Y student disappeared in Oregon last May


    By Chrislyn Barnes

    One year ago, BYU freshman Brooke Wilberger disappeared as she worked outside an apartment building while visiting her sister in Corvallis, Ore.

    After a year of extensive investigation and searching, no solid leads have been found. The Wilberger family and investigators are continuing to do all they can to keep the search efforts alive.

    Brooke was reported missing on the morning of May 24, 2004, when she disappeared from the parking lot of the apartment complex her sister manages in Corvallis, Ore. The investigators believed she was abducted when they found her flip-flops in the parking lot and her personal items in the apartment.

    In February, nine months after Brooke disappeared. Corvallis Police Department asked for help from the public to help find a sweatshirt identical to the one that Brooke was wearing when she vanished. Police reports have described it as being a dark shade of blue with the words ?Freshjive? printed on it in a metallic coloring.

    There is no report of the sweatshirt being a lead to finding Brooke at this time, but it will be used to compare fiber/dye?s in the crime lab.

    In a written statement issued by the family, Cammy Wilberger said, ?We would like to thank all those who continue to support Brooke and her family. Many continue to think and pray and hope for her return. We have received much strength from your support and encouragement. It has been a long year and we have had to learn to be patient and trust in God. We hope she is able to come home, but we will accept whatever the outcome.?

    Brooke?s family and friends combined their time, energy and means throughout the last year to help the nation become aware of her disappearance.

    A resident of Brooke?s hometown, Eugene, Ore., donated 30,000 pink bracelets, much like the ?Livestrong? bracelets, to help fund the search. Brooke?s mother, Cammy Wilberger, brought the bracelets to BYU, which read www.findbrooke.com and also contain a number for a tip-line phone number.

    The bracelets were also sold in selected stores throughout Utah and Oregon.

    Just one day after Brooke?s disappearance, hundreds of volunteers joined the Corvallis Police Department to search for Brooke in the area that surrounded the apartment complex where she was last seen. These searches continued for weeks, but no evidence was found.

    The police have identified a number of ?suspects of interest? throughout the year, but none of them have lead to Brooke?s location.

    A $30,000 reward has been offered since the beginning of the investigation for any information on where Brooke is and is still in effect. The Wilberger family has also offered another reward of $3,000 last June, and increased it to $6,000 in November.

    A news conference is scheduled at 10 a.m. Tuesday in Corvallis, Ore., where the Wilberger family and investigators will report on the current status of the case. Investigators did not return calls to The Daily Universe Monday.

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