Ecorse police believe an 18-year-old Monroe County woman cut herself to make her apparent fake abduction seem authentic.
Investigators said scratches found on Hayley Marie Turner, who turned up 50 miles away in Ecorse on Friday after she disappeared Thursday night in Bedford Township, appeared self-inflicted, Ecorse Lt. Greg Blade said at a press conference Monday morning.
Authorities began to question the cut marks because they were only in one area, said Blade, pointing to his right abdomen.
“It started not to click,” Ecorse Police Chief Michael Moore said Monday about Turner’s story. “From the time we found her, she worked us from the beginning all the way through.”
Blade, the department’s lone detective, said he began to suspect something was awry when Turner couldn’t provide details on her abductor. Blade and three other officers investigated.
“My frustration level was very high,” Moore said. “We are a cash-strapped city ... and this cost us quite a bit of money. We had Detective Blade and all of our officers out there.”
Turner could face felony charges for lying to authorities, according to Ecorse police.
Blade said the department has consulted with the city attorney and they will be submitting a warrant request to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office. Felony charges for filing a false police report, along with a request for restitution could follow.
“Someone’s going to have to pay,” Blade said.
Michigan law states “if the report is a false report of a felony, the person is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 4 years or a fine of not more than $2,000.00, or both.”
Police did not discuss a motive Monday as to why Turner would want to fabricate her own abduction.
Asked if Turner realizes the severity of her alleged actions, Moore said: “If she doesn’t know now. She certainly will soon.”
Authorities have been in contact with Turner’s parents. Police say she is back home with her parents.
“I feel bad for the parents, to be honest,” Blade said. “They seem like good people. I couldn’t imagine what they are going through right now.”
Police also say Turner, who was headed for Detroit when she was found in Ecorse, didn’t act alone.
“At no time was she in danger,” Moore said. “She could not do this alone. At no time was she without a friend.”
It is unclear if anyone else will face charges, he said.
Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Maria Miller said the office had not received a warrant request as of Monday morning. Monroe County Prosecutor William Paul Nichols said his office had not received any warrant request from Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, either.
The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said in a post on its Facebook page that a detective and an FBI agent re-interviewed the woman Sunday and “determined that the incident did not take place.”
They are forwarding a report to the county prosecutor’s office for review.
At first, the incident seemed to be a cruel echo of the disappearance two weeks earlier of a 14-year-old Armada girl, whose body was found near a recreational trail.
Turner allegedly called a friend from her car at 10:08 p.m. Thursday and said she was stopping to check on a man lying on the ground at the corner of rural Dean and Crabb .
Seconds later, she said the man had a gun, and then her phone went dead.
The friend immediately called Turner’s father, dentist Thomas Turner, who raced to the scene and found his daughter’s car idling. The teen was nowhere in sight. A massive search ensued, aided by helicopters and K-9 units that combed the area where corn and soybean fields are interspersed with a scattering of houses.
Turner was located Friday after an Ecorse motorist reported seeing her jump from a moving vehicle. The vehicle sped away, and the motorist called police, Ecorse Police Cpl. Chris Trevino said. Ecorse Public Safety Director Michael Moore was planning a Monday morning news conference on the case, Trevino said.
Turner was at home Sunday, he said.
In the driveway of Turner’s home Sunday, a man who would identify himself only as a relative told The Detroit News the family has been through a lot and did not want to comment, other than to say: “The media is just so off-kilter. Let’s just wait for the investigation.”
The news that officials had determined there was no abduction didn’t surprise Jennifer Fountain, who lives on the northeast corner of the intersection and saw a car idling across from her house at about the time Turner was supposedly abducted.
“If the girl was in distress, she could have very well come and knocked on my door,” Fountain said.
Fountain said she got home from a shopping trip at about 10:10 p.m., and unloaded her groceries while the family’s German shepherd mix, Shadow, sauntered around the yard.
Just after Fountain and her dog went inside, she noticed a large gray sedan parked across the street.
Shadow didn’t seem to notice anybody lurking about, she said. The police, she said, arrived just after 10:30 p.m.
“I didn’t hear a scream, my dog laid right on the couch in front of the picture window the whole entire time” and didn’t bark, Fountain said, noting the intersection is lit.
Turner reportedly left her parents’ home on Temperance Road before 10 p.m. to go to the Family Video store, at the corner of Dean and Lewis Avenue.
Brad Naftzger was on duty Thursday night, and told police he remembered Turner coming into the store.
“The cops came in later and said ‘Did you wait on this girl,’ and gave me a description,” Naftzger said.
“She was normal. Just another customer. It wasn’t till the next day I found out what happened.”
Naftzger said crime isn’t a problem in the neighborhood just down the road from Temperance, an unincorporated community of about 8,500 people not far from Toledo.
“You get the occasional tiny thing here or there, but for the most part it’s a safe environment,” he said.
Residents said the community has been on edge.
Rob Jordan, 50, lectured his children not to be helpful to strangers.
“We told our own kids, if you see someone looking like they need help, call 911,” Jordan said. “In today’s world, don’t trust nobody.”