NORTH LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — North Las Vegas Police Department detectives have made two arrests concerning the disappearance of 3-year-old Zaela Walker.
Friday, the NLVPD arrested Zaela’s mother, 27-year-old Lakeia Walker, on the charge of murder.
Zaela’s father, 27-year-old Ricky Beasley, was already in jail on separate related charges, is also now facing a murder charge.
Back in August 2018, North Las Vegas police officers were called to a residence in the 4600 block of Mission Cantina Avenue about a report of a missing 2-year-old girl.
An investigation found that Zaela was last seen with her parents.
Detectives then placed the three missing persons' names into the national database in an attempt to locate the family.
In December 2018, Walker and Beasley were spotted at a local casino, located near Civic Center Drive and Cheyenne Avenue.
Officers were able to take both in custody at that time with the girl's father booked into jail on traffic-related charges and a charge of taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent.
Lakeia was released and was cooperating with investigators.
After seven months of investigation, numerous media releases, interviews, and search warrants, there was no substantive information regarding Zaela or her whereabouts, according to North Las Vegas police.
Also, police said an analysis of Walker and Beasley’s communications during their time away from Las Vegas showed that they never reached out to anyone about Zaela’s status or condition.
Furthermore, Lakeia provided information that lead detectives to believe that Zaela was not alive.
Lakeia explained that she and Ricky were working on their relationship, therefore, they did not want to complicate things by bringing Zaela back into their lives. She also made no attempt to see or speak with Zaela on her third birthday, did not send a card or present, did not call or facetime, nor send any texts messages or photos to Zaela on her birthday, according to police.
Lakeia also told authorities that the trunk of a vehicle reeked, like rotten meat, and that she and Ricky cleaned the trunk by vacuuming and using lemon scented ammonia to rid the trunk of the stench.
Detectives said they believed that Lakeia’s description of the smell corresponds with that of a decaying body and that Zaela suffered an unknown traumatic/health related injury, which resulted in her death.
The NLVPD then announced Friday that Beasley and Walker were both booked into the Clark County Detention Center on the charges of murder.