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Trial to Proceed in 1982 Disappearance and Homicide of Ann Arbor Infant

LANSING This week, Isiah Williams, 76, of Chicago, was bound over to stand trial on one count of open murder in connection to the 1982 disappearance and presumed death of his then 8-month-old infant daughter Olisa Williams, announced Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.

Williams is alleged to have taken the infant from her mother’s arms during a physical altercation on April 29th, 1982, in Ohio and transported her to Michigan, where she was last seen alive in the summer of that year in Williams’ custody. Olisa was never found and is presumed dead. Ann Arbor police requested the Department of the Attorney General review the case in early 2021. The open-murder charge was brought against Williams in October of that year, and a lengthy extradition process followed.

“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,” said Nessel. “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.”

Williams will next appear for a pretrial conference on May 17th at 1:30 pm before Judge Patrick J. Conlin in Washtenaw Circuit Court. The charges were initially filed in the 15th District Court, and all previous hearings, as well as this week's preliminary exam, were held before Judge J. Cedric Simpson in 14A1 District Court.

Portions of this project were 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.


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.

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