Details of Disappearance Olisa was last seen in 1982. She had been living with her mother, Denise Williams, in Cincinnati, Ohio. Denise told her attorney that that her ex-husband, Isiah Verna "Bobo" Williams, entered her residence in May 1982, knocked her down and took Olisa.
Isiah is Olisa's legal father, although not her biological one; the baby was conceived while he was in prison, and Isiah and Denise resumed their relationship after his release. Denise notified the police about her daughter's abduction, but they did nothing at the time because they thought of it as a custody dispute.
Photos of Isiah are posted with this case summary; he was 36 years old at the time of his daughter's disappearance. He is known to have taken Olisa to Ann Arbor, Michigan after abducting her from her mother's care.
Isiah took Olisa too a family reunion in Inkster, Michigan on July 4. According to Isiah's brother, Olisa appeared to be in good health at the time. Isiah took her to his other ex-wife's home a few days later, and she said the baby was fine. On July 9, Isiah was served with a summons ordering him to produce Olisa in court and explain his violation of a restraining order. The very next day, according to Isiah's ex-wife, Olisa was gone.
Isiah appeared in court in February 1983, without his daughter, and said he would reveal what happened to Olisa if the judge dismissed the restraining order violation. The judge refused, and threatened to jail him. Isiah then told the court court he last saw Olisa sometime in June 1982 (which conflicts with his brother and and ex-wife's statements; they say he was with her in July).
He said he had been smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol while driving with Olisa in the vehicle. He parked at Island Park, a 35-acre space in the middle of the Huron River, and fell asleep. When he woke up, he said, the car door was open and Olisa was gone. He did not report her abduction at this time because, he said, he believed Denise or one of her family members had taken the child.
After Olisa's disappearance, Isiah allegedly called Denise several times and gave her different stories as to the baby's fate. He claimed that he had lost Olisa, that he had killed her, that she had died at a hospital, and that she was "across the water." Ann Arbor police searched the Huron River for Olisa, but turned up no evidence.
In October 2021, nearly forty years after Olisa's disappearance, Isiah was arrested and charged with one count of open murder in her case. He is awaiting trial. Little information has been released about the case against him.
Many agencies give the date of Olisa's disappearance as February 8, 1983 or July 8, 1982.
- Ann Arbor Police Department
Updated 7 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated October 20, 2021; details of disappearance updated.