Kidnapped girl, 5, dies in gunfight

A 5-year-old Kansas girl who was kidnapped Friday night died in a gun battle between police and her abductor after a high-speed car chase, police said Saturday.

“The matter unfolded quite rapidly,” said Leavenworth Police Chief Patrick Kitchens. “We are still trying to sort out specifically what happened.”

Police said Cadence Harris of Leavenworth was reported kidnapped about 7:30 p.m. Friday. Police said there was some relationship between the girl and the suspect but did not give details.

Police in Missouri and Kansas were involved in the chase as the suspect crossed the state line before the chase ended in Leavenworth. At some point the suspect got out of his vehicle and pointed a gun at officers and they exchanged fire, Kitchens said.

He said it was not clear whether the child was shot by her abductor, who was seriously wounded and is hospitalized in Kansas City, Mo.

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation was called in to help investigate. Stressing that the probe was just getting underway, KBI special agent Mark Malick said, “Evidence we have at the scene at this time does not support any indication that gunfire struck the car or the victim, and specifically gunfire coming from law enforcement,” Malick said.

— Reuters

New Mexico
Fugitive in U.S. after capture in Nepal

A New Mexico man who fled charges of sex abuse and kidnapping 14 years ago returned to the state Saturday after his capture in Nepal, the FBI said.

Neil Stammer, 47, arrived in the afternoon at Albuquerque International Sunport, FBI spokesman Frank Fisher said. Stammer will be booked on outstanding warrants at the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center, Albuquerque police said. He is expected to face state charges.

Stammer, the owner of a local magic shop, was arrested in 1999 on allegations of sex abuse of a minor, kidnapping, intimidation of a witness and battery. He was out on bond before arraignment, authorities said.

A federal arrest warrant was issued in June 2000 for Stammer for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, authorities said. Stammer used a fraudulent passport to enter Nepal, Fisher said, and had been living there since 2006 under a different name.

— Associated Press

Roof collapses at Texas prison: The roof of a privately run east-Texas prison collapsed Saturday morning, sending 19 injured inmates to hospitals, authorities said. One inmate was airlifted to a Houston hospital after the collapse at Diboll Correctional Center, about 100 miles northeast of Houston. Neither his identity nor his condition had been released. In a statement, a prison spokesman said the other inmates suffered cuts and bruises when wallboard fell from the ceiling of a housing area about 11:30 a.m. Spokesman Issa Arnita said 86 inmates were in the area when the ceiling material fell. He said officials are trying to determine the cause. The 518-bed minimum-security facility is operated by Centerville, Utah,-based Management & Training Corp.

Man loses hand to flesh-eating bacteria: A Rhode Island firefighter has lost his hand to flesh-eating bacteria. Braden Leonard, 32, of Newport says he was biking in Ballard Park in June when he fell and a thorn pricked his right hand. The nine-year veteran of the Johnston Fire Department had inflammation, fever and fatigue. Doctors diagnosed the rare necrotizing fasciitis, commonly known as a flesh-eating infection. They amputated the hand to stop the infection’s spread. Leonard told WJAR-TV he feels lucky to be alive and hopes to be fitted with a prosthetic and return to his job.

— Associated Press