MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WWSB) - Three arrests have been made in the 2006 murder of a Manatee County teen.
Amber Woods was found dead along State Road 62 approximately three miles west of the Hardee County line back in February of 2006. She had been shot.
Woods was last seen alive that Saturday by her aunt, who saw the teen leave their home on SR 62 in Hardee County around 12:30pm. Deputies say there was no evidence she was forcibly taken from the home and despite dozens of interviews, no arrests have been made and a motive for the shooting is unclear.
Deputies announced that Ralph Williams, Tyjuan Williams and Jamaine Brown have all been arrested in the case.
Ralph Williams, Sheriff Rick Wells said, was dating Amber at the time and conspired with Tyjuan and Jamaine to kidnap and kill Amber. Ralph Williams wanted to end the relationship and also believed that Woods was pregnant. Deputies say she was driven to a remote area and was shot in the back by Tyjuan Williams.
Using cellular data, investigators were able to determine that the three were near Amber.
Today a cross and purple flowers lie near where 16 year old Amber Woods was found dead in February 2006.
“She was a good person, kind hearted, loved her family,” said Amber’s sister in law, Crystal Moses.
A loss no one saw coming.
“There’s so much she missed on account of three people who didn’t see her life needed,” said Moses.
A boyfriend who detectives say wanted to end a relationship.
“He believed that she was pregnant, he knew that he was responsible,” said Sheriff Wells.
Detectives say text messages show he was concerned of going to prison because she was underage.
“They took something that can never be replaced, ever,” said Moses.
What happened next shook the lives of many people in a small town in Hardee County.
“A phone used by Ralph on the night of the murder was in the vicinity of where Amber’s body was found” said Wells.
Ralph is accused of conspiring to kill his 16 year old girlfriend Amber Woods. Just a month ago his half brother and suspect 37-year-old Jamaine Brown laid out what he says happened the day Amber was last seen.
“He drove to a rural location with Amber in the vehicle on SR 62, where they got out of the car and Tyjuan shot Amber once in the back. Jamaine and Ralph then dragged her deceased body off of the roadway.” said Sheriff Wells.
The family broke down in tears and say they’re happy they never lost hope.
“Sometimes the voices get lost or you’re not loud enough and you have to find someone that will stand with you,” said Moses.
They’re grateful for every person who played a role in the arrest of the three men.
Ralph and Tyjuan Williams have both been charged with second-degree murder and Jamaine Brown has been charged with accessory to murder. An autopsy confirmed that she was not pregnant.