Woman missing since 2017 found alive in Detroit-area motel, police say

Michigan State Police

INKSTER, Mich. — A woman who had been missing for almost seven years was found safe in a Detroit-area motel, authorities said Thursday.

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According to the Michigan State Police, detectives received a tip from a caller on Feb. 26 who said she heard from her stepdaughter, The Detroit News reported. According to state troopers, the woman had been kept against her will at a motel, according to the newspaper.

However, Frank Mannarino, a maintenance employee at the motel, referred to the missing woman as someone who “was hiding from her family,” the News reported.

“Her friend was helping her out and let her stay in his room here,” Mannarino told the newspaper.

Michigan State Police approached the Evergreen Motel on Michigan Avenue in Inkster, located about 20 miles west of downtown Detroit, according to WXYZ-TV. Detectives from the MSP’s Special Investigation Section found the woman, who was described as in her 30s, “distraught” and alone at the motel.

“They described it as like a crying, kind of screaming type of noise that lured them to that specific area,” Michigan State Police Lt. Mike Shaw told the television station.

A search warrant was obtained and detectives seized drugs, cell phones, and a gun. A suspect was identified, WDIV-TV reported.

Police said the woman, who appeared to be unharmed, was taken to an area hospital for an evaluation before she was reunited with her family, according to the television station.

Detectives will continue an investigation to determine what led the woman to leave her family in 2017, WXYZ reported. They also will investigate the circumstances that led her to call for help.

“We’ll kind of look at what’s next, right. ... interview her if a crime did take place such as human trafficking or is it a domestic violence situation or is it different,” Shaw told the television station. “I don’t want to use the word kidnapping like somebody grabbed her and took her to that place. It may have started out as a relationship that turns into being held against your will and being trafficked.”

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