Family of victim in Oakland County Child Killer case speaks out 45 years later

Mark Stebbins was killed when he was 12-years-old

Between 1976 and 1977 someone killed at least four children in Oakland County, Michigan. For decades, investigators have been working to find out who the serial killer is and if he’s still alive. Those who knew the victims were forever changed by what happened during those 13 months.
Between 1976 and 1977 someone killed at least four children in Oakland County, Michigan. For decades, investigators have been working to find out who the serial killer is and if he’s still alive. Those who knew the victims were forever changed by what happened during those 13 months.

OAKLAND COUNTY, Mich. – Between 1976 and 1977 someone killed at least four children in Oakland County, Michigan.

For decades, investigators have been working to find out who the serial killer is and if he’s still alive. Those who knew the victims were forever changed by what happened during those 13 months.

Four children were abducted and murdered with their bodies left in various locations within, or near Oakland County. There were at least two other murder cases that investigators believe may have been connected.

READ: The Oakland County Child Killer -- Case Background

Exactly 45 years ago, the remains of 12-year-old Mark Stebbins were found near an office complex in Ferndale. For all these years his family has hoped for his killer to be brought to justice. His brother, Michael Stebbins, spoke with Local 4 and said the family hasn’t given up hope.

“I’m just hoping that maybe something can come out after all these years,” Michael Stebbins said. “I would hope that if anybody out there has information in the case that they would please put it forward because it has been a very long 45 years for me with no answers at all.”

Watch the video above to hear from Michael Stebbins.

Mark Stebbins was last heard from at 1:30 p.m. on Feb. 15, 1976. He had spoken to his mother on the phone to let her know that he was leaving the American Legion Hall to head home. He never arrived at home. At 11 p.m. that night Mark’s mother called the Ferndale Police Department to report Mark missing. Mark’s body was discovered three days later, around 11:45 a.m. on Feb. 19, 1976

Mark was a 7th-grade student at Lincoln Junior High School. He was only 4′8′' tall and weighed 100 pounds. The autopsy showed that the cause of death was asphyxia by way of smothering -- but the report also showed rope burns on his neck, wrists and ankles. It appeared that Mark was also sexually assaulted.

Anyone with information on this case should contact investigators at 833-784-9425.



About the Authors:

Hank Winchester is Local 4's Consumer Investigative Reporter and the head of WDIV's "Help Me Hank" Consumer Unit. He works to solve consumer complaints, reveal important recalls and track down thieves who have ripped off metro Detroiters.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.