Two men in Naples Florida went missing within a few months of each other.
Felipe Santos, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico, disappeared on 10/1/03 after getting in a minor car wreck and being arrested for driving without a license.
Terrance Williams, and 27-year-old black man, vanished on 1/11/04 in on his way home from a coworker’s party, which he traveling to and from in an illegally in an unregistered vehicle.
What is the connection between these two men? In their last known moments, they were both with Officer Steve Calkins.
When Felipe Santos was in his minor car accident, he was driving himself and his brother to work. Officer Calkins, a 17-year police veteran, detained him for driving without a license and he was last seen by his brother being driven away in the police vehicle. However, when Santos’ boss attempted to post bail, he found that Santos was never booked. Officer Calkins claimed he’d changed his mind about booking Santos because he had been polite and dropped him off at the Circle K store. This seems suspicious, as the other driver involved in the accident said Officer Calkins seemed agitated and blamed it on being “tired of pulling people over that didn’t have a license.” and because it is against protocol to detain someone in a police vehicle but decline to book them. Regardless, after leaving in the police vehicle, Felipe Santos was never seen or heard from again.
A few months later, Terrance Williams vanished on his way home from a party late at night. Witnesses at Naples memorial cemetery reported seeing Officer Calkins pull over Williams, ask him for his license, and when he couldn’t produce one, drive away with Williams in the back, leaving his vehicle behind. Officer Calkins was then seen a short while later returning alone and moving the vehicle from the parking lot to the side of the road, from which it was later towed. The tow report was signed by Officer Calkins although he later denied calling the towing company.
Williams’ family members filed a missing persons report after Williams never returned home that night, and after tracking his car to the tow company and reading the tow reports, they connected his disappearance to Officer Calkins.
After several days, Officer Calkins’ supervisors pressured him to write an incident report, and this is he said: He claimed to have not known Terrance Williams’ car was unregistered but had pulled him over after Williams appeared to be driving in distress. He then says he drove Williams to the Circle K, thinking he worked there, after which he used his cell phone to call in Williams’ plates. Upon learning they weren’t registered, he called the Circle K demanding to speak to Williams, who he was told didn’t work there. These were the events Officer Calkins reported having happened that night, despite the fact that his cell phone records show he never called dispatch about the plates or the Circle to speak with Williams. Video surveillance at the Circle K also contradicts Officer Calkins’ story as there is no footage of him or Terrance Williams at the store he claims to have dropped him off.
Both the families of Felipe Santos and Terrance Williams filed reports against Officer Calkin. In interviews, there were glaring inconsistencies in his story, such as his initial claim that he didn’t know Williams’ last name (despite him being recorded saying it to dispatch) or his reporting to the tow company that the Williams’ vehicle was blocking traffic when witnesses said otherwise. When these inconsistencies were called into question, Officer Calkins stopped cooperating with those investigating the case and was fired shortly after.
The FBI attempted to investigate Officer Calkins further but no further evidence was discovered. Despite gaining attention of the media in 2012, the case is still cold and Officer Calkins remains a free man.