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Ann Arbor man charged with murder of infant daughter who disappeared in 1982

Olisa Williams is presumed dead

A gavel in a courtroom.
A gavel in a courtroom. (Pexels)

ANN ARBOR – Charges have been made in a cold case from 1982 involving a disappearance of an infant girl, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced on Thursday morning.

Infant Olisa Williams was taken by her legal father, Isiah Williams, in 1982 during a physical altercation with her mother, Denise Frazier-Daniel.

Olisa, who was nine months old at the time, was never seen again.

After evaluating the case for several months, Nessel said the Department believes Williams murdered his daughter.

“We believe Williams killed baby Olisa as an act of abuse and control over her mother,” she said in a news conference.

According to statements given to police in Michigan and Ohio, where Frazier-Daniel and Williams were living at the time of Olisa’s disappearance, Williams had domestically abused Frazier-Daniel.

Frazier-Daniel maintained contact with police and became heavily involved over the years with missing person organizations, continuing the search for her daughter.

In early 2021, the Ann Arbor Police Department sent a referral to Nessel’s office to review the investigation.

After reviewing several years worth of work by the officer in charge, Williams has been charged with one count of open murder in Washtenaw County’s 15th District Court.

“Don’t give up hope,” Nessel said to families who may be in similar positions. “There’s always hope.”

Williams is currently in custody at Cook County Jail in Chicago and is in the process of being extradited. He will remain there until his court date on Nov. 12. Williams is fighting extradition and officials are in the process of obtaining a warrant for his extradition.

At the same news conference, Nessel announced charges against four security guards in connection with the death of 25-year-old McKenzie Cochran at Northland Mall in Southfield.

“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.”


About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.