MACOMB COUNTY, Mich. (FOX 2) - Over the course of the next 6 to 8 weeks, police and investigators are going to be carefully searching through mountains of garbage as they try to find the remains of 17-year-old girl Zion Foster who has been missing since January.
Starting at noon on Tuesday, May 31, investigators will start the process of trying to find the remains of the teen after they narrowed the search to a landfill in Lenox Township in Macomb County.
The first phase is to remove the top 20 feet of material from the focus area, which is expected to take two weeks. This requires heavy equipment and employees from the Detroit's General Services Division and the Department of Public Works. Crews will also be building a road and a search deck that will be used to inspect materials found in the focus area.
On May 12, investigators announced the search of the landfill and Zion's mom, Cierra Milton, was there for the announcement of the search.
"As heart-wrenching as it is, the turmoil I'm feeling inside, to know that my baby has to be recovered from trash, that an attempt has to be made like this, I'm grateful for those that have fought to get to this point. I want to know what happened to my baby," Milton said during the press conference. "I was supposed to be doing graduation pictures and prom and helping her to get her first ID, helping her to get her license. It's just so much to miss out on."
About 70 officials, 40 searchers and 30 additional employees are expected to start digging through a section of the landfill about 100 square feet large. The agent in charge said the search would take approximately seven to eight weeks.
Zion Foster was last seen on January 4 with her cousin, Brazier, who has since been convicted of lying to police in the investigation. In March, he was sentenced to between 23 months to 4 years in prison.
Detroit Police Chief James White said he made the call for DPD to take the lead on the investigation early on after Foster went missing, saying it's the "right thing to do."
Brazier admitted he found Zion dead, but he's not charged with her murder. Instead, Braizer admits he threw the dead body in a dumpster.
"I reacted stupidly off of fear and panic like I've never felt before in my life," he said in court during his sentencing.
"It wasn't too long ago that I saw you and even knowing that my baby had been in contact with him, I kept going to his house. I just wanted him to tell me the truth," said Milton.