Search for missing teen continues; end date in question

Posted at 6:14 PM, Sep 16, 2022

LENOX TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) — Week after week for months, volunteers have shown up and suited up at Pine Tree Acres Landfill to search for Zion Foster’s remains. The 17-year-old disappeared in January.

The Detroit Public Safety Foundation stated on social media on August 17th, “The search for the remains of Zion Foster will continue until September 18.”

With the 18th approaching, 7 Action News checked in with the police department to see if the search will end on Sunday, September 18. We also spoke with Zion's mother, Ciera Milton and her aunt, Kayla Foster.

Milton questioned, “What if he sent them on a wild goose chase? What if, ya know, I have so many ‘what if's’ in all honesty. What if she was sold?”

Zion's cousin, Jaylen Brazier, is in prison for lying about her whereabouts. Investigators say statements he made in January about disposing of her body led them to eventually search the landfill.

“If she were there, I do feel like something by now would have been found with so many resources that they’ve taken to use to help in this search. And, that just makes me feel like she’s not there," Foster said.

As of today, the Detroit Public Safety Foundation said over $300,000 have been spent on search efforts.

When asked whether the search will end on September 18th, a spokesperson for the police department said in an email, “At this time our efforts are continuing. No further information is available at this time. We will alert our media partners when an update becomes available.”

Foster said, “And if she’s not there and you guys are going to conclude searching for her there, then we gotta know what the next steps are.”

Milton said, “We have to look at other options because where do we go from here?”

Zion is one many unsolved, missing persons cases the police department is currently investigating, working to get answers and bring to a close.

“My fear is that if they don’t find anything there that this just ends up being a cold case and nothing being done. And then what are we supposed to do with Jaylen?”

The Detroit Public Safety Foundation said donations are needed, so if you’d like to help out, you can reach the foundation's website here.