- Associated Press - Thursday, February 6, 2014
No suspects or arrests in Wis. baby disappearance

TOWN OF BELOIT, Wis. (AP) - Federal investigators have joined the search for a 5-day-old infant who disappeared from a bassinette at a home in southern Wisconsin.

The baby’s 18-year-old mother called 911 after waking about 4:30 a.m. Thursday to find that her son, Kayden Powell, was missing from his bassinette in a room where she was sleeping at a home in the Town of Beloit, authorities said.

Police said Thursday night that about 40 officers from federal, state and local law enforcement agencies were working on the case, but no suspects have been identified and no have been arrests made.

The baby’s mother, Brianna Marshall, and the infant’s 23-year-old father, Bruce Powell, were staying at the house, Town of Beloit Police Chief Steven Kopp said. Investigators were questioning people who were at the house Wednesday night, Kopp told The Janesville Gazette.

Police said the infant’s mother and father continue to be cooperative.

A woman who had been at the house but left around 1:30 a.m. Thursday - the last time people at the residence saw the baby - was questioned but is not a person of interest in the case, the police chief said.

Kopp told the Beloit Daily News that the woman was visiting the home Wednesday evening but left early Thursday for Colorado where she lives. Police were able to reach the woman on her cellphone, and she pulled off the highway in Iowa. Authorities took the woman into custody on an unrelated outstanding warrant from Texas.


Police: Art thief among 2 held in violin heist

MILWAUKEE (AP) - The mystery of what happened to a multimillion-dollar Stradivarius violin stolen in a stun gun attack was answered Thursday when Milwaukee police recovered the instrument and blamed the heist at least in part on an art thief who once stole a statue from a gallery and then tried to sell it back.

The violin, which was built in 1715 by the renowned Italian luthier Antonio Stradivari, is valued at $5 million. It was found hidden in a suitcase in the attic of a man who police said was unaware the instrument was in his home.

Three people have been arrested in the case, and Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn said there was no evidence of other “shadowy” figures from the art world behind the theft.

“It appears we had a local criminal who had an interest in art theft and was smart enough to develop a plan for a robbery,” Flynn said. “Beyond that, we don’t know what his motive was.”

The violin, which police said appeared to be in good condition, was stolen late last month from a concert violinist who was shocked with a stun gun. His attacker grabbed the violin and hopped into a waiting vehicle.

Police traced the stun gun to Universal Knowledge Allah, a 36-year-old barber. A citizen’s tip led police to Salah Jones, the 41-year-old man convicted of stealing a $25,000 statue from a gallery at Milwaukee’s posh Pfister Hotel in 1995.

Officers had the men under surveillance before arresting them Monday, along with a 32-year-old woman who was later released from custody.


Wis. agent: Colleagues improperly modified guns

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - A former state Department of Justice drug agent accused his colleagues last year of illegally modifying their state-issued rifles, according to emails the agency released Thursday.

The Associated Press obtained the emails through an open records request for materials related to former Division of Criminal Investigation Special Agent Dan Bethards. DOJ fired Bethards in October after he accused his supervisor of weapons violations.

Bethards wrote in a January 2013 email to DCI Administrator Dave Matthews that multiple agents were shortening the barrels on their state-issued and personal rifles without registering the modifications with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Bethards didn’t name any agents but alleged multiple agents were guilty of federal felonies.

DOJ spokeswoman Dana Brueck said the ATF investigated the allegations and determined one weapon had been improperly modified. The gun was reconfigured to conform with ATF regulations and no one was disciplined, she said.

“The facts in this matter convinced us (the) agent had acted in ‘good faith’ and inadvertently violated compliance regulations,” Brueck said. “We brought the matter to the ATF’s attention, and it was immediately remedied.”

DOJ officials also told the agency’s firearms instructor and SWAT team leaders to be certain that weapon changes comply with federal regulations and to consult with ATF on modifications, Brueck said.

Bethards said in a text to the AP that he was surprised ATF let the violation go without charges.


Doctor acquitted on 14 counts; mistrial declared

SUPERIOR, Wis. (AP) - An Eau Claire pediatrician accused of sexually assaulting male patients during exams has been acquitted on 14 of 16 counts.

The Leader-Telegram (https://bit.ly/1gRC4Kx) reports the jury was hung on the other two counts against Dr. David Van de Loo, and a mistrial was declared.

Defense attorney Rich White says Van de Loo was vindicated. Prosecutor Gary King had no comment Thursday night on how he would proceed.

Van de Loo was accused of having inappropriate sexual contact with 15 juvenile male patients while working at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire.

Defense attorneys argued the contact was nothing more than a medical procedure.

Mayo fired Van de Loo in September 2012 after the allegations surfaced.

The trial was moved from Eau Claire to Superior because of pre-trial publicity.

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