Overview of Sara Anne Wood
Sara's legacy lives on, as a beacon of hope for the thousands of missing and murdered children across the USA.
On August 18, 1993, Sara Wood was abducted a short way away from her home, carrying supplies from Bible school. Her bike was found perched against a tree, and her items were thrown into bushes a few feet away. For years, her trail had gone cold, until one girl in Massachusetts outsmarted her would-be captor.
January 7th, 1994
Less than a year after Sara's unexplained disappearance, a girl named Rebecca is walking to school one morning when a man shoves a gun up against her back, and demands she go with him. Thankfully, Rebecca thinks quickly, and fakes an asthma attack, allowing her to get away from this frightening stranger. The man who abducted her was soon identified as Lewis Lent, a local janitor from town who worked at her school. He made the young kids uncomfortable, and students often tried to avoid him.
When confronted with the evidence, Lewis folded.
Lent quickly realized the mounting evidence against him, and confessed to the murder of James Bernardo, a young boy who was taken from Lent's town and found over 180 miles away in New York State. Lent drew a crude map to a location where he claimed Sara was buried, but thorough search of the area revealed nothing. Lent then recanted his testimony, claiming that he didn't want officials to know where she was buried, as he had another body close by that he didn't want to be disturbed.
Regardless of his recanted confession, Lent is in prison for the rest of his life.
He was convicted of the murders of James Bernardo and Sara Wood. Joint FBI and police task forces think that Lent was a serial killer and that he might be responsible for the deaths of at least six other children in the NY/MA area, including that of Jamie Lusher. Sara's parents have worked tirelessly to ensure that her disappearance never lost the public's attention, and tirelessly campaigned to ensure that legislation was changed to accommodate missing and murdered kids. The local NCMEC branch is named after Sara Anne, and loved ones still celebrate her life in an annual bike ride to Washington, DC.
If you have any information on this case, please call the NCMEC tip line at (800) 843-5678.