Child's body discovered near Berkeley Marina

November 15, 2009 7:45:14 PM PST
It could be the ending to a missing person's case that no one wanted.

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On Sunday, investigators pulled the body of a small child from the water at the Berkeley Marina. The question is, is it missing Jashon Williams, the 17-month-old boy who has not been seen since his mother's body was found nearby on Friday.

Authorities were at the Berkeley Marina all day working on the investigation. Now, the Alameda County coroner is trying to determine whether the baby pulled out of the water Sunday morning is that of Jashon Williams or someone else. Family members of murdered Zoelina Williams are convinced this was her son.

"It looked like it had been in the water a long, long time," Dee Wood told ABC7.

Wood had just started out in her kayak when friends noticed something suspicious floating near a dock.

"They told us to come back because they had seen a body in the water," she said. "They didn't know if it was the body of a bird or something, but they suspected it was a baby"

Their sad suspicion was right. Devastated family members rushed to the marina even without official word. Williams' brother, Karim Toney, says he knows in his heart the baby is Jashon.

"They can't give us any information, but we put two and two together and it must be my nephew," he said.

Police arrested Curtis Martin Friday in connection with Zoelina's death. Family members believe they may have been dating. As they try to piece together answers, so do authorities.

"Obviously, there's a proximity to the lagoon and to the south Aquatic Park, to the estuary," said Lt. Andrew Greenwood. "There are flow paths between there through which water flows and those are large pipes or areas."

Family members say Zoelina never talked about her relationship with Martin. They do not believe the 23-year-old mother had any idea that in the mid-90s, Martin served six years in prison for beating his then-girlfriend's 3-year-old son to death.

"I think it's just a tragic situation, to where she was just dealing with the wrong guy, and he preyed on her 'cause she was a sweet person," said Toney. "She didn't think he would do anything to her."

Relatives say they have not actually seen Jashon since around Halloween. Many of them believe he may have been staying with Curtis Martin since then. Martin is due to be arraigned in Alameda County on Tuesday.

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