NORTH PORT — Friends of Theresa Williams described her Thursday as a fun, outgoing and loving person.
“She knew her Bible inside and out,” said Kathy Franzoni, her friend for more than a decade.
Friends and family reported Williams was missing May 3, after they hadn’t seen her for a couple of days, maybe Friday, May 1.
North Port Police found a body Wednesday in a thickly wooded lot behind the Willow Creek Apartments in North Port, near where the 58-year-old Williams lived.
Police used drones, a helicopter and boats equipped with sonar to search for Williams. They also received help from the Peace River K9 Search and Rescue to search the area three different times.
They found what they believe is Williams’ body on the third K-9 search.
Franzoni, Wagoner and Williams were like the “three musketeers,” they said, or the “three stooges,” depending on what day it was.
The friends always exchanged presents for their birthdays. Wagoner said one time Williams really wanted a recorder to play, but she couldn’t afford the instrument, so she gave her $10.
“You would think it was a million dollars,” she said.
Wagoner’s favorite gift she ever received from Williams was a latch-hook rug depicting a cat.
Williams had an affinity for latch hooks and loved animals. She loved art and was good at abstract, Franzoni added. She could draw a perfect square without using a ruler.
Everyone knew about Williams love for sports, particularly football and golf.
“You didn’t call her when her games were on, she wouldn’t answer,” Wagoner said.
“Heaven forbid you would interrupt her during a game,” Franzoni laughed.
“You knew she was there, but she wouldn’t answer,” Wagoner said.
Williams was also dedicated to Bible study.
A friend invited her to a Bible study class in 2008, and she began attending every class she could.
Charles Biall, a member of the board of elders at St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church, said she had open-ended friendliness. Even while they were driving, Williams would have the windows down, so she could say hello to those she knew, as they drove passed.
“She didn’t hesitate at all to say hello to people,” Biall said.
Maybe it was because she was a Leo, born in August, or because she had been bullied during her elementary and junior high school years. Williams would say hello to anyone she passed, including in her favorite fast food restaurants.
Williams didn’t like the rain or the thunder. She would regularly watch the weather, and then call her friends to let them know what they could expect.
“She would have made a good forecaster,” Franzoni said.
Williams loved to go out to eat with her friends. Some of her favorites included Wendy’s, Earth Cafe and Perkin’s.
“The highlight of her day was going to Earth Cafe (or Wendy’s), and the highlight of her week, was going to see her mom,” Franzoni said.
“She was a flower in our lives,” Franzoni said.