Police Officer Adopts 4-Year-Old Girl He Bonded With While Working Her Case

When Lieutenant Brian Zach first met two-year-old Kaila back in 2018, he had no idea that in just a few short years he would be formally adopting the sweet, blonde-haired little girl into his family. All he knew was that this was a toddler in need of comforting, so that's exactly what he did.

According to Good Morning America, back then Brian was 39 years old and working as a patrol sergeant with the Kingman Police Department in Arizona. On that fateful March evening, he and his officers were called to check on a local residence.

Upon entering the home, Zach discovered little Kaila and said he knew immediately that something was wrong.


The two-year-old had sustained serious injuries that were indicative of abuse. That evening, Brian's job was to comfort Kaila, resulting in a powerful bond that stuck with the father-of-two long after their time together was up.

"We colored, we snacked... She held my hand and she was just this cute little thing," Brian recalled to GMA. "Once detectives came, they picked her up and took her to the hospital."

After spending five hours consoling the little girl, Brian went home to his wife, Cierra, and revealed he wanted Kaila to join their family.

“She was just the cutest little girl that immediately just tugged at my heart,” he explained to People. "I told my wife about this adorable little girl that I met and I just wanted to bring her home. In the past 15 years, if my wife had a dollar for every time that I said that, we'd be pretty rich.”

While Kaila was treated for her injuries, criminal charges were filed against her caretakers, and protective services began the search to find the little girl an immediate placement.

When officials told Brian they were having a difficult time finding somewhere for her to go, he and Cierra immediately offered up their own home.

“When they remove [a child from a home], they want to place with family first,” he told People. “But if they can’t have family, they can go to a foster home. What they did in our case is they used our relationship from bonding that first night for what they call a fictive kinship.”

This term is used to describe an arrangement where the child is placed with close friends rather than blood relatives.

The night Kaila arrived at their home, Brian said she recognized him right away and had him hold her hand as the pair walked inside the house together.

Within two days of staying with the Zach family, Kaila was already calling Cierra "mom" or "mommy" and calling Brian "Guy" for a week or two before learning the name "Dad" at pre-school.

"We lived each week not knowing if she was going to go back to her biological parents, or how long we were going to keep her," he told GMA. "Our goal was to love and care for this little girl for as long as it happened."

On August 18, two and a half years after he first met her, Brian and his family officially adopted Kaila.

In a statement to GMA, Kingman Police Department's chief of police, Rusty Cooper, said that both Brian and his wife, Cierra, are "amazing parents."

"They are committed to the service of others and a cause that is greater than themselves," he continued. "We are proud of Brian and thankful that he and his family are part of the Kingman Police Department."

After nearly three years of getting to know and love Kaila, Brian is able to perfectly describe his little girl as he would any of his children.

He told GMA his daughter loves preschool, animals, and dancing. One of her favorite pastimes is playing make-believe, like when she pretends she's taking "cruise vacations" in a cardboard box.

“She is the wittiest, most full of character little girl you’ll ever meet,” he told People. “She says the funniest, off-the-wall things. She’s definitely brightened up our world.”

h/t: Good Morning America, PEOPLE