POLICE & FIRE REPORT

SALISBURY -- Police filed charges against a 25-year-old Salisbury woman after finding a toddler wandering around Booth Street.
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Police were called to the 800 block of Booth Street after receiving reports about a child in the street at 9:14 a.m. on Saturday.

The mother, Wilkely Garcia, was inside her home and was unaware the child went outside, according to police.

Police estimate the 3-year-old child was outside for 30 minutes.

Police charged Garcia with endangering the welfare of a child and reckless endangerment. She was taken into custody and later released on her own recognizance, according to police.
Police seek help with missing man

CRISFIELD -- Police are asking for the public's help in solving the disappearance of Gordon Nelson Sr. of Crisfield in December 2007.

Nelson, 59, was last seen wearing blue jeans, a dark colored cap and a red flannel shirt. He was described as a white male, 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighing 140 pounds.

On Tuesday, the Crisfield Police Department returned to a property on Canal Drive after two cadaver dogs hit on a spot in the yard Friday, said Chief Mike Tabor.

Using a backhoe, police dug down about 6 feet but found nothing there, Tabor said.

Last week, police also searched a house in connection with the investigation, but Tabor said he could not release details.

Anyone with any information about Nelson is urged to contact the Crisfield Police Department, specifically Chief Michael Tabor, at 410-968-1323. Callers can remain anonymous.
Man, woman face burglary charges

SALISBURY -- A Salisbury man and woman were charged with burglary after allegedly breaking into a vacant Booth Street apartment, according to police.

Wicomico County Sheriff's deputies were investigating a reported burglary in the 800 block of Booth Street at 11:37 p.m. on Thursday when they observed Franky N. Fontanez, 38, inside a vacant apartment.

Deputies were able to confirm 19-year-old Maria Rivera had been inside the residence as well.

Rivera and Fontanez were taken into custody and later released on their recognizance, according to police.

DRUG POSSESSION. April Nadine Powell, 33, of Salisbury was charged Sunday with possession of cocaine, possession of drug paraphernalia, trespassing and having an open container of alcohol, Salisbury police said. Powell was charged after officers found Powell allegedly trespassing.

N.C. Search For Missing Woman Finds Nothing

BLAIRSVILLE, Ga. (AP) -- A North Carolina search for a missing
Georgia woman has ended after no evidence of her was found there.

Searchers acting on a tip called in to the television show
"America's Most Wanted" began looking for 38-year-old Kristi
Cornwell of Blairsville on Sunday.

She disappeared from her hometown Aug. 11. Police said she was abducted while talking to her boyfriend on her cell phone during a walk.

U.S. Marshals Service spokesman Tyler Kellner said the search
concluded around 6 p.m. Monday after officials set up a grid and
used cadaver dogs to look for the woman.

Searchers looked in the area of Kings Mountain, N.C., near
Charlotte and almost 200 miles from Blairsville. Officers said a
caller to the TV show said the woman's body could be found there.

The case was profiled on the show Saturday night.

Associated Press

Sex case against former Owendale-Gagetown softball coach headed to Circuit Court

by LaNia Coleman | The Bay City Times
Monday August 17, 2009, 10:47 AM

CARO -- The case against a former Owendale-Gagetown softball coach accused of criminal sexual conduct with a 14-year-old female athlete is headed to Circuit Court.

Cory D. Fritz, 26, waived his Monday preliminary hearing in Tuscola County District Court. His next court date is pending.

Fritz, of Sebewaing, faces 20 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Investigators allege Fritz, from October 2005 to March 2006, had a sexual relationship with a Gagetown sophomore.

The teen became pregnant, authorities allege, but what became of the infant remains a mystery.

Tuscola County Prosecutor Mark E. Reene has alleged that Fritz, in a written statement, has said the girl delivered the child in June 2006 and the remains of the infant were buried in a wooded area in Gagetown or Elmwood Township.

During an earlier court hearing, Reene and Fritz's attorney, Kevin J. Rieman of Bay City, disagreed about whether the child was born alive. Rieman also has questioned whether a child ever existed.

Reene has alleged that Fritz was present when the baby died. He further claimed Fritz indicated the teen had dug a hole to dispose of the body.

Reene has said that police continue to actively search for the remains with help from forensic anthropologists and cadaver dogs.

Meanwhile, Fritz's bond conditions state that if he is prohibited from entering Gagetown or Elmwood Township to remove human remains.

No charges have been filed in connection with the alleged missing remains.

Authorities have not named the teen.

Criminal sexual conduct carries a maximum 15-year prison sentence.

The case remains under investigation.

Anyone with information should call Detective Sgt. Mark Krebs at the state police Bad Axe Post, (989) 269-6442.

Man in court after 4 years 2 brothers murdered

Richard Charan South Bureau

Thursday, August 20th 2009



Police have arrested and charged a man in connection with a double-murder case four years old.

Kareem Guadeloupe, 28, of Cap De Ville, Point Fortin, appeared in court yesterday charged with murdering brothers Neil and Nigel Siberan.

The brothers disappeared from their home at Syphoo Trace, Granville, on November 17, 2005. Police found a piece of rope and a blood trail at the back of the home. But despite a search involving cadaver dogs in a one mile radius of the house, nothing else was found.

This was until January 13, 2006 when the father of the dead men said he followed a dream that took him to a spot 150 feet behind the family home.

In a five-foot-deep grave, Neil, 25, and Nigel, 23, were found buried in an embrace.

An autopsy found both men, gardeners, were chopped to death.

Yesterday, Guadeloupe appeared before Point Fortin Magistrate Betsy Ann Peterson. He was charged by Corporal Corrie.

The mother of the Siberan brothers, Geta Siberan, was in court for the hearing. She wept.

The charges are that on a date unknown, between November 16, 2005 and January 13, 2006, Guadeloupe murdered the brothers.

Police Prosecutor Sgt Rohan Pardasie said a State attorney would be appointed in the case.

Guadeloupe is in prison custody and will reappear in court on August 28.

Pennsylvania Man Found Dead in Cheat Lake

Posted Saturday, August 22, 2009 ; 06:17 PM | View Comments | Post Comment
Updated Monday, August 24, 2009 ; 11:44 AM


The body of Peter Scalise was found Saturday afternoon.

Story by Macall Allen
Email | Bio | Other Stories by Macall Allen

MORGANTOWN -- Rescue Crews spent all night searching for a missing man on Cheat Lake.

The call came in to 911 as a drowning around 1:30 Friday morning.

Saturday at about 12:00 pm the man was found dead.

The victim is identified as 23-year-old Peter Andrew Scalise of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Authorities say the man was camping near the headwaters, with a group of about 15-20 people.

Witnesses say he was last seen standing in the water as they were exiting the lake around 1:00 am.

Three rescue boats and search teams were out on the lake early Saturday morning including a cadaver dog.

The Cheat Lake Volunteer Fire Department says the group admitted to have been drinking.

The cause of death is yet to determined by the State Medical Examiners' Office.

Scientists on to nose that detects death

By David Wylie, Canwest News ServiceAugust 18, 2009



An electronic nose that can detect the "smell of death," helping searchers recover bodies from disaster areas and aiding crime scene investigators to determine the exact time of death, is one step closer to wafting from the pages of science-fiction into real life.

Scientists have found that specific chemicals are released at incremental times after death, a breakthrough that bolsters the idea imagined in Ray Bradbury's classic 1953 novel, Fahrenheit 451, of a mechanical hound that hunts its prey by following their scent. Bradbury describes the hound as having "sensitive capillary hairs in the nylon-brushed nostrils."

The author's idea doesn't seem far from what Pennsylvania State University forensic scientists envision in the future.

Dan Sykes, director of analytical instructional laboratories at the university and the project leader, said the goal is to match the abilities of cadaver dogs that help find and recover bodies buried after earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes and other natural disasters.

"These dogs are highly effective, but it takes a lot of time, money and manpower to train them," said Sykes. "A device that is as effective as dogs, but is a fraction of the cost, would be something worth pursuing."

The research was presented Sunday at the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in Washington. The scientists are now trying to capture scents in different weather conditions, including snow. This is the most comprehensive research on the topic to date.

Evidence, testimony against husband presented in Port St. Lucie murder case

ST. LUCIE COUNTY — As a cadaver dog named Rudy searched his backyard on July 28, 2006, Albert Estrada kept peering out a glass door, his face pressed against it, staring at a patch of freshly tilled earth.

That’s what Port St. Lucie Police investigator Joel Smith said he observed the day before authorities found the bundled up body of Estrada’s wife, Julia Rolon-Estrada, 39, buried 2 feet deep near a window of their Rainier Road home.

State prosecutors say on July 26, 2006, Estrada used a handgun to shoot and kill his wife, who would have turned 43 Tuesday. He’s accused of wrapping her body in a tarp and a blanket and placing it in a shallow grave.

Jurors Tuesday were shown results of luminol tests conducted to detect the presence of blood. A series of photos showed body fluids on hallway tiles, in the laundry room and smeared throughout a hall bathroom, especially inside a tub, which glowed a bright purple when photographed in the dark.

Estrada is on trial for tampering with evidence and first-degree murder. If convicted, he faces the death penalty.

Prosecutors played more taped conversations between Estrada and police, including the day before his wife’s body was found, while detectives searched for clues to her sudden disappearance.

Inside his home that day, Estrada, who has pleaded not guilty, appeared perplexed as to what happened to his wife, who disappeared the night after she’d moved out of the home they shared.

While Port St. Lucie Police Detective Robert Fonteyn pressed for answers, Estrada remained evasive.

“Do you have any idea where she could be right now?” Fonteyn asked, while police combed the grounds.

“I wish,” replied Estrada, nonplussed.

“Do you think she’s OK?” Fonteyn asked.

“She better be OK,” he said. “Cause I’m here by myself. Got no family.”

Jurors viewed photos of Rolon-Estrada’s body, as it was found in the ground. Prosecutors also presented the blue plastic tarp that encased her body, the blanket that wrapped it and the black cord and tapes used that matched samples taken from a table inside the home.

The jury also saw a set of gold female rings found in a dresser drawer that tested positive for blood.

Port St. Lucie Police investigator Ron Schoner said based on three bullet holes and other ballistics evidence, it appeared Rolon-Estrada was shot inside the laundry room.

The shooter, Schoner said, most likely fired at her while standing near a kitchen counter.

“She was either closing the door or it was being opened,” he said, “but she was in the laundry room when she was shot.”

Building Tenant Insists Third Person was Trapped

BUFFALO, NY (WBFO) - The search for a cause in Monday's Genesee Street fire that killed two firefighters continues. A tenant of the building insists there was a person trapped in the basement when the fire broke out. WBFO'S Eileen Buckley returned to the fire scene Tuesday and files this report.

Fire commissioner Michael Lombardo said a cadaver dog was brought in Tuesday to search for a possible third civilian victim, but did not find a body.

Both funerals will be held Friday at St. Joseph Cathedral on Franklin Street in downtown Buffalo. Lt. Charles McCarthy's will be held at 9:30 a.m. followed by firefighter Jonathan Croom's at 1 p.m.

Click the audio player above to hear Eileen Buckley's story now or use your podcasting software to download it to your computer or iPod.

The Old Trainer: Helpful idea may be more than bargained for

DEAR OLD TRAINER: Is it possible to train my golden retriever, Max, to be a cadaver dog, and if so, how do I do it? I would like to help find bodies in disasters such as earthquakes, floods, etc.

-- Altruistic, Atwater

A: Goldens have a magnificent sense of smell, Altruistic, so Max will have no trouble finding bodies. Goldens are a common sight at every ski resort in the country, riding the lifts with the ski patrol and playing in the snow while they train for duty in case of an avalanche. They do an excellent job of finding avalanche victims.

But disaster areas are not ski resorts. A disaster area is ... well, a disaster, and it is very unpleasant. After Katrina, disaster dogs and their owners were working in 100 degree temperatures and 90 percent humidity, in a disease infected area that was without water, power, air conditioning, or transportation.

Are you willing to subject yourself and Max to conditions like that? Remember, Max may not be as altruistic as you are, and he is the one who will be doing the work.

In addition, while dogs love to search for lost people and are overjoyed when they find them, some breeds cannot deal with finding cadavers instead of a living people. They become melancholy when they face what they consider failure after failure, and it is not easy to bring them out of it.

If you decide you are serious about such training, there are more than 50,000 organizations and individuals who offer such training listed on the Internet.

DEAR OLD TRAINER: I have had my German shepherd, Meatloaf, for five years and he is a perfect companion. My boyfriend, who I have been dating for six months, doesn't like dogs, and Meatloaf has always refused to have anything to do with him. He criticizes Meatloaf constantly and last weekend he insisted I give him to my parents. I would never do that. What do you advise?

-- Ambivalent, San Francisco

A: The Old Trainer advises you to appreciate how lucky you are. Your boyfriend has unwittingly revealed his true personality. This type of inadvertent revelation is the only insight into a person's character that you know is accurate.

It reminds me of the Marlon Brando western, One Eyed Jacks. Marlon, a bank robber, gets out of jail in Texas and travels to California only to discover that his old partner in crime, Karl Malden, is now sheriff of Monterrey. Marlon Brando, as Johnny Rio, tells Karl Malden, "You may be a one eyed jack around here, but I've seen the other side of your face."

You have seen the other side of your boyfriend's face, Ambivalent, the one that he hides from the public.

This is an easy decision. On the one hand you have Meatloaf, who has been a perfect companion for five years and gives you unconditional love. On the other hand you have a man who cares nothing for what you want or for what makes you happy. He wants you to sacrifice your happiness to accommodate his whims. He will never change. Do you really need The Old Trainer to tell you how to decide that one?

Dogs are an extremely good judge of character. Anytime a dog dislikes someone on sight, there is good reason. Meatloaf is reading body language, tone of voice, and subtle indicators of character that you do not notice. And Meatloaf is watching your boyfriend while your attention is elsewhere.

Trust Meatloaf, and get rid of this guy.

Then take Meatloaf for a long weekend walk along the Marina Green and Crissy Field. You will have no problem meeting someone that both you and Meatloaf find worthwhile.

Send questions for The Old Trainer to theoldtrainer711@yahoo.com.

THIRD UPDATE: Search for possible buried bodies called off

News 12 at 6 o'clock, August 6, 2009

AUGUSTA, Ga. --- Investigators have suspended their search Thursday for two bodies possibly buried behind an Augusta restaurant.

Richmond County investigators were joined by both GBI and FBI agents as they searched in the wooded area off Cherry Street. That's just behind the Longhorn Steakhouse on Washington Road.

Investigators say they did find "suspicious evidence" but so far, no human remains, so they have stopped digging.

Earlier in the week cadaver dogs made a hit there in two locations on the property. Richmond County Sheriff's Lt. Scott Gay told News 12, "We are postponing the dig right now. We feel the areas pointed out to us by the dogs we have searched thoroughly."

Investigators started this massive effort after a tip came in earlier this week from a person out of state, and FBI agents are now in contact that person. The tip indicated two women were killed in the Cherry Street area possibly 10 years ago. Lt. Gay says the woman came forward with the story because "she wanted to clear her conscience".

Lt. Gay says while there is no more digging on Cherry Street for now, there is still work to be done. "We are still interviewing and listening with what the witness has to tell us...We got the person they are accusing so we are going to talk to that person as well."

Investigators say they aren't leaving empty handed. "We don't want to say we stayed out here all day for nothing because we didn't. We learned a lot and we'll go from there."

News 12 is learning from sources that there is reason to believe there may have been bodies on the property, because a crime was committed near it before and it may be connected to the leader of an escort-prostitution ring broken up by deputies in early 2002. At that time, deputies linked the operator of the ring, Steven L. Barnes, to the murder of a local teenager, Samuel Sturrup. Sturrup was found shot to death in Edgefield County in late 2001. He was kidnapped from Cherry Street, the former property owner telling us Barnes lived at the same address investigators are now searching. Officers believed at the time Sturrup served as a lookout for the escort service.

Barnes is now serving a life sentence in the Georgia prison system for other convictions from Columbia County. Three other people, including prostitute Charlene Thatcher, are now serving 18 year sentences for attacking Sturrup.

Sources close to this new investigation are telling News 12 that Barnes could be involved in the deaths of two other women over a drug debt. It's not clear if the women were involved in the escort service. However, once this new tip came in about bodies possibly buried off Cherry Street, investigators decided to pursue the lead.

Search continues for missing rafter

By Tammy Compton
Wayne Independent
Tue Aug 25, 2009, 03:38 PM EDT
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Sullivan County, NY -

The search continues for a rafter presumed drowned on the Delaware River, in neighboring Sullivan County, NY.


Thirty-six-year-old Hin Hon Siu of Flushing, New York and three others were rafting down the Delaware River Sunday afternoon when their raft overturned in the Staircase Rapids, near Pond Eddy.


As it happened, the National Park Service (NPS) was just downstream of the Staircase Rapids patrolling in a motorboat when a visitor reported a person in the water. They responded immediately, and found all four people in the water. A man and two women made it safely to shore.


Loren Goering, chief of interpretation for the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreation River, says only one of the four was wearing a life jacket.


Park Ranger Kevin Reish and NPS volunteer Robert Hare of Florida, who were in the boat, threw Siu a lifejacket. But Goering says Siu was “barely above the waterline and unable to grab the jacket.”


When Siu couldn’t grab the life preserver, Hare jumped in to try and save him, but came up empty handed.


Goering says the water in that area was running high Sunday, following recent storms. Normally three to four-feet deep at the Staircase Rapids, the river was registering at 6 feet four inches that afternoon.


Numerous agencies are aiding in the search, including: NPS, Sullivan County Dive Team, New York State Police (dive team and helicopter), PA Game Commission, NY Forest Service, and at least a half a dozen area fire departments.


Goering said cadaver dogs were being called in Wednesday.


This is the second tragedy on the Delaware this summer. Twenty-nine-year-old Gustavo Brito was swimming near Soaring Eagle Campground in Stalker, PA, when he drowned July 26.
Goering says Superintendent Vidal Martinez, Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River, is hoping to gain community support in requiring life jackets be used by everyone on the river when the water is over six feet; that would include boaters, swimmers, fishermen, and even people wading in the water.

Investigation of fatal fire continues

Updated: Wednesday, 26 Aug 2009, 7:21 AM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 26 Aug 2009, 7:21 AM EDT

* Jericka Duncan
* Posted by: Emily Lenihan

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Investigators are expected to be back on the scene Wednesday morning, of the fire that claimed the life of two Buffalo firefighters.

Two days after the fatal fire that killed Lt. Chip McCarthy and firefighter Jonathan Croom, investigators still aren't sure what sparked the flames, or whether a third person might have died.

Searchers brought in a cadaver dog and a dog specializing in accellerants to sweep the demolished building Tuesday.

"I know somebody's there, and he didn't get out, because the smoke almost choked us," said Hamood Abdulla.

Abdulla was in the building at the time of the fire.

Abdulla believes the person he and another witness heard screaming might have been a robber.

"I told him 'can I help you?' He said, 'yes please help me,' " Abdulla said.

Fire Commissioner Michael Lombardo says it's looking more and more like McCarthy and Croom might have gone into the building searching for a person who wasn't there.

"If it turns out no one's in there it doesn't diminish one bit what they did or their sacrifice of what they did," said Michael Lombardo.

Copyright WIVB.com

New Leads In 30-Year-Old Missing Persons Case

HERCULANEUM, MO (KTVI-FOX2now.com) - There could be a break in the case of a woman who has been missing from Herculaneum for more than 30-years. Investigators think she may have been murdered after leaving a bar. Now, cadaver dogs may have found something to crack the cold case. Authorities in Herculaneum say the case of Genieva Adams went cold for years. But now, it might be getting new life after investigators have followed leads into Perry County.

Adams, who had several children, was 53-years-old when she disappeared in July of 1976. She was last seen leaving the Artesian Lounge. Police fear she may have been killed – nobody has ever been arrested.

Herculaneum Assistant Police Chief Captain Mark Tulgetske says it's the highest profile cold case for the town. He adds investigators re-opened the case a couple of years ago. Tulgetske says detectives obtained information that Adams may have spent time on land in Perry County. "We found it to be a really remote location. Information had it that that there's a possibility that she may have gone down to that location. So that's what led us there."

Cops first went to the 100 acres of private property this spring, but much of the area was under flood waters until recently. Friday, a team of cadaver dogs searched the area. Sources tell FOX 2 news the dogs hit on two areas. It's not clear what they may have found.

Police say Adams left the bar the night she went missing with a man named Jimmie Mills. He says Mills was interviewed and told police he dropped Adams off in Crystal City. He was never charged.

Tulgetske says any plans to dig up the area where the dogs hit are still unclear.

Cleveland Co. Search For Missing Ga. Woman Called Off

Posted: 6:07 pm EDT August 24, 2009
KINGS MOUNTAIN, N.C. -- The search for a missing Georgia woman along a Cleveland County road was called off Monday evening.

Cadaver dogs went out Monday afternoon looking for Kristi Cornwell, 38, who disappeared from Blairsville, Ga., on Aug. 11. Police said she was abducted while talking to her boyfriend on her cell phone during a walk.

Investigators said they’d received a tip through “America’s Most Wanted” that Cornwell’s body could be found along Baltic Road near Kings Mountain.

They said although the tip seemed credible, they found no sign of Corwell after combing the area for several hours.

Cornwell's family is offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to her safe return or the arrest and conviction of the people responsible for her disappearance.

2 killed in crash, including Hillside student

By KEITH UPCHURCH AND MATTHEW E. MILLIKEN

kupchurch@heraldsun.com; 419-6612

DURHAM -- A single-car accident in northern Durham Tuesday afternoon killed two people, including a Hillside High School freshman, police and fire officials reported.

Earlier information from officials had indicated that three people had been killed, but the driver of the car, Marcus Rogers, is in critical condition today at Duke University Hospital.

Investigators were given incorrect information last night that he had died from his injuries.

Hillside Principal Hans Lassiter said late Tuesday evening that student Destiny Taylor was one of the people killed in the crash, which occurred after the first day of classes for the 2009-10 school year.

A third passenger, Demonte Antwann Cissell, 22, of Willow Creek Circle, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Lassiter met Taylor -- whose first name was spelled Destinee, according to police -- last week when she was registering at freshman orientation.

"I just can't believe that someone at such a young age through such a tragic accident is no longer with us," said Lassiter, who was appointed principal of Hillside two weeks ago.

Taylor, who previously attended Neal Middle School, had a "very, very effervescent personality and was enthused about high school, was enthused about coming, was enthused about the new year, and that's the kind of energy you want," Lassiter said.

Grief counseling will take place at the Hillside theater throughout today. Social workers and counselors have been called in from other facilities in the district to aid in the effort.

The accident took place shortly after 3 p.m. when a 2004 Nissan Maxima driven by Rogers ran off the right side of the road while traveling east on Old Oxford Road near Craven Street by the city-county line.

All three occupants were ejected when the out-of-control car struck a ditch and flipped into the woods, police spokeswoman Kammie Michael said. Speed was a factor in the crash, according to investigators.

Fire officials said Rogers, 19, of Ruth Street, and Taylor were found in nearby woods.

A child's car seat also was thrown out of the vehicle. That led police, firefighters and sheriff's deputies to search the area along with two dogs to determine if an infant had also been ejected, but no child was found.

Fire Battalion Chief Willie Hall said the car was upside down and leaning against a tree when he arrived after responding to the call, which came in at 3:05 p.m. He said the car appeared to be destroyed.

Hall said two dogs -- one from the Durham County Sheriff's Office and one from the city police -- assisted in the search for victims.

The accident started in the city limits and ended up in the county just past the city-county line, Deputy Fire Chief Barry Yeargan said. He said "about 12 or 14'' city firefighters were sent to the scene. He said no fires broke out.

At least four Durham County sheriff's cars were at the scene, as well as a sheriff's cadaver dog, according to Maj. Paul Martin.

Smelling death electronically

Cadaver dogs could soon be sniffing the death scent of their profession.

Two Penn State researchers think eventually electronics could replace the canines. They recently presented a paper detailing progress made in profiling the chemicals released right after death. Understanding what chemicals are released and when could lead to an electronic cadaver sniffer that would locate dead bodies as well as provide valuable details such as time elapsed since death.

The paper was presented at a national meeting of the American Chemical Society whose slogan is “Chemistry for Life.” Chemistry is for death, too, apparently.

Such an electronic device could provide deeper insights into forensics and criminal investigations as well as offering a cheaper alternative to cadaver dogs, according to Dan Sykes, a Ph.D at Penn State’s Dept. of Chemistry.

“These dogs are highly effective, but it takes lots of time, expense and manpower to train them. If there was a device that was as effective for a fraction of the cost, that would be something worth pursuing,” Sykes said in a Penn State press release.

I have calls into both Sykes and graduate student Sara Jones who also worked on the project to get a better fix on how such an electronic device would work and when one might appear. If dependable and practical, it would provide enormous value for criminal investigators and rescuers in disasters such as earthquakes.
Pig in decomposing chamber.

Pig in decomposing chamber.

Meanwhile Sykes and Jones are working toward profiling the combinations of 30 compounds that are released by the body in the days following death. Two are aptly named putresine and foul-smelling cadaverine which are released early on in decomposition.

Sykes and Jones are working with “humanely euthanized” pigs which closely mimic the decomposition of humans. Previous studies have been done with two or three day old human cadavers, but they did not present chemicals such as cadervine or putrescine which appear soon after death.

Solid phase micro extraction (SPME) fibers sticking up in the photo above are used to capture the gases. Over the course of a week, the researchers collect odor data every six to twelve hours to create a “picture” of the decomposition process.

Their work gives new meaning to an old joke: “What’s Beethoven doing right now? Decomposing.”

Infants' remains found under Texas trailer porch

FORT WORTH, Texas — The skeletal remains of two infants have been found in a box and a storage container under an abandoned mobile home porch in rural northern Texas — a year after another baby's remains were discovered in a suitcase in a nearby field, officials said Monday.

The son of the land owner who rents mobile homes to several people on his 5-acre lot said he was cleaning Sunday when he found some bones in a box in a plastic bag and others in a plastic storage bin.

Authorities plan to compare the infants' DNA samples to that of the other baby whose remains were found last year in a suitcase in a field on the same lot, said Tarrant County Sheriff's Office spokesman Terry Grisham. In that case, the medical examiner was unable to determine a cause of death, and authorities had no leads because they could not identify the baby or say whether a crime had occurred, Grisham said.

Justin Southern said that when he saw the bag and storage container under the stairs, he remembered his father's gruesome discovery.

"That thought just flashed in my head, and I thought, 'Surely Lord, no — please' and I jerked that trash bag open," Southern said. "It's overwhelming. It's sad someone could even think about doing that to a baby."

The brother and sister who lived in the mobile home for about three years before recently moving out denied knowing anything about the remains found Sunday and said they were surprised to hear about the discovery, Grisham said. They have been cooperating with authorities and have not been charged with any crime, officials said.

Detectives also were trying to find out if anyone else stayed at the mobile home or lived there before the siblings, Grisham said.

Authorities were still investigating how and when the infants died, said Dr. Roger Metcalf of the Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office. He said a report could take several days, but a cause of death may never be determined depending on the state of decomposition.

"We'll have to look at the evidence to see if it was a fetus, stillborn birth or was born alive," Metcalf told The Associated Press.

If the infants were born dead or died of natural causes, someone still could face charges. Texas law prohibits concealing a human corpse if someone knows it is not properly buried, and penalties for the Class A misdemeanor are up to a year in jail and maximum $4,000 fine.

Crime scene tape surrounded the gray mobile home Monday as county workers cut down 3- and 4-foot-high weeds and brush, and cadaver dogs searched the area for a couple of hours without finding anything. Some chairs remained on the front porch of the trailer near Rendon, a community about 20 miles south of Fort Worth.

"We're looking for any type of evidence such as clothing or any more remains," Grisham said. "We'll be out here as long as we need to be."

Bo Pavelka, 29, who lives across the street from the trailer, said he had seen a man play with a dog in the yard but had never talked to him.

"I'm curious and worried about who it is," said Pavelka, who has two young children and a third child on the way. "Is it some girl having a baby and then throwing it out, or someone taking babies? We need to find out what the hell is going on."

___

Associated Press videojournalist Rich Matthews in Rendon contributed to this report.

(This version CORRECTS that land owner's son found remains.)

Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Cadaver dogs search for missing teen

By Marcus Hondro - Bowen Island Undercurrent

Published: August 20, 2009 3:00 PM
Updated: August 20, 2009 4:18 PM



The Undercurrent has learned that cadaver-trained dogs from Washington State were used during an Aug. 8 search on Bowen for missing teen Jodi Henrickson.

On Wednesday the head of the Bowen RCMP detachment, Cpl. Don Southern, said that the animals did not find any clues and added that search teams have not been back to the island since.

“It’s still the same,” Southern said. “And all we can do is to continue to do our due diligence and hope for the best result.”

Cpl. Dave Ritchie of the Squamish RCMP said on Thursday that they plan to do more searching with the dogs, but that they don’t have a date for that as yet.

Ritchie noted that this is hard for the family of Jodi Henrickson but that they are working to stay positive.

For them, Ritchie said, they just want “to hear two footsteps at their door one day” and have the ordeal be over and their loved one back home.

He said the case, if looked upon as a puzzle, might just be lacking one piece to complete it, and again urged the public to call with anything they might have seen or heard.

Henrickson was last seen on Bowen after attending parties here on a night in late June. She has been missing for just over two months.

According to the RCMP, the Aug. 1 press conference on Bowen with Henrickson’s distraught but hopeful parents lead to new leads that convinced them that the Aug. 8 searches might prove fruitful.

However, they have not said what the tips were, nor will they say where they came from.

Neither are they revealing the area of the island searched that day, but Southern suggested they had gone back over areas already searched back in the early days of July.

Anyone who may have information on the case could submit it anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222- TIPS.

People can also call the Bowen detachment or the Squamish RCMP at 604-892-6100.

“Some people might think that their information is not significant,” said Const. Simon Campbell of the Bowen detachment. “But call and let the RCMP judge it and follow up and see what comes of it. Even a small piece of information might be helpful.

“Someone might have seen or heard something that might help crack the case.”

Search finds no remains of 3rd Buffalo fire victim

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Fire investigators spent Tuesday searching a burned-out convenience store where two Buffalo firefighters died a day earlier, but found no evidence anyone else was inside.

A 911 caller reported someone banging on a wall and yelling for help early Monday morning, leading firefighters to rush in and search the burning store. Lt. Charles McCarthy Jr. and firefighter Jonathan Croom died after falling through the collapsed first floor into the basement.

Their bodies were removed several hours later, but no civilian victim was found.

Cadaver dogs were led through the rubble Tuesday, but Commissioner Michael Lombardo said crews found no human remains.

The fire is believed to have started in the basement of the two-story brick building. The cause remains under investigation.

Separate funerals for the firefighters have been planned for Friday at St. Joseph's Old Cathedral in Buffalo. The funeral for McCarthy is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Croom's will be at 1 p.m.

Police search site with dogs

CRISFIELD -- Police plan to return next week to a property on Canal Drive outside Crisfield after a cadaver dog hit on a spot in the yard Friday, said 1st Sgt. Stanley Harmon of the Crisfield Police Department.
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Officers went to the property as part of an ongoing investigation into the October 2007 disappearance of Gordon Nelson Sr., Harmon said.

Altthough nothing was found on Friday, officers plan to return to conduct a more extensive search, he said.

At the time he was reported missing, Nelson lived on Village Drive inside the city limits, but he previously lived on Canal Drive which is outside town near Janes Island State Park.

Police consider his disappearance to be suspicious, Harmon said. Nelson was last seen at the local Veterans of Foreign Wars post.

Taxi driver says he dropped Stanley Tippett off near where he was later arrested

Second week in trial of man accused of abducting, sexually assaulting 12-year-old girl last August
Date: 2009-08-24
By Joel Wiebe
When Don Cheseboro was watching TV, he recognized the man shown, Stanley Tippett, as the man he had given a ride to only a couple days earlier.

"I was driving taxi part-time," he told the court on Monday during the trial of Mr. Tippett, accussed of abducting a 12-year-old girl in Peterborough and sexually assaulting her in a woods behind Courtice Secondary School last August.

At 5:45 a.m. on Aug. 6, 2008 the call came in for a pickup on Baseline Road East, the court was told.

The roads were clear at that hour in the morning and the weather was warm, which is why his window was open when a man hollered at him near his destination.

He says Mr. Tippett got in his car and told him to head to Porter Road off Highway 115. They made small talk, but said his passenger didn't appear to want to talk while slumped in the back seat.

"I just assumed he was really tired," Mr. Cheseboro told the court.

He said Mr. Tippett told him he had been working in Scarborough and got a ride with a friend, but the truck had transmission problems and had to get towed.

After receiving $61.45, Mr. Cheseboro watched as Mr. Tippett continued down the road on foot.

He was arrested near Manvers later that morning, not far from where the taxi driver dropped him off.

Mr. Tippett's mistress, Felicia Neals, testified several days earlier that Mr. Tippett claimed he was car jacked while trying to take the girl to the hospital and was dropped off by the thieves near Manvers.

Also on the stand was Durham Region police Detective-Constable Wayne King, who responded with his K-9 partner, Havoc, to the school where the alleged assault happened. He watched her come out of the woods half-naked and assisted her before searching the woods with the dog where he didn't find anything.

The officer then went to where the vehicle had been abandoned and followed the dog as it led him and another officer down the middle of the street, through a back yard, along a walking path, over an eight-foot-high fence, along some railroad tracks, and up to a street before the track was lost. Another K-9 unit was brought in, but that dog also couldn't pick up the scent either.

He said when his dog has it's tracking harness on, it's focused on the job and won't veer from it's path, even for a t-bone steak.

"He's trained to detect human scent," he emphasized.

The only injury Stanley Tippett had when being booked at the police station was a sore shoulder, one Peterborough police Sergeant Sean Quinlan said Mr. Tippett claimed was from getting pushed to the ground after getting arrested.

Once at the station, officers seized his clothes, wallet, cellphone, and keys. While examining him for injuries, Sgt. Quinlan noticed a red mark on his left shoulder followed by two lines, similar to one left by a seat belt. Mr. Tippett was given a white jump suit so his clothes could be dried and used for evidence.

"They were covered with dirt and dry grass," Sgt. Quinlan said of Mr. Tippett's sandals.

From the cell phone, Sgt. Quinlan said he was able to pull Mr. Tippett's phone records, which included calls to his home and to his mistress.

Ms Neals made a brief appearance in court where two pages of her agenda book, containing notes she took to refresh her memory, were photocopied for the court. The issue of the agenda nearly ground the trial to a halt last week, but Mr. Tippett instructed his lawyer not to file an application that would delay the proceedings.

Police: No evidence yet to link shooting

ELYRIA — Elyria police remain tight-lipped about their investigation of the city’s first fatal shooting of the year.

Charles “Chuckie” Howard Jr., 17, was shot once in the chest Wednesday afternoon at a home at the corner of Taft and Hayes avenues. He died shortly after being taken to the emergency room at EMH Regional Medical Center.

His death was the fourth shooting incident in the city since July 25, in which two people have been hit and two homes were fired at in the area of Middle Avenue and 13th Street. At least two of the shootings involve some of the same people, and Charles was arrested early Wednesday as he hid in some tall weeds near one of the homes that was fired upon.

Elyria police Lt. Andy Eichenlaub said officers have not yet linked the incidents.

“There’s no evidence to directly link them at this point, however, their proximity and circumstances may mean they are linked,” he said.

Eichenlaub said no one has been charged in Charles’ shooting, but an Elyria man with a long criminal record, Alverno Howse Jr., has been charged with tampering with evidence in connection with the police investigation into the fatality, Eichenlaub said. Eichenlaub would not elaborate on the charge.

Howse Jr., 19, was the victim in the first incident July 25 when he was hit in the arm while driving on Middle Avenue near 13th Street. On Tuesday, 19-year-old Diontay Spraggins was shot in the thigh in the 300 block of 13th Street. Another 19-year-old, Jocquez Ross, was charged with felonious assault in connection with Spraggins’ shooting.

About 1 a.m. Wednesday, a home at the corner of Middle Avenue and 13th Street where Ross lived was shot at, and a nearby home was also struck. No one was injured.

As police were investigating that incident, officers were called to the 300 block of 17th Street in reference to several people running through the backyards of homes toward 16th Street. Police saw four people standing in the roadway mid-block on 17th Street and all four ran, two southbound and two northbound, according to police.

A police dog found Charles hiding in the grass behind 319 17th St. As the dog was tracking the scent, Charles shouted, “You got me. I give up. Don’t let the dog get me,” according to police. As officers approached, Charles said, “I was getting chased. Don’t let the dog get me.” He was charged with obstructing official business and a curfew violation.

Chris Howse, 18, brother of Alverno Howse Jr., was found running southbound from 17th Street toward Middle Avenue and placed in custody. He was charged with obstructing official business and taken to the city jail.

The Howse brothers are known to police.

Howse Jr. was indicted in April for possessing a defaced firearm and obstructing official business and is awaiting trial in Common Pleas Court. He also is awaiting trial on two counts of aggravated menacing in Elyria Municipal Court.

In March, he was convicted of carrying a concealed weapon and placed on two years probation. He also has five convictions as a juvenile, including assault, disorderly conduct, menacing, attempted receiving stolen property and violating probation, according to juvenile court records.

His brother, Chris Howse, also has a lengthy juvenile criminal record with seven convictions, including obstructing official business, marijuana possession, chronic truancy, menacing, tobacco use or possession, receiving stolen property and a parole violation, juvenile court records show.

Charles had juvenile convictions for tobacco possession and disorderly condu

Dogs and the Scent of a Crime: Science or Shaky Evidence?

By Hilary Hylton / Austin Monday, Aug. 03, 2009

In detective dramas, a dog's powerful sense of smell has become a predictable crime solver: the trusty canine takes a sniff of a suspect object and follows the scent, eventually arriving at the perpetrator of the evil deed. But in real life, is this reliable evidence — or is it junk science that has helped put away innocent people?

In mid-August, the Innocence Project of Texas plans to unveil a detailed study focusing primarily on the extensive work of one Texas dog handler whose use of scent-ID techniques is under fire in the federal courts. At the heart of the study is the work of Deputy Keith Pikett, a canine officer with the Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office, just southwest of Houston. The first case studied involves Calvin Lee Miller, who was charged with robbery and sexual assault after Pikett's bloodhounds alerted police to a scent on sheets that Pikett said matched a scent swipe from Miller's cheek. DNA evidence later cleared Miller, but only after he served 62 days in jail. In a second case, former Victoria County Sheriff's Department Captain Michael Buchanek was named as a "person of interest" in a murder case after Pikett's bloodhounds sped 5.5 miles from a crime scene, tracking a scent to Buchanek's home. Another man later confessed to the murder. (See pictures of puppies behind bars.)

Both cases have resulted in lawsuits seeking damages from the municipalities and law-enforcement agencies that used Pikett's work. They could be costly. In a separate case, a California man, Jeffrey Allen Grant, served three months in jail in 1999 after TinkerBelle, a bloodhound, mistakenly identified him in a rape case. He won $1.7 million in damages. (See pictures from the 2009 Westminster Kennel Club dog show.)

Jeff Blackburn, head of the Innocence Project of Texas, has labeled the dog-scent evidence as "junk, not even junk science." He adds, "We are working on a very intense, independent investigation of Pikett's activities." Pikett, who through his lawyer has declined public comment, is being sued for civil-rights violations in federal court by Miller and Buchanek. Blackburn says the innocence team is combing Texas public records to assess Pikett's impact on other cases. In the meantime, the Innocence Project of Texas study is being supported by canine-law-enforcement experts who, while not going so far as to call dog-scent evidence junk, fear that misapplication of the undisputed canine talent for recognizing smells will discredit good cases along with the bad. (See pictures of a real-life hotel for dogs.)

The notion of a crime-busting dog can be appealing, not to mention a break for jurors from mind-numbing expert-forensic-witness testimony. But experts caution that it is not the dog who testifies but rather the handler. "The animal knows what he is smelling, and everyone else has theories of what he's smelling," says Russ Hess, executive director of the U.S. Police Canine Association. For hundreds of years, humans have relied on the ability of dogs to distinguish scents to track prey, whether in the hunt for food or the search for a prison escapee. Bloodhounds are the recognized experts in supersensitivity to odors (some states allow scent evidence only from bloodhounds to be admitted). But even the best-trained scent dog — and Hess says the dogs require constant training — can make mistakes. "They are fallible, just like a person," says Charles Mesloh, a former canine officer and criminologist at Florida Gulf Coast University.

Dogs, he adds, respond to handlers, perhaps for reward or praise, or simply because of emotional connections, wanting to please their human partner. "Dogs aren't stupid — they cheat," Mesloh says. "What goes down the leash, comes up the leash." In the Netherlands, where tough evidence protocols are in place, a suspect scent is taken to a lab, where the dog's reactions are tested without a handler present.

Dogs have proved their value to both the military and law enforcement, Hess says, detecting explosives, working with narcotics officers and locating missing persons and bodies. But the alleged misuse of dog-scent evidence could cast a shadow over its value to law enforcement. In the 1980s, polygraph tests came into fashion and were hailed as an important forensic tool, but their misuse and overuse prompted a negative public reaction; Mesloh fears the same could befall the use of scent evidence. "The hammer fell on polygraphy, and it never really recovered," Mesloh says. "Now, [for dog scent], the blood is in the water."

Body found at Central High

Toni Hopper
The Duncan Banner

Just before 10 a.m. Wednesday, Stephens County Sheriff’s deputies recovered a body near Beaver Creek about a 1/4 mile Ballpark and Four Mile Road area.

Stephens County Sheriff Wayne McKinney said his department has had a missing persons case they’ve been working, but issued a caution that they do not know if the body found is the person in question. The missing persons case has been in progress since July 24, for Ricky Grigsby of Marlow. Grigsby’s car was found near the area in which the body was recovered Wednesday, but McKinney said he does not want anyone to jump to conclusions.

“We don’t know that this is Mr. Grigsby or not. We do have an unidentified death in the county,” he said. McKinney said Grigsby’s family has been notified that a body was found, but he said, they also were told that the body has not been identified.

The search, with the assistance of a cadaver search dog, began about 8 a.m. Wednesday, and around 9:50 a.m. the dog made a hit, said the sheriff. The unidentified body was found in heavily dense foliage not far from the creek on private ranch land. In the background, oil tanks could be seen.

Sheriff’s deputies guarded the area as the day went on, and Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigators arrived after noon to help process the scene. The investigation is under the sheriff’s jurisdiction.

McKinney said the body would be taken to the medical examiner’s office in Oklahoma City for an autopsy. He hopes to have a positive identification on the body by the weekend.

Search for missing man ends in tragedy

JACKSON TWP. – The daughter of 79-year-old Bernard Martin thought it odd that the morning newspaper was in the driveway when she returned home Sunday evening from a week’s vacation.
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Her father, who hadn’t gone to Florida with her and the rest of the family, liked to start each day reading The Enquirer and drinking a cup of coffee.

Inside the Burdsall Road home that she and her husband, Bob, shared with Martin, Shawn Butts found his bed had been made. His cell phone, which she bought for him and insisted he always carry in case of an emergency, was lying on it.

For two days – as Clermont County Sheriff A.J. “Tim” Rodenberg, 16 deputies, firefighters from three departments, search dogs and a helicopter tried to find the missing Martin – Butts fretted over the retired maintenance man, who had worked for 35 years at the Monsanto plant in Sharonville.

Martin, who was thought to be in good mental and physical health, was last seen Saturday. On Tuesday, he was found dead. The Clermont County coroner determined it was suicide.


Martin liked to garden, and he loved the grandchildren he shared a home with, 6-year-old Delilah and 11-year-old Elijah, Butts said.

“He colored with them,” she said.

Martin liked to buy presents at a Goodwill thrift shop. “Delilah has the most beautiful dresses,” Butts said of her daughter.

A few minutes later, one of four cadaver dogs from Kentucky found Martin’s body in underbrush across Five Mile Creek from the family home.

“I’m very sorry it didn’t have a happier ending,” said the sheriff, who visited with the family just minutes before the body was discovered about 12:45 p.m.

“I’m so proud of your guys,” Butts had told the sheriff. “You’ve gone above and beyond my expectations” in looking for Martin.

The sheriff’s office covered 1½ miles of surrounding area Monday, Chief Deputy Rick Combs said. If somebody goes missing for more than 36 hours, “you fear the worst,” he said.

A native of Grayson, Ky., Martin moved to Cincinnati to find work, Butts said. His wife of 23 years, Elizabeth, died in 1984.

Since retiring, he enjoyed caring for three gardens and two turkeys on the 5-acre property. He had recently put up 100 jars of beans and pickles, Butts said. He also grew broccoli, beets, mustard greens and potatoes.

Butts had talked with her father last week, but she was unable to reach him Sunday.

“He hates Florida,” Butts said of Martin. “That’s why he didn’t go. When we came back from vacation, we expected him to be sitting up there” on the veranda.

Search for bodies continues this morning

Search for bodies continues this morning
From Staff
Thursday, Aug. 6, 2009 8:16 a.m.



Richmond County investigators are back at a grassy lot off Cherry Street this morning to excavate in a search for bodies.
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Officers are waiting with FBI task force members to begin the excavation. A backhoe is on the scene.

"We're just waiting on some of the teams to get here, and then we'll start digging," investigator James Kelly said this morning.

Kelly said the digging would be a slow process because of the nature of the work, and that they expect the work to continue for a couple of days.

Sheriff's Investigator James Kelly said Wednesday that cadaver dogs indicated some remains might be buried at the site, which is off Washington Road near Longhorn Steak House.

Investigators were attempting to verify a caller’s report of a homicide. Sheriff’s Maj. Ken Autry said yesterday that a lot of questions remain and that it is not yet a homicide investigation. He said the sheriff’s office received the information via another law enforcement agency.

Investigators have not been able to match the caller’s details to any missing person cases and don’t believe right now that they match any open homicide case.

The major did not say whether investigators had located any bodies but said they did get enough information to pique their interest in searching the area further.

“I suppose what (investigators) found supported what they’re thinking,” Maj. Autry said.

Sam Parker Murder Trial Underway

Submitted by Bill Mitchell on August 17, 2009 - 5:53pm. News | Crime | Catoosa County News | Walker County News



Two and a half years after the disappearance of Walker County 9-1-1 operator Theresa Parker, her husband goes on trial... charged with murder.

And, it appears the state will produce a surprise witness.

LEIGH PATTERSON, PROSECUTOR "Theresa Parker is not just missing..we intend to prove to you that Theresa is dead. That she was murdered. And we intend to prove that the defendant, Samuel L. Parker..is the one who murdered Theresa."

Prosecutor Leigh Patterson set the stage for the trial of the former Lafayette Police sergeant, who was estranged from the 41 year old Theresa who had filed for divorce shortly before she was reported missing on March 25 of 2007.

She also told the jury she would put Lafayette police officer and Parker's long-time friend Ben Chaffin on the stand. Chaffin has been charged with computer invasion of privacy, by checking Theresa Parkers computer for messages..presumably at the request of Parker. He was fired from his police job.

DAVID DUNN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY "You gonna help us, or you gonna get prosecuted. Maybe if you help us..maybe your law enforcement carreer is not over, Ben. So Ben remembers...oh, yeah..Sam Talked about killing Theresa" .

Dunn, in opening remarks, also pointed out that despite many searches..no body has been found.

Prosecutors called a dozen witnesses setting the stage for what it refers to as the final hours of Theresa Parker.

That testimony brought video from Lowe's where she bought a washer and dryer..and at the Tennessee Valley federal credit union where she got a check to pay for the apartment where was moving after leaving Sam Parkers home.

The jury is not sequestered, but is bused back and forth to Bartow county.

Judge Jon "Bo" Wood has agreed to allow testimony about blood found on Theresa Parker's SUV, but refused to allow evidence gathered from the use of a cadaver dog.

The trial is expected to last about three weeks.

Late afternoon testimony included other witnesses who testified about various people and places that Sam Parker visited during the days after his wife's disappearance on or around March 22rd. The trial continues tomorrow at 9.

Protecting Metro's K-9 partners in the line of duty

Most police officers have first aid training so they can help people until an ambulance arrives. But what happens when one of Metro's K-9 partners gets hurt?

As News 3's Sophia Choi and the Crime Tracker Team found out, Metro officers are now learning to help them, too.

SWAT teams, search and rescue teams, and everyday patrol officers work with police dogs. And now, they'll all be able to help if one of their four-legged friends is injured.

"Basically, we'd just throw them into the squad car and take them over to the vet," says Eric Husson, search and rescue volunteer. "So now we can at least provide some care, initially, and then get them going to the hospital. The biggest thing though is their paws beause that's the thing that gets injured the most often."

There's one big difference between wrapping an injured paw and wrapping a person's foot. And this means extra effort to keep the wrap from getting too tight.

"That's the hardest part - a dog can't tell you what's wrong with him, so you got to kind of try to figure it out."

Half the training is done on live dogs; the other part of the training is done on cadaver dogs. It's a little graphic, but it's a necessary tool.

The training also includes CPR for dogs. One form is just like CPR on a person, while another version is applied specifically for a dog's anatomy: two people alternate compressing the dog's chest and stomach.

"It's absolutely essential and it's new - new how many people are getting trained at it," explains Jo-Anne Brenner, National Police Dog Foundation. "We want to make sure as many handlers, as many medics, as many tactical medics, docs, (and) human docs have exposure to the training. So it can really make a difference if any of the K-9s need help in the field."

The training was made possible thanks to a number of agencies, including the Oquendo Vet Center, a facility for veterinary training that opened in February.

Protecting Metro's K-9 partners in the line of duty

Most police officers have first aid training so they can help people until an ambulance arrives. But what happens when one of Metro's K-9 partners gets hurt?

As News 3's Sophia Choi and the Crime Tracker Team found out, Metro officers are now learning to help them, too.

SWAT teams, search and rescue teams, and everyday patrol officers work with police dogs. And now, they'll all be able to help if one of their four-legged friends is injured.

"Basically, we'd just throw them into the squad car and take them over to the vet," says Eric Husson, search and rescue volunteer. "So now we can at least provide some care, initially, and then get them going to the hospital. The biggest thing though is their paws beause that's the thing that gets injured the most often."

There's one big difference between wrapping an injured paw and wrapping a person's foot. And this means extra effort to keep the wrap from getting too tight.

"That's the hardest part - a dog can't tell you what's wrong with him, so you got to kind of try to figure it out."

Half the training is done on live dogs; the other part of the training is done on cadaver dogs. It's a little graphic, but it's a necessary tool.

The training also includes CPR for dogs. One form is just like CPR on a person, while another version is applied specifically for a dog's anatomy: two people alternate compressing the dog's chest and stomach.

"It's absolutely essential and it's new - new how many people are getting trained at it," explains Jo-Anne Brenner, National Police Dog Foundation. "We want to make sure as many handlers, as many medics, as many tactical medics, docs, (and) human docs have exposure to the training. So it can really make a difference if any of the K-9s need help in the field."

The training was made possible thanks to a number of agencies, including the Oquendo Vet Center, a facility for veterinary training that opened in February.

Ex-Sister-In-Law: 'I Read It, It Didn't Seem Real'

CINCINNATI -- Rumpke officials say police began searching the landfill for the remains of a missing Delhi Township woman Monday night.

Cadaver dogs were also brought to the house of the missing mother of four as well as the landfill and the banks of the Ohio River.

Meanwhile, there are still lots of questions about the woman's husband, John Strutz.

In an exclusive interview 9News spoke to Sarah Wright. She used to be married to Strutz's brother.

She told 9News she didn't think he was capable of hurting his wife Kristan, who attended Oak Hills High School.

"I read it and it didn't seem real," said Sarah Wright.

"That's not John. That's not anything. I've known him since he was 18-years-old and he's 30 now and that is absolutely not the guy I've known for a really long time," continued Wright.

On Monday afternoon, police from both Delhi Township and Cincinnati combed through the yard looking for remains, possibly those of Kristan.

Neighbors said there had been a bonfire at the house Thursday night. That's where investigators were sifting through the ashes looking for potential evidence.

Strutz is being held on a $1,010,000 million bond. He is charged with tampering with evidence and obstructing official business.

Court documents show he concealed human remains in an effort to impede a police investigation.

Investigators weren't talking about the investigation and the coroner explained why.

"Can't say anything when you're dealing with certain cases,” said Hamilton County Coroner Dr. O’dell Owens.

“Sometimes it's best not to say very much,” the coroner said. “When you say too much you give any suspect or suspects an opportunity to change the story, do things, sometimes destroy things.”

In the meantime, Sarah Wright spoke about Strutz's feelings for his wife.

"It doesn't make any logical reason whatsoever that he would do anything to Kristan," said Wright.

Wright tells 9News that Strutz attended high school in Arkansas and then moved to the Tri-State 12 years ago.

She described him as a hard worker who was good with her kids.

"He loved, he loves Kristan. He loves Kristan. I mean that was John. I mean he's had like three girlfriends, like the entire time I've known him and Kristan was it," said Wright.

Court documents allege Strutz concealed human remains in an effort to impede a police investigation. He was on arraigned Aug. 17.
Copyright 2009 The E.W. Scripps Co. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

FBI Searches For Body Of Missing Translator

Police and FBI investigators are digging for the body of a federal court translator who disappeared from her Brooklyn home in 2007.

Federal investigators say a cadaver dog led them to Surf Avenue in Sea Gate while searching for the remains of Irina Malezhik.

The property there belongs to a couple who is accused of stealing the missing woman's identity.

"The search is being conducted for the remains of Irina Malezhik a Russian language federal court translator who mysteriously disappeared on October 15, 2007 after leaving her Brighton Beach co-op," said FBI spokesman David Schaefer.

The day Malezhik disappeared, police say Dimitry Yakovlev and Julia Yakovlev cashed thousands of dollars of checks in her name.

The couple was arrested last month and charged with identity theft.

One final search for T.O. woman missing since 2007

Updated: Thu Aug. 06 2009 3:27:01 PM



On Aug. 6, 2007, Christina Calayca set out on an early-morning jog in Rainbow Falls Provincial Park on the north shore of Lake Superior.

She was never seen again.

A Minnesota-based search and rescue team will make a final try to locate her remains next month.

When the search resumes on Sept. 17, the teams of cadaver dogs will focus along the Whitesand River, where cadaver dogs picked up a scent in the fall of 2008.

At that time, the area was too dangerous to investigate.

When Calayca first went missing, the Ontario Provincials searched for more than two weeks before calling off the effort, saying they found little evidence of Calayca's movement in the heavily forested area.

They had used a helicopter with an infrared camera to try and pick up signs of Calayca, but the dense bush thwarted that efforts.

The park has a number of cliffs and steep drop-offs. By the end of the search, police said they were looking for a "non-responsive person."

Two police officers were injured during the search, and even a search dog got lost in the woods.

Police said they did not suspect foul play in her disappearance.

Calayca had been on a camping trip with her cousin and two men she knew from a Christian youth group.

In late May and late October 2008, Calayca's family held events in Toronto to honour the young daycare worker -- and in part to fund a private search.

Missing children found dead in Lewisburg eddy

LEWISBURG - More than a dozen volunteer firefighters - along with teams of divers - from Lycoming County took part in all-day search Monday for two children whose bodies were recovered in the Susquehanna River about 5:30 p.m.

Cadaver dogs - animals trained to detect dead bodies - were instrumental in leading divers to an area several hundred feet south of the Route 45 bridge, where the bodies of the two children were located, Capt. Jeremy Frantz, a diver from the Independent Hose Co. in Jersey Shore, told the Sun-Gazette late Monday night.

Police say 11-year-old Assunda Rotolo of Lewisburg, and 8-year-old Leslie Davis Jr. of Mifflinburg were last seen about 7 p.m. Sunday, telling family members they were going to the river, the Associated Press reported. The two were reported missing two hours later.

Rescue crews searched the area until 11:30 p.m. Sunday and then resumed about 8 a.m. Monday. In addition to the Independent Hose Co., boats and divers from Muncy, Clinton Township, and Woodward Township were among Lycoming County emergency responders to join the exhaustive search.

"In some places, the water was dark and murky while in other areas it was clear," Frantz said.

At least a dozen search boats from Union, Northumberland and Lycoming counties searched the river in sections, beginning at the Route 45 bridge and extending south four to six miles, Frantz said.

"Firefighters also did shoreline searches," Frantz said.

A state police helicopter also assisted in looking for the two children.

Six divers from Clinton Township and one from Milton first recovered the girl and then the boy "less than five minutes later," township Fire Chief Todd Winder said.

"A dog on one of the boats reacted near a bunch of trees in the water," Winder said. "Our divers checked the whole area, but we didn't find anything among the trees. We decided to go along the entire shoreline," he added.

As the divers, now working in two teams, searched what Winder called "an open eddy" about 25 feet from the shore, they found the bodies in close proximity to one another in water that was about five to eight feet deep.

"It's a terrible ending," Winder, a father of three elementary school-age children, said.

"I can't imagine the heartache that the families are going through," he said. He hoped that the families would have some peace knowing that the children's bodies were recovered.

Northumberland County Coroner James F. Kelley told the Sun-Gazette late Monday night that he ruled the children's deaths accidental due to "fresh water drowning."

Search fails to find body

Arkansas authorities continue to search for the body of Eric Jackson, one month after the Memphis native went underwater in Lake Austell at Village Creek State Park. Cross County Sheriff. J.R. Smith said Monday that there is no evidence of foul play in Jackson's disappearance on July 19, but Smith said searchers have had no luck in finding his body.

His parents say they want to exhaust all resources in finding out what happened to their son. It was unusual, they said, that he would go onto the water without his life jacket.

Four witnesses told sheriff's deputies that they saw Jackson, 39, thrown into the water when his kayak capsized in the lake about 40 miles west of Memphis, Smith said.

Several tried, but failed, to reach him in time.

The Cross County Sheriff's department, Wynne Fire Department, state and federal agencies, along with private divers, have searched the lake repeatedly, Smith said.

Three sets of cadaver dogs have all alerted on an area of the lake between 30 and 50 feet deep. The bottom is covered with submerged trees and other vegetation, which may explain why the victim has not surfaced, Smith said.

"We did an extensive search," said Smith. "Each instance is different. He still has not been found," he said.

Jackson's car was fully packed and ready to leave for Memphis when he disappeared, said family friend Anna Johnson.

"They told us he didn't have his life jacket," said Deborah Jackson of Memphis, the missing man's mother. "I find it hard to believe."

Not knowing what happened, "we are under a lot of stress," she said.

New Developments In Sam Parker Murder Case

A Walker County judge has decided what kind of evidence can, and can not be used against Sam Parker.

Parker is about to go on trial for killing his wife Theresa even though police have never found her body or evidence she's dead.

Some evidence the prosecution team spent a tremendous amount of time and money on will not be allowed against Parker.

Remember last month, when the prosecution showed the judge the video of cadaver dogs in action? Prosecutors argued the dogs alerted their handlers back in 2007 to the smell of a decomposing body near Teresa Parker's car and Sam Parker's garage.

Lisa Higgins with the Louisiana Search and Rescue Dog team testified in July "almost immediately I gave the command and she hit really hard, worked very, very hard inside the wheel well on the driver's side and gave a full indication right there."

After further cross examination it was learned that cadaver dogs can hit on other things, like pigs, or bark when they're excited about something not connected with the search. Parker's defense team argued that evidence should be thrown out since no one knows what excited the K-9's.

Walker County Superior Court Judge Jon "Bo" Wood agreed, saying in a previous case the Georgia Supreme Court "decided the alerts should not have been admitted."

The FBI had great interest in the Parker case because it was going to be a "test case" where cadaver dogs would help in the prosecution of a no body murder trial.

But on another issue Judge Wood sided with prosecutors about deputies going on Parker's property without a warrant. Judge Wood concluded in his July 31 ruling "...the Court finds that the officers had a right to be on the property of the Defendant and alleged victim for a safety/wellness check."

Theresa Parker seemingly vanished more than two years ago without a trace. Her husband Sam is accused of killing her despite no body and no evidence she's dead.

"When you don't have the body you don't have the best, single piece of evidence in a murder case," according to Thomas "Tad" DiBiase.

Dibiase was a federal homicide prosecutor for more than 12 years in the District Of Columbia who has spent the last five years researching so-called "no body murder cases."

The Parker murder case is only the seventh case known in Georgia where prosecutors have gone to trial without a body. DiBiase found the six previous Georgia cases span from 1949 to 2005. All but one in 2001 resulted in a conviction.

One of the more recent was the case against Calvin Hinton in Atlanta, who was convicted in 2005 for killing 19-year-old Shannon Melendi. Her body was never found before trial, but after his conviction Hinton admitted he burned and then buried her body in his yard.

In the Parker case we have yet to hear about any other physical evidence that could help win a conviction.

"Typically in an investigation the public does not know all the information that is there, so that's the first caveat, you can never predict what the police or the prosecution may have that hasn't been revealed yet," DiBiase said.

Dibiase said in most no body cases a conviction is based on three factors: there is forensic evidence tying the suspect to the victim, the accused gives a confession or the accused tells someone else about the crime.

Since the cadaver dog testimony won't be allowed we're not sure what physical evidence prosecutors may have.

We do know that the prosecution team is under pressure to make a challenging case. Chattanooga criminal defense attorney Jerry Summers, who's not involved in the Parker case, gave us his perspective about prosecutors under that kind of pressure.

"Of course there's an inordinate amount of public pressure in the Sam Parker case, it's been highly publicized and unfortunately that sometimes puts pressure on prosecutors because prosecutors are publicly elected," Summers said.

The process of picking a jury begins August 17 in Bartow County, Georgia. Jurors will be sequestered and brought to the Walker County Courthouse in LaFayette for the trial.

Woman lost on river is found alive 5 days later

The Schnepp children agreed: It was time to plan their mother's funeral.

Jeanne Schnepp, 63, disappeared sometime after 3 p.m. last Wednesday while she fished along the Wapsipinicon River near Anamosa.

Monday morning, Schnepp's middle child, Corey Schnepp, 35, rode one more time with a rescue crew searching for his mom. They found nothing.
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"They had cadaver dogs out looking for her," Corey Schnepp said. "We assumed the worst. Everybody did."

That afternoon, Schnepp's mobile phone rang. They had found his mom.

Somehow, she was alive.

Badly sunburned, dehydrated and sore, Jeanne Schnepp survived five days floating atop the Wapsipinicon in a gray raft.

"It was unreal," Corey Schnepp said. "You go from thinking you need to start making arrangements to hearing they found her and she was talking to the people in the ambulance on the way to the hospital."

A lifelong fisherwoman, Jeanne Schnepp usually cast her line from the river banks with a close friend beside her.

Last Wednesday, she went alone. Schnepp decided to fish from a rubber raft that nobody knew she owned. The river current carried her watercraft downstream, and she wasn't strong enough to paddle against it.

The water deposited her in a low spot about eight to 12 feet away from the bank. Surrounded by brush in a sort of sinkhole, Schnepp's raft was about three feet below an area of brush and tree debris - effectively invisible to the search teams that scoured the area.

A legion of Jones County rescue workers and volunteers combed the river banks, dragged the river bottom and walked nearby cornfields in the search.

"She said she could hear the boats going by," Corey Schnepp said. "But they couldn't see her and she couldn't get their attention."

Finally, Monday afternoon, Larry Williams, who lives along the river, saw an arm holding an oar shoot up in the air. He called for help. Rescue workers rushed her to St. Luke's Hospital in Cedar Rapids.

"There are very few stories like this that have a happy ending," said Jones County Sheriff Mark Denniston. "From everything we were hearing, we didn't think there was much of a chance she was anywhere but in the water and probably gone."

Jeanne Schnepp wasn't physically able to get out of the raft or work her way to the shore, her son said.

"She's getting older and doesn't get around as good as she used to," Corey Schnepp said.

The area where she was trapped was well-shaded, Denniston said.

"Somebody was looking out for her, that's for sure," the sheriff said. "The spot was partially shaded, so she was out of direct sun for most of the day. Mother Nature did her a favor, too, because it wasn't so awful hot the last few days, and that helped a lot."

Inside the raft, Jeanne Schnepp survived on a small bottle of water and two cans of soda pop. She had no food.

Hospital officials took Schnepp to a regular inpatient room Tuesday afternoon after she had spent the night in intensive care, her son said.

Besides a bad sunburn, doctors are monitoring a series of sores developed on her back while lying in a small pool of water inside the boat.

Despite her ordeal, Jeanne Schnepp remained in good spirits, her son said, though the family plans to take a more active role in scheduling their mother's extracurricular activities.

"We've already told her no more fishing," Corey Schnepp said. "Well, at least no more fishing out of a raft."

A pair of heroes

A pair of heroes
By COURTNEY ROBINSON, Features Editor
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 9:24 AM CDT


Paula Chambers’ partner is one like no other.

Her partner has four legs, a furry body and is an Australian Shepherd named Madison. On vacations, weekends and holidays, they’re together doing one thing: Training.

Chambers and her Australian Shepherd, Madison, are part of a volunteer search and rescue team that works to find missing people, both dead and living.

A native of Forest, Chambers has lived mainly in Atlanta, GA, since graduating from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1985, and dedicates her time and energy to various police departments during events ranging from Hurricane Katrina to an explosion at a Georgia refinery that trapped workers inside the rubble to the May 2009 search for Georgia Professor George Zinkhan, who committed suicide after he murdered three people.



Without payment or any reimbursement, Chambers, as a member of two different search and rescue teams, is called in by law enforcement to fill a need they cannot, due to limited funding. Chambers, a team leader who also works full time at an engineering firm, is a member of Alpha Team K9 Search and Rescue Inc., which mostly covers northern Georgia, and the State Urban Search and Rescue Team, or SUSAR. Additionally, she has worked with the Georgia Body Recovery Team.

“I’m just a firefighter who happens to be a dog handler who happens to be EMS,” Chambers said. “It’s training we hope we never have to use, because we hope no one has to get lost.”

As a searcher, Chambers has another Australian Shepherd besides Madison, 8, named Billy, who is 20-months-old and close to becoming a certified cadaver searcher. Madison, who started searching at eight months, is certified in live rescues and cadavers.

Chambers said there are three levels of dog certification, cadaver dogs, used in cases including drownings and when the person is believed to be dead, like Zinkhan, area search dogs, the most common, where they search for live people or cadavers, as the person could be either live or dead. The third classification is for the trailing dog, where they track the missing person based on scent. Best used in the first 24 hours, the most descriptive way to think of this classification is with bloodhounds searching for prisoners, or other situations when they know the person's last point, estimated direction of travel and have a specific scent to trace.

With the Zinkhan case, Madison let volunteers to the UGA marketing professor's body, which "was purposely concealed in a manner that was designed not to be found for a significant amount of time, if ever," according to Athens-Clarke County Police Chief Jack Lumpkin during a press conference. More than 1,100 acres had been searched prior to the discovery, which also yielded two weapons used in the triple homicide.

Zinkhan, 57, who killed three people, including his wife, dug his own grave and covered himself with debris before shooting a single bullet into his head. His body was found about a mile away from where his red Jeep Liberty was discovered.

The dogs are trained by games similar to hide-and-seek, where they seek out a specific person and are rewarded for finding them. Chambers adds that the dogs are taught to be very social and personable and are taught to be very dedicated to the job.

Even if the person is not found alive, there are benefits to finding them, Chambers said.

"There is nothing better than finding someone when they're still alive, bring them home to their family, or at least bringing them home for closure," Chambers said. "Now that question is answered."

Although the work is based on volunteers, Chambers said it is very physically and mentally demanding and it requires a high degree of professionalism.

"They only reason they call us back is because we do a good job. We're just as professional as anyone else, we just don't get paid for it," Chambers said, adding that one type of case does get to her.

"It takes emotional stamina to see a deceased person, but the ones that bother us the most are the ones we can't find," Chambers said. "You just have to become accustomed to the type of things you're getting into."

In 2000, Chambers, who has had dogs her entire life, said she enjoyed working and training them, as well as participating in community service, and decided become a volunteer searcher as a good way to combine the two. It was then that she became interested in rescue dogs.

"I thought it was pretty darn interesting for me to train to go out and help other people," said Chambers, who has been to West Virginia, Texas, Florida, South Carolina, Alabama and Louisiana as a searcher. "It's an honor to be part of a community that serves and assists."

Despite the juggle between searching and her full-time job, Chambers remains positive about her busy life, adding that her boss is "fairly lenient with me" on live, or time-sensitive, cases.

"We work a real job so we can go out and do passion jobs, which is search and rescue," Chambers said.

Update: Three people feared dead in Bristol fire

August 18. 2009 10:59AM

By KELLI CHEATHAM
WSBT-TV Reporter

This story was originally posted at 10:59 a.m. Aug. 18, 2009.br>BRISTOL — Three family members are missing and feared dead following a fire just north of Bristol in Elkhart County.

The fire started in a home in the 52000 block of County Road 25, just north of the Indiana Toll Road.

Police say a neighbor called 911 just before 6 a.m. When firefighters arrived flames were already shooting through the roof.

Family members are telling investigators three people should have been inside the home and they are unaccounted for at this point.

Investigators are waiting for a search warrant to bring excavating equipment in so they can begin looking for the bodies. They need that warrant because it's considered private property and the homeowner, presumed missing, cannot give consent.

Two state fire marshal investigators, two cadaver dogs and the Elkhart County coroner are on the scene.

Human skull found near Brighton

By Pat Reavy

Deseret News
Published: Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2009 3:06 p.m. MDT


BIG COTTONWOOD CANYON — A team of seven cadaver dogs and their handlers searched a mountainside on Brighton Ski Resort property Tuesday, looking for clues that might help them identify a human skull found in the area.

On Friday, a hiker discovered the skull near the Millicent Ski Lift, about halfway up. The Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office announced the discovery Tuesday.

"It does have modern dental work … relatively modern fillings," said sheriff's Lt. Don Hutson.

Cadaver dogs from the Salt Lake and Carbon counties sheriff's offices were brought to the mountain Tuesday to look for other remains or possible evidence. Hutson said some items were collected Friday, but he declined to say what they were, noting that detectives did not know if they were connected to the skull.

"It's hard to say if they're linked," he said.

The skull was taken to the State Medical Examiner's Office, where a forensics pathologist was expected to examine it this week. If nothing else, Hutson said, the dental records possibly could be used to identify the person.

There have not been any recent reports or outstanding cases of people missing there, Hutson said.

"This does not jump out and say, 'This is the person we've been looking for.' We don't have any current missing-person cases where they were last seen in this area," Hutson said.

Using the "smell of death" to solve crimes

Posted by Tiffany Sharples Tuesday, August 18, 2009 at 2:52 pm
Submit a Comment • Trackback (0) • Related Topics: Death, cadaver, decomposition

Scientists and police detectives alike have long known that decomposing human bodies give off some ghastly smells—caused by the emission of the aptly named gases "cadaverine" and "putrescine," among others—and that being able to sniff out those unseemly aromas can be critical at crime scenes or in the aftermath of a disaster as investigators work to recover bodies. For now, the primary sniffing responsibility falls to specially trained and very effective "cadaver dogs," but new research from a team of chemists at Pennsylvania State University could soon change that.

By analyzing exactly which chemicals are emitted by the body at which stage of the decomposition process, scientists hope to design a tool that could accurately detect different gases, helping to not only locate bodies but perhaps even determine how long the person has been dead before the body is completely uncovered.

Previous research has determined that a decaying body releases some 30 different chemical compounds, and using donated cadavers, scientists have been able to isolate specific gases emitted after three or so days—generally the earliest that they would gain access to the donated bodies. Yet, in a study presented this week at a meeting of the American Chemical Society in Washington, D.C., researchers were able to more specifically follow the decomposition process—and the time frame in which different gases are emitted—by studying the decay of pig cadavers from the moment of death (by euthanasia). Pigs, often used for research purposes because of their many anatomical similarities to humans, have a similar decomposition process to humans—down to the actual phases and timing of decay—making them ideal for this type of research.

What's more, for this study the researchers tried to mimic conditions similar to those at common crime scenes and disaster sites, to get a better idea of how environment could impact the process of decomposition. After this initial research, clear patterns for chemical compound emissions were already apparent, meaning that accurately creating a profile that matches particular gases, or "volatile organic compounds," with the precise amount of time elapsed since death, could be in the near future. With that knowledge scientists could build a device programmed to identify these different gases and help locate bodies—potentially at a fraction of the cost of the training and care required for cadaver dogs.

Kittery's super pooper snooper can track what others flush away

By Charles McMahon
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Picture

Courtesy photo Sable, the sewage-sniffing dog, and trainer Scott Reynolds are on the scent.



KITTERY, Maine — Man's best friend could soon lead town officials and environmentalists toward sniffing out sewage problems plaguing local watersheds.

Sable, the sewage-sniffing dog, could arrive in town as early as October and is expected to assist a variety of Seacoast communities pick up the scent of septic system leaks and other sources of potential contamination.

Phyllis Ford of the Spruce Creek Association said 3-year-old Sable and his trainer, Scott Reynolds, are expected to travel from Michigan to the Seacoast and will most likely spend a week assisting different municipalities in Maine and New Hampshire.

Ford said she learned about Sable's sniffing specialties about three years ago and was amazed to learn that the canine would be able to follow the scent of human fecal matter or detergent up the path of a pipe buried in the ground to the possible source.

Ford said with Sable's help the organization would only further its ongoing efforts to identify sources of illicit or accidental human waste discharge into Spruce Creek and its surrounding watershed.

High bacteria concentration in the different waterways around the Seacoast have prompted warning from environmentalists from both states. Currently the Spruce Creek watershed is closed to clamming by the state due to an increase in fecal bacteria, she said.

"We know we have a poo problem," Ford said.

The Kittery resident said the association suspects the increased levels of fecal matter in the watershed are not due to deer, dogs or other animals but is from septic systems and having a "human influence."

Ford said she considered the method of using Sable as a "financially viable way to find out what's further upstream" and cheaper than sending cameras up the pipelines for more testing.

With the aid of a grant, Ford said the group will also make use of a fluorometer to detect "optical brighteners," or substances in detergents that give off a fluorescent glow, in Kittery's waters. Ford said the group hopes to alert people to grants available to help fix the problems.

The 250-member association will be turning to the Town Council to see if they will be willing to share part of the costs of Sable's visit — estimated to cost between $5,000 and $10,000.

Forrest Bell, owner of FB Environmental in Portland, said his company is working with the SCA and other Seacoast towns to determine who will benefit from the sniffing powers of Sable.

So far North Hampton, Rye and possibly one or two other Seacoast communities in New Hampshire will employ Sable's services.

Bell said through monitoring and land use assessment, his firm has a good idea of where the suspect problem areas are in terms of contamination already and Sable should be able to hone in and track the scent to its source.

The bacteria is known as Enterocci and is essentially a saltwater form of e-coli, said Bell.

The cost of the weeklong visit would be spread out from town to town so Kittery would only be required to pay a portion.

Bell said after learning about Sable's talents he was somewhat skeptical and amused, but after one of his employees saw Reynolds and his partner at a conference in California he said he began to see the legitimacy of the service.

Reached at his home in Michigan, Reynolds said he has been training dogs in various scenting abilities for about 12 years. Having previously been involved in search and rescue for missing persons, Reynolds said he has also trained and certified dogs in narcotics and evidence detection.

Currently he works for an environmental engineering company, which is where he developed the idea for a rapid screening method to determine human sewage or detergent using the aid of specially trained canines.

Reynolds said the benefit of using Sable is that results are almost automatic rather than having to wait two weeks for lab results.

In a comparison of lab results to Sable's sniffing abilities, Reynolds said his four-legged friend has an 87 percent accuracy rating.

The mixed breed German Shepard was rescued from an animal shelter and lives at home with Reynolds and his wife and three dogs.

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Courtesy photo Sable the sewage-sniffing dog

Police canine units practice crime-fighting skills

STRATFORD ---- The sleek, muscular, black German shepherd came storming out of the police car looking like he couldn't wait to be let off his leash.
When he was let go, on a recent early evening as the long-shuttered Shakespeare theater served as a backdrop, rookie police dog Zulu, of the Darien Canine Unit, and veteran police dogs Zak and Roscoe, of Stratford, and Justice and Liberty, of Monroe, put on quite a different kind of drama than those once performed by actors inside the theater.
But this was no dog and pony show.
All five dogs quickly went to work, running onto a grassy, partially wooded area to find a knife, gun and leather glove. Each time Zulu found one of the items, Darien Canine Officer Nick Aranzullo tossed him a hard rubber ball as a reward.
"He's our first police dog, and he's still learning, but he did a great job today," said Aranzullo, who swears the similarity in his last name and his dog is a complete coincidence.
"Zulu was his name when he arrived from the Czech Republic," Aranzullo said. "It's just one of those strange things in life you can't explain."
But what Monroe police officer Dennis Bradshaw, regional leader of the Fairfield Canine Training Program, did explain was that even veteran police dogs need eight hours of training twice a month to stay sharp.
"Just like police officers, the dogs need to practice what they do to stay on top of their game," said Bradshaw, who on the same hot summer day led about a half-dozen canine officers and their police dogs from several area towns through a full day of training at several locations in town, including Roosevelt Forest, the grounds of the Shakespeare theater and the former Army Engine Plant.
"Twice a month, training is held for the dogs in Stratford and our other towns that also include Easton, Darien and Monroe," Bradshaw said. "The dogs are put through various exercises which test their abilities in three areas ---- narcotics recovery, tracking and apprehension. These tests, which are like a game to the dog, keep them in tune."
Bradshaw said the dogs also perform room-by-room searches, aggression training and patrol car stops. In the last phase, officers take turns wearing a "bite suit" and "pretend to be suspects so the dogs can subdue them."
The unit is part of the North American Police Work Dog Association, Region 2, in Fairfield, and the Connecticut Police Work Dog Association Inc., established in 1991, to assist, unite and promote police service dogs in the state. The organization was established, according to its Web site "to enhance the training, education and overall working performance of our police canine teams.
The association has also established minimum certification standards for patrol and narcotic detection canine teams. These standards are comparable to those used by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies throughout the United States. "We also encourage and assist our members with ongoing in-service training to maintain the police canine teams proficiency," according to the association's Web site.
Bradshaw explained how the full day of training included having the dogs practice tracking and apprehending suspects through the woods at Roosevelt Forest with the use of decoy scents; training in the art of narcotic search and seizure in the forest's ranger station, which included the officers posing as "live" decoys with body protection; and tracking potential suspects, weapons and narcotics in the dark buildings at the former Army Engine Plant on Main Street.
"We've all been through a long, hard day, and the dogs and canine officers did a great job," Bradshaw said. "This is very important because these dogs have to pass tests for their licences in the Canine Patrol every year."
Bradshaw said the CPWDA uses experienced police canine trainers from around the country to conduct certification testing for the state's canine teams.
There are about 90 municipal police canine teams in Connecticut that use the certification standards for patrol and narcotics detection.
Stratford canine officers Robert Joy and Tom Clements said the twice-monthly training helps veteran dogs Zak and Roscoe stay sharp. "This is the kind of training that really pays off when you are in a live situation and need the dogs to do their job," Joy said. "If they do it here, we know we can rely on them when we have to really track down a suspect."