Twelve years after their son was bludgeoned to death in their Ukiah home, Norman and Maggie Williamson are hoping an airing of the case on national television this weekend will help bring to justice the man suspected of killing him.
"It would be great to have it resolved," said Norman Williamson, who still lives with his wife in the home where their son was slain.
Fugitive Jerred Raymond Hernandez, now 30, will be one of the subjects of an America's Most Wanted episode set to air Saturday night, police said.
"We're hoping by airing this, someone will remember having contact with him and remember having seen him and forward that information to us," said Ukiah Police Detective Rick Pintane, who's currently in charge of the investigation.
Hernandez is suspected of killing Michael Edward Williamson, 44, then setting fire to his parents' home in an attempt to conceal the homicide, police said. Williamson died of blunt force head trauma, authorities said. Jewelry, credit cards and personal checks belonging to the victim's parents were missing from the house, police said.
Michael Williamson had been housesitting in Ukiah for his parents, who were traveling through Idaho and Oregon.
"It had been a wonderful 10-day trip until the last night," Maggie Williamson recalled.
Some of Hernandez' family members, along with evidence at the crime scene, linked the suspect to the slaying, Pintane said. Williamson, a recovering substance abuser, had been attempting to mentor Hernandez, a troubled teen who lived around the corner from his parents' home, he said.
At the time, Williamson had been clean and sober for 20 months and wanted to help others kick their substance abuse habits, his parents said.
Hernandez fled Ukiah following the homicide, stopping first to withdraw money from his brother's bank account, police said. He went to Santa Rosa, the Los Angeles area and then to Mexico, where he has relatives, police said. Hernandez also has relatives in Ukiah, Trinity County, Sacramento and Southern California.
While the Williamsons want Hernandez caught, they said they hold no bitterness toward him.
"We just hope he'll find Jesus to get him through the same as Jesus got us through," Norman Williamson said.
The America's Most Wanted segment that features Hernandez is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. Saturday on FOX, Pintane said.
Anyone with information about Hernandez is asked to phone the Ukiah Police Department, 463-6262, and ask for detectives Rick Pintane or David McQueary. Pintane also may be reached at 467-5770.
Tips also may be left on the America's Most Wanted hotline, 1-800-crime-tv or at its website, www.amw.com. Tipsters may remain anonymous.
You can reach Staff Writer Glenda Anderson at 462-6473 or Glenda.firstname.lastname@example.org.