“First and foremost, my family would like to say thank you to the Sanford Police Department and Investigator Christopher Serino for diligently pursuing and solving the murder of our family member, Mr. Bonnie Williams, in such a short period of time,” wrote Ty Thornton in an email to The Sanford Herald. Thornton is the grandniece of Williams.
Conquest was arrested Feb. 22 for the Feb. 9 stabbing death of Williams. (See separate story, Page 1.)
Thornton said the family also wanted to thank those who helped police solve the case.
“We will be forever grateful to all that responded to our hue and cry, and to the people that thought his life mattered,” she said.
The family prayed together, especially for the Conquest family, Thornton said.
“Even when things looked bleak we prayed, not just for our family but also for the family of the person that committed such a senseless crime, because we know that not only has our family lost a member, but another family in our community has lost a member, as well,” she wrote.
Thornton said the family heard from news reports that Conquest’s uncle stated his nephew was “slow,” possibly meaning he has a mental deficiency.
“This is apparent, because any person that can stab someone repeatedly the way he did without his conscience telling him its wrong needs to be locked away,” Thornton said.
Thornton was the family member who responded to police Feb. 9 to identify her uncle.
“Nothing can bring back our uncle and there hasn’t been a panacea to stop the diurnal thoughts of seeing him lying in the streets and having to identify his body,” she said. “However, we believe in the justice system, and we will be in the courtroom on sentencing day to make sure that justice prevails.”