ALBANY -- A woman murdered in Albany's Dollar Inn left a grieving husband and four children behind. She had left them before -- more than 17 years ago.
Richard Williams' wife left him while hurricane Andrew raged around them in Florida's Dade County in 1992, he said. He had been searching for her ever since.
Williams, 57, now of Venus, Fla., found out Friday that his wife, Beverly Jean Williams, 51, was murdered by another man, he said.
Albany Police Department officers arrested Monty Caren Simpson, 56, March 11 at the motel, police officers said. They charged him with aggravated stalking, aggravated assault and murder in Beverly Jean Williams' death by blunt force trauma, officers added.
"I was the last one to find out," Williams said. "I have four children who are devastated."
At the time she left, the couple already had three children and his wife was nine-months pregnant, Williams said. She went to a hospital, had the child and then vanished, he said.
"The hospital called me and I went and got the baby," Williams said. "I have raised four children by myself. I've been 100-percent dad and mom."
The family suffered through hurricanes Andrew, Opal and Charlie among others that blasted Florida. The family was moved often from near Homestead, Fla. by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to the panhandle and other counties, Williams said. It spent two years in tents and eventually was moved to a trailer, he added.
The family never gave up hope of finding the mother of his children, Williams said.
"We have lived in a FEMA trailer ever since the hurricanes," Williams said. "We got $25,000 and bought land in Venus (Fla.). But we are still in a trailer."
Despite the ordeal of losing his wife coupled with hurricanes, disability due to trauma and having to raise four children as a single father Williams kept the search for his wife going.
The paperwork involved for a search by child welfare agencies and Florida law enforcement agencies had to be filled out every year, Williams said.
"I was going to have to fill out papers in a few weeks for this year," Williams said. "It was a constant search for us. I was still in love with her."
The marriage was fine until the hurricane, Williams said. His wife may have been affected by the hurricane's violence and deteriorated from there, he added.
The children have suffered trauma from the hurricane, the after effects of the FEMA relocations and their mother leaving, Williams said. Their ages range from 17 to 27, he added.
The eldest son, Ricky Roy, answered the phone Saturday and began to break down into tears. He handed the phone to his father. None of the children wanted to speak to The Herald's reporter, Williams said.
There will be a service Wednesday and his wife will be buried in Lake Wales, Fla. by her side of the family. Williams and his children plan to attend, he said.
Williams declined to advise how to get in touch with his wife's family.
"This just shouldn't have happened," Williams said. "I just wanted my children to have their mom back."