MOUNT DORA, Fla. — Court documents made public this week offer a look at what led Florida authorities to arrest a Georgia woman for the brutal stabbing deaths of an elderly couple.
Vickie Lynn Williams, 50, of Savannah, was arrested Jan. 2 in the New Year’s Eve killings of Darryl Getman, 83, and his wife, 80-year-old Sharon Getman. The couple were found dead inside their home in the Waterman Village retirement community in Mount Dora.
Williams, who was arrested in Savannah while driving the couple’s missing vehicle, has been extradited to Lake County, where she is being held without bond. She is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of grand theft of a vehicle, jail records show.
An arrest affidavit in the case indicates that fingerprints and other physical evidence ties Williams to the crime scene. Williams’ mother and son also identified her in surveillance images from the couple’s neighborhood.
A grisly crime scene
The affidavit, written by a Mount Dora police detective, details what took place after a neighbor sought a welfare check on the retired couple the afternoon of Dec. 31. Authorities said the neighbor became concerned when they noticed the couple’s garage door was open, which was out of the ordinary.
Officers arrived just after 4 p.m. and found the couple’s green 2019 Kia Soul was missing from the garage. On the floor were bloody shoe prints.
Security officers at Waterman Village let the officers into the house using master keys, the affidavit states. They found a grisly sight.
Sharon Getman was lying on the floor of the foyer, which was adjacent to the garage. Her body was surrounded by a pool of blood, and towels lay next to her as though someone had tried to render aid or clean up the scene.
“(The victim) had head trauma and a large amount of blood from her abdomen, which ran out and pooled behind her in the entryway,” according to the document.
Darryl Getman’s body was nearby in the dining area. He also had severe head and facial trauma, Det. Andrew Rice noted in the report.
A large butcher knife jutted from the man’s abdomen, with nothing but the hilt and about an inch of the blade exposed.
“It was determined there was likely only one attacker in the home at the time of the murders,” the affidavit states. “This was determined by the shoe prints, mixed with the bloody bare footprints. The suspect at some point in the attack apparently came out of the unknown style shoes and was barefooted.”
The bare footprints had a “very distinctive arch,” and based on the size and shape, are believed to have been made by a woman’s feet, authorities said. The prints were not made by Sharon Getman, whose bare feet were devoid of blood.
On the kitchen island, detectives found a broken money clip. While the debit and credit cards were still there, any cash the clip had held was gone.
The affidavit states that the killer appeared to have attempted cleaning up in the couple’s guest bathroom, where police found a wet, bloodstained washcloth in the sink and “black, tight, curly hairs.”
“The various hairs recovered in the sink were believed to have been left behind by the unknown suspect due to the victims’ hair color and type being identified as straight, grayish-colored hair,” the document reads.
Tracking a killer
Detectives immediately put out a “be on the lookout” for the couple’s Kia Soul and contacted the Central Florida Intelligence Exchange, or CFIX, so they could track the stolen car via license plate readers.
CFIX staff soon determined that the vehicle had been spotted around 4:30 p.m. that day by a plate reader in Greenville, South Carolina.
Investigators also learned that security officers at Waterman Village had been dealing with a suspicious woman since the day before the murders. Interim Mount Dora police Chief Michael Gibson said last week that the woman had been spotted entering the community on foot around 3 p.m. Dec. 30.
The woman, who the chief described as “dressed in a particular way,” was spotted by security and escorted out of the neighborhood through a rear entrance. Just over an hour later, that same woman was seen again on security footage along Lake Margaret Circle.
The affidavit describes the woman as a Black woman with a dark complexion and hair worn short, with twists throughout. She wore a dark-colored long-sleeved shirt or sweater over dark leggings or pants. On her feet were light-colored sandals or slides.
Shortly before 11 p.m. that night, the woman walked into a building at the retirement community and up to a reception desk, where she was recorded examining a clipboard for several seconds before leaving. The court records do not say what information was on the clipboard.
Read the affidavit for Vickie Lynn Williams’ arrest below.
A few minutes later, the intruder went to a resident’s apartment at 301 Lake Margaret Circle, just blocks from the Getmans’ home, and asked if she could come in and charge her cellphone.
The woman also asked to use the resident’s shower.
“The female asked the resident multiple times about her husband, which alarmed the female, and she hit the panic button near the entryway,” Rice wrote in the affidavit.
The intruder asked if the woman had called police, to which she said that security was on its way.
“This caused the female to panic, and (she) fled the apartment, taking a set of keys that were located in the foyer of the residence and starting out the door,” the affidavit states.
When the resident’s husband tried to block her and retrieve the keys, the intruder “wrenched” the keys away from him and told him and his wife not to follow her. After she left, they called the police.
About three hours later, surveillance cameras on Building 215 recorded the Getmans’ Kia being driven north on Lake Margaret Circle. The driver appeared not to know their way around the neighborhood.
“The vehicle appeared to have turned around at the dead end and again traveled past the same video cameras, now southbound, at approximately (2:02 a.m. Dec. 31),” the court document alleges.
A minute later, the car was driven past a guardhouse at the front gate, turned right onto North Donnelly Street and driven out of sight.
About 10 minutes later, the suspicious woman from the night before was recorded by surveillance cameras walking along North Donnelly Street from the direction the Kia had gone. She walked past the guardhouse and back onto Lake Margaret Circle in Waterman Village.
Two security officers intercepted her, and after a verbal exchange, she walked back out and onto North Donnelly, heading again in the direction in which the Kia had disappeared.
“One of the security officers that engaged the female was observed getting into a black car, turning right on North Donnelly Street and appearing to drive slowly in the direction of the female,” the affidavit states.
The woman was not seen again by the security staff.
Mount Dora detectives continued to investigate the murders. As they did so, the received active hits on the victims’ Kia, which was seen not only in Greenville, but also in Hardeeville, about 240 miles from Greenville and nearly 300 miles from Mount Dora.
On New Year’s Day, CFIX discovered license plate reader hits on the car. By that time, it was in Savannah.
Meanwhile, investigators had learned from the victims’ children that Sharon Getman always kept her keys, cellphone and purse in the car. A court order was obtained to “ping” the phone, which they learned was also in Savannah.
Savannah police officers, working with their counterparts in Florida, were able to locate the car around 11:30 a.m. on Jan. 2 in the parking lot of an Amtrak station.
Williams was inside, as were stains believed to be blood. Officers also found clothing, including a pair of white Puma slides, that appeared to match what the Florida suspect wore the night of the murders.
During questioning, Williams told detectives that she was homeless and living in the Kia, which she said was loaned to her by a friend. Items located near the car, including used toilet paper, indicated that she had been relieving herself outside.
She claimed she had been in Savannah the day of the double homicide and had not been to Florida in about two years. She also told police the purse found in the car was her own.
According to the affidavit, investigators showed Williams pictures of the victims, who she said she did not know. They also showed her images of the suspicious woman from Waterman Village’s surveillance cameras.
“She stated the shoes/slides looked like hers, but lots of people have those shoes,” Rice wrote. “Vickie Lynn Williams repeatedly stated the photos from Waterman Village were not of her.”
Florida authorities reached out, however, to police in Canton, Ohio, where Williams’ family lives. Both her mother and her son were shown surveillance images of the woman who had been wandering Waterman Village.
The pair identified the woman as Vickie Williams.
The Canton officers also showed them photos of the woman arrested by Savannah police, and they again identified her as Williams.
Meanwhile, crime scene technicians in Florida began processing physical evidence from the scene, which included blood, hair found in the Getmans’ bathroom and fingerprints from the couple’s dryer. A preliminary report on the fingerprints was completed on Jan. 6.
“The report identified latent palm impression recovered from the dryer located within the (victims’) home, (which) was compared to Vickie Lynn Williams’ most recent arrest finger impressions,” the affidavit states.
The prints matched, Rice wrote.
According to Mount Dora police officials, Williams was an apparent stranger to the couple, and their killings appear to be random. Interim police Chief Michael Gibson told reporters last week that Williams has no known connection to Mount Dora and very limited connections to Central Florida.
On Tuesday, Williams made her first appearance in a Lake County courtroom. She has pleaded not guilty.
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