Suspect in custody after woman found in Detroit dumpster

Police have arrested James Quill Cockerham in connection to the case where a 27-year-old woman was found in a Detroit dumpster. 

Officails said Cockerham was arrested in the 8000 block of Stoepel on Saturday afternoon.

The Detroit woman who was killed and left in an apartment's dumpster on Wednesday was Elizabeth Candice Nichole Laird, who was studying to be a nurse before she was brutally murdered.

Last Wednesday, police were called to Parkview Towers and Square apartment building on reports of blood in the elevator. They discovered the body of Laird, known by friends and family as Candice, in a dumpster located near the 1600 Block of Robert Bradby Drive.

Family friend Michael Hines said she was an all-American girl who was sweet and full of hope and life.

"She was a great young lady, and I loved her," Hines said. "She had a bright future. She was going to school to be in the nursing field. She told me she was going to make something of herself."

The 26-year-old woman won't get that chance. Her life came to a violent end Wednesday when she was found inside that dumpster.

TO DONATE: The family has set up a GoFundMe here to pay for her burial.

According to the Wayne County Medical Examiner, Laird's cause of death is compressive asphyxia, and it was a homicide. 

"It's just ridiculous. You shouldn't kill no one like that - like throwing away garbage," Hines said.

Police have confirmed through a continuing investigation Cockerham had been in contact with Laird -- they were seen together inside the building's elevator. 

Cockerham, pictured above, is a registered sex offender and has been convicted of several crimes including weapons charges, criminal sexual conduct, car theft and armed robbery.

Hines believes Candice fought for her life.

"I believe she fought," he said. "She was small but I believe she fought."

The Detroit Police Department said they're thankful for local, state and federal partners as well as the community for their hard work on locating Cokerham.

A vigil for Candice is scheduled for Sunday May 19 at 7 p.m. at Balduck Park located at 5271 Canyon St, Detroit, MI 48236.