Thursday, May 29, 2008


A mother is the ultimate person who should be everloving and protective of her young. When she fails at this, society has the right to step in and assist the child. (Brenda A. Ysaguirre)

ELDORADO, Texas (UPI) -- Branding a West Texas polygamist sect an abusive environment, officials may tell the sect's mothers they must choose between their children and their religion.

Some lawyers said this edict could mean women would never be able to return to the Yearning for Zion ranch in Eldorado, The Dallas Morning News said Thursday.

Other experts said adults who have tolerated underage "marriages" of girls to older men might have forfeited rights to raise their children.

In advance of court hearings scheduled to begin Monday, Child Protective Services has drafted 10 goals and 14 tasks that parents will have to work toward in order to regain custody of their children.

CPS is proposing to give parents until next April to "provide a home free of persons who have or will abuse" children and "demonstrate the ability to protect the child(ren) from sexual abuse."

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Victim Safe and Three Suspects Arrested in Kidnapping Incident

Police believe the kidnapping may have been related to drug money.

(CLACKAMAS, Ore.) - Deputies in Clackamas County say three male subjects armed with a handgun kidnapped a man from his home this morning at 7:30 AM, while the woman he lived with hid and managed to get a text message out.

Jim Strovink with the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office, says the couple was in their 5th wheel trailer dwelling this morning at 7:30 on SE Foster Road in Damascus, when the suspects entered the residence and kidnapped the male victim; while the remaining female occupant was hiding in the rear of this 5th wheel residence and text messaging her mother about the ongoing armed encounter.

Strovink said, "The mother of this text messaging female victim immediately notified the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office dispatch center relaying this prompt and vital information. Responding Clackamas County Sheriff's Office patrol personnel arrived on the scene just minutes after the three armed suspects departed this residence with their kidnapped victim, who is not identified at this time."

Clackamas County Sheriff's deputies broadcasted the suspect information and anticipated route of travel to local law enforcement, Strovink said.

"A short time later, all three of the suspects and the victim were located during a traffic stop peacefully performed by the Gresham Police Department. On this occasion, no injuries were reported by the victim, or the three suspects apprehended at the scene by the Gresham Police."

Investigators indicate that at least one of the armed suspects was known to the victims, and that it is also mentioned this kidnapping incident may be drug and money related.

The traffic stop also resulted in the recovery of a stolen automobile; the very one the suspects were operating at the time of the stop. This vehicle had been previously stolen in Portland and reported as stolen to the Portland Police Bureau, Strovink added.

The three suspects were transported from the arrest location of 1136 NE 181st Street in Portland, and lodged in the Clackamas County Jail. Strovink says the suspects are with investigators who are presently conducting interviews.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


60,000 Australian children abused, neglected or at risk: minister
5 hours ago
SYDNEY (AFP) — Almost 60,000 Australian children are abused or neglected or at risk of being so -- a dramatic jump of 45 percent over the past few years, the government said Sunday.
Families Minister Jenny Macklin said the government was launching a discussion paper on a national child protection framework "because the figures on child abuse and neglect in Australia are so bad."
"There's now just under 60,000 children either being abused or neglected, and the numbers just keep growing," she told the Nine Network.
"They've grown by about 45 percent over the last few years, so it is a national issue."
The discussion paper found that the number of occasions when a child was found to be or found likely to be harmed, abused or neglected increased from 40,416 in 2002/03 to 58,563 by 2006/07.
Macklin said there were no clear reasons why the rates had increased so sharply but said it was associated with alcohol and drug abuse, mental illness and poverty.
"That's really one of the reasons why we need to embark on a national framework -- to understand better why the numbers are growing so rapidly and what it is that, as a nation, we can do," she said.
The minister said the rising numbers of children at risk had placed child protection authorities under enormous pressure and the government was concerned about the quality of care given to the 28,000 children living in foster homes.
"We've got a serious shortage of foster carers and concerns that not always are the children being properly or well cared for in foster care," she said.
The minister also said that with different child protection agencies in each state and territory, the standard of care was varied across the country.

Saturday, May 24, 2008


The charges may or may not stick but tonight, less than a week after one person was killed and eleven others wounded by a hand grenade, two men are behind bars awaiting trial for murder. News Five’s Janelle Chanona reports from Magistrates’ Court.

Janelle Chanona, Reporting
This afternoon sixteen year old Akeem Smith and his twenty year old brother Kareem were charged with Murder, Conspiracy to Commit Murder and Attempted Murder in connection with Sunday night’s grenade attack in Belize City.

The accused were barefooted as they appeared before Chief Magistrate Margaret Gabb. Because the offences are indictable matters, no plea was taken. Akeem’s case was transferred to the Family Court for initial processing and both brothers are remanded to Hattieville Prison.

The minor is believed to be the lone perpetrator who rode up to the corner of Mayflower and Vernon Streets and then threw a hand grenade into a crowd of people. Sixteen year old Darren Trapp was the most critically injured and died hours after the incident. Eleven others were rushed to hospital with various head and body injuries.

Akeem and Kareem maintained their innocence to the crime in court this afternoon. Outside, their emotional mother accused investigators of refusing to conduct an identification parade before charging her sons.

Voice of Karen Smith, Mother of Accused
“Dehn chance my two son dehn becaz dehn innocent and di one deh who do it, dehn battam di go cinco seis fu think dehn wah call dehn.”

Janelle Chanona
“How did they link your sons to the crime then?”

Karen Smith
“Just cause dehn mi gat ting, my lee son weh sixteen and one ah dehn from deh soh—but no from dah side—mi have ting and he mi shot up my son pan di bridge and my son gawn back and gawn shot dehn and den CYDP talk it over and everything and den dat dah weh happen now, dehn di seh how dehn di call up fu dehn name. But from di ting happen, dah wah clear person. All of a sudden, my pickney dehn, dehn black and dehn turn clear.”

Janelle Chanona
“How did you link the attack with these two particular individuals?”

Inspector Sinquest Martinez, Lead Investigator
“It’s a matter of linking, they have been put in the crime scene. Witnesses come forward and assist us in the investigation.”

Janelle Chanona
“As far as motive, what would have led to such a drastic action?”

Inspector Sinquest Martinez
“Retaliation amongst themselves.”

Janelle Chanona
“For which attack? We’ve heard reference to a Lake I incident.”

Inspector Sinquest Martinez
“Well I’m not going in-depth because the investigation continues as we speak.”

Janelle Chanona
“Knowing that a lot of people are concerned that this will become the status of urban warfare, urban terror is the police looking into finding out if more grenades are out on the street?”

Inspector Sinquest Martinez
“Exactly. And we need to put an end to this immediately because we do not want it to continue. It is very, very dangerous. Kids, innocent people and passer-bys could get hurt with these gruesome attacks.”

And according to police, their response to the escalation in violence will be intensive searches, border patrols and aggressive efforts in soliciting community support.

Inspector Sinquest Martinez
“All I am asking the public to bear patience with us and start working along with us.”

Janelle Chanona
“And you are confident in the evidence you have?”

Inspector Sinquest Martinez
“We will see down the road ma’am.”

Both Kareem and Akeem Smith are scheduled to reappear in court on May thirtieth. Reporting for News Five, I am Janelle Chanona.

But in addition to being charged with Conspiracy to Commit Murder, tonight Kareem Smith is in plenty of hot water in connection with other arrests. In October, he appeared before Magistrate Sharon Frazer, charged with two counts of Robbery. As one of the conditions of his bail, Frazer ordered that if Kareem was arrested again, his bond would be immediately revoked. However, in court this afternoon, Chief Magistrate Margaret Gabb discovered that since that order Kareem has been arrested not once, not twice but five times for offences ranging from Threatening Words and Common Assault to Possession of An Unlicensed Firearm and Robbery. In light of that revelation, Kareem has been ordered to reappear before Magistrate Frazer on Wednesday. The Chief Magistrate referred to the oversight by prosecutors as “outrageous”.

Friday, May 23, 2008


When society is free from the evil acts of Man, then this world will be safe for each and everyone and then I will set down my guard.
Brenda A. Ysaguirre

Children were dismembered and burnt, say Jersey police

Dozens of fragments of human bone found in the cellar of a former Jersey children’s home are believed to be the remains of children who were murdered, dismembered and then cremated in a fireplace, the detective leading the investigation into child abuse said yesterday.

The remains, which included children’s teeth, were found during an excavation of the underground rooms where former residents claim they were physically and sexually abused. Some fragments show signs of having been cut up and burnt.

The announcement comes after it was disclosed that the fragment of skull that led to the search is more likely to be a piece of wood or coconut shell than bone.

The Haut de la Garenne home, which closed in 1983, is at the centre of the investigation into abuse spanning a period of more than 30 years.

Deputy chief officer Lenny Harper said a total of 30 bone fragments and seven teeth had been found in one of the cellars. The bones will now undergo scientific examination to determine their age and the age of the child or children they may have come from. DNA testing may also make it possible to identify possible victims.

More than 160 people have come forward to claim they were abused at the home. Police searching the cellars, which had been sealed up, have found a blood-stained concrete bath and iron shackles that supported some of the accounts of victims.

A network of four underground chambers have now been investigated after a police sniffer dog indicated the presence of human remains. On a wooden post in one of the rooms that is thought to have been used to imprison children was scrawled the message “I’ve been bad for years and years”.

Police revealed yesterday that the number of people suspected of involvement in child abuse has increased from 40 to 70, although so far only one man has been arrested in connection with Haut de la Garenne.

Gordon Claude Wateridge, 76, originally from Croydon, South London, is charged with three offences of indecent assault on girls under 16 between 1969 and 1979, when he was warder at the home.

A second man has also been arrested as part of the wider abuse inquiry. Claude Donnelly, 68, of St Brelade, is charged with raping and sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl between 1971 and 1974 on the island.

All the other suspects will be questioned and most of them will be arrested, say police.

Mr Harper said: “Some of the bones do indicate a homicide or an unexplained death. Our anthropologist has indicated certain features on one or two of the bones that we are looking at. There is no doubt that there are the remains of children in that cellar.”

Speaking at a briefing outside Haut de la Garenne, he gave further details of the latest conclusions from scientific tests on bone fragments and teeth that were found.

Mr Harper said: “Of the six teeth we have sent to the UK, five of these would not be able to come out naturally before death. Only one shows signs of decay. The rest have so much root attached they could not have come out naturally.”

He added: “Experts say that they have come out of more than one mouth.”

Mr Harper said: “What is causing us some concern is that one or two of the bones show signs of being part of an unexplained death.”

Some of the bones had been cut, he said. “A lot of bones appear to have some degree of burning to them,” he added. “A number were found in and around where we believe was a fireplace in the cellar area.”

Tests to age the suspected victims have so far been inconclusive, with estimates ranging from before the Second World War to as recent as the Seventies and Eighties.

Mr Harper said: “Whatever else, we have a dead child or dead children in that cellar. We do not know how they got there or how they died.”

Thursday, May 22, 2008


NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- The man at the center of an Amber Alert in New Haven faced a judge Tuesday.

Domingo Acosta is accused of kidnapping his 5-year-old son.

Acosta faces a list of charges including, abduction, assault and threatening.

Police said that earlier this month Acosta assaulted his ex-girlfriend and took his 5-year-old son, Isaiah Williams, from his mother. He eventually turned the boy over to his aunt, but not before sparking the Amber Alert.

He later turned himself in to police.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Police investigate alleged attempted kidnapping
By James Vaznis, Globe Staff

Boston police are investigating a reported attempted kidnapping of a 12-year-old boy as he walked to school this morning in Dorchester.
About 8:15 a.m., an unknown man approached the boy from a vacant lot on Gallivan Boulevard, about four blocks from St. Brendan School, where the boy is enrolled. The man said “Hey,” and grabbed the boy’s right arm and started pulling him into the vacant lot, police said.
The boy broke free and ran through numerous yards and streets. The suspect pursued him for a while, following the boy onto Marsh Street before fleeing in an unknown direction.
Once arriving at school, the boy told the principal what had happened; and police were called.
“He’s going to be ok,” said Elaine Driscoll, a Boston police spokeswoman. “He had some scratches on his arm. … This young man did the right thing by heading to school and alerting an adult immediately.”
Driscoll said there have been no recent reports of attempted kidnappings in the area, but she said police have stepped up patrols and are canvassing the area for suspects.
Police described the suspect as a white male in his mid-40s or 50s, weighing 200 pounds and five feet 10 inches tall. He was wearing a black waist-length leather jacket with red sleeves, blue jeans with faded, white spots near the thighs of both legs, a black baseball cap with black sunglasses, and gray New Balance sneakers. He also had scruffy salt-and-pepper facial hair.
Anyone with information can call Boston police detectives at 617-343-4335, or leave anonymous information at 800-494-TIPS or text the word TIP to CRIME.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Bryant Stewart sought on domestic violence, kidnapping charges --
U.S. Marshals' Most Wanted
Sunday, May 18, 2008

U.S. marshals are looking for Bryant Stewart to face charges of domestic violence and kidnapping.

Stewart, 23, is accused of holding the mother of his child inside a car against her will in Cleveland and beating her, Deputy Marshal Brian Koerbel said. His record includes several convictions for drug crimes, Koerbel said.

Stewart is 5 feet 9 and weighs 145 pounds. He is known to frequent the area around East 74th Street and Superior Avenue in Cleveland.

Reward money is available. Call 1-866-492-6833.

Friday, May 16, 2008


If we can supercede all that is evil, the world we will give to our children will be one which they will be worthy of. Brenda A. Ysaguirre

If this was your daughter you would forward it.
Missing 3 year Old Girl -
You never know who knows whom.

Racharel Strong (father) - 404-357-1881
Simona Strong (mother) - 404-313-4255
Tiesa Locklear (aunt) - 678-234-4902
Tramesa Locklear (aunt) 678-480-1635
Ursala Williams (aunt) 678-362-5246

Thursday, May 15, 2008


MAN is the Beast who if not tamed becomes his worse enemy. (Brenda A. Ysaguirre)

Victim often knows Sexual Attacker
Victim often knows sexual attacker
DURHAM, N.H. (UPI) -- A University of New Hampshire study shows that the vast majority of incidents of unwanted sex on campus are perpetrated by someone the victim knows.

More than 2,400 undergraduate students were surveyed in the 2005/2006 academic year, with previous student surveys conducted in 1988 and 2000.

"Colleges and universities around the country find this same percentage, yet the stereotype remains that the perpetrator is a stranger," the study said. "We need to continue to educate the campus community that acquaintances are most likely to be the perpetrators against women."

Overall, unwanted sexual contact occurs where students live, in the context of social events, and often alcohol is involved, the study said.

Of the female victims surveyed, 85 percent report that someone they know committed unwanted sexual intercourse.

Seven percent reported having unwanted sex themselves, while 25 percent reported unwanted sexual contact, the study found.

Copies of the study are available at:

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Mother guilty of kidnapping, endangering
Tot found alone in playpen; 5-year-old in filthy closet

Beverly Fears admitted Monday she often kept two of her children in a closet and playpen overnight so she could go to work. It wasn't the first time she's been in trouble for not caring for her kids.

Fears, 26, pleaded guilty Monday to kidnapping and three counts of child endangering involving her two middle children, ages 5 and 20 months at the time of her March 28, 2007, arrest.

Earlier, Fears had her oldest child, a son then 5 years old, taken from her when she tried to stop the child from sucking his thumbs by tightly wrapping them.

The tight wrapping was kept on so long that both of the child's thumbs were amputated at the joint in January 2004.

"We did have these kids (the oldest two) at an earlier date and substantiated abuse on the thumb issue," Hamilton County Department of Job & Family Services spokesman Brian Gregg said Monday.

A social worker at the hospital told family services the thumb incident wasn't one of Fears purposely hurting her child, so she didn't lose custody.

Fears had a history of contacting family services saying she couldn't care for her kids or asking for more money, but had no history of abusing her children, Gregg said.

"Given what (ultimately) happened, we probably made the wrong decision here," Gregg said.

That bad decision came to light last year when residents of the North Avondale apartment building where Fears lived called police to complain about loud noises coming from her apartment late at night when the neighbor knew Fears was supposed to be at work.

Police responded and had had to force their way in because Fears had changed the locks.

Once inside, police found the 20-month-old boy clad only in a dirty diaper in a small, portable playpen. He suffered from a severe rash because his diaper was rarely changed. Inside the playpen was a hot dog and ketchup.

Prosecutors have said the children regularly were denied food.

Police then heard sounds coming from a closet - sealed shut with a knife rammed into the doorjamb.

When they opened they door, they found the 5-year-old son.

"He did have ligature marks on his wrists and other marks on his body," Hamilton County Assistant Prosecutor Seth Tieger said Monday.

That was proof, Tieger said, that Fears regularly tied the boy's hands when she kept him in the closet.

That child was wearing only underwear and the closet was filthy with his feces and urine.

The child - whose yells neighbors heard, prompting them to call police - was so desperate to get out of the closet, Tieger said, that he'd managed to pull up several of the closet floor boards.

The neighbor who called police said she heard the 5-year-old screaming, "Why do she keep doing this to me?"

The oldest boy was living with his grandfather.

Police arrested Fears at 5 a.m. the next day at her West Chester job, where she was a customer service worker for Dell computers.

Fears was pregnant at the time of her arrest. She has since given birth. Those three children, as well as the oldest boy, have been taken from her by the county.

She faces three to 31 years in prison when she is sentenced July 1. A mental evaluation will be done before sentencing.

In exchange for her guilty plea on the four counts, six other charges were dropped.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


Children queue up to get some rice in Dedaye, south of Yangon.
YANGON, Myanmar (CNN) -- A U.S. military airplane with relief supplies was scheduled to land in Myanmar Monday on a mission that American officials say they hope will "build trust."

The United States said it received permission to land the Lockheed C-130 Hercules at 2 p.m. local time (0730 GMT), and hopes to send in two more planes on Tuesday.

The supplies that the C-130 is carrying -- wood, buckets, nails, blankets and plastic tarps, among items to help with shelter needs -- will be handed to the military junta that rules Myanmar.

But commanding officers hope the mission will help forge a relationship that will allow the United States to send in disaster experts.

The United Nations estimates the death toll from last weekend's Cyclone Nargis ranges from 63,000 to 100,000, well above the Myanmar government's estimate of about 22,000. Tens of thousands of people are missing. Watch villagers' struggle in wake of cyclone »

The military junta has said it will accept international aid but insisted it would distribute the supplies itself.

"We're getting, starting to get reports of aid being distributed with the names of military leaders and VIPs plastered all over the aid packages," said Debbie Stothard, head of the Southeast Asian human rights group ALTSEAN-Burma. Watch allegations that Myanmar's junta is taking credit for aid »

"There's people who are very concerned now, that the reason the aid workers are being blocked is so that the military can deliver aid selectively and so that they can appropriate the aid and pretend it was from them in the first place."

The country's name was changed from Burma to Myanmar in 1989, but many who do not recognize the current government still use its former name.

An American embassy official in Thailand said the aircraft carrier, USS Essex, was also en route to Myanmar with supplies.

A French naval ship is also on its way toward Myanmar, transporting 1,500 tons of medical equipment, food and water.

Bernard Kouchner, the French foreign minister, said French aid will go directly to the victims.

"We won't give aid to Burma's junta, even if they would accept it. We will use our own channels in the country."

Also Sunday, Australia pledged $25 million in aid to Myanmar.

Half the money will go to international relief agencies and non-governmental organizations. The other half will go to the United Nations, a spokesman with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said.

Three planes carrying 14 tons of shelter from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies landed at the Yangon International Airport on Saturday. Two more arrived from the U.N. World Food Program, which temporarily halted flights Friday after the government refused to let their workers pass out the supplies.

Additional flights by the WFP and other U.N. agencies in various countries were expected, said WFP's chief spokeswoman in North America, Bettina Luescher.

Meanwhile, a Red Cross boat delivering relief supplies to the hard-hit Irrawady Delta region sank Sunday when it hit debris in the river, a spokesman said.

The four relief workers on the double-decker boat were not hurt, said Eric Porterfield with International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. The boat was carrying rice, water, clothing and other household items.

"It's always risky when you're trying to deliver aid in areas that have debris," he said.

As aid groups struggled to overcome obstacles slowing their distribution of supplies to cyclone victims, Myanmar TV was broadcasting messages urging citizens to vote "yes" in a referendum that critics say would strengthen the military rule.

The marketing campaign showed pictures of people voting as a song played with the lyrics, "Let's go to cast vote with sincere thoughts for happy days." Similar notes were posted on ballot boxes.

"The state on the ground remains essentially the same and the so-called referendum, in which voting took place yesterday, on the reports we've had, effectively took place without incident," said Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith.

"But I again make the point as I've made consistently: Australia regards the referendum process as nothing more, nothing less than a sham. And our view would be the referendum process be deferred completely, rather than just being deferred until the 24 May in the most adversely affected areas."

Saturday, May 10, 2008


(CNN) -- A gunman in Kenya shot and killed the head of a World Food Program office that provides relief for neighboring southern Sudan, the WFP said on Friday.

The incident occurred in the northwestern Kenyan town of Lokichoggio, a slaying that the U.N. agency calls "the first killing of a WFP aid worker in what has been a major relief hub for southern Sudan."

The incident occurred late Wednesday when Silence Chirara -- a Zimbabwean national who is coordinator of WFP's logistics operation for southern Sudan -- was ambushed by people armed with AK-47s assault rifles near the main gate of the U.N. camp.

"After coming under attack, Chirara, 37, drove on and his clearly marked U.N. vehicle hit a shipping container near the gate. He was later pronounced dead at a clinic. His vehicle was hit by seven AK-47 bullets on the car's left-hand side. The gunmen escaped," the WFP said.

The killing was denounced and mourned by colleagues and friends. Chirara -- who joined WFP in 1996 and worked in Africa and Asian countries -- is survived by a wife and two children.

WFP says its planes airdropped food to millions during the civil war between northern and southern Sudan, a war that ended in 2005. But ever since, Lokichoggio has been a key "relief hub and access route for aircraft and trucks delivering assistance into Sudan."

Sunday, May 4, 2008


Chinese police have rescued 167 village children sold to work as slave laborers in a city in the booming southern province of Guangdong, newspapers said yesterday. The children, all from the ethnic Yi minority, came from poor families in the Liangshan region of the southwestern province of Sichuan more than 600 miles away. "In all, 167 child laborers have been rescued so far, 107 boys and 60 girls," the Hong Kong-based Wen Wei Po paper said. China announced a nationwide crackdown on slavery and child labor last year after reports that hundreds of poor farmers, children and mentally disabled people were forced to work in kilns and mines in Shanxi province and neighboring Henan. (Reuters)

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - Police said Friday they plan to seek arrest warrants for three 14-year-old boys on charges of raping 8-year-old girls last week.Police took the three middle school students into custody Thursday, and planned to seek formal warrants Friday night, said Kwon Byung-soo, a detective handling the case in Daegu, 300
kilometers (185 miles) southeast of Seoul.
The three were the oldest among 11 boys suspected of involvement in the case in which eight elementary school girls, all aged 8, were allegedly raped on the back lawn of a middle school on April 21, Kwon said.
If tried and convicted, they could be sentenced to juvenile prison, although those under 18 are usually placed on probation or ordered to go to reform school, said Oh Se-in, a spokesman for the Supreme Public Prosecutor's Office.
The eight other boys face the same allegations as the older three, Kwon said. But their possible punishment can differ depending on their age, as South Korean law classifies minors into three categories and calls for different treatment in criminal cases.
Kwon said three boys, aged 12 and 13, were referred to a family court that will interview them to decide on their possible punishment without formal trial. The court can either release the children or put them on probation.
The remaining five, aged 11, were released because they were so young, Kwon said.
The suspects have not been publicly identified.
The case has caused public outrage and comes on the heels of a series of violent acts against young girls.

Last month, a man in his 40s was arrested for allegedly attempting to rape a 10-year-old girl. Earlier this year, a 39-year-old man was arrested on charges of sexually molesting two schoolgirls and killing them.
«The shocking sexual violence in Daegu appears to have exposed diseases in our society,» the Dong-a Ilbo newspaper said in an editorial Friday, blaming pornography on the Internet and the lack of proper sex education.
Kim Do-yeon, South Korea's education minister, apologized Friday.
«This should have not happened ... I will try to prevent this kind of thing from happening again,» Kim told a parliamentary meeting. «I thoroughly apologize to the people.

Friday, May 2, 2008


Kidnapping suspect appears in court
The Salt Lake Tribune Article Last Updated: 05/02/2008 01:17:35 AM MDT

A man charged with kidnapping a woman from a West Valley City care center and driving her to Missouri - with the body of his former girlfriend concealed in a container on the back seat - made an initial appearance in 3rd District Court Thursday morning and appointed a lawyer to defend him. Judge Michele Christiansen made the appointment for Michael J. Doyel, who appeared via closed circuit television from the Salt Lake County jail and set another hearing for May 8. Doyel is accused of kidnapping Patricia Murray, a 60-year-old who has been ruled incompetent by courts to care for herself. A legal guardian said Doyel did not have permission to take Murray from the care center where she lives. Doyel also is charged in federal court with kidnapping 50-year-old nurse Deborah Jones, whose body was discovered April 21 in the back seat of her Volkswagen Passat in Branson, Mo. The car was parked at a hotel, where Doyel and Murray were found. Salt Lake District Attorney Lohra Miller has said her office will work to develop a murder case and anticipates filing charges against Doyel sometime in May. - Pamela Manson

Thursday, May 1, 2008


More than half of teens from sect have been pregnant
31 of 53 girls are expectant or current mothers, officials report

Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle

Thirty-one of the 53 girls ages 14 through 17 are either mothers or expectant mothers, said Stephanie Goodman, a spokeswoman for the state's Health and Human Services Commission.

A handful of the girls are both, said Darrell Azar, a spokesman for the Department of Family and Protective Services, which has custody of all 463 children taken several weeks ago from their parents, members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a breakaway Mormon sect.

There also is one pregnant 13-year-old, "but most are in the 15 and 16 range at the time they conceived," Azar said. "Some teens have multiple children.

"It shows you a pretty distinct pattern, that it was pretty pervasive," he said.

The state's count of the teenagers who either are pregnant or are mothers already has soared in recent days, as 26 girls who initially claimed to be adults have told officials they are, in fact, minors.

State officials said they believe the teens who are pregnant or have children were forced into "spiritual" marriages with older men who were already married. The state of Texas does not recognize spiritual marriages. While state law allows 16-year-olds to wed with parental consent, it bars adults in most cases from having sexwith anyone under age 17. Bigamy also is illegal.

Meanwhile, child welfare officials said nine of the 463 children in their care were hospitalized in recent days, and six remained hospitalized Monday. Azar said he did not know the children's ailments or conditions but did not believe anyone had a life-threatening ailment.

Of the 463 children, 250 are girls and 213 are boys, officials said Monday.

On Friday, the last of the children who remained at the mass shelter in San Angelo were loaded onto buses and sent to group homes and shelters throughout the state.

Child welfare authorities said they now hope to break "the code of silence" that has prevented them from learning much about the children's life on the Yearning for Zion Ranch outside Eldorado.

On Monday, state officials sought to manage continuing complaints by some of the attorneys appointed to represent the children who say the transition to foster care has been chaotic.

Attorney complaints
Guy Choate, a Texas State Bar official and spokesman for the children's attorneys, said several lawyers have no idea where their clients were placed.

"Some children we can't find," Choate said. "We know the children are in custody, being taken care of by somebody, somewhere, but that's hardly acceptable. ... We're dealing with living, breathing human beings. Perfect is just about the only acceptable outcome."

Azar insisted that no child has ever been missing, though attempts to relay each child's whereabouts have sometimes been unsuccessful.

He said each child has been appointed a caseworker who will handle only FLDS work and who will have no more than 15 of those cases.

Meanwhile, the state's 3rd Court of Appeals has refused to immediately intervene in the custody dispute involving the children.

The court cited "insufficient information" to warrant granting emergency relief to attorneys representing 48 mothers who are FLDS followers.

A state judge in San Angelo this month ordered the children be placed in state custody because of allegations that the sect to which they belonged believed in marrying underage girls to older men.

Robert Doggett, a staff attorney with Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid, which represents some of the sect's mothers, said the court denied his motion for emergency relief late Friday after the children had been placed on buses and sent to foster placements around the state.

By then, he said, "the issue was moot."

The appeals court's order also cancels a hearing on the custody issue that had been scheduled for today.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Terri Langford reported from Houston.