SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - A quarter of a century is still not enough time to heal wounds when there are no answers.
"All I want to know is where they are. If you sold them to someone, let me know. If you have disposed of them in some horrendous manner, please let me know," pleaded Janis McCall.
The unknown has tortured McCall since her daughter, Stacy McCall, graduated from Kickapoo High School. After a few parties that night, Stacy and her friend, Suzie Streeter, went to Suzie's house to sleep over. It would be the last time anyone reported seeing them or Sherill Levitt, Suzie's mom.
"I expected her home that night, the next day, maybe a couple of days afterward," McCall said in an interview on Tuesday. "Never in my wildest imagination did I ever think that it would be 25 years later and I would be saying Stacy still missing."
Though her daughter has been gone longer than the time McCall had with her, McCall's memories are crisp and comforting. Stacy, she said, was hilarious.
McCall recalled a period when her daughter was expanding her vocabulary.
"She'd say, 'much to my chagrin.'" Janis corrected her pronunciation of the word to which Stacy replied " 'Chagrin, what is that mom?' And I'd have to tell her it was chagrin. And she'd say, 'Do you think that's why everybody was looking at me funny today?' We'd have these talks over the dinner table, and we'd be hysterical," McCall said.
McCall holds onto those cherished moments from a time when she never imagined she wouldn't see her daughter on her 19th birthday, or the subsequent ones. The only new vision of Stacy arose when the family had to guess what she would look like to make age progression pictures for missing posters.
"You have to dream what she looks like now because I have no idea," McCall said. "I still go up to people that I can't see the front of them, if they have real long hair. I want to go to the front of them and see who they are."
Her 25-year quest to find Stacy has come up empty, and the three women's disappearance under suspicious circumstances remains a mystery.
McCall, though, vows never to give up believing her daughter could still come home.
"Until I know a hundred percent that Stacy is deceased I will never declare her dead," she said. "They're going to have to find some remains somewhere before I call her legally dead. It's not for any reason other than if I do and she's not dead, think of how mad she'd be when she gets back."
McCall said she still talks about her daughter publicly because she hopes that what she has to say will one day prompt someone who knows something to step forward.