Metro-East News

Family mourns death of 8-year-old Olney girl

Sabrina Stauffenberg
Sabrina Stauffenberg

Funeral arrangements were still pending Monday for an 8-year-old girl whose body was found in Olney the day before Thanksgiving.

Family members are mourning the loss of 8-year-old Sabrina Stauffenberg, whose body was found on the south side of the Richland County town Wednesday evening. Sabrina had been waiting for a bus ride to church when she was reported missing.

Gena Vaughn, a relative, said her family has felt “lost and overwhelmed.” Vaughn said police told the girl’s family that the child had been tied up, hit on the back of the head and sexually assaulted.

Illinois State Police announced in a statement on Sunday that Glenn R. Ramey, 53, had been arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder and predatory sexual assault in connection to Sabrina’s death.

Vaughn said she doesn’t know Ramey personally, but said she had seen him around Olney and that the man had apparently visited the home “a few times” where Stauffenberg lived.

Vaughn said police have worked nonstop on their investigation.

“I definitely feel like they are doing their job and have done their job. On behalf of the family, we’re all just so thankful that they’ve been on the case, they have not stopped,” Vaughn said. “I’ve been reading a lot of stuff on — I can’t even call him a man — the monster that did this to Sabrina and I’ve been reading stuff on his past, and I just pray that he doesn’t get off easy on this.”

“I don’t wish evil on anybody, I really don’t, but honestly, I want him to get everything that comes to him,” Vaughn continued. “She didn’t deserve this. She was just 8-years-old. She was the light of everybody’s life. This whole town loved her; people at her church loved her.”

Vaughn said she and her husband had just bought their niece a camouflage coat for Christmas “because she loved camouflage.” Vaughn said Stauffenberg also loved the movie, “Frozen.”

Kistler-Patterson Funeral Home in Olney said it was handling funeral arrangements for the 8-year-old girl. A GoFundMe account that was set up to cover funeral expenses exceeded its $6,000 goal.

“I just want to thank everybody for their support and their continued love and just to keep this whole family in their thoughts in the coming weeks and months as we try to heal from this. It’s just unbelievable,” Vaughn said. “You hear things like this happening to other kids, and that touches you. But it touches you in a totally different way when it’s your child. I still keep thinking she’s going to call me again ... I’m just trying to wrap my head around the fact that we’re never going to see her again.”

A candlelight vigil in honor of Sabrina is planned for Monday evening at 6 p.m. at Angel of Hope Memorial Garden in Olney.

Kaitlyn Schwers: 618-239-2526, @kaitlynschwers

Tobias Wall: 618-239-2501, @Wall_BND