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Springfield police chief mulls search for 3 missing women under hospital garage

December 01, 2010|by Sara Forhetz, KY3 News | sforhetz@ky3.com

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Stacy McCall, Suzie Streeter, and Streeter’s mother, Sherill Levitt, vanished without a trace after a high school graduation party sometime in the early hours of June 7, 1992.  Now there’s some movement on the case from Springfield's new police chief.  He's considering digging at a location where some think those three missing women’s bodies might be.

In the days and weeks following their disappearance, investigators looked high and low, poring over miles and miles of land looking for the women.

"I've got a couple different phone calls at the office about it and I know it is at the forefront of people's minds,” Williams said in an interview on Wednesday morning.

Williams, who moved here from Tulsa last summer, is one of countless people who want answers.  He's willing to go to great depths to look for those answers.

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"Technology advanced and, if there is a way to basically put those rumors to rest, then we would look at that in a very inexpensive way,” said Williams.

Williams is considering a dig under the Cox South Hospital parking garage.  Law enforcement officers have never had any solid ground to believe any clues or bodies would turn up under the garage but it's long been rumored that perhaps under that garage is where the bodies are.

The whole Cox Hospital theory came about in 2007.  An independent investigator in the city, Kathee Baird, says she found evidence that McCall, Streeter and Levitt are buried there.  Her suspicions, she says, came from psychics and tipsters.

"I went back and researched projects that were going on, in and around that time, and kept coming back to the parking garage on Bradford Parkway,” Baird said in 2007.

Baird provided reporters with a video of a ground-penetrating radar scan at the parking garage.  The man running the radar, Rick Norland, who is a consulting engineer who worked at Ground Zero and on the Panama Canal, says his machine picked up three distinct objects below the concrete.

"I read through some files and there was a meeting held years ago about that and the decision for all parties involved is it wasn't something worth pursuing at that point,” said Williams.

Still, the chief says, there is an element of putting that rumor to rest, especially for family members like McCall’s mother, Janis McCall, and other loved ones who still have no closure.

"For Janis, there are some things she'd like for us to resolve for peace-of-mind sake,” said Williams.

"That last tip, that last lead, that one missing piece that finally breaks the case -- and that's what we're going to look at in this case: make sure there's not something out there that we've missed and, if something is new, look at that and see if we can't solve it,” the chief said.

Williams says he will get all parties -- former and current officers who worked on the case, the prosecuting attorney’s office, anyone and everyone involved -- together in the next two weeks to move forward.  He hopes to make some quick progress.

Investigators have followed or considered more than 5,000 leads since 1992.  Some led to property digs.  Investigators say reporters didn’t find out about most of them.  In 1993, there was one in Webster County. Another one was in Webster County in 2002.  One was in 2004 in Cassville.  Each turned up nothing.

Janis McCall started a foundation called "One Missing Link" to support other families with missing loved ones.  On Wednesday, she said she supports the dig at Cox South if for no other reason than to keep the case in the public eye.  Her priority is seeing the case solved and any publicity could help.
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