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Friday, 07 March 2014 15:47

UPDATE: Police find missing toddler safe

UPDATE: The 3-year-old boy reported missing earlier this afternoon has been found safe in Springfield, Missouri. Police say Jamil Hanson took Jaden Hansen from the boy's mother earlier today. An Amber Alert was issued. Jaden seems to be in good condition.

 

Bolivar, MO (KTRS) - An Amber Alert has been issued after police say a three-year-old boy was taken from his mother in Bolivar, Missouri.

 

Jaden Hanson was last seen with Jamil Hanson. Jamil is described as a 29-year-old black male, 5' 9" tall, and 212 pounds. Jaden was wearing a white jumper when he was taken. Jamil was seen driving from the scene in a white Hyundai with Missouri plates C-J-7-D-0-K. If anyone has information or sees the pair, they can dial 911.

 

Bolivar, 30 miles north of Springfield

Published in Local News
   ST. LOUIS (AP) — Neighbors watched in horror as a 10-year-old southwest Missouri girl was snatched off the street just blocks from her home.
   Some had spotted a man in a gold Ford Ranger pickup truck driving down the road in Springfield several times before taking off with the girl, investigators said. The residents even called 911 to report the truck's license number.
   But the vehicle moved too quickly. And Hailey Owens was gone.
   Now prosecutors have charged Craig Michael Wood with first-degree murder, kidnapping and armed criminal action. In filing the charges Wednesday, they alleged that the 45-year-old middle school football coach and teacher's aide abducted Hailey as she walked home from a friend's house Tuesday.
   A probable cause statement said the fourth-grader's body was found stuffed in two trash bags inside plastic storage containers in the basement of Wood's Springfield home. She had been shot in the head, according to Greene County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Patterson.
   The basement floor was still damp from bleach, according to the probable cause statement.
   Authorities won't officially confirm that the body is Hailey's until after an autopsy, but Springfield Police Paul Williams said "we have a high degree of confidence" in the preliminary identification, which indicates that it is the girl.
   According to the probable cause statement, resident Michelle Edwards told police she and her husband were in their garage when saw a pickup truck approach the girl, who was holding a cellphone. She said the driver asked the girl for directions before he grabbed her with one hand and threw her into the truck "like a rag doll."
   Another resident, Ricky Riggins, told the Springfield News-Leader that he chased the fleeing pickup in his car after a neighbor tried to pull the girl away.
   "I couldn't keep up," Riggins said. "He was probably five to six cars ahead of me. ... It was so fast."
   Wood was inside a truck parked outside his home when police arrested him Tuesday night. The probable cause statement said he was holding a roll of duct tape when officers arrived.
   The truck is registered to Wood's father, Jim Wood, who told police he loaned the vehicle to his son. The father, who lives in nearby Ash Grove, declined an interview request from The Associated Press.
   He and the girl apparently didn't know each other. Hailey attended Westport Elementary School; Wood worked at Pleasant View School.
   "There's no connection that we've been able to determine at this time between the victim and the suspect," Williams said.
   Springfield school officials said Wood is a seventh-grade football coach and teacher's aide who supervises in-school suspensions at Pleasant View, which has students in kindergarten through eighth grade.
   Norm Ridder, the Springfield district's superintendent, said in a statement Wednesday that Wood began working for the district in August 1998. He said Wood has been suspended since his arrest.
   Wood was initially hired as a temporary employee who worked as a substitute teacher before he was hired full time in 2006, school district spokeswoman Teresa Bledsoe said later Wednesday. He has coached football at Pleasant View since 1998 and was also an assistant boys' basketball coach.
   "He met all of our qualifications for employment," Bledsoe said, noting that the Springfield district has a more rigorous background check requirement than state law, with an additional screening designed to detect substantiated allegations of child abuse or neglect as well as any past criminal violations.
   Online court records show Wood had little criminal history. He pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance in 1990 in Greene County and was fined $100. Wood also was convicted in 2001 for illegal taking of wildlife, a misdemeanor.
   Williams said police have no idea of a motive for the killing. He said Wood has not talked to investigators since his arrest.
   Joe Bridges, a local music promoter who organized a candlelight vigil for Hailey scheduled for Saturday, told The Associated Press that residents in the city of 162,000 are collectively mourning the child's abduction and death.
   "The community is walking around right now with a very heavy heart," said Bridges, who described himself as a distant relative of Hailey but said he didn't know her well. "Everybody is just speechless."
Published in Local News

   A Jefferson City boy and the St. Louis man charged with kidnapping him are both dead after an apparent murder-suicide.  The bodies of six year old Markell Beasley and 40 year old Demetrius Beasley were found shot to death Tuesday night at a home in Cape Girardeau. Police are still investigating, but say it appears the man shot the child and then turned the gun on himself.

   Police say Demetrius Beasley wasn't the boy's biological father, but had had a relationship with the child's mother.  She told police she had allowed her son to travel to St. Louis from Jefferson City on Saturday for a Christmas gathering with Demetrius Beasley's family. But the mother said she later learned there was no gathering and that Beasley didn't intend to return her son.  

   Police had charged the St. Louis man with kidnapping Tuesday morning.

Published in Local News

   An endangered persons advisory has been cancelled after three children were found safe.  

   Authorities in St. Francois County say  7 year old Jesus Mendoza, 5 year old Juliana Mendoza, and 3 year old Jaysnia Mendoza were found last night.  

   Police say the children's mother, 28 year old Julie Mendoza doesn't have custody and she failed to return the children after a weekend visit.  

   The children were located with their mother and her boyfriend in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  It's believed they were en route to California.

   Charges are likely.

Published in Local News

An Illinois AMBER Alert has been canceled.

A 13-year-old Champaign, Illinois girl abducted Thursday has been found safe in a Cape Girardeau Wal-Mart, according to the Champaign Police Department. Cleo Younce called her mother yesterday to say she had been abducted by 21-year-old Nicholas Hurley. Younce and Hurley had met about a month earlier through a mutual acquaintance.

It is not known why Hurley abducted the teen.

EARLIER:

Illinois authorities have issued an Amber Alert for a 13-year-old girl from Champaign, Illinois.

Police say that Cleo Younce was taken Thursday afternoon at 3:24. Younce was taken 21-year-old Nicholas Hurley. The pair were last seen in a Bronze 2000 Chevy Suburban with Indiana license plate 2-6-1-C-T-D.

Younce is described as a white female, with blonde hair and blue eyes. She is 5'8" tall and was last seen wearing black half jacket, black tank top, dark jeans, black and teal K-Swiss shoes.

Hurley is a white male with brown hair and eyes. He is 6'8" tall and weights around 300 pounds.

Anyone with information or who sees the pair should call 911.

Published in Local News

   An elementary school-aged child is safe after police say a man tried to force her into a van at a bus stop.

   The girl was waiting for the bus in the 4100 block on Muro Lane in Bridgeton Wednesday. She told officers that a man in a white van parked and asked her to help him load something into the vehicle. When she refused, the man grabbed her. The girl escaped and the suspect drove off in the van.

   Pattonville School District officials say its the second incident in Bridgeton this week.  District officials sent a letter to parents saying that on Tuesday a man had approached an elementary school student in the Spanish Village neighborhood asking to talk. The boy ran away.

   In both cases, the suspect is described as a white man in his 40s.  The girl told police he has a tattoo on his right forearm and was wearing a camouflage jacket with black pants and a black baseball hat.  

   Bridgeton police say they don't know if the incidents are related, but they're ask anyone with information to call them at 314-739-7557.

   The Bridgeton incidents come less than a week after a suspicious incident at an Ellisville bus stop. A fourth-grade girl was waiting for the bus when she says a woman in a white van tried to coax her into the vehicle three separate times. The girl ran home and her parents called police.

  

Published in Local News

Shrewsbury police say a suspicious event in a part this month was just an innocent mistake.

Police issued a warning on Tuesday after a couple came forward saying a woman tried to walk away with their young boy in the park. The mother said a woman approached her two-year-old son, grabbed his hand, and started to walk away. The mother believed her son was being abducted. The mother grabbed her boy and the woman walked away.

It turns out the woman works at a concession stand and was just trying to help the boy find his parents. Police say there was no ill intent and are calling the situation a misunderstanding.

Published in Local News

CASCADE, Idaho (AP) — Law enforcement officials in Idaho say they are making sure Hannah Anderson is getting the physical and emotional care she needs after a harrowing weeklong search ended in the wilderness yesterday with her rescue and the death of the man who apparently kidnapped her.

FBI agents first spotted the California teen and James DiMaggio from the air, then moved in on their campsite.

DiMaggio is suspected of killing Anderson's mother and brother, who were found in his burning house outside San Diego last week.

The 16-year-old appeared to be uninjured and is expected to be reunited with her father today. She has been recuperating in an Idaho hospital.

The FBI is sending investigators to try to fill in the details about the ordeal. DiMaggio was a friend of the Anderson family, and Hannah's father says the children thought of him as an uncle.

 

Published in National News

   LAKESIDE, Calif. (AP) — Amber Alerts expanded to Oregon and Washington as authorities searched for a Southern California man suspected of abducting a 16-year-old girl and wanted in the death of the girl's mother and possibly her 8-year-old brother.

   Oregon state police said there was a possible sighting of James Lee DiMaggio's blue Nissan Versa in northeast California near Alturas on Wednesday, followed by another about 50 miles along the same highway near Lakeview, in south-central Oregon.

   Investigators have said DiMaggio may be headed to Texas or Canada with 16-year-old Hannah Anderson and possibly her 8-year-old brother Ethan, though investigators said a charred body discovered along with the mother could be the boy.

   Also Wednesday, a friend of Hannah Anderson said DiMaggio told Hannah he had a crush on her and would date her if they were the same age.

   DiMaggio explained that he didn't want the girls to think he was weird in an effort to defend himself after noticing they exchanged glances, 15-year-old Marissa Chavez said. She said he spoke while driving them home from a high school gymnastics meet a couple months ago.

   Hannah Anderson asked Chavez to join her from then on whenever DiMaggio, 40, drove her to meets.

   "She was a little creeped out by it. She didn't want to be alone with him," Chavez said.

   DiMaggio was like an uncle to Hannah and 8-year-old Ethan. He was very close with their parents for years.

   On Sunday night, authorities found the body of 42-year-old Christina Anderson when they extinguished flames at DiMaggio's rural home. A child's body was found as they sifted through rubble in Boulevard, a tiny town 65 miles east of San Diego on the U.S.-Mexico border.

   The child's body has not been identified but it may be Ethan, sheriff's Lt. Glenn Giannantonio said late Tuesday.

   Christina Anderson's father, Christopher Saincome, said Wednesday that his daughter visited DiMaggio's home last weekend to say goodbye before he moved to Texas. DiMaggio, who works as a telecommunications technician at The Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, was a regular presence at the Anderson family apartment in Lakeside, a suburb of 54,000 people.

   "He must have had this planned," Saincome said.

   Saincome said nothing seemed amiss when he called his daughter at work Friday to let her know she didn't call on his birthday. Anderson, a medical assistant, said she would call back that night but never did.

   Investigators had no evidence that the relationship between DiMaggio and the missing girl was more than friendly.

   "We're not looking into that directly at this point," Giannantonio said.

   DiMaggio is wanted on suspicion of murder and arson in a search that began in Southern California and spread to Mexico and neighboring states.

   DiMaggio's sister, Lora Robinson, told U-T San Diego that the allegations against her brother were "completely out of character." She said he spent four years in the Navy, left the service to care for her after their mother died of cancer, and volunteered rescuing animals.

   "He is the kindest person in the world," Robinson said.

Published in National News

CLEVELAND (AP) - A Cleveland man accused of holding three women captive in his home for about a decade has pleaded guilty in a deal to avoid the death penalty.

Ariel Castro entered the plea Friday. In exchange, prosecutors are recommending the 53-year-old Castro be sentenced to life without parole plus 1,000 years.

Castro says a pornography addiction and "sexual problem" have taken a toll on his mind. He also says he was sexually abused as a child.

He had been charged in a 977-count indictment. He is pleading guilty to 937 counts.

He had been scheduled for trial Aug. 5 on allegations that include repeatedly restraining the women and punching and starving one woman until she had a miscarriage.

The women disappeared separately between 2002 and 2004. They escaped from Castro's house May 6.

Published in National News
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