Family 'desperately searching for answers' 15 years after 8-year-old's death

February 28, 2019 06:33 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) --Fifteen years ago today, a little eight-year-old girl was killed inside her own home in Rochester.

Rochester Police say the house was intentionally set on fire. 


Savannah Streber died in a bedroom near where police say the fire started. 

Fifteen years later, no one has ever been arrested for this crime. 

So a team of News10NBC reporters is on this story. 

Nikki Rudd goes Inside the Evidence to ask police: do you have a suspect? 

And News10NBC Chief Investigative Reporter Berkeley Brean is meeting with Savannah's family. 

Berkeley Brean met them at the home where they lived and Savannah died. It was 17 Yates Street, just off Goodman Street, south of Norton Street. 

Savannah's family drives by the home often. It's all repaired now but to them, it's the scene of a horrible crime. 
Brean: "What is it like to be back here?"

Lisa Routier, Savannah's mother: "It's depressing." 

Lisa Routier is Savannah's mother. David is her father.  

David Streber, father: "It's just terrible. I come by quite often and just think about the good times we had before this happened to her."

On Feb. 28, 2004, Rochester Police say someone set fire to the house. Savannah was found in a back bedroom. 

"We've been desperately searching for answers," her older sister Kelly said. 

News10NBC reporter Nikki Rudd has been investigating unsolved homicides. And she just spoke to Rochester Police about this crime.

Nikki Rudd: "Do you think you can close this case?"

Sgt. Dave Joseph: "I do."

RPD Sgt. Dave Joseph is actively working on this case. 

Sgt. Joseph: "There is a person that we have concentrated on since this occurred back in 2004. "

Sgt. Joseph showed News10NBC never before seen pictures from the crime scene. The fire destroyed a lot of evidence, but investigators were able to determine that a Molotov cocktail was thrown into the back of the house. 

Sgt. Joseph does not believe Savannah was the intended target. 

Rudd: "A killer is out there walking the streets."

Sgt. Joseph: "Yes, yes. And whoever it is I'm sure carries this one way or another every day."

Back on Yates Street, Kelly Streber still holds her sister Savannah's teddy bear, the one thing she salvaged from the ruins. 

"I keep this in my room. It's in my room," Kelly said. 

Brean: "The police say they have a person of interest and they say they think they'll be able to make an arrest. And when you hear that, you think what?" 

Lisa Routier: "It's going to help. Nothing is going to help what happened. It's just going to make us feel a little better. All we want is closure." 

David Streber: "I'm also afraid of, what if he does this to another family? He's out there. He's done it once before. And who's to say that he's not going to do it again, this person of interest?"

Rochester Police told us they're "putting together pieces and eventually we're going to make an arrest."

Click here to reach the "Justice for Savannah Streber" Facebook page created by Kelly Streber. 

Click here to watch our Inside the Evidence report where News10NBC brings you exclusive new details on the case and pictures from the crime scene never released before. 

WEB EXTRA: Here are stories News10NBC aired in 2004  on the Yates Street house fire


Berkeley Brean

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