Bridgette Benita Williams’ family didn’t feel a need to report her missing.
“There was no reason to suspect anything was wrong,” her brother-in-law Charlie Lyons told The Augusta Chronicle on Feb. 20, 1996.
Williams, a mother of four, was found stabbed to death in a ditch along the 1200 block of New Savannah Road by a man driving to work.
Police say Williams was attacked and stabbed numerous times while on Gordon Park Road. After the attack, Williams ran to a ditch on New Savannah Road, where she died from her injuries, according to the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.
Nearly 20 years later, Williams’ death remains one of four 1996 Richmond County unsolved homicides.
Richmond County Sheriff’s investigators said Williams died from stab wounds to her leg and arm and confirmed that she was found fully clothed. In the days after her death, police were unable to list a motive or a suspect.
Williams grew up in Burke County, according to Chronicle archives, but had moved to Augusta, where she attended Glenn Hills High School.
She was unemployed at the time of her death, but had recently worked at a local sewing factory, according to Lyons.
“She enjoyed life and really cared about her kids,” Lyons told The Chronicle in 1996.
At the time of her death, her children were 16, 9, 8 and 5.
On May 3, 2012, Williams’s case was reviewed in an attempt to use new technology and advances in DNA evidence to gather new leads.
Investigators with the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office retrieved clothing with blood stains and fingernail clippings belonging to the victim, which had been collected in 1996.
The items were sent to the GBI Crime Lab for analysis and possible suspect identification but came back negative.
“The case involving Bridgette Williams is still considered an opened cold case,” Richmond County Sgt. Michael McDaniel said.
Williams’ slaying was one of a number of 1995 and ’96 crimes in the New Savannah Road area, prompting complaints from area employees.
The day after Williams’ body was found, Michael Miller of the Georgia-Carolina Boy Scout Council on Gordon Park Road, found blood stains in his office parking lot, which he presumed to be from Williams.
“I’m really concerned about crime,” he told The Chronicle. “There have been several other murders in the area and I’m worried about the safety of our staff and volunteers.”
In January 1996, Miller heard that the Knox Foundation had donated the Telfair Inn property on the 300 block of Greene and Telfair streets to the United Way.
“This is like a gift from God,” he said at the time.