A Pierce County judge has lifted the house arrest order he imposed upon a woman to try to compel her to reveal the whereabouts of her 4-year-old great-niece, missing since July.
Superior Court Judge Thomas Swayze ruled Friday that there was insufficient evidence to hold Berlean Williams in contempt of court in the July 20 disappearance of little Lenoria Jones.
“She gets a sense of vindication in that the court accepted the credibility of her position,” said Jack Hill, Williams’ lawyer. “I don’t think there’s joy in any of this for Berlean … I think she’s very grieved and pained by all this.”
Williams, who had been granted custody of the girl a year earlier and was in the process of adopting her, became the chief target in the probe after giving police conflicting accounts of the girl’s disappearance.
She initially said the girl vanished after they entered a Target store together, but surveillance cameras showed the woman entering the store alone.
At another point she said the girl disappeared from the parking lot, and on yet another occasion she said two men abducted the child near the Williams family’s home.
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