Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sarah Rogers Missing Mother From Barrington, ME

Still no clues to woman's whereabouts

New Hampshire Sunday News

Sarah Rogers disappeared eight weeks ago today after racing out of the Barrington home she shares with her husband and toddler son. Her car was later found abandoned in the snow about 140 miles away in Clinton, Maine, the engine still running .

Rogers, 29, described by family as a talented artist, brilliant musician and loving mother, didn't come home for Christmas with her son, Elias. She never called, either.

The young mother, who had battled bipolar disorder since college and apparently was in a manic state at the time of her disappearance, also missed Elias' second birthday Jan. 27.

And still no word.

No bank-card activity, no sightings, no contact with any of the many people who love her, according to her father, Bob Rogers, a Florida attorney who has hired three private investigators to help find Sarah.

"It's horrible, the not knowing," said Rogers, who spoke on behalf of the family.

But yesterday offered some cause for hope, after a Maine State Police search of the area where Sarah Rogers' car was found indicated that she had not wandered into the woods, as her father had feared.

Police conducted the search with the VK9 Scent Specific Search and Recovery tandem of Julie Jones and her yellow Labrador retriever, Quincy. Using a pair of Sarah's leather pants, Quincy was able to track the missing women's movements that day, Jones said. Quincy was able to show Rogers crossed the median and the southbound lane of Interstate 95 and walked south for a bit, without entering the woods.

"What that told me is, Sarah got in a vehicle," Jones said.

Bob Rogers said that makes it all the more important to find out what happened as soon as possible.

"This gives me hope," he said, that his daughter is still alive.

Disturbing behavior

Rogers said he spoke with his daughter during the week before she left home and could tell her mental state was deteriorating. She had stopped taking the medication that helped her control her bipolar disorder, her father said.

"She was talking faster and faster, not always making sense, starting to become more emotional," he said.

Her blue Scion xB was tagged the day she left home, Dec. 13, 2009, first going north on I-95 through the Gardiner, Maine, toll plaza at about 1 p.m., then south at about 4 p.m., then north again at 5:07 p.m. Her car was found in Clinton, Maine, at about 6:15 p.m., Rogers said.

Her car was parked 10 feet into the median with the engine still running. The car was still in drive, the driver's side door left open.

Rogers' large purse was found 10 feet from the car, but her smaller purse with her bank cards and identification was missing. She had left her cell phone at home as she hastily left home that morning.

Footprints in the snow led across the median, then vanished, Bob Rogers said.

Sarah's condition could leave her mind racing or she could become catatonic and just lie down on the ground, he said.

Stephen McCausland, spokesman for Maine State Police, confirmed there hasn't been a clue as to Sarah's whereabouts.

"She ... just disappeared into thin air," McCausland said.

Maine State Police have conducted several searches where her car was found, all to no avail, McCausland said. There is no reason to suspect foul play, but police can't rule anything out because they don't know what happened to her, McCausland said.

"There are a thousand different scenarios," Bob Rogers said. "Could she have met with foul play? Sure. She could have hitched a ride with a bad guy."

Talented and troubled

Originally from south Florida, Sarah grew up living with her mother, nationally known artist Ora Sorensen, Bob Rogers said. Sarah sometimes worked in her mother's Delray Beach gallery and had sold some of her own paintings as well, Rogers said.

Sorensen described her daughter as "very brilliant -- beyond brilliant. She wrote music and was an amazing guitar player.

"She's very, very loved and missed. Our family is devastated and heartbroken, and we hope we see her soon," Sorenson said. "There are many people who love her."

Rogers said he always tried to stay close to his daughter even after he and her mother divorced when she was 2.

Sarah, a rebellious teenager, had a major breakdown when she was a student at Palm Beach Community College, he said. She was hospitalized after she was found wandering the streets.

On Dec. 13, 2009, Sarah's husband, Fritz Coulombe, called Rogers' wife, Marguerite, to see if she could calm Sarah down. She couldn't.

Coulombe called 911. While he was on the phone, Sarah, still agitated, took off in her car at about 9:20 a.m., Rogers said.

No one knows why she headed north, Rogers said. The family knows of no friends in Maine.

He hopes to spark memories. Perhaps someone saw her car that day, or saw Sarah and may have clues as to what happened to her. He asked anyone with information call Barrington police or Maine State Police.

Sarah is described as 5 feet 8 inches tall, 110 pounds, with blonde hair and hazel eyes.

After she and her family moved to Barrington, where her husband has family, she sang in coffees houses and planned to give guitar lessons.

She had left home several times before her disappearance, but she was found within a few days and hospitalized on each of those occasions. Police have said she used an alias, Marla Moon, but Rogers said she used that name only once, while hospitalized in a manic state.

Last September, when Rogers visited his daughter, son-in-law and grandson in Barrington, Sarah was thriving, he said. She was talking about continuing her college education at the University of New Hampshire.

And, her father said, she was enjoying motherhood.

"She seemed to be stabilized. Her life was getting on track," Rogers said.

He proudly watched mother and son play together. She was not the kind of mom who would have voluntarily missed Christmas and her son's birthday, he said.

"We went to the park with a big ball to kick around," he recalled. "She's a good mom."

Where to call

Anyone with information that may assist in the search for Sarah Rogers is asked to call Barrington police or Maine State Police.

Barrington police: (603) 664-7679

Maine State Police: 207-474-0364

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UPDATE 3/13/2010

From the family's website:

MARCH 13, 2010

The family of Sarah Rogers would like to thank everyone who prayed and helped look for their loving wife,mother, daughter, sister and friend. It is with deep sadness to report that Sarah's body was located this afternoon, Saturday, March 13, 2010, 1/2 mile from where her vehicle was found near Clinton, Maine. The Medical Examiner has confirmed her identity.

Please respect the family during this time of grief and loss.

Sarah will be missed by many. Please feel free to sign the guest book.

Arrangements will be announced at a later time.


L K Tucker said...

This story matches a long list of college students who disappear each semester.

Although several are still missing there have been recoveries within times ranging from a few weeks to several months. The longest on record is ten years.

It is likely she has amnesia and does not remember her former life. That is called Dissociative Fugue.

There has been no successful organized search for these people. They usually recover and remember enough to get back home.


mike said...

Jeff Burda, Thomas and I use to chill with Sarah at the beach. I used to play my guitar while Jeff tried to play the congas and Tomas would do crazy stunts on his skates...she was a cool chick.

-marine mike- fort lauderdale

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