The night before Thanksgiving, eight-year-old Sabrina Stauffenberg stood on the porch of her southern Illinois home as she waited for the bus to pick her up and take her to church:
As she waited outside on that evening, the bus, which she normally took, was late.
Confused, young Sabrina called her grandmother.
Her grandmother told Sabrina to hang tight and said she would call the church to find out why the bus was late.
After contacting the church, the grandmother attempted to call Sabrina back.
However, the call went unanswered.
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No one would ever hear from her again.
According to police reports, Sabrina’s body was found near a vinegar plant just hours after she vanished.
Tragically, an autopsy concluded that she had been sexually assaulted before being murdered.
The family spent their Thanksgiving in disbelief and horror.
Then police arrested a prime suspect.
That person is 53-year-old Glen Ramey, who was arrested Sunday morning around 2:20 a.m. in connection with Sabrina’s death.
Ramey has since been charged with first-degree murder and predatory sexual assault:
To make matters all the more disturbing, the family knew Ramey.
He was dating one of Sabrina’s relatives.
According to Denise Haley, a family friend of Sabrina’s, Ramey was known to suffer from mental health problems prior to his heinous attack. Presumably the family didn’t think he could ever be such a threat.
In the wake of Sabrina’s death, Haley has started a GoFundMe page to help the family with funeral expenses.
On the GoFundMe page, Haley wrote:
“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.”
She 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.”
Donations have already exceeded the $6,000 they were asking for.
Sabrina’s unthinkable death brings up an important point: contrary to popular belief, most attacks are committed by people known to victims — not strangers lurking in the dark.
On average, sixty-four percent of girls and women who are murdered are killed by friends, loved ones, or acquaintances.
Typically, the most violent of crimes are not random — and are often planned in advance.
It seems this was no different for young Sabrina.