Woman's GPS unit aids in search

cnudi@bradenton.com July 12, 2007 

— Information from the location-tracking unit in Susan Fast's sport untility vehicle have led investigators to two more sites to search for the woman, almost two weeks after she disappeared from her East Manatee home.

Fast's pearl-colored 2008 Lexus was driven to the southern end of Lorraine Road in Sarasota County and to the northern end of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in Pinellas County, according to Dave Bristow, spokesman for the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

Fast disappeared Friday, June 29. Her SUV was found in Bradenton about 3 p.m. Saturday, June 30. Authorities are appealing for the public's help to determine what happened to her.

"If the public remembers anything suspicious in those areas between 6 p.m. Friday to 3 a.m. Saturday, they should call us," Bristow said.

"Especially on the Skyway. People are usually around the fishing pier there and maybe just didn't think anything about it at the time," he said.

Fast's husband, Bruce Fast, called authorities just after midnight June 30 to report that he returned to the couple's Tara home from a trip to the Bahamas and found his wife and her SUV missing.

The Lexus was equipped with a GPS navigation system that can preserve a record of the car's movement and location.

Investigators say Thomas Fast, Bruce Fast's son and Susan Fast's stepson, is a suspect in her disappearance. Bristow said Tuesday that investigators are putting together evidence to charge Thomas Fast with stealing his stepmother's vehicle.

"We're waiting for a couple of things to happen before we file the charges," he said.

Thomas Fast is being held in the Manatee County jail on $100,000 bond on a concealed weapons charge.

Susan Fast was in the Bahamas with her husband and returned to their home in the 7500 block of Bird's Eye Terrace before her husband was to fly back because they could not book the same flight.

Bruce Fast became worried because his 60-year-old wife was not home when he returned, and he noticed items out of place and stains that appeared to be dried blood.

He told investigators his son, Thomas Fast, suffered from a mental illness, and that Thomas Fast may be involved in his wife's disappearance.

Anyone with information about the case can call the sheriff's office at 747-3011 or CrimeStoppers at (866) 634-TIPS.

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