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Police release new details in disappearance of Kathryn Stalbaum

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TOWN OF GENESEE (WITI) -- The Waukesha County Sheriff's Department released more details Thursday, November 14th regarding Kathryn Stalbaum, the Waukesha County girl who was found safe in Chicago on Friday night, November 8th after being reported missing on November 5th.

Prior to being safely located in Chicago, Stalbaum was last seen around 6:15 a.m. on Tuesday, November 5th at her Town of Genesee residence.

"I was losing sleep. People here were all upset about it," Frank Schroepfer, the manager of Le Duc's Frozen Custard in the Village of Wales said.

He says last week, Stalbaum's disappearance was all customers could talk about.

"All our hearts and prayers went out to the family. Everybody was so worried," Schroepfer said.

According to police, Stalbaum voluntarily left her home on her bicycle early Tuesday morning, November 5th. Police say she traveled to Goerkes Corner Park & Ride at Barker Road and Bluemound Road in the Town of Brookfield

Once there, Stalbaum left her bike at the Park & Ride, got a bus and traveled to Chicago O'Hare Airport. Stalbaum remained in Chicago for the next three days. While in Chicago, police say Stalbaum "did not sleep much" and "walked around most of the time."

"I wonder if she realizes what horrible things could have happened there. Wow! That's a big, scary town," Schroepfer said.

On the afternoon of Friday November 8th, Stalbaum sought out a Chicago Police Officer for help in returning home.

At this time, law enforcement is not disclosing why Stalbaum left.  The Waukesha County Sheriff's Department said in a statement: "While 'why' is important to the family, law enforcement must be sensitive to the fact that Kathryn is still a juvenile. We have a legal responsibility not to publicly report the details of juvenile matters. Disclosure of personal family details will not assist the family in transitioning Kathryn back to school and normalcy."

The Waukesha County Sheriff's Department and the Stalbaum family thanks the public for their help.  "[We] want you to know how much we all appreciate all your help in this matter, including your offers of services, help in searching, numerous prayers and just passing the word of her disappearance.  Thank you."

Questions still remain, like how the teen's bicycle ended up back in Waukesha, and how much the search cost taxpayers.

The Sheriff's Department said they want any missing person to trust in the idea that coming home will not result in more trouble than they already perceive they're facing.



  • Sue Wick

    Regardless of the reasons why she left, she should be required to do an agreed amount of hours of community service. This would be due to all of the worry and work people put into searching for her.

  • Laurie Ehleiter

    Well, she’s a teenager, she was going to prove a point for some reason or another. But that’s not what surprises me, what surprises me is that she’s in Chicago’s O’Hare airport, and no one recognizes her? How can you be in one of the busiest airports in the world and have absolutely no one realize that she’s the missing girl? Anyway, I’m glad she’s home and she’s safe and the family can work out whatever caused this behavior.

    • captain obvious

      Simple answer. She was at O’Hare on Tuesday morning. The story didn’t break until Thursday. By the time the nation became aware of her, she was long gone from the airport.

  • Barb Davis

    This young lady as well as her family need to be in counseling, for whatever problems they may have. Kathryn does need to be held accountable for her actions, the financial resources used must be astronomical, with the FBI and local law enforcement taken away from their regular duties.



  • Amy

    But Sue and Dawn, the reasons she left do matter. It has been reported that one or both of her parents are in jail. (If you are going to be annoyed, direct that where it belongs – on the irresponsible parents). Teenagers do not always think and act rationally and logically, and consider the difficult circumstances she was dealing with – at 15. The people who searched for her were doing their jobs. Rather than “punishing her severely” my hope is that she is able to talk to a trusted adult who can give her some strong guidance, compassion and understanding. Please do not apply for that job.

  • Linda M.

    Although it is certainly a relief that she was found safe and sound, as others have mentioned, I agree there should be accountability for her actions. Community service is definitely a great idea Sue. Who knows what her troubles are, but I’m sure whatever those may be, I have faith in her parents to handle it as they see fit. God bless.

  • LeAnnElaine

    While I understand that the public was extremely concerned about this matter, I believe it is now in the hands of her family,and that they can handle it however they feel best for their own child. Everyone says a kid should know better, but let’s face it. She’s a kid, sometimes kids don’t think about the worst thing that could happen as a result of something like this. Especially, when getting in trouble from your parents is a big deal all on its own.

  • Erik

    The public deserves to know nothing. There is obviously something wrong, and just because tax dollars were spent doesn’t mean you should be privy to any embarrassing details of her problems. Get a life and get your drama elsewhere.

    • zan

      Erik, Brien, Brian, and everyone else who spoke with sanity, much love to you. Here’s what we should be thinking: She’s home, she’s safe, she’s not a statistic. Leave this family alone, and stop crying for blood. The universe help you if you or your family EVER need help. I’m not religious, but to those of you who are, didn’t your main guy say something about not judging other people? Your lives and your children must be 100% perfect! Good on you. Other people’s families are not. Direct your nosiness elsewhere… don’t you people have some Kardashians or Honey Booboo to worry about?

  • Vegas Gal

    I agree with Amy – let’s get this young lady and her family some counseling. “Severe punishment” is what is NOT needed at this point. Let’s just all be thankful that she was found alive and well, reunited with her family and let the healing process begin for her. We may never know the real reason. It’s now up to her and her family to deal with this.

  • jrae

    It is great that she was found and is ok. I worry about the next kid that go’s missing where such quick action and police support may suffer due to this incident. Valuable time could now be wasted thinking we have just another runaway. Because of her actions the outcome of the next incident may not turn out as well.

  • Todd

    Probably over a boyfriend over the internet and the parents got wind of it, put restrictions on her that she thought was unfair and went out to make a point.

  • Carla

    Has anyone thought that maybe she left because she was afraid of something, ie, abuse of some kind and because of the sensitivity of her age and the situation, that they can not disclose everything yet? Abuse can bring out many fears and irrational thinking and actions but with proper help and counseling hopefully the answers to her actions will come out weather it was abuse or something else.

    • Skeptical

      Very Good observation. Why was it reported initially that the bike was found right near the hospital. Now we hear it was left by the park and ride. Pretty conflicting reports.

      • captain obvious

        Seriously??? That’s not that monumental of an observation at all. Everyone following this story has picked up on said observance and the answer is obvious. It’s frickin’ Goerke’s corners transit center; a major hub between Milwaukee, Madison and beyond. Many vagabond and/or vagrant types (in addition to career commuters, students, etc…) ride those buses to get out of the cold, for something to do in times of homeless boredom, or to get from MKE to a yet unexhausted homeless resource in Waukesha county such as Salvation Army. Whatever the character was, and despite their need, someone OBVIOUSLY stole the bike from Goerke’s and rode it into town. You might say, “They were there for the bus, wouldn’t they rather take the bus?” To a weary traveler the $3 bus ride can be a big deal. I mean, that’s 3 McChickens off the dollar menu (excluding tax); a hearty meal for someone who needs it. So they probably jumped at the chance for a free bike ride to their destination. How could anyone even question the location of the bike and not realize it was obviously stolen? Some people need a conspiracy to lie underneath every story, so much so that they fabricate one when none exists. True, they are not giving us the whole story and that’s for more OBVIOUS reasons. Erik, up above ^^, said it best, “The public deserves to know nothing. There is obviously something wrong, and just because tax dollars were spent doesn’t mean you should be privy to any embarrassing details of her problems. Get a life and get your drama elsewhere.”

  • dobiqueen

    First off, how is it possible in one of the busiest airports in the USA that NO ONE, not ONE person recognized her at all??? Secondly for all her shenanigans cost the tax payers for all the police work, etc, I agree with the one person on here….make her do community service and learn that stupid acts require “reimbursement”

    • brien

      the bus took her to the airport, but no where in the article does it say she entered the terminal. I don’t really care why or how she went, I just care she’s alive and back home!

    • captain obvious

      First off, try reading previous comments before you ask stupid questions. In doing so, you’d have realized that someone else already asked this same stupid question and I answered it for them (and you). If you were as observant and attentive as you thought you were, you’d have known that she was at O’Hare on Tuesday morning. The story didn’t break until Thursday. By the time the nation became aware of her, she was long gone from the airport.

  • Larry Couch

    Come on !! The police go so far as to ask us to download her picture on our cell phones in an effort to jar our memories should we see her. I prayed for her safe return. Then, the good news breaks; she’s safe and unharmed. Thank you God !! Gosh, I wonder what happened?? All I get is a door slammed in my face.

  • Brian

    Lemme make this brief! She’s home and safe with her family. She’s not dead and became the latest horror of American society where a girl or guy has done something horribly wrong to this kid! Move on ppl. You wont some drama..Go watch General Hospital with the rest of the mundayne sickafantic unemployed females and shut the hell up!!!!

  • ph

    I am glad she was found safe. But i feel that she and her family should pay restitution for all the costs she put on the taxpayers and believe she should do lengthy community service to pay back to the people who have searched for her and posted flyers

  • jr

    Maybe that’s what should have been said when she went missing. Way to show your gratitude to the community!!! Nice mouth!

Comments are closed.

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