Detroit police arrest man in connection with murdered woman’s body found in dumpster

Police have located and arrested a suspect who they believe murdered a woman and put her body in a dumpster.

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Police have located and arrested James Quill Cockerham, a 50-year-old Detroit man who they believe murdered a 27-year-old woman and put her body in a dumpster.

Cockerham was arrested on Saturday, several days after he allegedly murdered Elizabeth Candice Nichole Laird, who was studying to be a nurse, according to Fox 2. Police had released footage of Cockerham, calling him a person of interest, and asked the public for help in locating the man prior to his arrest.

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Police was called to the scene to investigate a disturbance, which occurred before 10 a.m. last Wednesday. When they responded to Parkview Towers and Square apartment building, they found blood inside of the building’s elevator. They found Laird in a dumpster at the complex, which is located on the east side of the city.

Michael Hines, who identified himself as a family friend, told Fox 2 that Laird was sweet and full of life and was liked by many people.

“She was a great young lady, and I loved her,” Hines told the Fox 2 reporter. “She had a bright future. She was going to school to be in the nursing field. She told me she was going to make something of herself.”

“It’s just ridiculous. You shouldn’t kill no one like that – like throwing away garbage,” Hines added to Fox 2.

The Wayne County Medical Examiner has determined that Laird’s cause of death was a homicide due to compressive asphyxia.

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Police told WXYZ that Cockerham, a registered sex offender, has a criminal rap sheet with charges including weapon possession, criminal sexual contact, car theft, and armed robbery. Cockerham, who had just been released from prison, reportedly had been in contact with Laird. They were last seen together inside of the apartment building’s elevator.

A vigil for Candice was held on Sunday at Balduck Park on Canyon Street.