I first wrote about Star Boomer's disappearance, a mother of a young boy at the time, last year when I learned that another mother was missing from the same area, Renee Pernice, and that her husband, Shon Pernice, was one of the last persons to see each of them alive. Another year has passed and still there is nothing to investigate until bodies are found. Each family has dealt with the fact that murders have occurred, however, they can't come close to starting the grieving process until they have answers and until these women are in a place of peace.
The following is an article written about Star's sister, Cynthia Hurtie, who has made a mission of finding, not only her sister, but, as many others with missing loved ones do, she has set out to help find other missing persons. So many family members I've communicated with seem to have a need to give. Whether it be by physically searching, changing legislation, calming spirits with support or setting up internet sites for information, all of them have the need for a way to give answers to others if they can't have the resolutions they want for themselves. Each day may be a personal struggle, but they find a way to step above it and face each obstacle with courage.
While researching "Star Boomer" I came across the site of someone from Australia who designs and makes toys. One of her toy sets are called "Star Boomers" based on an Australian Christmas song. As she explained the toys there was a paragraph that struck me as being written for the "real" Star Boomer!
I hope that next time you look up into the night sky you might imagine a mob of Star Boomers traversing the heavens, bounding over the Milky Way in search of green starry pastures.
I hope one day, while looking into the heavens for answers, the family of Star Boomer will find her.
Finding the lost has been something of an obsession for Cynthia Hurtie, Spring Hill. She’ll settle for finding just one missing person, but ideally, Hurtie, a recent graduate with a degree in forensic science, would like to find her sister, Star Boomer.
"If you have a person go missing in your life, it’s unrepairable," she said. "It does major damage to the family members."
The last people to see Boomer alive told police that Boomer got into an altercation on Feb. 23, 1999 at Uncle Mike’s Bar in Kansas City, Kan. She was allegedly knocked to the ground and where she lost consciousness.
According to old news accounts, Boomer went to the local watering hole with friend and roommate, Carolyn Marshall. Marshall stayed for one drink and planned to return to pick up Boomer later in the evening. Marshall was told that Boomer had left with two men, when she returned to pick Boomer up. Investigators believe she was killed at the bar and her body was dumped.
It cut short future plans for mother of one. Boomer, along with her young son, were planning to move to Spring Hill to live with her parents when she disappeared.
Hurtie said someone knows what happened to her sister 10 years ago, and it’s time they came forward.
There were 13 witnesses in the bar, according to investigators, and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation is upping the ante in the case with a $5,000 reward for information.
"We need these witnesses to open up and say something," Hurtie said. "There were 13 witnesses in the bar, and nobody is saying anything."
One of those witnesses from the bar that night, Shon Pernice, was a regular on the news early this year, and Hurtie hopes that might trigger memories of others who may have seen something.
Pernice, who is being investigated for the January disappearance of his wife, Renee, was a patron at Uncle Mike’s Bar on the night of Boomer’s disappearance. He was not named as a person of interest or a suspect in the 10-year-old case.
In 1999, two men were arrested and charged with second degree murder, however, the men were released and charges were dismissed for lack of evidence.
Hurtie said police need to recover Boomer’s body for prosecution to move forward, but that’s a tall order after more than 10 years.
To that end, Hurtie is working with a private investigator who trains cadaver dogs. One dog, Jordan, was trained specifically to search for Boomer’s body. Hurtie, along with her private investigator, flew to Florida with Jordan to search for Caylee Anthony last summer.
Anthony, a 2-year-old, went missing last June. Her body was eventually recovered and her mother was charged with murder.
Hurtie said it’s now her life’s work to help find missing people. Hurtie was living in Lawrence and working in the nursing industry when Boomer was murdered, but she’s since moved to Spring Hill to be near her parents and pursue finding the lost.
"It’s really affected our family," she said. "And we need these witnesses to open up and say something."
The Kansas Bureau of Investigation and the Kansas City, Kan. Police Department are still pursuing the case.
Those with information about the disappearance of Star Boomer are asked to contact the KBI at (800)-KS-CRIME.