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Stebic missing persons case still troubles Plainfield police

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For more than six years, the 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 southwest suburb.

She and husband Craig Stebic, who eloped to Jamaica to be married in April 1993, were divorcing at the time of her disappearance but still living under the same roof.

The police say Stebic’s disappearance is not a cold case, that her husband — who has not been charged with any crime — remains the sole suspect.

“It’s frustrating,” Plainfield Detective Carianne Siegel said. “It’s the longest case I’ve ever had open and unsolved.”

Craig Stebic told the police 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 his wife go out for her nightly workout at Plainfield North High School.

But her car was in the driveway. Her purse and cellphone were gone, her cigarettes and sunglasses left behind.

The police said there has been no activity on her phone or credit cards since she vanished.

A neighbor called to report Lisa Stebic missing on the morning of May 1, when she didn’t show up for work at the Lincoln Elementary School cafeteria.

The police called Craig Stebic 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.

In the summer of 2007, the police announced at a news conference that the husband was their “person of interest” in the disappearance. Craig Stebic had stopped cooperating with the police and hired a lawyer, Siegel and Detective Sgt. Kevin McQuaid said.

Detectives said they had determined that no one other than Craig Stebic had had contact with Lisa Stebic before she disappeared.

He was 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 even tried bringing on a psychic to help figure out what happned to the missing woman.

The grand jury testimony was primarily to get witnesses’ answers “on the record,” the 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, but turned up no new leads.

Craig Stebic still lives 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.

In October 2012, a few weeks after the conviction of Drew Peterson for murder in the 2004 death 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, won’t comment on the Stebic case except to say that it remains under investigation and that prosecutors periodically meet with the police to review it.

“It’s been 61/2 years, but it’s still as fresh as ever in the family’s mind,” said Melanie Greenberg, a cousin of Lisa Stebic. “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.”

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