Loved ones celebrate missing woman's birthday

May 15, 2010 (PLAINFIELD, Ill.) Investigators believe Stebic was a victim of foul play.

"It feels like an eternity, and other ways, it feels like yesterday," one person said.

Saturday was marked by a birthday gathering where everyone attending shared the same wish: a need for answers and a desire for justice in the disappearance of Lisa Stebic.

" The person who did this to her wanted to erase her, make it like she didn't exist. People here tonight are here to say, 'No. She's not going to be erased,'" said Melanie Greenberg, Lisa Stebic's cousin.

"I was fine, and then I get here and see all her friends, and it hurts. It hurts again," said Laurrie Binoenheimer, Stebic's friend and neighbor.

Friends and family released balloons to mark what would have been Stebic's 41st birthday this Wednesday. They were thankful a new joint task force is reviewing the woman's disappearance.

Stebic's family says police and prosecutors are now finally calling the case a homicide investigation, rather than simply a missing person's case.

Police surveillance cameras continue to record the comings and goings of the home of Lisa Stebic's estranged husband, but relatives say they have heard of no new leads.

"Priorities change. Before, I wanted him in jail. I want to be the one to hurt him. Now, I just want Lisa," Binoenheimer said.

Stebic's family and friends say they will be watching closely next month's trial of the husband of another missing mother. Drew Peterson is charged with the murder of his third wife, Stacy Peterson, and prosecutors plan to use a new 'heresay law' that allows statements of the missing or dead to be used in court.

"There are thing Lisa said to friends that could be used in this case, as well. So, we hope. We want justice for Lisa, as well," said Karen Jahnke, Lisa Stebic's friend.

Lisa Stebic's husband, Craig, was once labeled by police as a person of interest. He continues to live in the home the couple shared, now taking care of their two children. He also continues to not comment on his wife's disappearance.

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