Lewis S. Lent Jr. is spending the rest of his life in prison for several crimes against children, including the abduction of Sara Anne Wood as she walked her bike home on rural Hacadam Road in Litchfield on Aug. 18, 1993.

But law enforcement officials said he was back in New York on one occasion since pleading guilty to killing Sara in 1996.

"In July of 2013, we actually brought him back to New York in hopes that he would lead us to Sara," said Herkimer County District Attorney Jeffrey Carpenter.

That attempt was not successful, and Lent still plays a cat-and-mouse game with law enforcement regarding the location of her remains, officials say.

"Every time we go see him we learn more," Carpenter said. "You sit with him and it's like talking to the devil himself."

On the day she was abducted, Sara was riding her bicycle and on her way back to her home she began pushing her bike down the road, said Dick Jordan, a long-time volunteer for the Ride for Missing Children, an annual 90-mile bicycle ride hosted by the Mohawk Valley National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

That is when Lent found her.

Lent — a one-time movie theater custodian in Massachusetts who now is in his late 60s — also is serving life in prison for killing another 12-year-old child, Jimmy Bernardo, in 1990. He also pleaded guilty to attempting to abduct 12-year-old Rebecca Savarese in Massachusetts, a few months after Sara disappeared, according to O-D archives.

When he returned to the Mohawk Valley in 2013, Lent stayed at an undisclosed location and rode with Carpenter and New York State Police to various spots between Herkimer County and Massachusetts that had been discussed in police interviews over the years.

"We didn't tell anybody at the time," Carpenter said.

The trip didn't produce anything fruitful, but "we tried," he said.

"We're not going to give up. All our children are precious," he added. "This is a tragedy Herkimer County will never get over. It strikes you right to the core."

State police Senior Investigator Reece Treen, of the Troop D Major Crimes Unit, was a trooper working road patrol in Herkimer at the time of Sara's disappearance. He had the day off that day, and remembers being called back when police determined they were dealing with an abduction.

Investigators found Sara's bicycle in the weeds of Hacadam Road — the spot now marked by small crosses, a flowering bush and religious tokens.

"It's closed by arrest, but we haven't found her body," Treen said of the case. "It is frustrating we haven't recovered her body. But he's been arrested. He can't hurt any more children again. ... We will continue until we find her remains."

Contact reporter Jolene Cleaver at 315-792-4956 or follow her on Twitter (@OD_Cleaver).