Media contact: Lynsey Mukomel 517-599-2746
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October 13, 2021
DETROIT - At a news conference Thursday morning, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel discussed the outcomes of two cases the Department spent the last several months evaluating for charges. Suspects now face felonies in both cases - the 1982 disappearance and presumed death of infant Olisa Williams and the 2014 death of McKenzie Cochran at Northland Mall.
"Every time my office takes on a potential case, we commit to a thorough review to properly evaluate if charges are warranted," Nessel said. "Law enforcement - though dedicated to protecting the public and securing justice for victims - sometimes falls short. In those instances, my office is ready to give cases another look to ensure the right decision is made. I appreciate the diligence that went into reviewing both of these cases, and it is my sincere hope this step brings some comfort to the victims' families."
Olisa Williams was born Aug. 10, 1981 in Ann Arbor. Her mother, Denise Frazier-Daniel, never got to celebrate her daughter's first birthday.
Olisa's legal father, Isiah Williams, took the then 9-month-old from Frazier-Daniel's arms during a physical altercation on April 29, 1982. It was the last time she saw her daughter alive.
At the time, the couple had been living in Ohio, but both had family and friends in Michigan. Williams has a long history of domestic violence against Frazier-Daniel, much of which is detailed in contacts with police in both states.
Frazier-Daniel never gave up looking for her daughter, and became heavily involved with missing person organizations over the years in addition to maintaining contact with police, including the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Olisa was never found and is presumed dead.
At the beginning of the year, the Department accepted a referral from Ann Arbor Police Department to review the investigation.
After thoroughly reviewing the years of work done by the officer in charge, the Department has charged Williams with one count of open murder in Washtenaw County's 15th District Court.
Williams is in custody and currently is in the process of being extradited from Chicago, where he's been living. Court dates will not be set until that process is complete.
This project was supported in part by Grant No. WE AX 0030 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication/program/exhibition are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.
On Jan. 27, 2014, McKenzie Cochran, 25, of Ferndale, was at Northland mall in Southfield. Security video showed he visited the LA Diamonds store. The owner noticed Cochran returned the next day, Jan. 28, and called security after Cochran reportedly told the owner "he wanted to kill someone". The owner said he spoke to Cochran because he looked angry while staring at him from the front of the store.
Two security guards initially responded to the store. One of the guards, who died in 2017, maced Cochran after he approached the security guard with clenched fists. That action led to the two security guards attempting to restrain Cochran on the ground. Three additional security guards responded and took part in restraining Cochran in order to handcuff him.
Video evidence shows Cochran remained face down with his arms under his body while the five security guards restrained him.
Witnesses at the mall, and subsequent interviews with the guards involved, reported hearing Cochran say he couldn't breath during the restraint.
Once handcuffed, the guards noticed Cochran was unresponsive and contacted EMS. Attempts to revive him at the mall were unsuccessful. Cochran was declared deceased shortly after being transported to a nearby hospital.
Several months following his death, in Sept. 2014, the Oakland County Prosecutor declined to bring criminal charges against any of the involved guards. In early 2020, Cochran's family requested the Oakland County Prosecutor's Office take a second look at the case. The Oakland County Prosecutor's Office requested the Department conduct a fresh review. As part of the Department's review, its Public Integrity Unit (PIU) conducted additional work, interviewed additional witnesses and obtained additional evidence leading to the charges.
Following thorough review, former Northland Security Guards Lucius Hamilton, John Seiberling, Gaven King, and Aaron Maree are charged with the following in Oakland County's 46th District Court:
King and Sieberling were arraigned Wednesday afternoon and given a $2,500 personal recognizance bond, GPS tether and ordered to have no contact with other defendants in the case.
Hamilton and Maree are expected to be arraigned today at 1:30 p.m.
A fifth security - who was the initial guard who engaged with Cochran - since died.
Given both cases remain active, the Department will not be releasing additional materials or evidence related to the investigations.
Please note: A criminal charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The Department does not provide booking photos.