SPRINGFIELD,Mo. — Twenty-five years ago a missing persons case would unravel in Springfield that remains a mystery, prompting a quarter century of questions.
It was June 7, 1992, when Stacy McCall, Sherrill Levitt and Suzie Streeter would vanish without a trace. The three missing women case has perplexed people for years. It’s perhaps Springfield’s coldest case.
We’re going to revisit many aspects of this story over the next several nights as we hit the quarter century mark of the women’s disappearance. Up first, a look back at what happened that night through the memories of a mother.
“Stacy this is your mom. Please call me at home. Bye,” says Janis McCall in a 1992 phone message.
Phone messages of concern that would grow into fear on the night of June 7, 1992. That night 18-year-old Stacy McCall and 19-year-old Suzie Streeter graduated from Kickapoo High School.
“After all the graduation stuff we went out to eat. And, then Stacy went home with us and she immediately started changing clothes and I said, wait, you can’t change clothes yet, we’ve got pictures out back” recalls Janis McCall, Stacy’s mother.
Stacy would oblige her mother’s photo request, then met up with Streeter so the two could attend planned parties to celebrate graduation. After making several stops, the girls returned to Streeter’s home that she shared with her mother, Sherrill Levitt. But from that night on, Levitt, Streeter and McCall would never be heard from again.
“We had no idea there was a crime scene there, you know know that you don’t expect it you’re looking for your daughter and trying to find out what happened” says McCall.
Janis McCall recalls going to Levitt’s home 25 years ago and finding the purses of all three women. There was no sign of a struggle, only a broken glass bulb over the front porch light. Police believe the three women went missing sometime between 2:30 a.m. and 8:00 a.m.
“I remember when the police department came up and two officers came in. And I explained what was going on. And I walked them through the house. So the officers said we’re going to go outside and discuss this and look around a little bit. And they looked all around the house and kind of down the street a little bit. And when they came back in they said we’re going to file this as a missing persons case, foul play suspected” says McCall.
Janis McCall immediately began calling radio and tv stations to spread word about the missing women. She made posters with pleas to help bring the women home.
“I don’t remember if it was that day or night that the crime scene van was pulled in front of Suzie and Sherrill’s house and that yellow tape was put up saying crime scene. And not to enter,” says McCall.
From that day on Janis McCall and her family were in constant contact with police, tracking down leads and fielding phone calls with tips that would most often lead nowhere.
“I remember the different calls that they would say they had seen them. They said they had seen Stacy driving a little red sports car down Battlefield. Well it wasn’t Stacy it was our oldest daughter. I remember calls that said they were cut up into pieces. I remember one that said they were fed to the hogs. You know horrifying things for a mom to hear,” says McCall.
McCall went on to establish a network called One Missing Link. It aimed to help other families with a missing loved one. It’s not as active today and she doesn’t visit the police station as much anymore either.
But just as she’s done all these years, Janis McCall still holds out hope that one day we might learn the truth about what really happened to Springfield’s three missing women.
“If the police still follow every lead that comes in and follow it to ends end one of these days we are going to find out because somebody knows. The only thing my gut can say is that three women are missing. They disappeared without a trace, Ihave no idea where they went, who took them. You know I would absolutely love it if one of them called me” says McCall.
Janis McCall says at one time all 32 detectives employed by the Springfield Police Department were in someway dedicated to the case of the three missing women.
We have several reports coming up over the next several nights as we mark a quarter century of this cold case. We’ll hear from some of the original investigators, we’ll look at false leads over the years, and we’ll hear from journalists about what it was like to cover the case of the three missing women.