TALLAHASSEE, Florida. – A 17-year-old missing person is now considered a homicide after authorities found the man’s remains, researchers said Wednesday.
The discovery of Mike Williams’ remains happened the day after his best friend was sentenced to 20 years in prison for the kidnapping of Williams’ widow, but the authorities will not say who they think was involved in the murder.
Williams was 31 when he disappeared in December 2000 after he apparently went duck hunting on a lake in the vicinity of Tallahassee. His case was considered suspicious for the year, and the Tallahassee Democrat has detailed the mystery.
Williams’ body was not found after an extensive search in and around Lake Seminole. A theory at the time was that he drowned and was eaten by crocodiles, but that was later refuted. His widow, Denise Williams, a petition to have him declared dead. Shortly afterwards, it was granted, she married Brian Winchester, Mike Williams, ” one-time best friend and the man who sold him for a $1 million life insurance policy six months before he disappeared.
The marriage between Winchester and Williams didn’t last, and last year, Winchester was charged with the kidnapping of Denise Williams on shot. He pleaded no contest, and on Tuesday was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement, who took over the investigation into Williams’ disappearance in 2004, said that it was able to find Williams’ remains after receiving “new information”.
“Seventeen years old do not hide how Mike Williams has died,” said the agent Mark Perez. “The forensic analysis concluded Mike Williams was in fact murdered.”
Perez was tightlipped about the investigation and would not say who told authorities where it remains particularly how they know he was killed. Nor would he talk about how the timing of the discovery. He said that he does not want to make public all the information which is only known by people involved in the murder.
“I can not, and will not ask,” he said. “While this is the case is 17 years old, just recently turned into a murder investigation. I can tell you that we are currently conducting interviews and following leads. This thing is in motion.”