Fugitive Accused Of Shooting And Killing Ex-Girlfriend While She Held Her Infant Son
Benjamin Williams stands 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs 135 pounds. He's missing two top teeth and has a scar on his nose. Authorities said Williams usually wears disguises and has previously dressed as a woman. If you have any information on his whereabouts, please submit your tips to InPursuitTips.com or text 1-833-378-7783 (3-PURSUE).
On July 31, 2021, a murder unfolded in the middle of a St. Petersburg, Florida cemetery. It was a horrific scene where a toddler witnessed his own mother’s murder while the victim was holding her infant son in her arms.
Major David Gerardo with St. Petersburg Police played the 911 for Host Callahan Walsh. The Good Samaritan caller told the operator, "Somebody shot somebody in the driver's seat. There's kids in the car so I'm gonna run up to the car."
Det. Gerardo said the Good Samaritan and another person ran to the scene and removed the kids. "The infant actually had his mother's blood all over his clothing," Gerado added.
Neither one of the children were injured.
As for the weapon, it was not found and as for the suspect, no one knew right away who was connected. It wasn’t until the victim’s cell phone began to uncover her steps leading up to her murder.
Investigators began to learn a man who went by the name of "Bambi” may have allegedly been involved. This piece of information soon led to the actual name of the suspect: Benjamin Williams.
"He has an extensive arrest history, his name has come up in a number of open homicide cases, but we've never been able to put enough evidence together to charge him," Gerado said.
Det. Gerado believes Williams allegedly lured the victim, 27-year-old Joana Peca, to the scene with the baby she shares with him, a young boy who was only 5-months-old at the time.
Eleni Peca, Joana's mother, spoke to Callahan Walsh about her daughter saying, "She was a loving and caring person, loud, outgoing." The mother and daughter moved to the United States when Joana was 10-years-old. "She loved being a mother," Eleni said. The baby was Joana’s second child.
Eleni said Williams wasn't working when they were living together, and her daughter became pregnant within a matter of months. As time went on, Eleni said she felt in her heart Joana was afraid of Williams. It wasn't long after when her daughter broke up with him.
On July 31, 2021, Eleni said she received a call from authorities, it was a phone call no mother would ever want to hear. This was when she learned Joana had been shot at the cemetery and Williams may have been the shooter.
By the time Eleni went to the police station to pick up her young grandchildren she said, "The baby was screaming. I saw my other grandson, I hugged him... mommy died. I said (to her toddler grandson) don't worry you have me, I will be there for you."
"He (Eleni's grandson) said like, I tried to help her, I tried to clean blood on her face, but my hands was too small.. she had a lot of blood coming out and I couldn't help my mommy," Eleni added.
Eleni and authorities learned Joana met up with William's at a local cemetery. It was a place where William's sister was buried. Joana and William’s sister were best friends before her death. She died from cancer. Joana may have thought it was a good place for them to meet so Williams could see her children. Williams was going to be there with his mother.
Authorities said only six minutes after Joana arrived at the scene, she was shot dead as she sat in her car holding her baby.
S.I. Moises Moldes with the United States Marshals Service said, "He's known to go to any extent."
Moldes believes Williams allegedly carjacked someone in Tampa, Florida and then dumped the car. Somehow Williams got another vehicle and went north. Authorities said Williams then went north to Georgia, then made a U-Turn and went south and got rid of that vehicle in Florida. It was later recovered.
Moldes and his team uncovered a video of Williams at a store in Georgia where he was wearing a t-shirt with the words: "World's Best Dad" on it.
Eleni said she has custody of her grandchildren and Joana's oldest child said he had a hard time closing his eyes for a while. The scene was haunting the child.
Benjamin Williams stands 5'8" and weighs 135 pounds and has a number of tattoos. He's missing two top teeth and has a scar on his nose. Williams is known to wear his hair shorter. Authorities said Williams usually wears disguises and has previously dressed as a woman.
He has deep connections to Atlanta, Georgia and could be visiting his hometown of St. Petersburg, Florida from time-to-time. If you have any information on his whereabouts, please submit your tips to InPursuitTips.com or text 1-833-378-7783 (3-PURSUE).