Cold Case: Steven Kraft Jr still missing after 20 years

Published: Feb. 15, 2021 at 6:36 PM EST
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Benton Township, Mich. (WNDU) - A vigil was held on Monday night in Benton Township for Steven Kraft Jr; the 12-year-old boy who went missing 20 years ago.

The community is keeping Steven’s story alive and hoping one day the truth about what happened is discovered.

“I know most of the people around here know about it, and they care about him too. Maybe we’ll go to the vigil tonight,” Fred Krolzick says. He lives on Holly Street and remembers when Steven went missing.

It was February 15th, 2001. A cold winter night was the start of a cold case. A 12-year-old boy goes missing. That boy was Steven Kraft, Jr.

“I would hope that if someone did know something out there that they would say something,” Krolzick says.

Steven left his home on Holly Street two decades ago. According to police, he was taking his two dogs for a walk between 7pm and 8pm. His family was expecting him back for dinner, however his meal turned cold that night. He never came back.

“There’s just a lot of sad news, you know, and no one wants to have something like that happen,” Mark Spaniola says. He also lives along Holly Street.

What exactly did happen? That’s the big question. Police and neighbors searched and searched back in 2001. The 12-year-old vanished without a trace.

“Hopefully somehow he returns, if not, well, and if he’s not here with us anymore then all I know is his family will see him in heaven if he’s not here anymore. Nobody really knows that for sure,” Krolzick says.

What is known for sure is that police are still getting tips on the cold case. According to our reporting partners at the Herald Palladium, Benton Township Police are working with the FBI and keeping the case open. They’re looking into new information as it comes in.

Steven would be in his 30′s today.

A family is looking for closure, and a community hoping for the best.

“All I can say is to hope, you know, you can hope something changes,” Krolzick says.

There is a tip line with Benton Township Police for any information on Steven Kraft Jr. You can access that tip line by calling 269-926-8221. You can also call Crime Stoppers at 800-342-STOP. If you know anything be sure to reach out.

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