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: White Female, Brown hair, Brown eyes, Amy has a two inch appendectomy scar on her abdomen, she may have a tattoo, and had extensive dental work done on her teeth prior to her disappearance
Clothing/Jewelry Description: A denim miniskirt and platform sandals
NCMEC Number: 600311
Details of Disappearance
Amy Billig was last seen in Coconut Grove, Florida on March 5th 1974. She was last seen along the Main Highway, she was hitchhiking to her fathers office to borrow some money because she had plans to meet her friends later that day. She never made it to the office and has not been seen or heard from since.
Authorities initially believed that Amy had runaway and refused to even get her fingerprints from her bedroom until months after she disappeared. While the authorities searched, her mother, Susan Billig, also spent the next years of her life searching for Amy. After a while, authorities concluded that Amy did not voluntarily disappear. They now believe that she was the victim of a non family abduction.
A few days after her disappearance, two twin brothers known as Charles and Larry Glasser called Amy’s family and claimed that they had abducted her and she was in their custody. They demanded $30,000 ransom for her safe return. They were soon found to be lying and had nothing to do with Amy’s presumed abduction. They were later charged with extortion.
While searching, Susan, received many tips regarding what happened to Amy. The tips mostly pointed towards two motorcycle gangs, the outlaws and the Pagans, both of whom were known to have traveled through Coconut Grove in 1974. The pagans also has a connection to a friend of Cheryl Iacovone who disappeared in 1977 from Pennsylvania. No connection to the case has been made.
The tips claimed that the gangs abducted Amy and that she was sold to numerous individuals in the years after her disappearance. Some of the tips claimed that Amy was alive and being held while others maintained that the girl was killed. The tips led Susan on trips all around the United States and even in Great Britain. She was never able to find her daughter despite the sightings of her in those areas.
Paul Branch, a member of the Pagans, confessed to Susan in 1977 that Amy has been abducted by the Pagans and was being held captive. He recanted the story in his death bed in the 1990s and gave a different story. Apparently, Amy had been abducted by the Pagans and that she was at a party with them and died of a drug overdose. Her body was apparently dumped in the Florida Everglades and presumably eaten by alligators.
Amy’s camera was found at the Wildwood exit in Florida’s turnpike shortly after Amy vanished. A man who found it remembered that Amy was a missing person and turned the camera over to authorities but the film inside was overexposed and most of it was non viewable. It’s unknown if Amy has the camera in her possession when she disappeared and it may have disappeared before she did.
In 1974, a man started calling Susan and harassing her about Amy’s disappearance and made claims that Amy had been abducted by an illicit sex ring and was being held captive against her will. This caller tormented Susan for 21 years until 1995 when the man used a cellphone to call Susan. The man was arrested and identified as Henry John Blair. He was not caught before hand due to the fact that he always placed the calls from phone booths and pay phones. He worked for the United States Customs Department.
Blair claimed that he had an obsessive compulsive disorder and was an alcoholic. This apparently caused him to harass Susan. He also claimed that he never met Amy or knew her and that he had no knowledge of what happened to her. He was sentenced to a two year prison term for harassing Susan and in addition to that, Susan settled a lawsuit against him for $5,000,000. He has since been released from his sentence.
Blair is considered a possible suspect in Amy’s disappearance. A man that Amy describes in her journal is presumed to possibly be him and in her journal she stated that a man named “Hank” would take her to South America. Blair’s nickname is Hank and due to his job with the Customs Department, he was required to relocate to Argentina around the time this was written in Amy’s journal.
A photo developed from Amy’s camera depicted a white van, similar to one that Blair drove in 1974. He hasn’t been positively linked to her disappearance aside from the harassing he brought upon her mother.
Susan’s case was aired on multiple programs for missing persons and it’s drawn publicity to the case. It goes over Amy’s disappearance and her mother’s decades old search to find her. At the end of the A and E Networks program, Susan accepts Paul Branch’s wife’s statement. Authorities believe that she was lying to compensate from Amy’s disappearance.
Amy enjoyed playing instruments such as the flute and guitar in 1974. She also enjoyed reading and writing poetry and was even considering becoming and actress. She was known to hitchhike a lot in her neighborhood. Her father died due to lung cancer in the early 1990s. Susan searched for Amy for 31 years until her own death in 2005. She co-authored a book about her daughters disappearance. It’s called “Without a Trace – The Disappearance of Amy Billig”.
Amy’s case remains unsolved and foul play is suspected.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Miami Police Department 305-579-6530