Three Missing Women: A look back at the case 27 years later
June 7th, 2019 marks 27 years since the disappearance of three women from Springfield.
Take a look at our KY3 FLASHBACK report from 2017 that marked 25 years after the disappearance. The case of the three missing women from Springfield is still a mystery for investigators.
Below is a transcript of the 2017 report:
High school graduation night 1992-- a night of celebration leads to one of Springfield’s greatest mysteries. Three women-- 47 year old Sherrill Levitt, 19 year old Suzie Streeter, her friend 18 year old Stacy McCall disappeared into the night-- virtually without a trace.
It’s out of the ordinary-- the house was left open-- the cars are all present at the address on Delmar. Some things just aren’t adding up.
Police believe after the teens attended a graduation party all three women ended up at this house at 1717 E Delmar. Inside there was no sign of a struggle-- Stacy’s mom Janice recalls it wasn't like her daughter to go somewhere and not call.
“I’m afraid that something’s happened to her. As far as I know all of her things are still at Susie’s. Her purse is there, her keys are there her shoes are there her shorts are there. As far as I know the only thing she still has is her yellow shirt.”
Everyone in the Ozarks seemed to be looking for the girls. Janice and Stewart McCall tireless in their search and their dedication to getting the word out about the three missing women.
“I’m Mrs. McCall and this is my daughter, and they’re missing and we’d like to put pictures in your windows.”
Friends, neighbors, even strangers turned out to help police search areas all over-- from Lake Springfield to Forsyth, to Joplin to Stockton-- as hours turned to days and days turned to weeks the search continued. Police dragged lakes, beat the bushes and dug in rural areas.
“You live a case like this-- you don’t just investigate it”
The families, police, people all around the area were changed by the case. Over and over again people said this sort of thing just didn’t happen here in the Ozarks.
Springfield was really safe, and that’s the way everyone viewed it until now.
At first police held daily news conferences discussing clues, tips, even sightings of the women.
Witnesses said they remembered seeing a green van in the area around the time of the disappearance.
The vehicle is identified as a 1964-1970 Dodge panel van, light moss green in color with a white front grill.
So the police parked a green van fitting the description in front of the police department-- hoping to jog someone’s memory.
At one point they shared this sketch of a potential suspect-- a transient some reported seeing in the area, but as time wore on police shared less and less about the case.
I really can’t discuss anything about suspects at this time-- I really do not comment-- no sir I really can’t comment on anything about suspects at this time.
Throughout the last 15 years there have been there have been digs following up on tips that continue to trickle into police. In 1993 investigators searched 40 acres in Webster county that had been searched in a previous missing persons case. A search warrant confirms that they were looking for the three missing women.
In 2002 investigators went to a concrete company also in Webster county after two women told police there were men there who drove a green van. Cadaver dogs were brought in and hit on three spots and bones were recovered, but after testing turned out to be far too old to belong to the women.
In April 2003 tips lead investigators to farmland south of Cassville. Using backhoes they dug huge holes but only managed to find two pieces of possible evidence: one possible blood, and the other the section of a green vehicle-- perhaps like green van witnesses say they saw back in 1992.
Investigators sent the blood evidence to a specialized lab, but after extensive testing results were inconclusive.
People in Springfield still wonder where the missing women could be, but there’s also the question of who took them. In 1996 KY3 investigative reporter Dennis Graves traveled to a Texas prison to interview Robert Craig Cox.
Cox, once convicted of murdering a woman in Florida, had been in Springfield at the time of the disappearance and had been questioned by police. Cox claimed he was home alone in bed that night. Graves extensively interviewed Cox hoping for a clue. Cox eventually shared his theory on the case.
“I know that they’re dead-- I will say that. I know that.”
“That’s not a theory?”
“Yeah but I just know-- I just know that they’re dead-- there’s no doubt about that.”
“But this gentleman would open up to the same extent with a bunch of police investigators that he did with Mr. Graves.”
Graves’ interview was subpoenaed by authorities and presented before a grand jury called on the case in 1996. That grand jury never handed down any charges.
“I’ve told people mornings are worse for me-- they’re much worse. You know-- at night it’s bad because you start to lay down and you cry, but in the morning you get up and you think it’s another day… that’s a lot of days for my baby to be gone.”