Suspect in East side Dumpster Murder in Custody [Video]

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DETROIT, MI – Detroit Police Chief James Craig updated the media that the suspect in the east side dumpster murder of a 26-year-old woman is now in custody as of 2:00 p.m., Saturday May 18th, 2019.

James Quill Cockerham was arrested Saturday in the 8800 block of Stoepel.   Stoepel is located on the westside of Detroit.

James Cockerham, a 50-year old man, was being sought after in connection with the murder of Elizabeth Laird who was found inside a dumpster located in the 1600 block of Robert Bradby Drive.James Cockerham

James Cockerham is accused of raping and killing Elizabeth Laird, then throwing her body in a dumpster at the Parkview Towers Apartment complex on Wednesday May 15th, 2019.

Elizabeth Laird was the third woman in less than a week to be murdered on the east side of Detroit. The first woman was gunned down in the 3400 block of Van Dyke early Mother’s Day morning. The second was shot and killed in the 5900 block of Guliford Street on Monday May 13th, 2019.

Rumors and speculation were running rampant on social media that there was a serial killer on the loose in Detroit. Chief Craig addressed that issue head-on and stated that there is no serial killer on the loose and that the three murders together are not connected.  However, there is a possibility that the first two could be. Police believe that there is some type of gang connection to those two homicides.

The Wayne County Medical Examiner ruled Elizabeth Laird’s death a homicide. She died from Compressive Asphyxia. Compressive asphyxia is limiting expansion of the lungs by compressing the torso, hence interfering with breathing.

James Cockerham has previous convictions for:

  • Criminal Sexual Conduct, 3rd Deg (Force or Coercion)
  • Prisons – Prisoner Possessing Weapons
  • Unlawfully Driving Away an Automobile
  • Robbery Armed

He is listed as an absconder from parole.  He is also a registered sex offender. His last known address was 16746 Evergreen Rd in Detroit.

Chief Craig thanked the public for their information and help in bringing this suspect into custody. Chief also dispeled  inaccurate information circulating in the media. “If you didn’t hear it from the Detroit Police Department it’s probably not so,” said Chief Craig. Chief Craig also spoke about the actions taken in locating the suspect. “Speed and Execution is key.”

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