Select It Sunday: Jamel Montrice Williams

This week’s Select It Sunday case was chosen by Orla: Jamel Montrice Williams, who (allegedly) disappeared from the back steps of his mother’s apartment at a Toledo, Ohio housing project on May 25, 1994. He was three and a half years old, going on four. If he’s still alive he’ll be 24 in August.

I say Jamel “allegedly” disappeared on May 25 for the following reasons:

1. None of the family’s neighbors reported seeing Jamel at all since he and his mother and her boyfriend moved into the complex on April 15, more than a month before his reported disappearance, and
2. The police could find no evidence of Jamel’s presence in the apartment.

To cap it off, Jamel’s mom and her boyfriend were uncooperative with the investigation, and the mother refused to provide a DNA sample for comparison with any unidentified remains that should turn up.

It doesn’t look good.

Although he’s of mixed black and white ancestry, Jamel had blue eyes and blonde hair in 1994 and from his (admittedly black and white) pictures, he looks white to me. If he’s still alive, I think people should be looking for a young white man. If he is still alive, he probably doesn’t remember his origins and thinks that whoever raised him are be his parents. I did my usual searches but couldn’t find any new info on this case since I wrote about it nine months ago.

Frankly, I don’t have a lot of hope that he’s alive, but this case is certainly solvable. Chances are multiple people know what happened to little Jamel. It’s not too late for them to come forward with information.

Jamel Williams gets rare mention in the press

The Toledo Blade, when talking about the much more recent disappearance of a two-year-old girl, brings up several other local cases including the almost totally forgotten disappearance of Jamel Williams, who went missing nineteen years ago last month. He was three. Although biracial, of mixed white and black ancestry, he had blond hair and blue eyes.

Jamel’s mother has refused to cooperate with the police, even to the extent of refusing to hand over a DNA sample for comparison with unidentified remains. They can’t force her to give them her DNA, and I don’t understand why she won’t do it. The only reasons I can think of for that are bad ones. I should note that, although Jamel and his mom and her boyfriend moved into their apartment almost six weeks before the child’s disappearance, no one else who lived in the building remembers having ever seen the child.

He never got very much press attention. It’s hard to get press attention for a missing child unless their family is willing to advocate for them, or at least be interviewed, and it looks like that didn’t happen.

I hope he’s alive. If he is, he would be 23 in August.