Details of Disappearance
Williams was last seen in the 6300 block of south Westshore in Tampa, Florida on June 8, 2001. He did not report for work at the post office that day, and has never been heard from again.
Williams was not reported missing for some time; his co-workers assumed he had simply quit his job and his family did not realize anything was wrong until Father's Day came and he did not contact them. Williams's mother then contacted police, who went to his apartment. All of his personal belongings, including his wallet and cellular phone, were found inside, and so were his two Persian cats and his parakeet; the animals were starving. His car was missing, but it was later found found abandoned in the parking lot of a strip mall on Kennedy Boulevard, near the Metropolis, a gay nightclub.
There was no sign of Williams at the scene and it is unclear whether he visited the nightclub. He left more than $4,000 in his bank accounts when he vanished and there has been no activity on them since his disappearance.
There is some speculation that Williams's disappearance is connected to the murder of Michael Wayne Wachholtz, the presumed murder of Jason Galehouse
, and the disappearances of Barry Block
, David Rhodes
, Mark Jackson
, James Shumaker
, and Mark Thompson
All of the men are gay, all were roughly within the same age group, and they all disappeared from the same area. Jackson, Rhodes and Block actually lived in and disappeared from the same apartment building in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, although Jackson disappeared seventeen years later than the other two men.
Rhodes and Block disappeared first, in 1988. Shumaker disappeared from Tampa in 1995. Thompson disappeared in 2001 from Clearwater, Florida, and his truck was later found abandoned in Tampa. Thompson, like Williams, disappeared from Tampa. Galehouse and Wachholtz disappeared from Tampa within a day of each other in December 2003. Wachholtz's body was found in mid-January 2004, but the other men remain missing. Thompson disappeared in 2001 from Clearwater, Florida, and his truck was later found abandoned in Tampa. Shumaker disappeared from Tampa in 1995. Galehouse and Wachholtz disappeared from Tampa within a day of each other in December 2003. Wachholtz's body was found in mid-January 2004, but the other men remain missing.
Steven Lorenzo lived just across the street from Drake Towers, the apartment building Block, Rhodes and Jackson disappeared from. In May 2004, he and an accomplice were accused of drugging and killing Galehouse and Wachholtz. In January 2006, Lorenzo was sentenced to 200 years in prison for charges related to GHB, a "date rape" drug which causes people to become extremely drowsy and suggestible. His accomplice, Scott Paul Schweikert, was sentenced to 40 years in prison as an accessory after the fact in the GHB case. Photos of both Schweikert and Lorenzo are posted below this case summary.
In September 2012, Schweickert was charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Wachholtz and Galehouse. In June 2016, he pleaded guilty to both murders and was sentenced to life in prison. This is on top of the 40 years he is already serving for the GHB-related charges. He admitted he and Lorenzo conspired to meet single gay men and turn them into "sex slaves", then either kill them or sell them once they became tired of them.
Schweickert spoke about Galehouse and Wachholtz's murders in detail and he has agreed to testify against Lorenzo in court, but Lorenzo has not yet been charged in any deaths.
In spite of much speculation in the press and among the victims' families, police say that beyond the similarities in the missing men's lifestyles there is nothing to suggest that the cases are related. All of the cases remain unsolved. Williams is originally from Ferrysburg, Michigan. In December 2010, his family had him declared legally dead.