Lusher's stepfather reacts to search for stepson's remains - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Lusher's stepfather reacts to search for stepson's remains

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For the third straight day, Massachusetts State Police searched Greenwater Pond for the remains of a Westfield teen murdered more than 20 years ago, and came up empty handed.

They told CBS 3 that there has been close to two dozen divers rotating in and out of the pond each of the last three days.

They said the chance of finding something right away was tougher than finding a needle in a haystack.

As the state police launched boats, at the pond again Thursday morning, they began to comb a part of the pond close to the size of a football field. They also dealt with water temperatures as cold as 44 degrees Fahrenheit.

"We had to manage expectations here for everybody's sake," said Lt. Col. Timothy Alben, head of the state police. "Particularly for a family that has suffered through this for 21 years, and wondering what happened."

"She [Joan] really died the day when Jamie went missing," said Bill Levakis, Lusher's stepfather, speaking of his wife.

Levakis married Joan in 1989.

16-year-old Jamie went missing three years later.

Levakis said Joan, who passed away two years ago, never gave up hope.

"She was a big part of this picture," said Levakis. "She used to go out looking every night, during the day. She would take time off from work. She even went to America's Most Wanted."

Levakis said the search for Jamie consumed his wife.

"She tried to put on this pretend face in public, but in the evening she would just fall apart," Levakis stated. "It was day after day after day. It was tough."

This week, police said that Lewis Lent admitted to killing Lusher in 1992.

Levakis said he tried to reach out to the convicted serial killer through police channels in the past.

"They were telling me that they didn't want me to wreck the case," said Levakis. "I said, it's been over 20 years. I'm not going to destroy the case in any way."

However, Levakis told CBS 3 that he may make the trip to see Lent no matter what.

"If this [search] does not resolve anything, I'm going to bypass the police and go there myself. I promised her I would try to resolve this case."

Levakis said he appreciates the effort by authorities this week.

State police said they would like to hear from anyone who has been on Greenwater Pond over the last two decades, and reeled in or noticed anything suspicious.

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