Kansas: Missing 19-year-old found alive with homicide victim’s car
Lawrence Sarah Brooke Gonzales McLinn, a 19-year-old Lawrence woman missing for more than a week, has been found in Florida, according to the Lawrence Police Department.
According to police, a law enforcement agency in Florida contacted LPD Saturday evening saying it thought it found McLinn and the 2008 Nissan Altima also sought by investigators in the homicide investigation of Harold M. Sasko, 52.
Detectives flew to Florida on Sunday and confirmed the finding. McLinn is uninjured, police said.
Reached by phone Sunday, Ashley McLinn, Sarah McLinn's sister, said: "We're grateful that she was found and thanks to everybody for their prayers. That's all we're going to say at this time."
Police intensified their search for McLinn over a week ago after discovering Sasko's body in the residence at which both lived.
Police did not say where in Florida McLinn was found and did not clarify how she fits into Sasko's death investigation. Throughout her disappearance, police were unable to say whether McLinn was a victim, suspect or witness. As of Saturday, police had not identified anyone as a suspect, according to Trent McKinley, a Lawrence Police Department spokesperson.
Police discovered Sasko's body on Jan. 17 after visiting the residence, in the 2900 block of West 26th Street, in hopes of finding McLinn, who had already been reported missing by her family. She last had been seen Jan. 14, McKinley said.
Investigators have not detailed how Sasko died, only to say he suffered traumatic injuries. Upon discovering the body, police said Sasko's vehicle, the Nissan Altima, and a dog were missing.
On Sunday morning, before her daughter was reported found, Michelle Gonzales released a statement calling McLinn "a victim" and suggesting that police had told the family the nature of Sasko's injuries indicated whoever killed him could not have acted alone.
Sasko owned CiCi's Pizza franchises in Lawrence and Topeka, where McLinn worked before coming to Lawrence. Kimberly Qualls, a close friend of Sasko's, told the Journal-World that Sasko allowed McLinn to move in so she could have a stable environment, save money and prepare for college.