RUSSELL COUNTY, Ala. (WRBL) — A five-year-old girl has been found dead in Phenix City, less than a day after she was reported missing from Columbus on Dec. 13, 2021. According to investigators, Kamarie Holland was murdered, and a suspect in her brutal murder is in custody.

The investigation into the disappearance and murder of Holland crosses state lines and happened quickly. It began in Columbus, Ga., Monday morning as a missing person and ended late that night as a murder in Phenix City, Ala. Initially, the case was worked as a missing child and kidnapping case on the Georgia side by Columbus police. Then, the Russell County Sheriff’s Office picked it up as a murder case.

Holland was reported missing in the early morning hours of Monday, Dec. 13, 2021. The little girl was reported to have been last seen on Bowman Street in Columbus. The Columbus Police Department issued a missing person alert early Monday morning, and it was canceled late Monday night.

According to investigators, the little girl’s body was found just before 11 p.m., the same day she was reported missing, inside an abandoned home in Phenix City, in the 1100 block of 15th Avenue.

The following day, on Tuesday, Dec. 14, around twelve hours after discovering Holland’s body, the Russell County Sheriff’s Office held a news conference to announce the arrest of a suspect in connection to her murder.

Jeremy Tremaine Williams has been arrested and is being held in the Russell County Jail. Williams is facing capital murder charges following the discovery of Holland’s body.

Authorities say that Williams knew Holland’s mother but did not describe the nature of the relationship.

Williams was taken into custody for Holland’s murder at the Bambo Motel on Opelika Road.

During a news conference, Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor said investigators believe the child was sexually assaulted and died of asphyxiation; the state or process of being deprived of oxygen, which can result in unconsciousness or death. She was pronounced dead around 11 p.m. on Dec. 12, 2021, at the abandoned house where her body was found.

Taylor said heart-wrenching cases like this one are the ones that haunt investigators for the rest of their lives.

“Well, it started as a missing five-year-old, and it’s ended with the death of a five-year-old and the sexual abuse of a five-year-old. So it’s extremely difficult. I don’t care who you are,” said Taylor. “I’ve been in this business for 35 years, and it never is easy to watch a case like this or to even have to investigate it. And if somebody tells you that it is, they need to get out of the business.”

The investigation continues in both Columbus and Russell County. Investigators say Holland’s body has been sent for autopsy.

Williams is scheduled to appear in a Russell County courtroom Tuesday afternoon.

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