Family says body is man who disappeared during flood

Terrance Williams (Source: Memphis Police Department)
Terrance Williams (Source: Memphis Police Department)

By Jamel Major - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) – Family members say a body found Wednesday is that of a man who disappeared Saturday morning after abandoning his car in high flood waters.

Police said Terrance Williams, 32, called a friend around 5:00 a.m. Saturday morning, saying his car had become disabled because of flood waters near Raleigh Lagrange and Parkview.  Williams told his friend he was abandoning the car.

"I know he was scared," said Tiffany Whaley, who quickly went to the scene when the body was found. "I just don't know (where he is). That's why we were out there looking for him."

Anthony Payton, who was also at the scene Wednesday, said he knew Williams was in trouble moments after flood waters came pouring in.

"It took the car off the road, over to the embankment," he said. "A little bit more it would have been in the sewage."

Payton said when Williams' car became disabled he rushed in to help.  

"I just kinda put my weight on one foot and another foot until I got out of the current," he said. "Then I came down on the side of the store and threw rocks at the car to see if somebody was in it, because I couldn't get to it.  The current was just too strong on that car."

Police later recovered the vehicle, but Williams could not be found.  

"If he had gotten out of the car where the car was, with the current around the car, he probably got swept into that ravine over there," Williams said. "That's where I looked for him...right over in here."

Then, a body was found Wednesday near an apartment complex not far from where Williams was last seen.  

"I couldn't see him at first," Whaley said. "I couldn't see him in the water.  I could see his head was down and his arms were straight out."

Family members gathered at the scene to comfort and console each other, while they waited for authorities to give them answers.

"He was a good father," Whaley said. "I have a 14 year old daughter by him.  He took care of his mom and his family.  We're all like family."

Memphis police issued a City Watch alert for Williams Wednesday morning, just hours before the body was found.  Police have not confirmed if the body is Williams.

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