1. 18-yo cheerleader accused of killing her newborn and burying the baby in her backyard.
An 18-year-old woman has been charged with reckless homicide after the body of her newborn baby was found buried in the backyard of her parent’s Ohio home.
According to The Dayton Daily News, Brooke “Skylar” Richardson was arrested on July 20 after police investigators responded to a tip-off from a local doctor’s office. While it is not known what information the tip off included, the infant’s body was found in a shallow grave later that day.
It is believed the baby was born in early May and had been buried for between 10 to 12 weeks.
On Friday, Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell shared a post on Facebook that claimed “the infant whose remains were discovered at the defendant’s residence in Carlisle one week ago today was born alive and was not a stillborn baby.”
Doyle Burke, a spokesperson for the Warren County Coroner’s Office told reporters that remains from a firepit in the backyard are also being analysed.
“We have learned more,” Burke told WDTN-TV. “That’s why we’re back out here, but we still have not learned everything we need to know.”
Police are now accusing the recent high school graduate and cheerleading camp volunteer of “recklessly causing the death of another, or the unlawful termination of another’s pregnancy.”
Just one day later on July 21 Richardson appeared in court for an arraignment hearing, with her parents by her side and holding her hands. She was placed on US$15,000 (AU$19,000) bond, with a hearing date set for August 1. It is understood Richardson has already entered a not guilty plea.
According to her attorney, Charles Rittgers, Richardson was known as “a very good student. She didn’t drink. She wasn’t a partier or a smoker. By all measures a very good girl who helped children.”
“She helped young children also with disabilities and a pee wee cheer camp. She’s, by all means, a very good person,” Rittgers continued, saying she is taking the arrest “in a way you would expect.”
“It’s a shock to her, it’s a tragic situation,” he told reporters.
If convicted of the charge, Richardson faces up to five years in prison.
2. Eight people found dead, and another 30 injured, inside semi trailer in “horrific tragedy”.
The death toll from people found in the back of a sweltering tractor-trailer in a Texas car park has risen to 10, US officials say.
Thomas Homan, acting director of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, told The Associated Press on Sunday that two people died in a hospital.
Eight young people were initially found dead in the semi trailer in what police have called a “human trafficking crime.”
The vehicle was parked outside a Walmart in San Antonio, and police were alerted by a store employee who was approached by a person from the truck for water.
“We arrived on the scene and found eight people dead in the back of that trailer,” police chief William McManus told a press conference.
Twenty people from the trailer – listed in extremely critical or very serious condition – and eight more said to be not severe cases were taken to seven area hospitals, said fire chief Charles Hood.
He said they arrived at the scene just after midnight on Sunday and found the bodies in the truck.
The air-conditioning wasn’t working and people were severely dehydrated and suffering from heatstroke.
Hood said 38 people were found inside the trailer – the majority aged in their 20s and 30s.
Some survivors identified themselves as Mexican nationals. Four of the passengers are believed to be children aged between 10 and 17 years old.
Based on initial interviews with survivors, Homan says there may have been more than 100 people in the truck.
Most are believed to have fled or been picked up. When police checked surveillance video from the store, McManus said that “we found a number of vehicles that came in and picked up a lot of the folks” from the trailer who had survived.
The US Department of Homeland Security had also been alerted and was involved in the investigation to “determine the origin of this horrific tragedy,” he added.
McManus said the driver was in custody.
3. Family makes tearful appeal to Victorian 13-year-old who vanished after walking to school bus stop.
The family of missing Victorian teenager Jodie Binks-Brown have made a tearful appeal for her to return home.
Jodie, 13, went missing from Romsey, north of Melbourne, last Friday after missing her school bus when she ran home to get shoes she had forgotten.
Her parents later found her gone, with her backpack and a bicycle missing.
It’s thought she may have gone to the Kyneton area.
Her parents and aunt on Sunday pleaded for her safe return.
“Jodie, please, we just want you to come home. We just want to know you’re safe and warm,” her aunt Tracey told reporters, AAP reports.
Police will resume the search in the Romsey and Kyneton areas on Monday.
4. The search for a missing Australian hiker lost in Canada has been called off.
The family of a Melbourne woman who has been lost in the Canadian wilderness for more than two weeks say they accept she may never be found, AAP reports.
The family of Sophie Dowsley told Fairfax Canadian police have called off the search after bringing in sniffer dogs and rescue teams to scour the remote and difficult terrain some three hour’s east of Vancouver.
Grave fears are held for the 34-year-old from Melbourne after divers found Ms Dowsley’s Canadian boyfriend Greg Tiffin’s body in Statlu Lake on Tuesday.
Some of her belongings were found near the lake’s waterfall, James Dowsley, the brother of the missing Australian told Fairfax.
He said after visiting the terrain the family appreciated there was nowhere else left to search and that “Sophie may never be found”.
Mr Dowsley thanked the search and rescue team as well as Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Federal MP Dan Tehan who helped bring about an extended search for his sister.
Mr Tiffin, a 44-year-old Canadian, and Ms Dowsley set out for their day hike to Statlu Lake on July 8 and concerns were raised for their safety four days later.
5. Four-year terms for the Federal Government are back on agenda.
Fixed four-year terms for the federal government are again up for discussion after Labor leader Bill Shorten resurrected the idea and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull indicated he may consider it, AAP reports.
Mr Shorten says changing to a fixed four-year term – bringing the commonwealth in line with most of the states and territories – would bring the nation the certainty and longer-term policy making it desperately needs.
“Governments can be more daring and more determined if they’re not constantly thinking about the next election,” Mr Shorten told ABC TV on Sunday.
The Prime Minister phoned Mr Shorten after his television appearance to discuss the idea.
AAP understands Mr Turnbull indicated he had previously been on the record in support of fixed terms, and suggested discussing the idea further.
It is also understood the government views this as another distraction from Labor and wants to keep focus on constitutional recognition.
The Australian, however, said the Prime Minister’s office was upset the phone call between the two leaders had been leaked to indicate Mr Turnbull had indicated bipartisan support.
The federal timetable requires a referendum as the three-year term is set out in the constitution.
The prime minister of the day has the power to decide when that will be, and the average term has been about two-and-a-half years.
One hurdle has been the assumption moving to four-year terms would be matched with a corresponding change to elect senators for eight years when at the moment they are chosen for six, but Mr Shorten said that shouldn’t be a “deal-killer”.
Earlier in the year, Liberal backbencher David Coleman flagged a private member’s bill to bring in fixed four-year terms, also saying it would allow longer-term planning and deliver more certainty for business investors.
6. One man has died, and another two have been rescued from Australia’s east coast waters.
A rock fisherman has drowned and another two men have been rescued from their overturned boat as dangerous conditions continue to pound Australia’s east coast.
The Bureau of Meteorology has issued strong wind warnings in NSW, Victoria and parts of Queensland for Monday, and warned people to re-think planned activities along the coast in NSW.
A 28-year-old man and a 36-year-old man were airlifted from their boat suffering hypothermia on Saturday night after it rolled over approximately 2km off Wanda Beach in Bate Bay, near Cronulla in Sydney’s south.
Police said the two men who were not wearing life jackets were rescued at 10.30pm, four and a half hours after their boat capsized.
The boat’s EPIRB (emergency position-indicating radio beacon) wasn’t activated until 9.45pm.
Police were told one man swam back under the boat a number of hours after the boat rolled to locate and activate the beacon.
The men were flown to Cronulla beach where they were treated by ambulance officers before being transferred to Sutherland Hospital suffering hypothermia.
One man also had cuts to his head.
In southern NSW an angler drowned after being swept off rocks at Merry Beach, south of Nowra on Saturday morning.
Emergency services used the Westpac Life Rescue Helicopter to search for the man who was found drowned floating face down.
The hazardous conditions hit the coast in the first week of the bureau’s new Hazardous Surf Warning service designed to to alert the public when conditions were dangerous for rock fishing, boating or swimming due to wave height and swells created by weather systems far off the coast.
The bureau’s weather services manager for NSW, Jane Golding, said a driver for developing the Hazardous Surf Warning was to reduce rock fishing injuries and deaths.
“These new warnings will help people make informed decisions about how and when they enjoy the coastal environment,” she said.
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