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Vigil held remembering Navy chief

Kevin Williams body found during search for missing toddler

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Friends and family are remembering a Navy chief who had been missing two years before his body was found by police during the search for Lonzie Barton.

Monday night, loved ones held a vigil for Navy Chief Kevin Williams, last seen two years ago at the Avenues Mall just before he was reported missing. Two weeks ago, when the search for Lonzie led investigators to a wooded area near the mall, his body was discovered.

The Navy had declared Williams AWOL, and while police said they don't suspect foul play in his death, Williams' wife Vanessa refuses to believe it.

"He was not mentally ill. He was strong -- healthy," said Vanessa Willliams. "There's no way he would walk into some wooded area and just lay down and die."Vanessa Williams has gotten support from loved ones and the community. But she said the Navy, one of the things her husband loved most in this world, has turned its back. Financially, it's helpful. But emotionally, she said the support is lacking.

"They're still on the orders not to have anything to do with this," said Williams. "Why? He doesn't deserve it."

With balloons sent toward the sky, Williams and her daughter gave one last goodbye. As they move forward, they now wait for answers as to what happened.

Chief Williams still has not been laid to rest because his remains have not been released yet. When they are, his family will hold a funeral.


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