LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Ebby Steppach disappeared in October 2015 and since then no one has come forward with information to find her. She is still missing and that's why her family announced Tuesday that they are increasing the reward for information leading to her whereabouts to $50,000.
Laurie Jernigan, Ebby’s mother, said she has a renewed sense of confidence and hope. It is something she has struggled to find throughout the last two years. She said Ebby is a fighter just like her and she won’t stop fighting to find her daughter.
Now, a new team has been assembled to help in the investigation.
Ebby’s case has been moved to a cold case squad with 4 retired homicide detectives. Detective Tommy Hudson, thinks the new team will be able to devote more time to this case. Jernigan is hopeful of what the new team will be able to accomplish.
“A lot of mistakes were made and a lot of things were missed in the beginning,” said Jernigan. “When the new squad got the case, they had to start all over from day one.”
Detective Hudson said the team has been working with the FBI and has acquired new tips that are promising.
“We believe there are people out there that were with Ebby a day or two prior to her disappearance that may have information about what happened to her or who she was with,” said Hudson.
Hudson said the team is not as much focused on an arrest and conviction. They are most concerned about finding where is she and what's happened to her. It’s something they still need help with.
Regardless of what happens, Jernigan is thankful for the positive moments that have come out of searching for Ebby. She has been able to learn and educate more people about human trafficking, something she believes could have happened to Ebby.
"There have been trafficking stings that have been busted up because they were looking for Ebby,” said Jernigan. “This whole thing has saved lives.”
Ebby was last seen October 24, 2015. She was 18 years old at the time and her vehicle was later found at Chalamont Park in west Little Rock.
Ebby is a white female, approximately 5 feet 2 inches tall and 105 pounds and has hazel eyes. Her hair was blonde at the time she went missing.
If you have any information about Ebby, please call LRPD Major Crimes (501)371-4660 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.