Archive | March 2012

Family Grieves After Police Identify Body as Alonzo Williams

March 26, 2012

After nearly four months missing, the search for Alonzo Williams has ended. Police identified Williams as the body found in the Genesee River Friday night.

“We have closure, it’s not the type of closure we were expecting but now we can, we can move on,” his aunt Lisa Alexander said.

His aunt Leslie Gordon got the call early Monday morning while at work. Immediately after receiving it she rounded up the family and broke the news to Williams’ parents.

“We’ll never fill the void, but we just have to grieve,” Gordon said. “We have to be supportive of his mother and of his father.”

“It’s just heart wrenching, you know,” Alexander said. “You search and you just know. You know your family and you know your nephew. Know he wouldn’t just leave and stay gone.”

Williams’ body was found not far from his mother’s home where he was last seen in November. Rochester Police do not believe foul play was to blame but have not determined the exact cause of death. Family and loved ones surrounded his parents Monday afternoon. They describe Williams as a quiet, popular young man who was crowned prom king. They say he loved music and was socially conscious.

“He was just the average kid,” Gordon said. “He was really nice, respectful.”

Williams’ family started searching and making fliers immediately after he went missing four months ago. Just this weekend, Alexander was in North Carolina at the CUE Center’s National Missing Persons conference. While their search ended sadly, the family plans to continue supporting other families.

“Of course we would still be in contact with the other families whose loved ones who’s still missing,” Gordon said. “And do as much as we possibly could to help them find their loved ones, or bring some type of closure to their families also.”

By remembering their nephew these aunts hope to bring comfort to others in the future.


Family of Rochester man still searching for answers after body found in Genesee River


The family of a young man whose body was pulled from the Genesee River Friday night say they’re still searching for answers.

20-year-old Alonzo Williams had been missing since Thanksgiving. Alonzo’s body was found in the river near the RG&E station late Friday night. His family got the news Monday.

Alonzo’s aunt talked to News10NBC outside his home. Inside the rest of the family members were consoling each other.

Leslie Gordon, Alonzo’s aunt, said, “We just were kind of hopeful that maybe he went somewhere out of town or someone’s house or whatever, but unfortunately, this is the outcome.”

Alonzo’s body was found late Friday in the water at High Falls. Police used flashlights to help the recovery.

Alonzo Williams disappeared in November. His family put up posters, made t-shirts and invited the media to rallies, trying to keep the search for Alonzo on the radar. One of the people helping with the search was Pastor Britt Pledger.

Pastor Britt Pledger, Jesus the Christ Church said, “I believe right now there is some closure. We do know that, we have an outcome. “

Pledger is upset because he says he asked police to search this area before. He says the family had an inkling they would find something.

Pastor Britt Pledger said, “We tried everything else. We posted. We Facebooked. We did numerous things, all kinds of outreach.   If he was somewhere visible, someone would have seen him.”

Williams wasn’t working when he went missing, but he was a high school graduate and was prom king at Franklin High School. His family can’t understand why this happened.

Gordon said, “He comes from a nice home. He had everything so we’re struggling with the same questions, why? And I think at this point we’ll never know.”

A sense of closure does not take the pain away for Alonzo’s family. The family is making arrangements now. Police haven’t figured out the cause or manner of his death yet.

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2 more men found in or near river ID’d

Mar. 26, 2012

Rochester police Monday identified the two men found in and near the Genesee River last week.

The body of Alonzo Williams, 20, of Rochester was found amongst debris in the river snagged Friday night near a Rochester Gas and Electric Corp. facility on Commercial Street, said Rochester Police Officer Stephen Scott.

Police also identified Christopher Ashliman, a 54-year-old homeless man, as the man who was found by hikers along the riverbank near Maplewood Park Wednesday afternoon, Scott said.

Officers said it was not known how long either man was dead. The Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office had not determined a cause of death for Williams or Ashliman.

Williams, a student at Monroe Community College, was reported missing by his family Nov. 22. It was believed that he left his Rochester home overnight while his family slept.

Based on the condition of his body, police investigators believed Williams had been in the water “for an extended period of time,” Scott said.

The two were among four men whose bodies were recovered from or near the river last week.

The other two men, recovered from the water Tuesday, were identified as the two Batavia brothers who went missing last month. New York State Police said David W. King, 54, and Michael King, 46, went into the water Feb. 19 from the Interstate 390 bridge just south of the Scottsville Road exit. They were found downriver, near the University of Rochester’s River Campus, about a mile apart from each other.

Police: Body of missing Rochester man found on Commercial Street

Posted at: 03/26/2012 1:01 PM

Rochester Police have identified the body found at the RG&E facility on Commercial Street on Friday night.

Police say the body is that of 21-year-old Alonzo Williams. Williams has been missing since November. He was last seen at his home on Arnett Blvd. on November 21. Police believed he left the home during the night as family members slept.

The CUE Center for Missing Persons had dedicated a website to Williams and there were several events held around Rochester to bring awareness and to help bring Williams home.

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