Although African Americans make up just 13 percent of the U.S. population, we account for 33 percent of the missing in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s database. Cases involving African Americans also tend to receive less media coverage than missing Whites, with missing men of color getting even less attention.
NewsOne has partnered with the Black and Missing Foundation and TV One to focus on the crisis of missing African Americans.
To be a part of the solution, NewsOne will profile a missing person weekly and provide tips about how to keep your loved ones safe and what to do if someone goes missing, while TV One‘s newest show, “Find Our Missing,” hosted by award-winning actress S. Epatha Merkerson, tells these stories in visual form.
Case Type: Endangered
Date of Birth: January 17, 1976
Missing Date: January 11, 2004
Age Now: 36
Missing City: Naples
Missing State: Florida
Case Number: 04-1610
Hair Color: Brown
Hair Length: Shoulder length
Eye Color: Brown
Wear Glasses or Contacts: No
Location Last Seen: Williams was last seen in the vicinity of 111th Ave. and Vanderbilt Dr. in Naples, Fla. He was possibly sighted later that day at a convenience store in the vicinity of Wiggins Pass and US 41.
Circumstances of Disappearance: His vehicle, a white Cadillac, was found on Vanderbilt Beach Rd. in Naples, Fla., on January 12, 2004. According to news reports, Williams was last seen with Cpl. Steven Calkins, a nearly 17-year Collier Sheriff’s Office veteran.
According to a report in the Naples Daily News, the officer was “fired from the Sheriff’s Office in August 2004. Eight pages in the Sheriff’s Office internal probe outline Calkins’ “lies and inconsistencies about what happened.”
The officer was the same man last spotted with Felipe Santos, a 23-year-old Mexican laborer, who disappeared just three months before. Williams’ mother was notified by the Mexican Consulate about the similarity in Santos’ case and that of her son’s. The officer says he dropped both men off in locations that were about four miles apart.
Asked to explain the two cases, the Calkins told the Naples Daily News, “Coincidence extreme and that’s all it is. It was just bad luck. It was bad luck … I didn’t think anything of it.”
The officer has not been charged with any crimes in relation to the two missing men.
Earlier this year, filmmaker and actor Tyler Perry tried to bring national attention to the two cases:
For the past two days I have had a knot in the pit of my stomach,” Perry wrote on his site earlier this year.
He appeared on “Politics Nation” with the Rev. Al Sharpton to bring attention to both cases. Perry said he was particularly dismayed that the case had received very little national attention.
“We all should be outraged,” said Perry on Sharpton’s show. “This is the kind of stuff that would happen in the ’60s and earlier, where Black people would disappear and just be disregarded and never heard from again. And [there’s] somebody that knows something about it.”
Perry said he was told by other media outlets that Williams was not sympathetic enough a figure to receive coverage: Williams had a prison record and had four children by four different women.
His mother says Williams was trying to turn his life around and had a job at the time he went missing.
Former Collier County Sheriff Don Hunter said the cases of the two missing men are the ones that haunt him most from his two-decade-long career in law enforcement.
“We all believe, as you do, that there are too many inconsistencies and too many coincidences,” Hunter told CNN. ” … The difficulty we had was proving it.”
Williams’ mother, Marcia Williams, called Perry’s intervention a blessing and said she won’t give up hope, “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.”
Watch this disturbing missing case here:
Last Seen Wearing: Short sleeve button-up shirt, blue jeans, and brown Timberland boots.
Identifying Marks or Characteristics: Pierced ears, vertical surgical scar on right shoulder, dark birthmark on right side of abdomen, tattoo of the letter “T” in italics above left chest, tattoo of the letters “ET” in square block style on outer right shoulder, and a tattoo of the name “Terrance.”
If you have information regarding the whereabouts of Felipe Santos or Terrance Deon Williams, please contact the Black and Missing Foundation’s confidential Tip Line or the Collier County Sheriff’s Office at 239-252-9300 or Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS.