Sunday, February 18, 2018
Public safety

Affidavit gives different stories, new details about Tampa girl's disappearance

TAMPA — The story of how 9-year-old Felecia Williams disappeared on May 16 grew murkier after a search warrant affidavit filed Tuesday in Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Court provided new details and conflicting stories.

The affidavit casts more doubt on the original story that Felecia disappeared while Eboni Wiley, the woman last known to have been with the Tampa third-grader, was in the shower.

Instead, it provides two new timelines. One is a revised tale from Wiley that says the girl went missing when Wiley left to buy drugs. The other account comes from Granville Ashanti Ritchie, the main suspect in Felecia's death. He says the girl vanished from a Temple Terrace apartment while he was having sex with Wiley in a separate room.

While the affidavit answers some questions, it fails to address crucial details such as how Felecia's body ended up in Tampa Bay on May 17.

This is the first time information has been released that places Ritchie at the apartment when Felecia disappeared. It's also the first insight into the false information Wiley initially gave to Temple Terrace police that prevented them from issuing an Amber Alert for a missing child.

Nearly two weeks after Felecia went missing, no one has been charged in connection with her death. Investigators must now piece together three stories to learn what happened in the crucial hours between when Felecia left home and her body was found.

• • •

All three versions of the events of May 16 say that Wiley, 23, picked up Felecia from her home on E Ida Street, bought fast food and went to the Doral Oaks Apartments in Temple Terrace. But what led to the Felecia's disappearance and eventual death remains unknown.

Wiley originally told police on May 16 that she was in the shower when Felecia went missing. But during another interview the next day, Wiley told investigators she lied, according to the affidavit.

In her revised story, Wiley said she was with a man named "Trevor," who authorities later learned was Granville Ritchie.

Wiley said she left Felecia with Ritchie for about 35 minutes and tried to buy marijuana. As Wiley was returning, she got a panicked call from Ritchie, who said he had given Felecia "a couple of dollars to go … buy some candy" at CVS.

Wiley drove to the drugstore and got another call from Ritchie asking her to return to his apartment, the affidavit states. Felecia was now missing, he said.

Back at Doral Oaks, Wiley and Ritchie drank some Hennessy cognac, she prayed in a bedroom closet, and then they had sex.

Ritchie took Wiley home a few hours later, and she then told Felecia's family that the girl was missing, according to the affidavit.

Wiley also said she had a three-way phone conversation with Ritchie and his mother, Gloria Gibson, to develop the original story about Felecia disappearing when Wiley was in the shower, according to the affidavit.

• • •

When police interviewed Ritchie, they heard a third version of events — one that didn't mention a shower, drugs, CVS or Ritchie being alone with Felecia.

Instead, he said the girl disappeared while he and Wiley were having sex for 45 minutes in a back bedroom.

He told police Wiley briefly looked for Felecia before he drove her home and went to visit a friend in Thonotosassa.

The friend wasn't home, so he returned to Doral Oaks and hung out for a couple of hours before Wiley showed up with her brother to get the apartment number for the police.

Ritchie left the apartment around midnight and drove to St. Petersburg to stay the night with his girlfriend, Kellisa Kelley. He drove around several times throughout the night, sometimes accompanied and sometimes alone, according to the affidavit.

Ritchie and Kelley left her apartment together the next morning.

• • •

That afternoon, on May 17, fishermen found Felecia's naked body floating near rocks and mangroves north of Courtney Campbell Causeway in Clearwater. Police have not released her autopsy results but have called it a homicide.

Ritchie has not been charged in connection with Felecia's death, although Temple Terrace police have identified him as a suspect. He is being held in the Pinellas County Jail on an unrelated drug charge.

Details of the statements by Wiley and Ritchie were part of a request by police to search a St. Petersburg townhouse where Ritchie's girlfriend lives.

Times staff writer Laura C. Morel contributed to this report.

     
 
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