The Disappearance of Terrance Williams & Felipe Santos

Photos of Terrance Williams (left) and Felipe Santos (right) that were circulated at the time of their disappearances. | Source: Naples News

27-year-old Terrance Williams had come a long way in the years after moving from Chattanooga, Tennessee to Naples, Florida.

While living in his native Chattanooga, he struggled to make ends meet while helping to support his four children, and had also lost his driver’s license due to a citation of driving while under the influence.

Hoping to take advantage of the housing boom in Southwest Florida and the ample job opportunities it created, Terrance decided to move to Naples to look for work and to be closer to his mother, Marcia Williams.

After getting settled, Terrance found a job working in construction and also took on a second job at Pizza Hut. He made friends and even bought himself a Cadillac in anticipation for earning his license back.

On the night of Sunday, January 11, 2004, Terrance is invited to go to a work party with some of his Pizza Hut coworkers. After finishing his shift for the day, he says goodbye to his mother after she drops him off at his house. He makes his way inside to change his clothes and get ready for the party.

Terrance tries to convince his roommate, Jason Gonzalez, to go with him to the party. However, he declines, citing that he is tired and wants to stay in for the night.

Left without a ride, Terrance decides to risk it and drive himself to the party with no license, registration or insurance.

The morning of January 12 rolls around, and Jason wakes up to realize that Terrance has not come home yet. He is not alarmed at first, though, as Terrance himself had said to not be worried if he wasn’t home in a couple of days because he was most likely staying at a friend’s house.

The next day comes, and Jason emails Terrance’s mother asking if she has seen or heard from him. This fills both of them with worry when they realize that Terrance is nowhere to be found.

Jason tries calling everyone they know to see if he could find anything. One of Terrance’s coworkers states that she clearly remembers Terrance leaving the party at around 5:00 or 6:00 a.m. Armed with the feeling of dread and this new information, he tries calling local hospitals and jails to see if he was picked up at some point, but comes up dry.

On Wednesday, January 14, Marcia goes to the Pizza Hut where Terrance works and finds out that he has missed work for the last three days and has failed to pick up his last two paychecks.

Exhausting every avenue she can think of, Marcia goes to the Collier County Sheriff’s Office to file a missing person’s report, where their reaction is anything but urgent.

They do not take Marcia seriously and bring attention to the fact that Terrance is an adult, and adults can voluntarily go missing if they so please. They even tell her, “If you haven’t heard from him in a month, you come back.”

Getting no support in Naples, Marcia pleads with her family back in Chattanooga for help in finding Terrance. They begin flooding the sheriff’s office with calls begging for answers, prompting law enforcement to file a report and start looking into the case more seriously.

The following day, Terrance’s aunt actually discovers a lead that may bring them closer to figuring out where he is. She informs Marcia that Terrance’s Cadillac was found and had been towed from the local Naples Memorial Cemetery the night of January 12 because it was obstructing traffic.

Once the car was located, they figure out that the tow was requested by a deputy within the Collier County Sheriff’s Office. However, they cannot provide any more details since there was no incident or arrest report filed.

On Friday, January 16, Marcia seeks out the employees at the cemetery to see if there were any witnesses who could shed some light on what happened that night.

She finds out that 17-year patrol veteran Deputy Steve Calkins is the officer who pulled Terrance over that night. They recall watching him pat Terrance down and place him into the back of his patrol car, but state that it seemed like a very amicable interaction. They do not remember seeing any sort of aggression or confrontation between the two.

They also recount that Calkins came in and asked the employees if he could leave Terrance’s car parked there until he could come back to have it towed, to which they allowed. 15 minutes to an hour later, the deputy returned alone and moved Terrance’s car from the parking spot where it was left to the side of the road and requested a tow.

Hearing the events of that night raises more questions than answers. Why did Deputy Calkins move Terrance’s car to purposefully obstruct traffic? Why did he not arrest Terrance, considering he was driving with no license, registration or insurance?

And since he did not file an arrest report for Terrance, where did he take him?

When investigators reach out to Calkins regarding what happened, he states at first that he has no memory of pulling Terrance over. Then, a couple hours later, he changes his story, saying he now remembers stopping him because his car “seemed to be in distress.”

This struck Marcia as odd considering Terrance had just taken his car to be checked not long before this. She had also just driven his Cadillac the other day and had no issues.

Calkins also stated that Terrance was pleading with him for a ride to work and asked him if he could take him up the block to his job at the Circle-K gas station. He said he turned Terrance down at first and offered to call a cab for him, but then, after feeling bad for him, decides a ride wouldn’t hurt. After dropping Terrance off, Calkins returned to the Cadillac to look for registration and put in the request to have it towed.

His story seemed to match the witness accounts from the cemetery, except for one problem: Terrance never worked at the Circle-K. So why would he lie and tell Calkins he did?

Investigators canvassed the surveillance footage from the Circle-K and discover no record of Calkins or Terrance ever being at the gas station that night. Employees at the Circle-K also state they never saw Terrance getting out of any sort of vehicle.

Amid all of the suspicion and discrepancies, Marcia files a complaint against Deputy Calkins, bringing in The Florida Department of Investigation along with the FBI to conduct an internal investigation to see of Calkins was responsible for any criminal misconduct.

It is during this investigation that they uncover an eerily-similar complaint that was filed against Calkins just three months prior. This, too, was in connection with a missing man in North Naples.

Missing poster distributed for Terrance and Felipe. | Source: Collier County Sheriff’s Office

24 miles down the rode in Immokalee, 23-year-old Felipe Santos had disappeared in October 2003, and the last known person to have seen him was none other than Deputy Calkins.

After immigrating from Mexico, Felipe found work in construction to help support his girlfriend and their growing family, as they were expecting their first child. He would also send some money to his family in Mexico to take care of them as well.

Since his job was located over 30 miles away from his home, Felipe and his brothers were able to buy a car so they could make the trip. The only problem was, being that they were undocumented workers, they were unable to apply for a license or insurance.

In the early morning hours of Tuesday, October 14, 2003, Felipe and his brothers are making the drive to work when they get into a minor car accident. No one was injured, but the other driver flagged down a passing police officer for some assistance.

Deputy Calkins stepped out of his patrol car to assess the situation when he discovered that Felipe, the driver, had no license.

Former Deputy Steve Calkins | Source: CNN

Much like Terrance, Calkins described the encounter as being very amicable and cordial as he placed Felipe in the back of his patrol car. Later in the day, Felipe’s boss calls the jail expecting to find him and post his bail, but finds out that he was never there.

Two weeks later on Monday, October 27, after receiving a copy of Calkins’ incident report, Felipe’s family finds out that the reason he was not in custody was because the deputy decided not to arrest him since he was so polite.

According to Calkins, he decided to drop Felipe off at the nearby Circle-K gas station so he could make a phone call and get a ride so he would not continue driving illegally. Sound familiar?

The other driver in the accident also painted a different picture. She stated that, when Calkins arrived on the scene, he seemed agitated and made a comment that he was tired of handling incidences where people had no license or insurance.

When Felipe failed to show up for his court date to address his citations, his family filed a missing person’s report along with a complaint against Calkins for possible criminal misconduct.

Like Terrance, Felipe had also failed to pick up his last paycheck or make contact with anyone in his family.

After a nearly two-month administrative investigation, Calkins was exonerated from any wrongdoing as far as his actions at the scene of the accident. In fact, Felipe’s family received the letter explaining that Calkins was cleared of any wrongdoing just 72 hours before Terrance went missing.

Now on his second investigation, Calkins passes a polygraph and goes in for taped interviews. Investigators also place a GPS inside of his patrol car to see if he went to any remote places that he could have possibly taken Terrance. Despite searching 12 remote areas that the deputy visited outside of his route, they find no evidence.

Calkins gives his official statement on February 12, 2004. To verify his accounts, investigators pull the calls he made to dispatch that afternoon and discover some red flags.

When he reaches his friend on dispatch at 12:49 p.m., Calkins spins an entirely different story. He tells him that he found Terrance’s car abandoned and needs it towed. This call occurs within the same hour that he allegedly drove Terrance to the Circle-K.

Throughout the call, the two men can be heard laughing and joking about the situation and even making fun of Terrance and his Cadillac.

23 minutes later, at 1:12 p.m., Calkins calls his friend on dispatch again and requests a background check on Terrance. He gives his full name and date of birth to run. This raises more alarms with investigators, because Calkins was adamant that he barely spoke to Terrance and did not even know his last name, considering he wrote “unknown” on the report. Yet, barely an hour after supposedly dropping him off at the Circle-K, he knows his full name and date of birth, something only Terrance could verbally give him considering he had no license or registration.

On Friday, April 16, three months after Terrance’s disappearance, Calkins is issued another polygraph. This time, investigators focus the questions on what happened after he had Terrance’s car towed. Now, Calkins fails the polygraph and was found to be totally deceptive on all fronts, including if he had any further contact with Terrance.

Despite this, the deputy insists his encounters with both Terrance and Felipe ended at the Circle-K and that he had nothing to do with their disappearances. After this interview, he is no longer cooperating with the investigation, and this would be the last time Calkins answers questions from detectives.

On August 20, the investigation into Deputy Calkins is closed and the Collier County Sheriff’s Office fires him for noncompliance with rules and regulations, untruthfulness and conduct unbecoming of an officer. He tries to have this decision appealed but is denied.

To this day, Calkins maintains his innocence and believes he was wronged by the sheriff’s office he was once a decorated deputy with. He states that he fell victim to coincidence.

Coincidence or not, Calkins remains on the radar of investigators and is still considered a person of interest.

In 2018, Marcia sued Calkins in a wrongful death lawsuit in an effort to get closure and justice for her son. However, the lawsuit came to an abrupt end when Marcia’s legal team failed to file for trial by the deadline. She tried appealing this in order to move the lawsuit forward, but that appeal was denied on January 5, 2022.

Marcia has not given up hope, however, and is continuing to fight until the truth comes to light regarding what really happened to her son that fateful day.

Many people have joined her in the pursuit for justice. Actor, director and producer Tyler Perry has made several public appeals to bring more awareness to the cold cases. He even put up a $20,000 reward for any information that would lead to an arrest in the cases for both Terrance and Felipe.

Tyler Perry at an appearance on Good Morning America discussing Terrance and Felipe’s cases. | Source: tylerperry.com

There is also a petition out demanding justice for the two men. You can sign it here.

It has been 17 and 18 years since Terrance Williams and Felipe Santos, respectively, disappeared. Their cases remain cold to this day.

Terrance Williams was 5’8 and 160 pounds at the time of his disappearance. He has brown eyes and brown hair. He was last seen wearing a short sleeve shirt, jeans and Timberland boots. He was wearing diamond earrings and a watch with a silver band and a face surrounded by white stones. He has multiple tattoos, including a “T” above his left chest, “ET” on his right shoulder and “Terrance” on his left forearm in red with blue highlights. Terrance has a gold crown with the letter “T” on his upper right front tooth and his left front tooth is solid gold.

Felipe Santos was 5’7 and 150 pounds at the time of his disappearance. He had longer brown hair, normally in a ponytail, and has brown eyes. He last worked as a masonry concrete laborer.

If you or someone you know has any information that could lead to the discovery of Terrance and/or Felipe and/or an arrest in their cases, you can contact the Collier County Sheriff’s Office at 239-252-9300, the Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers at 1-800-730-TIPS (8477) or the CUE Center for Missing Persons’ 24-hour tip line at 910-232-1687.

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