Detroit cops honored for finding kidnapped baby
Thomson Reuters presents the Everyday Heroes Award to the Detroit Police Department, which selected the Police Unity Tour to receive the $10,000 check. Max Ortiz, The Detroit News
Two Detroit police officers who used a law enforcement-oriented search engine last year to help find a kidnapped baby girl with sickle cell anemia were honored Tuesday by the company that developed the program.
On Nov. 15, 2016, Detroit police dispatchers received a 911 call that a baby had been abducted by her mother, retired Detroit Police Sgt. Jason Sloan said Tuesday during a ceremony at police headquarters.
Sloan and his partner, Officer Robert Bolden, tracked down the baby, Savanna Wreford, using the Thomson Reuters CLEAR program, a search engine that accesses several public record databases.
On Tuesday, the Detroit Police Department received the Thomson Reuters Everyday Heroes Award, which included $10,000 that will be donated to the Police Unity Tour, a bicycle ride that raises money for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial and Museum.
Sloan said he and Bolden had to act fast after the 911 call came in, because of the child’s medical condition.
“The foster mother took the 11-month-old girl to the doctor with the child’s mother,” Sloan said. “After the appointment, the foster mother was going to drop the mother off.
“At some point (the mother, Marquita Dupree), asked (the foster mother) to just pull over, and she would get out right there. The mother then went to give her daughter a hug goodbye, at which time she took the baby from the car seat and (ran away with the child).”
The foster mother called 911. “This was a serious missing (persons case) for a multitude of reasons,” Sloan said. “The child was sick, required medication at least twice a day, and the foster mother believed the mother didn’t have the medication with her.”
Sloan and his partner, Officer Robert Bolden, used the CLEAR program to search for anyone connected to the mother, Dupree. A cellphone number came up, and the officers visited several of the addresses associated with the number.
“At one point, we knocked on the right door,” Sloan said. A woman let the officers into the home. “We went upstairs, where we entered one of the bedrooms, where we found her and the baby seated on the floor,” he said. “We were pretty concerned, not knowing the severity of the medical condition.”
Savanna was given medical attention, and her mother was charged with kidnapping. Dupree was bound over for trial, but she skipped a scheduled arraignment on information in Wayne Circuit Court. A warrant was issued for her arrest on Jan. 3, Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Maria Miller said. Dupree is still on the lam, Miller said.
“There’s no doubt that the fast and accurate and timely data that ... Sloan had at his disposal was the reason why a life was saved,” Detroit Police Chief James Craig said. “Had it not been for CLEAR, who knows what we’d be talking about right now.”