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The Whole Story with Anderson Cooper

The Deputy And The Disappeared. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired March 17, 2024 - 20:00   ET



REID: One whole hour, one whole story is up next.

Thank you for joining me on this St. Patrick's Day. I'm Paula Reid. Good night.


A little over 20 years ago, two men in Naples, Florida, went missing within months of each other. Terrance Williams and Felipe Santos had no known connection and no known ties to each other. They did have a few things in common. Both were men of color and both were picked up by the same deputy from the Collier County Sheriff's Department on the same street in Naples before they disappeared.

This deputy is the last person known to have seen both men alive. An internal affairs investigation showed the deputy was not being truthful about the events surrounding the disappearances but that's as far as it went. He's denied any involvement and was never charged. The bodies of Terrance Williams and Felipe Santos were never found. The case, which didn't attract much attention at the time, seemed to be over with no answers and no suspects.

Over the next hour, CNN anchor and chief legal analyst, Laura Coates, along with CNN crime reporter Thomas Lake take a close look at the case and piece together new details about the deputy and the disappearances. What they find may surprise you.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Collier County Sheriff's Office Deputy Joseph.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is 1 Alpha 30. First name?



THOMAS LAKE, CNN CRIME REPORTER: I just had never heard of another story like this one.

LAURA COATES, CNN HOST (voice-over): CNN crime reporter Thomas Lake has been searching this secluded area in North Naples. He's looking for clues to help solve a mystery. One that has haunted him for the last five years.

LAKE: A woman called in a tip. She thought that Terrance's remains were in the wooded median of I-75.

COATES: He's talking about Terrance Williams. Terrance disappeared about 20 years ago in this area. And he's not the only one. Felipe Santos also vanished in this same area about three months before Terrance Williams went missing. The two men didn't know each other and had no known ties except for one.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Steve Calkins was the last person known to have seen these two men alive. Whatever else they might guess, all trails lead back to that.

We are east of Old 41, north of the Circle K where Steve Calkins said he dropped off Terrance Williams.

COATES: Corporal Steven Calkins was a deputy sheriff at the time. He picked up both men in his patrol car before they inexplicably vanished. They are both presumed dead. 20 years later the cases are cold.

LAKE: I'm just going to go back there and see what I can see, knowing that the remains of Terrance Williams and Felipe Santos are still out there somewhere. This part is a little tricky. But once you get past these rocks it gets easier.

Calkins got to know this area really, really well. He had lived in North Naples, then had patrolled it for at least 10 years so he knew this place like the back of his hand. The authorities are pretty sure he's lying about something but he was never charged.

COATES: Corporal Calkins was 16-year veteran with the Collier County Sheriff's Office. He was described by some citizens and former colleagues as a good cop who cared about his community. Until these men disappeared, Calkins had a relatively clean record which leads to the question at the heart of this story.

LAKE: It's worth at least taking a look at what's over the rise this way.

COATES: Did Corporal Calkins have anything to do with the disappearances of Terrance Williams and Felipe Santos? And if so why hasn't anyone been able to prove it?

LAKE: Someone should still be looking and why not us?


MARCIA WILLIAMS, MOTHER OF TERRANCE WILLIAMS: Our lives just stopped. I have to go on every day, but everything just stopped.

COATES: What do you think happened to him?

M. WILLIAMS: Someone harmed him.

COATES: Do you think you know who?

M. WILLIAMS: I think I know who allowed it to happen.

COATES: Who was that?

M. WILLIAMS: The focus has been on the ex-deputy, Steve Calkins.

COATES: The last known person you think see him alive.

M. WILLIAMS: That's him.

COATES (voice-over): On January 12th, 2004, Calkins spotted Terrance Williams in his white Cadillac and pulled him over. There's no way to know what time this happened because according to authorities Calkins didn't report it to dispatch.

LT. MARK WILLIAMSON, COLLIER COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE: Deputy Calkins claimed that he saw a white Cadillac, which he believes was having car trouble.

COATES: That can't be true, says Marcia Williams.

M. WILLIAMS: That Cadillac was in perfect condition. He had just gotten it out of the shop. We drove it 25 miles after I had to pay to get it out of the tow. Drove it home. No issues. No issues.

COATES: With Calkins on his tail and the cruiser lights flashing, Terrance pulled into a parking space at the Naples Memorial Garden Cemetery.

WILLAMSON: Deputy Calkins believes that it happened somewhere around 12:15, noonish. But witnesses at the cemetery placed Calkins between 9:00 and 10:00 in the morning. That's a huge discrepancy.

COATES: Another discrepancy in Calkins' timeline? Terrance was scheduled to start his shift at Pizza Hut at 10:00 a.m.

WILLAMSON: In Calkins' statement, Terrance asked Deputy Calkins for a ride. He was late to work and asked Deputy Calkins for a ride.

COATES: There was some suggestion that Terrance would have accepted a ride.

M. WILLIAMS: No. Don't believe that.

COATES: Why not?

M. WILLIAMS: When you're a minority, you're pulled over by a sheriff's deputy for Collier County, and you know how cops react to certain things, should I say it that way? Did he trust cops? No. He -- no. He would have said to him, let me use your phone so that I can call my mama first.

WILLAMSON: The cemetery behind me is the last place that any independent witness recalls seeing Terrance Williams. COATES (voice-over): A witness at the cemetery who did not want to be

identified told investigators it looked like Terrance was being arrested.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The police officer was asking for ID. He patted his legs, he said, I have nothing. I have no ID. He placed him against the vehicle with his hands on the vehicle. He patted him down and then eventually put them into the back of the car and then left.

WILLAMSON: Until this day almost two decades later, we still don't know exactly where Deputy Calkins took Terrance Williams. According to Deputy Calkin's statements he simply gave a citizen awry that didn't have a driver's license to have taken to the jail. He gave him a break, wrote him a citation. He dropped Terrance Williams off at a local Circle K gas station. But that information was never substantiated.

LAKE: I've always had trouble making sense of the story he told because why would Terrance have asked to go here? He has never really properly explained that. He claims it's because he thought Terrance worked here. Well, Terrance of course did not work here. He worked at the Pizza Hut a couple of miles that way.

M. WILLIAMS: I woke up on a Monday morning and I was a nervous wreck. I had no idea where to even look for him. He didn't even have a cell phone. And after that, it just got worse and worse. We couldn't find him.

WILLAMSON: She started contacting the sheriff's office. She was looking for her son. He hadn't been seen. He didn't show up to work. He didn't pick up his last paycheck. A missing person report was made.

COATES: And Marcia tracked down Terrance's car, which records show had been towed from the cemetery by Calkins. Four days after Terrance went missing, a Collier County police dispatcher called Calkins to inquire about the incident.

KATHY MAURCHIE, COLLIER COUNTY POLICE DISPATCHER: I hate to bother you at home on your day off, but this woman has been bothering us all day.

You towed a car from Vanderbilt and 111th on Monday, a Cadillac, you remember it?


MAURCHIE: People at the cemetery are telling her you put somebody in the back of your vehicle and arrested him. And I don't show you arresting anybody.

CALKINS: I never arrested nobody.

MAURCHIE: Anyway, I was trying to figure out what color of the Cadillac was. I forgot. I got it right in front of me. You picked it up at 12:27 on Vanderbilt and 111th. And Coastland came and got it. A large white Cadillac.

CALKINS: A white Cadillac. I got to look it up on my notes. I don't remember. God Almighty.


MAURCHIE: But you're sure you didn't -- you're sure there was no one with it?


COATES: As Terrance's family pushed for answers, Calkins wrote an incident report.

WILLAMSON: There are several details that appears that what Calkins' account of the events are not accurate. He didn't check out with Mr. Williams on the radio as you're supposed to. He didn't notify dispatch that he was transporting someone from one location to another. The timeline of when he said it occurred versus the independent witnesses, all of that appeared that he was not being truthful about the encounter between Terrance Williams and himself.

COATES: Those inconsistencies surfaced during a months-long internal investigation. Corporal Calkins took three polygraph tests during the probe. One of those tests indicated deception.

Marcia, there was a time when Calkins was interviewed. I want to play this for you in this meeting.


CALKINS: I may have broken a couple rules, but I have broken no laws. I feel that this agency needs to stand a little bit taller here. I'm not going to be dragged through the mud no more because a couple of scumbags are missing. Is this being recorded?


COATES: Scumbags.

M. WILLIAMS: My son wasn't a scumbag. Maybe Mr. Calkins is his own set of scumbag. Maybe he was a dirty cop.

COATES (voice-over): Could this be a clue to what happened? Coming up, a breakthrough in the case.


COATES: The day of Terrance's disappearance, there was a colleague of Calkins' who normally was on patrol, but instead was a part of dispatch.

(Voice-over): Sometime after noon, the day Corporal Steven Calkins pulled over Terrance Williams, he returned to the cemetery to have Terrance's Cadillac towed. At 12:49 he placed a recorded call to dispatch.

I'd like to play that for you.


CALKINS: Could you run a VIN for me, please?

CPL. DAVE JOLICOEUR, COLLIER COUNTY: For 30 bucks. You got to give me 30 bucks first.

CALKINS: How about 20?


COATES: He's referencing a VIN number. He seems to be joking with this man.

(Voice-over): Then Calkins changed his accent and began using what an internal review later called unprofessional faux African-American jargon.

CALKINS: I got a homie Cadillac on the side of the road here. Signal 11, signal 52, and nobody around. All right.

COATES: Signal 11 meant the car was abandoned and signal 52 meant it was disabled. Neither description was true.


CALKINS: The tag comes back to nothing. It's a big old white piece of junk Cadillac. I'm towing it.

M. WILLIAMS: That's the way he looked at my son. He knew nothing about Terrance. He was judging my son.

DOUG MOLLOY, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Those aren't normal and necessary comments and it suggested something underlying for possible motivation. But in and of themselves, they could be anything from inappropriate to talking about some kind of in a rage. Don't know.

The most frustrating thing about this entire investigation is that we always come back to only the same sentence in the same sentence alone. He was the last person to see them alive.

M. WILLIAMS: I came from a town where the cop would call the child's mother. He didn't try to hit Terrance. If he tried to hit Terrance, Terrance would have been in jail with the violations that he had. Terrance wouldn't be missing.

COATES: What was he like?

M. WILLIAMS: From the beginning, he kept me busy all the time. He decided that he wanted to play sports, baseball, I would get off work from one side of town, run to the other side of town, pick him up.

COATES: You guys are very close.

M. WILLIAMS: Very close.

COATES: What do you think of the man that he would have become? M. WILLIAMS: A father to his children, which he loved. All of them.

Rooted in church. His dream was to open up a barbershop and that was about to happen. And he disappeared.

COATES (voice-over): Terrance was 27 years old and a father of four when he disappeared.

M. WILLIAMS: I did promise them that I'm doing everything to find their daddy.

COATES: Two months after Terrance went missing, Marcia wrote a letter to the local paper, pleading for help.

In the course of you desperately searching for your son, the Mexican consulate became aware of your search.

JULIA PERKINS, EDUCATION COORDINATOR, COALITION OF IMMOKALEE WORKERS: The attorney who was assisting the family with the case called and said, I was just Googling Deputy Calkins' name and this letter to the editor comes up. It's a woman who's asking for help looking for her son, Terrance Williams. It was so strangely similar to what had happened to Felipe.

M. WILLIAMS: Oh, my god. They knew that Felipe encountered Calkins a few months before.

COATES: Marcia's letter helped connect the two cases.

PERKINS: I just remember the chill and having to read it a couple of times when she sent it over, one of them, a young Hispanic immigrant, the other African-American, young and both mysteriously disappeared.

COATES: Are all these pictures of Terrance? I see Felipe Santos.

M. WILLIAMS: Yes. They go together.

COATES (voice-over): Just like Terrance Williams, Felipe had been driving without a license when he encountered Corporal Calkins. And just like Terrance, Felipe disappeared right after that.

MOLLOY: Everybody believed that the circumstances were so improbable that it was a coincidence. We don't know what we have. We think this might be a hate crime.

COATES: Felipe Santos, a Mexican immigrant, was just 23 years old and on his way to a construction job when he vanished in October 2003, three months before Terrance disappeared.

PERKINS: I remember Felipe being kind of quiet, but always very just sweet, always with his wife. He had just had a baby and he was just over the moon.

COATES: Julia Perkins knew Felipe through an organization that helps migrant workers, located where he lived in Immokalee, Florida, about 40 miles northeast of Naples. WILLAMSON: The day that Felipe Santos went missing, he was involved in

a minor traffic crash. Both the occupants of Felipe Santos' vehicle and the other vehicle pulled into a gas station parking lot. At some point Deputy Calkins put Felipe Santos in the back of his patrol car and drove them away from the crash scene.


It was believed by the other occupants that Mr. Santos was being arrested for not having a driver's license and was being taken to jail.

PERKINS: They didn't have any record of him having been brought into the jail. We made some inquiries, got the family eventually in touch with the Mexican consulate, was just kind of all these attempts and Felipe was nowhere.

MOLLOY: Allegedly, he had been taken to some Circle K for him to call because he was not in the country legally.

COATES: But Felipe's brothers said they never heard from him.

JORGE SANTOS, BROTHER OF FELIPE SANTOS (through translator): The first thing my brother would have done if he had left him at the Circle K is call our boss to come and pick him up.

SALVADOR SANTOS, BROTHER OF FELIPE SANTOS (through translator): That was the last time I ever saw my brother. Up until now I haven't heard a word.

COATES: Another mystery, a time gap of as much as one hour and 48 minutes after Calkins left the crash scene with Felipe in his car. About two weeks after Felipe disappeared, his brother filed a citizen's complaint against Calkins. Felipe was undocumented so relatives wondered if he'd been picked up by immigration authorities. One official suggested the men were hiding out.

PERKINS: It didn't make any sense at all because he was happy here. He was enjoying his young, new family. He was working at a steady job. He didn't have any reason to leave.

WILLAMSON: There was no indication at that time that Felipe Santos, there was any foul play involved. There was just one case, a missing person. It's not illegal for someone to go missing.

COATES: Then after a one month long internal investigation, the sheriff's office exonerated Calkins, concluding there was no basis for linking Corporal Calkins with the alleged disappearance of Santos.

MOLLOY: That first disappearance was something that didn't raise the attention that it needed to spark. They didn't know what they had.

PERKINS: Had they found something else, had they dug a little deeper perhaps more than just rubber stamped it, then maybe it have answers for both families.

COATES: Just over a month later, Calkins was back on patrol when he saw Terrance Williams driving an old white Cadillac.

When we return.

LAKE: This is my last-ditch effort to try to get some answers from Mr. Calkins. I must admit I am a little nervous.



LAKE: I've interviewed more than 60 people, obtained tens of thousands of papers of police and court records, gone hunting in the woods.

COATES: Tom Lake is on the move in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

LAKE: One thing I have yet to do is knock on Steven Calkins' door.

COATES: Steven Calkins moved here from Naples eight years ago, leaving many unanswered questions about the two missing men.

LAKE: I sent a list of questions, it was about 11 pages long. Didn't get any answers to those. This is sort of my last-ditch effort to try to get some answers from Mr. Calkins.

MOLLOY: He was then and is now a cipher. We don't know who he was.

COATES: With two men now missing, investigators focused on Corporal Calkins.

MOLLOY: We searched his vehicle, we did DNA tests, we then canvases entire area that he rode in patrol. We dragged lakes for bodies. The other thing we did was interview every person that had contact with him to find out if there were remarks or things that would provide evidence a racist tone. There were literally hundreds of interviews. Most of them turning into I didn't know the guy.

LAKE: Calkins is still a mystery to me all this time later. Born in 1954, grows up on this farm outside Ottawa, Illinois. Pretty forgettable in high school he went back to the family farm and worked there more than a decade. He tried working as a security guard, didn't make a lot of money, didn't like it. He decided to move to Florida and start a new life. You see him in his police academy picture.

He just looks not only older, but kind of bigger and stronger than the other recruits. How would a corn farmer from rural Illinois do as a police officer? Well, they throw him into this other farming community, a place called Immokalee. A fair amount of action for a law enforcement officer. He made some arrests right away. He didn't back down from confrontations and look, the guy had some good moments as a deputy.

All these citizens who wrote into the sheriff to say thanks, Deputy Calkins is a credit to your organization, Sheriff. He saw me stranded and went out of his way. He went above and beyond.

[20:30:04] COATES: And even a moment in 1996, when after a car crash, Calkins was called a hero.

LAKE: This man was dying. Calkins was there. We gathered these bystanders and they all helped him to lift the vehicle off this man and saved his life.

COATES: But as Tom dug deeper into Calkins' background he found some disturbing revelations.

LAKE: One colleague, Charles Peterson, declined to go on camera with us, and Peterson said he liked Steve, but he talked about how one thing that made Steve furious was people who I'm driving without a license or insurance. And Peterson said specifically black or Mexican drivers alarm bells are going off in my head because this was true both of Terrance Williams and Felipe Santos. They're minority drivers without a license or insurance.

COATES: Peterson later said Calkins got angry about anyone driving without a license or insurance regardless of their race.

LAKE: Should I call him first?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hello, please leave a message after the tone.

LAKE: Mr. Hawkins, it's Thomas Lake from CNN. Just got a few questions.

Something that just stood out to me the most in digging into Steve's background is that about three years before the end of his career, he just stopped arresting people.

MOLLOY: His arrest record was next to nothing. So here was a guy that was purposely flying under the radar.

LAKE: This is something that I want to ask him about today, is, Steve, why did you stop arresting people? He wrote almost 400 incident reports after his final arrest and his supervisor either didn't notice or thought it was OK.

WILLAMSON: I don't know what to say about a supervisor that supervised him 20 some years ago, I can't speak for that person. The fact that he didn't make an arrest past 2001 is concerning.

LAKE: I asked Charles Peterson, what do you think is going on with Steve? Why did he stop arresting people? He knows he just lost trust in the justice system. And he thought it was a revolving door, that he would arrest people and then they'd be back out on the street before he finished the paperwork. So this is the question that has kept me awake a lot of nights.

Was there a deputy out on the streets patrolling in Collier County, Florida. In 2,003 and four, who decided to take matters into his own hands. Did that have some connection to the disappearances?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As we get closer to Calkins, do you feel nervous? LAKE: A little nervous. Id' love it if you'd want to tell his side of

the story to really clear this thing up.

I've done so many of these door knocks that it's like this routine I have. Get out quickly so people don't wonder who's in this strange vehicle. Walk to the door, show my hands and then take like a couple of steps back so as to seem less threatening.

Pretty quickly, a woman came to the door. Based on pictures I've seen before, I'm pretty sure it was Steve's wife. And she was not happy to see me. She said, I don't know why you think he would give you an interview. I came all this way and I never saw Mr. Calkins. It was just one more thing to try, one more thing to cross off the list but I'm not giving up. I'm trying to find the truth. Certainly not giving up trying to find what happened to Terrance or to Felipe.

And so it was over here where --

COATES: Ahead, will we finally get answers to this mystery?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Steven Calkins, did you kill Felipe Santos?




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Paint the picture for me, Friday night in Immokalee, you're out on foot patrol. What are you seeing and hearing?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hundreds of migrants, hundreds. We had bar fights. So we had a lot of stealing, a lot of stabbings in this bar right here.

COATES: With no answers from Steven Calkins, Tom Lake's investigation seemed to grow cold until he got a stunning tip.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He put me on evening shift and Steve Calkins was on my shift. I never forgot that night.

COATES: A former police officer broke the so-called blue wall of silence to speak out about Corporal Steven Calkins.

TONY MARTINDALE, FORMER LIEUTENANT, COLLIER COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE: I got in law enforcement back in 1983 in Collier County. We met. And --

LAKE: What was your first impression of Steve?

MARTINDALE: Happy go lucky, joking kind of guy. He was -- he was normal. I didn't think anything of it until I started working with him.

COATES: Tony Martindale, now retired and living in California, met up with Tom where he worked with Calkins in the early '90s.


Calkins was then a new deputy working in Immokalee, Florida, a migrant community northeast of Naples.

LAKE: What kind of a place is this for someone to learn to be a cop?

MARTINDALE: Not good. It was atmosphere of a police state, like the Wild West. We were told by then Lieutenant Kip, Roy Kip, who was in charge of substations at that point that he was being pressured to address the street robberies out here, and wants us to do foot patrols.

COATES: Martindale was a supervisor and one night he went on patrol with Calkins near (INAUDIBLE) Bar, where many of the migrant workers spent time.

MARTINDALE: So we walked up to this guy and see Calkins, he's carrying one of those metal clipboards. He walks up to him. What business do you have standing in the bar? So I asked for his name. Then all of a sudden without warning, he flips that flipboard and just backhanded it across the face with it, bam, I mean hard. And he goes, you look at me when I'm talking to you, boy. You look at me.

And I said, Steve, take it easy, we're going to get some trouble. You can't do that. He says, I hate these (EXPLETIVE DELETED) feeders who don't speak English. That was his exact words. I hate them. That scared me. I'm going, this isn't his first time doing this as it couldn't have been, because the hatred, he's given to human rage.

COATES: Martindale says his horrifying night with Calkins didn't end there.

MARTINDALE: We came from that direction over there from substation, walked down through here, walk through the crowds. I said let's go over here in South Second Street and talk to the area where they're dealing crack.

COATES: Then according to Martindale, Calkins approached a home where he believed they were dealing drugs.

MARTINDALE: He knocked on the door. Nobody answered. He reached down and grabbed the door and turned them up. He heard the lock give way. It snapped. Then he pushed the door open. I said, Steve, what are you doing? He goes, it was open. I said no, it wasn't. Then a black guy came out, black male, screaming, what are you doing in my house? What are you doing here? Get out.

LAKE: This was an illegal entry without a warrant.

MARTINDALE: Yes, it was.

LAKE: Where he's just busting into somebody's house.

MARTINDALE: Absolutely. This happened within a half an hour of each other.

LAKE: A cop out committing crimes and you're seeing it.

MARTINDALE: Absolutely.

COATES: The next day, Martindale says he reported Calkins' misconduct to his supervisor.

MARTINDALE: I said he doesn't belong here. We've got to give him out of this district soon as possible. He hated the migrants and the black street.

COATES: Not long after that night, Deputy Calkins was transferred to another patrol zone in North Naples.

MARTINDALE: He probably should have been taken off patrol. He snapped. I think he maybe something triggered, he get triggered.

COATES: If true, could Calkins had snapped the same way when he came across Felipe Santos and Terrance Williams 10 years later?

MARTINDALE: I'm sure it made him very angry. He didn't like a revolving door, no license. Does it surprise me? No. Did not surprise me.

LAKE: Did Steve Calkins deserve to wear a badge in your opinion?

MARTINDALE: Absolutely not.

COATES: A sheriff's investigator compiled a list of nearly two dozen untruthful or inconsistent statements from Corporal Calkins about the day he met Terrance Williams. But Calkins has never been criminally charged. Years have passed and the case has remained open.

At some point in time, Tyler Perry, the artist and producer, learned about Terrance's disappearance. Did that make a difference?

M. WILLIAMS: Thank God for sending me an angel.

COATES (voice-over): In 2018, the filmmaker enlisted famed civil rights attorney Ben Crump to file a wrongful death lawsuit against Corporal Calkins on behalf of Marcia Williams.

BEN CRUMP, ATTORNEY: He will be subpoenaed, and he will be made to come for the first time to answer all of the questions that Marcia Williams has for him.

COATES: Two years later, Steven Calkins gave a deposition as part of the civil suit.

CRUMP: Mr. Steven Calkins, did you kill Terrance Williams?


CRUMP: Mr. Steven Calkins, did you kill Felipe Santos?


COATES: Calkins, by then age 66, was stoic while questioned.

DEVON JACOB, ATTORNEY, CRUMP LEGAL TEAM: Why would a black man in Naples, Florida, in a Cadillac who doesn't have a license, doesn't have a valid tag on his car, invite you to interact with him by motioning for you to come talk to him and do a traffic stop.

CALKINS: I don't know.

COATES: You've watched his deposition. What was that like?

M. WILLIAMS: So untruthful. So many I can't remember. So many of those.

JACOB: Terrance Williams, he asked for a ride. You initially tell him no. Why is it that you eventually say yes?


CALKINS: I don't know.

JACOB: You don't know? And then you start calling him -- what did you call him, a homie, to do the dispatcher?

CALKINS: I don't remember.

JACOB: What do you mean you don't remember?

COATES: Marcia Williams had been waiting almost 17 years for Calkins to face questions like these about the day her son disappeared. But there was no confession, no smoking gun.

Before his deposition, an arbitrator had ruled in favor of Calkins. The arbitrator wrote being an uncredible witness or even a liar does not make Calkins a murderer or guilty of manslaughter. The suit could have gone to a jury from there. But after the Crump legal team missed a filing deadline, a judge dismissed the case.

M. WILLIAMS: I'm so disappointed. As a mother I -- was the judge considerate enough?

COATES: It's made you more resolved to believe that he knows something more?

M. WILLIAMS: Calkins' name is all across the board.

COATES: You think he has answers you need?

M. WILLIAMS: He does. I don't think it. He does.

COATES (voice-over): CNN made many efforts to reach Steven Calkins. His attorney notifying us that Calkins declined to be interviewed, adding, Steven and his family deserve to be left alone.

Up next, will a new search bring answers?

LAKE: It just seems like we're so close. One little thing. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


MARTINDALE: This goes to Golden Gate Estates area, then on into Naples, North Naples area. What happened to their bodies is a good question, but you saw the terrain coming out here. Everybody is boulevard, rabbit run, flat road, all roads into nowhere, into the abyss of the swamp. Unless somebody walks across the body, they're not going to find it.

COATES: Former sheriff's lieutenant Tony Martindale, who once worked with Steven Calkins, still has so many questions about the disappearances. The same ones that plagued investigators 20 years ago when they probed Corporal Calkins about inconsistencies in his statements.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every time we have to go back and get clarifications it makes it look like you're trying to hide something. And if you're trying to hide this, what else are you trying to hide? Do we got a body laying around in the sticks somewhere that we don't know about?

COATES: That's Calkins laughing in the background.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, are we going to be clearing, are we going to be widening, you know, Immokalee Road down through Wiggins Pass some day and all of a sudden find out that we got a dead body out there, like they keep digging all these dead bodies up out there?

COATES: The area the officer is describing was Calkins' patrol zone. And around the time of the disappearances, three sets of human remains were found within 10 months in or near that zone. Two are still unidentified.

WILLAMSON: They were not the remains of either Felipe Santos or Terrance Williams.

COATES: One was Sergio Guerrero, an undocumented Mexican immigrant with no known direct connection to Calkins. All three cases remain unsolved. It was yet another dead end in this tragic story. The families of Terrance Williams and Felipe Santos have been in limbo for 20 years. The sheriff's office says the cases are still open.

WILLAMSON: The Collier County Sheriff's Office has taken both these cases very seriously over almost the last two decades. We followed up on dozens and dozens of leads. We've had people recently call in, given locations where they believe bodies could have been dumped in our county, those areas have been checked. Some of them multiple times, each time with negative results.

COATES: In November, the Collier County Sheriff's Office followed up on a lead from our CNN team.

LAKE: This is what they call the dunes, all in here. And this right here is where another deputy said Steve Calkins like to drive around in here, and you can see there's this network of dirt roads. And so we zoom in more. These are the two lakes. In the southern of the two has the island right here.

COATES: You've been to this area a number of times, conducting your own search. You had reached out to the authorities down there to get them to also expand and continue their search in particular areas. Did they?

LAKE: I tried checking with the sheriff's office. Was this island ever searched? Were any boats used? The answers seem to be the same. No, it wasn't. Are you going to search this island and if not, why not?

COATES (voice-over): Given the gaps in Corporal Calkins' timeline, would he have had time to drive to this lake on either of the days Felipe or Terrance disappeared?

LAKE: If you're thinking about a two-hour window and you know that this deputy has lied repeatedly about where he was and what he did on these days, could he have gone into those woods?

COATES: This is 2024.

LAKE: Thats right. But Google Earth has this feature where you can see what a place used to look like. So if we zoom in to these imperial lakes, could a car really get back there? Well, right now, probably not. But let's go back to more of what it used to look like then. And especially right here.

COATES: There's a road right to it.

(Voice-over): CNN sent two e-mails to the Collier County Sheriff's Office inquiring about new searches of this area.


In November, they took action.

LAKE: First with deputies, they used boats and ATVs over there, and then they went back a few weeks later with a search dog who might be able to find human remains. We wanted to be there, get a real sense of what they did and how they did it. But they didn't want that.

COATES: What did they find?

LAKE: They say they found nothing. There's not a lot of detail in the report they gave me. A few minutes of edited video. So if that's true and they thoroughly searched, and Terrance and Felipe, their bones aren't there, maybe they're somewhere else.

COATES: Do you think that Terrance is still alive?


COATES: You said that quickly. You really don't?

M. WILLIAMS: Terrance would go through hell and high water to find me. Telephone number is still the same. Yes. No, he wouldn't stay away from me this long. No. Nor his children.

COATES (voice-over): It's Friday night in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Terrance's his hometown until he moved to Naples in 2003. Terrance's son Tarik is an assistant high school football coach at his alma mater. He was just 8 years old when his father disappeared.

TARIK WILLIAMS, SON OF TERRANCE WILLIAMS: I think if he was here, I would have more knowledge.

COATES: Do you remember moments when you needed your father the most?

T. WILLIAMS: Yes. Dealing with girls, sports, football.

COATES (voice-over): It's the first time Tarik has spoken publicly about the disappearance.

Do you remember what it was like the last time you saw him?

T. WILLIAMS: Same routine. I'll be here when you wake up in the morning. I woke up to get ready for school. He weren't there. The next day, weren't there. The next day, not there. Turned into a month, year, just repeat. Him not being there. It's frustrating and it's making me angry. Where could he have gone? What could have happened? Sometimes I just want to talk to the deputy.

COATES (voice-over): So does April Williams, Terrance's cousin. She wears a necklace with his photo.

They always tell you what a person is like, how people smile when they think of them. Now I'm seeing your smile.


COATES: Did you have any idea what had happened?

A. WILLIAMS: Everybody was confused about why he's not a locked up here or where is he at? It was just, I'll just do so, it was crazy, man.

COATES: And still emotional to this day?

A. WILLIAMS: Yes. We need just answers.

M. WILLIAMS: And sometimes I still do smell him or sometimes I may hear something and I have to take a double-take. One dream is a huge party, the whole family is there.

COATES (voice-over): Last summer, the family gathered for Marcia's birthday. The celebration was bittersweet.

What would justice look like to you here?

M. WILLIAMS: The person that brought harm is put away and me finding my son. Me finding my son number one. COATES (voice-over): Investigators say the mystery always leads back

to the same place. The deputy sheriff who put Terrance Williams and Felipe Santos in the back of his patrol car and drove them away.

It seems deeply personal to you.

LAKE: It has become that over five years after -- yes. Wondering, is there something I haven't thought of? No one else has figured it out. The local investigators, federal investigators, wrongful death lawsuit. No one has been able to figure this out. And this one just won't let me go.

MOLLOY: I believe that they were murdered. I believe that their bodies were disposed of. It is the most puzzling, frustrating, challenging case that I've ever had in 30 years as a prosecutor, still the one I think about what we could have done to give the family some peace and prosecute the person that did this.


COOPER: The Collier County Sheriff's Office says the investigation is still open and ask anyone with information to contact them at the numbers on screen. Filmmaker Tyler Perry is offering a reward of $200,000 for information leading to an arrest in these cases.

Thanks for watching THE WHOLE STORY. I'll see next Sunday.