A 3-year-old boy in Ohio mysteriously vanished after playing in a neighbor's backyard on the day before his mother was getting out jail. Twenty-five years later, he's still unaccounted for.
Aaron "Cody" Stepp, who would be 28 today, disappeared in Columbus, Ohio on March 11, 1997, a day before his mother was set to be released from prison, according to WBNS. Robin Stepp tuned in to the 11 o'clock news from prison when a shocking story appeared on the screen: Aaron "Cody" Stepp was missing.
“All my dreams were coming true, and then, in ’97, my dreams come to an end,” Robin Stepp told WBNS earlier this year, marking the 25-year anniversary of his disappearance.
Aaron Stepp had been in the care of Robin Stepp's mother and sister.
“It was heartbreaking,” she told WBNS. “I missed him so much, love him. He was my world.”
After, according to WBNS, Robin Stepp called her then-partner and now best friend, Pam Taylor.
“I threw the phone and fell out to the floor,” Taylor said. “It’s something you never think will happen to you in your lifetime, or why it would. It’s horrible.”
Now, Robin Stepp is running out of time to find answers. According to WCMH, she is suffering from a severe lung disease and her health is in bad shape.
“I just hope somebody comes forward now, whether your family, friends, or strangers, if you know something, please, I don’t know how much longer I have left,” Robin Stepp told the news station earlier this year.
Taylor said she plans to continue to look for Aaron Stepp, even if that winds up being without her good friend.
“I’m not going to give up, regardless of when she passes,” Taylor told WCMH. “I’m still going to do this.”
When Stepp first went missing, investigators searched and conducted interviews to no avail, WBNS reported.
The Columbus Division of Police told WBNS that the investigation remains open.
"Any new information from the public is welcome and will be followed up on. Please direct anyone with information to call the Missing Persons Unit at 614-645-2358," the department said in a statement.
Robin Stepp, meanwhile, continues to live what she called "a bad dream" she just can't wake up from.
“I mean, people say it gets easier. It don’t get easier. It gets harder, and it stays hard. And I’m going to keep feeling this way until I know something or have him home with me again," she said.