Authorities were searching Tuesday for two young children whose mother was found shot to death in a vacant Detroit home, around two weeks after family members last saw them.
A relative, responding to an anonymous tip, found Alicia Fox's badly decomposed body Monday night in a house on the city's west side, police said. An autopsy found she had been shot twice in the head, said Mary Mazur, spokeswoman for the Wayne County medical examiner's office.
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Initially, the relative had incorrectly reported the body was dismembered. The death was ruled a homicide, and police had identified no suspects as of early Tuesday afternoon.
"The body was severely decomposed. There is no way to tell exactly the moment of death," Mazur said.
As police investigate the slaying, they are looking for 6-year-old Kaylah Hunter and 6-month-old Kristian Justice. The children and their mother last were seen around May 24.
"Missing posters" that included their photos were taped on the porch of the family's home in northwest Detroit.
David Coates / Detroit News via AP
Flyers of a missing woman and children are taped to the brick home of Alicia Fox, Tuesday, June 10, 2014, in Detroit.
"What's most important is locating the children," Police Chief James Craig told reporters Tuesday. "We're doing everything we can."
The FBI and Michigan State Police also were involved in the search. The house where Fox's body was found is among several vacant structures on the block of mostly well-kept properties. High weeds surround it.
"A family member got a tip from an unknown person" to go to the home, said Officer Adam Madera, a Detroit police spokesman. "This family member discovered the body and called 911."
Police were trying to identify the person who gave Fox's family the tip. Fox's children have different fathers, and investigators have contacted both men.
"As of right now they seem to be cooperating," Madera said.
Investigators also were seeking Fox's car. Fox's neighbor, Chris Jones, said he had not seen her or the man who lived with her since around Memorial Day.
"There was a U-Haul truck out there. It looked like they were moving," Jones told The Associated Press.
Some residents who live near the home where Fox's body was found said home break-ins and car thefts have been common recently in the neighborhood.
Ali Abdulameer, a 27-year-old auto mechanic whose home is adjacent to the one where Fox was found, said he was ready to move.
"I'm not staying here any longer," Abdulameer said.
—The Associated Press
First published June 10 2014, 3:20 PM