South Jersey's News Talk Leader!           Radio You Can Depend On!          
ABC National
Subscribe To This Feed

Sean Gallup/Getty Images(NEW YORK) --  When a California college student created an event to meet aliens at Area 51, he had no idea he was setting the groundwork to entertain millions of earthlings.

Matty Roberts created the Facebook event "Storm Area 51, They Can't Stop All of Us," on June 27 as a joke, never imagining that it would blow up into a viral event with 1.8 million people registered as attend on Sept. 20 and another 1.3 million interested.

With the unexpected tidal wave of interest, Roberts is taking the event offline.

He's now thinking seriously about hosting an actual event: an "out of this world" experience in the Nevada desert.

Area 51 is located in the highly-classified remote detachment of Edwards Air Force Base, where conspiracy theorists believe UFO spacecraft are kept.

"I want to make it like a festival of sorts, a bunch of different music artists, everyone from the EDM world, maybe some indie rock, maybe some smaller guys who are up and coming," Roberts, 20, of Bakersfield, California, told KERO-TV. "I've had a lot of people DM [direct message] the page and say they're bands want to play there, which would be super cool."

"People kind of want to know what's in there," Roberts said in an interview, for which he dressed as the anime character Naruto Uzumaki, who he referenced in the event posting. "I think a lot of people are going to show up because it's kind of a meme."

"If we naruto [sic] run, we can move faster than their bullets. Lets see them aliens," Roberts wrote, referring to the Japanese anime "Naruto" title character's distinct running style, in which he runs with his arms outstretched behind him.

Roberts said he met many people through the event's page — including a few true zealots who told him, "I'm wiling to die for the government!"

"I figured the FBI would have shown up by now," Roberts, who is studying petroleum engineering, said. "I don't want anyone to get hurt. This came up as a pure struck of imagination it was meant to be funny."

The event has already caught the interest of authorities.

On Thursday Air Force spokesperson Laura McAndrews told ABC News in a statement: “The United States Air Force is aware of the Facebook post. The Nevada Test and Training Range is an area where the Air Force tests and trains combat aircraft. As a matter of practice, we do not discuss specific security measures, but any attempt to illegally access military installations or military training areas is dangerous.”

If Storm Area 51 does succeed as a festival, it has already caught the interest of at least one potential partner — Budweiser.

"Screw it. Free Bud Light to any alien that makes it out," Bud Light's official Twitter account wrote.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



Subscribe To This Feed

Kris Allen(NEW YORK) --  A 2-year-old Minnesota boy who was reported missing was quickly found at a county fair — after making the trek in on his toy tractor, his family said Saturday.

Little Kenneth was riding around in his yard on his John Deere tractor Thursday night when he remembered that the Chisago County Fair was just a mere two blocks away, his mom, Lynn Allen, told ABC News.

Allen had promised him earlier in the week he'd get to go with his grandfather. Kenneth, though, took matters into his own hands.

"He was riding a tractor around the yard and, usually, he just stays in the yard," Allen said. "All of a sudden, it's pretty quiet."

Both she and her husband, Kris Allen, went outside but Kenneth was nowhere to be found.

"The worst possible thoughts go through your head," she said.

They immediately called 911.

But their panic quickly turned into relief when, about 10 minutes after informing authorities Kenneth was missing, the sheriff's office said they found him at the fair.

The Chisago County Sheriff's Office said it was one of the first calls they received at the start of the event.

"He drove down the frontage road at our house and drove around the parking lot and must have followed people right into the fair," Allen said.

She and her husband were mostly "baffled" by the whole incident.

"You can't really see the fair" from their home, Allen said. "Man, he's a smart little 2-and-half year old."

Kenneth's dad told ABC News his son was sad to see him arrive. He hadn't gotten to go on any rides before authorities picked him up.

His mom said they're planning to go to the fair as a family Saturday afternoon.

"But we did take the tractor away for a while," she added through a laugh. "Until mom is sure you're not gonna leave the yard."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



Subscribe To This Feed

iStock/JadeThaiCatwalk(NEW YORK) --  A Michigan beauty queen was stripped of her title over comments she made on social media about Muslim women and black people, she said.

Executives with Miss World America told Kathy Zhu, the Miss Michigan 2019 winner, that her “offensive, insensitive and inappropriate” posts on social media were in violation of the organization’s rules and conditions, according to email screenshots posted by Zhu on Thursday.

“Therefore, and effective immediately, MWA does not recognize you as a participant of any sort or in any capacity as it relates to any and all events of MWA,” the email read.

 

Miss World America's State/National/Chief Director accused me of being racist, Islamaphobic, and insensitive.

They stripped me of my Miss Michigan title due to my refusal to try on a hijab in 2018, my tweet about black on black gun violence, and "insensitive" statistical tweets. pic.twitter.com/K1Btho0Pgq

— Kathy Zhu (@PoliticalKathy) July 19, 2019

 

One of the Twitter posts in question read, “Did you know that the majority of black deaths are caused by other blacks? Fix problems within your own community first before blaming others.”

The other read,” There is a ‘try a hijab on’ booth at my college campus. So you’re telling me that it’s now just a fashion accessory and not a religious thing? Or are you just trying to get women used to being oppressed under Islam?”

It was posted on World Hijab Day in 2018.

Both posts have been deleted.

Zhu, a Donald Trump supporter and the vice chair of the University of Michigan’s College Republicans group, pushed back at the organization, saying she was discriminated against. She said the tweets were "statistics and facts."

“This is about an organization discriminating against people with different opinions, calling people racist even when they’re not,” she said in a Twitter video Friday. “Just little attacks like those just really diminishes the value and the truth of the word racism.”

Emails to Miss World America were not immediately returned.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



Subscribe To This Feed

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Several heat index readings came close to setting records across the eastern half of the U.S. on Friday, with the hottest temperatures still yet to come on the East Coast.

Des Moines, Iowa, saw a heat index reading -- the "feels like" temperature due to the high humidity -- of 119 degrees, just 3 degrees away from a record. The heat index was 115 degrees in Minneapolis with a dew point of 80, the highest recorded in eight years. The temperature was 93 in Chicago, with a heat index of 107, while it reached a temperature of 95 degrees in Washington, D.C.

Many cities across the across the Midwest and Northeast started Saturday with heat indices in the 90s, and the day will be another scorcher with heat indices up to 115 degrees by afternoon. Excessive heat warnings have been issued from Kansas to Ohio and North Carolina to New Hampshire.

Some of the temperatures on Saturday will be the hottest in several years.

New York City and Philadelphia could see their hottest temperatures since 2012, while Washington, D.C., could hit 100 for the first time since 2016.

Overnight lows again will struggle to dip below 80, and it will already feel like 90 degrees when people wake up Sunday morning in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Boston.

Sunday will be the final day of oppressive heat in the East before cooler temperatures arrive.

Temperatures will be much cooler than this weekend for the start of the work week, and will even be below average for late July with highs in the 70s across much of the Midwest and East Coast.

Severe storms

The dip in the jet stream and associated cold front bringing the cooler temperatures to the Midwest and Northeast will also bring severe weather.

There were more than 140 reports of severe weather Friday and overnight into Saturday from South Dakota to New York. Baseball-size hail damaged wind shields in Minnesota, while 84 mph wind gusts knocked out power in Wisconsin.

There is another chance for severe weather Saturday from Iowa to Michigan and another pocket in Colorado. The main threats will be for damaging winds, large hail and an isolated tornado.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



Subscribe To This Feed

iStock(CHICAGO) -- A Chicago family can’t seem to wake from the nightmare they faced when a young mom was murdered in April and had her newborn -- who died about two months later -- cut from her stomach.

The alleged suspects -- a mother-daughter pair -- have been apprehended and now face two murder charges a piece, but the family of Marlen Ochoa-Lopez struggles to move on, not only as a result of the emotional horror of the situation but because what they described as further insults.

Ochoa-Lopez’s husband had now been sent in excess of $300,000 in hospital bills for the costs of caring for his newborn son after the alleged murderers brought him to a suburban hospital, passing the boy off as their own.

Not only that, but the bills don’t refer to the newborn using the name his family gave him -- Yovanny Lopez, a tweaked version of his father’s name -- and instead refer to him as Figueroa Boy, using the last name of the woman who allegedly killed his mother.

"His belief that his baby is in heaven with the baby's mother is what’s keeping him through this," said Frank Avila, the attorney for Yovany Lopez, Ochoa-Lopez’s husband and the father of Yovanny Lopez.

"He's only 20-years-old, he lost his wife to a gruesome murder... he was not with his baby for the first few weeks of the baby's life," the attorney said, referring to the fact that the alleged murderers passed the child off as their own during the initial weeks of the baby's life.

“It’s like a kick in the gut,” he said. "It's horrific."

Yovanny Lopez died in mid-June, after spending about two months in Adovcate’s Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Illinois.

The hospital responded to ABC News’ request for comment but would not address specific details about the case beyond acknowledging that the bills were sent in error.

“Our hearts and prayers continue to be with the Ochoa-Lopez family during this difficult time. We have had discussions with the family regarding inadvertent billing and we regret this error. We take our obligation to patient privacy seriously, and therefore are unable to comment further regarding care, services or billing,” the hospital said in a statement to ABC News.

The horrific case has unfolded over the past two months, with more sordid details being released with every change in the case's status.

Clarisa Figueroa, 46, and Desiree Figueroa, 26, were initially charged with first degree murder in connection to the death of Ochoa-Lopez, who was 19 years old at the time of her death. On Thursday, state officials confirmed that the pair will face a second murder charge as a result of Yovanny Lopez’s death.

Avila said that his client, the grieving husband and father Yovany Lopez, wanted the second murder charge added.

“He believed that was right,” Avila said, "but every time this comes in the media, it’s very difficult for him.”

“I think that he’s going to have things that haunt him forever,” Avila said of Yovany Lopez, who Avila said is 20-years-old and works in construction.

In addition to the updates in the case, Avila said that his client has also received “less than a dozen” bills from the hospital -- even though Avila said that hospital officials had told him that they would not be sending any.

Avila said that “there's negligence and infliction of emotional distress at certain times” by the hospital.

“This broke my heart," Avila said of the case. "This is something that will haunt me forever."

“I’ve held the baby. I was with the baby. I saw the baby in the NICU, and it’s so tragic,” he said, referring to a neonatal intensive care unit.

Avila said that he and his client are in the midst of a probate case “to try and get some more documents because we don’t have all the medical records that were promised.” After that, Avila said that they are planning on filing lawsuits, though none are currently underway.

In May, Assistant State's Attorney James Murphy said that following Ochoa-Lopez's murder, Clarisa Figueroa brought the baby to a nearby hospital, where the child was admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit. Clarisa Figueroa then allegedly formed a GoFundMe page in an effort to raise money for the baby, who authorities say she was passing off as her own.

Both women had pleaded not guilty to the murder charge in the death of Ochoa-Lopez, ABC Chicago station WLS reported. They have not entered pleas on the new murder charges.

Yovany Lopez isn’t the only one grappling with the death of his wife and newborn son. Ochoa-Lopez was also survived by the couple’s 3-year-old son. Avila said that the toddler “doesn’t fully understand what’s going on.”

The toddler did visit his brother in the hospital while he was being treated, after it was determined that the Figueroas were not related to the child.

“When he saw the baby died,” Avila said of the toddler, “he said ‘wake him up, wake him up, I want to play with him.’”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



Subscribe To This Feed

iStock(BERKELEY, Calif.) -- Manholes will now be known as maintenance holes and craftsman will be replaced by artisan, after the Berkeley, California, City Council voted unanimously to revise the city’s municipal code with gender-neutral language.

Dozens of terms will be revised and the pronouns “they” and “them” will replace “he” and “she,” according to the new ordinance.

“In recent years, broadening societal awareness of transgender and gender nonconforming identities has brought to light the importance of non-binary gender inclusivity,” Rigel Robinson, a member of the council and a co-sponsor of the ordinance, said in a letter to the mayor and city council.

The ordinance follows the city’s decision in February to allow city employees to add their preferred pronoun to their name badge.

“There is power in language,” Robinson said. “This is a small move, but it matters.”

Other changes include adjusting “sorority and fraternity” to “collegiate Greek residents.” Man-made will become human-made, while pregnant women will be referred to as pregnant employees.

Lori Droste, another co-sponsor, addressed those who objected to the ordinance in a Twitter thread.

“We are not legislating how people talk to us but our message is that we serve people regardless of their gender," Droste said. "We are forgetting what government service is all about. We are here to help and serve and be inclusive. And yes, Berkeley is a beacon of light in some dark times."

Two other members of the council, Cheryl Davila and Ben Bartlett, also co-sponsored the ordinance.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



Subscribe To This Feed

iStock(NEW YORK) -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is warning that Russian agents could seek to further divide Americans by exploiting U.S. passions over whether pineapple belongs on pizza.

It's a cheesy, playful warning -- but it's trying to deliver a serious message. Posted online Wednesday by the department's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the tongue-in-cheek warning aims to help Americans identify and protect against propaganda campaigns from Russia and other foreign adversaries.

After all, the DHS warning says, Russian agents are capable of simultaneously insisting online that "Being anti-pineapple is un-American!" while also pushing out posts saying "Millennials are ruining pizza!"

"Foreign influencers are constantly on the lookout for opportunities to inflame hot button issues in the United States," the new DHS warning says. "They don’t do this to win arguments; they want to see us divided."

According to the warning, foreign interference usually follows certain patterns.

First, foreign agents identify a divisive issue to target -- though likely not an issue as silly as whether pineapple is an appropriate pizza topping.

"No matter how you slice it, Americans disagree on the fruit topping," the DHS document notes with a pun.

After targeting a controversial issue, foreign agents then make sure social media accounts are in place, often reusing or renaming accounts "to pollute those debates with bad information and make our positions more extreme by picking fights, or 'trolling' people online," according to the DHS warning.

The "most extreme version of arguments on both sides of an issue" often then become framed "as legitimate information sources," pushing them "into the mainstream" and carrying them to larger audiences, the DHS warning says.

The final step of foreign interference is for agents to take what started in cyberspace and turn it into something "very real, with Americans shouting down Americans because of foreign interference," DHS warns.

"In the past, Kremlin agents have organized or funded protests to further stoke divisions among Americans. They create event pages and ask followers to come out," according to DHS.

DHS offered this example: If the "war on pineapple" was a more serious issue, a foreign agent might tell unwitting followers to "JOIN YOUR FELLOW PIZZA LOVERS AT THE TOWN CENTER TO MARCH FOR PINEAPPLE!"

Nevertheless, in its warning on Wednesday, DHS made clear -- in jest -- that: "To date, we have no evidence of Russia (or any nation) actively carrying out information operations against pizza toppings."

Russia's wide-ranging interference in the 2016 presidential campaign, from stealing and releasing thousands of Democratic National Committee emails to waging disinformation campaigns online, has U.S. authorities bracing for what could happen in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election.

Russian President Vladimir Putin not only wants to "weaken" the United States in the years ahead, but he also wants to keep his grip on power, according to Suzanne Spaulding, a former senior official at DHS who helped lead U.S. efforts to mitigate Russian cyber operations.

"He doesn't want [Russian citizens] to see ... the United States and liberal democracy as something they should long for. So what he wants to portray to them is democracy in chaos," Spaulding said Friday at the annual Aspen Security Forum in Aspen, Colorado.

And when it comes to cyber-operations against foreign adversaries, Russia "is practicing jiu jitsu," trying to use the First Amendment and American free speech "against us," Spaulding said.

A DHS spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request seeking comment for this article.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



Subscribe To This Feed

iStock(GREENVILLE, N.C.) -- A Greenville, North Carolina, restaurant near the site of President Donald Trump's Wednesday rally plans to donate all of its profits from that day to a non-profit immigration advocacy group.

"One hundred percent of today's sales will be donated to American Immigration Council in order to help with the immigration crisis at our southern border and to celebrate our diverse community," The Scullery restaurant shared in a Facebook post on Wednesday.

Scullery owner Matthew Scully told ABC News that leading up to the rally he was “bothered” by the racially-charged divisive language of the president, and his administration's immigration policy of family separation.

“We have a really vibrant, wonderful community and our restaurant is a part of that, and we have all kinds of people in our restaurant from across the political spectrum, all different races and cultures and beliefs,” Scully said. “I wanted to make a positive statement and not one that divided people but that brought our community together.”

Prior to the rally, a sign in The Scullery's window said that the restaurant would be donating its daily sales, which ended up totaling more than $5,600.

At the rally that night, Trump supporters chanted “Send her back!” after the president launched the latest in a series of attacks against Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar.

"Omar blamed the United States for the crisis in Venezuela. I mean, think of that one. And she looks down with contempt on the hard-working Americans, saying that ignorance is pervasive in many parts of this country," Trump said to scattered chants of "Send her back."

Scullery said it was extremely disturbing to hear those chants during a rally in the community he loves, knowing that he had friends who were in attendance.

“People look at our city now and see a racial divide and hear people chanting ‘Send her back,’” Scullery said. “There’s no place for that here and she’s an elected congresswoman who's trying her best to make our country better.”

The American Immigration Council works to “brings together problem solvers and employs four coordinated approaches to advance change -- litigation, research, legislative and administrative advocacy, and communications,” according to its website.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



Subscribe To This Feed

iStock(EL PASO, Texas) -- A 29-year-old Texas mother who went missing after she went on a date last weekend "could be in danger," relatives and police said.

Erika Gaytan, of El Paso, was last seen in the evening of July 13 or the early morning hours of July 14, according to the El Paso police department.

Police did not say where she was last seen, but her family told ABC El Paso affiliate KVIA-TV that she had been on a date at the El Paso County Coliseum for a concert.

Her family told the station it was not like Gaytan to have gone off and leave her 7-year-old son behind.

A spokesman with El Paso police said that the department fears she "could be in danger."

In a photo issued by police, Gaytan is seen on the night she disappeared wearing a white dress and smiling.

Anyone with information on Gaytan’s whereabouts is urged to contact El Paso police at 915-832-4400.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



Subscribe To This Feed

yokeetod/iStock(NEW YORK) -- You’re not imagining it: This summer has been a really hot one.

Last month was the hottest June ever, according to a new report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration -- and it was the overall hottest first half of the year in South America, Mexico, New Zealand, Madagascar and other parts of southern Africa.

As millions of people prepare to face scorching temperatures across the U.S. this weekend, scientists are warning that unless major changes are made, we’d better brace for more heat moving forward.

“The bottom line is the Earth is one degree Celsius or 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit warmer today than the pre-industrial time period," said Brenda Ekwurzel, Director of Climate Science at the Union of Concerned Scientists. "What that means is that what used to be a rare hot day or high temp record is now the new normal for our summers.”

“What's worse is we are getting into rare heat temperatures for locations that would not have been possible if it were not for human-induced climate charge,” she said.

Scientists have long stressed that the reason for the uptick in the global temperature stems from human activity, particularly the burning of fossil fuels, which drives up the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, leading to the increased temperatures.

These key statistics illustrate why we're in a period of record heat:

  • June 2019 set a new record for hottest June ever. According to NOAA, the temperature across land and oceans was 1.71 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average. That’s a big deal because the previous record came in June 2016 and this year’s temperature was 0.04 degrees Fahrenheit above that figure.
  • June marked the 414th consecutive month where temperatures were recorded as being above the 20th century average for that given month, according to NOAA. That’s a trend spanning more than 34 years.
  • Nine of the 10 warmest Junes on record have occurred since 2010, per NOAA.
  • Global sea level has risen about 7 to 8 inches since 1900, and nearly half of that increase -- 3 inches -- has occurred since 1993, according to the latest climate assessment, published last year by the U.S. Global Change Research Program.
  • Heatwaves happen more frequently since the 1960s and extreme cold temperatures or cold waves happen less frequently, according to the climate assessment.

The Union of Concerned Scientists has released a report about the future of dangerously hot days, with a tool that allows users to type in their city and see how many times in the last century they experienced extremely hot days, along with how many of those days they can expect in the middle of this century, from 2036 to 2065, and in the late century, from 2070 to 2099, if current trends continued.

In New York City, for instance, on average there were only two days of 100 degree temperatures per year between 1971 and 2000 -- but the tool shows that by mid-century, if trends continue, there will be an average of 20 such days per year and by late century there will be 42.

Even more dramatically, in Houston, Texas, on average there were 10 days of 105 degree temperatures per year up until the year 2000 -- but by mid-century, the tool predicts that if trends continue there will be an average of 69 such days per year, and by late century there will be 108.

“The hot places are getting hotter and places that weren’t as hot are reaching thresholds that are dangerous for human health,” Ekwurzel said.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



Subscribe To This Feed

Zolnierek/iStock(NEW YORK) -- An American citizen who allegedly traveled to Syria and became a sniper and weapons instructor for ISIS has been charged by federal authorities with supporting the terrorist organization, prosecutors said Friday.

Ruslan Maratovich Asainov, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Kazakhstan, was charged with providing and attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, according to a criminal complaint unsealed in Brooklyn federal court.

“The defendant, a naturalized U.S. citizen residing in Brooklyn, turned his back on the country that took him in and joined ISIS, serving its violent ends in Syria and attempting to recruit others to its cause,” stated United States Attorney Richard Donoghue for the Eastern District of New York. “Our counterterrorism prosecutors and law enforcement partners will continue working relentlessly to hold accountable those like the defendant who have supported ISIS’s violent agenda.”

According to the unsealed complaint, Asainov, 42, first traveled to Turkey in late 2013. From there, he entered into Syria and allegedly enlisted to join ISIS as a fighter, according to the charges.

Based on information from a confidential informant who said he communicated with Asainov regularly between August 2014 and March 2015, Asainov said that since joining ISIS his "faith in Islam had been renewed" and would send photos of himself holding a "large-caliber assault rifle, fitted with a scope."

Asainov at one point allegedly tried to recruit the informant, telling him ISIS would give him "a job, housing, food and a $50 stipend per month," according to the filing.

In a message to an associate, Asainov allegedly bragged that ISIS was "the worst terrorist organization in the world that ever existed" and expressed his hopes to die in battle.

Asainov was first detained overseas by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) before being transferred to to the U.S. and into FBI custody.

He's expected to make his first appearance in court later Friday afternoon in Brooklyn.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



Subscribe To This Feed

Rick Friedman/Rick Friedman Photography/Corbis via Getty Images(WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.) -- Palm Beach County launched an internal investigation into its sheriff's deputies monitoring of Jeffrey Epstein, following allegations he had "improper sexual conduct" while on work release from jail.

Epstein served a 13-month jail sentence in 2008 after he pleaded guilty to soliciting prostitution in a deal with federal prosecutors. The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office allowed Epstein to participate in a work-release program wherein he could spend up to 12 hours a day, six days a week, at his office in West Palm Beach, despite being registered as a sex offender.

This week, Epstein was accused of having "improper sexual contact" with young women while on that work release by attorney Brad Edwards, who is representing several alleged victims in a new federal sex trafficking case against Epstein.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office announced Friday that Sheriff Ric Bradshaw "ordered an Internal Affairs investigation into the Jeffrey Epstein matter," according to a statement.

"Sheriff Bradshaw takes these matters very seriously and wants to determine if any actions taken by the deputies assigned to monitor Epstein during his work release program violated any agency rules and regulations, during the time he was on PBSO work release program," the statement said.

"All aspects of the matter will be fully investigated to ensure total transparency and accountability," it continued.

Attorney Edwards claimed Epstein "was able to have visitors that were under the age of 21" while on work release, but he knows none who were under the age of 18.

"What you're going to learn is he was not sitting there conducting some scientific research for the betterment of the community, but he was having office visitors, some who were flown to him from New York and continuing to engage in similar conduct, literally while he was in 'jail,'" Edwards claimed.

Epstein, 66, was arrested on July 6 for alleged sex trafficking of minor girls in Florida and New York. Some of the charges date back to the early 2000s.

On Thursday in New York, he was denied bail. He faces up to 45 years in prison if convicted.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



Subscribe To This Feed

Rawf8/iStock(PAWTUCKET, R.I.) -- It was just two days after her tenth birthday when Christine Cole disappeared on a chilly evening in Pawtucket, R.I.

She left her home around sunset on Jan. 6, 1988, to buy some things for her mother and never made it back. Her lifeless body washed up on a beach some 15 miles away in the city of Warwick, 54 days later.

The case remained unsolved for more than three decades -- until now.

The Pawtucket Police Department on Thursday announced the arrest of a suspect in Christine's murder, 59-year-old Joao Monteiro of Central Falls, Rhode Island.

Pawtucket Police Det. Susan Cormier reopened the case in August 2018 and discovered evidence that had been submitted for forensics testing years earlier but wasn't included in the case file. The results, which were returned in 2010, revealed there was blood from a male on the inside of Christine's pants, according to the affidavit and arrest warrant.

Cormier requested further testing of the blood sample "in the hopes that newer advances in technology may reveal more," according to an affidavit.

The results produced a larger genetic profile, which was then checked against a DNA database maintained by the Rhode Island Department of Health.

The closest match was a 26-year-old man who had not yet been born at the time of Christine's disappearance. That's when investigators started looking into the man's father, Monteiro.

A background check showed that Monteiro had lived at several addresses in Christine's neighborhood, including in an apartment directly above the market where Christine was last seen in 1988, according to the affidavit.

Cormier obtained a search warrant to collect swab samples from Monteiro, and on Wednesday evening, she was notified that the DNA found on Christine's pants matched Monteiro's. He was arrested that same night.

Monteiro denied ever knowing Christine and said he wasn't responsible for her disappearance and death, according to the affidavit.

Monteiro was arraigned Thursday in district court in Providence. He has not yet entered any pleas and is being held without bail, court records show. ABC News has reached out to Monteiro’s attorney, but there was no immediate comment.

Late Friday, Monteiro was released after posting $5,000 bail, according to ABC News Providence, R.I. affiliate WLNE-TV.

While announcing the arrest at a press conference Thursday, Cormier told reporters that Christine was likely in the wrong place at the wrong time because, so far, there doesn't appear to be any connection between her and Monteiro.

"I'm going to continue to work on this,” the detective said. “I hope that this is a message to the people that are responsible for these crimes that we are coming for you, and we're not giving up.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



Subscribe To This Feed

vmargineanu/iStock(STONE COUNTY, Ark.) -- An Arkansas sheriff’s deputy was killed Thursday morning in a shooting that left one other person wounded and the suspected killer dead, police said.

Mike Stephens, 56, was identified as the Stone County Sheriff's deputy who was killed in the incident, Arkansas State Police Spokesman Bill Sadler said at a press conference. Samuel Fullerton, the suspected shooter, was also killed in the incident, but it was not immediately clear whether the 39-year-old took his own life or if he was shot by other deputies.

Stephens was a 20-year veteran of law enforcement and a U.S. Army veteran, Stone County Chief Deputy Sheriff Zach Alexander said at the press conference.

"Every action that he's ever done, he always would be the first guy in somewhere and last one out," Alexander said.

Authorities were called to a home in the rural area of Leslie at 8:02 a.m. over a domestic welfare check, Sadler said. Stephens arrived at 8:39 a.m. and encountered a woman who he began talking to before gunfire quickly erupted. Two other deputies were also at the home when shots were fired.

Stephens was pronounced dead at the scene. The woman, who was not identified, was wounded and taken to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries, according to Sadler.

Sadler noted that the amount of time it took Stephens to reach the scene was because of how far away from the home he was when he got the call to respond. He declined to say whether officials had ever been called to the home before.

Earlier Wednesday, the Stone County Office of Emergency Management said in a tweet that the coroner was headed to the scene. Stephens and the suspect's body were taken to a crime lab to be examined for forensic evidence.

UPDATE: we are sad to report that the coroner has been called to the scene for the deputy involved in the shooting we are asking for prayers for all involved and for the deputies family

— Stone County Office of Emergency Management (@county_of) July 18, 2019

Agents with the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division are investigating the incident.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



Subscribe To This Feed

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Two tornadoes were reported on Thursday in South Dakota and Wisconsin, a waterspout was seen near New Orleans, and the Upper Midwest, especially Minnesota, could see more severe storms on Friday.

This is all happening as most of the rest of the U.S. will be roasting in a heatwave that could produce record highs, especially on the East Coast.

Chicago, Philadelphia and New York are expecting their hottest weather in at least seven years, as Washington, D.C., may see the highest temps in three years.

Denver on Thursday tied a record high at 99 degrees, as 33 states on Friday, from New Mexico to Maine, are under heat alerts for heat index temps ranging from 100 to 115 degrees.

Excessive heat is expected to continue through the weekend.

After the heatwave, temperatures will dip back down next week, with highs struggling to reach the 80s in the Midwest and Northeast.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



On Air Now
George Noory
George Noory
12:00am - 5:30am
Coast To Coast
Email Comments
My Profile
WOND Facebook

Community Calendar
Weather