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Nonnewaug High School's Chief News Source

NHS Chief Advocate

Nonnewaug High School's Chief News Source

NHS Chief Advocate

Nonnewaugs Scott Meyer, left, was honored as the recipient of the 2024 Michael H. Savage Spirit of Sport Award at the CAS-CIAC Scholar Athlete Banquet on May 5 at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington. (Courtesy of the CIAC)
Nonnewaug’s Meyer Wins Prestigious CIAC Perseverance Award
Gianna Lodice '24, Senior Editor • June 10, 2024
Nonnewaug boys soccer coach Toby Denman, left, and assistant coach Josh Kornblut address the team after a game last season. Denman says hes tried to learn how to be an effective coach by observing the ones hes played for and coached with. (Kyle Brennan)
Crocker: Coaches Can Have a Positive Impact — or a Negative One
Anna Crocker '26, Junior Editor • June 10, 2024
Nonnewaugs Ellie McDonald dribbles the ball during a game last season. McDonalds nickname is Smellie -- one of many Chief names that exist on the girls soccer team. (Courtesy of Noreen Chung)
The (Nick)name Game: Teammates Bond Over Inside Jokes
Audrey Doran '27, Reporter • June 10, 2024
Kyle Viveros is ready on his toes, awaiting the ball. Viveros and Landon Parks took home the BL doubles title. (Courtesy of Sophia Cenatiempo)
Nonnewaug Repeats as Class S State Runner-Up in Boys Tennis (PHOTOS)
Addison Bushka '27, Reporter • June 10, 2024
Chief Advocate editor-in-chief Izzy DiNunzio bids farewell after four years in Nonnewaugs journalism program. (Courtesy of Izzy DiNunzio)
DiNunzio: Journalism is More Than Just Words
Izzy DiNunzio '24, Editor-In-Chief • June 10, 2024
Deme Jones looks at students orphan portraits at Nonnewaug’s art show on June 6.
Artists 'Shine' at Nonnewaug's Annual Art Show (PHOTOS)
Brynn Clampett '26, Reporter • June 7, 2024
The memorial for Chester Carruthers. (Courtesy of Find-a-Grave)
The Chief Suspect Podcast: Chester Carruthers
Izzy DiNunzio '24, Editor-in-Chief • June 7, 2024
Nonnewaug girls tennis seniors, from left, Maggie Keane, Skylar Chung, Maylan Hardisty, Kiley Stampp, Sam Duncan pose on their senior night. (Courtesy of Noreen Chung)
Senior Athletes Feel Mixed Emotions as High School Careers End
Ava Hirleman '27, Reporter • June 7, 2024
Lets Talk Nonne: Year-End Wrap-Up
Let's Talk Nonne: Year-End Wrap-Up
Katie Savulak '26 and Morgan Willis '26 June 7, 2024
Nonnewaug freshmen discuss their worries about the testing, including potential AP exams, they have to take next year.
Savulak: AP Tests Aren't That Stressful
Katie Savulak '26, Reporter • June 6, 2024

Connecticut Mystery Remains Unsolved Over Two Decades Later

The+Elias+Howe+School+sometime+after+it+closed+in+2005.+It+has+since+been+bought+and+turned+into+senior+citizen+housing.+Bianca+LeBron+disappeared+outside+of+Bridgeport+school+in+2001.+%28Katarzyna+Grabowska%2FUnsplash%29
The Elias Howe School sometime after it closed in 2005. It has since been bought and turned into senior citizen housing. Bianca LeBron disappeared outside of Bridgeport school in 2001. (Katarzyna Grabowska/Unsplash)

BRIDGEPORT — Bianca Lebron was born to parents Carmelita Torres and Felix Lebron on June 26, 1991. She was described as being happy and outgoing and liked to go to school, dance and play with her pet hamster, Nina. At the time of her disappearance in 2001, she lived with her mother, her stepfather, Angelo Garcia and her sister in Bridgeport, Connecticut. 

The day of her disappearance, Nov. 7, 2001, seemed normal. According to the Connecticut Post, her mother remembers her having sat at a stool near their kitchen table before leaving alongside her sister and four cousins to walk to school. Bianca made it to school where, while waiting in line to be let in, she would tell her friends about the shopping spree her uncle was taking her on that day. She even invited some of them along, although they all declined. 

At around 8:30 a.m., not too long after Bianca had arrived at school, a brown, two-tone van would arrive at the school. The van was described as not being in great condition with several sanded down areas and having tinted windows and chrome trim. It was being driven by a Hispanic male between the ages of 20 and 30 who had medium brown skin and black curly hair with long sideburns that reached his chin. He had brown eyes, a “prominent” nose, a beard and scratches on both the left side of his nose and right cheek. 

All of the adults just assumed he was Bianca’s uncle, and as a result just let her go with him. Administration at Elias Howe School would mark her as absent but would not call home to alert her mother, despite the fact that she had no history of skipping school. 

Bianca’s parents did grow slightly concerned at 4:30 p.m. when Bianca did not return home. However they just assumed she had gone to a friend’s house as she often did. When she hadn’t returned by 8:30, she was reported missing. 

Nonnewaug High School’s School Resource Officer Chris O’Toole shared what happens when a person is reported missing.

“We go to their house. We get as much information, detailed information as we can,” O’Toole said. “Last time they were seen, what they were wearing, what they look like, all the descriptors that describe this person to the best of their ability, and what we do is we put them into the computer for a Silver Alert or an Amber Alert.”

 A missing child can often be harder to find then a an adult according to O’Toole.

 “When we have an adult [missing], we can monitor their credit cards or driving if they get pulled [over], [and] you can put them in the system,” O’Toole said. “A child, whether they get abducted or wandered off, we don’t have certain tools to help us look for or locate the children.”

A photo taken of Bianca sometime prior to her disappearance. She is ten in this photograph and is the best example of what she looked like then.

It was when police started investigating that an interesting detail came to light: Bianca had a secret boyfriend. Her friends said that they had seen her with them, with the two even having kissed. This wouldn’t have been all that concerning if it wasn’t for the fact that the boyfriend was an 18-year-old adult named Jason Lara.

Police would begin to investigate Jason, now 20, in 2003, at which point he was living in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He was questioned by police who he told that he had no involvement with Bianca’s disappearance. Police eventually came forward and said that he had an alibi and was no longer a suspect. Despite all of this, some still remain suspicious of Lara. He had a preexisting criminal record for forgery and an attempted carjacking, and reportedly had a friend with a similar van to the one the uncle was driving. 

Law enforcement says that the man Bianca left school with was not related to her and most likely did not know her family. This is because she has no uncles nor family-friends she may have been referring to (some sources do state that she has uncles though they do state that they have been cleared). 

Leads would eventually lead police to Seaside Park in Bridgeport during the late summer of 2009, where they would dig up a section of Seabright Avenue after receiving a tip that Bianca’s remains may have been buried there. Unfortunately, nothing would be found. In 2011 police received another tip, this one about a photo of a young girl seen in an internet chat room in New Mexico. Nothing would come of this lead either. Since then, 13 years have passed and as unfortunate as it is, Bianca’s case has gone cold. 

In 2008, Bianca was declared legally dead so her mother could sue the school district for wrongful death. Eventually it was decided that over the course of six years, the district would pay Carmelita $750,000. The Elias Howe School had closed three years prior in 2005. 

At the time of her disappearance Bianca was 10 years old. She was 4-foot-11 and weighed 115 pounds. She is described as being Hispanic with brown hair and hazel eyes alongside a birthmark on her forehead. She was last seen wearing a green, beige and brown camouflage shirt, black boots, beige jeans and a dark blue denim jacket. If she is still alive, she would be 32. Bianca’s mother remains optimistic that Bianca is still alive and out there somewhere and is waiting for her to come home. 

Anyone with information is asked to call the Bridgeport Police Department at 203-576-7671.

About the Contributor
Kathryn Hartery '25
Kathryn Hartery is a junior at Nonnewaug and a first-year reporter for the Chief Advocate.
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