Video by: Amy Grue

Woman’s disappearance from Port Angeles 30 years ago remains a mystery

A lie detector test has made a 30-year-old cold case even more of a mystery in Clallam County.

Robin Williams in about 1986, shortly before she went missing in Port Angeles.

Robin Williams in about 1986, shortly before she went missing in Port Angeles.

PORT ANGELES — A lie-detector test said the husband didn’t do it.

But that just makes it more of a decades-old mystery, Clallam County Sheriff’s Detective Sgt. Eric Munger said Friday.

A polygraph test administered this summer confirmed that Robin Renee Williams’ estranged husband, John Kimberly Williams, 62, had nothing to do with her disappearance in Port Angeles 30 years ago this summer, Munger said.

Williams was in jail when she went missing but could have arranged her vanishing, he said.

“It’s more of a whodunit,” Munger said of the case.

“Usually it’s the estranged husband or wife who has the motivation to do something bad.”

Williams, Munger said, “was pretty convincing on the polygraph, from what I understand.”

Williams said Saturday he was not surprised by the results.

“I knew I didn’t have any involvement,” he said.

“Quite to the contrary, I miss her to this day.”

Williams’ elimination as a suspect makes one of the oldest — if not the oldest — cold case in Clallam history even more of a mystery than it has been for three decades.

Munger said Robin Williams, the 24-year-old mother of a girl, 3, and boy, 1, was last seen at about 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 1, 1986, while strolling alone across a Lincoln Park ballfield.

Her vehicle was found at a gas station.

Williams had gone out drinking with two male friends at about noon the same day she went missing, Munger said.

They parted ways at 3 p.m.

Williams, 5-foot-4 and 110 pounds, was last seen dressed in baggy gray pants and a white sleeveless shirt.

She was reported missing five days later, on Aug. 6, by a friend who lives in unincorporated Clallam County and had been baby-sitting Williams’ children.

Munger said John Williams had been arrested in Port Angeles on an Eastern Washington misdemeanor warrant four or five days before Williams was last seen in the park and was transferred to the Grant County jail.

Williams not being polygraphed 30 years ago “is a little bit odd,” Munger said.

“We wanted to know if somehow he was involved from afar.

“We would want to polygraph people in this situation.”

Munger said he had John Williams polygraphed June 24 in Anchorage, Alaska, where he lives, with assistance from the Anchorage Police Department and Clallam Sheriff’s Office cold-case investigator John Toppenberg, who was vacationing in Alaska.

Munger said he has talked several times since the first of the year with Williams’ daughter, Amy Grue, 33, of Anchorage.

Munger said Grue had some concerns about her father’s potential involvement in the case and the case in general.

“It was crossing all the t’s and dotting all the i’s, and her interest in the case [that] prompted another look at it,” he said.

“The main thing I get from her is she would like to know what happened, ‘Did my mom just abandon me, or did she get kidnapped,’ you know, what happened.”

John Williams said he’s glad his daughter has more conclusive information and that any notion of him being involved was “way bizarre.”

Munger said Robin Williams had arrived in Port Angeles without her husband from Moses Lake within the six months before her disappearance.

She had no criminal record, did not have a boyfriend and was on public assistance, Munger said.

“She wasn’t well-established here,” Munger said. “She was kind of a drifter.

“The gal reporting this did not appear to know her that well.

“The bottom line is, there was was nothing to indicate she would have any reason to leave, or any reason to disappear or run from anything,” Munger added.

“She could have decided, ‘I’m leaving,’ but to leave, and leave her kids with this lady, does not make sense to me, either.”

The department often takes reports on missing persons who leave for a few days to blow off steam, then return.

When they never show up again, foul play is more often than not involved.

“Maybe she did turn up somewhere, and someone knows someone, and we haven’t found that someone,” Munger said.

“We haven’t really learned anything new in 30 years.”

Munger contacted the Peninsula Daily News in hopes that revisiting Robin Williams’ disappearance would stir up new clues to close a case that fills three binders of reports at the Sheriff’s Office.

He can be reached at 360-417-2576.


Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or

Robin Williams’ daughter Amy Grue, left, and Williams’ mother, Janice Dederick.

Robin Williams’ daughter Amy Grue, left, and Williams’ mother, Janice Dederick.

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