Man arrested more than a month after missing mom found dead in crashed car

PD: Jena Nicole Higgins was abandoned after crash

WHITEWATER TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- A man was arrested Thursday more than a month after a crash that killed a missing 29-year-old mother.

Jena Nicole Higgins was found dead at about 2 p.m. Monday, June 16 in the passenger seat of an abandoned 1970 Pontiac LeMans sedan along the side of Cilley Road in Whitewater Township. She was reported missing hours earlier by her mother in Colerain Township.

Authorities say Scott D. Williams, 27, abandoned Higgins after crashing the vehicle westbound on Crilley Road in the early hours of June 15.

Julie Ramage, Higgins' mother, said she is furious at Williams.

"I think that if I was here in front of him, I'd probably smack him upside the head and ask him, ‘What gave you the right?’" Ramage said. "’You didn't care about…how fast you went. You didn't care about getting my daughter help or even seeing if she needed help, so I could care less about you.’"

Officials said Williams was driving at a minimum speed of 90 mph when he lost control and struck a utility pole and tree. The posted speed limit in the area is 35 mph.

“He had no business driving that fast,” Ramage said. “He had no business putting my daughter's life at risk.”

Investigators said Williams' blood-alcohol content level at the time was 0.121, one-and-a-half times the legal limit of 0.08.

More than a month after the crash at about 4:40 p.m. Thursday, Williams was arrested and charged with two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide and one count of leaving the scene of an auto accident. Officers said he was found hiding in his mother's attic at her home on East Miami River Road in Miami Township.

Ramage said she is still in disbelief that her daughter is dead.

"I'm hoping and praying that she didn't lay there and suffer for a day and a half," she said.

Two family members searching for Higgins found her while scouting the 10000 block of Cilley Road on June 16.

“They had heard the vehicle was left in the stretch of road, found the vehicle and contacted us,” Hamilton County Sheriff's Office Lt. Tom Butler said.


 

The sedan was found in very thick foliage about 30 feet south from the roadway, making it difficult to spot. The vehicle, still jammed into the utility pole, was severely damaged. Investigators said they believe Higgins died from injuries sustained in the crash. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Ramage said her daughter left behind four boys, ranging from 2 to 10 years old.

"(Williams) stripped her of her life. These boys, all four boys... taken away forever," Ramage said. "She was a good mom... She would have gave her life at any moment for them just like I would have gave my life for her.”

Higgins left a bar with Williams in Cleves the night before her death on Saturday, June 14, officials said. It was the last time anyone heard from her.

Ramage said she wants to know more about the circumstances surrounding her daughter's death.

But most of all, she said she just wants her daughter back.

“I miss her every moment of every day,” Ramage said. “I'm used to waiting for her to walk through the door and say ‘Mom.’ I'm used to waiting for her to come in and call me old lady."

A judge set Williams’ bond Friday at $300,000.

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