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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - The mid-February kidnapping death of a 10-year-old Springfield girl has led to calls to changes Missouri's Amber Alert system.
 
Fourth-grader Hailey Owens was walking just a block from her home when she was abducted.  Springfield police responded within 10 minutes of the initial 911 call. But the statewide child abduction alert didn't go out for more than two hours.
   
The Kansas City Star reports that a grassroots campaign in southwest Missouri is working to speed up an alert system that requires three-page forms be filled out by hand and then sent by fax.
 
Middle school football coach Craig Michael Wood has been charged in the girl's death after police reported finding her body in Wood's basement.
Published in Local News
Wednesday, 19 February 2014 04:49

Suspect in Amber Alert captured, girl found dead

UPDATE: St. Louis, MO (KTRS)
Springfield police say 10-year-old Hailey Owens is dead.
 
Searchers found her body sometime this morning. Hailey was abducted around 5, Tuesday evening. Witnesses told investigators that a man in a pickup drove up and down the street several times before approaching Hailey and pulling her into his truck. A neighbor told police he ran after the truck after seeing the abduction while his wife tried to get the license plate number.
 
Around midnight, police announced they had captured a suspect in the case. At a 6:30 press conference the police announced they had found Hailey. Police have identified the suspect as Craig Michael Wood.
 
 EARLIER:
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) -- Police have a suspect in custody in the abduction of a 10-year-old girl in southwest Missouri, but the girl remains missing.
Springfield police released a statement just before midnight Wednesday saying dozens of officers were still searching for Hailey Owens, but that a man had been taken into custody on kidnapping charges.
The suspect’s name hasn’t been released. Police say he was found inside a vehicle at a local home.
Witnesses told investigators a man in a gold-colored 2008 Ford Ranger drove down the street several times before approaching Hailey and pulling her into his truck around 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Amber Alerts were issued in Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma.
Hailey is 5-foot-2, about 90 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. She was wearing jean shorts and purple sandals.
Published in Local News

   A St. Louis County toddler who was the subject of S.A.R.A.A. and AMBER Alerts is safe.  

   St. Louis County Police had issued the alerts Monday evening after one year old Tristian Readye was taken from a home in the 2900 block of Patterson Road in North County.  Police say the boy had been seen about 8:00 p.m. riding in a stolen Monte Carlo.  

   Authorities canceled the alerts about 11:00 p.m. after the child was found abandoned in that car at Illinois and South Broadway in South St. Louis.

   There's no word if police have caught the person who took him.

Published in Local News

ANDERSON, Mo. (AP) — Police in far southwest Missouri have issued an Amber Alert for a 6-month-old boy missing for more than a week.

The Anderson Police Department issued the alert Friday evening for Mitchell Farris, who has been missing since January 2nd from an apartment in the McDonald County town.

The alert identified two adults being sought as 34-year-old Preston Farris, described as a 5-foot-10 white male weighing 230 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes; and 30-year-old Anastasia McDaniel, a 5-foot-8, blue-eyed white female weighing 172 pounds.

The alert did not describe the relationship, if any, between baby Mitchell Farris and Preston Farris, and a call to police was not immediately returned.

The alert said the adults may be driving a red 2004 Ford Freestar with the Missouri license plate UH7D2R.

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

   SAN DIEGO (AP) — A close family friend suspected of abducting a 16 year old girl after killing her mother and younger brother fired his rifle at FBI agents before they killed him deep in the Idaho wilderness, authorities said Monday.

   Hannah Anderson didn't know her mother and brother were dead until she was rescued from 40 year old James Lee DiMaggio, San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore said.

   "I can't make it any clearer: She was a victim in this case. She was not a willing participant," Gore said at a news conference with Hannah's father, Brett Anderson.

   During a shootout with the FBI, DiMaggio fired at least once and perhaps twice, the sheriff said.

   Hannah Anderson reunited with family in San Diego to begin what her father said would be a slow recovery. He thanked the horseback riders who reported seeing the pair near an alpine lake, saying the search might have taken much longer without them.

   "She has been through a tremendous, horrific ordeal," said Brett Anderson, who declined to answer questions and pleaded for privacy.

   Christopher Saincome, Hannah's grandfather, said his son-in-law wanted to take Hannah with him to Tennessee, where he recently moved. Saincome told him that she should stay in the San Diego area, where she was raised and has a large circle of friends.

   "I think she needs to be here with friends," Saincome said. "I know she's taking it very tough. One of her best friends is with her, talking to her."

   Gore declined to address how Hannah's mother and brother died, describe Hannah's captivity or say whether she tried to escape. The sheriff also refused to discuss the rescue or how many times DiMaggio was shot, other than to say the suspect is believed to have fired first and that Hannah was nearby.

   Gore said the crime was "not spur of the moment" but would not elaborate. Sheriff's Capt. Duncan Fraser said last week that investigators believe DiMaggio may have had an "unusual infatuation" with the girl.

   DiMaggio is suspected of killing 44 year old Christina Anderson and 8 year old Ethan Anderson and leaving their bodies in his burning home near San Diego on Aug. 4. Hannah's disappearance triggered a massive search in much of the western United States and parts of Canada and Mexico that ended with Saturday's shootout and rescue.

   A DiMaggio family friend, Andrew Spanswick, said the suspect appears to have followed in his father's footsteps in a carefully laid plan. His house burned down exactly 15 years after his father disappeared. Saturday's shootout came exactly 15 years after his father committed suicide.

   The younger DiMaggio "clearly had a death wish," Spanswick said.

   The father, James Everet DiMaggio, was arrested after breaking into the home of his ex-girlfriend in 1988, wearing a ski mask and a carrying a sawed-off shotgun and handcuffs, Spanswick said. The former girlfriend wasn't home, but DiMaggio held her 16 year daughter and her boyfriend at gunpoint. The girl escaped after asking to use the bathroom.

   The elder DiMaggio was imprisoned for a separate attack and died in 1998 after consuming a large amount of methamphetamine intravenously and walking into the desert.

   The massive search for Hannah Anderson probably would have taken longer if a sharp-eyed retired sheriff and three other horseback riders in the rugged backcountry hadn't seen the pair Wednesday. Gore called it the "key event" in the search.

   Mark John, who retired as a Gem County sheriff in 1996, shared his suspicions with the Idaho State Police after encountering DiMaggio and the girl on the trail. That enabled investigators to focus efforts on a specific portion of the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, a roadless 3,600-square-mile preserve in the heart of Idaho.

   "They just didn't fit," said John, 71. "He might have been an outdoorsman in California, but he was not an outdoorsman in Idaho. ... Red flags kind of went up."

   Initially, it was the lack of openness on the trail and a reluctance to engage in the polite exchange of banter like so many other recreationists John has encountered during horseback excursions.

   The riders were puzzled why Anderson and DiMaggio were hiking in the opposite direction of their stated destination, the Salmon River.

   But more than anything, it was their gear — or lack of it. Neither was wearing hiking boots or rain gear. DiMaggio, described as an avid hiker in his home state of California, was toting only a light pack. It even appeared Anderson was wearing pajama bottoms.

   The riders had a second encounter Wednesday, this one at the lake as they were getting ready to head back down the trail.

   But it wasn't until Thursday afternoon when the Johns returned home and saw the girl's photographs on the news that they made a connection and notified police.

   On Friday, police found DiMaggio's car, hidden under brush at a trailhead on the border of the wilderness area. A day later, searchers spotted the pair by air, and two FBI hostage teams moved in on the camp at Morehead Lake, about 8 miles inside the wilderness border and 40 miles east of the central Idaho town of Cascade.

   Rescue teams were dropped by helicopter about 2 1/2 hours away from where Anderson and DiMaggio were spotted by the lake, said FBI spokesman Jason Pack. The team had to hike with up to 100 pounds of tactical gear along a rough trail characterized by steep switchbacks and treacherous footing.

   DiMaggio was extraordinarily close to the family, driving Hannah to gymnastics meets and Ethan to football practice.

___

Dvorak reported from Boise, Idaho. Associated Press writers Julie Watson in San Diego, Tami Abdollah in Los Angeles, and Rebecca Boone in Cascade, Idaho, contributed to this report.

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

UPDATE:

An Amber Alerty issued for Missouri has been canceled. Police found missing 8-year-old boy Lu'Vell Maurice Dukes. 

Police say the boy is in good condition and is being taken to see his mother. The boy's biological father, Von Harrell Jr. has been arrested.

EARLIER:

An Amber Alert is active for Missouri.

Police say 8-year-old Luvell Maurice Dukes was abducted by his father Friday afternoon. The full Amber Alert is below:

The Bel Nor Police Department has issued an Amber Alert for a child abduction that occurred Thursday May 30. Abducted was Luvell Maurice Dukes, an 8 year old black male, 3'06" 43 lbs., black hair and brown eyes.

The suspect is believed to be Von Harrell, a 30 year old black male, 5'08" 155 lbs., black hair and brown eyes.

The suspect vehicle is a grey 2007 Chevrolet Impala bearing Missouri registration MG3Z8W.

Anyone seeing the victim, suspect or vehicle or anyone having any information related to the abduction should immediately dial 911 or call the Bel Nor Police Department at 314-381-2971.

Published in Local News

An Amber Alert has been issued for the entire state of Illinois.

1-year-old Bryeon Hunter was taken Tuesday by three Hispanic men, driving a two door black sports car.

Bryeon is a black boy, about 2 feet tall, and weighing about 30 pounds. He was last seen wearing a blue striped long-sleeve shirt, blue jeans, and blue and brown Nike boots.

Bryeon was taken from Maywood in the city of Chicago.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Maywood Police Department at 708.450.4471

Published in Local News

GLADSTONE, Mo. (AP) - An Amber alert is out for a 5-year-old girl who was taken from her father's home in a Kansas City suburb.

Gladstone police believe Lili Justine High was taken by her mother's friend, Tammi J. Lampkins, also known as Tammi J. Kelly.

Lili's father told police Lampkins stopped at his home Sunday evening. He says when he was briefly out of the room, Lampkins left with the girl.

Lampkins was driving a 1996 green four-door Mazda 626 with Missouri license plate SJ9JOU. It is extensively damaged on the passenger side.

Lili was wearing gray and red spandex pants, a yellow T-shirt and no shoes. She is missing her four front teeth.

Lampkins is 5 feet 4 inches tall, 116 pounds and has brown hair and brown eyes.

 

Published in Local News
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