Entries in Woman (34)


Shannan Gilbert Search: Female Accessories Found at NY Shore

STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images(SUFFOLK COUNTY, N.Y.) -- Investigators have firmly linked evidence found in a search near Long Island, N.Y., beaches to Shannan Gilbert, who disappeared in 2010 near the swampy area that Suffolk County Police have searched for three days, officials told ABC News.

Searchers found a woman's purse and shoes after they donned wet suits to comb the swampy area, sources said.

The evidence they found did not include human remains, the sources added.

A medical examiner's team was on the scene Wednesday, but sources said remains discovered during the search were identified as animal remains.

Reports that human remains were found were inaccurate, multiple officials told ABC News. Reports that a woman's stockings were found were also inaccurate.

Investigators have opened the purse and examined its contents, but would not discuss in advance of a media briefing what they believe firmly linked the evidence to Gilbert. Media reports have suggested the purse may have contained identification.

Currently, Gilbert is believed to be a missing person and not the victim of either an apparent serial killer believed to have dumped numerous corpses by the shore beach or of another killer.

However, because the remains have not been found and homicide cannot be completely ruled out, investigators face a dilemma over what information can be released. Were the case to be a homicide, under the law, authorities would be strictly limited on what they could release.

Ten sets of dismembered human remains have been found in the area, believed to be the work of a single serial killer who dumped his victims' bodies there.

In fact, there is a strong likelihood that Gilbert was not murdered at all, sources said, but was a victim of cold water and strong currents after possibly falling in to the water.

On the night of her disappearance, witnesses told police Gilbert did not appear to be acting rationally. She was last seen in May 2010 apparently running from someone near the search area.

The renewed effort began Monday under FBI direction and using information gleaned from past FBI flyovers with sensitive photography equipment able to see down through ground cover.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Woman Who Killed, Ate Husband Denied Parole

Hemera/Thinkstock(CHOWCILLA, Calif.) -- A California woman has been denied parole from a 25-years-to-life prison term she's been serving for killing her husband -- and then cooking and eating some of his remains.

Omaima Nelson, a former nanny and model whom prosecutors compared to the fictional cannibal Hannibal Lecter, was convicted in 1993 of second-degree murder in the death of her 56-year-old husband, William. A psychiatrist testified that she was probably psychotic at the time of the killing.

Nelson, a native of Egypt who was 23 at the time of the murder, will not again be eligible for parole for 15 years, or until 2026, according to a prosecutor at her parole hearing, Randy Pawloski.

Nelson was not represented by an attorney as she appeared before parole commissioners at the Central California Women's Facility in Chowcilla, Calif.

She was denied parole partly because, according to Pawloski, she shows no remorse, takes no responsibility for her actions and still blames the victims.

Over Thanksgiving weekend in 1991, prosecutors said Nelson pulled out a pair of scissors and stabbed her husband in their apartment in Costa Mesa, Calif. She then cut off her husband's head and genitals.

According to the DA's office, Nelson cooked her husband's hands in oil, boiled the head and placed it in the freezer. She later used a garbage disposal to get rid of the chopped-up body parts.

Nelson claimed she was acting in self-defense because her husband was sexually assaulting her; prosecutors claimed that she was probably planning to rob him. They said she enlisted the help of two ex-boyfriends to remove her husband's teeth so his remains could not be identified.

Nelson previously tried to seek parole in 2006, but was denied after prosecutors argued she was a still a threat.

The case is listed as one of the 50 most notorious crimes in Orange County history.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Missing Ohio Woman's Fiance Has 'Gut Feeling' She's Alive

Facebook(FAIRFIELD, Ohio) -- The fiance of missing Ohio resident Katelyn Markham believes that she is still alive despite having vanished over two weeks ago.

"My gut feeling is that she's alive and that she's ok," John Carter told ABC News.  "I have to believe she's alive.  I have to believe that I'm going to have her in my arms soon."

Carter, 23, was the last person to see Markham before she vanished.  Police told ABC News affiliate WCPO in Cincinnati that they have few leads in Markham's disappearance.  There is no evidence of foul play, but it can't be ruled out, police said.

Texas Equusearch, a mounted search and recovery team, will begin assisting in the search for the 22-year-old woman Tuesday.  A digital billboard has been erected in northern Kentucky to aid in the search for Markham.  Search parties have also been fanning out at parks and wooded areas near the bride-to-be's Fairfield, Ohio home.

Markham left behind her car, keys and purse.  She took her cellphone with her.  Calls to that phone go straight to voicemail.

Carter said he visited his fiancee at her home on Aug. 13.  He said the two discussed their hopes to move to Colorado in November.  Markham is supposed to finish her bachelor's degree in graphic design this September.

"We were just kind of talking about Colorado...We made plans for the next day...and then she had to go to bed because she always has to get up early," he said.

Markham was working at David's Bridal and at a book store.  Carter said he received multiple text messages from Markham after he left her in the early hours of Aug. 14.  One of those text messages asked him to burn some of her bank documents.

"She had a big old bag full of stuff from the bank and so she had me go and burn them," Carter said.  "Personally, it really was just an innocent little chore she wanted me to do for her and basically I went to a friend's house and I got rid of them."

He said the request did not seem odd to him and that his own mom had suggested she burn the bank documents since Markham didn't have a paper shredder.

Carter said he grew nervous when Markham stopped responding to his text messages.

"I went to her house and she was gone without her car, without her purse, without her keys," he said.

There is a $5,000 reward for the discovery of Markham.  She is 5-foot-3 with brown hair and weighs approximately 120 pounds.  If you have any information, call the Fairfield Police Department at (513) 829-8201.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Possible Break in the Case of Missing Utah Mom

Comstock/Thinkstock(WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah) -- A new lead in the nearly two-year-old case of missing Utah mom Susan Powell has investigators scrambling to Nevada, where they say they have a fresh lead that might help solve the mysterious missing person's case.

"We have received some information, a tip, that we're going to be following up on, and it's information regarding Susan Powell," said Utah's West Valley City Police Sgt. Michael Powell, who is not related to the missing woman.

"We will be in Ely, Nev., tomorrow with a team of detectives," he said.

Sgt. Powell declined to say whether they believe the missing mother might be dead or alive, or comment on the nature of the tip.

The Nevada town where investigators will soon be searching is nearly 250 miles southwest of where Susan Powell, then 28, was last seen on Dec. 6, 2009, at the West Valley City, Utah, home she shared with her husband Josh Powell and their two young sons, who were 2 and 4 at the time.

She was reported missing the next day.

Josh Powell, 34, is the only named person of interest in the case and has maintained that his wife left on her own. He has told authorities that he had been camping -- in the middle of a blizzard -- with the couple's sons the night his wife vanished.

In a November 2010 interview with the Salt Lake City Tribune, Josh Powell described his wife as being "extremely unstable" and said he feels her mental illness led to her disappearance.

Josh Powell has taken his kids to live with his father, Steven Powell, in Washington State since the disappearance.

A message left for Josh Powell's attorney, prominent criminal defense lawyer Scott Williams, was not immediately returned.  

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Missing in Aruba: Last Person to See Robyn Gardner Helping Cops

Courtesy of Richard Forester(ORANJESTAD, Aruba) -- The last person to see Robyn Gardner and Gary Giordano together was the owner of a dive shop on Aruba who noticed their car far out on a rocky point of the island which he thought was an unlikely place to be snorkeling.

Gardner, 35, has been missing since and is presumed by Aruba police to be dead.

Giordano, 50, was ordered this week to remain in an Aruban jail for another 16 days while police investigate what they say are apparent gaps in time between when witnesses saw the pair on the beach and the timeline Giordano gave when he reported Gardner missing.

The owner of the dive shop at the Rum Reef Bar & Grill, who wished to remain anonymous, said that he saw the pair that afternoon that Gardner vanished. He said he noticed the woman's shoulder tattoos --- a leopard print pattern -- but saw no unusual behavior.

He later saw Giordano's rental car at the tip of a rocky path leading out to the ocean, and said he thought at the time how unusual it was to see people snorkeling at that spot.

Stein has said that there were apparent gaps in time between when witnesses saw the pair on the beach and the timeline Giordano gave when he reported Gardner missing.

Prior to a court hearing on Monday, Stein said prosecutors would focus on Giordano's troubling history with women, including two restraining orders taken out against him and allegations of domestic violence.

Giordano emerged from a judicial hearing Monday with a shirt draped over his head as he headed to jail for at least another 16 days.

Gardner's family applauded the judge's ruling.

"We are confident in the decision made by the Aruban authorities to keep Gary Giordano in custody," the family said in a statement released through a spokesman.

"We are still hoping to find out what has happened to our daughter, as we have not given up hope that she may still be alive...We just want to find our daughter, and we continue to ask the public for any tips they may have in helping our Robyn come home," the statement said.

Aruba police will now have more than two weeks to mount a case against Giordano, based on evidence collected from witnesses, surveillance video, personal cellphones and laptops, and other information collected by police and the FBI, which is helping with the investigation.

Federal agents searched Giordano's Maryland home over the weekend, seizing cellphones and laptops. The home was known to have been equipped with surveillance cameras and signs warning visitors that video and audio of their visits would be recorded, according to neighbors.

In recent days, police searched an abandoned phosphate mine not far from where Giordano says Gardner was swept out to sea, but found only a pink shirt and black sandals that don't belong to the missing woman.

Still, investigators have not said they have a motive, a weapon, or a body to help prove their case.

Police asking members of the public that may have information about Gardner's disappearance to call 011-297-582-0695 and leave their tip and contact information. The Natalee Holloway Resource Center, which is also helping with the case, has set up an American tip line at 407-237-2295.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Robyn Gardner Investigators Search for Evidence against Giordano

FBI(ORANJESTAD, Aruba) -- Aruba police and the FBI are scrambling to gather evidence in the disappearance of Maryland woman Robyn Gardner before Monday, when Gary Giordano, her traveling partner and the only suspect in the case, will go before a judge who may release him, according to Aruba Solicitor General Taco Stein.

Giordano's U.S. house will be searched Friday by the FBI, and Aruba authorities say they are combing through the data from electronic devices Gardner and Giordano had while on vacation. Stein said they are viewing surveillance video and asking any witnesses to come forward to obtain as much evidence as possible before Monday afternoon, when Giordano will go to court. If there is sufficient evidence, a judge can then order Giordano to remain in the country as a suspect for another eight days under Aruba law, Stein said.

According to a U.S. Customs agent, Giordano came within minutes of leaving Aruba Aug. 5 before he was arrested, having made it through Customs and onto what is considered US soil as he was about to board a U.S.-bound plane. Aruba police obtained permission from U.S. authorities to detain Giordano, the agent said.

Giordano, 50, of Maryland, is being held as a suspect in the case because of "serious inconsistencies" in his story about her disappearance, according to Stein. Giordano told police the two were snorkeling off Baby Beach and Gardner never returned to shore, but Stein said there is a gap in time from when witnesses spotted the pair on the beach and Giordano reported Gardner, 35, missing.

"When you don't have a body and you suspect that there's foul play, it's always a problem," Stein said.

He added that Giordano has stopped cooperating with authorities.

Giordano's attorney in Aruba, Michael Lopez, was instructed by his client not to speak with the media, according to Lopez's office assistant. He had previously said there is no evidence and no motive to show that his client committed murder.

At least four women have said that Giordano was alarmingly aggressive toward them.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Lawyer for Suspect in Aruba Missing Woman Case: 'No Proof'

Comstock/Thinkstock(FREDERICK, Md.) -- The attorney for a man being held in Aruba for the disappearance at sea of Robyn Gardner claimed Wednesday that there is no evidence that his client committed murder.

Gary Giordano, 50, is being held as a suspect in the disappearance of Gardner, 35, of Frederick, Md., who vanished in the same Aruba town where another American woman, Natalee Holloway, disappeared six years ago.

Giordano and Gardner traveled together to Aruba July 31, according to Aruba police.

Giordano has claimed that the two went snorkeling together around 6 p.m. on Aug. 2, but Giordano returned back to shore amid rough currents and realized Gardner had not returned to shore with him. He alerted Aruba police who searched the area with ships, helicopters and divers, but did not find any sign of Gardner.

Giordano was arrested Friday as he attempted to board a flight to the U.S., police said.

"They suspect murder but there's no proof, to my knowledge," said Michael Lopez, Giordano's attorney in Aruba. "I don't see any proof. There's no proof and no motive."

The Natalee Holloway Resource Center, a foundation started after Holloway's disappearance, has been offering help to Gardner's boyfriend, Richard Forester.

"It strikes a chord close to home because that's where my nightmare began, the day I got the call in 2005," Beth Holloway, mother of Natalee, told ABC News. "We want to be a first responder to these families, we want to be there to help them."

Maryland court documents show that a Gary Giordano there has a criminal record, including two orders of protection taken out by women that claimed he was violent. One was taken out by his ex-wife during their divorce proceedings.

Two women who say they dated Giordano told ABC News that he was terrifying, and another woman said Giordano stalked her.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Mother of Four Vanishes, Niece Receives Cryptic Text

Ryan McVay/Thinkstock(WINDER, Ga.) -- Police are searching for a missing Winder, Ga., mother of four who left behind two clues: her locked car, and a cryptic text message sent to a relative.

Tonya Faye Lynn, 38, had reportedly fought with her husband Tuesday night, Winder Police spokesman Chris Cooper told ABC News.

Her husband, Jim Lynn, told police that when he woke up Wednesday morning he assumed his wife had already left for work at Athens Regional Medical Center. The health center's spokesman Mike Pilcher declined to comment.

Tonya Lynn's niece, Christa Royster, reported her aunt missing around noon on Wednesday. Early that morning she had received a text message from Tonya Lynn's phone.

"The message basically said, 'take care of my kids and I love you,'" Cooper told ABC News.

When the niece tried to call back, Cooper said, she couldn't get through.

She called Tonya Lynn's husband, police said, who told her he didn't know where she was. On Tuesday three of the couple's four children spent the night elsewhere. According to Tonya Lynn's father, Earl Royster, his 14-year-old grandson stayed at a neighbor's home, his other grandson, 13, stayed with an uncle, and his 11-year-old granddaughter was with her aunt. Tonya Lynn's 7-year-old was the only child at her home.

While driving Lynn's daughter to school, Christa Royster noticed Tonya Lynn's car -- a white Chevy Tahoe -- parked at a local library.

The car was locked and nothing was out of place, police said. Cooper said nothing in their investigation so far points to any suspects.

In May, Jim Lynn was arrested by Winder police and charged with battery, Cooper said. In addition, Tonya Lynn had contacted police about her husband's temporary protective order violations. 

Her father Earl Royster, 72, who lives in Auburn, Ga., told ABC News the couple had filed for divorce in June. Tonya Lynn stayed with her sister-in-law, but eventually took her husband back, he said. The couple reportedly slept in different beds.

Jim Lynn wasn't immediately available for comment.

Anyone with information is being asked to contact Winder police at 770-867-2156.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Exclusive: Dominique Strauss-Kahn's Accuser Speaks Out

In an exclusive interview ABC News' Robin Roberts speaks with the hotel employee who alleges she was sexually assaulted by former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn. (ABC News)(NEW YORK) -- The hotel maid who has accused former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of trying to sexually assault her in a New York City hotel room is ending her public silence in an exclusive broadcast interview with ABC News.

"I want justice. I want him to go to jail," Nafissatou Diallo told ABC's Robin Roberts. "I want him to know that there is some places you cannot use your money, you cannot use your power when you do something like this."

Strauss-Kahn may not go to jail. Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance is considering whether to drop the charges amid "concerns" he has said he has about Diallo's credibility.

Diallo was asked about the instances that caused prosecutors to "reassess the strength of the case." Diallo acknowledged "mistakes," but also said they should not preclude Vance's office from going forward.

"God is my witness I'm telling the truth. From my heart. God Knows that. And he knows that," she said.

The woman whose accusations upended the politics of France and the workings of one of the world's most prominent banking institutions was unequivocal in her assertion that Strauss-Kahn attacked her inside room 2806 at the Sofitel Hotel.

"I never want to be in public but I have no choice," Diallo told ABC News, adding "Now, I have to be in public. I have to, for myself. I have to tell the truth."

She reenacted moments of the alleged assault, at one point kneeling on the floor to describe how she says Strauss-Kahn tried to force her to commit a sex act.

"I turned my head, he comes to me, and grab my breasts," she said. "I said, 'Stop! Stop! I don't want to lose my job.'"

Diallo said she did not know who Strauss-Kahn was prior to the encounter May 14. Once she learned his identity she said she thought she would be killed.

"And then they say he's going to be the next president of France. And I say, oh my God! And I was crying. I said, 'they're gonna kill me.'"

Until now Diallo's identity had been protected. She said she is coming forward now to defend her story and her reputation, which has been besmirched by tabloid headlines calling her a prostitute.

"I'm not," Diallo said.

Defense attorneys for Strauss-Kahn categorically deny any criminal wrongdoing occurred. They have suggested what happened inside the hotel suite was consensual and, in a statement, they called Diallo's interview an "unseemly circus."

"Its obvious purpose is to inflame public opinion against a defendant in a pending criminal case," William Taylor and Benjamin Brafman wrote in a statement.

The Manhattan District Attorney's office declined to comment on the interview.

"This is a pending criminal case," DA spokeswoman Erin Duggan said. "To protect the integrity of the criminal justice system, the rights of the victim, and the rights of the accused, we will not discuss the facts or evidence in what remains an ongoing investigation."

The interview took place in the Manhattan office of Diallo's attorney, Kenneth Thompson. He told ABC News he plans to file a civil lawsuit against Strauss-Kahn on his client's behalf within days.

"There's no mystery. There's no hiding the fact. This man attempted to rape her," Thompson said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Accused Penis Cutter in Court for Arraignment

ABC News(ORANGE COUNTY, Calif.) -- A California woman accused of cutting off her husband's penis and throwing it down the garbage disposal was ordered held Friday on $1 million bail.

An arraignment for Catherine Kieu Becker was set for Sept. 23.

Becker, 48, was charged last week with torture and aggravated mayhem. She faces a maximum sentence of life in prison with parole.

A law enforcement source told The Los Angeles Times that she may have poisoned her husband's tofu soup. Police are awaiting lab results to determine what kind of poison she may have used.

Lt. Jeff Nightengale of Garden Grove, Calif., told ABC News that Becker's 60-year-old husband lay down after he ate soup, believing something was wrong with it.

Her husband then woke up tied to the bed as Becker cut off his penis with a knife, Nightengale said. She threw the genitalia in the garbage disposal and turned the disposal on.

After cutting off his penis, Becker eventually called 911 to ask for medical assistance. When firefighters and police arrived on scene, Becker told officials that her husband "deserved it," said Nightengale.

Police found the man, who remains unidentified, tied to the bed and "bleeding profusely."

Her husband was rushed to University of California at Irvine Medical Center for treatment.

"Police were able to recover portions of the penis from the garbage disposal," Nightengale said, but it was unclear whether doctors would be able to reattach them.

"He is in amazingly good spirits considering what happened," said Nightengale on Wednesday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio