A police search continues in a wooded area on a mountainside in Massachusetts as authorities look for the body of a young boy who disappeared 23 years ago. Bill Carey says it's a different place and a different victim, but the killer is the same and memories of his other crimes still rattle many across upstate New York.
For a generation of young people in Central New York, this was the bogeyman. His name was Lewis Lent, a janitor working in Adams, Massachusetts.
He is now believed to be a serial killer of children. A man who plotted abductions and even had plans to store children in his apartment to be abused.
His first known victim was 12-year-old Jimmy Bernardo from Pittsfield, Massachusetts, whose body was found in a wooded area near Ithaca, New York, in 1990.
It was August, 1993 when -- far from the Bernardo case -- a 12-year-old daughter of a preacher disappeared near her home in Litchfield, Herkimer County. Sara Anne Wood's family and state police launched a search, but there was no sign of the girl.
Just months later, in January 1994, Lent was on the hunt, again. Attempting to abduct a 12-year-old girl in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, who escaped. Someone spotted Lent's license number as he drove away and soon, he was in custody.
In 2004, former State Police Major Al Pylman, who headed up the Sara Anne Wood case, said that arrest was the break his investigators were looking for.
"One of our investigators, by reading the teletypes from Pittsfield, Mass., there was a girl who matched. Approximately the same age, coloration and what not, of Sara Anne Wood. So we made the phone call out there," he said.
A long interrogation led to information that brought search teams to Racquette Lake in the Adirondacks. Braving temperatures of 40 below zero, troopers and volunteers looked for any sign of the missing girl.
They found nothing.
Despite the lack of a body, Lent pleaded guilty to killing Sara Anne, just as he had admitted to killing Jimmy Bernardo. And just as he has now done in the case of Jamie Lusher, a 16 -year-old who disappeared in November of 1992 in Massachusetts.
For now, as in the case of Sara Anne Wood, searchers have found nothing.
Herkimer County District Attorney Jeffrey Carpenter and the New York State Police said they have not given up on the search for Sara Anne Wood and will continue to follow any new leads in the case.