Imposter steals identity of Cincinnati slain child - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Imposter steals identity of Cincinnati slain child

Jason Evers Jason Evers
The man in Oregon calling himself Jason Evers The man in Oregon calling himself Jason Evers
Adrian Williams (Source: Ohio Department of Corrections) Adrian Williams (Source: Ohio Department of Corrections)

By Kimberly Holmes – bio | email

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19)  - A White Oak family's fight to keep their son's killer behind bars gets an unintended boost. It's from an Oregon man who is accused of trying to steal their murdered toddler's identity.

Jason Evers was killed 28 years ago. At the time, he was three years old. Last week, federal prosecutors arrested a man who they said had been living as Evers.

Evers' father and sister said this is a horrible unthinkable crime, but Monday they told FOX19 that the arrest of this alleged imposter is now helping them collect thousands more signatures to keep Jason's killer behind bars.

Evers was kidnapped and killed in 1982. Evers was found near the Powel Crosley YMCA next to the child's home in Springfield Township. Adrian Williams was convicted of the crime. Williams buried the child in a densely wooded area then tried to collect ransom money from the family. A month later, Jason's decomposed body was found in a shallow makeshift grave.

Today, Evers' father Bob carries around a lock of his son's hair in his wallet.

"This is all I have left of my son," Evers said. "All I got to hold on to. I scraped this off the rocks that were covering his frail little body."

Williams was convicted of kidnapping and involuntary manslaughter. He was sentenced to 14 to 50 years. Williams will have served 28 years when he is considered for parole in June.

"He has another 22 years to serve," said Evers' sister Amy who was the last family member to see her little brother alive. Amy was six years old at the time. "And we're going to do everything that we can to keep him behind bars."

Williams has faced the parole board five times. Each time, Bob and Amy have organized petitions where they've gathered thousands of names. This year, during that petition drive, Bob and Amy heard from someone they'll never forget: a federal investigator.

"At first I thought it was a sick joke because we're doing a petition right now to keep Williams behind bars," said Bob Evers.

Federal prosecutors said a man had somehow gotten a hold of Jason's birth certificate and was living as Jason Evers.

"He said we believe that someone has assumed the identity of your brother," said Amy. "He assumed the identity in 1996 and then he tried to apply for a passport in 2002."

Federal prosecutors said they still don't know who this guy is.

Lance Caldwell, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Portland, said "John Doe" lives near the Oregon-Idaho border and was charged a week ago with making a False Statement in an application for a passport. Authorities said John Doe worked for the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. It's unclear how the suspect was hired by the OLCC. We're told, the organization conducts background checks on liquor license applicants, club owners, bartenders and other servers of alcohol.

Documents from the U.S. Attorneys reveal John Doe applied for a passport as Jason Robert Evers in 2002. He also claimed his birth date as Jan. 6, 1979. Caldwell said John Doe was arrested after state department workers performed a periodic matching of passport data to death certificates. It's unclear where John Doe might have traveled to.

"I think this is a sign from Jason to help us get more signatures to keep his killer behind bars," said Bob.

In the last week, thousands more people have signed their petition including those from Idaho and Oregon. Bob said so far 10,000 people have signed their petition. He said his goal is to have 20,000 signatures this year.

It's a faint bright spot in a crime that's claimed the lives of two loved ones in one family. Amy said her mother died of a broken heart six years after Jason's murder. Amy said she was 30 years old.

"My kids don't have a grandma and that's the thing that hurts a lot, and they don't have an uncle," said Amy. "Not only did Williams take my brother away, but he opened up a whole new avenue for someone to be able to assume his identity."

Federal prosecutors said the man claiming to be Evers will be in an Idaho court on Tuesday for a hearing. Prosecutors will have to prove "John Doe" is the man they are investigating.

Caldwell said federal prosecutors will ask to transfer John Doe to Oregon since that's where the case originated.

To sign the Evers' online petition, visit: http://www.petition.fm/petitions/jevers

 

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