Girl's diary intrigues Onstott prosecutors

They have subpoenaed cell phone records for a number found in the slain teen's journal.

By JUSTIN GEORGE, Times Staff Writer
Published August 24, 2007

TAMPA - Four months before Sarah Lunde was killed, she wrote in her diary of teenage love and a "Chucky," who was 18. She included his cell phone number.

"I just really want to see him," Lunde, 13, wrote. "And see where this thing that we got is even going anywere sic. I hope it is."

Lunde's body was found at an abandoned fish farm in April 2005. Detectives and prosecutors fingered David Lee Onstott, a convicted sex offender who dated Lunde's mother, and have spent two years building a case against him.

Then, last month, prosecutors subpoenaed cell phone records for the number in Lunde's journal. It's unclear why.

The Hillsborough County State Attorney's Office declined to comment. A phone call to Assistant Public Defender John Skye wasn't returned Thursday.

Lunde's diary entry and the subpoena were part of 16 court documents prosecutors released Thursday. Chucky's cell phone number - 846-9554 - no longer works.

Lunde doesn't fully identify Chucky in her Jan. 10, 2005, diary entry, where she speaks of him glowingly.

"He is so fine he has black hair with blue eyes," she wrote.

She dreamed of staying with him for a night at a hotel and writes about ways she hoped to accomplish meeting up with him. She said tried to get "suspended" to see him.

In an epilogue entry written sometime later at her home on a Friday night, Lunde noted that Chucky became her boyfriend. She wrote that she once stayed up with him for eight hours.

"I'm going out with Chucky," she wrote. "He is so cute. I miss him already. ... I am so happy now."

In late February, Hillsborough Circuit Judge Ronald Ficarrotta granted the state's motion to keep the jury from hearing about Lunde's past sexual experiences and behavioral issues.

Onstott, 39, remains in jail awaiting trial. In March, the judge threw out his murder confession on the grounds that Hillsborough sheriff's detectives ignored multiple requests for an attorney.

Last month, incriminating statements Onstott made after he tried to escape from jail were also thrown out. Deputies didn't read him his Miranda rights, the judge ruled.

Justin George can be reached at (813) 226-3368 or jgeorge@sptimes.com