2 men, woman charged after body found wrapped in carpet in trunk of burning car, Detroit police say

Syraya Lee found dead in burning car last weekend

Deontay James Harper (left), Calvin Lewis Mcgilmer (center), and Ciera Lecha Mcgilmer (right). (Detroit Police Department)

DETROIT – Two men and a woman have been charged in connection with the death of a woman whose body was found wrapped in carpet in the trunk of a burning car, Detroit officials said.

Police were called around 3:55 p.m. May 15 to a home in the 5400 block of Lakepoint Street on Detroit’s east side. When they arrived, they found Detroit firefighters extinguishing a burning car, according to authorities.

After the fire was put out, firefighters found the body of Syraya Lee, 35, of Detroit, inside the trunk of the vehicle, they said. She was wrapped in carpet and had a bag over her head, according to police.

Deontay James Harper, 27, is accused of fatally strangling Lee on May 15 at a home in the 19400 block of Moenart Street, authorities said.

Harper, Calvin Lewis Mcgilmer, 46, and Ciera Lecha Mcgilmer, 28, all of Detroit, moved Lee’s body and her vehicle to the home on Lakepoint Street, officials said. They set the car on fire while her body was inside, according to authorities.

Harper and Ciera Mcgilmer were arrested May 17, and Calvin Mcgilmer was arrested May 18, police said.

Harper is charged with first-degree murder, fourth-degree arson, tampering with evidence, and third-degree fleeing and eluding.

Calvin Mcgilmer is charged with second-degree murder and tampering with evidence.

Ciera Mcgilmer is charged with tampering with evidence and accessory after the fact.

All three were arraigned Monday (May 23) in 36th District Court.

Harper and Calvin Mcgilmer were remanded to jail, and Ciera Mcgilmer was given a $50,000 personal bond.

Ciera Mcgilmer was given a GPS tether and placed on house arrest, officials said.

A probable cause conference is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. June 3, and a preliminary examination is scheduled for 1:45 p.m. June 10.

About the Author:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.