Acting Major R. Christopher West
Troop G Commander
Cold Case Tuesday: State Police continue to investigate the 1981 missing person case of William “Willie” Woolheater of Albany.
On February 26, 1981, 22-year-old William “Willie” Woolheater disappeared from the city of Albany.
Woolheater told his family he was taking a bus to New Orleans to celebrate Mardi Gras and find employment as a cook.
Two or three days after leaving Albany, Woolheater called his mother and during the conversation his mother asked where he was and if he had made it to New Orleans. Willie never responded.
That was Woolheater’s the last known contact with family members, he has not been heard from since.
The investigation could not determine where Woolheater had called from, or if he had in fact made it to New Orleans. Further, it was never determined if Willie actually boarded a bus for New Orleans.
At the time Woolheater disappeared, he had been living in downtown Albany and working as a cook at The Sign of the Tree Restaurant. The restaurant, which is no longer in business, was located in the Empire State Plaza in Albany.
Woolheater was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and was prescribed medication.
Over the years extensive interviews were conducted by investigators with the Troop G Major Crimes Unit. Some of these leads took investigators to New Orleans. However, no credible information was ever developed that was able to assist investigators in learning what happened to Willie.
Investigators in the New York State Police Troop G Major Crimes Unit have made a concentrated effort to solve this missing person investigation and continue to ask for the public’s assistance. If you have any information, call Troop G at (518) 783-3211.