LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The search for Ebby Steppach is over, but healing is just beginning for a Little Rock family. 

Tonight Ebby’s mother opens up for the first time since cold case detectives cracked her missing daughter’s case.  

It’s been one week since Laurie Jernigan got a call that brought her to her knees. 

Tonight she explains why her fears have turned into frustration. 

For more than two and half years, this Little Rock mother prepared herself. 

“In my heart I knew she was gone.” 

For the news she got one week ago. 

“It’s like being shot in the chest.”

Laurie Jernigan describes the devastation after learning detectives discovered her missing daughter, Ebby Stappach, in a drainage pipe at Chalamont Park. 

“I could have thrown a stone from where she was found and where her car was.”

Ebby’s remains were found feet from where police found her abandoned car in 2015. 

“The hardest thing though is to see where she was, to hear the details.”

Jerigan claims police didn’t thoroughly search the spot in their initial investigation. 

“We had a vigil there, how could you not look there? How could you not tear that place up?

The fight to find Ebby may be over, but her legacy is not. 

“I’ve never said this before, but her death is not in vain.” 

And while she still wonders what happened…

“I don’t know when, or how but there will be an end to all of it.”

Jerigan is relieved knowing the wait is over. 

“I don’t have fear anymore, because I have her.”

LRPD’s homicide cold case unit is still investigating Ebby’s case. If you know anything that could help lead police to who maybe responsible for her death, call (501) 404-3128.