The December 2000 disappearance and death of Mike Williams remained a mystery for close to two decades until a damning confession pointed the finger at his wife, Denise. A&E’s ‘Cold Case Files: The Voice in the Lake’ delves into the circumstances surrounding Mike’s disappearance and the sinister plot that led to his death. While everyone assumed it was an accident, Mike’s mother, Cheryl Williams, kept pushing for more answers in the years after it happened. Her perseverance paid off when Denise was eventually convicted. So, let’s find out more about the resilient mother then, shall we?
Who is Cheryl Williams?
Jerry Michael Williams AKA Mike was the youngest of Cheryl’s two sons. The young man married Denise, his high school sweetheart, in 1994. They grew up with another couple, Brian Winchester and Kathy Aldridge, who also married in the same year, and the four of them remained close over time. But sadly, in December 2000, Mike disappeared while on a duck hunting trip in Lake Seminole, Florida.
Back then, the authorities chalked it up to being an accident, believing that an alligator ate Mike. However, Cheryl was never satisfied with that explanation. She felt something else happened to her son and set out to find it. First, the mother spoke to an animal expert who said it was nearly impossible for alligators to have fed on Mike; the reptiles did not feed during winter months. This spurred Cheryl on to hunt for answers.
She paid for billboards and newspaper ads, put up posters on street corners, and even wrote letters to the governor. Cheryl later said of the one time she visited the lake, “All of a sudden, a voice comes in my head. Mike is not in Lake Seminole. He did not drown.” Cheryl also believed Denise knew something she wasn’t telling because she was irate with Mike’s mother continuing to pursue the case. In fact, Denise even cut off her daughter’s communication with Cheryl and her family.
Where is Cheryl Williams Now?
But in the end, Cheryl’s hard work paid off when Brian Winchester confessed that he killed Mike and Denise was involved in the scheme. While Denise was found guilty of murder, the conviction was overturned. In September 2021, she was resentenced to 30 years in prison for conspiracy to commit murder. Cheryl read a victim impact statement at the time, “For the rest of my life when I try to go to sleep, I see my son clinging to a stump in the freezing water. Please don’t show her any mercy. She didn’t show my son any mercy. She took him away from his daughter, family, and friends.”
From what we can tell, Cheryl lives in Florida. In the past, she had talked about using her retirement fund to run her campaign, leaving her with no savings. Her health was affected by the lengthy battle for justice; Cheryl has difficulty walking. However, she has ample support in the form of her son Nick, his family, and several loved ones who stood by her through all of this.
Read More: How Did Mike Williams Die?