BRUEHL - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Mother continues search for Mechanicsville teen's killer

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Photo: sarabruehl.com Photo: sarabruehl.com
NEW KENT, VA (WWBT) -

A mother isn't giving up her quest to track down her daughter's killer. Sara Anne Bruehl, 18, had just graduated Atlee High in Mechanicsville, when a stranger shot her in the head, while she was driving.

Chris McIlwee, Sara's mother, is using every possible avenue, including social media, to hunt down the man who killed her daughter, 15 years ago this August.

The memory of the bubbly teenager is marked by a wooden cross, standing along I-64 in New Kent County, where Bruehl was gunned down.

"Sara shouldn't have to have a cross. Sara should be here. She should be enjoying life, like she always did," said Bruehl, while standing alongside the cross.

McIlwee feels the same pain she did the night a random man viciously shot her daughter.

"It's been 15 years, but it hurts just as much as it did from the beginning," continued McIlwee.

Bruehl was driving back from Virginia Beach with two girlfriends. Her friends say an unknown man in a small, red car, tailed their car for an hour. Then, the stranger did the unthinkable.

"He rolled down his window a little bit, and put the gun through the window just a little bit, and just fired," described McIlwee through tears.

Bruehl was hit twice in the head. Any chance for a future was erased in seconds. "You never get over it," said McIlwee.

McIlwee vows she'll never give up looking for that gunman. She hopes a Facebook page she created for Sara will lead to a tip. "There's always hope."

McIlwee is hoping someone out there may remember the gunman's car passing by... or perhaps overhearing something he may have said about the shooting.

Meantime, those who knew Sara reach out to Chris through her Facebook page, years later.

"Even today I was talking to somebody I had never talked to before," added McIlwee of a friend of Bruehl's who contacted her through the page.

Bruehl's case is still open. McIlwee is asking anyone who might remember anything about that night, particularly the suspect, to call Virginia State Police. That number is (804) 674-2000. Callers may ask for Special Agent James R. Lyons.

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