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#160262 --- 04/16/05 10:48 PM Yet again!
Ovidian Offline
Silver Member

Registered: 12/02/02
Posts: 11435
Loc: gone
Police: Found body likely
that of missing Florida girl
Teen was last seen on April 9
Thirteen-year-old Sarah Michelle Lunde in an undated photo released by the Hillsborough County Sheriffs Dept.
The Associated Press
Updated: 6:25 p.m. ET April 16, 2005RUSKIN, Fla. - Hillsborough County sheriff's officials say they believe they have found the body of a missing 13-year-old girl.


The body was found Saturday near the home of the girl who disappeared around the time a registered sex offender unexpectedly visited her house, authorities said.

Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee earlier said the body was partially submerged in an abandoned fish pond about a half mile from Sarah Michelle Lunde's home. It was found by a search dog.

Gee said he let Sarah's mother, Kelly May Lunde, know of the discovery.

The sheriff has said David Onstott, a registered sex offender the mother once dated, has drawn investigators' attention, but has not called him a suspect.

"We continue to investigate that lead. I will leave it at that," Gee said.

Sarah, who has a history of running away, was last seen on April 9, shortly after she returned home from a church trip. She was reported missing Monday, when her mother learned the teen wasn't at a friend's house.

About 200 volunteers joined detectives in the search Saturday, some hugging and crying as helicopters whirred overhead. Volunteers looking for the girl were sunburned from days spent combing through brush and swamp. One of Sarah's friends, Pamela Neely, 19, said she was still hopeful that the girl would be found alive.

"We're keeping our faith," she said. "Something good is going to happen. We believe it."

Searching for beer bottles
On Friday, detectives told the searchers to point out any bottles of Budweiser or Bud Light. Sarah's brother said Onstott took a half-empty beer bottle during an unexpected predawn appearance hours after the girl was last seen.


April 15: Carolyn Atwell-Davis of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and Sen. Byron Dorgan talk to "Today" show anchor Matt Lauer about what parents can do to protect their children from sex offenders.
Today show

Onstott, 36, was being held without bond on separate charges. He was arrested Tuesday after he allegedly threatened another man with a screwdriver at a bar. He had spent 5 years in prison after being convicted in 1995 of sexual battery with physical force.

On Saturday, Gee said many beer bottles had been found and were being checked to determine if any DNA evidence is on them.

"What that may mean to this case later on, I don't know," he said.

The fathers of two previously slain girls have been involved in the search for Sarah: Mark Lunsford, whose 9-year-old daughter, Jessica, was found dead last month after disappearing from her Citrus County home, and Roy Brown, whose 7-year-old daughter, Amanda, was killed by a convicted child molester in 1997.

Roy Brown said he was worried for Sarah's mother.

"I just wanted the mom to know I'm here. Because things change, once the media and the searchers go, once it's all over, she still needs people," he said.

#160263 --- 04/17/05 12:02 AM Re: Yet again!
Tiger Lily Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/01/04
Posts: 4411
Loc: lost
I can't believe there's been another one so soon.

#160264 --- 04/17/05 12:19 AM Re: Yet again!
Ovidian Offline
Silver Member

Registered: 12/02/02
Posts: 11435
Loc: gone
Sad to say, but Ive come to expect it. Why would anyone be surprised by news like this given its frequency.

#160265 --- 04/17/05 01:05 AM Re: Yet again!
E. Mousie Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 09/23/04
Posts: 15851
Loc: in my suite in the bookcase!
oh how I wish these people could have been stopped!

sanity......hmmm, I can't even remember what that is!

#160266 --- 04/17/05 11:31 PM Re: Yet again!
Ovidian Offline
Silver Member

Registered: 12/02/02
Posts: 11435
Loc: gone
RUSKIN, Fla. - A registered sex offender confessed to killing a 13-year-old girl who disappeared a week ago, saying he got into an argument with her and he choked her to death in her home, the sheriff said Sunday.


David Onstott, 36, was charged with first-degree murder Sunday, a day after investigators found Sarah Lunde’s partially clothed body in an abandoned fish pond, Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee said.

Sarah was last seen April 9, shortly after returning home from a church trip. Early the next morning, Onstott paid an unexpected visit to the family’s home to look for Sarah’s mother, Kelly May Lunde, whom he once dated, Gee said.

After Sarah let Onstott into the house, they got into an argument and Onstott put her in a choke hold and killed her, Gee said.

“You are talking about a person who would murder a child. Who knows what’s in his mind?” said Gee, who didn’t give further details of the confession.

Sarah’s 17-year-old brother came home later and found the front door wide open and his sister gone, but the family initially assumed Sarah had gone to a friend’s house. She was not reported missing until Monday.

Gee said Onstott “went to great effort to keep her body from being discovered.”

Onstott, who has a rape conviction, has been held without bail in the Hillsborough County Jail since Tuesday on unrelated charges. His attorney, Pat Courtney, did not return a phone message Sunday.

‘It’s devastating’
Sarah’s relatives and members of her First Apostolic Church congregation turned out in droves Sunday to tearfully mourn the loss of the girl. Her young friends dropped to their knees and wept.

Hillsborough County Sheriffs Dept. via Getty Images file
Thirteen-year-old Sarah Michelle Lunde in an undated photo released by the Hillsborough County Sheriffs Dept.

Sarah’s mother was too shaken to talk Sunday, but her brother Larry May said: “It’s devastating, it’s just unbelievable.”

“Everybody has things they wished they’d done — spending more time with their children or keeping in closer contact,” May said.

Among the mourners were Mark Lunsford, whose daughter Jessica was found dead last month after she was kidnapped from their Citrus County home, and Roy Brown, whose daughter Amanda was murdered in 1997 by a convicted child molester in Tampa.

Both men had lent their support to the Lunde family this past week and Lunsford had helped search for Sarah, saying some of her family had helped search for his daughter in February.

‘America needs to wake up’
“It’s sad that it takes something like this to bring a community together,” Lunsford said. “America needs to wake up. The next child could be yours.”

Church members said that on any other Sunday, Sarah would have spent the afternoon walking with other church members to nearby homes to hand out Bibles.

David Onstott appears in court on Sunday.

The church had become her refuge from troubles in her life, including times when she had run away from home.

“People asked me why did she come here, why did she spend her time here,” said Matt Fontana, the youth minister at the church. “Because she found love here ... Now she’s in heaven.”

The small church normally draws only about 50 congregants for morning services, but its pews were filled with more than double that Sunday.

Sarah had started coming to the church three years ago on her own and no other members of her family attended with her, church leaders said. She often would call two or three families to arrange for a ride and they’d all show up to get her.

“Every Sunday we talked about who was going to pick up Sarah,” Sherry Cook said. “I can’t believe we’re not picking her up this morning.”