FRANKFORT, NY – The chilling case of Sara Anne Wood, a 12-year-old girl who vanished without a trace in 1993, continues to baffle investigators. Sara was last seen embarking on a bike ride from her church to her home in upstate New York. The man who confessed to her abduction and murder in 1996, Lewis Lent Jr., has stubbornly kept the location of her grave a secret for over two decades, adding an eerie dimension to this already tragic case.
Herkimer County District Attorney Jeffrey Carpenter and his team have been tirelessly pursuing Lent for the past 30 years, hoping to find the final piece of the puzzle. Carpenter characterizes Lent as a “psychopathic child murderer” who is likely withholding the location of Sara’s body as a means to exert control and manipulate the situation.
Recently, investigators were led to a dense forest in Vermont following a potential lead. However, the search, extensive as it was, yielded no results. Carpenter believes that Lent is deriving some perverse satisfaction from toying with investigators. He recalled an instance in 2013 when Lent was brought back to New York hoping to reveal Sara’s burial site. Yet, Lent remained silent, further deepening the mystery.
Lent, now in his 70s, first came under the radar of law enforcement in 1994 when he attempted to abduct 12-year-old Rebecca Savarese at gunpoint in Massachusetts. Savarese, however, managed to escape, and Lent was later convicted of the attempted abduction. During his subsequent interrogation, he confessed to the kidnapping and murder of James Bernardo and Sara Wood.
Despite his confessions, Lent was sentenced to life without parole for Bernardo’s murder and 25 years to life in New York for Wood’s murder. He initially told investigators he buried Wood near Raquette Lake in the Adirondacks but refused to provide an exact location. Despite multiple searches, her body has never been found.
Carpenter is now channeling his efforts into bringing Lent back to New York to serve his sentence for Sara’s murder. He believes that every day Lent spends in Massachusetts is a day he doesn’t serve time for Sara’s death. Carpenter wants justice for Sara’s family and closure for the community that lost its innocence when Sara was abducted.
The case of Sara Anne Wood is more than just a mystery. It’s a testament to law enforcement’s relentless pursuit of justice and a stark reminder of the horrors that lurk in the most unexpected places. As Carpenter and his team continue their quest for answers, the memory of Sara Anne Wood lives on, a poignant symbol of innocence lost and justice yet to be served.