Frederick County MD Jan 13 2011 Jo Rinehart arrived at her parents’ home and knew the empty driveway and locked house were bad signs. When she went inside, she saw that her mother’s cellphone had been forgotten on a kitchen counter. It was filled with worried, frantic and plaintive messages from Rinehart and her siblings, all left in the previous 12 hours.
“Did you make it home?”
“Where are you?”
“We’re coming to your house.”
Rinehart’s parents, William Fresch, 85, and his wife, Betty, 79, had not been seen or heard from since about 5:15 p.m. Friday, when they left Rinehart’s home in Mechanicsburg, Pa., for what was usually a 40-minute drive back to their house in Shippensburg, Pa., 25 miles north of the Maryland border.
The grown children had brokered a deal that might sound all too familiar to adult children trying to protect – and yet, respect – aging parents. The Fresches could keep their car, but drive only to Rinehart’s home or around Shippensburg, and only if they called to say they had made it back home safely.
It was a trade-off, but one that seemed to have worked over the past couple of years, Rinehart said.
After she didn’t find her parents at their house, Rinehart, 54, and her husband called police, who put out a regional alert for the couple. Rinehart and her husband talked to reporters, posted her parents’ pictures on Facebook and searched roadways themselves, even going up in a private helicopter Tuesday to scour the area.
By 11 a.m. Tuesday, their wait was over,
Her parents’ bodies had been found. Authorities think William and Betty froze to death in a steep farm field off rural Gene Hemp Road in Frederick County, Md.
A passerby who had spotted the couple’s red Honda Accord, stuck in a field with a deep pitch and a ravine, tracked footprints and found the bodies a few hundred yards away from the road, said Cpl. Jennifer Bailey, a spokeswoman for the Frederick County Sheriff’s Department.
The couple overshot the route to their home by about 60 miles, winding up south of where they had intended to go.
Their bodies were lying there, separated by about 30 yards. She was farthest from the car, which she had been driving, as if she had gone for help as the sturdier of the pair, police said. When she didn’t return, her husband of 58 years apparently went looking for her, leaning on a cane he used to get around, said Cpl. Jason West, the lead investigator on the case.
She was still in her peacoat, jeans and pink sweat shirt. He was in a brown suede coat, pants and a blue baseball cap with a canoe logo.
An open gate in the fencing at the field might have looked like a driveway to a lost couple, “but we’ll never know,” West said.
Their bodies showed no signs of violent injuries and were found near the still-upright car, where Betty Fresch’s purse was untouched inside, Bailey said. Given those details, neither foul play nor an accident was suspected, Bailey said. The Maryland chief medical examiner in Baltimore is expected to determine the causes of the deaths after autopsies Wednesday. Temperatures were in the mid-20s overnight Friday in Frederick.
“They went off the road. We don’t know how long they were there or how they got there, but from what we know now, it appears they froze to death,” Bailey said. “We want to bring cases to resolution for families, but this one is so tragic, even for us.”
As she spoke from her parents’ home, Rinehart said once, and then again: “We didn’t realize it was time to do more. We didn’t realize it was time. . . . Oh, the second-guessing that is running through our minds.”
Decades ago, the Fresch family lived in Rockville and ran the Rockville Trading Post. They sold the business and eventually moved to Shippensburg.
During the summer, signs of forgetfulness had surfaced in William Fresch, so his wife started doing more of the driving. They had gotten lost on a trip to see their son Paul, 50, in Ohio, Rinehart said.
The Fresches were almost to their son’s home but drove for hours before asking for directions. Even then, they could not find the house, so they turned around and drove overnight to get back to Pennsylvania, Rinehart said.
That is when the negotiating started.
“It’s hard to get people to do something they don’t want to do,” Rinehart said, “but we thought we had a system.”
For big events, the family would gather at Rinehart’s home, with the three surviving siblings and their families. The Fresches would drive there, and they agreed to call immediately after getting back to Shippensburg.
They made that trip for a quick visit at least once a week. The family can recite which roads and turns they usually took and where and how long they might be having dinner if they had decided to stop on the way home. There had not been any big problems, Rinehart said.
The family had planned a birthday party for William Fresch for Sunday, but the couple got confused about the date and showed up Friday instead, Rinehart said. They played a board game with Rinehart and her husband, one that William Fresch had devised and carved from wood that was similar to Parcheesi, she said.
“We laughed and had a good time, and then they decided to go home,” Rinehart said. “Mom always was up for staying for dinner and overnight. Dad was the one who would say, ‘I’d like to get home to sleep in my own bed.’ “
Until Tuesday morning, Rinehart said, “I thought the waiting was the worst part.”
On Wednesday, her father would have turned 86.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. Jan 13 2011– A local teacher has been arrested, accused of recording people using the restroom at a local movie theatre.
According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, 28-year-old Joshua Olsen teaches at the Greenwood School on Regency Square Boulevard.
A male juvenile told police he was in a stall at the Regal Cinemas on Philips Highway when he saw a cell phone appear under the stall.
Tuesday, police said they spoke with Olsen, who allowed them to view his cell phone. There were several images of adults and juveniles using the bathroom stalls, police said.
Olsen has been charged with voyeurism and video voyeurism and remains in jail.
Greenwood School today released the following statement:
Greenwood School has been advised by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office that one of its teachers, Joshua Olsen, has been arrested for alleged possession of inappropriate photographs. We do not know any of the details of the investigation at this time. Greenwood School is cooperating fully with law enforcement. Mr. Olsen has been placed on administrative suspension without pay.
This is a difficult time for all of us at Greenwood School. We have taken great care in responding to this situation in dealing with our students, faculty, and families. We are fully committed to a secure and safe environment for every member of our school community.
Baltimore MD Jan 13 2011 Drug-sniffing dogs found nearly $100,000 worth of cocaine and heroin aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship in a federal investigation of an employee smuggling ring, authorities said Tuesday.
The search on Saturday uncovered 1 1/2 pounds of heroin and nearly a pound of cocaine aboard the ship Enchantment of the Seas.
The ship was docked in Baltimore after a 12-day cruise to the Caribbean, and the drugs were found in a compartment that’s only accessible to employees, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol said.
Last month, three employees of the same ship were charged with conspiracy to import drugs after a previous journey to the Caribbean. According to court documents, one of them was caught onshore with similar amounts of cocaine and heroin and told authorities he planned to sell the drugs for $4,000 in the parking lot of a Walmart near Baltimore’s cruise terminal.
Law enforcement officials would not say whether the new drug seizure is linked to that case, and no further arrests have been made.
Cynthia Martinez, a Royal Caribbean spokeswoman, initially told The Associated Press that the seizure was related to the previous arrests, but she later said she might have received incorrect information.
“Royal Caribbean continues to cooperate fully with authorities during their investigation of crew members onboard Enchantment of the Seas suspected of smuggling drugs,” the company said in a statement. “We continue to provide any assistance necessary to prosecute these individuals to the fullest extent of the law.”
A spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement said the agency is following up on leads related to the seizure but declined to comment further. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Baltimore declined to comment because the investigation is ongoing.
The employees were arrested after the ship’s security officer alerted ICE that they might be involved in smuggling, according to court documents. Officers searched Gavin Excell, 35, and found drugs hidden in his pants and shoes, the documents show.
Excell told authorities that he and two other employees of the ship’s kitchen — John Swart Garth and Kishurn Neptune, both 27 — picked up the drugs from a Jamaican man in the Dominican Republic.
Loxly Johnson, 48, and Shenika Graves, 34, are accused of plotting to buy the drugs from the ship employees, the documents show. All five face the same charge of conspiracy to import heroin and cocaine.
Excell, Graves and Johnson have pleaded not guilty, and arraignments for Swart Garth and Neptune are scheduled for Friday.
Excell’s attorney, Christopher Purpura, said Tuesday that his client did not alert authorities to the additional drugs, but he noted that Excell was cooperative after his arrest, which led to the arrests of Johnson and Graves. Court records did not indicate whether the other two employees had hired attorneys.
MOBILE, Alabama Jan 13 2011 – A 26-year-old woman was shot and killed Monday night. Investigators say she was mistaken for a burglar.
The shooting happened around 11:30 at a home on Jeff Hamilton Road in Mobile County.
Deputies say Joy Logan, a student at Faulkner State Community College, was shot by her 18-year-old cousin when she was entering the home.
Investigators say the teenager thought Logan was breaking in the house.
The Mobile County Sheriff’s Office has ruled the shooting accidental and no charges will be filed.
The case will be heard by a Grand Jury.
Chicago IL Jan 13 2011 A nightclub is being sued in Chicago after ejecting a woman from the establishment just for being pregnant.
According to Michelle Lee, she had stopped by the bar and was catching up with friends at the nightspot near her parents’ home when a bouncer pulled her aside.
“Can I ask you a personal question?” Lee recalled him asking. “Are you pregnant?”
She responded yes because, at eight months along, it would have been difficult to argue otherwise, she said later.
At that point, Lee said that she was asked to leave the club and given no other reason.
Lee is suing for an unspecified damage amount.
New Jersey Jan 13 2011 A New Jersey woman who claimed the stress of her work as a hospital security guard left her with a psychiatric disablity cannot collect workers’ compensation benefits, a state judge has ruled.
The case centered on the allegation by the woman — referred to as J. T. in legal documents — that the stressful environment and harassed created by one of her supervisors in particular left her unable to work.
Among the stressful situations identified by the woman, who was working at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey: being asked to remove a blanket which she had wrapped around herself while watching the emergency room; being told she had used too many sick days; her belief that other guards were allowed to take longer breaks; and being questioned about leaving her guard post a half hour early.
The court found that the woman, now living in Florida and working as a hospital security guard, failed to demonstrate that any of her allegations resulted in a compensable, psychiatric disability.
“(C)orrecting the performance of an underling such as ordering her to remove the blanket, warning her of sick leave infractions and ordering her to remain at her station is inherent to employment and therefore, any psychiatric injuries alleged by petitioner could not be regarded as ‘work-related’ or ‘arising out of employment’ or was ‘peculiar’ to J.T.’s work place within the meaning of Workers’ Compensation Act,” wrote Compensation Judge Sue Pai Yang.
WINDERMERE, Fla. Jan 13 2011— The police chief of the central Florida suburb where golfer Tiger Woods had his infamous 2009 crash has been arrested and charged with misconduct.
Florida Department of Law Enforcement spokeswoman Susie Murphy says Windermere Police Chief Daniel Saylor was taken into custody Wednesday morning. He faces one count of official misconduct and one count of giving compensation for official business.
Saylor’s agency drew international attention following the crash of Woods’ vehicle outside his home. Saylor’s officers were among the first people to respond to the crash.
Saylor was ordered held without bond at the Orange County Jail and couldn’t be reached for comment.
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Murphy says she couldn’t immediately go into further details on the arrest.
Suspended Windermere police Chief Daniel Saylor has been released from Orange County Jail.
Orange County Judge Kenneth Barlow granted Saylor a $5,150 bond on felony charges of giving unlawful compensation for official behavior and official misconduct.
Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigators Wednesday arrested Saylor and accused him of shutting down an investigation into a friend accused of raping a child.
Barlow denied bond for Saylor’s friend, Scott Frederick Bush. He faces child-sex charges that carry the potential of life in prison.
“I have not had an opportunity to speak with my mother,” Bush told Barlow, when asked about hiring a private attorney to represent him in court. “I have no idea what to do sir.” His conditions for release prohibit him from contacting the victim or any minors.
Saylor’s attorney Mark NeJame downplayed the state’s case against the suspended chief of police and urged people to remember his client has only been accused — not convicted — of crimes.
“He should be released and he should not be here,” NeJame told Barlow during his client’s initial appearance before the judge at the Orange County Jail this morning. “This is a travesty that’s occurred and continues to occur.”
NeJame complained that FDLE investigators and others involved in the probe into Saylor and his arrest have mishandled the case and acted in “utter disregard of the law.”
He told Barlow that Saylor is a well-liked chief and enumerated Saylor’s accomplishments to establish his client’s good standing in the community. NeJame also stressed that Saylor needs to be at home with his 10-year-old daughter.
“He is this child’s world,” NeJame said. “He is the sole provider, caretaker and custodian of this child.”
As part of his conditions for release, Saylor must turn in his personal firearms to the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office and his agency-issued weapons to the Windermere Police Department by 10 p.m.
NeJame repeatedly objected to the final condition: Saylor cannot contact anyone at the Windermere Police Department.
Barlow agreed the condition “does isolate him somewhat,” but approved it based on the allegation of official misconduct.
NeJame added that he felt Saylor is defenseless against the criminals he has put behind bars during his law-enforcement career without his weapons. Barlow suggested deputies from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office can provide security.
“[Orange County Sheriff's Office] are adversaries as it relates to these charges,” NeJame said.
Saylor’s attorney told reporters the allegations against his client are “devastating personally, for his family and career-wise.”