Ohio case gives hope to families of three missing women in Springfield

SPRINGFIELD, Mo -- It's been nearly 21 years since the disappearance of Stacy McCall, Sherrill Levitt, and Suzie Streeter here in the Ozarks. While there are no recent developments in the case, the situation in Ohio gives Stacy McCall's mother renewed encouragement.

"I think it's almost a moment of bliss for most of us," Janis McCall explained.

She says it's a victory for the parents of missing children across the nation.

"Two days ago they never thought they would solve the case in Cleveland, Ohio, but today those three women have been found," said Springfield Police Captain David Millsap.

It's a situation that Janis McCall knows well. She was in Florida speaking to a group of parents with missing children when the news came down. "This is wonderful for all the families that I am meeting with right now that actually still have missing cases."

It's been more than 20 years since her daughter Stacy and her friends, Sherill and Suzie, disappeared.

"We don't know what happened to Stacy or Suzie, or Sherrill. Could they be the next ones that are found? You're darn right they could be. That's all it takes," McCall said, "one lead."

"Twenty-five thousand police reports exist regarding it. We've follow thousands of leads since 1992," Capt. Millsap explained.

Captain Millsap says in these types of cases, sadly, probability usually outweighs possibility.

"You always hope for the best, but you also realize that of all the cases of missing people, especially those that are taken under suspicious circumstances, this is very rare that someone is found alive," he said.

That doesn't mean there still isn't a sliver of hope.  "The probability is always less, but there is always a great possibility that something miraculous is going to happen," Capt. Millsap admitted.

Hope is exactly what Janis McCall will continue to hold on to until the case truly comes to a close.

"A parent will never, ever give up total hope not unless they've found a body or recovered their child. A parent will never , ever give up all hope," McCall said.

Captain Millsap says when cases do finally come to a close, happily like Ohio or tragically, there is usually an increase in the interest of other cold cases.  Police will often see a spike in calls or leads.

However, he believes that their best bet right now is science in solving the three missing women case in Springfield.  They are starting at the beginning and looking over everything again with technology that didn't exist 20 years ago or even 10 years ago.