Tips still emerge in search for missing mother - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Tips still emerge in search for missing mother

By Holly Brantley - bio | email

RISCO, MO (KFVS) - Rumors or clues? To this day, tips continue to pour in regarding the disappearance of Teresa Butler.

Five years after she vanished, authorities say they continue to get calls claiming they know what happened to her. But police say they're still waiting on that one call or email that will bring her family closure.

"We've heard from about the most horrible thing you can imagine," said Butler's sister, Brenda Wilson. "We have other people tell us she's still out there."

Jan. 25 marked the five year anniversary. Her husband Dale came home from working the night shift to find their two sons home alone. Teresa was gone. Now Teresa's sister, Brenda Wilson says she believes people close to Risco know more than they let on.

"I think there's a lot of people that know what happened," said Wilson. "They just don't want to get involved.

From the home, electronics were missing, and there was a random call from Teresa's cell phone to a home in southeast Missouri with no connection to Teresa. Wilson says callers phone her from across the country.

"A lot of them have family that are connected to this area and they will hear something," said Wilson.

She says it's hard to tell fact from fiction. Stories range from where she could be buried, to where she could be living. Wilson say there's been so many rumors the stories can be overwhelming.

"There's just been so much it's hard to tell what's true. We've probably heard the truth. I honestly think we have," said Wilson.

"In one sense I'm thankful that five years later people are still talking about it," said New Madrid County Sheriff Terry Stevens. .

Sheriff Terry has been a part of the case from the beginning.

"We just can't take anything for granted at this point," said Sheriff Stevens.  

Just a few months ago in October, a tip lead authorities to search an area on a country road near Malden.

"I contacted a cadaver dog team out of Eureka and they sent officers and dogs," said Sheriff Stevens. "We searched for two days and didn't recover anything."

Stevens believes the evidence is out there. He says over the years, he's been reluctant to form too many opinions about what might have happened. 

"It's so vague we don't want to get tunnel vision or box ourselves in," said Sheriff Stevens. "We don't want to miss the proper trails."

Stevens says now he wants Butler's case solved before he hangs up his badge. Risco is his hometown. He says he wants to ease their fear.

"People here in Risco are still concerned that something like this could happen in this community," said Sheriff Stevens.

As for the family, Wilson says they pray for answers. No one lives in the home Teresa and Dale once shared. Wilson says the boys are well.

"There's no way we could have made it these past years without prayer," said Wilson. "We know God's in it. There's no other way."

Both Stevens and Teresa's family continue to try and bring national attention to the case. They believe that would help because most of the tips are coming in from across the nation. You can even give a tip anonymously. If you have information contact your local authorities, or the New Madrid County Sheriff's Department.

Copyright 2011 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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