ST. CHARLES – Five years have passed, and there are no answers as to what happened to St. Charles resident John Spira, 45, who was last seen Feb. 23, 2007, at Universal Cable Construction near West Chicago, which Spira co-owned.
That's surprising to Spira's sister, Stephanie McNeil, who wants to make sure her brother's name stays in the news. She was in St. Charles on Wednesday afternoon, posting "missing" posters on the windows of downtown businesses.
"I thought we would have some answers by now," said the Arizona woman, who has not given up trying to find those answers. "I definitely have my theories and ideas of who is responsible."
A fire in September 2007 totaled the Universal Cable Construction building, and a 20-by-5 sign that had advertised Spira's disappearance and related information was lost. To keep Spira's name out in public view, McNeil today will unveil a new billboard asking for tips and information related to the disappearance. That sign will be in the same location as the old sign, on North County Farm Road near West Chicago.
"I don't want people to forget," McNeil said. "This story needs to remain in the public eye."
DuPage County Sheriff John Zaruba stated in a news release this week that sheriff’s detectives are continuing their investigation into Spira's disappearance. He urged anyone with information on the case to call the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office.
"Sheriff's detectives are still seeking the public's assistance in their continuing investigation into locating John Spira, who went missing under suspicious circumstances," the release states.
On the day he went missing, Spira was scheduled to meet a friend for dinner in Oak Brook at 8:30 p.m., but he never showed up and was never heard from again. Along with being co-owner of Universal Cable Construction, he was a recreational pilot and a guitarist in the blues band The Rabble Rousers.
McNeil believes that Spira was murdered.
"John taking off voluntarily is not within the realm of possibility," McNeil said. "Stop calling it a missing person's case and start calling it foul play. To me, calling it a missing person's case is defaming to John."
She is glad, though, that the DuPage County Sheriff's Office is now saying he disappeared under suspicious circumstances.
At the time of his disappearance, Spira was going through a divorce with his wife, Suzanne Spira. They had agreed to the terms of the divorce on the day of his disappearance.
Last May, McNeil learned that Suzanne Spira was found dead in her Orchard Park, N.Y., apartment on Oct. 30, 2010. McNeil said she believes Suzanne Spira had knowledge about John Spira's disappearance.
"Whatever secrets she had, she took with her," McNeil said.
In February 2009, Suzanne Spira told the Kane County Chronicle she had no idea what happened to her husband.
“I hope and pray for my husband’s safe appearance,” she said at the time.
The case has gathered worldwide attention. Spira's disappearance was featured in 2010 as part of the Investigation Discovery cable show, "Disappeared." Although no new leads were generated from the show, it did garner a great deal of interest.
"I got emails from all over the world," McNeil said.
McNeil said she doesn't hold out much hope over finding her brother's body.
"I hope we do, so we can have a proper funeral for him," she said.
But McNeil does hope that justice will be done if it is determined that Spira was murdered.
"I want the people responsible to know they just can't rest," she said.
Have any information?
Those with any information on the disappearance of John Spira are urged to call the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office at 630-407-2333. More information about his disappearance can be found at www.johnspira.com or at www.facebook.com/missingjohnspira.