Tyler Perry, Al Sharpton, NAACP Tout $100K Reward in Florida Missing Persons Cases

PHOTO: Filmmaker Tyler Perry, left, and the Rev. Al Sharpton, center, look on as an unidentified man comes forward during a news conference to discuss the special missing-person investigations of Terrance Williams and Felipe Santos on Jan. 10, 2013 at the
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What happened to Terrance Williams and Felipe Santos nearly a decade ago? For years, there have been whispers in Naples, Fla., about the men and the last person they were seen with, a police officer who said he dropped off the two men at separate convenience stores.

On Thursday, movie mogul Tyler Perry, the Rev. Al Sharpton and NAACP president Ben Jealous announced as much as $100,000 in rewards for information on the cases.

"This is injustice," said Perry, who throughout a news conference in Naples clutched the hand of Williams' mother.

"I don't think this is about race or social status as much as it is about, no matter who we are, we should be outraged that this is happening in America in 2013," he added, according to video recordings of the event.

Seconds after Perry offered his reward, a man in the audience interrupted, approaching the podium to claim he had information pertinent to the case and feared for his life, according to video of the event.

"Be here for my safety," said the man, sobbing.

Perry said local law enforcement assured him that it will do everything possible to protect people who speak out, adding, "The world is watching."

"Just like this man has come forward. I am sure there are others," Sharpton told the crowd of about 150 people.

Later, Collier County authorities spoke with the man to determine if he had any relevant information.

Felipe Santos, left, and Terrance Williams, right, are seen in an undated photo provided by the Collier, Fla., Sheriff's Office. The two men disappeared in 2003 and 2004 off the streets of southwest Florida within months of each other.

Santos, 23 at the time of his disappearance in October 2003, vanished following a road incident. He had just finished driving his brothers to work and was arrested for driving without proper documentation, The Associated Press reported.

Santos' brothers said that when they arrived at the jail to bail him out, they were told by Cpl. Steven Calkins of Collier County Sheriff's Office that he had dropped their brother off at a nearby convenience store because he was so cooperative, according to the AP.

Three months later, Williams, then 27, who had recently moved from Tennessee to Florida, pulled his vehicle over after experiencing car trouble, the AP reported. He was spotted by Calkins, who called the sheriff's office and asked officials to run Williams' vehicle number and bring a tow truck.

Calkins later told investigators that Williams asked for a ride to a nearby convenience store, where he let him off, according to the AP. Witnesses reported last seeing Williams near a cemetery, citing a police report.

Calkins was investigated and then fired in 2004 after he stopped cooperating with investigators probing the disappearances, the AP reported.

"Both Williams and Santos are considered missing and endangered and both were last seen in the company of now-fired [Collier County Sheriff's Office] deputy Steve Calkins," the sheriff's department noted in a news release today.

The Collier County Sheriff's Office said it had not spoken to Calkins since he was fired.

ABC News' attempts to reach Calkins by phone were unsuccessful.

In 2006, Calkins denied wrongdoing and called it "very bad luck" that he was the last person seen with the missing men, according to the Naples Daily News.

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