By JESSICA LIPSCOMB
Posted April 2, 2012 at 8:47 p.m.
Terrance Williams: A poster declaring Terrance Williams missing has been circulated by the Collier County Sheriff’s Office, since shortly after the man’s disappearance, five years ago as of Monday, Jan. 12, 2009.
In his 20 years at the helm of the Collier County Sheriff’s Office, former Sheriff Don Hunter said Monday the disappearances of Felipe Santos and Terrance Williams are among the top unsolved cases that continue to haunt him.
“Every agency head of some tenure … is going to encounter perplexing and odd, bizarre cases,” Hunter said in a phone interview with CNN. “This is mine.”
More than eight years after Santos and Williams disappeared, authorities continue to look for information that could lead to them. Both men were last seen alive by former Collier deputy Steven Calkins, who was fired after Hunter said he became uncooperative in the investigations.
Santos was last seen Oct. 1, 2003, and Williams, Jan. 12, 2004.
Hunter, now the police chief on Marco Island, said the Sheriff’s Office and other assisting agencies exhausted “every possibility” in trying to find enough evidence to make an arrest or serve a search warrant.
A forensic investigation of Calkins’ patrol car, as well as a tracking device placed on the vehicle, “turned up nothing,” Hunter told CNN.
“We all believe, as you do, that there are too many inconsistencies and too many coincidences (in Calkins’ account of events),” Hunter told the interviewer. ” … The difficulty we had was proving it.”
In the hour after the CNN segment aired, at least one person had called the Sheriff’s Office with a tip that the Major Crimes unit is investigating, agency spokeswoman Karie Partington said.
Although Marcia Williams missed the CNN segment on Monday, Williams said she believes she will one day find out what happened to her son Terrance.
“I never give up on the power of God and what he can do,” she said. “One day when everything is put in place and it’s time, we will get answers.”
The disappearances of Santos and Williams regained national momentum in late January when actor Tyler Perry saw the cases profiled on an Investigation Discovery channel show called “Disappeared.” He began posting about them on his Facebook and Twitter accounts.
“I Am Beyond Outraged By This!” Perry wrote in a Jan. 25 Facebook post. ” Please help me give Terrance Williams and Felipe Santos something that many people don’t think the poor or disenfranchised have… A VOICE!!”
Anyone with information in the missing persons cases of Santos and Williams is asked to call the Collier County Sheriff’s Office at 239-252-9300 or Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS.