Ebby Steppach's remains were found Tuesday in a drainage pipe at a west Little Rock park, where her vehicle was found days after the Little Rock Central High School senior disappeared in October 2015, police reported on Wednesday.
Ebby's parents, Laurie and Michael Steppach, issued a statement: "Her death is being investigated as a homicide". "Many have seen the beauty in her eyes that revealed a deep passion and care for others".
Tommy Hudson, an investigator with the police cold case unit, said a renewed investigation that started last May prompted further examination of Chalamont Park and, after sending robots into a pipe and an excavation of a previously inaccessible area of that pipe, police found human remains this week.
Federal Bureau of Investigation agents and the Public Works Department assisted investigators with excavating the scene.
Steppach's remains were found Tuesday morning at around 10:30am in an underground drainage pipe in Chalamont Park, KATV reported.
The FBI has been helping police in Little Rock piece together clues in the case
She was 18 years old at the time of her disappearance.
Investigators searched the park again in November 2016. The newspaper reports that Steppach's brother told police he spoke to her on the phone on October 25, 2015, but said Steppach wouldn't tell him where she was.
Chalamont Park is located just south of Highway 10/Cantrell Road.
Missing poster for Ebby Steppach who went missing in Arkansas in 2015.
"Her story has touched many in ways that she could not have ever imagined", the post stated, noting that "the search to find Ebby has sparked open conversations and brought a heightened awareness to missing children and young adults, the existence of sex trafficking, along with the need for improved policies and processes within the law enforcement community in these areas". In late 2016, authorities searched the park, at 20600 Chalamont Drive - where the remains were found Tuesday - in connection with her disappearance.
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