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Providence man indicted for 1999 cold case murder

An indictment, information, or complaint is merely an allegation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Providence Police Colonel Oscar L. Perez Jr. and Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced today that a Providence man has been charged with murder in a decades old cold case, stemming from the strangling death of Kathleen O’Dowd Boleman in 1999.

On April 12, 2024, the Providence County Grand Jury returned a secret indictment charging Kevin Williams (age 53/ P1-2024-1206A) with the murder of Kathleen O’Dowd Boleman. The indictment was sealed, and a warrant was issued for the defendant. On April 16, Providence Police Detectives located the defendant on Rhodes Street in Providence where he was apprehended without incident. The defendant was arraigned on April 17, 2024, in Providence County Superior Court, where the indictment was unsealed.

It is alleged that sometime on March 11, 1999, the defendant strangled 41-year-old Kathleen O’Dowd Boleman behind Roger Williams Middle School. Early in their investigation, Providence Police Detectives developed the defendant as a suspect, but were unable to develop sufficient evidence to charge him at the time.

In recent years, Detective Angelo Avant approached the case again – examining evidence, re-interviewing witnesses and developing new witnesses with prosecutors. Through Detective Avant’s efforts, prosecutors presented new information to the Providence County Grand Jury, leading to his indictment.

“I commend the outstanding work conducted by Providence Police Detectives into this cold case investigation and holding the defendant accountable for this violent criminal act,” said Colonel Oscar L. Perez, Jr. “I thank Detective Angelo Avant for leading this tedious investigation and also Assistant Attorney General Jim Baum for his support and ongoing commitment to public safety.”

“The passage of time does little to lessen the pain felt by those who have lost a loved one at the hands of another, particularly when such crimes go unsolved for many years,” said Attorney General Neronha. “Remarkably, 25 years have passed between the day Kathleen O’Dowd Boleman was murdered and this indictment. Today marks a major step towards obtaining justice for the victim and her family. I am grateful to the Providence Police Department and Detective Avant, whose persistence and diligent efforts, in partnership with this Office, have brought us to this place today.”

Following his arraignment in Superior Court, the defendant was also charged in Sixth Division Court in Providence with violating a domestic no-contact order that was issued in a pending domestic violence case (P2-2023-3408ADV).

The defendant is currently being held without bail and is scheduled for a determination of attorney hearing on April 24, 2024.

Detective Angelo Avant of the Providence Police Department and Assistant Attorney General James R. Baum and Special Assistant Attorney General Ariel Pittner are leading the investigation and prosecution of the case.

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