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Thread: Missing Duck Hunter Mike Williams/Dec. 16, 2000

  1. #1
    MeMe Guest

    Default Missing Duck Hunter Mike Williams/Dec. 16, 2000

    Mike Williams of Tallahassee, Florida, was reported missing on Saturday, December 16, 2000. He had reportedly gone duck hunting alone on Lake Seminole (Sneads, Florida) in the early morning hours of Dec. 16th. When he didn't return home by noon, his wife called family members who went looking for him. Take note that the temperature at that time was in the 20s and the lake water temperature was below 50. A search was conducted on the water as well as from the air, but nothing was found. His boat was found the next morning very near the primitive boat landing, where the truck and trailer were parked. The helicopter pilot had spotted it on Saturday, but due to the close proximity to the searchers, he thought it belonged to one of those searching. No search was ever done on the banks of Lake Seminole in that specific area. Law enforcement, especially the wildlife officers, concluded that Mike had hit a stump, was thrown out of the boat, drowned and later eaten by alligators.
    Anyone who knows anything about alligators knows that gators CAN NOT eat when the temp is that low. They do come out for sun, but it is physically impossible for them to eat. The search was called off about two weeks later with no physical evidence regarding Mike, except for a hunting bootie and cap, discovered later.
    The "grieving widow" held a memorial service for her missing husband, then petitioned a judge to have him declared dead in only SIX MONTHS. She used the argument that gators had eaten him and the evidence that conveniently popped up about a week before the judge declared him dead. Waders and a pristine Arkansas hunting license (not laminated and on paper) in a jacket pocket miraculously were found in the location where Mike supposedly drowned. The diver who found these items -- after being directed to the spot -- is now cooperating with law enforcement.
    Mike's mother never believed he was in Lake Seminole and that he had been the victim of foul play. She even considered that he might have suffered a head injury of some sort. She persisted that something was wrong and two years after his disappearance, a criminal investigation was begun.
    Mrs. Williams was threatened by her daughter-in-law that if she (Mrs. Williams) did anything to get a criminal case opened, she would never see her granddaughter again. To this date, Mrs. Williams has been denied any contact with Mike's only child.
    The "grieving widow" collected over $2 million in life insurance money -- and there are questions regarding the upgrade of one policy and the purchase of another. She is now married -- after living together for some time -- to her late husband's best friend, who was also their insurance agent. His father owns an insurance business in Tallahassee.
    Now that the public is involved and talking, the heat has been put on these "persons of interest." Missing posters are taken down by someone hours after they are put up.
    Anyone interested in this case can log on to the Tallahassee Democrat website and peruse their blog on this case -- as well as read the entire, well documented article by Jennifer Portman.
    If anyone out there knows anything about Mike Williams, please tell law enforcement immediately. Mrs. Williams only wants her son -- and her granddaughter -- back.
    Thank you for your time.

  2. #2


    Originally published February 19, 2007

    Six years ago, this hunter disappeared
    Did Mike Williams walk away, drown or get killed? Frustrated investigators can't say for sure
    By Jennifer Portman


    In a cove on the western shore of Lake Seminole, dead trees poke through still water. Locals say this place might have been an orchard before Spring Creek and the Chattahoochee and Flint rivers were dammed. Now they call it the Stump Field.
    Mike Williams' death certificate says he died here Dec. 16, 2000. This is where the 31-year-old was thought to have struck a stump, pitched out of his boat during a solo duck-hunting trip and sunk like a stone in chest-high waders. When an unprecedented 44-day search didn't turn up his body, officials said alligators must have found the Tallahassee real-estate appraiser first. Six months later, Leon Circuit Judge John Crusoe accepted that story at the request of Williams' wife and declared her North Florida Christian High School .sweetheart dead......

    Last edited by Starless; 06-12-2008 at 04:52 PM.

  3. #3


    Mike Williams

  4. #4
    Diabla Guest

    Default Need

    need to know what his financial, marital, criminal, civil , vice status is

  5. #5
    MeMe Guest

    Default Missing duck hunter

    Mike Williams was a caring and devoted father, son, brother and husband. He had worked for over 10 years with a property appraisal firm and would probably have made partner soon. Money was not a problem -- made a hefty salary and lived modestly. His passion, other than his daughter, was duck hunting. "Grieving widow" was his high school -- Christian high school -- sweetheart and they dated during college. No criminal history. Model citizen.

  6. #6
    MeMe Guest

    Default Missing duck hunter

    The latest development in this case involves person(s) pulling down missing posters. Mike's mother and a few friends have been putting up generic posters asking for help in finding Mike. She can only put these up on weekends, because she keeps kids from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m., doesn't drive and is helped by this circle of devoted friends. Within hours, the posters are down.
    BUT, on Sunday, July 22, a photographer friend set up surveillance and caught on film someone pulling down the posters -- within 30 minutes of them being put up. Turns out, the culprit on Sunday was the sister of a "person of interest." The posters say nothing about anyone but Mike and his mother seeking information of his whereabouts.
    Why are these people taking them down? Guilt? Shame? Who knows.

  7. #7


    That is so ridiculous !! I cannot even understand why anyone would do this, flyers will not affect them at all, why take them down ? Even if they were involved, it would in no way point to them one way or the other. People do the strangest things. Is that actually breaking any laws for her to have taken them down ? I hope it is, because that's just plain mean.

  8. #8
    MeMe Guest

    Default Missing duck hunter

    There is no law which covers the ripping down of posters, but catching her on film gives the investigators and foot in the door to question her about it. This practice, which has been going on for over a year, is just about to kill Mike's mother. But, it only makes Cheryl's circle of friends and supporters more determined to keep putting them up. Check out the response to getting this person on film via the Tallahassee Democrat's blog on the Mike Williams Mystery. Most probably, those who blast me for the post are relatives of the "persons of interest." How stupid can one be?
    They need to remember, there is no such thing as a perfect crime.
    We have excellent karma -- and a few guardian angels -- on our side.

  9. #9


    The mysterious disappearance of Mike Williams seven years ago is getting fresh scrutiny as a possible case of insurance fraud.
    "The circumstances surrounding this case raise many serious and troubling questions," said Mark Schlein, senior attorney with the state Division of Insurance Fraud.

    No suspects have been named in the case, but law-enforcement officials have said they've identified "people of interest."
    Williams had life-insurance policies with two companies when he vanished Dec. 16, 2000, past investigators have said.
    His best friend, insurance agent Brian Winchester, wrote him a $1 million policy about six months before he disappeared, investigators said. Six months after the Tallahassee real-estate appraiser was presumed to have fallen from his boat and drowned in Lake Seminole while duck hunting alone, his high-school-sweetheart wife had him declared dead. Denise Merrell Williams, investigators said, collected at least $1.5 million in death benefits.
    In 2005 she married Winchester, whom she has known since preschool.
    The couple did not respond to requests for comment for this article. In the past they have said in e-mail statements that they loved Williams and have asked that their privacy be respected.
    The Florida Department of Law Enforcement in recent weeks has taken the lead role in what has come to be considered a case of foul play. Since the Tallahassee Democrat first wrote about Williams in December 2006, public interest in the case has been intense, fueled by an ongoing forum where armchair sleuths speculate about the mystery.
    "This case is being worked to its fullest extent," said Chris Hirst, assistant special agent in charge of FDLE's Tallahassee office. "There is nothing short of doing everything that we can do."
    FDLE officials would not discuss details of the agency's new look at the cold case.
    Schlein also declined to give specifics on the rejuvenated insurance investigation, which was opened in 2004 but went nowhere. Under new division director Vicki Cutcliffe, appointed by Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink in August, the Williams case is now a top priority.
    "I looked at a number of cases that the detectives felt were important," said the 30-year law-enforcement veteran, who spent a decade working undercover for the Broward County Sheriff's Office and most recently served as a major with the state DOT police. "This was a particularly interesting case. I think it deserved a new look, a fresh look."
    Investigators once thought the five-year statute of limitations on insurance fraud ran out in November 2006. But Schlein, who was hired in the fall, said the limit can be extended for three years under certain circumstances.
    "We reviewed the statutes, and we are satisfied we are not prevented from charging an insurance-fraud-related charge if the evidence were there to support it," he said.
    The division, he stressed, is committed to finding out what really happened to the affable, hard-working young father, whose daughter was 18 months old when he disappeared.
    "If it turns out that while we have an investigation of insurance fraud it leads us to other crimes, we have jurisdiction to look at those, too. We go where the evidence takes us," Schlein said. "Right now we are searching for the truth."
    First, the alligator theory
    Since 2004, when the tenacity of Cheryl Ann Williams forced a second look into her son's disappearance, investigators with FDLE, the Jackson County Sheriff's Office, the state attorney's office, the insurance division and most recently the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives have worked on the vexing case.
    Because Williams' disappearance was not considered suspicious until later, potentially valuable evidence was never collected, making it difficult for investigators to back up their theories with proof.
    "I wish we would have known from the start that there were insurance policies and who wrote them," said retired Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officer Curt Perry, who worked the scene early on and said nothing seemed strange at the time.
    Fish-and-game officers and local deputies who first worked the case assumed they were dealing with a straightforward drowning, but many began to have doubts when Williams' body failed to surface. He is the only presumed drowning victim never to have been recovered from the lake, investigators said.
    Looking for an explanation, they said an alligator must have eaten the body. But herpetologists have since said reptiles are dormant in the winter and don't eat much, let alone a 180-pound man without leaving a trace behind.
    After two months of exhaustive searching, the conservation commission's final report said there was no evidence of a boating accident or that Williams drowned in the lake. The report concluded: "Mr. Williams is still missing."
    Still, the alligator theory stuck. That's the explanation Leon Circuit Judge John Crusoe accepted when he signed Williams' death certificate. No one at the time contested it. Williams' mother, who holds out hope that he ran off and is alive somewhere, said she would have argued against having her son declared dead if she had known about it.
    The insurance perspective
    Investigators today don't think Williams died in the lake.
    Some have suggested someone staged the scene at the Jackson County lake shore and planted the scant evidence later found, including a hat, flashlight and jacket with one of Williams' hunting licenses. A pair of pristine waders popped up in what had been the middle of the search area a week before Denise Williams filed the death-certificate request.
    Winchester wrote life-insurance policies for Williams through Kansas City Life Co., investigators have said. While Williams also had a policy with Cotton States, they said, the Kansas City Life policies are the only ones mentioned in Denise Williams' court petition.
    Dick Ropp, vice president of customer service for Kansas City Life, said last week he was not aware of the fraud investigation and was not at liberty to discuss the claim.
    Florida State University insurance professor Keith Jones, asked to comment on customary insurance-company practices, said the amount of Williams' policies does not seem excessive considering his salary, which his mother said exceeded $200,000 the year he disappeared.
    Once the court granted a death certificate, Jones said, swift payment by Kansas City Life would not be unusual.
    "The mere fact that they can't locate the body isn't necessarily something the insurance industry would care about," Jones said.
    But an insurance company likely would take interest, he said, if Williams turned up alive on a beach in Acapulco or if the beneficiary of the insurance policy were found to be involved in his death.
    "Whether it was an accident or homicide, it doesn't matter," he said, "unless the beneficiary committed the crime."

  10. #10

    Default Re: Missing Duck Hunter Mike Williams/Dec. 16, 2000

    Hey, didn't they locate this guy ?? I could swear I heard they found him.

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