The Kansas City Star
June 17, 1992
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - Springfield investigators looking into the disappearance of three women have gone back to the place they were last seen.
The women disappeared June 7 from a Springfield home. This week, investigators went back to the neighborhood to question neighbors and employees in a nearby office building.
They are backtracking and double-checking for clues into the disappearances of Sherrill Levitt, 47, her daughter, Suzie Streeter, 19, and Streeter's classmate, Stacy McCall, 18.
At least one tip has rekindled suspicion that the vehicle used to take the women from Levitt's home was a van, and the suspect may live nearby.
The tip was reported early in the investigation, but was lost in a mound of paperwork that includes more than 18,000 reports, officials said.
One of Levitt's former neighbors told police this week that a dirty white van had cruised the neighborhood for up to three weeks before the disappearances, detective David Asher said. When the women vanished, so did the van.
All police know about the driver is that he has been described as a white male in his mid-20s to mid-30s. He wore prominent sideburns and kept a mane of brown hair pulled away from his face, Asher said.
June 28, 1992
The Kansas City Star
I had to hand edit the html code on this first article, if I accidentally omitted any of it, let me know.
SPRINGFIELD - They walk through the house looking for an answer. Maybe it's in Stacy's pile of clothes in the bedroom. Or in Suzie's purse, dropped nearby. Or maybe the answer is back in one of the filing cabinets by Sherrill's desk.
Veteran police officers, longtime friends turned amateur detectives, and frustrated relatives have combed through the well-kept three-bedroom house at 1717 E. Delmar St. hoping to find some sign, anything at all, that can give them an answer. But the searches have yielded few clues as to the whereabouts of Sherrill Levitt; her daughter, Suzie Streeter; and Streeter's friend, Stacy McCall.
Three weeks ago this morning, the three women vanished from Levitt's east Springfield home.
Police are convinced they were abducted. Their families think they are still alive.
I really feel they're being held somewhere against their will," said McCall's mother, Janis McCall. "We have to hope that they're alive. We think about all the worst, but we have to hope.
Without hope, you don't have anything. " Police say there is no reason the three would have left on their own. They are stable, responsible persons. Levitt, 47, has long been a hairdresser at a Springfield salon. Streeter, 19, works at a movie theater and is thinking about becoming a cosmetologist.
McCall, 18, has been looking forward to starting college and a pledging a sorority in the fall.
They aren't into drugs or cults, police say. To be gone for a day without calling someone would be unusual for them. To go three weeks without contact would be impossible.
This is a tough case," Springfield Police Chief Terry Knowles said. "Everyone in the department, everyone in the community feels this case. We all just want to find them. " No signs of trouble. The unlocked front door of the house on Delmar Street opens to a home filled with mystery Everything seems in its place. Clothes, purses, keys. No signs of trouble.
Springfield police investigator Dana Carrington slowly walks from room to room, taking what is probably his 1,000th trip through the house in the last three weeks. He's looking for something, anything.
"We've unfolded every piece of paper in every pocket in the house," Carrington said. "We've checked every page of every book, gone through every drawer trying to find a clue. " The scene doesn't make sense to anyone.
Levitt and Streeter are chain-smokers, so why would their packs of Marlboros and Virginia Slims be left behind?
McCall suffers recurring migraine headaches and took nightly medication to keep them under control, so why would her pills be left behind?
"I think Stacy had gotten ready for bed," Janis McCall theorized. "She had taken off her shorts, her shoes, her jewelry, her bra. All she would have had on was her shirt and underwear. " Streeter also had changed clothes. The outfit she had on earlier that night was tossed in a dirty-clothes basket.
Levitt and Streeter always made their beds in the morning, friends said. Yet their bedsheets were rumpled, indicating they may have gone to sleep.
There is virtually no trail for police to follow. No cash missing. No credit cards used. Technically, investigators don't even have proof a crime has been committed.
One friend of the teen-agers said it was as if someone walked through the walls and zapped the women with a gun that made them vanish.
Graduation parties The evening before they disappeared was filled with frivolity.
Streeter and McCall, longtime friends but not particularly close ones, had graduated from Kickapoo High School. The night would be spent celebrating.
It was about 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 6. Classmate Janelle Kirby remembers Streeter arriving at her house first. McCall came a few minutes later in her own car. The first party of the night was at the home of Kirby's next-door neighbors.
"Suzie had a little stomach ache, but nothing else was bothering her," friend Shane Appleby remembered. "She was excited about finally graduating. Everything was kind of open for us.
Anything we wanted to do was out there now, and we could just reach for it. " Appleby, 18, said Streeter always called him her big brother, even though she is a few months older.
"Her license plate says it all: SWEETR," Appleby said. "She's a sweet girl. She's a person you can always depend on. Anytime I was down or troubled, she would give me good advice. She'd tell me to stand up on my own and be my own person. " Appleby said he and Streeter spent much of graduation night reminiscing about their high school days - the people they had met, the things they had done.
Streeter is friendly but shy, friends said. She is more likely to stick closer to people she knows. McCall, on the other hand, bounces about a party and immediately brings life to everyone around her.
"You can be as down as down can go, and Stacy will come up and make you laugh and smile," said Kirby, McCall's best friend.
By about 2 a.m. Sunday, the parties were winding down. McCall decided she would spend the night with Streeter and the group would meet later that morning to head for a water amusement park in Branson, Mo.
"I saw Suzie and Stacy walk down to their cars," Appleby said."Everything was normal. That was the last time I saw them. "
Plans to go to Branson.
Levitt, as much a friend to her daughter as a mother, apparently spent the evening at home. A private person who had been divorced twice, Levitt seems to prefer redecorating her house, which she bought this spring, to going out. Her daughter's friends marvel at the relationship between Levitt and Streeter. The two can talk about anything. Levitt is very protective of her daughter, yet gives her the room to make her own decisions, friends said.
Levitt spoke by telephone with a friend about 9:30 p.m. She gave no indication of any trouble or concerns. There has been no confirmed contact with Levitt since.
Streeter was not supposed to be home that evening. Initial plans had her staying with McCall and their other friends at a hotel room in Branson. That shifted over the night to their sleeping at one of the friends' homes in Battlefield, Mo. But in the end there were too many people there, so Streeter invited McCall over to her home. The two are thought to have arrived about 2:30 a.m. Sunday, June 7. When friends didn't hear from the pair Sunday morning about the day trip to Branson, they tried calling, then went to the house.
They found all three women's cars in the driveway, locked. They found the house unoccupied but left unlocked - something Levitt wouldn't do. The globe from a porch light was shattered on the ground.
"We cleaned it up because we knew Sherrill wouldn't want it that way," Kirby said. "Normally, the second it broke she would have cleaned it up. " Still not suspecting anything was wrong, as many as 18 friends that day walked through the house, looking for some indication of where Levitt, Streeter and McCall may have been.
As the day wore on with no signs of the three, police eventually were called in, and the search began.
A motive continues to baffle police. They looked into the three women's backgrounds, hoping to find some spark that could ignite the investigation. So far there has been nothing solid. They have given polygraph tests to a few people who knew the women, but the police chief said no strong suspects had developed.
In three weeks, 30 Springfield police officers and a handful of state and federal authorities have received more than 1,200 tips and followed nearly 500 leads.
The case has captivated this southwest Missouri city of 140,000.
There are billboards, posters or yellow ribbons everywhere you look.
Volunteers have showed up by the truckload to lend a hand in searches. A reward fund offers $40,000. Television and radio update the case each newscast, and a newspaper keeps a front-page tally of how many days the women have been missing.
The case has even received national attention.
Fox Television's "America's Most Wanted" series has featured the women for the last three weeks. A crew from the CBS News show "48 Hours" is documenting the investigation for an hourlong segment not yet scheduled.
"The community has been absolutely phenomenal," Janis McCall said. "It's overwhelming. They've helped with food and love and prayers and cards. It keeps you going. " But all the help and support and interest hasn't brought back the three women. And police admit they are not much closer to solving the case today than they were three weeks ago.
"There's nothing to get your teeth into," Police Lt. Mike Brazeal said. "It's hampered by a lack of knowledge. The hard facts are very few. " Police now are focusing on what the women did between about 2 and 7:30 a.m. Sunday, June 7. Streeter and McCall obviously made it to the house, and the three had at least gotten ready for bed. But they don't know when that happened or whether anyone else was in the house.
A plea for the public's help has turned up two possible sightings in that period. A convenience store clerk thinks Levitt came into his store searching for her daughter. A waitress at a crowded all-night restaurant thinks she served Levitt, Streeter and another woman, possibly McCall. No other witnesses have corroborated those stories, though.The investigation, then, often leads to unanswered questions."We look at the reports and wonder if the answer is in there," said Knowles, the police chief. "Or is the answer at the graduation party? Or is the answer in the residence? "There is a genuine desire in this department, in this community, to get this case resolved," he said. "All we're looking for is that something to point us in a direction.
July 2, 1992
The Kansas City Star
July 2, 1992
Inquiry goes on in missing-women case Police to question man, but they doubt that he is involved.
Author: The Associated Press
SPRINGFIELD - A man accused of vandalizing a tomb will be questioned in the disappearance of three women, but police said Wednesday that they expect to eliminate him as a suspect in the missing-persons case.
The 21-year-old man was arrested Monday in Mundelein, Ill., and was being held Wednesday in the Lake County Jail. Authorities haven't said when he'll be returned to Springfield.
Capt. Tony Glenn said detectives needed to confirm the man wasn't involved in the disappearance of Sherrill Levitt, 47; Suzie Streeter, 19; and Stacy McCall, 18.
Investigators became interested in the man shortly after the women vanished from Levitt's home early June 7. The man and two others were charged last week with felony institutional vandalism. They are accused of breaking into a mausoleum at Springfield's Maple Park Cemetery on Feb. 21 and stealing a skull and some bones.
One of the other accused vandals is a former boyfriend of Streeter, who gave a statement to officers investigating the vandalism.
"We interviewed a ton of people in that case. She was one of them," Glenn said.
Streeter's statement was insignificant in the vandalism case, and it "has nothing to do with her missing now," Glenn said.
Police have said her former boyfriend, 20, sold 26 grams of gold teeth fillings from the skull at a Springfield pawn shop for $30.
The ex-boyfriend and the third alleged vandal, 19, were questioned extensively in the disappearances, and both are cleared as suspects, Glenn said.
Investigators say the 21-year-old arrested in Illinois isn't a Springfield resident, but he is thought to have been in Springfield on June 7.
August 27, 1994
The Kansas City Star
August 27, 1994
SPRINGFIELD Jury probing disappearances?
A Greene County grand jury apparently heard testimony Friday in the baffling case of three women who disappeared two years ago and are believed to have been killed.
Police Detective Doug Thomas, the only officer assigned full time to the case, and County Prosecutor Tom Mountjoy carried boxes of documents into the federal courthouse, where the county grand jury meets. Neither would confirm or deny the grand jury was investigating the case or comment further.
One year ago Saturday, a county jail inmate led investigators to a Webster County farm where he claimed the women's remains would be found. But an extensive search turned up nothing.
However, that prisoner and two associates appear to be the focus of the grand jury investigation, television station KYTV reported Friday.
All three have long criminal records ranging from theft to rape and are in jail, KYTV said. But each was free when Sherrill Levitt, her daughter Suzie Streeter and Suzie's friend Stacy McCall apparently were kidnapped June 7, 1992.
Author: Lane Beauchamp The Kansas City Star
In the last 11/2 years, at least six women have disappeared mysteriously in southwest Missouri.
They have vanished from a convenience store, a telephone booth and their homes. Three of the women disappeared at once, the others separately.
So far, police have found nothing to link the cases. The only common thread is that police think none of them would have left on their own.
Besides the apparent June 7 abduction of three Springfield women - Sherrill Levitt, Suzie Streeter and Stacy McCall - authorities are investigating the disappearances of: Pauline Shrum. A 73-year-old widow who lived alone, Shrum vanished from her Monett, Mo., home late June 18 or early June 19.
Her purse, keys, cane and medication were inside her locked house.
Monett police led volunteers Saturday morning in a search of wooded areas just outside of town.
Police Capt. Larry Zimmerman said Friday that investigators were concentrating their suspect search on a couple of persons acquainted with Shrum who have refused to take polygraph tests.
Police are looking for a blue, late-model, four-door Nissan or Toyota that was seen in Shrum's neighborhood in the week before she disappeared.
Angela Hammond. In one of the most publicized disappearances in the area, Hammond was last seen April 4, 1991, in a telephone booth on the parking lot of a Clinton, Mo., grocery store. Moments later, witnesses saw an older-model green pickup truck with a water or outdoor scene in the rear window speeding away.
Clinton Police Chief Bob Pattison said Friday investigators continued to follow up on some leads but had not developed any strong information. The current effort is focused on finding a couple of persons who may have been witnesses.
Cheryl Ann Kenney. She disappeared Feb. 27, 1991, from outside the Nevada, Mo., convenience store where she worked. The store was locked, but Kenney apparently never made it to her car in the parking lot.
Nevada Police Maj. John Eador said Friday authorities had not received any leads lately in the case. Eador said no eyewitnesses had come forward, so there was no way of being certain she was abducted. But police don't think Kenney would have left on her own.
Eador's investigators will continue to look for a connection between the Kenney case and the murder of Trudy Darby, a Macks Creek, Mo., convenience store clerk killed in January 1991 as she closed her shop. Darby's body was found a few days later. No one has been arrested.
Springfield's new police chief brings new emphasis to case of women missing since 1992
by LAURA BAUER
The Kansas City Star
SPRINGFIELD | Before this city's new police chief took the job last summer, he pulled up the department's website to find out more about the place.
Paul Williams could see where officers had busted meth labs and which businesses had been robbed. Next, he clicked on “Unsolved Cases.” You can learn a lot about a town by its unsolved crime.
Just one case popped up. Grainy photos of three women filled his screen, and his eyes fell on three words that have echoed through this community and region for 18 years.
Three Missing Women.
“I thought, ‘Wow, that's unusual to have just this one thing on the website, just one unsolved case,'” says Williams, who spent nearly 29 years with the Tulsa (Okla.) Police Department before landing in Springfield in July. “‘It must be a big deal.'”
Since then, and since he announced the department would put more focus and energy into the mystery that has haunted this city, he has learned just how big.
Stacy McCall and Suzie Streeter had just graduated from Kickapoo High School on June 6, 1992. Stacy was 18, Suzie 19. In their gold graduation gowns they smiled for cameras, wrapping arms around friends and family.
That night they partied with classmates and planned to go to a Branson water park the next morning.
But by that morning, they — along with Suzie's mom, Sherrill Levitt — were gone. The three vanished from Levitt's home, where the two girls had decided to spend the night.
Family and friends who went to the house looking for them found no obvious signs of foul play. Nothing more than a broken globe on the front porch light and a Yorkie named Cinnamon left alone inside.
The women's cars? Parked out front. Their purses? Inside the house, with money and keys, Stacy's migraine medicine and Levitt's cigarettes and lighter. Friends say the chain-smoker didn't go anywhere without her cigarettes.
Within days, family, friends and volunteers — led by Stacy's parents, Janis and Stu McCall — posted fliers across the region. Many hung tattered and torn for much of the '90s, a constant reminder of the mystery.
“How can you have three women disappear from the face of the earth?” says former Greene County prosecutor Darrell Moore. “That's what was on everyone's mind.”
It still is.
At least one detective has always been assigned to run down leads and tips. Investigators have interviewed people of interest and possible suspects over the years. They've ruled out some, but not others.
Yet in the last three months, a new set of eyes — Williams's — has amped things up for the first time in years.
Three detectives and one sergeant work on the case, following new information and revisiting some leads from the past. The new chief announced the department could dig beneath a Springfield hospital parking garage, where some think the three are buried.
And, on March 7, the 1992 mystery will be the subject of a national television show on Investigation Discovery. The Springfield police will bring in extra staff to handle calls after the show.
“I do feel a surge in energy, momentum that hasn't been there in the last 10 years,” says Janis McCall, who has become a national advocate for the missing since the youngest of her three daughters disappeared. “This is something that everybody in the community wants an answer to … not just me, not just the police.
“So many thought this case couldn't be solved, and that doesn't help the families,” she says. “I think if they put a new outlook and new perspective on it, they will find it is solvable.”
A change of plans
Suzie and Stacy weren't supposed to stay at Suzie's that night. Levitt would have the time to do home projects, like refinishing a chest of drawers.
The two new graduates and others — including close friend Janelle Kirby, who was the glue between Suzie and Stacy — initially thought they'd attend parties in town and then go to Branson and stay at a hotel there.
But they decided that wasn't a good idea. It was getting late. Stacy called her mom at 10:30 and said they'd go to Branson in the morning. She'd spend the night at Janelle's.
The girls went to another party and left before 2 a.m. when police showed up to shoo partiers home. Instead of staying at Janelle's and sleeping on a pallet her mom had made on the floor, the two decided to go to Suzie's house and sleep on her new waterbed.
“I did stuff with Suzie, I did stuff with Stacy and we did things together,” Janelle says now. “It was the very first time the two had done something together, without me or other without other friends.”
Stacy followed in her car and Suzie led the way to Delmar Street.
Where they vanished.
By the next afternoon, when Janelle came looking for her friends, no one was home. The door was unlocked, so she walked inside. Cinnamon the Yorkie yapped at her ankles.
“She was just so happy to see me,” Janelle says. “It was like she was glad to see someone she knew.”
Janelle remembers when she first walked to the front door in her bare feet, she saw broken glass on the small porch. Her boyfriend grabbed a broom and dustpan from the carport and swept it up as a favor to Levitt.
The two started driving, looking along the street, inside storefronts and at a nearby mall. No sign of the three.
Stacy's mom showed up at the Levitt home around 9 that night.
“We didn't think anything had happened,” Janis says. “We were just wondering where the heck they'd gone. I didn't expect anything bad.”
Before long, more than a dozen people had been inside the house, worried and wondering.
At the bottom of steps leading down to Suzie's bedroom sat the women's purses. Levitt's, then Suzie's, then Stacy's, a red clutch sitting on top of Suzie's overnight bag.
“Things were rolling out of the purses,” McCall says.
Levitt, 47, a popular hairdresser, had a large sum of money in her purse.
In Suzie's room, the TV was on. Clothes were scattered about — it looked like a typical teenager's room — and the covers on her king-sized waterbed were disheveled.
Stacy's sandals were on the floor, under her folded flowered shorts. Her jewelry was tucked into the pocket.
It was then McCall realized, “This isn't really fitting in here.”
Two slats of the window blinds in Suzie's room were pushed apart as if someone had been looking out.
“I figured, headlights pulled in and Suzie looked out of the blinds to see who was there,” Janelle says.
In Levitt's room, one side of the covers was pulled back, as if she'd been in bed.
In the bathroom were signs the two friends had gotten ready for bed. Suzie's jewelry lay on a washcloth, and makeup-smeared washcloths were in the hamper.
Janis didn't call 911. That's for emergencies, she thought. She instead dialed 411 to get the number for the Police Department's front desk.
“This wasn't an emergency. Not then,” Janis says. “I was expecting them to walk in at any time. Just within seconds.”
More than 5,000 leads
Springfield Police Sgt. Allen Neal keeps a large version of the old flier hanging in his small office, a reminder of work left to be done.
When the women disappeared, he had been on the department only a year. He was one of dozens of patrol officers who helped in the investigation. They searched parks and lakes, woods and subdivisions.
Officers were told to watch for circling buzzards and to check foul-smelling trash cans. They followed up when people swore they'd seen the women at a restaurant or the airport.
From day one, there wasn't much to go on.
“It's a very frustrating case,” says Neal, now the sergeant over the investigation.
For starters, officers didn't really have a crime scene to work. Most criminal investigations have something to go on. A body. Signs of a struggle. Blood. Something.
“It wasn't like you could go there and say here's the fingernails or button left from the shirt,” says Mark Webb, sergeant in investigations in 1992 and now police chief in Marionville, Mo. “It was pretty much an empty house with a dog in it.”
The glass from the globe may have held clues, but the shards were tossed a good nine hours before the first two officers arrived. More than a dozen people had been in the house, walking on the carpet, sitting on chairs and couches.
“You always want a pristine, uncompromised crime scene when you get there,” Neal says. “In this case you wonder. … It would have been nice for nobody to have been in there.”
But Neal is quick to say no one is to blame. No one had a clue what this case would become.
Since the summer of 1992, more than 5,000 leads have come in, creating more than 10,000 police reports and documents. Officers have received tips from just about every state and several countries. They've analyzed similar cases and reached out to departments investigating serial killers.
In the first days, information surfaced about an old Dodge van. One woman said she saw a young woman driving the van who looked like Suzie, her face frightened, and heard a man's voice saying, “Don't do anything stupid.”
At one point, police parked a similar van outside headquarters, asking for help.
Then-Police Chief Terry Knowles has been criticized in the past for micromanaging the case and not allowing detectives to do their jobs.
Commanders and detectives from the early days have told the new chief about the early investigation and how it can affect follow-up today.
“The investigation was way too top-driven,” Williams says. “I think that hindered the investigation in the onset. I don't know to what extent.
“It's disheartening to me as someone trying to come in and do something, that we may not be able to do anything based on everything that happened in that first year.”
Knowles, who teaches at Washburn University, stands behind his leadership style in such a massive case and disagrees with detectives who said it undermined the investigation.
“This was a major case, not a case you assign and wait for briefings and updates,” he said Saturday. “This is a case that demanded attention. Any decision I made was to help solve this case. … I would never offer a critical opinion on something that happened 18 years ago if I wasn't a part of it. I don't know where that comes from.”
In the past two years, new tips have come in mentioning names that never surfaced before, Neal says. The tips are about people who have a track record of violent crime.
The fact that leads still come in, sometimes once a week, encourages police.
“No, we don't know for sure what happened,” Neal says. “But I do think we're farther along by identifying potential suspects. How close we are is hard to tell at this point.”
Some point to parking garage
When the women disappeared, the Internet hadn't exploded yet. Now that it has, the case has taken on a life of its own.
For years now, a large group of bloggers and sleuthers have dedicated hours and hours to trying to solve the case. Among their convictions: The women are buried under a hospital parking garage.
Kathee Baird, a Springfield area reporter and crime blogger, has repeatedly asked the department to dig at the site and doesn't understand why they haven't. She has spent six years investigating the case on her own, tracking down retired detectives, known people of interest and suspects, and family members of the three.
“There are three women who can't tell us what happened to them,” says Baird, who often refers to the three as “my girls” or “our girls.” “This community as well as friends and family members deserve to know what happened to them and why.”
Several times, she says, people led her to the Cox South hospital site. A psychic also pointed at the parking garage.
Baird arranged for underground radar technicians to peer through the garage surface. Rick Norland of Paola, Kan., used ground penetrating radar at the site years ago.
“At that time, she didn't give us much information,” Norland says. “She wanted us to come in blind. … I think she implied it was a cold case.”
He hit on three “anomalies” inside a 10-by-10-foot space. Anomalies are what he calls disruptions under the ground and these were similar to what he has seen when trying to find buried graves. But he doesn't know what the anomalies are.
Two were close together and the third was at an angle not far away.
“When we tell you something is down there, something is down there,” Norland said. “We just can't identify what that target is.”
Police aren't sure if that location is even a possibility. Some timelines for the garage's construction say crews weren't working there until September 1993, 15 months after the women vanished.
“We're going to put it to rest one way or another,” Chief Williams says. “No, I'm not dedicated to digging in the garage at this point. … It's a possibility.”
Family and friends of the family, though, want police to dig, just to squelch the rumors and some of the rhetoric on the Internet.
Bartt Streeter, Levitt's son and Suzie's brother, said he thinks of his mother and sister every day. He wants to know that police are doing everything they can to find answers to so many lingering questions.
“The Cox hospital site may not be probable, but it's possible,” he said. “Until they look at these locations that are possible, law enforcement will never be able to say they left no stone unturned.
“And where does that leave the families?”
Not giving up
In the last year, the Springfield department cleared three cold-case homicides, two from more than 20 years ago and a third from 2004. Two were solved through police work and confessions, the third through DNA.
That gives Janis McCall hope.
Every night she goes to bed saying the Lord's Prayer first and then something more for her youngest daughter.
“Watch over Stacy, wherever she may be.”
One day last week, Janis sat inside the Victim's Memorial Garden in Springfield's Phelps Grove Park. Years ago, family members dedicated a dark gray stone bench to the three women.
“Do you believe she's been missing longer than I had her?” Janis says, softly, glancing over at the bench. “That's hard.”
Janelle also comes to the bench. She brings her children and talks about her two childhood friends. She keeps a picture near her kitchen sink of the three of them on graduation day.
“I always think, ‘What if I had done things differently?'” Janelle says. “What if they had just stayed at my house? What if we had gone to Branson that night?”
Levitt and Suzie's family had the two declared dead several years ago. Stacy's family didn't and Janis McCall says they never will.
She knows the three are most likely dead, but even if there's 1 percent chance they're not, she'll keep hold of that.
“Until they find their remains or find my daughter,” McCall says, “they better keep looking.”
The new chief plans to continue. Williams is considering bringing in national cold-case investigators.
In his eight months as chief, he says, he has come to understand how important the three missing women are to the city.
“It bothers people inside the department, people in the community,” Williams says. “If we can do something as an agency to reconcile that, we're going to try to do that.
“Or at one point say we've done everything we can.”
Where to call: Anyone with information on the three missing women can call CrimeStoppers at 417-869-TIPS (8477) or the Springfield Police Department at 417-864-1810.