Florida-Sabrina Aisenberg

Missing since 11/24/97
Missing from Valrico, Hillsborough County, Florida.
Date Of Birth: 06/27/97
Age at Time of Disappearance: 5 months old
Weight:20 lbs
White female
Brown hair
Blue eyes.
Marks, Scars: Sabrina has several marks in the shape of the letter “Y” below her right shoulder.
Clothing: Sabrina was wearing a lavender sleeper with a floral pattern at the time she vanished. A handmade blue and yellow blanket with imprinted animal images and yellow piping was also missing from her crib.

Circumstances of Disappearance

Sabrina became missing from her residence sometime during the early morning hours of November 24, 1997.
Her mother, Marlene Aisenberg, told authorities that she checked on Sabrina at approximately 12:00 a.m. and the infant was asleep in her crib. Marlene stated that when she returned to her daughter’s room at 6:42 a.m., Sabrina had disappeared.
Authorities say whoever took the girl didn’t leave a note, and there was no sign of forced entry.
While her parents were charged in her disappearance, the charges were dropped due to lack of evidence and unethical behavior by the authorities.

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Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office



On Nov. 24, 1997, Steve and Marlene Aisenberg reported their infant girl missing from her crib in their Brandon home. In the weeks following the disappearance, the couple began a high-profile journey through the national spotlight, looking for any help in finding young Sabrina. Their story has created a media circus around them, and stirred the suspicions of local authorities.
07/28/08 – There May Be A Break In Missing Child Case

Here’s the story so far, from the pages of the St. Petersburg Times:

Latest coverage:
Prosecutors: Don’t reveal transcripts
TAMPA — Federal prosecutors want grand jury testimony in the case of Steve and Marlene Aisenberg to remain sealed, despite a recent court order to open the records to the public by Monday. [3/13]

Judge grants delay in Aisenberg transcripts
Federal prosecutors had asked for more time to review the ruling and decide whether to appeal. [2/6]

Delay in Aisenberg transcripts sought
Prosecutors say they need time to decide on appealing a judge’s ruling before grand jury transcripts are released. [2/5]

Aisenberg bill for feds: $2.9-million
That’s the price a judge sets for the legal fees of the couple once accused of lying about their baby’s disappearance. [2/1]

Judge weighs sum due to Aisenbergs
A federal judge is left to determine how much a couple should be repaid for defending themselves against charges after their daughter disappeared. [10/26]

U.S. attorneys argue to lower Aisenbergs’ fees
TAMPA — The hearing into how much the government should pay in legal fees to Steve and Marlene Aisenberg continued in federal court Wednesday with the federal prosecutors completing their arguments. [10/24]

Aisenbergs, lawyers asking for $7-million
TAMPA — Neither side disputes that defense attorney Barry Cohen and his clients Steve and Marlene Aisenberg are entitled to some compensation from the federal government. [10/23]

Aisenberg legal bills await a price tag
Prosecutors think the Aisenbergs should get about $1-million. The couple’s lawyers want five times that. [10/22]

Aisenberg attorney contacts potential defendants
Attorney Barry Cohen sent letters seeking cooperation from 22 people who worked on the case. [8/19]

Officers’ discipline is ‘slap on the wrist’
The attorney for the Aisenbergs say written reprimands to sheriff’s detectives in the mishandled missing baby case are “meaningless.” [8/3]

Aisenberg lawyer reveals intent to sue
He contends authorities conspired to frame the couple in the disappearance of their infant daughter, Sabrina. [3/15]

Friends fret over Aisenberg tapes release
TAMPA — The two bugs investigators placed in the home of Steve and Marlene Aisenberg four years ago picked up more than 2,600 conversations. While the couple dominate the conversations, dozens of third parties were overheard as well, including friends, family, reporters, lawyers, a rabbi and even a psychic. [1/11]

Aisenberg case has no end in sight
Wrangling over legal fees and the release of surveillance tapes are but some of the issues still to be resolved. [12/28]

Report clears Sabrina detectives
A special prosecutor says the lead investigators and their superiors botched the investigation, but were not criminally negligent. [12/20]

Aisenbergs’ lawyers press fee demands
The legal team represents the couple exonerated when prosecutors dropped the missing-child case. [8/17]

Kidnap case’s fallout persists
A prosecutor in the Aisenberg case is demoted and the subject of a federal investigation. [7/20]

Aisenberg attorney considers a new job
Lawyer Todd Foster says since his success in the case, he has been urged to apply to become U.S. attorney in the Middle District. [5/16]

Couple could get millions for fees
The government could owe $3.75-million if a judge agrees that the Aisenberg prosecution was frivolous or in bad faith. [3/27]

Aisenberg case moves to TV
The couple highlight evidence th ey say clears them and reveals an intruder’s path into their home. [3/18]

Colleagues say new Aisenberg attorney will do professional job
TAMPA — Defense lawyers and prosecutors describe Norman Wolfinger as a by-the-book state attorney who has breezed through re-election campaigns on Florida’s east coast for 17 years. [2/25]

Attorney studying Aisenberg case is a ‘professional’
He studies cases carefully, relies on investigative reports and stands up to police in the wrong, say those who know him. [2/24]

Inquiry starts in Sabrina case
As a judge ends the case against the child’s parents, the governor names a prosecutor to study the detectives. [2/23]

Wolfinger prepares investigation
TAMPA — The latest inquiry into the Sabrina Aisenberg disappearance will focus on two sheriff’s detectives who built a criminal case that collapsed this week in a spectacular fashion.

Drop Aisenberg charges, Feds ask

Aisenberg case dealt another serious blow
A U.S. district judge asks a magistrate to reconsider a motion to dismiss all charges. [2/17]

Questions swirl in Sabrina case
A U.S. district judge must decide whether to suppress the Aisenberg tapes secretly recorded by detectives. [2/16]

The truth gets lost in translation
The Aisenberg Tapes [Howard Troxler column]

Judge: Suppress Aisenberg tapes
The judge’s recommendation comes after a report in which he accuses detectives of lying. [2/15]

Key witness delivers for Aisenberg prosecutors
An investigator’s confident testimony helps shore up a federal case with few high points. [12/23]

Aisenberg spying extension unlawful
An investigator admits his application to continue secret surveillance wasn’t legal. [12/22]

Deputies’ methods assailed in Aisenberg investigation
The defense says officers misrepresented findings to continue bugging the Aisenbergs. [12/21]

The other casualty in the tragedy of Sabrina
The other day an 18-wheeler passed me in downtown Tampa. One rear panel of the truck carried a picture of Sabrina Aisenberg and a message listing an 800 number for anyone who knows her whereabouts to call. [Mary Jo Melone column]

Detective testifies in Aisenberg case
Linda Sue Burton says she has suspected Sabrina’s parents from the start. [12/20]

Tapes leave listeners doubtful
The enhanced tapes of the Aisenbergs sounded unnatural, and the credentials of a government audio expert were questioned. [12/19]

Doctor denies determining Sabrina was abused
Her testimony conflicts with earlier contentions by Aisenberg investigators. [12/16]

Detective in Aisenberg case grilled on bugging
She admits she thought a witness used to get permission to bug the couple’s home was a liar. [12/15]

Witness says he trusted detectives’ evidence
The former prosecutor says applications to extend bugging at the home of Steve and Marlene Aisenberg did not raise any questions. [12/13]

Witnesses: We saw no signs of abuse
Attorneys question whether authorities went too far to get warrant extentions allowing them to bug the Aisenbergs’ home. [12/12]

U.S. loses a round in baby Sabrina case
TAMPA — Wednesday brought another setback for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in its case against Steven and Marlene Aisenberg. [12/7]

Aisenbergs want judge to testify
Lawyers for the couple, whose daughter disappeared in 1997, say a court was misled when it granted wiretaps. [12/6]

Aisenberg prosecutors suffer setback in court
A judge in the case of a girl who vanished in 1997 calls tapes of her parents “largely inaudible.” [11/14]

Aisenbergs’ attorneys to get notes on tapes
A judge makes the notes available to the Aisenbergs’ attorneys. [11/2]

Aisenbergs’ attorneys want notes on tapes
The defense suggests federal authorities might have known the tapes were flawed even as they sought to indict the couple. [10/31]

Search for Sabrina redoubled
Authorities pour more resources into their efforts as they comb a home linked to Steve Aisenberg. [10/20]

Secrecy, search for baby continue
With a mixture of curiosity and dread, neighbors watch as authorities continue to look for Sabrina Aisenberg.

House searched for baby’s body
As investigators look for the remains of Sabrina Aisenberg, a hearing on tapes of her parents is postponed. [10/19]

Judge will weigh legality of recording Aisenbergs
TAMPA — A federal judge said Friday he wants a special hearing to determine whether the government misrepresented the facts or acted recklessly in its handling of the electronic surveillance leading to the indictment of Steve and Marlene Aisenberg. [9/30]

Aisenberg tapes may be played
The taped conversations of the couple, parents of a missing baby, are at the center of the federal case. [9/29]

Bid to punish Aisenbergs’ counsel denied
Prosecutors sought to punish the Aisenbergs’ attorneys for giving interviews to the media. [5/24]

Expert declares Aisenberg evidence inaudible
Damaging statements on tapes made of Steven and Marlene Aisenberg can’t be heard, he says. [5/16]

Prosecutors defend monitoring Aisenbergs
TAMPA — Investigators followed the law in secretly recording the conversations of Steven and Marlene Aisenberg, and tapes of those conversations should not be thrown out as evidence, federal prosecutors argued in court papers filed Wednesday. [5/4/2000]

Aisenberg failed polygraph, records say
TAMPA — Marlene Aisenberg failed a polygraph test given by sheriff’s investigators the day after she reported her 5-month-old daughter missing in 1997, according to papers prosecutors filed in federal court Tuesday. [5/3]

Magistrate against stack of motions in Aisenberg case
But he partially grants three motions for the couple accused of lying about their baby’s disappearance. [4/27]

Aisenberg lawyers say officers lied to judge
TAMPA — A neighbor of Steven and Marlene Aisenberg’s reported hearing a baby’s cry the morning the couple said their daughter Sabrina was kidnapped, according to a motion filed Wednesday by the Aisenbergs’ defense attorneys. [4/6]

Punish attorney, motion requests
TAMPA — Federal prosecutors filed a motion Friday seeking sanctions against lead Aisenberg defense attorney Barry Cohen, saying he violated court rules by discussing the case in radio and newspaper interviews. [4/1]

Aisenbergs say break-in attempt went unheeded
The incident, five blocks from their home, should have been examined more, a motion states. [3/30]

Gag order may quiet Aisenberg attorneys
Prosecutors will seek to shut off talk outside the courtroom following defense comments to the media.

Aisenbergs’ attorneys fire back at prosecutors
TAMPA — In defense motions filled with scathing attacks, attorneys for Steven and Marlene Aisenberg claim investigators broke the law by secretly taping the couple’s conversations about their missing daughter, Sabrina. [2/19]

Aisenbergs’ attorneys say tapes slow case
TAMPA — Steven and Marlene Aisenberg were back in federal court Friday, but there was little progress in setting a date for their trial on charges they lied about the disappearance of their infant daughter, Sabrina, in 1997. [2/5]

Review of Aisenberg secret tape stymied
The couple’s lawyer wants the tape reviewed to dispute prosecutors’ claims. [1/18]

Aisenberg defense: No coke on tapes
Lawyers want bond conditions revised for the couple, accused of lying about their daughter’s disappearance. [12/4]

Aisenbergs seek more time to review tapes
A lawyer says it would take about 50 days to listen to all of the couple’s conversations taped by authorities. [11/5]

Aisenbergs can keep attorney, judge says
The magistrate says the couple accused in their 5-month-old baby’s disappearance are unlikely to turn on each other. [10/20]

Aisenbergs argue to keep same lawyer
Steven and Marlene Aisenberg speak publicly at a hearing to determine whether they should be forced to have separate attorneys. [10/16]

Maneuver to divide Aisenbergs under way
Prosecutors hope to force the couple to get separate attorneys and maybe open the way for one spouse to turn on the other. [10/15]

Trampling on rights in their search for truth
Wherever the missing baby Sabrina Aisenberg may be, alive or dead, she cries out for truth. [Howard Troxler column, 10/15]

Aisenberg lawyer contested
Prosecutors say they may call Barry Cohen to testify in the trial stemming from baby Sabrina’s disappearance. [10/8]

Aisenbergs plead innocent, dismiss idea of separate counsel
A judge strongly advises the Aisenbergs, accused of lying about their baby’s disappearance, to get their own attorneys. [10/7]

Bug request on Aisenbergs kept sealed
Investigators would be hindered by revealing why they sought to eavesdrop on missing Sabrina’s parents, a judge rules. [9/28]

Aisenberg case to pose legal tangles
Joint defense counsel and other issues are potential complications in the prosecution of the couple. [9/20]

Aisenbergs’ lawyer calls for secrecy
Attorney Barry Cohen opposes the release of papers on why investigators suspected the couple in their infant daughter’s disappearance. [9/18]

Aisenbergs’ plea set for Sept. 29
TAMPA — Steven and Marlene Aisenberg’s arraignment on federal charges that they lied about the kidnapping of their daughter Sabrina two years ago has been scheduled for Sept. 29 at 10 a.m. in Tampa. [9/14]


If you have any information on this case please contact CUE Center For Missing Persons using the contact form below or contact Cue Center at (910) 343-1131 24 hour tip line (910) 232-1687.


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