Or at least, this is what police originally believed to have happened after receiving a phone call at approximately 9:45 p.m. Sunday. At that time, a driver of another vehicle told police that the boy fell from the back passenger door of a green Ford Expedition and was then run over by the vehicle’s back tire.
However, police are now beginning to question if that is what really happened after reviewing surveillance videos from some of the local businesses.
“There are still many unanswered questions,” said Tampa police’s Laura McElroy in a statement.
At the time of the incident, Marterrance was under the watch of his 17 year old brother, Sam, while their mother, Johntea L. Williams, 36, went out for a night with one of her close girlfriends.
At some point in the evening, the 4 year old child left the family’s apartment complex- which is composed of yellow brick buildings and a surrounding security gate- and began to walk along Florida Avenue, one of Tampa’s busier streets.
Nobody is quite sure why he left or what happened next, though.
When returning from her night out at about 4 a.m., Marterrance’s mother was told by police about the deadly incident. She immediately fell apart and was later Baker Acted after threatening to end her own life.
Grandmother Rosemary Williams said in an interview with Bay News 9 that, “She’s terrified, hurt beyond hurt. Not a word I can tell you to explain to you. This was her baby.”
Adding to the mystery of the story is the fact that the family has had other brush ups with the police and child protective services. In fact, according to the Florida Department of Children and Families, the Hillsborough sheriff’s child protective investigations divisions had opened two cases involving the mother and 17 year old brother.
During one incident, police were called to the apartment just three months ago by the boys’ mother after attempting to discipline her 17 year old by confiscating his Playstation 3 and cell phone.
17 year old Sam, of course, was in authority when his younger brother disappeared. He also appeared at the scene of the crime 20 minutes after it had been reported, telling police that he could not find his little brother.
Grandmother Rosemary Williams says, “I hope whoever did this has a conscience and a heart and to know there’s a thing called karma. Most of all, I want to know who it is so I can forgive them.”