How a Dearborn Heights officer tracked down an assault, murder suspect: 'God put me there for a reason'

When Dearborn Heights Police Officer Emily Murdoch scrolled through social media on Tuesday morning, she saw a be on the look out (BOLO) for a man wanted for assaulting one woman and murdering another. Just a few hours later, she would come face-to-face with him and eventually take him down.

Officer Murdoch was in the middle of a routine traffic stop – any officer will say there's no such thing as that – when she spotted Andrew James Hall, the man wanted for a violent assault on one woman and murdering another.  

Murdoch saw the BOLO for Hall who was wanted for murdering a sex worker in Detroit earlier that morning. Just days earlier, police said he attacked a mother in the parking lot of the Troy Target. She survived.

Murdoch said she connected with that woman for a variety of reasons.

"I have a one-year-old son, she has a one-year-old son. I'm engaged, she's engaged. And I really related to her and I remember thinking that's so sad and I feel really bad for her," she said.

That's why she keyed in on Hall's distinct appearance, specifically his blue eyes.

So on Tuesday, after a traffic stop on Telegraph near Sheridan, she spotted him walking.

"We were looking at each other like we recognize each other and I'm thinking where do I know him from. And I'm like oh my goodness that’s the man from the attack and murder," Murdoch said.

One she connected the dots, she went into cop mode. She started to follow him and, when he ran, she called for backup.

"It was adrenaline. It was like, I got this guy. I want to take him into custody so no one else gets hurt. "I can't lose sight of him and I double back and I can't find him and then I think what would a criminal do right now?'

He went in and out of stores along Telegraph and through neighborhoods as police set up a perimeter. Nearly an hour later, she got the radio call that he's in custody.

"It's a relief. I'm happy no one else is going to get hurt. The community is safer, females are safer," Murdoch said.

This goes down as easily the biggest case of her young career – so far.

"So to be a female and spot him – it was like right, time right place. God put me there for a reason," she said.

Dearborn Heights Police Officer Emily Murdoch says she took close note of what the murder suspect looked like. So when she saw him in person, she quickly recognized him.