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Cousin of Missing 17-Year-Old Girl Believed Dumped in Landfill Under Arrest for Murder, Officials Say

cousin of missing  year old girl arrested for murder
Source: Macomb County Jail; Detroit Police Department

Jun. 17 2023, Published 1:43 p.m. ET

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A 17-year-old Michigan girl has been missing since January 2022 and now her cousin has been arrested in connection with her disappearance and presumed murder, according to authorities.

On Jan. 4, 2022, Zion Foster left her home with her cousin, 24-year-old Jaylin Brazier, and never returned home, authorities said.

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Foster was reported missing by her mother to the Eastpointe Police Department the next day. Officers issued a missing person alert for the teenager several days later and investigators determined she was likely dead.

On Jan. 19, 2022, Brazier was identified as a person of interest, and he turned himself in. Police said he initially withheld information from police about Foster’s whereabouts but later claimed they were smoking marijuana when Foster stopped breathing suddenly and he placed her body in a dumpster, WDIV-TV reported.

According to Foster’s mother, Brazier also lied to her and said he hadn’t seen or heard from Foster in a long time. He even allegedly helped in the search effort to find Foster, according to officials.

Brazier said in court, "Yes, I lied, but I was not in the right state of mind. There was no way for me to prepare for a situation like that. I was scared," according to WDIV-TV.

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Police excavated a landfill in an attempt to find Foster’s body, but the search was unsuccessful.

In March 2022, Brazier was convicted of lying to police and was sentenced to 23 months to four years in prison, according to WDIV-TV. He was reportedly released in January after accepting a plea deal, officials said.


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On June 13, Brazier was rearrested and charged with second-degree murder and tampering with evidence, according to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office.

In a statement, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said, "Our hearts go out to the family of Zion Foster. This case is a quintessential example of investigators and prosecutors who refused to give up on her homicide."

Brazier is scheduled to appear in court again on July 3 for a probable cause conference, officials said. He is being held without bond.

Foster’s body still has not been located.


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