TEMPLE TERRACE, Fla. (TBO.com) - Felecia Williams enjoyed playing hide-and-seek and tag, and was quick with a knock-knock joke, said her friend, Zakiyyah Scott.
Zakiyyah, a 9-year-old who lives at Doral Oaks Apartments, where Felecia went missing Friday night, spoke fondly of her friend on Sunday morning, a time when the two girls might be found playing outside.
TempleTerrace police confirmed later Sunday that a body found floating off the Courtney Campbell Causeway on Saturday was that of Felecia, a 9-year-old who lived in Tampa and was in the fourth grade at EdisonElementary School. They classified her death as a homicide.
Police are investigating several leads, Temple Terrace Police Chief Kenneth Albano said during a news conference. But he did not release any information about a suspect or many other details of the case in an effort to keep the investigation from being jeopardized, he said.
No immediate family members were considered suspects, Albano said.
“I spent yesterday evening with the family,” Albano said. “I went out there and I made a promise to that family and to that mother that we would do everything we could to ensure that every step was taken and every stone was turned so that we could bring to justice the person that’s done this to her daughter.”
On Saturday, Temple Terrace Police arrested family friend Eboni Wiley, 23, and charged her with making false statements to law enforcement. She was released Sunday after posting $2,000 bail.
Authorities said that Wiley picked up Felecia from her Tampa home Friday afternoon and took her to Doral Oaks for a visit.
When Wiley got out of the shower between 5:30 p.m. and 6 p.m., she discovered that Felecia was missing, authorities said.
It took Wiley five hours to alert authorities, police said.
An Amber Alert was not released because at the time, and due in part to misinformation Wiley provided to police, the case didn’t meet the criteria, Albano said.
Boaters discovered Felecia’s naked body shortly before 3:30 p.m. Saturday. She was floating among rocks and mangroves just off an access road north of the causeway near Clearwater city limits, police said.
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