Tomeka Jill Jefferson

Jefferson, circa 1996; Courtney Williams

  • Missing Since 02/15/1996
  • Missing From Ellicott City, Maryland
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Female
  • Race Black
  • Date of Birth 12/07/1971 (52)
  • Age 24 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'5, 135 pounds
  • Associated Vehicle(s) 1995 Nissan Quest minivan (accounted for)
  • Distinguishing Characteristics African-American female. Black hair, brown eyes. Jefferson's ears are pierced.

Details of Disappearance

Jefferson disappeared with her boyfriend, 27-year-old Courtney A. Williams, on February 15, 1996. They were last seen at Williams's apartment in the 3000 block of Oak Green Circle in Ellicott City, Maryland. Jefferson spoke to her family at 10:00 p.m. and said she and Williams were about to go out. Neither of them were heard from again.

A photo of Williams is posted with this case summary. His roommate reported him missing on February 17, and Jefferson's family reported her missing on February 19. Her family initially thought she might have just gone on a short trip, but became worried because she had not reported to her job as a legal clerk at a Baltimore, Maryland law firm.

On February 21, Williams's 1995 Nissan Quest minivan was found abandoned behind an apartment building in the 4500 block of Old Frederick Road in west Baltimore, in an area noted for drug activity. There was no sign of either Williams or Jefferson at the scene.

On April 7, almost two months after the pair disappeared, Williams's body was found lying face-up in the Gwynns Falls area in the 4500 block of Wetheredsville Road, near Leakin Park, in Baltimore. He was a homicide victim; he had been shot multiple times. There was no indication of Jefferson's whereabouts.

Prior to his death, Williams was a drug dealer and may have made up to $30,000 a week. He had an arrest record, including charges of murder and drug possession that were dismissed. In May, Andre Johnson, a former Baltimore police officer, was charged with malfeasance, bribery and filing a false public document in connection with Williams's death. Just days before his arrest, he resigned from the police department after serving only a year.

Johnson had accepted $200 in cash for forging arrest documents for Thomas "Archie" Smith, one of Williams's lieutenants, so Smith could convince Williams that the police had seized his narcotics shipment. (Drug dealers often require their deputies to produce proof that their drugs were confiscated in police raids; if the deputy cannot prove this, they are accused of "ripping off" the dealer and are severely punished.) When police found Williams's abandoned minivan after his disappearance, the arrest documents were inside it, with Smith and Johnson's fingerprints on them.

In 1997, Johnson pleaded no contest to misconduct in office. He admitted he'd worked as an enforcer for Smith. He also said he'd listened to Smith and Christopher Black, Williams's brother, plot Williams's murder and did nothing to stop the murder from happening or to report the murder once it did happen.

In spite of Johnson's admissions in court and his statements about the murder plot he'd overheard, no one has ever been charged in Williams's murder or Jefferson's disappearance. Foul play is suspected in Jefferson's case due to the circumstances involved.

Investigating Agency

  • Baltimore County Police Department 410-887-2214

Updated 1 time since October 12, 2004. Last updated May 23, 2020; casefile added.