SALINAS (KPIX 5) — Authorities in Monterey County on Thursday announced pending charges against a suspect in a decades-old kidnapping and murder case.
Christina Williams was 13 years old when she was kidnapped while walking her dog in June of 1998.
Seven months later, her remains were found on the grounds of the old Fort Ord Army Base, not far from where she disappeared.
“For almost 20 years, we’ve had a case of a beautiful, young girl who was kidnapped and murdered,” said Monterey County District Attorney Dean D. Filippo.
For two decades, the disappearance and death of Christina Williams haunted her family, police and prosecutors on the Monterey peninsula.
Investigators have long had a hunch about who might be responsible for Christina’s murder: a registered sex offender named Charles Allen Holifield. But until Thursday, authorities never had enough evidence to charge him.
“We have a DNA hit. And we won’t go into any more specifics right now other than to say that,” Filippo
Prosecutors say Holifield, who is currently serving 25 years to life in state prison for an unrelated attempted kidnapping, was interviewed at the time of Christina’s disappearance.
But it took the efforts of cold-case detective to breathe new life into an investigation that had grown cold.
“The FBI has a long memory. Neither time nor distance is going to keep us from our goal of solving cases like this,” said FBI Special Agent Bertram Ferries.
As of Thursday afternoon, Holifield had not been notified of the pending charges, Flippo said, which will be filed April 14.
If convicted of the charges against him, Holifield would be eligible for the death penalty.