August 18th marks a solemn anniversary in central New York. It's the day 12-year-old Sara Anne Wood disappeared from a rural road near her Frankfort home.

On Aug. 18, 1993 – 27 years ago – Sara hopped on her bike to ride home from bible school at Norwich Corners Church on Roberts Road, and vanished. Her abductor, Louis Lent eventually confessed to kidnapping and murdering Sara. He's serving a life sentence without parole.

Sara’s body has never been recovered and to this day, the search continues for her remains. She was wearing a pink t-shirt with the words "Guess Who" on the front, turquoise blue shorts, and brown sandals.

Photo Credit - National Center for Exploited & Missing Children

Sara's heartbreaking story started a movement. On May 25, 1995, National Missing Children’s Day, a small group of bicyclists wanting to raise awareness about the Sara Anne Wood Rescue Center, rode from Utica, New York to the U.S. Capitol in teal and pink jerseys. The next year, the rescue center officially became the Mohawk Valley Office of NCMEC’s New York branch.

What began as a small group of bicyclists, hoping to raise awareness has grown each year as thousands join “The Ride for Missing Children,” raising money for The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

Two colors have been added to the jersey – white to represent all missing children and purple as a salute to law enforcement, who continue searching for Sara.

Photo Credit - National Center for Exploited & Missing Children

Most of the bicyclists in the Ride For Missing Children never knew Sara Anne Wood but she will never be forgotten.

If you have any information, please call us at 1-800-THE-LOST, the New York State Police, or e-mail to

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