Westminster, CO – Police are now saying that there is a definitive link between the murder of 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway and the attempted abduction of a jogger last May.
Jessica was last seen Oct 5 after leaving her home to walk to school. Her dismembered body was later discovered in Pattridge Park Open Space near an abandoned mining shack.
Last Memorial Day, a woman was jogging on Ketner Lake Open Space when a man tried to cover her face with a chemical-soaked rag. She was able to escape and described her attacker as an 18 to 30 year-old light-skinned male with brown hair and a medium build, about 5-feet 6 inches to 5 feet 8 inches tall.
Police say these to incidents are related, but are not revealing exactly how they have linked the two cases. “We are able to make a definitive link,” said Westminster Police Department spokesman Trevor Materasso. “We recognize the public may have questions about what constitutes that definitive link and we’re asking for their patience.…
SANTA ANA, CA — Police have arrested a 425 pound man after they say he grabbed a 10-year-old boy on his way to soccer practice, and started smelling him.
The incident happened Thursday evening when a 10-year-old boy was walking to a local park with his 19-year-old cousin. When they reached the 500 block of E. Central, 55-year-old Victor Joseph Espinoza lured the boy over to him.
Once the boy got close enough, Espinoza grabbed him and would not let go. The boy was finally able to pull free and ran to the park to notify his soccer coach what had happened.
“The little boy cam crying at me, saying that man wanted to take him,” the coach said. “He said that he grabbed him and he started smelling him.”
Espinoza was still at the front of the park when the coach saw him and confronted him.
“He goes, ‘Oh, I’m leaving, I’m leaving,’ and I said, ‘No, you’re not leaving, we’re going to wait for the cops. Because you did something wrong to that little boy.’ He tried to leave and that’s when I tackled him down.…
Portland OR — Here’s a great story out of Portland where a mother stopped a teenager from abducting her 6-year-old daughter, then used a 2×4 to deliver a bit of street justice in the process.
Antoinette Robinson’s daughter, Xavier, had been outside playing when a 17-year-old male grabbed her and tried to pull her into some bushes. That’s when Robinson sprang into action and the teen realized he had just messed with the wrong Mama Bear.
“I thought I heard something and then I looked and the man had my daughter in a bush with his hand over her mouth & around her waist,” said Antoinette Robinson. “I jumped up and ran out of the house and I just socked him in his face. Then I went to go hit him again and he let her go and we both rolled down the hill.”
The teen let go of her daughter and took off, but Robinson got into a car with neighbors and chased him down. When they found him, Robinson jumped out of the vehicle armed with a 2×4…and she wasn’t planning on building a house.…
Philadelphia, PA – Beatrice Weston, 20, who was allegedly beaten and held captive for ten years by her aunt, Linda Weston, is suing the city, claiming that the ordeal could have been avoided if proper care had been taken by Department of Human Services workers.
Ten years ago, Beatrice Weston was placed in the care of Linda Weston, who had served eight years for killing her sister’s boyfriend in the 80’s.
In that case, the victim, Bernardo Ramos, 25, “was held captive for an extended period of time, locked in a closet and he literally starved to death,” Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said in October. The facts of the case are a tad more gruesome than Ramsey makes them out to be. As it turns out, the man was held in that locked closet for a two month span, and was fed only four times during that entire period. When he died, he weighed only 75 pounds. His body was found in an abandoned building, wheeled there in a baby carriage.…
Police were called by Haarup’s fiancé, Matt Meyers, after he came home Friday to find the sisters were not there and his 6- and 18-month old daughters had been left alone and in the same crib.
Reports are that there was also blood on the couch, a truck was missing as well as some guns that had been in the home. They would be found Saturday on an abandoned road. There were no signs of foul play, and nothing was found during an initial search of the surrounding fields.
Fearing an abduction but hoping that the two women were still alive, family members gathered that night and held a candle-light vigil to pray for their safe return.
“Whoever has them, give them a phone, have them call us, put an end to this,” the girl’s father, Paul Haarup pleaded.
On Sunday, the Platte County Sheriff’s Department said they were speaking with a person of interest in the case and have executed two search warrants. …
SALT LAKE CITY, UT — Terry Lee Black, the 41-year-old man accused of kidnapping, raping and murdering 6-year-old Sierra Newbold, made his first court appearance today.
For those of you who missed the story, Sierra was reported missing by her mother on the morning of June 26 after she woke up to find that her daughter was not in the house. Thirty minutes later, the little girl was found dead, floating face down in a nearby canal.
Autopsy reports would show that Sierra died from drowning, but that she had also been raped, strangled and beaten.
A video camera mounted on Newbold’s home captured a man entering through a sliding glass door at around 3:00 a.m. and leave moments later carrying something. Police would also find Sierra’s pink pajama bottoms and underwear in a burnt out field a short distance from Sierra’s home.
Three days later, Black was arrested shortly after robbing a Wells Fargo bank in West Jordan. He got caught after leaving the bank and returning to a Jeep he had stolen earlier.…
West Jordan, UT – Early Tuesday morning, Kathy and Brad Newbold awoke to find that their six-year-old daughter, Sierra, was missing. She wasn’t in her bed at the family’s suburban Salt Lake City home. She wasn’t anywhere. Kathy Newbold called police to report her daughter missing, and within a half hour, Sierra’s body was located in a canal a block from her house. Yesterday, an autopsy found that Sierra was sexually assaulted and murdered while her parents slept.
That’s the story, so far. Cute little girl allegedly abducted from her bed, apparently murdered, dumped in a canal. It’s already national news. The parents are not, at this time, considered suspects. West Jordan is on high predator alert. It’s a tragedy. So far, it appears to be that rarest of crimes – a stranger abduction. Not unheard of in Utah (see Elizabeth Smart), but uncommon anywhere.
I dunno, though. Maybe I’m cynical, jaded by years of stories that start out this way and end with a parent or weird relative or family friend on trial.…
Ottawa, Canada – Two 15-year-old girls who were arrested on Friday and Saturday are facing charges that include human trafficking, robbery, abduction, forcible confinement, and sexual assault after police launched a sting into what was believed to be a prostitution ring.
The two girls were allegedly running the operation, whose victims ranged in age from 13 to 17, with another girl, aged 17. The 17-year-old is yet to be located. One of the accused is also facing charges for delivering a noxious substance.
Police are reporting that the victims were taken to an apartment complex “for social reasons,” but were then transported against their will to various locations to meet with adults for sex. The accused cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
“When you think of human trafficking and the stereotypes that go with it, right or wrong, you don’t think of three young-offender girls,” Staff Sgt. John McGetrick told CTV Ottawa. “It’s shocking for our team. They’ve never seen anything like this.”
He also said that he does not believe the teens were acting on behalf of an adult, but that they were engaging in their activities on their own initiative.…
Warren, MI — A 22-year-old pregnant woman and her unborn child are lucky to be alive after the expectant mother survived being abducted, set on fire and then shot.
The woman, who is 9-months pregnant, told police that the incident started after seeing a movie with her baby’s father and dropping him off at his new girlfriend’s home.
After pulling into the garage and getting out of the car, the garage door unexpectedly closed and someone grabbed her by the throat, put a gun to her head and told her to get on the ground.
According to Warren Police Commissioner Jere Green, duct tape was placed over her mouth and wrapped around her hands and feet. She was then blindfolded, placed in the back of her car and driven to an alley in Detroit.
The woman said her kidnapper had a male voice and implied that this was happening because of her pregnancy. He asked how far along she was before she felt lighter fluid being poured over her. To her horror, the next thing she heard was a match being struck before she was set on fire.…
Conroe, TX – Verna McClain, 30, a Texas nurse accused of capital murder in the April 17th shooting of 28-year-old Kala Golden, has been denied bond by a judge in a Conroe court. McClain, who has three children from a defunct relationship, claims that she had planned to kidnap a baby in order to conceal her recent miscarriage from her fiancé. She had apparently told him that she’d already birthed his baby. So, you know, she had pretty much no choice but to murder a woman and steal her child.
According to police documents, McClain was not targeting a specific baby. Golden just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, as someone less concerned with using clichés might say. On April 17th, Golden was leaving Northwoods Pediatric Center, about 25 miles north of Houston, after a 2 PM checkup with her son. She reportedly got into a verbal altercation with another woman, McClain, who was parked in a Lexus next to the victim’s pickup truck.…
Houston, TX — Police have charged three people with abducting a woman, beating her and then setting her on fire.
According to court documents, 25-year-old Garrick “Joker” Hastings told a friend that he had killed a prostitute who had stole $6,000 from him. He claimed he had her kidnapped and taken to an abandoned trailer where he beat her with a metal rod, tied her up and then set her on fire.
Unfortunately, it turns out he wasn’t lying. However, he wasn’t entirely correct. Surprisingly, the woman somehow survived the attack, even though she suffered burns to 80 percent of her body, and had identified her attackers to police.
According to the victim’s aunt, her niece lived with her boyfriend and Hastings, an alleged drug dealer and gang member. She says that shortly after hearing her niece arguing with Hastings about drugs and money, the victim was abducted from a motel and taken to a trailer. She was reportedly held there by 37-year-old Anita Pena until Hastings showed up.
When Hastings arrived he, along with 37-year-old Thomas Martin, tied her up and beat her with an iron bar before setting her on fire and leaving her for dead.…
Angela Allen, 16, was last seen on Feb 10 at around 7:30 p.m. after telling her grandmother that she was going out for a walk in the neighborhood. When she never returned, her family called police to report her as a possible runaway.
After doing some investigating, police found that Allen had been communicating with 36-year-old Lloyd Jones, a convicted rapist, on a social networking site. The pair had also been texting for the last few days, Jones allegedly posing as a boy in the 11th grade.
“They conversed back and forth,” said Chief Kenneth Bell with the Van Buren Police Department. “He groomed her. They built a relationship. He picked her up.”
Jones was eventually picked up and placed in police custody on an aggravated assault charge. He eventually gave police information that led to them to a plastic barrel buried three feet deep in a shallow grave on property owned by Jones’ family.…
Brooklyn, NY – Back in July, Morbid reported on the case of the killing of 8-year-old Leiby Kletzky whose dismembered body were found, among other places, in 35-year-old Levi Aron’s freezer. The case has recently made news based on Aron’s lawyer’s claim that… well… everything is a mitigating factor.
The background of the story is this… Leiby Kletzky attended day camp. He normally took a bus home but wanted desperately to walk home instead. After listening to his begging, his parents agreed to allow him to walk part of the way home – a distance of 7-blocks. He would meet his mother for a doctor’s appointment. His parents were reported to have worked with him to memorize the route. They then also practiced the route together on a ‘dry run.’
On the day that Leiby was to walk home, he left the day camp wearing a striped shirt with his bag over his shoulder and a smaller bag on his waist. He initially followed the route as planned but, then, missed a turn on to a side street.…
BETHANY, Oklahoma – Back in October we reported on Carina Saunders, the 19-year-old girl whose dead body was found stuffed inside a duffel bag. Yesterday police announced they have arrested 33-year-old Jimmy Lee Massey on a complaint of first-degree murder.
He wasn’t hard to find as he was already sitting in jail on drug trafficking charges after being the focus of a large narcotics investigation. Massey has also been charged with the kidnapping and assault of an unknown witness who was the key to cracking the case, and where things get really, really strange.
In case you didn’t click the link to our initial story, Saunders was last seen around an apartment complex on October 8 or 9. Animal rescue workers found her dismembered body in a duffel bag behind a Homeland store a little over a week later.
During their investigation, police learned that a woman may have witnessed the murder of Saunders and after tracking the woman down, they were told a story right out of a bad movie.…
Sacramento, CA — Police in California have arrested a 17-year-old girl after they say she faked her own abduction last week.
Last Thursday, the family of Christina Almanza called police after they found her missing and had a voicemail from the teen stating she had been abducted and was being held hostage by several men. The family then began receiving a series of text messages from Almanza in which she informed them she was in a basement with two other girls, and didn’t know where she was. She also indicated that someone might have been killed.
A statewide Amber Alert was issued and a task force of police, deputies, FBI agents and U.S. Marshals were assembled who began searching for the girl, locating her on Friday afternoon. Police found her in a home of a man she had met online. She was unharmed, but the same cannot be said for the aggressive pit bull police shot when they entered the home.
Police questioned Almanza, the mother of a 2-year-old, who finally cracked and admitted the entire thing was a hoax.…
Carrollton, Texas — The child’s body found Sunday afternoon has been positively identified by the Dallas County Medical Examiner as 10-year-old Jasmen Gonzalez, who went missing Saturday night.
Jasmen and her parents are from Oklahoma and were in Texas visiting relatives. On Saturday a party was held at the home where they were staying and Jasmen was reported missing shortly before midnight.
Initial reports stated the girl may have been sleepwalking and gotten lost in an unfamiliar neighborhood, but those reports were later dismissed with police saying the girl had been abducted.
Her body was found on Sunday afternoon, a few blocks from the home she vanished from. According to a police affidavit, there was no shirt on Jasmen’s body, and her pants and underwear were pulled down. The medical examiner reported Jasmen died from a stab wound to the chest.
Police have towed two cars from the apartment complex’s parking lot and say they are questioning 23-year-old Jose Concepcion Sifuentes, who attended the party held at the home where Jasmen and her parents were staying.…
Portage, IN — Police were called by motorists on an Indiana highway who reported seeing a naked woman running along the roadway while being chased by man in a car. Court documents filed by prosecutors described callers saying that the woman was “running for her life.” With a rope trailing her that was still tied around one ankle, she was able to duck into a liquor store. The man in the car, Martin Jonassen, 55, of Elwood, Kansas, reportedly followed her inside.
The clerk in the liquor store described the woman pleading for help and holding on to a set of cooler doors while Jonassen – coming in just seconds after here – grabbed her by the waist and pulled her away. He reportedly took the woman out of the store and threw her into his car.
The police account says that a police officer in the area responded and – seeing Jonassen leaving in his vehicle – blocked Jonassen’s car between the liquor store building and her cruiser. The officer approached the car with her gun drawn, police said, and ordered Jonassen out.…
AURORA, Colo. – Police have found the 15-year-old girl we reported on earlier this week who had faked her own abduction.
An officer in an unmarked police car spotted Jasmine Fike near a fast-food restaurant on Monday. She had altered her appearance and had been staying in a motel she had checked into using a fake ID.
The teen sparked a statewide Amber Alert after calling 911 and reporting a man, a convicted drug dealer, was trying to break into her home last Wednesday. When police arrived, Fike was missing and there were signs of a struggle. Police would later report that while they were still actively looking for Fike, the entire abduction was a hoax orchestrated by the teen.
She is currently in a juvenile facility, but cops made a strange comment when they were asked what kind of condition Fike was in when they found her.
“Her condition is relevant to what she’s been through, and if I comment on that, it would be a clue to what we’re investigating,” Aurora Police Detective Bob Friel told the Denver Post.…