Written by Charles Menchaca(Editor)
The search for a West Chicago businessman missing since 2007 will continue this week, police and family said.
Detectives from the DuPage County Sheriff's Office will participate in a search of various wooded areas in the northern part of the county hoping to find clues in the disappearance of John Spira. The search will be done in conjunction with Spira's sister Stephanie Spira McNeil.
The first search will begin at 1 p.m. Thurs., Aug. 15 in the woods near Center Ice Hockey Rink, 1N450 Highland Avenue in Glen Ellyn, according to the sister's Searching for John Spira website and Missing John Spira Facebook page.
The next search will begin at 10 a.m. Aug. 17 in the Belleau Woods County Forest Preserve in Wheaton, the sister's online posts said. The search party will meet at St. Francis High School parking lot, 2130 West Roosevelt Road.
"I have my reasons for doing this at this location but cannot say," McNeil said in an Aug. 1 post. A third search will take place Aug. 18 at an undisclosed location.
Spira was 45 when he went missing under suspicious circumstances on Feb. 23, 2007, the Sheriff's Office said in a Tuesday news release. He lived in St. Charles and also played guitar with the Rabble Rousers Band, according to the Searching for John Spira site.
Spira was last seen by his business partner, Dave Stubben, at their former Universal Cable Construction business site at 2N225 County Farm Road in unincorporated West Chicago.
McNeil over time has come to believe that her brother Spira was murdered. She said two billboards put up in September 2007 about his disappearance were torn down. The Universal Cable Construction building where Spira and Stubben worked burned to the ground on Sept. 16, two days after the first billboard was put up.
The Sheriff's Office in the past has only referred to Spira's disappearance as a missing persons case and an ongoing investigation. McNeil said investigators have also suggested that he chose to disappear and possibly start a new life elsewhere, but she rejects that theory.
At the time of his disappearance, Spira was in the midst of a tumultuous split from his wife, Suzanne Spira, McNeil said. He and his wife were living in the same home throughout their divorce proceedings and the domestic arrangement was "hellish," McNeil said.
McNeil, who believes her brother was murdered, returned to St. Charles in 2012 to put up missing posters with her brother's face on it to keep his name in the news.
McNeil has repeatedly voiced suspicions that both her brother's wife and his business partner, Dave Stubben, might know more about Spira's disappearance than they have admitted.
The wife died in October 2010 and the business partner who, according to police reports, made statements to detectives about John Spira racking up "massive debt" and speculated about his possibly skipping town, passed up numerous opportunities over the last few years to discuss Spira's disappearance with a reporter.
If you have any information about Spira's disappearance, please contact the Sheriff’s Office at 630-407-2333.
Feb. 23, 2013: Baffling Disappearance of St. Charles Man Still Unsolved
Feb. 27, 2012: Family Pledges 'Justice' for Missing St. Charles Man
Feb. 20, 2012: Missing St. Charles Man's Sister Keeps Case in Public Eye