Human Remains Found In Little Rock Park Confirmed To Be Missing Teen Ebby Steppach
Ebby Steppach's brother told police that he spoke with his sister shortly before she went missing, and that she sounded confused and disoriented.
LITTLE ROCK, AR — Little Rock cold case detectives investigating the disappearance of a missing teen have found her remains in a drainage pipe at the park where she was last seen more than two years ago.
Eighteen-year-old Ebby Steppach went missing on October 24, 2015. A few days later, her Volkswagen Passat was found at Chalamont Park.
The Little Rock Police Department confirmed Wednesday evening the human remains found in an underground pipe in Chalamont Park on Tuesday have been identified as Steppach.
Police spokesman officer Steve Moore said the remains were found at around 10 A.M. in the pipe, which had a manhole cover.
"We used robots with video cameras that we are able to send in the drains, eventually started from the top of the drain where her car was found and we hit obstructions 70 feet down," Little Rock Police Cold Case Detective Tommy Hudson said in a video released Wednesday evening.
Police sent evidence to the state Crime Lab for identification.
Ebby's mother Laurie described her daughter as "strong-willed" and said that she had recently moved in with her brother and wanted to be independent.
On the day she went missing, her family said that she planned to meet her stepfather Michael, but failed to show up. Ebby's brother told police that he spoke with his sister shortly before she went missing, and that she sounded confused and disoriented. He claimed that during the four-minute phone call, Ebby said she was lost and didn't know where she was or who she was with.
Ebby's family never heard from her again.
The park had already been searched multiple times by volunteers, police, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. But until now, no trace had been found of the missing teen.
The case made national headlines, and Steppach's family spoke to the media and offered a $50,000 reward last June for information related to her disappearance.
In December 2017, Laurie and Michael told the Dr. Phil show that they believed that police had mishandled the investigation into Ebby's disappearance.
“I believe we would know where our daughter is had they not mishandled her case,” Laurie told Dr. Phil.
What began as a missing persons case was passed to the homicide division, and eventually ended up with the department's cold case unit, which found the human remains at Chalamont Park on Tuesday.
Steppach's family released a statement on Wednesday. It read:
"On Tuesday, May 22nd, investigators with the Little Rock Police Department informed the family that human remains had been found at Chalamont Park, which is where Ebby’s car was found on October 30, 2015.
As of today, May 23rd, investigators conclusively identified the remains as Ebby’s and notified the family of those results.
The family would like to thank all of you who have supported efforts to find Ebby. It has been through your support, many prayers, and God’s strength that they have been able to make this journey. God hears and answers all prayers. Yesterday, God answered the family’s prayers to find Ebby.
They are thankful for the life they got to share with her and ask for continued support and prayers as they work through this difficult time. Please only post comments that remain positive and have a focus toward healing.
The family is grateful to Little Rock Cold Case Detective, Tommy Hudson and members of the Cold Case Unit, as well as Captain Russell King and Chief Wayne Bewley, special agents and analysts with the Little Rock Field Office of the FBI for the time, effort, and contributions dedicated to Ebby’s case. They also ask for prayers of gratitude, strength, and guidance for this group of individuals as they continue to work on this case.
In addition, the family would like to thank H.A.L.O. Investigations as well as special local private investigators, Monty Vickers and Tom James.
Ebby’s story over the past 30+ months has touched many lives. Many have seen the beauty in her eyes that revealed a deep passion and care for others. So, it is only fitting that the search to find Ebby has sparked open conversations and brought a heightened awareness to missing children and young adults, the existence of sex trafficking, along with the need for improved policies and processes within the law-enforcement community in these areas. Her story has touched many in ways that she could not have ever imagined.
A Celebration of Ebby’s Life will be held at Christ Community Church, at Warrior Hall on the campus of Little Rock Christian Academy, Saturday, May 26th at 2 pm. and will be officiated by Pastor Tim Lundy and Music Pastor, Ron Marrow. The family asks that you join them in this celebration of Ebby’s Life.
May God Bless You All!"
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