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Entries in Amber Alert (23)

Monday
Nov292010

Police: Father of Three Missing Boys Lied About Mystery Woman

Photo Courtesy - WXYZ-TV Detroit(MORENCI, Mich.) -- The father of three missing Michigan boys lied about having a relationship with a woman to whom he said he gave the brothers in an attempt to shield them from his botched suicide attempt, police said Monday.

"We can confirm that there is no established relationship between [John Skelton] and the person he described as Joann Taylor," Morenci Police Chief Larry Weeks said.

Skelton had told police that he handed sons Andrew Skelton, 9, Alexander Skelton, 7, and Tanner Skelton, 5, off to Taylor to return them to their mother on Thanksgiving evening. Skelton is separated from his wife, Tanya Skelton, who has full custody of the boys.

Skelton had said he met Taylor and her husband a few years ago when he helped them after their car broke down, and then began e-mailing her, police said.

But confirming that Taylor even exists has been a challenge for authorities since the boys disappeared.

Police have said that the boys, who have been missing for four days, could be in "extreme danger."

Search crews, as well as hundreds of volunteers, looked for the boys throughout the weekend, focusing much of their efforts in wooded areas surrounding Skelton's home.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Oct122010

Confession? Missing Girl's Stepmom Admits Writing Ransom Note

Photo Courtesy - CatawbaCountyNC [dot] gov(HICKORY, N.C.) -- Authorities in the case of missing disabled 10-year-old Zahra Baker are now treating the investigation as a homicide, police said Tuesday.

Hickory, N.C., Police Chief Tom Adkins struggled to keep his composure as he announced he was canceling the Amber Alert for the little girl, indicating the chief believes Zahra is dead.

He also said the girl's stepmother, Elisa Baker, who is already in custody on unrelated charges, admitted in police interviews to writing a ransom note that was left on one of the Baker's cars Saturday, the day Zhara was reported missing.

Police are charging Elisa Baker with felony obstruction of justice, Adkins said, marking the first time she's been charged in connection with her disabled stepdaughter's disappearance. Zhara lost her left leg and hearing in a childhood battle with cancer.

Though the girl was first reported missing on Saturday, police cannot find anyone outside her immediate family that's seen her in the past few weeks and an extensive search -- which included help from federal authorities and volunteers -- has proved fruitless.

Search warrants for the Bakers' two cars and home contained confounding details in the case, including the discovery of a $1 million ransom note left on one of the family's two vehicles. The note, however, was not addressed to Zahra's parents but to her father's boss, Mark David Coffey.

Police are looking into claims by a relative and former neighbors that Zahra was physically abused by her stepmother before she vanished.

Police revealed new twists in the investigation of Zahra's disappearance Monday, including the existence of the $1 million ransom note, positive dog alerts for human remains in cars belonging to both of her parents, and doubts about the parents' timeline dating back as far as a month.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Oct052010

Amber Alert and Sharp-Eyed Citizen Help Save Missing Girl in California

Photo Courtesy -- AmberAlert.Utah.gov(FRESNO, Calif.) -- Thanks to an Amber Alert and a quick-thinking citizen, an 8-year-old California girl was rescued Tuesday.

Elisa Cardenas was playing with friends outside her house in Fresno, Calif. early Monday evening, when police say Gregorio Gonzales tried to lure the girls into a pickup truck.

The children ran, but Gonzales allegedly grabbed Elisa and sped away.  Her mother chased after the truck, but it was too late.

A statewide Amber Alert was issued, and more than 100 officers immediately went on the hunt, searching for the truck, which was captured on surveillance video at a nearby intersection.

Then, early Tuesday morning, a man named Victor Perez spotted the truck.  He jumped into his car and began following it.  When he saw Elisa's head in the window, he acted boldly.

"I was yelling at him and kept cutting him off," said Perez.  "He was hiding her, pushing her down."

Investigators say Gonzales shoved Elisa out of the truck and onto the street. As Gonzales fled, Perez called the police.

Elisa was taken to a local hospital, where she was reunited with her mother -- shaken and scared, but alive.

"I gotta tell ya, it was a highlight of my career to see Elisa and her mom reunite in that hospital room," said Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer.

A few hours later, police arrested Gonzales, a 24-year-old known gang member who was already on felony probation.  Authorities say Gonzales had also exposed himself to two other young girls earlier that day.

Gonzales allegedly held Elisa for 11 hours.  He is being charged with kidnapping and sexual assault.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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