Larry McNabney’s sudden disappearance in September 2001 wasn’t really looked into until a few months later. The authorities then uncovered a string of lies and deception involving his wife, Elisa. In due time, they learned that Elisa was, in fact, a con woman named Laren Sims who had an extensive criminal history. While Laren confessed to killing her husband, she also implicated Sarah Dutra, the secretary at Larry’s office and a good friend of Laren’s. ABC News’ ‘20/20: Hell in Heels’ focuses on the case and shines a light on Sarah’s ensuing trial. If you’re wondering what happened to her since then, here’s what we know.
Who is Sarah Dutra?
Sarah Dutra was a student at California State University in Sacramento studying art. She met Larry and Laren (known as Elisa) in 2000 when she responded to an ad for a part-time legal secretary at Larry’s law office. Sarah became good friends with Laren and came along with the couple to the horse shows they attended. The two women shopped a lot, buying expensive apparel and dressing alike as well.
Once Laren was arrested for her husband’s murder, a confession revealed precisely what happened to him and how Sarah was involved. Laren claimed that Sarah helped poison Larry while visiting a horse show in September 2001. Then, the two drove around to find a place to bury him. The duo went to Yosemite National Park in California, where Laren said that Sarah began to dig a hole. However, since Larry was still alive, they drove back home.
After Larry died the next day, they put him in the refrigerator in the garage. Apart from wrapping the body in duct tape, they also wrapped the fridge to keep it closed. During the time after that, Laren and Sarah cooked up elaborate cover stories to explain away Larry’s disappearance. At one point, they even invited Larry’s son to the house for a party while the body was still in the garage.
After Laren’s confession, Sarah implicated herself in the murder. However, she claimed to have left the show but returned when Laren called her saying her husband was ill. But Sarah admitted knowing about the poisoning and said she dug a grave. Furthermore, she alleged that Laren threatened to kill her if she didn’t help move the body to the refrigerator. But at Sarah’s trial in early 2003, Laren’s daughter, Haylei, testified that Sarah showed no signs that she was afraid of Larry’s wife. The prosecution stated that Laren and Sarah forged Larry’s sign on checks for money and sold all his valuables as well.
Where is Sarah Dutra Now?
The defense brought attention to Sarah Dutra’s clean record and said Laren manipulated her into helping with the murder. Sarah’s lawyer also said that her client was interviewed through the night and hadn’t been advised of her right to remain silent. The prosecution stated that Sarah was drawn in by the glamorous lifestyle that Laren led and the money Larry made. Nevertheless, she was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter and being an accessory to murder in March 2003. Then in her early 20s, Sarah was sentenced to 11 years and eight months in prison.
While behind bars, she continued painting and honed her skills as an artist. After serving about 85% of her sentence, Sarah was released from prison during the early hours of August 26, 2011. Post-release, she had to serve three years on parole in Solano County, California, where her parents lived. Since then, Sarah has maintained a low profile, and not much is known about what she currently does. Her last known location remains to be Solano County.