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A 3-Year-Old Ohio Boy Vanished the Day Before His Mom Was Released from Jail. He's Still Missing 26 Years Later.

Aaron Stepp
Source: National Center for Missing and Exploited Children; Upsplash

Aaron Stepp.

Oct. 27 2023, Published 2:04 p.m. ET

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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. It's been 26 years, and he's still unaccounted for.

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Aaron Stepp, who would now be 29, disappeared in Columbus 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 told WBNS on the 25-year anniversary of her son's disappearance last year.

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Aaron had been in the care of Robin's mother and sister.

“It was heartbreaking,” she told WBNS. “I missed him so much, love him. He was my world.”

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According to WBNS, Robin called her then-partner and now best friend, Pam Taylor, after learning the news.

“I threw the phone and fell out to the floor,” Pam said. “It’s something you never think will happen to you in your lifetime, or why it would. It’s horrible.”

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Tragically, Robin was running out of time to find answers when she spoke with news stations last year about the case. According to WCMH, she was suffering from a severe lung disease and her health was 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 said.

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Pam said she was not going to give up looking for Aaron, even if his mother, her friend, was no longer there.

When Aaron first went missing, investigators searched and conducted interviews to no avail, WBNS reported.

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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 recently said in a statement.

Robin once called the situation "a bad dream" she couldn't wake up from.

“I mean, people say it gets easier. It don’t get easier. It gets harder, and it stays hard," she said.


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