According to reports, Alissa, 17, walked out one day, unaware that it would be the last time she would ever see her family because she never returned home and no one knew what had happened to her. She finally got justice decades later due to her stepsister’s determination to find out the truth.
Her stepfather was arrested in connection with her murder and charged with second-degree murder. The stepfather, Michael, would have gotten away with the crime he committed if it weren’t for Sarah, his daughter, who was also Alissa’s stepsister.
Alissa, like a lot of other adolescents her age, had often considered the idea of running away from home. Therefore, when Michael told Sarah, who was just 12 years old at the time, that Alissa had gotten away from the house, she had little reason not to believe his claims. Later, she found a letter in Alissa’s room that said she had gone to a different state.
Sarah remained unwavering in her support of her father, a former sheriff’s deputy and electrician, even when rumors circulated about his suspected role in her abduction in the years after she had vanished.
When the investigation reached a dead end, Sarah took it upon herself to learn more about her whereabouts. She searched through the records of the police department, launched a website that solicited information from the public, and even went on local and national news to ask for assistance. After that, she got the idea that her own father was involved in some way with what had happened.
According to the documents kept by the police, Alissa visited the school workshop class that her boyfriend attended on the 17th of May, 2001, in order to inform him that she would be leaving school early and that her father would be picking her up. Several hours later, Michael made a call to the authorities to report that his daughter had run away to live with her aunt in another state. It was reported by her aunt that her niece never showed up. For five years, nothing happened, and serial killer Thomas falsely confessed to Alissa’s murder. It was only then that the detectives conducted interviews with Alissa’s closest friends, including her boyfriend, Jon. There they revealed that Michael was verbally abusive and had called her “stupid” and “moron”. They even stated that Alissa was abused for years.
The police got more suspicious of Michael after he refused to let them into his house when they requested to search Alissa’s bedroom. A search warrant was issued and authorities were granted access to the house after his refusal to cooperate. They were shocked to discover surveillance cameras, homemade bombs, and contracts between father and daughter, including one where he stated he did not molest her. Authorities also discovered additional evidence pointing to the fact that Michael might have played a role in Alissa’s disappearance. However, despite all this evidence, Michael insisted he was innocent.
But Sarah’s dedication and hard work eventually paid off, and her father, Michael, was charged with second-degree murder by the grand jury.
“I’m shaking and I’m crying. We did it you guys. He’s been arrested. Omg thank you. #justiceforalissa Never give up hope that you can get justice. It took almost 20 years but we did it,” Sarah announced the news on Twitter.
“Your perseverance and commitment to finding justice for your sister, Alissa, is a testament to the love of a sister. Because of that love, Alissa’s light has never gone out,” the county attorney said.