A Virginia mother has lived with a haunting nightmare for the past 34 years – and she’s finally sharing her story with the hope that it may bring some closure.
When Eleanor Williams was 18 years old, her then three-and-a-half-month-old baby girl was kidnapped following, what she calls, a terrible mistake.
‘I blame myself every minute, right up to this minute. It’s been 34 years, and it’s not something that’s over. I deal with it every day, whether I talk about it or not … It’s always on my mind,’ Williams told the Washington Post. ‘It’s always: ‘How could you be so stupid? Why? Why did you do it?’’
Eleanor Williams was 18 years old when her infant baby girl was kidnapped at a D.C. bus station by a stranger who asked to hold her daughter in December 1983
April Williams disappeared on December 2, 1983 from the Trailways bus station. The case still remains unsolved. Pictured is a baby photo of April
Williams said she was traveling from Virginia to Kansas with her infant daughter, April Nicole Williams.
It was December 2, 1983, two months after she graduated high school. She was going to meet a soldier her brother had set her up with, but she would never make it to her destination that day.
The now 52-year-old woman recalled how tired she was traveling on a bus for three hours with a young child.
While waiting for a connecting bus at the Trailways bus station in downtown Washington, DC, Williams said she was approached by ‘Latoya’, a woman she described as ‘amiable and chatty.’
Latoya, who police believe may have lied about her name, gushed about how cute April was and asked Williams if she could hold her.
Williams said she hesitated, but didn’t think it would be a problem since Latoya was sitting next to her.
She said Latoya, who may have been in her 20s, then commented that April needed a diaper change and offered to take the baby to the bathroom to do it because Williams looked exhausted.
Police said the suspect, who told Williams her name was Latoya, has dark complexion with spots on her face. Pictured if a sketch of what police believe Latoya looks like
April, seen in this age-progression photo, would be 34 years old. Police hope by making what happened public, it may lead to more information on her disappearance
‘I was skeptical, like, ‘Well … okay, I guess.’ Because I was tired,’ she told the outlet from her Waterbury, Connecticut apartment.
‘And I thought about it, but I had already said OK, and she had already got up and taken her to the bathroom.’
Williams said that was the last time she saw April or Latoya.
‘There were times when I was younger when I wanted to commit suicide, I just felt so bad and so guilty,’ she said. ‘But my other kids were always my strength. Like, what would they do if anything happened to me?’
Williams, who now has two other children, said that day will haunt her for the rest of her life.
Commander Leslie Parsons with the D.C. police criminal investigations division told the Washington Post that there have been no solid leads on the case. She hopes that by getting the story in the media someone will come forward with information.
‘About the only thing we can do proactively at this point is put it out in the media. Hopefully someone will see it, and they’ll call us,’ she said.
Williams said she is still haunted by what happened
One major issue investigators have come across with Williams’ case is the lack of information. Police have said that the suspect could have lied about her name, and they don’t have any actual photos of her.
In the past, they have offered up a brief description.
‘The suspect is described as (having) … a dark brown complexion and spots on her face,’ investigators said. ‘Her ears were pierced with two holes in each ear. She could go by Rene or Rene Latoya.’
April, police said, has a small birthmark on the top of her left wrist in a straight line.
‘I’m pretty sure this is the only cold-case kidnapping we have, the only stranger kidnapping, where we still have a victim out,’ Parsons said.