Home » Aletha Jo Williams, 25: May Have Been Killed By Friend’s Husband
Update: According to reports, 20 years after Aletha Jo Williams went missing, it has been determined that one of her best friends, Michael Vincent, murdered her. Aletha’s mother, Cindy Williams, told reporters that her daughter befriended Vincent and his wife. Vincent’s brother was in police’s crosshairs throughout the investigation and had even been arrested for obstruction of justice. Aletha’s remains have not been located. I offer my sincerest condolences to Althea Jo Williams’s family.
If speculation is to be believed as truth, then Aletha Jo Williams may no longer be alive. It is a somber way to begin her story, but the investigation into this disappearance has been a long one that has caused investigators to ask more questions than receive answers that will close the book on this case. Exactly when Aletha went missing is unclear, as agencies list her last date of contact as March 6, 2002, although she wasn’t reported as a missing person until May of that year. However, authorities think she may have been missing as early as November 2001, making that last date of contact questionable.
According to the Utah Department of Public Safety, Aletha Jo Williams was last seen on the corner of 1700 South and West Temple in Salt Lake City. The National Missing and Unidentified Persons System stated that Aletha dropped off her personal belongings at a relative’s home and said she would be back later after visiting a friend’s house. There was reportedly no indication that she intended to leave permanently, especially considering Aletha Jo Williams was six months pregnant at the time and had a young son.
It has also been reported that Aletha struggled with substance abuse and had even been convicted of crimes tied to drugs and stolen property charges. She was known to disappear for short periods of time because of her addiction, but Aletha never stayed away too long and would always reach out to her family.
“Whether good or bad, give us some closure so that we might be able to get over this and get past this and bring her home,” said Aletha’s sister, Lovoina Ortega, in 2014.
“I think somebody did something to her,” added stepfather Rick Martin said. “She wouldn’t just disappear and not come back around. Not this long.”
Over a decade after Aletha Jo Williams vanished, investigators reportedly took another look at her case and spoke with a man named Ricky Lee Vincent. It was in 2014 that he was charged with felony obstruction of justice after authorities believed that he knew more about Aletha than he was telling. Ricky Lee Vincent was not believed to be actively involved in her disappearance, but police had a suspect that was later revealed to be Ricky’s brother, Michael Vincent. The obstruction charges were later dropped, but eyes were still on the person of interest.
As detectives reexamined Aletha’s case, they spoke with witnesses who shared that according to the word on the street, the 25-year-old had been murdered. One of Aletha’s best friends was a woman named Wendy, and Wendy just happened to be Michael Vincent’s wife. Vincent was well known to the authorities as his criminal history included instances of domestic violence, drug charges, and assault. It is unclear what evidence initially pointed authorities in his direction, but it was reported that Vincent’s daughter allegedly told police that the day Aletha Jo Williams went missing, he was “covered in blood.”
Vincent’s significant other also claimed that he said he had killed a Black woman and cut her fingertips off after the murder.
“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.
No charges were filed against Vincent or anyone else in connection to this case. In July 2021, Michael Vincent was reportedly killed during a domestic violence incident, taking whatever secrets he may have had about this case to his grave.
At the time of her disappearance, Aletha Jo Williams stood 5 feet 2 inches tall to 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighed anywhere between 100 to 145 pounds. She had black/dark brown hair and brown eyes. Both of her ears were pierced but she was not known to wear earrings often. Aletha’s tongue was also pierced. She had discoloration on an unknown part of her head and a scar on the left side of her face. She had a tattoo of the name “Shawn” on her right wrist and there may have been a removed tattoo on her right forearm. Aletha would be 45-years-old at the time of this publication.
Anyone with information about this case is urged to contact the Salt Lake City Police Department at (801) 799-3565, 801-799-3000, or their local authorities. They may also leave anonymous tips by texting the keyword TIPSLCPD plus the information they have to CRIMES 274637. The agency case number is 02-79626.
Please share this story about Aletha Jo Williams to help reignite the investigation into her disappearance and bring resolution to this case. She is our sister and her life matters.
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