This famous case of a missing Connecticut man involved so much drama that it made its way into federal legislation, and a law pertaining to it was passed by President Joe Biden last year.
It was the case of Billy Smolinski Jr., who’s been missing from Connecticut since 2004.
Billy was 31-years-old at the time and lived in Waterbury, Connecticut. A week before his disappearance, Billy broke up with his girlfriend, Madeleine, as he found out she had allegedly been cheating on him with another man.
On August 24th, 2004, he went to Madeleine’s house in the morning and entered it from a window without her permission. He made some calls to her alleged new boyfriend and threatened him, leaving a few messages on his answering machine.
Then, around 3:30 pm, Billy went to his neighbor’s house and allegedly told him he was going “up north” for a few days before asking him to look after his dog for him. After he left his neighbor’s house, he was never seen again.
Billy’s family waited for him and grew concerned when he never reached out to them. They contacted the police to report him missing and found his keys and wallet in his car, which was strangely parked at the edge of his driveway.
Billy’s case soon became riddled with civil suits, false tips, and a frustratingly unprogressive investigation. His family put up missing person posters and flyers in an attempt to get people to find him, and Madeleine sued his family for putting flyers on Billy up too close in her vicinity and accused them of harassment.
Billy’s family has claimed certain members of law enforcement were very unsympathetic to his case and investigation. At one point, Chad Hansen, a suspect in Billy’s case, made false claims about Billy being murdered and buried and wasted $100,000 of police resources. Chad Hansen was arrested and sent to jail for four and a half years for false claims.
Chad Hansen and Shaun Karpiuk, Madeline’s son, remain two suspects in Billy’s case, as Chad made claims that he witnessed Shaun kill Billy with a hammer and bury him in an unknown location. However, police were never able to confirm that information, and Shaun passed away in 2005.