Homeless man arrested in mysterious killing of 14-year-old boy in Florida

A homeless man with a long rap sheet has been arrested for randomly stabbing to death a 14-year-old Florida schoolboy who went missing during a bike ride, police announced Thursday.

Semmie Lee Williams, 39, was arrested in Miami late Wednesday in connection to the Nov. 15 slaying of high school freshman Ryan Rogers, authorities confirmed at a press conference.

Palm Beach Gardens police chief Clinton Shannon said that the teen had been “stabbed to death” by a “dangerous monster.”

“This appears to be a completely random act. We do not have a motive,” Shannon said.

“I would best describe it as an innocent child victim having a chance encounter with a very violent criminal,” Shannon said, calling Williams a “homeless drifter.”

Ryan’s body was found hidden in a wooded area just 215 feet from a busy Interstate 95 overpass in Palm Beach Gardens on Nov. 16, the day after his family reported him missing, an affidavit said. An autopsy showed the boy had been “stabbed numerous times in the head and face,” the affidavit said.

Williams was linked through DNA on blood-covered headphones left near the body, the documents said. His DNA was in a database because of his lengthy record that has included time in jail, as well as a mental hospital.

Detectives then used Williams’ disturbing YouTube videos — in which he rants disturbing conspiracy theories — to track him down to about 80 miles away in Miami, sources told The Miami Herald. The videos also put him in Palm Beach at the time of the murder, the paper said.

He was tracked down on Friday, but “denied any interaction with the victim” during interviews, the arrest affidavit said.

He was initially committed to a hospital under Florida’s Baker Act, which allows for the involuntary commitment of someone who is a danger to himself or others, the local paper said.

However, tests on a blood-stained bandana he was found with then tested positive for Ryan’s blood, the affidavit said.

Williams was then arrested Wednesday and charged and first-degree murder with a weapon.

He made his first court appearance Thursday and was ordered held without bond.

He has a long rap sheet stretching nearly 20 years, with arrests in several states, including Georgia and California, where he was deemed a “fugitive from justice,” police said.

 

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