Today marks the 23rd anniversary of one of Central New York's most devastating days. 12-year-old Sara Ann Wood was riding her bike in a normally safe neighborhood on her way home from summer bible school. This innocent, young girl was abducted and murdered by serial killer Lewis Lent. Her story made national headlines and inspired one of the areas biggest fund-raising events for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

The image of that sweet smiling girl is burned into the memory of local people still today. The brief description given on the page dedicated to finding her on the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children website, will bring you to tears. It states simply,

Sara was last seen riding her bicycle at 2:30 p.m. after leaving the Norwich Corners Church on Roberts Road in Frankfort, New York. She was wearing a pink t-shirt with the words "Guess Who" embroidered on the front, turquoise blue shorts, and brown sandals. She has curly, shoulder-length hair.

There are thousands of children and families that are impacted by situations just like Sara's. That is why organizations like The Ride for Missing Children continue to fight hard to bring home those young lives who have been stripped from their families. After all, it was Sara Ann Wood's father along with 8 other bikers who started the iconic ride in CNY that just completed it's 20th year this past spring. Keep in your thoughts and prayers today Sara's family, and all families torn apart by the evil in this world. To this day her body has never been recovered.

To donate to The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children you can visit their website.


BONUS VIDEO: Andy Cash Reflects on His First Ride For Missing Children