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Closs’ escape gives renewed faith to other families with missing loved ones

Eau Claire (WQOW) – Jayme Closs’ return home has renewed hope for families still searching for their missing kids, sisters and loved ones.

That brings us to the case of Sara Bushland who disappeared from Spooner at the age of 15, now 22 years ago

News 18 spoke with Sara’s sister Lesley Small who said when she heard Jayme Closs had escaped she was so happy for their family and it gave her hope her sister could be found alive too.

When asked who her sister is, Small said it has been so long it is hard for her to answer.

“She was always just a spit fire,” Small said. “She was always making people laugh. She always took care of everybody and didn’t bring much attention to herself or her well-being.

Bushland was last seen in Spooner getting getting off her school bus on April 3, 1996.

Small said she will always hold onto hope that one day her old memories will be replaced with new ones.

“I just miss her so much and I just wish we could have memories that were good and memories that were more recent.

Bushland hasn’t vanished from the memories of others either.

Last year Rob Ebben wrote a book about her disappearance hoping to raise awareness of her case.

“Take a case that had been very quiet for years and make it more well known and get some publicity and momentum going in the search for Sara,” Ebben said.

The book wasn’t enough. Ebben and Small are working on a documentary called “Sara Was Here.” They hope it will reach even more people.

“For so long Sara didn’t have a voice and we really just want to make sure that she does,” Small said. “We were hoping before doing any of this that we had answers and we don’t have answers and we just feel like this is the next step to really make people aware.”

Small believes someone knows something and she hopes the film will encourage that person to come forward and tell police.

“It’s time to do what’s right,” Small said. “Life is too short to think that this is OK. They just need to do what’s right.”

Small said a lot of people don’t know her sister is missing and she said it’s important for people to remember she is still out there.

Small said everyone knew what Jayme looks likes. She wants the community to know her sister’s face too.

Shannon Satterlee

Shannon Satterlee joined News 18 in February 2018 as a Multi-Media Journalist.

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