A Chicago man has been ordered to stand trial for murder in connection with the 1982 disappearance of his 8-month-old daughter, whose body has never been found, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said Thursday. While making the announcement, Nessel praised the decades-long determination of the girl’s mother who “has never given up her pursuit of justice for her daughter.”
Isiah Williams, 76, accused in the presumed death of Olisa Williams, was bound over for trial in Washtenaw County, Nessel said.
Williams allegedly took the girl from the arms of her mother, Denise Frazier-Daniel, during a struggle on April 29, 1982, in Ohio and took her to Michigan, where she was last seen alive that summer in Williams’ custody, Nessel said. Williams had a “long history of domestic violence” against Frazier-Daniel, according to police in both Ohio and Michigan, officials previously said.
Olisa was never found and is presumed dead, Nessel said. Olisa, who weighed just 35 pounds when she disappeared, would be 41 years old now, according to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.
Ann Arbor police asked the attorney general’s office to review the case in early 2021. An open-murder charge was brought against Williams that October, and a lengthy extradition process followed, Nessel said.
Williams is due in Washtenaw Circuit Court for a pretrial conference on May 17.
It wasn’t immediately known if Williams has an attorney who might comment on his behalf.
“The disappearance of Olisa Williams is a tragedy in so many ways, but I am proud of our department’s commitment to seek justice in cold case homicides and deliver difficult charges despite intervening decades,” Nessel said in a statement. “I am grateful for the work of multiple law enforcement units over the last several decades that ultimately lead to these charges after forty years, and for the determination of Olisa’s mother who has never given up her pursuit of justice for her daughter.”
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