Fifteen-year-old Sara was last seen on April 3, 1996 after exiting her school bus at the end of the driveway of her family's residence in rural Spooner, Wisconsin; she was about 100 yards from her house.
There was a dark-colored pickup truck driving behind the bus, and when Sara got out, it pulled up next to her; she spoke to the driver and then got inside the vehicle. The truck backed out of Sara's driveway and started off in the direction of the nearby town of Trego; she has never been heard from again.
Authorities initially classified Sara as a runaway, but now they are not sure what caused her disappearance. She didn't take any clothing or money with her and she wasn't behaving in an unusual manner before her disappearance.
Sara had recently broken up with her 21-year-old boyfriend because her parents had forbidden her to see him. She and her ex-boyfriend did have lunch together on the day of her disappearance and he drove her back to school for her afternoon classes. He said this was the last time he saw her.
Sara's family believes she was harmed by someone she knew, as they don't think she would have gotten into a stranger's vehicle.
There's speculation that an 18-year-old woman named Crystal Soulier's death may be connected to Sara's disappearance.
Crystal disappeared from Cable, Wisconsin in October of 1996. Five months later, her body was found in Rock County, Wisconsin, but it wasn't identified until 2002; as of 2018, Crystal's murder remains unsolved.
Crystal Soulier and Sara were both blonde young women in the same age group. They knew each other and they also had at least 19 mutual friends, all of them young men in their twenties.
Both Crystal and Sara attended parties held by these men, and Sara's school friends were unaware of this, however, none of the men have been named as suspects in Sara's disappearance or in Crystal's murder.
Sara's parents divorced when she was a toddler. She lived with her mother and stepfather at the time of her disappearance, but she visited her father and stepmother's home in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin on a regular basis, and she was thinking of moving in with them.
As of 2018, Sara's case remains unsolved and her father believes she is deceased.
Sara was a sophomore at Spooner High School in 1996.
Sara is described as a Caucasian female with blonde hair, blue/gray/green eyes, is 5'0 and weighs 104 pounds. She wears wire-rimmed eyeglasses and has moles on the left side of her neck & above her upper lip.
She was last seen wearing a Tweety Bird shirt, a blue jacket, blue jeans, black Reebok sneakers, and four sterling silver rings on her right hand, including a Spooner High School class ring with a black stone.