Is Lisa Next? Family Hopeful After Peterson, Vaughn Convictions
The family of Lisa Stebic is optimistic after State’s Attorney James Glasgow’s statements about possible prosecution.
After scoring victories in two of Will County’s high-profile murder cases, State’s Attorney James Glasgow said his prosecutors will turn their attention to another local tragedy: The disappearance of Plainfield mom Lisa Stebic.
This month, former Bolingbrook Police Sgt. Drew Peterson was found guilty of murdering third wife Kathleen Savio; fourth wife Stacy remains missing.
On Thursday, a jury took less than an hour to issue another guilty verdict in the trial of Christopher Vaughn, accused in the shooting deaths of his wife and three children.
With those cases over, Glasgow, who is seeking reelection in November, has vowed to put the Stebic case “on the front burner,” alluding to the possibility of filing charges in both Lisa’s case and the disappearance of Stacy Peterson.
On his Facebook page, the state’s attorney repeated his vow.
“I realize there are other cases that cry out for justice,” Glasgow wrote. “We have not forgotten – not for one moment – about Lisa Stebic or the victims of the Lane Bryant shootings. We will continue to work tirelessly with our local police to bring justice and closure in these important investigations as well.”
For Lisa’s family, the words brought a measure of relief after five long years of waiting.
“I understand there’s limited resources and limited manpower,” said Melanie Greenberg, the wife of Lisa’s cousin Mark Greenberg. But as the years have passed, the wait has grown increasingly difficult for Lisa’s family — particularly her 93-year-old grandmother, Greenberg said.
“She wonders if she’s going to still be alive to see justice,” Greenberg said.
A day after Peterson’s conviction, Glasgow told reporters that prosecutors will take a fresh look at the disappearances of Lisa and Stacy.
“I don’t know exactly what this means,” Greenberg said of Glasgow’s comments. She said she hasn’t heard from authorities regarding Lisa’s case since she visited police on the five-year anniversary of her disappearance last April.
Greenberg said Glasgow’s promise, along with Peterson’s conviction, have her feeling hopeful.
“What we were very encouraged by was the use of the new hearsay law,” Greenberg said, referring to testimony about statements made by Savio during the Peterson trial. “That could have direct bearing on the prosecution of Lisa’s case and things Lisa had said to friends and family.”
Greenberg noted that it was a friend and neighbor, not husband Craig Stebic, who reported Lisa missing. She said Lisa had expressed fears about her safety, telling her neighbor to call the police if anything happened to her.
2007 ‘a bizarre year’
At the time of her disappearance, 37-year-old Lisa was in the process of divorcing her husband. Despite ongoing divorce proceedings, the couple continued to share a home on Red Star Drive in Plainfield.
Craig, who was named a person of interest but never charged in the case, told police his wife left the home to go for a workout and never returned. Since her disappearance, no activity has been reported on her credit cards or cell phone.
Lisa vanished a little more than month before the Vaughn family was murdered, and six months before Bolingbrook mom Stacy Peterson was reported missing.
“The strange thing is how they were all in the same year,” Greenberg said. “It was just a bizarre year.”
Greenberg said she was aboard a Russian river cruise when news of Peterson’s conviction broke.
That day, cruise ship staff slipped a newspaper under Greenberg’s door.
“Even there, it was front-page news,” she said, adding she was “pleasantly surprised” that Peterson was found guilty.
Greenberg was cautiously optimistic about what Glasgow’s statements could mean for Lisa’s case.
“The truth is that I know it’s rare for a case in Illinois to be prosecuted without a body,” she said.
“But the more time goes on, the more obvious it becomes that she was a victim of foul play,” Greenberg added, saying it is “glaringly obvious” that Lisa is dead.
Greenberg believes progress in Lisa’s case could depend on the outcome of the November election. Glasgow is running against Plainfield attorney Dave Carlson, who previously worked in the state’s attorney’s office.
“The continuity of Glasgow and his team could help things move along,” Greenberg said, adding it’s “hard to know” if the fact that it’s an election year contributed to Glasgow’s comments. “It’ll be interesting to see how things play out.”
Joliet attorney George Lenard — who represents Craig Stebic and has been busy defending Vaughn in recent weeks — did not return messages left by Plainfield Patch.
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