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Friday, July 29, 2011

FBI Joins Desperate Search for Girl

Celina Cass: FBI Abduction Team Searches For Missing New Hampshire Girl Near Canada Border

STEWARTSTOWN, N.H. — Shy and sweet, with a gap-toothed smile and a reputation as reliable, 11-year-old Celina Cass is the last person anyone in her New Hampshire community would expect to run away. At this point, they only wish that were the case. The other explanations are too scary.
Last seen at a home computer Monday night, the fifth grader vanished overnight from her home a mile from the U.S.-Canada border, leaving family members and friends incredulous. Police and conservation officers are searching fields, woods and the Connecticut River while FBI child abduction specialists have joined the hunt.
Police have said that there's no indication she ran away or that someone took her, and there are no signs of a struggle
But tight-lipped police investigators revealed little about the probe beyond that Wednesday, despite a flurry of activity in and around the three-story house where Celina lives with her mother and stepfather. Senior Assistant Attorney General Jane Young said it is still being treated as a missing persons case.
"We are still desperately looking for her," Young said.
She wouldn't comment when asked why an Amber Alert was never issued for the girl, even though the FBI said it had enlisted a four- to six-person "child abduction rapid deployment team" to pitch in. Earlier in the day, state police Sgt. Sheldon Belanger, the lead investigator in the case, said Celina's disappearance did not meet the criteria for an Amber Alert and wasn't considered suspicious.
Police were going through phone and computer records at Celina's home, he said.
Those who know Celina say it's unlikely she ran away.
"She never went anywhere without her mom or sister," said family friend Rebecca Goodrum, 30, fighting back tears and holding a lit candle Wednesday night at a vigil held in a park in neighboring Canaan, Vt., about a half-mile from the girl's home.
"She is very shy," said Kayla Baglio, 18, who knows her, too. "If she doesn't know you, she'd look at her sister to see if it was OK to talk to you."
Celina's friend, 11-year-old Makayla Riendeau, described the girl as very athletic and a stickler about getting her school work done on time.
"She's a very good friend, and she never lets anybody down," Makayla said.
Vermont State Police, the U.S. Border Patrol, New Hampshire State Police, the state Department of Fish and Game and local law enforcement agencies searched for the girl Tuesday and Wednesday, at one point resorting to lowering the water – via dam release – in the Connecticut River so a helicopter could search from above.
At the peak of the search Tuesday, there were at least three dozen officers, New England police dog handlers and a search and rescue group assisting by water, air and land, including all-terrain vehicle trails in the woods.
"We found no evidence that she had been in that area, and, of course, we have no evidence she is lost as opposed to missing, either," said Lt. Douglas Gralenski, a state Fish and Game official.
"Honestly, we don't know where else we can look," he said. "There's so much that's unknown."
At midday Wednesday, about a mile north of town, five Fish and Game officers searched the woods behind an apartment building. They carried bags and boxes, but it was unclear if they collected anything.
Some of the police activity was closer to home. Police were seen entering the home and then stretching yellow crime scene tape around it late Wednesday afternoon before posting a uniformed trooper outside.
After that, plainclothes police officers wearing purple rubber gloves surrounded a red pickup that was parked across the street from the girl's home, photographing it and looking inside. When news cameras began shooting pictures of what was happening, troopers moved a cruiser and a New Hampshire State Police SUV in front of the scene, to block the cameras.
The girl's disappearance hung heavy over Stewartstown, a community of 800 residents with one blinking streetlight and a handful of stores. Friends posted fliers of the girl on trees, utility poles, storefronts and car windows, and stood along the street in front of her house, waving motorists down to hand them copies.
"It's creepy," said Shannon Towle, who owns Towle's Mini-Mart on Route 3. "Things like this don't happen here. I know that's kind of a tired phrase. I'm an overprotective mom as it is. Now it's going to be way worse."
After sunset, about 80 people – many with candles in hand and tears in their eyes – gathered for the nighttime vigil. A framed picture of the girl sat on a picnic table, surrounded by candles. Friends, classmates and even people who didn't know Celina were among those in the crowd, and young children sobbed as adults comforted them.
Goodrum, of nearby Beecher Falls, Vt., said she was praying that Celina, whom she's known since she was 2, is safe.
"She was beautiful," said Goodrum. "She was the light of everything."
Towle said her 13-year-old daughter, Echo Towle, asked her mother whether she thought Celina was still alive.
"How do I answer that question? And do I want to?" Towle said. "I don't want to think about it, but I pray every second that she is."

Glendale missing person cases puzzle

Glendale missing person cases puzzle

Nothing seemed out of the ordinary when Glendale resident Michael Grenley left his home July 19.

He casually said goodbye to his wife of 17 years as she chatted on the phone, and then he drove away in his red Jeep.

Grenley, 41, never returned.

His family and friends are startled. Grenley is the beloved father of a 6-year-old, a man who calls his wife each day as he leaves his Chandler office. He would even call to mention a quick stop or to ask if he should pick up anything on the way to the couple's home near 75th Avenue and Deer Valley Road, wife Melissa Grenley said.

And yet, he left home just after noon on July 19 and hasn't been heard from since.

His disappearance didn't follow a fight or problems at work, his wife said.

Police, friends and family members have since called anyone he might have interacted with. They have searched places he could have taken his Jeep to off-road and flown over some areas in a helicopter. Those who have never met Grenley are searching trails across the state, Melissa Grenley said.

"Everyone keeps asking me, 'Did he just leave?' It's just really not in his character," she said. "If he felt that he needed to get away, if he couldn't tell me, he would just tell his mom."

Missing-person cases vary dramatically. One day, it's a teenage runaway. The next, a senior with dementia or a seemingly happy person will suddenly vanish.

Police try to focus their resources because of the volume of cases.

Last year, Glendale police sought nearly 1,300 missing people.

Reports that are especially startling, involve vulnerable victims or come with significant clues tend to get the most attention, said Mario Sanchez, a Glendale detective who has investigated disappearances for about five years.

Each case is unique and presents different challenges, the detective said.

Many, like the disappearance of Michael Grenley, don't seem logical.

Police have sought cellphone and debit-card records for Grenley.

The man's debit card hasn't been used and his cellphone battery has either died or been removed, his wife said.

Those searching for Grenley long to find him safe. They don't know what to make of his disappearance.

The resolutions to missing-persons cases are often astounding. They can end with the revelation that someone traveled without notifying friends or wanted to get away. Or the missing person can show up somewhere, unfazed.

The prognosis seemed grim for a Glendale senior who went missing last month.

The 68-year-old with dementia walked into a west Phoenix business the next day, saying he was there for the party.

"How he got there, we don't know," Sanchez said.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Denton County sex offender one of Texas 10 Most Wanted

Denton County sex offender one of Texas 10 Most Wanted

Sean Michael Smith, a high-risk sex offender, is now one of the Texas 10 Most Wanted Sex Offenders and a $1,000 cash reward is offered for his capture. Texas Crime Stoppers guarantees anonymity during the tip process.

Smith, 35, is wanted for failure to register as a sex offender in Denton County and was last seen in Aubrey. He was convicted of indecency with a child/sexual contact related to an attack involving a 14-year-old girl in Denton County in 1999.

Smith, who also goes by the alias of Sean Michael Carroll, is considered highly likely to reoffend and has been arrested twice for violating his sex offender registration. His criminal history includes two assaults causing bodily injury, evading arrest and burglary. He is also considered armed and dangerous.

In the past, Smith has worked as a self-employed tattoo artist. He has numerous tattoos:

· Abdomen-- the words “wild child.”

· Upper left arm-- a cow skull, tribal art and the words “young guns/the kid” and “Irish.”

· Upper right arm-- skulls with rope, an eyeball and the word “Irish.”

For additional information about Smith, see:;view=Individual%20Details/fugitive=7.

Texas Crime Stoppers, which is funded by the Criminal Justice Division of the Governor’s Office, offers rewards to any person who provides information that leads to the arrest of one of the Texas 10 Most Wanted Sex Offenders or Fugitives. Anyone with information can provide anonymous tips in three different ways:

· Call the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-252-TIPS (8477).

· Text the letters DPS--followed by your tip--to 274637 (CRIMES) from your cell phone.

· Submit a tip through the DPS website by selecting the fugitive you have information about, and then clicking on the link under their picture to submit a web tip.

The 10 Most Wanted Sex Offenders are featured on the DPS website at and have last known addresses in the following cities:

· Houston (2)

· Dallas

· El Paso

· Austin (2)

· Lufkin

· Grand Prairie

· Whitney

· Aubrey

The program identifies violent sex offenders who have either violated parole or failed to comply with sex offender registration.

All calls, texts or e-mails are anonymous, and tipsters will be given a tip number and will not be asked their name.

See both Top 10 lists at:

Body of missing resident 'Amlan Dasgupta' found

Body of missing resident 'Amlan Dasgupta' found

What started out as a missing persons case ended in tragedy when members of the Ringwood Police Department identified the body of 25-year-old Elmwood Park resident Amlan Dasgupta behind a strip mall on July 19. DNA tests confirmed Dasgupta's identification on July 21.

The case began on July 13 when concerned members of Dasgupta's family reported him missing. To find him, local law enforcement officials put together a search-and-rescue team. The search led them toRingwood State Park directly off of Greenwood Lake Turnpike where his body was found.

After conducting an investigation into the matter, police determined the man drove to the strip mall behind the park, walked into the forest and shot himself in the head. His car had been parked for a couple of days in the strip mall when officials found the body.

According to Elmwood Park Chief of Police Don Ingrasselino, Dasgupta shot himself in the head with an AR-15 assault rifle that he had purchased from a dealer in Texas. Ingrasselino said the weapon arrived at Dasgupta's residence via Fed Ex along with multiple containers of ammunition.

At this time it isn't sure whether the purchase of the high-powered weapon was legal.

"We are looking into the sale of the weapon due to the high-powered nature of the gun and the singular instance of what can be now deemed a suicide," commented Ingrasselino.

Officials are still baffled as to the reasoning for the suicide.

"We will never know why this happened. We interviewed the family, we interviewed his friends and nobody could shed any light onto why this happened," said Ingrasselino. "It's a hard event for the family and everyone affected."

Dasgupta left behind no note or sign of why he took his own life.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Dead man pulled from river may have been last person to see missing

Dead man pulled from river may have been last person to see missing

By Eric Stevick

GRANITE FALLS -- A man whose body was found in the South Fork Stillaguamish River on Sunday might be the last person to have seen a Granite Falls woman before she disappeared in June.

The Snohomish County Medical Examiner on Tuesday identified the man as Colt Lee White, 23, of Granite Falls.

White was friends with Angela Gilbert, 41, who was reported missing in June. A third party reported that White and Gilbert went for a walk on private timberland near Granite Falls on June 2, and that White returned alone, saying that Gilbert had decided to continue walking by herself.

Gilbert has not been seen or heard from since. White was reported missing a few days later.

Although there were some reports that he had been spotted in the community after June 2, detectives investigating Gilbert's disappearance did not find him, Snohomish County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Rebecca Hover said.

It is unknown how long White's body was in the river. Evidence suggests it was a few weeks, Hover said. For now, detectives aren't calling White's death suspicious, since the cause and manner of his death are unknown, Hover said.

"We were told by a third party that he was the last to see her before her disappearance but we never got a chance to confirm that," Hover said. "We're still searching for her, still asking anyone who knows something to contact us. We still don't know whether she met with foul play or went off on her own."

Gilbert had a history of scrapes with the law. She was wanted on warrants when she dropped from sight.

Prosecutors last week charged Gilbert with second-degree escape, a felony.

Gilbert was in jail for a February burglary charge. A judge on May 20 gave Gilbert permission to be released from custody for four hours that afternoon, and she never returned. Court records do not indicate why she was released.

A warrant was issued for her arrest a week later when she failed to show up for a drug court hearing.

White also had a warrant out for his arrest for failing to appear at a June 16 hearing in Cascade District Court in Arlington. He was charged with reckless burning and also had a fourth-degree assault charge pending.

The Washington State Patrol's missing persons unit said White hadn't been seen since June 2.

White attended Granite Falls schools, but it was not known Tuesday if he graduated, school district officials said.

A kayaker spotted his body around 5:30 p.m. Sunday. The kayaker contacted a Snohomish County park ranger who called the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office.

The body was recovered near the 14600 block of Jordan Road that night.

Anyone with information about White's death or Gilbert's disappearance should call the sheriff's office tip line at 425-388-3845.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

North Carolina Police Arrest Husband And Wife In Disappearance Of North Carolina Mother

North Carolina Police Arrest Husband And Wife In Disappearance Of North Carolina Mother
Authorities in North Carolina have arrested two people in connection with the death of a 27-year-old woman who was reported missing earlier this month.
Raleigh police have charged Grant Ruffin Hayes, 32, and his wife, Amanda Perry Hayes, 39, with the murder of 27-year-old Laura Jean Ackerson. The couple were taken into custody at 1 a.m. today,Raleigh police spokesman Jim Sughrue told The Huffington Post.
Grant Hayes was an ex-boyfriend of Ackerson and fathered her two children, police said.
Ackerson was last seen on July 13, when she dropped off her kids at the Hayes home. She was reported missing two days later when she failed to show up for work. On July 20, Ackerson's Ford Focus was found abandoned near the 5400 block of Summer Manor Lane in Raleigh.
On Sunday, the dismembered remains of a woman were found in three separate locations near Oyster Creek, Texas, about 60 miles south of Houston. The remains, which are believed to be Ackerson's, were found near Amanda Hayes' sister's home. Investigators do not suspect the sister had any involvement in the crime, but they did recover several items from her home, including a machete, police reported.
Chief Deputy Craig Brady of the Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office in Texas told the Associated Press that investigators suspect Ackerson was killed in North Carolina and transported to Texas. Divers are still searching Oyster Creek for additional human remains.
According to an arrest warrant made public today, investigators believe Ackerson was killed on July 13.
Sheri Ackerson, a friend and former sister-in-law to Laura Ackerson, told that Ackerson and Hayes had a volatile relationship and were involved in a bitter child custody dispute.
"All I know is that he was horrible to her... She was very bright, but she made a poor choice. Grant was a very poor choice," Ackerson said.

Raleigh police have charged Grant Ruffin Hayes with the murder of his ex-girlfriend, 27-year-old Laura Jean Ackerson.

Raleigh police have also charged Grant Hayes' wife, Amanda Perry Hayes with the murder of Laura Ackerson.

Police believe Laura Jean Ackerson, 27, was murdered in North Carolina and transported to Texas, where her remains were dismembered and scattered.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Half-Solved Missing Person`s Mystery of Cindy Sambueso

The Half-Solved Missing Person`s Mystery of Cindy Sambueso
By John G. Kays

Less is explained than is left for guessing. Cindy Sambueso, 50, went missing last Tuesday, but was located on Saturday by the Fresno Police Department. Sambueso was traced from a financial transaction, apparently, with a bed and breakfast inn at an unknown location. In addition, the reasons for her voluntary disappearance are unknown. It`s left up to our imagination to fathom the reasons for her actions.

Although, Cindy did tell the Fresno Police she had to get away. The story of her mysterious vanishing act were hyped in the media last week. A sharp contrast was how the media downplayed the sudden discovery of this fleeing woman, as if the solution to the mystery was inconsequential. I return to the circumstances of her impulsive departure.

cindy sambuesoCindy Sambueso has a massage therapy business and had an appointment with an unknown (and possibly new) client at noon on Tuesday. In the morning, Cindy and Kat (Cindy`s daughter) had visited a Starbucks, since Kat had just gotten her driver`s license, and was happy for this. When Ms. Sambueso`s 3:30 PM appointment arrived she was nowhere to be found.

It`s as if she planned out what state she would leave her office in. (When investigators came on the scene) the office was locked, the lights were off, her cell phone was left, but her purse, appointment book, and car were gone. Early on in the probe, some people were suspicious that this mystery massage client had stolen the appointment book, since his name must have been logged in.

As far as the cell phone goes, this is starting to make a little more sense to me now. Cindy obviously didn`t want to take any calls from family members, since it sounds like she really needed to get away to give considerable thought about her precarious situation. If this is not unusual enough for you, a few other things have the appearance of loose-ends in this half-solved mystery.

A best guess is that Cindy didn`t decide to escape until near the hour of noon. One text message to her ex-husband confirmed a celebration dinner appointment for her daughter. But another one to her daughter is quite curious. Kat told KMPH: "She was just talking about how she loves me so much, how everything was so great. I was the best daughter she ever had."

This quote makes you think she knew by this point she would do it. Take off and not tell anyone where she was going to, or why she was going there (to an undisclosed location). It must be emphasized, these curious text messages were sent at 11:15 AM, Tuesday the 19th of July. As I said before, the second text to Kat shows cognizance of her plan to take-off.
bates motel

Bernard Hermann, the great motion picture composer`s centennial birthday, just came up on June 29th. This morning I had to hear some Bernard Hermann, so I purchased Psycho on itunes. I really needed to hear the soundtrack, and I wanted to review the storyboard as well. Marion Crane`s sudden escape from Phoenix was ringing some bells in my mind.

Okay, so I`ll confess! I was making some connections between what happened with Cindy Sambueso five days ago, and the suspenseful particulars of Marion Crane, and her run in with a run-down hotel entrepreneur, whose cabin lodge operation had seen better days. Just so you won`t think I have an over-active imagination, I`ll point out a few parallels I`ve made when comparing these two cases. The art of analogy is imperfect, so don`t scold me for seeing an imperfect connection.

To begin with, Marion takes off with $40,000, which she needs since her fiancĂ©e is over his head in debt. Robert Sambueso (her ex who she moves in with)  has pointed out also, that Cindy`s massage therapy business was hurting and her clientele had been shrinking. Therefore, there may have been financial reasons for why Cindy wanted to get away.

Financial pressures must have been weighing on her mind, or else she wouldn`t have moved back in with her ex. An obvious parallel is the sudden and dramatic way in which both Marion and Cindy simply split from the burden of their troubled situation. Not that Cindy purchases a used car while on the road, but she does go underground and checks into an obscure bed and breakfast.

She must have turned the news off while at this hotel, because she was all over the talk shows and local news for Fresno. Okay, I`m not suggesting this little hotel is anything like the Bates Motel, but I couldn`t help but see a connection (perhaps, an unwarranted connection). I will say, however, the mysteries of Psycho are, in the end, given a plausible explanation. For Cindy Sambueso, such a plausible explanation is yet forthcoming.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Please help us Find: Kelly Rothwell missing since 03/12/11

Kelly Rothwell missing since 03/12/11

Missing Since: 03/12/11
Missing From: Clearwater, Florida
Classification: Endangered Missing
Age at Disappearance:35
Date of Birth:01/10/76
White Female
Scars,Marks,Tattoos: Flower tattoo on ankle
Nickname(s) Kel, Kell Bell

Circumstances of Disappearance
Kelly L. Rothwell, 35, of Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., was
last seen at about 3:30 p.m. Saturday March 12,2011
as she had lunch with a friend at a restaurant in
Pinellas County. An investigation began on Sunday
when another friend asked deputies to check on
Rothwell at her home where she lives with her
boyfriend, 46-year-old David Perry. The friend was
concerned for Rothwell’s safety due to “domestic
issues” the couple had been experiencing, according to
the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.

Rothwell, who has not returned repeated calls to her cell
phone from friends and relatives, did not show up for class
Monday at the Pinellas Police Academy in St. Petersburg.
Since starting the program in November, she has not missed
a day, authorities said.

Perry, who is a retired corrections officer, has since traveled
to New York, but is refusing to talk to police, He has not
been charged.

Police found no signs of Rothwell or Perry during a search of
their residence on Sunday,March 13,2011. Rothwell’s
abandoned car — a green 2007 Subaru Outback — was
found later Sunday March 13,2011 about two miles away.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Fort Myers woman added to Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers 10 Most Wanted

Fort Myers woman added to Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers 10 Most Wanted

A Fort Myers woman has been put on Crime Stoppers 10 Most Wanted list after violating her probation on child neglect charges.

Noemi Ramos, 41, was originally arrested in October for four counts of aggravated child abuse and four counts of forced human labor/human trafficking. One of her four daughters had even accused her of forcing her to prostitute.

But all four daughters later recanted those stories, according to state attorney’s office spokeswoman Samantha Syoen. Still, two of the girls referenced their mother’s drug abuse, which was why Ramos was still charged with the child neglect charges.

Ultimately, prosecutors agreed to extend a plea that will keep Ramos on probation for 10 years — five years if she's meeting all requirements.

Crime Stoppers spokeswoman Trish Routte said Ramos is likely still in the area, potentially in neighborhoods prone to drug activity.

She replaces Jarquel Jenkins on the 10 Most Wanted list. Jenkins had been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, however charges in his case were withdrawn this morning and he is no longer wanted in connection with the July 17th assault.

Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477).
All callers will remain anonymous and will be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000. Tips may also be made online, through the TipSubmit app on any iPhone or by texting a tip to CRIMES (274637) Keyword: REWARD.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cops: Son Caught on Tape Removing Mom's Body

Cops: Son Caught on Tape Removing Mom's BodyAffidavit: suspect was worried about security cameras
By Brian Hamacher
Authorities say they believe the adopted son charged with the murder of his mother was caught on a neighbor's security video getting rid of her body the night she disappeared from her Pembroke Pines home.
Gerard Lopes, 21, was in a Broward courtroom Thursday, where he was ordered held without bond in the murder of 43-year-old Natalie Belmonte.
According to an arrest affidavit, Lopes knew about the security camera and repeatedly inquired about what, if anything, had been captured early Sunday morning, when Belmonte was last seen.
"A neighbor claims that you came over to the neighbor's house several times asking about a security camera, whether or not a security camera had picked up any evidence of what had happened to your mother," said Judge John Hurley, reading the affidavit in court. "The neighbor claims you came over four times, the neighbor said they were very suspicious of you."
According to the affidavit, Lopes called police around 7 p.m. Sunday to report that Belmonte was missing. He told police that the two had returned from a party around 2:30 a.m., that he was drunk and had slept in until 11 a.m., when he realized she wasn't home, according to the affidavit.
Lopes also allegedly told officers that he never left the house throughout the night, but when police reviewed the security footage, they said it showed something else entirely.
"The police reviewed it and even though you had said you had not left your allegedly shows you or someone who looks like you at 2:49 in the morning, it shows that a vehicle arrived at the home, a red Lexus arrived at the home, and two people got out, went into the house," Hurley said. "However, at 5 o'clock in the morning it shows that someone exits the residence and the driver repositions the vehicle by backing it up at the garage at an angle toward the front door and then reenters the residence."
That's when Lopes allegedly loads up Belmonte's body, the affidavit said.

"A few minutes later, at 5:12, it says that the same subject reappears at the front door and appears to be dragging a large object to the rear of the vehicle and struggles to place the object into the trunk of the vehicle and then reenters the residence several times," Hurley said. "The police said that the object that they saw the subject carrying to the back of the vehicle was consistent in size with that of an adult human being."
The affidavit said the person in the video was seen carrying garbage bags out of the house before leaving in the car for about eight minutes.
When Belmonte's sister came to the home, the affidavit says she saw blood smears in the master bedroom. Police also found blood in the home, it said.
"Police found blood in the residence consistent with a violent struggle where a serious injury had occurred and it appears that someone had used cleaning products to conceal blood evidence," Hurley said.
When police brought in a cadaver dog, it was alerted to the trunk of the car and front door of the home.
Police spent three days searching for Belmonte near her home in the 19300 block of Northwest 5th Street. The body of a woman, believed to be Belmonte, was recovered Wednesday morning. Authorities are waiting for exact confirmation from the Medical Examiner's Office that the body found is Belmonte.
"There was a body located in a wooded area, that body was identified as the victim, Natalie Belmonte, she was found to have blunt force trauma to her head," Hurley said.
On Monday, police found items in garbage bags in a dumpster behind a Publix related to the case. According to the affidavit, the items included clothing, towels, bedding and pillows similar to those in Belmonte's bedroom covered in blood.
Police say the items included men's clothing consistent with the clothing wore by the man in the security video. A preliminary DNA test found the blood was Belmonte's, the affidavit said.

Georgia police believe missing North Laurel law school graduate was killed

Police Confirm Dismembered Body Is Missing Law School Graduate

Macon police confirmed Wednesday that the body of Mercer University Law School graduate Lauren Giddings was dismembered, and they said some parts of the body were still missing.
DNA tests confirmed that remains found outside Giddings’ apartment building on June 30 were hers. No arrests have been made in connection with her death.
A friend who had not heard from her since the previous Saturday contacted police after going to her apartment and discovering that she was not there. Friends had initially assumed that Giddings was just busy studying for the bar exam, but family members had not heard from her in that time either.
 Lauren Giddings
Lauren Giddings
Police said Thursday that they have been taking statements from people connected to Giddings through the school and the community.
“We have been asked repeatedly about the number of ‘persons of interest’ or suspects in this case,” Macon Police Chief Mike Burns said in a press release. “We are interested in a number of people – but the process we are utilizing entails eliminating or excluding people from consideration; determining who has an alibi and could not have perpetrated this crime.”
One neighbor who has been identified as a person of interest, Stephen McDaniel, remains in jail without bond on two unrelated burglary charges for allegedly stealing from other neighbors’ apartments in late 2008 and early 2009.
A K-9 search and rescue team from Dooly County was expected to be in Macon Friday conducting a search in the area surrounding Giddings’ apartment building. Police said the building “remains the focus of the investigation.”
Earlier this week, police sent some forensic evidence to the FBI in Quantico, Virginia for testing, but they have not received results yet. They have also worked with the city engineering department to search the storm drainage system near the apartment. Meanwhile, they are still trying to establish a definitive timeline of Giddings activities prior to her disappearance.
The police report filed by the officer who was initially dispatched to Giddings’ apartment on June 30 details a suspicious scene. Giddings’ purse and the keys for her door and her car were sitting on her couch inside the locked apartment. Her cell phone was on her bed with a dead battery. When officers turned it on, they found it had not been used to make calls or send messages since the previous Saturday night.
Officers also found Giddings’ laptop and schoolbooks in the apartment. Her car was parked outside. As they continued to investigate, they discovered the dismembered remains outside the building.
Anyone who finds, sees or smells anything unusual or suspicious in the downtown Macon area is asked to call the Macon Police Department at 478-751-7500 or Crimestoppers at 877-68-CRIME. Police are especially interested in eyewitness accounts.
A memorial mass for Giddings is scheduled for Saturday at 6:30 pm at St. Joseph’s Church in Macon.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Police: Homicide Suspected In Broward Woman’s Disappearance

Police: Homicide Suspected In Broward Woman’s Disappearance

Evidence found in the search for a missing Pembroke Pines woman has lead investigators to believe the woman may be dead. 
Police say evidence found in a dumpster behind an animal hospital at 1954th and Sheridan Street, less than 2 miles from Natalie Belmonte’s home, indicates this is a possible homicide. Investigators won’t say what that evidence is, but witness, Gabriel Osorio told CBS4′s Natalia Zea it was a bloody find.
“They pulled out like this trash bag, white trash bags and it had like sheets with blood in it,” said Osorio.
Police have searched from the air, on the ground and in the water for Belmonte.
“We’ve been searching waterways and wetlands around the Belmonte home along with other law enforcement agencies,” said Pembroke Pines Police Captain Dan Rakofsky. “The search is continuing by land, air and water.”
Belmonte was last seen returning to her home, located at 19331 NW 5th Street, from a party around 2:30 a.m. Sunday, July 17th.
Neighbors and family friends are stunned by her sudden disappearance.
 Police: Homicide Suspected In Broward Womans Disappearance
Pembroke Pines Police are looking for anyone who may have seen Natalie Belmonte's maroone Lexus in the early morning hours of July 17th. Source:Pembroke Pines Police)

“It’s just very, very strange that nobody has heard from her for two days now,” said Belmonte’s neighbor Al Quintana. “It’s very, very strange and very strange (that the) police don’t have a lead right now as well.”
Quintana said the night before she disappeared, Belmonte and her 22-year-old son Gerard had gone to a party together.
“When they got home, he said he went to bed and the next thing he remembers is waking up to take out the dogs and finding out that she wasn’t there,” Quintana said.
Police said the son is cooperating with investigators. A person of interest has not been named at this point.
“We have spoken with him, he has been cooperative,” said Capt. Rakofsky. “He was also the last person to see her and we are interested in speaking to him some more. He is cooperating.”
CBS4 News has learned that Gerard was arrested and accused of stealing from his mother in 2008.
A police affidavit states that Gerard did “knowingly and intentionally remove approximately $20,000 in various jewelry items from the victim’s jewelry box.”
The affidavit also states that Belmonte “advised she wished to prosecute…”
CBS4 News also learned that Gerard turned himself in last month related to that case, and got out of jail three days before Belmonte disappeared.
Police said there were no signs of forced entry into her home and her cell phone, purse, personal belongings and vehicle were found at the home.
Friend Sandy Chaichang said, “It’s just…I’m trying to understand all this…It’s really sad right now, really, really, really sad, my heart is breaking,” Chaichang said. “I just don’t know what happened
Belmonte is 5’4”, 135 pounds, has straight long brown hair, brown eyes and was last seen wearing a strapless brown dress.
Police are asking anyone who saw Belmonte’s maroon Lexus sedan in the area of the Publix shopping center at 19400 Sheridan Street, between 5:16 a.m. and 6:45 a.m. Sunday morning to call the Pembroke Pines Police Department at (954) 431-2200, email to, or call Broward Crime Stoppers at (954) 493-TIPS