Detroit— The search for two missing Detroit children brought together more than 50 people Saturday as they worked together to comb Rouge Park, near the children’s home.
“Something. Anything,” said Charmika Elder of what she hoped to find. The Southfield resident came out even though she doesn’t know the family. “I just feel like it could have been my two grandkids.”
Kaylah Hunter, 6, and her brother Kristian Justice, 8 months, were declared missing after the body of their mother Alicia Fox was found in a vacant house on Penrod Monday.
Erin Justice, father of one of the two missing children, was arrested in Atlanta on Wednesday in the slaying of the children’s mother, said police.
A second man police believe was an accessory to her death is also in custody. He was arrested in Detroit, a police source said.
A warrant was signed Wednesday accusing Justice, the father of 8-month-old Kristian Justice — of killing Fox and leaving her in an abandoned house on the city’s west side, the source said.
Detroit police detectives flew to Atlanta to bring Justice to Michigan, where he is expected to be charged with first-degree murder, the source said.
On Saturday, Detroit 300 organized a group of searchers to cover the entirety of Rouge Park. The volunteers fanned out across fields with waist-high grass.
“Anything that you see that may be suspicious, we want you to notify a team leader,” Imhotep Blue, vice president of the Detroit 300 activist group, told the crowd. “We need to continue to search and continue to be vigilant.”
Before taking to the fields, the volunteers held hands and got into a prayer circle. They prayed from closure.
“They aren’t just the family’s babies,” someone prayed. “They are all our babies.”
Nahweh Andrews and her mother Arden heard about the search on the news and decided to come out to help.
“The story, it just touched my heart,” said Nahweh Andrews, of Westland. “If it was my child, I’d want someone to search for me.”
Police have been searching as well, looking into vacant homes, backyards and fields and digging for evidence.
Authorities said found loose dirt was found around the property on Ardmore, and that dogs were seen in the backyard.
Fox, 27, was last seen by her mother on May 24 at her house in the 18400 block of Ardmore. She recently moved out of the house with her children, where she stayed with her husband until “very recently,” according to police.
Her last known communication was a text to Kaylah’s father, Kevin Hunter, on June 3 at about 5 p.m. Hunter submitted a missing person report on June 6 but because of the recent messaging three days prior, police weren’t aware of any foul play until Fox’s body was found Monday evening in the basement of an abandoned house in the 6800 block of Penrod, nearly eight miles from her Ardmore address.
The Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office determined the cause of death was multiple gunshot wounds, including two to the head.
Detroit police described Fox’s daughter, Kaylah, as 4 foot 7, 65 pounds, with a light complexion and black hair in cornrows. Police are still on the lookout for Fox’s burgundy Chevrolet Impala bearing the Michigan license plate CCR1286, according to police.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Detroit Police Department’s Criminal Investigations at (313) 596-1240.