Real Name: Dale Duane Williams
Nicknames: No known nicknames
Location: Nucla, Colorado
Date: May 27, 1999
Occupation: Auto Shop Owner
Date of Birth: July 15, 1956
Weight: 170 lbs
Marital Status: Married
Characteristics: Caucasian male. Graying brown hair, blue eyes
Details: On July 4, 1999, a family swimming at the confluence of the San Miguel and Dolores Rivers in Colorado make a shocking discovery: a pickup truck submerged in the muddy water. The Montrose County Sheriff's Department was brought in, and determined that the truck belonged to a missing forty-two-year-old man named Dale Williams. However, no other trace of him was found.
Dale was a longtime resident, devoted husband, and father of two teenage daughters. He owned and operated an auto body shop in Nucla. On the evening of May 27, 1999, Dale failed to come home for dinner. His wife Diana assumed he was busy at work, but by bedtime, she became concerned. The following morning, she realized that her husband never came home.
Diana first checked his auto body shop. His tools were still in front of a vehicle, as if he had just left and would come back. However, he was not there, nor was he at his mother's home. The two went to a junkyard that he often visited. However, he was not there either. A thorough search around Nucla failed to turn up any indication of Dale's whereabouts. Exasperated, she filed a report with the local police.
Investigators attempted to piece together Dale's actions on the day he vanished. They soon learned that around 12:15 the previous afternoon, he made a brief stop at Tami Lowrance's office. He told her that he would not be able to repair her windshield that day. Dale seemed to be in a hurry, and said that he had to pick up a stranded motorist. Tom Ross (a friend of his), confirmed that he was with Dale when the call came in. As he recalled, the caller said their car had broken down about 3/4 mile east of a Bedrock store they needed help. This was unusual, because Dale was not a mechanic; rather, he did body work.
The citizens of Nucla responded to his disappearance by posting flyers around town, but Diana learned that not everyone was concerned. In fact, the flyers that had been left at the post office mysteriously disappeared two days later. When she posted more, they were again taken down by an unknown individual. A hidden camera was then placed in the post office, and a few weeks later, it captured the man responsible for removing the fliers. Strangely enough, the man was formerly a close friend of the Williams.
A year before Dale vanished, he and Diana helped the man's ex-wife leave Colorado. This was done without the man's knowledge. They also would not tell him of her whereabouts. A month later, Dale found several disturbing items outside of his shop. Along with several torn photographs of the man and his ex-wife, there were several .22 caliber bullets. A few nights later, Diana discovered a .22 caliber revolver in the drop box at her video rental store. She and Dale later discovered that the gun and photos had been stolen from Dale's shop. Police interviewed the man about the burglaries, but he denied any involvement.
For almost a year, Williams' life returned to normal. But eleven months later, he mysteriously vanished. Six weeks after his initial disappearance, Dale's truck was found in the river. An analysis of the truck and its recovery site provided more clues. The ignition was turned on, it was in gear, and the angle between the highway and the river was extremely sharp. Each detail seemed to indicate that someone deliberately drove his vehicle into the river. When Diana saw the truck, she was certain someone other than Dale drove it into the river. For one thing, the driver's side window was rolled completely down. This was something Dale never did.
One question that has led to speculation pertains to the stranded motorist. To this day, police have failed to locate (or even identify) the person who called to request Dale's help. Tom Ross believes the caller was a woman, but no one can confirm this. Authorities believe the person has never come forward because their call came from a stolen cell phone. This further suggests that foul play was involved.
Another odd fact in this case is that some witnesses claim to have seen Dale's truck back at the auto body shop at 1:30PM. This is when he was supposed to be picking up the stranded motorist. This suggests that Dale or someone else drove his truck back to town within ninety minutes of his response to the distress call. Some witnesses even claim to have seen him on the night of May 27 at a market in nearby Naturita. However, no one knows if this accurate, or why he would be there.
Suspects: Authorities believe that the unidentified motorist was responsible for Dale's disappearance. However, it is not known if this person has been identified.
The individual who took down the missing persons posters was also considered a suspect. He was a former friend of Dale's. However, they had a falling out when the Williams helped move the man's ex-wife without his knowledge. After Dale went missing, the man was seen ripping down his missing person flyers. However, he gave police an alibi for the day of Dale's disappearance. He is not considered a suspect.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the September 17, 2002 episode. It is not to be confused with the case of Devon Williams.
- Dale Williams on Unsolved.com
- Dale Williams on The Charley Project
- Dale Williams on The Doe Network
- Dale Williams on NamUs
- Missing Dale Williams Facebook Page
- (2008 Montrose Press Article) Gone, but not forgotten