DETROIT (WWJ) – The 28-year-old father of one of two missing Detroit kids was arrested in Atlanta Wednesday night in the slaying of the children’s mother, Alicia Fox.
That’s according to Detroit Police Chief James Craig, who updated reporters on the case late Thursday morning.
Thursday afternoon Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy issued charges in connection with the murder of Fox.
Erin Justice has been charged with first degree murder and is being held in an Atlanta, Georgia jail.
Justice is said to be fighting extradition to Michigan.
A murder warrant was signed Wednesday accusing Justice of killing Fox and leaving her body in an abandoned house on the city’s west side, Craig said.
A second suspect — a 27-year-old man who police believe was an accessory to her death — is also in custody. He was arrested in Detroit.
Craig said investigators have “no idea” whether or not the kids — Justice’s 8-month old son, Kristian Justice; and Fox’s other child, 6-year-old Kaylah Hunter — are still alive.
“We’re hopeful that the children are alive,” Craig said. “That’s the story we want to bring to you, and certainly the grieving family of the mother’s…That’s our hope.”
He said the department’s focus remains on finding the children.
Craig said police believe Justice may know where the children are, although he denied that in a statement he made to police in Georgia earlier this week. He was being interrogated Thursday and will be extradited back to Michigan with the help of officials in Atlanta.
Craig confirmed that blood evidence was collected at the Ardmore Street home that Fox and Justice shared, but it’s not yet clear if it’s connected to a victim or victims in the case.
Officers searched around the home Wednesday night using shovels after police received a tip that the children might have been buried in the backyard.
“This is actually a very nice neighborhood, except for two abandoned homes next to Fox’s home,” WWJ Newsradio 950’s Charlie Langton reported from the scene, in the 7 Mile and Lodge area, Thursday morning.
“I actually went behind there; it’s a gruesome scene,” Langton said. “There’s actually the holes where police were looking for the children…of course the kids were not found.”
Friends, neighbors and strangers gathered for a prayer circle near the home Wednesday night..
Fox’s badly decomposed body was found wrapped in blankets Monday night in the basement of a dilapidated home in the 6800 block of Penrod, near the Southfield Freeway and Warren Avenue. An autopsy showed she had been shot twice in the head.
Police said Fox recently separated from Justice, to whom she was married.
Kaylah’s father, Kevin Hunter, has also been questioned and police have said he’s cooperating with investigators. He’s not been charged with any crime.
Anyone has information about the children’s wherabouts is asked to call Detroit police or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP.