RUCH, Ore. — “She was truly a blessed person… and a lot of people missed her,” said Craig Hamm, owner of Ruch Country Store.
Another year gone and Stephanie Warner hasn’t come home.
“Just July, I think I was one of the last people to see her,” said Hamm.
The 43-year-old vanished on July 4th, 2013. She’s last pictured in a video shot at Ashland’s annual parade.
Investigators say Warner returned to Ruch late that afternoon, but that’s where the trail goes cold.
Hamm says he knew Warner well and says it’s always around this time of year that people remember her and yearn for answers.
“When you’re in a small community like ours… every time you have someone pass or missing or accident or something, it’s a loss,” said Hamm.
Suzy Hyde agrees.
“Nothing like that happens here,” said Hyde.
But she says as years pass by and missing person flyers are torn down, the frustration is still there.
“It’s just died out to nothing… like nobody’s looking anymore,” she said.
Police say Warner’s boyfriend, Lennie Ames, is their primary suspect. NBC5 News interviewed Ames and his son back in 2013.
Both said they had no idea where Warner could be.
“We don’t know. We have no idea. We’re baffled by this whole thing,” they said.
Ames took off shortly after Warner disappeared; he went to Florida, then Georgia.
Still, police say no matter where he is, they won’t stop until Warner’s family, friends, and loved ones have answers.
“She had a lot of good friends… a good network of friends. They all missed her,” said Hamm.
“Their family won’t have any closure and even us as a community won’t have any closure,” said Hyde.
If you have any information about Warner’s disappearance, you’re urged to contact police.