Man accused of tampering with evidence in connection with body found burning near Skyway

Hillsborough County

TAMPA (WFLA) – When the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office responded to the Beachwalk Condominiums on the night of June 9 to investigate the report of a missing person, 55-year-old Fred Williams made contact with deputies.

He asked them why there was a large police presence.

During the interaction, deputies “noted him to have burn injuries to his lower legs,” according to the Criminal Report Affidavit obtained by 8 On Your Side.

HCSO arrested Williams on Saturday for the charge of Tampering with Physical Evidence in connection to their ongoing investigation into the death of a woman found burning in a fire near the Sunshine Skyway Bridge rest area in St. Petersburg. 

The court document identifies 35-year-old Alisha Windfield as the victim who worked as a security guard at the Beachwalk Condominiums.

“Alisha was an amazing person, an awesome daughter, sister, wife and mother. No one should have been done like this,” her sister Kimberly Matthews told 8 On Your Side.

At the end of the arrest report, the HCSO detective writes that Williams “did intentionally and willfully alter physical evidence related to this ongoing investigation, by damaging blood evidence and bedding with bleach.”

According to the court document, a St. Petersburg Police detective informed the HCSO detective that tire impressions from Williams’ car were located 10 to 15 feet away from the victim’s burned body. In the trunk, investigators observed a cleaning product and paper towels.

At 6:58 p.m. on June 9, Windfield’s family reported her as possibly missing to HCSO. Deputies learned she had not returned home from her security guard job the previous day.

Family members located her car in front of 4333 Bayside Village Drive inside the condo complex. They found her wallet in the car and told deputies “it appeared as though a struggle had occurred.”

When deputies arrived, they made contact with a witness who said she had contact with Windfield on June 8 at 11:12 p.m. at her residence. Deputies confirmed this interaction through Ring surveillance video.

According to the arrest report, deputies have other Ring surveillance video in the late afternoon of June 9 showing Williams rolling a white Igloo cooler from his apartment and then loading the object into the back seat of his car.

“The Igloo cooler and the interior of the Defendant’s vehicle later tested presumptively positive for the presence of blood,” the detective writes.

When deputies first spoke with Williams, he claimed he received the burns to his lower legs from “injuries at a gas station.” He also told to deputies that the victim “Alisha” was with him at the time.

When an HCSO detective did a follow-up interview, Williams told him Windfield stopped by his apartment to borrow a pair of scissors but later said it was keys. He also said she had taken a shower in his apartment.

During the interview, the detective said he noticed a bleach bottle and a stained bed sheet in the master bedroom. The detective later learned a “small piece of fabric consistent with a bedsheet was discovered upon the burned remains of the victim.”

When executing a search warrant in Williams’ apartment, deputies say they found him suffering from a medical emergency, possibly a drug overdose.

“During the processing of the incident scene multiple areas within the master bedroom/bathroom presumptively tested positive for the presence of blood,” the detective wrote in the arrest report. “Specifically, a pair of orange shorts believed to worn by the defendant in the earlier described video surveillance footage tested presumptively positive for blood.”

According to the arrest report, deputies reviewed security camera video from the apartment complex and they believe Williams left in his Buick with an Ohio license plate at 5:24 p.m. on June 9.

At 7:07 p.m., the detective wrote that his license plate was caught in the southbound lanes at the Skyway Bridge toll plaza near the rest area.

The 911 call reporting the fire near the bridge came in to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office at 7:34 p.m.

Williams’ car is observed returning to the Beachwalk Condominiums just before 8 p.m. and he appeared to be shirtless in the security camera video.

According to HCSO, “this remains an active and open investigation.” No murder charges have been filed at this time.

Williams is being held in jail on at $15,000 bond. Jail records show he was arrested at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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