SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – The last hope of learning what happened to Aletha Jo Williams’ family may have ended Tuesday.
The case went cold for more than a decade. But in 2014, police received new information about her possible whereabouts.
“Whether good or bad, give us some closure so that we might be able to get over this and get passed this and bring her home,” said Lovoina Ortega in 2014.
Ortega was Williams’ sister as she and other family members gathered near the Jordan River where police were scouring the water for her whereabouts.
About a month later, Ricky Vincent was arrested by police for obstruction of justice. An ABC4 reporter questioned Vincent as he was being escorted by police to the jail.
Reporter: “Why do they say you know the person of interest?”
Vincent: “Well, he’s, my brother.”
Reporters: “What”s your brother’s name?”
Vincent: “Mike Vincent.”
Back then, police were cautious about Vincent’s statements and urged that the investigation was being conducted in a thorough manner.
“All I can tell you is, you are going to have to take his statement at face value,” said detective Cody Lougy. “Those are some details we are not releasing. We just don’t want to impede the investigation.”
Later, a search warrant at what was believed to be Mike Vincent’s home was conducted. They found drugs and little else.
But the warrant claimed the man’s daughter saw Mike Vincent “covered in blood” on the day of Williams’ disappearance.
She claimed Vincent told her “he had just killed a black female.”
The man’s girlfriend claimed he said “he had taken a human life,” and described “killing a black female.”
Also, the warrant claimed she said he “cut off finger tips” to get rid of DNA.
“Clearly from the description, he was guilty of some sort of violent crime, just the description of the blood on his body and large number of scars on his arms and neck,” said Jason Jensen, an investigator with the Utah Cold Case Coalition.
But Vincent nor his brother Ricky were ever prosecuted for crimes related to the disappearance of Williams.
“Without a body, without a weapon, without an eye witness, it’s hard to prove,” said Jensen.
And police will never be able to question Mike Vincent again. Early Tuesday morning, he was killed allegedly by his wife at their business in Magna.
Williams’ mother is well aware of the significance of Mike Vincent’s death.
“I’d never know what happened to my daughter,” said Cindy Williams, “Who else would know?”
Friday, as Missing in Utah continues, the link between Williams and Vincent.