Emily Irene Sander (26 February 1989 – 24 November 2007) aka Zoey Zane was an 18-year-old American student at Butler Community College in El Dorado, Kansas, who worked as a nude model. Reported missing on November 23, 2007 and found dead six days later her disappearance was widely covered in the mainstream news media.
Circumstances of disappearance
According to police, Sander and a man they identified as Israel Mireles were last seen leaving a bar in east El Dorado on November 23, 2007. Later, blood was discovered in Mireles' motel room next door to an Italian restaurant where he worked as a waiter and Sander's car was found still parked at the bar. The rental car Mireles was driving was found abandoned on November 27 in Vernon, Texas, where he has relatives.
Six days after Sander's disappearance, on November 29, investigators found a body 50 miles east of El Dorado which they said matched a preliminary physical description of Sander. On December 1, 2007, police confirmed the body to be that of Sander, but refused to comment on the condition of the body. An autopsy was performed, but the results and cause of death have been sealed.
Police searched for the 24-year-old Israel Mireles, whom they have identified as a suspect. Police believed he was with his 16-year-old pregnant girlfriend Victoria Martens and that he might have gone or was preparing to go to Mexico. According to Sandy Martens (the mother of Victoria Martens), her daughter called her on November 24 to tell her Mireles had been involved in an altercation when another man attempted to rob him. Sandy Martens also claimed to have received a text message from her daughter days after the couple fled that said she "had a lot to tell her mother."
Following the discovery of the body, a monetary reward was established for information leading to the capture of Mireles. He was soon found in his home country of Mexico, but his extradiction faced complications.
Mireles was in the United States legally, but had temporary sanctuary in Mexico. Before extraditing a suspect, Mexico requires that authorities submit the most serious charges that suspect could face. The nation will not release someone who could face the death penalty, according to El Dorado, Kansas Police Chief Tom Boren. American authorities agreed that Mireles would not face the death penalty, and he was released to American authorities.
Boren said a special task force of FBI and Kansas Bureau of Investigation agents has been assigned to the case.
After several days of speculation following her disappearance, it was revealed that Emily Sander was an Internet nude model under the pseudonym Zoey Zane. Friends of Sander say that she began to pose nude during the summer of 2007, shortly after her 18th birthday. She apparently kept her career mostly to herself, and only close friends knew that she modeled in addition to working as a secretary. According to Sander's grandmother, Shirley Sander, her family knew nothing of her internet modeling and did not believe the reports.
Her friends claim that when informed about her modeling, her boyfriend broke up with her.
The last entry in Sander's website was apparently made two days before her disappearance; the website was later replaced by a statement describing her as a "solo nude model" and offered a reward for information leading to the return of Israel Mireles. After the arrest of Mireles, the site shut down, and the domain was taken over by another business. Investigators said they do not believe that Sander's modeling was connected with her disappearance.
Criticism of the news media
The creator of Sander's original website released a statement criticizing the media, saying they had blown Sander's nude modeling career out of proportion by referring to her "porn" career.
Sander's death had an impact both at and beyond Butler Community College. A memorial was made which included messages of support for Sander's family and a tribute was created for her.
Sander's funeral took place on December 6, 2007.
Emily was a friend of Perlie the Pony Girl, a member of the Discordian Division of the Ek-sen-triks CluborGuild and Mythics of Harmonia. Emily had a tattoo on the right side of her belly of a large five pointed star with five little stars following it. Her friend Perlie called this a Discordian tattoo.