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Body found in burned house is mom of missing girl

Jim Lynch, and Candice Williams

Detroit — The body of one victim found last weekend in a burned house has been identified as the mother of a missing 4-year-old girl who is the subject of an Amber Alert, said the medical examiner on Monday.

The Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office said the adult body is that of Heidi Lynne Walker, 38, but said the second body — believed to be that of Savannah Walker, 4, — has not yet been positively identified and is waiting the results of DNA.

Savannah

Detroit Police Chief James Craig said Heidi Walker was positively identified by her family Monday morning.

“Our heart and prayers go out to the family,” Craig said during a press briefing Monday afternoon. “It’s a very horrific crime that took place.”

Meanwhile, the person of interest in the disappearance of Savannah and her mother remains in custody Monday after turning himself in Sunday.

Detroit Police had sought Marcus Hightower, 33, as a “person of interest” this weekend after Savannah and her mother had gone missing.

“Right now he is currently detained and he will remain that way until we have gotten all of the answers out of this investigation that we need,” Sgt. Michael Woody said Monday.

Police sent an arrest warrant to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s office where it is under review, Craig said.

“This case is very active and we're moving forward with it,” he said.

Hightower

On Saturday, police found a pair of bodies in a burned-out east-side home on Lakeview Street at Forest Avenue.

Authorities in Livingston County first learned of Savannah and her mother’s disappearance on Tuesday. Another daughter contacted the Michigan State Police post in Brighton on Friday.

In Saturday’s early-morning hours, an Amber Alert was issued for Savannah after she was last seen in the presence of Hightower, her mother’s boyfriend.

The Amber Alert was canceled Monday morning, said Michigan State Police Lt. Mike Shaw.

“While we haven’t positively identified her as of yet, the investigative value of that Amber Alert is just not there for us anymore,” he said.

Craig said that according to Walker’s adult daughter, there had been a history of domestic violence between Walker and Hightower.

According to the Michigan Department of Corrections website, Hightower was released from parole on Sept. 9, 2014. He was convicted in 2007 on two counts of assault with intent to do great bodily harm, fleeing police and carrying a concealed weapon in Wayne County, according to the Corrections Department website.

JLynch@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2034