Fam­ily of miss­ing Lit­tle Rock teen hires new in­ves­ti­ga­tor

El Dorado News-Times - - Out & About -

LIT­TLE ROCK (AP) — The lead in­ves­ti­ga­tor in the high-pro­file dis­ap­pear­ance of Natalee Hol­loway in 2005 has joined the search for a Lit­tle Rock teenager miss­ing for nearly two years.

In­ves­ti­ga­tor TJ Ward is hop­ing to shed some light on the dis­ap­pear­ance of 18-year-old Ebby Step­pach, who was re­ported miss­ing on Oct. 24, 2015.

Ward flew to Lit­tle Rock to look into the case af­ter re­ceiv­ing a phone call from Step­pach's mother, Lau­rie Jerni­gan.

Jerni­gan says she re­mains hope­ful de­spite run­ning into mul­ti­ple dead ends in the case.

Ward says while it's too early to spec­u­late what hap­pened, he has agreed to take on the case full­time.

Ward investigated af­ter Hol­loway went miss­ing in 2005, af­ter leav­ing a bar in Aruba.

The 18-year-old Alabama woman was on a high school grad­u­a­tion trip at the time. Her dis­ap­pear­ance re­mains un­solved.

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