Tyler Perry Press Conference
Offers reward for info on missing men.
Rev. Al Sharpton on missing men
Press conference at South Regional Library.
8065 Lely Cultural Parkway, Naples, FL
COLLIER COUNTY — Calling the disappearances of Terrance Williams and Felipe Santos "an injustice," entertainment mogul Tyler Perry offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to their location while in East Naples on Thursday.
Perry, the Rev. Al Sharpton and NAACP President and CEO Ben Jealous spoke before about 150 people at Collier County's South Regional Library, bringing attention to the nearly decade-old cases of Williams and Santos. The two men, both in their 20s, both were last seen in North Naples with the same now-fired deputy, Cpl. Steve Calkins.
"This is injustice and we have the power to change this," Perry said. "We have the power to see someone brought to justice."
The mystery of Williams and Santos stretches back to October 2003, when Santos went missing after he was picked up by Calkins for driving without a license. Calkins said he didn't take Santos to jail, instead dropping him off at a Circle K.
In January 2004, WIlliams went missing after witnesses saw him getting help with car trouble from Calkins.
Calkins remains a person of interest in the case, Sheriff Kevin Rambosk said. Calkins was fired after giving inconsistent statements about the cases, but no evidence has been publicly presented that could warrant his arrest.
Perry took an interest in the cases last year after seeing a television show featuring the two cases. Sharpton and Jealous joined after hearing from Perry.
"The only way to turn a cold case into a live case is turn up the heat," Jealous said. "The NAACP has not forgotten about Mr. Williams, Mr. Santos and this deputy who remains of interest."
Because Calkins refuses to talk with investigators about the case, he hasn't been interviewed since about the time of his firing, Collier County sheriff's Capt. Chris Roberts said Thursday.
At the press conference, a young man later identified as Anthony Denson said he was intimidated by Calkins several years ago.
"Be here for my safety, man," he said to Perry and Sharpton as he buried his face in his hands crying. "In 1997, Officer Calkins and three other deputies chased me on the beach, and they were gonna kill me."
Denson continued sobbing as he was taken into a separate room by Sheriff's Office officials.
Michelle Williams, chief of staff of the New Black Panther Party in Tampa, said Denson was a friend of Williams'.
Movie mogul Tyler Perry, the Rev. Al Sharpton and NAACP CEO and President Ben Jealous will be in Naples this morning, bringing attention to two local missing persons cases and the amount of media attention paid to disappearances of minorities.
Daily News multimedia journalists Jacob Carpenter and Jessica Lipscomb will be live tweeting from the press conference beginning at 10 a.m.
The three men will hold a 10:30 a.m. press conference at Collier County’s South Regional Library in East Naples, highlighting the unsolved disappearances of Terrance Williams and Felipe Santos. They were last seen nearly a decade ago with the same now-fired Collier County Sheriff’s Office corporal, Steve Calkins.
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TWITTER: TYLER PERRY, REV. AL SHARPTON & BEN JEALOUS IN NAPLES
MISSING PERSONS: TERRANCE WILLIAMS AND FELIPE SANTOS
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