Search for Sabine to continue next week

rdymond@bradenton.comJuly 30, 2011 

ANNA MARIA -- The meticulous beachfront search for Sabine Musil-Buehler will continue next week.

The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office had hoped to wrap up the most recent search for the missing Musil-Buehler, the former owner of Haley’s Motel, with Friday’s dig on a stretch of Anna Maria Island beach. But it will take more time than anticipated, said sheriff’s spokesman Dave Bristow.

“We got delayed a bit so we don’t think we will finish today,” Bristow said Friday. “The plan now is to finish early next week and get cadaver dogs out there after that.”

No remains were found Friday, Bristow said.

But front-loaders were digging deep enough Friday to reach the water table on the beach between Cedar and Willow avenues, hoping to find the remains of Musil-Buehler, who has been missing since November 2008 and is presumed dead.

Although no arrests have been made in the case, authorities have repeatedly named Musil-Buehler’s ex-boyfriend, William Cumber, as a person of interest.

Cumber is serving a 13-year term in state prison for a probation violation.

When personal items were found belonging to Musil-Buehler earlier this month, authorities felt they had a break in the three-year-old case, Bristow said.

“We really felt we would find her,” Bristow said.

A plan to begin digging nearby to possibly find Musil-Buehler’s remains was immediately set into motion, leading to the past two weeks of digging on the beach.

Expert front-loader operators were brought in, including David Livingston of Ellenton, who works for the sheriff’s office.

“As we drop each load of sand we can see everything falling through the windshield of the front-loader,” Livingston said.

On Thursday, Livingston tooted the horn on the front-loader to get crime scene tech Amy Pettit to run and check out something dark, which ended up being driftwood.

While they have been frustrated that remains have not been found, the visibility of the sheriff’s office on the beach has led to numerous tips, Bristow said. “We have picked up information on this recent dig,” Bristow said. “You just never know.”

Anyone with information regarding the case, including tips as to where she might be buried, can call (941) 747-3011, ext. 2260, and just mention the name “Sabine,” Bristow said.

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

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