Bedford Township— Police spent hours Thursday night and Friday frantically searching rural backyards and fields for an 18-year-old Monroe County woman who was found alive about 50 miles north in Ecorse, police said.
“She’s safe and sound,” said Ecorse Police Cpl. Chris Trevino on Friday afternoon. He said he could not release any further information.
Investigators with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office began their search Thursday night, shortly after Hayley Marie Turner of Bedford Township disappeared in what was reported as a possible case of abduction. A helicopter and K-9 units were used in the search.
Some feared the worst in light of the July 24 killing of 14-year-old April Milsap of Armada, whose body was discovered in a park. Her killer remains at large.
After Turner was found Friday, investigators headed north to interview her, said Township Supervisor Greg Stewart, who acted as a spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office.
“She’s with the Ecorse police,” Stewart said Friday afternoon. “(Monroe County Sheriff Dale Malone) said they’re sending deputies up there to interview her.”
It was unclear whether Turner went to Ecorse of her own accord or if she was abducted, Stewart said. “They need to talk to her still,” he said.
Malone said at a press conference Friday morning that Turner reportedly left her family home before 10 p.m. Thursday to go to a video store at the corner of Dean Road and Lewis Avenue, near Toledo.
At 10:08 p.m., she reportedly phoned a friend, saying she was going to check on a man she saw lying on the side of the road near the intersection of Dean and Crabb roads in Bedford. Within seconds, she told the same friend the man had a gun and then the phone connection was cut, Malone said.
Jennifer Lynn Fountain, who lives at the intersection of Dean and Crabb, just a few yards from where the incident reportedly happened, said there was no car outside her home when she returned from a nearby dollar store at about 10:10 p.m. She said she also didn’t see anyone lying in the road.
“At about 10:15, I looked out again, and saw a four-door gray car,” she said. “I could (see) a cellphone because it was lit up and moving around, but it was too dark to see if it was a man or a woman holding it.
“I didn’t hear anything; no screams, no tires squealing,” said Fountain, 40, who described herself as a “nosy neighbor.”
Turner’s mother, Christy Turner, was frantic during the Friday morning press conference.
“I just want to say, ‘Hayley, if you can hear me, just please call us — please call anybody,’” she said. “’We just want you safely home, no questions asked. We just miss you. We love you and we just want you home.’”
After Turner’s phone went dead her friend immediately called Turner’s father, who went to the scene and found his daughter’s car idling and unoccupied. Law enforcement arrived on the scene and began canvassing the area. Police K-9 units were deployed as well as aerial units to search for Turner. Those units were sent back out again Friday morning.
Stewart said the township is normally quiet, although this week has been anything but.
“This is the second crisis we’ve had,” he said. “We use Toledo’s water system, so we were without water for a few days.”
After learning that Turner was safe, Fountain expressed relief and said, “I’m glad they found her and I’m glad to have my town back.”