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Search continues for missing grandmother Olene Brooks

Posted at 3:37 PM, Feb 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-08 16:55:58-05

AMELIA COUNTY, Va. — Nearly three weeks after she was last seen, the search for Olene Brooks continued around Central Virginia. Brooks, 68, was last seen January 21 in Amelia when investigators said she was abducted by her former son-in-law Dana William. William, who killed himself days later as police outside Boston moved in to make an arrest, also killed Olene’s husband Woodell Brooks, police said.

“The Amelia County Sheriff’s Office, along with the Virginia State Police, are actively following all leads that are developed. There have been aerial and ground searches in counties of Amelia, Chesterfield and Henrico and the city of Richmond,” the Amelia Sheriff’s Office stated Monday.”At this time, Mrs. Brooks has not been found. Authorities in Massachusetts are still following tips as they come in. We encourage everyone to check their properties and notify their local law enforcement if they observe anything out of the ordinary or with any information that can assist in this investigation.”

William, 43, was named as an armed and dangerous suspect when Brooks disappeared and her husband Woodell was found dead in their Amelia home. William is the father of one of the Brooks’ grandchildren.

Brooks’ daughter Sheila Smith said she hoped someone knew where William took her mom.

“He liked to brag a lot, so I would like to think he boastfully told someone,” Smith said.

Amelia grandmother taken hostage after family zip-tied, duct-taped

Before Brooks’ abduction, William allegedly zip-tied, duct-taped and held her family hostage at gun point.

“He told me in order for me to save my family, I would have to call my mom to the house,” Sheila Smith said. When she refused, she said things intensified. “He tied [my daughter] with zip ties and tied my friend up with zip ties, then tied me and my son up.”

He then sent a text message to Brooks using her granddaughter’s phone, law enforcement sources said, to lure the grandmother to the Poorhouse Road home. Brooks’ daughter said the text asked Brooks to bring a thermometer over because the four-year-old was sick.

William, who was recently released from prison after a rape conviction, served two years of a 40-year prison sentence because 38 years of that sentence were suspended.

Family members said last week’s violent rampage was William’s way of getting revenge on the Brooks family for the time he spent in prison.

Anyone with information was encouraged to call the Amelia County Sheriff’s Office at 804-561-2118, Amelia Crime Solvers at 804-561-5200 or the Virginia State Police at #77 on a cell phone.