We think we know those closest to us. When we love someone and share years of our lives with them, we believe that we know their heart of hearts and believe that there are no big secrets they could be hiding from us.
Tricia and Steven knew each other from early childhood. They thought they knew each other inside and out. But one of them proved to be a completely different person than they appeared to be…
Friends For Life
Tricia and Steven had known each other since elementary school. Over the years, they became closer and closer to the point where they were inseparable. After high school, the two decided to join the Air Force together.
It was during their time in the Air Force that their friendship blossomed into a romance. Tricia and Steven quickly went from lifelong friends to man and wife. They and their families couldn’t be happier…
But after 11 years of marriage the romantic spark that brought them together had faded and Tricia and Steven decided to go their separate ways. Unlike most divorces, their separation was smooth and painless. “They did it in such a peaceful way,” said Tricia’s father, “that I was really proud.”
She Gets the Kid
Tricia was granted sole custody of their then 2-year-old daughter and Steven was required to pay child support. But because the two separated on such good terms, Tricia didn’t even try to get any alimony.
Moving Back Home
Tricia left the Air Force and moved with daughter Faith away from the North Carolina air base where she and Steven had lived. She moved in with her brother Joshua in Hobe Sound, Florida, to be close to her family and have a strong support network as she studied to become a registered nurse.
Then, one morning in April, Tricia didn’t show up for her shift at the hospice where she was working. When she couldn’t be reached by phone, her family began to worry. “We went by her house to try and figure out what was going on,” said her brother Jonathan. “We see her car there, her purse in the seat, and then it was like a ‘Twilight Zone'”…
Not a Trace
Tricia’s family notified the local sheriff’s department right away and they immediately opened a missing person case. There was no activity on her phone, credit cards, or bank account and no clues as to what had happened. The last known sighting of Tricia would come when police discovered security footage of her shopping at a local grocery store the previous night.
The items Tricia had purchased were found inside the home where the lights had been left on. All of the evidence so far pointed toward some sort of foul play. They immediately stepped up their investigation and the first place it took them was to Steven Williams…
Visiting the Ex
Through Tricia’s cell phone records, police learned that she had gone to see her ex husband Steven the night before. He’d travelled to Hobe Sound from North Carolina to spend a week with their daughter Faith and had rented a nearby room with AirBnb.
A Family Day
Steven confirmed that he’d seen Tricia the previous day. Tricia had spent the day with Steven and Faith until late in the evening. When Tricia was on her way home, Steven sent her a text saying that Faith was feeling sick. He said Tricia returned to the AirBnb, helped him get Faith back to sleep then went back home…
Back to Base
Tricia was supposed to have picked up Faith the next morning and when she never showed up, Steven left her with the babysitter and drove back to his base. Because he was the last person to have officially seen Tricia police of course investigated the possibility that Steven had had a hand in her disappearance.
But the circumstantial evidence all suggested that Steven was innocent. He was a respected career military man without a single blemish on his record. By everyone’s account, his divorce with Tricia less than three months ago had been remarkably amicable. The results of the lie detector test Steven agreed to take also suggested he was innocent of any wrongdoing…
Without any other evidence to suggest Steven was responsible, police began to look elsewhere. One of the places they looked for possible clues was Tricia’s online journal. Through it, they found out that Tricia had recently begun an intense relationship with a new man and that things may not have been going perfectly between them.
In one post, she wrote “This painful love affair. It’s a Pisces and Scorpio thing. Are you happy? I’ve never had a deep blue love affair with a true Scorpio that didn’t feel this way.” According to one sheriff, “she was obsessed with him. She loved everything about this man.” “We followed this guy everywhere … [hoping] Tricia Todd would show up wherever he was,” he added…
He Doesn’t Fit
But investigating Tricia’s new boyfriend proved a dead end. “We talked to him several times and he was completely cooperative with us,” police said. “He assisted us in every way he could.” The evidence just didn’t fit him and he was quickly ruled out as a subject.
However, as investigators dug deeper into the online journal that tipped them off to the boyfriend, they found something they couldn’t have anticipated. Some of her private posts revealed that Steven had a darker side that ever Tricia’s family didn’t even know about…
Hints of Monstrosity
In her posts, Tricia described how Steven had brutally injured and killed some of the pets they’d had over the years, including kicking their dog to death and breaking the neck of a kitten in 2009. She had almost divorced him then but changed her mind when Steven “turned himself over to Christ.”
Man in the Night
Having discovered Steven’s psychopathic tendencies, they refocused their attention on him. The major breakthrough in the case came when police found footage of what looked like Stephen running through the shadows near Tricia’s home, carrying a very large military rucksack…
When confronted with the evidence Steven admitted his guilt right away. He said that he’d accidentally killed his ex-wife during an argument and described how he’d used Neurontin, a drug that calmed his nerves, in order to fool the polygraph test. Steven was charged with murder and took a 35 year plea deal in exchange for telling police where they could find Tricia’s body.
Real Story Emerges
After the deal was in place, Steven took police to the body, which they found dismembered and buried in a shallow grave, inside an acid-filled box. It became clear that Tricia’s murder had been a deliberate act and not an accident as Steven said. He told police he’d killed Tricia because she wasn’t showing him enough “respect.” But because the plea deal was in place, the death penalty was off the table. At sentencing, the judge said it was “clearly less than full justice.” But without that plea deal, the family might have never found out what really happened to Tricia Todd.