3-year-old William “Billy” Jones missing since 1962

It started with a simple request, “Can you find this guy!” Attached was the name William Ebenezer Jones III.

I found out that Billy had lived on a house on Taylor Avenue in Vineland, New Jersey. On December 17, 1962, he was in the backyard playing with his younger sister, Jill, who was 2, in his blue snowsuit. His mom, Evelyn Jones, 39, was inside watching from the window. She went to check on her youngest child, Bart, and when she came back to the other room, she saw Billy’s younger sister standing in the doorway holding a plastic poinsettia. She told her mom that a man had given it to her and had taken Billy.

Billy’s mom and friends searched for Billy but after an hour they called the police. Billy was never found.

He was only three years old and he disappeared from the backyard of his home.

Billy’s case is one of the oldest missing persons cases for a child in New Jersey.

Although, Billy’s parents are now gone, his sister continues to hope that he is found.

Billy may be out there. If he is alive he would be 58 years old.

Think back in your childhood memory and see if you remember going to school with a little boy who looked similar to the photos of Billy. Billy has blue eyes and light brown hair. He also had a giraffe-shaped vaccination scar on the back of his upper left arm.

Billy probably was going by another name, but I think what stands out the most in the photos is Billy’s ears. The tops of them tend to go outward from his head, and that would be a characteristic that would stay with him his whole life.

Billy, may have grown up in the New Jersey area, but there is a possibility he ended up in the mid-west or even to the West Coast.

Then there is Billy himself. He might just recognize himself in the picture. It has happened before.

Carlina White was a baby when she was kidnapped from a Harlem Hospital in 1987. Her name was changed to Nejdra Nance and she was taken to Bridgeport, Conn. White/Nance suspected she may have been adopted and when she found a photo of herself on the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, 23 years late, it looked enough like her to make her investigate more. She found that indeed that baby’s face was her.

The same thing could happen to Billy. Someone out there might recognize the photos of Billy when he was young. Billy himself might know deep-down he didn’t belong with the family he grew up with, just like Carlina did, and might recognize himself.

Take a few minutes and forward Billy’s photo around, and maybe we can answer the question I received in the email as a resounding, yes.

Please note that in March 1963, a two-year-old boy named Charles Burgese Jr, disappeared from Cinnaminson, N.J. The police and FBI believed that he may have been kidnapped and related the case to Billy’s. If this is a possibility, then Billy may have grown up with a younger brother.

Charles Burgese, 2, who vanished last Sunday from the home of relatives in this Burlington County area. Police Chief Thomas F. Adams said yesterday three dozen skin-divers have volunteered to search the bottom of Pennsauken Creek. Other searchers will spread out tomorrow and comb the neighborhood, if no trace of the child is found in the creek today, Chief Adams said. A massive hunt from Sunday night through Tuesday failed to reveal a trace of the child. Parties examined every inch of land, Chief Adams said, and skindivers and grappling crews searched the creek. Witnesses have told him they saw a small boy walking toward the creek Sunday evening. Chief Adams said. The police chief said he thinks the missing child most likely fell in the creek and drowned. Some officials had speculated the child may have been kidnaped.

The case was reopened in 2009 by police colleagues Officer Bob DeMarchi and Lt. Matt Finley. They have the original typewritten reports. There can be reached at the Vineland Police Department at 856-696-1212. NAMUS

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Jerrie Dean, who is retired from Federal Law Enforcement, is the Founder of Missing Persons of America.

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