June 6, 1992, was a joyous moment in Stacy McCall’s life. That day, the 18-year-old graduated from Kickapoo High School in Springfield, Missouri, before going to parties that evening.
Before she left home for the night, she told her mom she was running late and would call her later, when she knew her exact plan.
“We both said, ‘I love you,'” her mom, Janis McCall, tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue.
That exchange, more than 27 years ago, marked the last time Janis ever saw her daughter.
After a night out, Stacy and her friend Suzie Streeter, 19, went back to the home Suzie shared with her mother, Sherrill Levitt, 47.
The next morning, Suzie and Stacy had plans to go to a water park with other friends. But the friends never heard from them, and after Janis couldn’t reach her daughter, she drove to Suzie and Sherill’s home hoping to find her.
Stacy’s car was parked outside, but no one answered the door. After opening the unlocked door, she walked into an empty house. The television was on and the three women’s purses sat lined up, opened on the floor. Stacy’s clothes from the night before were folded neatly in a bedroom.
The trio is still missing, and the unsolved case of the so-called “Springfield Three” is explored in the season premiere of People Magazine Investigates on Investigation Discovery, airing Nov. 4 at 10 p.m.
To this day, the case brings in several leads a week, according to the Springfield Police Department.
“Whoever is responsible for this can’t take back what happened, but they can help bring some closure to the families while they’re still alive,” Officer Rick Bookout tells PEOPLE.
• For more on the mysterious missing persons case of the the Springfield Three, subscribe now to PEOPLE or pick up this week’s issue, on newsstands Friday.
In the immediate aftermath of the disappearances, Janis made missing persons posters, went on radio stations, talked to the media, put up billboards and helped raise $100,000 for a reward fund. Her husband, Stu, canvassed the city looking for Stacy, and the case was featured on America’s Most Wanted.
The number of tips skyrocketed because of the publicity, and the FBI was called in to help local police.
“I thought they would be home right away,” says Janis, now 71. “I was angry we couldn’t find her.”
A day doesn’t go by that their families don’t miss Stacy, Sherill, and Suzie and wonder what befell them.
Sherill’s sister had Sherill and Suzie declared dead in 1997. But Janis McCall says she her husband Stu will never stop looking for Stacy, who would now be 45.
“There’s not a word called closure in the dictionary for families missing someone,” says Janis. “My baby is gone. We want some justice.”
People Magazine Investigates: The Springfield Three airs Monday, Nov. 4 at 10 p.m. on Investigation Discovery.