Remains thought to belong to a missing Gainesville mother were recovered late last week in the City of Alachua.
Deputy Darry Lloyd with State Attorney William Cervone’s office said, though they have not yet been positively identified, investigators believe they are the remains of Keyanta Williams, the mother of four who went missing in early February.
Investigators were led to the remains on April 9 by Kelvin Bryant, the man who investigators believe killed Williams. Bryant was her boyfriend.
According to the State Attorney’s Office in Gainesville, Cervone and investigators with the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office negotiated with Bryant and his attorney.
Investigators hoped the negotiations would lead to the recovery of Williams’ body.
The remains were located on County Road 235A near US 441, a minute’s drive from Santa Fe High School.
Sandra Thomas has lived on County Road 235A for the past 20 years. Her house sits on the opposite side of the road not far from where the remains were found.
Never in her life, she said, would she have ever imagined police finding a body so close to her home.
“I’ve never experienced anything like that,” Thomas said. “You’re just sitting and wondering.”
On Thursday she saw the county’s forensics team appear next to the open field across the street from her house. After asking around, she made the grim connection.
“Detectives and policemen [were] all over the place,” she said.
Lloyd said investigators pushed forward with negotiations after talking with Williams’ family last week.
“They stressed that they really wanted the remains of their loved one,” said Lloyd said. “Our office negotiated with his attorney and through those we were able to locate who we believe is Keyanta Williams.”
For Williams’ family, the recovery is a sort of closure. But for the State Attorney’s Office, it’s just the beginning.
“Even before we found the remains yesterday,” Lloyd said, “we were prepared to go to trial to make sure that we held Kelvin Bryant responsible for her murder.”
Bryant is currently being held in the Alachua County Jail without bond. He was indicted for first degree murder, grand theft and destruction of evidence.