What happened to 15-year-old Barbara Louise Cotton, vanished from the streets of Williston 40 years ago?
Barbara Louise Cotton disappeared from Williston, N.D., on April 11, 1981. She was reportedly last seen walking towards her home after having dinner with her boyfriend and another friend. Barbara never arrived at her destination and has never been seen or heard from again. Her case is considered open and unsolved. Dakota Spotlight's podcast series, "A better search for Barbara" explores and investigates this cryptic cold case from the north-west corner of North Dakota.
Her name was Barbara but everyone called her Barb.
Her friends recall that Barb was incredibly kind and giving. She was soft-spoken and yet not a pushover. She was petite, yet unafraid. Walking home along the streets of Williston in the northwest corner of North Dakota was something she had no problem doing by herself.
On the evening of April 11, 1981 she did just that. She was reportedly last seen five blocks from her house but never arrived. Barbara Cotton has never been heard from since that night.
She's just gone.
"A Better Search for Barbara" is a five-part podcast series about this long-running cold case.
Last seen near the park
According to the young man she had dinner with (a young man described by some as her "boyfriend"), she was last seen near or entering Recreation Park . The park is five blocks from where Barbara lived.
Assumed a runaway?
Much confusion surrounds the story of Barbara's disappearance and new questions continue to surface. Some of the most curious aspects of the mystery pertain to Barbara's last known whereabouts in downtown Williston on April 11, 1981. Versions of the events are both fuzzy and sometimes contradicting. "A Better Search for Barbara" attempts to untangle this peculiar evening and map out what might have actually occurred.
Video: Area of Barbara's last known whereabouts (no audio)
See also: Videos and Photos of area Barbara was last seen .
Open and Unsolved
Barbara Cotton's missing person's case remains open and unsolved . No arrests have ever been made, but Dakota Spotlight Podcast uncovers never-before-heard details and reopens questions in the search for Barbara.
Listen to the Podcast, "A Better Search for Barbara"
Other True Crime from Dakota Spotlight:
- Video Documentary: The House on Sweet and Seventh.
- Podcast: How did Victor Newberry die?
- Podcast: The Zick murders in Zeeland, N.D.
- Podcast: The Erickstad homicides in Bismarck, N.D.
- Podcast: Who killed Billy Wolf?