A 35-year-old disappearance case in Allegany County is possibly solved as a terminal cancer patient has reportedly given his deathbed confession.
David Sherk, a neighbor of Flossie Wilbur, who at age 75 disappeared from her home in Angelica in August 1985, is in a medical facility in Wyoming County with terminal cancer and allegedly confessed to the crime, according to a news article by John Anderson, former editor of the Wellsville Daily Reporter and former Allegany County reporter for the Olean Times Herald.
Anderson is currently editor of the Tyler (Texas) Morning Telegraph but was drawn back to report on the case by recent developments.
Anderson reported that several police sources confirmed the confession by Sherk, which led to extensive search activity Wednesday in the Town of Almond. The news report indicated Sherk will not be charged because of his condition and cooperation with where the body is possibly buried, police said.
Wilbur has been missing since Aug. 24, 1985, in Angelica, when all police could find were her groceries in her car.
The Hornell Evening Tribune reported Wednesday that a New York State Police team was searching an area in the Town of Almond near the Almond dam, following a new lead in the cold case.
Police vehicles lined Route 21 near Webb’s Crossing Road Wednesday afternoon. A field on the creek side of the road had been mowed clear of weeds, and a white tent was set up about 100 yards from the road.
Social media posts linked the search to the Wilbur case. A Steuben County law enforcement source who was not involved with the search told the Evening Tribune that investigators are following up on a tip on the Wilbur case.
Trooper James O’Callaghan, the State Police Troop A public information officer, confirmed the Almond activity involved a cold case, but he declined to identify which one.
“I’m not going to get into specifics,” O’Callaghan told the Hornell newspaper. “We’re working on a lead from a cold case. We’re just looking to see if there’s any validity to it.”
O’Callaghan said investigators will remain in the area until “they deem that either something has been located that will help in our investigation or they deem that at this point in time, it’s not a credible source or a credible step forward.”
Anderson, the former Wellsville editor, writes that Sherk was an antique collector who had a yard sale year-round at his house on West Main Street in Angelica.
Police said when Frank Fritz and Mike Wolfe from the “American Pickers” television show were in the area filming in 2015 they checked out Sherk’s collection but it did not make an episode.