MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, Mich. — Muskegon Heights Police and Michigan State Police are searching for 6-year-old Elena Johnson, who they said was “forcibly” removed from her father’s home on Monday July 18.
The father, Ernest Price, told FOX 17 Tuesday afternoon that he’d met with the FBI at the police department.
“It’s hard,” Price said. “It’s hard because her mother is not in her right mind and I never seen the men before in my life.”
Both Price and his girlfriend Makisha Sullivan were interviewed at the same time on Tuesday morning near their home.
“We want her back home safely and we want them apprehended,” Sullivan said while standing next to Price. “Like somebody could’ve lost their life yesterday. Thank God that they didn’t. But we just want her back home and safe and we want them apprehended.”
Police said on Monday around 3:50 p.m., the mother — Seaniece Johnson — and a few armed men pulled up to Price’s house on Eighth Street and asked him where the little girl was.
Price said they identified themselves as a “Martial Americans” group and that the mom was wearing a red turban and a white robe.
“They shot my dog,” Price said. “Killed my dog.”
He said they took his cell phone too and pointed the gun at him.
“[They] dragged Elena out of the house into a later-model Suburban or Yukon truck, maybe a brownish, grayish color with an orange sticker in the back,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan recalled being on the phone the entire time with police, screaming for them to come as soon as possible. When they did, they told them all that happened.
“Our detectives did reach out to Michigan State Police last night and tried to get an Amber Alert done. According to the information I received that this situation didn’t meet their qualifications for an Amber Alert at the time,” said Muskegon Heights Police Chief Maurice Sain. “So, what we did, I guess the step right under the Amber Alert, with notifying media outlets about what was going on and a possible lookout for the child’s mother and the child.”
Fox 17 reached out to Michigan State Police who declined an interview but said via email that there’s two requirements for an Amber Alert to be issued:
- Law enforcement believes a child under 18 has been abducted and is in imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death.
- There is sufficient information available to disseminate to the general public which could assist with the safe recovery of the child and/or the apprehension of the suspect.
Price said he believed that one should’ve been issued anyway.
“They said they at the time they had to get permission from the state police. I just talked to the state police. They said the reason they didn’t issue one because they believe that they are out of state and an Amber Alert is only regional. They will only cover Michigan,” Price said. “But, I don’t see why they still wouldn’t issue it. 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 that they received info that Elena, the mom, and the men could be in the St. Louis area, or somewhere in the state of Missouri or in Virginia.
Price hopes she is found soon. All he wants is her home again.
“She’s bubbly, joyful. She’s a good kid, joyful,” Price said. “I love to laugh. She’s a good kid. I’m really worried about her.”