Crime

Missing woman’s boyfriend returned to jail

MANATEE — The boyfriend of missing motel owner Sabine Musil-Buehler has been returned to Manatee County to face charges that he violated his probation.

While in the Manatee County jail, William Cumber, 39, is also expected to face more questions from investigators about the disappearance of his girlfriend, according to Sheriff Brad Steube.

“We are going to question him again, which we have done many times before he was incarcerated,” Steube said. “I don’t know that we are going to get any big revelations from him.”

Sheriff’s officials have named Cumber a “person of interest” in Musil-Buehler’s disappearance. Musil-Buehler, co-owner of Haley’s Motel, lived in an apartment with Cumber before she went missing Nov. 4.

At 10 a.m. Wednesday, Cumber was released into the custody of the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office by the Marion County jail for extradition to Manatee County.

Cumber had been held without bond for violating his probation. In September, he was released from state prison after serving 3 years for burning down an ex-girlfriend’s house.

Last week, deputies in Marion County stopped him while driving with a suspended license near Ocala. Manatee detectives have since questioned a passenger in the vehicle with Cumber that night, but Stuebe declined to say what he told detectives about their ride to Marion County.

Cumber is the last person to report seeing Musil-Buehler alive, telling detectives they fought Nov. 4 and Musil-Buehler drove off. He has denied any involvement in her disappearance.

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 parking lot of Gators Lounge, on 14th Street West.

Detectives found Musil-Buehler’s blood in her car and upholstery torn off of seats, but detectives believe Corona had nothing to do with her disappearance. He has been charged with stealing her car.

Musil-Buehler’s husband, Thomas Buehler, reported her missing when deputies informed him they had found Musil-Buehler’s car. The couple had been separated but remained married and together owned Haley’s Motel.

Buehler has told the Bradenton Herald he believes his wife has been killed. Steube said detectives also believe Musil-Buehler is dead. Buehler has been questioned by detectives, but Cumber is their main suspect, according to Steube.

“He is our main focus,” he said.

Cumber has also been named a “person of interest” in a fire at Haley’s Motel two weeks after Musil-Buehler disappeared. Holmes Beach Police called the fire “suspicious,” but police officials have not commented since on the progress of the investigation. Cumber told the Bradenton Herald he is being framed by someone because of his past.

Meanwhile, Cumber is not only drawing suspicion for Musil-Buehler’s disappearance and the fire, but he also is facing prison time if a judge agrees he violated his probation.

Cumber’s probation officer has recommended he be sentenced to almost five years in prison for leaving the county without notification and picking up the suspended license charge, according to a Florida Department of Corrections probation violation report.

Gold Star Club of Manatee County has issued a reward of $5,000 for any information leading to the discovery of Musil-Buehler.

To report information on the case, call the sheriff’s office at 747-3011 or Crimestoppers at (866) 634-TIPS.

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