Voice Platform and Support Network for Families of Missing and Victims of Crime
SEYMOUR -- A search and rescue team spent two hours Saturday morning searching undisclosed locations in town for William Smolinski Jr., a Waterbury man last seen alive in 2004.
During the search a K-9 dog with the Farmington Fire Department, discovered a sweatshirt, considered possible evidence in the case of Smolinski's disappearance nearly six years ago -- or 2,146 days as noted on the justice4billy.com website established by Smolinski's parents.
Billy Smolinski was last seen alive on Aug. 24, 2004, when he asked his neighbor to care for his dog while he was away for several days. Since then, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, State Police and police departments in Shelton, Seymour and Waterbury, where Smolinski last resided, have taken part in an investigation. On several occasions, tips have led local police departments to bring in cadaver dogs to scour construction sites for Billy's body.
"We just keep working on it," Lovejoy said. "We're not going to give up. We try to follow up on all tips. The one we don't follow up on could be the one to lead us to Billy."
The tips have been steadily coming in since February, when Lovejoy shared the Smolinski case on a television special on the Discovery ID channel.
The Smolinski family on Saturday also handed out fliers in the parking lot of Klarides Plaza on Route 67 advertising the $60,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for Smolinski's death. Of that reward, $50,000 was authorized by Gov. M. Jodi Rell in 2008.
Volunteers were also deployed to Ansonia, Shelton, Oxford, Seymour and Derby to distribute the fliers.
"We are hoping the fliers will be brought home and they will talk about it at the dinner table," said Janice Smolinski, "and somebody will know something. Someone is going to get nervous."
Her husband, Bill, said although he is frustrated by the lack of progress in the police investigation the family will never stop looking for Billy, who would now be 37 years old.
And although they are certain Billy is likely dead and buried somewhere, they are equally convinced they will find his remains and uncover the truth behind his disappearance.
"First we'll bring him home, but I need the answers," said Janice Smolinski.
When Janice Smolinski does find her son, she has no plans to ever let him go again. "I'm going to cremate him and put him in the casket with me when I die," she said. "I've worked too hard. I'm not letting him go anymore."