FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. - A man who is in prison for an attack on a jogger in Hines Park was charged with murder in connection to the case of Danielle Stislicki, who vanished more than two years ago.
Floyd Galloway Jr. is in prison serving 16-35 years after admitting to strangling and sexually assaulting a jogger in Hines Park in Livonia just a few months before Stislicki disappeared in December 2016. Galloway has never been charged in Stislicki's case, until now.
He was arraigned earlier this month on a premeditated first-degree murder charge. A plea of not guilty was entered on his behalf.
Galloway appeared in court Friday morning via video conference for a probable cause hearing. His next appearence is April 19.
"It is alleged in the complaint and warrant before the court that on or about Dec. 2, 2016 in the city of Farmington Hills that you did deliberately with the intent to kill, and with premeditation, kill and murder one Danielle Stislicki. This is a felony punishable by life without parole. Do you understand the charge against you?" said Judge James Brady, of the 47th District Court.
Galloway said yes. His next court date is scheduled for Friday, March 15. That will be a preliminary examination conference hearing.
New AG announces charge
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, who took office Jan. 1, said she reviewed the case with the Farmington Hills police department and felt charges were warranted.
"Two years is a long time to wait for this to happen," said Nessel during a news conference Tuesday. "I don't know that there's anymore evidence, but what tends to happen is, the longer you wait, the more you risk that there's issues with the evidence."
"We felt we had enough evidence to move forward, as quickly as possible. I'm very confident with the evidence we have right now," Nessel added, saying evidence will be presented during the case.
Nessel said she believes the evidence is strong enough, even without the discovery of Stislicki's body.
“This young woman had everything to live for,” said Nessel. “Her disappearance more than two years ago has left a hole in her family and they deserve justice. The Farmington Hills Police Department has gone to extraordinary lengths to uncover every piece of evidence available. That evidence is compelling.”
“We are very grateful that the Attorney General's office is taking charge of Danielle’s case,” said the Stislicki family. “Moving forward with the evidence that has been gathered, we feel our daughter Danielle Ann Stislicki will receive the justice she deserves.”
Stislicki missing since December 2016
Stislicki, 28, of Farmington Hills, was last seen Dec. 2, 2016 leaving her job at MetLife in the 25000 block of Telegraph Road in Southfield. She was planning to meet a friend for dinner after work.
"That particular day she was scheduled to work longer. And because things were a little slow she asked, after getting a request from a friend, whether or not it would be OK if she left early," said Stislicki's father, Richard Stislicki.
Ann Stislicki, Danielle's mother, said she thinks the final text message she sent to the friend is that she was able to get off work early and that she was going to "swing home real quick, pack a bag" and meet the friend at dinner.
Stislicki left work about 5 p.m. that day. However, she never showed up to dinner and did not communicate to her friend. She was last seen wearing blue jeans, a black zip-up shirt, a blue Eddie Bauer coat and burgundy boots.
"Her family said it's out of character for her to be missing, and they are concerned," Farmington Hills police said in the original missing person's report.
New search warrants granted
Last year, the Local 4 Defenders learned 78 different search warrants were granted in Stislicki's case. Police searched in Stoney Creek. Sources said they were targeting areas that Galloway was known to visit.
"We're leaving that up to the Farmington Hills Police Department, and the team of folks that they have that are engaged and doing it the proper way. Because I want a search that if it brings something up, there's no doubt that the evidence was handled in the right way," said Ann Stislicki.
Meanwhile, the Stislickis entered the second anniversary of Danielle's disappearance weary and still hopeful that someday they will find out what happened to their daughter, and justice will be served.
"It is also very challenging to try and continue to do life, having such a burden on you. When you know that all it takes is for one individual person to make a difference," said Ann.
The family believes that one person is Galloway.
Watch an interview with the family here:
Galloway in prison
Galloway was sentenced to prison in 2017 after admitting to a judge that he attacked and tried to have sex with a woman in September 2016 while she was jogging at Hines Park in Livonia.
Galloway originally was charged with kidnapping, criminal sexual conduct-assault with intent to commit sexual penetration, assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder by strangulation and assault with intent to murder.
Galloway rejected the plea deal at two different hearings before accepting it. Meanwhile, he was still considered a person of interest in Stislicki's disappearance.
Judge Mark Slavens said he considered Galloway a danger to the community due to the strangulation accusations. He was being held on a $750,000 bond, cash only. However, Slavens agreed to lower the bond to $350,000, cash surety and no 10 percent before Galloway was ultimately sentenced to 16-35 years in prison.
VIEW HERE: A timeline in the case of Danielle Stislicki
Details of attack come out at preliminary hearing
The Hines Park victim testified that she went jogging at about 6 p.m. She said she parked near Joy Road and Farmington Road and ran 4-and-a-half miles in Hines Park before turning around. The victim said that on her way back, she took a path into a secluded, wooded area. She saw a man approaching her on the path.
The victim alleged that as the two passed each other, the man turned around and grabbed her from behind. He then proceeded to drag her into the woods with an arm tight around her neck as she struggled to get away.
The victim said the man got on top of her and she yelled at him, "What do you want? Why are you doing this? What do you want?"
The man answered, "I just want sex." He continued to restrain her.
The victim said the man began punching and choking her. She began pleading with him to let her go and that she had a family and a daughter.
The man eventually told her that he would let her go and left.
As soon as the man left, the victim says she got up and went to get help. She flagged down two cars along Hines Drive and called 911. Listen to the 911 call below:
Jessica Ojala with the Wayne County Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program took the stand after the victim to discuss the collection of evidence.
Ojala performed the examination on the victim and recorded preliminary information from her. The defense argued that her record should be suppressed and the judge heard arguments from counsel, eventually allowing the line of questioning to continue.
She described the report she made during her interview with the victim.
Ojala performed a head-to-toe physical exam and took photographs of injuries to the victims head and neck. Several injuries to her back, arms and legs were recorded. She also collected DNA swabs from the victims body.
Testimony was read into the record from law enforcement describing how Galloway’s DNA was collected and how other evidence was handled.
Galloway was bound over for trial before accepting the plea deal.
Connection to Stislicki
Galloway is no stranger to the Stislicki family. He was a security guard at a Southfield building where Stislicki and her mother, Ann Stislicki, worked. That's the last place the 28-year-old Farmington Hills woman was seen in December 2016.
"Floyd would watch many folks who would work late at night," Ann Stislicki said. "Would watch you walk to your car to make sure you were OK."
Ann Stislicki said Galloway was always kind and professional to her.
Farmington Hills police said they have been working with Livonia police and have spoken to Galloway in the past.
"The detectives investigating the Stislicki case have spoken to Galloway in the past and have conducted previous searches at his Berkley home," Farmington Hills police said in statement released June 28. "Galloway is a former security guard who worked for a contracted company that previously provided security at MetLife in Southfield where Danielle Stislicki was employed. Galloway was acquainted with Danielle during his security duties at MetLife."
The combined evidence collected from both investigations led Livonia police to arrest Galloway. Farmington Hills police wouldn't be specific about the evidence.
Hines Park searched in June 2017
Law enforcement conducted a massive search of Hines Park in Livonia on July 19, 2017.
Cadaver dogs joined the FBI, Farmington Hills police, Livonia police and the Michigan State Police centering around the are of Hines Drive and Newburgh Road.
More than 100 investigators from 20 different agencies searched throughout the day for several items such as a suitcase, trunk, luggage, bags, and Stislicki's blue Eddie Bauer jacket.
"Law enforcement authorities have expressed since day one that Danielle Stislicki was a victim of a crime," said Farmington Hills Police Chief Chuck Nebus. "The facts of the case lead us to believe she is not alive. Several air, land, and water searches have been conducted at various places throughout the investigation. Hines Park is being searched as the result of a recent Livonia and Farmington Hills joint investigation. This investigation has led to criminal charges in Livonia against Floyd Galloway, a 30-year-old resident of Berkley. Because the Livonia incident occurred in Hines Park, it is a location that requires searching. There is no specific information or evidence that leads us to believe Danielle’s remains are in the park."
Berkley home searched in December 2016
Galloway's home in Berkley was searched on Dec. 22, 2016, about three weeks after Stislicki went missing. Law enforcement searched the home, which is in the 2900 block of Oxford Road in Berkley. Sources told Local 4 a mattress and other items were taken out of the home. Neighbors said the man living at the home had not been seen in Berkley since police searched the home.
Officers carried a mattress out of the home. Local 4 was told some floorboards were confiscated by authorities and sent off for testing. Police also removed a car from the garage.
Neighbors didn't want to speak on camera, but one said it's "very unnerving" and "feels better that he's at least in custody." He was shocked Galloway has been named as a person of interest and very upset that he's charged in the Hines Park attack.
Galloway, who was 30 at the time of his arrest, had a clean criminal past, other than a misdemeanor charge for operating while intoxicated back in 2008. He pleaded guilty to the charge and received 6 months probation.
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