Stebic agrees to let kids see missing wife’s family

July 4, 2008

Article Source : Chicago Sun Times

PLAINFIELD | Her relatives had filed suit to visit the children

Lisa Stebic’s relatives will be able to visit her two young children under an agreement reached with her estranged husband, attorneys said Thursday.

The agreement appears to end a legal battle that began last November, when family members of the missing Plain- field woman filed suit in Will County, seeking court-ordered visitation with her children

Since April 30, 2007 Lisa Stebic when she vanished from her home, Lisa’s parents have been battling Lisa’s husband for the right too see the grandchildren but the children’s father, Craig, has done everything he possibly could to keep the children at bay. 

[ Why has he been so adamant about the kids seeing their maternal grandparents? Makes one wonder if he is afraid of something they might say that would or could definitely incriminate him.  Naturally these statement’s are my own and not to be taken as factual, just my own opinions.  I can’t in reality see why her husband wouldn’t want to keep them apart.  Does he have anything to hide?????………flagranny2 ]

LISA STEBIC UPDATE:Family makes plea for kids

Court to consider visitation request

January 15, 2008

Article Source-NapervilleSun:suburbanchicagonews

JOLIET — On Valentine’s Day, a Will County judge could consider a request for visitation with Lisa Stebic’s children.The missing mom’s parents and grandparents, Lawrence and Judith Ruttenberg and Milton and Charlotte Ruttenberg, say Lisa’s husband, Craig Stebic, has prohibited them from contacting his and Lisa’s two children.

Stebic’s attorney Dion Davi said Stebic has offered visits with his kids, ages 11 and 12, to the Ruttenberg family but got no response.

In November, the Ruttenbergs filed a petition in Will County Circuit Court seeking visitation rights. The lawyers involved met Monday, but no visitation decisions were made. A Feb. 14 date was set to meet again.

State gives rights
Illinois law states that a grandparent, great-grandparent or adult sibling of a minor child can file a petition for visitation rights if visitation has been unreasonably denied by a parent, and if the other parent has been missing for at least three months.[Full story]

UPDATE: Lisa Stebic-Family of missing Plainfield woman to ask Michigan deer hunters for help

By Jo Napolitano Tribune staff reporter
November 13, 2007
Source:Chicago Tribune

I have combined two updates here, one dated Nov. 8th regarding the Stebic children having to testify and one Nov. 13th about how they plan to pass out fliers to hunters.   

The family of a missing Plainfield woman will distribute fliers and hand warmers to hunters in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula on Wednesday to raise awareness about her disappearance and encourage hunters to look for her.

Lisa Stebic, 37, was divorcing when she vanished from her family home April 30. Her estranged husband, Craig, who was one of the last people to see her, is a hunter, and his family spent part of each year in the Upper Peninsula. He has been identified by police as a person of interest in the case, but he has denied any involvement.

Melanie Greenberg, Lisa Stebic’s cousin, said family members plan to distribute 300 hand warmers with Lisa’s picture and police contact information at a breakfast held each year in Crystal Falls, Mich., to kick off firearm deer hunting season.

“Everyone tells you when you are looking for a missing person that you need to look at the places where they spent the most time,” Greenberg said. “Lisa spent a lot of time up there.”

Greenberg said she hopes the hunters, who usually cover a wide area, might stumble across information that will help police find Lisa Stebic.

“They’re going places people haven’t been all summer and, with the change of seasons . . . things that may have been overgrown could be more revealed now,” Greenberg said.

Greenberg said she has had no contact with Craig Stebic but he has complained about tfliers and billboards bearing Lisa Stebic’s picture—in the Chicago area and in the Upper Peninsula. He has said they upset the couple’s two children.

November 8, 2007
Source: Chicago Sun Times 

Stebic, kids at courthouse to testify before panel: sources
MISSING MOM | Officials only confirm probe is ongoing

Craig Stebic and his children reportedly were at the Will County Courthouse on Wednesday to testify before a grand jury, sources say.

Authorities have been trying to interview the children of missing mother Lisa Stebic, who seemingly vanished without a trace April 30 from her Plainfield home.

Will County state’s attorney spokesman Charles Pelkie declined to comment Wednesday except to say the Stebic case is an active investigation and is one of several high priorities for the office.

Plainfield Police Chief Don Bennett also declined to comment on the case. He said investigators still want to talk to the Stebic children about their mother’s disappearance.

Aside from a preliminary interview, Craig Stebic has blocked police from talking to his children, ages 11 and 12, under the advice of Dion Davi, his lawyer.

In July, police said they were focusing their investigation on Craig Stebic, naming him a “person of interest” in his wife’s disappearance. Stebic has not been charged in connection with the case.

When asked Wednesday whether he was at the Will County Courthouse, Craig Stebic said, “I don’t know” and that it was not a good time to talk. “I don’t have anything to say right now.”

Desperate for answers in Lisa Stebic’s disappearance, her family has urged her husband to allow interviews with his children. Initially, authorities said they wanted to talk to the children at a child advocacy center, but Davi advised Craig Stebic not to allow it.

In September, Plainfield investigators met with members of the state’s attorney’s office to review the case.

Sun-Times News Group

Lisa Stebic added to FBI’s missing person Web site

October 4, 2007

The FBI on Wednesday added pictures of Stebic, a 1987 graduate of Libertyville High School, and information about her disappearance to its kidnapped and missing persons Web site, .

There was no significance of the day Stebic’s case information was added to the site, said Ross Rice, special agent and spokesman for the Chicago FBI office.

“We’ve been providing cooperation and assistance to the Plainfield Police Department, and this is just one more thing we can do to help them hopefully solve this case,” Rice said.

In September, the FBI page listing missing and kidnapped persons got 250,000 views. The Web site gets between two million and three million visits a month.

The FBI has helped Plainfield police since Stebic was first reported missing last spring. The missing person case remains Plainfield’s jurisdiction, Rice said.   Continued…> >

craig stebic, crime, lisa stebic, missing persons.


September 27, 2007

“I think that (Scott Stebic’s arrest) definitely was an attempt for them to continue to put pressure on Craig,” said Stebic’s attorney Dion Davi. “It’s evident that the Plainfield police are at a point of desperation, given their arrest of Scott and the current (police department) administrative shakeup that occurred.”

Police Chief Don Bennett said he believes investigators re-interviewed Scott Stebic about his brother and missing sister-in-law while the man was detained in Plainfield after his arrest.

“There’s no question that the Plainfield Police Department takes very seriously the disappearance of Lisa Stebic,” Bennett said. “We are utilizing all avenues to find her. If that involves re-interviewing Craig Stebic’s brother, then we certainly will do that, and have done that, and will continue to focus on this case and the person responsible for it.” 

Felony charges
Steve Scheller, the Lake County state’s attorney’s chief of felony review, said he had no idea the Plainfield police were going after Scott Stebic. Warrants for Scott Stebic’s arrest came out of Lake County”No, I had no idea,” Scheller said. Scheller also was not familiar with the Lisa Stebic case.

He said the felonies facing Scott Stebic were for deceptive practices and driving under the influence.

The deceptive practices charge stemmed from Scott Stebic allegedly bouncing five checks totaling $312.37 in five days in July at a Highland Park White Hen.

Scott Stebic was arrested for driving under the influence Aug. 19, 2006, in Bannockburn. The same day as his drunken driving arrest, Stebic was picked up in Highland Park on a misdemeanor charge of trespass to a vehicle. The charge resulted from Stebic slipping into a tow truck and snatching the keys, said police Cmdr. Dave Schwarz.

Scheller could not say if it was connected to the DUI charge.

Scott Stebic resided in Lake County prior to moving in with his brother at his heavily scrutinized Red Star Drive home in Plainfield. Scheller did know what prompted Scott Stebic to head south, but did not believe Craig’s embattled brother was hiding out or on the run. 

Officer resigns
Last week rumors swirled that two of Plainfield’s top cops were off the force as Bennett declined to discuss the job status of Deputy Chief Mark Eiting and Patrol Cmdr. Mike Altenhoff.Altenhoff, one of the lead investigators on the Stebic case, officially resigned from the force Monday.

He said his decision was personal, to pursue a new career opportunity, and not related to the Stebic investigation.

“I wouldn’t have left if I thought for one moment the Stebic case would be in jeopardy,” Altenhoff said Wednesday. “The Plainfield investigators are the best; their hearts are in it, and I see good things happening.”

Altenhoff joined the department in 1996 as a patrol officer and moved up the ranks to detective, sergeant and finally patrol commander.

He said the Plainfield department was a good place to learn and “immensely helped my career path.”

“Mike certainly did good work for the department and had been involved in a lot over a span of time,” Bennett said. “We’re going to miss him and wish him well in his new endeavor.”

Deputy Chief Mark Eiting had not resigned from his job as of Wednesday, but sources close to the department say he has not been on the job. Bennett declined to comment on Eiting’s job status. Eiting has not been available for comment. 

Moving forward
The Stebic investigation moved a step forward Wednesday, as police met with Will County prosecutors to review the case.Bennett said the state’s attorney’s office will contact police with a suggested next move.

Authorities want to interview the Stebic children, ages 11 and 12, about their mother’s disappearance. Aside from a preliminary interview, Craig Stebic has blocked police from talking to the kids per the advice of Davi, his lawyer.

In July, police named Craig Stebic a “person of interest” in his wife’s disappearance. Stebic has not been charged in connection with the case.

Davi said, despite reports of a possible grand jury investigation and subpoenas for the Stebic children, he has not received anything from the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Stebic Children To Go Before Grand Jury?

Friday, 31 August 2007 4:01PM
 Plainfield, IL

(WBBM) Police looking into the disappearance of a Plainfield woman may be moving toward bringing her children before an investigative panel.

Lisa Stebic disappeared four months ago, on April 30.

Now, Plainfield police apparently are discussing with the State’s Attorney’s office whether they’ll have to move to bring Lisa’s children before a grand jury.   [ Full Story ]

STEBIC UPDATE:Exactly 3 Months Ago Lisa Stebic Disappeared, Family Wants Closure

(CBS) PLAINFIELD, Ill  — Exactly three months ago, April 30, 2007, Lisa Stebic a mother-of-two left home and never returned.

[..My words – Isn’t it strange that the police are wanting to talk again to the children but Craig Stebic’s attorney has denied permission.  I’m sure it would be hard for the children but it has now been 3 months and as upset as I’m sure they are I would think they would be stable enough to talk to the authorities especially if could mean it would help them find their mother or help them find out what happened rather than to leave them left wondering.  This leaves me thinking it is obvious the children know information that would incriminate Craig Stebic who is already now considered a “person of suspect”…… flagranny2]

Her family continues to press-on for answers.

The family of Lisa Stebic is erecting the billboards on Interstate 55 near State Route 30 and Canton Farm Road in the far southwest suburb. They hope the billboards will raise more attention about the case.

The billboard space has been donated by CBS Outdoor, the billboard division of CBS. [Full Story and related articles]

Police: Stebic is focus of probe – Lawyer says cops turning up the heat

“She always said, ‘If anything ever happens to me, look at Craig,'”

By Hal Dardick and Jo Napolitano
Tribune staff reporters – Chicago Tribune
Published July 13, 2007

Citing the “minimal assistance” of Craig Stebic in finding his missing wife, Lisa, police on Thursday labeled him “a person of interest” in what they now say is a case of foul play.

Plainfield Police Chief Donald Bennett made the announcement at a news conference attended by about a dozen reporters. After the bespectacled chief read from a text and answered three questions posed to him previously, he quickly left the room as one reporter tried to ask if “person of interest” was the same as “suspect.”

Asked later in a telephone interview what it meant to define Stebic as a person of interest, the chief said: “He’s the focus of our investigation. We’d love to talk to him. Craig Stebic was the last person to see Lisa at her own residence.”

The term “person of interest” has no universally agreed upon legal meaning, said Richard Kling, a defense attorney and clinical professor at Chicago-Kent College of Law. It can refer to a potential witness but most often is a euphemism for suspect, he said.

continue >>

Lisa Stebic: Chicago Reporter Out After Tape Showing Her in Swimsuit at Home of Missing Mom Lisa Stebic

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


I guess some reporters use different methods to get a story.  Should I be surprised?  Not at all, today nothing surprises me.  I do however find it interesting to find a reporter hanging around at the home of a missing person in what appears to be in a personal manner as opposed to a professional one.

A Chicago television reporter negotiated her exit Tuesday after videotape surfaced of her at the home of missing mother Lisa Stebic, according to the Chicago Tribune.

WMAQ reporter Amy Jacobson, who has covered Stebic’s story, was caught on tape by the pool at the Stebics’ home last week by rival channel WBBM Channel 2. The tape shows Jacobson “in a swimming suit top” at the pool on Friday with her children and Lisa Stebic’s estranged husband, Craig.

Click here to read the full story from the Chicago Tribune.

Neighbors told Channel 2 in Chicago that Jacobson has visited the Stebics’ home frequently since she started covering the story. Jacobson negotiated her exit on Tuesday, according to the Tribune. Vice President of News Frank Whittaker and News Director Camille Edwards notified the staff via a memo.“We are sorry to tell you that Amy Jacobson is leaving NBC 5 News, effective immediately,” the memo read, according to the Tribune.“Amy’s contribution as a reporter over the last 10 years are numerous. Her hustle and passion for news have given us an edge on many top stories. She’s worked long hours on many days, and we appreciate all she’s done.“The last couple of days have been tough on everyone,” the memo states. “We appreciate your understanding.”

According to the Tribune, the memo concludes: “We will miss Amy, and wish her the best.”

Jacobson, a general assignment reporter, had been at the station since 1996.

Sources told the Chicago Sun-Times that Jacobson said she was on her way to a club to go swimming with her sons when Craig Stebic’s sister, who was in town from Iowa, asked her to come to his house to talk about the case. Jacobson immediately was taken off the Stebic story and was told to hire a lawyer, the Sun-Times reported.

Channel 2 obtained the footage of Jacobson at Stebic’s home Friday but held out until Tuesday to air it. They aired the footage and posted a story on their Web site after the Tribune and Sun Times reported the matter.

Jacobson’s attorney, Kathleen Zellner, said the tape should not be aired “because unauthorized taping on someone’s property is a crime.”

“You can’t just go around videotaping and disseminating the tape. … To me, it begins and ends there.”

Stebic, 38, was last seen the evening of April 30. Her husband, Craig, told police he was in the backyard — and the couple’s two children were not at the house — when he thought someone picked his wife up for an exercise class. Her cell phone and credit cards have not been used since. Lisa and Craig Stebic were living in the same house but were in the midst of a divorce and rarely spoke.

Police have not yet named either a suspect or a person of interest in the case.

Lisa Stebic:9-week search for Plainfield mom shifts to state park today

July 7, 2007
BY DAN ROZEK Staff Reporter

Police and volunteers are conducting a massive sweep today through the 1,350-acre Silver Springs State Park near Yorkville to look for the 38-year-old Stebic, who vanished from her home on April 30.

Three searches in Plainfield haven’t turned up any sign of Stebic, a mother of two young children whose estranged husband told police he last saw her leaving the home the family still shared.

Plainfield Police and the Plainfield Emergency Management Agency are leading the search, which is targeting the sprawling state park because Stebic and her family had visited there before.

“It’s a place the family went to frequently,” Plainfield Deputy Police Chief Mark Eiting said.

But investigators — and Stebic’s relatives — are hoping for lots of help from volunteers to thoroughly check the park, which sprawls along the Fox River and includes thick forest and open grasslands.

“It’s going to take a lot of people to find someone there,” said Leigh Harris, a family friend who is helping coordinate search efforts. “If she’s out there, we hope someone stumbles across some hint of her.”

Nearly 50 people have signed up on the family’s Web site, FindLisa, to volunteer for the search. But Harris expects more volunteers to turn out this morning for the daylong sweep.

Volunteers wanting to take part in the search must assemble by 9 a.m. today at the Kendall County Fairgrounds near Yorkville for a safety briefing, police said.

Investigators have released few details about her disappearance, though family members — who have posted a reward of more than $60,000 — said she wouldn’t have voluntarily left her children.