State and local police in south Georgia are involved in a frantic search for a Marietta couple who disappeared after going to purchase a car from a seller they contacted online.
Telfair County Sheriff Chris Steverson said the Georgia State Patrol's aviation unit has joined local officials searching Telfair and Wheeler counties for Bud and June Runion, who are both in their late 60s.
The couple drove to McRae on Thursday to meet someone who responded to an ad Bud Runion placed on Craigslist seeking a 1966 Mustang. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that family members became concerned when the couple did not return for a family function and did not answer their cell phone.
Concerned family members have set up a Facebook page to assist with the search and to raise awareness of the couple's disappearance.
Police say the phone number the Runions called traces back to a disposable cell phone, signals from which they are tracking in hopes of finding the couple. A missing person's report has been filed with Cobb County police.
A New York City dad massacred his family early Saturday morning, marching from room to room, shooting his two daughters, his girlfriend and her mother in the head before fleeing, police said.
The only survivor is the couple’s 12-year-old daughter, who managed to call 911 and open the door for police despite being shot in the head and having the bullet exiting through her eye, sources said.
The girl was rushed to Long Island Jewish Medical Center in critical condition.
Jonathan Walker, 34, a hulking, 6-foot-6, 260-pound nightclub bouncer, fled the bload-soaked 5 a.m. scene in Springfield Gardens, Queens. Just before noon, his body was found inside his car with a gunshot wound to the head, in a wooded area near John F. Kennedy Airport, sources said.
It’s unclear what made Walker, who is originally from Buffalo and played basketball professionally in Europe from 2008-2009, suddenly snap.
He told a friend he was “going home to watch Netflix with the family,” said City Councilman Donovan Richards, who called the murder scene “truly horrific.”
“We’ve heard he was out with a friend. He told his friend he was going to get some beers and going home to watch Netflix with the family. We don’t know what made him snap when he came in,” Richards said.
The bodies of Viola Warren, 62, and her daughter, Shantai Hale, 31, were discovered in one bedroom, while little 7-year-old Kayla Walker was found in another bedroom inside the 148th Avenue home, police said.
Two passenger jets were escorted by fighter jets to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and evacuated Saturday after what authorities called two “credible” bomb threats. However, FBI Atlanta later said that no devices were found on either plane.
The flights, Delta flight 1156 and Southwest flight 2492, were met in the air by fighter jets and escorted to the airport “as a precautionary measure’ according to a spokesman for NORAD. The flights landed safety and the fighter jets returned to their base.
The passengers were evacuated and a bomb squad checked both planes, MyFoxAtlanta reports.
"Due a security situation, the aircraft operating Flight 2492 was taken to a remote area of the airport where customers and the aircraft are being rescreened,” a spokesman for Southwest Airlines said. “Our number one priority is the safety of our customers and people. We cannot comment on the nature of the security situation."
The FBI in Atlanta later confirmed that no explosive devices were discovered.
PANGKALAN BUN, Indonesia – The second attempt to lift the fuselage of the crashed AirAsia jetliner failed Sunday as the wreckage sank back to the ocean floor when a rope linking the lifting balloons broke.
Navy spokesman Manahan Simorangkir said strong current was the main obstacle. The rope had been fastened and linked to a ship, but broke again as the fuselage was lifted.
"We could not fight against nature," Simorangkir said. "We just hope the weather would change and be conducive."
The attempt on Saturday failed because lifting balloons deflated. Divers reached the fuselage for the first time on Friday. Most of the victims are believed to be inside.
Simorangkir said rescuers retrieved one body Sunday that floated as the fuselage was being raised.
A total of 70 bodies have been discovered from Flight 8501, which crashed Dec. 28 with 162 people on board while flying from Indonesia's second-largest city of Surabaya, to Singapore.
Dozens of navy divers have been fighting strong current and poor visibility while trying to lift the fuselage from 30-meter- (100-feet-) deep waters in the Java Sea. The cockpit has been located about 500 meters (yards) away, and the bodies of the pilot and co-pilot are believed to be there.
Bad weather is a suspected factor in the crash. The pilots asked for permission to climb to a higher altitude, but air traffic controllers couldn't allow it because of heavy air traffic. The flight disappeared soon afterward.
Transportation authorities have ruled out sabotage and say a preliminary accident report is expected to be submitted to the International Civil Aviation Organization this coming week.
The father of alleged social media bullies lost his job two days after a video surfaced on the Internet with malicious voice mail recordings targeted at the victim's father.
Deron Puro was an independent contract at a financial firm in Minnesota. His employer told Fox 9 Wednesday that he is no longer associated with that company.
Brad Knudson's daughter Dierdra was the victim of malicious SnapChat messages allegedly sent by Puro's children, a set of twin boys who attend Prior Lake High School in Minnesota. Knudson said his daughter's friend, who was with Dierdra at the time, brought the messages to his attention. Knudson said the messages contained the N-word and called his daughter fat.
"We have a very beautiful African American daughter that we were very fortunate enough to adopt 11 years ago," Knudson said in a YouTube video talknig about the voicemail. “We've dealt with a little bit of racism, you know, stares, things like that when she calls us mom or dad, but she didn't notice so we just blew it off because it was directed towards us.”
Knudson said he tried to contact Puro, but could not get a hold of him. The father went to the police. Police talked to the boys and the parents, who issued their cellphone number.
Puro called Knudson and left a racially-charged voicemail. Knudson called Puro back and told him that he planned to post a video about the message.
Prior-Lake-Savage Area schools are investigating the situation.
Another North Carolina inmate has been exonerated by DNA evidence and freed after spending decades in prison for a wrongful murder conviction.
Joseph Sledge was set free Friday after a three-judge panel found that he was innocent of a 1976 killing of a mother and a daughter. The 70-year-old is the third inmate to be freed in less than six months in the state.
After he was released, Sledge said he was really looking forward to going home and doing the "most mundane" things: "Going home, relaxing and sleeping in a real bed."
The lawyer who took his case in 2004, Christine Mumma, said she had been on the verge of closing the case in 2012 when court clerks discovered a misplaced envelope containing hair from the crime scene while cleaning out an evidence vault.
The envelope contained hair, found on the victim and believed to be the attacker's, that turned out to be a key piece of evidence needed to do DNA testing, which wasn't available when Sledge went on trial in 1978.
"I understand those shelves were very high, but there was a ladder in that room," said Mumma, a lawyer for the North Carolina Center on Actual Innocence.
The case was referred to the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission in 2013. Sledge is the eighth person exonerated after an investigation by the commission.
The commission is the only state-run agency of its kind and since 2007 it has reviewed and closed nearly 1,500 cases.
The judges considered the commission's investigative file, and a DNA expert highlighted lab tests in her testimony Friday. Meghan Clement of Cellmark Forensics said none of the evidence collected from the scene — hair, DNA and fingerprints — belonged to Sledge.
The key jailhouse informant, Herman Baker, signed an affidavit in 2013 recanting trial testimony. Baker said he lied at the 1978 ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
President Obama arrived in India Sunday to showcase a deepening relationship with the country with hopes to lay the ground work for future agreements.
Obama is scheduled to sit with Indian leaders at a military parade Monday, becoming the first U.S. president to attend India's Republic Day celebrations. His appearance at the parade is meant to show solidarity between the two largest democratic nations, as China's presence grows in Asia.
The president's trip comes four months after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with Obama in Washington. It also coincides with escalating tensions between India and Pakistan, with both countries trading fire at its borders killing dozens of civilians.
The two leaders are expected to discuss how India and Pakistan can resume dialogue and reduce hostilities, officials told the Wall Street Journal.
The acceptance of Modi's invitation to Republic was a strong sign of renewed U.S. hope that Indian will be able to achieve a sustained economic development that is critical to competing against China.
Obama is also expected to discuss the progress made on getting the heavily polluted country to agree to curb carbon emissions. White House officials are hoping that the climate agreement between the U.S. and China will spur India to take similar steps. However, officials are not expecting that to happen.
Obama is also expected to push Modi to make changes to liability legislation in India that has prevented U.S. companies from capitalizing on a landmark civil nuclear agreement between the two countries in 2008.
Japan's prime minister said Sunday he was "speechless" after an online video purportedly showed an Islamic State militant killing one of the two Japanese hostages.
Shinzo Abe told Japanese broadcaster NHK the government is still reviewing the video, but it was likely authentic. Abe offered his condolences to the family and friends of 42-year-old Haruna Yukawa, who was taken hostage in Syria last year.
Abe did not comment about the message in the latest video that demanded a prisoner exchange for the other hostage, journalist Kenji Goto.
"I am left speechless," he said, stressing he wants Goto released unharmed. "We strongly and totally criticize such acts."
Yukawa's father, Shoichi, said he hoped "deep in his heart" that the news of his son's killing was not true.
"If I am ever reunited with him, I just want to give him a big hug," he told a small group of journalists invited into his house.
President Obama condemned the "brutal murder." He said in a statement that the United States stands by Japan and calling for Goto's release.
The U.S. National Security Council said it has seen the video and that the intelligence community is working to confirm its authenticity.
“The United States strongly condemns (Islamic State’s) actions, and we call for the immediate release of all the remaining hostages,” said agency spokesman Patrick Ventrell.
The CIA also has confirmed it is aware of the video and is reviewing it.
The video message claims one hostage has been killed and demands a prisoner exchange for the other.
The Associated Press could not verify the contents of the message, which varied greatly from previous videos released by Islamic State, which now holds a third of both Syria and Iraq.
Japanese government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said the audio was still being studied, but there was no reason to deny the authenticity of the video.
One militant on ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 15 (UPI) -- A Philadelphia taxi driver was tipped nearly $1,000 on a fare of less than $5 for a ride that lasted about two minutes, the taxi company said.
Freedom Taxi of Philadelphia said driver Oumar Maiga drove a man less than a mile last month and the passenger chose to pay the $4.31 fare using a credit card.
Everett Abitbol, co-founder of the company, said Maiga looked at the receipt and was shocked to see the customer had added a $989.98 tip.
He said the company waited 30 days for the payment to clear before making the announcement.
Abitbol said no one knows the identity of the passenger, who assured Maiga the tip was intentional.
"We've tried to get in touch with him, but the credit card company won't divulge his name," Abitbol told Philly.com. "The fare was not disputed. That's all they would say."
Abitbol said the passenger told Maiga he was going to "make it a great night" before giving the 23,000 percent tip.
An Alabama judge sentenced a woman to 219 years in prison for her involvement in an incestuous sex ring accused of molesting children for years.
Wendy Holland, 35, showed no emotion as the judge condemned her to virtually a life sentence. She must serve 50 years before being considered for parole.
The jurors convicted Holland of sodomy, sexual abuse and other charges last month. Another defendant, William Brownlee, got a 20-year prison sentence. The 50-year-old man was convicted of sodomy and sexual abuse in the fall.
The two were among 11 people charged with sex crimes in wake of the 2012 disappearance of 19-year-old Brittney Wood, a suspected victim in the ring. Wood remains missing and is presumed dead.
Baldwin Council Circuit Judge Jody Bishop gave both Holland and Brownlee the maximum sentence and said each deserved more time. Each still faces additional charges involving other alleged victims.
In a letter read in court, the underage female victim in both cases said years of abuse left her traumatized. She has a hard time trusting anyone, gets angry easily and rarely feels safe.
"I was a little girl being held down and raped," wrote the victim, who was in court.
Police said the two were part of a group of relatives and friends who sexually abused children and swapped their own kids for years.
Holland is the widow of alleged group leader Donnie Holland. Donnie was Wood's uncle. The teen disappeared around the time Donnie was found with a gunshot wound to the head. His death was ruled a suicide.
Wendy and Donnie Holland's 22-year-old son Donald Paul Holland Jr. — charged with incest, rape and sexual abuse as another alleged participant in the ring — appeared before the judge in a closed hearing after his mother's sentencing.
He was seen being arrested and led away in handcuffs afterward, but the ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)