Four Dead, Including Suspect, After Colorado Shooting Spree

colorado_springs_logoKKTV in Colorado is reporting on a shooting spree in Colorado Springs today which left four people dead, including the suspected gunman.

Police were originally called to North Prospect Street on reports of gunshots, where they found a deceased victim. Lt. Catherine Buckley said responding officers returned gunfire after being shot at by a man matching the description of the person they were searching for.

Witnesses stated the suspect went on a shooting rampage in the minutes leading up to the gun battle with officers while running down East Platte, where he shot and killed the two other victims.

Buckley said the crime scene covers several major downtown streets. El Paso County sheriff’s spokeswoman Jacqueline Kirby stated there are at least three crime scenes.

Officers also discovered a small fire in one of the homes on the 200 block of North Prospect, believed to be started by the suspect.

Please visit the above link to read more.

 

True Crime Factor Interview: Sharon Murch

sharon_murchThe abduction of Michaela Joy Garecht on November 19, 1988 in Hayward, California ranks among the prominent missing persons cases in history. The nine-year-old’s disappearance led to one of the most extensive investigations ever by the Hayward Police Department and over the past 27 years has been featured on highly prolific programming such as America’s Most Wanted, Unsolved Mysteries, Dateline, Nancy Grace and numerous others.

Despite the copious media coverage of her case, Michaela‘s whereabouts are still unknown. Her mother, Sharon Murch, has never relinquished hope that she will one day be reunited with her daughter and Michaela remains a vital part of the Garecht family.

Sharon maintains a website, Dear Michaela, where she blogs about her personal feelings and speaks directly to Michaela. There is also information about the kidnapping and subsequent investigation.

Additionally, Sharon operates an official Facebook page dedicated to Michaela’s disappearance titled Michaela Joy Garecht, Still Missing. A letter to Michaela from her mother was featured in the recently released Tate Publishing book, Letters to Our Missing, 2nd Edition.

Sharon kindly spoke to me on the afternoon of October 30 to discuss various aspects of Michaela’s abduction, including the day of her disappearance as well as several high-profile criminals who have been investigated in the kidnapping over the years.

Anyone with information on the abduction or whereabouts of Michaela Joy Garecht is encouraged to E-mail Sharon Murch directly at Sharon.Murch@gmail.com or telephone the Hayward Police Department (1-800-222-3999).

(Photo courtesy of The Sun)

Please click on the “Play” icon below to hear the interview:

 

Person of Interest Named in Jacob Wetterling Disappearance

jacob_wetterling

The FBI has named 52-year-old Annandale, Minnesota resident Daniel James Heinrich a person of interest in the 1989 disappearance of 11-year-old Jacob Wetterling, reports CBS Minnesota.

Heinrich was arrested Wednesday evening on child pornography charges. He was questioned in 1990 in connection with Wetterling’s disappearance, but never charged. A DNA sample taken from Heinrich at the time has now been matched to the abduction and assault of a 12-year-old boy near Cold Spring in January 1989, a case investigators then believed was linked to the Wetterling vanishing.

Despite the DNA evidence, authorities were unable to arrest Heinrich for the Cold Spring kidnapping due to a statue of limitations being in place for abduction in 1989. He is also suspected in a series of unsolved attacks in the late-1980s, most of which occurred just blocks from his home at the time.

U.S. Attorney Andy Luger stated in a press conference on Thursday that Heinrich has denied any involvement Jacob Wetterling’s disappearance.

Please visit the above link to read more.

(Photo credit: CBS)

Two Women Found Dead in Montecito Heights Park

park-suspectCBS Los Angeles reports that the bodies of two young women were discovered in a Montecito Heights park Wednesday afternoon, sending police into high alert.

One of the victims has been identified as 19-year-old Gabriela Calzada.

Detectives do not believe the women were sexually assaulted, but are awaiting autopsy results to confirm. A preliminary investigation indicated that both victims were beaten to death.

Police have released the sketch of a man who threatened a woman with a knife last year and are investigating a possible connection between this suspect and the park murders.

Please visit the above link for more on this story.

 

Kentucky Fugitive Killed in Shootout With Authorities

floyd_ray_cookFloyd Ray Cook, the fugitive accused of shooting a Tennessee police officer and opening fire on a Kentucky trooper, was killed early this morning in a shootout with authorities, reports CBSNews.com.

State troopers and a federal marshal encountered Cook while searching an embankment in south-central Kentucky. The armed fugitive was fatally wounded after exchanging gunfire with officers south of Burkesville and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Authorities converged on the area after being tipped off by a resident who encountered Cook along with her brother.

The death concluded a six-day manhunt which began when Cook was accused of shooting and wounding a police officer during a traffic stop last Saturday afternoon and firing at a Kentucky State Police trooper who recognized his vehicle later that day.

Cook had many prior convictions, including sexual assault, robbery and riot.

Please visit the above link for more on this story.

 

True Crime Factor Interview: Elaine Runyan

elaine_rachael_runyanOn August 26, 1982, three-year-old Rachael Runyan was abducted in front of her siblings while playing at a park located directly behind the Runyan home in Sunset, Utah. 24 days later, the toddler’s body was discovered in Morgan County.

Despite Rachael’s case being featured on prolific programs such as Unsolved Mysteries and America’s Most Wanted, her killer has yet to be brought to justice 33 years after the murder. Since her daughter’s death, Rachael’s mother Elaine has become a strong advocate for missing children and today co-presents the Rachael Runyan Award in the State of Utah to reward citizens involved in resolving AMBER Alert situations (Utah’s version of the AMBER Alert system was formerly called the Rachael Alert before being renamed in 2002 to conform with other states).

The official Unsolved Mysteries website has posted a video update featuring Elaine speaking about Rachael’s story, which is available for viewing here or on YouTube at this link. Elaine also operates a Facebook page, Justice for Rachael Runyan.

Elaine kindly spoke with me on the afternoon of October 27 to discuss Rachael’s case, as well as her substantial involvement in missing child advocacy over the years.

Anyone with information on the murder of Rachael Runyan is encouraged to contact Sunset City Police Chief Ken Eborn at 801-825-1620.

(Photo courtesy of Justice for Rachael Runyan Facebook page)

Please click on the “Play” icon below to hear the interview:

 

Body Found Believed to Be Missing UMM Student (Updated)

laura_schwendemannThe body of a young woman discovered in a field late Monday afternoon is believed to be that of missing University of Minnesota-Morris student Laura Schwendemann, reports Fox 9 News.

Schwendemann was last seen alive on the night of October 14 at the Holiday gas station with a man authorities say she knew.

Sheriff’s officials stated that while they believe Schwendemann’s remains have been located, they are awaiting further information from the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office.

Please visit the above link for more on this story.

(Update: A medical examiner has confirmed the remains discovered as being Laura Schwendemann)