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Entries in Identified (5)

Monday
May072012

Body Found at Kentucky Derby Track Identified

MARK ABRAHAM/AFP/GettyImages(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) -- Louisville, Ky., homicide detectives have identified the man whose injured body was found Sunday morning in one of the barns at Churchill Downs a day after the Kentucky Derby as Adan Fabian Perez, a 48-year-old from Guatemala.

Perez's body was discovered just before 5 a.m. in Barn No. 8, four barns away from where I'll Have Another, the horse that won the derby, was kept. 

He was identified by his 19-year-old son, Wilson Deejesus Fabian Perez.

Adan Fabian Perez worked for horse trainer Cecil Borel, the brother of veteran jockey Calvin Borel.  Perez started working for Borel in 2008 as a groomer.

"We found evidence of injuries that lead us to believe he was involved in an altercation and that foul play was involved," Louisville Metro Police spokeswoman Alicia Smiley told ABC News.

The owner of Barn No. 8, Angel Montano, told ABC News affiliate WHAS-TV that one of his employees found the body, but Perez didn't work for him and he did not know him.

"The barns themselves have various stalls for the horses," Smiley said.  "He was found in the barn and not in the stall with a horse or anything."

Before the body was identified, police said there was no evidence of a connection to Churchill Downs, the racetrack where the Kentucky Derby is held annually, or the Kentucky Derby, police said.

"We are still trying to determine what led to the incident.  At this point we don't have anything pointing to the fact that this had any association with Churchill Downs or the Derby itself," said Smiley.

Smiley said police have not named any suspects or made any arrests.

She said authorities are waiting for an autopsy report to determine the cause of death. ´╗┐

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jan032012

LA Arson Suspect Identified, Possibly Motivated by Deportation Battle

An apartment complex that was burned in a spree of arson fires lies in ruins on Jan. 2, 2012 in Los Angeles, Calif. David McNew/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Officials Monday evening identified a man arrested after a series of 52 blazes in the Los Angeles area, and hailed the reserve deputy sheriff who apprehended him.

"Our long, four-day nightmare is over," Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky told reporters.

Harry Burkhart, 24, was charged Monday afternoon with one count of arson of an inhabited dwelling, with more charges expected as the investigation proceeds, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa told reporters at a news conference.

"The residents of Hollywood and the city of West Hollywood may now resume the peace and safety they deserve," Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca said.  "A serial arsonist, I believe, has been caught."

Burkhart was caught during a traffic stop initiated by a Tehran, Iran-born Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department volunteer, Baca added.

"Deputy Shervin Lalezary, standing next to me, [is] a full-time attorney and a part-time reserve deputy sheriff, although for the past four days he's been working full time for $1 a year," Baca said.

"Give him a raise," someone at the news conference yelled out, prompting Baca jokingly to propose raising Lalezary's compensation to $2 per year.

According to ABC News sources directly involved in the case, the "prime suspect" under arrest told authorities upon his detention, "I hate America."

That suspect, at the time not publicly identified, was believed to be a German national who may have been motivated by a deportation hearing against his mother that took place in Los Angeles County about a week and a half ago, the sources told ABC News exclusively.

The State Department gave the information to the intelligence and operational task forces involved in the manhunt, according to the sources.

The man was initially identified by police as a "person of interest," but the sources said he became a "prime suspect."  Officials later identified Burkhart, but they disclosed few details about his background.

"This is an ongoing investigation," Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said Monday evening.  "Details about the suspect will not be released tonight other than the name and some very general things. ... An arrest is not a prosecution and a prosecution is not a conviction.  We are very confident in this arrest, but we have a long way to go."

The suspect was detained and questioned by a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy who recognized the description of his van as possibly being connected to the fires, police said earlier in the day.  After subsequent interviews with police, he was arrested.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Nov302011

DNA Evidence ID's John Wayne Gacy Victim Three Decades Later

Des Plaines Police Department, Tim Boyle(CHICAGO) -- A boy who disappeared 35 years ago -- when he was 19 years old -- has finally been identified as a victim of notorious serial killer John Wayne Gacy.

Cook County, Ill., Sheriff Tom Dart told reporters on Tuesday that DNA testing had positively identified William “Bill” George Bundy as one of Gacy’s victims.

Bundy was among eight previously unidentified victims -- all boys and young men -- whose partial remains were sent to a testing lab at the University of North Texas.  Bundy’s brother, Robert, and sister, Laura, came forward after Dart launched a public campaign asking families of young men who could have been Gacy victims to provide DNA samples.

“I do hope and pray that Laura and Robert might find some peace and closure with the news today,” Dart said.

Bundy’s is the first positive identification of the eight previously unidentified victims, whose bodies were exhumed earlier this year, at Dart’s request, in the hope that sophisticated DNA testing that was not available at the time of Gacy’s killing spree could help clear up the mystery surrounding the unidentified remains.

Even if the remaining leads don’t turn up a clear connection to Gacy, technicians at the Texas lab will match them against a Justice Department database that contains an estimated 40,000 other unidentified bodies.

According to forensic pathologist Dr. Arthur Eisenberg, “If their samples can get into the national databases, then their cases are active.  They’re not cold.”

Gacy killed 33 young men and boys between 1972 and 1978, burying their bodies in and around his home outside Chicago.  He was executed by lethal injection in 1994.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Aug302011

9/11, Remembrance and Renewal: Unidentified Victims Remain

U.S. Navy Photo by Jim Watson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A decade after the attacks of Sept. 11, the recovery work is still not over.  Some of the nearly 3,000 people killed in New York City have yet to be identified.

For months after 9/11, forensic teams scoured Ground Zero and recovered more than 20,000 human remains.  Ten years later, forensic biologist Mechthild Prinz says, the city medical examiner's office is still identifying victims.

"It's really very complex," Prinz says.  "There was a lot of destructive energy and the victims, some of them got very very fragmented but out of fragments you've been able to make identifications."

A team of five scientists works full-time trying to make new identifications.  So far, 59 percent of World Trade Center victims have been identified.

"Yes, we will get a few more but we will not get all of them," says Prinz.

The unidentified remains of the victims are stored on East 30th Street in a white tent. Some of these remains will be retested and hopefully identified as DNA-matching technology continues to advance. The rest will be interred back at Ground Zero at the 9/11 Memorial.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov122010

Zahra Baker Remains Identified, Cops Say

Photo Courtesy - ABC News (HICKORY, N.C.) -- The body of 10-year-old Zahra Baker has been positively identified, ending a heart-wrenching month-long search for the disabled girl, police announced Friday.

The girl's remains were discovered this week during a search in Caldwell County, N.C., where the Baker family previously lived. Police had looked through the area earlier while accompanied by Zahra's stepmother Elisa Baker.

Zahra's birth mother, Emily Dietrich, flew from her home in Wagga Wagga, Australia on Thursday ahead of the announcement. She visited the Hickory, N.C., house where Zahra had been living with her father Adam Baker and stepmother Elisa Baker.

Adam Baker was questioned again by police Thursday, according to news reports. He had been arrested on unrelated charges after Zahra disappeared, but is free on bail.

Elisa Baker has been charged with obstruction of justice after police said she admitted writing a phony ransom note before calling in a missing persons report. Police have said she is cooperating with the probe.

Zahra was reported missing by her stepmother and father on Oct. 9, but police say no one outside of the family has reported seeing her since Sept. 25. Police have said they believe Zahra is dead.

Next Tuesday, Nov. 16, would have been Zahra's 11th birthday.

Police Chief Tom Adkins said he had hoped for a different outcome since the start of the investigation.  He added, "This case isn't over and we won't rest until we have all the information we need to bring the people to justice who hurt Zahra."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio´╗┐







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