Court Junkie Blog

Diana Alvares

***Scroll down for updates***

Big updates are currently underway in the case of missing 9-year-old Diana Alvares. You can read my first post about Diana’s disappearance HERE.

An Amber Alert was issued this morning, saying that Diana is believed to be in the company of 28-year-old Jorge Guerrero. Authorities believe they may be traveling in a tan Chevrolet Malibu, with Florida tag 78NHD.

Guerrero had been renting a room at the home where Diana lived with her family, up until May 2. Diana’s mother, Rita Hernandez, told reporters that she was “uncomfortable with the relationship between Guerrero and her daughter.”

From WINK News:

“He’d say things like ‘The girl’s gotten really cute’ or beautiful and that she’s so big,” Hernandez said. “To me, that’s not something a grown man can say about a 9-year-old girl.”

Hernandez said she confronted the man and he moved out on May 2. The 9-year-old was visibly upset when Guerrero returned to the home to move his van, according to Hernandez.

“Diana noticed that the van wasn’t here. So she comes to me and says ‘Mom, did Jorge come to take his van?’ I said yes. Then she starts to cry. She then says ‘But why didn’t Jorge wait for me?’” Hernandez said.

That last part is especially chilling because it shows how Diana had clearly grown attached to Guerrero.

Jorge Guerrero is 5’5″ tall, 145 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. According to the Amber Alert, Guerrero has ties to the Orange County and Okeechobee County areas. Diana is Hispanic, 4’4″ tall, 95 pounds, dark hair, brown eyes, and has two scars on one of her legs. She was last seen wearing an unknown color shirt, blue bottoms, and may be carrying a green blanket with a flower print.

If you have any information about Guerrero or Diana’s whereabouts, contact the Lee County Sheriff’s Office at (239) 477-1000 or call 911.

UPDATE: 6/6/16 1:19 PM

Jose Guerrero is now in police custody, but Diana has still not been found. Over the weekend, police apprehended Guerrero outside a liquor store in Okeechobee. From NBC 2:

“A man who was working at the store watched as Guerrero was taken into custody, but he said there was no sign of Diana.

“They just told him to get out of his vehicle, with his hands up and don’t move,” said Adrian Banda.

Banda said about a dozen law enforcement agency vehicles, including Lee County Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Marshals were blocking off the ABC Liquor store and the neighboring restaurant while Guerrero was being detained.”

According to FOX 4, Guerrero’s brother is claiming that Guerrero is being wrongly accused and was in Orlando at the time of Diana’s disappearance.

Authorities have not yet said what crime they are charging Guerrero with.

I’ll keep posting updates as they come in.

UPDATE: 6/9/16 1:23 PM CST

I just added the Criminal Complaint for Jorge Geurrero to the sidebar of this post. I must warn you that it’s quite graphic, which is why I’m not going to quote anything here.

Police were able to obtain a search warrant for Guerrero’s phone and determined that he was in the area of Diana’s home during the time period she went missing. They also discovered child pornography on his phone.

Authorities are still searching for Diana.

Read More:

Florida Amber Alert issued for missing Lee County 9-year-old
Suspect in Diana Alvarez case in LCSO custody

Bridget Shiel

***Scroll down for updates***

If you do a search on Facebook for “Bridget Shiel” you’ll come across pages and pages of posts from people mourning the loss of a 19-year-old girl who was brutally murdered in Atlanta.

Bridget Shiel’s body was found Tuesday morning at 6:50 AM in Oakland City Park, after police responded to a call of an unresponsive female. She was naked, and her body was filled with bullet holes – in her back, buttocks, and legs. The bullets used to shoot her weren’t just any bullets, either. They’re called Radically Invasive Projectiles, also referred to as “R.I.P. bullets.” This was overkill.

Radically Invasive Projectiles

Radically Invasive Projectiles

Police said no other personal items were found near Bridget’s body, and they believe the murder did not take place at the park, only the disposal of her body.

On Tuesday afternoon, police asked the public for help in finding Bridget’s car, a red Ford Fusion. They said a license plate reader had taken a photograph of the car on Saturday around Northridge and Roswell roads, just north of Atlanta. They were unable to tell who was driving the car.

Earlier today, police announced they had located the vehicle, behind King’s Southern Delight restaurant in DeKalb County, about 20 miles away from the park where Bridget’s body had been found. Her clothes were found inside.

Bridget Shiel Car Found

So who was Bridget?

According to her Facebook page, Bridget studied at Empire Beauty School at Dunwoody and was an aspiring hair stylist. There were a few rumors on Facebook that she had just started a new job last week working at Club Wax in Atlanta, but I haven’t been able to verify that.

Bridget was also a model and she appeared in a music video not too long before her death.

Bridget’s mother spoke with WSB-TV:

“Angela Shiel told Channel 2’s Nefertiti Jaquez she feels guilty because she and her daughter were not on the best of terms when she found out she had been killed.

Now that guilt is eating away at her because she says she didn’t get a chance to say “I love you.” She didn’t get a chance to say goodbye.

“I feel like part of my heart was taken away and a part of me is missing,” Shiel said. “I feel worried and sick that she may have suffered. I don’t know if she was tortured, I don’t know what happened.”

Bridget’s father told 11Alive that Bridget had a smile that “lit up the room.”

A GoFundMe account has been set up for Bridget’s funeral arrangements.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 404-577-8477.

I’ll post any updates to the case here.

UPDATE: 6/6/16 2:09 PM

CBS46 Investigates is reporting new details about Bridget that may hold some clues to finding her killer.

Bridget had an ad on Backpage.com, where she referred to herself as “Nastia” and said she was a “seductive vixen with a touch of class and elegance.”

In addition to possibly working in the sex trade industry, CBS is also reporting that in February 2016, just months before she was murdered, Bridget called 911 to report that her boyfriend, 21-year-old Kevin Anthony Kinnie, had hit her in the mouth.

Two days after that, another domestic violence call came through to 911 and this time, a fight had broken out between Bridget and another woman she and Kinnie had been living with. Both women were taken to jail.

It’s obviously not clear if any of this has any relevance to Bridget’s murder, but it does raise some red flags and give new leads as to who could potentially want to harm Bridget.

Read More:

Bridget Shiel’s Facebook
Bridget Shiel’s Instagram
Dead, naked woman found in Atlanta park
Naked body of 19-year-old woman found in Atlanta park
Police find car of woman found shot to death, nude in park
19-year-old found shot, dead was a part of Atlanta’s sex industry

Diana Alvares

***Scroll down for updates***

There’s an active search underway in southwest Florida for a 9-year-old girl who hasn’t been seen or heard from since Sunday. Diana Alvares was reportedly last seen at her home in Lee County, early Sunday morning. Diana’s mother, who is pregnant, told reporters that she woke up at 2 AM Sunday and checked in on her children, who were all asleep at the time. She covered Diana with a blanket and went back to bed.

When she woke up just prior to 7 AM, she noticed that Diana was missing.

Diana’s mom and stepdad, Uribe Jiminez, spoke with reporters:

Here’s a timeline, according to their interviews:

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Time Undetermined: Jiminez and mom check on kids before they go to sleep. All children are accounted for.

2 AM: Mom wakes up to make a bottle for their baby. She checks on the children and sees Diana sleeping.

6:55 AM: Jiminez doesn’t hear the kids getting ready for Church, like he usually does. Mom goes to check and sees that the stove burners in the kitchen are all turned on. She checks on the kids and sees that Diana is missing.

Jiminez says the front doors were locked but the door outside of his room leading to the porch was unlocked.

You may have noticed that in the beginning of the video, Jiminez is talking about his older kids sleeping at his sister’s place and how he wants to “go back to his house.” He’s saying this because police cordoned off his home where Diana went missing with crime tape and blocked the family from going back there. As of this post, I haven’t found anything to suggest that the family has been allowed back at this point so there’s a likelihood that they have not.

Jiminez also tells reporters that he has taken a lie detector test. Nancy Martinez, Jiminez’s cousin, also spoke with reporters and told them Diana’s biological father is not in the picture and they do not believe he has anything to do with her disappearance.

Police have been very diligent in their search for Diana. By Sunday afternoon, they had cordoned off about a dozen homes in the area with crime scene tape, towed the family vehicles, searched the area with a K-9 search team, and conducted a helicopter search.

Here is a map of the area where Diana’s home is located and where she went missing:

Several law enforcement agencies are involved in the search, including the FBI, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and Homeland Security.

Diana is Hispanic, 4’4″ tall, 95 pounds, dark hair, brown eyes, and has two scars on one of her legs. She was last seen wearing an unknown color shirt, blue bottoms, and may be carrying a green blanket with a flower print. Diana did not have any electronic devices with her and she did not have a presence on any social media sites.

Anyone with information should call the Lee County Sheriff’s Office at (239) 477-1000. If you wish to remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1000, call Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS. Tips may also be made online at www.swflcrimestoppers.org or by texting a tip to CRIMES (274637) keyword: REWARD. There is currently a $6,000 reward for any info leading to Diana’s return.

UPDATE: 6/1/16 12:31 CST

According to WINK News, police told reporters this morning that there is no evidence to suggest that Diana is still in the area. After three days of exhaustive searches, there has been no indication of where the little girl might be. Heartbreaking.

Other new developments that WINK is reporting:

  • Diana had a pair of purple-striped shoes that are missing from the house.
  • A man had reportedly lived in the house a month prior and had rented a room:

    “A family member said Alvares could be with a man who rented a room in the home. Alvares was very attached to this man, who moved out of the home two weeks ago, the family member said. According to family, this would explain why the family dog did not bark when Alvares disappeared.

  • Diana’s stepdad, Uribe Jiminez, told reporters that police are not doing enough to find his daughter, and are not keeping them in the loop.
  • Jiminez also told reporters that he believes his daughter is “not here” anymore.

Read More:

Afternoon update: Search for missing Lee County girl continues
Reward increased as search continues for San Carlos Park girl
LCSO: Missing 9-year-old Lee County girl not in the area

Dan Markel

If you’ve been following the Dan Markel case, then you’re definitely thinking to yourself, “Finally!” after reading the title of this post. Police in Tallahassee, Florida announced this morning that they have made an arrest in the murder of Florida State University Professor, Dan Markel. Police have arrested 34-year-old Sigfredo Garcia, of Miami Beach, and charged him with first-degree murder.

On July 18, 2014, 41-year-old Markel was shot execution-style at around 11 AM while sitting in his car in his garage, talking on the phone. A neighbor heard the loud bang, went over to Markel’s garage, discovered him bleeding from his head, and called 911.

Markel died after being transported to the hospital. The neighbor told police he/she saw a white or silver “Prius type of vehicle” leave the area.

There had been no signs of a struggle, nothing was taken from the home, and police told reporters they believe Markel was the “intended target.”

About Dan Markel

Dan Markel was a law professor at Florida State University College of Law, a law blogger, and most importantly, the father of two young sons.

To say Markel was loved might be an understatement, especially when looking at what a majority of his students and loved ones say. From People.com:

His students felt the same embrace, rising to the challenge of his “old-school, tough-as-nails” classroom presence, according to recent grad Ryan Wechsler, while also basking in his paternal side.

Indeed, Markel loved the Crayon drawings by his young sons, Ben, born in 2009, and Lincoln, born in 2010, that filled his office and home, to which the devoted dad invited small groups of students for home-cooked salmon dinners followed by academic debate. “His living room was like a playpen,” says Wechsler.

Markel co-founded a blog entitled PrawfsBlawg.com, which some people thought might have had something to do with his murder. In 2012, about two years prior to his death, Markel had reportedly received the following anonymous comment on his blog:

“Bullies like this need to be made radiative. Their arrogance and imperiousness speaks for itself. All means necessary must be employed.”

Was that a threat to Markel of what was yet to come? Could this person have wanted him dead, enough so to hire someone to kill him two years later? Or could this have been Sigfredo Garcia, the man who was just arrested and charged with his murder?

Or perhaps it was just an anonymous comment that meant nothing. Nowadays, you can find internet comments like that almost anywhere. Police have never said if the person who made the threat was ever traced, so we might never know – at least not yet.

Contentious Divorce

It appeared to be no secret to anyone in Markel’s life that prior to his death he had gone through quite a difficult divorce.

Markel and Wendi Adelson had married in February 2006, their wedding announcement appearing in the New York Times in happier days.

In 2012, Adelson filed for divorce, and legal fights over child custody and finances ensued. Their divorce was finalized in 2013.

When I say contentious, I’m not kidding – Markel had obtained a court order preventing Adelson from leaving Tallahassee with their two children, after discovering that she wanted to move back to Miami.

A friend of Markel’s, Rick Hill, however, told the Toronto Star that he saw Markel two weeks prior to his death and that Markel “was moving on in his life” and was happy in a new relationship after going through his divorce.

After Markel’s murder, Adelson and their kids moved to south Florida. Through her lawyer, Adelson made a statement that she was cooperating fully with the police and that she was in fear of her life and would not be making any comment until the investigation was resolved.

More Arrests To Come?

As stated above, Sigfredo Garcia has been charged with the first degree murder of Dan Markel. He was reportedly arrested at 9:11 PM Wednesday night at a gas station in Hallandale Beach, just north of Miami.

Garcia definitely has a prior criminal record – he has reportedly been arrested at least 22 times, including arrests for strong arm robbery, burglary, drugs and concealed weapons violations.

The link between Markel and Garcia is still not known and at an earlier press conference today, authorities revealed that the probable cause document for Garcia’s arrest has been sealed.

The Tallahassee Democrat is reporting that more arrests are to come:

Law enforcement officials are investigating Florida State University law professor Dan Markel’s death as a murder for hire, according to two sources close to the investigation.

The sources add that more arrests are expected.

Another source said there could be as many as five or six additional arrests.

Garcia is being held in custody pending extradition to Leon County, where Tallahassee is located.

You can bet I’ll be posting updates here as they occur.

Read More:

Tallahassee Police Department Incident Report
Tallahassee Police Department Incident Report 2
A Prominent Law Professor Is Shot At Home And Killed
Markel killing investigated as murder for hire, more arrests expected
Father of FSU professor shot in the head in his garage finally speaks

Missy Bevers

Ever since seeing the haunting surveillance video of the suspected murderer in the Missy Bevers case, I haven’t been able to get it out of my head – and I know I’m not alone.

If you’ve never heard of Missy Bevers or have no idea what I’m referring to, let me re-cap what happened: 45-year-old Terri “Missy” Bevers, a fitness instructor and mother of three, was found murdered on April 18, 2016 inside the Creekside Church in Midlothian, Texas, where she was scheduled to teach a class early that morning.

Later that day, The Midlothian Police Department released surveillance video from the Church that showed Missy’s killer, dressed in police tactical gear, walking through the halls of the Church, opening doors and breaking glass, prior to Missy’s arrival.

Initial reports suggested that Missy may have interrupted a burglary in progress at the Church and had been killed as a result. But as time went on, police revealed that they were working on a theory that seemed to match everyone else’s who was following the case – Missy had been targeted.

Here’s the timeline:

April 18, 2016

Time unknown – The suspect arrives at the Church and forces his way inside.

3:50 AM – The suspect is first seen on surveillance video.

4:16 AM – Missy is seen on surveillance video arriving in the parking lot and entering the Church building.

5 AM – The first 911 calls come in from Missy’s students who had arrived at the Church, reporting that Missy was unresponsive. Officers and EMS arrived on the scene and discovered a “lot of broken glass on the floor.”

The day prior to the murder, Missy had posted on her Facebook page that she was going to be hosting the class the next morning at 5 AM, rain or shine. It happened to be raining that morning, meaning that she would have hosted the class indoors.

On April 20, Missy’s husband, Brandon Bevers, gave a statement to reporters in which he talks about how proud he was of Missy, and implores people to watch the surveillance video:

Leads and Warrants

In a press conference held last week, Midlothian Assistant Chief Kevin Johnson told reporters that despite social media rumors, no one in Missy’s family, friends, or co-workers are considered suspects. He said that Missy’s husband and father-in-law specifically had been very forthcoming and cooperative in the investigation. Both men supplied alibis that had been verified by police. Johnson also said that any names that had been released in any search warrants were also not considered suspects at this time.

That last part is particularly important, because in search warrants that were made public a few weeks ago, authorities had requested access to certain “targets'” cell phone records. The “targets” list included people who were close to Missy at the time of her murder. The warrants also revealed that Missy had been communicating with a man on LinkedIn during the months leading up to her death and that the communication “ultimately turned flirtatious and familiar.” The warrants requested access to the man’s LinkedIn account.

Also of interest in the warrants was the fact that a friend of Missy’s had told police that less than three days before her murder, Missy had received a “creepy” LinkedIn message from a man unknown to both of them.

Yet another warrant was for a local dry cleaners, claiming that Missy’s father-in-law had dropped off a woman’s shirt with blood on it a couple days after the murder. When asked by reporters, Randy Bevers, Missy’s father-in-law, said that the blood was animal blood, resulting from a dogfight. Police have said they are still waiting on tests from the blood sample to be returned, but reporters spoke with the veterinarian who catered to the now-deceased dog, and confirmed Randy’s story.

No word yet on if anything useful to the investigation will come out of any of these warrants. However, Johnson also released a photograph last week of a 2010-2012 silver or light color Nissan Altima with an oval sticker on its bumper that was captured on surveillance video from a nearby business, the morning of the murder. Johnson stressed that the vehicle was on camera at around 2 AM, well before the murder had taken place.

From Crimesider:

“The last remaining lead involves a car that pulls into the SWFA Sporting Goods parking lot at approximately 2 a.m. They’re seen pulling into the parking lot and leaving just a few minutes later,” Johnson said.”

White Car Sought in Missy Bevers' Case

They do not necessarily believe the driver is a suspect in Missy’s murder, but they want to know if the driver saw anything unusual during that time period.

So far, the driver has not yet come forward.

A hot line has been set up for any tips relating to Missy’s murder – 972-775-7624. There is also a $10,000 reward for info leading to the arrest of her killer.

I’ll post updates as they happen. Let’s just hope this case doesn’t turn cold.

Read More:

Missy Bevers Facebook Page
Sister-in-law of slain fitness instructor killed by suspect dressed in SWAT gear believes she may have been targeted by a ‘jealous woman’
Missy Bevers’ Father-in-Law Brought Blood-Stained Shirt to Dry Cleaner: Search Warrant
Docs: Church murder victim received “creepy” LinkedIn message
Midlothian murder remains unsolved, community on alert
Midlothian police release new clues in case of murdered fitness trainer Missy Bevers

Tim Anderson

***Scroll down for updates***

A 38-year-old husband and father of two has mysteriously gone missing in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

Tim Anderson was last seen on Monday, February 8 at the home he shared with his wife. According to news reports, Cathrall Anderson heard her husband getting dressed at about 4:30 AM Monday morning. She assumed he was leaving to take out the trash before work and fell back asleep.

Later, when she woke up, she noticed his work bag was still at home and called the wife of one of his coworkers. He was reported missing when it was discovered that he had failed to show up to his work at Northern Trust Bank.

On Monday night at about 7 PM, authorities were able to ping his cell phone, which led them to the Spring Creek Valley Forest Preserve, where his silver Acura was found locked and abandoned. According to his wife, Anderson has no known connections to that area and she isn’t sure why he would have driven his car there, if he in fact did.

Neither Anderson nor his cell phone have yet been found.

Cathrall told reporters her husband was wearing jeans, gym shoes, a Chicago Bears hooded sweatshirt, a black North Face jacket and a Chicago Bears baseball hat when he left the house. He is 6′ tall, weighs 215 pounds and has hazel eyes and brown and gray hair.

The couple have two sons – ages 3 and 6. Anderson’s friends and family say he is very “methodical” and that his disappearance is very out of character for him. They also say he had no known medical or psychological issues.

Local authorities as well as Homeland Security are involved in the search.

Anyone with information on Tim Anderson’s whereabouts should call (847) 368-5300.

UPDATE: 2/10/16 3:31 PM

Multiple news publications are reporting that the body of an unknown male has been found this afternoon in the woods where police were searching for Tim Anderson. No positive ID has yet been made.

Read More:

Police searching for missing Arlington Heights man
Search continues for missing Arlington Heights man
BODY FOUND IN SEARCH FOR ARLINGTON HEIGHTS FATHER OF 2, ME SAYS

Anne Swaney

ABC7 Chicago producer Anne Swaney was founded murdered while vacationing in Belize this week. She was 39.

Anne started her vacation on Saturday and was staying at the Nabatunich Resort, Benque Viejo, in the Cayo District of western Belize, a seemingly popular tourist destination.

Anne reportedly went to a deck area by the river to do yoga, and hours later, a tour guide found her belongings on the deck with no trace of her.

From ABC News:

“A horse riding tour returned in the afternoon and found her personal effects on the deck. This looked suspicious so they went to her cabin and she wasn’t there. They told the owner who called the police. The police came with their canine unit and the scent led them along the river but due to the darkness the search was called off for the night before finding her,” Supt. Arzu told the I-Team.”

The next morning, Anne’s body was found floating face down in the river. She was wearing only her bra, and there were lacerations on her neck and both sides of her head. Early reports suggest that she was sexually assaulted.

Anne Swaney's belongings

Anne Swaney’s belongings on the deck, courtesy of The Daily Mail

River where Anne Swaney was found

River where Anne Swaney’s body was found, courtesy of The Daily Mail

An autopsy has confirmed the cause of death as manual strangulation as well as blunt force injuries to her head and neck.

Anne was executive producer of online operations at abc7chicago.com.

I’ll update as the story unfolds.

Read More:

Tourist from Chicago murdered in Belize; Anne Swaney worked website at ABC7 Chicago
ABC producer was ‘murdered and sexually assaulted while on vacation in Belize’

Katelin Akens

Courtesy of the Help Find Katelin Akens Facebook Page

19-year-old Katelin Akens was last seen after reportedly being dropped off at a Virginia shopping mall by her stepfather on December 5, 2015. It has now been over a month since Katelin has been seen or heard from, and her family, as well as a community, is desperate to find her.

Katelin was in town from Arizona, where she currently lives with her fiancee, visiting her family. On the day she was due to catch a flight home, she seemingly vanished.

From ABC News:

“Lisa Sullivan, Katelin’s mother, says she dropped her daughter off at her stepdad’s home in Spotsylvania County on Saturday so he could take her to the airport to catch a flight to Arizona. Sullivan said the teen’s stepdad told her that Akens decided she wanted to go to Springfield Town Center first. She then planned to take the Franconia-Springfield metro to Reagan National Airport.”

Police say they’ve been able to confirm that Katelin’s stepfather’s car was in the area of the mall that day, but they were unable to find either Katelin or her stepfather on surveillance video.

Two days after Katelin went missing, police found her luggage abandoned in a drainage ditch on River Road. Along with the luggage, Katelin’s phone charger, wallet with ID, credit cards, cash, her old glasses and her old plane ticket were found.

Katelin’s loved ones have started a Help Find Katelin Akens Facebook Page, where they posted a detailed timeline of events, which I copied and pasted below:

Sep 2014
Katelin moves from Virginia to Arizona

Dec 1 2015
Katelin travels from Arizona to visit family in Virginia

Early Saturday Dec 5 2015
Katelin’s mother (Lisa Sullivan) drops her off at her stepfather’s home in Spotsylvania County, so he can take Katelin to Reagan National Airport: she is supposed to catch a 5:40 p.m. flight to Las Vegas, where her fiancé (Amber Rios) would pick her up and drive them back to their home in Lake Havasu City.

  • (Katelin’s mother and stepdad are divorced, but are still on friendly terms)
  • According to Katelin’s mother, she was excited to go back to Arizona to start cosmetology school.
  • Katelin’s stepfather later tells her mother that, while on the way to the airport, Katelin asked to be dropped off by the Springfield mall, from where she planned to travel to the airport from the nearby Franconia-Springfield Metro station: Katelin has never taken the metro on her own before.
  • Investigating LE has said there is NO surveillance video of Katelin from the mall, or the metro.
  • Katelin may have (according to Amber) been wearing a dark gray fleece pullover sweater with a Bass Pro Shop emblem on it, as well as pink and grey Vans brand shoes.

Afternoon Saturday Dec 5 2015
Katelin’s mother receives a text message from Katelin’s phone at around 2:00 p.m., saying she had arrived safely at the airport.
(Time of text verified by family)

  • At around the same time, Katelin’s fiancé receives a text saying “something came up and I’m not coming back today. I’ll let you know when I get a new flight”

Monday Dec 7
Katelin’s luggage is found by road workers, in a drainage ditch in the 6600 block of River Road near Fredericksburg – not far from the Fall Hill intersection, and nearly 50 miles from the airport.

  • ID, wallet, phone charger, her old glasses, her ticket from AZ to VA, and her fiancé’s credit card is found, but a few articles of clothing and her cellphone are missing.

    (ID: “It was just an identification card. She didn’t have a drivers license. And I believe it was her Arizona one. If one was missing I think it was her Virginia one” — per family)
    (Credit card: It has been stated her fiancé’s credit card was Katelin’s only means of support. Per family, “Katelin had a bank account at the same bank as her mother. And her mother has access to it. She put money in Katelin’s account from time to time. And no there isn’t much in her account )
    (Ticket: per family it was her old ticket, from AZ to VA, that was found.)

  • Cash and credit cards were still intact in her wallet.
  • According to Katelin’s sister, no articles of clothing were found, and also, the luggage was not “scattered”
  • Detectives call the find suspicious, and also says Katelin would not normally travel through this area of the county.

Wednesday Dec 9
Police say there is so far no surveillance video of Katelin, or her stepdad, at either the mall or the Metro, but they have been able to corroborate that Akens’ stepdad’s car was in the area of the mall on Dec 5.

Saturday Dec 12
“Help Save The Next Girl”, family members, and volunteers, hands out more than 3000 flyers Saturday afternoon in Fredericksburg to raise awareness about missing Katelin.

  • Police cannot confirm whether Katelin was at the mall or if she even left Spotsylvania.
  • Katelin’s stepfather has been interviewed by police. He has not been called a suspect or a person of interest in the case.
  • Katelin’s disappearance has been called suspicious by the Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Office.
  • Police have said organized searches for Katelin are allowed.

__________________________________________________________
Anyone with information regarding Katelin’s disappearance is asked to called the Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office at 540-582-7115.

They can also call Spotyslvania Crime Solvers at 1-800-928-5822 or 1-540-582-5822 or text a tip by sending SEE911 to CRIMES (274637).

Read More:

New developments in case of 19-year-old missing from Spotsylvania
Help Find Katelin Akens Facebook Page

Diaw Cheikh Tidiane

Diaw Cheikh Tidiane

***Scroll down for updates***

Italian police have arrested a 27-year-old Senegalese man for the murder of 35-year-old American artist Ashley Olsen. Ashley had been found strangled in her apartment in Florence, Italy on January 9. You can read my first post about this case HERE.

Police announced at a press conference Thursday that they were charging Tidiane Cheik Diaw, an illegal immigrant from West Africa, with Ashley’s murder. Chief Prosecutor Giuseppe Creazzo said there were “very serious indications of his guilt” and that Diaw had “substantially admitted” being responsible for her death.

From The Telegraph:

Investigators believe Miss Olsen met him in the early hours of the morning last Friday after leaving a nightclub, the Montecarla.

The pair walked back to her flat in Via Santa Monica and had consensual sex, possibly under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

But a furious argument developed after Miss Olsen told him he had to leave the apartment because her Italian boyfriend was about to arrive.

Diaw became enraged, accusing her of treating him “like a dog.”

He allegedly strangled the American and inflicted wounds to her head, either by hitting her with a blunt object or by shoving her to the ground.

She sustained two fractures to her skull and is believed to have died at around 8am on Friday morning, prosecutors said.

Diaw allegedly told police that he pushed her to the ground, where she hit her head hard, but said that he had not meant to kill her.

Prosecutor Creazzo said Ashley’s skull was fractured twice, before she was strangled with either a rope or computer cord. He said the fractures were so violent that they alone would have killed her. He also said he believes that in addition to alcohol, drugs may have been involved. They are still awaiting toxicology reports.

Police reportedly took Diaw in for questioning after identifying him from surveillance video showing him walking with Ashley to her apartment early Friday morning.

According to The Telegraph, while he was being interrogated, officers gave him a cigarette. They then tested the cigarette butt for DNA evidence and matched it to a condom and cigarette butt found in Ashley’s apartment. His DNA also matched DNA found underneath her fingernails.

Diaw had also reportedly taken Ashley’s cell phone and put his own SIM card in it.

So who exactly is Tidiane Cheik Diaw? Reports say that Diaw came to Italy several months ago and earned money by distributing nightclub flyers in Florence. He was allegedly known to police for being involved with drugs.

According to his Facebook Page, he is from Dakar, Senegal.

And now he faces the charge of murder aggravated by cruelty.

UPDATE: 1/14/16 1:48 PM

Diaw now has an attorney, Antonio Voce. Voce told the Associated Press that Diaw and Ashley had consensual sex and were both drunk and using cocaine. He said Diaw denies ever intending to kill Ashley, saying that when he left her apartment, she was still alive.

From ABC News:

Voce said Diaw told investigators that they had fought when she tried to push him out of the apartment fearing her boyfriend would be arriving. After being pushed against the door, Diaw responded by punching Olsen in the neck and then pushing her to the ground, where she hit her head, Voce said.

Diaw helped her to the bed and left.

I don’t know about you guys, but that sounds pretty unbelievable to me.

Read More:

Italian police arrest illegal immigrant over murder of American woman in Florence
Senegalese immigrant arrested in murder of American woman in Italy
Tidiane Cheik Diaw’s Facebook Page

Brenda Jackson


31-year-old Brenda Jackson, a mother of six and Iraq war veteran, has been missing from her Park Forest, IL home since January 3.

Brenda was reportedly last seen on that Sunday night by her father, who had dropped her off at her home. She was reported missing two days later, on January 5th.

Here’s the timeline as we know it so far:

  • Sunday, January 3: Brenda is dropped off by her father at her home in the 200 block of Arcadia in Park Forest, IL. The time of the drop off is unknown, but she speaks with her mother by phone at 10:30 PM, and tells her mother that she’s home alone. Her six children are staying at her parents’ house so she can get up early for work the next morning.
  • Monday, January 4: Brenda is scheduled to be at work at Rich South High School in Richton Park at 5:30 AM but never shows up.
  • Tuesday, January 5: Brenda’s mother and husband report her missing to the Park Forest Police Department.

The last activity on Brenda’s cell phone was reportedly the phone call with her mother at 10:30 PM on January 3. There has been no activity on her credit cards either. Her purse and coat were found inside her home.

Brenda’s family and friends have been conducting searches in the area, but the freezing temperatures are no doubt making it difficult.

Some questions I have that I have not been able to find the answers to yet:

  • When was the last time her husband saw her and what was their relationship like?
  • Has Brenda ever left for any periods of time before this?
  • Have the police ever been called to the home before?
  • Was Brenda known to suffer from depression or was she taking any meds?
  • Why did it take so long to report her missing after she didn’t show up to work?
  • When did her husband notice that she was missing?

Police told reporters that they are following up on all leads, including a tip that Brenda may have been spotted in Chicago.

Brenda is Hispanic, 31 years old, 5′ tall and 125 pounds. She has a scar on her upper chest, and star tattoos on both sides of her neck. She also has a heart tattooed on her ring finger and a tattoo that says “Michael” on her left inner wrist.

Anyone with info about where Brenda is should call the Park Forest Police Department Investigations Division at 708-748-1309 or 9-1-1.

Read More:

Park Forest Woman Missing For A Week
Concern Grows Over Disappearance Of Iraq War Veteran Brenda Jackson
Search resumes in Park Forest for missing mother of six