Missing 5-month-old found safe, suspect arrested

James David Dickson
The Detroit News

Tonya Smith, the 5-month-old baby for whom an Amber Alert was issued after being allegedly abducted from her east-side home on Tuesday night, has been found, and the man suspected in her disappearance has been arrested, said Sgt. Michael Woody of the Detroit Police Department.

Undercover police found 21-year-old suspect Michael Hunter walking with the baby on Goulburn, on the east side, just before 8 a.m.

Tonya Smith

Just before 11 p.m. Tuesday, police say Hunter took the baby from the home of her mother, on the 19100 block of Hoover, near East Seven Mile.

Hunter and the baby’s mother had been dating, but she had tried to break up with him, according to police. When she wouldn’t answer phone calls or return message, police say Hunter went to her home. At some point in their argument, police allege he grabbed the baby and walked off.

Smith’s mother tried to give chase, but was unable to keep up. Ultimately, she had to turn back around and get her phone to call police. No phone alert was issued because there is no car associated with the alleged abduction, said Sgt. Sarah Krebs, Amber Alert coordinator for Michigan State Police.

Michael Hunter

Krebs said Hunter saw himself on the news and called the baby’s mother, asking her to call off the Amber Alert. She talked him into meeting her at a nearby CVS, and police arrested him en route to that meeting.

After the baby was recovered, Krebs said the way the case unfolded shows the value of the Amber Alert system.

“Not only do the citizens that help us see the alert and call in tips, but often the suspects themselves see it, too,” Krebs said.

jdickson@detroitnews.com