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'I never stopped wondering': Family wants KCPD to revisit 1994 missing persons cold case

Jonathan Williams and his daughter
Posted at 10:10 PM, May 08, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-09 00:50:35-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — June 6, 1994, is a date etched in the hearts of Jonathan "Joe" Williams' family.

Twenty-nine years later, the same question remains — what happened to him?

Joe was last seen at a home near The Paseo and east 39th Street on that day.

He got married, then two days later, he was gone — leaving his three-year-old daughter and family still searching for answers.

Jonathan Williams
Jonathan Williams.

"I've never stopped wondering," said Amanda Williams, Joe's daughter. "When I was smaller, I would pray at night — 'Please bring my dad back home.' That prayer has changed because I'm sure he's never coming back home, but my prayer now is the family just has closure."

At the time, detectives had 17 documented leads.

"The last lead we pursued was June 29," a KCPD detective said in an interview with KSHB 41 in 1994.

KSHB 41 revisited another interview from 1994, which captured Amanda Williams as a child and Joe's mother pleading for answers.

"I'd just like to know that you're alright," said Janice Martin, Joe's sister.

Today, it's Martin who hopes KCPD's restructured missing persons unit revisits their evidence and puts a spotlight on her brother's case.

"[Blood] smears coming from the top of the stairs all the way down to the bottom of the stairs," Martin said. "The hallway leading to the front porch, on the front porch, the sidewalk, the grass, they haven't found his car, a 1994 ford tempo, and they haven't found him."

Amanda Williams said there's challenges in the case of her father.

"When you think about it, it's almost like the perfect crime," she said. "There's nothing there."

Ten years passed before the family had to make an unimaginable decision.

"The hardest part is going to court to declare someone dead and you don't know they're dead," Martin said.

Joe was a family man and military member, according to his family.

Jonathan Williams
Jonathan Williams.

"He was a family man, took care of his daughter," Martin said.

The family said Joe's will never be a cold case to them and it will never be too late for someone with information to come forward.

"My nana would always say, 'What's done in the dark will come to the light,'" Amanda Williams said. "And I stand by that — it may not come to light when I'm still on Earth, but eventually it will."

The family is asking for communication from KCPD with their reformed missing persons unit. They're also asking the community — if you know something, say something.