Dead girl's cousin testifies, then disappears

by: Lee Stoll Updated:


Mount Vernon, Wash. - A man who flew to Washington to testify in a high-profile murder trial is now missing.
The witness, Kassaye Woldetsidik, is the cousin of Hana Williams, who starved and froze to death at her adopted parent's home two years ago.

Woldetsidik testified Friday in Mount Vernon about Williams' life in Ethiopia before she was adopted.

"I was watching her always. We were close." He said.

Now some think he's using the trip to stay in the U.S. illegally.

The judge cleared him to return to Ethiopia on Sunday.

Prosecutors called Mount Vernon Police when he missed the plane.

Officers searched his motel room.

"Belongings were there. It didn't look like anything was out of place. The individual just wasn't there," said Mount Vernon Lt. Chris Cammock.

Larry Williams' attorney, Rachel Forde says Woldetsidik begged to come to the U-S for months. We asked if she's surprised he's missing.

"No, no we're not at all." Said Forde.

Prosecutors called Woldetsidik to testify against Larry and Carri Williams, who are accused of abusing Hana and another boy they adopted from Ethiopia.

"In our pre-trial interview, when we asked to speak with him, he was very reluctant to speak with us. He said he had to come in person." Said Forde.

The Williams, who are parents to seven other children, are charged with homicide by abuse, manslaughter and assault.

But homicide by abuse can only be charged when the victim is a child 16 years or younger.

Woldetsidik said an entry made in the family Bible on the day Hana was born proves she was 13 years old when she died.

We asked prosecutors what this means for the case but they refused to comment.

We contacted U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. They said Woldetsidik was given a seven-day pass to be in the U.S., as long as he left on Sunday.

He is now considered an absconder and police are investigating