ANNA MARIA (FOX 13) - Musil-Buehler was murdered election night 2008 by her boyfriend, William Cumber. Nearly four years later, Cumber was charged with first-degree murder in a case built on mostly circumstantial evidence.
His first-degree murder trial, with the possibility of a life sentence if convicted, was set for next month.
Thursday, he pleaded no contest to a reduced charge of second-degree murder and received a 22-year sentence. That will be reduced by two years since he cooperated with investigators.
That assistance started Thursday afternoon, when a shackled Cumber pointed to the spot along the quiet beach near the sand dunes on Holmes Beach. Her skeletal remains were buried three to four feet under the sand, but a careful excavation exposed the first confirmation yesterday.
"Tennis shoes. Converse tennis shoes," Bristow explained. "We knew when we saw those late yesterday that, ok, this is going to be her because we were told she could be wearing Converse tennis shoes," he said.
Now, Manatee county investigators have the remains of Holmes Beach motel owner Sabine Musil-Buehler.
They have her admitted killer in prison for the next 20 years, and there are more details expected in the next few days. After she's positively identified, the sheriff's office plans to release some of the things he said. "We have a very good idea of what happened that night," said Manatee County Sheriff's spokesman David Bristow.
Friday afternoon, the Medical Examiner confirmed the findings, saying it had positively identified the remains as Musil-Buehler.