Cassie Compton, a 16 year old, and Miranda Michelle Owens, 40, disappeared from Stuttgart, without a trace, a little over six months apart. Compton, in September of 2014, and Owens, in April of 2015. According to reports at the time, Compton walked out her front door and was never seen again. Owens was last seen by law enforcement at 13th and Main. Neither woman was ever heard from again.
Joe Alexander, Jr., a council member, helped organize the vigil and spoke about the disappearances.
“Somebody knows something,” Alexander said, “This is too small of a community for no one to know nothing.”
Family and friends of the women sat on the steps of the Stuttgart Chamber of Commerce’s World Championship Duck Calling Stage. Candles were distributed to anyone who wanted them. Alexander encouraged those watching by the In the Loop livestream of the event to turn their porch lights on in support.
Alexander began a Facebook page for Owens after seeing a page for Compton created by Brittany Rogers.
Rogers saw a page on the Sydney Sutherland Discussion Group on Facebook and realized that there wasn’t one on the Compton case. She felt that maybe that could help bring back attention to the case. So she began a Facebook page discussion group.
“The pages were created to share information and keep their memories alive, not for fussing or fighting.” Alexander said.
Randall Hill who concurred with Alexander that, “This town is too small, everyone knows everybody too well for this to have happened and no one knows anything. We have to find some answers.”
Alexander said that he had been in contact with Compton’s brother who said, “Bubba will never stop looking for you (Compton).”
Frank Bledsaw also spoke and said, “We need to help get these two cases solved. That could be our daughter, our sister.”
Jon Scheiderer said, “ I saw Cassie the Friday before she went missing that Sunday. I hugged her, I told her how much I cared about her. My wife and I think about her everyday.”
“We need answers. Cassie loved everybody. You couldn’t keep a smile off her face.” Scheiderer said.
“It takes a village to raise a child. We need a village to find one.”
C.C. Hill said, “I’ve been sitting here seeing people do things you only see on tv. I’m going to say what needs to be said, somebody knows something and somebody needs to give someone some answers.”
Michelle’s sister, Katherine Walker spoke on behalf of the family of Owens, “Owens son couldn’t be her but wanted people to know he misses his mama and she needs justice. My family misses Michelle so much. She didn’t deserve this. She loved everyone.”
As darkness approached candles were lit and a moment of silence was held for Compton and Owens.
Alexander, after looking out at all the lights said, “Look at all this love from the community. It does my heart good to see this.” He thanked the Sugartown Riders for their presence, “Ya’ll always show up for the community.”
Alexander thanked Bethany Hildebrand of the Stuttgart Chamber for allowing them to use the stage and asked the community if they saw her to thank her for letting them use the stage. He also thanked area businesses who donated candles, bottles of water and other items to facilitate the rally.
Anyone with information, in either case, is asked to contact the Stuttgart Police Department at 870-673-1414.