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  1. #1
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    LA - Stephanie Hebert, 6, Waggaman, 13 June 1978

    I have never started a topic here at WS before so forgive me if I make any mistakes.

    Six-year-old Stephanie Hebert was last seen by her mother as she left her home on June 13, 1978 to walk to a neighborhood friend's home.

    Her skeletal remains were found by a hunter almost 6 month later on November 29, 1978. They were located about 20 miles from her home in Jefferson Parish and appeared to have been bound to a tree.

    No one has ever been charged in Stephanie's murder. However in an odd twist, the sister of the POI (who was 16 at the time) was found dead several years later in the trunk of her car. Her murder is also unsolved. In recent years this POI was also found not to be a DNA match. Therefore I am not posting his name in our forum.

    Sadly there is not much MSM info on Stephanie's murder or the investigation.

    The following are links to blogs which contain more information about the crime and transcriptions of news articles from the time of her disappearance.

    I am hoping some of our fine sleuths can solve the mystery of little Stephanie's murder.

    (edited to remove disallowed link-sorry!)

    http://kidnappingmurderandmayhem.blo...siana.html?m=1

    http://missing87975.yuku.com/forums/32

    http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg...&GRid=43231748
    Last edited by FrayedKnot; 12-08-2012 at 02:41 PM.

  2. #2
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    Thank you for posting this case! I grew up in the NOLA area and while this was before I was shortly born, I had never heard of this case!

    I'm not sure that the POI's sister was "murdered" necessarily. The coroner's spokesperson said the autopsy showed she "died of a combination of toxicity from cocaine, alcohol and carbon monoxide poisoning. She said the precise time or place of death cannot be determined and it is unknown if the death was an accident, suicide or homicide." This is from a 1989 Times-Picayune article that can be accessed via pay sites or if you are affiliated with a university that has America's News database available. The article is called POLICE INACTION KILLED WOMAN, MOTHER SAYS and it ran in the Times-Picayune, - Friday, November 3, 1989; Author: RICHARD BOYD West Bank bureau.

    Her death is definitely suspicious but I'm not sure it was murder. It's an odd twist indeed that the sister of the POI was found dead this way. But this was 10 years later. From what I can tell, I don't think is related to Stephanie's abduction/murder in any way.
    Last edited by ktgirl; 12-11-2012 at 12:17 AM.
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  3. #3
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    Thank you for the added info!

    All I could glean from the pitiful amount of info out there was that it was the POI's sister (I did NOT know she was the SIL) and that her death occurred sometime after. Had no idea this was 10 years later!

    Anyway, this was my main reason for posting this case, in the hopes that someone out here would know enough about the case and the players to piece together a better picture of what may have happened.

    I really appreciate your reply and corrected information! .

  4. #4
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    Waggaman is a small, semi-rural community outside of New Orleans on the Westbank of the Mississippi River. Not exactly a suburb- a little to rural/industrial/removed. There is a shipyard there; it was renamed and downsized and allegedly will close in 2013. It's pretty much the main economic staple of the town (well, it's not a town but a census-designated place). In 2000, it had a little over 10,700 residents (for some reason I can't find the 1980 census). To the other NOLA suburbanites, Waggaman is really a trek out there, even to those that live on the Westbank.

    There are a few cases I know of the because of WS that center around Waggaman missing people/suspicious deaths between 1978-1989, including (now) Stephanie & the POI's sister. The other that I thought of immediately was Vicki Carriere, an 18 year old expectant mother who disappeared from Waggaman in 1987. I'm not suggesting all of these are connected, but it seems strange to have a missing/murdered child, missing woman, & the POI's sister's suspicious death all happening in such a small community within 10 years. Although maybe it's really not that strange at all (I don't really know about crime stats for relatively small towns/communities).

    ETA Vicki has a thread here on WS: LA LA - Vicki Carriere, 18, Waggaman, 12 July 1987 - Websleuths Crime Sleuthing Community
    ....but like Stephanie's case there is really very little info available.
    Last edited by KateB; 05-21-2015 at 07:35 PM. Reason: repair url tag.
    "All your life, all your love, all your hate, all your memory, all your pain, it was all the same thing. It was all the same dream—a dream that you had inside a locked room. A dream about being a person.” - True Detective

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  5. #5
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    From reading newspaper articles & blogs that mention Stephanie's case, I get the impression the story that Stephanie was seen buying cotton candy with an older lady was a false sighting. Don't think it ever happened or if so, I don't think it was Stephanie. It seems that after years & years, the police have decided that this sighting isn't that important to the case & have discounted it themselves. I'm sure the woman who thought she saw Stephanie really did think she saw her, but I also think this (along with zeroing in on the POI who has now been cleared via DNA) made the investigation so difficult to solve.

    Sadly, I think Stephanie was probably already tied to the tree or being taken out to that area by the time the woman served the little girl she thought was Stephanie.

    There's been some speculation serial killer Robert Carl Hohenberger may have been involved in Stephanie's death. He killed 5 teenaged girls between March & May 1978 in Morgan City, LA (which is about an hour away from Waggaman) and then committed suicide in Washington state in June of 1978. I'd like to know what day he committed suicide and when it's believed he left Louisiana for Washington (before or after Stephanie's disappearance & murder). So far I haven't been able to find this info.
    Five or six seems a little young for his victims' profile, but I generally operate under the assumption that while many serial killers may have a preference for certain types/looks/ages as far as victims, most will also victimize anyone who even vaguely fits into their ideal victim category - that this can just mean "female and alone/vulnerable." More or less, I think they often have poor impulse control (obviously) & will take an advantage of an easy target, which a 6 year old girl certainly would be. So I'm undecided on the likelihood that this serial killer harmed Stephanie (if he was even in alive & in Louisiana at the time).

    I wonder if there are other missing children or unsolved murders in the area that I am unaware of during this time frame. I didn't know about Stephanie as it can be kind of hard to come across or get info on cold cases in this area...so who knows if there are other similar victims around the same time.
    "All your life, all your love, all your hate, all your memory, all your pain, it was all the same thing. It was all the same dream—a dream that you had inside a locked room. A dream about being a person.” - True Detective

    Help Save the Next Girl. http://helpsavethenextgirl.com

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrayedKnot View Post
    Thank you for the added info!

    All I could glean from the pitiful amount of info out there was that it was the POI's sister (I did NOT know she was the SIL) and that her death occurred sometime after. Had no idea this was 10 years later!

    Anyway, this was my main reason for posting this case, in the hopes that someone out here would know enough about the case and the players to piece together a better picture of what may have happened.

    I really appreciate your reply and corrected information! .
    Oh no! It was definitely his sister! I misread it and went back to re-read it. Oops! Sorry!
    "All your life, all your love, all your hate, all your memory, all your pain, it was all the same thing. It was all the same dream—a dream that you had inside a locked room. A dream about being a person.” - True Detective

    Help Save the Next Girl. http://helpsavethenextgirl.com

    Help Find Shane Fell. Http://helpfindshanefell.com

  7. #7
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    Hohenberger died in Tacoma on May 31, 1978.

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?ni...&pg=6827,27219

    Robert Carl Hohenberger, wanted in Louisiana and California, died late Wednesday of a bullet wound received during his arrest earlier in the day.
    The article is dated June 1, 1978. May 31, 1978 was a Wednesday.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bessie View Post
    Hohenberger died in Tacoma on May 31, 1978.

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?ni...&pg=6827,27219



    The article is dated June 1, 1978. May 31, 1978 was a Wednesday.
    Well, that certainly eliminates him as a suspect.

    Thanks for the info, there is so pitifully little on this case.

  9. #9
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    Just a thought about the original POI having been eliminated as a DNA match:

    I could not find any official statement from LE to that effect. I will have to go back and look but IIRC the claim has only been made by the POI himself.

    OTOH, if he HAD been a DNA match, surely LE would have had him in custody, right?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ktgirl View Post
    From reading newspaper articles & blogs that mention Stephanie's case, I get the impression the story that Stephanie was seen buying cotton candy with an older lady was a false sighting. Don't think it ever happened or if so, I don't think it was Stephanie. It seems that after years & years, the police have decided that this sighting isn't that important to the case & have discounted it themselves. I'm sure the woman who thought she saw Stephanie really did think she saw her, but I also think this (along with zeroing in on the POI who has now been cleared via DNA) made the investigation so difficult to solve.

    Sadly, I think Stephanie was probably already tied to the tree or being taken out to that area by the time the woman served the little girl she thought was Stephanie.

    There's been some speculation serial killer Robert Carl Hohenberger may have been involved in Stephanie's death. He killed 5 teenaged girls between March & May 1978 in Morgan City, LA (which is about an hour away from Waggaman) and then committed suicide in Washington state in June of 1978. I'd like to know what day he committed suicide and when it's believed he left Louisiana for Washington (before or after Stephanie's disappearance & murder). So far I haven't been able to find this info.
    Five or six seems a little young for his victims' profile, but I generally operate under the assumption that while many serial killers may have a preference for certain types/looks/ages as far as victims, most will also victimize anyone who even vaguely fits into their ideal victim category - that this can just mean "female and alone/vulnerable." More or less, I think they often have poor impulse control (obviously) & will take an advantage of an easy target, which a 6 year old girl certainly would be. So I'm undecided on the likelihood that this serial killer harmed Stephanie (if he was even in alive & in Louisiana at the time).

    I wonder if there are other missing children or unsolved murders in the area that I am unaware of during this time frame. I didn't know about Stephanie as it can be kind of hard to come across or get info on cold cases in this area...so who knows if there are other similar victims around the same time.
    So the whole hullabaloo over the manly-looking woman who could possibly have been the original POI in drag was probably just a mistake?

    Wow! I will say that that whole aspect of the story really creeped me out. Thinking a male pedophile predator would dress as a woman to abduct a little girl but then take her out for cotton candy in public! It just seemed too freakshow.

    But so many people had commented on how much the composite sketch of the "woman" looked like the POI, it made me sort of buy into it.

    I will say that from the little I have been able to read, my gut still favors the original POI.


  11. #11
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    I'm glad to see that people are showing an interest in what happened to Stephanie Hebert. I'll never forget that day... She lived around the corner from and her mom actually came by house to see if she was there. And concerning the ice cream truck incident, ther was another girl in Waggaman who got mistaken for Stephanie alot, she looked like she could have been her twin.

    I also knew Vicki Carriere everyone couldn't believe it when she disappeared.

    And the POI in Stephanie's case was cleared through DNA a few years ago, I knew his sister as well. From what her mother said (the POI sister)her body was in the trunk of the car of her trunk for two days before she was found.

  12. #12
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    I see this thread is pretty recent..I read about this on the Kidnapping, murder and mayhem blog, and I googled it and did not really find much in re to this case. And it is staying w/ me! When I first read about it I thought that someone younger, maybe a teen, did this all by themselves...sick, sick young man, who may have known her? I don't know, just throwing my idea in here. I really hope this little girl will get a measure of justice, her life was taken so horribly.

  13. #13
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    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by crsnryad View Post
    I'm glad to see that people are showing an interest in what happened to Stephanie Hebert. I'll never forget that day... She lived around the corner from and her mom actually came by house to see if she was there. And concerning the ice cream truck incident, ther was another girl in Waggaman who got mistaken for Stephanie alot, she looked like she could have been her twin.

    I also knew Vicki Carriere everyone couldn't believe it when she disappeared.

    And the POI in Stephanie's case was cleared through DNA a few years ago, I knew his sister as well. From what her mother said (the POI sister)her body was in the trunk of the car of her trunk for two days before she was found.


    Welcome to Websleuths, crsnryad!

  14. #14
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    I wish I could remember some of the names in a Cold Case thread I was looking at just the other night -- the thread's subject was another female child who was found, deceased, tied to a tree ... and it seems two or three other similar cases were mentioned by posters. Don't think any of the cases were in Louisiana, and maybe none even in the South, though.

    I have been reading a lot in the Cold Case threads lately and though every case seems so unique and sad when I am reading it that I think I will never forget it, it is hard sometimes to separate them -- there are just SO many -- when trying to remember names, locations, etc. I do remember, but they tend to "blend" in my mind. So many, so sad.

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    Last edited by KateB; 05-21-2015 at 07:35 PM. Reason: repair url tag.

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