Entries in Emails (3)


Accused Colorado Theater Shooter Had 'Romantic Relationship' with Grad Student

Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office(AURORA, Colo.) -- Accused movie theater shooter James Holmes had "a brief romantic relationship" with a graduate student at the University of Colorado, according to one of thousands of emails released to ABC News Wednesday.

The revelation came from an email written by an employee of the university, Larry Hunter, to a colleague late in the morning after Holmes is alleged to have killed 12 and wounded 58 at a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises.

Hunter wrote to his colleague, "Yeah, he was a grad student here, and, it turns out, had a brief romantic relationship with one of the grad students in my program last fall. She, fortunately, it turns out is in India right now. She knows, and is pretty freaked out."

The rampage is considered the most extensive mass shooting in U.S. history.

Another email nearly two weeks after the shooting seemed to show growing concern from at least one student about the way the university was responding.

On Aug. 2, 2012, upon learning that Holmes' psychiatrist, Lynne Fenton, had gone to a university threat assessment team about Holmes before the theater massacre, one University of Colorado student wrote an angry letter to the CU communications department. In it, she said, "This is a major failure of the system. You need to address this issue with the students. We deserve to know what's going on here."

The same day, two professors in the University of Colorado's oncology department exchanged emails about a story that noted Holmes had been referred to the threat assessment team.

Said professor Gail Eckhardt to colleague Well Messersmith, "It's really getting messy and heads are going to roll over this -- so tragic."

In July, ABC News and other news organizations filed a series of public records requests with the University of Colorado asking to see the chain of emails by or between key university officials in the days and weeks following the attack.

Soon after that request, a gag order was issued preventing the release of documents such as the one described above.

ABC News also requested to inspect any emails Holmes may have sent to professors or others related to non-personal items such as federally funded research for the university.

Last month, a judge released CU from its gag order.

Wednesday, the university made nearly 3,800 emails public, including approximately 2,300 redacted emails from university employees and an additional 1,500 from two university email accounts belonging to Holmes himself.

CU also withheld nearly 1,000 emails from university officials and nearly 1,200 emails from Holmes, telling ABC News, "There are additional e-mails not subject to disclosure because they are student records."

ABC News is in the process of sifting through the trove of emails released Wednesday. You can check back ABC News for updates.

If you have information or a tip you would like to share about the Holmes case, you can email

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Missing Toddler’s Mom Seemingly Speaks to ABC News via Email

Comstock/Thinkstock(BELLEVUE, Wash.) -- The mother of missing toddler Sky Metalwala has not spoken publicly since her 2-year-old went missing on Nov. 6, but in an email exchange with ABC News, someone claiming to be Julia spoke out for the first time, lashing out at her estranged husband.

ABC News emailed an address confirmed by relatives to be that of Sky’s mother, Julia Biryukova. In the first exchange, she or someone else who was using the account responded to a request for comment by writing, “My former husband is a sadistic Muslim Pakistani. No one has any idea. This is all too difficult. Kindly, Julia.”

ABC News asked to hear more, and received the following response:

“My attorney has forbid me from speaking about the ongoing investigation. My former husband’s allegations are without merit. Solomon is deceptive.”

Her husband, Solomon Metalwala, is Pakistani, but not a Muslim. Police have said he cooperated with the investigation, whereas Biryukova refused to take a lie detector test.

Biryukova, who is going through a contentious custody battle with Metalwala, originally told police she ran out of gas and left Sky alone in her car while she walked to a gas station. Upon returning, she said, he was gone.

Police have questioned her account of how Sky disappeared. Investigators found enough gas in her car for her to have continued driving. And they didn’t find any mechanical problems that would have caused the car to stop functioning.

During the email exchange with ABC News, "Julia" responded “No” when asked, “Julia, please, do you have any idea where Sky is?”

“Prayers” and “faith” will help bring Sky home, Julia said. “I’m praying to Jesus on my knees night and day for my Sky.”

Upon seeing the emails, Bellevue police Maj. Mike Johnson said, "Well obviously I can’t comment specifically on what value this might be.”

He added, "I’ll get it in the hands of investigators right away.”

Anyone, including the relatives Biryukova is staying with, could have accessed her email account, but Biryukova’s estranged husband Solomon Metalwala said the messages sound like her.

“Obviously she’s just trying to maybe get me kind of riled up,” he said. “The focus is to find Sky.”

During the email conversation, ABC News received responses to every question except one: what happened that morning if the car didn’t actually run out of gas?

It’s a question that continues to baffle investigators two weeks after Sky was reported missing.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Emails Released Depict Loughner's Behavior Before Tucson Shooting

Pima County Sheriff's Department(PHOENIX) -- New emails released Thursday by Pima Community College, where accused Tucson, Arizona shooter Jared Lee Loughner attended, shed light on his behavior before he allegedly killed six people and injured 13 others, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, in January.

The emails paint Loughner as a struggling student with emotional problems.

In one, a student complained to a writing teacher that Loughner put a knife on his desk.  In another, a teacher said she wanted to remove Loughner from class after repeated problems.  The dean demanded the matter get quick attention and was told campus police were looking into Loughner's background.

The emails showed that college officials contacted the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to find out if Loughner had any guns in his possession but no firearms turned up in their check.

On Sept. 29, 2010, Loughner was suspended from the school and told he couldn't return unless he underwent a mental evaluation.

The college was court-ordered to release 255 pages of emails after a local newspaper, The Arizona Republic, filed a lawsuit, requesting that the emails be made public.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio