DETROIT (TCD) – A 24-year-old man has been charged with the murder of his 17-year-old cousin, who has been missing since January 2022.
Jaylin Brazier was charged with first-degree murder and tampering with evidence in connection with Zion Foster’s disappearance and death, according to Wayne County Prosecuting Attorney Kym Worthy on Tuesday, June 13.
Foster left her home with her cousin, Brazier, on January 4, 2022, and never returned. The next day, her mother reported her missing to the Eastpointe Police Department. Foster was reported missing by Eastpointe Police several days later, and detectives found she was most likely dead.
Brazier was recognized as a person of interest by Detroit Police on January 19, 2022, and he surrendered himself. According to WDIV-TV, he originally concealed information regarding Foster’s whereabouts but then revealed that he and Foster were using marijuana when Foster abruptly stopped breathing and he disposed of her body in a dumpster.
Foster’s mother allegedly told the court that Brazier lied to her as well, claiming that he hadn’t seen or heard from Foster in a long time. Brazier is also said to have assisted in the search for Foster.
According to WDIV, Brazier testified in court, “Yes, I lied, but I was not in the right frame of mind; there was no way for me to prepare for a situation like that; I was scared.”
In an attempt to find Foster’s body, police excavated a waste but were unsuccessful.
Brazier was convicted of lying to police in March 2022 and sentenced to 23 months to four years in prison, according to WDIV. He was reportedly released in January after agreeing to a plea bargain.
According to WDIV, Brazier was arrested again on the new accusations on Tuesday, June 13, and is set to appear in court on July 3 for a probable cause hearing. He is still being held without bond.
Foster’s body has yet to be discovered.
“Our hearts go out to the family of Zion Foster,” Worthy said in a statement. “This case is a quintessential example of investigators and prosecutors who refused to give up on her homicide.”
“For 18 months, investigators put together the evidence,” Worthy added, “every piece of evidence, in this case, was examined and linked together.”