Valrico, FL

Parents falsely accused after a 5-month-old baby girl is taken from her crib. What happened to Sabrina Aisenberg?

Fatim Hemraj
Sabrina AisenbergPhoto byFandom

Steven Aisenberg and his wife, Marlene, lived in Valrico, Florida with their three children, 8-year-old William, 4-year-old Monica, and 5-month-old Sabrina, and the family dog, Brownie.

The Aisenbergs thought they were safe in their quaint, middle-class neighborhood but one cold, fall night, their false sense of security would get shattered into a million pieces.

On November 23, 1997, the couple tucked their children into bed and kissed them goodnight. At 6:42 am, Marlene woke up to find the garage door wide open. William and Monica were safely in their beds but Sabrina was nowhere to be found. Also missing from her crib was her baby blanket.

Frantic, the Aisenbergs reported Sabrina missing. Marlene said she last saw Sabrina when she checked on her at 12 am. The only evidence left behind was a single blonde hair and a shoe print near her crib.

A large-scale search was conducted. Within hours, FBI agents were on the case.

A tip came in from a couple who lived near the Aisenbergs. A man said he heard a baby crying when he took his dog out in the middle of the night. He heard about Sabrina’s disappearance from his wife the next morning and called the police. The couple said they never heard back.
The Aisenberg familyPhoto byAll That's Interesting

Instead, suspicion was immediately cast upon the Aisenbergs.

Investigators questioned how they slept through the entire alleged abduction and wondered why Brownie didn’t bark. The couple said Brownie was a fairly quiet dog and Marlene admitted that she often left the garage door unlocked on accident, including the night Sabrina was taken.

The couple was accused of hurting or selling Sabrina to pay off their debt. Three weeks later, investigators falsified information to obtain permission to wiretap their home for three months.

In September 1999, the Aisenbergs were arrested for lying about what happened to baby Sabrina and for conspiracy. Prosecutors said they had tapes in which the couple admitted getting rid of her while high. A judge threw the tapes out, calling them “useless” and “inaudible.” He scolded prosecutors for “misleading the court” and they dropped the charges. The Aisenbergs were officially cleared in 2001 and they successfully sued the federal government for $1.5 million.
Age-progression photo of Sabrina Aisenberg at age 23Photo byMissing & Exploited

The Aisenbergs moved to Maryland in 1999 where they raised their two other children. They continue to hold out hope that one day, Sabrina will be found alive. Today, she would be 25 years old. If you have any information, contact Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office at (813)-247-8200.

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