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Police: Bodies Found In Burned Down Detroit House Possibly Linked To Amber Alert, Suspect Turns Self In

Savannah Walker
Savannah Walker (police handout)

DETROIT (WWJ/AP) --  Marcus Hightower, 33, the person of interest in the Amber Alert for Savannah Walker, 4, turned himself into Detroit police Sunday morning.

Michigan State Police issued an AMBER Alert for 4-year-old Savannah Walker, of Howell, at around 1 a.m. Saturday morning.

Savannah is described as a white female with blonde hair and blue eyes.

And her fate is still unknown.

Later Saturday morning, police chief James Craig said that two bodies were found in a torched, abandoned house in Detroit that could be Walker and her mother, Heidi Walker, but could not confirm the identity of the bodies.

"Preliminarily, we believe it could be the missing mother and daughter, but we haven't confirmed that," Craig said.

Police urged that because the identity of the bodies found in the house have not been confirmed, the AMBER Alert is still active at this time.

Police were called to the home on Lakeview St. near Forrest Ave. at around 6 a.m. Saturday.

Craig said that Savannah and Heidi were reported missing on Tuesday in Livingston County, but family members went to Michigan State police after the investigation stalled.

"I don't want to be overly critical because it's still early in the investigation," Craig said. "Certainly there were indications early on that something more should have been done. It was not done.

"There was some information that that agency had early on that could've been worked through this agency -- Detroit police -- and MSP," Craig said.

Livingston Sheriff Bob Bezotte told WDIV-TV 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.

Hightower was described as a 5-foot-9 black male with black hair and brown eyes, possibly in a black Ford Explorer.

Police considered Hightower armed and dangerous. He was on parole for assault with intent to commit murder.

Craig said that Hightower and Heidi Walker had been in a relationship and there was a history of domestic violence between the two.

Marcus Hightower
Marcus Hightower (police handout)

Craig said it wasn't clear if the woman and girl were killed in the home or taken there afterward, but the fire is considered suspicious.

"It's not uncommon where a suspect will commit a crime like murder and try to cover their tracks by setting a fire," he said. "It appears to be intentionally set (in an) abandoned house."

The investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to contact police.

[Stay with and LISTEN LIVE to WWJ Newsradio 950 for the latest]


TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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