Mother sought after toddler is found dead; Graffiti mars sacred Indian tribe site

August 3
Oregon
Mother sought after toddler is found dead

The mother of a toddler found dead and teenage girl found seriously injured in a room at a coastal Oregon resort is wanted on suspicion of murder, authorities said Sunday.

Cannon Beach Police Chief Jason Schermerhorn said the cause of death of the 2-year-old remains unknown after an autopsy, the Oregonian reported. But it determined that her death was a homicide. The girl suffered no obvious injuries, and a toxicology test was pending, Schermerhorn said.

Authorities have been looking for her mother, Jessica Smith, 40, of Goldendale, Wash., since a housekeeper discovered the toddler and her 13-year-old sister Friday morning at the resort. Previously, officials wanted to ensure Smith’s welfare.

The teenager had severe cut wounds, but authorities said she is expected to recover.

Smith and her children checked into the resort Wednesday, and there was no sign of forced entry, the chief said. The children’s father has cooperated with investigators and has been ruled out as a suspect, Schermerhorn has said. Multiple media reports citing court records say the couple had recently separated.

— Associated Press

California
Remains are those
of a wanted fugitive

Human remains found near a river in Northern California belong to a man on the U.S. Marshals Service’s list of the 15 most-wanted fugitives for questioning in the deaths of his wife and two daughters, officials said Sunday.

Dental records confirmed that the remains were those of Shane Miller, said the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office, adding that they were found not far from where his pickup truck was located during a manhunt last year.

Miller, then 45, fled after the shooting deaths in May 2013 of his wife, Sandra, and daughters, Shelby 8, and Shasta, 4.

— Reuters

Graffiti mars sacred Indian site: Graffiti expressing affection for someone named Miranda has marred one of the most sacred sites for an American Indian tribe in Washington state. Jamestown S’Klallam officials learned last month of the pink-and-white painting of “I (heart) Miranda” on the towering Tamanowas Rock, northwest of Seattle. The 43-
million-year-old monolith has been used for millennia by Salish Native Americans for hunting, refuge and spiritual renewal rituals. In the Klallam language, Tamanowas means “spirit power.

Woman killed in crash with RV: Police say a car crossed the center lane on a New Hampshire highway and crashed into an RV, killing a woman and teenager from Massachusetts and a woman from Florida. State police said Mary Newton, 54, of Greenfield, Mass., was driving west on Route 9 in Stoddard on Saturday when her car entered the eastbound lane and hit the RV head-on. Newton and a 16-year-old passenger were killed. The driver of the RV was seriously injured, and the passenger died. She was identified as Dulce Marie Campo Perez, 68, of West Melbourne, Fla.

Security increased for Oklahoma prisons chief: The Oklahoma Department of Corrections has increased security for its director following threatening phone calls and e-mails after a botched execution in April, according to records obtained by a newspaper. The Tulsa World reported Sunday that the department bought a bullet-resistant SUV with tinted windows for Robert Patton for $40,587 and that he is now accompanied by bodyguards. The threats followed the April 29 execution of Clayton Lockett, who writhed, moaned and clenched his teeth for several minutes after the lethal injection began. The execution was stopped because of a problem with an IV in his groin. He died of a heart attack.

— From news services

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