New eyes could eventually solve case of Springfield's 3 missing women
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. It is a mystery, a story many know that remains without an ending. Today marks 24 years since three women from Springfield vanished: Stacy McCall, Suzanne Streeter, and Streeter's mother, Sherrill Levitt.
On Tuesday, fresh flowers rested near a memorial to the two teens and mother. Like those fresh flowers, Stacy McCall's mother tells KSPR she feels fresh leads, technology and investigators can still bring her daughter and the other two women home.
"I look at Stacy and I think she's not 18, she's 38. It's heartbreaking," McCall said in an interview with us on the 20th anniversary four years ago. "Twenty birthdays and twenty Thanksgivings and Christmases and so many times that we sit around the table wanting her nearby."
Today she echoed heartache and also glimmers of hope.
"I want people to know I am not in denial, I still believe if there's one in one-hundred chance my daughter is alive I"ll take it," she said on Tuesday over the phone. "I want my daughter. I don't even care about an arrest, I just want my daughter."
Now 24 years of looking, hoping, praying and searching take a toll, and yet family and police say they will never give up. They say neither will Springfield.
"The community wants answers," McCall said in the previous interview. "Three women were taken from our community never to be seen again."
On that June day in 1992 the McCall family made the first worried call to police.
"There are those few cases that just haunt you," said Mark Webb. Webb is now the Bolivar police chief. In 1992, he was with Springfield P.D.
"Instantly within the first paragraph you knew this wasn't a typical missing person case. I knew this is going to be bad," said Webb.
McCall and Streeter just graduated high school. They'd been to a party and were last seen around 2 o'clock in the morning. The two girls were headed to Streeter's home where she lived with her mom, Levitt. When police arrived they there were no signs of struggle. The women's purses, clothes and money were left behind. It looked as though the ladies had been kidnapped.
"We get calls weekly," said Springfield Police Lt. Culley Wilson.
Lt. Wilson oversees detectives on the case. He says there are some new eyes on it.
"That always can uncover things we haven't seen before," said Wilson. "It's fresh. They may see it in a new way."
He says hope is very much alive.
"We've done interviews around the state in the last year. Some leads have promise. We still have persons of interest," said Wilson.
Meanwhile, as Janis McCall says, this is not a day she celebrates.
"There's a big hole here," said McCall.
Investigators want to fill that hole.
"I am confident our law enforcement will solve it," said Wilson. "I am confident in our dedication and our abilities. Tomorrow could be the day someone brings us that piece of information that locks it all up."
Webb offers this advice to any law enforcement who finds the mystery in their hands: "Never give up. You have to go to work on this and treat any piece of information like it's the glue we've been waiting for to crack this case open."
McCall asks people who speculate to stick to the facts and stay away from so many rumors that she feels have sensationalized the case.
The reward fund for prosecution of those responsible now sits at $42,000.
Anyone with information into the disappearance of the three women should contact the Springfield police department or Crime Stoppers of Greater Springfield.