The disappearance of baby Sabrina Aisenberg: Where the case stands today
Sabrina Aisenberg was 5 months old when she disappeared from her home in 1997.
In the past two decades, a lot has changed for Steve and Marlene Aisenberg.
The Aisenbergs now live in Maryland, after moving there from Florida in 1999. Their son, William, is now 28 years old and daughter, Monica, is 24 years old.
But one part of their lives still remains the same: What happened to their baby Sabrina?
On Nov. 23, 1997, Marlene and Steve Aisenberg tucked their three children -- William, 8, Monica, 4, and 5-month-old Sabrina -- into bed for the night at their Valrico, Florida, home.
The next morning, after getting William out of bed, Marlene said she noticed her garage door and the door from the house to the garage were both open. She then ran to Sabrina’s room to find her missing.
After a massive search, authorities were never able to determine what happened to Sabrina.
More than 20 years later, the case of Sabrina’s disappearance remains open, and the Aisenbergs still get leads directly that they pass on to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Marlene and Steve Aisenberg say they are confident that their daughter is still alive. They hope Sabrina, who would be 20 years old today, will be found and that a DNA test will confirm her identity.
The Aisenbergs shared a message for Sabrina with ABC News’ “20/20.”
“We love you and we hope to see you soon,” Steve Aisenberg said.
“We want you home,” said Marlene Aisenberg.
Read on to see where the Aisenbergs -- and other important characters in the case of baby Sabrina’s disappearance -- are today.
Marlene and Steve Aisenberg
Authoritites never charged the Aisenbergs in connection with Sabrina's disappearance, but in 1999, the couple was charged in a federal indictment with making false statements to law enforcement and conspiracy to make false statements.
The indictment revealed that prosecutors had bugged the Aisenbergs' home for three months after Sabrina's disappearance. Prosecutors alleged that they had recorded conversations between the couple in which Steve Aisenberg had talked about killing Sabrina while high on cocaine.
The Aisenbergs denied the charges and said they'd never said those things.
A federal judge declared a number of the tapes inaudible, the rest taken out of context by detectives, and the transcriptions faulty, and in February 2001, the prosecution dropped the charges before the trial began. Three years later, an appeals court ordered that the federal government pay the Aisenbergs' attorneys almost $1.5 million for in defense fees.
Marlene and Steve Aisenberg today
Today, the Aisenbergs both work as real estate agents and live in Maryland, where they relocated in 1999. They have kept a bedroom for Sabrina this whole time.
The Aisenbergs' home in 1997
The Aisenbergs lived in a home in Valrico, Florida, when Sabrina disappeared. Marlene Aisenberg, who found the laundry door open, which led out to the garage, has said there were times they forgot to close their garage door and had left the laundry room door unlocked that night. Her husband added that they had a false sense of security in that neighborhood.Their four-bedroom home was in a middle class neighborhood outside Tampa.
The Aisenbergs' home today
In 1999, two years after Sabrina went missing, the Aisenberg family moved away from Florida and into Steve Aisenberg’s childhood home in Bethesda, Maryland. The Aisenbergs still live in Maryland today.
Mary and Pete McDonald
Pete McDonald lived in the same subdivision as the Aisenbergs in 1997 who lived in the same subdivision. On the night Sabrina disappeared, McDonald’s dog woke him, as he did every night, to go outside.
McDonald has since passed away. According to McDonald’s wife Mary, “Pete let him out the back door, and as he’s opening up the door, he hears a baby crying. He said, ‘Well that’s odd, I don’t know anybody that has a baby,’” Mary McDonald told “20/20.”
“He didn’t think anything of it ‘til I call him at work the next day and tell him, ‘Baby Sabrina is missing. The Aisenbergs’ baby was gone in the middle of the night.’"
“Then he says, ‘Wow, I heard a baby crying in the middle of the night,” added McDonald.
No one followed up with her husband after he called the authorities about what he heard, Mary McDonald said.
Mary McDonald today
Since Pete McDonald passed away, his wife, Mary McDonald, has remained in the same home in Valrico.
She recently met with the Aisenberg’s former private investigator, Kevin Kalwary, and showed him the door the McDonalds used to let their dog out and where Pete said he heard a baby’s cries.
“There’s no fence between our house and the neighbor’s house, so anybody could walk back here,” said McDonald.
Sabrina Aisenberg as baby
Sabrina was 5 months old when she disappeared from her Florida home in the middle of the night on Nov. 23, 1997.
What Sabrina Aisenberg might look like today
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s Colin McNally created an age progression image of Sabrina, based on photos of her two older siblings. Sabrina, who disappeared in 1997. Sabrina would be 20 years old today.
What missing baby Sabrina could look like today according to forensic artist
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