In a bizarre twist to an already gruesome tale of missing and murdered women, police said Friday that a baby girl who disappeared 15 years ago has been raised by acquaintances of a suspected serial killer who allegedly murdered the infant’s mother.
The child, who will turn 16 in September, has been raised by a Midwestern family who did not know anything was amiss when they signed what they thought were adoption papers in 1985, paid what they thought were adoption fees, and took the baby girl from acquaintance John Robinson, a man now charged with murder, said Johnson County Dist. Atty. Paul Morrison.
“There are victims in this case that have suffered greatly,” Morrison said.
Robinson, 56, a suburban Kansas City man, was charged Friday with the first-degree murder of the child’s mother, Lisa Stasi, in January 1985. He also was charged with “aggravated interference with parental custody” for taking 4-month-old Tiffany Stasi out of state and setting up the phony adoption.
The charges were in addition to five counts of murder and one count of kidnapping filed against Robinson in June after the discovery of five women’s beaten bodies inside 55-gallon drums. Two of the drums were found on farmland owned by Robinson and three were found in a storage facility rented to Robinson.
Authorities identified one of the bodies as that of Sheila Dale Faith, a onetime Fullerton resident. They are still trying to determine if the remaining unidentified body is that of Faith’s daughter, Debbie. Faith, who would now be 51, and her daughter, who would be 21, vanished five years ago.
Prosecutors alleged Robinson used a hammer or similar instrument to beat the women to death. The murders began in the mid-'80s.
Lisa Stasi’s body has not been found.
Two more women who disappeared after forming relationships with Robinson were believed to be dead, but their bodies also have not been found.
The new twist added by the discovery of Tiffany Stasi, who has been raised under another name, adds complexity to the case and raises custody and privacy issues that will take a long time to sort out, authorities said.
The family’s identity has not been disclosed but will come out at trial when the individuals who thought they had legally adopted Tiffany are called to testify, Morrison said.
Tiffany’s biological father, Carl Stasi, remarried and is living in Missouri. Authorities said discussions were taking place about a meeting between the two. But all involved were very concerned about the effect on the girl.
“Everybody wants the best for this kid,” Morrison said. “We haven’t heard anything about anyone wanting to take this girl away.”
The family issued a statement Friday begging for privacy and promising cooperation in the criminal case.
Stating they had been “betrayed” by Robinson, the family said, “We love our daughter very much. The circumstances surrounding the investigation of John Robinson are as distressing to our immediate family as they are to the other families victimized. Our daughter is aware of the investigation, and we are doing our best to help her through this difficult time.”
Robinson was being held on a $5-million bond in Johnson County Jail in Olathe, south of Kansas City, Mo. He did not enter pleas to the charges against him.
In laying out their suspicions against Robinson, authorities portrayed a career con man who lured his victims by posing as a successful entrepreneur offering women jobs and romance. He was alleged to have met women while surfing the Internet, including in sadomasochistic chat rooms where he sometimes was known as “slavemaster.”
Robinson, a father of four, lived a low-profile life in a trailer home park until his arrest.