Now Playing
STAR 94.5
Last Song Played
Orlando's Only R&B
On Air
No Program
Now Playing
STAR 94.5
Last Song Played
Orlando's Only R&B

crime & law

200 items
Results 1 - 10 of 200 next >

Man charged in 1987 double murder found using Golden State Killer genealogy technique

Investigators in Washington state last week made an arrest in a 31-year-old double homicide, tracking the suspect down using the same genealogy techniques used to capture the suspected Golden State Killer. 

William Earl Talbott II, 55, of the Seattle-Tacoma area, was booked Thursday with one count of first-degree murder in the November 1987 death of Tanya Van Cuylenborg, 18, of British Columbia, Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office officials said Friday in a news conference

Van Cuylenborg and her boyfriend, 20-year-old Jay Cook, vanished Nov. 18, 1987, on an overnight trip to Seattle to buy furnace parts for Cook’s family’s business. 

They were reported missing when they failed to return home. A man found Van Cuylenborg’s body Nov. 24 near Bellingham in Skagit County. She had been bound with plastic zip ties, sexually abused and shot in the head, the Toronto Star reported

Cook’s body was found two days later, battered and wrapped in a blue blanket that did not belong to the couple, about 75 miles away under a bridge near Monroe, which is in Snohomish County. Cook had been beaten and strangled. 

“It's been 31 years since this horrific crime took place,” Skagit County Sheriff Will Reichardt said Friday. “Today, we are one step closer for justice for Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg.”

Investigators from Skagit and Snohomish counties worked the three-decades-long case together. 

Talbott’s arrest comes just five weeks after Snohomish County Sheriff Ty Trenary released composite drawings of a possible suspect that were made using DNA believed to have been left behind by the killer. The images showed a white man with light hair and green or hazel eyes. 

The killer’s DNA, which was found at the scene of Van Cuylenborg’s slaying, was also uploaded to a genealogy website and used to create family trees with people who shared significant amounts of DNA with the unknown suspect, officials said. 

CeCe Moore, the genealogist who worked on the case, said Friday that she traced the suspected killer’s DNA to his great-grandparents, then used “reverse genealogy” to fill in the blanks on the branches. 

“This led me to two descendants of the great-grandparents of the original matches who married, thus tying the two families together,” Moore said

The couple had one son -- Talbott. 

Once Talbott was identified as a potential suspect, detectives obtained his DNA from a cup he used and threw out. 

Reverse genealogy made headlines around the world earlier this year when investigators looking for the Golden State Killer, a serial killer and rapist believed to be responsible for 12 homicides, more than 50 rapes and about 100 burglaries across California in the 1970s and 1980s, arrested Joseph James DeAngelo Jr., 72, after they said they matched his DNA to that of the killer. 

Trenary on Friday thanked the investigators who never gave up on solving the slayings of the young Canadian couple. 

“It’s a difficult thing for us, but candidly, this is what we do our job for,” Trenary said. 

Reichardt said it was the forensic work that detectives did in 1987, which preserved the DNA evidence, that ultimately led to Talbott’s arrest. 

“The next step is prosecution,” Reichardt said. 

Cook and Van Cuylenborg left their Saanich homes bound for Victoria, where they were planning to take the Port Angeles ferry to Seattle. The couple made the ferry and were spotted buying snacks along the way to Seattle in Hoodsport and Allyn, both located in Mason County, Washington, according to Snohomish County officials. 

They were last seen alive buying tickets for the 11:35 p.m. Bremerton-to-Seattle ferry the night they vanished.

KIRO 7 News in Seattle reported that Van Cuylenborg was found six days later, partially clothed, in a ditch. Cook’s van was found the next day, locked and abandoned, in a Blue Diamond parking lot in Bellingham, located in Whatcom County. 

Cook’s body was found the day after the van. 

The victims’ families last month offered a $50,000 reward to anyone who could provide information before the end of the year that would lead to a positive match to the DNA in the case, KIRO reported

Members of the Cook and Van Cuylenborg families were at Friday’s news conference. They expressed a mix of emotions at the news of Talbott’s arrest. 

“Yesterday, the killer had his last sleep in his own bed, his last coffee break, his last day of freedom," Cook’s sister, Laura Baanstra, said. “It’s hard to put into words the relief, joy and great sorrow this arrest brings.”

“They were both gentle souls, caring and trusting kids, and they were betrayed,” Van Cuylenborg’s brother, John, said. “Hopefully, this is a start of some justice for them.”

Talbott has not yet been charged with Cook’s slaying, but investigators continue to process evidence and interview witnesses related to that portion of the case. Detectives are asking anyone who knew Talbott or his activities in 1987 or 1988 to come forward.

Talbott, who was 24 years old at the time of the slayings, was living with his parents in Woodinville, about seven miles from where Cook’s body was found. 

Detectives are hoping to find witnesses who saw Talbott with Cook’s van in November 1987 or with a 35mm Minolta camera that Van Cuylenborg had with her at the time she was slain. 

The camera’s lens was recovered in 1990 and traced to a pawn shop in Portland, Oregon, police officials said. The body of the camera remains missing. 

They are also looking for anyone who knows anything about the blanket Cook’s body was found wrapped in. 

Anyone with information related to the case should call the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office tip line at 425-388-3845.

Milwaukee teen beaten to death in 'senseless act of violence,' family says

A Wisconsin teenager who was missing for a week was found beaten to death Sunday, the victim of “a senseless act of violence,” according to his mother.

>> Read more trending news

The body of Dennis King, 15, was found Sunday night by Milwaukee police, not far from where he’d last been seen on May 11, WISN reported.

"He was a smart kid," the teen's mother, Dombanee Lincoln, told WISN Sunday night. “He was really sweet. He was kindhearted. He liked to do art. ... I just can't believe this happened to my baby. He didn't deserve this."

GoFundMe account was established to help the family with funeral and burial costs, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

“This is the worst news I could ever hear about my young son who had plans on being a artist and a basketball player, Lincoln wrote on the fundraising site. “His life was taken due to a senseless act of violence.

“My heart is broken and words can't explain how I feel right now.”

More than $5,000 has been raised as of Monday afternoon, according to the website.

Lincoln said she identified her son, a freshman at James Madison High School, through a photo provided to her by police, WISN reported.

In a news release Sunday night, the Milwaukee Police Department said it was investigating as a homicide the death of a teenage boy whose body was discovered in the early morning hours. On Monday they identified the victim as King, the Journal Sentinel reported.

Several suspects in the case were arrested, family members told WISN.

2 inmates found after escaping from Ohio prison, authorities say

Update 3:25 a.m. EDT Monday: Two prisoners who escaped from the Community Correctional Center near Lebanon, Ohio, were found Sunday.

Daniel Hatfield Jr. and Jeremy Mink, the two prisoners who escaped Saturday night, were found around 3 p.m. by deputies from the Warren County Sheriff’s Office, according to Warren County Dispatch.

They have been re-booked into Warren County Jail, dispatch said.

ORIGINAL STORY: Law enforcement is asking for the public’s help to find two Ohio prisoners who escaped Saturday night from the Community Correctional Center in Turtlecreek Township.

Deputies from the Warren County Sheriff’s Office responded around 8:30 p.m. to the area of 5234 State Route 63, the CCC, for a report of two men running through a field. They jumped into an older model silver minivan and fled the area.

>> Read more trending news 

The men, identified as Daniel Hatfield Jr. and Jeremy Mink, were confirmed to have escaped from the facility run by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation & Correction, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Hatfield, 27, stands 5 feet 6 inches, weighs 186 pounds, has blue eyes and brown hair. He was last seen wearing tan pants and a white shirt. He is sentenced to CCC after being convicted of a probation violation for drug offenses out of Butler County.

Mink 28, stands 6 feet, 1 inch, weighs 195 pounds has blue eyes and brown hair. He was last seen wearing tan pants and no shirt. He was sentenced to CCC after being convicted of drug offenses out of Clermont County.

Anyone with information on either man’s whereabouts is urged to contact the Warren County Sheriff’s Office at 513-695-1280.

Special education teacher accused of dragging, choking, punching students

A former Oklahoma teacher is facing two misdemeanor charges after witnesses say she physically injured her special education students.

>> Watch the news report here

KFOR reported last week that Holly Noelle Morris, 38, is accused of "choking, punching, pinching and squeezing two of her students on several occasions" while she was working as a special education teacher for Piedmont Public Schools. 

>> Read more trending news 

According to an arrest affidavit, one parent said her son came home with bruises on his face and neck. A video also showed Morris dragging one student, the affidavit said.

Morris, who was arrested and charged with two counts of causing a child to be deprived, resigned in February, KFOR reported.

Read more here.

North Carolina deputies find nearly $91 million of liquid meth on truck

Deputies in North Carolina on Saturday seized a tractor-trailer containing $90.8 million worth of liquid methamphetamine in the driver's side fuel tank, WTVD reported.

>> Read more trending news

Raul Topete Arreola, 49, and Aquileo Perez Pineda, 48, were charged with three counts of trafficking methamphetamine, according to the Harnett County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies said they found 120 gallons of liquid meth in the tank, WTVD reported. Harnett County Sheriff Wayne Coats said that could be converted into 454 kilograms of crystal meth, which would carry an estimated street value of almost $91 million.

The vehicle involved was a 2009 Peterbilt and was seized in Linden, WTVD reported.

The two suspects are being detained in the Harnett County Detention Center under a $3 million bond, WTVD reported.

Police: Massachusetts man arrested for allegedly hitting dog with baseball bat

Massachusetts man was arrested Friday for allegedly abusing a dog with a baseball bat.

>> Read more trending news

Gregory Ostiguy, 50, of New Bedford, was arrested by Dartmouth Police and charged with animal cruelty.

Police responded to a report of animal abuse at around 6:50 p.m. on Friday. After an investigation, police determined that Ostiguy did in fact strike the dog with a bat.

The dog was transported to a local veterinary hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

T.I. arrest: Petition urges police to drop charges against rapper

Days after T.I. was arrested outside his gated community in Henry County, Georgia, an online petition has surfaced urging police to drop the charges against the Atlanta rapper. 

>> On AJC.com: Atlanta rapper T.I. arrested after arguing with security guard

On Wednesday, the artist, whose legal name is Clifford Harris Jr., was charged with simple assault, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness, but the Care2 petition is calling on police to drop the charges.

The organizers called the charges “ridiculous” and said T.I. deserves an apology. They also said the security guards involved were “racist.”

“A simple check would have proven who he was and the situation could have resolved there. But instead they decided to involve the police which used the opportunity, not to aid the citizen in need, but support security who were in the wrong,” they wrote on the site

They are asking for 12,000 signatures. As of Saturday afternoon, they had garnered more than 11,700 supporters. 

>> On AJC.com: ‘You work for me’: 911 call released in rapper T.I.’s arrest

Via a live Instagram video, T.I. labeled the arrest “nonsense” and “small potatoes,” adding that God will take care of it. And his attorney, Steve Sadow, said his client “was wrongfully arrested.”

The incident occurred after T.I. arrived at the gate outside his community to find the security guard sleeping. While the guard initially refused to let the rapper in, he eventually admitted him, according to an incident report from Henry County police.

>> Read more trending news 

T.I. then walked from his home back to the guard booth — a distance of more than a half-mile — and began to argue again with the guard, who called police.

He was released from the Henry County Jail about 8 a.m. Wednesday after posting $2,250 bond.

Police: Student arrested for making hatchets in welding class

A New Mexico teen is facing charges after he is accused of making hatchets in a welding class.

>> Read more trending news 

The incident took place at Career and Technology Education Center in Farmington. The 15-year-old male student was caught by his teacher Friday making hatchets during a welding class, KOB reported.

The teen fled the campus but police located him at his home, KOB reported. Farmington High School was placed on temporary lockdown while the teen was being located, police said.

The teen is facing multiple charges, including carrying or making a weapon on school campus and felony larceny, KRQE reported.

Police: Homeowner shoots home invader with arrow

Police are searching for two men after a home invasion in Pennsylvania on Friday night.

The homeowner shot one of the intruders with a bow and arrow, Allegheny County emergency dispatchers said.

>> Read more trending news 

The suspects are in their 30s, with one possibly wearing a hooded sweatshirt and one possibly wearing a red bandana, WPXI reported.

Police were using dogs as part of the search.

Lt. Sean Frank of the Shaler Police Department told WPXI the homeowner reacted quickly.

"He heard them come in through his back door, which was unlocked," Frank said. "He grabbed his bow and arrow, which he’s proficient with, and he says he fired three shots down the hallway. Doesn’t think he struck them at that point.”

However, the man told police he fired one more arrow as the pair fled and believes he hit one of them in the arm.

Bread truck driver convicted of killing unarmed black teen over stolen lunchbox

An Alabama man was convicted Wednesday of gunning down an unarmed 16-year-old as he ran away with a lunchbox stolen from the man’s bread truck. 

Jonathan Wayne Scott, 52, of Madison, wept as he was led away from the courtroom where a jury took less than two hours to convict him of manslaughter, AL.com reported. Scott faces up to 20 years in prison in the June 21, 2016, slaying of Mustafa Bearfield Jr., who was black. 

Bearfield’s mother, Shameka Williams, posted on Facebook following the verdict that her son got justice. The trial of his killer began the day after Mother’s Day. 

Scott, who is white, testified at trial that he was making a bread delivery to a Huntsville convenience store the morning of the shooting when he saw Bearfield walking away from his work truck with his lunchbox.

He testified that he yelled for the teen to drop the lunchbox, but said that Bearfield gave him a “screw you” look, AL.com reported. That’s when Scott threatened the teen with his gun. 

“I told him, ‘Drop it or I’ll shoot,’” Scott testified.

Bearfield ran and Scott chased him, firing six shots in his direction. The final shot struck Bearfield in the back of the head, killing him. 

According to AL.com, audio from 911 calls and video from police officers’ body cameras showed that Scott attempted to perform CPR on the teen, who died about a block from the convenience store. Scott’s lunchbox was found near the boy’s body.

Scott testified that he fired his gun to scare the teen into dropping the lunchbox, which he said he often used to carry a gun and thousands of dollars in cash. Police photos taken at the scene, however, show only food and drinks in the container. 

The delivery driver said he aimed his shots over Bearfield’s head, but claimed that the final shot struck the teen because he was running up a hill. 

At one point in the defense case, Scott’s attorney asked a police witness whether Bearfield had a criminal history, AL.com reported. As prosecutors objected to the question, the teen’s mother spoke up from the gallery.

“He’s not here,” Williams shouted. “He’s dead.”

Jurors also saw video of Scott’s interview with police investigators, in which he cried as he admitted killing the teen.

“It was just a cooler,” Scott told detectives, according to AL.com. “It was not worth a kid's life. He was just a boy. Why did I even try to scare him?”

Scott is being held in the Madison County Jail without bond while awaiting sentencing, jail records show

Williams posted a Mother’s Day photo of her son’s grave on a Facebook page titled Justice for Mustafa

“(I) miss my baby saying, ‘Happy Mother's Day, mommy,’ and a hug (and) kiss (and) card. My baby said (I) am a blessing to him as a mother. I cherish all the memories we have,” she wrote. 

Others mourned Bearfield on social media after his death, including staff members at his neighborhood Boys & Girls Club. 

“You were loved, will be missed and in our prayers,” a post on the club’s Facebook page read. “Right, wrong or indifferent and no matter how often a child comes to the club, they will always be considered ‘our child.’ He was taken too soon, he didn't get a chance to grow into the adult we all knew he could be or wanted to be. 

“I pray that we will never have to experience a pain like this again and justice will be served.”

200 items
Results 1 - 10 of 200 next >