Nearly four decades after a nine-month-old baby girl in Michigan disappeared, a man has been charged with her murder. Isiah Williams, the 75-year-old ex-husband of the missing girl’s mother, will be extradited from Chicago to stand trial, the Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said this week. The infant, Olisa Williams, went missing in 1982. Her body has never been found. (Though she shares a surname with Williams, Olisa is not biologically related to him.) Thursday’s announcement was credited to the girl’s mom, Denis Frazier-Daniel, who “has spent decades in the pursuit of justice for her child,” according to Nessel.
Frazier-Daniel maintained that Williams abused her during their relationship. According to her, Williams snatched Olisa out of a home the mother and daughter were staying in during a separation period. Over the years, Williams changed his story, going from confessing to murdering the child to Frazier-Daniel, she said, to denying all knowledge of the incident due to memory loss. A tangled web of attempts to prosecute him followed, with an Ann Arbor court struggling to make charges stick in 1983 and again in 2015. A federal grant, fresh interviews, and a harder look into the case by Nessel’s office finally secured a murder charge this year.