By Erica Morse
Editor-in-Chief, Victims News Online
Published November 14, 2014
(VNO) — The family of a missing Connecticut man is speaking out publicly today, issuing a plea to a specific person — or group of persons — with possible information related to his disappearance more than ten years ago. Thirty-one-year-old William “Billy” Smolinski, Jr., vanished on August 24, 2004, just days after a break-up with his then-girlfriend. For the last decade, his family has been fighting to find out what happened to him, while encountering road blocks, a lawsuit, arrest, and false leads regarding Billy’s whereabouts.
The break-up between Smolinski and his then-girlfriend reportedly centered around an alleged extra-marital relationship between her and a married man. Just hours before the last sighting, Billy Smolinski reportedly left a voice mail message for that man, telling him to “watch his back”. When his family and friends attempted to report him missing, police did not take an initial report, due to a neighbor’s statement that Smolinski planned to make a trip “up north” for a few days to look at used car parts.
However, just days’ after his disappearance, Billy Smolinski’s truck was mysteriously returned to his property, his wallet and keys tucked deep inside the seat. Over the last decade, Billy Smolinski’s family has been led on a wild goose chase, including following up on false leads provided by a man who now sits in prison for concocting stories about where Billy Smolinski may be found. The family has been sued — successfully — by his former girlfriend, and is currently appealing a punitive judgement of more than $52,000. Today, Billy’s family is asking for a particular person – or group of persons – to come forward and assist in what they think might be critical information related to the case.
Without disclosing specific details, Jan Smolinski, Billy’s mother, has indicated to Victims News Online that at least one woman has alluded to possible knowledge of the level of danger involved in finding out what has happened to her son. I received several calls from a woman who was part of an organization that was sharing Billy’s fliers around the area”, Jan Smolinski told Victims News Online. “Then, one day, she called and indicated that there is/was a ‘powerful person’ involved in Billy’s disappearance. She told me me she couldn’t assist in his flyer distribution any longer”. Smolinski’s family is now speaking publicly regarding this information, and is issuing a public plea to the caller, asking her to re-consider.
While the family recognizes that there may very well be a level of danger involved in Billy Smolinski’s disappearance, they have also taken measures to offer an anonymous tipline to receive information. As Victims News Online reported in August 2014, anyone with information related to Billy’s disappearance may call the tipline and submit information without having to identify oneself. The line is specifically set up to protect callers, and does not record incoming call information or have Caller ID. “We want that person — or anyone from her organization — to know that it is safe to come forward and share what knowledge may exist without fear of identification, exposure or retaliation”, Jan Smolinski said.
At the time of his disappearance, William “Billy” Smolinski, Jr., was approximately 5’10” tall, weighing 200 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes. A $60,000 reward is being offered; anyone with information is asked to contact the New Haven, CT, office of the FBI at (203) 574-6941, or the family’s anonymous tip-line at (203) 530-9135.