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Murder, torture charges for man who sparked Amber Alert

George Hunter
The Detroit News

A 39-year-old Port Huron man was arraigned Tuesday after he allegedly killed his child’s mother and kidnapped the young boy, sparking an Amber Alert, according to police.

Douglas Ball Jr. is accused of killing Lydia Ball, 30, and kidnapping their 5-year-old child named Douglas Ball III. The victim’s cause of death remained unknown.

Ball stood mute as he appeared before Judge Cynthia Siemen Platzer in St. Clair County District Court. He was charged with open murder and torture, and denied bond, according to court documents.

A probable cause conference has been scheduled for Sept. 6.

Lydia Ball was found dead by her parents around 4:20 p.m. Saturday, inside her home on the 1200 block of Rawlins, Port Huron public safety director Michael Reaves said on Monday.

As police investigated the woman’s homicide Sunday, they also issued an Amber Alert for her son.

“We had a team in charge of the incident here along with Michigan State Police, and another apprehension team following up on leads,” Lt. Joel Wood said. “One of those leads led to an Orion Township home.”

The home belongs to the suspect’s estranged mother, Reaves said. When police arrived, he was holed up inside with his mother and his son.

“He wouldn’t let her answer the door,” Reaves said.

Officials left a team to watch the house until the mother eventually emerged around 8:20 a.m. Sunday. The suspect was sleeping at the time, Reaves said.

Police stopped her, and she told police Ball and the 5-year-old boy were inside the house.

“I don’t think (the person being questioned) was aware of what had happened,” Wood said.

Reaves on Monday confirmed the suspect’s mother was unaware of the situation.

“We called the Oakland County Sheriff’s (Office) for assistance, and they were instrumental in assisting us,” Wood said. “We made entry into the home with their assistance, safely recovered the child, and took our person of interest (Ball) into custody.”

The boy has been placed with his maternal grandparents, Reaves said Monday.

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Twitter: @GeorgeHunter_DN