Skip to Content

Police: Ryan Rogers killed in chance encounter with ‘animal’ that shouldn’t have been on streets

<i>WFOR</i><br/>An arrest has been made in the murder of 14-year-old Ryan Rogers in Palm Beach Gardens.
An arrest has been made in the murder of 14-year-old Ryan Rogers in Palm Beach Gardens.

By Austin Carter

Click here for updates on this story

    MIAMI (WFOR) — An arrest has been made in the murder of 14-year-old Ryan Rogers in Palm Beach Gardens.

Palm Beach Gardens police said Semmie Lee Williams Jr., 39, has been charged with first degree murder. He’s being held in jail without bond.

“He appears to be a homeless drifter spending most of his time in the streets of Miami,” said Palm Beach Gardens Police Chief Clint Shannon.

Rogers went for a bike ride on November 15th and he never returned home. The next morning his body was found in a wooded area next to a bicycle about 80 feet from an I-95 overpass near Central Boulevard.

Police said he had been stabbed to death.

“The incident itself appears to be a completely random act. We do not have a motive in this case,” said Shannon.

“It appears to be an absolute chance encounter between a child on a bicycle and an animal that probably should not be out on our streets,” he added.

According to Williams’ arrest report, a set of headphones found near Rogers did not belong to the teen. A DNA swab from them was put into a law enforcement database and a match came back to Williams.

He was taken into custody on Wednesday night in Miami. A blood-stained bandana was found in his backpack, according to police. An analysis of the blood revealed it came from both Rogers and Williams, according to the arrest report.

Shannon said that Palm Beach Gardens continues to be a very safe city with a very low crime rate.

“This just emphasizes the fact that an incident of this nature could absolutely happen anywhere. You know, people need to always be vigilant and aware of their surroundings wherever they are,” said Shannon.

Williams has an extensive criminal record with arrests in Georgia, California, and Florida. Charges include aggravated assault and battery.

Shannon said Willams has no ties to the city.

“It’s a mystery to us why this man was in our community. But again, we have evidence that places them on the scene and makes them responsible for the murder of this child,” he said.

Camillus House, a homeless resource center in Miami, says Williams received services at their center just over a week after the murder.

The last time he visited the center was November 24.

“He has been accessing according to our records, day services which basically entail showers and clothing exchanges and possibly some breakfast,” Sam Gil, Senior Vice President of Operations at Camillus House.

According to the suspect’s arrest report, Rogers was stabbed multiple times and at the scene, a pair of headphones that did not belong to him was found.

DNA collected from them matched Williams.

When Williams was later found and arrested in Miami, he had a backpack on him that had a bandana inside that appeared to be bloodstained.

“The analysis further showed that the sole two contributors of the DNA mixture from the blood on the bandana, are Ryan Rogers and Semmie Lee Williams,” the report stated.

Please note: This content carries a strict local market embargo. If you share the same market as the contributor of this article, you may not use it on any platform.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - Regional

Jump to comments ↓

CNN Newsource


KTVZ NewsChannel 21 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content