SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP, OH (FOX19) - A man who authorities said kidnapped and killed a three-year-old boy could walk out of prison next year, although the victim’s family is fighting hard to make sure that never happens.
On June 18, 1982, three-year-old Jason Evers disappeared in Springfield Township. For hours on end, his loved ones searched for any sign of him.
“It’s really been hard for me. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about what happened," Robert “Bob” Evers, Jason’s father, said. “It was devastating. I couldn’t believe it.”
Eventually, their efforts came to a soul-shattering conclusion. Jason’s body was found in a shallow grave near the playground at the Powel Crosley YMCA, Evers’ relatives said.
“Just unbelievable," Ron Evers, Jason’s uncle, said. "We searched for six weeks looking for his body.”
Adrian Williams, then 17, became the prime suspect. Williams tried to get ransom for Jason, Bob Evers said, but was caught by the FBI.
Investigators revealed that Williams had lured Jason into the woods, kidnapped him, killed him and then buried his remains. He was ultimately convicted of kidnapping and involuntary manslaughter.
Now, 37 years into his 50-year sentence, Williams has another shot at freedom - a parole hearing in 2020.
Jason’s loved ones have started a petition that is circulating online and on paper. It demands that Williams stay in prison and urges the parole board to not grant Williams parole.
To Jason’s family, Williams is not only a cold-hearted child killer but a dangerous man.
“He killed my son, a defenseless three-year-old baby," Bob Evers said. "We’re Jason’s voice right now. Jason can’t speak for himself, so this petition will help keep Williams in jail.”
This is not the first time Williams has been up for parole, and if he remains in prison, he will likely face a parole board again.
Although they say it may feel like a never-ending battle, Jason’s family members are willing to fight forever.
“We always wonder, what would Jason look like? Would he be playing ball with us? Would he be karaokeing with us? It’s still sad," Ron Ever said. "He would’ve been 40 this year, and he’s been gone all these years. Now, this guy wants to get out. He’s gotta serve his 50 years.”
Adrian Williams’ parole hearing is set for February 2020.