Search continues for murder victim's baby

November 15, 2009 3:51:28 PM PST
The investigation into the murder of an East Bay woman has turned into an all-out search for her son. Police searched Saturday for 17-month-old Jashon Williams at Berkeley's Aquatic Park, where the body of his mother Zoelina Williams was found Friday.

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Investigators say convicted child killer Curtis Martin is a suspect in her death.

Oakland police are handling the case of the missing baby and say they have searched the homes of the suspect and the victim. Divers have also searched the waters near Berkeley's Aquatic Park. They say the chances of finding the baby alive are not looking good, which is devastating for two local families.

"I want them to find the baby," told ABC7. "They must... find the baby."

Friends and family members of 23-year-old Zoelina Williams are trying to stay positive. But, given what happened to Williams, they are very worried about her son.

"I'm hoping the baby's still alive," said Wiliiams' best friend. "That's what I'm hoping. But, chances are slim."

Williams was found shot to death at 4:00 a.m. on Friday at Berkeley's Aquatic Park. Her 17-month-old son Jashon Williams is missing. According to relatives, Jashon's babysitter said Curtis Martin had been watching the child. Martin is now in jail, accused of Williams' murder.

Williams' loved ones gathered for a prayer outside her Oakland home. As they prayed for Jashon's safe return, another mother just around the corner was also worrying about the baby.

"To all of the family, our hearts are just broken," said Charlotte Martin. "We feel so sorry about everything."

Charlotte Martin is also worried about her own son, Curtis Martin. She says she just cannot believe he killed Zoelina Williams.

"I want to remind people that when someone is arrested and accused it doesn't necessarily mean that they are guilty," she said.

Martin has a violent criminal history. The most serious incident happened in 1994 when he pleaded no contest to beating a 3-year-old Oakland boy to death. He was sentenced to 11 years in prison.

"I want to know why was he even out on the streets, knowing that he killed a baby or beat a baby," said Williams' cousin Myesha Bonner. "It just doesn't make sense."

But, Charlotte Martin says her son never got a trial. She says he was just offered a deal and he took it.

"It sounds as if I'm making excuses for my son, but I know for a fact that he did not commit that crime," she said. "But, he did do the time."

Williams' loved ones are convinced Martin has the answers they so desperately want.

"He was the last one with him," said Williams' best friend. "If he didn't do it, he knows where the baby is."

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