Local News

North Carolina airman charged with second-degree murder in death of ex-wife

Posted May 25, 2016 11:35 a.m. EDT
Updated May 25, 2016 6:24 p.m. EDT

— Air Force Staff Sgt. Steven Williams, 30, who is based at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, was arrested Tuesday night and charged with second-degree murder in the death of his ex-wife, who lived in Martin County, Florida.

According to investigators, Tricia Todd, 30, was last seen in surveillance video taken at a Publix grocery store in Martin County on April 26. She vanished after she and Williams met at a local bed and breakfast to talk about their young daughter, investigators said.

Williams is assigned as a field training detachment instructor with Detachment 1, 372nd Training Squadron, according to a spokesperson at Seymour Johnson. Todd joined the Air Force is 2004, where she was stationed in Lackland, Texas, and later was honorably discharged in 2008.

Investigators said Williams was given a polygraph test early in the investigation, but Martin County Sheriff William Snyder told the media that Williams said nothing to indicate that he was involved in Todd's disappearance. But on Wednesday, Snyder said the statement was part of a legal investigative technique to help make the case.

"I reserve the right, now and always, to say what I have to say throughout any answers I give to further the case," he said.

The sheriff said the case is strong, even though Todd's body had not been located.

"There is video evidence, there is a confession, there is a very strong circumstantial case," Snyder said.

Investigators said William's confession did not help narrow the search for Todd's remains.

Williams is also charged with child neglect in connection to the case. He was being held without bond in the Martin County Jail.