Sara Anne Wood

Sara, circa 1993; Lewis Lent, circa 1996

  • Missing Since 08/18/1993
  • Missing From Litchfield, New York
  • Classification Non-Family Abduction
  • Date of Birth 03/04/1981 (37)
  • Age 12 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'0, 96 pounds
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description A pink t-shirt with the phrase "Guess Who" embroidered on the front, turquoise shorts, a headband and brown sandals.
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian female. Brown hair, blue eyes. Sara has scars on both of her legs. One toe on each of her feet is disabled. Both of Sara's cheeks are dimpled. She has facial freckles. Sara wears prescription eyeglasses with tortoise shell frames. Her hair was shoulder-length at the time of her disappearance. Some agencies spell her middle name "Ann."

Details of Disappearance

Sara was last seen riding her pink and white ten-speed mountain bicycle to her family's residence on Hacadam Road in Frankfort, New York on August 18, 1993. She was returning from Norwich Corners Church on Roberts Road and Graffenburg Road in Frankfort, where she attended summer Bible school. The church was less than a mile from her house.

Sara picked up some posterboard, a church song book, and some 8-by-10-inch plastic transparencies at the church before heading home. She apparently made it safely down Roberts Road and was last seen pedaling up a steep hill on Hacadam Road, four-tenths of a mile from her residence.

Sara's bicycle and the supplies she'd picked up were discovered in an area of brush several hundred feet off of Hacadam Road later in the evening. The bicycle was leaning against a tree and the supplies were scattered nearby. Sara has never been seen again.

Lewis S. Lent Jr., 45, was charged with Sara's abduction and murder in 1996, three years after she was last seen. A photo of Lent is posted with this case summary. Lent pleaded guilty to the abduction and murder of another child, twelve-year-old James Bernardo, in Massachusetts in 1990.

Lent initially confessed to Sara's abduction and claimed he buried her body in a clearing near Raquette Lake in the Adirondack Mountains. He drew a map of the burial location for authorities. It was supposedly in or near the town of Inlet. Extensive searches there did not produce any evidence as to Sara's whereabouts and Lent admitted that she was not really there. He refused to divulge the whereabouts of her remains, saying he had another body buried nearby and did not want that one to be found.

Lent later recanted his statements, but was convicted of the crime nonetheless. Sara has never been located. In 2013, Lent also confessed to the 1992 murder of James "Jamie" Lusher, whose body has never been found. Lent has never been charged in connection with Lusher's case, but witnesses placed him in the area of Lusher's disappearance.

Sara's family founded the Sara Anne Wood Rescue Center, later renamed the Mohawk Valley Branch of The National Center For Missing and Exploited Children. Foul play is strongly suspected in her case due to the circumstances involved.

Updated 6 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated July 16, 2013; picture added, details of disappearance updated.