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Missing teen’s death was a tragedy close to home

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Sara Rose Genari – Photo WCSO

According to information from Apple Mountain residents verified by online research, the site where missing teenager Sarah Rose Genari’s body was found is less than a half mile from her family’s home.  That site on Granny Smith Road is about a mile from the foot of the mountain neighborhood; and about a half mile beyond the staging area for what evolved into a massive search for Genari that began the evening of April 26.

Sixteen-year-old, Warren County High School student Sarah Genari was reported to have “walked off from her residence” around 10 p.m. the evening of Thursday, April 26.  When her body was discovered 12 days later about 12 to 20 feet off Granny Smith Road, area residents said it sounded as if chain saws were used to cut into the thick vegetation on the large vacant lot where Genari’s body was discovered.  That discovery was made around 2 p.m., Tuesday, May 8.

Sarah Genari’s body was discovered the afternoon of Tuesday, May 8. The site where Genari’s body was discovered is at right of photo.

By Friday, May 11, a cross had been placed at the site.

Despite assurances in a May 10 press release from the Warren County Sheriff’s Office that Genari’s death “appears to be an isolated incident and there is no threat to public safety” questions remain in the minds of some Apple Mountain residents.  Those questions revolve around the time-frame during which Genari was missing; the location of her body’s discovery; and the lack of official detail from the state coroner’s office as of yet on the circumstance of her death in what remains an ongoing investigation.  Anyone with information pertaining to the case is asked to contact Investigator Emily Young at 540-635-7100 or at invyoung@warrencountysheriff.org.

According to a May 3 press release from the WCSO the initial, intensive search grew to include 21 agencies from multiple jurisdictions.  That May 3 release noted that “searches were conducted by K-9, ground, air, water and thermal imaging devices”.  The search involving many of those 21 agencies was suspended after five days, at nightfall on May 1.

The search for Sarah Genari began the evening of April 26, and immediately focused on her home area of Apple Mountain in eastern Warren County. This photo was taken on April 27 at the park utilized as the search staging area.

Agencies cited as assisting the Warren County Sheriff’s Office in the search that discovered Genari’s body on May 8 were “Dogs East, the Fauquier, Frederick and Loudoun County Sheriff’s Offices, the Prince William County Police Department and the Virginia State Police.”

In addition to law enforcement and fire & rescue units, eight agencies whose primary mission is “search and rescue” were among the 21 involved in the initial search for Sarah Genari.  Those agencies included: the Virginia Search and Rescue Dog Association, the aforementioned Dogs East, TROT Search and Rescue, the Shenandoah Mountain Rescue Group, the Blue Ridge Mountain Rescue Group, Blue and Grey Search and Rescue, Search and Rescue Tracking Institute, and Piedmont Search and Rescue.  Also involved was the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.

From the use of dogs and thermal imaging, as well as the sheer number of involved agencies it appeared there was concern for Genari’s physical well being from the outset of the search.

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