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, 15, 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 North Dakota's northwest corner.


"Don't give up. There are people out there who care, who are praying for a resolution."

Andre Johnson - cold case advocate and childhood friend of Delapena's victims


In Episode 9, James Wolner looks closer at one of several persons of interest in Barbara's disappearance: Frank J. Delapena.

Delapena was living in Williston, N.D. when Barbara Cotton vanished. One month later, he murdered two young girls in Rawlins, Wyo. He was quickly apprehended but took his own life in a Colorado jail cell.

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Podcast host James Wolner traces Delapena's movement between Williston, N.D. and Rawlins, Wyo. and interviews missing persons advocate Andre Johnson. A childhood friend of Delapena's victims, Johnson shares her own memories of how Delapena's crimes affected her and the community of Rawlins, Wyo.

Listen to Episode 9

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True Crime podcasts BY JAMES WOLNER

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