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The cousin of a missing Michigan teenager is in custody after being identified as a person of interest in her disappearance.
Jaylin Brazier, 21, turned himself into authorities at a local precinct, the Detroit Police Department announced on Wednesday, shortly after announcing they were seeking him in the disappearance of Zion Foster.
Foster, 17, was reported missing on Jan. 5. Investigators say that Foster was last seen on Jan. 4 at her home in Eastpointe before leaving the residence with Brazier, WDIV-TV in Detroit reports.
Brazier has been identified as Foster’s cousin.
The Detroit Police Department told Oxygen.com over email on Tuesday that they have submitted a homicide warrant request for Brazier "in connection to this case."
"The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office returned the warrant request asking for further information," they stated. "Our investigators are working around the clock in conjunction with the Prosecutor’s team."
Ciera Milton, the mother of the missing teen, apparently told investigators that Brazier has refused to tell her where her daughter is. Milton received a text from Foster’s phone at around 1 a.m. Jan. 5, which said she was headed home, the Detroit News reports.
"We're just trying to get our daughter back," James Royster, Zion's father told the Detroit News. "All we want is for Zion to come home."
He does not think his daughter ran away and is very concerned about her well-being.
“She’s a senior,” he said. “We were talking about her graduation and what dress she wanted to wear and what college she might want to go to. There was a lot going on.”
He noted that the teen’s grandmother died two days after her disappearance. He expressed that she and Foster had a meaningful and close relationship and “talked every day.”
Brazier faces charges of lying to an officer in an investigation, the Detroit News reports.
In court on Monday, Judge Kathleen Galen expressed "there is a 17-year-old, his cousin, is missing or in grave danger, or worse yet, maybe dead," WDIV-TV reports.
She set his bond at $250,000 cash surety.
“He’s in good spirits, he’s indicated that he vehemently denies the charges and is looking for his day in court," Brazier’s court-appointed lawyer Matt Licata said on Monday, according to WDIV.
The Eastpointe Police Department, where Brazier is in custody, has not immediately responded to Oxygen.com’s request for comment.
Foster is described as standing 5 foot 1 and weighing 120 pounds. She was last seen wearing a uniform for Detroit Wing Company, where she worked.
Anyone with information on the missing teen is urged to call 1-800-SPEAK-UP.
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