After years, searching continues for Butler County adults who vanished

Hamilton mom Debbie Winkler Estes was in tears last week when she talked about the disappearance of her son William “Billy” DiSilvestro. Today marks 11 years since the 28-year-old vanished without a trace and 11 years of anguish for his mother.

It was bitter cold during the early morning hours of Feb. 7, 2011, when DiSilvestro, known to friends as “Billy D,” left a Rossville neighborhood house after a party and was never seen again. He left his phone at a friend’s house and had no money.

“It’s sadder every year,” Estes said in a choking voice. “At this point, I just want my son. I don’t care what happened. Who did what. I don’t care about about that, I just want my kid.”

Estes, now 63, has been relentless in her search for years, posting on social media constantly and even searching the woods on her own when tips come in. But still after more than a decade there are no concrete leads and she has no closure

Credit: E.L. Hubbard

Credit: E.L. Hubbard

In September, Ross Twp. Police investigated a tip from a man who said he saw human remains while cleaning out the barn and they may have been DiSilvestro. Digging in a barn and a search with cadaver dogs turned up no human remains at all.

In 2015, a tip led Butler County Sheriff’s detectives on a massive search, as they dug up a wooded area near New Miami in search of DiSilvestro. But after a five-hour hunt with cadaver dogs, no sign of the missing Hamilton man was found at the St. Clair Twp. location pointed out by a confidential informant.

In July 2011, a rescue team spent two days searching murky canal water on Joe Nuxhall Boulevard. An inmate passed a tip that DiSilvestro had been killed, put in a barrel and thrown in the water. But the search only turned up hubcaps and discarded furniture.

Also in 2011, a retired Chicago police officer called detectives after seeing DiSilvestro’s face on a missing person ad in a trade magazine. The man thought he saw DiSilvestro at a gas station between the Florida state line and Tampa, but he could not pinpoint the location.

Thanks to Estes, her son’s face has been everywhere over the years — billboards, benches, playing cards featuring unsolved cases, telephone poles, store fronts and even construction equipment.

Her heart breaks for other families with loved ones missing and often shares posts and information.

“I also tell them they are doing the right thing, not giving up and keep putting their faces out they so people won’t forget, Estes said.

Butler County Sheriff’s Maj. Mike Craft said last week a team of detectives meet weekly to discuss cold cases and DiSilvestro is part of that discussion, but there are no active new leads to investigate.


Yalonda Middleton’s 28-year-old son, Michael McKenney of Fairfield Twp., has been missing for a year and a half and she too works to keep her son’s face in the forefront.

McKenney loved the outdoors and often spent time at Rentschler Forest and Hueston Woods State Park. That’s were his car was found parked on the Preble County side of state park. But there was no trace of McKenney.

Fairfield Twp. police Sgt. Brandon McCroskey said McKenney was last heard from on May 23, 2020. His car was found on May 30, 2020 by a Ohio Department of Natural Resources officer, and his phone and some belongings were inside.

Groups have searched areas of the large state park but found no trace of McKenney. The Butler County Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol helped search some areas near ravines, according to Fairfield Twp. police.

Middleton said she and family members have also searched in Hueston Woods as well.

The mother has also hired a private investigator and is having online fundraisers to raise money for a reward.

“Someone needs to come forward. Somebody knows something,” Middleton said, adding it is painful not knowing as the days go by.

She has hope that her son is alive, but really has no idea what might have happened, especially since he left behind a car he had only had for a week.

“Until Michael is found I will not fully accept he is gone,” Middleton said. “He is somewhere. We just don’t where.”

McCroskey said Friday some of the people who were around McKenney at the time he went missing are dead.

“That complicates things,” he said. “It is a very frustrating case. We follow up and exhaust any leads we get, gone down every rabbit hole, but every time we have come up empty.”

McCroskey said it remains a “very open case.”


Thursday marked the one year anniversary of the disappearance of Butler County attorney Robert Qucsai III. Qucsai visited a Tennessee park Feb. 3, 2021 and was never seen again.

The 42-year-old arrived at Cummins Falls State Park at about 1:30 p.m., parked in the visitors’ lot and hiked in to see one of his favorite outdoor sights — a frozen waterfall. Despite searches there has been no sign of Qucsai.

Qucsai’s brother, Carol, told the Journal-News in July that he and their father talked to Robert about 4:30 p.m. the day he went missing.

“He was already in the middle of the park. He had just sent us a beautiful picture before we talked to him. He was upbeat,” Carl said.

Rangers called about 6:30 p.m. because they had closed the park and they found Qucsai’s car. In the car were Qucsai’s wallet, identification and credit cards.

Authorities manned an exhaustive search for three days in February 2021 looking for Qucsai using technology, dogs and horses, but found nothing.

Bob Qucsai is a graduate of Fairfield High School and lives in Trenton. He was admitted to the Ohio Bar in 2004 and worked as a public defender in Butler County Common Pleas and Juvenile Courts.

According to a post on the “Bring Home Bob Qucsai” Facebook page, a search of the park and surrounding area happened again late last month, but no new evidence was found.

“Not much to say except let’s keep hope alive that Bob is out there somewhere taking a break from life and he pops back into our lives SOON!!! Miss ya BQ , love ya,” was posted on the page Thursday.



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