Left: William circa 1984
Right: Age Progressed to age 48
Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: March 30, 1984
Missing From: Auburn, Placer County, California
Classification: Endangered Missing
Date Of Birth: July 11, 1968
Age: 15 years old
Weight: 125 pounds
Hair Color: Brown
Eye Color: Hazel
Distinguishing Characteristics: William has a birthmark on neck, a capped front tooth, he also had stitches in one of his feet when he vanished
AKA: William may use the nicknames “Bill” or “Billy”
NCMEC Number: 600830
Details of Disappearance
William Cordes was last seen on March 23rd of 1984. He was staying at a group home known as “The Children’s Home Society” on New Airport Road in Auburn, California. He was sent to live in the home because of a robbery. He had stolen $8 worth of beer from a business.
On the night of his disappearance, William and a few other residents of the group home, snuck out of the premises and attended a party in a town near Auburn. The boys drank beer until around 5:00 am or 6:00 am. They left to return to the home.
The vehicle they were driving broke down on Interstate 80 near Dry Creek Road. William chose to stay behind in the vehicle while his friends went out to purchase fuel. When they returned to the vehicle, William had disappeared. He was never seen or heard from again.
William was reported missing but the original report was canceled for an unknown reason. Authorities started to investigate his disappearance several years later.
Authorities could not question his friends due to confidentiality laws but his family questioned them about what happened the day he vanished. They said the only significant thing that occurred was when William broke up with his girlfriend at the time. It’s unclear what exactly happened that night.
William was a student at Golden Sierra High School at the time of his disappearance. His family describes him as an energetic youth who had farm and horse smarts. Some agencies classify Cordes as an endangered runaway.
Williams case remains unsolved. His family believes that foul play was involved in his disappearance. It’s believed that he’s deceased.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Placer County Sheriffs Office 530-889-7800