Interactive & AAP
dead, four missing after fire
are dead and four are missing after a fire in a Brisbane boarding house.
The two bodies were severely burned and had not yet been identified, police
said today. Another six people were taken to hospital. Two had suffered
burns, three were affected by smoke inhalation and one had had a heart
attack. The blaze broke out in the two-storey timber building in Second
Avenue, Sandgate, at 11.30pm last night. Queensland Fire and Rescue Service
said three houses, one each side of the boarding house and one behind it,
were also destroyed in the blaze. Up to 55 people were evacuated from nearby
homes as the crews from seven fire trucks battled the blaze, but failed
to save the boarding house building. Firefighters found the bodies of the
two people while they were hosing down smouldering debris, the QFRS said.
"They are continuing to search the remains of the boarding house this morning,"
a spokeswoman said. The four people unaccounted for were understood to
be all males, police said. It is not yet known how the blaze started or
if the boarding house had been fitted with smoke alarms.
| ABC News 20/8
fails to find missing man after hostel fire
a cadaver dog has failed to find any more victims in the burnt-out rubble
of a northside Brisbane boarding house. Three men died in the blaze at
the Seabreeze Lodge at Sandgate on Sunday night. Despite initial concerns
about a person who was still unaccounted for, Detective Inspector John
Hegarty says police are now confident there are no more bodies in the ashes.
we're still trying to identify the bodies and it will take some time to
positively identify the bodies," he said. "Some family of some of the missing
people have come forward, so obviously DNA will be able to be matched there
hopefully, but again it would be speculation to give a time frame."
Police Media Release 20/8
For Silverwater Escapee Continues
a 30-year-old man who escaped from the Silverwater Correctional Facility
yesterday may now be heading towards Queensland. Inspector Mark Noakes,
Crime Manager at Auburn Police, said the man was sighted yesterday afternoon
in the Cessnock area. “Rodney Matthews
was last sighted by police in Cessnock travelling in a white 1989 model
Ford LTD sedan with QLD registration 138-BRB,” Inspector Noakes said.
“We have reason to believe he may be heading towards Queensland.” At the
time of his escape, Mr Matthews was serving a 10-month sentence for drive
while disqualified, assault and other offences. Mr Matthews is described
as being of white/European appearance, 180 to 185cm tall, of medium build,
with brown eyes and black hair. He has various tattoos on his hands, wrists,
lower legs and ankles. “Prison records indicate he had a beard and moustache,
however it's believed this facial hair may now have been shaved off,”
Inspector Noakes said. Members of the public are warned not to approach
the man if they see him, but to contact their local police or Crime Stoppers
on 1800 333 000.
August | Qld Police Media
National Park search
State Emergency Service volunteers are expected to resume searching today
for a man missing in the Lamington National Park. The 23-year-old man was
walking with friends early yesterday morning but did not return to O’Reilly’s
Guest House. Police were notified about 4pm yesterday. Officers and SES
volunteers searched until after 11pm and are expected to resume the search
| Yahoo News
& AAP 21/8
lodges criminal compo claims
survivor Joanne Lees is claiming up to $28,000 compensation from the Northern
Territory government as a victim of crime. The 28-year-old English girlfriend
of missing traveller Peter Falconio lodged two claims for compensation
in the Alice Springs Local Court last week under the NT victims of crime
assistance legislation. Ms Lees and her 28-year-old boyfriend were ambushed
300km north of Alice Springs on July 14 last year by a gunman who tricked
them into stopping their campervan near Barrow Creek. The gunman apparently
shot Mr Falconio before attempting to abduct Ms Lees. Ms Lees stood to
gain up to $3,000 for the grief, pain and suffering of losing her defacto
husband, NT Justice Department acting chief executive officer David Anderson
said. She could also gain another $25,000 in a general claim for compensation
for personal injury as a victim of crime, he said. The government was considering
whether it would agree to pay compensation or fight the applications in
court. A government decision to challenge aspects of the claims would raise
the prospect of Ms Lees being called to Alice Springs to testify. The fact
that Ms Lees received a reported $85,000 from her ordeal in an exclusive
British television deal would not influence the government's decision,
Mr Anderson said.
"That is irrelevant
to this," he said. "This is a statutory scheme to compensate victims of
Ms Lees initiated
the application on June 28 - little more than two weeks before the 12-month
deadline for such a claim expired. Her Alice Springs lawyer, Mark Heitmann,
said Ms Lees had been considering applying for compensation for some time.
But she had held out in the hope that the gunman would be found.
"As you would
when you're waiting for an offender to be identified," Mr Heitmann said.
He did not believe the absence of the perpetrator would harm her case.
Her claim for compensation would include the travel agent's loss of earnings,
he said. Mr Heitmann said it was possible the claim could be resolved by
a consent agreement with the government.
| Yahoo News
& AAP 21/8
dad worried by Lees claim
of a British tourist missing after an ambush in the Australian outback
expressed reservations that his son's girlfriend was seeking compensation
for her part in the ordeal. Luciano Falconio, father of 28-year-old Peter
Falconio, said he had not been informed of the compensation being sought
by his son's girlfriend Joanne Lees. Lees, 28, could be in line for up
to $A50,000 in compensation under a government scheme for victims of crime.
According to court papers, Lees filed a compensation claim last week in
Alice Springs. Lees, from Almondbury in West Yorkshire, was tied up by
a gunman who is believed to have shot her boyfriend in July last year in
central Australia. Today, Luciano Falconio expressed initial concerns over
a possible compensation payout. He told PA News: "I don't know anything
about it. The first thing I knew was when you told me." Asked if Lees should
be considered for compensation he added: "I don't think she should, not
really. I've never really thought about it, I don't think so." Falconio
said he was in regular contact with Lees adding: "I speak every so often,
every week. I didn't know about the compensation. It never crossed my mind."
No-one from Lees' family was available for comment
Police Media Release 21/8
Mt Colah Bushland
Search For Missing Man
the disappearance of an Alexandria man four years ago, will today
search bushland in Sydney’s north in an attempt to find clues to his whereabouts.
Ford, 24, left the Mitchell Street home he
shared with his sister in June 1998 and has not been seen or heard from
since. His white 1994 model Ford Falcon sedan registration TIL-839, was
found burnt out on the Ku-ring-gai Chase Road at Mt Colah on Saturday,
27 June 1998. Police will today search bushland in the Ku-ring-gai Chase
National Park near where Mr Ford’s car was found. Sergeant Kevin Timbrel,
Acting Crime Manager at Hornsby Police, said it was hoped the search would
reveal some new information about his disappearance. “We hold grave
concerns for Mr Ford’s welfare given the length of time which has passed
since he went missing,” Sgt Timbrel said. “Hopefully the results of the
search will lead us to a better understanding of his last known movements.
“We are appealing to anyone who was in the area of the Ku-ring-gai Chase
Road at Mt Colah in late June 1998 and who might have seen Mr Ford or his
vehicle, to contact police. “We would also ask any friends or acquaintances
of Mr Ford who have not yet been in contact with police to call us,”
he said. At the time of his disappearance Frederick Ford was described
as being of Pacific Islander appearance, 175cm tall, 24 years of age and
of medium build. Anyone with information about the disappearance of Mr
Ford should contact Hornsby Police on 02 9476 9799 or Crime Stoppers on
1800 333 000. A photo of Mr Ford is available from the Police Media Unit.
August | The Daily Telegraph 22/8 p23 by Frances O'Shea
disappearance worries police
fears for the safety of a Japanese exchange student who has been missing
since Tuesday afternoon. Jimi Shim,
19, had been studying at the Avondale College at Cooranbong, near Newcastle.
She was last seen walking along Freemans Drive towards Morisset at 4pm
on Tuesday. Police are concerned that the teenager, who has been undergoing
assessment for a medical condition, may have become disorientated and lost.
"She does not know many people here or her way around very well," a
police spokesman said. "She has also recently been undergoing assessment
for a medical condition and it is believed that she will need treatment
for this condition." Police believe Ms Shim may be in possession of
a substantial amount of cash which had been sent to her by her mother in
Japan. Checks of major airports have revealed that she has not left the
country. It is believed she left the college without her wallet, mobile
telephone or other belongings. The missing girl is described as about 145cm
tall, of solid build, with brown eyes and long dark brown/black hair. At
the time of her disappearance Ms Shim was wearing a dark coloured pinafore-style
dress with fringing on the hem and a light coloured blouse. Anyone with
information about the teenager is asked to contact Morisset police on 49731444.
Police Media Release 23/8 6pm
student located |
Japanese student reported missing today has been located.
Kurata was located safe and well in the City.
wish to thank the media for their assistance in this matter.
Holly Wells & Jessica Chapman Case
15 August |The
grave exhumations begin
Bosnia-Herzegovina - Forensics experts on Thursday began exhumations from
a mass grave that may contain the bodies of more than 100 Bosnian Muslims
slain at Srebrenica in Europe's worst massacre since World War II. The
mass grave was found near the Serb-held village of Kamenica, 45 miles northeast
of Sarajevo, said Murat Hurtic, a member of the Muslim Commission for Missing
Persons. It was found just 500 yards from another site where forensic experts
two weeks ago filled almost 200 sacks with human remains from an estimated
100 bodies. The remains were sent to DNA laboratories in Bosnia for attempted
identification. "Once again, we are expecting to find remains of more
than 100 bodies of Muslims killed by Bosnian Serb troops in Srebrenica,"
Hurtic said. He said the latest grave appears to contain victims dug
up from another location and reburied at the site in an attempt to hide
the bodies from war crime investigators. Srebrenica was the site of one
of the worst massacres during the 1992-95 Bosnian war. Up to 8,000 Muslim
men and boys were executed there by Bosnian Serb forces in July 1995. So
far, forensic experts have found more than 5,000 of the victims. "Because
of heavy rains, we will need at least two weeks to complete our work here,"
Hurtic said. Some 200,000 people were killed during the war, which
displaced another 1.2 million. Up to 20,000 remain missing.
he's a suspect in Oregon kidnappings
Oregon (CNN) -- The man who describes himself as a prime suspect in the
abductions of two girls who vanished last winter in Oregon City faces another
court appearance next week on unrelated rape and sex abuse charges. Ward
Weaver, whose home is near the apartment complex where the girls were last
seen, appeared at a bail hearing Wednesday on charges of first-degree rape
and sexual abuse of a 19-year-old woman, said Greg Horner, Clackamas County
chief deputy attorney.
Bail was set
at $1 million because of prosecution fears that Weaver might flee, perhaps
to Mexico, Horner said. The case will be considered by a grand jury early
next week for a possible indictment, he said. A preliminary hearing is
set for next Wednesday. Horner said Weaver knew the woman he is accused
of raping and abusing. As is standard procedure in Oregon City, Weaver
made a video court appearance from the county jail. When asked about Weaver's
comment that he is a key suspect in the dual kidnappings, Horner said,
"We've never said that. The police have never said that. The only one who's
ever said that is him." Friends Ashley Pond and Miranda Gaddis,
both 13, vanished two months apart on their way to school. Ashley was last
seen walking outside her apartment January 9. Miranda, who was worried
about her missing friend, disappeared March 8. Investigators believe the
girls were taken by the same person. Beth Anne Steele, a spokeswoman for
the FBI office in Portland, north of Oregon City, declined to comment Wednesday
on whether Weaver was believed to be connected to the abduction cases.
slain at Virginia home, daughter missing
-- Police were searching Thursday for a 9-year-old girl after finding her
parents shot to death at their home in western Virginia. Henry County Sheriff's
Capt. Kimmy Nester said they were searching for the girl, Jennifer Short,
on the presumption she was abducted. Investigators said evidence seemed
to rule out a murder-suicide. Authorities issued an Amber Alert, relaying
information about the case to television and radio stations in the hope
of finding a lead. Police officers spread out and paced the rolling hills
behind the Shorts' house. "Nobody knows where this child is. That's not
normal," Nester said. "The family is all in shock." He said other family
members who live in the immediate area didn't know anything about the girl's
whereabouts, and that police have no suspects.
of Michael Short, 50, and Mary Short, 36, were found by a co-worker who
dropped by the home 35 miles south of Roanoke, Franklin County Sheriff
W. Quint Overton said.
neighbor, Ruby Emberson, 74, said she had no idea of anything wrong with
always outdoors together in the yard mowing the grass or whatever," she
said. "They seemed as happy as could be."
Newspapers Limited UK
Parents Slain In Va.
girl who may have witnessed the fatal shootings of her parents was missing
and feared kidnapped Friday, 24 hours after the couple was found dead in
their western Virginia home. Authorities said they have no suspects in
the shootings or Jennifer Short's disappearance, and they were going through
records of people who had recently been in the family's home, which was
for sale. Evidence seemed to rule out the possibility that the parents
died in a murder-suicide, investigators said. Asked whether Jennifer could
have had anything to do with the shootings, Henry County Sheriff F.H. Cassell
said Friday: "I don't think there is any likelihood of that, of course
anything is possible, but we certainly don't believe that.''
'promising leads' in case of missing girl |
the disappearance of a 9-year-old girl whose parents were slain in their
home said Sunday they were focusing on several new leads as officers continued
a frustrating search. Henry County Sheriff Frank Cassell said authorities
were looking into "fairly promising leads" regarding Jennifer Renee
Short, who police believe was abducted early Thursday after her parents
were shot. He declined to elaborate "There's very little physical evidence,"
Cassell said. "We have two dead bodies, a missing child and little else.
We've had no sightings, we've had no vehicle descriptions. All we've got
is what we're running down right now." He said law enforcement authorities
were searching Henry County and neighboring Franklin County. A volunteer
search of about 100 square miles around the crime scene was suspended Saturday
after nothing turned up. Jennifer's parents, Michael Short, 50, and Mary
Hall Short, 36, were found shot to death in their home 35 miles south of
Roanoke. Each had been shot once in the head, a preliminary autopsy showed.
A complete autopsy was expected Monday. Cassell said recent photos of Jennifer,
showing her with shorter hair, were released Saturday to Amber Alert —
a nationwide system that transmits information quickly to law enforcement
agencies, television and radio stations — but failed to produce much new
no clues in search for Virginia girl
picked up the scent Sunday of missing 9-year-old Jennifer Renee Short,
but authorities said the "hits" have not moved them closer to finding who
killed her parents and apparently abducted her in southwestern Virginia
three days ago. "They got hits from the house down to the motel and the
little convenience store area, but nothing behind or anywhere else," Henry
County Sheriff H.F. Cassell told reporters. Since those were areas frequented
by the girl, "that really doesn't tell us anything," he said. Police had
brought the dogs and "a fresh set of eyes" Sunday to the home of Michael
Wayne Short, 50, and Mary Hall Short, 36, where they were found dead from
single gunshots to the head early Thursday. Their daughter, Jennifer Renee,
of progress left the investigation where it has been almost since the start.
"It's nothing to get real excited about," Cassell told reporters. Though
authorities have received dozens of tips, many of them from out of state,
"we've gotten nowhere with them," he said. Many of them have come from
psychics in California, he said. "Most of them are kind of off the wall."
Cassell said he was hopeful the forensic evidence, which he would not describe,
would yield more positive results.
that any of that type evidence may give us a better lead, or lead directly
to the perpetrator," he said. "That's the purpose of gathering forensic
evidence, and we've got a roomful." Cassell said his intuition led him
to "believe the perpetrator of this crime was from this general area and
had knowledge of these victims." State and federal authorities were helping
with the investigation. Investigators conducted more interviews Sunday,
some with people they've already spoken with, the sheriff said. Despite
his frustration at the lack of progress, Cassell said he was still optimistic.
"When I lose hope, I'll retire," he said. Jennifer has brown hair, is 4
feet 3 inches tall and weighs 58 pounds.
Alert" -- named for a 9-year-old girl abducted and killed in Texas six
years ago -- has been issued for Jennifer, with billboards and signs posted
throughout the state urging Virginians to be on the lookout. State and
federal authorities are helping with the investigation, the sheriff said,
and have been "since noon on the day the crime occurred." On Saturday,
officials suspended a volunteer search effort that covered 100 square miles
but failed to produce evidence.
| Yahoo News
& Reuters 21/8
after schoolgirl murders
- The shockwaves felt from the murder of two 10-year-old British girls
radiated on Monday from their home town of Soham to the rest of the country
with Prime Minister Tony Blair adding his sympathy.
| Yahoo News
& AFP 21/8
murder suspect may not stand trial
Huntley, charged with the murders of schoolgirls Holly Wells and Jessica
Chapman, may never stand trial, the British press said after he was sectioned
at a mental hospital. In a dramatic twist to a case that has gripped the
nation, Huntley was taken to Rampton high-security mental hospital in the
early hours of Tuesday morning shortly before being handed the double murder
charge. Police said that the school caretaker, 28, who was due to appear
in Peterborough Magistrates Court in central England on Wednesday, would
only be in court "when he is deemed fit to attend."
"Will he (Huntley)
ever stand trial?" asked The Daily Mail front page which said that he could
be considered unfit to stand trial because of his psychiatric state. The
paper also raised the possibility that Huntley could stand trial but enter
a defence of insanity.
News & Reuters 21/8
elusive in U.S. child murder case
Jurors in the trial of David Westerfield, the San Diego man who allegedly
abducted and killed his seven-year-old neighbor, Danielle van Dam, ended
a ninth day of deliberations on Tuesday without a verdict as a city waited
on edge for the outcome of the sensational case.
| ABC News 22/8
confirm dead girls' identities
Britain have confirmed that two bodies found last weekend in a pine forest
in eastern England are those of the missing 10-year-old girls, Holly Wells
and Jessica Chapman. Their remains were found by passers-by on a track
not far from the girls' home town of Soham near Cambridge, 13 days after
they had disappeared. High school caretaker Ian Huntley has been charged
with their murder, and is currently being held at a high-security psychiatric
hospital. His girlfriend, Maxine Carr, has also appeared in court on charges
of lying to police. Earlier this week, police said they were all but certain
the remains where those of Holly and Jessica, whose disappearance triggered
one of the biggest searches in British criminal history.