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Searching for Sarah

Disapppearance of Sarah: a timeline

By Times Staff Writer
Published April 17, 2005

APRIL 9: Members of the First Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ drop Sarah Lunde at home about 9 p.m. after a youth rally at Lake Apopka. She asks her 17-year-old brother to get her something to eat. He leaves her home alone while he goes to a restaurant, and hangs out with friends until early the next morning.

APRIL 10: Sarah's brother returns home about 4 a.m. to find the door open and Sarah gone. He later tells reporters that David Onstott, a registered sex offender who lived nearby, woke him about 5 a.m., asking for Sarah's mother, Kelly May. Onstott leaves when he learns May is out of town. Later that morning, a church member comes to pick Sarah up for services, but she is not there. Sarah also misses youth services that night. May returns home and assumes Sarah is spending the night with friends.

MONDAY: Sherry Cook, the wife of First Apostolic's minister, calls Sarah's school and learns she is absent. May also contacts Beth Shields Middle School. When May discovers no one has seen Sarah, she reports her missing.

TUESDAY: Deputies and volunteers begin searching by foot, by horseback, in helicopters, on ATVs and with boats. Onstott is arrested and accused of threatening someone with a screwdriver.

WEDNESDAY-FRIDAY: The search continues with deputies concentrating on an area immediately around Sarah's home.

SATURDAY: A search dog and handler discover a body partially submerged in a pond at an abandoned fish farm about a half-mile from Sarah's house. The farm had previously been searched. Hillsborough Sheriff David Gee confirms it is the body of Sarah Lunde.

SUNDAY: Gee announces that Onstott, the registered sex offender, has confessed to killing the girl. Onstott is charged with first-degree murder.


There will be a memorial service today for Sarah Lunde at the church that had become a focal point of her life before she died, First Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ, 1820 30th St. SE, Ruskin. The service begins at 10 a.m. and will close with a memorial to Lunde.

[Last modified April 17, 2005, 15:26:18]

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