San Diego

20-Year Cold Case Ruled a Homicide in San Diego

Curtis Williamson drowned in Mission Bay two decades ago

The 1997 death of a teenager, originally ruled as an accident, was recently changed to a homicide investigation after decades of urging by his mother.

Curtis Williamson, 16, got in an altercation with a group of people and ran into the water in Mission Bay to get away from them on March 26, 1997.

His family said the teenager feared for his life and tried to hold on to a buoy, but it wasn't enough. His body was found in the water the next day.

"It's very tragic. I mean, you have to think 20 years, so you're missing Christmas, weddings, family events," said his cousin, Detoisha Williamson.

Williamson's death was ruled an accident, but his mother was not satisfied. She fought for two decades to have it overturned and an investigation into who may be to blame for his death.

On Feb. 1, the San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office along with San Diego Police looked at the case again and determined the case to be a homicide.

"We haven't forgotten. We just want justice for our family," Detoisha said.

Anyone with information on the identity or location of the suspect is asked to call the Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.

Crime Stoppers is offering up to a $1,000 reward to anyone with information that leads to an arrest in this case. 

Williamson's mother has started an online petition in an effort to get laws changed to help parents receive humane treatment, justice and closure when their child’s death is being investigated.

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