Photos from "Dakota Spotlight: A Better Search for Barbara"

The reason for Barbara Cotton's disappearance still remains a mystery four decades after she seemingly vanished from Williston, N.D. Season 5 of the "Dakota Spotlight" podcast digs into the case and looks at the heartache of those left in the wake of Barb's disappearance.

Listen to the full podcast here >>

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15 year old Barbara Cotton went missing from Williston, N.D. on April 11, 1981 Photo courtesy of the Cotton family
barbara-louise-cotton-williston-nd-cold-case-investigation-dakota-spotlight.png Photo courtesy of the Cotton family
barbara-louise-cotton-williston-nd-cold-case-investigation-dakota-spotlight.png Photo courtesy of the Cotton family
"A Better Search for Barbara Cotton" is a five-part investigative podcast about the 1981 disappearance of a Williston, N.D. teen.
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15 year old Barbara Cotton was reportedly last seen walking into Recreation Park in Williston, N.D. on April 11, 1981. Saturday, January 23, 2021. James Wolner / Forum News Service
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Barbara Cotton was reportedly last seen walking from the area of the Plainsman building towards Recreation Park. January 23, 2021. James Wolner / Forum News Service
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Barbara Cotton never arrived at her home near the corner of 6th Avenue West and 5th Street West January 23, 2021. James Wolner / Forum News Service
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Restrooms in Recreation Park, Williston, N.D. January 23, 2021. James Wolner / Forum News Service
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Restrooms at Recreation Park, Williston, N.D. January 23, 2021. James Wolner / Forum News Service
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Recreation Park, Williston, N.D. January 23, 2021. James Wolner / Forum News Service
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Barbara Cotton was reportedly last seen entering Recreation Park in Williston, N.D. January 23, 2021. James Wolner / Forum News Service January 23, 2021. James Wolner / Forum News Service
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Stacey DeMarr Werder was reportedly one of the last persons to see Barbara Cotton alive. He hung himself in jail in Malta, Montana in July of 1981
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Lora Werder Facey was about 15 years of age when she became last person to speak with her brother Stacey just before his suicide. She has never previously been contacted by law enforcement in regards to Barbara Cotton's disappearance. Photo courtesy of Lora Facey
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Missing person Barbara Cotton was declared legally deceased in 1998. When her much older brother Frank passed away in 1999, Barbara's mother decided to include Barbara on a headstone alongside her brother. In March of 2021, Williston PD identified Frank as a person of interest in Barbara's disappearance. James Wolner / Forum News Service
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Frank J. Delapena lived in Williston in April of 1981 when Barbara Louise Cotton went missing. A month after Barbara's disappearance, he was apprehended in Colorado, charged with the murders of two young girls in Wyoming. He hung himself in jail soon after his arrest. He is considered a person of interest in Barbara Cotton's disappearance. May 12, 1981 / Lincoln County Sheriff's department, Hugo Colorado.
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Friends and family gather at Recreation Park, Williston, N.D. to celebrate the life of missing person Barbara Louise Cotton. April 11, 2021. James Wolner / Forum News Service, Katie Ryan-Anderson / Special to FCC
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A painted rock in Recreation Park honors the memory of Barbara Cotton's life. Barbara has been missing since 1981. April 11, 2021. James Wolner / Forum News Service
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A collage of photos of Barbara Cotton and her family. April 11, 2021. James Wolner / Forum News Service
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Carnations were placed in the Recreation Park sign to honor Barbara's life on April 11, 2021. April 11, 2021. James Wolner / Forum News Service
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Friends and family of missing Barbara Louise Cotton recently raised funding to put up a billboard in Williston. Contributed / Lisa Jo Schiele
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Barbara Cotton, left, and her sister Kathy in 1978, three years before Barbara vanished.
Contributed / Family of Barbara Cotton

Photos from "Dakota Spotlight: A Better Search for Barbara"
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barbara-louise-cotton-williston-nd-cold-case-investigation-dakota-spotlight.png Photo courtesy of the Cotton family
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