- The Washington Times - Monday, August 31, 2009


Probe expands in kidnap case

ANTIOCH | Investigators expanded their search Sunday to a property next door to the home of a couple charged with kidnapping a little girl and holding her in a compound for 18 years.

Neighbors say Phillip Garrido - who along with his wife, Nancy, is charged with kidnapping Jaycee Lee Dugard - once served as a caretaker at the adjoining property, which sits behind a white house with a chain-link fence.

Also Sunday, investigators armed with rakes, shovels and chain saws also continued combing Mr. Garrido’s property, where authorities say the couple kept Miss Dugard in a scruffy compound of tents and sheds, hidden by trees and tall fences.

Police had cordoned off the second property with crime scene tape Saturday.

Damon Robinson, who lives there now, said Mr. Garrido served as caretaker before he moved in in 2006. That year, Mr. Robinson’s girlfriend called police after she saw tents and children in the backyard. The responding deputy did not uncover the compound.


Space rendezvous gets new method

CAPE CANAVERAL | Space Shuttle Discovery has arrived at the International Space Station.

Discovery pulled up at the space station Sunday night, ending a round-the-world chase of nearly two days.

The final approach and docking ended up being slightly more challenging for Discovery’s commander, Rick Sturckow.

He had to use the shuttle’s big primary thrusters for all the maneuvering instead of the small fine-tuning thrusters because of a breakdown in one of the little jets.

He is the first to approach the station that way.

Discovery and its crew of seven are delivering thousands of pounds of science experiments and equipment, including a treadmill named for Stephen Colbert of Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report.”

The shuttle will remain at the station until next week.


8th victim dies; 911 caller arrested

BRUNSWICK | An eighth person has died in an attack in a Georgia mobile home, police said Sunday.

Glynn County Police Chief Matt Doering identified the victim as Michael Toler, 19. He was one of two people critically injured in the attacks in Brunswick along the Georgia coast. A ninth is hospitalized. The other victims have not been identified.

The man who reported the slayings, originally of seven people, faces charges of lying to police and tampering with evidence, and authorities said they haven’t ruled him out as a suspect in the killings.

The killer was not among the dead, whose bodies were found Saturday, or the last survivor, Chief Doering said.

Chief Doering announced a $25,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction. He said police have no other suspects and added, “We need help.”

Guy Heinze Jr., 22, was arrested late Saturday and also faces charges of illegal possession of prescription drugs and marijuana, Chief Doering said.

“He was a family member who came home and discovered [the victims], at least that’s what he told us,” Chief Doering said.

Asked whether Mr. Heinze was involved in the slayings, Chief Doering said: “I’m not going to rule him out, but I’m not going to characterize him as a suspect.”


Boy to be charged in dad’s murder

BELEN | Police say a 10-year-old boy will be charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of his father.

Belen police said the boy called authorities, who arrived at the family’s home Thursday to find Byron Hilburn, 42, shot once in the head. Police said the boy used his own rifle to shoot his father.

Police said the boy told them he thought his father was disciplining him too harshly and too often. They said they think the boy’s 6-year-old sister witnessed the shooting.

The boy was taken into the custody of the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department at an undisclosed location. His sister is with relatives.


4th cabbie shot in 4 months

YONKERS | A cabdriver has been fatally shot in Yonkers, the fourth fatal cabbie shooting in the New York City area in four months.

Yonkers police Capt. William Cave said his department is consulting with the New York Police Department to determine whether the shootings could be linked.

Pericles Salas, 32, was found early Sunday with a gunshot wound to the head. He was a driver for Mexicana Taxi Service in Yonkers.

Two other cabbies were killed in the past two weeks in the Bronx, just south of Yonkers. A third was killed about four months ago, also in the Bronx. Arrests have been made in two of those cases.

The New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers is pressing for more police focus on protecting cabbies.


Missing boaters found alive

PORT ARANSAS | Three Texas boaters missing for a week were reunited with their families early Sunday after they were found alive, sitting on top of their capsized 23-foot catamaran 180 miles from land, the Coast Guard said.

The crew of the Affordable Fantasy spotted the men Saturday night off Port Aransas and rescued them from their catamaran, said Petty Officer 3rd Class Renee Aiello. A Coast Guard boat met them and brought them back to land, where emergency medical crews were waiting for them. The three - Curtis Hall, 28, of Palacios; Tressel Hawkins, 43, of Markham; and James Phillips, 30, of Blessing, who owned the boat - declined medical attention.

The three were reported missing Aug. 22 after they left Matagorda, about 90 miles southwest of Houston, on a fishing trip and never returned. Port Aransas is about 130 miles from Matagorda.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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