District Attorney Dean D. Flippo announced today that Charles Allen Holifield, a 56-year-old inmate at Valley State Prison in Chowchilla, will be charged with the 1998 murder and kidnapping of 13-year-old Christina Marie Williams.
In the early evening hours of June 12, 1998, Christina Williams took her family dog for a walk in her Fort Ord neighborhood. Within 45 minutes, Christina’s mother observed the dog wandering alone near the family home with its leash still attached, but Christina was nowhere to be found. Her family members contacted law enforcement within two hours of her disappearance. Despite a widespread search, Christina was never seen alive again. Exactly seven months later, her remains were discovered in a wooded area of former Fort Ord.
The case was initially investigated by the Presidio of Monterey Police Department. The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) joined the investigation on June 16, 1998. Local Naval Criminal Investigations Service (NCIS), the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) and other local law enforcement agencies also assisted in a massive and well-publicized search and investigation. Despite significant efforts over the course of almost two decades, there was insufficient evidence to charge a suspect with Christina’s murder.
In 2016, a Monterey Peninsula cold case review team worked together to identify possible new leads in Christina’s murder and reexamine the evidence from the crime scene. The cold case team requested that items of physical evidence be retested for DNA evidence. The scientific testing, in conjunction with the evidence amassed during the 19-year investigation, yielded sufficient evidence to charge Holifield with Christina’s murder.
Holifield is currently serving a third-strike sentence of 25 years to life in prison for attempted kidnapping and making criminal threats against a woman in September 1998. His prior strike offenses included forcible rape, kidnapping, and assault with intent to commit rape.
The Monterey County District Attorney’s Office will be filing charges against Holifield on Friday, April 14.