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Missing Gabby Petito's family calls out fiancé, demands Laundrie reveal where he last saw her

Missing Gabby Petito's family calls out fiancé, demands Laundrie reveal where he last saw her

The family of missing New York woman Gabby Petito issued a scathing statement Tuesday night calling on her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, to tell them where he last saw her in Wyoming.Petito, 22, and Laundrie, 23, were road tripping across the U.S. in her white Ford Transit van, which police have recovered as part of their investigation into her disappearance. She was last seen in late August at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, according to police, and she was reported missing over the weekend after her parents hadn’t heard from her in a week.He drove her van back to Florida without her, hired a lawyer and has not publicly explained why. A search effort is underway in Wyoming which he is not taking part in.
Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie began a cross-country road trip in early July, but Petito has been missing since late August.  (Joey Petito)
(Joey Petito)MISSING GABBY PETITO: FIANCE’S ATTORNEY SAYS SEARCH UNDERWAY IN GRAND TETON AFTER HIS RETURN TO FLORIDA”Brian is refusing to tell Gabby’s family where he last saw her,” the family alleged in a joint statement. “Brian is also refusing to explain why he left Gabby all alone and drove her van to Florida. These are critical questions that require immediate answers.”Laundrie has not been charged with a crime or accused of playing a role in Petito’s disappearance.”The Schmidt and Petito family implore Brian to come forward and at least tell us if we are looking in the right area,” the statement concluded.A North Port, Fla., police spokesman told Fox News Tuesday night that investigators wanted to speak with Laundrie.”We have not labeled anyone anything officially,” he said. “We certainly are interested in speaking with him. I think anyone would assume that the possible last person to be around her is a person of interest to want to talk with. However, there is no crime at this point.”Earlier Tuesday, Laundrie’s attorney Steven Bertolino said the fiancé’s family hoped that Petito would be found and reunited with her parents.”On behalf of the Laundrie family, it is our hope that the search for Miss Petito is successful and that Miss Petito is reunited with her family,” Bertolino said. “On the advice of counsel, the Laundrie family is remaining in the background at this juncture and will have no further comment.”Petito’s family statement urged Laundrie to do the opposite.

Feds: Los Angeles bomb technicians caused major explosion

Los Angeles police bomb technicians made major miscalculations in June when they detonated illegal fireworks improperly and caused a massive explosion that rocked a city neighborhood and injured 27 people in JuneBy STEFANIE DAZIO Associated PressSeptember 14, 2021, 11:56 PM• 3 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleLOS ANGELES — Los Angeles police bomb technicians made major miscalculations in June when they detonated illegal fireworks improperly and caused a massive explosion that rocked a city neighborhood and injured 27 people in June, according to a report by federal investigators.The 51-page report from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, released Tuesday, ruled out other possible causes, such as an equipment defect, for the June 30 blast in South Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Police Department also issued its own 53-page after-action report.The technicians overloaded a containment chamber with the illegal fireworks above the equipment’s safety rating after authorities were called to a South LA home for a huge stash of fireworks ahead of the Fourth of July. Preliminary findings previously said the bomb technicians’ errors were likely to blame.The vessel exploded, and debris rained down on dozens of residences, businesses and vehicles. The ATF estimates that the catastrophic blast caused more than $1 million in damages to the neighborhood.The LAPD report states that the agency’s bomb technicians do not undergo formal training to operate the containment vessel and merely have “on the job training” in its use. The technicians never weighed the homemade fireworks with a scale on June 30, and they grossly underestimated how much explosives they contained, investigators found. Officials also say that the agency’s evacuation procedures must be improved.Unlike other police departments, the LAPD does not transport explosives to a safe disposal site to detonate them away from homes and businesses. The department’s protocol on June 30 was to detonate the homemade fireworks in the containment vessel in the evacuated neighborhood if techs believed they were too unstable to be transported. Officials are now working to procure a detonation site.“There have been instances in Los Angeles police history that has changed the course of this department forever,” LAPD Chief Michel Moore said Tuesday during a media briefing. “This is going to be one of them.”The techs involved in the explosion have been pulled from bomb squad field duties and Moore does not expect them to return. They could still face discipline if an internal review finds they were negligent.Officials revised the injury count to 27 in the newly released reports; authorities previously said it was 17 people. There have been 191 legal claims — the precursor to lawsuits — filed against the city; more than 40 have been settled.Many residents in the community remain displaced, and two elderly residents have since died. The Los Angeles Times reported that while officials have attributed their deaths to illness and natural causes, family members and activists contend that the explosion caused them stress that was a contributing factor in their deaths.Fireworks are illegal to sell or possess in Los Angeles and in unincorporated areas of the county. The illegal fireworks were found at the home of Arturo Ceja III, who pleaded guilty in federal court last month to one count of transportation of explosives without a license. He also faces state charges.

Atlanta-area DA says violent offenders could be released if office doesn’t get help to manage case backlog

Atlanta-area DA says violent offenders could be released if office doesn’t get help to manage case backlog

A rule that promises criminal defendants their day in court in a timely manner is slated to come back after being suspended at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which could see violent offenders in Georgia’s largest metro area released onto the street as prosecutors sift through a massive backlog of cases. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis told Fox affiliate WAGA-TV that prosecutors generally have 90 days after an arrest to indict a defendant or let them out on bond. That rule was temporarily suspended as the pandemic forced courtroom closures across the country. With the deadline set to be re-imposed, Willis said suspected criminals, some charged with violent crimes, could be freed while they await trial if prosecutors don’t act on those cases. DOJ ANNOUNCES NEW FEDERAL MONITOR PROGRAM TO OVERSEE POLICE DEPARTMENTS
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis speaks during a press conference in the District Attorney’s office at the Fulton County Courthouse in downtown Atlanta on Aug. 30, 2021. Willis said a case backlog created by the COVID-19 pandemic could result in some violent offenders being released while they await trial. (Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)
(Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)”If I do not get additional staffers, we are going to see people released,” she told the news outlet. “Dangerous people?” a reporter asks. “Very dangerous,” Willis replies. “The reality is that often people that commit crimes will commit another if they’re released.”The backlog comes as Atlanta is in the midst of a spike in violent crime, similar to other major cities nationwide. As of Sept. 4, the city experienced 110 homicides, compared to 96 in the same time frame in 2020, according to police data. There have been 540 shootings reported this year compared to 423 at this time last year. In addition, 611 people have been shot, compared to 550 in the first nine months of last year. DOJ LAUNCHES INVESTIGATION INTO GEORGIA PRISONS OVER ALLEGED CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATIONSWillis said she inherited a few thousand criminal cases where no one has been indicted from her predecessor, Paul Howard. Around 4,000 cases were leftover from Howard’s tenure and another 7,000 were from crimes committed during the pandemic. “The average lawyer and investigative team., max, can put together about 10-12 cases a week for indictment. It’s simple math,” Willis said. “I got to work with 12,000 cases.”Fox News has reached out to her office. The local outlet cited the case of Daquan Reed, who is being held in connection to the murder of a 7-year-old Kennedy Maxie, who was struck by a stray bullet outside a pizza shop. He could be released on bond if he is not indicted before the Sept. 28 deadline. 

B-2 stealth bomber damaged during emergency landing at Whiteman Air Force Base

B-2 stealth bomber damaged during emergency landing at Whiteman Air Force Base

A U.S. Air Force B-2 stealth bomber was forced to make an emergency landing at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri Tuesday. An Air Force Global Strike Public Affairs unit said the aircraft had to land around 12:30 a.m. after an “in-flight malfunction” during a routine training mission. 
A B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber from the 393rd Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, Whiteman Air Force Base, MO.
(Photo by Bennie J. Davis/USAF via Getty Images)The bomber sustained minor damage on the runway after landing, Air Force Global Strike Public Affairs Jennifer Greene said in a statement. ‘ALL-CLEAR’ GIVEN AFTER WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE LOCKED DOWN AMID REPORTS OF ACTIVE SHOOTERThere were no personal injuries and no fire associated with the landing, she said.  The exact circumstances surrounding the bomber’s landing and the extent of the damage remain unclear. No further details were released. CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPThe incident is under investigation and more information will be provided as it becomes available, Greene said. 

California couple dies from COVID-19 complications, leaving behind newborn and 4 other kids

California couple dies from COVID-19 complications, leaving behind newborn and 4 other kids

Daniel and Davy Macias, a married California couple, were hospitalized with COVID-19 just days apart last month after returning home from a vacation and tragically died in recent weeks from complications with the virus, leaving behind a 3-week-old newborn and four other children under the age of 7. Davy Macias, a 37-year-old nurse, was seven months pregnant when she was first hospitalized. A doctor delivered the couple’s daughter eight days before she died on Aug. 26. Daniel Macias, 39, was hospitalized just days after his wife last month and lost his battle with the virus on Sept. 10. The couple leaves behind five children, ages 7, 5, 3, 2 and their newborn daughter. “There aren’t words to explain the loss of both him and Davy,” Terri Serey, Daniel’s sister-in-law, wrote on a GoFundMe page for the children. “Keep the kids in your thoughts and prayers. They gained two angels but still have a long road ahead of them.”As of Tuesday afternoon, the fundraiser had raised more than $241,000 and loads of supplies for the Macias children, who are being looked after by their grandparents. CDC TIGHTENED MASKING GUIDELINES AFTER THREATS FROM TEACHERS UNION, EMAILS SHOW”I don’t know anyone who loved their kids as much as they did, and they made sure they told them every day,” Serey told FOX 5 San Diego. “I want them to be aware of how much they’re loved. And I want them to know how much their parents loved them.”Daniel Macias was a middle school teacher who will be “remembered as a compassionate, kind-hearted, fun-loving and generous teacher at Jehue Middle School but he was also a devoted family man,” the Rialto Unified School District said in a statement. 
Davy Macias was a nurse and Daniel Macias was a middle school teacher. 
(Family photo provided via KTTV)Davy Macias was a frontline worker throughout the pandemic. “COVID does not discriminate and it’s a scary place in the hospitals right now,” she wrote on Facebook in January. “Nurses are tired, we have anxiety before going to work, we sit in our cars and we cry after our long shifts. We mourn for the patients and the families.”CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPHer brother, Vong Serey, told the Orange County Register that her sister was not vaccinated because she was hesitant to do so while pregnant, and that he was unsure if Daniel Macias was vaccinated. The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Man pleads guilty in fatal shootings of 8 from Ohio family

A man pleaded guilty Thursday in the murders of his child’s mother and seven members of her family in 2016 — a grisly crime that spread terror across their rural Ohio community and stirred rumors of drug dealers and hit men before authorities concluded it stemmed from a custody dispute.On the fifth anniversary of the slayings, Edward “Jake” Wagner pleaded guilty to 23 counts in southern Ohio’s Pike County in a deal with prosecutors that spares him from being sentenced to death. He agreed to cooperate in the cases against his parents and brother, who are also charged in the Rhoden family slayings of seven adults and a teenage boy.“I am guilty, your honor,” Wagner calmly told the judge again and again, as Judge Randy Deering read each count aloud. The charges included eight counts of aggravated murder, as well as charges of conspiracy, aggravated burglary, tampering with evidence, unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and other counts.Wagner admitted he was personally responsible for five of the deaths, special prosecutor Angela Canepa said. He gave prosecutors a full account of what happened that morning, along with information that led to them to additional evidence. She did not say what that evidence was.Wagner, 28, said in court that he is “deeply and very sorry.” He wasn’t immediately sentenced, but his lawyers said he understands he faces a lifetime behind bars.“He knows he’s going to die in prison without any judicial release. As horrifying as this is for all, he is as sorry as he could be,” defense attorney Gregory Meyers told the judge.The killings in April 2016 — at three trailers and a camper near Piketon — terrified residents in the surrounding rural community and prompted one of the most extensive criminal investigations in state history. It took authorities more than two years to announce the arrests.George Billy Wagner III, Angela Wagner and their son George Billy Wagner IV have pleaded not guilty.The victims were 40-year-old Christopher Rhoden Sr.; his ex-wife, 37-year-old Dana Rhoden; their three children, 20-year-old Clarence “Frankie” Rhoden, 16-year-old Christopher Jr., and 19-year-old Hanna, the mother of Jake Wagner’s child; Clarence Rhoden’s fiancée, 20-year-old Hannah Gilley; Christopher Rhoden Sr.’s brother, 44-year-old Kenneth Rhoden; and a cousin, 38-year-old Gary Rhoden.Prosecutors alleged the Wagner family planned the killings for months, motivated by a custody dispute. According to Canepa, Jake Wagner tried to convince Hanna Rhoden to agree to shared custody of their daughter and she refused. Wagner was able to gain access to two Facebook accounts and found a post from Hanna saying she would never agree to those terms.Jake Wagner began dating Hanna Rhoden when she was 13. She became pregnant when she was 15, Canepa said.The family after the slayings were questioned by authorities at the U.S.-Canadian border, where a laptop was seized. Forged documents were found on the computer purporting that Hanna Rhoden had agreed to shared custody.The Wagners took phones from six of the victims, as well as a recording device and trail cameras, Canepa said.The Wagners used guns with two homemade silencers, allowing them to kill their victims as they slept, Canepa said. Parts from a failed effort to build a silencer were found on the Wagners’ property, she said.Most of the victims were repeatedly shot in the head, and some showed signs of bruising. Three young children at the scenes were unharmed.According to Canepa, shell casings found at the Wagners’ home matched those found at the murder scenes. Investigators also found a shoe of the same size and tread that matched a shoe print found a the scene.A relative, Tony Rhoden Sr., has sued the suspects, saying he wanted to be sure none of them benefitted financially from the slayings.One of his lawyers, Brian K. Duncan, said by email that the family “is grateful for today‘s outcome, as it provides at least some semblance of justice on this day which coincides with the fifth anniversary of these tragic events.”———Associated Press Andrew Welsh-Huggins in Columbus contributed to this report.———This story was first published April 22, 2021. It was updated Sept. 14, 2021, to delete a reference to Jake Wagner’s child being one of the three young children found at the scene. Authorities said that his child was staying with the man’s family the night of the killings but that she was not among the three found at the scenes.

18 of 20 gorillas at Atlanta's zoo have contracted COVID

Officials on Tuesday said at least 18 of the 20 gorillas at Atlanta’s zoo have now tested positive for COVID-19By RON HARRIS Associated PressSeptember 14, 2021, 10:09 PM• 2 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleATLANTA — At least 18 of the 20 gorillas at Atlanta’s zoo have now tested positive for COVID-19, an outbreak that began just days before the zoo had hoped to obtain a veterinary vaccine for the primates, officials said Tuesday.Zoo Atlanta had announced the first positive tests among the western lowland gorillas on Friday after employees noticed the gorillas had been coughing, had runny noses and showed changes in appetite. A veterinary lab at the University of Georgia returned positive tests for the respiratory illness.Zoo Atlanta says the National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa, confirms that at least four of the samples from the gorillas so far have tested positive for the delta variant of the virus.The zoo says it is using monoclonal antibodies to treat the gorillas at risk of developing complications from the virus.Officials say there’s no evidence that the gorillas can pass the virus back to humans and visitors are too far away to be infected by gorillas.Because the gorillas live close together in four troops, zoo officials say it’s impossible to keep infected animals isolated.Zoo officials say they believe an asymptomatic employee who cares for the gorillas passed on the virus. The employee had been fully vaccinated and was wearing protective equipment such as a mask and gloves.“According to our guidelines for animal care staff, if they have the slightest symptoms of a cold they are to stay home,” said Dr. Sam Rivera, the zoo’s senior director of animal health. “It so happens that the animal care team member, the following day she developed signs that she suspected might be consistent with COVID and was tested and was positive.”Senior Director of Animal Health at Zoo Atlanta Sam Rivera said the zoo will vaccinate the gorillas with a veterinary vaccine that it had been on the waiting list for prior to the gorillas’ positive tests.Eight gorillas at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park were treated for the virus in January. One San Diego silverback received an experimental antibody regimen, and all recovered.