"Breakthrough in Murder Case: Operation Catch a Toe Nabs Suspect with Unique Footprint"

How an unusual clue ended life on the run for fugitive William Greer, wanted for killing his girlfriend Tammy Myers and hiding her body.

"Breakthrough in Murder Case: Operation Catch a Toe Nabs Suspect with Unique Footprint"
10 May 2024, 03:19 PM
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In December 2006, just days before Christmas, Tammy Myers vanished. The 29-year-old mother of three had separated from her husband and was living with a new man, William Greer, in a suburb of Houston. Within days of Myers' disappearance, Greer also vanished.

Investigators believed Greer was responsible for Myers' death and spent years hunting the fugitive.

In 2010, Deputy Marshal Cameron Welch of the Southern District of Texas U.S. Marshals Service heard about the case and asked to be assigned. "This guy literally thought that he could victimize not only Tammy, but everybody else that he encountered while he was on the run, and kind of just thumbing his nose in our face," Welch told "48 Hours" correspondent Peter Van Sant in "The Day My Mother Vanished," airing Saturday, May 11 at 10/9c on CBS and streaming on Paramount +. 

Tammy Myers' daughter Nicki Myers Bates told Van Sant that she and her brothers liked Greer. He was kind and generous to them, but it wasn't long before his relationship with their mother turned dark.

"As a little girl, you remember seeing your mother in pain?" Van Sant asked. 

"Yes," Bates replied. "She was bleeding, she was bruised, she could barely walk."

Bates was just a child of 7 when her mother vanished. At the age of 9, she appeared on "America's Most Wanted" to discuss the case for the first time.

During an interview with Van Sant, Bates shared, "I went on a mission. Not only to locate William, but also to ensure my mom's name and case remain in the public eye."

In 2012, Deputy Marshal Leslie Ramin joined the quest for Greer. Ramin emphasized the family's desire for someone dedicated to pushing hard to take necessary actions.

Deputies commended Bates for her unwavering determination to locate Greer. Deputy Marshal Josh Wright even remarked, "She would make an excellent Deputy U.S. Marshal. We admire that."

Ramin coined a new term for the search for Greer: "Operation Catch a Toe." This nickname referred to a toe Greer had lost in a biking accident, a distinctive trait highlighted on wanted posters in hopes of aiding in Greer's identification.

Ramin explained, "If you have a murderer in your house and ... this murderer is missing a toe ... they're going to easily put two and two together." His strategy proved successful.

The Capture of William Greer

Following a decade-long manhunt, on Nov. 22, 2017, a tip led Marshals to Mexico where they apprehended a man believed to be William Greer. Despite his denials, Deputy Marshal Cameron Welch confirmed his identity by noting the missing toe, a key detail in the case.

Known as "Operation Catch a Toe," the mission culminated in Greer's conviction for second-degree manslaughter as part of a plea deal.

The Search for Closure

Despite Greer's capture, the pain persists for Bates, who is determined to locate her mother, believed to be buried by Greer in a wooded area of Cleveland, Texas. In February 2024, Bates joined volunteers from Texas EquuSearch in a search effort.

Grateful for the support, Bates expressed her appreciation for the volunteers who have rallied around her during this challenging time. Despite setbacks in the search, Bates remains resolute in her quest for closure, now a mother herself.

With tears in her eyes, Bates shared, "My children, they're still so young, but they understand everything that's going on. All they want is for her to come back home. I have to stay positive not just for myself, but for them too. I can't stop searching, I won't give up."