Update: 12/5/2021: A homeless man has been arrested for the murder of Ryan Rogers in what police are calling a “random act”. Semmie Lee Williams, 39, was arrested in Miami on Wednesday after DNA was obtained from a pair of bloody headphones he left near the crime scene. His DNA was in a database because of his lengthy record that has included time in jail, as well as a mental hospital.
Palm Beach Gardens police chief Clinton Shannon said that the teen had been “stabbed to death” by a “dangerous monster.”
“This appears to be a completely random act. We do not have a motive,” Shannon said.
“I would best describe it as an innocent child victim having a chance encounter with a very violent criminal,” Shannon said, calling Williams a “homeless drifter.”
After being tracked down from his conspiracy filled YouTube videos, Williams denied ever having contact with Rogers. However, tests on a blood-stained bandana he was found with then tested positive for Ryan’s blood, the affidavit said..
Williams was ordered to his mother’s care in Florida by a Georgia judge after serving four years in jail and a mental facility for an aggravated assault charge. Court documents state he strangled and attacked an elderly man, nearly killing him.
Williams was then arrested Wednesday and charged and first-degree murder with a weapon.
He made his first court appearance Thursday and was ordered held without bond.
Update: 11/28/2021: Palm Beach Gardens Police and Fire Rescue Foundation and Crime Stoppers are now offering a $8,000 reward for any information that could help authorities solve Ryan’s case.
Police recently confirmed this was a “deliberate act” and “not an accident”. They released a statement stating, “There is someone in this community that has information that can assist us in identifying the person or people responsible, and bring answers to his family.”
On Monday night, Ryan Rogers was reported missing to Palm Beach Gardens police. The 14-year-old was found deceased Tuesday morning near an Interstate 95 overpass. Police have ruled it a homicide and are searching for answers.
Ryan, a student at William T. Dwyer High School, left his home on his bicycle around 6:40 p.m. on November 15. After he did not return home, his mother Cindy Rogers reported him missing. Ryan’s family and friends turned to social media hoping the online community would help find him.
On Tuesday morning, Cindy Rogers posted “SEARCH is off. I need space and time. Thank you to everyone.” She also wrote that her son lost control while riding his bicycle and fell, according to a CBS-12 report.
According to police, Ryan and his bicycle were found near the Central Boulevard sidewalk at the Interstate 95 overpass around 9 a.m.. Police and paramedics were called, but the teen was pronounced dead at the scene.
Although police have not released a cause of death, they have confirmed Ryan did not die of a traffic related incident. Police say they are awaiting results from an autopsy conducted by the Palm Beach County Medical Examiner.
Anyone with information about this homicide is urged to contact the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department at 561-799-4445.