JACKSONVILLE, Fla.--- Family friends confirm the body found inside a Northside home along Itani Way Monday morning is that of Andrea Williams. Williams was recently promoted to Chief Petty Officer in the Navy Friday. As questions still remain around how she died, a family friend looked back at her life.
“She had plans on doing a big housewarming party, and she wanted me to cook all the food for her,” said family friend Chef Phantom McClendon.
McClendon figured the first time he’d be visiting Andrea Washington’s new house he’d be cooking food for his friend and her family.
Instead he’d learned the mother of three was found dead inside.
“We were stationed in Virginia together, we were very close friends,” he said.
So close, McClendon says they'd become more like family over the past decade.
“The goal of making chief is a major accomplishment and for her to make it after all these years, for her to make it and the simple fact that she can’t even enjoy it. She couldn’t even go to work in her freshly pressed khaki uniform," McClendon said.
Washington was just pinned Chief Petty Officer Friday.
“I just sent her a message on Friday right when she got pinned and told her 'I’m proud of you,'” he remembered. McClendon still has her gift.
“I got Hennessy, and we’re going to drink it together and celebrate," McClendon said. "You can't -- it’s hard to process. Why, like, you of all people? Why you? And I hope justice prevails.”
The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is suspecting foul play. First Coast News has learned, and McClendon verified, Washington was supposed to be in court today for a restraining order the mother of three filed earlier this month.
Paperwork saying Washington asked the man she was living with to help pay utility bills. That man, according to the report, kicked her in the stomach, chased her to the bedroom and pulled a gun on her.
“Now I feel like her boys are my responsibility,” McClendon said.
As McClendon continues to grieve, he’s left with a message to the community.
“If you're dealing with something, somebody should know, because you never know at a moment’s notice," he said. "Stuff like this can happen and then when stuff like this happens, they leave people like us like who is this, "Who did this? Who did that?" McClendon said.