1. Mystery deepens in case of “sex trafficked” teen who was recently reunited with her family.
— The Sun (@TheSun) February 23, 2017
The mystery behind a 17-year-old girl who was reunited with her family last week after they insisted she was ‘kidnapped by sex traffickers’ has deepened, with police casting doubt on the claims.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, police sources say Sarah Dunsey left the Las Vegas hotel she was staying at with friends with “a couple of other males”.
“She did not appear to be struggling. She didn’t seem unwilling at all,” Captain Curtis Hooley of the Logan Police Department said.
“Her mother told us that she was taken by sex traffickers. We found that not to be true.
“There is no evidence that any crime has occurred. Just because someone claims they were kidnapped, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s true. We did not find that she was [kidnapped], although it still could be true.”
Sources at the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department say they were not notified of Sarah’s disappearance for a full two weeks after she went missing. She was reported missing on January 16, but was due to return home from her trip on January 3.
Her parents have not discussed the teen’s whereabouts between January 3 and January 16.
On Valentine’s Day, Sarah’s mother launched an emotional video plea for the public to help find her missing daughter, who she says was “being held against her will” and was “a victim of sex trafficking”.
“Sarah Bearah, this message is for you. I want you to fight,” Amie Ellis said in the video.
“Because I need you. All of us need you. We’re coming to get you…”
Sarah was reunited with her family earlier this week, after she was found in Venice Beach, California in the company of two men. Her stepfather, Todd Ellis, says both men were arrested but one has since been released.
Her family has denied reports that Sarah was a runaway and still maintain she was captured against her will.
“We now have to let them [the police] do their job,” Todd told Daily Mail.
2. Police tracking device fitted to Borce Ristevski’s car ‘was removed’, as new witnesses report “strange” sightings in Mt Macedon.
— Melbourne News (@MelbourneBrk) February 23, 2017
Police fitted a tracking device to a vehicle used by Karen Ristevski’s husband, Borce, in the months after his wife disappeared, The Age reports.
Sources close to the investigation into the 47-year-old’s disappearance and death have revealed that the device was “either removed, or fell off the vehicle”.
They confirmed police routinely fit tracking devices to suspects’ vehicles when foul play is suspected.
On Wednesday, Mr Ristevski’s lawyer confirmed to the media that Borce was the “number one suspect” in his wife’s murder.
Karen Ristevski’s body was found on Monday in bushland at Mount Macedon. She had not been seen alive since June 29.
Police have also confirmed they were called to investigate suspicious activity last year near the area of bush where her body was found.
Another witness has come forward, telling police he saw “two strange men matching the description of Borce and Vasko [his brother] bogged in a small white truck” about 200m from where her body was found, the Herald Sun reports.
“From their appearance I knew they were from Serbia, Macednoia, the Balkans. They certainly had an accent,” the man, who identified himself as Dean, said.
“I thought it was rather strange…you’d go down there in a 4WD, you wouldn’t go down there in a car and you certainly wouldn’t go down in a truck. I had a conversation with one of them…[he] had that half-shaved, goatee sort of look.
“I was absolutely convinced that that what I saw was unusual and could be related to Karen Ristevski.”
3. Woman bitten and sexually assaulted three times at Rainbow Serpent music festival.
— 7 News Melbourne (@7NewsMelbourne) February 23, 2017
Police are searching for a man who allegedly bit and sexually assaulted a woman at the Rainbow Serpent music festival in regional Victoria on Australia Day, 7 News reports.
Police have been told a 21-year-old woman struck up a conversation with an unknown man. When she told him she was going for a walk, he “grabbed her by the hair and throat”.
The man then pushed her up against a van and sexually assaulted her. The woman managed to escape, but the man followed her and sexually assaulted her another two times. He then bit her on the arm twice before the woman ran away.
The offender is aged between 28 and 29-years-old and has sandy brown hair and blue eyes. The victim describes him as having a “pointy nose” and he is between 165-170cm tall. He was wearing a grey t-shirt at the time of the assault.
Victoria Police have released a digital image of a man they believe may be able to assist with the investigation.
Anyone who has information about the incident or the man’s identity is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
4. Sydney mum who conned lonely men out of $2 million sentenced to three-and-a-half years in jail.
— Nine News Sydney (@9NewsSyd) February 23, 2017
A mother-of-four who swindled lonely men out of almost $2 million via dating services has been sentenced to three-and-a-half years in jail.
Nine News reports 41-year-old Sanaa Derbas pleaded guilty to 11 fraud-related offences after she tricked seven men into lending her money, which she told them she needed for hotel rooms, her mortgage and funerals for dead relatives.
The Sydney mum actually spent the money on gambling, cocaine and a brand new home.
One man gave her $1.7 million to help her pay her mortgage in 2008. When the man asked to be repaid, she said she didn’t have the money because her son had died of swine flu.
Derbas was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in jail, with a non-parole period of 18 months.
5. Police called to investigate woman’s loud screams at unit block, only to find it was a couple having sex.
— The Manly Daily (@ManlyDaily) February 23, 2017
Neighbours were forced called the police when they heard a woman screaming at about 11:20pm on Tuesday night on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, the Manly Daily reports.
When the residents investigated the noise, they were shocked to discover the sounds were coming from a man and woman involved in what was described to police as “extremely loud lovemaking”.
Residents of the Narrabeen apartment block told police the pair were clearly visible, with the blinds to their apartment wide open.
When police attended the scene, the activity had subsided.
Neighbours were concerned that their teenage children had been able to witness the couple after being disturbed by the noise.
Police spoke to various residents in relation to the matter, but no one would admit to the ‘crime of passion’. Police advised residents to keep their blinds and windows closed, as behaviour visible from the street could be deemed “offensive” and “exhibitionist”.
6. Ten-year-old boy narrowly escapes death after a funnel-web spider bite.
— CC Express Advocate (@CCexpressadvoc) February 23, 2017
Ten-year-old Matthew Mitchell was helping his dad clean up their back shed on Monday night when he was bitten on the finger by a deadly funnel-web spider.
After he was rushed to hospital, he started sweating, frothing at the mouth and seizing, the Central Coast Gosford Express Advocate reports.
Doctors administered 12 vials of antivenene, understood to be the most administered to any survivor in Australian history, to save his life.
“It sort of clawed onto me and all the legs and everything crawled around my finger and I couldn’t get it off,” Matthew said of the moment he was bitten.
After flicking it off his finger, Matthew’s father, Darren Mitchell, immediately recognised the dangerous arachnid and rushed Matthew to help.
“He went from pain in his figure until getting the tingling up his arm,” Mr Mitchell said of his son’s ordeal.
The family are sharing Matthew’s story in the hopes of raising awareness of the importance of always checking shoes, gardening gloves and washing for the deadly spiders.
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