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Today in History

Posted on: April 20th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

Today in History

Video caught woman dumping 7 puppies behind California store

Posted on: April 20th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

Authorities are trying to identify a woman captured by security cameras tossing seven newborn puppies into a dumpster in Southern California

New evidence gets mistrial in Montana senator’s nephew death

Posted on: April 20th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

The discovery of new evidence prompted a judge to declare a mistrial in the murder case against a Spokane man charged with killing the nephew of U.S. Sen. Jon Tester of Montana

Polygamist lawyers in Utah face bar investigation

Posted on: April 20th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

Seven Utah lawyers are being accused in a new complaint that they are violating rules of conduct because they are polygamists

The Latest: 12 students,1 teacher killed honored at ceremony

Posted on: April 20th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

A ceremony marking the 20th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting has ended with the names of 12 students and a teacher killed being read aloud, accompanied by the release of white doves

Texas mom reported missing after not showing up to daughter’s babysitter

Posted on: April 20th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Chalabala(MESQUITE, Texas) — A 26-year-old Mesquite, Texas, mom was scheduled to pick up her child from the babysitter on Wednesday night, but she never showed up.

Prisma Denisse Peralta Reyes was reported missing to the police after friends and family made several attempts to reach her by phone.

Reyes’ 2017 Jeep Wrangler was found abandoned by the Mesquite Police Department on Thursday morning in the 3500 block of Roseland Avenue in Dallas, Texas. ABC affiliate WFAA obtained surveillance video of the last-known sighting of Reyes near an apartment complex where her car was found.

Reyes’ child is being cared for by relatives until she is located, Mesquite Police said in a statement.

Reyes was last seen in the video footage talking on a cell phone and wearing a red polo and light blue jeans.

Reyes’ stepfather, Dan Fuchs, told WFAA that she recently became a U.S. citizen and is originally from Veracruz, Mexico. He said Reyes also works as a paralegal and was a member of the National Guard.

Police are asking anyone with information on Reyes’ whereabouts to call the Mesquite Police Department at (972) 285-6336.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

The Latest: People gather for Columbine memorial ceremony

Posted on: April 20th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

People are gathered in suburban Denver for a remembrance ceremony honoring the victims of those killed in the Columbine High School shootings 20 years ago

Armed civilian border group member arrested in New Mexico

Posted on: April 20th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

He’s accused of being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition.

Authorities seize $20 million worth of marijuana from illegal grow operation

Posted on: April 20th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Nastasic(RIVERSIDE, Calif.) — An anonymous tipster led California police to uncover one of the largest marijuana farms ever found in the city of Riverside, officials said on Friday.

Authorities in Riverside, California, were called to a 10-acre property on McAllister Street in the Greenbelt neighborhood on Thursday where they found more than 40,000 marijuana plants growing inside a large greenhouse.

Scott Albertsons, a neighbor to the grow operation, told Los Angeles ABC station KABC that the land was sold about six months ago and that the buyers “came in and put up this new fence, which you couldn’t see through.”

The neighbor said the farm began to produce a strong odor.

“We didn’t call in,” Albertsons told KABC. “We figured a policeman would drive by and smell it because you could smell it, especially in the evening and early morning.”

The Riverside Police Department estimated that the street value of the plants to be $20 million. No arrests were made.

It took officers 24 hours to remove the cannabis plants along with thousands of pounds of fertilizer and pesticides.

Although it’s unclear if the farm was licensed by the state as a cultivation site, marijuana laws in California liimit private residences to growing only six cannabis plants or less.

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Columbine honors 13 lost with community service, ceremony

Posted on: April 20th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

Community members in suburban Denver are marking the 20th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting by volunteering at shelters, doing neighborhood cleanup projects and laying flowers and cards at a memorial site.

Cops find car connected to missing teen, Los Angeles homicide

Posted on: April 20th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/aijohn784(LOS ANGELES) —  Police found a car near the Mexican border on Friday that had been connected to a missing teen and a Los Angeles-area homicide investigation.

The 2013 white BMW with Nevada plates was recovered unoccupied on Friday by San Diego Police near the San Ysidro border of Mexico, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department tweeted.

The drivers, Roman Cerratos and Maricela Mercado, are suspects in the murder of a 32-year old man in the city of Carson in Los Angeles County, the Sheriff’s Department said. Mercado is the mother of 15-year-old Alora Benitez, for whom an Amber Alert was issued on Thursday.

Benitez was last seen around 9 a.m. on Wednesday in Torrance, California, with Mercado, 40, and Cerratos, 39, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

The homicide victim, Jeffrey Appel, was found dead in a white Audi in Carson at around 7 a.m. on April 16, authorities said.

The two suspects are considered “armed and dangerous, ” according to the Amber Alert poster. “The adults left the South Bay area with the child, Alora Benitez, and could possibly be in the San Diego area.”

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$200k worth of jewelry gone in 30 seconds by a duo of Georgia mall thieves

Posted on: April 20th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

Gwinnett County Police Department(ATLANTA) — Two men allegedly used a hammer to smash through a glass display inside a Georgia jewelry store and got away with $200,000 worth of diamond rings, according to police reports.

On April 15, one of the suspects walked into the Crescent Jewelers inside the Sugarloaf Mills Mall and expressed interest to an employee in necklaces. The man then left the store and returned with the second alleged suspect inquiring about diamond rings, according to the Gwinnett County Police Department.

In less than 30 seconds, one of the men allegedly brandished a hammer from his waistband and broke the display case with the diamond rings.

“The witness stated the suspects who had on back packs grabbed several trays containing diamond rings and placed them inside the bags,” according the police report.

The store’s owner told ABC affiliate WSBTV that the thieves dropped several of the rings as they were leaving the store.

The robbers — described as black, between 25- to 35-years-old with tattoos on their faces — allegedly walked out of the Lawrenceville, Georgia, mall into the parking lot where they fled in a black Mitsubishi SUV.

The police are asking for the public with any information about the suspects to please contact their case detectives at 770-513-5300. To remain anonymous, tipsters should contact Crime Stoppers at 404-577-TIPS (8477) or visit their website.

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Tiger attacks keeper at Topeka Zoo & Conservation Center

Posted on: April 20th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Yurikr(TOPEKA, Kansas) — A tiger attacked a zookeeper Saturday morning at a zoo in Topeka, Kansas, according to a city spokeswoman.

The tiger, named Sanjiv, and the zookeeper were in the “same place” Saturday when he attacked her, said Molly Hadfield, a spokeswoman for the City of Topeka.

“A few people did see the attack,” Hadfield said.

The keeper, who was not identified, was injured and taken to a local hospital, Hadfield said. But she appeared to be alert and awake and was in stable condition, Hadfield added.

No one else was injured.

It was not immediately clear what happened to Sanjiv.

The other tigers at the zoo were kept in holding, where they will be for the rest of the day, Hadfield said.

The zoo, which closed for 45 minutes, has since been reopened, she said.

The director of the zoo will provide an update later in the day.

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Authorities refocus search of missing 5-year-old boy on family home near Chicago

Posted on: April 20th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

ABC News(CHICAGO) — The search for a 5-year-old boy from Illinois who went missing on Wednesday continued into the weekend as police re-focused the investigation on the boy’s family home.

Andrew “AJ” Freund, a blond boy who is approximately 3 feet, 5 inches tall, was last seen wearing a blue Mario sweatshirt and black sweatpants in his home at around 9 p.m. — his bedtime — on Wednesday, according to Crystal Lake Police Department detectives.

“In reviewing all investigative information thus far, there is no indication that would lead police to believe that an abduction had taken place,” A Crystal Lake Police Department statement said. “At this point, the police department has no reason to believe there is a threat to the community.”

The FBI and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children are also investigating Freund’s disappearance.

Jassen Strokosch, spokesperson for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, confirmed to ABC News that the agency has been in contact with Freund’s family since AJ was born in 2013. He added that AJ’s younger brother has been placed in a different home.

In front of media gathered outside the family home on Friday, Andrew Freund, AJ’s father, said, “AJ, please come home. You’re not in any trouble, we’re just worried to death.”

Separately, Freund’s mother, Joanne Cunningham, sobbed in front of reporters during a press conference outside the family home on Friday afternoon but did not speak. In her hand, she held a plastic Goodwill bag that contained pictures of her children.

George C. Kililis, her defense lawyer, spoke during the press conference, saying, “Ms. Cunningham doesn’t know what happened to AJ and has nothing to do with the disappearance of AJ. Ms. Cunningham is worried sick, she’s devastated.”

He added that he does not know AJ’s father, Andrew Freund and is only representing Cunningham.

“Ms. Cunningham cooperated with the police extensively yesterday,” Kililis said. “Until at some point, we got the impression that she may be considered a suspect. I don’t know if she is or not and I don’t know how serious that consideration is. As an attorney, once I realized that, I advised Ms. Cunningham to remain silent from that point on.”

Kililis did not immediately respond to a request for comment from ABC News early Saturday.

By Thursday, an exhaustive search, including 15 police departments and four drones, covered hundreds of acres of public areas and yielded nothing. A sonar search of Crystal Lake also turned up nothing.

Police canine teams “only picked up Andrews ‘scent’ within his home, “indicating that Andrew had not walked away on foot,” the Crystal Lake Police Department statement said.

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Ex-Marine arrested in North Korea embassy attack in Madrid

Posted on: April 20th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

A man suspected of involvement in a mysterious dissident group’s February raid on North Korea’s Embassy in Madrid has been arrested in Los Angeles by U.S. authorities

Oklahoma woman accused of starving kids, feeding them feces

Posted on: April 20th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

An Oklahoma mother has been charged with child neglect, accused of starving her children and feeding them dog feces

Storm threat winds down ahead of pleasant Easter Sunday

Posted on: April 20th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Three days of severe storms in the South and Southeast are about to give way to a nice holiday weekend for much of the country.

There were 31 reported tornadoes in the South — from Texas to Virginia — since Wednesday, including 13 on Friday. The highest reported wind gust was 90 mph in Avon Pier, North Carolina, Saturday morning.

Dangerous wind gusts brought down a tree in Woodville, Florida, on Friday that landed on a home and killed an 8-year-old girl.

There’s better weather on the horizon as we head into the holiday weekend.

The last of the heavy rain is pushing through the Northeast on Saturday. Flash flood watches are in effect Saturday morning in the Northeast from Washington to Maine.

The storm threat has decreased and the primary concern is the heavy rain coming down across the region. These conditions could potentially trigger inland flash flooding as well as some minor coastal flooding.

Aside from scattered showers in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, some areas could even see peeks of sunshine by Saturday evening.

Conditions should remain fairly calm across much of the country from Sunday to Monday.

Showers will pass along the Interstate 80 corridor out west with snow showers in the higher elevations of Wyoming from Sunday into Monday.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Zookeeper hospitalized after tiger attack at Topeka Zoo

Posted on: April 20th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

City officials say a tiger mauled a zookeeper at the Topeka Zoo in northeastern Kansas

Arkansas faces new court fight over sedative for executions

Posted on: April 20th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

A federal lawsuit filed by death row inmates has renewed a court fight over whether the sedative Arkansas uses for lethal injections causes torturous executions, two years after it raced to put eight inmates to death in 11 days before its batch expired

Missing Ohio teen found dead, buried in shallow grave on farm, police say

Posted on: April 20th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

Carroll County Sheriff’s Office(CARROLLTON, Ohio) — The body of a missing boy from rural Ohio was found buried in a shallow grave on a farm Friday morning, bringing a sad end to a desperate search for the 14-year-old who disappeared on April 13.

Jonathon Minard was found dead, buried in the grave on a farm in Washington Township just after 10 a.m., according to the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office. The body was found not far from where the boy went missing a week earlier in Carrollton, Ohio.

An autopsy will be performed by the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner, with results not expected for a few weeks.

Authorities announced on Wednesday, two days before the discovery of the body, that they were questioning a person of interest in the case and said they were refusing to take a polygraph test. Carroll County Sheriff Dale Williams would not answer Friday whether the person was still in custody or still considered a person of interest.

No one has been arrested in the teen’s death and the investigation is ongoing, the sheriff’s office said.

“Jonathon’s discovery is just the first step in gathering evidence to answer many unanswered questions that we have that have led us to this moment,” Carroll County Prosecuting Attorney Steve Barnett told Cleveland ABC affiliate WEWS. “Investigations like this take time, and this case is no exception.”

Minard had been doing work on a farm in New Harrisburg, Ohio, on Friday before being taken to a family friend’s home in Carrollton. He spent the night there, authorities said, before he complained of a toothache, was left alone at the residence and had disappeared when the family friend returned.

The boy wasn’t reported missing until April 14, the sheriff said.

Family and friends spent Tuesday combing the area, a rural region about an hour south of Akron, for signs of the missing boy, but nothing turned up.

“I have met with the family and as you might imagine this is an unimaginable grief — epic levels that can’t be put into words,” Mandal Haas, the Carroll County coroner, said at a Friday press conference.

Even prior to the discovery of the teen’s body, Minard’s aunt, Jo Hepner, said his parents were “devastated.”

“His mom is ready to have a breakdown, his dad is too and they feel helpless because they can’t do anything,” Hepner told WEWS.

Authorities would provide few details at a press conference Friday, preferring to wait until after the investigation was complete.

“The Carroll County Sheriff’s Office will continue to gather evidence until the investigation is complete,” it said in a statement. “We ask that the public and media respect the Minard family’s space and privacy at this time.”

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Delphi murders investigation heading in ‘new direction,’ update planned for next week

Posted on: April 20th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(DEPLHI, Indiana) — One of the nation’s most recent infamous unsolved murder investigations is heading in a “new direction.”

Indiana State Police said in a statement Friday that new information in their inquest into the murder of two teenage girls in Delphi, Indiana, in February 2017 will be shared at a press conference on Monday.

The update will be held “to share information with the media and public about the new direction of the Delphi homicide investigation.”

Police shared no further information into what the new evidence might be, or why they were changing directions in the investigation.

Friends Abigail Williams, 13, and Liberty German, 14, both middle schoolers, vanished on a hiking trail near Delphi on Feb. 13, 2017. Their bodies were found one day later about a mile from where they were last known to be on the trail.

Authorities have not released information about how the girls died.

The murders have also been called the “Snapchat murders” — named as such due to a photo shared by German of Williams walking on an old railroad bridge during their hike on the day they disappeared.

“We’re all frustrated,” Abby’s mother, Anna Williams, told ABC News in February, just before the second anniversary of the children’s deaths. “It might still feel like we’re in the same place, but I think of how many tips we’ve gone through, how many are still out there, still coming in, and I still have hope that we are on the right track.”

Authorities released a grainy photo of a man they believe could be a suspect in the girls’ killings and an audio recording found on Libby’s phone with a man saying “down the hill” in the days following the murders. Police later released a composite sketch of the man they believe to be in the photo.

No definitive match for the suspect has ever been found, despite thousands of tips and over $200,000 in reward money being offered.

Just before the one-year anniversary of the teens’ murders, a sheriff’s office in Bledsoe County, Tennessee, wrote on Facebook that the “FBI has extended the search” for Abby and Libby’s killer or killers into southeastern Tennessee. The report was almost immediately shot down by the Indiana State Police, saying the search was still “nation wide.” Bledsoe County authorities blamed the post on a “misunderstanding.”

Police arrested an Indiana man in September 2017 that authorities initially said could be related to the Delphi killings. Daniel Nations, 31, was taken into custody in Colorado after threatening people near a hiking trail with a hatchet, police said.

Indiana State Police nonetheless downplayed the arrest at the time, simply saying they were treating it like any other possible tip. In a press conference on the one-year anniversary of the killings, state police conceded, despite their interviewing Nations, he was not someone “they care a whole lot about” in relation to the crime.

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AP Was There: Shock, then terror as Columbine attack unfolds

Posted on: April 20th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

AP Was There: A moment of shock, then hours of terror as attack unfolds at Columbine High School

2 teen girls are facing a raft of felony charges in alleged plot to kidnap and kill 9 people

Posted on: April 20th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

WFTS(TAMPA, Fla.) — A pair of 14-year-old Florida middle school girls are facing felony charges for conspiracy to commit kidnapping and murder after being arrested this week in what authorities described as a plot to kidnap and kill 9 people.

Court records reviewed by ABC News Tampa affiliate WFTS indicate that a teacher told police she observed the girls acting “hysterical” while searching for a folder at school, and heard one say that “I’m just going to tell them it’s a prank if they call me or if they find it.”

ABC News is withholding the identity of the girls due to their age.

The teacher located the folder, which allegedly contained eight handwritten notes detailing the kidnapping and murder plot, and notified authorities, according to WFTS. The letters outlined plans to obtain guns and discussed the transportation and disposal of bodies. One contained plans about what the two youngsters would wear during the kidnappings and murders.

The folder was labeled “Private info,” “Do not open” and “Project 11/9,” according to the TV station.

The teenagers were taken into custody and each face nine counts of criminal attempt to conspire capital felony (premeditated homicide), and three counts of criminal attempt to conspire third-degree felony (kidnapping), WFTS reported.

Officials said they are treating the plot seriously.

“It doesn’t matter if they thought it was a joke,” Highlands County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) spokesman Scott Dressel told WFTS. “It’s not a joke. There’s no joking about something like this. You don’t make a joke about killing people. It’s not a joke.”

Highlands County Schools Deputy Superintendent Andrew Lethbridge said in a statement to WFTS that the school’s safety protocols were effective.

“We would like to remind students (and everyone) that we are all held accountable for the information that we communicate,” he said in the statement.

“The [district] takes threats very seriously and we work closely with the HCSO to investigate them. We have stressed the concept that if staff or students hear or see something that concerns them, to please share that information with someone that can do something about it. In this situation, we witnessed this concept in action. This enables us to be proactive and respond to situations prior to an incident taking place.”

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Police: Attacker kills 1 woman, injures 2nd in NYC apartment

Posted on: April 20th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

Police say a woman was hacked to death and a second woman is being treated for stab wounds after a killer who may have used an ax attacked them inside a Brooklyn apartment

Police: Man slashed in neck, officer hit by minivan in melee

Posted on: April 20th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

Police say a man was slashed in the neck during a fight at a hookah bar on Long Island and a police officer helping him was hit by a minivan

Boy’s drag performance at Ohio bar prompts lawmaker’s action

Posted on: April 20th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

The drag queen performance of a 9-year-old boy at a bar outside Ohio’s capital city has prompted a state legislator to propose a law aimed at closing what he says is a "loophole in child exploitation laws."

Teens who were with boy shot by officer are added to lawsuit

Posted on: April 20th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

Four teenagers who were with 13-year-old Tyre King before the black Ohio boy was fatally shot by a white police officer are now third-party defendants in a lawsuit, even though his family doesn’t believe the teens should be held financially responsible

AP PHOTOS: A selection of pictures from the past week

Posted on: April 20th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

PHOTO GALLERY: Fire ravages historic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris; Ivanka Trump visits Ivory Coast; Holy Week rituals in Guatemala.

Fake news? Mueller isn’t buying it

Posted on: April 20th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

Special counsel Robert Mueller delivered his own verdict on the president’s contention that unfavorable stories are ‘fake news’: he isn’t buying it

Parents who starved and shackled children sentenced to life

Posted on: April 20th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

A California couple who for years starved a dozen of their children and kept some shackled to beds have been sentenced to life in prison