Police investigate husband in disappearance case

STEBIC+Steve+Contorno%0A

STEBIC Steve Contorno

By Michael Tarm

PLAINFIELD, Ill. – The estranged husband of a suburban Chicago woman missing for more than two months was named a “person of interest” Thursday by police who also said they fear Lisa Stebic was the victim of foul play.

Police had previously been reluctant to name Craig Stebic as the subject of their investigation. The couple were going through a divorce, but they still lived together with their two children in the family’s Plainfield home.

Craig Stebic was the last person to report seeing his wife on the evening of April 30.

At a news conference, Plainfield Police Chief Donald Bennett said during the 10-week investigation, Craig Stebic has “offered only minimal assistance to detectives” and refused to participate in any searches organized by his wife’s family and supported by the police department.

Bennett said that Stebic has twice refused requests by police and the Will County state’s attorney’s office to let investigators talk to his children – ages 10 and 12 – about their mother’s disappearance.

The police chief authorities have found no signs that Stebic left the house “of her own free will.” Authorities are “now focusing on the scenario that she is most likely the victim of foul play,” Bennett said.

The case also made news earlier this week when a television reporter covering the case was videotaped wearing a swimsuit at Craig Stebic’s home. Reporter Amy Jacobson, who said she was just aggressively pursuing a source on her day off, was then fired by WMAQ-TV. Bennett said the incident involving Jacobson “has no impact on our investigation.”

Craig Stebic has said that he saw his wife leave the house carrying only her phone and purse. She went missing the next morning.

The case took another twist when Craig Stebic, who has been caring for the children, filed for sole temporary custody, arguing it was a precaution in case his wife returned and attempted to take them away. A judge denied the request Tuesday.

The day she vanished, Lisa Stebic told her divorce attorney, Glenn Kahn, that she would send him a petition seeking to have Craig Stebic removed from the house, Kahn said.

Craig Stebic filed for divorce in January, citing irreconcilable differences. A motion filed in the case by Lisa Stebic claimed her husband, “both alone and in the presence of the minor children, is unnecessarily relentless, cruel, inconsiderate, domineering and verbally abusive, (and) is jeopardizing both Lisa’s mental and physical well-being.”