Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Too many missing women, too few answers, Part 2

By Clint Van Zandt
Updated: 4:05 p.m. CT July 23, 2007
Part 2

Lisa Stebic’s husband refuses to cooperate with police

Meanwhile investigators in the Plainfield, Ill. continue to look for Lisa Stebic, the 37-year-old missing mother of two that was last seen by her estranged husband on the evening of April 30th. Stebic’s husband, Craig, who was to be served papers evicting him from the home they shared with their children, said he had sent their children to the store. According to one media account, he last saw her walk out of their home carrying only her cell phone and purse.

Lisa, like Paige Birgfeld, has not been seen since. One unconfirmed media report indicates that traces of Lisa’s blood was found on a tarp in the back of Craig’s pick-up truck, a vehicle friends say she never rode in. Some are aware that these same friends recalled Lisa saying that Craig said that if she ever left him, "he could make her disappear," a remark that obviously got law enforcement’s attention. Craig has steadfastly refused to allow his children to be interviewed by investigators. Now the local district attorney must decide to if there’s a need to force this issue through a grand jury investigation. One would include an interview of the children by the grand jury, something that most investigators believe would be far less desirable than an interview by a qualified child psychologist.

Amy Jacobsen, a local NBC affiliate television reporter, was fired when a rival television station filmed her in a bikini visiting poolside with Craig Stebic and his sister. Jacobsen says she was attempting to develop the story. Some called her investigative tactics unethical. Others question who was more unethical in this case: Jacobsen for her attempts to pry information from the Stebics, or the rival television station for spying on Jacobsen.

Meanwhile, Lisa Stebic is still missing.

Missing and murdered university students
Means, motive, and opportunity are always questions that need be adressed whenever there's a suspect (or the politically correct phrase, “a person of interest”). Motive is often the most challenging.

Investigators in Wisconsin continue their search for missing 21-year-old University of Wisconsin college student Mahalia Xiong, last seen on July 13 when she left her friends to drive home. Police are looking at her cellphone records and reviewing any surveillance camera along the route she should have taken home that evening.

Even though a psychic has told Mahalia’s parents that she was abducted and is currently being held captive, Mahalia’s family and friends should know that another so-called psychic told Lisa Stebic’s friends where her remains were. When that location was searched, only deer bones were found.

Mahalia Xiong is the second UW student to go missing in a month. Authorities found the remains of 22-year-old Kelly Nolan in a remote area after being led there by her cellphone. Nolan’s death is considered a homicide.

Police also continue to search for 50-year-old Francine Tate, recently reported missing. Like Nolan, Tate is from the Madison, Wis. area. She and her husband took in a transient they had just met in church. The stranger, known only as “Randy,” was traveling with his dog, “Sophie,” and was thought to be heading to South Dakota. Authorities are also looking for Tate’s missing 1997 Toyota Corolla and are checking her cellphone records for leads to her disappearance.

Prospective law school student still missing in Florida
And in yet another high profile missing persons case, Florida police has apparently run out of good leads in the disappearance of 22-year-old recent John Jay College honors graduate Stepha Henry, last seen at a club in Ft. Lauderdale on May 29. The man who took her to the club says he lost track of her that night and that the borrowed car he used to take her to the club is also missing. Although his story sounds shaky at best, police have yet to name a “person of interest” in this case.

The reward offered for the return of Stepha, all of the above women, and many other missing persons across the U.S., are still unclaimed.


Clint Van Zandt is a former FBI Agent, behavioral profiler and hostage negotiator as well as an MSNBC Analyst. His web site provides readers with security related information.


When law enforcement fails to take missing person cases seriously, bad things happen.

Summer Shipp from Kansas City is Still Missing
Teresa Butler from Risco is Still Missing
Amanda Jones from Jefferson County is Still Missing
Vicki Lour from Wayne County is Still Missing
Christine Carol Burnett-Pitts from Poplar Bluff is Still Missing.
Mary Lee Grobe from Butler County is Still Missing.

69% of missing adults in Missouri are Woman. (NCMA)

Something needs to be done to help these Missing Missouri Mothers. Some criminals and perhaps a husband, ex-husband, boyfriend, ex-boyfriend or even a son know that in Missouri the local LE will not do everything possible to solve a missing person case. I strongly believe the criminal in Butler County involved in Mary Grobe’s case was smarter and more intelligent than the local sheriff was. We must empower LE to make the right choices and to act quickly.


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