17 Years After Son Vanished into a Swamp, Mom's Intuition Led Police to Shocking Discovery

Cheryl Williams never believed that her missing son Mike had fallen out of his boat and been eaten by alligators

Cheryl Williams never believed her son was murdered.

Shortly after Jerry Michael “Mike” Williams didn’t return from a December 2000 duck hunting trip on his boat on Florida’s Lake Seminole, police speculated that Mike had fallen out of the boat and been eaten by alligators.

But Mike’s mother knew her son, and the explanation didn’t sit well with her. For years, she pressured authorities to investigate her son’s death, saying that the seasoned hunter and fisherman was very familiar with Florida’s Lake Seminole, where he was last seen.

The mystery surrounding Mike’s disappearance is featured on next Monday’s episode of People Magazine Investigates on Investigation Discovery.

Titled “Mystery in the Swamp” the episode airs on Dec. 3 at 10 p.m. ET. (An exclusive clip is shown above.)

News: Mike Williams Murder
Ryan Dailey/Democrat/USA Today

As it turns out, she was correct.

Earlier this year, Mike’s remains were found. He had been shot. Authorities have reclassified the case as a murder.

• For more on the mysterious death of Mike Williams, subscribe now to PEOPLE or pick up this week’s issue, on newsstands now.

Mike and Denise Williams wedding photo.Credit: Courtesy Cheryl Williams
Courtesy Cheryl Williams

“Cheryl Williams was right for 17 years that it was not a disappearance, that Mike Williams was not eaten by an alligator, that he was in fact murdered,” Assistant State Attorney Jon Fuchs said in a June court hearing.

The special will investigate the last moments of Mike Williams’ life — and also explore details from the diver who found some of Williams’ personal effects in the days after his disappearance.

People Magazine Investigates: Mystery in the Swamp airs Dec. 3 at 10 p.m. ET on Investigation Discovery.

Related Articles