Loved ones rushed to her house to see what was wrong. They found her purse, wallet, identification and glasses inside, and her car in the driveway. But Lloyd was nowhere to be seen. Investigators haven’t confirmed that there were signs of forcible entry into the house, but one person who helped in the ensuing search for Lloyd told media that there were footprints outside her bedroom window.
Within 24 hours, the Belleville police were notified of her disappearance, and extensive ground and aerial searches unfolded over the weekend. Member of the tactical team, ATV unit and auxiliary police unit scoured the area around Lloyd’s house, along with officers from the neighbouring Stirling-Rawdon police department, and the CFB Trenton military base. Cops and 150 volunteers canvassed residences collecting tips.
Meanwhile, Lloyd’s family, friends and hundreds of people from the surrounding communities met at a Belleville Tim Hortons to hand out missing person posters, which included her physical description (five foot five, 125 lb.). Early versions reportedly featured the name of an unofficial suspect, rumoured to have been Lloyd’s ex-boyfriend; it was removed from the poster at the urging of police.
Col. Russell Williams, a timeline (PHOTOS)—The busy schedule of an accused killer (February 18, 2010)
The secret life of Colonel Russell Williams—If police are correct, he was a cold-blooded planner who in hours could transform from commander to monster (February 16, 2010)
Days went by, and there was no news. Police revisited her house looking for clues. They issued warnings to area residents to be extra vigilant, suggesting that women who live alone change their daily routines, “secure” their homes, and surround themselves with trusted people. News outlets in Ottawa began reporting on the case, and Facebook pages were created to spread the word about Lloyd’s disappearance. Her family’s optimism began to wither: “We’re just taking it day by day,” said Andy within a week. “I just hope she comes back healthy and safe.”
Then, on Thursday, Feb. 4, exactly one week after Lloyd was last heard from, the OPP put up a road block on Highway 37. From 7 p.m. that night until Friday at 6 a.m., investigators stopped every vehicle travelling in either direction and asked pointed questions that would lead them to Lloyd. At some point, the officers reportedly pulled over Col. Williams—and, according to some reports, noticed that his tire treads resembled the tracks left behind at the other crime scenes. By Sunday, Williams agreed to sit down and chat with a behavioural sciences expert from the Ontario Provincial Police. What he said is still a mystery, but one thing is certain: he was arrested later that day.
The next morning, Feb. 8, officers found Lloyd’s lifeless body dumped near a dirt road not far from Tweed. Investigators won’t say how she died, how they came to find her—or whether Williams led them to the corpse.
How Williams ended up here—locked in a jail cell, his reputation in ruins—is anybody’s guess. The facts have only begun to surface, and scientists who spend their careers trying to understand how a person who seems so “normal” can actually be so evil have reached only one unequivocal conclusion: no sex offender is exactly the same. Theories abound, but that’s all they are. Theories.
Criminologist Eric Hickey is familiar with the shock that invariably accompanies the arrest of a pillar of the community for the sort of heinous crimes Williams has been charged with. “People say, ‘He’s such a nice man. He’s such an important person; he couldn’t have done this.’ ” But the professor of criminology at California State University knows the profile of serial killers better than most, having assembled an extensive database on the demography of the crime. And if it turns out Williams is found guilty, Hickey says, he’ll represent “the perfect storm of killers.”