Body of girl ID'd; man charged in her death, mother's

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

A Detroit man is facing murder charges in the deaths of a 4-year-old girl, whose body was positively identified Wednesday, and her mother after their bodies were found in a burned-out home Saturday on the city’s east side.


Marcus Tyrone Hightower, 34, the mother’s boyfriend, was arraigned by video Tuesday and remained jailed on two counts of first-degree murder as well as one count each of felony murder, first-degree child abuse, unlawful imprisonment and third-degree arson, the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office said.

Hightower’s probable cause conference has been scheduled for March 2 at 8:30 a.m., and his preliminary exam is scheduled for March 9 at 1:30 p.m, the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office said. Both hearings are before Judge Shannon Holmes in 36th District Court.


The bodies of Heidi Walker, 39, and Savannah Walker, 4, both of Detroit, were found by police Saturday in a burned-out home on Lakeview near Forest. The Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office said Wednesday that the second body had been positively identified as that of Savannah. The cause of death was pending. The office on Feb. 22 identified the first body as that of her mother.

Hightower had been considered a person of interest in the disappearance of Savannah and Walker. He turned himself into police on Sunday.

Craig told news reporters Monday that Walker’s adult daughter said there was a history of domestic violence between the couple.

Livingston County authorities first learned about the disappearances last week. Family contacted the Michigan State Police post in Brighton on Friday.

An Amber Alert was issued for Savannah on Saturday. Police said she was last seen with Hightower. The alert was canceled Monday morning, Michigan State Police said.

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.