LAFAYETTE — Family and friends of a mother of four missing since February are trying something new in their hunt for Crystal Dupuis Grebinger: appealing to her estranged husband to help search for the 32-year-old.
Grebinger’s aunt, Jeanne Savoy, reached out to Sean Karl Grebinger almost two weeks ago through social media and emails to the news media.
So far there’s been no word from Sean Grebinger, who had a tumultuous years-long marriage to Crystal Grebinger and was the father of her four children.
“We haven’t heard a word, not from him,” Savoy said.
Crystal Grebinger was living at an abused women’s shelter in Lafayette until Feb. 8, the Friday before Mardi Gras.
“She checked out willingly; she left willingly, and then that was it,” Savoy said. She said Sean Grebinger also has not been seen since February.
Crystal Grebinger’s family and friends put up a $10,000 reward for information about her, and Lafayette CrimeStoppers is offering $1,000, yet no information has come in on her whereabouts.
On Sept. 16, the family changed tactics, distributing via email a missive imploring Sean Grebinger to join the search.
“You knew her intimately and better than most of us the past 16 years,” the email states. “We have not heard from you, we do not know why you left and we do not know why you are not here helping.
“This is our plea for you to please come back from wherever you are and help us,” it states.
Crystal and Sean Grebinger, who lived in Breaux Bridge, had a rocky marriage, Savoy said. And both had brushes with police.
Court records from the 15th District in Lafayette show Sean Grebinger was charged several times — aggravated battery in 1996, possession with intent to distribute schedule III narcotics, theft by fraud — all of which were eventually dropped by prosecutors.
Crystal Grebinger received a five-month suspended sentence for simple battery in 2003.
Married since the late 1990s — he is 10 years older than her — the pair had a history of fighting, then making up, Savoy said.
“The relationship that they had, sometimes she would meet up with him and she wouldn’t answer her phone” when her family tried to call, Savoy said.
In November 2012, Crystal Grebinger filed for a protective order to keep her husband away from her and their children.
In the filing, she claimed her husband was abusive to her and she was “afraid desperately for my life and my four babies.”
“He stabbed me with a knife in the nose. In … March he raped me,” Crystal Grebinger wrote. She alleged he also tried to strangle her with one of the children’s belts.
She claimed Sean Grebinger violated protective orders in St. Martin Parish, which is part of a different judicial district than Lafayette Parish.
In May, the Lafayette Parish District Attorney’s Office charged Sean Grebinger with two counts of violating the protective order on Jan. 7 and Jan. 8, and a warrant for Grebinger’s arrest was issued in June for allegedly violating the judge’s order not to be within 300 feet of his wife and their children.
Lafayette Police Department Cpl. Paul Mouton said Crystal Grebinger’s missing persons case remains open.
Savoy said there is no evidence Crystal Grebinger has been killed other than the loud silence since she disappeared.
Savoy said the family doesn’t want to speculate yet on whether Sean Grebinger harmed his wife.
“We don’t want to believe she’s gone,” Savoy said. “At this point we pray she’s alive and out there. But there’s been nothing.”