Details of Disappearance
Amy was last seen hitchhiking along Main Highway in Coconut Grove, Florida on March 5, 1974. She was headed to her father's office to borrow money from him so she could meet friends later in the day. Amy never arrived at the office and her friends never saw her that evening. She has never been heard from again.
Amy enjoyed playing the flute and guitar, as well as reading and writing poetry, at the time of her 1974 disappearance, and was considering becoming an actress. She often hitchhiked through her neighborhood.
Charles and Larry Glasser, sixteen-year-old twin brothers, called Amy's family a few days after her disappearance and claimed to have kidnapped her. They said they were holding her for $30,000 ransom. The Glassers turned out to be lying; they did not know Amy and had nothing to do with her disappearance. They were subsequently charged with extortion.
Amy's mother, Susan Billig, began investigating her daughter's case in addition to law enforcement's attempts immediately after Amy disappeared. Photographs of Susan are posted with this case summary. She began receiving tips from numerous individuals who claimed that Amy had been abducted by members of the Outlaws or the Pagans, both motorcycle gangs that traveled through the Coconut Grove area of Florida in 1974.
Some people claimed that Amy was alive and others maintained she had been killed; these tips led Susan on a cross-country chase through the U. S. and even into Great Britain through the years. Sometimes Susan would seemingly come within days of finding her daughter, but Amy was never located. She may have used the aliases "Mute," "Sunshine," "Little Bits," and/or "Mellow Cheryl" while with the bikers.
Paul Branch, a member of the Pagans, initially told Susan in the late 1970s that Amy was alive and being held by Pagan members. Branch's widow claimed he recanted this statement on his deathbed in the late 1990s; he then said that Amy had attended a party thrown by Pagans in Florida on the night of her disappearance and died of a drug overdose, and that her body had been taken to the Florida Everglades by gang members and tossed to the alligators. His widow relayed this information to Susan.
Amy's camera was located at the Wildwood exit on Florida's Turnpike shortly after Amy's disappearance. It was turned in by a man who had heard she was missing. Wildwood would have been on the route the biker gangs took traveling north.
Nobody knows if Amy had the camera when she disappeared, however; it might have disappeared before she did. The film inside, once developed, revealed no clues as to her whereabouts. The majority of the photographs were completely overexposed.
Another sidenote to Amy's disappearance involved harassing phone calls that Susan began receiving shortly after Amy vanished in 1974. A then-unidentified male caller informed Susan that Amy was abducted by members of an illicit sex ring organization and being held captive.
The caller tormented Susan for 21 years until 1995, when FBI agents were able to trace a call the man made using his cellular phone. Until that time, the caller always used a pay phone to harass Susan, making him difficult to apprehend. The caller was identified as Henry Johnson Blair, who worked for the U.S. Customs Department. A photograph of him is posted with this case summary.
Blair claimed that he was an alcoholic and had an obsessive-compulsive disorder which caused him to harass Susan; he also stated that he never met Amy and knew nothing about her disappearance. Blair was sentenced to a two-year prison term for harassing Susan and has since been released. Susan settled a lawsuit against him for five million dollars.
The addition of Blair into this case focuses renewed attention on to a man Amy described in her journal. Amy wrote that she was considering running away to South America with a man she called "Hank." Blair's nickname is Hank. A photo developed from a roll of film in Amy's camera showed a white van which was identical in color and model to a van Blair drove in 1974. Blair's job with the Customs Department required him to relocate to South America around the time Amy specified in her journal. Blair has not been positively linked to Amy aside from his incarceration for the harassment of her mother, however.
The A & E Network aired a program about Amy's case on its Investigative Reports series in 1998. The documentary shows elements of Susan's decades-long search for her daughter with law enforcement and also provides footage of Susan's meeting with Branch's widow. Susan accepts his widow's statement at the program's end, but authorities believe that his widow was lying about his confession in an effort to financially profit from Amy's disappearance.
Amy's father died of lung cancer in the early 1990s. Susan co-authored a book about Amy's disappearance in 2001 with Greg Aunapu, called Without A Trace: The Disappearance Of Amy Billig--A Mother's Search For Justice. She died in 2005, at age 80. Amy's case remains unsolved.