||Here are a few recent stories related to the kinds of issues we cover on the web site. They'll represent a small percentage of the information available to us, the public, as we fight to provide meaningful recovery services and help for those who've suffered child abuse. We'll add to and update this page regularly.
We'll also present stories about the criminals and criminal acts that impact our communities all across the nation. The few we place on this page are the tip of the iceberg, and we ask you to check your local newspapers and law enforcement sites. Stay aware. Every extra set of "eyes and ears" makes a big difference.
JAN - Week 4
Canadian John Wrenshall sentenced on child porn charges
Worldwide endeavor brought man to justice
NEWARK, N.J. - John Wrenshall, 64, was sentenced to 300 months in prison for inviting men to travel from around the world to his home in Thailand in order to sexually abuse young boys. The investigation was conducted by special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Peter T. Edge, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Newark stated: "Criminals who prey on children are committing unspeakable acts, causing irreparable harm and robbing the innocent of their innocence. HSI will track down these criminals, wherever they think they can hide, arrest them and bring them to justice."
Wrenshall, a Canadian citizen, admitted that from at least as early as January 2000, he arranged trips to his home during which U.S. citizens and others paid him to engage in anal sex, oral sex, and other sexual acts with Thai boys, some as young as four years old. Wrenshall's customers were allowed to videotape and photograph their abuse. Wrenshall also personally victimized the boys in order to "train" them for his paying customers.
Wrenshall was indicted by a federal grand jury in New Jersey in August 2008 after authorities learned that Wayne Nelson Corliss had traveled to Wrenshall's home to engage in illegal sexual acts with minor boys. Wrenshall was arrested at London's Heathrow Airport in December 2008 by London's Metropolitan Police, with HSI agents, and was extradited to the United States in July 2009 to face the New Jersey indictment.
Corliss, formerly of Union City, New Jersey, was the first of Wrenshall's clients identified by law enforcement officers. In May 2008, Interpol released a sanitized photograph of a man sexually abusing young Thai boys to media outlets in the United States and abroad, and made a global appeal for information that could identify the offender depicted in the photo. Within 48 hours, and acting on information obtained from individuals who recognized the offender as Corliss, ICE, coordinating with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey and the Department of Justice's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), located and arrested Corliss in Union City, N.J.
When HSI agents seized Corliss' three computers they found over 1,000 images, many of which contained photos of Corliss engaged in sexual activity with minors.
The release of Corliss' photo represented only the second time that Interpol has made such a public appeal to identify a suspected child predator. Interpol and ICE are partners in the Virtual Global Task Force, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies committed to joint, international enforcement efforts designed to keep children safe from sexual predators around the world.
Three of Wrenshall's U.S. clients - Corliss, Burgess Lee Burgess, and Mitchell Kent Jackson - have already pleaded guilty and have been sentenced on sex tourism and related charges. Corliss received 20 years in prison; and both Burgess and Jackson each were sentenced to 78 months in prison.
In addition to the prison term, Wrenshall was sentenced to three years of supervised release, referring to Wrenshall as a, "repeat, dangerous sexual offender."
ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE . This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators. Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com
California man sentenced to 17 years in prison for engaging in a child exploitation enterprise
Homeland Security Investigations, Pittsburgh, identified global Internet ring
PITTSBURGH - Stephen Sims of Palm Springs, Calif., was sentenced today by Senior U.S. District Court Judge Gustave Diamond in the Western District of Pennsylvania to 17 years in prison for engaging in a child exploitation enterprise. This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Pittsburgh and the High Technology Investigative Unit of the Department of Justice Criminal Division, Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS).
The sentence was announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania David J. Hickton and John Kelleghan, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Phildelphia.
Sims, 57, pleaded guilty to one count of engaging in a child exploitation enterprise before U.S. District Court Judge Arthur A. Schwab on July 13, 2010. According to court documents and proceedings, Sims and others distributed images and videos of children being sexually abused to other members of an international group that had restricted membership and was formed on a social networking website. Members of the group distributed to one another thousands of sexually explicit images and videos of children, many of which graphically depicted prepubescent, male children, including some infants, being sexually abused and sometimes sodomized or subjected to bondage.
"Sims and others distributed thousands of images and videos of children, including infants, being sexually abused around the world in an exclusive online forum that the users thought was hidden from justice. They were wrong," said Special Agent in Charge Kelleghan. "An HSI operation identified them, arrested them and brought them to justice. HSI will continue to protect children and the pursuit of those who would use them for sexual gratification."
HSI's involvement in this investigation is part of the agency's initiative known as Operation Predator, an ongoing enforcement effort targeting those who prey upon and sexually exploit our nation's children - including Internet pornographers, international sex tourists, and foreign national sexual predators.
ICE encourages the reporting of suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE . This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators. Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an ICE partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or: http://www.cybertipline.com
For more information in HSI's predator investigations, go to: www.ICE.gov
Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig W. Haller and CEOS Trial Attorney Andrew McCormack prosecuted the case.
Two groups plan to train airline employees on how to spot potential
human traffickers traveling to Dallas for the Super Bowl.
Airline Crews to Ground Sex Traffickers Heading to Super Bowl
January 30, 2011
DALLAS -- Sex traffickers who plan to come to Dallas to conduct business during the Super Bowl weekend might find themselves grounded if they travel by plane.
Employees from at least five airlines will attend a special training session this week to learn how to get better at recognizing sex traffickers among travelers and learn what security measures to take.
"We want to become especially vigilant during the week before the Super Bowl," said Nancy Rivard, executive director of Airline Ambassadors, a humanitarian group of flight attendants that has aided victims of sex trafficking internationally.
The group will conduct the training in conjunction with representatives of Traffick 911, a local Christian group that launched "I'm Not Buying It," a national public awareness campaign to combat human trafficking. The training will be held at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport on Monday, six days before the NFL championship game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers.
Rivard says this is the first time that flight staff will receive training about how to handle human trafficking.
Hundreds of sex workers are expected to come to the area for Super Bowl XLV, and flight crews are often the first line of defense for women and young girls who are victims of sex traffickers, she said.
"We don't want to profile anyone, but we will be feeding information to security if anything looks suspicious," Rivard said.
Employees who work for American, American-Eagle, United, Quantas and Delta have already signed up for the training, which is not mandatory, Rivard said. The cutoff is 75, and more than 50 had already signed up last week.
Corey Aungst, a United flight attendant, is flying in from Pennsylvania to attend the training.
"We have guidelines for everything -- from an airplane ditching to how to help a choking victim," Aungst said. "It seems antiquated to not have a policy or procedure in place for a trafficked human being."
Aungst suspects that he has missed several incidents of trafficking during six years at United, but he didn't know what to look for. He remembers a flight from Mexico City two years ago where he suspected that a young girl was being illegally transported to the U.S by a man who claimed to be her father.
"The girl was very submissive," Aungst said. "Usually children who are with their parents are more involved and comfortable with them."
He said that he expressed his concerns to his co-workers, but they didn't know what to do and feared they would upset the parent if they intervened and their suspicions were wrong. He says he doesn't know what happened to the girl.
Women and children who are victims of trafficking are usually submissive and not allowed to speak for themselves; and the man traveling with them usually has control of their identification, according to Rivard. Airline staff members who attend the training will learn about the psychological techniques that traffickers use to control their victims. They will also learn what to do if they encounter a trafficking situation. She said they should never personally intervene.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott predicts that hundreds of sex workers will flow into the Dallas area during Super Bowl, and he has assigned two dozen of his staff to assist local police in efforts to minimize prostitution, The Dallas Morning News reported.
Traffick 911 has also planned rallies, distributed literature to residents and offered volunteer services to police in their efforts to curtail the activities of sex workers and possibly rescue some of the victims during the Super Bowl weekend.
Child pornography is worse than you think; victims get younger, violence increases
by TRESA BALDAS Detroit Free Press Staff Writer
January 31, 2011
Child pornography isn't just more pervasive, it's getting even uglier.
Federal prosecutors in Detroit say they have witnessed the disturbing trend with the kids getting younger -- toddlers and infants as young as 6 months old -- turning up in photos and videos.
And the assaults are getting worse. It's not just still images of children in the nude, they say.
"There's a misconception in the public arena that these are mainly still images of children without clothes on. Well, the truth is that the majority of the pictures that are traded among these guys almost inevitably involve a child being either raped, or being forced to perform some type of sexual act on an adult or child," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Mulcahy, chief of the general crimes unit in the U.S. Attorney's Office in Detroit.
Bestiality images also are surfacing.
"It's really horrific," he said.
Child porn lovers live in your neighborhood
They aren't just creepy loners.
Crouched on a bench in the federal courthouse in Detroit almost every week, seemingly normal people -- doctors, coaches, authors, engineers, teens -- are charged with possessing and making child porn, a $3-billion-a-year industry that the federal government has labeled the new silent child abuse.
Outed by their Internet activities, the accused stand before a judge, heads usually hung low, while their families sit in the back of the courtroom aghast at the accusations. And there typically is no criminal history to point to.
"There's this notion that it's the creepy neighbor who lives in the basement of his parent's house and downloads this stuff," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Mulcahy, chief of the general crimes unit for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Detroit.
Far from it, he said.
There's another misconception about child porn, he added.
"It's not an eastern European problem, or southeast Asian problem. Half of the child porn traded in this country is made in this country," he said.
100,000 Web sites
Currently, there are an estimated 100,000 known child porn Web sites, according to Brigham Young University Women's Services, which also reports that child porn generates $3 billion annually, accounting for one-quarter of the $12-billion U.S. porn industry.
Fueled by the secret nature of the Internet, child porn has increased to the point where the federal government can't keep track of it all. The Justice Department conceded in a report issued in August that the growth of child porn is outpacing efforts to combat it.
"Tragically, the only place we've seen a decrease is in the age of victims," U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said in August, following the release of the report, which promised to hire 38 prosecutors especially for child porn cases.
The Justice Department report says complaints of online enticement of children have more than tripled from 2004 to 2008, and complaints of child prostitution rose tenfold. Since 2006, more than 8,600 people have been prosecuted at the federal level on child porn charges.
Equally troubling, authorities said, is that not only are the kids getting younger, but the images are getting more graphic and violent. Children can be heard crying in some videos, they said.
What's driving this trend?
Some legal and psychological experts think it's the addictive nature of porn and its explosion on the Internet. The more users see, they say, the more they want.
"Normal sex acts don't excite them anymore," said Patrick Trueman, a former chief of the Justice Department's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section. "Now you're seeing the really extreme stuff, because once you've been through the still shots, that's not good enough."
Using social networking
In Michigan, a cyber crimes unit with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) of the Department of Homeland Security has spotted another disturbing trend in recent months: Some people are using social networking to meet other child molesters. They're using peer-to-peer networks to molest kids in unison, with a remote audience participating.
For example, ICE agents arrested a 52-year-old Pinckney father last month for allegedly posing his three minor children in a sexually explicit manner during video chat sessions with a man in Texas. The other man did the same with his children. Both men have been charged. The Free Press is not releasing the name of the Michigan father to protect the identity of his children, ages 9, 8 and 5, according to court records.
Then there's the case of Steven Demink, a Redford man a federal magistrate referred to as "a cyber predator of the worst kind."
Demink, 41, is accused of manipulating women in three states into molesting their children and letting him view the sex acts via webcam or photographs, according to court records. He has until Feb. 18 to plea, or face trial Feb. 28.
"This is the dark side of the Internet," said Brian Moskowitz, special agent in charge of ICE investigations in Michigan and Ohio. "There have always been people with a deviant sexual interest in children. It's now easier for them to do what they do."
And they're getting better at covering their tracks, said Moskowitz, who pointed out that today's child pornographer is computer savvy, some changing URLs every few days to throw the feds off track.
Meanwhile, the agents are bringing prosecutors the goods.
In the Eastern District of Michigan, federal prosecutors in 2010 prosecuted 43 child porn cases -- almost one a week -- including 35 guilty pleas. They did not have figures for past years, but said that there has been a significant increase.
"It's far more serious, and the abuse and the suffering that these kids go through is incredible," Mulcahy said.
The court docket, he noted, speaks for itself.
Take for example, John Belloli, 50, of Dearborn Heights, who is facing up to 35 years in prison for drugging a 7-year-old before engaging in sexual acts with the child and taking pictures of the acts. Belloli pleaded guilty in November.
In central Michigan, Dr. Craig Tubbs, 50, is facing 46 to 57 months in prison for possessing child porn. He is to be sentenced Feb. 14.
Tough cases to defend
Defense attorneys are bombarded with requests to take on these cases, which are considered taboo among lawyers.
Raymond Cassar, a criminal defense lawyer from Farmington Hills, currently has five child pornography cases, compared to his usual one a year. No doubt, it's the Internet that's driving the child porn trend, he said.
"People are under the impression that because they're viewing it in their home, they're not committing a crime," Cassar said.
Admittedly, the cases can be tough for the defense, he said. Cassar represents Belloli, whose case has been dubbed among the worst by the government, he said, noting the victim and her whereabouts are known.
"There is a living and breathing human being behind the case," Cassar said. Often, he said, the evidence consists only of a photograph or a video.
"In this case, the government says, 'Wait a minute, we have a live victim, and this is something that may haunt her for the rest of her life.' "
And that kind of evidence can be hard for a defendant to overcome, and a jury to forget.
Officials end search along Skyline Boulevard in Kyron Horman case
January 30, 2011
by The Oregonian
About 50 searchers and seven cadaver-detecting dogs scoured the rural areas north and west of Portland on Sunday, but found nothing of interest pertaining to the search for missing grade-schooler Kyron Horman.
Their search focused on several parcels of private property, mostly logging land, along Northwest Skyline Boulevard -- between Rocky Point Road and Logie Road -- and around the Dixie Mountain area.
The search began about 10 a.m.; all efforts concluded by dusk.
Kyron Horman has been missing since June 4, when he was last seen at Skyline Elementary School in rural northwest Multnomah County.
Paroled sex offender gets 5 years for molesting girl on bus in Orange County, CA
January 28, 2011
A paroled sex offender was sentenced Friday to five years in prison for molesting a 14-year-old girl as she rode on a public bus with friends, according to the Orange County district attorney's office.
James Edward Norkin, 50, had earlier pleaded guilty to three felony counts of lewd acts on a child.
On parole and wearing a GPS tracking device, Norkin boarded a bus in Laguna Beach and, pretending to be asleep, began touching the 14-year-old girl, authorities said.
One of the girls asked him to stop, and he quickly got off the bus. The girl's friend then told the bus driver what had happened.
Norkin was linked to the incident through his GPS device.
Marine is brought back from Afghanistan to face child pornography charges
January 28, 2011
A Marine accused of possessing child pornography while in Afghanistan was arraigned Friday in San Diego federal court.
Staff Sgt. Corey H. McAdoo, 31, is charged with two counts of possession of child pornography. He was brought back to the U.S. from Afghanistan to face charges after an investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.
McAdoo was flown from Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan to Camp Pendleton earlier this week and was arrested by the FBI.
The criminal complaint alleges that McAdoo received child pornography videos sent to him in Afghanistan by a girlfriend in Portland, Ore. Inez Lambert, 24, is facing child pornography charges in Portland as part of the investigation, officials said.
McAdoo remains in the federal lockup in downtown San Diego. He will be sent to Portland for trial.
A Portland television station, KOIN-TV, has reported that Lambert molested a 1-year-old child and sent videos of the act to McAdoo and that, in some cases, McAdoo was able to watch the molestation as it occurred over Skype. Lambert is being held on $5 million bail.
The case came to the attention of authorities when a friend of Lambert reported it to child welfare officials in Portland, the station reported.
Kidnapper's car found in canal
Divers find no trace of Jose Esteban Rodriguez or 4-year-old Juliani Cardenas, who was pulled away from his grandmother.
by Diana Marcum, Special to the Los Angeles Times
January 29, 2011
Reporting from Fresno
Divers searching the Delta-Mendota Canal on Friday found the car used by a kidnapper who grabbed a 4-year-old boy from his grandmother's arms. The bodies were not in the vehicle.
All evidence, from tire tracks to an eyewitness, had indicated that the silver Toyota of kidnapper Jose Esteban Rodriguez was in the canal. A farmworker who saw the car go into the canal told police it was airborne and that two people — one much smaller than the other — were inside. Detectives had been careful to not extend hope.
Nevertheless, the small town of Patterson had fervently cast about for a different explanation. Juliani Cardenas' mother, Tabitha Cardenas, said she knew her son was not in the canal. At nightly candlelight vigils, people prayed that Juliani would be returned.
"We're saddened that we found the car, even though we knew we would," Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson told reporters Friday.
Christianson said a search of the canal would probably resume Monday, this time looking for the bodies. The car was found lodged in a siphon where the canal drops to a tunnel beneath a creek. Both front windows were rolled down.
On Jan. 18, Rodriguez rushed Amparo Cardenas, knocking her over and grabbing Juliani from her arms.
Rodriguez, the ex-boyfriend of Tabitha Cardenas, who is 8 months pregnant with his child, was not Juliani's biological father, although the boy had once called him Daddy. Juliani was crying as Rodriguez ran away with him, according to authorities. Police said Rodriguez has a record of domestic abuse and manslaughter.
Forty-five minutes later, the farmworker saw a car go into the canal.
That stretch of the canal is a notorious dumping spot. Recovery teams pulled up 13 other vehicles, most of them stolen, before finding the car they were looking for.
On Friday, authorities lowered the water level 10 feet to calm the canal and improve operating conditions for sonar equipment. Even with the water lowered, it was dangerous for divers to be near the siphon.
They located the car in the morning and workers pulled it out in the evening.
Amparo Cardenas, the grandmother, waits tables at Damasco Fine Foods and Spirits, a main hub in town that holds Rotary Club meetings.
"Everyone in Patterson knows her. She's hardworking and sweet and loves everybody," restaurant owner Steve Ceron said.
"She really loved that little boy. She took care of him all the time and always talked abut him. The whole town is just silent today. When it's this sad, there's nothing to say."
Georgia Man Sentenced to Life in Prison for Child Sex Abuse Offenses
WASHINGTON - Dwain D. Williams, 37, was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge W. Louis Sands to life in prison for child sex abuse offenses, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Michael J. Moore of the Middle District of Georgia.
Williams, of Pelham, Ga., was convicted on Aug. 19, 2010, by a federal jury in Valdosta, Ga., of one count of traveling in foreign commerce and engaging in illicit sexual conduct, one count of aggravated sexual abuse and one count of abusive sexual contact of a child under 12 years of age. The aggravated sexual abuse and the abusive sexual contact charges were committed while Williams was accompanying a member of the Armed Forces outside of the United States in violation of the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act (MEJA).
At trial, the female victim testified that Williams had repeatedly raped her starting from when she was nine years old until she was 13.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Leah McEwen of the Middle District of Georgia and Trial Attorney Mi Yung Park of the Criminal Division's CEOS. The case was investigated by the FBI and the Office of Special Investigations for Moody Air Force.
Venianin Gonikman |
ICE most wanted fugitive arrested at JFK on human trafficking charges
Extorted more than $1 million in earnings from victims
DETROIT - Special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) arrested today one of ICE's top ten fugitives at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.
Veniamin Gonikman, 55, was charged in Detroit in 2005 in a 22-count indictment with trafficking in persons, forced labor, alien smuggling, money laundering, extortion collection and conspiracy, among other charges. He absconded from the United States before being formally charged.
Gonikman, a U.S. citizen, was arrested in Ukraine yesterday, before being deported to the United States. HSI special agents assigned to ICE's attaché office in Germany coordinated Gonikman's arrest and deportation with Ukrainian officials.
According to court records, he came to the attention of HSI special agents in Detroit in 2005 when one of his victims escaped and agents later confirmed he was operating a company called "Beauty Search, Inc.," in metro Detroit.
The indictment alleges that Gonikman, along with his co-conspirators, formed and operated Beauty Search as a corporate cover for a human trafficking operation which smuggled and harbored Eastern European women in the United States. The women were exploited and abused by forcing them - through threats, coercion and isolation - to work as exotic dancers for the economic benefit of the Beauty Search partners.
The women primarily staffed strip clubs in Detroit, where it is alleged they were forced to work 12 hours a day and have all of the proceeds extorted by Gonikman and his associates. The indictment and other court papers allege that the women gave the co-conspirators more than $1 million of their earnings.
In an effort to highlight the global threat of human trafficking, one of the conspiracy's victims testified before the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary in 2007 about her treatment at the hands of the Beauty Search partners.
"They forced me to work six days a week for twelve hours a day," she said. "I could not refuse to go to work or I would be beaten. I had to hand over all of my money. I was often yelled at for not making enough money or had a gun put to my face. Every week I handed over around $3000 to $4000. I was their slave."
Gonikman will make an initial appearance tomorrow in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. He is scheduled to be extradited to the Eastern District of Michigan at a later date to face the current charges.
"This arrest is a potent example of ICE's unyielding resolve to bring human traffickers to justice," said ICE Director John Morton. "Victims in forced labor cases are particularly vulnerable targets who are lured with promises of employment and stable lives and then end up in abusive and deplorable situations."
Gonikman's associates including his son Aleksandr Maksimenko, Duay Joseph Jado, Evgeniy Prokopenko and Michail Aronovo were previously convicted and sentenced on similar charges. They are currently serving prison sentences ranging from seven to 14 years.
Three other defendants in this case were also convicted.
Gonikman, like all defendants, is presumed innocent until proven guilty. If convicted, he faces a maximum of 20 years in federal prison, plus potential fines and restitution.
ICE arrests 5 criminal sex offenders in the Rio Grande Valley
HARLINGEN, Texas - Five south Texas men, who were convicted of sexual offences against children, were arrested this week by officers with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) in an operation targeting convicted criminal aliens. The enforcement activity was conducted by ICE ERO Fugitive Operations and the Criminal Alien program units. The operation was designed to locate and arrest at-large criminal aliens with sex offense convictions.
"ICE takes a prioritized approach to immigration enforcement, focusing first on identifying and removing aliens who pose a danger to national security or a risk to public safety," said Michael J. Pitts, field office director of ICE ERO in San Antonio. "Our operation this week is yet another example of the critical role that targeted immigration enforcement plays in protecting our communities."
A top priority for the San Antonio Field Office is to first focus on identifying and removing aliens who a pose a danger to our national security or a risk to public safety," said Michael J. Pitts, field office director for ICE ERO in San Antonio. "This operation is yet another example of the critical role that targeted immigration enforcement plays in protecting our communities."
All five men are Mexican nationals who were administratively arrested for violating U.S. immigration laws. They are all being held in ICE custody pending immigration court proceedings or deportation. Following is a list of the convicted criminal aliens who were arrested by ICE officers and agents during the operation; they have been placed into deportation proceedings: (For privacy reasons, ICE does not release the names of aliens who have been administratively arrested.)
A 46 year old convicted of aggravated assault of a child and Indecency with a child by sexual contact;
- A 35 year of old convicted of Indecency of child by sexual contact;
- A 71 year old convicted of Indecency with a child by sexual contact;
- A 62 year old convicted of Indecency with a child by exposure; and
- A 24 year old convicted of sexual assault of a child.
ICE ERO places a high priority on combating illegal immigration, including targeting illegal aliens with criminal records who pose a threat to public safety.
This enforcement action was spearheaded by ICE's Fugitive Operations Program, which is responsible for locating, arresting and removing at-large criminal aliens and immigration fugitives. ICE's Fugitive Operations Teams (FOTs) give top priority to cases involving aliens who pose a threat to national security and public safety, including members of transnational street gangs and child sex offenders.
Largely as a result of these initiatives, ICE last year removed a record number of more than 392,800 aliens from the United States; of that number, more than 195,700 were aliens with criminal convictions.
ICE's Fugitive Operations Program is just one facet of the Department of Homeland Security's broader strategy to heighten the federal government's effectiveness at identifying and removing dangerous criminal aliens from the United States. Other initiatives that figure prominently in this effort are the Criminal Alien Program, Secure Communities and the agency's partnerships with state and local law enforcement agencies under 287(g).
Human Traffickers Indicted
Massive Case Involves 600 Thai Victims
It seemed pretty straightforward: labor recruiters in Thailand approached impoverished rural farm workers—who made around $1,000 (U.S.) annually—and offered jobs on American farms for higher pay.
Many, hoping to provide a better life for their families, accepted the offer, which was made through an American company called Global Horizons, in the business of recruiting foreign workers to work in the U.S. agricultural industry. But once in the U.S., the Thai workers soon discovered a harsh reality: they worked for little or no pay, and they were held in place with threats and intimidation.
Eventually, their plight became known to law enforcement, and earlier this month, after a multiagency investigation, two additional defendants—accused of being part of the scheme to hold 600 Thai nationals in forced agricultural labor—were indicted in federal court in Honolulu. They joined six individuals who had been indicted last fall.
Among those indicted? The CEO of Global Horizons, several Global employees, and two Thai labor recruiters.
The latest indictment alleges a conspiracy among those indicted that began in 2001 and ran until 2007.
How the scheme worked.
Thai recruiters allegedly met with rural farm workers, promising them good salaries, lots of hours, decent housing, and an employment contract that guaranteed work for up to three years. All the workers had to do was sign the contract…and pay a “recruitment fee.”
The recruitment fees were substantial…anywhere between $9,500 and $21,000. And even though they were given the option of paying a portion of the fee upfront and the rest while working in the U.S., the workers still had to borrow money to pay the smaller amount and up their family's land as collateral.
Meanwhile, back in the U.S., Global Horizons was soliciting client growers—at various agricultural conferences and through mailings—with offers to supply foreign agricultural workers.
Conditions were tough.
According to the indictment, once in the U.S., workers found that the work was not as plentiful as they had been led to believe, the hours not as long, and the pay not as good (that is, when they were paid at all).
While working on farms in places like Hawaii and in several other parts of the country, they sometimes lived under brutal circumstances: at one place, workers were crammed into a large shipping container, with no indoor plumbing or air conditioning. Guards were sometimes hired to make sure no one escaped the living quarters. And workers sometimes witnessed threats of violence or experienced it first-hand.
They were made to feel as though they had no way out: workers' passports had been confiscated upon their arrival and they were told if they escaped, they would be arrested and sent back to Thailand, with no way to repay their debts and possibly leaving their families destitute.
Human trafficking investigations like these are—and will continue to be—a priority under the FBI's Civil Rights Program . During fiscal year 2010 alone, we opened 126 human trafficking investigations and made 115 arrests, with the assistance of our law enforcement partners often working together on task forces and working groups.
But perhaps more gratifying, we were able to completely dismantle 12 human trafficking organizations. And resulting prosecutions led to $2.7 million in fines and restitution for the victims of human trafficking.
Amy Henslee Left Home On Her Own Wish? - UPDATED
Friday, January 28, 2011
by Meena Kar
(THAINDIAN NEWS) The police have reported that the Michigan based woman, Amy Henslee, who went missing on Monday morning, left her home on her own wish, and there is no apparent fowl play involved in it. Lt. Bill Lux of Van Buren County Police Department believes that the thirty year old mom of two children is still alive, and someone should be knowing about her whereabouts right now.
On Monday at about 7:00 a.m, Amy Henslee left for work after kissing her husband, James Henslee, good bye. Their children had already left for school by then. Soon he found that she has left her purse at home and she went to the office without her car. That left him quite worried, and he kept her calling her from 10:00 a.m. However, she never answered his call.
James Henslee however left for his office after some time.
When he returned in the evening, he found that the door of his home was still locked and Amy Henslee was still missing. After ringing a few of her friends and family, to no avail, he finally called up the police, late in the evening on Monday, to state that his wife is missing. According to the reports of James Henslee, his wife was the kind of person who would not even dare to open the door if she did not knew the person properly. She also avoided taking long walks on the streets alone. On that note, her going missing was no less than a bolt from the blue.
Lt. Bill Lux said that they expect someone must have accompanied Amy Henslee, if she left her home on her own wish and the person should be someone whom she trusted blindly. However, the police also scrutinized the home properly, to find no evidences to prove that she went missing from her home itself.
Here's an UPDATE:
Missing mom, 2nd woman found buried in Van Buren County
January 28, 2011
PAW PAW -- Authorities say the bodies of two women who were apparently shot to death, including a mother missing since earlier this week, have been found buried in southwest Michigan.
Van Buren County Prosecutor Juris Kaps tells reporters at a news conference Friday that the bodies of 30-year-old Amy Henslee and a 36-year-old woman were found in Bangor Township, about 60 miles southwest of Grand Rapids.
Kaps says a cousin of Henslee's husband is being held and is expected to face murder charges.
Body identified as Texas baby sitter, 15
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NANCY GRACE Show
by the CNN Wire Staff
January 27, 2011(CNN) -- A body found near Lubbock, Texas, has been identified as that of a baby sitter seen in a motel surveillance video with a longtime family friend charged in the case, authorities said Wednesday.
The medical examiner identified the remains found Monday about seven miles outside of the city as belonging to Elizabeth Ennen, 15. She had been strangled, Capt. Greg Stevens told CNN.
Stevens told reporters that Humberto Salinas Jr., 45, was being held on a $250,000 bond on an aggravated kidnapping charge. Police are talking with the district attorney about taking a murder charge to the grand jury, he said.
Elizabeth was reported missing after baby-sitting at a motel for Salinas, who was a friend of the Ennen family and the father of her boyfriend, police said. The girl did baby-sitting jobs several times for Salinas at the motel, where he lived, police said.
Stevens would not say whether Salinas was cooperating, but he indicated the remains were not found by chance or through a tip. Elizabeth was reported missing January 5, and Salinas was charged in the case on Friday.
A relative of Salinas declined comment when contacted by CNN Wednesday.
Stevens defended the time it took to conduct the investigation and arrest Salinas, saying the suspect was a family friend who deceived the family and police on the girl's whereabouts. But police believe Elizabeth was dead by the time they got a report that she was missing, Stevens said.
"They [the family] trusted this guy to speak ... to the officer," said the captain, who would not comment on a possible motive.
Lily Huckabee, Elizabeth's aunt, told HLN's Nancy Grace that the girl's mother, Virginia, "is holding on the best she can...."
Salinas was married and "always presented himself very respectful," said Huckabee, who described Elizabeth as loving, caring, shy and interested in music.
Police have a January 4 surveillance video of Elizabeth being taken from the Carriage House Inn, but they did not know of it when they began their investigation, Stevens told CNN. According to an arrest affidavit, the video shows Salinas holding the teen's arm and leaving the motel, he said.
"We believe he killed her while he was gone with her," Stevens said.
Salinas went to Elizabeth's home and talked with her mother early January 5, police said. He helped her file an initial report, the captain said.
According to that report, Salinas said he brought Elizabeth home from the motel and went back to get her purse. When he showed up at the house, the mother asked about her daughter's whereabouts. The suspect indicated Elizabeth might have left the neighborhood with his son, believed to be 18 or 19, Stevens said.
"He began misdirecting the investigation, leading it in the opposite direction of the truth," the officer said.
Police initially classified the case as a runaway, but within days learned the son had a solid alibi. They began looking at the elder Salinas, who initially gave another location for the baby-sitting, said Stevens, adding police for much of the investigation believed Elizabeth had disappeared from her home.
"We came around 180 degrees," said Stevens, adding an investigator suggested they check with the Carriage House Inn on possible video. Officers saw the video on the same day they arrested the suspect, police said.
Stevens defended his department from criticism on the time it took to make an arrest and find the body.
"These (type of cases) can often take years," he said.
A candlelight vigil in Elizabeth's memory is scheduled for Thursday night at Monterey High School, where she attended, CNN affiliate KCBD in Lubbock reported. Her funeral is Friday.
Diena Thompson, the mother of a girl found dead in a Georgia landfill, told HLN's Jane Velez-Mitchell she has issued financial assistance from the Somer Thompson Foundation to Elizabeth Ennen's mother.
Thompson's daughter, Somer, was taken from her Florida neighborhood in October 2009. The child was raped and killed and her body left under a pile of trash.
Are you missing a loved one? Share your story.
Philadelphia Man Admits Using the Internet to Entice Minors to Engage in Illicit Sexual Activity
David B. Fein, today announced that JASON BETENSKY, 27, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, formerly of Florida, pleaded guilty on Monday, January 24, before United States District Judge Christopher F. Droney in Hartford to one count of using the internet to entice a minor to engage in illicit sexual activity. As part of his guilty plea, BETENSKY admitted that he coerced, and then threatened, minors to send him sexually explicit images of themselves over the Internet.
“This defendant engaged in a lengthy, manipulative scheme during which he tricked many minor victims to send him sexually explicit images of themselves over the Internet,” stated U.S. Attorney Fein. “The federal penalties for this type of crime are appropriately severe. I want to thank the FBI and all the members of the Connecticut Computer Crimes Task Force for their efforts in bringing Mr. Betensky and other individuals who exploit children to justice. I also want to commend the Jupiter Police Department in Jupiter, Florida, for referring this serious matter to federal authorities.”
According to court documents and statements made in court, from approximately 2003 to 2007, BETENSKY was employed as a counselor at a summer camp in North Carolina. As a camp counselor, BETENSKY learned information about the campers, about their relationships with one another, and about what happened to them during the summer. When camp was not in session, BETENSKY learned additional information about the campers from social networking sites on the Internet and used the Internet to contact a number of the campers. When contacting the campers, BETENSKY posed as a young female, sometimes pretending to have met them at camp. BETENSKY used the information that he obtained to appear legitimate, including information about “mutual” friends and about events that took place at the camp.
After starting an online relationship with a camper, BETENSKY would persuade the camper to engage in sexually explicit conversations. BETENSKY also persuaded his victims to send him sexually explicit pictures and videos of themselves. BETENSKY reciprocated by sending pornographic pictures of unknown females that he obtained on the Internet. BETENSKY also recorded video feeds that were sent by the victims.
BETENSKY then used the pictures and recorded videos of a victim to pressure the victim if the victim attempted to end the online relationship with him. Specifically, BETENSKY threatened to send, and on occasion did send, copies of the pictures and videos to friends and family members of the victim.
Through this scheme, BETENSKY was able to coerce at least nine campers, all of whom he knew to be under the age of 18, to send him sexually explicit images and videos of themselves.
Judge Droney has scheduled sentencing for April 14, 2011, at which time BETENSKY faces a minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a maximum term of imprisonment of life.
BETENSKY was arrested on September 20, 2010. Following his arrest, BETENSKY was released into the custody of his parents on a bond in the amount of $75,000.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Connecticut Computer Crimes Task Force, which includes federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The Jupiter (Fl.) Police Department has assisted the investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Edward Chang.
The Connecticut Computer Crimes Task Force investigates crimes occurring over the Internet, including computer intrusion, Internet fraud, copyright violations, Internet threats and harassment and on-line crimes against children. The Task Force also provides computer forensic review services for participating agencies. The Task Force is housed in the main FBI office in New Haven, Connecticut. For more information about the Task Force, please contact the FBI at 203-777-6311.
U.S. Attorney Fein noted that this prosecution is part of the U.S. Department of Justice's Project Safe Childhood Initiative, which is aimed at protecting children from sexual abuse and exploitation. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
To report cases of child exploitation, please visit www.cybertipline.com.
Canal spotlighted by Amber Alert search is known as criminal dumping ground
by Hudson Sangree and Erin Tracy
For decades, a stretch of the Delta-Mendota Canal near Patterson has been a place of fatal car wrecks, suicides and accidental drownings.
Divers have pulled the bodies of homicide victims from its dark, fast-moving waters.
The canal is a major part of the state's water delivery system. Local officials know it as a dumping ground for stolen cars, hazardous materials and major appliances.
"I talked to people here, and they say, 'Yeah, if you want to hide something, dump it in the canal,' '' said Patterson Mayor Luis Molina. Patterson is about 90 miles south of Sacramento.
Over the weekend, the Delta-Mendota was the focal point of an intensive search for 4-year-old Juliani Cardenas and his alleged kidnapper, Jose Esteban Rodriguez.
A farmworker told authorities he saw a car matching Rodriguez's vehicle, with a man and a boy in it, plunge into the canal Tuesday, soon after Rodriguez, 27, allegedly snatched Juliani from his grandmother's arms.
Fresh tire tracks and other evidence support the farmworker's story, sheriff's officials say, and there has been no trace of Juliani or Rodriguez since Tuesday.
Juliani's mother, Tabitha Cardenas, continues to insist her son is not in the canal, and that her ex-boyfriend, Rodriguez, would not hurt him.
Five cars and trucks pulled from the canal in recent days have been stolen vehicles, none of them Rodriguez's silver Toyota Corolla. A statewide Amber Alert has been scaled back to just the region.
Authorities say they still hope to find the boy alive, but the evidence points elsewhere.
"We want to bring little Juliani home to his family," said Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson on Sunday. "The reality is, all the evidence we've developed so far points to the canal."
After bringing out the fifth car Saturday, authorities called at least a two-day break to give exhausted searchers a rest. They intend to resume searching the canal this week with a drag line and divers.
The divers have had plenty of practice.
Over the years they've retrieved human remains and dozens of vehicles from the canal's murky depths.
In July 2008, two vehicles crashed on a frontage road and plunged into the canal. The crash killed six farmworkers riding in a sport-utility vehicle and the driver of a truck that collided with the SUV.
The body of a 14-year-old Newman girl was pulled from the canal near Patterson in April 2003 after she apparently drowned herself. Her parents argued that antidepressants led to her death.
In June 2002, the severed legs of a San Jose man washed up 12 miles apart in the canal, one in Stanislaus County and the other in San Joaquin
The man, 27-year-old Tony Jenkins, had been missing for more than five months after leaving his home for what he said would be a short errand.
Volunteers and dive teams searched for Laci Peterson in the Delta-Mendota after she disappeared in December 2002. Her husband, Scott Peterson, was later convicted of her killing. Her body washed ashore in San Francisco Bay.
Several fishermen have slipped into the canal and drowned, one after being clubbed on the head at his favorite fishing spot in 1994.
Add to that the hundreds of vehicles, stolen and otherwise, that have been discovered by divers or on the rare occasions when the waterway is drained.
Local news accounts say a helicopter once was found in the canal, along with motorcycles, refrigerators and barrels of toxic solvents.
The canal is a river encased in concrete. The water is deep -- about 20 to 25 feet in many places -- and visibility is near zero, hiding much that sinks beneath the surface.
There are few fences or gates along the canal. Public roadways lead right up to it, and frontage roads traverse its length on both its east and west banks.
Patterson Mayor Molina says the lack of security and ease of accessibility make it an attractive place for disposal.
"People can go there in the middle of the night and dump something, and it's submerged pretty quickly," he said.
Molina said he understood that the last time the canal was emptied in the mid- 1990s, 200 cars and 11 bodies were discovered.
Sheriff Christianson chalked it up to a "lack of respect for the canal. People just use it as a dumping ground," he said.
He said his divers regularly practice there, knowing they will likely find vehicles and other objects.
During one training exercise about five years ago, divers discovered two cars. One contained an apparent suicide victim; the other a murder victim from the Bay Area, officials said.
The canal, Christianson said, is "not human-friendly."
"There's an enormous amount of water moving rapidly," he said. "It's a hazardous diving situation."
Canal operators have slowed down the flow to allow his divers to search for Juliani, he said.
Five times since Wednesday, dive teams have plunged into the water and attached a hook to a submerged vehicle they could not see.
A large tow truck has winched the vehicles skyward.
Each time, silence has descended on the crowd of rescuers, onlookers and reporters gathered at the search site.
As the cars and trucks emerged from the water, and it became apparent they weren't Rodriguez's silver Corolla, those at the scene reacted with a mix of disappointment, frustration and relief.
Sheriff's spokesman Deputy Royjindar Singh said the past days have been an emotional roller coaster, with the canal and its hidden detritus repeatedly hindering their efforts. "We have a car. We're anticipating this could be it -- but it's not, it's a stolen car," he said. "This has happened not once or twice, but five times.
"It's emotionally draining," he said. ''I can't imagine how the family is handling it."
Raymond Moore, Jr.
Raymond Moore, Sr.
Ark. State Police Issue Amber Alert For 8-Month-Old Boy
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansas State Police in Little Rock have issued a Morgan Nick Amber Alert for Raymond Moore, Jr.
Moore is an 8-month-old black male. He has short brown curly hair and brown eyes.
Moore was last seen wearing blue jeans, a brown shirt with orange and white stripes and brown shoes.
Police said the child's father, Raymond Moore, Sr., took him at gunpoint Monday night in Little Rock.
Police said Moore, Sr. is 5 feet, 11 inches tall and weighs 200 pounds. He was last seen wearing blue jeans, a white T-shirt and a black hoodie.
He might be wearing a wig.
Police said Moore, Sr. has an active murder warrant out of the Little Rock Police Department.
Sheriff's deputies: Statewide amber alert called off
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Sheriff's deputies in the north valley have called off a statewide amber alert for a young boy kidnapped four days ago.
The victim is 4-year-old Juliani Cardenas. Investigators say his mother's ex-boyfriend took him from his home in Patterson.
Authorities have focused their search on a nearby canal after a witness reported seeing a vehicle matching the description of the alleged kidnapper go into the water.
Officers from the Merced county sheriff's department again assisted in the search today using special equipment that can see under the murky water.
"It's sonar technology, it's soundwaves that are sent out and then received by the unit, that's interpreted into a picture that we can see, a dimensional picture with shadows and shapes," Cdr. James Buttrey said.
The Merced county sheriff's department announced tonight they would suspend their search for the car in the canal until early next week.
And even though the statewide amber alert was called off investigators are still searching for 27-year-old Jose Rodriguez.
The search has now narrowed to the valley and San Jose areas.
Rodriguez is described as 5'9", 180-pounds with black hair and brown eyes.
He was last seen wearing a white and black shirt, checkered shorts and a beanie.
He drove a silver Toyota Corolla. California license plate 6HBW445.
If you see this car or know where Rodriguez might be, you are urged to call 911 immediately.
Amber Alert Issued For 9-Year-Old Reno Boy
Boy's Non-Custodial Mother Suspected Abductor
January 22, 2011
RENO, Nev. -- On Saturday evening, the Reno Police Department issued an Amber Alert for a boy who they say was taken late Saturday afternoon.
Police said that Dominic Emerson, 9, is believed to have been abducted from 2075 Longley Lane in Reno by Stacy Leann Small, also known as Stacy Emerson, 36, who is the boy's non-custodial mother.
The two were last seen traveling west on Interstate 80 at Wells Avenue, according to the Reno police.
Dominic Emerson is a white boy, 4 feet 10 inches tall and weighing 70 pounds. He has brown, curly hair and was last seen wearing a black shirt with a graphic design and dark jeans.
Reno police said that Stacy Emerson/Leann Small is a white woman, 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighing 260 pounds. She has brown hair and blue eyes and was last seen wearing a black sweater with a coat, dark blouse and black jeans. She was driving a black 1995 Jeep Cherokee with the Nevada license plate 435WAN.
Dominic Emerson and two siblings are court-ordered wards of the state. According to Reno police, Stacy Emerson/Leann Small has been described as “mentally unstable” and tried to take two of her children during a supervised visit this afternoon. She was able to grab the 9-year-old victim and flee the area.
If you have any information on the whereabouts of these two people, please contact Sgt. Rick Bjelke at 775-745-0754 , the Reno Police Department at 775-334-2121 or 775-334-2115 , or the Secret Witness hotline at 775-322-4900 .
( slide show on site )
Hailey Dunn billboards reminder of missing teen
by Mark Dunn, The Record Newspapers
January 22, 2011
Billboards for missing Texas teenager Hailey Darlene Dunn have reached as far as Orange and Jefferson Counties in Southeast Texas near the Louisiana border on Interstate 10. The Colorado City Middle School cheerleader was reported missing on Dec. 28. Family members and residents of the small Texas community 70 miles west of Abilene are holding on to the hope that Hailey will still be found alive.
After 27 days and exhaustive searches by law enforcement and volunteers, what happened to Hailey Dunn is still a mystery. No statewide Amber Alert has been issued because the case has not met the criteria for issuing such an alert.
Hailey is 5'1, 120 pounds, has hazel eyes, and brown hair with blond streaks. When she disappeared, she was wearing navy blue sweat pants, a light-colored short sleeve T-shirt, and pink and white tennis shoes.
The billboard on Hwy. 73 in Groves shows Hailey's photo in her cheerleader uniform with the offer of a $10,000 reward for information in the case. The billboards are now throughout much of the state in the hope that someone will see the missing Texas eighth grader.
Shawn Adkins, 25, the former live-in boyfriend of Hailey's mother, Billie Jean Dunn, told investigators that he last saw Hailey on the afternoon of Dec. 27. Adkins claims the girl told him she was going to her father's house and then over to a friend's to spend the night. When it was discovered that she was not at either location her mother reported her missing.
Adkins has been named as a suspect by law enforcement. Billie Jean Dunn, said she asked Adkins to move out Jan. 5, nine days after she reported her daughter missing.
The home of Hailey's father, Clint Dunn, is a short walk across a vacant field where she visited daily and had spent Christmas and much of the day after before returning home. Friends and strangers have reached out to Dunn to donate flyers and funds to help find Hailey.
In the weeks that have followed since Hailey's disappearance the case has gone from a missing person case to a criminal investigation. “This is predominantly a criminal investigation,” said Pete Kampfer, city manager in Colorado City and the liaison between law enforcement and the news media. After hundreds of leads, however, there is still no sign of the missing teenager.
The disappearance of Hailey Dunn set off a multicounty search involving 12 law enforcement agencies including the FBI and Texas Rangers. Search groups have scoured rural Mitchell and Scurry Counties and areas north to the town of Dunn. Cadaver dogs were used this week to search area landfills and new search efforts were organized by the Klaas Kids Foundation out of California and the Friendswood-based Laura Recovery Center for Missing Children.
Billie Jean Dunn has made numerous appearances on HLN “Nancy Grace." She continued to conduct interviews with the local media even amid suspicion that she was involved. She and Adkins both failed polygraph tests and affidavits described drug use and other suspicious behavior. Billie Jean Dunn, however, has maintained her innocence and answered the accusations against her in the press.
Although Adkins has hired an attorney, Dunn repeatedly has said she has not hired legal counsel and continues to urge the police and the media to keep Hailey's photo before the public.
Investigators have been tight-lipped about evidence and developments in the case.
Prayer vigils were held Friday in Colorado City. Another of several vigils that have been held in the community since Hailey disappeared. On Saturday the search effort again concentrated in Scurry County, although areas along the Interstate 20 frontage road near the Wallace Prison Unit in Colorado City also were covered.
State officials refused to issue the Amber Alert, Colorado City officials say, because there is no physical evidence to show that Hailey has been abducted or that she is facing physical harm. The billboards were donated by Lamar Advertising.
Anyone with information regarding Hailey's whereabouts is urged to call the Colorado City Police Department at 325-728-5294 or 325-728-3161 .
Ann Pettway, woman who kidnapped and raised Carlina White, is on the run - UPDATED
by Alison Gendar, Barry Paddock and Larry Mcshane
New York Daily News
January 22, 2011
As police hunted Friday for the woman who spent 23 years raising a kidnapped baby, the girl's real father said his daughter was fed a series of heart-rending lies while growing up.
The still-missing Ann Pettway told Carlina White that "her mother had died, that her father was in jail and that she was put up for adoption," dad Carl Tyson told the Daily News.
City and federal authorities want to question Pettway, 49, after DNA tests showed that Tyson and Joy White were Carlina's parents.
"They think it was Ann who took the baby," Tyson said after speaking with police. "I really want just two minutes with Ann Pettway. If she was in front of me, I would ask her, 'Why? Why? Why?'"
Cops issued an arrest warrant for Pettway, raising the stakes for the woman who claimed Carlina was her daughter. Pettway, who has not been charged in the shocking kidnapping case, is suspected of violating probation stemming from an unrelated conviction.
"She is willfully fleeing supervision," said Pam Walker of the North Carolina Department of Corrections.
Pettway was on probation because of a conviction for attempted embezzlement and is not allowed to leave North Carolina. She's been busted on a handful of petty crimes since 1977.
Carlina's half-brother, Sydney Reynolds, reflected on the pain yesterday. He said the person who kidnapped the 19-day-old infant from Harlem Hospital in August 1987 broke his mother's heart.
"She kind of ripped our whole family apart, and I had to watch that my whole life with my mom," said Reynolds, 21. "It's kind of crazy."
Pettway, a resident of Raleigh, N.C., was described by a former co-worker as a good employee who loved to talk about her 13-year-old son - but kept quiet about his older sibling.
"Whenever I asked her about her daughter, she got kind of weird, like she didn't want to talk about her," said the co-worker from Bell's Carpet and Floors in Raleigh.
A relative of Ann Pettway said she never asked any questions about whether her cousin was actually pregnant with the baby known to them as Nejdra Nance.
"It was a very good childhood," the relative said. "She may be with her real family now, but she's always a part of our family no matter what."
Carlina was hospitalized with a 104-degree fever when a woman dressed as a nurse spirited her out of the hospital. She grew up in Bridgeport, Conn., and moved to Atlanta last year.
The case remained unsolved until she took matters into her own hands, tracking down her birth parents with the help of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Here's an UPDATE:
Woman who raised girl kidnapped in 1987 surrenders to FBI
Ann Pettway is held in Connecticut on an unrelated warrant and so far has not been charged in the kidnapping of Carlina White.
by Mara Lee, Hartford Courant
January 23, 2011
Reporting from Hartford, Conn.
A woman who raised a child kidnapped from a New York hospital in 1987 turned herself in to FBI agents Sunday in Connecticut, authorities said.
Ann Pettway was spotted in Bridgeport, Conn., on Saturday. The daughter she called Nejdra Nance, now 23, had learned her true identity after contacting the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and was reunited with her family last week in New York.
Pettway was wanted on a warrant for violating probation in North Carolina. According to the Raleigh News and Observer, Pettway worked in a department store in Raleigh and was accused of stealing clothes and money. As a condition of her probation, she was not supposed to leave the state without permission.
Pettway has not been charged in connection with the infant's kidnapping, but FBI officials said they wanted to interview her in their investigation.
A Bridgeport pawnshop employee recognized Pettway from media reports. The worker called police, who reviewed a surveillance video from the shop.
"Based on that video and what we have in the database, it's her," Det. Keith Bryant said Sunday, before Pettway turned herself in.
The kidnapped girl's birth name was Carlina White. Elizabeth White, the girl's grandmother, said that Carlina's reunion a week ago with her birth parents and other relatives wasn't awkward.
"She wasn't a stranger," she said. "It seemed like she was raised up around us."
The grandmother said she was afraid at first to be too hopeful about Carlina's sudden reappearance. She wanted to wait for DNA test results "before I really got into believing that it is her," she said. "I wanted everything to be done."
Joy White, the girl's mother, didn't need to wait for lab tests. Her response was: "Oh, Mommy, that's my daughter. That's my child."
The DNA tests proved that Nejdra Nance was her daughter.
Elizabeth White said she didn't know much about her granddaughter's life.
No suspects were identified in Carlina White's 1987 disappearance. She was 19 days old when she was brought to a Harlem hospital suffering from a fever.
Joy White and the girl's father, Carl Tyson, said a woman who looked like a nurse had comforted them at the hospital. The couple left to rest after the baby was admitted, and when they returned, the baby was gone.
Carlina, who was raised in Connecticut, moved away when she became pregnant as a teenager.
But she had questions about her identity. Pettway wouldn't give her a copy of her birth certificate, Elizabeth White said.