SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – For more than two decades the murder of Aletha Williams remained unsolved.

But Tuesday, her mother learned the truth. Cindy Williams received a call from a cold detective with Salt Lake City police confirming what she knew all along.

“(Police) were going to close my daughter’s case and Michael Vincent is the one that killed her,” said Cindy Williams.

In 2001 Aletha Williams was headed to her sister’s house. But she never made it and was never seen again.

The Williams felt slighted by police. Cindy Williams said so much attention was given to Elizabeth Smart and they could not get a call back from police about her daughter’s murder.

“They wiped her under the rug like it never happened,” Williams told ABC4 in 2019. “You know, like threw her away. She didn’t exist. That’s what it made me feel like.”

Finally, in 2012, police determined this wasn’t a missing person case but a homicide.

Two years later, police arrested a man for obstruction of justice. As he walked to jail with police at his side, he told ABC4 that his brother was the suspect.

According to a 2014 search warrant, they searched his brother’s home. Police were trying to connect Michael Vincent to the murder of Aletha Williams. A detective behind the same warrant claimed Vincent’s daughter saw him “covered in blood,” the day Williams disappeared. She claimed her father (Michael) told her “he had taken a human life and described ‘killing a black female.”

But Michael Vincent was never arrested.

According to Cindy Williams, police re-investigated the case and learned what a previous detective had learned about Michael Vincent.

“They said that a couple of (other) brothers knew,” said Williams. They came forward because he admitted it to them and to his children.”

But last year, Michael Vincent was shot, allegedly by his then-wife Cindy Vincent. According to news accounts, there has been a domestic situation at their Magna home when shots were fired.
Williams said her daughter knew Cindy Vincent back in 2001.

“They were all friends,” said her mother. “They used drugs together and my daughter stepped in when they were having a dispute,” according to Williams.

But with Michael Vincent’s death, no one will ever know what happened to the body of Aletha Williams.

“I’ve put it in a place where I can live with it,” her mother said. “I had to. I always thought someone had a conscience and would come forward. that’s what I always thought.”

A spokesperson for Salt Lake City police confirm the case was closed and sent the following statement:

“We can confirm the information about Michael Vincent, who is deceased, as being named responsible was provided to the family today.

We would also like you to know a full case review with our investigations Division Command Staff will occur next week. That is all the information we can provide at this time.”