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Sunday
Jun092013

Body of Missing Teacher Found

New Orleans Police(NEW ORLEANS) -- The body of missing teacher Terrilyn Monette was found today in her car, which was discovered submerged in a Louisiana bayou, New Orleans officials said Saturday.

Monette's body was found in the driver's seat of the vehicle, according to ABC News affiliate WGNO-TV in New Orleans.

Monette, 26, has been missing since March, when she was last seen leaving a popular bar early in the morning hours. No suspects have been named in connection with her disappearance.

Her family, based in Long Beach, Calif., have been traveling to New Orleans for months in an attempt to bring more attention to her disappearance. On Friday they held a prayer vigil and asked that the FBI be brought in to handle the case.

Previously Monette's mother, Toni Enclade, had asked authorities to widen the search to a national level to find her daughter.

On Saturday, divers revisited a bayou that had already been searched, after sonar picked up an object in the water

State Rep. Austin Badon, who helped to organize many of the underwater searches in the area, was also there.

"It was not the outcome we had looked for, but we did find her. It allowed the family to have some sense of relief and closure," Badon told WGNO-TV.

After hearing that the car was being pulled out, Monette's family gathered to watch as the teacher's car was pulled to dry land.

"I don't understand why it took them so long to find her car," Enclade told The Times-Picayune. "This is supposedly one of the first places they would have checked. I'm just overwhelmed. It doesn't make sense."

At the time of her disappearance, Monette had recently become a second-grade teacher at the Woodland West Elementary school in Jefferson Parish.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Jun022013

Woman Finds 65-Year-Old Childhood Essay in Used Bible

Paul Bersebach/Orange County Register/Zuma/Newscom(SAN CLEMENTE, Calif.) -- As Marion Shurtleff was on her way out a bookstore in San Clemente, Calif., she remembered that she had meant to buy a few extra Bibles for her Bible study group.

Shurtleff, 75, asked an employee if the store had used Bibles and he pointed her in the right direction. There were four or five versions, so she quickly picked two, paid and left.

She noticed later on that one of the Bibles had some folded yellow papers inside but thought nothing of them until about two months later when she found herself with some free time and decided to take a look at the papers.

What she found floored her.

"I opened it up and on the inside facing page...I started shaking," Shurtleff told ABC News. "There was my name and my telephone number and I recognized my handwriting."

There were three pages of thin yellow paper with a Girl Scout essay written in pencil. Shurtleff wrote it 65 years ago when was 10 years old.

"When you're a Girl Scout and you apply for a badge, you use your Girl Scout handbook and write a report on the requirements," she said. "This was for the Foot Traveler's Badge."

The paper described a day-long adventure in which Shurtleff and a few other girls had chronicled walking "a lot of different places" and how long it took them to get from place to place in her then home of Covington, Ky., which she left in 1963.

Covington is more than 2,000 miles away from San Clemente.

She wrote about the items she carried and different rules like, "Don't walk on the grass" and "Don't harm the bark of a tree."

At the end of the day she had taken the street car home, she wrote.

"I was amazed," Shurtleff said of finding and reading the pages. "I was stunned. I shook. I cried. I had goosebumps."

She now calls the event her "OMG story," since she said all of her friends have reacted to the story by exclaiming, "Oh my God!"

She didn't recognize the Bible and saw that it had been printed in 1986, long after she wrote the essay.

"The Bible wasn't mine and the Bible was printed in 1986 so it's not that old," she said. "Where the document was from the time I wrote it until 1986, I still have no idea."

Shurtleff wanted to solve the mystery of who had saved her Girl Scouts paper. She went back to the bookstore and asked if they could tell her who donated the Bible.

They said privacy rules prevented them from giving her the person's name or contact information but if she wanted to write a letter, they would pass it along.

With the help of some local media, Shurtleff eventually connected with the woman who had donated the Bible.

"When I contacted the lady who had donated and she remembered the Bible and she remembered turning it in, but she and her husband had talked about it and didn't remember anything in the Bible," Shurtleff said.

When asked about the possibility that maybe she had the papers all along and they had found their way into the Bible, Shurtleff said she had ruled that out.

She said she has moved around the country many times throughout her life and kept her possessions to a bare minimum.

"I didn't keep anything sentimental and the number of times I moved...I have been down to almost not taking anything with me so I would have known if I had that in my possession," she said.

Shurtleff said that she believes her former Scout leader in Kentucky has since passed away so her only clue is the name "Bonnie Gene Edwards," who signed the end of the paper and wrote "okay." She doesn't know if Edwards is someone from her school, a fellow Scout or another Scout leader.

Shurtleff has been in touch with the coordinator of her class reunions who is sending her the classbook to see if she might recognize anyone else in it who might have an idea.

In the meantime, Shurtleff said she's taking the wandering papers as a sign from God.

"I guess God wanted me to have this and maybe it was supposed to remind me of an earlier time in my life or just let us know that strange things happen and we should believe," she said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Jun022013

WWII Love Letter Found After Almost 70 Years

Courtesy Lost Letter Project(NEW YORK) -- When Abbi Jacobson opened her mailbox a few months ago, she found a rusted yellow letter that had been written in 1944. The letter was opened and had been addressed to a Mr. and Mrs. Joseph O. Matthews, who had once lived in the same New York City apartment that Jacobson now occupied.

"I knew it was obviously old and when I started reading it, I realized it was a very sweet love letter from World War II," Jacobson, 29, told ABC News.

Not knowing what to do with it, she began a search for the couple the old-fashioned way, on foot.

"At first, I didn't want to use the Internet to find them, so I went to the municipal archives and visited a few libraries near my Greenwich Village apartment," Jacobson said.

But after a few months of no luck, she took to the Internet, displaying her story on the Lost Letter Project's website, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.

Jacobson said she dreamed of finding the couple and sharing this gift with them. But little did she know that she'd be helped by a number of people from across the country.

"A number of people contacted me online who were willing to help," she said. "There was a woman Meg from Denmark who contacted me on Twitter, who I believe was a cousin."

And after making a number of connections, Jacobson finally was put in contact with the son of the Matthews, Scott Matthews, a New York City architect, 67.

"It was so awesome that this letter connected so many different people together, searching for the couple, and then finding their family," Jacobson said.

Mr. and Mrs. Matthews are no longer alive, but their son, who hasn't seen the letter yet, was thrilled by the discovery.

"It's very interesting," Matthews told the New York Post. "I don't know much about my dad's life before I was born. I wonder what he was feeling about shipping out [for war].

"You wonder what happened to it and what did the Postal Service do with it," he said.

Matthews and Jacobson hope to meet soon.

"They're my parents' age and we spoke for an hour on the phone the other night," Jacobson said. "They couldn't believe it."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Mar302013

Missing Oregon Hiker Found Alive on Mount Hood

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(PORTLAND, Ore.) -- The Oregon National Guard found a missing hiker on Saturday morning after days of searching.

The hiker, 23-year-old Mary Owen, had been missing since last Sunday when a Black Hawk helicopter from the Oregon National Guard did a flyover of the Sandy Glacier area Saturday morning. During the flyover, Owen was spotted and recovered.

Owen was transported to a local hospital where she was determined to have suffered frostbite and a possible fractured ankle.

Owen, was last heard from last Sunday when she told a friend that she was preparing to climb Mount Hood. The police were alerted that Owen was missing on Thursday by the same friend, according to the Oregonian.

Authorities located Owen's vehicle on Thursday night in a parking lot at Timberline Lodge. Concerns mounted as authorities were unable to determine what hiking equipment Owen had with her.

Owen was located a significant distance from her vehicle, but not too far from the trail, according to Deputy Marcus Mendoza of the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office.

According to the Oregonian Owen is an experienced hiker who had completed the Pacific Crest Trail -- which ranges from Mexico to Canada -- during a nine month adventure.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Mar272013

Police Locate Missing 10-Year-Old Girl in California

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- A young girl who disappeared from her bedroom late Tuesday night was found in Woodland Hills, Calif., according to police.

The 10-year-old girl had apparently disappeared from her bed at  approximately 3:30 in the morning.  After a house-to-house search she re-appeared -- seemingly out of nowhere -- close to 12 hours later at a Chevron gas station.  

According to the Los Angeles Times, there was no sign of forced entry at the girl's home. However, the back door was left unlocked and a side gate was found to be open.

According to LAPD Captain Chris Pitcher, a suspect took the girl from her home and later dropped her off.

This young girl was taken to an area hospital to be checked out, as she has cuts and bruises. Police are now investigating multiple crime scenes and searching for the person who took the young girl.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Dec292012

Missing 17-Month-Old Found on University of Kentucky Campus

University of Kentucky Police Department(LEXINGTON, Ky.) -- A 17-month-old California girl is in the custody of Child Protective Services in Kentucky since Friday after being reported missing more than two months ago.

Alouette Day-Moreno-Baltierra of Los Angeles was found Thursday at the University of Kentucky after two police officers received a phone call about a suspicious woman pushing a stroller on the university’s parking lot.

“This is an example of where the responding officers followed a gut feeling that something just wasn’t right with the situation,” said University of Kentucky Police Chief Joe Monroe in a news release on Friday.  “We have been working with the Child Protective Services, LAPD and the FBI to make sure that we get Alouette returned safely to her legal custodian.”

University police officers Jennifer Ockerman and Emily Smith watched as 62-year-old Maria Baltierra-Dejesus pushed a baby stroller in a school parking lot in below-freezing temperatures. The baby had no shoes, gloves or head covering, police said.

When the officers approached Baltierra-Dejesus, who claimed to be the child’s grandmother, she was uncooperative, police said.

After further investigation, university officers were able to locate the child’s birth certificate, which indicated the toddler was born in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Police Department said the child was reported missing on Oct. 16 from the 700 block of West Olympic Boulevard near the business district of Los Angeles.

“The child’s mother, Dominique Baltierra, indicated [on Oct. 16] she did not know the whereabouts of her child and mother. The following day, she wanted to cancel the missing children’s report, citing the child and grandmother had been located,” said Norma Eisenman, public information officer for the LAPD. “When LAPD asked Baltierra to produce the child, the mother refused and was evasive.”

LAPD added that the Department of Children and Family Services simultaneously placed a warrant in its system for both the grandmother and child.

“University police arrested Baltierra-Dejesus on the warrant and the child was then placed into protective services,” said Eisenman.

On Friday, the LAPD confirmed Baltierra-Dejesus was the grandmother to the 17-month-old baby.

At the time of her arrest, evidence of wire transfer receipts from Baltierra-Dejesus’ family members were found in the woman’s possession.

“Family members were financially supporting the alleged grandmother since the baby has been missing, since October, while she’s been on the run with the child,” said Monroe. “We’ve received word [that] on one occasion she’s tried to leave the country with the baby, possibly a second time.”

Monroe said Baltierra-Dejesus tried to flee to France or Holland.

“She received passports issued while she was in California, which dated a week before the child went missing in October,” said Monroe.

University police have charged Baltierra-Dejesus with endangering the welfare of a minor and custodial interference. Further charges will be made from the state of California.

As of Friday, Baltierra-Dejesus had not requested an attorney, Monroe said.

The police are also trying to determine why Baltierra-Dejesus chose to come to Kentucky, according to Monroe.

Baltierra-Dejesus is currently being treated at a university health care facility. Once she’s released, university police will transfer her to Fayette County Detention Center in Lexington, Ky., where she’ll await extradition from California.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Monroe.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep272012

Abducted 3-Week-Old in Illinois Found Alive; Mother Arrested

Stark County Sheriff's Office(TOULON, Ill.) -- An abducted 3-week-old baby girl from Illinois, who was kidnapped in front of a post office, was found alive on a rural gravel road Thursday night, authorities said.

Mia Graci Thompson was abducted in Toulon, Ill., a small town about 150 miles southwest of Chicago, on Wednesday morning at around 8:10 a.m. She was reportedly taken from the back seat of a vehicle, according to the Stark County Sheriff's Office.

Mia's mother, Kendra Meaker, 19, was arrested in connection with the kidnapping, ABC News affiliate WQAD reported.

An Amber Alert that was issued earlier was canceled at about 8 p.m.

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children had previously categorized the case as a "Non Family Abduction."

Authorities said Mia has been taken to a local hospital to be examined.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jun132012

Stolen Book of Mormon Found in Washington DC

ABC News(WASHINGTON)-- Federal authorities have arrested a man in Washington, D.C., for stealing a rare, first-edition copy of the Book of Mormon from an Arizona bookstore.

Police in Mesa, Ariz., said the FBI and U.S. Marshal’s Service found the book in the Washington, D.C., apartment of Jay Linford. The 182-year-old book was reported missing on May 28 by Helen Schlie, the owner of Rare and Out of Print Books and Art.  The book was valued at $100,000.

The 88-year-old shop owner kept the book in an unlocked file cabinet in the bookstore.  Schlie does not have security cameras in her store, but has a night watchman.

She told ABC News shortly after the book was stolen that she pinpointed a 20-minute window of time when her guard took a bathroom break that the theft must have occurred.

“So many people know where the book was.  I’ve never had it under glass.  I’ve always let people touch it and hold it and take pictures with it,” she told ABC News after the book was stolen.

Police say Linford is being held on $40,000 bond pending extradition to Arizona.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jan172012

Missing Snowshoe Hiker Found Alive on Mount Rainier

Purestock/Getty Images(ASHFORD, Wash.) -- A trio of rescuers found snowshoer Yong Chun Kim alert and conscious on Monday after he went missing Saturday during a hike on Mount Rainier in Washington state.

Kim, 66, was cold but otherwise in stable condition, according to National Park Service spokeswoman Lee Taylor, who added that rescuers were trying to send in a Sno-Cat vehicle to complete the rescue amid weather too harsh for helicopters.

A team of more than 70 people and two teams of rescue dogs earlier had narrowed their search for Kim, of Tacoma, Wash., officials told ABC News.

Kim was leading hikers in the Paradise region of Mount Rainier National Park when he slipped down a steep slope.  Instead of climbing back up to rejoin the group, Kim continued on to meet the group further down the trail. When he did not arrive 30 minutes after he radioed the group to tell them he was on his way, the park service launched a search.

Taylor told ABC News that one of the members of Kim’s group went along on Sunday’s search and took the team to the point where Kim was last seen. One of the searchers also on Sunday noticed snowshoe tracks in an area called Stevens Creek, which was where the rescue team then focused its search.

Rescuers then found Kim in the upper Stevens Creek basin, Taylor said.

The search for Kim was the second one in Mount Rainier Park in less than two weeks.  A manhunt was launched earlier this month to find Benjamin Colton Barnes, 24, after he shot and killed park ranger Margaret Anderson on New Year’s Day.

The body of Barnes, an Iraq war veteran, was found the next day; he apparently drowned in a creek after suffering from hypothermia.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec222011

Missing Kansas Student Aisha Khan Found, Reunited with Family

Ryan McVay/Thinkstock(KANSAS CITY, Kan.) -- Aisha Khan, the 19-year-old Kansas college student missing for nearly a week has been found safe and unharmed, according to ABC News' Kansas City affiliate KMBC-TV.

Police said they made contact with Khan by phone Wednesday night and that she was not in danger.  The police investigation has now been closed, but no other details on Khan's whereabouts or what happened were immediately available.

Khan was last heard from on the morning of Dec. 19 when she left her sister a troubling voicemail, saying that while she was studying for finals at an outdoor picnic table, a drunk man had been harassing her and attempted to kiss her before she hit him and took off.

"Oh my gosh he was so scary.  My heart is, like, pounding.  I've never got this scared in my life," Khan can be heard saying in the message.  "Pick up your phones, I am freaked out right now."

Her family had feared the worst, with her mother and husband of five months pleading with her alleged captor to let her go.

In a brief press conference late Wednesday night, a Khan family spokesperson thanked the community for their outpouring of support.  But no family members would speak to reporters.

Police, who just days ago told ABC News that they were treating the case as an abduction, had no comment on Khan's reappearance.

Overland Park Officer Brian Schnavel told KMBC Wednesday that "Khan was not abducted or held against her will and no criminal act occurred," and that their investigation has concluded.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio