“If you met him on a park bench, or at the bus stop, he’d say you were his new best friend. He was a very trusting soul, and always looked for the best in everyone,” said Paula Terrell, Michael Williams’ aunt.
Even though he was diagnosed with a learning disability as a child, Williams was determined to live on his own. He settled in Grinnell about 12 years ago where he worked at a few fast food restaurants, though he was recently unemployed to to worsening diabetes, according to the Des Moines Register.
He called everyday to check on his family, but on Sept. 12 the calls stopped. Four days later he was found dead, his body burning in a ditch in rural Jasper County, according to S&B.
Police are investigating Williams’ death a homicide and four individuals have been charged as of Tuesday.
According to a news conference held Tuesday, investigators state that while the killing wasn’t random, they don’t believe race was a factor.
“Our mission from the very beginning, and that will continue, is to bring justice for Mike and Justice for his family,” said Grinnell Police Chief Dennis Reilly.