The Doe Network:
Case File 1DFND

1DFND Photo2 Age-Progression
Left: Cotton in 1981; Right: Age-progressed by NCMEC to age 42

Barbara Louise Cotton
Missing Since April 11, 1981 from Williston, Williams County, North Dakota
Classification: Endangered Missing

Vital Statistics

  • Date Of Birth: November 10, 1965
  • Age at Time of Disappearance: 15 years old
  • Height and Weight at Time of Disappearance: 5'2" (157 cm); 100 lbs (45 kg)
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: White female. Brown hair; hazel-brown eyes. Curvature of spine which may cause a slight limp when she walks; left ear is noticeably lower than right ear.
  • Marks, Scars: Pierced ears. A dark brown mole on upper right side of her chest. Mole on right side of neck.
  • Clothing: Jeans, blouse and loafers.
  • Dentals: Available. She has excellent teeth.
  • DNA: Mitochondrial DNA entered into CODIS
  • Other: X-ray showing scoliosis available.

Circumstances of Disappearance
Cotton was last seen leaving a local restaurant and walking down Main Street in Williston, North Dakota on the evening of April 11, 1981. Barbara's case was treated as a runaway situation for the first few days then changed to a missing person report. Barbara's family does not believe she would run away. She had no personal belongings with her. She left behind her clothing, glasses, money from savings, last paycheck and her carton of cigarettes. Extensive searches for Barbara have yielded no results or evidence about her whereabouts.

If you have any information on Cotton's disappearance, please contact:
Williston Police Department
Lieutenant Mark Hanson
Missing Persons Unit
North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation

All information may be submitted anonymously.

Agency Case Number: 08202215

NCMEC #: NCMC796102

NCIC Number:
Please refer to this number when contacting any agency with information regarding this case.

Source Information:

The National Center For Missing and Exploited Children
ND Attorney General

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