Dig for clues in case of missing woman continues on Anna Maria island

rdymond@bradenton.comJuly 26, 2011 

ANNA MARIA -- The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office was back on a stretch of Anna Maria Island beach Monday searching for clues in the disappearance of Sabine Musil-Buehler.

Despite the efforts of several front-loader operators and their big-shoveled machines working from 9 a.m. to about 3 p.m., no remains of the long-missing Island businesswoman were found, said Randy Warren, a sheriff’s office spokesman.

The dig reached Mangrove Avenue on Monday, about the farthest south on a grid investigators had carefully mapped out to back their theory that perhaps someone carried Musil-Buehler’s body from an avenue a short distance to this part of the beach and buried it.

“We are now going day by day to see how far we get,” Warren said. “I think we will be out here Tuesday and Wednesday and maybe more depending on what we accomplish. We will eventually draw the line south, however.”

Willow Avenue, just north of Mangrove Avenue, is where much of the beach excavation has taken place over the past week.

It’s a mid-point and the plan that began last week was to dig both ways out from there.

A dig last year concen- trated on the northern reaches of the perimeter, while the most recent search has focused on the middle and the southern end.

Human skeletal remains, however, still elude detectives who desperately want such evidence to build their case.

They believe that Musil-Buehler’s case may be a homicide.

“We are just doing the same thing we have been doing, moving south, continuing to dig up sand along the grid we have established,” Warren said. “We have to exhaust all the possibilities and feelwe have covered this area.”

Musil-Buehler’s boy- friend, William Cumber, is a person of interest in this case.

He is said to be the last person to see her alive in November 2008.

He is serving a 13-year prison sentence for violating his probation for an earlier arson conviction.

“The one thing we do have going for us on this case is time,” said Dave Bristow, sheriff’s office spokesman.

Richard Dymond, Herald reporter, can be reached at 748-0411, ext. 6686.

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