MANATEE — The Gold Star Club of Manatee County is offering a $5,000 reward for information about the disappearance of Holmes Beach motel owner Sabine Musil-Buehler.
Musil-Buehler, 49, co-owner of Haley’s Motel, has not been seen since Nov. 4, according to Manatee County Sheriff’s Office reports.
Gold Star is offering the reward for any information leading to where she is, or any information leading to the person or persons responsible for her disappearance, a sheriff’s report said.
Sheriff’s detectives believe Musil-Buehler has been killed. They have searched for clues in Cortez Village and on Anna Maria Island but have come up empty.
On Nov. 6, deputies pulled over a man driving Musil-Buehler’s car near 14th Street West. Robert Corona told detectives he stole the car from the Gator Lounge parking lot on 14th Street West.
When deputies told Musil-Buehler’s husband, Thomas Buehler, they had found his wife’s car, he said he hadn’t seen her in two days. Deputies found Musil-Buehler’s blood in the car and upholstery ripped off seats.
Corona was arrested on a charge of grand theft auto, but detectives do not believe he was involved in Musil-Buehler’s disappearance, according to sheriff’s spokesman Dave Bristow.
Sheriff’s officials have named Musil-Buehler’s boyfriend, William Cumber, a “person of interest” in her disappearance. Musil-Buehler and her husband had been separated and she had been living in an apartment on Holmes Beach with Cumber. Cumber had just been released from prison in September on an arson conviction for burning down an ex-girlfriend’s house.
Cumber told detectives he and Musil-Buehler had fought Nov. 4 and she drove off. Two weeks after Musil-Buehler disappeared, a fire at Haley’s Motel destroyed a duplex on the property.
Holmes Beach Police called the fire suspicious and named Cumber as a “person of interest” in the fire because of his past. Cumber claimed he was being framed. The fire is still under investigation.
Since the fire, Cumber has been arrested on a probation violation on his arson conviction. Deputies in Marion County arrested him near Ocala last week after pulling him over driving with a suspended license. Manatee detectives are still looking to question a man riding with Cumber released by Marion authorities on the night of the traffic stop.
Marion County sheriff’s officials say extradition paperwork on Cumber is expected to be complete today, allowing sheriff’s officials here to transport him at any time.
Cumber is expected to be brought back to Manatee County in the next week to face probation violation charges, Bristow said.
Bristow said Manatee detectives have not been to Marion to question Cumber but plan to continue questioning him in the Manatee County jail about his girlfriend’s disappearance.