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CATEGORIES

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Recent News/Press

Efforts under way to find missing adults - Daily Herald 4/24/11

Lisa Stebic:  Nancy Grace America’s Missing  3/15/11:

http://plainfield.patch.com/articles/stebic-missing-person-case-back-in-the-national-spotlight-on-nancy-grace-show

Birthday Vigil Held for Lisa Stebic - FOX32 - 5/15/10

Loved Ones Remember missing woman’s birthday - ABC7 5/15/10

Remember Lisa - Plainfield Sun 5/16/10

Major Crimes Task Force Working On Stebic Case - Plainfield Sun 5/1/10

Task force to join probe of Lisa Stebic’s disappearance - Chicago Tribune 5/1/10

Police, Family Commited to search for missing Mom-4/3/10 ABC7 video

Police Step Up Search for Lisa Stebic - 4/30/10 Chicago Sun-Times

3 Year Anniversary of Lisa Stebic’s Disappearance - WGN 4/30/10 video

Will County State’s Attorney: Major Crimes Task Force will assist in Stebic investigation at request of Plainfield Chief Doster, State’s Attorney Glasgow    4/30/10

Des Plaines River remains ID’d as male - ABC7 5/27/09 video

Body found near Des Plaines River identified as male - 5/27/09 Chicago Tribune

Was Stacy Peterson’s Body Found - Good Morning America - 5/21/09 video

Lisa Stebic Loved ones mark 2 years since Plainfield Mom vanished - Chicago Tribune 5/1/09

Vigil promises Stebic won’t be forgotten - Joliet Herald 5/1/09

Stebic Remembered - WGN 4/30/09

Lisa Stebic Missing for Two Years - Fox32 4/30/09

Vigil held for missing Plainfield mother - ABC7 - 4/30/09

Lisa Stebic Remembered, Two Years after Vanishing - CBS2 4/30/09

Lisa Stebic:  Loved ones will mark 2 years since Plainfield Mom vanished - Chicago Tribune 4/30/09

We are all changed forever - Joliet Herald 4/30/09

I tell them she isn’t lost - Joliet Herald 4/30/09

Lisa Stebic still missing two years later - Plainfield Sun 4/30/09

Woman Tried To Evict Husband, Disappeared - CNN Nancy Grace Cold Case File

ABC7 Video - Investigators get new info on Stebic case

WGN Video - Authorities:  New developements in Stebic Case

CBS 2 Video - Stebic’s Family responds to “new information”

Police:  New developments in Stebic case - Joliet Herald 4/16/09

America’s Most Wanted comes to Plainfield: Joliet Herald 8/22/08

Mother joins trend of turning to YouTube for Help - Stv.tv UK 8/1/08

Who Did Amy J. Wrong? - Eric Zorn, Chicago Tribune 7/10/08

Filing: Stebic lets son have a loaded gun - Joliet Herald 5/24/08

Family of missing Plainfield woman allege abuse, threats by her husband - Chicago Tribune 5/24/08

New Accusations Against Craig Stebic Revealed - CBS2 5/23/08

Illinois State Police Revoke Craig Stebic’s Gun Owner Card - Fox 32 5/23/08

Lisa’s Family: Did Craig Stebic threaten her? - Joliet Herald 5/16/08

Stebic Case: Judge wants to resolve visitation - Joliet Herald 5/15/08

Craig Stebic Allegedly Threatened Wife’s Life - CBS2 5/11/08

Grandparents Must Show Craig Unfit Parent - Joliet Herald 5/9/08

(Courtesy: Michael R. Schmidt/Joliet Herald Staff Photographer)

Author: Peterson, Stebic may fit “eraser” profiles - Joliet Herald 4/30/08

1 Year Anniversary of Lisa Stebic’s Disappearance - CBS2 4/30/08

Family honors missing Plainfield woman - ABC7 4/27/08

Remembering Lisa, 1 year later - WGN - 4/27/08

Family Remembers Lisa Stebic One Year after disappearance - FOX32 Chicago 4/27/08

Family, friends walk to remember Lisa - Joliet Herald 4/28/08

Lisa Stebic’s family comes out for Fundraiser Walk - CBS2 4/27/08

At fundraising walk, more than 250 gather to remember Lisa Stebic - Chicago Tribune (with video) 4/28/08

Missing mom still in community’s memory - Joliet Herald 4/27/08

1 Year later, disappearance of Stebic still haunts - Chicago Tribune 4/27/08

Judge won’t give back Craig Stebic’s guns, trucks - Chicago Sun-Times 4/25/08

Stebic must give answers - Joliet Herald 4/19/08

Lisa’s Stebic’s family gets judge’s backing - Chicago Tribune 4/18

Judge sides with Stebic in-laws in visitation case - Chicago Sun-times 4/18

Missing woman’s family wants to see children - ABC7 4/7/08

Stebic will get his car - Joliet Herald 4/7/08

Stebic in Court II - Joliet Herald 4/7/08

Craig Stebic wins back car, loses bid to stop missing wife’s parents from seeking child-visitation rights - Chicago Tribune 4/7/08

Family says Stebic is stalling - Joliet Herald 3/13/08

Police Don’t Want to Return Guns - Fox News 3/5/08

Lisa’s family uses anniversary for benefit - Joliet Herald 3/1/08

Stebic wants his 24 guns, cars back - Joliet Herald 3/1/08

Craig’s List - Joliet Herald 3/1/08 (related to story above)

Judge denies Stebic request - Joliet Herald 2/15/08

High-profile disappearances like Stebic, Peterson cases can leave lasting mark on communities — Chicago Tribune 1/4/08

Neighbors testify in Wil County Disappearaces - Chicago Sun-times 1/4/08

Soures: Craig Stebic’s dad testified to grand jury - Joliet Herald 1/3/08

Lisa Stebic’s parents, grandparents petition court to see her children — Chicago Tribune 12/24/07

Stebic’s Family Asks Court for Visitation Rights - CBS2 12/24

Reporter wades into Stebic Case - Chicago Sun-times 12/21

Ex-reporter goes before grand jury in Lisa Stebic Case - Chicago Tribune 12/21

Former TV reporter testifies in Stebic case - ABC7 12/21

Lisa Stebic’s parents want to see their grandkids - Joliet Herald 12/21

Man hurt in shooting apprehended at Joliet courthouse (Grand Jury news) Chicago Tribune 12/20

Uncommon bonds: Families of missing persons unite to find answers - Chicago Suburban News 12/11

Uncommon Bond - video of Melanie Greenberg and Don Zimmerman - GatehouseChicago YouTube

Stebic and Peterson Families Work to Find Other Missing Persons - Fox32 12/10

Families of Missing Persons Join Forces - ABC7 12/10

Search set for Stacy and Lisa - Joliet Herald 11/30

Stebic Family Offers support for Stacy — Naperville Sun 11/30

Lisa Stebic Family Seeks Assistance from Iron County Hunters

Hunter Breakfast

http://ironcountyreporter.com/ (Lisa’s Family Distributes Handwarmers to Hunters in the UP of Michigan)

Stories of lost so terrible, too easy to forget — Chicago Tribune 11/18

Sister tells Craig’s side of the Story — Joliet Herald 11/18

Stebic’s family to ask deer hunters for help — Chicago Tribune 11/13

Hunters asked to search for Stebic in Michigan - Chicago Suntimes 11/13

Suspects can be convicted, no body needed - Eric Zorn, Tribune 11/13

Stebic Children Testify Before Grand Jury - NBC5 11/7

Family of Missing Woman looks to U.P. for Answers — Iron Mountain Daily News 11/3

Craig Stebic: I can relate to Drew Peterson — Chicago Suntimes 11/5

Melanie Greenberg interview on Reid Paxson of Plainfield TV 11/2 (video)

Cops Hope for new Leads from Lisa’s Internet Trail - Naperville Sun 6/20

More Psychics aid in Stebic Search - Joliet Herald 6/18

Bones Found in Stebic Search were Deer - CBS 2 6/13(video)

Psychic Leads Stebic Friends to Bones - CBS 2 6/12 (video)

Look for an article on Lisa’s disappearance in the 6/18 issue of People Magazine on newstands 6/7

people-article.jpgpeople-cover.jpg

Co-workers of Lisa Stebic Hire a Pyschic - CBS 2 6/11 (video)

Friend Turn to Psychic in Stebic Search - NBC 5 6/10

Mike Puccinelli of CBS 2 Update on Case 6/8 (video)

Connection to Tragedy Motivates Woman - Naperville Sun 6/8

FOX News 6/7

Stebic in People Magazine - Joliet Herald 6/7

Chicago Daily Herald — Family Increases Reward 6/6

Cousin Outlines Family’s Hopes (video) - FOX 32 6/6

Our Hearts Are Empty — CBS 2 6/5

Reward doubled in Stebic Case - NBC 5 6/5 (Video)

Reward for Missing Mom Raised to $50,000 - FOX - 6/5

Craig’s Family Talks About Ties with Lisa - CBS 2 6/1

Who is Lisa Stebic? - article in Naperville Sun 5/20

Naperville Sun index of articles

Mystery Surrounds Missing Illinois Woman - 5/23 AP article featured by Yahoo News

Power Play - Families Have Sizeable Impact on the Media - Joliet Herald 5/20

WGNTV.com

FOX News segment
FOX News article

CBS - WBBM
NBC - WMAQ
ABC - WLS
FOX - WFLD
WGN
CLTV News
WBBM Radio online

CourtTV - Crime Library

The Post Chronicle - 5/20
Joliet Herald article 5/6
Chicago Tribune article 5/7

____________________________________________

Getting word out any way possible-

From flowers to DVDs to the Internet, family of missing Plainfield woman turn to multiple media for help in search

By Jo Napolitano
Tribune staff reporter

May 21, 2007

“One, two, three,” Melanie Greenberg counted aloud in a sound check for a weekend news conference in Plainfield.

Greenberg looked the part of seasoned newsmaker, but the stay-at-home mom knew little about television or the press just three weeks ago, before her family was hit by the awful news that cousin Lisa Stebic had vanished. Greenberg immediately reached out to a group of media-savvy women she had befriended online two years ago.

From helping navigate the media to charting a public relations strategy involving fliers, vigils, flowers and magnets, the group became a lifeline. Stebic’s family employed virtually every modern form of information-sharing, from a Web site and discussion boards to music videos and a YouTube.com campaign.

The well-orchestrated blitz, as well as the news media’s captivation with these kinds of stories, resulted in three weeks of almost daily local coverage, several national TV appearances and hundreds of volunteers searching for Stebic, the mother of two who was last seen in her Plainfield home April 30.

Greenberg said one woman in particular, a former news producer and assignment editor at a CBS affiliate in Phoenix, was vital to getting the campaign off the ground.

Leigh Harris, who now works in production at KPHO, coached Greenberg on every imaginable topic, telling her to wear a jacket with a lapel so she could have a microphone fitted during interviews, to lean forward when talking into the camera and to wear primary colors because they pop on screen.

Harris drafted the family’s first news release a day after Stebic went missing.

“She was the one who told me you have to keep announcing things, that the media is like a shark you have to keep feeding,” Greenberg said.

They handed out carnations with Stebic’s picture on Mother’s Day. On Saturday, Stebic’s birthday, they released balloons with her image, hoping the message would reach a wide audience.

Harris even recommended the background color for the family’s Web site (dark blue) because it would look better on TV. She told Greenberg to remain accessible to the media and to provide pictures whenever possible in hopes that a two-line blurb could become a three-minute story.

“These are things I would never know,” Greenberg said. “My mind doesn’t think like that. I never would have thought I could handle stuff like this, but when you have to, you just do it. Leigh said to me, ‘Diamonds are made under pressure.’”

Within days, family posted videos on YouTube.com and later LiveVideo.com. Among them is a home movie of Stebic lighting Hanukkah candles with her children, reading to them and singing with her family.

The extended family solicited help from anyone who would listen, encouraging viewers from across the globe to post pictures of themselves holding signs that read findlisastebic.com. Photos came from Greece, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Another friend of Greenberg’s, Kara Crisp of Oregon, helped set images to music, using the melancholy song “Here With Me” by Dido to create a poignant montage.

“Kara’s videos touch people’s hearts,” Greenberg said. “I’ve heard hardened reporters say they cried watching it. We are not trying to manipulate. It just makes that connection where people see her as a real person, not a two-dimensional driver’s license picture.”

Greenberg said the women met on a Web site for fans of “The Phantom of the Opera.”

“My husband turned to me and said, ‘Who would have guessed that out of something like that, you would know somebody who could help us in a situation like this?’” she said.

She knows the family has only a brief window of time to draw national attention and intends to ride it out as long as she can, as long as her duties to her own family will allow.

“We were just trying to get Chicago’s attention,” she said. “I never expected it would be on CNN and MSNBC and FOX national.”

Greenberg didn’t get home until 10:30 p.m. one night after an interview with Greta Van Susteren on FOX News. She had to turn down an interview with CNN’s Nancy Grace because it conflicted with a school meeting. When a FOX correspondent wanted to fly out, Greenberg asked if the reporter could work around her child’s field trip and Cub Scout meeting. She hadn’t gone food shopping in more than a week.

Though Greenberg wasn’t familiar with the duties of spokeswoman, she was well-versed in the Internet. She wasn’t surprised when a message board connected with the family’s Web site turned into a forum for speculation and accusations about the case. Another friend offered to monitor it and discourage people from leaving negative messages.

Plainfield Police Chief Don Bennett said the Web site has been helpful. Police check it to search for tips or clues.

FBI spokesman Ross Rice said it’s important to keep Stebic’s face fresh in viewers’ minds.

“Public cooperation is the cornerstone of law enforcement in this country,” he said.

Kelly Bennett, spokeswoman for the National Center for Missing Adults, has seen the Web play a greater role in missing-persons cases recently.

The press corps for the weekend news conference was smaller than the others and is bound to shrink further if there are no new developments in the case.

Greenberg said the family is lucky in that no other national news events have pushed the story off the media radar. She can’t help but think of Laci Peterson when she recalls the last time a missing wife got so much attention. Peterson went missing from her California home for eight months in 2002 and was eventually found dead.

Bits of information seeping out about the case — the midnight search warrant last week on the family’s home, the letter Stebic sent to her lawyer seeking her husband’s eviction — have kept the story in the press and on the airwaves longer than Greenberg could have hoped.

Stebic’s story was mentioned on the show “America’s Most Wanted” on Saturday. Michelle Sigona, a correspondent with the show, has done several news show interviews about the Stebic case. She said she isn’t surprised to see more families turn to YouTube and other venues to post information about loved ones. She said the idea was popularized with the case of Natalee Holloway, a still-missing Alabama teen who disappeared in 2005 during a school trip to the Caribbean island of Aruba.

“YouTube is not just for kids anymore,” Sigona said. “It is used to help solve cases now in conjunction with television shows and newspapers. It’s fantastic.”

Stebic disappeared three weeks ago, last seen by her husband, Craig, whom she was divorcing. No activity has been reported on her cell phone or credit cards. Police say there are no suspects in the case.

———-

jnapolitano@tribune.com

Copyright © 2007, Chicago Tribune

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