DNA tests shed no light on '92 disappearance of three women

Sunday, August 22, 2004

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Tests on an item taken from a southwest Missouri farm have failed to provide a break in the disappearances of three Springfield women 12 years ago, a prosecutor said.

Investigators had been hopeful of connecting the unidentified item to Sherrill Levitt, her 19-year-old daughter Suzanne "Suzie" Streeter and the daughter's friend Stacy McCall. All three vanished from Levitt's home on June 7, 1992, a few hours after the girls celebrated their high school graduation.

Authorities went to the abandoned farm south of Cassville in April 2003 after receiving a tip that the women were buried there. The tip was among hundreds that police have received.

Bulldozer crews dug for several days after cadaver-seeking dogs hit on more than one spot on the property. Investigators also seized clothing and other articles from the farmhouse.

After inconclusive tests at a Missouri crime laboratory, the unidentified item was sent this year to a private forensics lab for testing against DNA samples of two of the missing women.

Greene County Prosecutor Darrell Moore said Friday the tests conclusively ruled out a match between genetic material found on the item and one of the DNA samples. On the other sample, "they can't really call it one way or another but their feeling is probably not," Moore said.

Police and prosecutors are still working on a DNA profile for the third woman and may try to test it against the item taken from the Cassville property.

Moore declined to describe the item taken from the house except to say it wasn't a weapon.

"To me it was always peculiar about where it was and the circumstances in which it was found," he said. The items that were unearthed at the site -- including tires, trash and a motorcycle -- proved "nothing of significance," he said.

Meanwhile, Springfield police don't have any significant leads in the case at the moment, said Officer Matt Brown, a department spokesman.

"We get leads all the time on it, but they pan out to be nothing," Brown said.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: