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The Springfield Three: A look back at the cold case 28 years later

(KY3)
Published: Jun. 7, 2020 at 2:02 PM CDT
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Sunday marks 28 years since the disappearance of three women from Springfield, a cold case known as "The Springfield Three."

On June 7, 1992, Suzie Streeter, 19, her mother, Sherill Levitt, 47, and her friend, Stacy McCall, 18, vanished without a trace from a home in central Springfield.

The day that changed so many lives started with a celebration the day before: High School Graduation Day for Stacy and Suzie.

Police say, after a few graduation parties, the two friends went to Suzie's house. That was the last time anyone reports seeing them and Levitt. All of their personal belongings were left behind that day, including their cars and their purses.

"I expected her home that night, the next day, maybe a couple of days afterward," said Janis McCall, Stacy's mother, in a 2017 interview with KY3. "Never in my wildest imagination did I ever think that it would be 25 years later and I would be saying Stacy still missing."

With assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Missouri State Highway Patrol, and numerous other law enforcement agencies, the Springfield Police Department says authorities have conducted an extensive investigation into the lives of the missing women. But there have been no positive leads concerning the reason for their disappearance or their location.

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 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.

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.

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, it 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.

In 2007, after speculation that the women were buried under a Cox South Hospital parking garage, a local writer hired a consulting engineer who used a ground-penetrating radar to scan the garage. The man running it said his machine picked up three distinct objects.

Springfield police looked into the theory and found it was not credible. They never requested that the parking garage concrete be destroyed to search under it.

In February 2019, Bartt Streeter, the son of Sherrill Levitt and brother of Suzie Streeter, was arrested on suspicion of public intoxication, disorderly conduct and attempted false imprisonment from an unrelated incident in Tennessee. Bartt was once investigated over the cold case years ago, but eventually eliminated as a suspect.

People in Springfield still wonder where the missing women could be, while the question of what happened to them remains a mystery.

"They were wonderful people, fun people, just normal people," said " Stephanie Appleby, a friend of Stacy and Suzie, in 2017. "We all carry them with us in our hearts and pray that, still pray, that they come home and that we get some sort of closure."

Janis 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."

The case of the Three Missing Women is still listed on the Springfield Police Department website under “cold cases.” Investigators are still asking anyone with any information about what happened that night 28 years ago to give them a call.

RELATED COVERAGE

June 4, 2017:

25 Years of Questions: The mystery of Springfield’s 3 missing women

June 7, 2017:

Mother talks about 25 years with no answers in Stacy McCall’s disappearance

June 7, 2019:

Three Missing Women: A look back at the case 27 years later