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Former deputy named in wrongful death suit in cold cases of missing Collier men

Tyler Perry boosts reward in cases
Posted at 6:50 PM, Sep 04, 2018

A civil rights attorney announced Tuesday that he has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against former Collier County Sheriff's deputy Steven Calkins. According to reports from the sheriff's office, two men were last seen in the company of Calkins.

"There's not one day that goes by, that I don't want to just break down," said Marcia WIlliams, mother of Terrance Williams, who disappeared in January of 2004. The father of four was last seen near the intersection of 111th Avenue North and Vanderbilt Drive in North Naples. Calkins told investigators he gave Williams a ride to a Circle K gas station.

A few months earlier, in October 2003, 23-year-old Felipe Santos had vanished in a strangely similar circumstance. A sheriff's report reveals that Calkins told investigators he was going to arrest Santos for driving with an expired license, then changed his mind and dropped him off at a different Circle K. 

The bodies of Santos and Williams were never found, and Calkins never faced any charges in their disappearances. However, the Collier County Sheriff's Office fired him - reportedly for being uncooperative in the investigations.

"These two men disappear off the face of the earth, and the last person to see them alive was this sheriff's deputy," said Ben Crump, the attorney who filed the suit against Calkins.

"He will be made to come to be deposed, and give sworn testimony for the first time to answer all the questions that Marcia Williams has for him," Crump added.

Filmmaker Tyler Perry has supported the quest for justice in the men's disappearances for years, offering a reward of $100,000 in 2014 for any information leading to a conviction.

"We have not gotten any leads," Perry said Tuesday at press conference in Naples. "I'm raising that reward to $200,000 for information."

"My prayer in all of this in trying to help (Marcia Williams) is to just get the answers, and get the justice that she deserves - that Terrance's children deserve, that the Santos family deserves," Perry added. 

In a statement released Tuesday, Sheriff Kevin Rambosk thanked Tyler Perry: "...for continuing to raise public awareness about these local cases and keeping them in the national spotlight."

Anyone with information in the disappearances of either Williams or Santos is asked to call the Collier County Sheriff's Office at 239-252-9300, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477.)