6 months later, Navy chief still missing

By Ashley Harding - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - It's been nearly six months since Navy Chief Kevin Williams disappeared near the Avenues Mall.

Police say he was last seen by his wife, Vanessa, after they had an argument outside the mall. They say the two parted ways and she went back inside to finish shopping.

Police say Williams used his debit card at a Kangaroo gas station and then got into a cab. JSO Assistant Chief Chris Butler said sometime between 2:45 and 3 p.m., the cab took him to what is now called the Avesta Sunbeam apartments on Sunbeam Road.

"If he's watching this, I want to tell him to please come home, Daddy," Vanessa Williams said as she read a letter her 11-year-old daughter Journi wrote for her father. "I miss him and I wish that we could find him soon."

Williams said it's been a nightmare for the whole family.

"I know that when she was writing it, I couldn't imagine the pain she was feeling. She was really hurting," Williams said of her daughter. "Sometimes it's hard for me to hide my tears from her."

Kevin Williams' wife and two children have handed out fliers with his picture on them since he went missing. At one point, police believed he may have been in North Carolina.

Police said they still don't suspect foul play in the case. The Navy officially considers the chief petty officer absent without leave.

"The search for Chief Petty Officer Kevin Williams is an ongoing investigation," a spokesman for the Navy Recruiting District Jacksonville said in a statement Friday. "The Navy continues to work with local law enforcement and the family in the search. The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is still actively searching for Chief Williams."

"Because there is no foul play being suspected, there's nothing criminal in the minds of police that has occurred, then they're not going to actively look for him, so they have to depend on leads, information that people may call in, as well as sometimes backtrack what they've already done," Channel 4 crime analyst Ken Jefferson said.

Williams' worst fear is that someone may have hurt her husband. She said the couple's anniversary is next month, and with the holidays right around the corner, her hope is to soon have answers and give her family some peace of mind, especially her children.

"She said if Santa can bring her her daddy, she will be happy with that," Williams said of her daughter.

Anyone with any information is asked to call the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500.

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