment records, travel arrangements and credit cards leave a paper trail.

Still, there are resources for missing children that don't exist for missing adults.

Most government and private missing-persons tracking organizations concentrate on children, Romanski says. In Wisconsin, Doyle's office oversees the Wisconsin Clearinghouse for Missing and Exploited Children, a conduit organization for coordinating statewide search efforts.

In the Bushland case, a mix-up kept her name and photo off the national database of missing and exploited children about three years. Fliers and posters were distributed locally, but they produced few leads.

Dawn Bushland wishes she and others had contacted the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children immediately, instead of assuming that law enforcement would do so.

"Everyone failed Sara, and I include myself," she said.

It has been hard for her to watch the relentless focus on the Levy case in Washington. "America's Most Wanted" wasn't the only television show she tried. There were calls and e-mails to Sally Jessy Raphael, Montel Williams and Maury Povich, without success.

In Levy's case, the coverage has been so intense that there were even stories about the one network, CBS, that wasn't reporting the case.

"Makes me sick," Dawn Bushland says of the attention on Levy and U.S. Rep. Gary Condit (D-Calif.), who has admitted having an affair with the intern. "Sara didn't have an affair with a congressman. Mike and I are nobodies."

Planned a memorial
A year ago, Michael Bushland was thinking about holding a memorial service for his daughter, whose 21st birthday would be Aug. 15.

"He believes, at least if he felt he needed to talk with Sara, he could go to the cemetery," Dawn Bushland says. "I said, 'You need to have a true confirmation.' The worst part is the not knowing."

They held off on the memorial service.

Other families of missing children face a different kind of uncertainty.

Gail Boyden is the grandmother of Shawna Elizabeth Nowaczyk, 5, who went missing from her Eagle home in October. Boyden says she believes Shawna is with her mother, possibly in Guatemala.

"She's got family she knows" in Guatemala, Boyden says. "We know she took American Airlines from O'Hare."

Shawna's parents, Joseph and Mauren Nowaczyk, were going through a divorce when the mother and daughter disappeared, Boyden says. Authorities have been able to do little to locate Shawna, and if she is with her mother in Guatemala, Boyden believes she will be tough to bring home.

"You can't touch them down there," she says.

Boyden says the girl's disappearance has been hard on Joseph Nowaczyk, even though he has reason to believe that his daughter is still alive.

"It's been terrible on him," she says. "It seems the longer it goes on, the more difficult it gets."

She has no difficulty with the publicity surrounding Levy. She feels there is a different irony in her granddaughter's case.

"They made a big deal about Elian Gonzalez," she says. "He wasn't even a citizen of the U.S. Here we have a citizen of the U.S., and they won't do a damn thing."

Perhaps the closest Wisconsin has come to the media frenzy of the Levy case was the reaction to the disappearance of Laurie Depies, 20, in August 1992 from a parking lot outside her boyfriend's apartment in Menasha. She apparently set a soft-drink cup on her car while she locked it, then disappeared.

"There was a great amount of attention. It was quite unbelievable," says her father, Mark Depies, 56. "There were about 400,000 posters put out with her picture. People came back and said, 'I saw Laurie's picture at a gas station in Canada.' "

Within 12 hours or so of the disappearance, Mark Depies and his ex-wife saw the first television cameras covering the case.

Friends and relatives manned a search center for Laurie Depies in a Menasha office building. Psychics approached the family, which heard from about 20 in all. By the fall, the family had appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show to talk about the case.

Sense of urgency waned
But the urgent hope felt early in the case began to drain as time went on. The first psychics had said things such as "Hurry, hurry. She's still alive. They're hurting her," Mark Depies recalls. After six weeks, the messages from psychics revolved around where police could find her body.

The search center, which had been manned 24 hours a day for a while, began using an answering machine. It closed around Christmas in 1992, passing all its information on to police.

"The media hung with us for a long time," Mark Depies says.

There were stories at the one-year anniversary. More stories at two years.

"The fifth anniversary, they just mentioned," he says.

He found dealing with the media difficult. Even now, talking about his daughter brings back pain. He says his heart goes out to Levy's family and other families of missing persons.

Mark Depies says he almost prefers not to know what happened to his daughter "because I'm afraid of what the answer is." Still, part of him can't surrender the last slim hope.

He says he has about a 2% hope that she is still alive. "My mind says that she's no longer with us, but you always have a little hope," he says.


Appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on July 21, 2001.
 

Akoya

Well-known member
Sheriff issues statement on continued investigation of disappearance of Sara Bushland

http://www.apg-wi.com/spooner_advocate/ ... 54966.html


Washburn County Sheriff Terry Dryden issued the following statement on Friday, April 1, about Sara Bushland, who went missing 20 years ago this coming Sunday, April 3, 1996.

"Over these past 20 years this office and the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation has actively pursued any and all leads provided by the public," the sheriff said. "Exhaustive searches have been conducted multiple times and many interviews with potential suspects and those with information have been done, in some cases many times with the same person. Some of our leads and interviews have taken us to other counties and states, we leave no stone unturned.

"Sara's disappearance is still an active investigation and we are once again asking the public for help. We hope that this reminder of her disappearance with generate increased information and hopefully someone will say 'you know I do know something about Sara' and call the Washburn County Sheriff's Office.

"Any information you have, no matter how insignificant you think it is, may be the needle in the stack we are looking for."

The sheriff said anyone with information can call the sheriff's office at 715-468-4700 or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 800-843-5678.

Anyone wishing to remain anonymous can call the TIP Line at 715-468-2720.

"Please help if you have any information," said Dryden.

More information on Bushland's disappearance, including remembrances of her, will be in the April 7 issue of the "Spooner Advocate."
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May 31, 2016#18
Sara Bushland was last seen on April 3, 1996 in Spooner, Wisconsin. She was 15 years old. Sara was seen stepping off of her school bus at the entrance to the driveway of the residence where she lived with her mother and stepfather. There are reports that she spoke to someone in a dark pickup truck who had been driving behind the bus. Sara got into the pickup and drove off in the direction of the town of Trego. She has never been heard from again.


Spooner High School




County Highway E, Spooner, Wisconsin



 

Akoya

Well-known member
http://www.apg-wi.com/spooner_advocate/ ... 318bb.html


Still no sign of the missing Sara Bushland

By Julie Hustvet Apr 7, 2016


Still no sign of the missing Sara Bushland
By Julie Hustvet Apr 7, 2016


It was 20 years ago as of Sunday, April 3, that Sara Bushland, then 15, got off the school bus at the entrance to the long driveway at the town of Casey home that she shared with her mother and step-family and then went missing.

She reportedly talked to a driver of a pickup truck in the driveway, got in the truck with the person, and headed in the direction of Trego. Then she vanished.

Initially thought to be a runaway case, its status eventually changed to “endangered.”

When Bushland was not home at the usual time after school on that fateful day, family members reported her missing, calling police “right away.” They did not believe she ran away.

“She just wasn’t that type of girl,” her mother, Marie Lambert, has said.

“No one really investigated it to start with,” her father, Michael Bushland, said during an early interview. “Apparently they were just waiting for someone to see her, or for her to just show up. No one seemed very concerned that anything had happened.”

Some of Sara’s schoolmates, in fact, said they were surprised to see posters of their classmate hanging in local stores in mid to late April that year. “We just thought she had quit coming to school,” said one. “We couldn’t believe it when we saw those posters. No one had even told us she was missing.”

“For a long time, a lot of people in Spooner didn’t know she had disappeared,” Michael Bushland observed.

Sara Bushland is on the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s website, and at one point the center distributed more than 2 million posters with her description. She continues to be featured on several websites, including FindSaraBushland on Facebook, charleyproject.org, and missingpersons.doj.wi.gov.

For awhile in 2002, information about her disappearance was on a billboard along Hwy. 53 between Spooner and Trego, the billboard paid for by her father, stepmother, and several area businesses.

Family members have described Sara as happy-go-lucky, high-spirited, beautiful, interested in “softball and boys,” “someone who knew just how to get to you.”

The passage of her 18th birthday in 1998, the passage into adulthood, further dwindled her family and friends’ hope that she might still be out there, living her life somewhere.

“When she turned 18, that was the worst day,” said Micahel Bushland. “Before, I was always hoping she would come home.”

The passing of her 18th birthday, Washburn County Sheriff Terry Dryden had said, “leads me less to believe that she’s safe, that we’re going to find the young lady alive and well.”

In 2002, both of Sara’s parents still were convinced that their daughter did not run away from home.

“My gut feeling says it’s foul play,” Michael Bushland reiterated. “I don’t understand why she hasn’t contacted somebody – her grandmother, me, her sister, her friends. Kids aren’t good at keeping secrets.

“I thought it [foul play] right away. But then the police kind of said she ran away. I would like to know how it was decided it was a runaway. That’s the thing that really gets me. There was no note.

“What’s a girl going to do with no money? Where’s she going to go?

“I can’t see her doing that to us. So I always think the worse,” Bushland said.

“It appears from what our reports indicated that there was not any strong indication of foul play,” Dryden said. “I believe from what I’ve seen and read [in reports] she was a runaway from the word go. What happened from there, we don’t know.”

Bushland allegedly had mentioned running away, he said, and people later reported seeing her in Eau Claire and at events like Jack Pine Savage Days in Spooner.

“We had innuendoes and hearsay, but we had no evidence to indicate foul play at the time,” he said. “It appears from what our reports indicated that there was not any strong indication of foul play.”

In an interview in 2002 as the case was pursued again, Dryden said, leads “came in for a long time, for years. They got followed up on when they would come in.

“Everybody was talked to at least twice, every person that may or may not have known about what’s going on.”

Some people were interviewed for the third time during the re-investigation, he said. “We’re backtracking everything we did before. I don’t care if they were talked to 20 times.”

Reaching everyone was difficult, he said, because people had moved, some even out of the country.

In 2011 Dyden said the case was still open but “We haven’t had anything concrete for a long time. We’ve exhausted all our leads, and we haven’t had any fresh ones for quite a while.”

The sheriff’s office called in cold case investigators from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children about five years ago, Dryden said in 2011, and investigators spent two weeks reviewing files on the investigation and re-interviewing family and friends of Sara.

“They couldn’t find anything new,” the sheriff said.

In 2013, the home property was searched. Mike Bushland told a television station in the Chippewa Falls/Eau Claire area that investigators used three boats, nine dogs, and as many as 76 people to search the property.

“It was just a little deal, they have been planning this for a while,” he said in the interview.

Connection

Some people believe Bushland’s case may be connected to the disappearance of Crystal Soulier, 18, of Hertel who went missing on October 1, 1996, and whose body was discovered outside an adult sex store in March 1997 in Rock County.

The connection between Soulier and Bushland was covered in the February 16, 2012, “Spooner Advocate” article, “One murder, one missing: Too many coincidences between them?” about amateur sleuth Sandra Coshow of Spooner, working with members of the Bushland family, coming across information that Soulier and Bushland were friends and socialized amongst the same two groups of young men.

That connection also was covered in the “Spooner Advocate” article “Tunnel vision hurts pursuit of killer, says victim’s sister.”

Both articles are online at spooneradvocate.com.

A statement issued by Dryden concerning the 20th anniversary of Bushland's disappearance is at http://www.apg-wi.com/spooner_advocate/ ... 54966.html.
 

Akoya

Well-known member
http://www.apg-wi.com/spooner_advocate/ ... 54966.html

Sheriff issues statement on continued investigation of disappearance of Sara Bushland

Apr 1, 2016

ashburn County Sheriff Terry Dryden issued the following statement on Friday, April 1, about Sara Bushland, who went missing 20 years ago this coming Sunday, April 3, 1996.

"Over these past 20 years this office and the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation has actively pursued any and all leads provided by the public," the sheriff said. "Exhaustive searches have been conducted multiple times and many interviews with potential suspects and those with information have been done, in some cases many times with the same person. Some of our leads and interviews have taken us to other counties and states, we leave no stone unturned.

"Sara's disappearance is still an active investigation and we are once again asking the public for help. We hope that this reminder of her disappearance with generate increased information and hopefully someone will say 'you know I do know something about Sara' and call the Washburn County Sheriff's Office.

"Any information you have, no matter how insignificant you think it is, may be the needle in the stack we are looking for."

The sheriff said anyone with information can call the sheriff's office at 715-468-4700 or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 800-843-5678.

Anyone wishing to remain anonymous can call the TIP Line at 715-468-2720.

"Please help if you have any information," said Dryden.

More information on Bushland's disappearance, including remembrances of her, will be in the April 7 issue of the "Spooner Advocate."

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE SPOONER ADVOCATE: https://apg-wi-dot-com.bloxcms.com/site ... _services/
 

Akoya

Well-known member




Sara had a billboard placed in her hometown in April for missing person awareness month. Well done Spooner! Hopefully it will jog a memory, Sara's hometown is so small.
 

Akoya

Well-known member
http://kstp.com/news/sara-bushland-spoo ... y/4392780/

Investigators: Someone in Spooner, Wisconsin Knows What Happened to Sara Bushland




February 07, 2017 05:49 AM

Spooner is a scenic community in western Wisconsin where a lot of people from the Twin Cities have cabins.

Spooner is also where a missing person's investigation has been ongoing for nearly 21 years. Fifteen-year-old Sara Bushland was last seen getting off her school bus in 1996.

There have been many twists and turns in the case over the years, but now after all this time, investigators feel they are closer than ever.

Sara's sister, Lesley Bushland Small, and her father, Mike, believe someone in Spooner knows what happened to her.

Mike and his two daughters lived in Chippewa Falls after he and his wife divorced. Sara later chose to move in with her mom and stepfamily in rural Spooner. She disappeared after getting off a school bus outside their home on April 3, 1996.

"Nobody really knows for sure what happened," Mike said.

“There are many people that say there was a pick-up truck but we're not sure she even got in it," Lesley added.

She doesn't think Sara went far.

"So we really need people to stand up and do what's right," Lesly said. "There are people that know what happened."

"I believe that's accurate. I believe there may be more than one person” Chief Deputy Mike Richter of the Washburn County Sheriff’s Office said.

Richter admits more could have been done when Sara disappeared. But in 1996, law enforcement wasn't trained to react to missing children as quickly as they are today. Sara was first labeled a runaway and then endangered.

"It's a case that's 20, almost 21 years old," Richter said. “With that said, it's not a cold case, it's not a dead case, and it’s not in a file cabinet somewhere."

Over the years, the case has made headlines. In 1997, a friend of Sara's was found dead outside an adult bookstore in Beloit, Wisconsin.

"We have no reason to believe there's a connection between those two incidents," Richter said.

Later, an extensive search was done on the property in rural Spooner were Sara was living with her mom and stepfamily. It didn’t turn up any evidence.

They have also closely monitored Sara's personal information. There’s been no activity with somebody stealing her identity.

And after all this time, Mike has kept the same phone number hoping his daughter will call. Lesley still uses her maiden name. She has also created a Facebook page for Sara in case she's searching.

"And the waiting game is just painful. I mean it is just painful," Lesley said.

Sadly, the family and police have come to the same conclusion.

"I believe she's dead” Mike said. “I hope not, but I believe she is."

"We have at this time no reason to believe that Sara is still alive," Richter said.

But Richter said that motivates the sheriff's office even more. They are working with the Wisconsin Department of Justice, the FBI and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to find out what happened to Sara. They are convinced she didn't go far and they'll find answers close to home in Spooner.

"We just honestly are at a roadblock because no one will come forward," Lesley said. “We're just asking for everyone, anyone who might have any idea to come forward so that we can move on."

"In 30 years, we've got no open homicides for the Washburn County Sheriff's Office, and this isn't officially a homicide case.," Richter said. "But for all practical purposes that's the way we see it. So, if we could get a little bit more help it might be just what we need."

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information that helps the Washburn County Sheriff's Office solve the mystery of what happened to Sara.

If you have information on Sara's disappearance, please call Chief Deputy Mike Richter of the Washburn County Sheriff’s Office at 715-468-4700, or the National Center for Missing And Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST.

There are resources available to provide assistance to families with missing loved ones.

You can find out more information about the Jacob Wetterling Resources Center here.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children works to help find missing children, reduce child sexual exploitation, and prevent child victimization. You can find out more about the organization here.
 

Akoya

Well-known member
http://www.waow.com/story/34447502/...n ... n-20-years

Search continues for Spooner teen who has been missing for more than 20 years
Posted: Feb 08, 2017 6:57 AM
Someone in Spooner, Wisconsin knows what happened to Sara Bushland. ,Mike Bushland, Sara's father, said, "You know she's sly like a fox...She is.” Sara's sister Lesley Bushland Small, and father mike said she had a lot of friends and could hold her own with anyone. “She had a little mischievousness to her,” Lesley said. Mike and his two daughters lived in Chippewa Falls after he and his wife divorced. Sara later chose to move in with her mom and step-family in rural Spooner. The 15-year-old was last seen in 1996 getting off a school bus outside their home.

“Nobody really knows for sure what happened,” Mike said. Lesley said, “There's many people that say there was a pick up truck, but we're not sure she even got in it.” Mike said, “They can't even pick down the color of the truck."
 

Akoya

Well-known member
http://www.kbjr6.com/story/37898849/22- ... appearance

22 years since Sara Bushland disappearance

This week marks 22 years since then 15-year-old Sara Bushland went missing from the Northland.

On April 3rd, 1996, family members say Bushland rode the bus home from school near Spooner, Wisconsin, approached a truck that was following the bus, and was never seen or heard from again.

Ever since agencies, like the Washburn County Sheriff's Office and the DCI out of Eau Claire, have assisted in searches, yielding little results.

Family members say the case itself has garnered little attention over the last 22 years.

"There have definitely been bumps in the road, cold cases don't get the attention they deserve, but we are not giving up. As a family, we continue to work for answers on a daily basis," says Lesley Bushland Small, Sara's sister. "We are talking to anyone and everyone that might know something. What we need is for more people to talk - to come forward with any information, even if they feel it's irrelevant."

Bushland's case remains open to this day. She's listed as "endangered" on the Wisconsin Missing Person's list.
 

Akoya

Well-known member
Local cold cases brought to light in new book

For decades, thirteen unsolved mysteries have left investigators in Wisconsin baffled, and families still searching for answers.

Each one of them is a cold case, one dating back to 1921. Today, they’re all pieced together in a new book written by a true crime writer and Eau Claire Native.

“She was just full of joy,” says Lesley Small, describing her sister, then 15-year-old Sara Bushland. Bushland went missing in rural Spooner back in 1996. “She wanted to help everyone, she wanted to please everyone,” adds Small.

On Thursday evening, dozens of Chippewa Valley natives would hear Sara’s story at an event at the Local Store in downtown Eau Claire, featuring local true crime writer, Robert M. Dudley’s new book, “Cold Cases of West-Central Wisconsin.”

Sara’s story is just one of 13 local mysteries in the book.

“They deserve attention and my goal was to shine a light on those cases and hopefully bring answers to some,” says Dudley.

https://www.weau.com/content/news/Local ... 67911.html
 

Akoya

Well-known member
Case Of Missing Wisconsin Teen Hits Home For Area Woman

The wait for answers continues in the case of Wisconsin teenager Jayme Closs, who has been missing since Oct. 15. For another family from the same area, the tragedy is all too real.

Sara Bushland was 15 years old when she disappeared 22 years ago.

Long before the press briefings and field searches in Barron, Wisconsin, questions surrounded a home 30 miles north in Spooner in 1996.

“It brings it all home,” Lesley Small said. “It’s the same feeling I get, then multiply it by 22 for 22 years.”

Small’s younger sister — Sara Bushland — got off her school bus on April 3 and has not been seen since.

“My mom called me quite frantic and mad and said Sara didn’t get off the bus and where is she?” Small recalled.

Sara Bushland’s parents were divorced. She was living with her mom, stepdad and two step-brothers at the time she went missing. Small calls it a troubled home, choosing to live with her dad.

“She didn’t really want to talk about what was happening inside that home. Later, with her diary I was able to get a better insight of that,” Small said.

Sara was reported missing that night. Still, it took the Washburn County Sheriff’s Office three years to search the Spooner property.

“She was classified as a runaway to start with, and even newspaper articles just asking her to come home were published,” Small said.

But Small said she doesn’t want to focus on what didn’t happen in the past, looking instead to the present and future. Her mom and stepdad died last year. She wants more resources dedicated to Sara’s case and doesn’t think her rocky childhood should hold them back.

“Every person that’s missing deserves that,” Small said.

Lesley keeps a Facebook page detailing new developments, still missing the little sister that seemingly vanished.

“I won’t give up,” Small said.

If you have information on Sara’s disappearance, call the Washburn County Sheriff’s Office at 715-468-4700, or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST.

https://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2018/10/ ... -teenager/
 

Akoya

Well-known member
Finding Hope: Search for Sara Bushland still going strong, 23 years later

While Jayme Closs made it home to loved ones, many other families are still wishing for the same outcome.

Monday’s press conference on the eve of the Closs investigation anniversary helped shed light on several other missing person cases in Wisconsin. Specifically, Sara Bushland.

“Well it was April 3rd, 1996,” her sister, Lesley Small, recalled.

Sara Bushland was 15 at the time of her disappearance.

“What we have been told is that she got off the school bus, there was possibly a truck behind the school bus and from there we know nothing else,” Small said.

Sara has been missing for nearly 24 years.


Sara’s family said they’ll never lose hope – but they do need your help in bringing her home.

If you have any information that may help police find Sara Bushland, you can contact the Spooner Police Department. Her family has also set up a facebook page with more information on how you can help.

https://wqow.com/news/top-stories/2...a ... ars-later/
 

Akoya

Well-known member
DOJ releases new age-progression photo of Sara Bushland

It has been more than 23 years since Sara Bushland disappeared from outside her home in Spooner. Now, investigators have released a new age-progression photo in hopes of bringing her home.

The photo is what officials believe Bushland would look like now at 39 years of age.

She was last seen when she was 15 back in 1996 getting off a school bus at her Spooner home. She has not been seen or heard from since.

The case is still active and investigators ask that anyone with information, no matter how small, contact the Washburn County Sheriff's Office.

Her family has also set up a Facebook page with more information on how you can help. You can see that page here.

https://wqow.com/2019/12/04/doj-release ... -bushland/

 

Akoya

Well-known member
Sister of Sara Bushland still has hope that Sara will return home

Lesley Small thinks about her sister Sara Bushland every day.

"She just had charisma that was beyond comprehension. She was able to get anyone to feel happy and get them to laugh," Small said.

On April 3, 1996, Bushland got off a school bus in Spooner, Wisconsin and never returned home.

"Right now we are no closer to figuring things out than we were in 1996," Small said.

Over the last 23 years, the investigation into Bushland's disappearance has taken many different angles leading to dead ends.

Those dead ends have resulted in Small and her family spending many holidays without a loved one.

"Sara is the conversation that we want to have but yet it makes everyone sad. So you don't know whether you should have that conversation or not. We would do anything to have a Christmas with her again. This is the stuff you see in the movies and read about in books. Now we have a book," Small said.

The book was published in 2018 and highlights the only facts known about Bushland's disappearance.

https://kbjr6.com/2019/12/24/sister-of- ... turn-home/
 

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