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Tuesday
Jul252017

Survivor of alleged human-smuggling case says he knew trip would be dangerous

ABC News(SAN ANTONIO) -- An undocumented immigrant who survived a trip across the U.S.-Mexico border in a tractor-trailer packed with people said he knew the trip would be dangerous, but he made the journey anyway because he needed to find work.

A total of 39 people, including children, were found inside the tractor-trailer parked outside a San Antonio, Texas, Walmart this weekend, officials said. Ten people, all adult men, died in the alleged smuggling attempt, and 29 people were being treated at hospitals, according to officials.

Temperatures inside the vehicle climbed to over 100 degrees, officials said.

The truck was discovered early Sunday morning by San Antonio firefighters and police after a Walmart employee called late Saturday for a welfare check when someone asked the employee for water, officials said.

The responding authorities "discovered an alien-smuggling venture gone horribly wrong," U.S. Attorney Richard Durbin Jr. of the Western District of Texas said in a statement.

"All were victims of ruthless human smugglers indifferent to the well-being of their fragile cargo,” he said. “The South Texas heat is punishing this time of year. These people were helpless in the hands of their transporters. Imagine their suffering, trapped in a stifling trailer in 100-plus-degree heat."

A criminal complaint alleges that when a San Antonio police officer responded to the scene, the driver, James Mathew Bradley Jr., 60, exited the tractor-trailer and told the officer that the trailer he was hauling had been sold, and he was taking it from Iowa to Brownsville, Texas. Bradley told the officer he was unaware of the contents, the criminal complaint said.

The criminal complaint alleges Bradley did "knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that aliens had come to, entered or remained in the United States in violation of law, transport and move and attempt to transport and move such aliens for the purpose of commercial advantage of private financial gain ... and approximately 36 others within the United States by means of transportation and otherwise, in furtherance of such violation of law resulting in the death of approximately 10 of the aliens so transported."

Bradley told the officer he was unaware of the contents, the criminal complaint said.

Bradley also told the officer "after he parked his tractor trailer he exited the vehicle to urinate when he heard movement in the trailer. Bradley said he then went to the rear of the trailer and opened the door. Bradley stated he tried to administer aid to the occupants," according to the document.

Bradley, of Clearwater, Florida, made his first appearance in federal court Monday; he did not make any statements beyond saying "yes" to the judge as she explained the charges and that he would also need a death penalty attorney. Bradley has a court-appointed attorney, who declined to comment.

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Monday
Jul242017

18-year-old arrested after allegedly livestreaming deadly car crash 

Merced County Sheriff Office(STOCKTON, Calif.) -- A California teenager is accused of driving under the influence and causing a deadly car crash while livestreaming on social media.

The driver, Obdulia Sanchez, 18, of Stockton, California, crashed on July 21 in Los Banos, California, about 80 miles southeast of San Jose, the California Highway Patrol said. The crash happened when the car went through a barbed wire fence and overturned in a field, ejecting the two passengers, the highway patrol said.

The passengers were both 14 years old and were not wearing seat belts; one was killed and the other suffered a major injury, the highway patrol said.

ABC-owned station KFSN-TV in Fresno reported that Sanchez was livestreaming video on Instagram when the crash occurred. Video before the crash shows her singing and dancing along to music as she drives.

In live video following the crash, Sanchez references the victim as her sister.

"I f------ killed my sister," Sanchez says in the video, according to KFSN-TV. "I know I’m going to jail for life. ... I don't f------ care at all."

Chuck Mosley, commander of the highway patrol in Los Banos, confirmed the authenticity of the video obtained by KFSN-TV and told ABC News, "We do know she was livestreaming via social media at the time of the collision."

The highway patrol said alcohol is believed to be a factor in the crash.

Sanchez was arrested and booked at the Merced County Jail, charged with DUI alcohol/drugs causing bodily injury and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. She is being held on a $300,000 bond. It was not immediately clear if Sanchez had an attorney.

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Monday
Jul242017

Harrowing details revealed in deadly alleged human-smuggling case in Texas 

DJ Mack/Instagram (SAN ANTONIO) -- An undocumented immigrant who survived an alleged smuggling attempt on a stifling hot tractor-trailer where 10 people died told investigators that the driver ignored their banging from inside a shipping container as they took turns breathing through a hole in the wall, according to a criminal complaint.

Some people had trouble breathing and passed out, the man said, according to a criminal complaint filed Monday against the driver that does not name the immigrant.

The immigrant told investigators there were about 70 other people when he and his group of 28 got inside the tractor-trailer, where officials said temperatures climbed to over 100 degrees, according to the criminal complaint. When authorities responded to the tractor-trailer parked outside a San Antonio, Texas, Walmart this weekend, a total of 39 people, including children, were found inside. Ten people, all adult men, died, and 29 people were being treated at hospitals, officials said. Many experienced heat stroke and dehydration, officials said.

The immigrant told investigators he was from Mexico and was being smuggled into the United States with a final destination of San Antonio, according to the criminal complaint.

"He stated once he arrived in San Antonio, TX he was to pay the smugglers," the document said, adding that he told authorities the pitch-black container had no water or food.

When the rear doors were finally opened, the undocumented immigrant told investigators, people swarmed out and six black SUVs were waiting to pick them up. The vehicles filled up in a matter of minutes before leaving, the criminal complaint said. It’s unclear why he stayed behind.

The truck was discovered early-Sunday morning by San Antonio firefighters and police after a Walmart employee called late-Saturday for a welfare check when someone asked the employee for water, officials said.

The responding authorities "discovered an alien-smuggling venture gone horribly wrong," U.S. Attorney Richard Durbin Jr. of the Western District of Texas said in a statement.

"All were victims of ruthless human smugglers indifferent to the well-being of their fragile cargo,” he said. “The South Texas heat is punishing this time of year. These people were helpless in the hands of their transporters. Imagine their suffering, trapped in a stifling trailer in 100-plus-degree heat."

The criminal complaint alleges that when a San Antonio police officer responded to the scene, the driver, James Mathew Bradley Jr., 60, exited the tractor-trailer and told the officer that the trailer he was hauling had been sold and he was taking it from Iowa to Brownsville, Texas.

Bradley told the officer he was unaware of the contents, the criminal complaint said.

Bradley told the officer "after he parked his tractor trailer he exited the vehicle to urinate when he heard movement in the trailer. Bradley said he then went to the rear of the trailer and opened the door. Bradley stated he tried to administer aid to the occupants," according to the document.

According to the criminal complaint, Bradley said his boss told him he had sold the trailer to a person in Brownsville and asked him to deliver it. Bradley said he was not given a time frame to deliver the trailer nor was he given the delivery address, according to the criminal complaint.

"Bradley stated when he arrived at the Wal-Mart he exited the vehicle to urinate and he heard banging and shaking in the trailer," the criminal complaint said. "Bradley said he went to open the doors and was surprised when he was run over by 'Spanish' people and knocked to the ground. Bradley said he then noticed bodies just lying on the floor like meat."

Bradley said he went back to the tractor-trailer and called his wife but she didn't answer, the criminal complaint said. He said he did not call 911. He said about 30 to 40 people ran out of the trailer when he opened the doors.

The criminal complaint alleges Bradley "knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that aliens had come to, entered or remained in the United States in violation of law, transport and move and attempt to transport and move such aliens for the purpose of commercial advantage of private financial gain ... and approximately thirty six others within the United States by means of transportation and otherwise, in furtherance of such violation of law resulting in the death of approximately 10 of the aliens so transported."

Bradley, of Clearwater, Florida, made his first appearance in federal court Monday; he did not make any statements beyond saying "yes" to the judge as she explained the charges and that he would also need a death penalty attorney. Bradley has a court appointed attorney, who declined to comment.

His next hearing is scheduled for July 27. According to the criminal complaint, the maximum sentence if convicted is the death penalty or life in prison.

Acting Director Thomas Homan of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in a statement that the "horrific crime" is a "stark reminder of why human smuggling networks must be pursued, caught and punished."

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Jul242017

Last killer whale calf born at SeaWorld dies in San Antonio

iStock/Thinkstock(SAN ANTONIO) -- A 3-month-old killer whale calf named Kyara died in captivity at SeaWorld San Antonio in Texas on Monday, the park said in a statement.

Kyara was being treated for an infection, likely pneumonia, that SeaWorld's veterinary and animal care staff was "aggressively treating," according to the statement.

“Kyara had a tremendous impact on each of her care staff, not to mention all of the guests that had the chance to see her," Julie, one of the park's orca trainers, said in the statement. "From late nights to early morning, rain or shine, we dedicate our lives to these animals, and this loss will be felt throughout the entire SeaWorld family.”

Kyara was the last killer whale to be born in captivity at SeaWorld's parks after the company announced it would end its breeding program last year.

According to the park, the whale's illness was not caused by being in captivity.

The whale's official cause of death has not yet been determined pending a full post-mortem examination.

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Monday
Jul242017

CIA and FBI documents on investigation into Kennedy assassination are released

ABCNews.com(WASHINGTON) -- More than 3,800 records related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy have been released this week by the National Archives.

Most of the documents were previously released with parts redacted, and 441 have never been released before. Of those that were previously redacted, some have now had the redactions removed.

Among the materials, which include CIA and FBI records, are transcripts and 17 recordings of interviews with Yuri Nosenko, a former KGB agent who defected in 1964 and claimed he was in charge of the KGB file on Lee Harvey Oswald when Oswald was in the Soviet Union.

The list of documents released Monday also includes some referring to the investigation into Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination in 1968, five years after President Kennedy was killed.

The National Archives has been working toward releasing documents related to Kennedy's death since 1992 when a law was passed to preserve the approximately 5 million pages of records surrounding the investigation.

Most of the millions of pages have already been released or made available to the public. Those released today had previously been withheld in part or in full. Several more batches of records are to be released this fall.

The materials released Monday can be viewed on the National Archives website archives.gov.

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Monday
Jul242017

4-year-old boy can't contain emotion during stepmom's heartfelt wedding vows

ABCNews.com(NEW YORK) -- Two U.S. service members tied the knot over the weekend, but it was the groom's 4-year-old son who stole the show.

Emily Leehan, a senior airman in the Air Force, stood at the altar at Quincy Cellars in New York on Saturday to marry Marine Sgt. Joshua Newville and recited separate vows to his son Gage.

As she shared her meaningful words, her soon-to-be stepson became overwhelmed with emotion, welled up with tears and embraced her.

"When she started reciting the vows, that's when the emotion took over and he lost it," Newville told ABC News. "The whole day was pretty emotional, so I was just trying to keep myself together and keep him together."

Gage stood with his father as Emily finished with the words, "I may not have given you the gift of life, but life surely gave me the gift of you."

The two shared a hug and a kiss.

After the ceremony Gage was told how special he made the moment, "We were telling him, 'You did awesome,' and our family and friends were saying that and told him he made it even better," Newville said.

The 4-year-old is also a massive "Star Wars" fan and was clad in a Darth Vader mask as he entered the reception with the bridal party to the film series' famous theme music.

The active-military couple will not have a honeymoon at this time and will return to their Joint Base McGuire-Dix-LakeHurst, New Jersey.

Gage, who lives with his new stepmom and dad, also has, as his father put it, a "great mother," Kali Nuckols, who lives in Virginia Beach and he visits as much as possible.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Jul242017

Oldest captive manatee dies at 69 in heartbreaking accident

ABCNews.com(BRADENTON, Fla.) -- The life of the world’s oldest captive manatee came to an end at the South Florida Museum on Saturday, one day after his 69th birthday.

Born in 1948, Snooty was the center of attention on Friday and the keeper of a manatee milestone worth celebrating. According to the non-profit Save the Manatee Club, the large marine mammals usually live up to 60 years or more in captivity.

But news of the marine mammal’s death one day later created a much different mood at the museum in Bradenton, Florida.

"Today we are getting an outpouring of love and support from our community and all of Snooty’s fans," South Florida Museum CEO Brynne Anne Besio said at a news conference on Saturday.

According to museum officials, aquarium staff noticed on Saturday morning that an underwater hatch used to access plumbing in the manatee tank had been knocked loose and was opened.

"It appears that Snooty was able to get into the area, but was not able to extract himself from that situation," South Florida Museum COO Jeff Rodgers said.

Rodgers said that by the time staff reached the 69-year-old manatee, he was no longer alive.

Besio said that the museum is reviewing the situation and will "conduct a full investigation into the circumstances."

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Monday
Jul242017

Arizona rescue agencies airlift stranded hikers from floodwaters; 2 remain trapped

ABCNews.com(TUSCON, Ariz.) -- Arizona law enforcement officers have rescued a dozen hikers trapped in raging floodwaters but two remain stranded overnight in a wilderness area just east of Tuscon, officials said.

Dramatic video footage showed a Pima County Sheriff’s Department helicopter hovering over the rock-covered, fast-moving water of the Tanque Verde Falls as a rescuer was lowered on a line to save two hikers. The sheriff's department, together with the Southern Arizona Rescue Association and Rural Metro Fire Department pulled at least a dozen from the water as of late Sunday, including a 4-year-old boy, authorities said.

The rescue happened in a spot known as Redington Pass, a high mountain area of Tanque Verde Canyon, about 20 miles east of Tuscon.

As of late Sunday, two men remain trapped on a ledge on the far side of the canyon, according to the rescue association. Conditions were unsafe for the helicopter to retrieve them. A team of rescue association volunteers on foot made contact from the near shore and was waiting the night to keep an eye on them. Another team was hiking to access the men from the far side with the intention of descending the cliff to reach them.

"At that time water levels will be reassessed and a decision will be made to help them out on the far side or cross the stream if conditions are safe,” according to the rescue association.

Law enforcement officials said that area is known for flash flooding.

"It takes time for the water to flow from the mountain down to the valley, and when it does it can be swift and deadly," according to the sheriff's department. "All too often, hikers decide to hike just after it rains because the air temperature is cooler, not realizing they are walking into areas which are at an increased risk for flash flooding."

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Sunday
Jul232017

Snooty, the oldest manatee in captivity, dies at 69

South Florida Museum(BRADENTON, Fla.) -- Snooty, believed to be the world's oldest manatee and the oldest manatee in captivity, has died one day after celebrating his 69th birthday, according to officials at the South Florida Museum in Bradenton.

Officials said Snooty's death was the result of a tragic accident where the manatee was able to get into an underwater area that's normally blocked off and used to access plumbing for the life support system.

"The manatees had access to get into this tight area," said Jeff Rodgers, the museum's provost and chief operating officer. "The young manatees were able to get in and out of that and it appears that Snooty was able to get into the area, but he was not able to extract himself from that situation."

Museum officials were trying to figure out how to deal with the situation, and when they were finally able to get to Snooty, he was dead, the COO said.

Rodgers added there was no indication of foul play or anything malicious.

South Florida Museum CEO Brynne Anne Besio said the museum was "heartbroken" over Snooty's death.

"Snooty was important to so many," she said. "Today we are getting an outpouring of love and support from our community and all of Snooty's fans."

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sunday
Jul232017

Grim details revealed as father is charged with murdering his 13-year-old son

La Plata County Sheriffs Office(BELLINGHAM, Wash.) -- Nearly five years after a 13-year-old boy disappeared while on a court-ordered visit with his father in Colorado, the man has been charged with murdering his son.

Mark Redwine was arrested Saturday in Bellingham, Washington, and may face a request by authorities to extradite him to Colorado where a grand jury has indicted him for second-degree murder and child abuse in the death of his son, Dylan, the Sheriff's Office in La Plata County, Colorado, said in a press release.

Redwine, who is being held in Washington on a $1 million cash-only bond, has in the past denied involvement in the death of his son Dylan. It is unclear at this time whether Redwine has obtained a lawyer or if he has yet made a plea.

Thanksgiving visit allegedly turned violent

Dylan was visiting his father in Bayfield in La Plata County for the Thanksgiving holiday in 2012 when he disappeared, the indictment says.

The father and son had argued on a previous visit, according to the indictment, and witnesses said Dylan had not wanted to go to his father's home that Thanksgiving.

Surveillance video at the airport, where the father picked up the boy who had flown from the home of his mother, Elaine, in Colorado Springs, and from a store they went to afterward showed that the pair had "little to no personal interaction," according to the grand jury indictment and Sheriff's press release.

"Dylan Redwine was never seen or heard from again after that evening," the indictment says.

Dylan had made plans to stay with a friend the same night of his arrival, a plan his father denied. The boy then made plans to visit a friend's house early the following morning. When Dylan did not show up, his friend texted, "Where are you?" the indictment states.

Redwine told police at the time that his son was in his home when he left to run some errands at 7:30 a.m. that morning and that when he returned four hours later, the boy was missing.

A previous wife of Mark Redwine's, Betsy Horvath, told investigators shortly after Dylan's disappearance that she was concerned Redwine might have hurt the boy. She said that during her and Redwine's own divorce and custody proceedings over their children he told her he would "kill the kids before he let her have them."

Horvath's account was referring to her children with Redwine, not to his children with his later wife, Elaine.

Horvath also told investigators that Redwine once told her that if he ever had to dispose of a body, he would leave it "out in the mountains," the indictment said.

At the time Dylan went missing, Redwine and his more recent wife, Elaine, were in the middle of a heated custody battle, the indictment states.

Elaine Redwine told ABC News in November 2012 that she suspected her ex-husband was involved in the boy's disappearance.

"I was married to Mark for a lot of years, and I know the way he reacts to things," Elaine Redwine told ABC News. "If Dylan maybe did or said something that wasn't what Mark wanted to hear, I'm just afraid of how Mark would have reacted."

Dylan's blood was found in Redwine's home

Grizzly details are laid out in the indictment of the discovery of Dylan's blood and later his remains.

The boy's blood was found in multiple locations inside of his father's living room, according to the indictment, including on the couch, the floor in front of the couch, the corner of a coffee table, the floor beneath a rug, and on a love seat.

In June 2013, some of Dylan's remains were found on a road about eight miles from his father’s home, and that August, police conducted a canine search to determine "if the corpse of a deceased person" had been present. The search found traces of the scent of a human cadaver in Redwine's home and in the bed of his truck, the indictment said.

More than two years later, on Nov. 1, 2015, hikers found Dylan’s skull one and a half miles away from where his partial remains had been discovered in 2013.

Wildlife experts determined that "no animal known to the area would transport a body up the mountain from Mr. Redwine's residence to the first recovery site ... [or] would transport the skull an additional 1.5 miles through the terrain where the skull was found," the indictment said.

Forensic anthropologists examined the skull and said it showed injuries "consistent with blunt force trauma," and that the skull "had two small markings consistent with the use of a knife."

Authorities in 2015 identified Mark Redwine as a "person of interest" in the death of Dylan, according to ABC affiliate KMGH-TV.

In the more than four years since Dylan has disappeared, the La Plata County Sheriff’s Office, Colorado Bureau of Investigation, and Federal Bureau of Investigation "invested thousands of hours in investigating this case," the Sheriff's office said in the press release announcing Redwine's arrest.

'A tremendous loss'

Betsy Horvath told ABC affiliate KMGH-TV that her heart breaks for Dylan's mom, Elaine, and Dylan's brother.

"They've suffered a tremendous loss," she said.

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