A body found at a home on Charles Street has been identified as W.C. Williams, a retired educator with the Moss Point School District, Police Chief Art McClung has confirmed.
Williams, 64, was found Friday afternoon by his brother-in-law and a friend, family members said. He had been stabbed repeatedly, McClung said.
Police have identified two persons of interest in what police are calling a homicide.
About 50 people — family, neighbors and friends — gathered near the home as police investigators went in and out, using the door on the carport.
Police tape was strung up around the house, keeping people away. Two vehicles were parked under the carport and a third was in the driveway.
Just beyond where police had Frederick Street blocked, school buses dropped off children going home for the weekend.
Jermaine Williams of Moss Point, a first cousin, said a friend who had gone to check on W.C. Williams on Friday afternoon found a door open. The friend went and got W.C. Williams’ brother-in-law. The two went into the house and found the body. No one had talked to W.C. Williams since Wednesday evening, McClung said.
Jermaine Williams said a truck was missing from the home. It was found at 6525 Shortcut Road, about a mile away.
Neighbor Neil Doss, 48, said he’d known W.C. Williams since he was a child.
“He was my elementary school principal,” Doss said. “He was like a mentor in the neighborhood.”
Williams had worked at Charlotte Hyatt Elementary and served as an interim superintendent in 2000-01 before moving to Ed Mayo Junior High.
Doss said Williams had his yard cut Wednesday. Doss had his own cut Thursday, because Williams liked to have all the lawns at the same height in the middle-class neighborhood, he said. He said he hadn’t noticed anything unusual in the area until police arrived about 3 p.m.
Stern, caring educator
“I don’t know too many people in Moss Point who haven’t been impacted by Dr. Williams,” said Natalie Chambers Nettles, who grew up in the same neighborhood as Williams and attended the University of Southern Mississippi with him. Nettles works with Jackson County Supervisor Melton Harris.
“Anyone who ever attended a school in Moss Point knew him,” she said.
He was outgoing and charismatic and very direct, she said. He never married and had no children. He lost his sister to cancer two years ago and his mother, Glennie Williams, several years ago.
“He loved his mother to no end,” she said.
He could be funny, but also stern, depending on the situation.
“You hear people say students are disrespectful in the classroom,” Nettles said. “Definitely not under Dr. Williams. He commanded respect. He wanted his children to be the best they could be.”
Outside the classroom, he could rock, she said. He was hilarious as a person.
“We had great times,” Nettles said.
He could swing dance and taught swing dancing at the Moss Point Recreation Center.
“But when it came down to his students, he was business,” Nettles said. “He would go to a parent’s home if a kid was not meeting the mark. And who wanted Dr. Williams to come to their home? Because if he came, it was serious.
“Still, people would change guardianship to get their kids to Charlotte Hyatt when he was principal. They knew he cared about his students, and they would perform over there.”
Police ask for help
A cousin, Nicci Goldsmith of Moss Point, said Williams lived alone.
“This is a huge family and he was a great person and a great personality,” Goldsmith said.
Williams served as assistant superintendent under Superintendent James Easton and was named interim when Easton left. He served as principal for several schools in the district.
Police are seeking information in Williams’ death.
“If anyone saw anyone go in or out of his house between Wednesday and Friday, call us at the police department,” McClung said.
The phone number is 228-475-1711.