Missing answer? Monday marks 5 years since man with Collier deputy disappeared

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.

Photo by Submitted photo

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.

Terrance Williams’ mother, Marcia Roberts, sits in her apartment in January 2006, surrounded by some of her son’s possessions, which fill a corner of her dining room. Williams, Roberts’ only child, has been missing since Jan. 12, 2004, when he was last seen with Collier County Sheriff’s Cpl. Steve Calkins, who was fired after failing a polygraph about Williams’ disappearance.

Photo by David Ahntholz .da

Terrance Williams’ mother, Marcia Roberts, sits in her apartment in January 2006, surrounded by some of her son’s possessions, which fill a corner of her dining room. Williams, Roberts’ only child, has been missing since Jan. 12, 2004, when he was last seen with Collier County Sheriff’s Cpl. Steve Calkins, who was fired after failing a polygraph about Williams’ disappearance.

— It’s been five years since Marcia Williams last spoke with her son.

It’s been half a decade since they last went to a movie together; half a decade since she last took him out to eat. It’s been five years since Terrance Williams last joked with his mother while they were at the mall that he couldn’t be seen with her, lest the other girls think she was his girlfriend.

“You know, some days are good, and some days I just can’t shake it,” Marcia Williams, 49, said. “I can’t shake it for nothing in the world. I can’t let go of it.”

Monday is the five-year anniversary of the day Terrance Williams disappeared -- poof -- vanishing into thin air.

His disappearance, like that of Felipe Santos, who he is regularly paired with in the media, has been difficult on his family, and has been described as a black mark on the Collier County Sheriff’s Office.

The last person known to have seen both Williams and Santos alive is former Collier County sheriff’s Cpl. Steven Calkins, a 17-year veteran who was later fired after he gave inconsistent stories about what happened to Williams during an internal probe.

People close to both cases have long looked suspiciously at Calkins, who has never been arrested because there is no criminal evidence linking him to either disappearance.

“This is frustrating for the family, but it’s also very frustrating for the Sheriff’s Office because it’s an open case,” sheriff’s Lt. Mike Fox said. “We don’t like to have open cases. ... Especially when one of ours is being looked at as doing this, then it gets really frustrating for us.”

The night before he disappeared, Williams, who would be 33 on Jan. 17, attended a party at a home in Bonita Springs with some of his Pizza Hut co-workers. After leaving the party, Williams was last seen in the area of 111th Avenue North and Vanderbilt Drive by Calkins, who said he gave Williams a ride to a Circle K store at U.S. 41 North and Wiggins Pass Road.

Three witnesses told sheriff’s investigators that between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. that morning they saw Calkins wave Williams over near the Naples Memorial Gardens, a North Naples cemetery. Williams was driving a white Cadillac with an expired plate.

Although officials said Williams could have been picked up or cited for six violations, Calkins has said that, instead of taking him to jail, he dropped Williams off at the convenience store where Williams regularly bought cigarettes before heading to work.

He was never heard from or seen again.

“He could be alive. He could not be alive. It’s really hard to say,” Fox said. “We don’t have any evidence that he’s not alive, and we don’t have any evidence that he is alive. He’s dropped off the face of the Earth.”

Marcia Williams said there is plenty of evidence that he’s not alive -- the son she used to talk to two or three times a day hasn’t called in five years.

“I know Terrance and they don’t,” she said. “If Terrance was somewhere hiding out, Terrance would get in touch with somebody and say ‘I’m OK.’”

Santos disappeared three months before Terrance Williams. Santos, a 23-year-old Mexican laborer, was involved in a minor traffic crash in North Naples, and Calkins was the responding deputy.

Calkins said he gave Santos a ride to a North Naples convenience store as well.

Marcia Williams is loath to criticize the Sheriff’s Office, the agency she is counting on to find out what happened to her son. Still, she questions the treatment that Calkins has received.

But sheriff’s officials say there is no evidence to link Calkins to any wrongdoing involving either Terrance Williams or Santos.

Fox said that if authorities tried to prosecute him today, the case would go nowhere.

In fact, because Calkins was a Sheriff’s Office employee at the time of the disappearances, Fox said they were able to talk to Calkins more than an average citizen, due to a rule, known as the Garrity Rule, that compels officers to participate in internal investigations.

“If Calkins was the average citizen, if he wasn’t a member of the Sheriff’s Office, he wouldn’t have been questioned as much as he was questioned,” Fox said. “Had he been a normal citizen, we couldn’t have compelled him to talk to us.”

Fox said Terrance Williams’ case is still open and active. Investigators still check to see if he’s been arrested around the country, and two Social Security numbers attached to Williams have been flagged.

But there have been no hits, and there is no evidence that either Social Security number has been used in five years.

“We get phone calls every once in awhile,” Fox said. “Every time we get a phone call we follow up on it and see where it takes us.”

Marcia Williams says all four of Terrance Williams’ children, especially his youngest, 8-year-old son, look like him. They ask questions about their father from time to time, she said.

“It’s a hard thing having to look at these children and not be able to tell these children that I don’t know where your daddy is,” she said.

When calling Marcia Williams’ telephone, callers don’t hear a ring, but a recording briefly describing the disappearance followed by a Bible verse. Marcia Williams said she is confident she will know the truth about her son some day.

“I don’t think it, I know it, because I believe in God,” she said. “I don’t believe in man. I believe in God.”

© 2009 Naples Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 42

NYEM writes:

Former Collier County sheriff’s Cpl. Steven Calkins should come clean with what he did...

...we don't buy the story that he drop them off and they disappeared ...where are they...did you bury them or feed them to the aligators...

we know you got your followers...half the NDN bloggers think and act just like you...racist who would kill if given the opportunity...

NYEM writes:

Too bad former Collier County Sheriff Hunter could not do anything about it before he left...Are you hiding anything sheriff Hunter? You should come clean too...

CooperLover writes:

If this man has a conscience, hard as it is for the families, he should come clean and tell them where he put them. Something is not right here.

dreamer writes:

Remember those 3 African American activist who were put in the hands of racist to be killed??IT was a sheriff officer who hand them over,could it be the same happened here??

mom2threeinfl writes:

I know Marcia. I was a co-worker of hers at the time of her son disapearing.It breaks my heart that she is still without answers. Marcia, I pray for you that you find out what happened.

rodrodney writes:

How many times do we have to read the SAME story?

How about some new ground being covered, NDN?

sandinmyshoes writes:

Calkins said he gave Santos a ride to a North Naples convenience store as well.

I wonder how many people the guy has killed. I wonder is the feds are looking at him. This is way beyond the local cops ability. I mean he was cop so he knows no bodies make it a tough case.

Opinionated writes:

Some of you are pretty quick at the draw to blame the police officer.
What do you think he did? Drive him to a secluded location, shoot and bury him…
These police cars have GPS systems on them and are visible on “radar” at all times.
It would be pretty hard for him to cover his tracks.

personalj writes:

Hasn't someone else died by that circle K? There's probably a serial killer living in the mobile home park behind it. I really doubt the Sheriff Deputy did it, it doesn't make sense.

Opinionated writes:

I have been to that Circle K store in the DAYTIME, it was at little scary seeing low lifes hanging around. And I do mean low brow-low life individuals.

Would not want a loved one going to that store at night.

PuffyStormClouds writes:

#11, take some time to read the whole story. First, when the two disappearances occurred I doubt CCSO employed GPS for continual recording of the location of their vehicles. Secondly GPS and Radar are about the same as corn and oysters. Most amazing is that both men were arrested at separate times on separate days by the same deputy both to vanish forever. More bizarre is the deputy admits to taking both men to a circle K dropping them off instead of jail because they were "polite." This is according to the deputy! Both families complained to the CCSO about the disappearances of unknowing of the similiar circumstances. CCSO did not connect the simple dots until an attorney in St. Pete did by an internet search. After the attorney informed CCSO of what they should have known the deputy was interrogated, failed a lie detector test then fired. I agree with you though, I don't think he did the final deed, I would bet the men were transferred to another vehicle, likely another deputy and then were disposed of. CCSO claims to have inspected the suspect's cruiser though made no mentions of his cronie's vehicles. What do you think?

brighteyes writes:

Excuse me, since when does a sheriff deputy drop off an accused at a Circle K rather than at the jail? Since when does the CCSO have compassion on the accused and cut him or her a break, and then give them a ride to a convenience store? I know many who have been wrongly arrested that would have loved to be dropped off at the Circle K rather than jail. Yes, there may be a serial killer living around the Circle K, but it seems really strange that both the young men who disappeared were last seen with the deputy.

bratbratty writes:

Oddly near the cemetary? A couple crowded coffins perhaps?

naples759 writes:

where is calkins at this time? maybe he was let go so the department could distance themselves from what they really know. 17 years of service and you are let go because you gave two polite guys a ride? this sounds kind of sick but maybe they didn't give him what he really wanted. truth is stranger than fiction you know...

naples759 writes:

maybe someone should dig up the crawl space under calkins house. remember john wayne gacy?

savethewhalz writes:

Why no civil suit? There need not be overwhelming evidence for a jury to determine Calkins liable for the disappearance of these two men. In addition the resultant depositions and further scrutiny could very well shed additional light upon this mystery perhaps even bringing closure for the families.

amarlinman writes:

This is a compelling and disturbing story. The NDN is remiss however by not providing any investigative reporting.
Where is Calkins today? Was there any attempt to contact him? The NDN should have insisted on a comment from both Hunter and Rambosk or said that they refused an interview.
Why would a police officer "wave" over Calkins? It would be a traffic stop or Calkins was "pulled" over.
What were the inconsistencies for which Calkins was terminated?
The NDN should have interviewed co-workers and people that attended the party and the witnesses that said they saw Calkins "wave" Williams over.
Did the NDN ask for and receive the written reports of the interviews of Calkins by CCSO?
Why would a deputy ever drive someone anywhere? What is the CCSO policy on transporting citizens in a patrol car?
The simple fact that Calkins drove two different people to the same store that then disappeared is far too suspicious to just be coincidence.
Why doesn't the NDN speak with the FBI or other law enforcement agency about this situation. Local newspapers have some responsibility to the citizens within its market. The NDN seems to take the easy way out and just parrot what comes across their desk or is willing to accept the spin from a "spokesman".
There are a lot of unanswered questions about Calkins, the Sheriff's Office, and both of these missing person incidents. Frankly it makes me very uneasy that Calkins is still out there somewhere and the NDN could pressure authorities for a better resolution rather than just taking everything at face value.

MrMeToo writes:

CALL JOHN WALSH
AMERICA'S MOST WANTED TO INVESTIGATE..
LET HIM TELL THE REAL STORY

Italia writes:

Calkins come clean about what you did. It seems very strange you were the last person to see him and he vanishes for good. I dont buy your story and hopefully one day soon you will tell the truth about what happened.

CooperLover writes:

I know it is clutching at straws, but I would have liked a check on all open graves in that cemetery at that time,
as it has been known for people to have been disposed of prior to someone being buried. Sounds
unbelievable but I have heard of that happening.

hillbillybanjoman writes:

by any chance did the men who disipeard have undersized fish whit them

megansmama writes:

Maddie, that is a great idea. I agree with you.

I hope someone at CCSO can tell us the TRUTH in this case. Maybe Sheriff Hunter?

swampturkey08 writes:

I wouldnt turn to Hunter or Rambosk for any info on this are you kidding, anything that comes of this will reflect badly on the CCSO, and neither of the two are going to let that land at their feet whatever it takes, As for Calkins and what he did, Im guessing both those men were gator bait, sad to say but think about it, you have a officer that patrols the city(17years), knows every nook and cranny, every side street and back alley, every man made canal, and lake. Oh and not to mention he probably had a good idea what interrogation he might go through mabey cause of his 17 years expirience?, if the CCSO's own IAD couldnt take care of this you can bet that this is hows its gonna be.

Opinionated writes:

The fact remains that NONE of us know what really happened. You are innocent untill proven guilty. Most posters here are judge and jury.

However, I do feel that a dirty deed happened and there should be an investigation by a independent authority.

#15, GPS has been around since the 80's, my brother had a 1984 car with it. Aftermarket... I don't know. And I agree with #20, where is Calkins?

truth1 writes:

I did not know the police gave "courtesy" rides. I thought the only rides provided were to jail. Is this a common practice? Why should our tax dollars go to transporting people to places other than jail or related purposes? If a deputy has a person in his vehicle (would he not have to call it in?). I'd like a ride to the mall and the grocery store -- forget calling a cab. Please someone explain this to me.

megansmama writes:

Whoever is in charge of internal affairs and criminal investigations should be fired over these disappearances...These poor, poor families.

Obviously, they really know what happened.

Please sheriff Hunter, tell us what really went on.

LovesBS writes:

Not the best written story; lots of missing info of interest.

My main question is what did Caulkin's lie about??

PuffyStormClouds writes:

#33, though lengthy the deputy's "inconsistencies" are detailed in the mid portion of this article http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2006/j...

Opinionated writes:

Good post PSC, it sheds a new light on the subject... Now you have me thinking twice. This does sound like Calkins had something to hide.

This should go to trial.

vivianped writes:

I love Bloggers, and conspiracy freaks,
so let me throw gas on the fire ala Cleauseau
or Colombo (take your pick).
Facts
1. Williams could have been picked up or
cited for six violations(didn' occur).
2. Williams' mother says "if he was hiding
out". What could possibly be a reason
for hiding out?
3. Felipe Santos,a Mexican laborer
involved in a minor traffic crash.
(illegal immigrant?)
4. Both people were driven by
Cpl. Steven Calkins to the same place.
(isn't it nice to meet such
an understanding police officer)
5. Neither men are confirmed as dead.

Conclusion
Both men had some reason to avoid being
arrested, and paid Calkins to take them
somewhere where they could disappear
and still be alive.
Comments anyone?
Don't forget "Grassy knoll)

EmergencyRN (Inactive) writes:

Calkins sounds like he has the same traits as jeffrey dalmer. Scary

lowcountrygirl writes:

John Walsh refuse to touch this....Yeah!!!!!!!!!

ZhuZhu writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

CARMONAIR1 writes:

HAS ANYONE HERE EVER BEEN GIVEN A FREE RIDE BY A COP TO ANYWHERE OTHER THAN THE JAIL. I HAVE ASKED BEFORE, WHEN I HAD CAR TROUBLE, FOR A RIDE FROM A COP AND NEVER WOULD THEY GIVE SOMEONE A RIDE. AGAINST POLICY.

native_at_heart writes:

Today is the fifth anniversary since Marcia Williams has seen or talked to her son. Try to imagine if for 1 hour you have no idea where your child is. When you talk to your child (regardless of age) today, remember Marcia and say a little pray for her.

Obviously, Marcia you are a very strong person and you will make it thru today. I hope some day you get the answers you deserved five years ago.

Smoke_Diver writes:

Opinionated... The "GPS" system you talk about is called CAD, and CCSO has only been using it for three years.

nightranger writes:

I always thought something was very wrong when two people who the same police officer gives a ride to a store both wind up missing for years. And then the cop is fired because he failed a poly relationg to these disappearences. Something is not right here. I wonder if the FBI every investigated this officer.

EnufAlrdy writes:

maybe some crack crime reporter with the NDN should have investigated more thoroughly....a Pulitzer waiting to happen

PATSWIFEY (Inactive) writes:

this story makes you wonder just how crooked SOME cops are.

why would a COP, a veteran at that, just look the other way after he said the guy could have busted him for 6 violations? that doesnt happen very often does it?

and after this "nice" drive to the store, because the guy was so nice, they dissapear? and they didnt arrest him and at least put him through a trial? this is just so scary. hunter had to know something. and now theres nothing that can be done because his reign is over and he can refuse comment with no worry about internal investigations.
and why not question him again?

this poor mother. Lord bless you maam. I hope the Lord brings you comfort, and that one day you are given closure. dont give up. answers will appear in due time. just remember that nothing ever truly goes unnoticed. the answers may not come when WE want them to, but someday......we will know....

naplesmomma writes:

For all of you lazy boy remote controlling Private Investigators out there, I challenge anyone of you to get off your tuff and go read the entire case file (it is public record). There is a trained employee nearby that can help with the big words and how to look them up to understand the meaning and context. Then, put on your Jekyll and Hyde hat, sniff out the cheese, and follow the bread crumbs, see where it takes you. It won't be to a crooked or a coward cop. If the truth be told, it appears that Mr. Williams had a few less than friendly foes, including family members and close "friends".

It is always easy for the uneducated Monday morning CSI quarterbacks to master DNA without ever going through a chem/bio course. It is much harder to look in the mirror and face the fact that you are nothing more than an arrogant antagonistic piece of human flesh that incites hate and division.

When Mr. Williams is located, all of you PI's will not only owe Mr. Calkins and his family, along with CCSO an apology, you will have to tear your Cracker Jack PI totin' sticker badge in two and wear it with the shame and dishonor that you so well have earned and deserve. And if you are fortunate, you will get to keep your job unless of course you are involved in politics or work for the government.

Be safe and enjoy your freedom.

naplesguy34120 writes:

Perp 1 vanishes after last seen with circle K Cop when jail was logical solution.
perp 2 vanishes after last seen with circle k cop when jail was logical solution.

Logical Concusion or necessary assumption?
P1,P2~same cop~same final circumstances.

naplesmomma writes:

Naplesguy34120: First problem with your theory is:

Rule #1 Never Assume, hopefully you are bright enough to break it down.

Rule #2 Educate yourself, read the IA...........

Rule #3 Logical is a relative term leading to a conclusion based upon feeling and emotion, not fact

In this matter,I suggest you go back to Rule #2, Read the IA

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