MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, Mich. — Muskegon Heights police and Michigan State Police are looking for 6-year-old Elena Johnson, who they say was “forcibly removed” from her father’s home on Monday July 18.
The father, Ernest Price, told FOX 17 on Tuesday afternoon that he met with the FBI at the police department.
“It’s tough,” Price said. “It’s hard because his mother is not in her right mind and I’ve never seen the men before in my life.”
Price and his girlfriend Makisha Sullivan were interviewed at the same time Tuesday morning near their home.
“We want her to get home safely and we want them apprehended,” Sullivan said, standing next to Price. “As if someone could have lost their life yesterday. Thank God they didn’t. But we just want her home and safe and we want them apprehended.
Police said around 3:50 p.m. Monday that the mother – Seaniece Johnson – and a few gunmen stopped at Price’s house on Eighth Street and asked where the little girl was.
Price said they identified as a group of “martial Americans” and the mother wore a red turban and white dress.
“They shot my dog,” Price said. “I killed my dog.
He said they also took his cell phone and pointed the gun at him.
“[They] dragged Elena out of the house in a newer Suburban or Yukon truck, possibly brownish, grayish in color with an orange sticker on the back,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan remembers being on the phone the whole time with the police, yelling at them to come as soon as possible. When they did, they told them everything that had happened.
“Our detectives contacted Michigan State Police last night and attempted to issue an Amber Alert. Based on information I have received, this situation did not meet their Amber Alert criteria at the time” , Muskegon Heights Police Chief Maurice Sain said “So what we did, I guess the step right under the Amber Alert, with the media notification of what was going on and monitoring possible of the mother of the child and the child.”
Fox 17 contacted Michigan State Police who declined an interview, but said via email that there were two conditions for an Amber Alert to be issued:
- Law enforcement believes a child under the age of 18 has been abducted and is in imminent danger of serious bodily harm or death.
- There is enough information available for release to the general public that could aid in the safe recovery of the child and/or the arrest of the suspect.
Price said he thought he should have been issued one anyway.
“They said they had to get clearance from the state police at the time. I just spoke to the state police. They said the reason they didn’t issue one was because they thought they were out of state and an Amber Alert was only regional. They’ll only cover Michigan,” Price said. “But, I don’t see why they wouldn’t post it. Still no. I asked the detectives several times. [Sullivan] asked them. We called the state police, and I just talked to him and that’s what he just told me.
Police and Price said they received reports that Elena, the mother and the men may be in the St. Louis area, or somewhere in Missouri or Virginia.
Price hopes she will be found soon. All he wants is for her to come home.
“She is bubbly, joyful. She’s a good, happy girl,” Price said. “I like to laugh. She’s a good kid. I’m really worried about her.