Child's Body Recovered Near Berkeley Marina

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A child's body was recovered from the San Francisco Bay near the Berkeley Marina Sunday, not far from where police searched Saturday for a toddler whose mother had been killed.

Seventeen-month-old Jashon Williams was last known to be with his mother Zoelina Williams, 23, of Oakland, who was found dead in Aquatic Park around 4 a.m. Friday, according to police.

Curtis Martin III was arrested in Oakland Friday for his alleged involvement in Zoelina Williams' death.

Police searched the park Saturday but did not find any clues relating to the toddler's whereabouts.

The body was found floating in the water by a group of two or three kayakers around 11 a.m. Sunday, according to Berkeley Police Lt. Andrew Greenwood.

The Berkeley Fire Department recovered the body, which was given to the Alameda County Coroner's office for identification.

"It is the body of a small child," Greenwood said. "We don't know who it is."

On Sunday, Berkeley police searched the area, several boats patrolled the shoreline and a helicopter searched from above, but no evidence related to the case was found.

Currents could have carried the body from Aquatic Park to the Marina, Greenwood said.

"Water flows in and out," he said. "Material can pass back and forth there."

Martin remains in jail and is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday morning, Greenwood said.

Greenwood said Berkeley Police officers began searching Aquatic Park for the child Saturday morning with assistance from search dogs, a dive unit, a helicopter, a plane and a boat.

The search ended at about 3 p.m. after failing to uncover any pertinent information.

"Our goal was to make sure we didn't miss anything and to essentially make sure we left no stone unturned," Greenwood said.

Martin, 38, was arrested at Chestnut Street and 24th Avenue in Oakland after Oakland Police received information from Berkeley Police Homicide detectives.

It is unknown what Martin's relationship was to Zoelina Williams.

In 1994, Martin pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 11 years in prison for the fatal beating of the 3 year-old son of his then-girlfriend, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

According to Berkeley Police Officer Andrew Frankel, a Berkeley patrol officer was conducting a security check of the park when he found the crime scene just after 4 a.m. on Friday. Zoelina Williams' body was found on the shoreline near the end of Bolivar Drive at the east end of the park.


Amy Brooks is the city news editor. Contact her at [email protected]

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