Detroit — A Detroit woman has been charged with murder and other charges after the body of her 3-year-old son was found in a basement freezer.
Wayne County District Attorney Kym Worthy announced Sunday that 31-year-old Azuradee France has been charged with murder, first-degree child abuse, torture and concealment of an individual’s death.
“The facts alleged in this case have stunned even seriously jaded people,” Worthy said in a statement on Sunday. ”
France is expected to appear before Magistrate Laura Echartea in the 36th District Court on Sunday, the prosecutor’s office said.
At 12:45 a.m. Friday, Detroit police officers were dispatched to a home in the 12760 block of Monte Vista for a child welfare check and discovered the remains of a deceased child in the freezer,
The medical examiner determined that the boy’s death was a homicide. Aspects of the case are still under investigation, and the facts and evidence will be entered into the case during the preliminary examination, the prosecutor’s office said.
Police officials said Friday that when a team of Detroit cops and a state child advocate arrived at the house, the woman who answered the door acted strangely.
So they called a supervisor and the team entered the house and found five children living in squalor – and the boy’s decomposed body buried in a freezer in the basement.
“This case shocked me and shocked our investigators,” Detroit Police Chief James White said at a Friday street news conference from the crime scene.
Toni Haynes, the boy’s grandmother, said on Friday her deceased grandson’s name was Chase Allen and that he was blind.
Haynes said she became suspicious when her daughter, Chase’s mother, told her the boy had burned his hand touching a plate of noodles, so she called child protective services.
“I called CPS for her. A lot of us called, and they came out and returned the kids to her.”
Haynes said that after the state visited her daughter’s home several times, her daughter told her that Chase had gone to live with her paternal grandfather’s girlfriend in Coldwater.
“But then (the grandfather) came out of jail and he told me that Chase wasn’t living with his girlfriend,” Haynes said.
She said family members came to the Monte Vista home about two weeks ago to confront her daughter, followed by another call to state child protective services.
Haynes said she had no idea how long Chase had been buried in the freezer.
Haynes created a GoFundMe page to help raise money for Chase’s funeral, as well as clothing and other necessities for surviving children.
Friday’s grisly discovery recalls a 2015 case involving Mitchelle Blair, who enlisted the help of two of her children to help kill their two siblings and pile their bodies into a freezer.
Known as “Freezer Mom”, Blair pleaded guilty to first degree murder charges and is serving a life sentence.
Writer George Hunter contributed.