The father of one of two missing Detroit children was taken into custody in Georgia Wednesday in the murder of their mother, who was shot multiple times, and police are “very aggressively” searching for the missing children, Detroit Police Chief James Craig said.
“Our priority right now is locating with the children,” Craig said in a news conference Thursday morning. “Right now, what’s most important is finding the children and identifying the person responsible for this horrific crime.”
Erin Justice, the father of 8-month-old Kristin Justice, was arrested in Georgia Wednesday after Detroit police discovered a bullet lodged in the wall of a home where Alicia Fox had once lived with her family, the Detroit Free Press reports.
Police also discovered blood spatters on the ceiling of the house on Ardmore where Fox lived with her children, who also include 6-year-old Kaylah Hunter, and Justice.
Justice was booked at the Fulton County Jail in Georgia on a fugitive from justice charge, and will be charged with murder on a Wayne County warrant, Craig said.
Also in custody in Detroit is a 27-year-old male who will be charged as an accessory after the fact in Fox’s murder, Craig said.
Authorities think Justice has information about the whereabouts of the children, Craig said, “but we’re not certain.”
“We’re hopeful the children are alive,” he told reporters. “That’s the story we want to bring to you and certainly to the grieving family of the mother.”
Pictures of the children have been disseminated as far away as Atlanta and through the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. Craig said an Amber Alert, which wasn’t issued due in part to the amount of time that had lapsed before they were reported missing, “would not have helped” locate them.
“We have exhausted every resource to find the children and are satisfied with the direction it is going,” Craig said.
Fox, 27, and her two children were last seen more than two weeks ago, WDIV, Channel 4, said. Her family discovered her body on Monday in the abandoned house on Penrod Street while posting fliers asking for tips about her whereabouts in the neighborhood.
A man who lives on Penrod near the house where Fox’s body had been found told Fox’s relatives there was suspicious activity involving a U-Haul truck at the address about two weeks ago. The house had been vacant for about 14 years.
“ …We thought maybe someone was moving furniture out or someone was scrapping,” Bill Canty told The Detroit News. “We didn’t think nothing about it.”The Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office conducted an autopsy and determined that Fox died of multiple gunshot wounds, including two to the head.