MIAMI – Miami detectives said that a "significant" amount of blood found inside the car of 32-year-old Kendrick Williams led them to charge him Tuesday with second-degree murder and tampering with evidence in the killing of New York native Stepha Henry.
Henry disappeared in South Florida in May while she was away for Memorial Day weekend.
Williams was initially picked up on a traffic violation in June but was arrested "without incident" for Henry's murder after authorities found him sleeping in a vehicle in a Brooklyn, N.Y., parking lot said James Loftus, assistant director of the Miami-Dade Police Department, in a news conference Tuesday afternoon.
Williams was arrested after forensic tests on his car linked him to the victim, according to Loftus, who said that it was "substantial evidence" found in the car — which he characterized as "significant blood evidence" — that investigators conclusively traced to Henry.
"We believe she was murdered by the subject," Loftus said Tuesday.
No body has yet been found, but the investigation is continuing and Williams is being questioned, according to Loftus.
Henry, who would have turned 23 in September, and her 16-year-old sister, Shola, came to Florida just before Memorial Day to celebrate Shola's birthday. They stayed with relatives, who last saw Henry on May 29 getting into a black sedan driven by a man.
That night, Henry had talked to her mother by phone, telling her she was getting ready to go to a nightclub. Her family has said she had made friends in South Florida during numerous visits to the area.
Miami-Dade County police said Williams was the driver of the black sedan, an Acura Integra. During the investigation, Williams told detectives that he had left the club early but that Henry decided to stay, officers said. He denied owning or driving an Acura Integra, said Loftus.
But detectives impounded the car, and analysis revealed evidence that linked Williams to Henry.
"We know she was in that car with Williams and other people at some point that evening," said Loftus. "We know she may have been in the car more than once that evening."
He pointed out that detectives have never said Henry was murdered in or near the nightclub, contrary to various media reports. He declined to offer details about where the killing took place.
FOX News' Catherine Donaldson-Evans and The Associated Press contributed to this report.