CLEAR BROOK, Va. (WDVM) — It was October 30th, 1993, when William Dudley vanished.
Dudley was last seen near his girlfriend’s home in Clear Brook — just off of Route 11. His girlfriend, Cindy Benner, shared a cabin with her grandmother and the daughter she shared with Dudley. He lived in a camper, further away from the house. Nearby, Benner’s nephew and a friend shared a trailer.
Investigator Jared Nail with the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office says Dudley was reportedly partying with those neighbors the night of his disappearance. Investigators were later told that Dudley called Benner, who told him not to come to the house because he’d been drinking. But he went anyway, according to Nail, and got into a fight with Benner that reportedly turned physical.
“Basically from there, information provided to us is that he walked away from the scene but he never turned up,” Nail said.
Dudley’s mother, Katherine Trenary, said the neighbors who had been drinking with Dudley tried to intervene and wound up fighting with him instead.
“They hit him over the head, the back of the head and his shoulder, with a baseball bat,” Trenary said. ‘They said he just shook his head like that and all and that was it. Didn’t hurt him. Well, ain’t nobody seen him since.”
Dudley’s daughter, Crystal Dudley-Albert, remembers a different scene the night her father disappeared. While Dudley was at his girlfriend’s home, Crystal was staying at his girlfriend’s mother’s house, elsewhere in the county.
She remembers the two men came into the house after fighting with her father, threatening to kill him.
“We were downstairs in the basement and one of the gentlemen that got into a fight with my dad that night came in with a bloody nose. He was very angry, he was yelling,” Crystal said. “He said, ‘I need to call my dad because the only way to get rid of Dudley is to kill him.'”
She says she didn’t immediately tell investigators what she heard, something that haunts her to this day.
“I feel like I blame myself because if I would have told somebody what happened that night, maybe it would’ve happened sooner but I was scared,” she said. “I was 14, I was a kid.”
While the family waited for many years for answers, they now believe Dudley is dead. What they want is simple: closure.
“I go and talk to my mom at her gravesite,” Trenary said. “I have no gravesite to talk to Billy.”
Crystal echoed her grandmother’s sentiments.
“I just want to be able to give him a proper burial,” she said. “Because God will punish the people that did it.”
After 25 years, some would give up hope of finding his remains. But Crystal says she can’t.
“I’ll never stop. I’m never going to give up. Because I feel like if I don’t, then who is? Who’s going to?”
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office at 540-662-6168. Tips can be made anonymously by calling the Crime Solvers line at 540-665-TIPS (8477).