Murder charges filed in Bobbie Maples case

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Ronald Earl Williams

Ronald Earl Williams

MUSKEGON, Mich. — A Muskegon County inmate is now facing charges in the case of a murdered Muskegon County mother who went missing in 2014.

Muskegon County Prosecutor D.J. Hilson confirmed to FOX 17 that Ronald Earl Williams has been charged with open murder in the death of Bobbie Maples and is believed to be one of the last people to see her alive.

“My understanding is his relationship with Bobbie Maples was an acquaintance or a romantic relationship; they certainly knew each other,” Hilson said.

Bobbie Maples

32-year-old Bobbie Maples vanished just days after giving birth to her daughter.

Maples, 32, disappeared in December of 2014, just days after giving birth to a baby girl, Ariana.  She remained missing until January 2016, when her body was discovered on private property in Fruitland Township in Muskegon County. Investigators say she was buried and covered in concrete. So far, her official cause of death has not been released.

“Ethically, I can’t tell you that, but I will say, as we move through the criminal process, a lot of that will come to light,” said Hilson. “I can tell you that we got to this point as a result of what the police had done up to this point.”

Williams has a criminal past that includes felony obstruction of police and delivering or manufacturing narcotics. He is currently being held at the Brooks Correctional Facility in Muskegon and has yet to be arraigned in this case.

Hilson said the preliminary examination will take place in April with hopes the case goes to trial by the end of summer.

“To me, the win is being able to at least bring some justice to Bobbie Maples after her disappearance and our discovery of the body, and to me this is ultimately what we try and get to in every investigation,” said Hilson.

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