Phase 2 of landfill search for Zion Foster begins in Macomb County

Searchers to look through debris in search of missing Eastpointe teen

Aerial video of officials searching Lenox Township landfill for 17-year-old Zion Foster

LENOX TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Searchers are beginning the second phase of an operation to locate the remains of missing 17-year-old Zion Foster, whose body is believed to be in a landfill in Macomb County.

The next phase in the search for the body of missing Eastpointe teen Foster, who went missing in January, is underway Friday at the Pine Tree Acres landfill in Lenox Township. Authorities believe Foster’s body could be buried at least 75-100 feet beneath the surface of the landfill after the teen’s cousin admitted to putting her body in a dumpster in Detroit, which led investigators to the landfill in Macomb County.

The Detroit police began leading a massive search at the landfill on May 31, more than five months after Zion was last seen by her cousin, 23-year-old Jaylin Brazier, on Jan. 4. After initially lying to authorities about even seeing Foster the day she went missing, Brazier eventually turned himself in to police and admitted what happened.

According to prosecutors, Brazier told police that he had picked Foster up from her Eastpointe home and brought her to his home. The two reportedly mixed their marijuana together and smoked it.

“Somehow, when he came back to the room, she was unconscious,” a prosecutor said.

Brazier admitted to putting Foster’s allegedly unresponsive body into the trunk of his vehicle, drove to a dumpster and placed her inside. Now, authorities believe that Foster’s body is buried in the landfill.

More: Court paints picture of how Eastpointe teen Zion Foster disappeared, where her body could be

Detroit police to provide update on search for remains of Zion Foster

Brazier was sentenced to prison on March 30 for lying to police during a violent crime investigation.

Crews looking for Foster’s remains in Lenox Township have been using heavy machinery to remove material in an area spanning 100 feet by 100 feet during phase one of the search. In the second phase, which is starting June 17, two days after originally expected, searchers will be removing sections of the search area and place them onto two 50-foot-by-50-foot search decks. Searchers will then look through the debris for evidence.

Once the debris is cleared, it will be removed and another section will be placed onto the decks so volunteers can search it. The second phase is expected to last around five days, and about 70 people are expected to search each day.

More: Detroit police to sift through debris for evidence in landfill search for Zion Foster’s remains

During the first phase of the search, Detroit police said a piece of mail was found from Detroit that is from a date range that lines up with when Foster went missing, indicating that the investigation is on the right track and taking place in the right area.

More: Mother delivers powerful statement at sentencing for cousin who lied during search for Eastpointe teen

About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.