Stebic case still troubles Plainfield police
By Janet Lundquist email@example.com November 1, 2013 9:38PM
Updated: December 4, 2013 6:43AM
The victim remains missing, the prime suspect still isn’t talking and the tips have run dry.
For more than six years, Plainfield police have been trying to solve the disappearance of Lisa Stebic, a 37-year-old mother of two who was last seen about 6 p.m. April 30, 2007 at her home in the 13200 block of Red Star Drive.
She and her husband, Craig, who eloped and were married in April 1993 in Jamaica, were divorcing while living under the same roof.
But police say Stebic’s disappearance is not a cold case. Her husband remains the sole suspect.
“It’s frustrating,” Plainfield Det. Carianne Siegel said. “It’s the longest case I’ve ever had open and unsolved.”
Craig told police that their children, Zac and Lexi, who were 10 and 12 at the time, had just left on a walk to a store to buy candy, and he was working in the back yard that evening when he thought he heard Lisa leave for a nightly workout at Plainfield North High School.
But Lisa’s car still was in the driveway. Her purse and cellphone were gone, her cigarettes and sunglasses left behind.
Police said there has been no activity on her phone or credit cards since she vanished.
A neighbor called Plainfield police to report Lisa missing the morning of May 1, when Lisa did not show up for work at the Lincoln Elementary School cafeteria. Police called Craig and told him about the missing person report, and he came to the station a couple of hours later and made his own report, Siegel said.
By summer 2007, police had narrowed their investigation to Craig, announcing at a news conference that he was their “person of interest” in Lisa’s disappearance. Craig had stopped cooperating with police and hired a lawyer, Siegel and Det. Sgt. Kevin McQuaid said.
Through their investigation, detectives determined that no one but Craig had contact with Lisa before she disappeared. He was conspicuously absent from the massive searches of the area in the days after she went missing, Siegel said.
In 2008, witnesses, including the couple’s children, testified before a grand jury, while police searched every angle, even calling on a psychic, in seeking clues.
The grand jury testimony was primarily to get witnesses’ answers “on the record,” police said at the time. It did not lead to charges.
In 2010, the regional Major Crimes Task Force reviewed the case at the request of then-Police Chief Bill Doster. No new leads were discovered.
Craig Stebic still resides in the house on Red Star Drive with his two children. Through his attorney, George Lenard, he declined to comment. Lenard also had no comment.
For the most part, tips have stopped coming in. Police get sporadic calls about Lisa’s whereabouts, Siegel said. Most are about locations they’ve already checked out, McQuaid said.
Often tips are sparked by a television show or a news story about the case, such as the Investigation Discovery segment on it that aired last week, though that episode did not bring in any new tips, Siegel said.
In October 2012, a few weeks after the conviction of Drew Peterson for the 2004 murder of his third wife, Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow vowed to put the Stebic case on the “front burner” and said his office would not rest until it was solved.
Charles Pelkie, spokesman for the state’s attorney’s office, last week declined to comment on the Stebic case except to say that it remains under investigation and to confirm that prosecutors periodically meet with police to review it.
There are parallels between Lisa’s disappearance and that of Stacy Peterson, Drew’s fourth wife, who vanished in October 2007 in a much more publicized case.
The women, mothers of two children, vanished within six months of each other in nearby towns. Their husbands are the prime suspects but have not been charged. And it has become clear over time that neither woman is alive.
Finding Lisa’s body could be the missing piece of the puzzle, Siegel said.
“Its been 61/2 years, but it’s still as fresh as ever in the family’s mind,” said Melanie Greenberg, a cousin of Lisa who has served as her family’s spokeswoman. “With the holidays approaching, we always think about the empty place at the table — the person who should be with us for all these celebrations and get-togethers.”
Anyone with information on Lisa’s location or disappearance is asked to call Plainfield police at (815) 267-7217 or Will County Crime Stoppers at 800-323-6734.