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21 years after ‘Baby Michael’ found dead in trash bag, DNA leads to woman’s arrest

21 years after ‘Baby Michael’ found dead in trash bag, DNA leads to woman’s arrest

Almost 21 years after a newborn baby was found dead inside a trash bag along a rural North Carolina road, forensic genealogy has helped investigators trace the mother and arrest her. Detectives at the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office have been investigating the case since March 3, 1999, when a plastic trash bag was tossed from a moving vehicle onto the side of a road in a rural area south of the town of Hope Mills. Some hours later, a soldier driving down the same road spotted the bag and what he thought was a doll inside. Authorities were called to the scene and discovered there was no doll in the bag, but rather a baby boy with his umbilical cord still attached. Investigators determined the infant, who was not even 24-hours old, died of blunt force trauma, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Moose Butler, the Cumberland County sheriff at the time, issued a public plea for the parents to come forward. When no one did, Butler arranged a funeral service for the infant, whom he named Michael after the patron saint of law enforcement officers. A funeral service was held March 30, 1999, at Hair’s Chapel Free Will Holiness Church on Duck Pond Road. Michael was buried in the church cemetery. “Detectives have never given up working on this homicide, and finally got a break in the case,” Cumberland County Sheriff Ennis Wright announced in a press release Thursday. “Baby Michael’s DNA was sent to Bode Technology, who specializes in forensic genealogy services, for comparison. The results gave a family line, and it was up to the detectives to narrow the suspect field.” Using the DNA results, detectives identified 54-year-old Deborah Riddle O’Conner as the likely mother of the baby. “You know, this person had an option,” Wright said. “She had a choice, but in this situation, the right choice wasn’t made.” They drove more than 200 miles west to Morganton in Burke County to speak with her. During the interview, O’Conner told detectives she was, in fact, the baby’s mother. “With only 12 days until the 21st anniversary of the baby Michael, Sheriff’s Office detectives have finally closed the case,” Wright said. Her husband, Charles O’Conner, told WSOC-TV that investigators showed up at their home Thursday, separated them, and questioned his wife in the yard for about 30 minutes before making the arrest. Charles O’Conner, who married Deborah O’Conner 10 years ago, said he had no idea about the case until deputies showed up. “I’ve had spells,” he said. “I’ve had spells crying. I haven’t slept all night.” Both Charles O’Conner and his mother, Jean Dills, said Deborah O’Conner has mental health issues. “It’s just floored us,” Dills told Channel 9. “We don’t know what to think.” O’Conner was taken into custody after the interview and taken to Cumberland County, where she was charged with first-degree murder and booked in the local detention center. “I believe she’s completely innocent,” Charles O’Conner said. “She is not that type.” She is currently being held without bail.

Texas deputies find $750K worth of cocaine inside karaoke machine

Texas deputies find $750K worth of cocaine inside karaoke machine

She don’t lie, she don’t lie, she don’t lie. Cocaine. Two Texas residents were singing the blues Wednesday after a Laredo County K-9 sniffed out 7.5 kilograms of cocaine during a traffic stop, KXAN reported. Sgt. Randy Thumann and K-9 Kolt stopped a Chevrolet Avalanche on Interstate 10 near Flatonia for a traffic violation, the television station reported. The driver and passenger allowed the deputy to search their vehicle, and the dog alerted his partner about narcotics. Thumann found cocaine spray inside the karaoke machine in the back seat, KXAN reported. According to the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office, the street value of the cocaine is $750,000. The driver, Sandra Mendiola Garza, 35, of Laredo, and passenger, Alifonzo Garza Jr. 37, also of Laredo, were arrested on felony cocaine possession charges and booked into the county jail, the television station reported.

Seattle Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch to appear in Season 3 of HBO’s ‘Westworld’

Seattle Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch to appear in Season 3 of HBO’s ‘Westworld’

Was that Beast Mode in the season 3 trailer for HBO’s 'Westworld'? That’s right, Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch will have a role in the upcoming season. HBO released the newest trailer Thursday, and about 54 seconds into the clip, Lynch is seen for a few seconds walking behind actor Aaron Paul, who also joins the cast this season. It’s unknown how big of a role Lynch will have in season 3. This isn’t the first time Lynch has made an appearance on a series. According to IMDb.com, he appeared in “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” 'Running Wild With Bear Grylls” and “The League.” Lynch came out of retirement this past season to play three games with the Seahawks, which included two playoff games. The season is set to premiere March 15.

Trump raises possibility of election year farm bailout payments President Donald Trump on Friday hinted that his administration may move to add even more to the $28 billion in bailout money paid to farmers over the past two years, as ongoing trade disputes continue to exact an economic drag on U.S. agriculture. In a post on Twitter, the President said if extra aid is needed, it will be paid for by increased tariffs levied by the Trump Administration. 'THAT AID WILL BE PROVIDED BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT,' Mr. Trump wrote, in part. The most recent figures show the federal government is now collecting just under $7 billion a month in tariffs from U.S. import companies - up from about $3 billion a month when the President took office in 2017. An average of $7 billion a month would equal close to $100 billion in tariffs, which the President says will offset the cost of bailout payments to U.S. farmers hurt by ongoing trade disputes. Earlier this week in a stop in California, the President reminded farmers of his administration's bailout work. 'We got you $16 billion and we got you $12 billion from the year before. We took it out of the tariffs that we imposed,' the President said. 'People don’t say it. They never like to say it, the fake news.' 'I will always keep fighting for the American farmer and rancher,' Mr. Trump added. The President's promise to funnel billions in additional aid to farmers came amid reports that China may not be buying the up to $40 billion in American farm products which had been promised as part of a 'phase one' trade deal with the U.S. 'Not good. Also not surprising,' said the group Farmers for Free Trade, which has been a loud voice in the agricultural community raising concern about the impact of the President's tariffs. While the President and top administration officials predict new trade deals with China, Japan, Canada, and Mexico will open up new markets for America's farmers - Mr. Trump's use of tariffs have caused trouble for U.S. agriculture, often resulting in retaliatory tariffs by other nations. Democrats mocked the President's latest talk of extra farm bailouts. 'I SEE THAT YOU ARE, AGAIN, EMBRACING SOCIALISM,' tweeted Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA).
 
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