Steven Williams has confessed to murdering his ex-wife, 33-year old Air Force veteran Tricia Todd, who disappeared in April. He has been arrested on charges of second-degree murder and child neglect and is being held at the Martin County Jail without bond.
Todd was last seen alive at a Publix supermarket on April 26th. According to Williams, she was supposed to pick up her daughter early the next day but never showed up. The station also reported that she never showed up for her job at a hospice care center that day. Detectives interviewed Williams several times during the investigation into Todd’s disappearance. According to Martin County Sheriff William Snyder the initial story Williams told police had “gross inconsistencies… which only got worse with time.”
Williams eventually confessed to killing her. He told authorities she hit her head when he pushed her down during an argument about money. He then claimed to have disposed of her body near Jonathan Dickinson State Park, but authorities say he was unwilling to give specific details regarding the location.
“The area is extremely broad – it’s enormously difficult to search that much area to find human remains,” Snyder initially said. “We are now going to re-double our efforts to find Tricia’s remains.”
Late Thursday night, partial human remains were found in a container buried in a hole about three feet deep. Although the identity of the body has not been confirmed by forensic experts, it was found in the area where Williams said he buried Todd’s body.
Williams was offered a 35-year sentence in exchange for pleading guilty to second-degree murder and leading authorities to the body. He cannot pull out of the plea bargain and could suffer a stiffer sentence if police discovered he was lying to them.
“We could not roll the dice,” Snyder said. “We wanted to get the body back and we wanted to bring closure to the family.”
“We would not have entered into a plea without both the mother and the father .. agreeing that this was the best thing for their family,” he added.
“We’d like to thank the Martin County Sheriff’s Office for their diligence and their tireless efforts,” Todd’s family said in a statement. “The countless volunteers who poured their time and hearts into the search, and the district attorney’s office for their guidance in coming to the conclusion that we have tonight. “
While a motive has not been offered by the police, the two were known to have money issues in their relationship. There had also been several previous incidents of domestic violence between them.