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Entries in Woman (34)

Friday
Jul222011

Triplets Mom Missing, Husband Is 'Person of Interest'

Jacque Waller is seen in this undated file photo with her triplets at the zoo. Waller has been missing for several weeks. (Courtesy of the Rawson Family)(CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.) -- The estranged husband of Jacque Waller, the Missouri mom of triplets who has been missing for seven weeks, is proclaiming his innocence despite reports of blood evidence being found in his home.

Jackson police have labeled Clay Waller, who is a former cop, a person of interest in his wife's disappearance. The couple was in the midst of a separation when Jacque Waller disappeared on June 1. Her husband was the last person to see her alive.

"I want her to come home alive," Clay Waller said.

The family of the 39-year-old missing mom says the woman is afraid of her husband.

"I know the threats that he's made against her and I know the diaries that she kept outlining those threats. He did it, there's no doubt in my mind," said Stan Rawson, Jacque Waller's father.

Rawson told the Southeast Missourian that police have found blood evidence in the Jackson, Mo., home where Clay Waller was staying when his wife disappeared. The couple has been married for 15 years and has 5-year-old triplets. Jacque Waller had gone to her husband's home to pick up her son when she vanished. Before going to the home where her husband was staying, Jacque Waller had met with her husband and her attorney to finalize paperwork for their divorce.

Since she went missing, the triplets have been in the custody of Jacque Waller's sister.

On Tuesday, a judge in a Cape Girardeau, Mo., courtroom continued to deny Clay Waller visitation rights for his triplets. Clay Waller said that he's being hunted by the Jackson Police Department despite his innocence.

Another extensive search for his wife is planned for this weekend.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jul182011

Craigslist Tie in Disappearance of Colorado Woman?

38-year-old Amy Ahonen is pictured in this undated file photo. (Andrea Ahonen)(DENVER) -- Colorado police have called off their search for a woman who disappeared near what's known as the Mayhem Gulch Trail, but her friends and family believe the extremely athletic woman could still be alive. They also fear there could be a link to disappearance to a Craigslist ad she had posted several months ago.

Amy Ahonen was last seen on July 8, the day before her 38th birthday. Her car was found on the side of Highway 6 in Jefferson County, Colo., with her belongings in it, including the keys in the console, her purse under the seat and her hiking backpack in the vehicle. The car was left unlocked.

Andrea Ahonen finds it strange that the car was unlocked. She said that Amy's car had been broken into before so she was careful about locking the doors.

The area where the car was found is not residential, but is a heavily traveled scenic route where people sometimes leave their cars to go hiking or rafting.

"What kills me is this isn't a remote road, it's a well-travelled road. You can't count to 60 without a car going by," Andra Ahonen said. "Someone had to have seen her and we just hope someone will say something."

"Our concern is that somebody picked her up on the side of the road and she could be anywhere," Andrea Ahonen said. "Nobody knows where else to search right now."

Andrea Ahonen says her sister had a frightening experience with a man several months ago when she used Craigslist to advertise for a roommate, and she has told police about it.

Hoping to save some money, Amy Ahonen posted an ad on Craigslist looking for a roommate. In March, a man who responded came to look at the place and "tried to kiss her," according to her sister.

"She got very freaked out about it and took the ad down," Ahonen said. As far as she knows, this was the only contact her sister had with the man. When Andrea looked through her sister's emails, she did not see any further contact and could not figure out who the man was.

Andrea Ahonen said one of her sister's neighbors said Amy described the man only as a tall, black man. Amy Ahonen removed the ad after the incident, but her sister believes the incident is worth investigating.

Amy Ahonen is 5-foot-4 with light blonde hair and blue-green eyes. Extremely athletic, Ahonen is a member of a co-ed hockey team, a hiking club and a curling club. Her family is based in Taylor, Mich., and Ahonen is one of five children.

While the Denver police have called off ground searches, they are still holding Ahonen's car as evidence in the investigation. Family, friends and volunteers continue to search for Ahonen in the area around Mayhem Gulch Trail where the car was found.

The Denver police did not immediately return calls for comment.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul052011

Indiana Body Not Missing College Student Lauren Spierer

Blair Wallach(INDIANAPOLIS) -- The body found in an Indiana creek Sunday is not that of missing college student Lauren Spierer, the Marion County Coroner's Office in Indianapolis said Tuesday.

"It appears as though this is an African-American female and not that of Lauren Spierer," Chief Deputy Coroner Alfie Ballew said.

A forensic pathologist and forensic anthropologist have determined that the "physical structural characteristics" of the body, including bone structure of the face, dental structure of the mouth and hair on the head, indicate that the body does not belong to Spierer.

The autopsy is ongoing and the coroner's office will work with the Indianapolis Police Department to determine the victim's identity and cause of death. While the process, which will involve microscopic sampling, might take up to several weeks, the cause of death might never be determined.

The body was discovered Sunday night at Fall Creek, located about 65 miles north of Bloomington, Ind., where missing Indiana University student Spierer was last seen June 3.

Witnesses reportedly spotted the body floating in the water at the creek's edge just before 7 p.m.

"Once we find out who she is, then we can backtrack and try to determine the events that led to her demise," said Kendale Adams, Indianapolis police public information officer to ABC's local affiliate WRTV.

Spierer was last seen at 4:30 a.m. at the intersection of 11th street and College Avenue, walking home to her apartment after a night out at Kilroy's Sports Bar and, later, a friend's party. Surveillance footage from her apartment at Smallwood Plaza shows that she never returned home. The last trace of the missing student was her keys, found one block away from where she was last seen.

Police in Bloomington have named 10 persons of interest in their ongoing investigation, including Jesse Wolf, Spierer's boyfriend who first reported her disappearance, and Jason Rosenbaum, the last person to admit seeing Spierer.

Sunday marked one month since the 4-foot-11, 95-pound fashion major disappeared.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jun302011

Massachusetts Woman Dead in Public Pool for Two Days

File photo. (JupiterImages/Photos.com)(FALL RIVER, Mass.) -- The body of a Massachusetts woman went unnoticed for two days in a Fall River public swimming pool, which remained open to the public and was even visited by health inspectors, generating outrage and calls for an investigation.

Marie Joseph, 36, was found Tuesday evening by a passerby, two days after she experienced an apparent accident on the water slide at the 12-foot-deep, state-run Vietnam Veterans Swimming Pool, officials said.

Police said Joseph took her neighbor's son, 9, to the pool Sunday afternoon.

"Marie unexpectedly slid down the slide, landing on top of him," Fall River Police Chief Daniel Racine said Wednesday. He further stated he believed Marie went under the water and did not surface.

Police said the boy notified lifeguards immediately after the incident, around 2 p.m. Sunday, but no action was taken.

William Flanagan, mayor of Fall River, called Joseph's death "tragic" and said he was demanding an investigation.

"It has come to my attention that health inspectors from the city visited the pool on Monday and Tuesday and inspected the facilities. I have immediately placed those inspectors on administrative leave," he said, adding that the city plans to offer assistance to the state Department of Recreation and Conservation, which manages the pools and is conducting the investigation.

A photographer for the Herald News visited the pool Tuesday before Joseph's body was discovered and took a photograph of the crowded pool, which only recently opened for the summer.

Police said it was unclear how many people, if any, had seen Joseph's body in the pool before it was recovered late Tuesday evening. Her body is being autopsied to determine cause of death.

All 30 of Massachusetts' deep-water pools will be closed until further notice.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jun272011

TSA Defends Frisking of 95-Year-Old Woman

Jean Weber(WASHINGTON) -- A woman who objected to airport screeners she claims insisted that her ailing 95-year-old mother remove her adult diaper claimed Monday that airport security then insisted that the daughter also undergo frisking, which prevented her from escorting her mother to the plane.

Jean Weber of Destin, Fla., said the Transportation Security Administration lied when they issued a statement Monday denying that they demanded Weber's mother, Lena Reppert, remove her diaper so a thorough body search could be conducted.

Reppert, who weighs 105 pounds and suffers from leukemia, was at Northwest Florida Regional Airport on June 18. Her daughter brought her to the airport so that her mother could travel to relatives in Michigan who were going to care for her.

Having her mother endure such an embarrassing search upset Weber.

"I was in tears, just sobbing," Weber told ABC News.

Weber said her mother was "stoic" throughout the ordeal that lasted about an hour and says the elderly woman remained calm. The search began in a glass cubicle next to the security line, but was moved into a private room.

Weber says her crying, however, triggered another alarm and a suspicious behavior specialist was brought in due to her emotional response.

"They stood me up and patted me up and down and all over," Weber says.

A TSA spokesperson said the agency could not comment on the circumstances of this particular situation, but said the TSA does have behavior detection officers. However, "The TSA would not indicate [to a passenger] what behaviors would trigger and necessitate behavior detection officers to take further action such as additional screening," according to the spokesperson.

Weber says the agents were respectful and acting by the book, but questions their common sense.

"My reaction was, 'Do you people have any common sense?'" Weber says. "There's no way my 105-pound frail mother can be a threat to national security. That's insane."

Greg Soule, a spokesperson for the TSA , says in a statement, "In no instance would our officers ask a passenger to remove an adult diaper. Various options to proceed through the checkpoint were presented to the passenger and her daughter during private screening."

Soule says the TSA will not disclose further details out of respect to the passenger's privacy.

Weber calls the TSA's claim about not removing the diaper "a lie."

Though she is not wheelchair-bound, Reppert was using a wheelchair due to her instability without her cane or walker. While going through security, Weber says a TSA agent conducted a pat-down and felt something suspicious that they believed merited further inspection.

Weber told the agents she did not have an extra diaper with her, but complied with the request to remove it, leaving her mother without protection.

The TSA is standing by the conduct of their officers. "We have reviewed the circumstances involving this screening and determined that our officers acted professionally, according to proper procedure and did not require this passenger to remove an adult diaper," the TSA statement said.

In its statement, the TSA also said, "While every person and item must be screened before entering the secure boarding area, TSA works with passengers to resolve security alarms in a respectful and sensitive manner."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jun012011

Missing CA Nursing Student: Female 'Person of Interest' Questioned

Hayward Police Dept.(OAKLAND, Calif.) -- A woman who was once friends with a missing California nursing student has been declared a "person of interest" in the case and been questioned by detectives, police said.

Michelle Le, 26, vanished on Friday on her way to the garage at Kaiser Hospital in Hayward in northern California. She is a student at Samuel Merritt University in Oakland, where she was pursuing an accelerated bachelor's degree combining academic work with clinical training.

Hayward cops served a warrant over the weekend at the home of the former friend -- whose name has not been released -- and seized her computer and cellphone.

"We ultimately released her and she remains, as do a couple of others, as a person of interest," said Lt. Roger Keener of the Hayward Police Department.

Keener played down possible parallels between Le's disappearance and an unsolved case in Solano County last year, in which the body of another nursing student was found in Napa County 12 days after she disappeared outside a bookstore in Fairfield, Calif.

Fairfield is about a half-hour's drive from Hayward.

Police have interviewed 15 to 20 friends and family members, Keener said, and are laboriously reviewing surveillance footage from the parking garage. Le's locked Honda was found a few blocks away from the garage early Saturday. Calls to her cellphone have gone unanswered, and she has made no calls since early Saturday.

She had been planning to drive to Reno Friday night to visit friends, according to news reports. Her father has traveled from Vietnam to the Bay area and met with police Tuesday along with Michelle's brother, Michael, and her aunt, who lives in San Diego. Michelle's mother died about 10 years ago, police said. The family has funded a $20,000 reward for information leading to her safe return.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
May202011

Jury Weighs Sentence for Teen Mom Who Tried to Smother Baby

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(WACO, Texas) -- A Texas jury is weighing the sentence for a teenage mom convicted of injuring a child after a graphic video of her trying to smother the baby was shown in court.

Shantaniqua Nykole Scott, 18, of Waco, held a blanket over the face of her son, Rhaidyn, last July 16 for 21 seconds and later put her hand over his nose and mouth for 1 minute and 14 seconds, according to evidence presented in the trial at Tarrant County court.

The baby survived and is now 14 months old and in foster care.

The jurors took 28 minutes Thursday to find Scott guilty of injury to a child. They were to consider her sentence Friday, according to the Tarrant County District Attorney's office.

In her taped confession, played in court after the jury returned its verdict, Scott told police: "If I could get him to die, I could get him out of my life." She said she tried three times to smother the baby at home when he was 4 months old.

In closing arguments, her lawyer, David Jones, said Scott did not damage the child. "She had no business having a baby at her age. But what were the injuries?" he asked.

Prosecutors argued that hospital staff saved Rhaidyn's life.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
May192011

Texas Mom Charged in Death of Son, 6, Found in Maine

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(PORTSMOUTH, N.H.) -- In a blue jumpsuit and shackles, 42-year-old Julianne McCrery appeared in Portsmouth, N.H. District Court on Thursday to face charges in the death of her son, six-year-old Camden Hughes. The boy's body was found dumped on a dirt road in rural Maine a week ago.

McCrery kept her head down, blinking back tears as the prosecutor read charges that included "knowingly causing the death of Camden Hughes by asphyxiation" and "causing a death with extreme indifference to human life."

The judge asked if McCrery wanted to have an attorney appointed by the state, and she replied "Yes, ma'am." As she was being led away, flanked by two New Hampshire state troopers, the Texas mother broke down sobbing. McCrery will be held without bail until a probable cause hearing on May 26.

Earlier in the day, McCrery appeared in a Massachusetts courtroom on fugitive from justice charges. She pled not guilty. Her court-appointed attorney in Massachusetts, George Murphy, told reporters that his client "loves her son and wanted to be with him in heaven." Murphy said he believes his client is suicidal and has said she wants to die.

When the body of the young boy was found clothed and abandoned on a rural road in Maine on May 14, the discovery puzzled investigators. Nobody filed a missing persons report for the boy and a scan of missing persons databases turned up no leads.

Days after the body was discovered, an eyewitness came forward and reported seeing a truck driven by a woman with a license plate that carried a Navy insignia in the area shortly before the body was discovered. It was the first real lead law enforcement had in the case. On Wednesday, a truck fitting that description was spotted at a Chelmsford, Mass., rest stop and McCrery was taken into custody.

McCrery is from Texas. An online listing for McCrery shows she self-published a book about how to fall asleep called Good Night, Sleep Tight. In her author's bio she described herself as a former school bus driver and cement mixer.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr112011

Mom Brandishing Giant Pliers Hunts Daughter's Alleged Kidnapper

Orange County Sheriff's Office(ORLANDO, Fla.) -- A brave eight-year-old and her fiercely protective mother are being hailed for tracking down a homeless man who police say tried to snatch the girl while she walked home from school.

The girl, who police have not identified because of her age, slipped out of the hands of Micah Green, a 29-year-old transient with a lengthy criminal record, and ran home Friday, police said.

When her mother learned what happened, she and the girl jumped in their car to find Green, who the girl said was not wearing a shirt. She said she had noticed him watching her from behind a tree before he tried to grab her near her home in Orlando, Fla.

"She looked back and felt him grab her," said Cpl. Susan Soto, spokeswoman for the Orange County Sheriff's Office. "She screamed and pushed him. She cut loose and ran home."

When the girl spotted Green from the car, her mother jumped out of the car and began chasing the suspect with a heavy set of pliers, police said.

She chased him into the convenience store of the RaceTrac filling station, according to the police report.

The mother then told the store's staff that the man was suspected of trying to kidnap her daughter. A clerk and several customers helped detain Green until police arrived.

Greene was arrested and appeared in court late Friday. Charges were decreased from kidnapping to attempted kidnapping. Bond was set at $50,000. Green, who has been arrested 10 times since 2002, has not yet entered a plea but told ABC News affiliate WFTV, "I'm innocent of all charges." 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Feb152011

Woman Jumps Off 40-Foot Bridge: 'I Thought I Was Dead'

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(ATLANTA) -- Bianca Vera was driving through the winter weather across an icy bridge in Atlanta, when a driver sideswiped her, knocking her car into the guard rail. When the 22-year-old opened her door and saw a truck barreling toward her, she jumped 40 feet into the icy water of Lake Lanier.

As she fell, she heard the truck smash into her car, followed by a series of crashes as more cars piled up. "I thought I was dead at that point," Vera said.

Vera hit the water, and in immense pain, swam 100 yards to the shore in the dark. She didn't realize it at the time, but she had broken her back in the fall. "Everything went numb, the water was so cold," Vera said.

Vera screamed, but no one answered. The icy swim took nearly an hour. Once on shore, rescuers heard Vera's cries.

"I think she's very lucky,” said deputy police chief Jerome Yarbrough.

"I can't take anything for granted, nothing at all. And I was obviously put here for a reason. God spared my life. I have a purpose and I just have to find it," Vera said.

Once in the water, Vera remembered to take off all of her winter clothes and her boots so she could swim faster. She credits her quick thinking to watching television. Apparently, Vera and her boyfriend are big fans of the show Man vs. Wild.

Vera spent four days in the hospital. In addition to breaking her back and severe bruising, she also suffered from hypothermia in the cold water.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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