Flashback Friday: William Christopher Delk

This week’s Flashback Friday is William Christopher Delk, a young man who disappeared from the Bronx in New York City. He had recently turned eighteen and went by the nickname Chris. He had plans for the future and had enrolled in a Job Corps program.

The last time Chris’s mom heard from him was on July 23, 1982, when he called her and asked her to come pick him up from the South Bronx Job Corps Center. Chris’s mother lived in the town of Huntington on Long Island. By the time she arrived at the Job Corps office, he was gone and he’d left his street clothes behind. No one saw him leave.

July 23 is given as the date of Chris’s disappearance, but he may have actually vanished some time after that. Chris’s mom was apparently unconcerned by his absence at first. He was eighteen, after all. She went on vacation out of state and called home several times while she was gone, hoping to reach her son. No one ever picked up the phone, but once the line was busy and she assumed Chris had returned home. When Chris’s mother returned from her vacation she found evidence that he’d done just that: the couch looked like it had been slept on, and Chris’s wallet and favorite hat, which he’d had when he vanished, had reappeared in the house. But there was no sign of him. His mother never saw him again.

There were no confirmed sightings of Chris Delk after July 23, and his Social Security number hasn’t been used in the three decades from that day to this. His NamUs profile says the police have dental records but no DNA sample, which makes me wonder if he has any family still alive and looking for him. The police believe he’s deceased.

What happened to William Christopher Delk in the summer of 1982?