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Tip in decade-old missing person case leads to search of Butler County property

Published: Sep. 28, 2021 at 1:43 PM EDT
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BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio (WXIX) - A tip in a decade-old missing person case led to the search of a barn off Hine Road in Ross Township which came up empty.

Ross Township Police Chief Burton Roberts says authorities were looking for the remains of 28-year-old William “Billy” DiSilvestro, who disappeared in February 2011.

The tip came from people who knew the missing man, according to DiSilvestro’s mother.

A person who is staying at the property where the barn is located gave police “very detailed information,” including a description of the clothes DiSilvestro was wearing when he went missing, Chief Roberts explained.

The person even claimed there were skeletal remains inside the barn.

A search warrant for the property was then signed and executed.

Several agencies searched and dug in the barn but no human remains were found, Chief Roberts said.

“We went about 8′ deep throughout that entire barn just trying to find something that might help us out,” the chief said. “Just doing our due diligence trying to find anything that could substantiate these allegations.”

The person who talked with police originally claimed someone else came and moved the remains.

Cadaver dogs brought in for the search did have some interest in a few spots, according to Chief Roberts.

The chief says skeletal remains could have been at the property at one point in time.

However, he said there is nothing that makes them think DiSilvestro’s remains were in the barn.

Billy DiSilvestro vanished in February 2011
Billy DiSilvestro vanished in February 2011(Provided by family)

DiSilvestro was last seen a decade ago when he left his friend’s apartment on Ross Avenue.

His mother, Debbie Estes, has talked with FOX19 NOW about her son’s disappearance.

“Supposedly they drank, and the guy said he passed out, and he woke up and Billy was gone,” Estes said. “He had left his cell phone, and that’s all I know. I mean, he just vanished off the face of the earth.”

Estes said DiSilvestro had tried to call her and his grandmother, whom he lived with at the time, around 2:30 a.m. that February night. Neither of them had a chance to answer his calls.

Hours later, he was missing.

Numerous tips have come in about what happened or where DiSilvestro might be. So far, none have proved to be true.

Despite the searches turning up empty, Estes tells FOX19 NOW she will not stop looking for her son.

“I’ll never give up and I just hope this is a step towards finding him cause I just want him home,” said Estes. “He’s going to be at my home if I do find him. He’s going to be right with me until I go.”

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