Crime is 'constant' near murdered girl's school

Tampa, Florida -- Adults put their arms around each other as heavy hearts greeted students coming back to Tampa's Edison Elementary School.

Students were missing one of their classmates: 9-year-old Felecia Williams disappeared Friday. Her body was later found, naked, in the water along the Courtney Campbell Causeway.

Police in Temple Terrace have now arrested the woman who was watching Felecia. Eboni Wiley faces felony charges for misleading investigators.

See Also: Family holds memorial for murdered 9-year-old

Detectives say Wiley told stories full of lies when she tried to explain what happened to the little girl. But who actually killed Felecia, how they did it, and why are details the police are not sharing with the public right now.

One thing police will say is that the public is not in danger. They say it's an isolated incident, and not a random abduction. Still, some parents taking their children to Felecia's school Monday were on edge.

When Glenda Alvez walks her 9-year-old daughter to Edison Elementary, she always brings along another family member, too: a powerful-looking pit bull.

"It's either a dog or a gun. You choose!" Alvez said. "None of our kids are safe in this area. It's just drug dealer land right here."

It's not clear where Felecia Williams was killed. Police say the woman watching her had stopped in Temple Terrace, about six miles from Felecia's home in Tampa.

But it is very clear that parents who live near Felecia's home and school around Hillsborough Avenue and 15th Street, are touched by crime constantly.

So while they are somber, they are not surprised.

"Drugs, crimes, it's out of control. That's all I know about this neighborhood. Definitely out of control," Alvez said.

How rough is it around here? I ran the numbers. The most recent year that has information available on the Tampa Police Department's statistics site is 2012. That year, in an area one-and-a-half square miles around the school, 2,055 crimes were reported to Tampa Police. That's more than five crimes a day.

If you want to look up crime statistics in your own neighborhood, here's how you can empower yourself: For crimes in many communities around Tampa Bay, use this interactive map at Spot Crime.

You'll also find information with this searchable crime database for the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office and this interactive crime map for the Tampa Police Department.


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