6-Year-Old Boy Found 20 Hours After Going Missing; Rescuers See Dog Lying at His Side

The story of a missing 6-year-old Tennessee boy being found has gone viral over the years. Not just because he was found safe, but because of what was found next to him when rescuers reached him.

Kaydon Leach, the child, went missing from his Blount County home, prompting a search effort that consisted of about 100 first responders and local officials, including the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, K-9 teams, Blount County Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team, and a Black Hawk military helicopter. Volunteers also partook in the effort, officials had said.

The team searched about 2,000 acres starting at around 7 p.m. About 22 hours later, Kaydon was located about 2,500 feet from his home in Top of the World Community at 3:30 p.m. the next day, according to local reports.

However, the rescue workers were called heroes for finding the boy. Instead, it was his dog, Chula.

Chula, a terrier, guarded the boy and apparently kept him safe until the others could find him, WBIR reported.

“The dog actually growled at the rescuers when they approached Kaydon,” Blount County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Jeff French told the news outlet.

The boy was later taken to the hospital and was apparently fine.

“We’re so thankful to everyone, from local law enforcement agencies to volunteers, who helped us find Kaydon. The amount of support we have received has been tremendous, even from people we don’t even know. We appreciate all our friends and neighbors, and ask for privacy at this time,” said the boy’s family to the local outlet.

One of the rescuers who found the boy, Blount County fireman Aaron Woods, said that he spotted the dog first.

“I keep saying he popped up. To me, he did, because I had just looked over there,” Woods said. “What I got to him, the dog was kinda giving me a little growl like ‘who are you?’”

The boy was wrapped in a jacket and was later carried out of the woods before he was taken to the hospital.

“I was grinning from ear to ear. Even afterward, after we got down to our debriefing and all the way home,” Woods said. “I’ve seen a lot of bad stuff in my life, in my career, and this is the good stuff. This is the good stuff.”

Bear Saves Boy?

The family of a 3-year-old boy from North Carolina claimed that he was protected by a bear while missing for three days.

“He’s good! He’s up and talking. He’s already asked to watch Netflix,” Casey’s mother, Brittany, said after he was found.

Breanna Hathaway, who identified herself as Casey’s aunt, also said the boy told his family he was with a bear for two days.

AP | Craven County Sheriff’s Office

“Casey is healthy, smiling, and talking. He said he hung out with a bear for two days God sent him a friend to keep him safe,” she wrote on Facebook. “God is good God. Miracles do happen”

Casey was playing with two other kids in his grandmother’s backyard in Ernul, North Carolina, when he vanished, Craven County Sheriff Chip Hughes told USA Today.

Harsh weather that included heavy rains and winds impacted the search for the child.

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Author: Jack Phillips


Rare White Young Killer Whale Swimming Off the British Columbia Coast

VANCOUVER—A rare white killer whale has been spotted off the coast of British Columbia.

Jared Towers, an orca ecologist with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, says the young transient killer whale was first seen at the end of November and was spotted again May 17.

Several conditions can give whales that bleached appearance and it’s not yet known which one is affecting this months-old male.

“We don’t actually know what kind of condition it has. There are a few options though,” he said.

White orcas have been spotted a few times in the last century in B.C.’s waters but none of them are still alive, he said.

One was documented in 1924 and a couple more were seen in the 1940s and 1950s, he said.

A killer whale (Pixabay)

Another captured in 1970 was found to have a rare disorder called Chediak-Higashi syndrome. Few individuals with the syndrome, which affects the immune system and causes partial albinism, survive into adulthood, Towers said.

If a white orca does grow to adulthood, it more likely has albinism, a genetic condition where animals have no colouring, or leucism, a partial loss of pigmentation.

“It’s quite common. Lots of different species have it. I mean, it’s rare to see but it’s still well known,” Towers said.

“That’s probably what this little guy has,” he said, referring to leucism, noting that you can still see some pigmentation in the areas that would typically be jet black.

A killer whale. (Skeeze/Pixabay)

The other option is he could just grow into his natural colouring, Towers said.

“The final explanation is kind of the interesting unknown option. We have documented some kind of whitish killer whales over the last 20 years or so in B.C. as calves, as little guys, but as they grow up they lose this whitish colouring and just turn out to be normal black and white orcas,” he said.

The whale is part of a pod that frequents the waters around British Columbia’s south coast, so if it lives, there should be plenty of chances to keep an eye on it.

“I anticipate we’ll get lots of opportunities to see this whale again and see how its condition progresses. I don’t have any reason to believe it’s in poor health.”

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Author: The Canadian Press

Mom’s ‘Autistic Child in Area’ Sign Defaced, Changed to Something Else

A neighborhood sign in Garden City, Michigan, warning about an autistic child was controversially defaced.

The original sign read, “Autistic child in area,” and it’s designed for motorists to be aware of Austin Sharon, 6, who was diagnosed with autism as a toddler. Yahoo News reported that the boy began running out the front door without his parents’ permission.

“You can imagine that even using quickly the bathroom is stressful,” mother Maggie Sharon told Yahoo.

They installed the warning sign and implemented other safety measures last year.

However, in recent days, Sharon said that one of the signs was covered with yellow tape and now reads, “Child with Autism In Area.” Apparently, according to the Yahoo report, some people find “autistic child” to be offensive.

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network says, “Many parents of autistic people and professionals who work with autistic people prefer terminology such as ‘person with autism,’ ‘people with autism,’ or ‘individual with ASD; because they do not consider autism to be part of an individual’s identity…They want ‘person-first language,’ that puts ‘person’ before any identifier such as “autism,” in order to emphasize the humanity of their children.”

Sharon, however, just wanted the sign to be concise for drivers. She said the tape is of a poor quality, and drivers can’t see the sign in the evening.

The mother said she ripped off the tape and hopes the stranger doesn’t deface her property in the future.

“My instincts say whoever changed the sign doesn’t have a child with autism,” Maggie stated to Yahoo. “But it could also be a parent dealing with a new diagnosis — which is a scary and touchy time. Everyone has their own way of dealing with it and I respect the person’s opinion.”

Sharon also issued a statement to the person who defaced her sign.

“I get your point,” she told Fox2 Detroit, “but please for the safety of my child, leave the sign alone.”

“Autism is something that currently doesn’t have a cure and it is something you never grow out of,” she added. “To a lot of people, it is part of who they are. It’s not only what they are, but it is part of who they are.”

In the comments section of Yahoo, people agreed with the mother, saying road signs should be concise. “I understand people-first language, but it’s not reasonable for a road sign. It needs to be concise to get the point across quickly,” one person stated.

“I have a child with Autism and the fighting between autism and autistic makes no sense to me. Someone is always offended by something and the amount of name calling and blame is also part of the community,” one wrote.

Another woman wrote in the Fox2 Facebook comments section: “As a mom of an autistic child. LEAVE THE SIGN ALONE! My daughter is an autistic person and that’s how she refers to herself. Do not go by autism Speaks it’s a scam. Please advocate for the children who want to be heard that they are autistic and autism doesn’t define who they are.”

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Author: Jack Phillips

Hong Kong’s Independence Advocates Fear Reach of Proposed Extradition Law

HONG KONG—Some Hong Kong independence activists say they may be forced to leave the city if a proposed extradition law allowing suspects to be sent to mainland China for trial is enacted.

The government wants Hong Kong’s Legislative Council to quickly pass the Fugitives Offenders Ordinance amendment bill, which would allow case-by-case transfers of people to countries without extradition treaties, including China.

The bill says extradition can’t be used for political and religious offenses, and that safeguards such as court oversight over extradition requests will ensure rights are upheld.

But Hong Kong’s small band of independence activists—who have railed against China’s tightening grip on their city’s autonomy and freedoms and say Hong Kong should be its own country—sense peril.

“In the future, no matter which fugitives China seeks to extradite, Hong Kong won’t be able to say no,” said Alan Li, 27, a former leader of independence group Hong Kong Indigenous.

Li is in Germany after being granted political asylum there in a landmark case that has underscored growing international concern about Hong Kong’s activists.

Protesters dressed as Chinese police during a protest to demand authorities scrap a proposed extradition bill with China, in Hong Kong, China on April 28, 2019. (Tyrone Siu/Reuters)

“We can’t trust the Hong Kong government,” he added.

Li and activist Ray Wong, 25, ended up in refugee camps in Germany after skipping bail on rioting charges linked to a violent standoff with police on Feb. 8, 2016.

“We will see more and more people being granted political asylum in the future,” Li said via phone from Germany, noting that it was a rigorous process.

At least 23 activists from the February 2016 protest have been jailed for up to seven years. Critics say those are unusually harsh sentences for violating colonial-era rioting laws not used since the late 1960s.


China considers Hong Kong to be an “inalienable” part of the country, so calls for independence are anathema to China’s Communist Party leaders.

But freedom of expression and assembly—not protected in mainland China—were enshrined in Hong Kong’s mini-constitution when the former British colony returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

Britain and Canada said in a news release on May 30 that the extradition bill could hurt local freedoms.

Zhang Xiaoming, the director of China’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs office, said that there is ‘zero tolerance’ for activists who seek to undermine China’s sovereignty.

The disconnect between what is allowed in Hong Kong but harshly punished in the mainland has added pressure to independence activists. Chinese leaders dub them “separatists”—a pursuit that would make them criminals in the mainland.

Paladin Cheng, an outspoken leader of the independence movement who lives alone in a ramshackle rooftop flat in Hong Kong, said that if the government doesn’t scrap the law, there could be a backlash.

Independence activist Paladin Cheng is pictured inside a restaurant in Hong Kong, China on Jan. 8, 2019. (James Pomfret/Reuters)

“This China rendition law represents the ‘mainlandization’ of Hong Kong,” said Cheng, whom police often follow on the streets and during protests.

“If the Chinese government really continues to make Hong Kong more similar to the mainland, even more people will support the idea of Hong Kong independence,” he said.

The independence movement peaked in 2016, when two pro-independence activists, Baggio Leung and Yau Wai-ching, won Legislative Council seats, earning 7 percent of the popular vote in some districts.

Since then, authorities have moved to shut localists out of local politics.

Leung and Yau were removed from public office, dozens of others have been kept from running in local elections, and one pro-independence group was banned last year on national security grounds.

Independence activist Baggio Leung is pictured in an industrial building in Hong Kong, China on Jan. 4, 2019. (James Pomfret/Reuters)

“The atmosphere was really bad. And up to today, nothing has changed. Many of my friends have been harassed, imprisoned, or forced into exile,” said Leung, 32.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said in announcing the ban that it was necessary on the grounds of national security, public order and public safety. She has also emphasized that Hong Kong respects electoral freedoms.

Leung said that on the last day of 2018, five men forced their way into an office run by fellow activists, smashing open the door and taking some flags. After reviewing CCTV footage of the incident, he filed a police report.

A Hong Kong police spokesman confirmed a break-in had occurred, but said no one had been arrested so far.

The smashed door of an office rented by several independence activists is pictured in Hong Kong, China on Jan. 4, 2019. (James Pomfret/Reuters)

‘Shrinking Space’

A German Foreign Office spokeswoman, Maria Adebahr, said Berlin was “increasingly worried about the shrinking space the opposition enjoys and the creeping erosion of the freedom of opinion.”

She declined to specifically discuss Li’s case.

Some activists think the extradition law, even if not immediately deployed against them, would still weigh psychologically.

“The Chinese Communist Party and Hong Kong government have hinted several times that whoever is anti-Communist will be a target,” said Wayne Chan, 29, another independence advocate. “Pro-independence parties may be forced into exile.”

Despite the potential danger, some activist say they’ll stay and fight.

“No one knows what is next for Hong Kong,” said Tony Chung, 18, who was assaulted twice on the streets last year by four men who were later arrested.

The men are free on bail; police say they are investigating.

Independence activist Tony Chung is pictured in a street in Hong Kong, China on Jan. 8, 2019. (James Pomfret/Reuters)

Chung was arrested this month over grabbing a small Chinese flag at a protest and breaking the stick. He was charged with criminal damage, which can be punished by up to 10 years in prison.

“Hong Kong has changed completely from the place I knew,” he said. “But I don’t want to give up and leave right now.”

By Jessie Pang & James Pomfret

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Author: Reuters

Alberta Says 10,000 People Are out of Their Homes Because of Wildfires

The Alberta government says wildfires raging across the northern part of the province have forced about 10,000 people from their homes.

The updated figure was provided Thursday afternoon, after a day of hot temperatures and gusty winds led to the explosive growth of several blazes burning out-of-control.

About 5,000 people have been out of their homes in and around High Level for more than a week and a series of smaller communities, including Wabasca, the Bigstone Cree Nation, and Chipewyan Lake Village, have fallen under evacuation orders since Wednesday.

People in Slave Lake, a town that was partially destroyed in a 2011 blaze, have been told to be prepared to leave with eight hours notice because of a fire that the mayor says is burning about 30 kilometres away.

Police watch a convoy of cars and trucks pass a wildfire as they are evacuated from Fort McMurray, Alberta, on May 7, 2016. (Jonathan Hayward /The Canadian Press via AP)

Smoke from the fires enveloped points south, including Edmonton, in a thick, acrid, haze that limited visibility, and made it difficult to breathe.

The government said weather forecasts for the next two weeks will make fighting the fires difficult. Firefighters were in Alberta from across Canada doing their best to corral the flames.

“This fight is going to be a tough one,” said Devin Dreeshen, Alberta’s minister of agriculture and forestry. “The weather is not co-operating for the long-distance forecast for the next two weeks. It’s more of the same, of hot, dry, and windy conditions.”

“Albertans need to prepare themselves for this situation for the foreseeable future.”

Across the province, there were 28 active fires and nine were considered out-of-control.

While an evacuation order was issued Thursday afternoon for the hamlet of Marten Beach, about 20 kilometres north of Slave Lake, Slave Lake Mayor Tyler Warman said the fire was not an immediate threat to his community.

“We’ve got a fire, that started around the same time as the High Level one, that’s been north of town for a while,” Warman said. “The wind conditions and the extreme dryness have pushed some of it closer to town.”

“The MD has declared a local state of emergency because of that, but we’re not panicked at this point,” said Warman, who was a town councillor and firefighter during the 2011 wildfire that raced through part of Slave Lake, destroying more than 400 homes and buildings.

He said the fires are bringing back memories.

“We are more prepared than we have ever been. We’re more cautious than we have been in the past.”

The biggest blaze was the Chuckegg Creek fire raging near High Level, which covered 2,300 square kilometres Thursday.

Derek Gagnon, a provincial information officer, said that fire grew by 800 square kilometres in 24 hours and travelled more than 22 kilometres on the ground.

“The average speed would then be around 23 metres per minute,” he said. “We had really strong winds out of the north that combined with really dry fuels.”

While the flames have been kept out of High Level, Mayor Crystal McAteer, Reeve Josh Knelsen of Mackenzie County, and Dene Tha’ First Nation Chief James Ahnassay issued a joint statement urged residents who were out of their homes to be patient.

“We know that many of you are very anxious to hear about what is happening with the wildfire and the situation in our communities. Many of you have been out of your homes and away from your work for a long time.” they wrote.

“We simply don’t know for sure what this fire will do next.”

There were reports that some homes were damaged in Paddle Prairie Metis Settlement south of High Level, but provincial officials couldn’t confirm that.

Smoke fills the air as people drive on a road in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Tuesday, May 3, 2016. At least half of a northern Alberta city was ordered evacuated Tuesday as a wildfire whipped by winds engulfed homes and sent ash raining down on residents. (Greg Halinda/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

Meanwhile, people in Edmonton spent most of Thursday dealing with a thick, smoky haze that turned otherwise blue skies an eerie grey-orange.

Environment Canada issued a special air quality statement for the Alberta capital region and expanded it to most of the province Thursday afternoon.

“Shifting winds are causing the smoke to drift and most of Alberta will be impacted by this smoke in the coming days,” said Dreeshen.

“Smoke is a huge factor in this challenge for not only for health reasons but for the wildland firefighters on the ground. The loss of visibility makes it extremely difficult to use air supports.”

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Author: The Canadian Press

Brass Knuckles, Clubs, and Wild Kat Keychains to Be Legal in Texas for ‘Self-Defense’

Starting September, carrying brass knuckles, clubs, and self-defense wild kat keychains will be legal in Texas, according to reports.

Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott signed off on House Bill 466 over Memorial Day weekend, which will legalize carrying certain items of self-defense starting Sept. 1, KSAT reported.

Prior to the date of the law change, any individual who carries or has carried the weapons mentioned in the bill will face up to $4,000 in fines or up to one year behind bars.

Anyone who has committed, or commits an offense by carrying the weapons before Sept. 1 will still held accountable for committing a crime, the bill specifies.

The bill was passed on April 9 at the Texas House of Representatives with a 147-0 vote. On May 15, the Senate passed the bill unanimously with a 31-0 vote.

Knuckles are “any instrument that consists of finger rings or guards made of a hard substance and that is designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of inflicting serious bodily injury or death by striking a person with a fist enclosed in the knuckles,” according to the Texas Penal Code.

The weapons were removed from a list that previously made it a criminal offense to possess, manufacture, or transport the soon-to-be legalized items.

It was previously considered a class A misdemeanor to possess knuckles, according to a summary of the bill published by the House Research Organization, CNN reported.

Some of the items that remain illegal under the bill include machine guns, zip guns, tire deflation devices, and explosive weapons, among others.

In 2017, 93 people were convicted for breaching the brass knuckle ban, according to figures from the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Speaking to the Texas Standard, Rep. Joe Moody, a Democratic legislator from El Paso and a sponsor of the bill, said it would ensure a means of self-defense for those who want to protect themselves.

He explained that many people carry the items for self-defense reasons.

“We aren’t living in “West Side Story.” Maybe at one point this was used to identify criminal elements, but it’s just not the case anymore,” Moody said, according to Newsweek.

“A young woman who has a keychain for self defense, certainly fits the statute of knuckles. And she was arrested for that.”

Moody added that to be arrested for carrying an item for personal protection is “certainly antithetical to our rights to self defense.”

Meanwhile, other bill supporters said knuckles shouldn’t be placed in the same category as “explosive weapons, machine guns, and other prohibited weapons,” arguing that they are primarily a “defensive tool,” reported CNN.

“Law abiding Texans who carry knuckles, perhaps as part of a novelty key chain, should not be vulnerable to jail time for possessing a legitimate self defense tool,” the summary reads.

The move comes after switchblades were removed from the list of banned items in 2013.

This month, another supporter of the bill, Texas Rep. Jonathan Stickland, said the bill shows the state’s commitment to the Second Amendment, reported Newsweek.

“For me, the Second Amendment is really about the right to exist and I think that everyone has the right to defend themselves,” he said.

“I think it sends a good message and the Texas House has always tried to work across the aisle whenever we can, a lot different than DC.”

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Author: Isabel van Brugen

From Homeless to Harvard, Houston Teen Valedictorian Makes It to Ivy League University

A high school student from Houston who was once homeless has been accepted to Harvard after he graduated as valedictorian and earned the highest marks in his class at Energy Institute High School.

Derrick Ngo, 18, who grew up without his parents by his side most of his life, found himself homeless at the age of 17, and has faced countless challenges to get to where he is today.

“I grew up with the odds stacked against me,” Ngo said in an op-ed for the Houston Chronicle.

“For me and my siblings, there was a lot of instability. My mother was heavily involved in gambling and she got involved with criminal activities. She’s been incarcerated maybe eight or more times,” he told ABC13.

Ngo, one of six siblings, grew up without a father, and attended 12 different schools between kindergarten and 8th grade.

“We often didn’t have that much food. We didn’t have that much money. We didn’t have a stable source of income and that was one of my biggest struggles growing up—that lack of parental guidance,” Ngo told Fox 26.

With no father figure in his life, and his mother constantly going in and out of jail, Ngo decided at the age of 15 to take his future into his own hands by living by himself and excelling academically.

“You learn quickly that to survive you have to pay attention … When I entered high school, I decided that I needed to attend one school for all four years.

“To do that, I had to live alone and not depend on my mother’s transient lifestyle,” the 18-year-old explained in the Houston Chronicle article.

At the age of 15, Ngo got by and lived independently with occasional rent checks from his mother, but at times he struggled to pay for essentials and rationed his meals, living off cans of tuna and crackers.

He found himself homeless at one point when he was 17.

“To become the antithesis of my family and of my mother is one of the biggest inspirations I’ve had growing up,” he told Fox 26.

Ngo said he used his determination to succeed to push himself at school, where he achieved top grades.

“I realized that if I didn’t use school and education and the resources that were available to me, then there would be no way that I would get out of the situation I was in,” Ngo said.

Now, the valedictorian says he owes much of his success to EMERGE—a non-profit organization that helps low income, under-represented, and high achieving students get into selective universities—and his mentor Judy Le.

“If I didn’t EMERGE, I probably wouldn’t be attending a school like Harvard,” Ngo told ABC13.

“EMERGE has given me access to test prep, resume development training. It’s given me an opportunity to go on a college tour.”

Ngo also received offers from University of Texas at Austin, Princeton, and Columbia, but will start his first year with Harvard this fall, majoring in either economics or philosophy, according to Fox 32.

“Growing up I didn’t really believe that I had the potential, but as long as you have the motivation and discipline, anything is possible,” he added.

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Author: Isabel van Brugen

Thousands Crowd Streets Around Toronto to Cheer on the Raptors in Playoff Game

TORONTO—Thousands of fans in the Toronto area took to the streets to cheer on the Raptors as the city hosts the NBA Finals for the first time.

Tipoff between the Raptors and Golden State Warriors started at 9 p.m. ET, but lineups outside the Scotiabank Arena to fill “Jurassic Park” started forming hours before.

The square hit its capacity of 6,000 people, forcing police to shut down nearby streets for the overflow of fans.

West of Toronto, Peel police said about 20,000 people formed to cheer on the Raptors at Celebration Square in Mississauga, ON., including their own officers.

Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam (43) dunks during late second half action in Game 5 of the NBA Eastern Conference final in Milwaukee against the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday, May 23, 2019. (The Canadian Press/Frank Gunn)

In Burlington, ON., a large group of spectators watched the game outside, applauding every time the Raptors scored. The city announced it was shutting down streets around the area dubbed #BurlassicPark because of larger than expected crowds.

Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, owner of the Raptors, approved outdoor viewing spaces for NBA Finals games in cities across the country prior to Game 1.

The Raptors won 118-109 in Game 1.

Game 2 of the Finals is Sunday at Scotiabank Arena.

Playoff Ticket Auction Raises $20K for Family of Hit and Run Victim

Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment says a pair of NBA Game 1 playoff tickets auctioned off to support an employee whose son was the victim of a hit and run sold for more than $20,000.

Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment says the winning bid Thursday for the tickets was $20,500.

Paramount Fine Foods CEO Mohamad Fakih is also pledging to donate his $10,000 bid despite losing out on the tickets to Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

Radiul Chowdhury, who is four, was critically injured when he was struck by a motorcycle Sunday afternoon.

The boy’s father, Ruhul Chowdhury, works for MLSE.

Four-year-old Radiul Chowdhury was walking on May 26 with one of his parents in Toronto’s east end when he ended up on the roadway and was struck by a motorcycle. (GoFundMe)

The company says all the money raised from the auction, which began Tuesday night and closed Thursday at noon, will be directly donated to the Chowdhury family.

Toronto police say two people are now in custody after a 32-year-old woman from Markham, ON., turned herself in.

She’s been charged with leaving the scene of an accident causing bodily harm.

A 31-year-old man was arrested on Monday and faces charges including leaving the scene, driving with an improper licence, and driving without insurance.

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Author: The Canadian Press

Police Confirm Body Found in Utah Is Elizabeth Shelley, Reports Say

Police have confirmed that the human remains found under a tree in Utah belong to missing 5-year-old Elizabeth “Lizzy” Shelley, who was taken from her home over Memorial Day weekend before a several-day-long search was launched.

Lizzy’s body was found on May 29 less than one block from her Salt Lake City home after her uncle, Alex Whipple, reportedly led police to her remains.

Officials confirmed her identity on the evening of May 30, reported the Salt Lake Tribune.

“This was the moment we had hoped would come,” Logan Police Chief Gary Jensen told reporters at a news conference, according to the paper. “Obviously, certainly not the way we wanted it to happen. We certainly would have wanted to bring Lizzy home, but this nevertheless is closure and it helps us to be able to now deal with the investigation and help the family through their grief.”

Whipple, 21, revealed the location of the girl’s body, buried under debris in a wooded area only about 1,000 feet from her home, according to his attorney, Shannon Demler.

The attorney said he took police to the site before police recovered the body.

Jensen said that Whipple disclosed the location of her body in exchange for prosecutors removing the possibility of him getting the death penalty.

“There are not words to express the sadness and the heartbreak we feel today,” Shelley spokeswoman Jill Parker told reporters. “This did not end the way we wanted it to, but in this sadness we are comforted that so many people put forth so much effort to help us find Lizzy. You made the difference and we are so very grateful.”

According to local news website Cache Valley Daily, a positive identification was made by detectives in conjunction with the Utah state crime lab. They also determined her cause of death, but officials did not publicly disclose that information.

Whipple was suspected as Lizzy’s killer early on Saturday morning. Her mother, Jessica Whipple, invited her brother over to her home to play video games and drink before he left in the early morning while other family members were sleeping.

A police report stated that he had blood matching Lizzy’s DNA on his clothing when he was picked up by officials, according to the Valley Daily. He also informed police that drinking alcohol made him black out.

Whipple also changed his story several times before talking about the evil of the world and child abuse. “At times, Alexander would state that alcohol makes him ‘black out’ and sometimes he does ‘criminal things’ when he blacks out. Alexander would not elaborate on what these ‘criminal things’ were,” said a probable cause statement, according to the Post-Register.

Jensen added that a knife that was used in the crime was discovered in the area in the northwest corner of the Bear River Charter School parking lot, the Post-Register reported. An item of Lizzy’s clothing was found nearby.

“Approximately 50 yards due west, investigators located a teal skirt with white lace that appeared to have been hastily buried under some dirt and bark … the skirt has stains on it that are consistent with blood,” said a probable cause statement in the case. “Near the skirt was a small concrete block with blood on it.”

Whipple is slated to appear in court on Monday, June 3.

Court records said that Whipple faces one count of aggravated murder, child kidnapping, two counts of obstruction of justice, and abuse or desecration of a human body, KUTV reported.

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Author: Jack Phillips

Driver Who Crashed When Swerving to ‘Avoid an Octopus’ Was High on Drugs

A British driver who told police he swerved and crashed his car to avoid running over an octopus had in fact taken a cocktail of drugs, it was heard in court.

Robert Shapley, 49, recently appeared at Newton Abbot Magistrates’ Court, the BBC reported, where he pleaded guilty to driving while under the influence of drugs.

Shapley, of Salcombe in Devon, was cited by the BBC as telling officers at the time of the Feb. 5 crash: “It got a bit bumpy for a while. I swerved to avoid an octopus.” He is also reported to have said, “it is pretty bad out there having to dodge all that whitebait.”

He lost control of his vehicle after passing another car on the A381 between Malborough and South Milton, and then ended up upside-down in a ditch.

Police said they found no evidence of an octopus on the road. Following the crash, however, someone stuck a cardboard cutout of an octopus near the scene of the accident, according to Unilad, leading some people to believe Shapley may have been telling the truth.

According to the Mirror, prosecutor Philip Sewell told the court Shapley had tested positive for morphine, codeine, cannabis, and a by-product of heroin.

Shapley’s attorney Simon Colman was cited in the report as saying that his client had taken prescription drugs as a result of his depression and anxiety. He argued Shapley had no recollection of getting behind the wheel of his car.

The BBC reported the case has been adjourned for a report on Shapley’s suitability for a drug rehabilitation requirement.

Florida Driver Who Hit and Killed 3 Teens Smelled of Alcohol

The driver who hit and killed three teens while they were waiting for a bus was allegedly driving with a suspended license and reeked of alcohol, Miami Herald reported.

Police have not yet formally identified the driver, but Miami Herald sources named the driver as 31-year-old Mariam Coulibaly, an exotic dancer with numerous driving-related citations on her record.

After the accident, she allegedly told medical staff she had been partying all night.

“I came from a black out. When I woke up I didn’t even know that I hurt people,” Coulibaly told the Miami Herald from her hospital bed.

“I shattered my chest,” she said. “I had surgery on my stomach; shattered my hip.”

The three teens—13-year-old Gedeon Desir, 15-year-old Lens Desir, and 17-year-old Richecarde Dumay—were hit at about 5:22 a.m. on May 25 as they were together on a sidewalk.

Investigators cited in the report estimate the woman was driving around 60 miles per hour before crashing into the victims. The teenagers died on impact.

According to Miami-Dade records via the Miami Herald, Coulibaly has received citations for 35 separate infractions in the last decade, including careless driving and running a red light.

A picture of 13-year-old Gedeon Desir, 15-year-old Lens Desir, and 17-year-old Richecarde Dumay. (Little Haiti FC Soccer Club/GoFundMe)

The driver survived the crash and was taken to the hospital in critical condition.

Drunk Driving Statistics

On any given day, nearly 30 people in the United States die in drunk-driving crashes, according to 2017 figures published by the United States Department of Transportation.

This is equivalent to one lost life every 48 minutes or just over 10,000 deaths per year.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), of the 1,233 traffic deaths among children ages 0 to 14 years in 2016, 214 (17 percent) involved a driver operating under the influence of alcohol.

More than 1 million drivers were arrested in 2016 for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics.

Deaths due to drunk-driving have fallen by a third in the last three decades, the DOT notes.

Crash Deaths in the United States

Tens of thousands of people are killed and millions injured each year from motor vehicle crashes, according to the CDC. The CDC says these deaths cost more than $380 million in direct medical costs.

The major risk factors for crash deaths in the United States are: not using seat belts, car seats, and booster seats (factors in over 9,500 crash deaths); drunk driving (a factor in more than 10,000 crash deaths); and speeding (contributing to more than 9,500 crash deaths).

According to 2017 data from the CDC, the 10 leading causes of death in the United States were: heart disease, cancer, unintentional injuries, chronic lower respiratory diseases, stroke, Alzheimer disease, diabetes, influenza and pneumonia, kidney disease, and suicide.

Age-adjusted death rates for the 10 leading causes of death in the United States for the years 2016 and 2017. (CDC)

These further break down as follows: the most common are unintentional poisoning deaths (58,335), followed by motor vehicle traffic deaths (40,327), and unintentional fall deaths in third place (34,673).

The total number of emergency department visits for unintentional injuries in the United States in 2017 was 30.8 million, according to the CDC.

The 10 leading causes accounted for 74 percent of all deaths in the United States in 2017.

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Author: Tom Ozimek