A Florida man allegedly conspired with his brothers to kidnap and kill his teen girlfriend, because he mistakenly believed she was pregnant, police said this week, finally announcing arrests in the 2006 cold case.
Ralph Williams, now 36, and his two siblings were charged in the murder of 16-year-old Amber Woods, whose body was found 14 years ago along a road in Manatee County, authorities announced Monday.
“Cold, callous, just the worst in our society,” Sheriff Rick Wells said of the suspects.
“This girl had her whole life in front of her, and they treated her like she was nothing.”
The teen was last seen alive by her aunt at home around 12:30 a.m. on Feb. 11, 2006.
She was found shot dead seven hours later, after a driver spotted her body some 20 feet off of State Road 62.
Williams, who was 20 at the time, apparently believed that his teen girlfriend was pregnant with his child and had wanted to end their relationship, Wells said.
Fearing he could face criminal charges because she was underage, he allegedly plotted with his brother, Tyjuan Williams, and their half-brother, Jamaine Brown, to kill the girl, the sheriff said.
The sick trio kidnapped Amber and drove her to a rural location off the state road, where, “They got out of the car, and Tyjuan shot Amber once in the back,” Wells said.
“Jamaine and Ralph then dragged her deceased body off the roadway into the high grass, before fleeing the scene.”
An autopsy would later confirm that the teen had not been pregnant.
The three brothers had been suspects early on, but detectives did not have enough evidence to charge them, The Bradenton Herald reported.
“We always believed that these three murderers were in cahoots together and were trying to do everything they could to conceal the fact that they had murdered Amber,” Wells said.
“They went the last several years like nothing ever happened.”
Investigators revisited the case in April 2019 and, using previously unavailable cellular tracking software, were allegedly able to place a cellphone used by Ralph Williams near where Amber’s body was found.
On Dec. 15, Ralph Williams and Tyjuan Williams, 32, were charged with second-degree murder.
Both were already in custody in other Florida counties on unrelated charges and are awaiting extradition, Wells said.
Brown, 37, was arrested on May 20 and charged with kidnapping for allegedly driving his half-brothers and Amber to the murder scene, Wells said.
He pleaded no contest to a charge of accessory to murder after the fact on Friday. As part of his plea deal, he detailed the kidnapping and killing to authorities, the Herald reported.
Amber’s sister, Crystal Moses, thanked authorities during Monday’s press conference, saying she was “ecstatic” about the charges — and hoped the alleged killers would “rot in hell.”
“Justice has been proven,” she said, “it’s just taken a long time.”