ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — St. Pete Police are searching for an "armed and dangerous" man named Benjamin "Bambi" Williams they said shot and killed a 27-year-old woman in front of her two young children on Saturday, July 31. Police said he is also linked to several open homicide investigations.
"He is a person of interest in some homicides that we’ve looked at. We never could say he did those homicides; his name kept coming up," St. Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway told ABC Action News reporter Michael Paluska. "But, we know he did this one. And, this is the one we want the public to help find him and bring him to justice and bring justice to that family."
Joana Peca, 27, was found dead in her vehicle near Woodlawn Memorial Gardens around 5:30 p.m. Her two young children were also found inside, police said. They were unharmed but police said they were "terrified."
On Monday, police said a warrant was issued for the arrest of Williams. Police said Williams and Peca were involved in a relationship and shared a baby together.
According to authorities, Williams shot Peca multiple times in the face while she was holding the infant, estimated to be three to six months old. Holloway said Peca's 4-year-old child from another relationship was in the back seat at the time of the shooting.
"The witnesses that were there went to the car, they tried to render aid to Miss Peca, and they didn’t know she had the baby in her arms until they moved her, so that’s how close that child came to being killed," said Holloway. "That 4-year-old has to live with that for the rest of their lives, watching his mother be executed."
Holloway said Williams lured Peca to the cemetery.
"He called her and asked her to meet him at that location cause she was bringing the children to him to see," Holloway said. "Once they got to that location that’s when he decided to gun her down."
Peca's mother told ABC Action News reporter Wendi Lane her daughter loved her two children and was a good and trusting person.
"She was a wonderful mother of two babies," said Eleni Peca. "She trusted him, that’s why she went there that day."
"He was a father of the baby and killed the mother, he’s not human," said Peca's mother. "People like him shouldn’t be on the streets. Today he did it to my daughter tomorrow, he could do it to someone else."
There is currently a $20,000 reward for information to help police locate the Williams.
Anyone with information is asked to call 1-877-WANTED-2. Callers can remain anonymous.