Person of interest in AMBER Alert turns self in

Posted at 7:19 AM, Feb 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-21 08:46:24-05

Detroit police say the person of interest in Saturday's AMBER Alert has turned himself in.

According to police, 33-year-old Marcus Hightower turned himself in early Sunday morning.

An AMBER Alert was issued around 2 a.m. Saturday for 4-year-old Savannah Walker, and police were also looking for Hightower as a person of interest.

Two bodies were found in an abandoned home around 5 a.m. Saturday and it is believed that they are the bodies of Savannah and her mother, Heidi.  Though police found the bodies, they are making sure the public knows the AMBER Alert is still active.

Detroit Police Chief James Craig told reporters that investigators were working to determine whether the bodies discovered in the east side home appear to be those of Savannah Walker and her mother. The Amber Alert about Savannah was issued earlier in the morning and she was reported missing on Tuesday to authorities in Livingston County.

Craig said the connection between the cases is possible but not confirmed at this point. He also couldn't account for the delay between the initial report to Livingston County sheriff's officials and the Amber Alert but expressed concern that law enforcement action wasn't taken earlier.

Livingston Sheriff Bob Bezotte said a deputy responded to a 911 call and advised the family member of the missing mother and daughter to file an Amber Alert with the Michigan State Police, the only agency authorized to issue one. The deputy also located the last activity on the missing woman's cellphone to Detroit's east side, and told the relative to contact Detroit police, Bezotte said.

Craig said city and state officials became involved when the relatives went to the state police post in Brighton.

Authorities say the person last seen with Savannah, a 33-year-old Detroit man, has been in a relationship with the mother. He's described as a person of interest and considered armed and dangerous, and Craig said he is on parole after serving time for assault with intent to commit murder.

There is a history of domestic violence between the man and missing woman, he added.