BRYAN, Texas Jun 5, 2005 — A Texas A&M University student who had been feared murdered after disappearing nearly seven years ago has been found alive and working in Kentucky, according to authorities.

Brandi Stahr went missing in October 1998, and police spent hours searching for her body in wooded areas. They questioned a serial rapist and murderer about her just hours before he was executed last year.

But a telephone tip led investigators to Florence, Ky., where Stahr has been working for the last five years at a Sam's Club, said Texas Ranger Frank Malinak.

"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, hid from her family after she and her mother, Ann Dickenson, got into an argument over bad grades she received during her sophomore year and her family stopped paying for school.

For the last five years, Stahr worked under her real name, using her Social Security number. But police said they were unable to locate her that way because they don't have access to IRS records.

Dickenson and Stahr haven't reunited yet, but have talked on the phone. Stahr told her sister the family should not bother visiting, but her mother said nothing will stop her.

"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.

"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."

couple of points ...

ok. sure stahr telling the police that she was ok would have been responsible and would have made their jobs easier. but here again we have a case of the right hand not talking to the left. (isn't this how 9/11 happened? why don't the police have access to the irs records. this case could have been solved years ago if these agencies and entities would share information. oh brother. so, frankly i hope they don't try to make this girl feel guilty into paying for her search.

how is she different from the runaway bride? she didn't make up some outlandish lie for her disappearance. she went on with her life using her real name and her real social security number making an honest living. frankly, i'm sick of white people creating up lies that get other races tied up in their mess. remember susan smith — the freak who drove her two babies in a lake and let them suffer? blamed it on a black man. what about that idiot who murdered his wife and claimed he'd be robbed by a black man. now here's the runaway bride, claiming she got abducted by a hispanic man.

to all unstable people — can you please keep your craziness confined to your immediate area and family?

what the heck did stahr's mom say to her for her to leave like that and not even want to see her now? that had to be one serious argument. and over grades? come on people, i love a 4.0 as much as the next person, but is it worth ruining a familial relationship?

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