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Tyler Perry Press Conference
Tyler Perry Press Conference: Tyler Perry offered a $100,000 reward for tips leading to arrest of someone in the case of two missing men. Video by Guy Tubbs
Felipe Santos
Terrance Williams

Information sought

Both cases are open investigations, and investigators urge anyone with information on Williams or Santos to contact the Collier County Sheriff’s Office at 252-9300, Crime Stoppers at 800-780-8477 or the Cue Center 24-hour tip line at 910-232-1687.
Find Our Missing, the TV One documentary series, will feature the cases of the two missing local men at 9 p.m. Jan. 21 on TV One. The local channels for TV One are: Comcast 173, Broadstar 128, CenturyLink 128 and CenturyLink 157.

Timeline in case of two missing Naples men

• Oct. 14, 2003: Felipe Santos went missing in North Naples after he was in a traffic accident on his way to a construction job. Deputy Steven Calkins responded to the crash and drove Santos to a Circle K on Immokalee Road.
• Nov. 4, 2003: Collier County Sheriff's internal investigators talked to Calkins, while other detectives checked the Circle K, local hospitals and jails searching for Santos.
• January 2004: Sheriff's detectives checked a bus stop where Santos reportedly had been seen, but found no evidence he had been there.
• Jan. 12, 2004: Terrance Williams went missing after his car broke down at the Naples Memorial Gardens cemetery. Calkins picked up Williams and dropped him off at a Circle K on U.S. 41 and Wiggins Pass Road.
• Jan. 14, 2004: Authorities in Tennessee issued a warrant for Williams' arrest on a charge of failing to pay child support.
• Jan. 16, 2004: Williams' parents called the sheriff's office to say that their son was missing.
• Jan. 19, 2004: Detectives checked the Circle K, Collier County Jail, a Pizza Hut and a Walmart where Williams might have been seen.
• Feb. 9, 2004: Detectives viewed a store videotape that showed Williams making a purchase at a 7-Eleven in Naples Park on Jan. 11 of that year.
• April 2004: 10 areas in North Naples were searched by detectives using cadaver dogs.
• August 2004: FBI agents in Mexico City issued a report stating that Santos was not with his family in Mexico and that they had no idea where he was.
• September 2004: Calkins was fired after a polygraph test indicated he lied when asked if he saw Williams again after dropping him off.
• Nov. 29, 2004: Detectives search another area in North Naples with cadaver dogs.
• July 2006: DNA collected from Williams’ mother.
• January 2007: DNA collected from Santos’ brother for missing persons database.
• January 2012: Cases featured on Discovery Channel and later on Anderson Cooper 360 and Dateline.
• February 2012: Movie mogul Tyler Perry goes on the Rev. Al Sharpton’s MSNBC show to discuss the cases.
• April 2012: A new tip leads law enforcement to search a mile of brush on Vanderbilt Drive just north of Wiggins Pass Road, hoping to find the remains of Williams and Santos.
• Jan. 10, 2013: Perry offers $100,000 reward for information in connection to the cases during a Naples press conference with president of NAACP and Rev. Sharpton.

Marcia Williams, right, the mother of missing Collier County resident Terrance Williams, is hugged by Monica Caison, the founder of the CUE Center for Missing Persons, during a news conference Thursday in Naples. / Andrew West/news-press.com
Anthony Denson Jr., center, reacts after approaching the podium during a press conference held by movie-maker and entertainer Tyler Perry, left, NAACP president, Ben Jealous, and the Rev. Al Sharpton. Perry offered a $100,000.00 reward for information involving the disappearance of Terrence Williams and Felipe Santos. Williams' mother, Marcia Williams is on the right. The two men were last seen with former Collier deputy Steven Calkins. / Andrew West/news-press.com
Movie mogul Tyler Perry walks with Anthony Denson Jr., who claimed Thursday that former Collier deputy Steven Calkins chased him on a beach. / Andrew West/The News-Press

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For nine years, Marcia Williams has never stopped looking for answers about her son. At age 27, he vanished and was last seen Jan. 12, 2004, with a Collier sheriff’s deputy.

She has trudged through weeds and woods, searching for clues. She has slipped fliers to drivers at intersections, hoping for leads. She has spent time, each day, praying for resolution.

Lord, help me find my son. Give me strength.

But years ticked by and the trail grew colder until Thursday. Movie mogul Tyler Perry warmed it by offering a $100,000 reward in the cases of Marcia’s son, Terrance Williams, and Felipe Santos.

Santos, a 23-year-old Immokalee man, disappeared three months before Williams on Oct. 14, 2003. His last-known encounter was with the same deputy, Steve Calkins. In 2004, the sheriff’s office veteran was fired after lying and giving inconsistent stories related to Williams.

Calkins has said he gave Williams and Santos rides to Circle K stores in North Naples just miles apart.

On Thursday, Perry announced to more than 200 people at a news conference in a Naples library that he would reward tips that lead to the men, their remains or clues that crescendo in an arrest.

“I do not think this is about race or social status as much as I think this about we all, no matter who we are, what race, should be outraged that this is happening in America in 2013,” he said.

Running on nerves and five hours of sleep, Marcia Williams joined Perry, Collier County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk, the Rev. Al Sharpton and Ben Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP, before the cameras.

Williams, a Naples resident, had prayed for this kind of attention for years while confronting the obsession for pretty, white women who go missing versus the trickle of interest for men, especially of color.

Local media covered the disappearances, but her national pitches went unanswered until recent years when shows such as Investigation Discovery featured the cases. That’s where Perry learned about the men.

Williams did not expect Anthony Denson Jr., to interrupt the conference with information. He said he knew her son. Through sobs, Denson told the crowd Calkins and three deputies chased him on the beach in 1997.

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“They were gonna kill me,” he said.

Perry hugged him. Murmurs and “Amen’s” percolated while a tearful Williams cupped a hand to her mouth and retreated to a corner. Monica Caison, executive director of CUE Center for Missing Persons, rushed to her side. She and other CUE searchers have been coming to Naples for eight years to support Williams in her mission.

God is working, Williams thought. Fear is loosening. There is hope people will talk.

But it’s too early to know if Denson will help her find her only child, whom she presumes dead. He was the father of four children. Sheriff’s detectives planned to seek a statement from Denson.

Speakers praised Perry and Williams for drawing a spotlight to the cases. Sharpton called for a national movement to resolve missing persons cases. Nearly 680,000 missing people were recorded as missing in 2011.

He urged people to never forget parents like Williams.

Thursday was the culmination of a mother standing up, the NAACP’s Jealous said.

“Sons don’t disappear and never call their mama at night. It just doesn’t happen,” he said. “This reward gives us hope. The only way to turn a cold case into a live case is to turn up the heat.”

Calkins, who has claimed innocence in the past but declined to speak to a federal grand jury in 2004, remains a person of interest for investigators. Records show he lives in a middle-class North Naples neighborhood at a home where no one answered the door Thursday morning.

Along with the Collier sheriff’s office, the FBI, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the State Attorney’s Office are involved. Detectives have chased more than two dozen tips from Estero to Kansas to Canada.

Williams was the last to approach the lectern Thursday.

She straightened the crystal necklace that held a photo of her son near her heart.

She stood tall and, in a strong voice, she thanked everyone there that day.

Caison watched proudly as this woman, who had once been wracked with fear, spoke into microphones with lines to the nation.

That is not to say Williams is free of pain. She wakes up most nights, mind racing like a treadmill with questions. Today is the 9-year anniversary of the last day she saw her son, after picking him up at the Bonita Springs Pizza Hut where he worked.

“With everyone’s help, we won’t give up,” Williams said. “You know I’ll never give up.”

She felt God working in her. She is her son’s voice.

She needs his story to be heard.

Finally, everyone seemed to be listening.

Connect with this reporter: Janine Zeitlin News-Press (Facebook) @Janinezeitlin (Twitter).

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