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Sarah was last seen when she was dropped off at Greenville Middle School in her hometown of Greenville, Texas at 7:20 a.m. on May 1, 2001. She did not attend her classes the day of her disappearance; she and her friends had planned on meeting a local cemetery and skipping school. Her friends say she never met them. She has never been heard from again.
Police dogs traced Sarah's scent to two blocks from the school, but then the trail ended. A witness claims he saw Sarah inside an older model light blue Ford truck at 3:30 p.m. on the afternoon of her disappearance; the truck was near Sarah's school and was driven by a White male in his thirties. The man had dark brown hair and a pencil mustache. The witness stated that Sarah did not appear to be upset and was not trying to get out of the truck. Another witness says Sarah was at seen a phone booth in Caddo Mills, Texas after her disappearance.
A week after Sarah's disappearance her eighteen-year-old boyfriend, Curtis Wayne Bell, was arrested and charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child. While investigating Sarah's disappearance, police discovered that she had been sexually involved with Bell. It was apparently consensual, but Sarah was not of legal age to give her consent.
Sarah's parents did not allow her to date, but they knew of her relationship with Bell. He lives in Quinlan, Texas and was one of the friends who was supposed to skip school with Sarah on the day of her disappearance. Sarah had been dating Bell for two months prior to her disappearance; she wanted to marry him and wrote in her diary that she and Bell would run away to Mexico if her parents did not allow them to be together. Bell admits that he and Sarah discussed running away, but says they were not being serious.
Sarah did not take any extra clothes, her toothbrush, or her purse when she went missing. Police nevertheless believe she left of her own accord. Several of her friends failed polygraph tests in connection with her disappearance. Bell and all of Sarah's other friends disclaim any knowledge of her whereabouts.
Sarah was possibly seen in the Tualatin, Beaverton, Tigard, and Portland areas of Oregon in early 2004 and may have been sighted in Surrey, British Columbia in late 2004. She is reported to have cut her hair short and dyed it brown. Her case is unsolved and still classified as that of a runaway.