Updated: Mar 28
Sidnee Stephens was fifteen years when on Monday, July 19, 2010, her life was brutally taken from her in the middle of the night by those she knew. These were people she grew up with. Kids. One of them, her own half-sister.
June 2010, Sidnee was staying at her stepdad's house, someone she considered to be her dad. Tim Wall was Sidnee's sister, Dakota Wall's father. Sidnee went to him often and had more recently been spending most of her time and Tim's house to hang out with the other kids and their friends. Sidnee asked her dad if she could go with her 'sister' Heather out of town on a trip, and he agreed. Sidnee's mother Tracy, however, was not notified. Tracy had sole custody of Sidnee. When Tracy found out, she panicked and made an official missing persons report. Sidnee lashed out and refused to come home. She was combative with her mother, as they had not been getting along. Thanks to the police and Sidnee's friends and family, she returned home. She never said where she really was, but her actions made it abundantly clear that she wasn't going anywhere. She didn't have a choice either. Tracy made sure that she was grounded and always had someone watching her when Tracy wasn't home.
Watching Sidnee, was her Dakota, who didn't want to watch her. Dakota had her own life with her boyfriend Chad Bennett. They had been together for over a year, and spent most nights together at Chad's house. As usual, Dakota had to watch Sidnee, clean the house and not only do her chores, but the chores that Sidnee refused to at home.
Chad Bennett was 18 years with a newly found 'gang' named the P-Town Saints (short for Pinckneyville). The gang members were kids that wanted to belong, distant from their families. These were good kids that needed something more. Something that Chad supplied. Fun with alcohol and drugs, a place to hang out,
Chad was beginning to build his criminal background by this point. Law enforcement knew who he was, and his gang. The relationship with Chad and Dakota didn't start with them. Sidnee would later write in her diary that she had sex with Chad, and that was dated 1 week before Dakota officially began dating Chad. Dakota found Sidnee's diary 1 week after she officially starting dating Chad. Chad denied any relation. Chad at that time was legally an adult. Sidnee at that time was 13. There has never been any evidence that there was any sexual contact.
The day before Sidnee disappeared, she had planned to go camping with her friends. These friends ditched her, however, and Sidnee was really upset about it. Her friends would later regret their decision. Sidnee remained alone all day at home. She was still grounded from her disappearance the month before. Tracy was in a relationship and was at her boyfriends house that Saturday night. Sunday night, Tracy says that she left her boyfriends house and came home about 10:00 pm. Sidnee was in her room on the recliner watching TV, when Tracy took a prescribed Xanax, went in to her bedroom, closed her door, turned on the television, and went to sleep.
Tracy woke up the next morning about 6:30 am for work, and just before she walked out of the house she went to check on Sidnee, and realized that Sidnee was not in the house. She called Dakota, called off work, then called the police to make another missing persons report. Tracy said she believed that Sidnee ran away again. When she spoke to Dakota, Dakota told Tracy she also believed she ran away and expected Sidnee to walk back in to the house soon enough. As Tracy continued around the house, she began noticing strange things out of place. It didn't make sense, and as the house and days went by, she knew something was really wrong, regardless of Dakota's insistence that Sidnee was fine.
Chad Bennett's gang was pretty tight knit. Carl Dane was his right hand man. About Easter, four months prior to Sidnee's disappearance, Carl (also an adult) dated Sidnee for three days. Sidnee broke up with him when she wanted to go fishing and Carl refused. Sidnee instead went to her past boyfriend, Skylar (also an adult). Carl found out about it, and it is believed he harbored jealousy and anger. Gang member James Glazier did anything that Carl wanted. Chad would direct Carl on what needed to be done, and Carl would tell the gang members what to do, and what not to do. Robbie Mueller who was 15 at the time was new to the gang and followed them around and did whatever they wanted him to do. There were other gang members, most of them underage.
July 25, 2010, Two men called the police to notify them they had found what they believed to be a body of a deceased person underneath the Beaucoup Bridge on Cudgetown Road near the Pinckneyville - Du Quoin border. There was an orange rope tied to the body's right upper extremity which was tied to a cinder block. This was meant to tie down the body to avoid it from moving downstream, possibly being seen by passerby's. First responders arrived on the scene by 5:08 pm. There was a chain with a musical note pendant present around the neck and this along with a belly piercing ornament. When a picture of the necklace was shown to Tracy for possible identification, she knew that Sidnee had been found. Sidnee was deceased.
July 28, 2010 just before 6:00 pm, Carl was charged with Sidnee's murder.
July 29, 2010 James Glazier was charged with Sidnee's murder by the afternoon.
By the late hours of the same night, Robbie Mueller was charged with Sidnee's murder.
Dozens of their friends and family members were interviewed. Mostly, every piece of the puzzle was being put in place. Dakota and Chad later were charged in connection to Sidnee's disappearance and death. Carl took his life after telling every detail of Sidnee's disappearance and murder, in jail waiting to be taken to prison the very next morning. All trials were separate. All trials weren't trials at all - They were plea deals. Dakota and Chad were charged in connection, but were not ultimately tried for her murder, and because of their plea deals, they will never be able to be tried for any additional charges in her disappearance or death. It would take over 8 years for all of them to finally be sentenced and taken to prison.
CHAD BENNETT charged only with HOME INVASION/DANGEROUS WEAPON
Taken in to custody July 23, 2018. While he may be released by 9/15/2026, he is expected to be discharged fully by 9/15/2029
JAMES GLAZIER was sentenced to 60 years. However, on January 29, 2022, the Appellate Court of Illinois vacated his sentence stating that the defendant was convicted as a juvenile but that his age was never considered when sentencing him. His conviction was affirmed but his sentence was vacated in part, and remanded, awaiting a new sentencing hearing. Glazier may actually be able to walk out of prison for good.
ROBBIE MUELLER was charged only with HOME INVASION/DANGEROUS WEAPON
Taken in to custody October 26, 2012. While he may be released January 26, 2023, he is expected to be discharged fully by 1/26/2026
Robbie's sentencing was much lighter when in a questionable turn of events, Sidnee's mother sat down and spoke to Robbie before sentencing, when he said how sorry he was and told Tracy that he loved Sidnee.
DAKOTA WALL was charged only with HOME INVASION
Taken in to custody 5/29/2014. While she may be released September 22, 2022, she is expected to be discharged fully by 9/22/2025
Our friends at Pinckneyville Press and Du Quoin Weekly have published an article on the most recent update regard James Glazier vacated sentence. They have been on Sidnee's story since the first time she disappeared in June 2010 and have followed and reported on all the stories since. Here is a link:
Gia Wright of Missing Persons Awareness Network NFP 501(c)3 is personally writing a book on Sidnee's life, disappearance, death and thereafter. There will be many more details that will be shared in the book, after an extensive investigation was completed. Details on the book will be updated here.