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Entries in Celina Cass (9)

Thursday
Aug042011

Celina Cass' Stepfather Checks Into Mental Institution

FBI(STEWARTSTOWN, N.H.) -- Celina Cass' stepfather, whose truck has been hauled away by police investigating the girl's death, has checked himself into a mental health facility, ABC News affiliate WMUR reported Thursday.

The station also reported that the girl's body was found wrapped in a blanket when a dive team discovered her body in the Connecticut River near a dam a quarter mile from her West Stewartstown, N.H., home earlier this week.

No suspects or persons of interest have been identified by police, but investigators have strung crime scene tape around the Cass home, obtained a search warrant for the house, and on Wednesday they hauled away the silver pick-up truck that was usually driven by the girl's stepfather Wendell Noyes.

Noyes, 47, has checked into a psychiatric facility, WMUR reported. It is the second time in recent days Noyes has been hospitalized. He was rushed to the hospital after acting bizarrely on Monday, the day Celina's body was discovered in the river.

The stepfather has a history of psychiatric problems. He was involuntarily committed to a mental facility in 2003 because of schizophrenia and arrested for threatening an ex-girlfriend, according to court documents. At the time, the judge in the case wrote that Noyes was "a potentially serious likelihood of danger to himself and others."

Noyes was charged with violating a protective order held by his ex-girlfriend and for criminal trespassing, criminal threatening and hindering apprehension. The girlfriend, who lived with her two kids at the time, said Noyes broke into her home while she was sleeping, lifted her mattress and slammed it down and then threatened to throw her down the stairs.

Earlier this week Assistant Attorney General Jane Young said Celina's death is considered suspicious based on "a visual observation of Miss Cass' body both in and out of water."

An autopsy completed Tuesday yielded no definitive answers as to how the 11-year-old died.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug032011

Pick-Up Truck Driven By Celina Cass' Stepfather Seized By Police

FBI(STEWARTSTOWN, N.H.) -- Police investigating the suspicious death of 11-year-old Celina Cass focused on the fifth grader's home Wednesday, taking a truck that neighbors said was driven by the girl's stepfather.

Investigators hauled away a silver pickup truck from the Cass home Wednesday afternoon, part of their continued search for evidence and witnesses.

Neighbor Shannon Towle told ABC News that Wendell Noyes, Celina's stepfather, drives a truck matching that description. She often sees Noyes at her husband's West Stewartstown store, Towles Mini Mart, where he is a regular customer.

She said in the small town of 800 the fact that he drives a silver pickup is "common knowledge."

Noyes, 47, was taken by ambulance to a hospital Monday after behaving bizarrely. His odd behavior and hospitalization came about the same time that searchers found the girl's body in a nearby lake next to a dam.

Court documents obtained by ABC News reveal that Celina's stepfather, Wendell Noyes, has a troubled past. In 2003, the stepfather was involuntarily committed to a hospital because of schizophrenia and arrested for threatening an ex-girlfriend, according to court documents.

Noyes was charged with violating a protective order held by his ex-girlfriend and for criminal trespassing, criminal threatening and hindering apprehension. The girlfriend, who lived with her two kids at the time, said Noyes broke into her home while she was sleeping, lifted her mattress and slammed it down and then threatened to throw her down the stairs.

So far nobody has been named a suspect in Celina's disappearance and death.

Assistant Attorney General Jane Young said Tuesday evening that Celina's autopsy has been completed and the cause and manner of death are still pending.

A dive team pulled Celina's remains from the Connecticut River Monday, just a quarter mile from her hometown of West Stewartstown, N.H.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Aug022011

Celina Cass Autopsy Completed, Cause of Death Pending

FBI(WEST STEWARTSTOWN, N.H.) -- The community of West Stewartstown, N.H., mourning the death of 11-year-old Celina Cass, is still waiting to find out how the fifth grader died.

New Hampshire Assistant Attorney General Jane Young announced Tuesday night that medical examiners had completed an autopsy on Celina's remains, but more information is needed.

"The death certificate indicates the cause and manner of death are pending toxicology reports and further investigation," Young said at a brief news conference.

Despite these findings, Young said, the Attorney General's office continues to investigate the death as suspicious based on "a visual observation of Miss Cass' body both in and out of water."

Celina's remains were discovered Monday morning in the Connecticut River, not far from her hometown. Several hours later, around 5 p.m., her body was pulled from the water, Young said.

"We're continuing to look for any evidence that may be there," Young said, adding that investigators are still interviewing witnesses.

When asked if West Stewartstown is in any danger, Young said, "We remind the public to remain vigilant at this point in the investigation."

Celina was last seen the night of July 25 at a computer in the home where she lives with her mother, stepfather and 13-year-old sister.

Police have not yet named a suspect in Celina's disappearance and death.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Aug012011

New Hampshire Girl Celina Cass' Body Pulled From River

FBI(WEST STEWARTSTOWN, N.H.) -- The search for Celina Cass ended Monday when her body was pulled out of the Connecticut River, not far from her New Hampshire home.

Her body was discovered about 10:30 a.m., but wasn't pulled from the water until about 5 p.m. Officials did not explain why it took so long to recover her remains.

"We have brought Celina home, but not the way we wanted to bring her home," New Hampshire senior assistant Attorney General Jane Young said with a slight quaver in her voice.

The body was pulled from the river about a quarter mile from the 11-year-old girl's home in West Stewartstown, a hamlet of only 800 people.

Young said the girl's disappearance has been reclassified as a criminal investigation.

"We continue to investigate this case," she said, talking to witnesses and checking vehicles that were seen in the area.

"We are looking at all facets of the investigation and that includes where she was last seen," Young said.

Celina was last seen on the evening of July 25, in her bedroom at her computer at the home where she lives with her mother, stepfather and 13-year-old sister.

Since then, more than 100 searchers including the FBI, police from several states and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police joined the effort.

Celina's body has been transported to Concord, N.H., for an autopsy which is scheduled for Tuesday morning.

The body was found on the New Hampshire side of the river, near the Canaan Hydro-Dam, according to ABC News affiliate WMUR.

The FBI recently offered a $25,000 reward for any information as to Cass' whereabouts and an anonymous citizen offered a $5,000 reward.

At one point, police said they intended to question each of the 800 people who live in tiny Stewartstown.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Aug012011

Celina Cass Found? Girl's Body Discovered in Connecticut River

FBIUPDATE: Authorities have confirmed that the body found in the Connecticut River is in fact 11-year-old Celina Cass. They are calling her death "suspicious." An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday morning.

(WEST STEWARTSTOWN, N.H.) -- Searchers say they found a girl's body that police fear could be that of 11-year-old Celina Cass, who has been missing from her New Hampshire home since July 25.

The body was found in the Connecticut River not far from Cass' home, Vermont prosecutor Vincent Illuzzi told ABC News.

The identity of the body, which was discovered between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. Monday morning, hasn't been determined yet, Illuzzi said.

"First we have to decide the cause of death, whether it was accidental or homicide...what was the manner of death and where...And that will lead to further questions and further investigation," Illuzzi said.

Illuzi, an Essex county prosecutor, said his county borders Coos County in New Hampshire, which is why he was notified.

The body was found on the New Hampshire side of the river, near a dam, according to ABC News' affiliate WMUR which reported crews were searching the area near the Canaan Hydro-Dam.

According to WMUR, at about 10:45 a.m. Monday a dive team emerged from the water and Assistant Attorney General Jane Young arrived on the scene.

The FBI recently offered a $25,000 reward for any information as to Cass' whereabouts, while an anonymous citizen offered an additional $5,000.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Aug012011

Father Pleads for Missing N.H. Girl to "Come Home"

Goodshoot RF/Thinkstock(Stewartstown, N.H.) -- Police deny they have given up hope that missing 11-year-old New Hampshire girl Celina Cass will be found alive, and the state has asked for manpower and equipment from neighboring states to aide in the search.

In a news conference Sunday evening, Celina's biological father, Adam Laro, spoke publicly for the first time, saying, "Come home. Whenever you are ready to come home, daddy is ready for you."

At the news conference, New Hampshire Assistant Attorney General Jane Young insisted that it's still a missing persons case. Additional aeronautical support has been brought in for the search, she said.

On Saturday, the FBI announced a $25,000 reward for information leading to Celina's return, and an anonymous member of the community added another $5,000 to the reward total, Young said.

FBI agent Kieran Ramsey said Saturday the reward would also cover information leading to the arrest and prosecution of anyone responsible for Celina's disappearance.

Celina has been missing since last Monday night from her home in Stewartstown, a New Hampshire town with 900 residents that is just one mile from the Canadian border. It is not a wealthy area, so authorities are hoping this reward could be a huge motivation for someone to come forward.

Officials said that they have received 150 tips.

Before the news conference Sunday, neither Celina's mother nor her stepfather had spoken to the media and had requested "absolute privacy."

Court documents obtained by ABC News reveal that Wendell Noyes, Celina's stepfather, has a troubled past.  Noyes, 47, was involuntarily committed to a hospital in 2003 because of schizophrenia and arrested for threatening an ex-girlfriend, according to court documents.

Noyes was charged with violating a protective order held by his ex-girlfriend and for criminal trespassing, criminal threatening and hindering apprehension.

The girlfriend, who lived with her two kids at the time, said that Noyes broke into her home while she was sleeping, lifted her mattress and slammed it down and then threatened to throw her down the stairs.

While awaiting trial, a judge ruled Noyes incompetent to stand trial and ordered him to be involuntarily placed in a hospital. Judge Richard Hampe wrote that Noyes' mental illness creates "a potentially serious likelihood of danger to himself and others."

A forensic examiner deemed Noyes a paranoid schizophrenic who likely developed his mental illness while in the Air Force, according to court documents.

Noyes has not been named a suspect in the disappearance. No suspects have been named.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Jul312011

FBI Offers $25K Reward for Info on Missing N.H. Girl

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(STEWARTSTOWN, N.H.) -- The FBI has announced a $25,000 reward for information leading to missing 11-year-old New Hampshire girl Celina Cass.

FBI agent Kieran Ramsey said at a Saturday afternoon news conference that the reward would also cover information leading to the arrest and prosecution of anyone responsible for Celina Cass' disappearance.

Celina has been missing since Monday night from her home in Stewartstown, N.H.

A member of the community has added another $5,000 to the reward pot, according to Assistant Attorney General Jane Young.

Stewartstown, which has a population of 900, is not a rich area, so authorities are hoping this reward could be a huge motivation for someone to come forward.

On Friday, at least 75 New Hampshire fish and game employees lowered the level of the Connecticut River and investigators searched frantically for Celina by helicopter, ABC Affiliate WMUR reported.

Officials said that they have received 150 tips and this is still considered a missing persons case. Celina was last seen Monday evening in her bedroom at her computer. Since then, more than 100 searchers including the FBI and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have joined the search. Stewartstown is just a mile from Canada.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jul292011

Missing New Hampshire Girl: Investigators Lower River to Aid Search

Hemera Technologies/Thinkstock(STEWARTSTOWN, N.H.) -- Investigators frantically searching for missing New Hampshire girl Celina Cass lowered the level of a river Friday and searched by helicopter for any sign of the girl.

"We're looking for any clues, any disturbed ground, anything that will aid us in the search," said Sgt. Brian Adams from New Hampshire Fish and Game.

Officials said that they have received 150 tips and this is still considered a missing persons case. Celina, 11, was last seen Monday evening in her bedroom at her computer. Since then, more than 100 searchers, including the FBI and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, have joined the search. Stewartstown, N.H., a community of 800 people, is just a mile from the Canadian border.

New Hampshire authorities plan to talk to every person in the tiny town for clues about Celina Cass' whereabouts. So far, this extraordinary effort has turned up nothing.

"I can tell you actually what we have not learned and that is where is Celina Cass now," FBI investigator Kiernan Ramsey said Thursday.

"We're using advanced techniques from aviation to canines and the like. We are hopeful some positive outcome could result," Ramsey added.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jul292011

Missing New Hampshire Girl Search Extends to Canada

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(STEWARTSTOWN, N.H.) -- The frantic search for missing New Hampshire girl Celina Cass was extended to Canada on Thursday and police from at least three states and the FBI have joined the manhunt.

The 11-year-old girl, who lives one mile from the Canadian border, was last seen by her parents at her computer in her bedroom Monday evening.  By Tuesday morning, she had vanished from the family's West Stewartstown home.

At least 48 law enforcement agents, some coming from New York and Virginia, have arrived in New Hampshire to aid in the search for Cass, New Hampshire Assistant Attorney General Jane Young told ABC News.  The Royal Canadian Mountain Police are working with New Hampshire officials to look for the girl, he said.

"Until we find her, we are going to continue to scour this area," Young said.

Friends and family described the girl as a shy fifth grader who would never run away or leave with a stranger.

On Thursday, authorities pored through Cass' computer and phone records, looking for any clues into her disappearance.  FBI agents have also been seen questioning neighbors on their front porches.

No Amber Alert has been issued for Cass.  Authorities are treating this as a missing persons case and no suspects have been named.

Court documents obtained by ABC News reveal that Cass' stepfather, Wendell Noyes, has a troubled past.

Noyes, 47, was involuntarily committed to a hospital in 2003 because of his schizophrenia and arrested for threatening an ex-girlfriend, according to court documents.  Noyes was charged with violating a protective order held by his ex-girlfriend and for criminal trespassing, criminal threatening, and hindering apprehension.

The girlfriend, who lived with her two kids at the time, said that Noyes broke into her home while she was sleeping, lifted her mattress and slammed it down and then threatened to throw her down the stairs.

While awaiting trial, a judge ruled Noyes incompetent to stand trial and ordered him to be involuntarily placed in a hospital.  Judge Richard Hampe wrote that Noyes' mental illness creates "a potentially serious likelihood of danger to himself and others."

A forensic examiner deemed Noyes a paranoid schizophrenic who likey developed his mental illness while in the Air Force, according to court documents.

Attempts to reach Noyes and his wife have been unsuccessful.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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