SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — June 7, 2017, marks 25 years of unanswered questions empty theories and a mystery hanging over the City of Springfield.
Three women went missing and no evidence of what happened to them was left behind. But a quarter of a century later police are still investigating.
For 25 years, thousands of tips have come in and many theories considered, but police say there’s simply not enough evidence that makes any of those theories a viable one. At this point, it would take that one person with that one piece of information to come forward.
“It’s real, it happened in Springfield, Missouri,” said David Asher, a retired detective who worked on the case years ago.
Three women, Sherrill Levitt, her daughter Suzie Streeter, and Suzie’s friend Stacy McCall simply vanished from a Springfield home.
“It is a mystery,” said Sgt. Todd King, with the Springfield Police Department. “Nobody knows what really happened.”
What’s likely become the city’s most perplexing case began on June 7, 1992. And since then, it’s like the same story has been told. And even 25 years later, it’s still under investigation.
Sgt. King says they still receive two or three tips a month.
“I think what it tells you is that the community cares about the case,” he said.
And every time the phone rings…
“You’re always hopeful that that’s the tip that’s going to push you in the right direction or lead you down the right trail,” said King.
He’s currently working on the case and says it’s always been an active investigation.
“Most of the time it’s reviewing all of the old information and the old things that the other detectives that have come before them have done,” he said.
In hopes that with more technology and a fresh set of eyes some new lead will come up.
“What you do is you have detectives that go back and you look at those tips and see what was done on it before,” said King. “And with the new twist, they look into that angle on it. Or they may go back and reinterview old witnesses to see if they remember things from back then and things that they failed to talk to the officers about.”
Some are doing their part to make sure the community doesn’t forget. A missing person’s poster with the women’s photo has been taped to the door at Coyote Adobe Bar and Cafe for as long as they’ve been missing.
“It’s there and it’s been there every day since 1992,” said David Bauer. “Through these reports in these milestones years, we hear 20 years, we hear 15, 10 and 25. People look at it and they comment about it. Not so much anymore, a lot of people don’t know and don’t understand because it was so long ago, many lives, I mean my cook wasn’t even born yet.”
A case that now, a quarter of a century old is touching across generations. And throughout the years.. many theories have come across detectives’ desks.
“Anybody that truly wants that one theory over the other to be the case, they can make it fit,” said Sgt. King. “The reality is when you start to look into putting evidence with the theories and matching things up to make a person as a viable suspect as people think, we just don’t have that right now.”
Investigators who worked on this case say they are honored to have been trusted with a case that shook and still haunts a community.
“For me personally, I was proud to be able to work on that case,” said Captain Greg Higdon, with the Springfield Police Department. “I was humbled that they wanted me to take a look at it and kind of see from a different angle, a different set of eyes.”
The memories of the three women are still very real among their families, the police department and the entire community.
Everyone may have their own theories of what happened, but one thing they all have in common is there’s still hope that someday, what could be described as the perfect crime, will be solved.
“I’m hopeful and very optimistic, that this case will be solved at some point,” said Sgt. King.
“Somebody out there hopefully says ‘you know, it’s time. I’ve gotta let this go’,” said Bauer.
“It’s time for us to have some results,” said Janis McCall, Stacy’s mother.
“If you know anything, or if you think you know anything, call the Springfield Police Department,” said Asher. “If you’ve done it in the past, and nobody is contacted you, do it again, and again. Because one of you, someone, knows something. And we can’t, no police department can succeed without your involvement.”
Janis McCall believes there will never really be closure but she, like so many others, still hold on to hope that someone, someday, will speak up.
“I don’t have to know who it is, I just want the answers of where the three missing women are. That’s all,” she said.