Duval County

‘We’re going to miss you, Teri’: Vigil held to honor 18-year-old found dead near river

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Emotions beyond words as dozens gathered to remember 18-year-old Santeria Williams.

The Ribault High School senior was found dead near the Trout River and police say there is evidence of foul play. On Sunday night candles were lit, balloons were put up and stuffed animals were placed in the area of where her body was discovered.

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Family members like her cousin Arenka Green and friends held each other close as they paid tribute to someone who they say was loved by everyone.

“Teri, we’re going to miss you Teri,” Green said. “We’re going to miss you.”

Friends like Alexis Davis and Areana Marshall said the turnout of people showed just how much of an impact she had on others.

“She touched a lot of people’s hearts,” Davis said.

“She was very nice and sweet,” Marshall said.

Family members say Williams left the house with just her phone early Tuesday morning after getting a call from someone around 2 a.m. and they never heard from her again.

Family say they reported her missing to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday. Now, her death leaves everyone wondering how and why this happened.

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“We could get some sleep if we know why. We don’t know why, we still wondering why,” cousin Kiaryona Montfort said.

While it’s difficult, family says they’re trying to say strong and be there for one another. Green says Williams is smiling from above and that they won’t stop until they get answers.

“We always come together as a family, this is nothing new. We’re a family,” Green said. “This is not right. We just want justice for Teri at this point.”

Action News Jax reached out to JSO on Saturday for what steps were taken when family reported her missing and didn’t hear back. We also checked in again Sunday, but still no answer by our deadline.