Mother beheads infant, eats part of his brain
Charged with murder and is being held on $1 million bail
San Antonio police say a woman accused of beheading her 3-week-old infant son used a knife and two swords in the attack and ate some of the child's body parts.
San Antonio Police Chief William McManus told reporters Monday that Otty Sanchez's attack on her son, Scott Wesley Buchholtz-Sanchez, was "too heinous" to fully discuss.
But he says Sanchez ate part of the newborn's brain and bit off three of his toes before stabbing herself twice.
Police say the 33-year-old Sanchez told officers who were called to her house early Sunday that she killed her son at the devil's request.
Sanchez is charged with capital murder and is being held on $1 million bail. She is recovering from her wounds at a hospital.
Two Siberian tiger cubs abandoned in Russia by their mother have found an unusual wet nurse a wrinkled, sand-colored Shar Pei dog named Cleopatra, a zoo worker said Wednesday.
The cubs were born late May in a zoo at the Oktyabrsky health resort in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.
Zoo assistant director Viktoria Kudlayeva said the dog immediately gave the cubs all her attention.
"She accepted them right away," Kudlayeva said in a telephone interview. "She's cleaning them and breast feeding them as if they were her own. And they also sleep together."
The cubs named Clyopa, after their adopted mother, and Plyusha are also being fed goat's milk.
Kudlayeva said that the cubs pose no danger to the dog even though they are already showing their claws and hissing.
"They aren't aggressive and they depend on her for feeding," she said.
Fewer than 400 Siberian tigers also known as Ussuri, Amur or Manchurian tigers have survived in the wild, most of them in Russia's Far East.
70-pound fish hits woman in boat
A 32-year-old woman boating on the Suwannee River was hit by a nearly 70-pound jumping sturgeon.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reports the fish knocked her unconscious and out of the boat on Saturday.
Brianne Megargel and her husband were near Manatee Springs State Park when the fish jumped out of the water and struck her as she sat in the boat.
Witnesses said the impact knocked her out of the vessel.
According to an FWC news release, Megargel's husband pulled her from the water and took her to the park, where a helicopter flew her to Shands at the University of Florida.
The agency said it was the second sturgeon encounter of the year.
Teen shot sleeping sister
An Arkansas teen pleaded guilty Wednesday to murdering his sleeping sister and was sentenced to 45 years in prison for a crime he still hasn't fully explained.
Colton Harvey, 15, grabbed his father's .22-caliber rifle one January morning while his parents were out grocery shopping. He walked into his 16-year-old sister Candace's room, pointed it at her forehead and fired. She awoke with a scream, so he shot her in the head twice more.
He threw some clothes and ammunition in his father's pickup truck and took off, driving first into the hills but then to the sheriff's office, where he chickened out in the parking lot. He drove to a friend's for some chewing tobacco - a vice that led to his parents grounding him days earlier - and then back to the sheriff's, where this time he found the courage to go in and confess.
"I don't know why I did it. It just happened," Harvey told state police investigator Corey Mendenhall hours later, according to a transcript of the interview in which he described in detail what happened that morning. The Associated Press obtained the transcript under a Freedom of Information Act request.
Harvey told Mendenhall he deserved the same fate.
"I should get done to me what I did to her," Harvey said.
Prosecutors initially charged the teen with first-degree murder, which carries a maximum penalty of life without parole. But they later worked out a plea bargain with his attorney, and on Wednesday, a judge sentenced Harvey to 30 years for second-degree murder plus 15 more because he used a gun.
The lanky, blond Harvey teared up as he addressed Judge William Pearson, at one point raising his handcuffed hands to his face so he could dab his eyes with a tissue.
"You stated that you murdered your sister. Is that correct?" Pearson asked.
Harvey paused, then almost whispered, "Yes, sir."
"How far did you get in school?" Pearson asked Harvey, who responded so quietly that the judge had to repeat some of his answers.
As Harvey replied, "ninth grade," his mother sobbed.
Harvey told the state police investigator that his parents grounded him a few days before the shooting when they found out he was using smokeless tobacco. He stewed in his room, staring at the wall.
The morning he killed Candace, his parents woke him up to tend to jerky from a deer he had killed the weekend before.
"You've got to be angry to be able to shoot a gun at somebody," Mendenhall, the state police investigator, told him a few hours after he killed Candace. "I mean, you're used to shooting deer and stuff and I know you're, you're not angry at the deer. But we're talking about your sister here. Do you love your sister?"
"Yeah," he said.
Investigators found her body in a bedroom at the family's home near Ozark, a town of about 3,600 roughly 120 miles northwest of Little Rock.
More details about the shooting came loose after Wednesday's hearing, when the judge also unsealed court documents that he previously ordered be kept out of the public's eye.
And yet, the question of why Harvey shot his sister remained unanswered.
"He never did give what I would consider to be a clear motive," the prosecutor, David Gibbons, said after Wednesday's hearing.
Harvey's attorney, Bill James, said there is a history of mental illness in Harvey's family, but he said an expert wasn't able to give his client a diagnosis because of his young age.
"Every time I've ever seen him, he's cried," James said. "And it's not, `Woe is me.' It's about what he's done to his mom and what he's done to his family."
A state review of Harvey's mental health noted that he was depressed after being jailed and that he said he had lost consciousness playing football in junior high school. But it found nothing on which to blame the shooting.
His defense attorney said Harvey never had any run-ins with the law before the shooting.
"I think his biggest problem was talking in class prior to this," James said.
His parents had only recently discovered he was using smokeless tobacco.
"I don't see why they won't let me do it. I've done it since third grade," Harvey told the state police investigator.
Harvey will head to a county jail until he's transferred to the Division of Youth Services, where he'll remain at least until he turns 16, James said. He can head to a state prison after that.
Harvey's mother cried throughout Wednesday's proceedings that took away her son after she lost her daughter.
"The situation doesn't lend itself for anybody to be happy," Gibbons, the prosecutor, said. "If there was somebody happy, absolutely happy, then an injustice would have been done."
Woman pays fine for calling 911 about dog collapse
A St. Charles County woman has paid a $100 fine for calling 911 to report her dog had collapsed.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Rose Lakey of O'Fallon referred to the Great Dane as her "daughter" when she made the emergency call on Easter Sunday. She said Wednesday, the day she paid the fine, that the word "daughter" came out accidentally.
Regardless, Lakey was accused of misusing 911. After initially pleading not guilty, Lake decided to dispose of the municipal charge.
Lakey and her husband had just finished walking the 140-pound dog, Oreo, when the animal collapsed. She said she called 911 in a panic. Emergency workers helped get Oreo to an animal hospital, but the dog died.
Police say a Nebraska mom, who disappeared last month with her son, strangled the 10-year-old boy before strangling herself in the woods of an Iowa state park.
Council Bluffs police said Monday that Charlotte Schilling, 41, of Plattsmouth, Neb. and her son, Owen, both died with plastic zip ties around their necks in a murder-suicide.
The Schillings were missing from May 10 until their bodies were found May 20 in Lake Manawa State Park, south of Council Bluffs in western Iowa, about 20 miles north of Plattsmouth.
Council Bluffs police say Charlotte Schilling tried to commit suicide with a plastic zip tie in November, but a family member intervened then. Once a zip tie is tightened, the only way to loosen it is to cut it off, so police said after Schilling tightened one around her own neck enough to restrict breathing it would have been difficult for her to remove it.
Council Bluffs Police Sgt. Chad Meyers said Schilling actually lost consciousness during her previous suicide attempt, and a family member heard her fall. Someone was able to cut the zip tie off Schilling's neck quickly enough for her to recover.
Investigators said friends described behaviour in the days before Schilling disappeared with her son that's consistent with someone contemplating suicide. For instance, Meyers said Schilling gave away some of her personal belongings.
"Individually, each one of these people probably wouldn't have known anything was different," he said. "When you put it all together and look at it, it paints a pretty clear picture of someone who is contemplating suicide."
Relatives have said it wasn't unusual for Schilling to surprise her children with short road trips to parks, zoos and other nearby attractions. But the woman always called home and past excursions never lasted long.
Her family grew worried when neither she nor Owen returned home, and Schilling's cellphone went unanswered.
Investigators believe the bodies of Charlotte and Owen Schilling had likely been lying in the woods near Lake Manawa since May 10 when Schilling checked Owen out of Wade Robin Elementary School in Bellevue, Neb. But police cannot determine the exact date of their death.
Police found Schilling's vehicle at the park where the mother and son's bodies were later found. Schilling's cellphone and wallet were in her car, about a half-mile from where the bodies were found. Authorities had to rely on autopsy results to confirm the identities because of decomposition.
Schilling and her son were last seen in surveillance video from a convenience store near the park. The video showed Owen hugging his mom, and Schilling kissing her son on the head, and the clerk said nothing seemed unusual in the store.
Meyers said some of the items that were purchased at the convenience store were found partially consumed near the bodies in the woods. There was no sign of a struggle.
Giant hairy spiders bite Indians
Large biting spiders have sparked panic in remote northeast India, but health authorities fear primitive treatment of the bites' painful swelling may be more dangerous than the spiders themselves.
Two people died in Tinsukia district after witch doctors used razor blades to drain the wounds. It's not known if the victims died from spider poison or from the attempted treatment. Local magistrate Kishore Thakuria said the victims were cremated before autopsies could be done.
Another seven bite victims have been treated with antibiotics against infection after they also tried themselves to drain their wounds, said Dr. Anil Phapowali at the local Sadiya town hospital.
The hairy spiders were noticed about a month ago across Tinsukia district's grassy plains and dense jungle forests north of the Brahmaputra River.
Ecologist LR Saikia at Assam's Dibrugarh University said it may be a previously unknown species of tarantula. The spiders are roughly the size of a person's thumb.
"It looks like a new species. We haven't been able to identify it," he said Tuesday. Officials cannot use anti-venom in treating bite victims until the species is identified.
Meanwhile, villagers are keeping lamps on at night and standing guard against spiders entering their mud-and-thatch huts. There are about 100,000 villagers, mostly poor rice farmers, living in the area cut off from roads by the river.
Officials say the spiders are now also showing up south of the Brahmaputra.
Goggles that trick the wearer into thinking the plain snack in their hand is a chocolate cookie, or make biscuits appear larger have been unveiled in Japan, offering hope to weak-willed dieters everywhere.
Researchers at the University of Tokyo have developed devices that use computer wizardry and augmented reality to fool the senses and make users feel more satisfied with smaller - or less appealing - treats.
On one device goggle-mounted cameras send images to a computer, which magnifies the apparent size of the cookie in the image it displays to the wearer while keeping his hand the same size, making the snack appear larger than it actually is.
In experiments, volunteers consumed nearly 10 percent less when the biscuits they were eating appeared 50 percent bigger.
They ate 15 percent more when cookies were manipulated to look two-thirds of their real size.
Professor Michitaka Hirose at the university's graduate school of information science and technology said he was interested in how computers can be used to trick the human mind.
"How to fool various senses or how to build on them using computers is very important in the study of virtual reality," he told AFP.
Hirose said standard virtual reality equipment that attempts to cater to complex senses like touch often results in bulky equipment.
But he said using one or more senses to fool the others was a way around this problem.
"Reality is in your mind," he said.
In another project, Hirose's team developed a "meta cookie", where the headgear uses scent bottles and visual trickery to fool the wearer into thinking the snack they are eating is anything but a plain biscuit.
Users can set the device to their favourite taste so they think they are eating a chocolate or strawberry-flavoured cookie.
Hirose says experiments so far have shown 80 percent of subjects are fooled.
The team has no plans as yet to commercialise their invention, but would like to investigate whether people wanting to lose weight can use the device.
A wild leopard has gone on a day long rampage through an oil company compound, mauling 13 people before it was shot by security guards.
The fully grown male somehow found its way into the grounds of the Oil India Limited campus in far northern India and attacked five staff members.
The entire scene was captured on camera, showing the guards wrestling with the leopard in an attempt to capture it in a net.
Forest guards were called to the scene to shoot the beast with a tranquiliser dart, which only made him more aggressive.
The leopard then turned on a group of nearby workers, mauling several others, before the guards were forced to shoot it to death.
Several leopards have been spotted in the area in recent days; they are believed to be preying on local cattle.
Sprinkler sends 6 in wedding party to hospital
It was a nice day for a wet wedding.
But nothing could stop Shalita Harris' nuptials - not even when the sprinkler system in her dressing room came on Saturday, covering the bride and her bridesmaids in a black, oily substance, WSB-TV reports. The incident sent six of her eight bridesmaids to the hospital just before the ceremony after they complained of breathing problems.
"I felt like my life was going to end right then and there," Harris said.
The bridesmaids grabbed a blanket off the bed to protect the bridal party while they escaped from the deluge. Harris said the force of the water knocked members of the bridal party down.
The manager of the Westin Hotel near the airport said Harris' is the only room where the problem occurred. The cause is unknown.
The two remaining bridesmaids walked down the aisle with stained dresses.
"They went out with a bang, a big bang, not necessarily a good bang, but a big one," bridesmaid Jasmine Robinson said.
The College Park Fire Department and the Clayton County paramedics were both called to the scene. They did not respond to a request for comment.
A Northampton woman made an unusual discovery in her yard - a deformed baby cardinal with two heads and three beaks.
April Britt says she found the bird near the base of a tree Monday and returned it to its nest.
The 67-year-old Britt tells the Daily Hampshire Gazette the bird apparently couldn't eat without assistance from the adult birds. The middle beak didn't work well and the other two didn't appear to be connected to the bird's throat.
A scientist for the Massachusetts Audubon Society says animals with such abnormalities rarely survive birth, making the find all the more unusual. He says the deformities could have been caused by genetic or environmental factors.
The baby and adults were gone by Tuesday.
Man's heirs get cash found hidden in walls
An Arizona court says a man's heirs are entitled to $500,000 cash that was found in the walls of his former home years after he died.
The Court of Appeals ruling Thursday upholds a judge's decision that the money, stashed in ammunition cans inside the walls, belongs to Robert Spann's estate.
Spann died in 2001. According to the ruling, his daughters found stocks, bonds, cash and gold hidden in his suburban Phoenix home before they sold it seven years later.
The couple who bought the home in Paradise Valley claimed the cash after a worker found it in the walls during kitchen and bathroom remodeling.
The Court of Appeals said that legally, the money was only mislaid, not abandoned, so it still belonged to Spann's estate.
Woman breaks into home, cleans and leaves a bill
Police in suburban Cleveland say a woman who owns a cleaning service broke into a house and washed the dishes, took out the trash, and vacuumed before leaving a handwritten bill with her name on it.
And police say it might not be the first time.
The woman, Sue Warren of Elyria, is in jail on a burglary charge.
Police in Westlake say Warren broke into a home last week and began tidying up, but she didn't take anything. They say she then wrote out a bill for $75 on a napkin and included her name and address.
One officer says Warren told him she does it all the time.
A call to Warren's cleaning business was not answered Thursday. It's not immediately known if she has an attorney.
A gunman in a Cadillac has shot a pregnant woman in the face at a Palm Springs red light.
Sgt. Mike Kovaleff says the woman has a non-life threatening wound to her face. Her name hasn't been released.
The Riverside Press-Enterprise says the woman was a passenger in a Honda CRV sport utility vehicle stopped at a red light Thursday night when the Cadillac sedan pulled alongside.
Kovaleff says an armed passenger in the Cadillac yelled and began firing at the two people in the SUV.
The driver of the Honda wasn't hurt.
The Cadillac was found a short time later abandoned in nearby Cathedral City.
There are no arrests.
Even police shocked by gore in face-mauling attack
It is being called one of this city's goriest crimes: A naked man was on top of another nude man along a busy highway, biting into the man's face, tearing it to pieces. A police officer arrived to help, but the mauler growled at him and continued to chew away, stopping only when he was shot to death.
Miami police said little Tuesday about the attack, which took place Saturday afternoon in the shadow of The Miami Herald headquarters. Surveillance video from the newspaper's security camera showed cars, motorcycles, pedestrians and bicyclists passing by.
The victim, identified as 65-year-old Ronald Poppo, a homeless man who lived under the causeway, was in critical condition.
"He had his face eaten down to his goatee. The forehead was just bone. No nose, no mouth," said Sgt. Armando Aguilar, president of the Miami Fraternal Order of Police. "In my opinion, he just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time."
Sgt. Javier Ortiz, vice president of the Miami Fraternal Order of Police, said it was one of the bloodiest "and goriest scenes I've ever been to."
"It was not only grotesque, it was just very sad, the amount of blood. It was very sad to see what happened to this gentleman that had his face eaten," Ortiz said.
It's not clear what led Rudy Eugene, 31, to attack Poppo. Eugene's ex-wife, Jenny Ductant, told WPLG-TV, said he was somewhat paranoid.
"I wouldn't say he had mental problem but he always felt like people was against him ... No one was for him, everyone was against him," she told the station. She and Eugene's mother declined comment when reached by The Associated Press.
Larry Vega was riding his bicycle off the causeway, which connects downtown Miami with Miami Beach, when he saw the attack.
"The guy was, like, tearing him to pieces with his mouth, so I told him, 'Get off!'" Vega told Miami television station WSVN (http://bit.ly/L6kwWt). "The guy just kept eating the other guy away, like, ripping his skin."
Vega flagged down the Miami police officer, who can be seen exiting his car on the Herald video. Vega said the officer repeatedly ordered the attacker to get off. Eugene just picked his head up and growled at the officer before continuing to maul his victim, Vega said.
The officer shot Eugene, but he just kept chewing, Vega said. The officer fired again, killing Eugene.
Vega refused to comment when reached by The Associated Press, saying he wanted to put what he witnessed behind him.
Detective William Moreno would not release details about the shooting, citing the ongoing investigation. The Miami-Dade County medical examiner declined to provide any information until after the autopsy, which was scheduled for Tuesday. Police have not released details from the autopsy and it could be weeks before the results of toxicology tests are available.
Ortiz said the officer, who is part of a crisis intervention team and trained to deal with the mentally ill, had no choice but to fire.
"He's clearly shaken up," Ortiz said, adding that the officer had been administratively reassigned pending an investigation, as is standard after an officer-involved shooting.
After the shooting, the Herald's video zooms in on the scene. Most of it is blocked by an overpass, but two sets of uncovered legs can be seen. One set never moves, while the other twists and turns as if the person is in pain.
"It was just a blob of blood," Vega said. "You couldn't really see, it was just blood all over the place."
Court records show that Poppo has several arrests for public intoxication.
According to Miami-Dade court records, Eugene had been arrested for multiple misdemeanors, mostly marijuana-related charges. The most recent arrest was in 2009. The Herald reported that he played football at a Miami area high school in the late 1990s.
Ives Eugene, who identified himself as Rudy Eugene's uncle, described his nephew as a "nice and hard-working" man who washed cars at a local dealership.
He said his nephew had asked his girlfriend to borrow her car, but she said no. "So he rode the bicycle, and he never came back home," he said.
Radioactive bluefin tuna cross Pacific
Across the vast Pacific, the mighty bluefin tuna carried radioactive contamination that leaked from Japan's crippled nuclear plant to the shores of the United States 6,000 miles away - the first time a huge migrating fish has been shown to carry radioactivity such a distance.
"We were frankly kind of startled," said Nicholas Fisher, one of the researchers reporting the findings online Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The levels of radioactive cesium were 10 times higher than the amount measured in tuna off the California coast in previous years. But even so, that's still far below safe-to-eat limits set by the U.S. and Japanese governments.
Previously, smaller fish and plankton were found with elevated levels of radiation in Japanese waters after a magnitude-9 earthquake in March 2011 triggered a tsunami that badly damaged the Fukushima Dai-ichi reactors.
But scientists did not expect the nuclear fallout to linger in huge fish that sail the world because such fish can metabolize and shed radioactive substances.
One of the largest and speediest fish, Pacific bluefin tuna can grow to 10 feet and weigh more than 1,000 pounds. They spawn off the Japan coast and swim east at breakneck speed to school in waters off California and the tip of Baja California, Mexico.
Five months after the Fukushima disaster, Fisher of Stony Brook University in New York and a team decided to test Pacific bluefin that were caught off the coast of San Diego. To their surprise, tissue samples from all 15 tuna captured contained levels of two radioactive substances - ceisum-134 and cesium-137 - that were higher than in previous catches.
To rule out the possibility that the radiation was carried by ocean currents or deposited in the sea through the atmosphere, the team also analyzed yellowfin tuna, found in the eastern Pacific, and bluefin that migrated to Southern California before the nuclear crisis. They found no trace of cesium-134 and only background levels of cesium-137 left over from nuclear weapons testing in the 1960s.
The results "are unequivocal. Fukushima was the source," said Ken Buesseler of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, who had no role in the research.
Bluefin tuna absorbed radioactive cesium from swimming in contaminated waters and feeding on contaminated prey such as krill and squid, the scientists said. As the predators made the journey east, they shed some of the radiation through metabolism and as they grew larger. Even so, they weren't able to completely flush out all the contamination from their system.
"That's a big ocean. To swim across it and still retain these radionuclides is pretty amazing," Fisher said.
Pacific bluefin tuna are prized in Japan where a thin slice of the tender red meat prepared as sushi can fetch $24 per piece at top Tokyo restaurants. Japanese consume 80 percent of the world's Pacific and Atlantic bluefin tuna.
The real test of how radioactivity affects tuna populations comes this summer when researchers planned to repeat the study with a larger number of samples. Bluefin tuna that journeyed last year were exposed to radiation for about a month. The upcoming travelers have been swimming in radioactive waters for a longer period. How this will affect concentrations of contamination remains to be seen.
Now that scientists know that bluefin tuna can transport radiation, they also want to track the movements of other migratory species including sea turtles, sharks and seabirds.
Sentenced to death for singing at wedding
Four women and two men have been sentenced to death in northern Pakistan for singing and dancing at a wedding, police say.
Clerics issued a decree after a mobile phone video emerged of the six enjoying themselves in a remote village in the mountainous district of Kohistan, 176km north of the capital Islamabad.
Pakistani authorities in the area said local clerics had ordered the punishment over allegations that the men and women danced and sang together in Gada village, in defiance of strict tribal customs that separate men and women at weddings.
"The local clerics issued a decree to kill all four women and two men shown in the video," district police officer Abdul Majeed Afridi told AFP.
"It was decided that the men will be killed first, but they ran away so the women are safe for the moment. I have sent a team to capture them and am waiting to hear some news," he said, adding that the women had been confined to their homes.
Afridi said the events stemmed from a dispute between two tribes and that there was no evidence the men and women had been mingling.
"All of them were shown separately in the video. I've seen the video taken on a cell phone myself. It shows four women singing and a man dancing in separate scenes and then another man sitting in a separate shot," he said.
"This is tribal enmity. The video has been engineered to defame the tribe," he added.
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said at least 943 women and girls were murdered last year for allegedly defaming their family's honour.
The statistics highlight the scale of violence suffered by many women in conservative Muslim Pakistan, where they are frequently treated as second-class citizens.