Kayakers Report Seeing Decaying Baby's Body in Berkeley Marina

Sunday, Nov 15, 2009  |  Updated 3:03 PM PDT
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Kayakers Report Seeing Decaying Baby's Body in Berkeley Marina

A picture of Jashon Williams.

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Kayakers in the Berkeley Marina told police Sunday they believe they found what they think is a decomposing body of a small child in the area where the 17-month-old son of a woman, found killed in Aquatic Park, was missing.

Police and investigators are converging on the southside of the Berkeley marina investigating and setting up crime scene tape for what people think is a dead body in the water. Police had been searching for Jashon Williams for the past two days.

A patrol officer in Berkeley found the body of Jashon's mother, Zoelina Williams, at about 4 a.m. Friday on the shoreline of Aquatic Park during a routine security check.

Information gathered from the homicide investigation suggests that Jashon was with his mother when she was killed, Oakland police Officer Jeff Thomason said.

Police arrested a suspect shortly after 1 p.m. that day, 38-year-old Oakland resident Curtis Martin III, Thomason said.

Police searched Martin's home, as well as the home where Zoelina and Jashon Williams were living in Oakland, he said.

Martin has been queried on Jashon's whereabouts, but "he is not cooperating with any part of the investigation," Thomason said.

Zoelina Williams' relatives contacted Oakland police to let them know about the missing child, he said.

Aquatic Park remained closed for most of the day Saturday while authorities searched the water for Jashon's body.

The search was assisted by members of the Alameda County Sheriff's Office, a volunteer dive team and search and rescue K-9's, and aircraft from the California Highway Patrol and East Bay Regional Parks District.

Thomason declined to say whether specific evidence indicated the infant might be in the water.

"It's a logical step in any investigation," he said. "You search the last known place" where the missing person was seen.

Oakland police are actively investigating Jashon's disappearance, Thomason said. Berkeley police are investigating the death of his mother.

Anyone who may have information on the whereabouts of Jashon Williams should call the Oakland Police Department's missing persons section at 510-238-3641.

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