Left and Center: Amy circa, 1974
Right: Age Progressed to age 56
Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: March 5, 1974
Missing From: Coconut Grove, Dade County, Florida
Classification: Non-Family Abduction
Date Of Birth: January 9, 1957
Age: 17 years old
Height and Weight: 5’5″ and 110 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian Female, Brown hair, Brown eyes, Amy has a two inch appendectomy scar on her abdomen, she may have a tattoo, she had extensive dental work done on her teeth prior to her disappearance, she is known to have a high stepping gait
Clothing/Jewelry Description: A short denim blue miniskirt and a pair of cork platform sandals
NCMEC Number: 600311
Details of Disappearance
Amy was last seen in Coconut Grove, Florida on March 5th 1974. At approximately 12:00 pm that day, she came home for lunch and had plans to go out with some friends later. Amy called her father, Ned, and asked to borrow some money. She left her residence and began walking to her fathers art gallery which was located less than a mile away on Commodore Plaza. She never arrived and was never seen or heard from again.
Investigators began searching for Amy and so did her mother, Susan. She knocked on doors, passed out fliers with Amy’s information on them, and often times called police. She also held various news conferences to keep Amy’s case alive. Searches failed to uncover any evidence as to what happened to Amy. Investigators believe she was abducted by a non family member.
Several witnesses came forward after her disappearance. One witness recalled seeing a girl matching Amy’s description get in a light colored pickup truck on Main Highway, where she was walking and attempting to a get a ride. Another witness, however, said she got into a light colored keep. Others also said she got into a beige colored van. Investigators felt the descriptions were too vague and gave little credence to the statements.
Police felt that Amy likely got on the back of a motorcycle, driven by a member of a biker gang known as “The Outlaws.” Many days later, Susan also received a tip of this nature which said the gang abducted Amy and took her cross country. She soon learned a large group of them had passed through Coconut Grove at the time of Amy’s presumed abduction.
Two weeks after Amy was abducted, a hitchhiking college student found her camera in the grass beside the Florida Turnpike located near the Wildwood exit. This is about 250 miles northwest of Miami. He brought it to his mother in Miami and she promptly turned it over to police. The camera was indeed Amy’s since it had a piece of adhesive tape on the bottom of the camera which had Amy’s name on it.
Many of the photos in the camera were overexposed but investigators were able to develop one or two of the photos left inside. One of the photos was of a light colored pickup truck which was parked in front of a light colored wall with a vine growing on it. Investigators were never able to locate the truck. Another photo showed a white van in it.
A few days after Amy went missing, her family received a phone call from two individuals who claimed they had Amy in their custody and demanded $30,000 for her safe return. Investigators soon discovered the whole thing was a ruse and the call was actually placed by two twin brothers, Charles and Larry Glasser. They were both subsequently arrested for extortion
Investigators and Susan were certain the motorcycle gang theory was the most plausible and that Amy was still alive somewhere. A family friend of the Billig’s who once did legal work for the Outlaws arranged a meeting between Susan and Ned and two gang members. The two men claimed they had never seen Amy personally but recalled how other members have kidnapped young women and sold them.
Some of these women were allegedly sold for simply a bike or a credit card. The two men promised Susan they would ask others about Amy but they gained nothing from that. Susan would soon hear from a woman named Gina Andrew. Andrew was abducted by a biker gang when she was just 12 years old and she escaped captivity five years later. She claimed she was sold for money, motorcycles, and leather chaps.
Three months after Amy’s abduction, Susan was able to track the Outlaws to Orlando, FL and she questioned various locals in the area. A convenience store manager recalled Amy being escorted by at least two bikers. He relented that Amy frequently purchased vegetarian vegetable soup. This was important in the sighting since Amy was a dedicated vegetarian in 1974.
Susan was certain this was a sighting of her stolen daughter. On January 9th 1976, a biker named Dave contacted Susan after seeing a picture of Amy in the newspaper. He claimed that he actually owned Amy at one point after her disappearance. He agreed to speak with Susan at his home. She recalled that he was so nervous while speaking with her.
Dave said he was certain the girl was Amy after he was shown a much clearer photo of her. He described her as quiet “like a mute.” He was also able to describe a hidden scar on her body which Susan had never publicly released before. This made her certainty increase even more and she was again convinced the girl was her missing daughter.
Dave agreed to contact the individual he believed had Amy. A few weeks later, he contacted Susan and told her Amy was in Tulsa, Oklahoma. They both met there and attempted to search for Amy. In June of 1976, Susan and Dave went to a Tavern where he claimed Amy would be delivered to them. However, a fight broke out there and Dave was injured. Susan was put in a cab by one of the other bikers.
Susan never saw Dave again but he told her attorney that Amy was in Seattle, Washington. In November of 1977, Susan traveled there despite having a heart attack a few months earlier. She frequently went to bars, tattoo parlors, and especially motorcycle shops. She passed out photographs of Amy with her information and several witnesses came forward to give statements.
These people recognized Amy from the photographs and described her as quiet and like a “mute.” Susan was unable to locate her daughter. One of the last tips to ever come in the case was in the winter of 1979. An anonymous caller contacted Susan and told her that Amy was at a remote truck stop outside of Reno, Nevada. The caller said Amy was in desperate need of help.
Federal agents were able to confirm that a biker gang was in the area briefly but there was no way to prove Amy was with them at the time. In 1992, Susan was contacted by private investigator Virginia Snyder they were working on the case when they received a tip from Great Britain. The tip came from a British Investigator.
The tip stated that the investigator was at a postal office in Falmouth, England when he was approached by an American biker. The biker said he had a girl that he wanted to sell to him. He stated she was American as well and from Oyster Bay. He additionally added that she was “mute.” The description appeared to match that of Amy who had been missing for 18 years by then.
However, the biker left without showing a photograph of the woman. Despite this, Susan felt certain the woman was her missing daughter but she found no trace of Amy anywhere. The British Investigator passed away a year later. Virginia at the time believed if Amy was able to survive that long, she was still alive.
Investigators believe Amy might of used the following aliases: Mute,” “Sunshine,” “Little Bits,” or “Mellow Cheryl.” Paul Branch who was a former member of the Outlaws called Susan Billig in 1975 and told her that he had seen a photograph of Amy in the newspapers. He stated Amy lived with him and was his girlfriend. He claimed he purchased her from a guy in Orlando.
He went on to tell Susan that he later got arrested and left Amy and his motorcycle with his roommate. When he got back, Amy was gone. Another biker who saw Amy’s photograph also said Amy was Branch’s girlfriend. Investigators now believe the account was a lie.
Investigators believe Branch’s link to Amy’s disappearance is credible because he was able to describe the hidden scar on her body. It was an appendicitis scar that was boy disclosed in the media initially. Branch was questioned by detectives in 1996 regarding Amy’s disappearance and gave them the same statement he gave Susan 19 years earlier.
Investigators don’t believe Branch ever lived with Amy but that he knew what happened to her or was involved in her fate. Investigators believe Amy was indeed a captive of the bikers and Branch that day. Branch died on News Years Eve 1996, months after he was questioned by detectives in Amy’s disappearance.
According to the woman he lived with, Branch lied to detectives and gave a much more gruesome story as to what happened to Amy on the night of her disappearance. He stated that a group of bikers stopped for Amy at a corner on Main Highway where she was trying to get a ride. He stated that she went to a bikers party that night with a girl named Nancy.
While she was at the party, Amy was said to have taken drugs which “messed her up.” Amy became sassy with one of the bikers which put him in a rage. They decided to “pull a train.” This is a known slang for gang rape. Amy fought back against her rapists but they kept injecting her with drugs until she overdosed and died.
Branch said Amy’s body was taken to the Florida Everglades and thrown into the water. It was presumed her remains were eaten by alligators who were inhabitants of the area. The woman who was identified as Branch’s wife relayed the information to Susan. Investigators were also pointed to another man who lived in New Jersey in Branch’s deathbed revelation.
The man was in Virginia prison at the time, having been a jailbird since May of 1974. He was visited by detectives in 1998 to be questioned about his possible involvement in the case. The man claimed he was in South Florida but left in 1973 and was in Virginia when Amy disappeared in March of 1974.
Investigators stated they learned the names of other people allegedly involved in Amy’s death through this individual. Despite the deathbed confession, investigators haven’t charged anyone with kidnapping or killing Amy. In fact, investigators believe Branch’s wife made up the confession so she could financially profit from the case.
In 1998, the A & E Network aired a program about Amy’s abduction on their Investigative Reports Series. The documentary details the investigation and Susan’s decades long search for answers as to where Amy was. The documentary also shows footage of the meeting between Susan and Paul’s wife. Susan appears to accept the statement when the program ends.
An additional aspect to Amy’s mysterious disappearance includes a series of harassing phone calls that were made to Susan about her daughters disappearance and other relatives. The man who made the calls would say that Amy was being held against her will by members of an illicit sex ring. The individual tormented Susan for 21 years with these calls until the person was finally identified.
When the man called Amy’s mother in October of 1995, he used a cellphone to perform this call. He managed to evade law enforcement for twenty years because he would always use a pay phone which made it difficult to apprehend the suspect. Investigators found the cell phone was registered to an import company near downtown Miami on the bay.
Detectives went to the owners address and discovered a U.S government mail drop. This led them to suspect the company was a phony corporation set up as a cover for a federal operation. They went through government law enforcement directories looking for the phone number. They found it matched with a branch of U.S Customs.
Investigators realized the caller was one of their own. When they called the number to find out who was using it, a Customs supervisor told them it was none of their business. On October 27th 1995, investigators went to the office and played the tape of a phone call to the supervisor. He began to cooperate and immediately knew who had done it.
The supervisor and another agent confirmed the voice was that of Henry Johnson Blair. He was working in another office that day and was arrested. Blair claimed he was an alcoholics and had an obsessive compulsive disorder which caused him to harass Susan. He claimed he had never met Amy before her disappearance and didn’t know anything about the actual case.
A month after Blair’s arrest, Susan decided to look through Amy’s journals. As she read page from page, Susan noticed an entry from about six weeks prior to Amy’s abduction. In the entry, Amy wrote “Hank says as soon as I finish school he wants me to go to South America with him. I told him he’s crazy.” Susan was confused by this because she never remembered Amy having a friend named Hank.
She decided to look at some old lists to shed light on this “Hank” person. She found he was not a schoolmate of Amy’s or a close friend of hers either. He wasn’t anyone Amy brought the house before her abduction. He was also not someone who called about Amy after her disappearance in 1974. She wondered if the Hank in the journal could be the man who tormented her for over twenty years.
Hank was Henry Blair’s nickname. Susan always assumed the man who called her for over twenty years was in someway responsible for her daughters vanishing. Since Blair had no criminal background and rather had a simple, non problematic life, she didn’t believe he would go around flying and selling sex slaves. She didn’t believe Blair would ever lead her to her long lost daughter.
She said there was only one other thing Blair could know about Amy and she refused to hear it. She rested on hope that Blair had no connection to her daughters case and had no knowledge of hit whatsoever. This stopped once she read the entry in Amy’s journal. Susan contacted the police and told them to come and get Amy’s journal.
Investigators formally announced that they were looking into the possibility that Blair was involved in Amy’s decades old disappearance. Investigators have found that most people associated with crank calls are usually not involved in these cases. However, Blair seemed to have an obsession with tormenting Susan and investigators questioned his true motive for it.
Many were shocked over Blair’s arrest. He had a good reputation and various people called the harassing phone calls as being out of character for him. Blair was born in 1947, making him 27 years old at the time of Amy’s presumed abduction. He was newly wed and living with his new wife, Cynthia, at Sunset Club Apartments in south Miami. He has been a sky marshal until 1973.
Blair’s long time friends recalled him flying to the Caribbean and South America frequently. Cynthia told police Blair made trips to South America but that she doesn’t remember exactly when. This appears to bear similarities to Amy’s journal entry where she said “Hank” would take her to South America. When Amy went missing, Blair was no longer a sky patrolmen, he was a Customs patrol officer.
Blair’s job was to drive around and patrol the local waterways. Henry and Cynthia married on February 22nd 1974 and went on a honeymoon in San Francisco. It’s been stated that Blair and Cynthia returned to Miami about 10 to 13 days later. Amy went missing just 12 days after the wedding. Debate Customs agents who knew Henry well said he could not be involved in Amy’s disappearance.
In 1978, a retired Coral Gables High School Teacher named Paula Richott purchased a home from the Blairs. She recalled having to do some odd repairs around the home after moving in. The cast irons burners on the kitchen stove were broken and the porcelain kitchen sink was shattered. A door inside the home was punched in as well. She believes someone in the house had dogs of rage.
The Blair family moved into that house in May of 1974 and became friends with the Jones family just down the block. Kay Jones remembers how Henry would stay up late at night drinking but she never saw him become violent or out of control. Neighbors remember how Hank would come and go at odd hours of the night and told neighbors that he was a narcotics agent.
Kay said that Henry wore disguises such as the following: fake beards, mustaches, wigs, sunglasses, and hats. He also had a lot of guns. Henry was described as liking to impress people with the secrecy of his job and came off as a “super cop.” Investigators stated that between 1974 and 1978, Henry owned an MG. But neighbors also said he drove other vehicles seized by Customs and made available to Patrol Officers.
Of these vehicles, there was a light colored pickup truck and a beat up beige van. These two vehicles are consistent with witness statements about Amy being observed getting into these vehicles at the time of her abduction. He also owned a white van which was shown in Amy’s photos from her discovered camera.
Blair was convicted of the charges brought against him and was sentenced to two years in prison for harassing Susan. He also lost a suit to Susan who received a five million dollar settlement. He has since been released from prison and continues to maintain his innocence in Amy’s disappearance.
Investigators are inclined to believe that Branch’s deathbed confession holds the key to solving Amy’s disappearance but many disagree it’s what actually happened. Amy’s brother, Josh, also doubts the biker gang killed his sister. Her remains were never found.
At the time of Amy’s disappearance, she enjoyed reading and writing poetry. She read The Primal Scream, The Painted Bird, Sylvia Plath’s poetry, and The Happy Hooker in the months before her disappearance. She also loved Joni Mitchell and Judy Collins songs. She also trained dolphins at the Seaquarium on Key Biscayne.
Amy was a senior student at Adelphi Academy which was an alternative learning high school in the area. She was known to have previously experimented with Marijuana and believed in “free love.” She enjoyed playing the flute and panting and was known to hang out at bars. Susan was also known to wrote about the people she met.
Amy’s disappearance remains unsolved. Her father, Ned, passed away from lung cancer in 1993. His last words were that he wished to see Amy again before his death. Susan passed away in June of 2005 at the age of 80. She spent the last 31 years of her life searching for her long lost daughter. Foul play is suspected in her case.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Miami Police Department 305-579-6530
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children