Suburban businessman missing for 6 years

February 23, 2013 8:49:08 PM PST
Loved ones gathered Saturday night to in memory of the mysterious disappearance of a businessman six years ago who was last seen leaving his west suburban business on Feb. 23, 2007. Several months later, his office went up in flames.

It's been six years to the day since John Spira went missing.

"It's never going to get easier until we have answers and the person who did this is in jail," said Stephanie McNeil, Spira's sister.

Even though she lives in Phoenix every year McNeil comes back to the Chicago area to remind people her brother is still missing. Saturday, they gathered at a Northfield restaurant, not far from where Spira went to high school.

"If I don't care, if the family doesn't care, why should the police care, and nothing will happen. As long as you keep it out there, there is pressure on police to continue," she said.

A West Chicago businessman, the 45-year-old Spira was last seen at his business the evening of February 23, 2007. Jim Emma was among the last people to have contact with him that day.

"There's not more than a week that goes by that I don't think of him. I still have his number in my cell phone. He was just an awesome guy," Emma said.

To mark the anniversary, the DuPage County sheriff's department put out a statement of their own, asking the public for its continued assistance, but to his sister's frustration they still won't call it a murder investigation.

"Call it a missing person's case you're blaming John. This is not John's doing. Somebody killed him," McNeil said.

Sue Olsen understands McNeil's pain and frustration. Her son, 26-year-old Brad Olsen, was last seen January 20, 2007 at a bar in DeKalb, looking for a ride home.

"It continues to be very stressful. We do have a police department that actively works with me. We've had new information come in on the last couple of months that we continue to work on. It's been never ending," Olsen said.

Olsen, like Spira, has not received nearly as much attention as other missing people in the Chicago area, most notably Stacey Peterson and Lisa Stebic, both of whom also disappeared in 2007. It's part of the reason Spira's sister says, she won't give up.

"Same circumstances. There's no body, there is no blood, there is no physical evidence, but for some reason they can call those cases murder, John's they can't. I'm so mad. Somebody took him from us. The lack of closure. Somebody got away with murder it's unacceptable," McNeil said.