August 10, 2014 at 10:36 pm

Prosecutor to review case after Monroe sheriff says teen's abduction never happened

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Bedford Township, Mich.— The feared abduction of an 18-year-old Monroe County woman who turned up 50 miles away in Ecorse on Friday never happened, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office reported late Sunday.

As a result, police said they are closing their investigation into the disappearance of Hayley Marie Turner, who went missing Thursday night.

The sheriff 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 roads.

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.”

kbouffard@detroitnews.com
(313) 222-2661
Associated Press contributed.

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Fountain