MISSING IN KANSAS: New search for Star Boomer

Posted: Updated:
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (KAKE) -

Investigators are digging for evidence in a 20-year cold case.

Star Boomer was last seen on Feb. 23, 1999, at what was then-known as Uncle Mike’s Bar at 49th and Metropolitan in Kansas City, Kan.

Monday, police spent eight hours digging for clues on a lot where her home once stood. The house, located near the bar, was where Star and her off-and-on again boyfriend lived.


The house has been on the radar since Star vanished, said Officer Tom Tomasic of the Kansas City, Kan., Police Department. A geological team from the University of Kansas is assisting, using ground-penetrating radar to revive the case.

"Nothing for sure, but they saw some anomalies, what they call it, so we're just going to go ahead and go in there and that's what we're doing now, Tomasic said in an interview with ABC-affiliate KMBC. “Digging. Digging in the dirt and seeing if we can find any evidence."

THE NIGHT STAR VANISHED

It’s not clear what is under the soil. Yet, the hope is to potentially find evidence to help piece together what happened to Star. Family said Star got hurt while trying to help a woman who had been in a fight, KMBC reports.

According to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation website, “Witnesses say she was involved in a violent altercation with a man believed to be lifelong criminal with a history of violent behavior, particularly toward women. At one point during the evening, Ms. Boomer allegedly was knocked to the ground, causing her to lose consciousness, Ms. Boomer has not been seen or heard from since that date.”

POSSIBLE SUSPECTS

Witnesses say Shon Pernice helped Star with her injuries and was the last person anyone saw her with, KMBC reports. Pernice is a former war medic, paramedic and now convicted felon; he is currently in prison for the death of his wife, Renee Pernice, who disappeared in January 2009.

In February 2012, he pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter. He pushed Renee, and she died by accident, Pernice said.

“I pled guilty to manslaughter,” he said in an October 2018 interview with KCTV. “I received 15 years from the state, from the judge ... that’s punitive measures there. I owe the families, my children, the community and God more restitution for what I’ve done.” Pernice said he put Renee’s body in a dumpster.
 

However, Pernice has never admitted to any ties in Star’s disappearance.

According to prior news reports, two men were charged with second-degree murder of Star, but the case was dismissed. Star is missing and believed to be dead. Her case was reopened in 2017.

REOPENING THE CASE

There is no new case information, but investigators and geologists hope to work on-site in the next several days. If they do find anything, they must be careful to preserve the evidence, Tomasic said.

"We're using shovels and hand trowels to go through this,” he said. “There's obviously new technology with KU that maybe, I don't want to say we'll get lucky, but maybe we will and we can close this case for the family."

As they work, 49th Street will be closed from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, between Barber and Douglas avenues.

The State of Kansas is offering a $5,000 Governor’s Reward for information leading to the arrest or prosecution of the person responsible for what happened to Star. She leaves behind a son.


STAR GAIL BOOMER

Missing from: Kansas City, Kan.

Missing since: Feb. 23, 1999

Maiden name: Hurtie

Age when missing: 39

If alive, age now: 59

Height: 5’4’’

Weight: 140 pounds

Hair: Blonde

Eyes: Blue

Distinguishing marks: Rose tattoo on chest; bear tattoo on outer ankle.


If you have information that could help the case, contact the Kansas Bureau of Investigation at (800) KS-CRIME. KAKE News will feature the story of a missing person every weekday in our newscasts at 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. If you have a person you’d like for us to share a story about, please contact Anchor Annette Lawless at alawless@kake.com.

Check out these photos from across KAKEland snapped by our viewers, staff and local officials. Do you have pictures to share with us? Email them to news@kake.com.

MORE SLIDESHOWS HERE