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Where have all these women gone?

The search continues for Jessie Davis, Lisa Stebic and Stepha Henry

They are white, black, young, and not so young.  What they share is that they are all missing under mysterious circumstances.

Jessie Davis

Twenty-six-year-old Jessie Davis has one child, 2-year-old Blake, and was nine months pregnant with her second child, a girl she had already named Chloe Leann, when she disappeared from her Ohio residence sometime between last Wednesday night and Friday morning. The father of Davis' two children is Canton police officer Bobby Cutts, Jr., who is currently estranged from his current wife, Kelly, and their two children.  Cutts has at least one other child, a girl he fathered with current California resident Nikki Giavasis.  Giavasis is afraid of Cutts, indicating that he kicked in the door of her house when he found out that she was dating someone else.  She said Cutts is an abusive individual who has hit and abused their daughter, that he has threatened to steal the young girl from Giavasis, and stated that she has filed a number of restraining orders against Cutts, the latest this year.

Davis' mother appears to be the last known person to have spoken to Jessie Davis, this at 9:20 p.m. last Wednesday night.  In that telephone call, Davis told her mother that Cutts was going to pick up their son at Davis' residence later that night, but Cutts has allegedly said that he tried to call Davis but got no answer so he did not go to her residence.  It was Friday morning when Davis' mother went to her daughter's home to find her.  What she found was the bedroom in disarray, the comforter and bed sheets missing, bleach spilled around the floor, and young Blake wandering around the house in an obviously soiled diaper, suffering from lack of food and water.  Davis was no where to be found.  Her car was there, her purse had been dumped on the floor and, like Davis herself, her cell phone was missing.

As Jessie Davis was due to give birth to Chole on July 3, the finding of a day-old baby girl in a wicker basket, Moses style, at the side doorstep of a residence some 45 miles away from Jessie's home instantly spiked the attention of both police and the media.  Could it be Baby Chole, and if so, how did she get there and where was Jessie?

The Redman family lives in this residence and found the baby, dressed in a sleeper with a blanket, food, but no note, when they returned from dinner Monday evening.  The baby was sound asleep, obviously oblivious to the fact that the woman (or girl) who had given birth to her was nowhere around to feed her her next bottle.  Mrs. Redman, a former school nurse, has helped pregnant teens and women for a number of years, so they did not find this overly suspicious, especially noting that Mrs. Redman was currently working with one or more pregnant teenage girls.  Some have indicated that the baby, now known as "Jane Doe," could not be the child of Jessie as the baby did not appear to be biracial, further noting that Davis is white and Cutts is black.  Police have requested that DNA from the baby and that known to be from Davis be compared, the results of which may not be known for days (although police may know far sooner for purposes of their investigation.)

The best, and apparently the only witness to Davis' possible disappearance is her son Blake.  Blake, in his best 2-½-year-old voice, has indicated that "Mommy was crying," "Mommy broke the table," and that "Mommy's in the rug."  Some believe he is referring to a possible assault in the bedroom where a table and lamp were knocked, and that Davis may have been wrapped in and carried from the residence in the red comforter by her suspected assailant.  This is not like the case, however, of kidnapped, assaulted and murdered Kansas teenager Kelsey Smith.  She was the recent high school graduate that just this month walked out of a local Target Store and was kidnapped and subsequently murdered with her believed assailant caught in the silent eyes of numerous surveillance cameras which provided pictures that led police to her suspected murderer.  No, in the case of Jessie Davis a "live" set of eyes may have witnessed what happened to her, only these young eyes and the brain coupled to them has a limited capability of understanding what they saw.  Any witness may prove to be better than no witness, though.  Daily searches have been conducted concerning Davis, persons of interest have been questioned, and forensic examinations have been conducted of homes and vehicles that may be related to her disappearance. But to date, Blake's mother and his unborn sister are still missing.

In Davis' case, she could be a runaway, not likely, though, according to family members; she may have been kidnapped to get her unborn child.  Women who have lost children or faked their own pregnancy have been known to steal newborn babies from hospitals and to kidnap and murder pregnant mothers, then to perform some crude Caesarian on the biological mother to take the baby as their own.  Some babies are taken from their mothers and sold, while others will point out that statistically speaking, most pregnant women who are murdered turn out to have been the victim of the man who impregnated them.  All of these possible scenarios and others must be considered and ruled in our by investigation, just like any suspect in Davis' disappearance.  Meanwhile, young Blake walks around his grandmother's home saying, "Mommy's in the rug."  If his eyes could only share what they saw…

Lisa Stebic
It's been 51 days since then 37-year-old Lisa Stebic, the mother of two, disappeared from her Plainfield, Ill., home.  Lisa's estranged husband, Craig, says their two children, ages 10 and 12, were out of the house from 6 to 7 p.m. at a local store, coincidentally the same time that he alleges that Lisa left the house.  He assumed that someone picked her up, this as her car was left at the residence.  It wasn't until the following morning that Craig called Lisa's place of employment to inquire if she was there, indicating that she hadn't returned home the night before.  He then called a neighbor and asked if the neighbor had seen Lisa, and it was the neighbor, not Craig, who then reported Lisa missing to police.

Most know from the media that this was a stormy relationship, one headed for a divorce, and one that was challenged by money problems, with their house mortgaged for more then it was worth on the open market.  Neighbors have commented that they had seen Craig yell and curse at Lisa, and Lisa, someone who had been to a battered woman's shelter because of her husband, had allegedly told at least one friend that if she went missing to consider Craig a suspect.  Lisa was in the process of filing papers charging Craig with the abuse of her and their children, and she was demanding he leave their home and live elsewhere until their divorce was complete.  In fact, it was reported that she had signed and mailed papers to this effect on the very day she disappeared.

Craig is allegedly a hunter who owns or has owned many weapons.  Twelve years ago he was charged with weapons violations as police found him in custody of an AK-47, a mini-15 semiautomatic rifle, a .10 gauge shotgun, and a .44 magnum (aka Dirty Harry) semiautomatic pistol.  These, of course, are only four of the approximately 280,000,000 guns in America and their mere possession does not make Craig guilty of anything, with the exception, possibly, of arming himself to start a small war. 

One media report credited an unnamed police source as indicating that blood was found on a tarp in the rear of Craig's pickup truck.  Not only blood, but blood identified by DNA as Lisa's blood.  Craig has denied this and police have not confirmed it, but Craig says if blood was found, it was probably deer or rabbit blood from one of his hunting trips.  In the meantime police are also attempting to determine if Lisa was a victim of herself, i.e., a true runaway mother as Craig's attorney has suggested, or the victim of a stalker who had been following her, the victim of an accident, or the victim of a random act of violence.  The authorities would be looking for some evidence, some proof that she left her home on the night she disappeared.  Surveillance cameras of nearby stores, etc., would be reviewed and her social activities would also be determined.  Any known sex offender in the local area would be identified and interviewed and a review of all crimes in the local area would be conducted, as would a neighborhood investigation to determine if anyone saw anything suspicious on the night she disappeared.

It appears that Craig has moved on with his life, perhaps waiting for Lisa's disappearance to "blow over," so to speak.  There are currently 1,200 missing adults on file in Illinois and 50,000 on file across the country with the National Center for Missing Adults.  Lisa is someone who the local community wants returned to her home or they want her disappearance solved.  Friends have sought the help of psychics in locating Lisa.  I have never seen a psychic solve such a case and feel that in most cases they provide false hope to desperate friends and family members.  Some say it can't hurt, but I'd rather see people place their trust in the police than in weegie boards.  In my case though, I'd also dance with the devil it I thought it would get back a missing loved one, so I understand their desperation. 

Stepha Henry

In this undated photo provided by the Miami-Dade Police Dept., Stepha Henry is shown. Henry, was last seen by relatives at their South Florida home on May 29 getting into a black sedan with a man. Henry, who was visiting the area with her 16-year-old sister, said she was going to a nightclub. Miami-Dade County police have said they don't know if foul play is involved and Henry's case is under investigation. (AP Photo/Miami-Dade Police Dept., HO)Miami-Dade Police Dept.

Add to the list of missing women 22-year-old Brooklyn resident Stepha Henry.  A recent graduate of an NYC criminal justice college, she was visiting friends and family in southern Florida when she was last seen in a local night club on May 29.  She had been picked up at a relative's home by a man driving a dark-colored Acura Integra, a car that has been missing since Henry's disappearance.  A video camera in the night club that evening captured her image as she talked to people in the club, therefore we know she arrived there.  The driver of the Acura was alleged to have told investigators that he lost contact with Henry in the club and may not have seen her leave.  That statement, however, now may be disputed by another witness from the club. This new witness, described by some as currently being in police custody, has indicated that he saw Henry leave the club with two other women, after which they got into a car, a dark-colored Acura Integra, and drive away.  The driver of the car said he left the club without the borrowed car, and he had no idea of it's whereabouts, or of the whereabouts of Henry.  Police continue to identify and interview club patrons who are seen on the video film in an attempt to find Henry, and to identify those with whom she left. 

As of now, this, like the two cases above, is an active missing persons case.  With the exception of Jessie Davis, there is no overt evidence of possible foul play, but the questions still lingers in the minds of the family and friends of the missing women: where are they, and why are they missing?  The investigations concerning these missing women, like in the case of the almost 1,000,000 people reported missing every year in the U.S. (most of whom are eventually accounted for), continues.

Clint Van Zandt is a former FBI Agent, behavioral profiler and hostage negotiator as well as an MSNBC Analyst. His web site provides readers with security related information.