In a press conference, Detroit Police Commander Mike McGinnis said 17-year-old Zion Foster left her home Jan. 4 with her cousin Jaylin Brazier and never returned. The next day, Zion’s mother, Cierra Milton, filed a missing person report to the Eastpointe Police Department.
Eastpointe Police and Detroit Police began working together on the case, with Detroit taking the lead on the investigation. According to McGinnis, investigators determined within two weeks that Zion was likely deceased.
On Jan. 19, Detroit Police identified Brazier as a person of interest in her disappearance. He reportedly turned himself in later that night and provided pertinent information to the case.
McGinnis said he is "confident that Mr. Brazier is responsible for the death of Zion." Investigators reportedly believe Brazier put Zion’s body in a dumpster, which was then transported to the landfill they are now excavating.
He was charged and convicted of lying to police and is currently serving time in the Michigan Department of Corrections.
At the May 12 press conference, Milton stood at the microphone and tearfully said, "My baby has to be recovered from trash."
She spoke about how Zion turned 17 in November and was supposed to go to the prom and graduate, but now she will never get to see her daughter do that.
The search for Zion in the landfill is an unprecedented action for Detroit Police, Chief James White said on June 3. The first phase of the investigation involved removing 20 feet of material. McGinnis also said during the June 3 press conference that investigators found a piece of mail dated from "around the time we expect it to be" and is from Detroit.
McGinnis said he and the investigators are "confident that the information we’re working with is accurate."