Jana Williams’ death being investigated as a homicide

The death of Jana Williams, whose remains were found near the Red River at Alfred Avenue last week, was a homicide, police say.

Police said last week they responded to a call around 6 p.m. Thursday reporting the discovery of a body near the Red River.

Jana Williams’ family held a vigil Sunday night near the river, and police confirmed Monday morning that they had found her remains.

The vigil shows just how loved Williams was by her family and in the community at large, said Const. Jay Murray, a police spokesperson, during a news conference Monday morning. 

“There was a significant outpouring of support for her. It’s very tough and it kind of reminds us of the human element in these cases,” he said. 

Williams’ remains were found outside, but police don’t think her body was in the river at any point, Murray said.

They also don’t believe her remains were there for a significant amount of time, he said. 

“We know someone was involved with the disposal of her body. That much is for sure,” he said.

“I don’t like to use the word disposal. I struggled with another word to use, but when the facts of this case do come out, I feel it’s the most accurate word to use, unfortunately.”

He wouldn’t say when police think she might have been killed, or how, but they would like to speak with anyone who might have seen or talked to Williams in the two weeks before her body was found. 

Police decided to release photos of her in case it jogs someone’s memory, he said. 

Anyone with information is asked to call the homicide unit at 204-986-6508 or submit a tip anonymously via Crime Stoppers at 204-786-TIPS (8477).