Temple Terrace, Florida -- The Temple Terrace Police Department announced Friday they are formally charging 35-year-old Granville Ritchie with the first degree murder of 9-year-old Felecia Williams.
Ritchie has been charged with first degree murder, sexual battery and aggravated child abuse in Williams' death.
Detectives say on May 16, Felecia Williams was picked up by Granville Ritchie and Eboni Wiley. All three then went to an apartment frequented by Ritchie on Tanglewood Lane in Temple Terrace. Around 4:50 that afternoon, Wiley left the apartment, leaving Ritchie alone with Felecia for about an hour ten minutes.
When she returned around 6 p.m., Ritchie met her at the door, shirtless and sweating. Ritchie was highly upset and told Wiley Felecia had run off. During an interview with Ritchie while Felecia was still missing, he told investigators he was with Wiley having sex in another room of the apartment, after which they both came out to discover that Felecia had left.
However, Wiley told police that this was a story that her and Ritchie had originally agreed upon to tell police. On May 17, around 3:23 p.m., Felecia's naked body was found by a citizen along the north shoreline of the Courtney Campbell Causeway.
The investigation revealed Felecia suffered blunt force trauma to her head, sexually assaulted and that she was ultimately strangled to death.
During a search of Ritchie's apartment, evidence at the scene indicated that Felecia's body had been concealed in a suitcase and dragged from the apartment.
A broken suitcase wheel was found on the rear patio and wheel marks were found in the carpet leading from the patio. A broken zipper pull was found near the wheel marks inside the apartment. The broken wheel and zipper pull were found to belong to a Protege-style suitcase, which is the same brand of suitcase that was later found in the Lexus sedan Ritchie was driving.
VIDEO: Felecia Williams' family reacts to murder case details
The suitcase located in the sedan had all of its zipper pulls and both wheels were still intact. Statements from witnesses said that at one time, Ritchie was in possession of two different sizes of the same style suitcase.
During Ritchie's interview, he said that on May 16, after dropping Wiley off, he traveled to Thonotosassa and then returned to his apartment. However, cell site data indicated Ritchie never went to that area. He, instead, returned to the apartment around 9 o'clock that evening where he remained until about 11 o'clock that evening when he began traveling west from that apartment.
The investigation revealed the apartment had been cleaned sometime during that time period. Cell site data analysis also revealed Ritchie had traveled to the area where Felecia's body was found and that he remained there for a prolonged period of time.
During a search of Ritchie's Lexus, plant material was found lodged in the front headlight that is consistent with plant material that is in the area where Felecia's body was recovered. It also had soil in the driver's side floorboard area which is consistent with the area where the 9-year-old's body was found.
Detectives have not charged anyone else in connection with Felecia's murder.
10 News will have more on this story tonight at 5.
VIDEO: Felecia Williams' press conference Part 1
VIDEO: Felecia Williams' press conference Part 2
VIDEO: Felecia Williams' press conference Part 3
Felecia Williams' gallery
10 News' coverage on Felecia's murder...
- Missing 9-year-old found murdered
- Mother of murdered Tampa girl wants answers
- Police make arrest connected to girl's murder
- Crime is "constant" near murdered girl's school
- Eboni Wiley mentored victim Felecia Williams
- Eboni Wiley had history of hallucinations
- Questions remain after girl's murder
- Suspect named in Felecia Williams' murder