Police search for answers in Detroit girl's death

1-year-old girl was found dead in family's home

Published On: Jun 30 2012 11:37:42 PM EDT   Updated On: Jul 02 2012 05:48:08 PM EDT
Zyia Turner
DETROIT -

Police are questioning several people in the death of a 1-year-old from Detroit who was found dead inside a closest of her family's home.

Meantime, Zyia Turner’s grandmother believes her death was an accident.

“My grand baby, she was my heart,” said the victim’s paternal grandmother Bridget Elam.

According to Elam, she was running errands Friday afternoon when her 17-month-old grand daughter Zyia went missing.

Zyia was last seen at her grandmother’s east side Detroit home and was left in her uncle’s care.

“My son called my oldest daughter because he thought she was with us,” said Elam.

Elam says the family looked everywhere for Zyia, but could not find her.

“Honest to God we honestly thought someone seen her and picked her up,” said Elam.

The family contacted police and authorities began to investigate. Hours later a cadaver dog was called in and found Zyia’s body in a closet in the house, under a pile of clothes.

But even though police are questioning Zyia’s uncle, Elam says her son did nothing wrong.

“My son who was watching them, he has helped raise all his nieces and nephews. He would never do anything to them,” said Elam.

An autopsy is complete, but the results have not been released. Toxicology tests may take weeks.

“No one here is in trouble because it was an accident. A freak accident that happened,” said Elam.

Elam believes her granddaughter may have tried to climb up the closet and got hurt.

Funeral information

A visitation for Ziya will be held between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday at the Trinity Chapel Funeral Home at 20226 W. McNichols Road in Detroit.

The funeral will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday at Christ Resurrection Missionary Baptist Church at 12264 Rosa Parks Blvd. in Detroit.