Search for Olene Brooks intensifies in wake of suspect’s death

AMELIA COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The Worcester County District Attorney’s Office confirmed that Dana L. William, the suspect wanted in connection to a recent homicide and abduction in Amelia County, died in a Massachusets-area hospital on Friday. William shot himself in the head on Thursday after U.S. Marshals located him in Fitchburg, Ma.

Now, authorities in Amelia County say they are intensifying their search for missing Olene Brooks, who William abducted over the weekend after murdering Brooks’ husband, Wooddell Brooks, inside the couple’s home in the 17000 block of Poorhouse Road.

The Amelia County Sheriff’s Office announced Friday that residents can expect to see an increased presence of law enforcement in the Court House area of the county beginning Saturday. The expanded search, which will be aided by the search efforts of Virginia State Police and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, will continue through Monday as law enforcement, canine teams and VDEM conduct strategic grid search patterns in proximity to the Brooks’ home.

“Since the tragic abduction-homicide at the Brooks’ residence occurred last Thursday, our deputies have been working closely with the Virginia State Police to track the suspect’s movements and locate Mrs. Brooks,” Amelia County Sheriff Ricky L. Walker said in a release. “We’ve been searching non-stop for her, but are now in a position to expand those search efforts and bring in additional resources and personnel to do so.”

The incident began Thursday, Jan. 21 at approximately 11:15 p.m. when Amelia County deputies arrived at the Brooks’ residence and found W. Brooks deceased inside. The medical examiner later confirmed that the died from asphyxia due to ligature strangulation. Futher investigation revealed that 68-year-old O. Brooks had been abducted by William, who fled the residence in the Brooks’ 2010 Dodge Caravan.

On Wednesday, Jan. 27, William was located by the U.S. Marshals at an apartment in Fitchburg, Mass. As they closed in on the apartment to apprehend William, he shot himself. The Brooks’ minivan was recovered at the scene and processed for evidence.


“In addition to seeking information concerning Mrs. Brooks, we are also asking for anyone who might recall seeing her minivan in the Metro-Richmond area Friday before William left for Massachusetts,” said Virginia State Police spokesperson Sgt. Stephan Vick. “The 2010 Dodge Caravan is silver with a handicap license plate “433114.” The vehicle is missing the passenger side, front wheel-well lining and the quarter-panel molding on the driver’s side.”

Anyone with information concerning Mrs. Brooks, William, and/or recalls seeing the minivan is still encouraged to call the Amelia County Sheriff’s Office at 804-561-2118, The Amelia Crime Solvers at 804-561-5200 or the Virginia State Police at #77 on a cell phone or email at

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