Human remains found inside an underground pipe at a park in Little Rock earlier this week have been confirmed to be of missing teen, Ebby Steppach, who vanished in 2015.
KARK 4 News reported on Wednesday evening that the Little Rock, Arkansas, PD confirmed that remains found on Tuesday in an underground pipe at Chalamont Park were of 18-year-old Ebby, who was reported missing nearly three years ago. Investigators said they found the remains in a draining pipe covered up by a manhole, around 50 feet away from a memorial site for Ebby.
“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,” said Little Rock Police Cold Case Detective Tommy Hudson, who indicated the obstructions were not human remains.
— Mitchell McCoy (@MitchellMcCoy) May 23, 2018
Ebby’s family released a statement on Wednesday, giving their thanks to everyone who supported their efforts over the years and they search for her. They always maintained she would have never disappeared voluntarily.
“The family would like to thank all of you who have supported efforts to find Ebby,” the statement read. “It has been through your support, many prayers and God’s strength that they have been able to make this journey.”
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Ebby, 18, vanished on October 24, 2015, after attending a party the previous day. While at the party, according to her mother, Laurie Jernigan, the teen was sexually assaulted. Ebby also found out that the alleged suspect, along with three of his male friends, recorded the assault.
The following evening, Ebby contacted her stepfather, Michael, and told him what happened. She also called authorities and told them the guy who sexually assaulted was someone she knew from school. Jernigan said her daughter disappeared shortly after she was supposed to meet her stepfather and go with him in person to the Little Rock Police Department, reportedly after officers didn’t take the assault seriously when she reported it by phone.
“Ebby called the police before she called my husband (Ebby’s stepdad). She did not get any answers from the police on what to do….After she told my husband, he was going to meet her and go to the police station with her. Before they met up, Ebby disappeared.”
The following Sunday, Ebby called her brother, Trevor, and told him she didn’t know where she was. She claimed she was in her car, but couldn’t give him an exact location. A week later, authorities found Ebby’s abandoned vehicle at Chalamount Park in West Little Rock, with her cellphone, makeup, car keys and eye contacts inside. Ebby’s family never heard from her again after the phone call to her brother.
Little Rock Police Department apparently didn’t check out Ebby’s car until several days later. Her family and friends contend that the police aren’t “doing their jobs” and continue to refuse to assist them. According the Jernigan, officers verbally abused her and got angry when she tried to tell them something bad likely happened to her daughter.
Ebby’s case is now with the Little Rock’s Homicide Squad. The fours boys who allegedly recorded the assault are all in college now, going on with their lives. One of the boys received a scholarship. Jernigan is desperate for answers and feels the boys at the party hold the key that can provide information on Ebby’s whereabouts.
The story is still developing. Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.
[Feature Photo: Ebby Steppach/Family Handout]