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Body pulled from St. Johns River

Jacksonville police pull a body from the St. Johns River behind the YMCA on Riverside Avenue.

Sgt. Michael Paul with JSO's homicide unit says they got the call just after 9 when a citizen walking behind the YMCA noticed the body. JFRD and Florida Fish and Wildlife also assisted in recovering the unidentified black male from the water.

Right now the case is being treated as an undetermined death. Sgt. Paul says it's possible that the body is that of a missing boater who jumped into the river in the Ortega area on Sunday and hasn't been seen since.

JSO says they will know more once an autopsy has been conducted.

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The Latest News Headlines

  • The Jacksonville woman accused of smuggling in a Mexican national to serve as a pregnancy surrogate, then forcing the woman in to manual labor while being physically and psychologically abusive, has pleaded guilty. We first told you about the federal criminal complaint against Esthela Clark in June 2015. Investigators say she paid around $3,000 to smuggle a Mexican woman in to the US, telling the woman she would serve as a surrogate for her pregnancy while under medical supervision. In reality, the court records say Clark tried to inseminate the woman herself by using a plastic syringe and her boyfriend’s sperm, performing the procedure on the dining room floor of their Jacksonville apartment. There was no successful insemination. Court records say Clark also forced the woman in to domestic labor, while being physically and psychologically abusive- including subjecting the victim to an extreme diet that resulted in her losing 65 pounds. The victim’s family was also contacted by Clark in an effort to recover the cost of the smuggling and more. Clark was indicted on a total of nine counts, including harboring aliens, sale in to involuntary servitude, sex trafficking and more. She has pleaded guilty to one count of forced labor, and could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison, according to the US Attorney’s Office. A sentencing date has not yet been set. The federal court docket says Clark’s trial had been scheduled for May.
  • Antonia Lopez, a Nebraska teen who admitted to throwing her newborn baby out the window, won't be serving any jail time, the Omaha World-Herald reports. On Friday, Douglas County Juvenile Court Judge Christopher Kelly ordered Lopez to be placed on probation, live in a group home, take part in individual and family therapy, delete her Facebook account and perform 50 hours of community service, according to the World-Herald. In September, Lopez, 16, reportedly gave birth to a baby girl in her apartment, then threw the baby out the window. She then texted her boyfriend, “It was a girl by the way,” and admitted her crime to her mother, the World-Herald reported. She told police that she was unaware that she was pregnant and thought she was just having her period. >> Read more trending news An autopsy revealed that the infant, who later died, was still breathing at the time the blunt-force injuries were sustained. It also showed that Lopez had been pregnant for 25 to 28 weeks.  “She’s coping the best she can,” Lopez’s defense attorney Rebecca McClung said, adding that her client thought the child was a stillborn. “The mother is coping the best she can. The grandmother is coping the best she can.” Lopez was initially charged as an adult with felony child abuse resulting in death, which could have meant 20 years in prison. However, in February, her case was transferred to juvenile court after her mental state and lack of criminal record were considered, the World-Herald reported. She reportedly was ordered to live in a group home because judges were concerned that she didn’t understand the severity of her actions. The Facebook deletion order stemmed from her receiving numerous negative comments on her page following her arrest, the World-Herald reported. Read more here.
  • Officers were first called to the area because of a domestic dispute. Now traffic homicide detectives have taken over after a 50-year-old Atlantic Beach man is hit and killed by a sport utility vehicle near Naval Station Mayport. Darrell McKenzie died at UF Health around an hour after he was run over by a 2003 white Chevy Suburban last night on the 4500 block of Ocean Street/A1A near Pearl Street. The crash report shows he was laying across the northbound lanes when the SUV - which was going northbound - ran him over around 10 p.m. Sunday. Charges are pending against the driver - a 22-year-old Atlantic Beach woman - until JSO completes its investigation. She wasn't taken to the hospital by paramedics, per the report. Investigators believe McKenzie was being restrained by family members due to his mental well-being just before the accident, but the report doesn't specify what exactly the fight was about.
  • A beloved music teacher from San Jose Elementary will no doubt be on the hearts and minds of students and staff as they return from spring break. Deborah Liles was found dead in her Panama Park home on the northside late last week. Her car was recovered over the weekend not far from her home. Liles' gold 2010 Buick LaCrosse was found on Golfair Boulevard on Saturday and JSO is now asking for the public's help identifying who was driving it.  Neighbors said police found the car behind an abandoned house near Notter Avenue. Police call the case a murder, and Liles’ children said she'd been a victim of several crimes in the past. “I don’t know about the circumstances. I don’t know if they’re coincidences happening. I don’t know if there’s a connection between what happened then and what happened now,' Liles' daughter Rachel Sirmans said. 'We really want to find those answers.” 'Just the condolences, completely unknown numbers that text us…I was your mother's music student in third grade and I'm in high school now”, said Liles’ son Gerald. JSO says this is an active ongoing investigation.   Anyone who knows anything about this murder is asked to contact the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500 or email JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org. To remain anonymous and receive a possible reward up to $3,000 contact Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.
  • An 11-year-old Massachusetts girl suffered second- and third-degree burns this month after being exposed to an ingredient in a popular do-it-yourself science project for children. Siobhan Quinn, of Rockland, is speaking out about the danger after her daughter, Kathleen, was burned making homemade slime, or “gak,” that is popular with science-minded children, WCVB in Boston reported. Quinn said she was happy when her daughter decided to do something educational. “I thought it was great,” Quinn told the news station. “I encouraged it, bought all the stuff. And when they were gone, I bought more. She was being a little scientist.” Kathleen’s foray into science came with a painful price. The girl was at a sleepover the weekend of March 18 when she woke up in agonizing pain.  “It felt, like, really hot and tingly,” Kathleen told WCVB.  The next day, a weeping Kathleen had ugly and painful blisters all over her fingers. Quinn took her to Shriners Hospital for Children in Boston, where she was diagnosed with the burns.  Doctors told Quinn the burns were the result of prolonged exposure to Borax.  >> Read more trending stories Borax, a detergent and household cleaner, consists of sodium tetraborate, a mineral used in a number of household products. With a low toxicity, Borax is considered relatively safe and is used in recipes for natural cleaners.  It is also one of the main ingredients in multiple recipes for homemade slime or “gak” found online.  Quinn said other mothers have told her that their children have used Borax to make slime “a million times” with no ill effects.  “We made it a million times, too, and nothing happened,” Quinn told WCVB.  The concerned mother is not the first to speak out about the dangers of making homemade slime. Rebekha D’Stephano of Manchester, England, told the Manchester Evening News earlier this month that her 10-year-old daughter, Deejay Jemmett, suffered chemical burns to her hands after making “unicorn slime.”  Though the recipe Deejay found online called for Borax, it is not easy to find in the United Kingdom because it can cause eye irritation or damage a person’s fertility, the Evening News reported. Deejay used a laundry detergent instead. “Within 48 hours, her skin had started to peel off,” D’Stephano told the newspaper. “From there it got worse.” Deejay’s chemical burns got her a referral to a plastic surgeon, her mother said.  Both mothers have shared their stories in the hopes of making parents more aware of what can happen when making the concoction. D’Stephano said that the videos her daughter found on YouTube showing how to make slime bore no safety warnings. Quinn said she feels ‘terrible” after watching Kathleen suffer through the burns, which caused her to miss a week of school.   “I feel like the worst mother,” she said.  YouTube also has multiple videos on making slime without the use of Borax. 

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