17-month-old girl found dead under pile of clothes in Grandmother's house

DETROIT (WXYZ) - A small makeshift memorial now sits outside of the home where little Ziya Turner was found dead.

Police found the little toddler's lifeless body buried under a bunch of stuff in a bedroom closet inside her grandmother's house.

Sources tell 7 Action News she was discovered dead underneath a pile of clothes, some type of metal box, and other items in the 18000 block of Brinker on Detroit's east side.

A large search was conducted Friday when family members reported the 17-month-old missing.

When 7 Action News met with the family Friday, the mother, Erica James told our crews "I just, I just want my baby.  My baby doesn't go to anybody. I just wish whoever had her would bring her back.  Just bring her back," she said. She said she didn't know of anyone who would want to hurt the girl.

The uncle and another adult babysitting Ziya and some other children said they panicked when they could not find the toddler. James had been resting at home from a surgery earlier in the day when she got the frantic call.

Families had been searching for little Ziya and passing out flyers hoping to find the little girl alive. 

"We were hoping… just hoping… someone had took her," said Ziya's grandmother, Bridget Elan.  "We never thought she was in the house right up under our nose it didn't cross our minds."

Elan said she found out about her granddaughter's death from her sister in Chicago who learned the details on wxyz.com .

Police are still investigating the case but they have questioned the uncle who has not been identified yet.

Elan believes it was a tragic accident and that somehow Ziya walked into the closet and clothes toppled over her.  "My grandkids… they're blaming themselves, like we didn't search the area," she said.  "But you can't put that on you.  It was a bad accident.  It was a very bad accident that we just have to deal with."

Ziya's aunt said she is planning a candlelight vigil for the little girl on Friday.

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