DETROIT (AP) — A Detroit man was arraigned Wednesday in the slaying of his estranged wife even as the whereabouts of her two young children remained unclear.
Alicia Fox’s 6-year-old daughter, Kaylah Hunter, and her 8-month-old son, Kristian Justice, have been missing since late May. Fox’s decomposed body was found about two weeks later in a vacant house about 6 miles from their home.
The woman’s relatives think her husband and Kristian’s father, Erin Justice, knows where the children are, although he hasn’t been charged in their disappearance. About a dozen of Fox’s family members sat quietly in a courtroom as the 28-year-old Justice appeared on a video monitor to hear the charges against him.
Magistrate Charles W. Anderson III entered a not-guilty plea to first-degree murder and weapons charges on Justice’s behalf. Justice will be held without bond pending a Sept. 4 preliminary examination. Records don’t show that he has an attorney and none represented him in court.
Prosecutors estimate Fox was shot and killed in the family’s home between May 25 and 27. Her children were last seen with her on May 24. Fox’s uncle, Michael Fields, said he found her body June 9 in the basement of a vacant house on Detroit’s west side after getting an anonymous tip over the phone.
Justice was arrested June 11 in the Atlanta area. He refused to waive extradition and fought his return to Michigan.
Volunteers and police searched for the children in vacant houses, backyards, parks and fields earlier in the summer. Fox’s family members said Wednesday they are planning another search on Saturday.
“We’re hoping more tips come in,” Fields said. “Good or bad, we’re going to follow them.”
Fields, 50, said finding the children likely will depend on Justice.
“Just maybe, at some point in time, he’ll come around and say what happened to the children,” Fields said. “We would like them to be returned home safely.”
A second man has been charged with being an accessory. Timothy Jones, 27, is accused of knowing about the slaying and helping the killer afterward. Police haven’t released details about his alleged involvement.