8 News NOW I-Team

I-Team: What happened to baby Zaela?

Local News

NORTH LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — It has been nearly one year since 3-year-old Zaela Walker vanished without a trace. Her parents were arrested and charged with her murder, but her body still hasn’t been found.

The I-Team has been working to put together the pieces of the puzzle surrounding little Zaela. Police say her parents, Lakeia Walker and Ricky Beasley, were the last people seen with Zaela.

Mugshots for Ricky Beasley and Lakeia Walker

“Everybody think I did this; period,” said Ricky Beasley.

The I-Team obtained audio connected to the murder case of a conversation between Ricky and Lakeia.

WARNING: The audio contains explicit and offensive language. Listen at your own discretion.

Conversation between Lakeia Walker and Ricky Beasley

Lakeia Walker, Zaela’s mother: “So when I’m found — when I turn myself in, everybody gonna know that; nah, Lakeia ain’t no victim, Lakaeih ass up here….. doing criminal fu*%ing activity.”
Ricky Beasley, Zaela’s father: “Chill; but chill… No, because bro, all you gotta do; this is simple. All you gotta do from here; you said it at the beginning, nobody, no case.”

The recording is about 30 minutes long, and at one point during their conversation, Beasley and Walker speak about Zaela like she’s alive.

“That’s all she wants is her mama,” Beasley said.

On the recording, Lakeia is even heard making claims that Zaela was with the mother of Beasley’s other child.

Lekeia: “Zaela is already with Briana; I just need you to both to be with them, and y’all do what the (explicit) you need to do for my daughter,” she said while crying. “That’s it. We don’t got nothing to talk about.”

But Brianna Young told police she never had Zaela, which was a recurring theme in the case.

According to North Las Vegas Police, Beasley’s story changed numerous times. Once he claimed she was with his mother; another time Beasley said he left her with Walker. While talking to detectives Walker said Zaela was with Beasley’s ex, his brother, and his mother, but they all said that wasn’t true.

“If I could say I was in a movie and the script was against me, but it was well written — this is one of the best, well-written scripts ever,” Beasley said.

Here’s a timeline of how North Las Vegas Police say the events unfolded:

  • Ricky Beasley wasn’t in Zaela’s life much during her first two years on the earth.
  • By the summer of 2018, he was spending time with her.
  • On Aug. 15, detectives say Zaela was with Beasley while Walker went on a job interview.
  • At noon, they met at Sandstone Ridge Park in North Las Vegas, and Beasley refused to give Zaela back to Walker.
  • Walker then stayed in front of Beasley’s home where he lived with his mother before calling 911 and 311 to get Zaela back.
  • In the days that followed, text messages reveal how Walker begged Beasley for Zaela and expressed concern about a doctor’s appointment for Zaela since a doctor pointed out a swollen lymph node.
  • Ricky demanded 13 bands, which means $13,000, and Walker said she’d work as a stripper to raise the money.
  • On Aug. 21, Beasley’s mother told police she heard a thump, and that she saw Beasley carrying Zaela to the bathtub for a shower. Police said he claimed she urinated, so he threw a cot because he was mad.
  • According to North Las Vegas Police, that was the last day anyone other than Ricky Beasley or Lakeia Walker saw Zaela alive.
  • The next day, Beasley did a Google search on treating seizures, including whether marijuana would help.
  • He then went to Reef Dispensary and purchased a joint.
  • The night of Aug. 22, Beasley and Walker met at Craig Ranch Park where she left her cell phone, her wallet, and her car.
  • Police said the two left in Beasley’s mother’s car, making a stop near Mount Charleston before they left town.
  • On Sept. 17, they came back to Las Vegas to get some money and then they left again.
  • On Sept. 23rd, they were stopped at the Mexico border before continuing to travel through numerous states.
  • On Nov. 16, they were stopped in Texas where they tried to start a new life.
  • On Nov. 30, North Las Vegas Police asked for the public’s help in locating them.
  • On Dec. 1, they were spotted at a North Las Vegas Casino, which is where Ricky Beasley was arrested.
  • On March 15, Lakeia Walker was arrested.

When Beasley’s mother was interviewed by a prosecutor she changed her story, describing the timing of the thump differently, police said. Now, she says the thump occurred after Zaela was already in the shower.

She also told police she kept her car clean. Her car was the vehicle Beasley and Walker used when they skipped town.

But, Lakeia told police during the couple’s travels, there was a terrible smell in the trunk while they were traveling. She said she tried to get rid of the odor.

According to detectives, it’s clear Beasley and Walker lied about Zaela’s whereabouts. Plus, Walker who initially begged to be with her daughter, suddenly showed a lack of concern after Aug. 23rd. She also didn’t even try calling little Zaela for her 3rd birthday, police said.

One detective says Walker described the couple’s road trip as her opportunity to be free and live her own life.

“I’m out here for ruining lives, and I ruined Zaela’s life,” Walker said. “Zaela don’t need me in her life.”

The I-Team reached out to the Clark County District Attorney’s office to clarify the origination of that recording between Walker and Beasley, but the D.A.’s office would not comment on the matter.

Both Lakeia Walker and Ricky Beasley denied the I-Team’s requests for an interview. They are both awaiting trial.

The I-Team also reached out to Beasley’s ex-girlfriend, and both of the defendants’ mothers, but they did not respond.

If you have any information on Zaela’s whereabouts, please call CrimeStoppers at 702-385-5555.

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