STUTTGART, Ark. – No contact with a loved one of eight years is the reality a Stuttgart family is suffering through. 

April 19, 2023, marks the eight-year anniversary of Michelle Owens who went missing out of Stuttgart, Arkansas in 2015. 

During a balloon release ceremony held at JB Bryant Park in Stuttgart, an $8,000 reward was announced for anyone with information that leads to bringing Owens home, an arrest or conviction. 

“I know Michelle is still alive. Michelle is not dead,” Owen’s sister Katherine Johnson Walker said.

Johnson Walker was the last person to hear from Michelle. They spoke over the phone on the day she went missing.

The Stuttgart Police Department says Owens was last seen on East 13th & South Main Street near a car wash.

It’s time. It’s been eight years since today. How long is it going to take before we know anything, any answers?  What happened to Michelle?  Where she at? We want to know,” Johnson Walker said. 

The balloon release was organized by the Stuttgart Search and Rescue Team who has been working to find justice for Owens since 2015. Joe Alexander Jr. founded the organization.

“Michelle was known all around Stuttgart. I mean all around town. When the news came in that she was missing, it was a shock to everybody,” he said.

Alexander Jr. said not only is it heartbreaking because he knows Owens, but he knows this could happen to anyone, including his family. 

“You think about it could’ve been your daughter, it could’ve been your child to just disappear, Alexander Jr. said. “Eight years, no information, that’s a hurtful thing.”

There are a number of people praying for Michelle’s return, answers or closure.

“The Stuttgart police Department wants to solve these cases and bring peace to our community,” Stuttgart Police Chief David Parker said. 

Stuttgart Police Department has partnered with a retired police detective and special investigator to bring new insights and strategies into the case. They’re specifically focusing on questions surrounding the first days after Michelle went missing.

If you have any information, give them a call at 870-673-1421 or call the Stuttgart Search and Rescue Team at 870-456-1570.