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Search for Musil-Buehler continues at ‘location of interest’

By Rick Catlin, Islander Reporter

Manatee County Sheriff’s Office deputies and trained dogs search May 14 at the southernmost end of South Bay Boulevard in Anna Maria for evidence in the November 2008 disappearance of Sabine Musil-Buehler. Islander Photo: Rick Catlin

Manatee County Sheriff’s Office deputies and cadaver-sniffing dogs spent two days searching for any evidence of Sabine Musil-Buehler at residential property at the south end of Bay Boulevard in Anna Maria, but without any apparent success.

The dogs found an area of interest on the property May 16. They planned to return this week to dig and continue the search.

As of May 16, no evidence of Musil-Buehler’s body had been found at the location, said Detective John Kenney of the MCSO homicide department.

“We won’t give up searching,” said Kenney, who headed the MCSO Anna Maria substation when Musil-Buehler disappeared.

In October 2012, the MCSO and Kenney, promoted to detective, arrested William J. Cumber, Musil-Buehler’s boyfriend at the time of her disappearance, for her murder.

“Nearly six years I’ve been working this case and I’ll continue until we find a body. It’s here somewhere,” Kenney said.

MCSO public information officer Dave Bristow said the property searched last week, which is owned by longtime resident Jack Fiske, had not been declared a crime scene and no evidence was discovered.

“If we do find something, this will become a crime scene and detectives and homicide experts will be out to investigate further,” he said.

Bristow said the MCSO decided to search the property after a review of cellphone calls made Nov. 4, 2008, showed a “possibility” that Musil-Buehler’s phone was used that day in the area.|

Musil-Buehler was living with Cumber on Magnolia Avenue in Anna Maria when she disappeared. She was co-owner of Haley’s Motel in Holmes Beach with her estranged husband Tom Buehler.

Cumber told authorities that they argued before she left their apartment the night of Nov. 4, 2008.

He was arrested for her murder while serving time at the Port Charlotte Correctional Facility, where he was jailed for violating probation on an unrelated charge, and transferred to the Manatee County jail.

Cumber has denied knowledge of Musil-Buehler’s disappearance.

He has entered a not guilty plea to the charge of second-degree murder. His trial is scheduled for October.

Four years ago, Kenney and the K-9 unit conducted a weeklong search of property at the beach access ends of Willow and Park avenues in Anna Maria, but found no evidence of a body.

That search came after a homeowner found some of Musil-Buehler’s personal items, said to be her purse and cellphone.

The MCSO also searched the beach for evidence in late 2008 and again in 2009.

“It’s not over,” Kenney said. “It will only be over when we find her body.”

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