Martha Hollis has never doubted who killed her daughter, Camisha, a mother of three who has been missing more than a year.
On Thursday, her suspicions were given added weight when Omaha police booked Camisha Hollis’ longtime boyfriend, Marvin Young, on suspicion of first-degree murder.
“I knew it was coming, I just didn’t know when,” Hollis said. “I’ve been praying and believing. It’s great that they’ve charged him. Now, he should say what he did, it would take a big burden off of him.”
Young, 37, is to be formally charged Friday morning, Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine said.
Kleine declined to describe the evidence that led to the charges.
“There’s been a tremendous amount of work done in the last year,” Kleine said. “We felt the hard work done by the Omaha Police Department has gotten us to the point where we could file charges. ... We feel we can prove premeditation.”
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Hollis and Young were home with their three girls — ages 10, 8 and 6 at the time — the night she disappeared. The girls have told authorities that their dad gave them purple liquid so that they would sleep. The oldest said she spat hers out because she was scared by her parents’ fight — one that was “very loud and scarier than any time prior,” according to court testimony.
She also said that she saw her father holding a steel-toed boot that he often used to hurt her mother and that before she fell asleep, she heard her father beat her mother.
Their mother hasn’t been seen since April 1, 2018.
When the girls woke up the next morning, they were alone and their parents were gone, along with their mother’s red car and the oldest girl’s cellphone.
Officers found Hollis’ blood and two spent shell casings in the family’s home near 56th Street and Hartman Avenue, authorities have said.
On April 4, 2018, police found Hollis’ 2018 Hyundai Elantra in the parking lot of the 402 Hotel, 2211 Douglas St.
Hollis’ body has not been found and that can make prosecuting a homicide case more difficult. Still, Kleine said he is undeterred.
“We’ve prosecuted cases like this before,” he said.
While Young has not been convicted, Martha Hollis said there is something else she hopes will come from prosecution — the location of her daughter’s body.
“He should just tell the truth for the sake of his kids — where their mother is — let them bury their mama.”
Young has been in the Douglas County Jail awaiting trial on three counts of intentional child abuse/no injury and a charge of resisting arrest.
Martha Hollis said it was just this week that she was given guardianship of her three grandchildren.
“He didn’t want to give up his rights to them,” she said.
Martha Hollis is equally sure that her daughter would not have willingly left her kids and then disappeared.
“A mother always thinks of her kids,” she said. “There is no way on Earth that Camisha would have left them.”
The children are doing “OK,” their grandmother said.
“They have some good days and some bad days,” she said. “They ask about her. They miss her.”
Martha Hollis said she can’t help but think of other women in abusive relationships.
“I hope Camisha’s case touches a lot of women. ... If they’re looking at the same situation, maybe they can just get out of it.”