Wednesday's news in 5 minutes.

1. A mum and her children, who vanished after a blind date and house fire, are “in danger”.

Relatives of a US woman who went missing with her two children after a blind date on Saturday are gravely concerned about her safety.

Shortly after Monica Bogart Lamping and her children Kai, seven, and nine-month-old Oria went missing, the family’s home in Virginia burned down, The Virgina Pilot reports.

Police say the young family’s disappearance is suspicious and believe they are in danger. Her car is also missing.

The 29-year-old had dropped her children at a friend Anne Shell’s house to go on the date, picking them up again at 5pm.

She texted her Ms Shell into the night, who received the last text from Ms Lamping at 10.30pm – about five hours before a fire took hold of her home.

Kai’s stepmother told WVEC that Ms Lamping had gone on the date with a man named Chad and he had reportedly fixed her car.

Police are looking for “Chad”, but do not know his address or what he looks like.

Firefighters say a space heater may have sparked the fire, but have not determined the cause yet.

2. Grave fears for baby girl who went missing with her father in NSW.

Police have grave fears for the welfare of a baby girl who went missing with her father in the Hunter region of New South Wales.

The three-month-old infant was with her mother when she handed over care of the little girl to her father Danny Wever at Morisset about 3pm on Sunday, reports.

Mr Wever, who is also known as Danny Reid, took little Kalais Reid to a nearby shopping centre but did not return, police say.

NSW Police are concerned about the child’s welfare and have asked the father to visit the nearest police station with his daughter.

Mr Wever is 160cm to 170cm with a thin build and has a small tattoo under his left eye. He is caucasian with an olive complexion, brown hair, and blue eyes.

Police have urged anyone who sees Mr Wever or Kalais to call Triple-0 immediately or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 if they have any information in relation to their disappearance.

3. Police told to “hold off”  intercepting suspect cars ahead of Bourke Street rampage.

Victoria Police officers were reportedly ordered to not rush to intercept stolen or suspect cars last months before the Bourke Street mall tragedy.

The Herald Sun reports that an email from the state’s deputy commissioner sent on September 13 told officers they should take time to plan their approach.

“Plan your approach and response when intercepting a stolen or suspect vehicle — time is on your side,” it read.

It is understood the email also directs officers not to shoot at moving vehicles.

Dimitrious Gargasoulas was tailed for hours by police after he stabbed his brother at Windsor before allegedly ploughing into crowds of shoppers in Melbourne’s CBD on Friday, killing five people and injuring dozens more.

Since the incident that has shaken the country there has been debate over whether police could have done more to prevent the massacre.

Police Association secretary Ron Iddles told The Herald Sun that police tailing the 26-year-old had asked to move in on him, but their requests were rejected by senior officers.


4. Accused Claremont serial-killer to face WA court today.

A man charged with murdering two victims of the infamous Claremont serial-killer of the 90s is due to face a Perth court today.

Kewdale man Bradley Robert Edwards has been charged with eight offences, including the murders of Jane Rimmer in 1996 and Ciara Glennon in 1997.

The third victim linked to the infamous case, Sarah Spiers, disappeared in Claremont in 1996.

Investigations into her suspected murder are ongoing.

Edwards, 48, is also accused of abducting a 17-year-old girl in February 1995 and indecently assaulting an 18-year-old woman when he broke into a Huntingdale home in February 1998.

The accused has not yet entered a plea and was told during his first court appearance in December that he could apply for bail.

He remained in custody and will appear in Stirling Gardens Magistrates Court today via video link.

5. Man who allegedly lit Hunter region bushfire in court.

A 26-year-old man was arrested after he allegedly lit a bushfire that caused people to flee their homes and businesses in NSW’s Hunter region.

Police arrested the man on Tuesday afternoon, charging him with intentionally causing a fire and being reckless as to its spread, AAP reports.

Firefighters and water-bombing planes battled the out-of-control fire he allegedly lit at Kurri Kurri, the second blaze in the state’s Hunter region that day.

No one was injured in the blaze.

The accused will face Maitland Local Court today.

6. Sara Connor says Bali police officer “attacked” her.

The Australian woman accused of murdering a Bali police officer has said she did not want to report being “attacked” by the man because she did not want to cause him more trouble.

Sara Connor and her co-accused David Taylor, 35, appeared in court overnight, with Mr Taylor giving his testimony.

The couple faces charges of murder, fatal assault in company and assault causing death. Police allege they attacked Bali police officer Wayan Sudarsa on the night of August 16 and left his lifeless body on Kuta Beach.

Mr Taylor said he and the police officer had an altercation on the beach when he accused Mr Sudarsa of stealing Ms Connor’s bag, Nine News reports.

He told the court Ms Connor tried to break up the fight and the police officer had pulled her hair.

Ms Connor said she did not know the police officer was seriously injured when she left the beach.

“I tried to go to police to report him because I was upset that somebody attacked me.”

“After we (Taylor and I) had a shower (back at the hotel) I was calm and thought, ‘It’s okay, I don’t have to report him. I don’t have to give him any more trouble’.”

Ms Connor and Mr Taylor will return to court next week.

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