State Police divers today are searching Greenwater Pond in Becket where child serial killer Lewis S. Lent Jr. has admitted he placed the remains of James “Jamie” Lusher after he kidnapped the Westfield teen and murdered him in 1992.
The search of the 88-acre pond, where waters can drop to 58 feet deep, is expected to last three days and was prompted by Lent’s recent confession to the murder of Lusher, who was 16 years old and riding his new bike when he disappeared on Nov. 6, 1992.
In return for disclosing where he disposed of Lusher’s remains, authorities have agreed not to prosecute Lent for the murder. Lusher’s family said on Monday that they welcome the chance to bring their missing relative’s remains home, and also expressed complete disinterest in what happens to the man who killed the teenager.
Lusher’s father, also named James, told reporters on Monday that Lent had inadvertently done a small act of kindness toward the child whose life he ended.
“Unwittingly, Lewis Lent put my son where he loved to be; he loved the mountains,’’ the elder Lusher said today. “So, if in fact they never find anything, he’s where he loved to be.’’
Becket is in Western Massachusetts and Greenwater Pond is off Route 20.
Lent is currently serving life without the possibility of parole in a Massachusetts prison for the 1990 kidnapping and murder of James Bernardo, 12, of Pittsfield, whose body was found in the woods of New York State some 250 miles from Pittsfield.
He also pleaded guilty in New York to the kidnapping and murder of Sara Anne Wood, 12, of Frankfort, N.Y., who disappeared in 1993. Despite a search guided by a crude map drawn by Lent that led to searching areas in the Adirondack Mountains, authorities have never recovered her remains.
Lent remains under investigation for other unsolved child disappearances. Authorities said yesterday Lent has provided new information that has reinvigorated other cases.John R. Ellement can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.