Posts tagged ‘Latest Update’

Whitney Heichel Suspect Admits To Downloading Child Porn And Hiding Two Handguns Before Arrest

Photo of Whitney Heichel who has been missing since Tuesday, October 16, 2012 from Gresham, Oregon.

Update: 10/27/12 GRESHAM, OR — Whitney Heichel Suspect Admits To Downloading Child Porn And Hiding Two Handguns Before Arrest: 

Indicted for the murder of 21-year-old Barista Whitney Heichel, Oregon man Jonathan Holt told police how he had desperately tried to hide evidence and confessed to downloading child pornography, according to newly released court documents.

Holt left a trail of evidence as police followed him in the hours before his arrest.

Jonathan Holt, 25, discarded one handgun in bushes at his north Portland workplace on Oct. 19, according to documents released Friday.

 Jonathan HoltMultnomah County Police Mug-shot Of Jonathan Holt After His Arrest For The Abduction And Murder of Whitney Heichel.

Confessed: Jonathan Holt accidentally left a trail of evidence for police as he tried to dispose of anything that cold tie him to Whitney Heichel’s murder

He tossed another handgun in the grass outside the suburban Gresham Police Department, just before confessing to sexually abusing and killing Heichel.

Heichel also admitted to breaking into Heichel’s home to steal an iPhone before abducting her and to downloading child pornography on his home computer.

Holt was arrested during that interview.

During a brief court appearance Friday, Holt, was indicted on charges of kidnap, robbery and sodomy. He was earlier charged with aggravated murder.

Lawyer Conor Thomas Huseby, appointed to represent Holt, declined to answer questions.

Hundreds of people from around the Portland area gathered Friday at a Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Hall in Gresham for a public memorial for Heichel.

Her husband, Clint Heichel, spoke to reporters outside the hall, saying the family wanted to ‘give the community a hug’ and thank people for their kindness.

‘She was just a ray of sunshine,’ he said.

In the hours after Heichel failed to show up for work at a Starbucks cafe on Oct. 16, relatives and friends launched a wide-ranging search.

However, Holt, who was a neighbor, an acquaintance and attended the same church, was nowhere to be found, The Oregonian reported.

When friends finally spotted Holt nearly 12 hours later, court documents say he told them he had been on his way to work that day when he was robbed at gunpoint by two black men.

Holt didn’t report that robbery to police that day but when questioned by officers for the first time on Oct. 17, he said he’d been shaken by the experience and spent the entire day walking and crying.

HeichelHappier times: Though only 21 Heichel had a loving marriage with husband Clint

HeichelCircle of friends: Family and friends described the outgoing Heichel as a ‘ray of sunshine’

Police say Holt repeatedly changed his story about the alleged robbery.

Whitney Heichel’s Ford Explorer, with the passenger side window smashed, was found at a Walmart six hours after she disappeared.

A subsequent investigation led to the discovery of her body on Larch Mountain, east of Gresham.

Court documents released earlier say that Holt told Oregon State Police Sgt. Jon Harrington that he waited outside Heichel’s apartment and asked for a ride as she was leaving for work.

Minutes into the drive, he pulled a handgun and told her to drive to Roslyn Lake, the document said.

Holt then forced Heichel to perform oral sex before fatally shooting her.

He then disposed of his cellphone at the lake before driving to the mountain to conceal the body.

Heichel was shot four times.

Source of above article: Dailymail.co.uk

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Update: 10/23/12 GRESHAM, OR — Whitney Heichel Suspect Admits To Raping And Killing The Former Starbuck’s Employee:

Pictured: Suspect, Johnathan Holt

The neighbor accused of killing Oregon barista Whitney Heichel told police he waited for her outside her apartment as she left for work and asked her for a ride, according to a police report. About five minutes into the ride, officials say, he pulled a gun on her.

Jonathan Holt, 24, who lived in the same apartment complex as Heichel and her husband, then “took [Heichel] by gun point in her vehicle” to an area near a lake and forced her to perform oral sex on him, according to the police report that said Holt “admitted” the events to a cop.

He then allegedly shot and killed her with a handgun before disposing of his cellphone in the lake. He took her body and concealed it on Larch Mountain in Multnomah County, Ore., where it was later found, according to the report.

Heichel, 21, vanished on her way to work as a Starbucks barista Oct. 16 and her body was found three days later.

Dr. Christopher Young of the Multnomah County Medical Examiner’s office said Heichel died from four gunshot wounds. Holt’s cellphone was located at the lake and he was arrested after a series of interviews reportedly didn’t add up and officials found his fingerprints and DNA in her recovered car.

Holt made his first court appearance Monday evening, appearing via closed-circuit television in Clackamas County court wearing a suicide smock.

He reportedly cried throughout the arraignment, simply answering “yes,” to the judge’s questions.

Holt was charged with seven counts of kidnap, robbery, sodomy and murder. His case will soon be presented in a grand jury, and additional charges might be filed. If convicted of the most serious counts, he could face the death penalty.

He did not enter a plea at the hearing and will continue to be held at a county jail without bail. It is unclear whether he has a lawyer.

Heichel’s husband said he had “bet on forever” with his wife of less than two years and has now been left wondering why anyone would hurt her.

“She’s just very kind and loved everybody,” Clint Heichel told ABC News in an exclusive interview Monday. “She didn’t do anything to deserve this. It’s just, why? That’s the only question. Why?”

Heichel said the married suspect lived in his apartment complex, and they attended the same church. Heichel said he and his wife cared for the Holts’ plants and cats when they were away. Heichel helped Holt jump-start his motorcycle two weeks ago, he said.

“It’s very difficult, we only had a year and nine months together and when you get married you bet on forever,” Heichel said. “She was just a beautiful little person, just full of love, and she was just a ray of light to everybody.”

Police have not reported a motive for the killing.

Heichel was reported missing last Tuesday morning when she did not show up for work at Starbucks, which was a five-minute drive from her home. Shortly after, her Ford Explorer was found abandoned in a Walmart parking lot with its passenger-side window shattered.

Her husband reported her missing at 10 a.m., about 2 and a half hours after she was supposed to report for work.

Heichel’s bank card had been used to get gas at two different gas stations within eight minutes, her husband said, and police had been studying a surveillance video from the first station.

A man told police he recognized Heichel in the passenger seat of her car at another station shortly before 9:30 a.m., but said a man was driving.

For part two of this article written and published by ABCNew’s please Click here

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Updated: 10/22/12 GRESHAM, OR — Murdered Starbuck’s Barista Whitney Heichel Was Raped Then Shot Several Times:

The young Oregon barista Whitney Heichel who vanished on her way to her job at a Starbucks was sexually assaulted before she was shot “multiple” times, according to charges filed today against the man arrested in her death.

Jonathan Holt, 24, a neighbor of Heichel and a member of the same Jehovah’s Witness church, appeared via closed-circuit television in Clackamas County court wearing a suicide smock.

He reportedly cried throughout the arraignment, simply answering “yes,” to the judge’s questions.

Holt was charged with seven counts of kidnap, robbery, sodomy and murder. His case will soon be presented in a grand jury, and additional charges may be filed. If convicted of the most serious counts he could face the death penalty.

He did not enter a plea at today’s hearing and will continue to be held at a county jail without bail.

“The cause was multiple gunshot wounds and the manner was homicide,” Dr. Christopher Young of the Multnomah County Medical Examiner’s office told ABCNews.com.

The search for the missing 21-year-old woman came to a grim conclusion Friday night when police found her body and arrested a neighbor in connection with her death.

Police found Heichel’s body on Larch Mountain, a 40-minute drive up winding roads from her home in Gresham, Ore.

They arrested Jonathan Holt, 24, an acquaintance and neighbor, after a series of interviews reportedly didn’t add up and they found his fingerprints and DNA in her recovered car.

Heichel’s devastated husband said that he had “bet on forever” with his wife of less than two years and has now been left wondering why anyone would hurt her.

“She’s just very kind and loved everybody,” Clint Heichel told ABC News in an exclusive interview. “She didn’t do anything to deserve this. It’s just … why? That’s the only question. Why?”

Clint Heichel said that the married Holt lived in his apartment complex, and they attended the same church. Heichel said that he and his wife cared for the Holts’ plants and cats when they were away. Two weeks ago, Heichel helped Holt jump-start his motorcycle.

Heichel is grieving the loss of his wife and the future they had planned together.

“It’s very difficult, we only had a year and nine months together and when you get married you bet on forever,” he said. “She was just a beautiful little person, just full of love, and she was just a ray of light to everybody.”

Police have not reported a motive for the killing and have released few details about when Holt may have approached Whitney Heichel or if he had been stalking her.

Heichel was reported missing on Tuesday morning when she did not show up for work at Starbucks, which was just a five-minute drive from her home. Shortly after, her Ford Explorer was found abandoned in a Walmart parking lot with its passenger-side window shattered.

Her husband reported her missing at 10 a.m., about 2 and a half hours after she was supposed to report for work.

Heichel’s bank card had been used to get gas at two different gas stations within eight minutes, her husband said, and police had been studying a surveillance video from the first station.

A man told police he recognized Heichel sitting in the passenger seat of her car at another station shortly before 9:30 a.m., but said a man was driving.

For part two of article written and published by ABCNews Click Here

Source of article above: Abcnews

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Updated: 10/19/12 – Missing Starbuck’s Employee Murdered, Neighbor’s Arrested: 

GRESHAM, OR. – Searchers found the body of a young Oregon woman who vanished this week on her way to work and a neighbor has been arrested, Gresham police said late Friday night.

The body of Whitney Heichel, 21, was found on Larch Mountain, a remote, forested area east of Gresham, Police Chief Craig Junginger told a news conference.

After collecting DNA and fingerprints and conducting three interviews over three days, police arrested Jonathan Holt, 24, of Gresham, for investigation of aggravated murder, the chief said.

Holt lived in the same apartment complex as Heichel and her husband.

The Starbucks barista reportedly left her apartment for work at about 6:45 a.m. Tuesday on a drive that typically takes less than five minutes.

Her husband, Clint, called police roughly three hours later. He told investigators he tried to reach Whitney multiple times after her boss alerted him that she never arrived for her 7 a.m. shift.

Police said Heichel’s ATM card was used at a nearby Troutdale gas station at 9:14 a.m. Tuesday. Two hours later, her sport utility vehicle was found in a Wal-Mart parking lot with the passenger side window smashed.

Missing Oregon barista’s cell phone found; police searching for clues

A child later found her cell phone in a field that lies between the gas station and the Wal-Mart, giving investigators another venue to search.

Police have been searching Larch Mountain since Wednesday, believing that Heichel’s SUV was driven there.

“To say that this case brought fear and anxiety to the community is an understatement,” Gresham Mayor Shane Bemis told the Oregonian on Friday. “Our law enforcement personnel and our community searched for Whitney as if she were a member of their own family.”

Detectives interviewed Holt on Wednesday and Thursday before arresting him during a Friday night interview, the chief said.

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There were “many inconsistencies” in Holt’s interviews, Junginger said.

Additional crime lab evidence received Friday morning tied him to Heichel’s vehicle, the chief added.

It was not immediately known if Holt was represented by a lawyer.

Pictured; Whitney’s husband, Clint Heichel, get’s a hug from his mother-in-law as he attempted to speak out Thursday, before his wife’s body was discovered.

Jim Vaughn, a family spokesman, addressed the Friday night news conference, thanking police for their commitment in the case.

“Really, words can’t begin to express the sadness that our families are experiencing tonight,” Vaughn said.

“Whitney was a very loving person,” he added. “She was warm, she was kind, she was everything you would want in a friend, relative, spiritual fellow worshipper.”

He asked for privacy for the family, saying “our loss and heartache is too much to bear right now.”
Police took no questions.

Source: Usnews.Abcnews (Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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Update: 10/19/12 – Kids find cell-phone belonging to missing Starbuck’s Employee, Whitney Heichel:

Children playing in an apartment complex in Oregon found a cell phone that apparently belongs to missing 21-year-old woman Whitney Heichel.

Parents of one of the children told ABC affiliate KATU that the children found Heichel’s phone in bushes outside the Troutdale Terrace Apartments Thursday evening. The family says the phone had a screensaver of a picture of Heichel and text messages asking if she was okay.

“I was pretty shocked. I mean I knew right away … I recognized the face,” April Fletcher, the mother of one the girls, told ABC News.

“[The kids] started flipping through some of the text messages … from [her] uncle, and there was one from Scott that was trying to find out ‘where are you. Are you OK?’ So I mean it just kind of confirmed it to me that it was her cell phone,” she said.

The apartment complex is about four miles away from Heichel’s home in Gresham, Ore. Police have not said whether the phone belongs to Heichel.   Hours before the phone discovery, Heichel’s mother, Lorelei Ritmiller, urged people in the Portland area to keep looking for her daughter, who she described as the “sunshine” in her heart.   Ritmiller spoke of her missing daughter at the Gresham city council chambers Thursday as investigators continued to search for clues after she went missing Tuesday.

“She’s gentle. She’s compassionate … She’s this compassionate laughing person. Her heart is as big as the sun … This is just a great human being. This is a person you’d think no one could ever hurt,” Ritmiller said, according to ABC News affiliate KATU.

Ritmiller said she last saw her daughter Monday, the night before she disappeared. She said her daughter was talking about her future and the desire to start her own family.   “That was her biggest hope — to have babies,” she said.

Ritmiller said her daughter’s nickname within the family is “Mama,” because she’s always been motherly figure to everybody, including her six siblings.   Whitney Heichel’s husband, Clinton, only managed to utter a few words as he attempted to make a statement, but broke down and left the podium.

On Thursday, police searched a wooded area nearby and examined the surveillance video at a gas station that captured Heichel’s black Ford Explorer around 9 a.m. the day she disappeared. Police said they have also interviewed the gas station attendant, but would not elaborate on what was said.   Investigators have not released any specifics about the video or who was driving the vehicle. Many other businesses have provided police with security footage, reported KATU.

Police said they recovered potential evidence during searches of Dodge Park and Larch Mountain on Wednesday and Thursday. Police used red tape to mark where they found broken glass and tire marks in the heavily wooded area near Heichel’s home.   In a briefing on Thursday afternoon, Gresham Police Department spokesman Lt. Claudio Grandjean said investigators found “some important items” during their search, although he would not elaborate. Grandjean said that tips have been pouring in with about two dozen reported to police on Thursday and 21 on Wednesday.

The police have labeled Heichel’s disappearance “suspicious.”

“Generally speaking, stranger-on-stranger crime is not very common,” said Grandjean.

Source of above article: Abcnews.go.com

For some reason my media-link isn’t working so for part two of this article, click: http://abcnews.go.com/US/whitney-heichel-missing-kids-found-cell-phone-belongs/story?id=17514873&page=2

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Published: 10/17/12, GRESHAM, OR — Starbuck’s Employee Missing From Gresham Since Tuesday:

A young Starbuck’s employee has not been seen or heard since Yesterday Morning and her loved ones fear she was abducted.

Whitney Heichel, 21, left her Gresham apartment building at approximately 6:50a.m.. She was employed at a local Starbucks and was suppose to be at her 7a.m. shift which is only a few minutes away from her home.

She never made it.

Several hours later, and four-miles from her home her black SUV was located abandoned in a Walmart parking lot with it’s windows smashed out and the back-seats pushed down. And according to an article posted online, there was also a large amount of mud on her tires.

Her ATM card was used at a local gas station at 9:14 a.m. with blurry surveillance tape showing her vehicle at the location, Gresham Police confirmed.

Police asked those who worked at the gas station if they seen anything and a gas-station employee said he witnessed a suspicious looking male driving the black SUV as Whitney sat in the passengers side. He said the man looked like he was in a hurry and appeared to be anxious.

Her ATM card was later used at a local gas station at couple hours later at 9:14 a.m. with blurry surveillance tape showing her vehicle at the location, Gresham Police confirmed.

Pictured; Whitney Heichel posing with her Husband of two years, Clint Heichel as they take a picture of themselves.

Her husband, Clint Heichel told Fox 12 that he learned of his wife’s disappearance when her manager at Starbucks called to say she had not arrived for her shift.

”She got dressed this morning, normal everything. Kissed me goodbye, said goodbye,” he said on Tuesday.

Shortly after Whitney’s shift started her Employer, who noticed she wasn’t there and didn’t called went ahead and contacted her husband and said, “Hey, I was just curious, did Whitney decide to be sick or not feeling well? Have you seen her or talked to her?”‘ he told KATU.

After hanging up with her boss, Client tried repeatedly calling and texting Whitney to no avail. That’s when he went and called 911. .

“I hope she’s okay,” Client said Tuesday. “Anyone who has a loved one or is married knows if your spouse goes missing and there’s no word… I don’t know what to say, I don’t know what to think, I don’t know what to do.”

Whitney Heichel is described as a Caucasian female, with a slim body frame, brown hair and brown eyes, 5’2” and weighing approximately 120-pounds.

Search: A map of Gresham, Oregon shows the short distance between Heichel's home and her work

A map of Oregon posted by Dailymail shows the distance from her home, work, Walmart parking-lot and the Gas-Station where the Witness spotted Whitney and a ”Suspicious looking man.”

If you have any information regarding the whereabouts of Whitney Heichel or what happened to her, please contact:  Gresham Police at (503) 618-2719.

 

Teenager Arrested In Abduction And Murder Of Jessica Ridgeway

Jessica Ridgeway was abducted on October 5th, 2012. She was found 5 days later, murdered and dismembered and her killer is still on the loose. A Facebook page was created to spread the word on her disappearance, now the page is a memorial for the Colorado girl. To join and/or view the page, click: Jessica Ridgeway Missing From Westminster, CO

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Update: 10/24/12 WESTMINSTER, CO — Local Teenager Arrested In Abduction And Murder Of Jessica Ridgeway: 

 A teenager who lived just a mile from a 10-year-old Colorado girl who was abducted and killed earlier this month has been arrested in her death, along with a May attack on a runner, authorities said Wednesday.

Police in the Denver suburb of Westminster said they took 17-year-old Austin Reed Sigg into custody on Tuesday night after receiving a phone call, apparently from his mother, that led them to Sigg. He was officially arrested Wednesday.

Westminster Police Department: Mugshot of 17-year-old Austin Reed Sigg

Reached by phone, Sigg’s mother told The Associated Press he turned himself in.

“I made the phone call, and he turned himself in. That’s all I have to say,” said Mindy Sigg, before she broke down in tears and hung up.

Police announced the arrest as agents searched the home of Sigg, a student at Arapahoe Community College. Authorities declined to elaborate on the arrest and have released few details about the investigation. Court documents have been sealed, but a police custody report said Sigg was cooperative when he was arrested and waived his rights.

Jessica Ridgeway disappeared Oct. 5 while walking to school. Her remains were found five days later in a field at a park, and police said her body was “not intact.”

The arrest case came a day after police said Jessica’s abduction was linked to the May 28 attempted kidnapping of a 22-year-old runner at another area park, the Ketner Lake Open Space.

In that case, a woman fought off a stranger who grabbed her from behind and put a rag that smelled of chemicals over her mouth, authorities said. Westminster investigator Trevor Materasso said Tuesday police haven’t been able to determine if the substance on the rag was meant to subdue the woman.

Authorities didn’t say why they think the two cases are connected, but they noted Sigg will be charged in both crimes. His first court appearance is set for 8 a.m. Thursday.

As technicians in white coveralls searched Sigg’s home, neighbors described the 17-year-old as a quiet, goth boy who often work black clothes.

“He was shy and kept to himself,” said Brooke Olds, 13, who usually saw Sigg alone on a skateboard or scooter.

Sigg attended Witt Elementary — the same school Jessica went to — but he moved on to middle school in 2007, before she enrolled, Jefferson County Public Schools spokeswoman Lynn Setzer said.

Jessica was on her way to Witt when she disappeared.

Sigg later attended Standley Lake High School while also taking classes at Warren Tech, a school that offers specialized training in health science, public safety, technology and other fields.

Sigg left the school district in July after finishing the 11th grade and later earned a GED. School officials don’t know why he left.

Arapahoe Community College officials confirmed that he was enrolled there but refused to say what campus he attended or what he was studying.

Police said they notified the Ridgeway family of the arrest Wednesday morning. Jessica lived in Westminster with her mother, Sarah Ridgeway. Jessica’s father, Jeremiah Bryant, lives in Missouri.

“We hope and pray that this arrest brings them some measure of closure in dealing with this enormous loss that they’ve suffered,” Police Chief Lee Birk said.

The also arrest brought relief to the community, which has been on edge as authorities searched for Jessica’s killer. More parents have been waiting with their children at bus stops, and high school students have volunteered to walk younger children to school to keep them safe.

“Every parent in every Colorado community will rest a little easier tonight,” said Gov. John Hickenlooper, who has a 10-year-old son. “While we still mourn the death of Jessica Ridgeway, we are relieved an arrest has been made and the pursuit of justice can continue.”

A steady stream of people have paid their respects to Jessica at a memorial to her at a park near her home. It has been decorated with flowers, balloons and stuffed animals.

Jessica was walking down a quiet street in her modest neighborhood when she was last seen alive. Her school backpack was found three days later in Superior, another Denver suburb about seven miles northwest of her home.

After Jessica’s disappearance, more than 1,000 officers and 10 agencies, including the FBI, investigated the case, following up on more than 4,000 leads.

Authorities had long said Jessica’s killer could be someone from the community. But early on, they didn’t seem to have any particular suspect in mind. They asked residents to be on the lookout for anything suspicious from their bosses, friends and family members, watching for things like leaving home unexpectedly, missing appointments or changing their appearance.

Source: News.Yahoo.Com

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Update: 10/23/12 – WESTMINSTER, CO — Definite Link Between Attempted May Abduction And The Abduction & Murder Of Jessica Ridgeway According To Westminster Police:  

WESTMINSTER — Police confirmed a definitive connection between the attempted abduction of an adult jogger on Memorial Day near Ketner Lake and the murder of 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway.

However Westminster police investigator Trevor Materasso would not say what that link is.

“Police need to preserve the integrity of the investigation as much as possible,” he said Monday afternoon.

Westminster police held a meeting with television news directors Monday afternoon to ask them to use more discretion about the details being reported about the case.

On Sunday night, Fox 31 reported elements of the case, attributed to unnamed sources, that Materasso told The Denver Post contained “bad information.”

“We are confident in the accuracy of our story and stand by it 100 percent,” Fox 31’s Vice President of News Ed Kosowski said.

One part of the report said a grocery store receipt for garbage bags was found in Pattridge Park Open Space in Arvada, near where Jessica’s body was found Oct. 10. Materasso said no receipts were found in that area or at Ketner Lake Open Space, near Jessica’s Westminster home. He said employees at a King Soopers store have been interviewed, but “what led us to talk to them was related to a different tip.”

He would not talk about forensic elements of the case, including the results of tests of DNA samples. Nor would he discuss anything about Jessica’s backpack, which was discovered in the Superior neighborhood of Rock Creek three days after she disappeared.

He did say what was described as hair by a person walking in a field about a mile from where Jessica’s remains were found in Pattridge Park had been collected.

“We are asking people to understand that some of this needs to be withheld,” Materasso said.

On Friday, police released a photo of a small wooden cross that could have been worn as a pendant. The cross has zig-zag markings on one side, and three distinct lines etched on the crossbar of the other side. Materasso said police have received many calls about that cross, but he asked people to focus on the unique markings, rather than on the size or shape of the object.

Hundreds of investigators are poring over evidence gathered during the days of searching that followed Jessica’s disappearance as she walked to school in her Westminster neighborhood the morning of Oct. 5.

Last week, police renewed their calls for tips from people who might have information related to the Memorial Day attempted abduction of a jogger on Ketner Lake Open Space. That woman told police that a man attempted to cover her face with a chemical-soaked rag. She was able to escape.

She described her attacker as an 18 to 30 year-old light-skinned male with brown hair and a medium build, about 5-feet 6 inches to 5 feet 8 inches tall.

Anyone with tips about Jessica’s murder, or about the Memorial Day attack is asked to call Westminster Police at 303-658-4336 or email toPDamberalert@cityofwestminster.us.com

Source of above article: Denverpost

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Update: 10/19/12 WESTMINSTER, CO — Westminster Police Are looking into an Attempted May Abduction of a Young Woman as They Continue To Investigate Jessica Ridgeway’s Abduction And Murder:

The Westminster Police Department has announced that it is exploring the possibility of a connection between the abduction and murder of Colorado girl Jessica Ridgeway, 10, and an attempted abduction of a woman, 22, at Ketner Lake in May 2012.

According to Westminster Police Spokesman Trevor Materasso, “It’s not very far from where Jessica was abducted.” Police believe that the close proximity, about a mile, and time frame of the incidents may yield similar clues in the two cases.

Materasso continued, “We want to look at those two characteristics and see if anybody has information they could provide.”

The young woman told police that her abductor jumped her from behind while she was jogging, and put a rag over her face that had a strong chemical smell.

Profiler Clint Van Zandt added, “There’s always the possibility that because he failed in his attempt to kidnap an adult woman he may have gone to someone he felt more in control of, and that’s a younger child.”

Westminster Police have released a description of the assailant at the lake: He is a light-skinned male; he could be as young as 18 to anywhere into his 30′s, and may have been wearing a ball cap that made him look that age; he has brown hair, a medium build, and is around 5′ 6″ to 5′ 8.” Another such incident occurred at the same lake in 2010.

Investigators are reportedly examining all the attempted abduction in the area for connections to the Ridgeway case.

Anyone with any information should call the Westminster Police Department tip center at 303-658-4336 or email to: PDamberalert@cityofwestminster.us

Above article source: Trutv (Crime Library) by Cora Van Olsen Published Friday, Oct. 19, 2012

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Updated: 10/16/12 Arvada, ColoradoCommunity gathers in Arvada for Jessica Ridgeway Memorial:

Faith Bible Chapel in Arvada was awash in purple Tuesday night as family, friends and the community gathered to remember a 10-year-old girl who disappeared as she headed for school and whose body was found several days later.

Jessica Ridgeway’s favorite color was purple. The church filled rapidly beneath large video screens filled with Jessica’s picture. At about 7:05 p.m., her family entered and were seated at the front of the crowd. Pastor Rick Long welcomed the crowd and began a video montage of photos, accompanied by some of Jessica’s favorite songs. Gov. John Hickenlooper said he was proud to be at the lecturn, wearing a bright purple shirt in honor of Jessica. He told the mourners that the challenge was to keep their focus on the light that was Jessica’s. “What a remarkable, remarkable spirit.” he said.

Jessica’s aunt, Becca Ridgeway, said her niece’s life was short, but it was sweet.

Westminster Police Department Chief Lee Birk said he was there to represent the hundreds of law enforcement officers who are still working on the case. He said he conveyed a message of “peace and love” to Jessica’s family from law enforcement and promised the family that officers would diligently keep on the case and get “justice for Jessica.”

Sen. Michael Bennet attended the service but did not speak.

Ridgeway disappeared from her Westminster home on Friday, Oct. 5., when she walked out the front door to walk to her nearby elementary school. Her body was found on Wednesday, Oct. 10, in Pattridge Park in Arvada, several miles from her Westminster home.

Officials identified the body Friday and promised they were looking for the person who killed her. Police do not suspect Jessica’s family. Investigators are focusing on an at-large, unknown predator. Leads in the case have been slim, despite hundreds of tips that detectives have received through dedicated phone lines and internet e-mail boxes set up for the case.

Over the weekend about 1,000 people gathered in the rain and wind in Westminster where they held hands and prayed for the girl. Purple balloons were released into the stormy sky. Memorial sites have also sprung up at Chelsea Park, down the block from Jessica’s home where she would meet friends to walk to school with; and at the site in Pattridge Park where her body was found. Faith Bible Chapel has a capacity of about 4,000

 Source of above article: denverpost
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(Article written and published by dailymail, link posted below)

Updated: 10/12/12 Denver, COBody Discovered IS Missing Colorado Girl, Jessica Ridgeway:

A dismembered body found in a park in a  Denver suburb has been confirmed as that of missing 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway  – while her killer remains at large.

Jessica Ridgeway

Photo of Jessica Ridgeway holding a doll shortly before her abduction and murder.

Authorities had initially been unable to  confirm the identity of the body, which was found on Wednesday seven miles from  where she vanished on October 5, as it was not ‘intact’, they said.

They have now used DNA to identify the body  as hers.

‘Our focus has changed from the search for  Jessica to a mission of justice for Jessica,’ Westminster Police Chief Lee Birk  said on Friday. ‘We realise there is a predator at large in our  community.’

Police have not yet arrested a suspect and on  Thursday, the FBI’s  Behavioral Analysis Unit released a list of changes that a  person  committing a crime against a child would exhibit.

Sudden  differences in appearance, missed  appointments, being absent from work,  or leaving town with no explanation could  suggest guilt, the guidelines said.

Analyst Clinton Van Zandt said other clues  are activities that are out of character, such  as a person who may have  detailed their car when he normally would have  only washed it.

‘It could be your boss, it could be your  friend, and ultimately it could be your family member,’ FBI spokesman Dave Joly  said. ‘Bring this  information to law enforcement and let us vet that to a  close.’

Joly said agents are searching for a man,  based on statistics for this type of crime.

Police have ruled out as suspect Jessica’s  parents – Sarah Ridgeway, who lives in Colorado, and Jeremiah Bryant, who lives  in Missouri – and believe Jessica was kidnapped by a ‘unknown  suspect’.

Ridgeway disappeared on Friday morning but an  amber alert was  not issued until the evening when her mother woke up after  recovering  from a night shift and realized she had not returned.

She had last seen her daughter her walking to  a park to meet friends to go to school. Yet the girl never arrived at school,  sparking a frantic search involving hundreds of law enforcement officials.

‘It’s so close to home,’ said Chelsea Bozsak, a senior at nearby Standley Lake High School, where Jessica’s cousin attends classes. ‘That it could have happened to anyone in the community is scary.’

Fliers about the fifth-grader were posted on  nearly every house in  Jessica’s neighborhood of modest, two-story homes with  single-car  garages.

Purple ribbons, Jessica’s favorite color and  a symbol of hope  for her return, were tied around trees.

It was a lively area where children played  outdoors, said neighbor Luis Pena, but since Jessica disappeared, parents are  keeping  their children inside and people look at each other with suspicion.

‘Nobody trusts anybody anymore,’ he said.

The only real clue police have revealed in  Jessica’s disappearance is  the discovery over the weekend of a backpack and  water bottle that she  had with her when she disappeared.

Police won’t discuss what was found  in the  bag or test results on it but the items were found in the town of Superior, six  miles from Jessica’s home.

At about 5pm on Wednesday, dozens of officers  flooded into Pattridge Park in  Arvada, combing the foot of a hill,  walking no more than five feet apart, reportedly working on a credible  tip.

After the body was found, police covered it  in a sheet and used the flood  lights from a firetruck to illuminate the crime  scene so they could work late into the night.

The focus of their search was an  abandoned  cabin that appeared to have been part of a former mining  operation. The area is  now a popular park where neighbors often come to  hike, ride bicycles and fly  model airplanes.

Several new housing developments are close to  the park and a busy highway runs alongside it.

Police said they are not suspicious that  Jessica’s parents, who are divorced and fighting a custody battle over her, had  any involvement in the disappearance.

‘At this point in the investigation,  after  thoroughly looking at the parents, we’re confident they’re not  involved in the  disappearance of Jessica Ridgeway,’ Materasso said on  Wednesday afternoon. ‘The  focus shifts to [an] unknown suspect.’

The girl’s mother Sarah Ridgeway and  Jeremiah Bryant, the girl’s father,  spoke out on Tuesday, denying any involvement in her disappearance.

‘I know I didn’t do anything. Everybody  that’s here knows I didn’t do  anything,’ said Jessica Ridgeway’s mother, Sarah,  surrounded by  relatives dressed in purple – her daughter’s favorite  color.

She added, ‘Nobody in this room did anything  to harm her or a tiny hair on her little head.’

Sarah Ridgeway was joined by ten  family  members, among them her ex-husband, Jeremiah Bryant, who said  that when  questioned by the FBI if his former spouse could have anything to do with the  10-year-old’s disappearance, he said ‘no.’

‘I don’t see how any parent could do  something like that to their child,’ Bryant added, according to Fox31.

Family problems: Jessica's mother and father have been locked in a custody dispute over the little girl after the couple separated

Jessica’s parents (pictured) have been locked in a Custody dispute since their separation. Both are over-whelmed with grief.

Appearing composed for most of the  38-minute-long pubic statement, the girl’s mother told a reporter that  she  understands that police need to conduct an investigation before they eliminate  her from the list of potential suspects.

‘I know it’s something that has to get done,’  she said. ‘The have to get it out of there.’

On Tuesday, police released pictures and a  home video of Jessica Ridgeway in the hope of jogging the memory of  anyone who  may have seen her since she vanished on the way to her school in Colorado five  days ago.

Drawing attention to a small gap  between her  two front teeth and a sore on the top of her nose below  where her glasses sit,  they suggested she may not even still be wearing  her spectacles.

The video was a self-made effort filmed by  the 10-year-old as she tries to  entice her puppy to sit still so it can be on  camera with her.

The search for the youngster, who vanished a  week ago, was delayed as her mother was unaware she had failed to make it to classes at Witt Elementary  School.

When Jessica had not turned up by 10am,  police called the girl’s home  and left a voicemail, but her mother, who works  nights, was asleep at  the time and didn’t get the message.

Home: The girl lives with her mother, grandmother and aunt at 10768 Moore Street in the town of nearly 13,000

Jessica Ridgeway lived on Moore Street (pictured) with her Mother, Aunt and Grandmother

It was not until nearly eight hours later  that the mother woke up. Sarah Ridgeway  recalled that as soon as she heard her  daughter failed to show in  class, she knew at once that something was  wrong.

‘Jessica loves school,’ Sarah said. ‘I  checked some of the places I knew she wouldn’t be just to make sure. But I knew  if she wasn’t at school,  something was wrong.’

The girl lives with her mother, grandmother  and aunt at 10768 Moore Street in the town of nearly 13,000.

‘Mom gets home about 7:30 a.m., gets her  daughter ready for school, 8:30… sends her off,’ Materasso said. ‘The normal  procedure is Jessica walks  to a park, meets classmates and they, as a group,  walk to school.’

But when the girl failed to make it to the  meeting spot, her classmates  went to school without her. At around 4:30pm,  Ridgeway’s mother woke up  and heard the message from police.

Bloodhounds and thermal equipment were used  as a search party of family, friends and about 50 officers searched the  area. After finding no trace of her, an  Amber Alert was issued at 9:20pm.

Hunt: Denis McLaughlin leads his search and rescue dog through a field of tall grass searching for Jessica Ridgeway near her home in Westminster on Monday

Ridgeway recalled the morning her  daughter  went missing. The mother described her 10-year-old as a girl  who could hardly  wait to be a teenager, and who was craving  independence.

Ridgeway remembered hearing the alarm clock  going off at 7:45am and seeing her daughter coming down the  stairs, watching  TV, eating a granola bar and walking out the front  door.

‘It was like any other morning,’ Sarah said,  breaking down in tears. ‘I watched her walk out the door.  Her friend says she’s  walking too. That was the last time I saw her.

‘I want her to walk back through that door. I  need her to walk back through that door,’ she added.

Jessica’s family extended family described  her as a giggly, bubbly girl who would light up the room and bring laughter with  her jokes.

‘Jessica is the light of our life. She’s a  special girl,’ her great aunt Gay Moore said.  ‘She’s a special  girl.’

The girl’s mother added, ‘[Jessica’s] my  rock. She’s all of our rock. When you’re down, she’ll come around,  make you  laugh, hug [and] kiss [you or] dance.’

Meanwhile, FBI is investigating if Jessica’s  disappearance may be linked to the abduction of an 11-year-old in Wyoming, some  500 miles away.

On Monday afternoon, a girl in Cody, Wyoming,  was lured to a white SUV by a man who approached her and two friends. He told  them that he was missing his black Labrador puppy and asked if they could help  him find it, police told ABC.

One of the girls agreed to help him and  climbed into the front seat of the vehicle, which then sped away.

‘[The girl] reported that when she approached  the suspect vehicle, the suspect brandished a “pistol” and directed her to get  in the front passenger seat of the vehicle,’ the Cody Police Department wrote in  a report. ‘The suspect then drove the victim onto Carter Mountain where he  sexually assaulted her.’

Source: Dailymail.co.uk

 ____________________

Previous updates on this case posted below.

Updated: 10/11/12 Denver, CO Jessica Ridgeway Search Update: Body Found In Aruda NOT Intact

Updated: 10/11/12 Denver, COPolice find body during search for Jessica Ridgeway:

Westminster police have been searching for Jessica Ridgeway, the 10-year-old Colorado girl who vanished last week (October 5th) while walking to Witt Elementary School. After 5 days of searching for the missing girl, police announced today that a body was discovered in an open field in West Arvada, approximately 6 miles from where she was last seen, in the area of 107th Avenue and Moore Street in Westminster.

Pictured; Searchers looking for Jessica Ridgeway on October 6, 2012, Four-days before the discovery of her remains in a West Arvada open field.

The heartbroken family anxiously waits for answers. Police aren’t giving details at the moment but those close to the case believe it is indeed the little girl.

As Jessica's mother, Sarah Ridgeway begins to cry

Sarah Ridgeway (above) and Jeremiah Bryant (below) who are divorced, say they have nothing to do with their daughter’s disappearance and both are desperately seeking answers.

Jessica's dad, Jeremiah Bryant begins to cry as Jessica's mother describes the little girl to reporters at the Westminster Police Department

Police made the announcement on Twitter earlier today and are currently investigating the crime scene which Denverpost described as being near ”Pattridge Park.” They plan to update the public after a Thursday morning press conference.

Earlier this morning before the discovery, police stated that they believed the young girl was kidnapped and ruled both parents out as suspects.

Will be updating as soon as more details come in.

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Updated: 10/10/12 Denver, CO –Parent’s of Missing Colorado Girl Make Plea For Her Safe Return:

WESTMINSTER — As the parents of Jessica Ridgeway made an emotional public appeal for her safe return Tuesday, authorities widened their investigation, looking for a possible connection to Monday’s abduction of a girl in Wyoming.

The incident involving a girl in Cody — located in north-central Wyoming about 490 miles from Denver — occurred three days after 10-year-old Jessica vanished as she walked to Witt Elementary School. The Cody girl was released later Monday.

“We are not ruling anything out at this time,” said FBI spokesman Dave Joly. “Both investigations are continuing.”

No one has seen Jessica, a fifth-grader, since she was reported missing.

Sarah Ridgeway, a night-shift worker, told police she last saw her daughter walking toward school. She reported the girl missing later in the afternoon after she awoke to discover a phone message saying Jessica hadn’t arrived at school, 10255 W. 104th Drive, about a mile from her home.

Tuesday, there were fresh sheets on the bed in her room and a nest of stuffed animals waiting for Jessica to come home.

“Everything is up there how she likes it,” said Sarah Ridgeway during a meeting with the news media at the Westminster Police Department. “We want her to be able to sleep in it again. Nice and warm and safe, where she is supposed to be.”

Jessica’s father, Jeremiah Bryant, had one thing on his mind: “I just want to find my daughter and bring her back home.”

“All tied together”

Bryant and Ridgeway, flanked by nine family members and a close friend, talked about their daughter’s disappearance and the pain they have felt.

“If there was a string, we would all be tied together,” Ridgeway said of her support network.

Hundreds of volunteers have searched areas around the girl’s home and near where her backpack was discovered for any clues, and

Jessica Ridgeway. (Westminster Colorado Police Department)

police investigators have been working around the clock trying to find the girl.”I’m trying to stay positive about it,” said Bryant, who lives in Missouri. “It is hard, extremely hard.”

Jessica was described Tuesday as a happy girl who loves animals and enjoys “performing” in front of family, garnering cheers.

She especially likes playing “waitress” — taking imaginary meal orders for adults willing to take part. Jessica’s favorite color is purple, she likes telling jokes and she is a “giggler.”

“We know how scared she is,” said Gay Moore, Jessica’s great-aunt. “We are just as terrified.”

On Friday, Jessica’s alarm clock went off at 7:45 a.m., after which she started preparing for her day.

She turned on the TV and ate a granola bar while getting ready for school.

An orange for school

Ridgeway and her daughter peeled an orange together, a snack she would have at school.

Jessica enjoys school, her mother said, especially math and physical education.

She took the bus last year, but the school district imposed a fee and Sarah insisted she could get there and back, rationalizing that “everyone else is walking,” Ridgeway said.

Jessica walked out the door, with her mother looking on.

“That’s the last time I saw her,” Ridgeway said, breaking into tears. “I need her to walk back through that door.”

On her trips to school, Jessica typically met friends to walk with.

After Friday’s good-bye, Ridgeway went to bed, she said.

She said she left her cellphone in a room downstairs, so her sleep would not be disturbed.

Someone from Witt Elementary called and left a message that Jessica never made it to school, but Ridgeway didn’t get it until she awoke at 4 p.m., about the time her daughter would typically arrive home.

Ridgeway said she checked with friends — but Jessica wasn’t with any of them. Ridgeway went by a playground — no Jessica. Ridgeway said she even drove by the school. After coming up empty everywhere, she called police.

“A sliver of hope”

On Sunday, investigators were tipped off about the discovery of Jessica’s school backpack and water bottle, which were found on a sidewalk in Superior, about six miles from her home.

Ridgeway on Tuesday said the discovery offered her “a sliver of hope.”

“If anything really bad had happened to her,” she said, “they wouldn’t have gotten rid of the backpack.”

In the meantime, investigators released more photographs of Jessica.

As he had the day before, Westminster police spokesman Trevor Materasso urged people to pay attention to Jessica’s facial features, not her glasses or clothing. He said specifically to note she has a gap between her two front teeth and a sore at the bridge of her nose where her glasses sit.

“There’s a chance someone might see her in passing,” he said.

The incident in Wyoming occurred as an 11-year-old girl and a friend were approached by a man in a white sports utility vehicle Monday afternoon who asked for help finding his lost black labrador puppy, according to a Cody Police Department release.

The 11-year-old told the man she would help him and “entered the front passenger side of the vehicle,” according to the release.

The girl’s friend reported her missing. She was spotted walking on a road just outside Cody about 8:15 p.m.

The girl told police that when she approached the vehicle, the man flashed a pistol and told her to get into the front passenger seat.

“We are not ignoring the fact that we have somewhat similar situations in a short period of time,” said Jefferson County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Jacki Kelley. “Whether they are related or not, we cannot say one way or the other.”

The Wyoming suspect was described as a white man, between 55 and 60 years old, 185 to 200 pounds, with short, strawberry-blond or white hair, and a neatly trimmed strawberry-blond or white mustache or beard. He was wearing a brown shirt, blue jeans and a tan baseball cap.

Source: denverpost

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Updated: 10/08/12 Arvada, CO – Backpack and water bottle of missing 10-year-old Colorado girl found after she disappeared THREE BLOCKS from her home:

Police and volunteers searching for a  10-year-old Colorado girl who disappeared Friday morning on her way to school  have found her back pack and water bottle.

An Amber alert was issued for Jessica  Ridgeway Friday night, followed by a massive search operation involving more  than 50 officers from four different jurisdictions, including the FBI,  accompanied by a bloodhound.

Ridgeway was  last seen leaving her Westminster home at 8:30am to walk to Chelsea Park just  three blocks away, where she was supposed to meet up with friends for the walk  to school. But the 10-year-old never made it there.

Her backpack and water bottle have been found  in the neighboring town of Superior.

When Jessica failed to show up for class at  Witt Elementary School by 10am, police called the girl’s home and left a  voicemail, but her mother, who works nights, was asleep at the time and didn’t  get the message.

It was not until nearly eight hours later  that the mother woke up reported her daughter missing.

‘When we start with an eight-hour delay, or a  delay as substantial as this, the distance that she could have wandered even on  her own just gets huge,’ Westminster Police Detective Trevor Materasso told ABC  News.

According to authorities, the girl’s  father,  who lives in Missouri, has been locked in a custody battle with her mother, but  after interviewing him, they said they have no reason  to believe that Jessica  is with him.

The girl lives with her mother, grandmother  and aunt at 10768 Moore Street in the town of nearly 13,000.

Mom gets home about 7:30 a.m., gets her  daughter ready for school, 8:30… sends her off,’ Materasso said. ‘The normal  procedure is Jessica walks to a park, meets classmates and they, as a group,  walk to school.’

But when the girl failed to make it to the  meeting spot, her classmates went to school without her. At around 4:30pm,  Ridgeway’s mother woke up and heard the message from police saying that her  daughter was missing.

Bloodhounds and thermal equipment were used  as a search party consisting of family, friends and about 50 officers searched  the area of 108th Street and Moore Street, KKTVreported. After finding no trace of the  child, an Amber Alert was issued at 9:20 p.m.

The discovery of the back pack and water  bottle came after a day and a half of searching that yielded precious few  leads.

Police and volunteers scoured vast tracts of  land, including fields and lakes, overnight  in search of the missing girl.  Officers continued canvassing the Westminster community and handing out fliers  in hopes of tracking down the 10-year-old.

On Saturday morning, more than 500  volunteers gathered at the Westview Recreation Center,which was turned  into a  temporary police command center, to help look for Jessica, according  to9News.

Ridgeway’s neighbor, Sarah Johnston, told the  station KOAA that she’s very concerned about the  safety of the missing 10-year-old.

It’s really hard to wonder what could go on,’ Johnston said. ‘She is over at our house all the time. [I] just really miss  her.’

The girl’s disappearance comes three weeks  after students at a school in nearby Arvada school saw a man in a dark sedan  trying to lure kids closer to his vehicle.

However, police say there is no indication so  far that the 10-year-old was kidnapped.

The Denver  Post reported that police are  reviewing past incidents for a possible connection including the attempted  abduction on Labor Day of a 22-year-old female jogger at Ketner Lake in  Westminster.

The woman’s assailant was described as white,  about five-feet-eight with brown hair and an average build.

Jessica Ridegway has been described as a  blonde, blue-eyed girl standing at four-feet-10 and weighing 80lbs. she was last  seen wearing blue jeans, black boots with pom poms, a black puffy jacket and  pink and blue glasses.

Source: Dailymail.co.uk

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10/06/12 Denver, CO — An amber alert has been issued Jessica Ridgeway, age 10, last seen at 8:30a.m. walking to school yesterday morning (10/05/12) in the area of 107th Avenue and Moore Street. Westminster Police (WPD) say she never made it. Less than one hour later, at 9:20a.m., WPD sent out the amber alert tweet.

Westminster Police spokesman Trevor Materasso earlier in the evening said an Amber Alert wasn’t issued immediately because of strict criteria that requires investigators to have a reasonable suspicion that an abduction took place.

“The difficult issue is we don’t have any information about where she might have gone,” Materasso said.

Jessica mother work’s the night shift and gets Jessica ready for school in the mornings, but lets her walk alone to a nearby park where she meets some classmates to walk the rest of the way to school.

The classmates say Jessica didn’t show up Friday (yesterday) morning.

The school called the missing girl’s home to confirm the absence with her mother, who was sleeping at the time the call came in. The mother didn’t get the message until just after 4p.m., when she woke up and that’s when she immediately called the police.

Police have made reverse phone calls to more than 12,000 homes in the area. Jefferson County School District also made a notification call to more than 400 families of students and faculty members.

Bloodhounds and other K-9 units from Westminster and from other surrounding agencies have been helping search the area including all nearby trails, and parks.

WPD have also been going door-to-door in the local area to ask if anyone might have seen the young girl or spotted anything unusual.

WPD have asked the public to not conduct any private searches because it could disrupt the work of the K-9 units, but anyone interested in helping search can meet at the Westview Recreation Center at 108th Avenue and Oak Street.

”Bad weather has kept police helicopters grounded,” Materasso said.

He went on to say: ”Westminster Police are still calling in additional resources, and have no intentions of putting off the search for the night.”

Jessica Ridgeway is described as a Caucasian female, 4’10”, weighing approximately 80 pounds with dirty-blond shoulder-length hair and blue eyes. She was wearing a black jacket and pick/purple glasses.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police by calling 303-658-4360

UPDATE: Amber Alert Cancelled In Case Of Kidnapped Starks County Infant, Mother Arrested

Photo above of Mia Graci Thompson, born September 6th, 2012

Photo of Kendra Meaker, left and Timothy Thompson, right. With baby Mia in the middle.

UPDATE: 09/27/12 Starks County, IL – Amber Alert Cancelled for 3-week-old Infant, Mother Arrested:

An amber alert has been cancelled for a Stark County infant, and her mother, Kendra Elizabeth Meaker, 19, has been arrested.

Authorities say 3-week-old Mia Graci Thompson has been found alive on the side of a rural road in Illinois. She was transported to a hospital to be examined. Doctors say she was hungry but overall she was in good condition.

Mia was found several hours ago, just after 7pm, roughly twelve hours after being reported missing.

The child’s mother was taken into custody in connection to the incident.

Baby Mia was reported missing Thursday morning, an Amber Alert was issued after Mia allegedly disappeared from the backseat of a vehicle.

Kendra Elizabeth Meaker, 19, said that she had both of her daughters in the backseat of the vehicle. The other child is 11-month-old Mercedes Grace Meaker. Kendra says that when she came out of post office she found only Mia missing. However, authorities say Kendra later told police she did not realize Mia was missing until after returning home.

I will update this story when information becomes available.

– – – – –

Published: 09/27/12 – Amber Alert for Kidnapped 3-week-old Infant – Starks CO, IL:

 Kendra Meaker, 19, the mother of Mia Graci Thompson, pulled into the Toulon, Illinois, Post Office earlier this morning. Baby Mia was snuggled in her car-seat sleeping next to her 11-month-old sister, so Kendra decided to run in the post office real quick. She came back and didn’t notice Mia missing until her drive home and that is when panic struck.

An amber alert has been issued to the public for assistance in finding baby Mia, who was wearing a yellow onesie with a flower on the left shoulder.

Authorities say there were no witnesses to the kidnapping and they believe the three-week-old is in danger.

‘My wife called me and she was in a state of panic. She told me that our granddaughter, one-month-old Mia Graci Thompson had been abducted,’ said Mia’s grandfather, Ken Meaker.

Mia was born on September 6 to Kendra Meaker and Timothy Thompson.

Investigator’s are treating Miss Meaker’s vehicle as a crime scene but said they have ruled out all family members as suspects. But due to no witnesses, they have no legitimate leads.

Mia is described as a white female, 8 pounds and 21 inches long.

The family has asked for concerned citizens to pray for the safe return of their little girl.

Toulon, Illinois, is a small town about 150 miles southwest of Chicago.

Pedro Bravo will plead NOT guilty to murdering Christian Aguilar

Pictured above: Christian Aguilar disappeared on September 20, 2012 and was located deceased a couple weeks later.

Pictured below: Pedro Bravo, the last known person to see Aguilar alive has pleaded not guilty to his murder.

Christian Aguilar (top) an 18-year-old Student who attended University of Florida has been missing since Thursday, September 20th, 2012.

Updated: 10/20/12 Miami, FL — Pedro Bravo will plead NOT guilty to murdering Christian Aguliar:

GAINESVILLE (CBSMiami/AP) — Despite overwhelming evidence, a public defender says 18-year-old Pedro Bravo will plead not guilty to a first-degree murder charge in the death of Doral Academy graduate and UF student Christian Aguilar.

Court records show that the family of Pedro Bravo has requested a public defender to represent the 18-year-old. Public Defender Stacy Scott said Friday that her office planned to file the not-guilty plea on Bravo’s behalf.

Aguilar was last seen in a Gainesville Best Buy with Bravo. Aguilar’s remains were found last week in rural Levy County.

Police say Bravo originally told them that he beat Aguilar unconscious and left him in a parking lot.

Bravo’s previous lawyer tells The Gainesville Sun that Bravo’s family doesn’t have the money to hire a private attorney for a potentially lengthy trial.

Source: miami.cbslocal

 

Previous updates below.

_____ _____ _____ _____

Updated: 10/15/12 Miami, FL — Remain’s found in Levy County ARE Christian Aguilar:

The remains found in Levy County have been positively identified as missing University of Florida student Christian Aguilar, the Gainesville Police said Monday.

Police said the positive identification on the remains of the 18-year-old University of Florida student was made through dental records. Additional forensic testing will be performed to determine the manner of death and to document any trauma wounds.

“The Aguilar family has been notified of the positive identification,” the police said in an email statement.

Meanwhile, a memorial service for missing University of Florida student Christian Aguilar was planned for Monday night in Gainesville.

PHOTOS: Christian Aguilar Case

Aguilar’s family has been involved in the planning of the service to held at 7 p.m. at St. Augustine Catholic Church, which holds about 900 people. Several people were expected to talk about the teen during the service, and there will be reception afterwards in the Catholic Student Center.

The service will be held in Spanish and English and there will be a candlelight ceremony as well. It is open to the public.The Gainesville Police Department on Saturday said they assisted the Levy County Sheriff’s Office after the body was discovered, but the identity of the remains has not been confirmed.

The remains were found around 2:30 p.m. Friday by hunters at the Gulf Hammock Hunting Club, east of Cedar Key, according to the Gainesville Sun. Gainesville Police, in Alachua County, said they responded to the area, located off State Road 24 on Parker Boulevard, at the request of the Levy County Sheriff’s Office. Gainesville is about 60 miles northeast of the area where the body was found.

The remains were found six miles off paved road with blue Vans shoes, duct tape and blue jeans, according to reports.

“It looked like somebody tried to bury it, unsuccessfully,’’ The Miami Herald reported Fred Oliver, a volunteer with the sheriff’s office, as saying. “They saw the skull, realized it was face down, and they realized it was not an animal.’’

“They’re almost sure they know who it is,” Oliver was quoted as saying.

The student’s father, Carlos Aguilar was in Gainesville with the police on Saturday.

“I just want to make sure that everybody knows that our prayers have been heard. We, as a family believe that Christian has been found, but we will wait until the authorities confirm it,” said his father Carlos Aguilar during a news conference in Gainesville on Saturday.

The 18-year-old was last seen Sept. 20 with Pedro Bravo, his friend and former classmate, at a Gainesville Best Buy, authorities said.

“While some people still hoped to find Christian alive, the unfortunate reality is going to sink in,” Gainesville Police spokesman Ben Tobias told the Gainesville Sun. “I’m glad the family is finally going to get some closure.”

Police arrested and initially charged Bravo, also 18, with depriving a crime victim of medical care, but he was later charged with murder after police say they found blood in Bravo’s SUV and found Aguilar’s backpack hidden inside a suitcase in Bravo’s closet.

Police also said Bravo bought a shovel and roll of duct tape days before the student vanished.

On Thursday, a vigil led by Father Luis A. Rivero of St. Thomas University was held at Carlow Park in Sweetwater.

Volunteers from around the state had helped in the effort to find Aguilar, and on Twitter, people used #HelpFindChris as a hashtag. There was also a Facebook page set up and dedicated to the search.

                                  Copyright Associated Press / NBC 6 South Florida

Source: NBCMiami

_____ _____ _____ _____

Updated: 10/14/12 Miami, FL — Parent’s say remains found in Levy County ARE missing UF Student:  

Although investigators have yet to say definitively, the family of missing University of Florida student Christian Aguilar said the remains found Friday are their son.

The 18-year-old has not been seen since late September.

After all the anxiety and all the man hours of searching, the Aguilar family feels like they’re one step closer to peace.

“We, as a family, believe that Christian has been found,” said Carlos Aguilar, Christian’s father. “But, we will wait until the authorities confirm it.”

They took the podium Saturday at UF for a brief press conference.

Gainesville police officers were there in support, but didn’t answer any questions.

Aguilar delivered a message in both English and Spanish, while his wife clung to his side and broke down with emotion.

“Our family is going to be grieving,” Aguilar said.

The break in the case came Friday afternoon in Levy County.

Hunters stumbled upon remains at the Gulf Hammock Hunting Club and called police.

Gainesville detectives assisted, and after a short time, alerted the Aguilar family.

Positive identification of the remains cannot be made until forensic processing is complete, but they wanted them to know just in case.

It was the news family and friends feared, but expected as time went on.

They thanked everyone who’s worked day and night to find Christian alive, despite the odds.

For now in the short term, they’ll look ahead and heal the best way possible.

“If it wasn’t for the prayer, if it wasn’t for the support, if it wasn’t for the angels that came through, and that they care about my family and they care about a missing student that is now part of this society,” Aguilar said.

Christian was last seen at a store with high school friend Pedro Bravo. Bravo previously said the two had a fight and he left the 18-year-old in a parking lot. He’s been charged with first-degree murder.

Again, there has been no confirmation on the identity of these remains.

Source: cfnews13

_____ _____ _____ _____

Updated: 10/13/12 Miami, FL — Remain’s found likely to be Missing University Of Florida Student:

Authorities said a body, likely the remains of missing University of Florida student Christian Aguilar, was found in Levy County by hunters.

Christian disappeared less then a month ago on Thursday, September 20th, 2012.

The Gainesville Police Department on Saturday said they were assisting the Levy County Sheriff’s Office after the body was discovered, but the identity of the remains has not been confirmed.

The body was found around 2:30 p.m. Friday by hunters at the Gulf Hammock Hunting Club, according to the Gainesville Sun. Gainesville Police, in Alachua County, said they responded to the area, located off State Road 24 on Parker Boulevard, at the request of the Levy County Sheriff’s Office. Gainesville is about 60 miles northeast of the area where the body was found.

PHOTOS: The Christian Aguilar Case

“Two young fellas were looking for firewood by themselves,” Fred Oliver, a volunteer with the sheriff’s office, was reported as saying. “They picked up the scent, the odor of something dead.”

The student’s father, Carlos Aguilar, is traveling from Miami Saturday to meet with investigators.

The 18-year-old was last seen Sept. 20. with Pedro Bravo, his friend and former classmate, at a Gainesville Best Buy, authorities said.

“The police tell me they have a body that matches Christian,” he was quoted as saying by the Herald. “I am just going to see if this is my son.”

“While some people still hoped to find Christian alive, the unfortunate reality is going to sink in,” Gainesville Police spokesman Ben Tobias was quoted as saying by Gainesville Sun. “I’m glad the family is finally going to get some closure.”

Oliver said told the newspaper the men had thought it was a deer’s body, but he said it was obviously human.

Blue Vans shoes, duct tape and blue jeans were found with the body, the Gainesville Sun reported the authorities as saying.

The newspaper said that even though the clothes match what Aguilar was wearing when he went missing, the remains still must be identified through testing, according to a source.

“They’re almost sure they know who it is,” Oliver was quoted as saying.

Police arrested and initially charged Bravo, also 18, with depriving a crime victim of medical care, but he was charged with murder after police say they found blood in Bravo’s SUV and found Aguilar’s backpack hidden inside a suitcase in Bravo’s closet.

Police also said Bravo bought a shovel and roll of duct tape days before the student vanished.

VIDEO: Pedro Bravo Charged With Christian Aguilar’s Murder: Gainesville Police

On Thursday, a vigil led by Father Luis A. Rivero of St. Thomas University was held at Carlow Park in Sweetwater.

Volunteers from around the state had helped in the effort to find Aguilar and on Twitter people used #HelpFindChris as a hashtag and there was also a Facebook page set up and dedicated to the search. Police recently changed the search from rescue to recovery.

But during the extensive search,  two of Agular’s relatives were having trouble getting visas to leave Colombia and join the family in the United States.

Sen. Marco Rubio’s office says two of Aguilar’s aunts have been trying to secure humanitarian travel visas but were denied. His office has been trying to assist them.

The visas were denied on grounds that the women failed to present strong enough ties to Colombia. Both have pending green card applications.

VIDEO: Sweetwater Officials Join Search for UF Teen

                     Source: NBCMiami

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Updated: 09/29/12 – Miami, FL – Blood Found In Pedro Bravo’s SUV:

Blood was found in the sports utility vehicle of Pedro Bravo, the  man accused of murdering a missing University of Florida student,  Gainesville Police said Saturday.

The Florida Department of law enforcement said it will rush test  the blood in the vehicle and compare it with DNA samples of  Christian Aguilar. Authorities said they also discovered  Aguilar’s backpack hidden inside of a suitcase in Bravo’s closet.

Also on Saturday, UF scientists confirmed that limerock residue  was also found in the vehicle, leaving Gainesvlle Police to  believe Aguilar is located near areas of limerock.

Bravo, the friend and former classmate of Aguilar, was held in  jail without bond Saturday for first-degree premeditated murder.  Police say Bravo changed his story after being confronted with  evidence.

Bravo was charged for the alleged crime Friday, although he was  first arrested on Monday for depriving a crime victim of medical  care. Neither Aguilar nor a body has been discovered, according  to Gainesville Police.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott was scheduled to help search for the  student on Saturday, according to officials. Along with other volunteers, Scott planned to search for three  hours in the wooded area near 5700 SW 34 St. in Gainesville.

Back in South Florida, a donation station for the Aguilar family  is scheduled between 1 and 4 p.m. at the Sweetwater City Hall.

“We just need to raise money so we can keep the family up there  and help with any expenses that they need,” said Jenina Valdes,  who said she graduated with Aguilar.

She also spoke to NBC 6 South Florida about the new charge  against Bravo.

“There are so many rumors going around, but again, both Pedro and  Christian were very good friends, they were very good people, and  for this to happen, I mean, this broke our hearts completely,”  she said.

The family of the missing teenager asked for water, snacks,  machetes and rubber boots. It also requested volunteers.

“The search has not stopped in any way and we need more  volunteers,” said Michelle LaPiana, who has a daughter in  Gainesville assisting in the search. “It’s not going to stop  until we recover Chris Aguilar for his parents.”

Aguilar has been missing for more than one week. Numerous police  agencies and volunteers have spent day after day searching woods  and other areas around Gainesville for signs of Aguilar, 18, with  little to show for their efforts.

On Wednesday, Gainesville Police said Bravo bought a shovel and  roll of duct tape “several days” before the disappearance.

Source: msnbc

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Update: 09/27/12 Miami, FL – Pedro Bravo’s Roommate Says He Last Saw Him on Night Christian Aguilar Disappeared:

A Gainesville roommate of Pedro Bravo – the teen charged in connection with the disappearance of University of Florida freshman Christian Aguilar – says he last saw Bravo on the night Aguilar vanished.

Roberto Finnale said he hasn’t had contact with Bravo, 18, for the past six days.

“The last time I saw him was on Thursday, the night that everything unraveled. It was around 8 to 10 p.m.,” Finnale told NBC 6 South Florida.

He said he was in the kitchen of their Gainesville apartment as Bravo was on his way out.

“I heard a sole pair of footsteps, and out of instinct, I say, ‘Hey, how’re you doing,’ and it was Pedro’s voice that said, ‘I’m doing all right,’” Finnale said. “And it was very nonchalant, but within a couple of minutes, like five minutes later, he was already out the door. He seemed like he was in a rush.”

Bravo remained in custody Wednesday on $100,000 bond on a charge of depriving a crime victim of medical care related to Aguilar’s disappearance.

VIDEO: Doral Academy Holds Vigil For Missing UF Teen

Gainesville Police said Wednesday that Bravo, who was a classmate of Aguilar’s at Doral Academy Preparatory High School, bought a shovel and roll of duct tape several days before Aguilar disappeared. A massive search is underway for Aguilar in Gainesville.

When Finnale moved to his Gainesville apartment, he needed roommates, and he says his complex hooked him up with another roommate and Bravo. “He was quiet, and he was a little secluded, and yeah, he kept to himself for the most part, but he seemed like a very nice guy,” Finnale said.

He said it was a shock when he learned that his roommate was named a person of interest in the Aguilar case. “I hope that everything turns out, that everything turns out all right,” Finnale said.

Source: NBCMiami

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Earlier Update: 09/25/12 Miami, FL: Friend of Missing UF Student arrested as search continues…

The family of a missing University of Florida freshman from South Florida say they’re holding out hope he’ll be found safe as police continued to search for him Tuesday.

Christian Aguilar, 18, has been missing since Thursday, and authorities suspect foul play. On Monday, Gainesville Police arrested Aguilar’s classmate, 18-year-old Pedro Bravo, on a charge of depriving a crime victim of medical care, a third-degree felony.

Bravo appeared in bond court Tuesday where he was ordered held on $100,000 bond by Alachua County Judge Thomas Jaworski. He will have to wear an ankle monitor and won’t be allowed to leave the country if he posts the bond.

PHOTOS: The Christian Aguilar Case

Members of Aguilar’s family and Bravo’s parents attended the hearing, where Aguilar’s mother pleaded with Bravo for more information.

“Pedro, we ask directly to you, to give us one clue, one address, any place where he may remember where my son could be, no more,” Claudia Aguilar said.

Gainesville Police say Bravo told investigators he was involved in an altercation with Aguilar on Thursday, and on Monday released a surveillance photo of the two together from the day of the disappearance.

After Tuesday’s hearing, Bravo’s attorney, Larry Turner, said his client is very concerned about Aguilar and said Bravo’s parents have offered to join in the search.

“These are two best friends, best friends get into fights just like brothers and sisters get into fights,” Turner said. “We’re hoping that Christian is alive and well and that he will be found in good health. The family is praying for that, they’ve offered to assist.”

Police have been searching for Aguilar since Friday, and have been joined by several friends, teachers and family members, but so far haven’t found him.

The search had also spread to social media. A Facebook page called Find Christian Aguilar was set up and the hashtag #HelpFindChris was being used on Twitter.

On Tuesday, Gainseville Police a shoe was found in the area of 1100 NE 53rd Ave., but it does not appear to be the same type worn by Aguilar on the day of his disappearance.

Authorities also said his cellphone is no longer active.

In a statement released Tuesday, Gainesville Police said a command post has been established at Forest Park at Southwest 43rd Street and Southwest 20th Avenue. Several search warrants have been executed in relation to the case and investigators are plotting a timeline of when Aguilar was last seen, police said.

“I’m exhausted right now, but right now I got more faith,” Aguilar’s father, Carlos, told NBC 6 late Monday night. “That’s what keeps me going. I think anyone right now would be already giving up but I got hope and faith and that’s what’s keeping me going.”

Father of Missing UF Teen Asks for Help in Search

Carlos Aguilar said he would continue to search for his son on Tuesday with the help of friends and family members who traveled to Gainesville from South Florida to help.

“All these people are coming so far away to support him, to look for him, to search for him, tell you the caliber of human being he is and the family that is behind him,” Carlos Aguilar said.

Police have said Christian Aguilar, a graduate of Doral Academy Preparatory High School, may be disorientated and or seriously injured and unable to seek medical attention.

“My son always kept in communication with us, he never passed a lot of hours without talking to us,” Carlos Aguilar said. “It’s not normal, that’s the reason we’re concerned.”

Alexander Aguilar, Christian’s brother, said he spoke to him on Wednesday, the day before he went missing.

“Words cannot describe how bad this feels, the uncertainty of knowing whether or not he’s fine, where he is, it’s killing all of us right now,” Alexander Aguilar said. Chris was never like this, is never like this, he would always call, always keep in touch with my parents.”

In a statement, police said Bravo “was held for mental examination under Florida’s Baker Act on Friday after making comments to investigators that he wanted to harm or kill himself.”

Bravo has given police at least three different versions of what occurred, authorities said.

Police said Tuesday that since Bravo has retained an attorney, they can’t speak with him.

“I assure you any help that can be given will be given,” Turner told reporters Tuesday.

Bravo and Aguilar both graduated from Doral Academy last spring. A girl who also attended the school came between them, senior Roger Sanchez said Monday.

“They had been dating for two years prior, Pedro and this girl. And after that they had broken up and I guess Christian began dating her,” Sanchez said. “Pedro had driven back from FIU up to Gainesville to get back with her and it turns out he found out that they were basically – his best friend was dating his ex-girlfriend. That’s what led to the whole dilemma.”

That girl was identified as Erika Friman. She told NBC 6 South Florida that her ex-boyfriend knew their relationship was over.

“The whole case, I don’t think it had anything to do with me,” she said.

Friman joined the group of volunteers to help with the search.

“I believe he’s alive,” she said. “I’m not going to think otherwise until we have evidence.”

On Tuesday, friend Sebastian Arias, who traveled from South Florida to Gainesville to join in the search, said he wasn’t giving up.

“Right now, I’m just trying to stay positive because there’s been a lot of stuff going around. I’ve been out in the field all day because I do have a positive outcome for this and I know that we’re gonna find Chris because he’s a strong person,” Arias said. “The reason I came here is to bring him back.”

Police said Aguilar is about 5 feet 10 inches tall and of medium build. He was last seen wearing a blue/gray hoodie and either light blue or gray jeans. Anyone with any information in the case is asked to contact Gainesville Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Bureau at 352-393-7670.

There will be a candlelight vigil for Aguilar at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at North Trail Park at 780 Northwest 127th Avenue in Miami.

Source: NBCMiami

– – – – – – – – – –

Originally Update: 09/24/12 Miami, CA: A friend of a missing Miami man who attends the University of Florida in Gainesville was arrested Monday.

Pedro Bravo, 18, is accused of denying a crime victim medical care to Christian Aguilar, 18, and was being held in lieu of a $100,000 bond Monday night, according to the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office.

Aguilar’s father, Carlos Aguilar, was shown on South Florida television news reports, machete in hand, searching for his son in a wooded area.

The father told WSVN-Ch. 7 that he hopes to find his son and that “he’s going to be beat up, but OK.”

Aguilar’s girlfriend, Erika Friman, told the student-run newspaper The Independent Florida Alligator, “It’s heartbreaking that this would happen to someone who is so good.”

The missing man has a history of depression, Gainesville police said.

Before the college freshman disappeared, he and Bravo had a confrontation, police said. Bravo told investigators he left Aguilar in a parking lot, police said.

After telling police he wanted to harm himself, Bravo was held for examination under Florida’s Baker Act on Friday, police said.

Aquilar is a 2012 graduate of the Doral Academy in Miami, where his brother Alex Aguilar is a junior.

“He was a stellar student,” Principal Douglas Rodriguez said of the missing man who spent his middle and high school years at the academy. “He was very, very motivated, at the top of his class in terms of GPA, and was in dual enrollment.”

Aguilar completed college freshman-level courses in math and science during his senior year, Rodriguez said, and studied biomedical engineering.

Students at the academy have raised $2,000 to pay for the Aguilar family’s expenses while they stay in Gainesville during the search.

Some of the academy’s students are upset, Rodriguez said, and have received counseling. “We’re very hopeful there will be a positive outcome,” Rodriguez said.

In February 1989, another UF student with South Florida ties, 20-year-old Tiffany Sessions, disappeared while walking near campus. If she is still alive, Sessions would be 43.

Her father, real estate developer Patrick Sessions, launched a national awareness campaign about his daughter and became an activist for missing children and their families.

Aguilar is 5 feet 3 inches tall with a medium build and was wearing a blue/gray hooded sweat shirt and light blue or gray jeans.

Source: Huffington Post

UPDATE: Missing Pennsylvania Woman Found Deceased

Pictured; Rebecca Louise Mertz (31)

Latest update: 09/30/12 – Body of Rebecca Mertz Found

The body of a 31-year-old missing Blandon woman was found this afternoon near Lake Ontelaunee, officials at the Berks County coroner’s office said.

Rebecca Mertz, 31, was reported missing Sept. 18 and was believed to be in the area of the lake.

Officials in the coroner’s office said Mertz’s body was found by searchers from the National Guard along with friends and family at about 12:30 p.m. near the closed bridge at West Shore Drive.

The Blandon woman was reported missing Sept. 18, and her body was found near the area where her abandoned vehicle had been located 11 days ago.

The body was under very thick brush, and rescuers had to use chain saws to recover it. Bloodhounds that had been involved in previous searches had been unable to locate Mertz.

The coroner’s office has ruled Mertz’s death a suicide but did not disclose the cause of death. She was pronounced dead at 12:42 p.m.

Police and volunteers had been conducting an intensive search for Mertz, who was last heard from Sept. 18 telling someone she was at the lake to get some rest. Investigators believe she died shortly after she last made contact with loved ones.

Source: ydr

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UPDATE: 09/24/12 – Search End’s For Missing Blandon Woman.

After six days of intensive efforts, officials Sunday ended their search of an area near Lake Ontelaunee for a woman who has been missing since last week.

Northern Berks Regional police have been on the scene daily since Rebecca Mertz, 31, of Blandon was reported missing by her family on Tuesday.

As of Sunday night, investigators had found nothing.

“The police department is assuming a position of a passive nature at this point,” Sgt. Ronald Mohl said. “We are not going to be conducting any active searches unless something of significance or concrete evidence would arrive.”

Members of the Reading Fire Department Scuba Rescue Team and the Schuylkill Haven Scuba Team searched the lake for several hours Sunday afternoon.

“We had an extensive sonar search done and divers in the water did not find anything,” Mohl said.

While Saturday’s search included the help of about 140 volunteers in the wooded area around the lake, Sunday’s was strictly by professional teams.

Mohl said the Schuylkill Haven team has found most of the people who have drowned in Blue Marsh Lake, adding that it and high-caliber equipment and expert personnel.

He said that the sonar used Sunday can pinpoint a lot of small objects and a person’s body.

The divers focused mainly on the area by the closed bridge at West Shore Drive.

Mertz’s abandoned vehicle was found near the bridge Tuesday.

During Saturday’s search, some of the K-9 units showed interest in the area, but Mohl said it could have just been that Mertz brushed up against the bridge or walked across it.

Mohl said Mertz was seen at American House in Leesport last Monday night into early Tuesday.

She left the bar, went to a residence about a half-block away and stayed there until about 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, he said.

Mohl said Mertz’s family received a troubling text message from her at 9:19 a.m. Tuesday.

Someone called Mertz to find out what was going on and she said she was hanging out at the lake, Mohl said.

Mertz told the caller that she called into work and said she was running late. She said she had a rough night and was going to get some rest.

“It was nothing unusual,” Mohl said. “They said she was very familiar with the lake.”

After the family reported she was missing Tuesday, Mohl said Mertz was entered into the national database for missing persons.

Her information will remain in the system and Mohl said investigators will continue to monitor Facebook and other social networks for any signs of her.

The active searches around Lake Ontelaunee, however, are over.

“I think we covered that over the last five days,” Mohl said. “We concentrated a search of that whole area. There is always a possibility she walked away and chose to go missing.”

Source: readingeagle

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Published: 09/21/12 – Search Volunteer’s Needed For Missing Pennsylvania Woman.

Rebecca Mertz, also known as ”Becky”, 31-year-old woman missing from Blandon, Pennsylvania. She was last seen Tuesday morning, (09/18/12) Her car was located on the side of Ridge Road in Maiden-creek Township. She sent several unknown text messages to her family and friends, which alarmed them. They think  she might be planning to harm herself.  She had personal issues and may be armed with a gun.

Police at this time see no sign of foul play or evidence of any criminal activity.

There will be a search conducted tomorrow (09/22/12) at 8a.m. at the intersection of Ontelaunee, West Shore and Shoemakersville roads. Anyone interested in helping search for Rebecca can report to a police command post.

Authorities say anyone wishing to help should wear a florescent vest or clothing since it is archery season and wear long pants, shirts, shoes  and a hat because the area is dense woods.

Also, people should bring a water container and snacks. The search is expected to last from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m.

If you have any information regarding this case, please contact: (610) 926-1787.

UPDATED: Elbert County Teenager Missing Since Sunday Found SAFE

Pictured; Recent Photos Of Avery Workman

Latest Update: 09/20/12 Avery Workman has been located SAFE, for more information on this update: Click here.

Read more…

UPDATE: Friends, family March for Missing Goldsboro Teen, Kennedy Mclaurin Jr.

South Carolina Amber Alert Has Been Issued For Missing Teenager

Pictured; Kennedy McLaurin Jr

UPDATED: 09/20/12 – Friend’s and Family March for Missing Teen –

Goldsboro, N.C. — Family and friends of missing teen Kennedy Fitzgerald McLaurin Jr. marched through Goldsboro Thursday evening to draw attention to his case.

Participants, including North Carolina NAACP President Rev. William Barber, started at the McLaurin family home on at 5:30 p.m. and walked to the Goldsboro Police Department.

“Today made 11 days (since he went missing), and I’m very frustrated,” said McLaurin’s father, Ken McLaurin. “It’s still kind of hard, you know, to sleep, eat. If somebody knows where my son is at, please call in to the tip line.”

Goldsboro police believe McLaurin Jr., 16, was abducted Sept. 9 from the 700 block of Bain Street in the Woodcrest Housing Community, where he lived with his family, and forced into a car by three of four black males.

An Amber Alert was issued for the teen, who was seen in a 1990s blue-gray, four-door Oldsmobile with faded paint.

McLaurin’s mother on Monday pleaded for her son’s safe return.

“I need my baby home,” Kimberly Best told reporters at a police news conference Monday afternoon. “Getting up in the morning is hard. Going to bed at night is hard. I don’t know where he is.”

Goldsboro Police Sgt. Dwayne Dean said Monday that the case is still classified as a missing persons case. Investigators have passed out fliers in the Bain Street area and continue to gather tips, he said.

Best reported her son missing Sept. 10 after becoming concerned when he didn’t come home the night before. After hearing rumors that he had been abducted, she called police.

McLaurin stands about 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighs about 135 pounds. He has black hair, brown eyes, pierced ears and a tattoo of the initial K on his left hand.

Anyone with information about McLaurin’s disappearance can call a 24-hour tip line at 919-580-4243. They can also call 911, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol at *HP, the Goldsboro Police Department at 919-705-6572 or Crime Stoppers at 919-735-2255.

SOURCE: WRAL

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An Amber Alert was issued for 16-year-old Kennedy McLaurin Jr. This AA is being described as a ”possible abduction.”

Family members say they last saw 16-year-old Kennedy Mclaurin Jr. from Goldsboro, North Carolina, on Sunday.

Police say he was with a friend when they began a conversation with someone in a car, that’s when he was grabbed and stuffed in older model blue Buick or Lincoln. It was last seen driving north on Bain Street. Goldsboro Police say he was abducted by four people. Investigators say they aren’t sure who those four people are.

Investigator’s are asking the public for assistance in locating the vehicle described above, and Kennedy Mclaurin Jr.

If you have any information, call the Goldsboro Police Department: 919-705-6572.