Friday, April 30, 2010
PHOENIX -- A 58-year-old man has been charged with murder after police say he stabbed his wife to death then drove to Phoenix police headquarters and confessed.
According to police, Dwight Wesley, walked into the station late last night and admitted stabbing his 46-year-old wife, Delores Glover, to death.
According to police, Wesley and his wife allegedly got into an argument while she was driving him to work Wednesday night. Officers believe Wesley stabbed her while she was driving.
He then got behind the wheel and drove, with his wife's body in the car, to police headquarters at Sixth and Washington streets. He walked into the building, leaving a trail of blood behind him, and turned himself in, police said.
Officers on duty said Wesley had blood on his shirt. They thought he was a victim who had come to report a crime. They said that's when he confessed to murdering his wife and gave them a knife.
Investigators went outside and found Glover's body in the car parked on Sixth Avenue, right next to police headquarters. Glover had been stabbed several times. Paramedics were called out, but they were unable to save her.
According to Sgt. Tommy Thompson of the Phoenix Police Department, it was while driving Wesley to work that Glover told her husband she wanted a divorce. That's when Wesley became upset and allegedly pulled a knife and stabbed her.
Investigators tried to questioned Wesley, but they say after his first alleged confession, he stopped talking.
Wesley has been booked into the Maricopa County Jail. He has been charged with murder.
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The family of a trucker who lost his life on the Bay Bridge is filing a claim against the state of California and Caltrans for wrongful death.
Tahir Sheikh Fakhar fell to his death on November 9, 2009. He was driving his big rig over the Bay Bridge, but when he hit the S-curve, he lost control, hit a three-foot guardrail, his truck flipped over it and fell 200 feet.
He landed on Yerba Buena Island and died immediately.
Fakhar's family is claiming three things caused his death and Caltrans failed to warn drivers by not having adequate signage posted, having a faulty and poorly made design.
They say the S-curve formation is too sharp for drivers to handle and finally, the guard rail Fakhar slammed into was too short.
It was three feet high, while his rig was 12 feet high.
CHP has maintained from the beginning that Fakhar took the curve too fast. They say he was going 50 instead of 35 miles an hour.
"The indications are that he did not have to be speeding to have the type of accident that he did with this ineffective roadside barrier," Family's attorney Lew Van Blois said.
"After my brother died, the next day they put cameras up in the air, flashing lights and as soon as you pay that toll they say 35 mph speed limit S-curve. They could have put this thing before," the victim's brother Naveed Anjum said.
Fakhar was driving a load of pears to Daly City when he crashed. Anjum said it was Fakhar's first time crossing the bridge since the S-curve opened and that proper signage would have made all the difference.
Since the crash, Caltrans has added signs, rumble strips and stepped up patrol in the area.
ABC7 put a call into Caltrans and they said they have not seen the claim and cannot comment.
Richard Finch was arrested last month in Licking County, Ohio, after a 17-year-old boy said he had sexual contact with him. Investigators said they were looking into other possible victims.
A grand jury indictment this month charges Finch with 10 counts of sexual imposition. Assistant prosecutor Tracy Van Winkle said the charges involve having sex with someone when it is harmful to them.
Finch also faces three counts of compelling prostitution involving offering money to minors for sex, Van Winkle said. Two counts involve asking a minor to engage in sex, and one count is a charge of sexual contact with a minor, she said.
A teenager said he had sexual contact with Finch at Finch's house in Newark, Ohio, the Licking County Sheriff's Office said in a statement after the arrest.
During an interview with detectives, Finch "disclosed that he did in fact have sexual contact with the juvenile, along with multiple other male teenage juveniles as well ranging from ages 13 to 17," the office said.
A pretrial hearing will be held Friday. Finch is in the Licking County jail; no trial date has been set, she said.
A statement from Finch and his lawyer was posted on his website soon after his arrest: "They would like to remind everyone that these are just allegations and that Mr. Finch is presumed innocent."
A more recent posting asking fans to donate to his legal defense fund said Finch had to cancel his plans for "an impending tour" and "a catastrophic economic hardship has taken their place."
"Those revenue generating possibilities are now gone, and as of this time, Mr. Finch's attorneys are in the early stages of their investigation," it said.
Finch played bass and drums with KC & the Sunshine Band. The group is known for hits such as "That's the Way (I Like It)," "Get Down Tonight" and "I'm Your Boogie Man." He co-wrote many of the band's biggest hits with Harry Wayne "KC" Casey. He left the band in 1980.
Casey disputed that Finch co-founded the band, saying that he started it in 1973 and Finch joined a year later. However, singles from the band's first album, "Do It Good," were released in 1973 and feature Finch.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
MINNEAPOLIS — A Minnesota boy who once fled the state with his mother to avoid chemotherapy for cancer has reason to celebrate.
Daniel Hauser of Sleepy Eye had his 14th birthday Friday, and family spokesman Dan Zwakman says he remains in remission.
Daniel was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma last year and stopped chemotherapy because it made him sick. He and his mother fled the state before returning and complying with a court order to resume treatment.
Zwakman says Daniel is living a quieter life on the family farm now and has grown nearly a foot in the past few months. But he says Daniel’s hair has lost its bright red color, and the family thinks the chemo is why he needs glasses.
Zwakman says Daniel is on a high-nutrition diet to make sure his cancer doesn’t return.
The eight-year-old Woodstock, Ont., girl vanished April 8, 2009 and her remains were found more than three months later. The hearing for Michael Rafferty, who is charged with first-degree murder and kidnapping, is expected to last about four weeks.
His co-accused, Terri-Lynne McClintic, is being tried separately on the same charges.
A preliminary hearing allows a judge to weigh the evidence and decide if the case can move forward to trial.
Tori's father, Rodney Stafford, was in court today and said he is disappointed he'll miss the hearing in June.
He will be starting his "Kilometres for Kids 2" fundraiser at that time, cycling from Edmonton to Woodstock with his son, Daryn, in support of Child Find Ontario.
Nearly three years after Maddie McCann disappeared in the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz, just days before her fourth birthday, her father, Gerry McCann accused British authorities of giving up on the search for his "innocent, vulnerable" daughter.
"I don't think it's right that as parents, that we have to drive the search. Of course we will, but not everyone has had the same resources and support that we have had to be able to do that. And I think it's pretty cruel," Gerry McCann said in an interview on the British broadcast of GMTV.
Gerry and Kate McCann today released a pack of posters to the public which can be displayed all over the world, to remind people to be on the look out for their missing child.
On May 3, 2007, Madeleine disappeared from the holiday apartment where the McCanns were staying, when her parents stepped out for dinner in a nearby restaurant, leaving their three children alone in the flat.
The parents established a campaign to find her, and won the support of several high-profile figures, including soccer star David Beckham and industrialist Richard Branson.
Last year, on the second anniversary of Madeleine's disappearance, they released an "age progression" photograph of her, showing her as she would have looked on what would have been her sixth birthday.
They launched the picture with a fresh appeal for information about her whereabouts on "The Oprah Winfrey Show."
In 2008, Portuguese authorities closed the case and cleared Kate and Gerry McCann of any involvement in Madeleine's disappearance. But criticism of the couple -- and their decision to leave Madeleine unattended in the hotel room -- persists in some quarters.
During her interview with Winfrey, Kate McCann acknowledged the criticism and said, "I can persecute myself every day about that. I feel awful that we weren't there, at that minute, somebody took an opportunity to take Madeleine."
Today Gerry McCann said on GMTV, "If we could turn back the clock and change what happened, obviously we wouldn't have done it."
"We can't. And what I would say is, you know, people have got to put themselves into our position. What would you do if it was your daughter? After this, what would you do?"
Kate McCann said she found Madeleine's absence on her birthday on May 12 particularly hard to endure, explaining "the 12th is obviously a day when we should be celebrating Madeleine, celebrating with Madeleine."
But even on other days, she said, the fact of Madeleine's absence "will just suddenly stop you. We had a lovely day last week and it was really sunny, and you could smell the grass being cut and I thought, 'Oh it's really nice'. And then it just kind of gets you. Madeleine is still not here."
Gerry McCann said today that he continued to believe his daughter was alive. "Certainly in my heart I feel she is out there. I mean I know there is nothing to say that she isn't, so we have to carry on working and thinking like that," he said.
His wife, who also appeared on GMTV, said, "If we haven't found Madeleine, if we don't know what has happened, you haven't done enough."
Gerry McCann added that until the person who took Madeleine is caught, he or she continues to be a threat to other children, saying, "at the end of the day, the person that has taken Madeleine is still out there and they are a potential danger to other children, so they need to be brought to justice."
Since the discovery the murder has quickly gone to “mystery” as the local police and the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations (OSBI) work the investigation behind a barrier of silence and lack of communication with the local media. At this time little to nothing is known of the state of the investigation, and only leaks in the first days after the murder from unnamed sources reported to be involved or close to the investigation have given what little information is public about the scene and nature of the crime.
I have chosen to write about this murder not only because it took place just an hour and half from my own home, but because the initial indications point to the possibility of a serial killer. While some experts will argue that point, the scant evidence released to date (primarily by leaks, brief public statements, and the reaction of those involved in the investigation), it is my personal opinion there is a killer at large who will strike again.
The Reverend Carol Daniels was 61 years old at the time of her murder. For six years she had served as the pastor at the Christ Holy Sanctified Church, a small Pentecostal church in Anadarko, Oklahoma which didn’t have a regular congregation.
For those six years, unpaid, Carol would drive the 65 miles from her home in Oklahoma City, arriving at about 10 a.m. each Sunday, and she would unlock the front doors of the small wood-frame building and prepare to preach a sermon, conduct a lesson, or hold prayer or just visit with any one who chose to drop in that day. Carol had once told her mother that she had a “calling” to continue to serve the small church in Anadarko whether anyone showed up on a given Sunday or not. She just wanted to be there in case they needed her.
Anadarko is situated in Caddo County in the western part of Oklahoma approximately 65 miles southwest of Oklahoma City. It has a population of approximately 6500 people with approximately 45 to 50% of the population being of Native American descent, 9% Hispanic, 6% African-American and the remainder Caucasian and other ethnicities. The town’s history has always been centered around the Native American tribes that located in the area. The modern name “Anadarko” comes a form of the Indian name “Na-da-ka” and the city was chosen as the headquarters for the Comanche, Apache, Kiowa and Wichita indian tribes in 1878. These tribes are locally referred to as being of the “uncivilized tribes” primarily because they were not included in the “Five Civilized Tribes” within Indian Territory. More appropriately they are considered the “southern plains tribes”, and a museum for the Southern Plains Indian has been located in Anadarko since 1947. The area is poor with a median household income of around $24,000. However, relatively speaking, the town is a safe place to live. When Carol Daniels’ body was found on August 23rd it became only the second homicide in Anadarko for the year 2009.
The Christ Holy Sanctified church is located just 1/2 block from the Anadarko Police department in a predominantly African-American neighborhood. It is in a location surrounded by both residential houses and businesses including a car wash across the street, and a convenience store, the Step n Fetch, just down the street. As stated previously, it has no regular congregation and the doors were only open on Sundays when Rev. Daniels was there. But a key piece of information is that the doors were always open from the time the pastor arrived until she left each Sunday to return to her home in Oklahoma City.
Carol Daniels arrived at the church right at 10 a.m. that morning. A surveillance camera at the convenience store just down the street captured her arrival. She parked her car in front of the church as she always did. At this time it is unknown if the surveillance camera was able to capture anything from the back of the church, which appears to be of great interest to the investigators as we will discuss later.
As previously mentioned, Rev. Daniels always unlocked the front doors of the church upon her arrival and left them open to anyone who wanted to come in through-out her Sunday morning stays. At 11:40 am Silkey Wilson, Jr. and his wife Julia, an elderly couple who made frequent Sunday visits with Rev. Daniels, arrived at the church. When they tried to enter they found the front doors locked. With Daniels’ car parked in front of the church, this was odd and the elderly couple began knocking on the door and windows to try to get Daniels to come to the door.
When unsuccessful they became concerned something was wrong and traveled the half block to the Anadarko police department, arriving at 11:51 am, to request that some one check on Daniels. At 12:01 pm Anadarko police officer Ashley Burris arrived at the church and briefly visited with the Wilsons who had returned to the church and were waiting out front. Officer Burris attempts entry through several doors, finding them all locked, and forcibly enters through the side door of the church.
At 12:04 pm, after finding Daniels’ body, Burris radios the police department requesting back-up and stating “the killer is not in custody”. By 12:05 pm the Anadarko police department had secured the crime scene and by 1 pm had contacted the OSBI for assistance.
As stated, little information has come out about the details of the crime scene. And what details have been divulged have been via leaks that have not been confirmed by officials. However, what officials have said, and done, so far in the wake of the murder have not been comforting. Bret Burns, District Attorney, has described the crime scene within the church as “horrific” and the “one of the most brutal” he has ever seen in his 17 years as a prosecutor. Burns has stated “Her murder was an evil act of someone who does not value the sanctity of life.” Statements made by sources involved in the investigation have described the killing as “methodical” in nature and the crime scene as “bone-chilling” and “spooky”.
The investigators spent 15 hours working the crime scene. When they left, they took the backdoor of the church with them. What has been leaked so far is that Daniels’ body was found behind the altar, lying facedown, completely nude, with her hair burned, and “staged” in a “cruciform” position.
The killer, before leaving, is said to have sprayed the crime scene around Daniels’ body with an undisclosed “dissolving agent” and left with all of Daniels’ clothing. The murder appears to have been well planned. In the wake of the murder, DA Burns held a meeting with local church leaders in which he discussed security measures they needed to put in place. Burns stated the meeting was to give the religious leaders of the community assistance to “better understand the situation and take appropriate steps to remain vigilant.”
Ministers who were interviewed by local news agencies after the meeting stated they were fearful to speak publicly. This meeting would hint that law enforcement believe Daniels was murdered, possibly, due to her ministerial service. With the vacuum of information being released concerning the investigation, we are left to explore this theory based on the partial autopsy results released to date and the small amount of information leaked.
To date authorities have stated they have no suspect in the murder. The OSBI has attempted to prevent release of information, including the autopsy, associated with the investigation. The Medical Examiner’s office was contacted on August 25th by the OSBI and requested to not release the cause and manner of death. The ME’s office complied for a short time that day, but eventually released part of the autopsy citing requirements of release under the state’s open records act. Even the initial incident report from the Anadarko police department, which is required under the open records act to be released upon request was withheld until September 2nd. Once released it contained little information other than the names of the responding officers and the fact the body was found lying face down. A search warrant was issued on September 24th, but even that was sealed. One local media source has since discovered that part of the warrant was a subpoena to obtain information associated with the myspace of a local rock band, Napalm Reign. Even the family began to complain they were being kept in the dark as far as any details into the slaying of their loved one.
One homeless man, Robert Richardson (a.k.a. “Florida kid”Wink, who spends his nights sleeping in the equipment room of the car wash across the street from the church, claims to have seen a man running from the church on the 23rd. Richardson states, “Suddenly, I looked up and saw this man leaving the church all covered in blood.” “I was shocked. He was a big guy…black, bald head, and he was carrying a knife. He turned [north along Broadway Avenue], though, so I didn’t get a good look at his face. I think he was wearing some sort of overalls, but to be honest, I couldn’t tell.” “At the time, I looked around the corner, he was coming out of the front door…[he] had something like a ski mask on [and] was covered in blood.” Mr. Richardson’s account seems to have been dismissed by law enforcement (though that cannot be confirmed).
While covering the story, a CNN satellite truck operator found a knife on the property of the car wash. The knife was decribed to be 8 to 10 inches long. It was immediately reported to law enforcement who submitted it for forensic analysis. It was later reported to not be considered connected with the crime. OSBI spokesman Steve Neuman stated the knife appeared to have been in the location it was discovered for “a long time”.
Immediately after the murder, Alicia Theif, who lives next door to the church and has a rent house two doors down from the church, reported to police that she had discovered, just prior to the murder, that the cellar of her rent house had been broken into and that it appeared some one had been staying there. Shortly afterward investigators were seen carrying evidence from the cellar. It has not been stated whether law enforcement believe there is any connection between the evidence retrieved from this cellar and the murder of Carol Daniels.
-Read the rest here-
Nearly one year ago, 5-year-old Nevaeh Buchanan disappeared. Days later, fishermen found her body on the banks of the River Raisin. Investigators say the girl was buried alive. Last night, family and friends gathered for a vigil.
Nevaeh's great aunt Diana Lawson says, "It's been tough here. It is almost May 24. It's gong to be a year. We are trying our best and we want it to be solved. We want this case done."
Around 100 people gathered last night to pray, to offer comfort to Nevaeh's family, and to take action in the hopes of find her killer.
"We're hoping to get the posters out, put them into every store and bring the memories back. Maybe something will jog somebody's memory," says Reverend Dale Hayford from Community Crosswalk Church.
Police aren't commenting on Nevaeh's case. They still have not named a suspect in the five-year-olds death. In the days after she went missing back in May last year, a person of interest surfaced but no charges were filed. Even Nevaeh's mother Jennifer faced scrutiny so much so that she didn't want to go to last night's event; but she eventually changed her mind.
Nevaeh's grandmother Sherry Buchanan says Jennifer "just wants to be left alone right now. The detectives and everybody have cleared her. It's hard for her to get out because people have ridiculed her a lot and she didn't have anything to do with this."
Despite the pain, the family is sticking together with support from the community to find Nevaeh's killer. The group handed out 5,000 award posters. They're prepared to hand out 5,000 more every week until Nevaeh's killer is found. The FBI is offering up to $20,000 for the arrest and conviction of Nevaeh's murder.
Anyone with information can call 734-457-6713
Michaela's friend Katrina was there when Michaela was abducted in 1988 by a man whose description matches that of Phillip Garrido, now charged with the Jaycee Dugard kidnapping.
Katrina is now 29-years-old, but the kidnapping has haunted her to this day, so much so that the mother of two does not want to reveal her full name or where she lives.
Wednesday was the first time she had given a television news interview in 21 years.
"My first hope would be that she's alive and that I can meet her again," Katrina said.
Katrina says she and Michaela Garecht were 9-years-old when they walked back to a neighborhood market in Hayward to retrieve their scooters when Michaela was abducted.
"That's when I heard a scream, I looked and I saw a man putting her into his car and the screaming continued," Katrina said.
Katrina watched that man drive off with Michaela. She was the sole witness.
Twenty-one years later, Jaycee Dugard, who was kidnapped in 1992, was found, and her accused abductor, Phillip Garrido, and his car were suddenly on national TV.
"Oh, it put a pit right in my stomach. I called Michaela's mother right away and I told her, 'this could be the car, have we thought of him as a suspect,'" Katrina said.
In 1988, Katrina helped detectives put together a composite sketch of Michaela's abductor. The sketch resembles a photo of Garrido taken in 1976.
"I have not seen a photo that looks more like Michaela's kidnapper than his," Katrina said.
Garrido served 10 years and six months for a violent sex offense and was paroled early, about a year before Michaela was kidnapped. Over the years, Katrina says the kidnapping continued to haunt her.
"I won't deny that there's some feelings of guilt there, that it's her and not me, but most of all I'm just sad," Katrina said.
The discovery of Jaycee Dugard has Michaela's friends and family hoping it will lead to another miracle, this time for them.
The Fremont child was reported missing August 10th by his foster father, Louis Ross after the two allegedly visited Oakland's Rockridge neighborhood.
Ross told investigators that he left Hasanni inside his car to run an errand only to return and find the boy gone.
That touched off a massive search for the boy. San Leandro resident Sherry Lynn Miller volunteered to help then and is still out there today.
"He deserves to be found," she said. "It's everybody's responsibility to get out here and try to find him."
She has since formed a non-profit group to help streamline search efforts. This weekend, Miller and several volunteers hosted a fund-raiser at the Presbyterian church on College Avenue, complete with pictures of Hasanni tacked up everywhere.
"People don't remember until we do something big to let them know,'Hey, this child is still missing,'" Miller said.
Investigators never really bought the foster father's story, and Ross, and the boy's foster mother, Jennifer Campbell, were briefly jailed in the case, but were let go due to a lack of evidence. Both have since moved out of the area.
Police officer Jeff Thomason says despite that the case is very active. He says that investigator is currently re-interviewing witnesses and going over old clues. Hopefully, in the near future, says Thomason, the department will be able to bring closure to this case.
In addition, information has been uncovered that could mitigate the guilt of his wife and co-defendant Nancy Dugard, El Dorado County District Attorney Vern Pierson said during a court hearing.
"We have an overwhelming volume of evidence to prove each and every charge" against Phillip Garrido, the prosecutor said.
Outside court, public defender Susan Gellman, who represents Phillip Garrido, offered a terse response to the claim.
"That's his take on the evidence," Gellman said.
The couple has pleaded not guilty to rape and kidnapping.
Pierson did not provide further details on the evidence at the hearing.
Stephen Tapson, the court-appointed lawyer who represents Nancy Garrido, has said he plans to argue that his client was under her husband's control when Dugard was abducted from her South Lake Tahoe street in 1991 then raped and held captive for 18 years.
"To the extent that evidence exists, and we believe it does exist," prosecutors would make it available to Tapson, Pierson said without elaborating.
During the hearing, defense lawyers demanded copies of videotaped interviews that child abuse investigators conducted last summer with Dugard and her two daughters fathered by Phillip Garrido. The girls are now 12 and 15.
Pierson told Judge Douglas Phimister the information the defense was likely to glean from having the videotaped interviews of Dugard and her children was not worth the potential risk to the family's privacy.
The judge eventually ruled the defense could obtain copies of Dugard's interview but could only review the girls' interviews at the prosecutor's office.
Dugard has made photos and a home movie showing herself, her mother and her stepsister available to People Magazine and ABC News but has not granted any media interviews.
Gellman argued that she was entitled to review the tapes at her convenience and not on a schedule dictated by the district attorney.
Prosecutors have provided transcripts of the interviews, but "I can't get a flavor from a transcript of what someone is saying and how they are saying it," she said.
Phimister also prohibited both the Garridos and their respective attorneys from trying to communicate with Dugard and her daughters or to obtain their address and telephone number.
Pierson requested the protective order in February, claiming it was necessary because Phillip Garrido was trying to manipulate Dugard through comments relayed through Gellman to the lawyer representing Dugard at the time.
Dugard's new attorney, Shawn Chapman Holley, informed the judge last week that neither Dugard nor the girls, whom she also is representing, want any contact with the Garridos.
Gellman told Phimister the protective order was unnecessary.
"It is clear to me (she) does not want to be contacted. I am not going to contact her," Gellman said.
She added, however, that preventing her from contacting Holley "would impede me from doing my job."
Phimister said his order would not bar the defense from reaching out to Dugard's lawyer.
During a closed hearing Thursday morning, Phimister for a second time denied a request by the Garridos for in-jail visits. The judge did grant the couple, who have been jailed separately and allowed to speak by phone twice since then, two more monthly phone calls.
Judge Phimister also scheduled a preliminary hearing for Oct. 7.
In the documents released Friday, the CDCR states that after Garrido was placed under California parole supervision in June 1999, parole staff waited until May 2000 to visit Garrido's Antioch home.
The agents' contact was also significantly under the guidelines issued by the department.
During the 18-month period between June 1999 and December 2000, the documents show agents visited Garrido's home three times and his workplace eight times, while contacting him by phone twice and conducting drug tests five times.
As CDCR admits, "Staff should have visited Garrido at home 14 times and at the office two times, and should have drug tested him 16 times."
Parole supervision continued under the mandated levels until 2007, when parole agents met the yearly requirements and ordered Garrido attend parole outpatient treatment.
The documents show Garrido was incorrectly labeled a "low risk" sex offender, "despite the assessment's direction that low risk offenders are those whose controlling offenses are non-sexual," the report states.
Following his Nevada rape conviction in 1976, Garrido should have been classified as a "moderate or high risk," which would have exposed Garrido to greatly increased visits and testing before 2007.
"Even though parole staff eventually increased his supervision to include all these conditions, a determination in 2001 that Garrido posed a high risk could have resulted in the imposition of these conditions sooner," according to the report.
After Garrido was required to wear a GPS monitoring ankle bracelet in April 2008, a sample review of Garrido's GPS tracks show "Garrido was frequently in the rear portion of his back yard, where Jaycee Dugard was allegedly kept."
Jaycee Dugard was 11 when police say Phillip and wife Nancy Garrido kidnapped her in South Lake Tahoe, then holding her captive for 18 years in their Antioch back yard. Police said Garrido raped Dugard, now 29, and fathered her daughters. The Garridos have pleaded not guilty.
The information was revealed after several weeks of media interviews held by relatives of Misty Croslin. The blame has been placed at the feet of Misty Croslin’s Cousin, Joe Overstreet. You may watch the startling revelation during the interview in the video here:
Tommy Croslin’s attorney says Tommy knows who killed Haleigh Cummings
Haleigh Cummings has been missing since February 9, 2009. The facts surrounding the case have remained a mystery and no one has come forward with any evidence that has been made public to back up the claims made by Misty, Tommy, or Grandma Flo (Flora Hollars). Flo Hollars has appeared on the Nancy Grace and Jane Velez Mitchell shows multiple times and has revealed multiple stories regarding Haleigh’s disappearance and murder.
The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office have confirmed that they found possible evidence that is being tested for a connection to Haleigh Cummings. They denied that they have found Haleigh Cummings’ remains.,
Reports have surfaced stating investigators have found two cinder blocks and a yellow rope, believed to have been used in the murder of Haleigh Cummings.
These reports have not been verified by the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office.
She doesn’t really care what Flora Hollars has to say about her own grandkids, but she does not want her talking about her grandson, Haleigh’s father Ron Cummings.
Hollars has been talking for weeks about how her grandchildren, Misty Croslin, Tommy Croslin and Joe Overstreet, were allegedly all involved in the disappearance of the little Florida girl. She has told the media five different theories about what happened to Haleigh and finally, she implicated the girl’s own father, Ronald Cummings. She claims that Ronald knows more than he is saying and she thinks he was involved to some extent.
Sykes blasted Hollers for her comments. Hollars also claimed that Misty Croslin was still coming down off of drugs when Cummings left his children with her and went to work. Sykes said that is completely false and that she was at the house that night and Croslin was not high. She went on to say that Misty Croslin even made the kids dinner. Sykes says her grandson would have never left his children with Croslin if he thought she was “strung out.”
WBTW-TV reported Saturday that police had pinpointed another location to search for the 17-year-old junior from Gates Chili High School. A specific location has not been released and investigators could not be reached Sunday night.
Drexel disappeared during a spring break trip to Myrtle Beach last year.
Morgan disappeared outside a Metallica concert Oct. 17 at the John Paul Jones Arena on the University of Virginia campus grounds. Aroung 8:20 p.m. that night, witnesses saw her speaking with friends on her cell phone and walking through a parking lot.
She was last seen at about 9:30 p.m. walking along a nearby bridge and hitchhiking.
In January, David Bass discovered her remains while feeding his cattle on his Albemarle County farm.
A black t-shirt with “Pantera” written on the front—now confirmed to be Morgan’s—was found in November near an intersection in Charlottesville.
Police urge all those with information regarding Morgan to call the Jefferson Area Crime Stoppers at 434-977-4000 or the Virginia State Police Tip Line at 434-352-3467. A reward of $150,041 is being offered for anyone who can provide information leading to the arrest and conviction of Morgan’s murderer.
The drones have high-resolution cameras that can go deep into canyons where Richardson is believed to be. Investigators have not been able to find her despite several searches on foot and by helicopter in the canyons near Malibu, where the Malibu-Lost Hills station is located.
The drone devices were engineered by San Diego State University and have located missing people in the past, including a local teenager who went missing on February 25, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Richardson's family and girlfriend have been calling for more investigators, including help from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Graham Trucking donated two trucks with pictures of Lindsey Baum that are parked in McCleary, where the girl lived, and a parking lot near Elma.
The truck in McCleary is parked on Simpson Avenue. The other truck is parked along State Route 8 at Heise Road east of Elma in the parking lot of Cabinet Distributors.
Volunteers and police have combed McCleary and surrounding locations but have not found evidence as to where the girl might be.
Baum was last seen in McCleary on June 26, 2009. She was 10 years old at the time of her disappearance.
Lindsey is 4 feet 9 inches tall, 80 pounds and has brown hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a light blue hooded pullover shirt and blue jeans.
Officials have not had any new developments in the case but ask anyone with information to contact the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s office at 866-915-8299 or send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Despite the naming of her estranged husband - Craig Stebic - as a "person of interest" in the case of her disappearance - and, the fact that the FBI & Plainfield Police Department believe she was a victim of foul play - no arrest has been made.
But it’s not clear yet to whom the car belonging to the only suspect in the slaying of Yale graduate student Annie Le will go.
In a Superior Court session that lasted about 30 seconds Wednesday, Judge Roland Fasano granted a motion by Clark’s attorney, Joseph E. Lopez, to release the car. They did not say where the car would go.
Search warrant affidavits released in December in the Le slaying showed police found red-stained items in Clark’s car, a blood-stained kitchen floor in his apartment, and more items with blood-like stains in another car he rode in the day Le disappeared.
Le was found Sept. 13 behind the wall of a Yale research building.
Regarding the car, the arrest warrant affidavit for Clark said: “Officers observed within the vehicle, in plain view, a pair of white sneakers with unknown reddish stains, a blue in color unknown garment similar to hospital ‘scrubs’ and a dark in color garbage bag.”
Police in September towed the car away for testing.
Clark is charged with murder. He has pleaded not guilty in the case. He was in court today in an orange prison jumpsuit.
And while I can relate to the public's feeling that the plea was somewhat anti-climactic when compared to the shock of Gardner's crimes, I do believe that this was an excellent plea from the perspective of the prosecution.
John Gardner pled guilty Friday, April 16 to the murders and sexual assaults of Chelsea and Amber. He admitted to raping and strangling King in February of this year, and raping and stabbing Dubois in February 2009. By leading police to the body of Dubois and admitting to the murders, Gardner spared himself from the death penalty. He will now most likely spend the rest of his life in prison. His sentence is 33 years to life, without the possibility of parole.
These are two critical elements that give the plea deal a more robust legal force. Also, nothing in this plea bars the prosecutor from bringing new cases against Gardner should other victims come forward or be discovered.
After speaking with Carrie McGonigle, Amber Dubois' mom - and also hearing Brent King, Chelsea's father, at a press conference - I believe while there is no "happiness" in this plea for the families, there is a small amount of satisfaction. Satisfaction in the sense that the case has come to a resolution and it is one that will allow both families to start to move on, heal, find closure, and utilize this tragedy as a catalyst for change.
While many people have not come to grips that this case is essentially over, we should all recognize that the wheels of justice do not have to turn slower than molasses. As evidenced by the Gardner plea deal: a case like this can be investigated, filed, pled, and sentenced properly in a short time if all the people are doing their job.
In the Gardner case the police did their job, the prosecution did theirs, and thankfully the defendant did his as well.
Overriding the disappointment that there is no "reciprocal justice" for Gardner (i.e. death) may prove impossible. Regardless of how you feel about the morality or practicality of the death penalty in general, I'm sure we can all pause to sympathize with the specific grieving of the parents of raped and murdered children.
The fact that the monster who did this to these two girls will still breathe every day of his life in jail must be the most painful thing imaginable. Emotionally and psychologically speaking it may take years, if ever, for the families to gain true closure. But there is some bottom line "good news" in this case: legal justice has been served and served expeditiously to Gardner!
The State Attorney's Office released 289 pages of discovery, which adds to the more than 13,000 pages already released.
Casey Anthony, 24, is accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter Caylee Marie in the summer of 2008. Caylee's remains were found in December 2008, several months after the toddler's family reported her missing.
According to a report, FBI analysts looked for human hairs that had signs of decomposition in evidence they collected, including from a steam cleaner and vacuum. The report said none was found.
The FBI also analyzed hair samples belonging to Orange County Sheriff's Office crime-scene investigators. That evaluation was done to determine who a strand of hair — found with evidence — came from.
Evidence logs from the Sheriff's Office again detailed items taken from the woods where Caylee's remains were ultimately found, including dirt, soda cans, bugs and electrical tape.
Also released Friday was a transcribed interview with Cecilia Benhaida, sister of the woman who sparked a close relationship with Casey Anthony's father George Anthony.
Benhaida told sheriff's investigators she met Casey Anthony while both women were jailed in Orange County.
She said she had no idea that her sister, Krystal Holloway, knew the Anthonys.
Benhaida told investigators she had befriended Casey Anthony because she was "trying to be nice to her."
"I kind of felt bad that all the inmates there were in that building … would be screaming murderer," Benhaida told sheriff's Cpl. Yuri Melich.
She also told detectives she had passed letters from other inmates to Anthony.
Earlier this month, prosecutors released dozens of letters Anthony wrote to former inmate Robyn Adams.
Benhaida did not tell investigators the contents of the letters she had passed to Anthony.
She did tell detectives that when she was released from jail she became friendly with the Anthonys.
One day, she said, Cindy Anthony told her that Caylee's death was an accident.
"She did tell me that [George Anthony] told her that um, it was something about an accident," Benhaida said. When asked about what kind of accident, Benhaida responded: "The child being killed by accident."
The next hearing in the Casey Anthony case is scheduled for Friday.
During the case management hearing, Judge Perry will discuss motions that the defense and state wish to file and will also go over a timeline for motions. Judge Perry will work hard to create a timeline and keep the defense and state on track so that a May 2011 trial date will be realized.
Casey Anthony’s attorney have recently filed a motion stating that the death penalty was added to the case for the sole purpose of bankrupting the defense. Experts feel that this motion has very little chance of succeeding, especially now that Casey Anthony has been declared indigent and her defense costs are being covered by the tax payers of Florida.
Todd Macaluso is best known for his claim in open court that the defense had evidence proving the remains of Anthony's daughter Caylee were put in the woods where they were found after Anthony was already in the Orange County jail. To date, the defense has not backed up that claim.
Macaluso has been under investigation by California's bar for months. On Monday, the bar issued an order making him an "inactive" member and unable to practice law. Wednesday, Macaluso filed a motion to withdraw from the Anthony case in Orange County court.
Anthony will be in court for a hearing Friday in front of the new judge on the case, Chief Judge Belvin Perry, Jr. He took over the case after the previous judge, Stan Strickland, removed himself. Defense attorneys argued he made inappropriate contact with a blogger.
Wednesday's effort was organized by Stacy's sister, Cassandra Cales. Police were not involved in the search near Weber Road and Boughton.
Nothing was found.
Stacy Peterson disappeared in October 2007. Authorities are calling her husband Drew Peterson a suspect.
Drew Peterson is being held on $20 million bond in the death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio. That case is set to go on trial in June.
Chicago defense attorneys Steven Greenberg, Ralph Meczyk and Darryl Goldberg are joining Peterson's defense team, which includes Joel Brodsky, his partner Reem Odeh and Chicago defense attorney Joseph Lopez.
Peterson is charged with murdering his third wife Kathleen Savio in 2004. The trial is scheduled to begin in June.
Darlene Phillips, the boy's maternal grandmother and primary caregiver, was arrested Friday night and remained in the Collin County Detention Facility in McKinney on Saturday.
Her bail was set at $500,000.
Wylie investigators confirmed the identity of the boy late Friday as Gerren Joseph Isgrigg.
His body was found April 15 near a Collin County lake.
Police think the body was abandoned less than 24 hours before it was found.
Police have said he was small for his age, weighing just 28 pounds, and had "significant medical needs."
He showed signs of having had a feeding tube.
"Gerren was not taken care of well," Wylie Detective Venece Perepiczka told The Dallas Morning News, adding that the boy was not physically able to care for himself.
Autopsy results are pending, but police have said there were no obvious injuries.
Police have not said where the 63-year-old Phillips lived.
Police said the boy's parents are separated, with his father living in California and his mother living in Oklahoma.
The names of the parents were not released.
Police said a tip to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's hotline led to Gerren's identification.
The discovery of his body had touched many, with a candlelight vigil Thursday bringing hundreds of people to a Wylie park to pray for answers to his identity.
A "Wylie's Angel" Facebook page has seen membership grow to 44,000.
Police responded to a medical emergency at 5:08 p.m. on April 20 in the 800 block of 18th Street.
Officers discovered a 12-year-old Erik Robinson, a 6th-grader at Lincoln Middle School in Santa Monica, in full cardiac arrest. He had apparently hanged himself using a rope in his kitchen.
Robinson was taken to a local hospital. The next day, he was taken off life support and pronounced dead a short time later.
A preliminary investigation revealed Robinson may have been playing the "choking game."
Det. Maury Sumlin, of the Santa Monica Police Department, said an autopsy and interviews with friends led to that conclusion.
In the choking game, pressure is applied to the neck to restrict oxygen and/or blood flow of to the brain, creating a desired euphoric high.
Police say the case is being investigated as an accidental death.
Officials at Lincoln Middle School said they plan to talk to parents about the issue soon.
The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District notified students and parents at the school about Robinson's death April 21, but called it only a "tragic accident."
Authorities described the cause of death for the first time Wednesday.
The school district's emergency response team provided counseling for students last week.
District Superintendent Tim Cuneo said there was no indication the game had become a trend among students.
Robinson was a Boy Scout and volunteered for a conflict-resolution program at his school sponsored by the L.A. County Bar Association. He wanted to become a peer mediator next year, Det. Sumlin said.
He aspired to attend West Point, and wanted to become a police officer, according to Sumlin.
Robinson's family plans to hold a memorial at 7 p.m. Thursday at Kehillat Israel, 16019 Sunset Blvd. in Pacific Palisades.
In lieu of flowers, Robinson's mother has requested that donations be sent to the non-profit group Games Adolescents Shouldn't Play.
Indiana state police said Penny Slayback was found stabbed to death in her Greendale, Ind., home on Aug. 11, 1978 by her 8-year-old daughter.
Troopers said Neldon G. (Kenny) Kinsel met Slayback two days before her death. Kinsel's truck matched one seen at the Slayback home on the night of the slaying, and Kinsel admitted buying a knife at the Dearborn County Fair, but said he lost it.
Prosecutors at the time said they had only circumstantial evidence and did not charge Kinsel.
In 2009, detectives reopened the case and re-examined evidence and witness statements. Slayback's body was exhumed and witnesses were re-interviewed. Detectives attempted to re-interview Kinsel, who refused to make any statements.
Prosecutor Aaron Negangard said he decided to take the latest evidence to the grand jury to see if he could get an indictment of Kinsel, but Kinsel killed himself last weekend, days before he was to appear before the grand jury.
After the death of Kinsel, the long-term person of interest in this case and, based upon the recent investigation, the probable suspect in the case, Negangard made the decision to close the investigation into Slayback's homicide.
Most of the victims were 4-year-olds, the state-run Xinhua news agency said. Three of the children were in critical condition.
Police said they have arrested a 47-year-old suspect.
The incident happened in Taixing city in Jiangsu province.
It comes a day after a man attacked 18 students and a teacher with a knife at a primary school in southern China's Guangdong province, Xinhua said.
It was not immediately known how many people were injured or whether there were any fatalities Wednesday. The man, described as being in his 40s, entered Leicheng First Primary School Wednesday afternoon and committed the attack before he was seized by police, Xinhua reported.
A man who stabbed eight children to death and wounded five others at an elementary school in eastern China last month was executed Wednesday, Xinhua said. Zheng Minsheng, 42, was shot in Nanping City for the March 23 attack.
Authorities said he carried out the attack because he was frustrated at "failures in his romantic life," Xinhua said.
John Galligan -- the attorney for the suspect, Maj. Nidal Hasan -- said that the filing of a memo by the prosecutors Wednesday indicated that finding Hasan guilty of more than one of the murders would constitute the "aggravating factor" necessary for the Army to seek the death penalty.
Thirteen people died in the shooting spree at the Texas base last November.
"It is the first 'formal notice' but, of course, it has been a virtual given from the start," Galligan wrote in an e-mail to CNN. "In short, the Army has been pursuing death from the git-go."
The actual decision to seek the death penalty occurs after an Article 32 hearing. The hearing -- the military justice system's rough equivalent of a grand jury hearing -- is scheduled to start June 1 at Fort Hood in Texas.
Little Artem Saveliev was last year taken from a grim orphanage and given a new life in Tennessee last year.
But his adoptive mother Torry-Ann Hansen, a 34-year-old nurse, yesterday put him on a ten-hour flight as an unaccompanied minor with a note 'to whom it may concern' saying: 'I no longer wish to parent this child'.
In his rucksack, she had placed sweets, biscuits and colouring pens for the journey.
She did not tell him she was rejecting him. Instead, she and a grandmother that he was going on an 'excursion' to Moscow.
In the typed note, which the blond boy was clutching when Moscow police picked him up, she said she wanted the adoption annulled.
She accused the Vladivostok orphanage of misleading her about the child's behavioural problems.
The Russians angrily denied this, saying he was stubborn but that his only disability was that he was 'flat-footed'.
Officials said they have never witnessed such cruelty to a child after promising a 'new life'.
Unwanted Artem, eight next week, looked confused and bewildered as he was taken into care by Moscow social services.
The Kremlin's children's rights commissioner Pavel Astakhov lambasted the U.S. mother, who is understood to be a nurse and a single parent with a natural son.
Russia's foreign minister is now demanding a freeze on adoptions between the U.S. and Russia.
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying the ministry would recommend that the U.S. and Russia hammer out an agreement before any new adoptions are allowed.
'We have taken the decision ... to suggest a freeze on any adoptions to American families until Russia and the USA sign an international agreement' on the conditions for adoptions and the obligations of host families, Lavrov was quoted as saying.
He also said he was 'indignant' at the way the child was treated 'as a parcel'.
Lavrov said the U.S. had refused to negotiate such an accord in the past but 'the recent event was the last straw'.
U.S. ambassador to Russia, John Beyrle, said he was 'deeply shocked by the news' and 'very angry that any family would act so callously toward a child that they had legally adopted'.
Russian officials also refused the U.S. consul access to the child saying: 'If his American parent kicked out him from the country on a plane like a sack of potatoes, then we will look after the boy.
'Our care system will take up the case. After a full medical examination, he will be placed into one of our orphanages.'
Ashtakhov questioned how American immigration had let the child leave Washington, and why United Airlines had carried him alone to Moscow. Normally, stringent checks are applied on minors travelling without parents.
It appears the child was also alone when he flew from Tennessee to Washington before boarding the flight to Moscow.
'The adoptive mother broke all the rules and procedures by sending an adopted child back,' he said.
Ashtakhov, who said he played with the child and talked to him, said the mother had another son called Logan.
'Artem said he made good friends with Logan,' he said. 'He was talking quite calmly about the family, but when he started to talk about his mother he began to cry, showing how she dragged him by the hair.'
In a shocking typed letter she gave to her seven-year-old 'son' to take with him to Moscow, she revealed how she adopted the boy in September 2009.
She claimed he is 'mentally unstable' and that his problems were hidden from her by Russian orphanage officials before she adopted him.
'He is violent and has severe psychopathic issues/behaviour. I was lied to and misled by the Russian orphanage workers and director regarding his mental stability,' she wrote.
'They chose to grossly misrepresent those problems in order to get him out of their orphanage.'
The letter - addressed 'to whom it may concern' at the Russian Ministry of Education in Moscow - said: 'After giving my best to this child I am sorry to say that for the sake of my family, friends and myself, I no longer wish to parent this child.
'As he is a Russian national, I am returning him to your guardianship and would like the adoption disannulled.'
Adoption officials in Partizansk, near Vladivostok were stunned, saying that the U.S. woman had made a good impression on them when she went through adoption procedures last year.
She spent four full days with Artem watched by adoption workers before she was allowed to become his mother.
'It was clear that there was mutual affection, and it was good,' said Vera Kuznetsova, chief adoption officer in the region.
'She seemed a nice, kind woman. Artem immediately reached out to her. She even learned a few Russian words to communicate with her future son,' said one official.
U.S. social workers also submitted reports on Hansen for the court which granted the adoption. 'They did not doubt Hansen's honesty and sense of responsibility,' she said.
Recent follow-up reports from America on the boy did not detect any strains in the family, it is claimed.
Russian officals deny Hansen's claims about Artem having severe behavioural problems and being mentally unstable.
'Artem is normal for his age,' said the official. 'He is a little stubborn child, but this is not a problem for loving parents.
'We are shocked by how the American family has treated our child. Artem grew up as a completely normal, relatively advanced child for his age, and healthy. Does she count being flatfooted as a disability?
'No other medical abnormalities were found. The child was completely ready for school (Russian pupils start school at seven years of age) and had learned to read when the American mother came to the orphanage.'
American psychotherapist Joe Soll told Russian media that the boy's rejection from his adopted family would have a serious impact.
'When you remove a child from a family, no matter what the circumstances are, it's a trauma,' he said.
'We don't look at children who have been adopted as tramuatised, but they are. I don't think people are educated at all to understand what adoption is really about.'
The child's real mother Ekaterina was deprived of her parental rights because she was an alcoholic, officials said yesterday.
She gave birth to the child at 19 and cared for him until he was six.
He was adopted by Hansen on 18 September 2009 in Russia and eleven days later she formally changed his name to Artem Justin Hansen.
Astakhov said the boy told him that neither he nor Logan went to school, but played at home in America. The boy spoke of a grandmother who shouted at him.
Russian officials believe it is this grandmother who actually organised the one-way trip to Moscow for Artem.
'Artem is a very nice kid. We drew pictures together and had nice chat,' said Astakhov.
Officials say they want action against the mother for child abuse. The Moscow media angrily denounced the 'cruelty' inflicted on the seven-year-old.
This shocking return of an unwanted child follows several appalling cases of Russian children being killed after being adopted to America.
In one case, a two-year-old boy died after his American father left him alone in a car in 30C temperatures.
The cases led to a public outcry and new curbs on adoption.
The case was highlighted on a day when U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian leader Dmitry Medvedev signed an historic nuclear arm reduction treaty in Prague.
Administrators at Children's Home Number 59 in Moscow say Oksana was found by police, after apparently being abandoned. She was then delivered to a hospital and eventually ended up at this orphanage.
Of the more than 83 children registered here, Oksana stands the best chance of being adopted -- simply because she is one of the youngest children here.
Darya Tatarenko is a young child psychologist who works at Children's Home Number 59. The 22-year-old graduate of Moscow State University has a deep personal interest in adoption: one of her sisters was adopted.
But she estimates the children at this orphanage, who range in age from 3 to 18, have only a 30 percent chance of being adopted by Russian families. Tatarenko says that's because potential parents in Russia often prefer blond and healthy children.
In fact, the odds that they will find a loving family outside of the orphanage seem much lower. In the 10 years since Children's Home No. 59 opened, only four of its children have been successfully adopted, says deputy director Valentina Spivakova.
Administrators say potential adoptive parents may also be reluctant due to the older ages of the children. Another challenge: The orphanage houses many groups of siblings but adoptive parents are unwilling to take in more than one child at a time, and administrators refuse to separate brothers and sisters.
The residents of this orphanage are just a tiny sampling of the more than 700,000 children living in state institutions across Russia, according to a 2008 Russian government census.
"Our data shows 83 percent of [these] children have one living parent," says Bertram Beinvel, UNICEF's representative in Russia.
These "social orphans" have been separated from their parents to protect them from threats like parental alcoholism, child abuse and neglect.
"Most of [the children here] have had traumatic experiences in their life," says Tatarenko, the child psychologist.
Administrators avoid telling the youngest children that they have been abandoned or that their parents are in prison.
"We tell the youngest children their parents are away on a business trip," says the orphanage director, Irina Nemtinovna.
The kids at Children's Home No. 59 appear well cared for. The building over-flows with toys and stuffed animals. The gym is equipped with roller blades, ice skates and a ping-pong table.
When a CNN television crew arrived for a visit, children made two costume changes, while performing a series of dances in a recital hall outfitted with disco lights. Some of them then performed on trumpet, violin and piano, while accompanied by a music teacher.
The orphanage promotes a foster family program, where more than 20 children live full- or part-time with Russian families who receive government subsidies to help cover the additional costs. For some reason, international adoption agencies do not come to Children's Home 59.
Due to the bad publicity that erupted after an American woman tried to "return" her adopted 7-year-old Russian son by shipping him on a solo flight back to Moscow, some child welfare activists fear international adoptions across the country may slow to a trickle.
"I'm so angry [at] this dialogue on TV that we should abandon this," Tatarenko says. "Americans and Europeans take children of all ages, with different diseases...."
Russia's child welfare ombudsman, Pavel Astakhov, says U.S. adoptions of Russian children will be suspended until Moscow and Washington hammer out a bilateral agreement to better regulate international adoptions.
Astakhov, who also plays the role of judge on a "People's Court"-style television courtroom show, points to reports of at least 15 adopted Russian children who died in the U.S. over the last decade. In several cases, U.S. parents were convicted of manslaughter, child abuse or murder.
UNICEF's Beinvel welcomes a fresh U.S.-Russian initiative to sign a new adoption agreement. But he also argues Russia must do more to save hundreds of thousands of children, many of whom are having to be separated from their parents.
"You have a system which is intervening too late," Beinvel says. "A big priority for UNICEF is for the Russian government to change to much more preventative social work...to have a system which is able to much earlier detect...who are the vulnerable families and what are the causes."
Some Russian officials have begun sounding the alarm. According to the Russian news agency Interfax, Elena Mizulina, the head of a parliamentary committee on family, women's and children's affairs, recently announced that there are more "social orphans" in Russia today than there were during World War II, one of the bloodiest periods in Russian history.
At Children's Home 59, some of the kids, like 8-year-old Tanya, have already lived in the orphanage for more than four years.
"I want to go to a family," the girl says. "But my mother won't let me ... she's lying in a hospital."
Some of the younger children appear to have been taught by staff at the orphanage, to hope and pray to be adopted.
"I'm going to be taken to a family soon," one little boy said to a visitor, after performing a series of dances dressed in a sailor suit. "I will take my costume with me and dance there all the time." It is a child's heart-felt dream.
Unfortunately, statistics show this little boy will probably spend the rest of his childhood years growing up at Children's Home Number 59.
LOS ANGELES -- A former barber has been sentenced to life in prison without parole for killing a mentally ill homeless man by dousing him with gasoline and setting him on fire with a road flare in the Mid-Wilshire area of Los Angeles.
Ben Matthew Martin, 31, pleaded guilty last month to the October 2008 killing of John Robert McGraham, 55, in the 3500 block of West Third Street.
Martin sat with his head bowed during Wednesday's half-hour sentencing hearing in downtown L.A.
"My brother had a life -- he was a human being," Susanne McGraham Paisley, the victim's sister, told the court through sobs. "Even in a state of homelessness, he managed to touch so many lives."
McGraham was mentally ill and lived on the streets, where he was known to locals as a sweet, harmless person. He once worked as a bellman at the Ambassador Hotel, but suffered from depression. Family members repeatedly tried to get him treatment over the years, but were unsuccessful.
Martin was a neighborhood barber who apparently had a grudge against the homeless. He was arrested in January 2009 in Rancho Mirage.
Martin reportedly disliked homeless people lingering near the barber shop where he worked. A co-worker later told police he had seen Martin shout at the homeless to move away from the shop, sometimes striking out at them.
A customer said that he saw Martin on a separate occasion chasing McGraham down 3rd Street, hitting him with a bag of towels and kicking him in the back. The barber yelled, "I don't want to see you around here again," according to the customer.
When the manager of the barber shop learned of the attack, Martin was fired. Three months later, prosecutors said, Martin returned to the area with revenge on his mind.
Carrying a bucket of gasoline and an emergency road flare, he found McGraham standing in the driveway of a parking lot. Martin soaked the homeless man with the gasoline, prosecutors said, then lighted the flare and set him on fire.
As Martin fled, passersby desperately tried to douse the flames, but McGraham, who suffered burns over 90-percent of his body, was burned alive.
(WXYZ) - All she wanted was help caring for her wheel-chair bound son Johnny. The state’s answer was to put him in a foster care facility. Johnny’s mom would have preferred to have someone help her at home, but the state offers limited home-care services. A year after Johnny was in foster care, the 10-year-old boy starved to death.
We have all heard the horrendous cases of kids who were abused and some who died in Michigan’s foster care system. Our story exposes the state’s financial incentive to keep kids in the foster care system. Federal law sets it up that way—the more kids in the state system, the more money the federal government gives Michigan.
The foster care facilities contracted with the state cash-in too. In Johnny’s case, the foster care facility got $12,000 a month to care for him. It is a heart-wrenching case that illuminates problems in the system, including how difficult it is to get your children out of foster care. Johnny’s mom fought to get him out of the system, but he died before she succeeded.
For several months, the Action News Investigators dug deep into Michigan's tragically-flawed foster care system. Along with Johnny's story, we also met a father who fought all the way to the Michigan Supreme Court to get his boys out of the system. The state’s main reason for terminating his parental rights was his finances. We all know people who are struggling in this economy—and as one attorney said, if it can happen to him, it can happen to anyone.
The state is making some changes as a result of a class action lawsuit. A court-appointed monitor now oversees the Department of Human Services. Progress is underway, but some critics say more needs to be done to help parents keep their children rather than put them in a flawed foster care system.
You’ll see the first piece of our investigation Thursday night at 11 on Channel 7 Action News. Watch and let us know what you think of state's foster system and it's ability to care for the children of Michigan.