Updated: Dec 6, 2022
Saturday February 12, 2022 about 11:15 am the Bloomington Police Department were dispatched to a retail store on the 2200 block of W Market Street for retail theft. They arrested Kimberlee Burton, 25. The father of her two older children came to pick them up after her arrest when it was discovered that there was an infant child that was nowhere to be found.
After an extensive investigation it was believed that 7-month-old Zaraz Walker who was also living in Burton's residence was in fact missing (Sunday, February 13, 2022 about 11:30 pm), though Burton never reported her child missing. After interviewing Burton in jail regarding Zaraz' disappearance, several search warrants for her residence was conducted for a more thorough search, and to collect evidence. It was believed that the child's father (now deceased) lived in Illinois or Florida.
Monday, February 14, 2022 about 7:00 am, several law enforcement agents canvassed the neighborhood on the 300 block of E Wood Street in Bloomington, Illinois which lasted through the night. Additional searches within that area were searched almost daily with negative results.
The Bloomington Police Department arrested Burton who was still held at the McLean County Jail, adding two counts of felony Child Endangerment for the two (older) children she left at her residence alone for days without supervision.
While Burton was in jail, she stated during a zoom meeting 'My baby passed away'. 'She's not living. Stop speaking of my child. She passed away. It was very clear said to you that my baby passed away.'
Wednesday, February 23, 2022 two additional charges was made for the offense of Concealment of a Death.
According to Pantagraph, Prosecutors said Burton previously told police, and again told a family member during a jail visit, that Walker died while falling asleep in Burton’s lap, but she didn’t call authorities because “she didn’t want to deal with that.”
Burton said she placed Walker in a cemetery near her house, prosecutors said.
Neighbors saw Burton removing items from her residence to the dumpster a week prior to her initial arrest on February 12, 2022. It is difficult to share additional investigation information as this is still a fluid and ongoing investigation.
WE STILL NEED TO FIND ZARAZ.
Zaraz is still listed as missing & endangered. If you have any information on Zaraz Walker or the mother Kimberlee Burton please contact the lead agent, Sergeant Detective Jared Bierbaum at (309) 434-2807 or email him at email@example.com
It is believed that she has been missing since the first week of February, and even as late as Christmas (2021)
1 count: CONCEAL DEATH OF PERSON
1 count: CONCEAL DEATH/MOVE BODY 2 counts: CAUSE CHILD TO BE ENDANGERED
Burton has been given a mental evaluation and on the March 18, 2022 court date she was deemed unfit to stand trial. She will be in a mental health facility. The judge did agree to a fitness evaluation where she could be ruled fit to stand trial less than a year from now. If she is not 'fit to stand trial' she may be found not guilty by reason of insanity and continue treatment at a mental health facility.
The next review in court for her mental health status is September 30, 2022. There has been no updates to this as of December 2022.
The Department of Children and Family Services has been involved with the family three times, prior to Zaraz' disappearance, and the children have always gone back to Burton. WGLT reported in depth. These allegations included abuse and neglect from 2020 - 2021. Zaraz is now missing, and her two other children have been removed from her custody.
We know that the Bloomington Police Department is doing everything possible to bring baby Zaras home.