|Lloyd William Cook|
Lloyd William Cook, Adam's stepfather at the time of his death, has pleaded not guilty to charges of manslaughter, criminal negligence causing death, unlawful confinement and interference with a dead body.
Adam died in January 2000 while his hands and feet had been bound and he
had been left in a bedroom of the couple's mobile home in Prince George. A few weeks later, he was buried in a shallow grave in a wooded area near Miworth and within a few months, the couple then left Prince George for Oliver where they lived in a camper parked in the back of a rural property owned by Cook's brother and sister-in-law. Nearly four years later, Williams went to police with her story but red flags had already been raised about the couple.
Testifying from Penticton via a video link, social worker Karen Johnson said the Ministry of Children and Family Development launched an investigation into Cook and Williams in January 2002 shortly after the newborn's birth, over concern they might not be able to care for the child.
In the process, Johnson determined that while his younger brother was living with relatives, Adam's whereabouts remained unaccounted for. Johnson met Williams at the hospital but was unable to get any solid information. "She said that she couldn't tell me where he is," Johnson said. "She said that he's in a safe place but that she wasn't willing to say where."
Asked about Williams' demeanour, Johnson said she was very quiet, kept her head down and it was hard to make eye contact with her. "When she specifically was asked about Adam, then tears were rolling down her cheeks," Johnson said.
Johnson said she pressed the issue but Williams remained mum. Cook, meanwhile, did not show up for the meeting. But Johnson did meet with the couple three days later, by which time it had been determined the baby was to be brought into the ministry's care.
They both refused to say where Adam was and Williams said a lawyer had advised them not to disclose his whereabouts to anyone. The lawyer's name was not disclosed, Johnson later testified.
Cook, meanwhile, was "very emotional," Johnson said.
"At times, he was sobbing in the interview and at other times he was extremely angry and yelling and swearing at myself and the other social worker that was present," Johnson said.
Williams, meanwhile, continued to be very quiet, speaking only when asked directly and in answers as short as possible. "She often glanced over at Lloyd Cook before she answered questions," Williams said.
Johnson said she continued to be concerned and took further steps, including securing a court order to compel Williams to disclose Adam's location but Williams still refused to say anything when it was served in mid-February. Johnson said a warrant for her arrest was subsequently issued a month later.
Asked by Justice Glen Parrett if she placed the warrant with police,
Johnson said she advised police that it was a family court warrant but believed it was essentially the same as an arrest warrant in terms of outcome.
"My understanding, when I spoke to the ministry lawyer and then also the police is that if at any point if Judy Williams was located, she would be arrested on that family court warrant and have to appear before a judge and disclose Adam Williams' whereabouts," Johnson said.
Crown prosecutor Lara Vizsolyi and defence lawyer Stephen Taylor will give closing arguments today in the trial by judge alone at the Prince George courthouse.
-Prince George Citizen