TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCJB)-- A Tallahassee woman was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday morning for masterminding the murder of her husband more than 18 years ago.
If not for the dead man’s mother, justice would not have happened.
For 17 years, Michael Williams' body laid in a watery grave 70 miles from where the duck hunter supposedly went missing.
His mother Cheryl says God sent her a message days later when she visited the lake.
"And all of sudden a voice comes in my head, Mike is not in Lake Seminole, he did not drown," said Cheryl.
Police believed the duck hunter was eaten by alligators, but after the message, Cheryl Williams launched a campaign to find her son.
She carried placards, put up billboards and took out full page newspaper ads.
Now she says justice has finally been served.
“If I had not done what I had done for 17 years, Mike’s disappearance would never have been solved," said Cheryl.
Michael Williams' wife Denise Williams was sentenced to life in prison for masterminding his murder by his best friend and her lover.
The motive: $1.7 million in life insurance and a desire not to face the stigma of of divorce.
“She can never get out on parole," said Cheryl. "That's justice, and that’s what I wanted. That's what I’ve been fighting for.”
Like most tombstones, Jerry Michael Williams' lists his October 1969 birthday, but that’s where the similarity to other tombstones ends.
It also lists the day he was murdered and then buried 18 years later.
Cheryl says friends tried to talk her our of including those dates.
“He didn't die a normal life. He didn’t die of sickness or accident. He was murdered," said Cheryl.
Cheryl says because of her efforts, she is now being asked to help find other missing victims across the country.