Alachua man arrested in November 6 murder

William Matthew Ford


On Wednesday, November 18, 2020, William Matthew Ford of Alachua, Florida, was arrested for the murder of Toni McElvy, whose body was discovered in her apartment in southeast Gainesville on Tuesday, November 10, 2020. Members of the Gainesville Police Department’s Criminal Intelligence Unit, Forensics Unit, and Detectives Division, along with the assistance of the Alachua Police Department, were all vital in the identification and apprehension of Ford.

According to the arrest report, witnesses said McElvy, of SE 25th Terrace in Gainesville, was “dating a new guy” who drove a gold or tan vehicle with a rear spoiler. A witness said that around 10:30 p.m. on November 6, she heard Ford and McElvy pull up to McElvy’s residence and heard what sounded like Ford hitting McElvy. Ford was later heard saying, “I took this too far.” Another witness said she heard McElvy talking with Ford on the phone shortly before the murder and that he was angry with McElvy “over a jealousy issue.”

McElvy’s body was discovered on November 10 in a bathtub. She had been strangled and had visible bite marks on her left side and on her nose.

Ford was arrested after investigators found that his mother owned a vehicle similar to the one described by witnesses. He was arrested on an unrelated warrant and brought in for questioning. Post Miranda, Ford initially lied and said he was at a motel on the night of the homicide. When officers confronted him with evidence, he changed his story and said he was attacked by two guys near a store. He then changed his story again to say he was attacked by two guys at McElvy’s residence. After being confronted with more evidence, he changed his story a third time and said McElvy attacked him with a knife.

Ford eventually admitted to strangling McElvy. Although he claimed his attack was self-defense, the two bite marks were “indicative of an angry attack.” Ford admitted to biting her on the side but said it had been playful; however, the bite was “extremely deep and not indicative of a playful” bite. He also said he could have bitten her on the nose during the physical alteration.

Investigators located a prior victim who said Ford “liked to strangle women and that he bit her several times out of anger.” Ford was convicted and incarcerated for that attack. Ford has several other convictions for felony battery involving domestic violence.

GPD is still seeking information about the case. If anyone has pertinent information, please contact Det. Jon Rappa of GPDs Robbery-Homicide Squad at 352-393-7684.