Investigation Discovery’s ‘Disappeared: Crime and Punishment’ chronicle the disappearance of two men, a 27-year-old American named Terrance Williams and a 24-year-old Mexican named Felipe Santos in January 2004 and October 2003, respectively. Both Terrance and Felipe disappeared mysteriously, and their bodies were never found.
The only common link between those two men is that they had been approached by then-officer Steve Calkins and were last seen getting into his car. The episode follows the investigation process and helps the viewers comprehend all the details. So who is Steve Calkins? Let’s find out.
Who is Steve Calkins?
By January 2004, Steven H. “Steve” Calkins was a Collier County Sheriff’s Office Corporal who had served the forces for 17 years. When 27-year-old Terrance Williams went missing on January 12, 2004, his mother, Marcia, filed a missing person report. Initially thought to be a runaway incident, the case took a surprising turn when Terrance’s aunt was able to track down his Cadillac in a tow parking lot. The car had been town at the request of Steve, who had also signed the tow report.
To the dismay of Terrance’s family, Steve had never filed any incident report or arrest memo, leaving no paper trail regarding his contact with Terrance. Several witnesses had seen Steve at the Naples Memorial Cemetery with Terrance and saw him get into Steve’s patrol car. Initially, Steve said he had no memories of the incident, but later on, he was able to recollect meeting Terrance. His supervisors asked him for an incident report wherein he stated that he saw Terrance’s car “in distress” at around 12:15 pm on January 12, 2004.
Steve followed the car to the cemetery parking lot and agreed to give the cordial Terrance a ride to the nearby Circle K since the latter stated he was late for work. Steve claimed that he had dropped him off and came back to check the glove compartment for the car papers but could not find them. When he allegedly called Circle K, he came to know that Terrance did not work there. An angry Steve then ran Terrance’s number plate to discover that the tags had expired.
However, investigators looking into Terrance’s disappearance found several discrepancies in Steve’s version of events. There was no record of his call to Circle K and neither he nor Terrance was not seen in surveillance footage or by the employees there. Marcia filed a complaint against Steve and an internal investigation against him was initiated. The case got further complicated when the Miami Mexican Consulate informed Marcia that a Mexican immigrant, named Felipe Santos, went missing in a similar fashion after he was arrested by Steve in October 2013.
While an investigation cleared Steve’s name, Felipe’s family suspected foul play. The FBI and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement were looped into the investigation as investigators used various techniques, including placing a hidden GPS device in Steven’s car as well as cadaver dogs. But no new evidence cropped up that could help find either Terrance or Felipe. However, it was stated on the show that investigators got hold of the call record where Steve was making a tow request to the dispatch; the recording allegedly contained instances of racial slurs as well as conflicting statements on Steve’s part.
Where is Steve Calkins Today?
Steve was fired in 2004 on the grounds of being uncooperative with the investigation and providing conflicting statements. While no specified timeline is found, he moved to Iowa shortly after being dismissed from the force. Records show that Steve lived in the southeast part of the town of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in 2014, before moving to the northeastern side of the town. It was also mentioned that he lived there along with his family.
Both Terrance and Felip were declared dead after going missing for 5 years. In 2018, Marcia enlisted the help of a well-known civil rights lawyer, Ben Crump, to file a wrongful death lawsuit against Steve. The lawsuit was sent to a neutral party or non-binding arbitration that found no evidence that incriminated Steve in Terrance’s disappearance, though the arbitrator found Steve uncooperative. The arbitration was unsealed and entered into judgment which translated to Steve being found not guilty and that Marcia would receive no damages on her claims.
In December 2020, Crump filed a motion for reconsideration and a new trial but was denied on appeal in January 2022. Steve is presently in his late 60s and still likely living in Cedar Rapids with his loved ones. He maintains a low profile and has refrained from making details of his private life as well as his current location public knowledge.