Twelve-year-old Debra Jean was last seen on August 29, 1981 at her home in Lebanon, Indiana. She didn't take any of her belongings with her and had no plans to travel.
When Debra Jean disappeared, there were rumors that she was pregnant. She was reported as a runaway on August 31, 1981.
Debra Jean's mother was living with her parents in Lebanon when her husband died in a truck crash in Arizona in 1969, leaving her to support herself and their four children on a waitress' salary. She and her children eventually moved in with Omer R. "Steve" Beebout in his home on the south side of Lebanon.
Steve murdered Debra Jean's sister, Frances Annette Cole. Frances disappeared on October 4, 1983 and her body was later found along US 52 North of Lebanon three days later on October 7, 1983. She was raped and shot in the back. The coroner determined that Frances died on the same day that her body was found.
Steve is also the prime suspect in the disappearance of Debra Jean. He was reportedly the last person to see her, at about 11:00 on August 29th. On April 25, 1989, he died of a heart attack at the age of 49.
Debra Jean has not been found. She was last seen wearing jeans and blue sneakers. She has a birthmark on her ankle the size of a half-dollar.