Left and Center: Stephanie circa, 1993
Right: Age Progressed to age 31
Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: October 11, 1993
Missing From: Challis, Custer County, Idaho
Classification: Non-Family Abduction
Date Of Birth: September 28, 1984
Age: 9 years old
Height and Weight: 4’2″ and 85 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian Female, Brown hair, Blue eyes, Stephanie has a scar mar her right eye and a distinctive cowlick on the right side of her hairline, she had space between her two upper front teeth at the time of her 1993 disappearance, her hair was described as thick and curly and her face is freckled, her nickname is “Steffi” and her middle name might be spelled as “Lynn”
Clothing/Jewelry Description: A maroon/white striped hooded sweatshirt with “GIMME” imprinted across the front, a pair of maroon sweatpants, and maroon/white shoes
NCMEC Number: 784139
Details of Disappearance
Stephanie was last seen in Challis, Idaho on October 11th 1993. She was dropped off at the Challis Bowling Alley by her mother who also gave her money to purchase a snack and left. Stephanie went bowling with her friends and fellow students before she left the alley.
Stephanie was last sighted walking on Highway 93 towards Challis High School at approximately 6:00 pm. It’s possible she was going to the school to attend soccer practice. The school was just across the street from the Bowling Alley. She might have simply been walking to her residence which is only 500 yards away from the alley.
Stephanie never made it to either destinations and has never been seen or heard from again. Her mother, Sandi Crane, went to the police station at 8:15 pm that night to reports her daughter missing when she never returned home.
A search immediately assumed at 9:00 pm. The search continued until 12:30 am and was scheduled to start again at 7:00 am. Despite searches by police, federal investigators, tracking dogs, and boat crews, no trace of her was ever found. Investigators believe Crane was abducted by a stranger and taken against her will.
Investigators originally assumed Stephanie’s family had some type of involvement in her disappearance. Investigators mainly focused on Sandi since she was one of the last people to see the child before her disappearance.
Her father, Ben, has made angry statements regarding the focus on the family. Investigators do not believe anyone in her family had involvement. They’ve named multiple persons of interest in her presumed abduction over the years.
There was one woman who refused to say anything about Stephanie’s case unless her attorney was present and another man took a polygraph regarding her presumed abduction. He showed signs of deception but his polygraph were ruled inconclusive as a result.
Investigators are seeking a yellow pick up truck that was seen in the area at the time of Stephanie’s disappearance. The pickup truck was described as having red pinstripes and it’s been discussed as having a connection to her abduction. The vehicle has not been positively located as of currently times.
In 2002, investigators named a man Keith Glenn “Mark” Hescock as a possible suspect in Crane’s disappearance. He was a hunter who lived in Idaho Falls at the time of her disappearance. He has also been mentioned as a possible suspect in the 2001 disappearance of 20 year old Amber Hoopes from Idaho Falls.
On June 5th 2002, he abducted a 14 year old girl from outside her home during the early morning hours and kept her as prisoner in his home. He had known to girls family at the time. She was able to escape while he was at work. He left her chained to his bed inside his home and she used a fire extinguisher to bash the lock off.
When police attempted to arrest Keith for the kidnapping, he fled in his vehicle and led police on a 40 mile high speed chase. The chase ended at a dead end road in the Bug Hole Mountains. He had a gun which he used to shoot and kill a police dog before wounding a police officer. He then shot himself and took his own life.
In 1993, Hescock shot and killed a bighorn sheep ram in the area of Challis and this was documented at a game check station. His neighbor told police that Hescock was hunting in Challis during the weekend of Stephanie’s abduction. Stephanie’s great grandparents were both camping near Twin Peaks that weekend and recall camping next to a weird guy.
They were later able to identify the man as being Hescock when they saw him in the newspapers. He drove a yellow pickup truck similar to the one that was seen in the area where Stephanie was abducted. As for Amber Hoopes, Hescock knew her family and worked for her grandparents.
There’s no actual evidence that links him to Stephanie’s abduction or to Ambers disappearance. He was never questioned about the cases since he took his own life. Any secrets he had went with him to his grave.
At the time of Stephanie’s disappearance, she was known to go on hunting trips with her father in the mountains and she followed in his footsteps. She was described as a tomboy who was part of a youth balking league. Her parents have since passed away from natural causes. Sandi died on August 14th 1997 and Ben died on October 11th 2012. They both had been divorced since July of 1994.
Stephanie’s three younger sisters and extended relatives continue to search for her and hope to possible find her alive. Law enforcement also has hopes of recovering Stephanie alive and have offered a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrests and conviction of the person(s) responsible for her disappearance.
Authorities have stated they have approximately 5 to 10 possible suspects in her case and none are family members of Crane. They’ve gotten various leads and possibilities over the years but none have panned out. Her presumed abduction remains unsolved and no arrests have been made.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Custer County Sheriffs Office 208-879-2232
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
Idaho Missing Persons Clearinghouse