Beach search remains in vain

rnapper@bradenton.comFebruary 5, 2010 

ANNA MARIA — After a third day searching for the body of missing motel owner Sabine Musil-Buehler, authorities say they are no closer to finding out what happened to her.

Manatee County Sheriff’s Office investigators have spent all week bulldozing a stretch of beach with front-end loaders in hopes of finding the woman’s body. Musil-Buehler has been missing since Nov. 4, 2008, and detectives believe she has been killed.

Investigation into her disappearance has led detectives to believe she may have been buried on Anna Maria Island in a stretch of beach off Gulf Drive, 100 yards south of the Sandbar Restaurant. Sheriff’s officials have declined to say what specifically brought them to the site.

The dig site is across the street from where Musil-Buehler shared an apartment with her boyfriend, William Cumber, who has been named a “person of interest” in her disappearance. The excavation is slated to continue today, and begin again Monday if necessary, according to sheriff’s officials.

Cumber and Musil-Buehler began dating after he got out of prison on an arson conviction, and Cumber is the last person to have reported seeing her. He told detectives she left their apartment on Nov. 4 during an argument.

Musil-Buehler was married at the time she disappeared but was separated from her husband, Thomas Buehler. Buehler reported his wife missing on Nov. 6, 2008, after deputies arrested a man driving her stolen car off 14th Street West in Bradenton.

Cumber denied knowledge of Musil-Buehler’s whereabouts, but later was sent back to prison for violating his probation on the arson conviction after leaving Manatee County during the investigation into her disappearance.

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