Craig: 'Career criminal' arrested in slaying of woman found in dumpster

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News

Detroit — A man was arrested Saturday by Detroit police in connection with the slaying of a woman earlier this week.

Officials identified James Quill Cockerham, 50, as a suspect Friday and arrested him Saturday afternoon. 

Cockerham was arrested at 2:30 p.m. in the 8000 block of Stoepel, police said. 

"Our investigators are relentless, continue to work and came in today on their off day following tips and leads," said Police Chief James Craig. "That violent, predatory, cowardly suspect is now in custody, a career criminal. So, that's good news."

More: Detroit police dispel serial killer rumor

Craig addressed a false rumor that he says was circulating across the city about a serial killer who dumped five bodies in a dumpster.

"I appreciate our friends in the media for dispelling a horrible rumor," he said. "That was absolutely false and we only ask that if you didn't hear from the Detroit Police Department, it's probably not so." 

The body of the 26-year-old woman was found about 9:50 a.m. Wednesday in a dumpster near a building on the 1600 block of Robert Bradby Drive, investigators said.

"I understand the emotions. We pray for that family, we pray for that young lady and it should have never happened," Craig said. "One murder like that is one too many as all of them are, but the good news is the suspect is in custody."

Police learned the victim had earlier been spotted with a man in an elevator there. He was wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt and wheat-colored boots.
Twitter: @SarahRahal_