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Erica James dropped her daughter off at her paternal grandmother’s home so she could make her doctor’s appointment. The grandmother left the toddler with an uncle while she ran out to run errands. Then, James says she got a call around 4PM to alert her that her daughter was missing.
“I immediately rushed over and started looking for my baby,” James said.
Police searched the house and the neighborhood, but didn’t find the child’s body until the cadaver dog arrived and led police to a closet in the home.
“I (have) two closets at home and she never went in,” James said. “She never pulled (anything) down out of the closet, so it’s strange that my baby is the closet under 20-pounds of clothes.”
The girl’s uncle, who was babysitting Zyia, her siblings and several of her cousins, told police he left the kids alone and went into his bedroom. When he returned, Zyia was gone and the other children said they had no idea where she was.