By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers
TAYLOR — What started as a missing-child situation and Amber Alert for an 8-year-old girl continued Thursday with domestic assault charges filed against the girl’s father.
Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Maria Miller said Toddy Ray Poupard, 41, of Dearborn Heights was arraigned Thursday before 23rd District Court Judge Geno Salomone on charges of second-degree domestic violence. Police and prosecutors said Poupard assaulted his 36-year-old wife at Comfort Inn, 6778 S. Telegraph.
Police responded to the hotel early Wednesday, when Poupard’s wife had called at 3:30 a.m. to report that his daughter, Haley, was missing. An Amber Alert was issued and local media posted and broadcast a picture of the girl.
At the time Poupard told police the girl was last seen sleeping in a pickup truck outside of the hotel. Poupard and his wife had taken their other two children inside to their room.
Police Chief Mary Sclabassi said the family either had left or been evicted from their home in Dearborn Heights and had driven to the hotel in two separate vehicles — a gray pickup truck with Poupard, his wife and most of their personal belongings, and a Ford Escape driven by their 16-year-old daughter. A 10-year-old boy was also in the Escape.
Haley was found by police at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday asleep in their Dearborn Heights home. Poupard was taken to the Taylor police station for questioning. The investigation revealed allegations of domestic assault, and Poupard was arrested on Wednesday.
Sclabassi said the alleged assault had occurred prior to Poupard’s wife calling the police.
Sclabassi said investigators continued looking into the circumstances surrounding the girl being left behind.
“Warrant requests are being prepared for the Wayne County prosecutor’s office on possible child neglect charges,” Sclabassi said.
The children were reportedly in the custody of a grandmother while Child Protective Services investigates the matter.
A preliminary examination of the evidence against Poupard was scheduled for Monday in 23rd District Court. He was given a $25,000 cash bond
(James Mitchell can be reached at [email protected].)