Mount Vernon police are investigating the disappearance of a man who served as a witness for the prosecution in the trial of a Sedro-Woolley couple.

The case surrounds Hana Williams, who died from hypothermia exacerbated by malnutrition. Her adoptive parents are accused of beating and starving the girl.

Tenssaye Woldetsadeik, Hana's cousin, is an important witness for the prosecution. So important, county prosecutors paid thousands of dollars to fly him here to testify.

He was staying at a hotel and after his testimony last week reportedly went out to dinner with two women and never returned.

At last report, Woldetsadeik s cousin in Texas said he is safe, but provided no further information.

From the beginning when we did defense interviews he was reluctant to give info over the phone, he kept insisteting he had to come in person, said Cassie Trueblood, defense attorney. He had some documents the prosecutor wanted and indicated he had no way of send them other than by bringing them in himself. I think the writing was on the wall that he wanted to come here for the purposes of staying here.

Immigration officials are aware of the missing man and they are looking for him. The Skagit County Prosecutor is responsible for getting the witness back to Ethiopia. He had no comment on Tuesday.

The girl's age is a factor in the trial because if she was younger than 16 at the time of her death, her parents could be convicted of the more serious charge of homicide by abuse.

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