Name: William “Billy” Smolinski
Age: 31 years old
Last seen: August 24, 2004
Location: Waterbury, Connecticut
William Smolinski is a caucasian male with brown hair and blue eyes. He is 6″ tall and weighs approximately 200lbs.
William has a tattoo of a blue cross with the name Pruitt on his left forearm and a tattoo of a blue cross with an orange outline on his right shoulder. He has his left ear pierced with a small diamond.
William “Billy” Smolinski was last seen on August 24th, 2004 at his home, 130 Holly Street in Waterbury, Connecticut.
A week before he disappeared Billy and his girlfriend Madeline Gleason took a vacation in Florida. During this vacation, Billy confronted Madeline about dating Chris who was a married man. She confirmed they were having an affair and they part ways.
Around 3:30 pm, Billy went over to his neighbours house to ask him to help look after his German Shephard named Harley, as he was going planning to go up North for three days to look at a car he was interested in purchasing.
This was the last time William was seen or heard from.
The following day, the neighbor went to check on Harley however the house was locked with the dog inside and Billy’s pickup truck was still in the driveway. When police arrived at the house, they found Billy’s wallet and keys tucked under his car seat.
The morning of August 24th, 2004, Billy had gone to visit his former girlfriend Madeline Gleason, between 4-5 am. Billy and Madeline had dated for a year but had recently broken up because Billy believed she was seeing a named Chris Sorenson, who was Madeline’s manager. He climbed up a ladder and went through Madeline’s window.
Madeline told him that she needed time to think about it, and Billy went home.
According to Madeline Gleason, Billy was a little depressed when he left her home.
Billy Smolinski’s last three phone calls were made to Chris Sorenson. When questioned Chris told authorities he had received a message on August 24th, from a male caller telling him to “watch his back”. Authorities later determined the message was from Billy Smolinski.
Around 3 pm, Billy drove to a local Burger King, where he had purchased two hamburgers and fries. Receipts were found in a trash bin inside his home.
Billy bumped into a former girlfriend, who he had dated for 8 years while towing a vehicle. They spoke and he invited her for a trip to Six Flags the following weekend as a thank you because she took care of his dog Harley while in Florida with Madeline Gleason.
Billy Smolinski deposited most of his last paycheck in the bank prior to his disappearance. His bank accounts have not been accessed since this transaction.
In 2006, authorities received a tip about Shaun Karpiuk, Madeline Gleason’s son. The caller told authorities they were hearing that Shaun Karpiuk had murdered Billy Smolinski because he had beaten up Madeline Gleason. The caller went on to say that Shaun and another man named Jason Lee buried Billy at one of the sites Shaun had been working at. They dug a hole and buried Billy in a spot that concrete was poured over.
Shaun Karpiuk died in 2005 from a drug overdose, before police got to question him.
In 2008, authorities received another tip that involved Shaun Karpiuk. An individual named Chad Hanson told investigators that Billy had been murdered and that he knew where his body was. He told investigators that his friend Shaun had beaten Billy to death and that he helped Shaun bury Billy’s body.
After receiving the tip, investigators conducted searches in Seymour, Connecticut in 2008. As well as Naugatuck State Forest in 2010 and Oxford, Connecticut in 2011.
Unfortunately, these searches did not lead to finding William Smolinski nor any leads in the investigation. Chad Hanson was charged in 2011 with interfering with police and making false statements. Investigators believe that Chad had deliberately lied to them in order to mislead the investigation. In 2013, Chad pleaded guilty to one charge of making false statements and was sentenced to four and a half years in prison.
In 2006, Madeline Gleason sued Billy’s family for alleged harassment and defamation of character, as she claimed she was falsely accused of being involved in Billy’s disappearance. Madeline Gleason was awarded $52,000 in damages.
In 2015, the state Supreme Court overturned the trial court’s decision on First Amendment grounds. The case was remanded to the trial court and was later withdrawn by the plaintiff.
In 2009, federal legislation known as “Billy’s Law” was introduced in Congress to help streamline the missing persons databases available to law enforcement.
“Billy’s Law” is intended to ensure that other families won’t experience the delays that the Smolinski family went through.
If you have any information regarding the disappearance of William “Billy” Smolinski, please contact the Waterbury Police Department at 203-777-6941 or the New Haven FBI Office at 203-777-6311.
You can email the family directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or send mail to P.O. Box 123, Cheshire CT. 06410.
Resources and Further Information
Investigation Discovery: Disappeared Season 1 Episode 7 “Favorite Son”