DETROIT – A mother is facing murder and child abuse charges after her 3-year-old son was found dead in a freezer in the basement of a Detroit home.
Detroit police say they discovered a 3-year-old child’s decomposing body in the freezer at a home on Monte Vista Street, near the intersection of Grand River Avenue and Fullerton Street, when responding to a wellness check for a child on Friday, June 24. The occupant of the home attempted to push responding officers away, and officers could tell that “there was something not right,” according to Detroit police Chief James White.
Police then found the body of the boy in a freezer in the basement. A medical examiner has determined the child’s death to be a homicide, the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office reported Sunday.
The child’s 31-year-old mother, identified as Azuradee France, was taken into custody the day the boy’s body was discovered. As of Sunday, June 26, she has officially been charged with felony murder, first-degree child abuse, torture and concealing the death of an individual. She is expected to be arraigned Sunday.
Police say there were five other children inside the Detroit home when officers arrived on Friday. The children were reportedly taken to the hospital for a health check, and then were expected to be interviewed by police.
Lynette Hardy, the woman living next door to France, told Local 4 that she helped take care of the children living with the 31-year-old mother. Hardy said the 3-year-old boy had been missing since Jan. 5, and that she was told the boy had been sent away to his aunt and uncle in Alabama.
Homicide investigators have been leading the case with assistance from the child abuse division, officials said. Child Protective Services are also reportedly working with police.