DETROIT (WWJ) – An Amber Alert has been issued for a missing little girl who, along with her mother, may be in the company of a convicted sex offender.
Authorities say 30-year-old Amanda Hayward and her daughter, 7-year-old Sapphire Palmer, left their home in Hamburg Township, south of Brighton, at around 3 a.m. on Tuesday and seen that night with 64-year old Douglas Steven Stanko, an acquaintance, who is registered as a sex offender in Michigan.READ MORE: ACLU Sues Michigan State Police, Claims Racial Profiling, Black Drivers Pulled Over More
Family members told Hamburg Township police that Hayward had been acting paranoid prior to Tuesday and had thrown electronic, including her cell phone, into a bathtub full of water — saying she was being tracked.
According to information posted on the Michigan Amber Alert website, Hayward is suffering from an apparent mental episode, is “delusional” and may be armed with a 9 mm Hi-Point semiautomatic handgun.
Thursday afternoon, police told WWJ Newsradio 950 that the FBI is now involved in the case.
Stanko is described as an Asian male, 5 feet, 8 inches tall and 169 lbs. with black hair and brown eyes.
Hayward is a white female, 5 feet, 7 inches tall with long strawberry blond hair and blue eyes, weighing about 120 pounds.READ MORE: Woman Finds 95-Year-Old Message In A Bottle In Michigan
Sapphire has long red hair, green eyes and weighs about 55 lbs. She was last seen wearing a purple nightgown.
Hamburg Police Chief Rick Duffeny said the trio may be traveling in a red 2001 Ford Escape belonging to Stanko, with Michigan license plate: 2HVA18.
The chief said it was Stanko’s roommate who told police he had seen the three together, and that helped to escalated the case to Amber Alert status.
Duffeny did not go into detail about how Hayward and Stanko knew each other.
“We haven’t established the depth of their relationship.” Duffeny told WWJ’s Jon Hewett. “I mean, acquaintance is a good word to use.”
On Wednesday, Hayward’s purse — still containing credit cards and cash — was found on the side of the road a few miles from her home. Then, hours later, a Hamburg Township police officer found Hayward’s black 2001 Chevrolet Prizm abandoned in Ypsilanti Township, where Stanko lives.
Anyone who sees Hayward, Stanko or Sapphire or who spots the vehicle described above is asked to immediately call 911.MORE NEWS: Here's A List Of Bills Gov. Whitmer Signed Into Law Thursday
Those with any information that could help investigators with this case should call Hamburg Township police at 810-231-9391.