The Disappearance of Ebby Steppach

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

A young woman has a traumatic experience at a party she decided to go to the police about what happen to her but before she does she vanishes the only contact with her a mysterious phone call to her brother and which she says she doesn't know where she is then she disappears her car is found as for our missing eighteen year old be static no sign of her nothing divac in shall we remember we talked about phone data and social media and episode one and how the investigator was confused about Abe's phone and about her social media Eddie's family once again tries to get involved they even offered to pay for an IT expert to help to access and analyze all of this data and then all of this only to be told that the department would not accept outside help detected is also failed to obtain surveillance footage from the Walmart supercenter on Chanel drive which could have captured abby and a final insult for eight months the Little Rock Police Department treated the case essentially as a runaway and the case sat in the Major Crimes Division end with virtually no movement even as late as November second when Abbie's family reiterated that she would not have been out of context for so long Channel Seven News in Little Rock reported that quote police tell channel seven they believe abby is still alive and in the area and as Michael Jernigan put it to K. A. R. K. T. quote the whole first thirty days was just the cops counting on Ebi showing backup Lori echoed the sentiment saying for the first part of the investigation no one was looking for her now. Laurie is not the type to take this lying down the family hired Monte Vickers a retired twenty two year little rock police department detective turned private investigator to help them someone needed to care about Eddie's case as ex-police himself at first vickers was hesitant to get involved in such a recent active case being handled by the force he had once been a part of right but he decided he could perhaps act go-between he doesn't WanNa take over the investigation he doesn't want to get in the way of the investigators he thinks that they need a go between for the Party is involved to help with what seemed to be poor relationship between the police department and the journey begins but when the Little Rock Police Department would not return his call else and he caught wind of the botch investigation he says that was enough for him that he was now going to actively get involved in the investigation yet because a lot of these departments they hold a lot of respect for former employees so when they call it's a big deal but when they're not making a big deal of it something's fishy he says and he's on record as saying such he says quote I found out pretty quickly they didn't give a damn what I had to say they wouldn't call me back they basically just wouldn't talk to us to the family or to him he said he chose urge the family one single dollar to get to work on this investigation a vickers discovered that none of these bank cards or counts had and accessed in any way since she disappeared that plus the fact that she would never have left without her car and all of her possessions the Family the worst even more alarming vickers uncovered the EBI sent several text messages to the young men she had had the encounter with at the Party on the Friday before she vanished threatening to go to the police in have them arrested it seems that Michael's concerns that abby might have confronted one of these boys are all of them alone might be correct right or they could have said all she's GonNa go to the cops and there's an she could say I have a copy of the video let's just say she said that then that gives us motive even if she's not going to confront them that gives them a reason to find her right well vickers found out who these boys were and searched the area areas near their homes this is for any clues as to Abbey's whereabouts he came up with nothing to his dismay he discovered that the lease had in fact talked to these guys at some point but never looked at their phones despite the family telling the police department about the rape allegations and that there may be a video why right and it's not clear if they asked for the phones but we know that they didn't look at well what we do know is the detectives on the case told the family and they told vickers the private investigator that they did not have probable cause to search so basically they're stating we could've asked these boys to see their phones and they said no and we don't have probable cause to to search the phones beyond them allowing us or not allowing us now five months after ebby was last seen vickers made arrangements to meet with guy who you're remember he's the security guard who called the police when he found a vehicle Shalam Park yeah little rock lease assured vickers that they had spoke to this man to the security officer so he assumed this would be just like a quick confirmation the hooper didn't know anything more than what was related to him from police instead the meeting resulted in a forty five minute taped interview too Lakers shock he was told by hooper that he had never been contacted by police further he told vickers he had made a report to the police about the aband- in car on Tuesday night after had been sitting there for three days he waited for the police by the car for two to three hours but the police never came the police didn't show up to take a look until two days later and even more startling hooper told vickers that he had Dash Cam video of Abbey and a man this she had met at the park on multiple occasions hooper had gotten fairly close to the pair in some words I guess right apparently he had quote run them off several times the guard saved all of the Dash Cam video on his hard drive at his home he had finished his shift he had this Dashcam and he would put this video at the end of every ship on his computer home unfortunately his computer had died and this took place in January of two thousand sixteen and the computer could not be fixed so it was thrown out all of this potential Dash Cam surveillance footage went with the computer gone it's gone because nobody nobody thought to reach out to this guy and in fact the private investigator working for the family he was a little slow to reach out to him too because he had already been told by his old buddies at the police department that they they spoke to this guy while vickers was trying to dig up any Vincent Clues Laurie and Michael receive some assistance from an organization called Halos investigations this is a private Mississippi firm I'm that looks into cases of missing or traffic kids halos volunteers scoured the Internet for photos of Abbey in the event that she was traffic they also conducted a search of the shallow amount park woods assisted by the Little Rock Police Department this is four months after Abbey vanished the organization also helped publishing the case sending Abbey's missing persons poster to hospitals and police stations all over the country in case she turned up somewhere the case manager for Halos Tina Stores said her firm often sees cases of missing kids the police have dismissed as runaways as they seem to have here to her it didn't look like Abbie left voluntarily meanwhile the journey gins were being inundated with all sorts of hoax messages false alarms and facebook pranks where people claim to be Ebi but some of these we're enough to point them in the direction of sex trafficking some emails were sent to the family showing the Abbey was sold for twenty five thousand dollars people claim to have seen her on back page and craigslist. Laurie began to realize that this threat was very real right Sergeant Allen Ham be with the vice unit told Little rock's T H v eleven that his detective handle reports of human sex trafficking every single day but he still didn't seem to feel a sense of urgency about Abbie's case despite her parents real concerns he said quote we're going to try everything we can to help them find her and locate her and see if she wants to be found we don't know that finally about six months after Abbey was last heard from the relationship between the journey begins and the Little Rock Police Department it became toxic this is as stated by a y magazine they continue to treat abby as a runaway Major Crimes Detectives refuse to get warrants for the phones of the young men allegedly often the incident involving abby at the party the Little Rock PD did not seem to appreciate the involvement of the private investigator or of Halos or of anyone else and wouldn't budge on investigating the case as a possible abduction or something worse obesity what they were saying we're gonNA sit on our fat asses and in less the case get solved by somebody else for them formation comes to us we're not GONNA do anything Yeah and you know what I think we have here captain and I can't say this with one hundred percent certainty but I feel very confident saying this I feel like in this situation you probably have to detectives that are sitting as you put it sitting on their fat asses and choosing not to do anything sit on their thumbs uh-huh and spinning and I feel like when we're when we talk about this case when we tell this story we cannot tell it without telling these mishandling of the case however ever I think that these two detectives make the whole department have a bad name and probably undeservingly so you know there's probably a lot of good off officers with inside of this department and for whatever reason the Jernigan just got extremely unlucky that when the phone rang that day call came in it went to this detectives desk and Hammond this guy worked at and they didn't really work and you can't say they work I guess I shouldn't reasons and and try to go well maybe they're going through a divorce maybe there's bad things in their life happening maybe Maybe they knew people at the hardy maybe they didn't want you know what I mean like trying to come up with all these reasons but after a week and the constant neglect it's like these are the guys sit in their office all day farting in their chair and then when they get up to get coffee come back they sniff their chair that's what kind of guys these aren't so and get you were getting at when we talked last week and that's not out of bounds that wouldn't be out of bounds you talking about there is a potential here for some type of cover up did may we we have people that should be looked into that was at this party but is it almost seems like these investigators are choosing not to look in that direction for whatever reason rightly they're connected to somebody at that party but then at the end of the day when you really look at this thing you see that they're choosing not to look in any direction at all aw and so it to me it doesn't feel so much like a cover up it feels more like hold on here here's the reason why guys that are bad at their job here's where it makes fill like a cover up because what do we know that the lead seems so obvious right because yes the mode of scene is obvious and then we go we got these individuals yes we talked to them but there's no probable cause so we can't get this information not looking anywhere else okay so the first place you looked you stop looking after that so do you know what happened do you know somebody at that party that makes it seemed more likely to me that is cover up well right and win they are pressured when they are pushed and pressured to give some kind of theory or some kind of answer to somebody look they feel like they need to give an answer to the media he says we're going to try everything we can to help find her to help low

Coming up next