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Florida teen stabbed to death by ‘homeless drifter,’ police say

Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office

(MIAMI) — Investigators arrested a homeless man in Miami, who, they said, was responsible for the homicide of a 14-year-old boy in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

Police said they took Semmie Lee Williams Jr., a 39-year-old “homeless drifter,” into custody on Wednesday night on the charge of stabbing Ryan Rogers to death on Nov. 15.

According to an affidavit, Rogers’ autopsy revealed that he had been stabbed numerous times in the head and face and his cause of death was stab wounds.

DNA evidence from a pair of headphones found near Rogers’ body was entered into a database and provided a positive match to Williams, police said.

Police said they located Williams in Miami and found DNA belonging to Rogers on a bloody bandana.

The homicide was a “completely random act,” Palm Beach Gardens Police Chief Clint Shannon said in a press conference Tuesday morning.

He described the incident as an “innocent child victim having a chance encounter with a very violent criminal.”

Rogers left his house on his bike on Nov. 15 around 6:40 p.m. local time and was reported missing later that night by his mother when he didn’t return home. His body was found the next day on Central Boulevard near an I-95 overpass, police said.

On Nov. 25, police ruled Rogers’ death a homicide and announced a reward for information linked to it.

Williams has been charged with first-degree murder with a weapon and was presented in court Tuesday morning, where his bond was denied. He holds a criminal record and has been previously convicted for domestic violence, battery and aggravated assault.

Shannon called Williams “an animal who probably shouldn’t be out on our streets” and thanked the public officers and investigators who “removed a very dangerous monster from our street” in the Tuesday morning press conference.

Williams’ next court date is set for Jan. 3, 2022, according to local ABC affiliate WPBF.

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