The residents of Naples, Florida were shocked when they found out that two men disappeared after they were last seen boarding a police car. 27-year-old American named Terrance Williams and a 24-year-old Mexican named Felipe Santos in January 2004 and October 2003 respectively disappeared without a trace. Investigation Discovery’s ‘Disappeared: Crime and Punishment’ documents a mother’s fight for his son and the investigation process that looked into the disappearance. If you’re intrigued and looking to know more about the case details and what exactly happened to both the men, then we’ve your back. Let’s just get started then, shall we?
What Happened to Terrance Williams and Felipe Santos?
A native of Chattanooga, Tennessee, Terrance Williams had moved to Naples, Florida, to stay near to his mother, Marcia. He was a father of 4 children and had shifted to Florida intending to provide better financial support to his children. He found a job at a construction site and also worked in a local Pizza Hut joint. Since losing his license for driving in an inebriated state, he was driven to and fro from work by Marcia.
However, Terrance yearned for independence and had even bought a Cadillac recently for himself. But he had to wait for 6 months before he would get back his driver’s license. On January 11, 2004, Marcia drove Terrance home after his shift at the pizza joint. He needed to go to a colleague’s party, but after failing to convince his roommate, Jason Gonzalez, to join him, Terrance decided to drive to the party in his car. He did not have a valid license and his car registration had also expired.
Jason last spoke to him on phone on the night of January 11 before going to sleep. When he woke the next day, Terrance had not returned home. However, Jason became worried when Terrance did not return home even on January 13 and emailed Marcia. She drove to the Pizza Hut joint to discover her son had not gone to work for 2 days and even had not collected his paychecks. A concerned Marcia decided to file a missing person report but the authorities deemed Terrance as a runaway.
A Mexican immigrant living undocumented in Immokalee, Florida, for 3 years since 2013, Felipe Santos was also trying to find a better life for his family, much like Terrance. He had been working long hours and sending money back to his family in Mexico. On October 14, 2003, he was driving to work with his 2 brothers at around 6:30 am. He met with a minor accident in Naples, resulting in him getting pulled over by a Collier County Sheriff’s officer. He was arrested for reckless driving and driving without proper documents and was last seen getting into the officer’s car and being driven away.
Are Terrance Williams and Felipe Santos Dead or Alive?
Terrance’s aunt traced his car in a tow company’s parking lot. The report was signed by then-Collier County Sheriff’s Office Corporal Steven H. “Steve” Calkins. However, the family could find no other info since there were no incident reports or arrest memos filed regarding the case. As per the show, when witnesses at the cemetery told Marcia that they had seen Terrance being pulled over and later getting into Steve’s car, she started continuously calling the sheriff’s department.
Initially stating he did not remember Terrance, Steve changed his statement and said he could recall pulling over Terrance at around 12:15 pm on January 12, 2004, after seeing the former’s car “in distress.” As per the show, Steve said the 27-year-old had requested him to drive him to a nearby Circle K, claiming he was late for his shift. Steve claimed that he dropped off Terrance there and returned to check his car for papers. He did not find any, contacted Circle K about Terrance, and discovered that he did not work there.
Steve added that he then called and requested dispatch to get Terrance’s car town away since it was obstructing the road. However, investigators found major discrepancies in Steve’s statement. There was no record of him placing a call to Circle K and neither the employees nor the surveillance footage of the building placed either Steve or Terrance. At this point, a complaint was filed against him by Marcia which ensued an internal investigation.
With the FBI and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement on the case, different techniques, including placing a hidden GPS device in Steve’s car as well as cadaver dogs, were used. It was also at this point that Marcia came to know that the police officer involved in Felipe’s case was also Steve. When Felipe’s boss had gone to post bail for his employee, he found that Felipe had been let go by Steve near another local Circle K which was about 4 miles from where he would leave Terrance a few months later. Steve had claimed that the “polite and cooperative” behavior of Felipe had influenced him to let the guy go.
Two weeks after Steve’s internal report submission, Felipe’s family filed a complaint against him as well as a missing person report. With no evidence linking him to the disappearance, Steve’s name was cleared. The whole cycle was getting repeated in the case of Terrance too. However, as per the show, the investigators did find a police call record of Steve purportedly making various racial slurs and inappropriate remarks when requesting dispatch to get Terrance’s car towed.
Steve had also claimed that he did not even know Terrance’s last name, but he allegedly used Terrance’s full name when requesting a background check for him. With so many discrepancies and conflicts in his statement, Steve also started to be uncooperative with the investigation. He was fired from the force in 2004. After both Terrance and Felipe failed to turn up even 5 years after their disappearance, Florida law required them to be declared dead. Even today neither of their bodies have been found, and Steve remains a prime suspect in the disappearance of both men.
Read More: Where is Steve Calkins Now?