RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — An Air Force airman who confessed to the gruesome murder of his ex-wife lived in Raleigh, according to court documents obtained Friday by CBS North Carolina.
Steven Williams has confessed to killing his ex-wife, Tricia Todd of Hobe Sound, Florida, according to the Martin County, Florida, Sheriff’s Office. The search warrants released Friday show how investigators narrowed the search to Williams.
Investigators say the woman’s 2-year-old daughter was nearby when she was killed.
The Martin County sheriff said Williams confessed to disposing his ex-wife’s body in a wooded area near Jonathan Dickinson State Park in Martin County. The Palm Beach Post reported that nine teeth, two battery-powered saws and a pair of pliers wound found near where Todd’s partial remains were found.
Todd died on the same night that she disappeared, according to investigators.
Todd was reported missing after she didn’t show up to pick up her child on April 27. The 30-year-old mother was an Air Force veteran and a hospice nurse.
Search warrants released Friday in Wake County give more details about what happened on the night authorities believe Todd was killed.
Williams, who lived in Raleigh, had gone to Florida to see his daughter. Williams later told authorities that he sent Todd a text message saying the daughter wanted to see her, and Todd came shortly after that to a house Williams was renting. Williams then claimed Todd’s car was short of gas and he went to buy gas for her. He originally told investigators she drove away and he didn’t see her again.
However, a neighbor said Williams asked him for a gas can. The neighbor said he twice saw Williams drive his ex-wife’s car away. Surveillance cameras also saw the car leaving and a man matching Williams’ description.
“The investigation showed that Steven lied about the events,” the warrants state. The investigation also said he urged his girlfriend to take a drug that would help her pass a lie detector test.
The search warrant asked for permission to search Williams’ home on Busted Rock Trail in Raleigh for evidence.