Details of Disappearance
Sarah was last seen with her sister at the end of Richards Street in Joliet, Illinois on July 21, 1981. The girls met friends at that location and Sarah walked away from the group after having an argument with another child. She was reported missing by her family at approximately 9:00 p.m. that evening, but no trace of her was found. Sarah has never been seen again.
A man told authorities in 1993 that he suspected his mentally disabled nephew had murdered Sarah in 1981. His nephew would have been a child at that time. The man also stated that he believed his nephew's father, who was deceased by 1993, had buried her body to protect his son. A vacant lot was excavated later in the year where authorities suspected Sarah may be buried, but nothing was located. Sarah's former babysitter had once lived in a residence where the lot was located.
In January 1985, three and a half years after Sarah vanished, police thought they saw her picture in the apartment of David R. Collins. Collins, who has a long criminal record and uses many aliases, was charged with kidnapping one teenager in California and sexually abusing several others in New Orleans, Louisiana. 25 pictures of young girls were found in his apartment; police published them in newspapers in hopes that the public could identify the people in them.
One of the subjects in the pictures was believed to be Sarah, but was eventually identified as another person. One other photograph was thought of be of Nelida Del Valle
, a nine-year-old who disappeared from Massachusetts in 1976, but this possibility was also ruled out. Collins is not believed to have been involved in either girl's case.
Police dug underneath an old garage on Noel Road, south of Joliet, in 2004. They were hoping to find Sarah's remains. They did find some clothing, but they could not find any evidence relating to Sarah's case.
Some agencies may list February 21, 1981 as the date of Sarah's disappearance.