Jane Devin

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Cute, Careless, 18, and Dead.

November 30th, 2007 · 14 Comments

At 18 years old, it may have been that Emily Sander felt the immortal pull of youth. The sense of being in her prime — young, beautiful, and healthy — in a world full of sensations to seek, with a curiousity that was not easily sated.

zoey2.jpgShe was not perhaps a typical teenager, but like so many others Emily Sander seemed to be in a hurry to grow up. To leave behind the bittersweet vestiges of teenage gawkiness and insecurities and blossom, as she did, into a pierced and tattooed nonconformist who played along with the best and worst of hip-hop culture, one who loved to dance, but who referred to herself as “Mike’s Bitch” on her MySpace page. The triple life she led as daytime secretary, evening community college student, and barely-legal internet porn star was one Emily’s friend Nikki Watson claims she willingly undertook.

“She enjoyed it. She is a young teenage girl and she wanted to be in the movies and enjoyed movies. She needed the extra money. Nobody in El Dorado knew besides her close friends.” Watson also stated that Sander told her family and her boyfriend about her porn activities on Thanksgiving Day, which resulted in a break-up with Michael McCallister, the boyfriend she began living with when she was 17 years old.

As Zoey Zane, Sander’s website (now removed), had over 300 subscribers who each paid $39.95 a month to view a girl who billed herself as a “spunky little teen with a super sexy side”. However, the gig wasn’t that immediately profitable for Sander who, it’s been reported, signed a contract in April, 2007 with Florida entrepreneur David Thomas*. Thomas told reporters that while the contract called for Sander to receive 45% of the monthly proceeds, she received only 5%, estimated at approximately $600 per month, with the rest being held “in escrow” until the completion of her contract.

Police Chief Tom Boran, of El Dorado, Kansas does not believe Sander’s internet mireles-martens.jpgactivities had anything to do with her disappearance. They are presently searching for 24 year old Israel Mireles, who was last seen leaving the Retreat Bar in El Dorado with Sander on Thursday, November 22nd. It has been reported that Sander met Mireles for the first time on that evening.

Mireles is thought to be traveling with his sixteen year old pregnant girlfriend, Victoria Martens, who police also believe believe may be in danger.

On Monday, police announced their search of an El Dorado motel room rented by Mireles, stating they verified the blood reported found on Saturday by Mireles’s employer. On Tuesday, a rental car Mireles was driving, a green 2007 Ford Taurus, was found in Vernon, Texas where Mireles has relatives. On Thursday, a body matching Sander’s description was found along U.S. 54, between El Dorado and Toronto, Kansas. An autopsy is pending.

The search for Mireles and Martens continues. Mireles has a previous criminal history including misdeamonor convictions for possession of prohibited weapons, hunting from a vehicle and driving while intoxicated. Martens was a freshman student at Hays High School in Hays, Kansas until she dropped out earlier this year.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Mireles and Martinez can call El Dorado Crime Stoppers at 316-321-1080.

Note: Pictures included in this story can be enlarged by clicking on the photos.

Joplin Globe Story
CNN - Body Found



12/09 UPDATE:

*The “Zoey Zane” website is back up as a reward site, and says that Sanders worked as an independent agent, and not through Thomas.

Tags: Crime/Law · Culture

14 responses so far ↓

  • 1 mish // Nov 30, 2007 at 4:03 pm

    Such a tragedy. Why is it that the young think they are invincible? (Also) they dont understand the power of Myspace and that predators are on looking for someone just like them.

  • 2 allison // Nov 30, 2007 at 4:36 pm

    I remember how reckless I was at her age. but the times now, with myspace, and just the way everything is so screwed up in the media, what our young people value is basically the seedy ugly side of life. Today’s kids have so much more crap to wade through.
    Stay as close and open to your kids as possible. Be aware, and make them aware.

  • 3 freida // Nov 30, 2007 at 6:29 pm

    Not all teenagers are daring like this…it’s foolish.
    Parents need to protect their children, and talk to them from the very beginning.
    This is a dangerous world we live in…
    To quote Steve Irwin, “Danger, Danger, Danger!!!”

  • 4 Barbara // Nov 30, 2007 at 11:11 pm

    Emily’s death is tragic, and I agree that many kids think they are immortal. My youngest son was a handful, and careless so many times, and my DH and I feel so lucky he survived. Now that he’s older even he can’t believe some of the things he did.

    We always hope that other kids will read stories like this and realize they should be more cautious, but it hardly ever seems to work that way, does it?

    My heart goes out to Emily’s family and friends, and to the family of the missing 16 year old, who I will pray for tonight. I hope to God she and her baby are safe.

  • 5 tja // Dec 1, 2007 at 3:47 pm

    Myspace had nothing to do with this case as you can see tom was her only friend but i do understand where you are comming from,you cant just blame myspace for everything.Everyone makes mistakes in life i guess she was just too trusting.GOD BLESS HER AND MAY SHE REST IN PEACE

  • 6 QV // Dec 1, 2007 at 8:17 pm

    Another senseless tragedy. As much as we sound overbearing, we must tell our teenagers to pay attention to their surroundings and practice safety in parking lots. I just stopped my teenager from driving in an ice storm. She knew nothing about the road conditions this evening. All I can say is Oy! 8-)

  • 7 ChrisBitt // Dec 1, 2007 at 9:08 pm

    She was beautiful and in her prime, wasn’t she? It’s so sad whenever a young person dies, but never more so than when they die by way of violence.

    I was also a careless and carefree youth, like Barbara’s son. I shudder to think about the times I drank myself into total oblivion, or drove as fast as I could because I was in a rush or wanted a thrill, or went out with people I barely knew, or knew to be reckless. Like Barbara’s son, I feel very lucky to be alive.

    I am not certain that anything can save teenagers from their feelings of immortality, or as tja pointed out their over-willingness to trust strangers, but I think it’s important to let them know how fleeting life can be and how one decision can change their lives and those of their families.

  • 8 Cynthia // Dec 2, 2007 at 9:44 am

    What really hit me about this story was how ambitious Emily was. No matter what someone might feel about her online job, this was a girl who was attending college and also working as a secretary. She obviously wanted better things from her life and had a lot of dreams and plans.

    I read the update and geez. . .Victoria Marten’s aunt thinks Mireles wouldn’t hurt Victoria? I wonder if that’s just wishful thinking at work, because if I were Victoria’s family, I would be very scared right now.

  • 9 Callie // Dec 2, 2007 at 11:34 pm

    I didn’t know that about the website / escrow money.
    Somehow that makes Emily’s story all the sadder.
    A little girl that wanted so much……
    yet nothing was ever really hers.

  • 10 Lonnie // Dec 4, 2007 at 12:04 am

    Thanks for opening up to comments Jane. This story is so sad,,and becoming more common. I hope they catch Mireles and find the 16 year old soon.

  • 11 A.P. // Dec 4, 2007 at 10:54 am

    A young life interrupted and cut short is always a senseless tragedy. It occurs way too often in our society and around the world. During the holiday season it is particularly gut wrenching to think of the victims’ families heartache. It is a reminder to hold your loved ones close and let them know everyday that you love them.

  • 12 EJ // Dec 5, 2007 at 11:22 am

    This is ever so sad. Dangerous people have no respect for life. We just have to teach our youngsters to be careful who they associate with. It’s not just youngsters, it’s all ages. It’s just so heart breaking to me.

  • 13 Jane Devin // Dec 5, 2007 at 5:58 pm

    I didn’t even know comments were on until someone pointed it out to me tonight. Thank you to those who commented.

    I agree that this is a tragic story. It’s tragic every time someone’s life is ended by violence, and more so when the victims are children.

    EJ, I sent a card to you but it came back. Will you please email me at your convenience?

    Cynthia, Martens’ aunt may feel that way, but her mother doesn’t. Her mother, according to newer reports, is extremely worried.

    Allison, Barb, and Chris, my teens were also spent taking a lot of chances and getting into a lot of different situations that in retrospect were risky. I feel a particular connection to hard-headed, carefree, high spirited and naive kids because I remember those feelings.

    (Allison, I haven’t unpacked my DVD player yet but will next weekend when I’ll have time to finish the downstairs. Thank you!)

  • 14 freida // Dec 6, 2007 at 4:21 pm

    Even the late Steve Irwin was ‘flirting with disaster,’ yet, he was so full of life and living…and he was very careful, and knowledgeable.
    We also know he was daring.

    Little boys and girls are so, much more vulnerable, though, and not nearly as tough…like easy prey…

    There are so, many innocent children out there…and ‘predators’ on the run…

    Hope someone catches ‘this guy’ before he hurts anyone else.