Sunset Hill body identified as missing Spokane woman

SPOKANE, Wash. - A body found in a heavily wooded area near the intersection of 14th and Milton has been identified as a woman who was reported missing April 2.

The Spokane Medical Examiner confirmed the identity of the body as Kala Williams, who has been missing since earlier this spring.

Spokane Police say that Williams' death is being investigated as a homicide.

Williams, 20, was declared missing by her brother April 2, though her mother, who attended church twice a week with Kala, hadn't heard from her since March 23. Her family was concerned for her welfare because she had been using drugs.

Her body was found by some children Sunday afternoon along a trail used by transients who hop on trains running through Spokane. The investigation was slowed by the dense vegetation where she was found, requiring investigators to cut their way back through to where her body was found.

Williams' mom was out at the location where her daughter was found Tuesday morning. She said she was very close to her daughter and had tried very hard to help her with her drug problems.

Kala Williams homicide video

"Apparently according to her family she had been recently using drugs and they were concerned for her safety because of her lifestyle," Spokane Police Captain Dave Richards said Tuesday afternoon.

Now that the body has been positively identified, the case has been turned over to detectives to investigate Williams' murder. Detectives have been following up on leads and interviewing people in relation to her disappearance in April; now they'll be going back over their leads to further develop the picture of what happened to Williams.

"All indications are that this is not a random attack," Captain Richards added.

Richards said that Williams' lifestyle - she'd been arrested for shoplifting beer in 2008 as a juvenile and according to her family and court documents had been using drugs - put her at a higher risk for getting into trouble.

While not going so far as to classify her as a person living a transient lifestyle, particularly since she had kept in contact with her family, Richards said that, "the road she was going down would have put her at greater risk."

Capt. Richards did not release any information as to the cause of Kala Williams' death.

For Williams' mom, the identification of her daughter's remains Tuesday made for an especially sad day for her as it was also her birthday.

May 16 Correction: Initial information, provided by the Spokane Police Department, indicated the boyfriend had reported Williams missing on April 2. On May 16 they confirmed this information was in error and it was her brother that had reported her missing.