Pinged cell phone helped track down subject of Amber Alert - WNEM TV 5

Pinged cell phone helped track down subject of Amber Alert

Posted: Updated:
Source: Hamburg Township Police Dept. Source: Hamburg Township Police Dept.
Douglas Stanko (Source: Michigan Amber Alert) Douglas Stanko (Source: Michigan Amber Alert)
Sapphire Palmer (Source: Hamburg Twp Police Dept.) Sapphire Palmer (Source: Hamburg Twp Police Dept.)
Amanda Hayward (Source: Hamburg Twp Police Dept) Amanda Hayward (Source: Hamburg Twp Police Dept)
LIVINGSTON COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

Investigators pinged a cell phone to help track down a missing 7-year-old that was the subject of an Amber Alert.

The alert was issued after Livingston County investigators said Amanda Hayward, 30, and her daughter, Sapphire Palmer, were last seen leaving their Hamburg Township home on May 10 at 3 a.m.

Hayward’s purse with her credit cards and cash were found on the side of the road several miles away from their home and her daughter didn't show up for school.

Investigators also believed they were traveling with Douglas Stanko, 64, a registered sex offender.

Sapphire and Hayward were found in Homosassa, north of Tampa, Thursday night after Michigan officials pinged Stanko's cell phone.

Hayward maintains, while talking to WDIV out of Detroit, she was not traveling with anyone besides her daughter.

Another reason of concern during the alert was that investigators said Hayward is suffering from an apparent mental episode. They say she is paranoid and delusional. They were also afraid she may have been armed with a 9 mm Hi Point Semi-Auto handgun.

The Hamburg Township Police Chief Richard Duffany tells TV5 no gun was found on Hayward in Florida.

Chief Duffany also said Stanko was not with the mother and daughter, although it's unclear where he was headed.

Currently Sapphire is in protective custody in Florida. 

No one is in custody at this point, the investigation continues.

Click here for the Michigan Amber Alert site.

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