Thursday, August 23, 2007
Two years ago a Grandview man walked into the Grandview Police Department to confess to killing and burying a woman. At the time, Sauber said her name was "Sharon."
Now, two years after Dan Sauber's confession and five years after the murder, the body has been identified as Sharon Lee Mason, who'd been reported missing to Grandview police, according to Therese Murphy, the prosecutor who was assigned to the case.
Sauber pled guilty and is now serving life in prison due to the three-strikes law. Murphy said that during Sauber's statement to the court, he described what sounded like "a different woman" to Mason's three daughters. This planted just enough doubt to compel Murphy to have Mason's bones identified.
"After hearing all that, it was very clear to me we had to, for the girls' sake, make sure it was their mother," Murphy said. "We had to do something."
It wasn't easy. Murphy said the crime lab in Washington state doesn't analyze bones. "We either had to pay for a private lab or send it to the University of Texas (who provides analysis for free)."
But because Sauber was already serving time for the crime, Murphy said, "We were at the bottom of the barrel, so to speak" in terms of priority.
Now, the two-year wait is over and Murphy believes this has brought about closure for Mason's family.
Murphy said of Sauber, "He's very violent and he's now sitting in a penitentiary for the rest of his life. He'll never be able to hurt anybody again."