No new clues found in disappearance of Anna Maria businesswoman

rdymond@bradenton.comJuly 15, 2011 

ANNA MARIA -- Sheriff's officials have completed for the day a search of a wooded area along the beach on Anna Maria Island for clues to the disappearance and presumed death of island businesswoman Sabine Musil-Buehler.

Officials did not find any additional evidence in the case.

Ten students from the Manatee County Sheriff's Office corrections academy walked slowly side by side, foot by foot on a 300-yard-long wooded area at the west end of Willow Avenue looking for anything that might provide a break in the case. Musil-Buehler was last seen alive on Nov. 4, 2008, and sheriff's officials have said they believe she is dead.

The search was conducted from about 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

"We don't know what we're looking for, we're just looking for anything we can findi to build a case," said Sgt. Peter Rampone, head of the sheriff's office's homicide division, said earlier Friday morning.

Sheriff Brad Steube said the search would continue next week, when officials were planning to bring front-end loaders to dig up the nearby beach. Steube said investigators would coordinate with Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch so as to not disturb nearby loggerhead sea turtle nests.

Detectives have been focused on the area since July 9, when a resident found some items that investigators say belonged to Musil-Buehler.

Officials have not said what the items are, but they have said they plan to show them to Musil-Buehler's boyfriend, William Cumber -- "a person of interest" in the case -- to see how he responds. Cumber, a convicted arsonist and the last person reported to see Musil-Buehler alive, is currently serving a 13-year sentence in state prison for violating his probation after Musil-Buehler disappeared.

Sheriff's officials searched the area earlier this week, including with cadaver dogs.

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