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Charges announced in Northland Mall death, Ann Arbor cold case of missing infant

McKenzie Cochran died in 2014 after being restrained at a mall. Olisa Williams was 9-months-old when she was last seen.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel discussed the findings of two cases the Department has...
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel discussed the findings of two cases the Department has spent the last several months evaluating for charges.(pexels.com)
Published: Oct. 14, 2021 at 11:29 AM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - At a news conference Thursday morning, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel discussed the findings of two cases the Department has spent the last several months evaluating for charges.

Suspects now face felonies in both cases: the 1982 disappearance and presumed death of infant Olisa Williams and the 2014 death of McKenzie Cochran at Northland Mall.

“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.”

Charges against Lucius Hamilton, John Seiberling, Gaven King and Aaron Maree – Northland Security Guards

On Jan. 27, 2014, McKenzie Cochran, 25, of Ferndale, was at Northland mall in Southfield. Security video shows he visited an LA Diamonds store. The owner noticed Cochran returned the next day and called security after Cochran reportedly told the owner that “he wanted to kill someone”. The owner said he talked to Cochran because he looked angry while staring at him from the front of the store.

Two security guards initially responded to the store. One of the guards, who died in 2017, maced Cochran after he approached with clenched fists. That led to the two security guards attempting to restrain Cochran on the ground. Three more security guards responded and helped to restrain Cochran in order to handcuff him.

Video evidence shows Cochran was face down with his arms under his body while the five security guards restrained him. Witnesses at the mall, and subsequent interviews with the guards involved, reported hearing Cochran say he couldn’t breathe during the restraint.

Once handcuffed, the guards discovered Cochran was unresponsive and called for EMS. Attempts to revive him at the mall were unsuccessful and Cochran was declared deceased shortly after being transported to a nearby hospital.

Several months after his death, in September of 2014, the Oakland County Prosecutor declined to levy criminal charges against any of the guards involved. In early 2020, Cochran’s family asked that the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office take a second look at the case.

The Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office requested the Department conduct a new review. As part of the Department’s review, its Public Integrity Unit (PIU) conducted additional work, interviewed additional witnesses and obtained additional evidence leading to the charges.

After a thorough review, former Northland Security Guards Lucius Hamilton, John Seiberling, Gaven King, and Aaron Maree are charged with the following in Oakland County’s 46th District Court:

  • one count each of involuntary manslaughter, a fifteen-year felony.

King and Sieberling were arraigned on Wednesday afternoon. They were given a $2,500 personal recognizance bond, GPS tether and ordered to have no contact with any of the other defendants in the case.

Hamilton and Maree are expected to be arraigned Thursday at 1:30 p.m.

Disappearance of Olisa Williams in Summer 1982

Olisa Williams was born Aug. 10, 1981 in Ann Arbor. Her mother, Denise Frazier-Daniel, was never able to celebrate her daughter’s first birthday.

Olisa’s legal father, Isiah Williams, took the then 9-month-old from Frazier-Daniel’s arms during a physical altercation on April 29, 1982. That was the last time she saw her daughter alive.

At the time, the couple was living in Ohio, however both had family and friends in Michigan. Williams has a lengthy history of domestic violence against Frazier-Daniel, much of which is detailed in contacts with police in both states.

Frazier-Daniel never stopped looking for her daughter, becoming heavily involved with missing person organizations over the years in addition to maintaining contact with police, including the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Olisa was never found and is now presumed dead.

At the beginning of 2021, the Department accepted a referral from Ann Arbor Police Department to review the investigation.

After meticulously reviewing the years of work done by the officer in charge, the Department has now charged Williams with one count of open murder in Washtenaw County’s 15th District Court. Williams is in custody and is currently in the process of being extradited from Chicago, where he has been living. Court dates will not be set until that process is complete.

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