Paige Williams and her mother, Leslie Williams, were found dead inside the family’s Gainesville, Florida home, and authorities are accusing Paul Graves Williams – the father of Paige and husband of Leslie – of stabbing them both.
Gainesville Police called it an “active double homicide investigation” and Paul Williams is now in custody. Authorities were initially seeking Paul Williams, but he was arrested when he returned to the scene. The victims were named by the Alachua Sheriff’s Department as Leslie Williams, 57, and Paige Williams, 15. Leslie was also called Lisa.
“After searching the home, detectives were able to identify the victims as Leslie ‘Lisa’ Williams, 57, and Paige Williams, 15; wife and daughter of Paul Williams,” the Sheriff’s Department said in a statement. The time of death is not yet clear, but the slayings had not happened right before authorities responded to the scene, they said in a news conference. The motive is not yet clear.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Bodies Were Found Inside a Home in a Gainesville Subdivision
Authorities discovered the dead teen and her mother after receiving a call to check their welfare.
The murders were discovered around 8:15 a.m. on Friday, November 16, 2018. According to a statement from the Alachua County Sheriff’s Department, deputies from the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office “responded to a residence in Garrison Way subdivision off SW 75th Street in Gainesville to conduct a well-being check on the residents. When deputies arrived, they found two deceased individuals inside the home; the manner of their death was traumatic and still to be determined, but detectives are treating this as a homicide investigation.”
However, authorities later updated this statement and said the two died of stab wounds.
2. Paul Graves Williams Returned to the Crime Scene, Authorities Say
Authorities immediately focused on Paul Graves Williams, 61, as a person of interest. Initially, authorities put out the following alert:
“Mr. Paul Graves Williams, 61, of Gainesville, is considered a person of interest to the detectives involved in the investigation, and may be driving a gray 2016 Subaru Forester with a Florida tag of IWSR68. Anyone with knowledge of his whereabouts or recent activity is encouraged to call our Combined Communications Center at (352) 955-1818 or their local public safety agency and allow law enforcement to make contact with him first,” wrote Alachua Sheriff’s officials on Facebook.
“The investigation is still active and ongoing, as detectives and forensics personnel continue their work to locate additional evidence, witnesses, and/or persons involved. We are asking anyone with information related to this investigation to again contact the Combined Communications Center at (352) 955-1818.”
They later said that Williams was in custody. “Mr. Williams was not at home, there we no apparent signs of forced entry, and he was identified immediately as a person of interest by the detectives involved in the investigation. With his photo and vehicle broadcast to the public and law enforcement agencies throughout the state, Williams ultimately drove himself back to the crime scene where he was taken into custody,” the Sheriff’s Department stated.
3. Leslie Williams, Known as Lisa, Worked at a Local Elementary School
Alachua Sheriff’s officials later revealed: “His wife and daughter are our victims.”
“The well-being check that began today’s homicide investigation was for Ms. Leslie ‘Lisa’ Williams… Lisa had not come to work at Stephen Foster Elementary School and, when the school attempted to reach her by phone, her husband Paul Graves Williams, answered instead and said something to the effect of ‘go check on her.’”
Authorities said she worked as a media aide at the school.
The sheriff’s officials continued, “The Gainesville Police Department School Resource Officer notified the Sheriff’s Office and, when deputies arrived, they found two individuals inside her home, dead from apparent stab wounds.”
Authorities added: “Mr. Williams will be charged in connection with these crimes, and booked at the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office Department of the Jail.”
They continued, “Thank you to all the members of our community for the tips throughout the day, and please continue to share any information you may have with our Criminal Investigations Division at (352) 367-4170 as we focus our efforts on the case for Lisa and Paige.”
4. There Were No Prior Calls to the Residence for Domestic Violence
In a press conference, authorities said they had no prior calls to the Williams’ residence for any domestic incidents. However, they were sorting through information they were gathering from people and family members in other states.
They do not believe Paul Williams had a prior criminal history but detectives were still researching his background. He allegedly made “utterances” to authorities at the scene, but they did not reveal what those were. He showed up at the home when authorities were executing a search warrant at the scene, they said, and he was immediately detained.
5. Paige Williams Was a Local High School Student
Authorities confirmed that Paige Williams was a high school student in Gainesville.
Sheriff’s officials said the subdivision where the murders occurred is usually quiet.
Although they are sure the wounds are consistent with stabbing, they did not reveal anything about the weapon but said it was obvious to them that the victims were victims of homicides. “We can definitely say we don’t know,” authorities said of the weapon, adding that the medical examiner will need to determine that information.