Authorities have made a significant breakthrough in the case of a 17-year-old Michigan girl who went missing in January 2022. The girl’s cousin, 24-year-old Jaylin Brazier, has been arrested in connection with her disappearance and presumed murder, according to law enforcement officials.
Zion Foster left her home on January 4, 2022, accompanied by her cousin, Jaylin Brazier, and never returned. The following day, Foster’s mother reported her missing to the Eastpointe Police Department. After several days, investigators issued a missing person alert and sadly concluded that Foster was likely deceased.
On January 19, 2022, Brazier became a person of interest in the case and turned himself into the authorities. Initially, he withheld information about Foster’s whereabouts but later confessed that they had been smoking marijuana together when Foster suddenly stopped breathing. Brazier claimed that he panicked and disposed of her body in a dumpster, as reported by WDIV-TV.
Heartbreakingly, Brazier had deceived Foster’s mother as well, lying about having seen or heard from Foster for an extended period. He even participated in the search efforts to find her, adding to the anguish and confusion surrounding her disappearance, according to officials.
During his court appearance, Brazier admitted to lying but cited being in an altered state of mind and feeling scared as his reasons. “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,” he stated, as reported by WDIV-TV.
Despite a meticulous search effort that included excavating a landfill, Foster’s body has not yet been found. In March 2022, Brazier was convicted of lying to the police and subsequently sentenced to 23 months to four years in prison. However, he was released in January as part of a plea deal, officials disclosed.
On June 13, Brazier was arrested again and now faces charges of second-degree murder and tampering with evidence, according to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office. Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy expressed condolences to Foster’s family and commended the relentless efforts of investigators and prosecutors involved in pursuing justice for her tragic homicide.
Brazier is scheduled to appear in court for a probable cause conference on July 3 and is currently being held without bond. The search for Foster’s remains continues, as her grieving family seeks closure and resolution.