Couple Desperately Searching for Missing Son
Updated: Friday, August 2 2013, 10:11 PM EDT
Whenever there is a missing person, chances are there are relatives desperate to find them. But when one Connecticut couple went searching for their missing son, they wound up becoming a target themselves.
Nine years after Billy Smolinski vanished; his family is on a desperate search to find him.
When Billy Smolinski disappeared from his small Connecticut town nine years ago, it took three days for police to begin to search, but it took no time for relatives to take the lead.
"We started making up fliers and started posting em," said Bill Smolinksi, Billys father.
Their flyers not only described their son but offered a reward for his recovery. But soon, their desperation made them a target for retaliation.
Their missing person posters were coming down almost as quickly as they were going up.
"As we were going down we looked and saw a poster was being torn down and I said, I know I put a poster there," said Bill.
The Smolinskis couldn't understand it until they began watching and rolling. From a distance, they watched as the driver of a school bus stopped and ripped the posters right out of the public spaces.
The driver was Madeline Gleason, Billy Smolinski's former girlfriend who, at the same time she was dating Billy, had quietly been dating someone else.
Gleason told police that she felt harassed by all those posters and soon her mission to remove them had become as aggressive as the family was determined to post them.
The fight had become so fierce that the Smolinskis became a target themselves.
"I had a phone call at home from the Woodbridge Police Department and said I'll give you two days to turn yourself in as a criminal," said Janice Smolinski, Billy's mother.
When prosecutors dropped trespassing charges against the Smolinskis, Gleason struck back with a civil suit. The woman who police had questioned about Smolinskis disappearance was accusing his parents of defaming her.
A judge ruled against the Smolinskis and ordered them to pay Gleason $52,666 in damages.
The Smolinskis were in Baltimore this week where a new team of attorneys are preparing to battle their case before a higher court.
Billy's family members have stopped posting the flyers while they prepare for their appeal.