Tag Archives: Missing

Missing Sylmar Couple, Three Young Children Found Alive, Police Say

Missing Sylmar Couple, Three Young Children Found Alive, Police Say

A Sylmar couple and their three young children that went missing and were suspected of possibly being involved in a kidnapping were found Tuesday at the United States border, Los Angeles police said.

Liliana Lopez and her three children made entry into the U.S. at the San Ysidro Port of Entry around 1:45 p.m., the Los Angeles Police Department said. Esteban Lopez is still in Mexico, police said.

After being interviewed, the LAPD said information will be presented to the LA County District Attorney’s Office to see if criminal charges are appropriate.

No other information was immediately available.

Police Continue to Search for Missing Sylmar Family

[LA] Police Continue to Search for Missing Sylmar Family


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3 Dead, 1 Missing After Car Careens Into Delaware Canal

3 Dead, 1 Missing After Car Careens Into Delaware Canal

An 18-year-old driver and two of his young passengers are dead after his car careened off a Delaware canal bank Sunday morning and crashed into the water below, Delaware officials said.

The two passengers were 16 and 12 years old. A third passenger, a 6-year-old boy, has not been found, Delaware officials said.

The accident happened around 9:41 a.m. in Middletown, about a mile from the Sen. William V. Roth Jr. Bridge, state police said. The car fell into the southern side of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, according to Delaware State Police spokesman Master Cpl. Michael Austin.

A 16-year-old female passenger managed to escape the wreckage and swim to shore with the help of the driver, Austin said. Once she reached safety, the driver swam back to help the remaining three passengers. 

“He was a hero,” Austin said of the driver, who has not been identified. “He tried to do everything he could.”

A multiagency operation, including dive teams, located the submerged car around 3 p.m. Sunday. It was pulled out of the water two hours hours later.

A search for the missing 6-year-old passenger continues, police said.

The driver and three of the passengers were related, according to police. The 16-year-old girl was described as a family friend.

“They’re holding up but it’s not going to be easy,” relative Rudolph Jones said. “It’s going to stay with them.”


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25 Bodies Reportedly Found, 9 Missing After Horrific Boat Fire Off Southern California Coast

25 Bodies Reportedly Found, 9 Missing After Horrific Boat Fire Off Southern California Coast

What to Know

  • Authorities received a distress call from the burning boat early Monday morning

  • The boat was on fire just north of Santa Cruz Island, off the Ventura County coast

  • Santa Cruz Island is the largest in the Channel Islands chain off Southern California

Twenty-five bodies had been found and nine people were still missing, the Associated Press reported, after a Labor Day weekend dive boat trip turned tragic when the vessel caught fire early Monday morning off the Southern California coast. 

Five crew members were rescued early Monday, but 33 people are feared dead as the search for survivors continued off the coast of Santa Cruz Island, the largest in the Channel Islands chain. The US Coast Guard said the 75-foot diving boat Conception, which left from Santa Barbara Harbor for a scuba diving excursion, had 39 people on board when the fire was reported at about 3 a.m. north of Santa Cruz Island.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Mark Barney said a cause has not been determined. 

“Once we get a little futher along, the cause of the fire will be something under investigation,” he said.

Family Members Wait for Answers in Tragic Boat Fire

[LA] Family Members Wait for Answers in Tragic Boat Fire

After receiving the garbled mayday call, the agency dispatched helicopters, small boats and a patrol cutter in the area for a search-and-rescue operation about 90 miles from Los Angeles. Nearby vessel Grape Escape also assisted with the rescue.

“The entire boat was engulfed, from the bow to the stern and 30-foot flames,” Bob Hansen, who captains the Great Escape, described his first look at the fiery boat. “It was just terrible. It was just completely lit up. I mean, there wasn’t a place on the boat that wasn’t on fire.”

Hansen said he rescued five crew members, including the captain, with four of the five survivors dressed in only underwear. He proceeded to radio the Coast Guard while his wife tended to the distraught survivors. The Great Escape captain said that one of the survivors had his girlfriend below deck and said that the boat was hosting three birthday parties over the holiday weekend, including one for a 17-year-old girl who was on board with her parents.

Hansen said of the deadly boat fire, “It’s one of those things, you just can’t unsee it.”

Crews from the Coast Guard, Santa Barbara Fire Department and Ventura County Fire Department responded and were fighting the fire about 20 yards off shore in 64 feet of water. A portion of the bow was sticking out of the water.

Hansen said the Coast Guart took about an hour to arrive, coming from about 25 miles away at night and through fog.

Boat With at Least 30 Aboard Burns Off Southern California C

[LA] Boat With at Least 30 Aboard Burns Off Southern California C

Search-and-rescue teams were looking for survivors along the Santa Cruz Island shoreline, the Coast Guard said at a morning news conference. 

Some passengers were asleep below deck as the flames erupted, the Coast Guard said. The rescued crew members were on the top deck of the boat at the time of the fire, according to Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Kroll of the U.S. Coast Guard.

“The crew was already awake and on the bridge, and they jumped off,” said US Coast Guard Capt. Monica Rochester.

When asked whether the crew tried to help others, Rochester said, “I don’t have any additional information.”

Family members arrived at the Coast Guard command center Monday morning. One man said he was looking for his brother, a member of the Conception’s crew.

“I’m hoping for the best for everybody,” said James Kohls.

At least 8 Killed After Boat Fire Off California Coast

[NATL] At least 8 Killed After Boat Fire Off California Coast

At an afternoon news conference, Coast Guard Capt. Monica Rochester tempered expectations and said it was unlikely anyone else would be found alive.

Rochester said, “We will search all the way through the night into the morning, but I think we should all be prepared to move into the worst outcome.”

DNA identification would be used to identify the four bodies recovered, authorities said at the 4 p.m. Pacific Time news conference. Four bodies had been discovered on the ocean floor but had not yet been recovered, officials also said at the same news conference.

People looking for information about their family members can call 833-688-5551.  A Family Assistance Center was being set up at Earl Warren Fair Grounds, 3400 Calle Real in Santa Barbara.

Conception was described by authorities as a diving vessel. A schedule on the Truth Aquatics web site said the boat was set to embark Saturday on a three-day dive in the northern Channel Islands area.

The boat, launched in 1981, is used for large charter groups. It has a bunk capacity of 46 people and includes appliances for food preparation, including a built-in barbeque.

Santa Cruz Island is the largest in the Channel Islands chain off Southern California. The islands have caves, hiking trails and other natural features that attract visitors from around Southern California. The Truth Aquatics trip promises opportunities to see coral and life. 

The National Transportation Safety Bureau is sending a team of investigators.

Coast Guard records show inspections conducted last February and in August 2018 found no deficiencies. Earlier inspections found some safety violations related to fire safety.

A 2016 inspection resulted in owners replacing the heat detector in the galley and one in 2014 cited a leaky fire hose.

Records show all safety violations from the last five years were quickly addressed by the boat’s owners.


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Remains of Missing El Segundo Woman Found in Utah, Police Say

Remains of Missing El Segundo Woman Found in Utah, Police Say

The body of Mackenzie Lueck has been recovered in Utah, weeks after the college student from El Segundo, California went missing after returning to school.

A suspect was arrested last week in the death of the University of Utah student who vanished after returning to Salt Lake City on a flight from her native Southern California, police said.

Her remains were found Wednesday in Utah’s Logan Canyon, more than 80 miles north of Salt Lake City, police chief Mike Brown said Friday morning at a press conference. Forensics confirmed the remains were Lueck, Brown said.

Thirty-one-year-old Ayoola A. Ajayi will be charged with aggravated murder, kidnapping and desecration of a body in the death of 23-year-old Lueck, prosecutors said.

Arrest in Missing College Student Case

[LA] Arrest in Missing College Student Case

Chief Brown said at a news conference last week that Ajayi met Lueck at Hatch Park, where she was last seen after taking a Lyft from the airport at 3 a.m. on June 17.

The two had connected a day before Lueck’s disappearance, Brown said. He said they communicated electronically, but did not provide details.

Brown said burned evidence, including Lueck’s belongings and her remains, were found at his home, which was searched on June 26 and 27. Witnesses told investigators that they saw the suspect burning something in the backyard of the home on June 17 or 18, Brown said.

Ajayi was the man previously identified as a person of interest. He was arrested June 28 at an apartment complex.

Brown added that the suspect, when interviewed by police, admitted to text conversations with Lueck on June 16 but denied having personal contact with her. The chief said phone records indicated he was at Hatch Park at the same time as Lueck — 3 a.m. June 17.

“This was the same time as Mackenzie’s phone stopped receiving any further data or location services,” Brown said.

New Clues in Case of Missing College Student

[LA] New Clues in Case of Missing College Student

Brown notified the victim’s family June 28 of Lueck’s death. 

“This is one of the most difficult phone calls I’ve ever made,” he said.

Lueck was a pre-nursing student and senior at the University of Utah, majoring in kinesiology, according to a school spokesman. Her grieving uncle spoke at a news conference with police last week, thanking investigators for their work during the 11-day search.


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Clues in Missing Mom Case May Have Been Burned: Employee

Clues in Missing Mom Case May Have Been Burned: Employee

As state police continue to search in a Hartford garbage plant for evidence in the Jennifer Dulos missing person case, some clues may have been burned before police had a chance to search.

An employee who explained the plant’s process to NBC Connecticut said after the garbage is shredded, some of it is sent directly to the incinerator to run the power plant.

The rest is stored as future fuel for the power plant.

State troopers have been sifting through the trash that was stored since Monday.

That material has been through two shredders and cut into eight inch strips, according to the employee who spoke with NBC Connecticut exclusively. That employee said some of the shredded material was burned before police had the chance to search it.

More than two dozen state troopers have been seen sifting through the shredded garbage with the help of K9s throughout the week.

They are looking for evidence that may be connected to the New Canaan mother’s disappearance more than two weeks ago.

State police have been working 12-hour days at the Materials Innovation and Recycling Authority in Hartford. Saturday marks their sixth day of searching there.

The slow and precise investigation includes sifting through shredded garbage that is stored as fuel for the power plant. Half a bucket full of material is spilled out onto a floor, according to an MIRA employee, and police are using K9s to sniff through it.

City surveillance cameras captured a man matching the appearance of Dulos’s estranged husband, Fotis Dulos, dumping bags of garbage along Albany Avenue the day she disappeared.

Saturday marks the start of week three of the search for Dulos, a mother of five who has been missing since May 24.


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Texas Woman Claims To Be Missing Bradley Sister

Texas Woman Claims To Be Missing Bradley Sister

The family of two Chicago sisters who went missing nearly 18 years ago is reeling after they say a woman reached out on social media, claiming to be one of the girls. 

“My gut, my heart and my head – they’re all three independently feeling all kinds of things,” said great-aunt Shelia Bradley-Smith. 

Bradley-Smith has been searching relentlessly for Diamond and Tionda Bradley, who were 3 and 10 years old when they went missing from their South Side apartment complex in 2001. 

The sisters left a note for their mom saying they were going to school and the store, but when the two never returned home, a frantic search began.

Their story has made national headlines since 2001, even garnering a feature on America’s Most Wanted, but as time went on, the case went cold.

About three weeks ago, Bradley-Smith said she posted a random thought on the Missing Diamond and Tionda Bradley Facebook page, pleading for the girls to come home. Bradley-Smith said a woman responded: “we’re trying.” 

Through a series of messages, Bradley-Smith said the woman, who lives in Texas, said she is Tionda Bradley. 

“She went on to say she was Tionda, that she and Diamond have been together this entire time, that they both have kids and Diamond is in college,” Bradley-Smith said. 

Bradley-Smith said the woman is doubling-down and willing to take a DNA test to prove she is Tionda. When reached through Facebook, the woman told NBC 5 News that she was not going to make any comments until she contacts her lawyer.

The family said an FBI agent from the Beaumont, TX Field Office confirmed they are actively trying to locate the woman. A spokesperson for the FBI Houston Office said it continues to pursue and review all leads on the case but could not provide additional information. 

“In my heart, I hope it’s her,” said Bradley-Smith. “If it’s not her, don’t lie. We’ve suffered enough. We don’t need to suffer anymore.”

An update later surfaced on Saturday in what appears to be a family Facebook page where the post claims “the information provided on social media from this group of scammer are NOT MISSING DIAMOND AND OR TIONDA BRADLEY. We hope that all will continue to provide any tips as to the whereabouts of Diamond and Tionda Bradley. We thank you the Community, the Law Enforcement Community, the News that covered this heartbreaking HOAX. We further thank the Private Investigator and all tips that were provided to expose those responsible for this CRUEL AND EVIL ACT.”


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LAPD Issues E.M.A. for Missing 3-Year-Old

LAPD Issues E.M.A. for Missing 3-Year-Old

The California Highway Patrol issued an Endangered Missing Advisory Sunday morning.

The E.M.A. was issued for missing 3-year-old Davaughn Patton and 24-year-old Lamarc Wimbley.

According to LAPD, They were last seen in a silver mid 2000 Chevy Cobalt. The license plate is unknown at the moment.

The Los Angeles Police Department asks that if anyone sees them or has information to contact 911.

Davaughn Patton was taken by a relative at around 6p.m. in Los Angeles on Saturday, according to authorities.


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3 Dead, 1 Missing After Illinois Explosion Friday

3 Dead, 1 Missing After Illinois Explosion Friday

Authorities in suburban Waukegan say that they have now located two of the victims who were left missing after Friday’s explosion at a plant in the area, and that one victim is still missing in the rubble. 

During a press conference Sunday, officials confirmed that a third victim was located in the wreckage of the AB Specialty Silicones plant, and that efforts were underway to recover the victim’s body from the rubble. 

One person is still missing in the building, and search efforts are ongoing to find the individual, authorities said. 

One body had already been recovered from the building during the search, and another person, identified as 29-year-old Allen Stevens, passed away Saturday at Loyola University Medical Center, according to authorities. 

A total of four workers were taken to area hospitals, with Stevens passing away Saturday afternoon.

Heavy equipment remains on the scene as workers try to dismantle the debris to make it safe for rescue workers to search for the missing individuals.

Officials say that when firefighters arrived at the scene, they noted heavy damage and a massive fire. Rescue workers also encountered injured workers from the plant and transported them to local hospitals. Other neighboring fire departments were called in to help battle the massive fire.

An investigator from the Illinois State Fire Marshal’s office has been at the scene to evaluate the cause of the explosion, but has not released any findings at this time.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has also announced that after extensive air quality and water monitoring tests that there is no danger posed to the public by the aftermath of the explosion. OSHA investigators have also been called to evaluate the incident.

 “We are shocked and heartbroken by the tragedy that occurred in our plant last night,” AB Speciality Silicones GM Mac Penman said in a statement. “We have spent the day trying our best to support all of the members of our AB family as we attempt to process this terrible loss together.

“We want to express our extreme gratitude to all the first responders who arrived at the scene. We continue to work closely with the Waukegan Fire Department and the Illinois Fire Marshal as they secure the scene and complete their investigation,” he added.


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Searchers Comb Victorville Landfill for Body of Missing Boy as Mother and Aunt Charged

Family Distraught in Search for Missing 6-Year-Old in Apple Valley

As authorities Monday searched a landfill in Victorville for the body of a 6-year-old boy who was reported missing, his mother and aunt were charged with murder, the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office said.

Duke Flores went missing two weeks ago in the Apple Valley area, his family said. The search for Duke didn’t begin until Thursday when family members reported his disappearance to police. 

Jackee Contreras, 29, and her twin sister Jennifer Contreras, 29, were charged Monday with one count of murder each in connection with the boy’s death, though no remains have been found.

Detectives were led to the landfill Monday after getting a tip that Duke was placed in a dumpster, officials said in a news release.

After learning of the search, some family members rushed to the landfill. 

Later Monday afternoon, Duke’s grandmother Lydia Gutierrez told NBC4 she was too distraught to be interviewed, but said, “My baby grandson is being searched for in a landfill. My heart is destroyed.”

The child disppearance and the arrests have rocked the Apple Valley community. 

“It’s breaking my heart,” Yvonne Ayala, a Victorville resident, said choking back tears.

She went to the arraignment Monday after helping volunteers search for the boy around his home the day before.

“If she didn’t want him I would have taken him,” she said.

The search was suspended later Monday afternoon. 

The case broke after deputies from the Apple Valley Police Department responded to a home Thursday in the 22000 block of Cherokee Avenue for a welfare check Duke Flores.

When deputies arrived, the boys mother, Jackee Contreras, told deputies the boy hadn’t been seen for two weeks. A search of the property was conducted and Contreras was arrested for child neglect for her delay in reporting him missing, officials said.

Two days later, she was booked on a murder charge and detectives arrested Jennifer Contreras, Duke’s aunt, also on suspicion of murder.

The two were due in court Tuesday. 

Heather Navarro contributed to this article.


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Family Distraught in Search for Missing 6-Year-Old in Apple Valley

Family Distraught in Search for Missing 6-Year-Old in Apple Valley

Investigators ratcheted up a search Friday near the area where a 6-year-old has been missing for two weeks in Apple Valley. 

Duke Flores, described as 3-foot 10-inches tall with brown eyes and brown hair, was last seen in the area of Pawnee Road and Cherokee Avenue, Apple Valley police said. 

Investigators were searching near Navajo Road and Highway 18, not far from where he went missing. 

Family members made a heartfelt plea via NBCLA’s Twitter account for the public to come to Apple Valley to help search for the boy, even if for 10 minutes.

“We know you’re out there, Duke. Were not going to give up, papa,” Christina Gutierrez, a cousin of the missing boy, said. “Somebody knows something in this area.”

Gutierrez also said he was missing for two weeks after apparently wandering off. A police flyer listed the boy as critical missing with the incident occurring Thursday, April 25. 

Investigators had cordoned off the block with yellow tape near the relative’s home amid the search Friday afternoon. 


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