BRYAN, Texas -- A Texas A&M University student who had been feared murdered after disappearing nearly seven years ago has been found alive and working in Northern Kentucky, according to authorities.
After Brandi Stahr went missing in October 1998, police searched for her body in wooded parts of Brazos County, at one point even questioning a serial rapist and murderer just hours before he was executed last year.
But a telephone tip led investigators to Florence, Ky., where Stahr has been working for the past five years at a Sam's Club, Texas Ranger Frank Malinak said.
"We thought we were dealing with a missing persons case," Malinak said. "But, in actuality, we were dealing with a person who did not want to be found and was in hiding."
Stahr, 27, and her mother, Ann Dickenson, had argued over bad grades she received during her sophomore year at A&M.
"She wasn't going to school and doing what she was supposed to do," Dickenson said. "When we cut off the charge cards and stopped paying for school, she got mad and said she didn't want a damn thing from us."
Dickenson was just a few months from having her daughter declared legally dead, she said.
Dickenson and Stahr haven't reunited yet, but have talked by telephone.
Stahr has been upset by the media coverage of her reappearance and has told a sister that the family should not bother visiting her.
But her mother said nothing will keep her from seeing her daughter.
"We're going. I'm going. Even if I have to sit out in a (Sam's Club) parking lot to see her," Dickenson said.
Although Stahr committed no crime in her disappearance, investigators spent a lot of money and time looking for her, Malinak said.
Texas Rangers renewed their search efforts in 2001.
"The responsible thing to do would have been to let someone know you're OK," Malinak said. "There are going to be people expending man-hours and effort, trying to find a missing person."