Bedspread Clue in Kansas Teen's Disappearance

Police suspect foul play after search of motel where Sander may have stayed.


Nov. 28, 2007— -- Kansas authorities released an image Tuesday night of a bedspread they say may help in the search for Emily Sander, an 18-year-old last seen Friday night leaving a bar with a man now wanted by police for questioning in the teen's disappearance.

"All we're saying is, we're looking for that bedspread and it's something we'd like to find," Capt. Justin Phillips of the El Dorado, Kansas, police department told ABC News.

Tuesday night, authorities in Vernon, Texas, about 350 miles south of El Dorado, discovered a rental car used by Israel Mireles, 24. According to eyewitnesses, Mireles and Sander left the Retreat Bar in El Dorado together Friday night.

The floral bedspread police are looking for may be linked to the El Dorado motel where Mireles was temporarily living. An altercation took place in his motel room either late Friday or early Saturday that may have involved Sander. Motel managers notified El Dorado police, who since have treated Mireles' room as a crime scene.

"We have found some evidence that Emily may have been the victim of a violent crime," Phillips said Tuesday. "They are still processing that and have been for the last two days."

Mireles, along with his 16-year-old pregnant girlfriend, Victoria Martens, has not been seen since, though investigators don't believe Sander is traveling with them. Phillips said Tuesday that Mireles and Martens might be making a run for the border.

"We have some indication that they are attempting to cross into Mexico," he said. Mireles has family in Vernon.

Several people reported seeing Mireles, who has a "minor" criminal record, and Sander spending time together and then leaving the bar Friday night, but Phillips would not say whether she left with him voluntarily. Sander's car was found parked at the bar Saturday.

Authorities said they don't believe Martens was in the hotel room with Mireles and Sander when their altercation took place.

At a televised news conference Monday afternoon, Sander's grandfather Clement Sander appealed to the public for help in finding his granddaughter, a student at Butler Community College.

"She was a sweet little girl, and she's done real good in school," Clement said. "She had a lot of friends and was easy to get along with."

"Help us find Emily," he said. "We need closure on this one way or another."

Sander is described as 5 foot, 3 inches with brown hair and blue eyes. She was last seen wearing jeans, a "Don't Mess With Texas" T-shirt and sneakers. She has multiple tattoos and body piercings.

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