ST. LOUIS – Wednesday marks the 21st anniversary of a little girl’s disappearance and murder that gripped the St. Louis area for years. Casey Williamson’s killer, Johnny Johnson, was set to be executed next week for the crime, but received a federal stay of execution on Tuesday.
Casey’s mother, Angie Wideman, spoke with FOX 2 about how her daughter’s death has affected their entire family over the past two decades. The 6-year-old disappeared from a friend’s Valley Park home on July 26, 2002, prompting a large search.
Wideman and the entire community hoped and prayed the child would be found ok. Then the heartbreaking news that Casey had been found dead.
Wideman says that day sometimes feels like it was forever ago, and sometimes it feels like it was just yesterday. Prior to the federal appeals court’s stay, Wideman had been emotionally preparing for Johnson’s execution.
Wideman wants to be there to see Johnson pay for his crime. Johnson took Casey to an old, abandoned glass factory the morning of July 26, where he beat her to death. A jury convicted Johnson on all counts and he received the death penalty.
Casey’s death ripped apart their family, Wideman says. Her brother had a mental breakdown and her father drank himself to death. It was more than the two of them who identified Casey’s body could live with. Wideman’s oldest daughter also died 8 years ago. She was never able to accept life after losing her sister. Casey’s mother is devastated again at the news the Johnson’s execution is on hold and may not happen.
She says she has faith in God and those who represented Casey during the trial and continue to fight for her.