NJ mom’s frantic search: Recovering addict was ‘doing very well’ before vanishing
PLAINFIELD — Janet Dillon knows you don't have to be blood to be family, so when the 27-year-old man she considers her son went missing, it was no different than if her own biological son had disappeared.
Dillon took to social media on Sunday in hopes of finding 27-year-old Billy Hannam who was last heard from on Friday morning. She said Hannam is a recovering drug addict who had been through rehab and had been "doing very very well" for around six weeks. He's been living with her family for several months and was working as a stylist at a salon in Summit.
But she said she came home on Friday to find a note from him.
"This past Friday I came home to a note saying he had relapsed and he was going to find help, find a rehab facility," she said. "That didn't match up with what I saw here. He hadn't taken his phone charger, he hadn't taken his book. I don't even think he had a jacket. If he had been truly seeking a rehab facility he would have been prepared for that."
Since Hannam went missing, Dillon said she has filed missing persons reports with police in Scotch Plains and Plainfield hoping they can help her find him.
Dillon said the last place he can be traced to is Newark early on Friday morning. Dillon said he "would have no business in Newark other than trouble."
"He's making really bad choices, but he's a smart guy," she said.
In the time he was sober, Dillon said she saw the best sides of Hannam as he had gotten back into the performing arts and seemed to be enjoying life. That included auditioning for a part in a local production of the "Nutcracker" and singing in a Christmas show.
"These are all such positive things for Billy, the things that he does well and that make him feel good about himself and they're positive and productive," she said. "All these signs were like 'wow, he's doing it, he's really doing it.' This just came out of the blue."
It is the success that she saw in the past few weeks that Dillon said has made the disappearance that much harder.
"I'm afraid that after not using for a period of time, then you go back and use again and people overdose," she said. "As a parent, everything runs through your head. Did he get beat up? Did somebody steal his phone?"
Even if Hannam has overdosed, Dillon said she wishes she could tell him that he could still come home.
"I think the thing that kills more addicts than the drugs is the shame. The toxic shame that you've let everybody down and that you're a loser and you can't get right," she said. "There's so much shame involved and I don't want that to keep Billy away from us. We love him. We accept him just as he is, and I just hope he can overcome that shame and come back."
Dillon said anyone with information about Hannam’s whereabouts to contact the Scotch Plains Police Department.
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