Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Riyla Alert Brittany Renee WIlliams
Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: August 18, 2000 from Richmond, Virginia
Classification: Endangered Missing
Date of Birth: March 20, 1993
Age: 7 years old
Height and Weight: 3'8, 65 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: Black hair, brown eyes. Williams is biracial, African-American and Caucasian. She has a light complexion and scars on her face from chicken pox. Williams also has a tube inserted into her chest.
Medical Conditions: Williams has acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Because of this she is extremely susceptible to illness. She is great need of medical attention.
Details of Disappearance
Williams's mother gave her to the custody of a guardian, Kim Parker, in 1996, when Williams was three years old. A photograph of Parker is posted below this case summary. Williams's mother died of AIDS a short time later. She and Parker had met through Rainbow Kids Inc., a charity that provides long-term care for children with AIDS. Parker cares for two other children infected with AIDS. She claims she gave Williams over to the care of a friend named Linda Hodges in August 2000 because caring for her had become too stressful. Hodges returned for Christmas that year with Williams and a friend of hers called Kathie Evans, then left again with the child. Parker says she paid Jones $3,000 cash to take Williams and later mailed her another $5,000, but she has not heard from either Jones or Williams since December 2000. The last person besides Parker to see Williams was a doctor whom Williams visited in August 2000.
Williams's disappearance was not discovered by authorities until January 2003. Parker said she did not know the addresses of the women allegedly caring for the child; she only said that she thought they were in California. Parker continued to collect the child's $500 monthly benefit check from the Department of Children and Families until the summer of 2002, using the money to renovate her home. She says she expects Williams to come home.
When law enforcement discovered that Williams had been missing over two years, custody of her was given over to the local Social Services Department and they were ordered to find her. She is considered endangered. In February 2003, Parker was ordered to serve 20 days in jail for contempt of court in connection with her failure to tell police where Williams is. She has hired a lawyer, who is appealing on the grounds Parker cannot tell the authorities what she does not know. In April 2003, Parker was indicted on 73 felony charges, mostly fraud and money laundering, relating to Williams's case. Police say she accepted over $16,000 from private individuals and the government for the care of Williams when the girl was not living in her home, and that she illegally attempted to conceal the sources of the money. On the advice of her attorney, Parker pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud and one count of wire fraud in July 2003. She was then charged with three counts of medical-assistance payment fraud, for allowing Williams's Medicaid payments to continue needlessly. She could face up to a hundred years total if given the maximum sentences for all charges.
In late March 2003, authorities tracked down the two women Parker says she gave Williams to. Neither Hodges nor Evans had ever had custody of Williams or knew where she was. They were both volunteers with Rainbow Kids Inc. and had actually been planning to have Williams visit them in California, but the plans had not been finalized by the time she disappeared. They have joined in the search for her.
In May 2003, authorities thoroughly searched Parker's home and drained her septic system, looking for Williams's remains or any sign that she had died there. A neighbor claimed she reported Parker twice for abusing and/or neglecting Williams, and Hodges says she reported Parker as well. However, nothing fruitful was found at the residence.
Police are considering a possible link between Williams and Precious Doe, an unidentified African-American girl whose naked and decapitated remains were discovered in Kansas City park in 2001. Composite images of the child are shown below this case summary. Despite widespread publicity, including a profile on the television crime show America's Most Wanted, Precious Doe has never been identified. When they discovered her remains, the authorities believed she was between three and six years old. Williams was seven at the time of her disappearance, but she is of petite stature and could pass for a younger child. At the time of her 2000 disappearance, Williams was about the same height as Precious Doe. Those who know Williams, however, say she did not have a birthmark on her shoulder or a chipped tooth. Precious Doe had both of these characteristics. In addition, Precious Doe had a dark complexion; Williams has a light complexion.
DNA tests were conducted on Precious Doe, using a sample from an incarcerated man who claims to be Williams's father. His name is on her birth certificate as the father; however, paternity was never legally established. The DNA from the man did not match Precious Doe's, but since he has not been proven to be Williams's father the authorities are now comparing Precious Doe's DNA to a sample from one of Williams's mother's relatives to acertain that Williams is not the unidentified child. Tests have already been done on the missing African-American children Rilya Wilson and Teekah Lewis and they have been ruled out as potential Precious Does.
In the meantime, Williams remains missing and her case is unsolved.