Butler County’s 3 most notorious missing person cases

Debbie Estes knows first hand the pain of not knowing what happened to a loved one. She has been searching for her son, William DiSilvestro, since he went missing from Hamilton on a cold night in February 2011.

"I will never stop until I find him," Estes said. She uses posters, social media and hired a private investigator all in an effort to keep her son's case from going cold.

While it has not yet paid off in the form of officially local her son, nicknamed “Billy D,” it has kept the case in the fore front of the community and Butler County sheriff’s detectives investigating the disappearance.

Last week, for the second time this year, detectives were digging for hours in Millikin Woods after a tip, according to Sgt. Jason Rosser. But again, they did not find “Billy D” or anyone else.

DiSilvestro’s face is plastered on multiple benches in the Hamilton area that also feature photos of other missing persons.

In the next couple weeks, Estes said benches will depict the faces of two other cold cases — Cynthia Carmack and Ronald Tammen Jr.

“For some reason it bothers me that they have been forgotten about,” Estes said. “I want somebody to know I haven’t forgotten about them.”

Hamilton police continue to look for information that will lead them to Cynthia Louise Carmack, who was originally listed as a 16-year-old runaway in August 1988. She was last seen at a shopping center on the city’s west side.

Tammen is Butler County’s oldest missing person case. The Miami University student walked away from campus on April 19, 1953, leaving behind his possessions. In 2008, sheriff’s detectives in Butler County believed they had found the remains of Tammen, who has become an urban legend in Oxford known as the ghost of Fisher Hall.

DNA from Tammen’s sister in Cleveland was tested with the remains of a badly decomposed body found in June 1953 in Walnut Grove, Ga., near Lafayette. The DNA was not a match and Tammen continues to be a missing person.

During the early morning hours of Feb. 7, 2011, DiSilvestro left a Rossville neighborhood house after a party and was never seen again. DiSilvestro was 28 when he was last seen in the 200 block of Ross Avenue. He left his cellphone at a friend’s house and had no money.

Anyone with information about the Carmack case can call Hamilton police at 515-868-5811. Anyone with information about the Tammen or DiSilvestro cases should call the sheriff’s office at 513-785-1300.

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