Gregory Williams, a person of interest in his grandmother’s disappearance, is in custody on kidnapping, assault and theft charges. Millicent Williams is still missing. Credit: DeKalb County Jail

Missing DeKalb grandmother had previously feared for her life

It wasn’t known Friday whether a 78-year-old DeKalb County grandmother was still alive. But there wasn’t any proof that she wasn’t.

The search continued for Millicent Williams while her grandson remained in jail, accused of kidnapping and assaulting her, leaving her Decatur-area home in disarray. The woman’s blood was found inside.

While the investigation continued, police and court records showed she had previously feared her grandson would hurt her. The grandson, Gregory Anthony Williams, an Army veteran with mental illness, had even threatened to kill her, according to a police report.

“Our hope is to find her alive, but right now we’re just trying to find Millicent,” said Shiera Campbell, spokeswoman for DeKalb County police.

The Williams family reported her missing on Sunday, according to police. The scene at her Brookgreen Point home alerted investigators that she likely hadn’t left on her own. There were signs of a struggle, and blood, and her car was missing. Thursday, Gregory Williams was found in his grandmother’s car at a Kroger on Flat Shoals Road and was arrested.

Investigators used all-terrain vehicles and dogs to search for Millicent Williams in a local park and wooded areas, but found no signs of her Friday.

Investigators planned to continue the search Saturday.

Gregory Williams, 36, lived with his grandmother for several years in her Brookgreen Point home, records showed. In recent years, things were tumultuous.

He had enlisted in the Army in November 1999 and was a petroleum lab specialist at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, according to a military spokeswoman. Williams served until 2002, earning a national defense service medal, Army service ribbon, and parachutist badge. Though his grandmother believed he’d served in Iraq, Gregory Williams was never deployed, the Army said Friday.

He’d had run-ins with police in Florida, and in North Carolina he was convicted of a misdemeanor assault charge against a woman in 2002. In Georgia, Williams doesn’t have a prior arrest history, but he’d been the reason for several emergency calls to police.

Between July 2011 and September 2014, officers were called six times to his grandmother’s home , according to police reports obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. She told police he had threatened to kill her, and she was granted temporary protective orders, twice, to keep him away.

On July 29, 2011, Millicent Williams called police after her grandson locked her in the house and took her keys, according to the incident report. Gregory Williams, who was upstairs locked in his room, had been diagnosed with schizophrenia, his grandmother said. When police came he volunteered to be taken to a crisis center.

When he punched a hole in a wall, Millicent Williams got a protective order in August 2011 requiring him to leave her home and not get closer than 100 yards of his grandmother.

That October, he was evicted from her home, but didn’t leave, according to police reports. His grandmother allowed him to stay, but in November police again returned to her home. She wanted him gone, but Gregory Williams told officers he didn’t know about the protective order.

“He also stated he did not know he had been evicted from the residence,” the incident report states.

He was allowed to stay and Millicent Williams was told to restart the eviction process.

It was 2014 before police returned to the home. This time, she told officers about her grandson’s mental illnesses, reports show.

“Ms. Williams stated her grandson was a victim of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder),” a June 2014 report states. “He served a tour in Iraq and he was never the same. He is not taking any medication and has been acting very agitated.”

On June 28, 2014, Gregory Williams called police because his wallet was missing and he believed his grandmother had it. When an officer told him he couldn’t legally search her room, Gregory Williams left, according to police. Less than two months later, an officer was called to the home again. This time, Millicent Williams feared her grandson was going to hit her for not giving him money to buy cigarettes.

“Miss Williams stated the suspect became irate and started yelling, calling her derogatory names and approached her in an aggressive manner,” the report states. “She stated the suspect approached her and gestured as if he was going to strike her.”

Gregory Williams had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and was taking medicine for it, his grandmother said. But he’d also been drinking. While she was eating, he walked into the dining room naked, yelling that he owned the house and she needed to pay him for living there, she told police.

“Mr. Gregory began to ball up his fists and raise them towards her while shouting threats at her,” the report states. “Ms. Millicent said Mr. Gregory threatened to kill her.”

The following month, Millicent Williams called police again when her grandson raised his fists as though to punch her after an argument over the house keys. In December 2014, she was granted her second protective order against her grandson.

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