Tragedy struck a southern Illinois home the day before Thanksgiving. A day usually reserved for spending time with family and loved ones is now a day of sorrow for one family.
Eight-year-old Sabrina Stauffenberg stood on the porch of her home waiting for the bus to pick her up and take her to church. When the bus was late, she called her grandmother who agreed to call the church to check on it. When she called Sabrina back, there was no answer.
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Sadly, no one would hear from the young girl again. Sabrina’s body was found near a vinegar plant just hours after she vanished, according to the police report.
As is too often the case when young children go missing, Sabrina was abducted, sexually assaulted, and murdered. The family spent their Thanksgiving wondering how something so heinous could happen to their little girl.
Police later arrested their prime suspect, 53-year-old Glen Ramey. Ramey was arrested Sunday morning around 2:20 a.m. in connection with Sabrina’s death and has since been charged with first-degree murder and predatory sexual assault.
To make matters worse (as if they could become worse), the family knew Ramey. He was dating one of Sabrina’s relatives. According to a family friend, Denise Haley, Ramey allegedly suffered from mental health problems prior to committing this heinous attack. Understandably, the family never imagined he could, or would, ever be such a threat.
As the grim reality of Sabrina’s death sets in, Haley has started a GoFundMe page to help the family with the unbearable, burying their daughter.
The page reads, “Last night this little girl was taken too soon. Although details are slim and our whole community is grieving such a horrific loss, nothing can compare to what the family is experiencing.”
Haley later described the little girl as “loving,” adding: “She trusted everybody. She loved to play outside. She just learned how to ride a bike, so she loved riding her bike.”
Remarkably, donations have already surpassed the goal they asked for by $6,000. Sabrina’s death emphasizes the harsh reality that, contrary to popular belief, most attacks are committed by people the victim knows — not strangers lurking in the dark.
Friends, loved ones, or acquaintances are most likely to be the assailant. On average, sixty-four percent of girls and women who are murdered by someone they know.
Unfortunately, it seems this statistic was no different for young Sabrina.