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Parents charged with child abuse after 10-month-old baby girl dies

Two parents in Cabarrus County, North Carolina, are being charged after their 10-month-old daughter died, investigators say.

>> Watch the news report here

Timothy Tatum and Ashley Lee will be in court Monday facing charges of felony child abuse with serious bodily injury based on preliminary autopsy results, investigators said.

>> Read more trending news 

Police said the child died May 24. Authorities said Tatum and Lee were arrested when drugs, including opioids and cocaine, were found in their home on Knights Bridge Road.

More details about what caused the baby's death were not immediately available.

Read more here.

Kidnapping phone scam targeting parents could cost victims thousands, police warn

Police are warning of a kidnapping scam targeting parents in Washington state.

On Friday, the Pierce County Sheriff's Department shared information about a kidnapping scam where suspects attempt to steal thousands of dollars by terrifying parents with false information. 

>> Fake kidnappers target mom after daughter posts about vacation

Police said the scam victimized a Spanaway family Wednesday. 

Employees at an Albertsons grocery store in Spanaway saw a mother trying to purchase thousands of dollars in gift cards and heard her speaking on the phone with "kidnappers," police said. 

Deputies responded, contacting the mother and letting her know the alleged kidnapping was likely a scam. Together, they called her son but didn't get an answer. They searched for her son for hours and eventually found him safe at his workplace, officials said. 

Police said the mother was convinced the scam was real because the suspects called from her son's phone number. They also coordinated a joint call with her son that convinced her he was with the suspects. 

"The mother asked the 'kidnappers' to prove that they had her son by asking him what movie she and her son were going to watch that night," police said. "The suspects briefly patched the mother and son onto a conference call so they could hear each other's voices, and the suspects were able to get an answer to her verifying question."

>> Read more trending news 

The suspects called the son, claiming to be with the Pierce County Sheriff's Department, and told him he missed jury duty and they had a warrant out for his arrest, which they could eliminate if he purchased $5,000 in prepaid gift cards and gave them card codes.

The mother in the Spanaway scam did not end up buying gift cards, but her son lost more than $5,400 that he used buying gift cards to stop what he believed was a warrant for his arrest.

A reminder from the Pierce County Sheriff's Department:

"Please remember the Sheriff’s Department NEVER collects money from the public for arrest warrants, traffic infractions, or missed jury duty. If someone threatens your arrest or the arrest of your family member and demands payment – especially with gift cards! – it is a SCAM.

>> Read the Facebook post here

Server at North Carolina restaurant accused of stealing $10,000 in tips

A server at a North Carolina restaurant is accused of stealing $10,000 in tips, WTVD reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Erika Denton, 26, was arrested and charged with falsely obtaining property by false pretense. She posted a $2,500 bond and appeared in court Friday.

Police said Denton had altered food receipts at Tasu Asian Bistro in Cary, inflating the tip amount while not altering the final bill total. In some cases, the tip total had been tripled, WTVD reported.

"It is very disappointing," restaurant manager Katrina Oliver told the television station. "It's really hard to find people that you can trust that they can be loyal to you."

Denton was fired in February, WTVD reported.

Tasu management is now reviewing its receipts nightly to make sure they add up, and will begin doing background checks on potential employees.

"We want to make sure that when we hire people, that they will stay with us longer and they can provide excellent customer services to our guests," Oliver told WTVD.

‘Bro, I just caught a body’: 3 teens charged in ‘modified’ Russian roulette death of friend

Matthew Minkler thought he was among friends when he was shot in the face last week during what Nevada police investigators have called a “modified” game of Russian roulette. 

Two of those friends, Jaiden Caruso and Kody Harlan, are accused of shooting the 17-year-old and leaving him mortally wounded in an abandoned house in Henderson, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. They returned a short time later to clean up the scene and drag his plastic-covered body into a closet, police said.  

The words “(Expletive) Matt” were spray-painted on the door of the closet where Minkler’s body was found, according to court documents obtained by the newspaper

Caruso, 16, and Harlan, 17, have been charged as adults. Caruso, who investigators said pulled the trigger, is charged with murder with a deadly weapon and robbery. Harlan, who is accused of dragging Minkler’s body into the closet, is charged with accessory to murder after the fact, destroying evidence and robbery.

The robbery charges stem from the pair taking Minkler’s wallet before leaving the scene, the Review-Journal said. Caruso and Harlan are each being held in lieu of more than $1 million bail. 

The newspaper reported Friday that a third teen has been charged in the case. The boy, who is currently charged as a minor, faces charges of accessory to murder and destroying evidence. 

Investigators are seeking to have him tried as an adult as well, according to Henderson police spokesman Scott Williams

Williams told the Review-Journal Wednesday that the case “shocked the conscience” of the entire department. 

“This one will stick with you because it’s so sinister,” Williams said

>> Read more trending news

Henderson investigators continue to investigate the involvement of other teens they believe were at the scene when the shooting took place. No one, including Caruso and Harlan, reported that Minkler had been shot. 

“They never called 911,” investigators wrote in the probable cause affidavit for the teens’ arrest. “They never attempted to render aid.”

The Las Vegas Sun reported that Caruso and Harlan were arrested the night of June 8 after they took Henderson officers on a short pursuit in a stolen Mercedes and crashed the car. 

Officers said they found a .375-caliber revolver in the car, with one spent casing in the gun’s chamber. Minkler’s stolen wallet was also in the car, officers said.

It wasn’t long before Harlan, whose Facebook profile picture appears to show him pointing a handgun at the camera, began talking about the slaying that afternoon in an abandoned house on Cool Lilac Avenue. 

The Sun reported that Harlan told detectives he, Minkler, Caruso and others had gone to the abandoned home, where he said Caruso pulled out a revolver and suggested the group play Russian roulette. The deadly game is played with a single bullet loaded into a revolver, after which point the gun’s cylinder is spun so no one knows where the loaded chamber is. Participants take turns pointing the gun to their own heads and pulling the trigger.

Harlan told investigators Caruso never handed the gun over to the other participants.

“(Caruso) never allowed other participants to handle the firearm, or pull the trigger themselves, but rather, (Caruso) was the only person who pointed the gun and pulled the trigger,” court documents said, according to the Sun

Caruso’s own cellphone corroborated parts of Harlan’s story, the newspaper reported. One Snapchat video shot just before 1 p.m. on the day of the shooting appears to show Caruso in the abandoned house, showing the revolver and the single bullet in the cylinder. 

In the next video, shot at 2:44 p.m., Caruso is seen speaking into the camera, saying, “Bro, I just caught a body,” the Sun reported. He pans the camera to the kitchen floor, where Minkler lay bleeding.

A video shot six minutes later shows Caruso “calmly” walking to the kitchen sink and wetting his hands to clean blood off his sneakers as a voice off-camera asks what to do with Minkler’s body, the Review-Journal reported

Police said Caruso later used $300 taken from Minkler’s wallet, which Harlan told investigators he grabbed before they fled the scene, to replace his shoes, the newspaper reported. The rest of the cash they allegedly stole from the victim was used to buy drugs, police officials said. 

Arrest reports said that Caruso, who initially blamed the shooting on someone else, “broke down and admitted his involvement” when confronted with the videos. He told investigators the shooting was an accident and that he was high on Xanax when it took place. 

Minkler’s mother, Jamie Shanklin, told the Review-Journal the cash that was stolen from her son was money he had received for his recent birthday.

“He cared more about his shoes,” a weeping Shanklin said of Caruso. 

The heartbroken mother said she does not believe the Russian roulette story.

“My kid was shot in the chin, like they were shutting him up,” Shanklin told the newspaper

She said she believes that Caruso had a “beef” with her son and pretended to be his friend to get close to him. 

“(Matt) would have never gotten into the car with them if he knew,” she said. 

Minkler’s Facebook page was that of a typical teenage boy, but his last post on May 30 indicated he was lonely. 

“I don’t get asked to hang out no more,” Minkler wrote. “I don’t get any more texts from ANYBODY just to at least say, ‘What’s up?’ I have people on here that don’t even want to talk to me anymore. The list can go on and on.”

The love family and friends poured out to him on the post turned to anguish after his death. 

“Matthew, you (were) truly a sweet boy,” wrote one girl who said she’d known him since elementary school. “I can’t believe you’re gone. May you rest in peace and finally know how much you are loved.”

Minkler’s kindergarten teacher also offered her condolences.

“What a wonderful, full-of-life child,” Elizabeth Ann Pesco wrote. “Full of curiosity about everything. Rest in peace, dear one.”

Shanklin described her son, who was set to start his senior year in the fall, as a good child with a kind soul. She said his last words as he left home Friday afternoon were to tell his siblings, “Tell Mom I love her.”

“I’ve been mourning for days, and now I feel my anger,” Shanklin told the Review-Journal Wednesday as she planned her son’s funeral. “My baby never came home.”

GoFundMe page to help with Minkler’s funeral has raised nearly $10,000 in five days. A candlelight vigil was scheduled to be held for the teen Friday night in Henderson’s Pebble Park. 

Former NFL tight end Kellen Winslow II faces rape charges

Former NFL player Kellen Winslow II was arrested Thursday on suspicion of rape, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

>> Read more trending news 

The charges against, Winslow, 34, include two counts of forcible rape, one count of forcible sodomy and one count of forcible oral copulation, according to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. Other charges include kidnapping with the intent to commit rape, residential burglary and indecent exposure, the sheriff’s department said.

Winslow will be arraigned Friday. 

He was arrested last week on suspicion of burglary, then posted a $50,000 bond, the Union-Tribune reported. Sheriff’s deputies arrested Winslow on his latest charges Thursday morning and searched his home, the newspaper said.

Winslow, the son of San Diego Chargers Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow, grew up in San Diego and attended high school there. He played college football at the University of Miami and was the sixth overall pick in the 2004 draft. 

He played in the NFL until 2013, playing tight end for Cleveland, Tampa Bay, New England and the New York Jets.

Woman shot, killed after refusing to give man ride to pawn shop

A Missouri woman was shot to death Wednesday by a man after she refused to drive him to a pawn shop and give him $36 to get his television set out of hock, KMOV reported.

>> Read more trending news

Loreal Goode, 32, was found by authorities with a gunshot wound to the head in the parking lot of a Family Dollar Store in Jennings, Missouri. She was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

According to police, Brian Clay, 42, shot Goode with a .38-caliber revolver and took her debit card, cellphone and car. Police said Goode had refused to give the man a ride to a pawn shop and refused to give him money, KMOV reported.

Clay was taken into custody shortly after the shooting, KMOV reported. He was charged with first-degree murder, armed criminal action, robbery in the first-degree and unlawful possession of a firearm, police said. 

Parents charged with murder after 6-month-old girl found dead and hidden in cat litter

A Pennsylvania couple whose 6-month-old daughter was found dead in March, her remains stuffed into a storage container full of cat litter in their rented townhome’s crawlspace, are now charged with the baby’s slaying. 

Shaun Cody Oxenreider, 25, and Samantha Marie Trump, 27, both of West Lawn, were charged Wednesday with criminal homicide, multiple counts of aggravated assault, simple assault and reckless endangerment in the death of Harper Trump, court records show. They were already facing charges of criminal conspiracy, concealing the death of a child and abuse of a corpse. 

Trump is pregnant with another child, police said. The couple also has a 21-month-old child who was placed in protective custody in March after Harper’s body was found. 

The Reading Eagle reported that a probable cause affidavit filed Wednesday indicated that Harper Trump died of “blunt force trauma to the head and homicidal violence.” The affidavit was written by Spring Township criminal Investigator Cory Huntsinger. 

>> Read more trending news

The baby’s March 22 autopsy found that the girl suffered multiple broken bones over the four-month period immediately leading up to her death, which investigators believe took place around Jan. 1. She had rib fractures in multiple stages of healing, as well as a broken right forearm, the newspaper reported.

The injuries “would have been caused by repeated episodes of squeezing and blunt impacts and are indicative of prolonged abuse,” Dr. Neil Hoffman said, according to the Eagle

Hoffman, who was aided in the autopsy by a forensic anthropologist, also found a fracture in the bone at the base of Harper’s skull, the newspaper reported. He told Huntsinger the injury could have been inflicted up to a week before she died, the affidavit said. 

Harper’s body was found after Spring Township police officers and officials with Berks County Children & Youth Services contacted the couple March 19 for a welfare check, police officials said. Oxenreider’s family members reported that they were told the baby had died.

Berks County District Attorney John T. Adams said during a March news conference that one of the relatives said Oxenreider gave conflicting stories about what happened to Harper. 

According to a March probable cause affidavit obtained by the Eagle, the Children & Youth Services caseworker assigned to investigate could find no record of Harper’s death or cremation and, when she asked Trump by phone about a death certificate, Trump said she and Oxenreider were in New Jersey and would not be home for several weeks. 

When the caseworker drove by the townhouse that evening and saw Oxenreider’s vehicle parked outside, she called police. Officers arrived at the couple’s townhouse around 7:45 p.m., the court document said. 

The couple would not initially allow officers inside and talked to them through the door, the Eagle reported. When Huntsinger arrived, Oxenreider stepped outside and Trump remained just inside the door. 

As Huntsinger questioned Trump, she fell to the floor having an apparent seizure, the affidavit said. She was taken to a hospital by ambulance while Huntsinger and other officers continued investigating Harper’s death. 

They demanded to see the child’s urn and around midnight, Oxenreider agreed to let them search the home, the newspaper reported. In a locked bathroom, they found pictures of the baby, used diapers and baby clothes, the affidavit said. 

Investigators also searched a closet next to the bathroom that led to the crawlspace under the stairs of the two-story townhome, the Eagle reported. There, they found a large, sealed plastic container full of cat litter.

Oxenreider told the officers that they kept the cat litter in the crawlspace to keep it away from the kitchen, the court document said. The officers noticed a plastic bag sticking out of the litter, however, and pulled it out onto the floor.

When they cut the bag open, they found Harper’s remains inside, the Eagle reported. 

Oxenreider was arrested at the scene. WFMZ-TV in Allentown reported that Trump remained hospitalized for about three weeks before being booked into the Berks County Jail in April. 

She and Oxenreider remained there Wednesday in lieu of $250,000 bail each. 

Man at Walmart pulled down 8-year-old girl's pants, exposed himself, father says

A father is describing the moment a man grabbed his 8-year-old daughter and pulled her pants down in front of him inside of a Walmart in Shelton, Washington, last week. 

>> Watch the news report here

The incident happened Friday morning

The father told KIRO Radio's “Ron and Don Show” that he was with his two daughters when a man came out of nowhere and hugged one of his daughters from the back

“He then put her on the ground and that’s when I started moving and went after him to push him off,” he told KIRO Radio. “He was much bigger than I was. He ended up removing my daughter’s pants and underpants. That’s when I went into really crazy mode and was able to somehow push him off.”

>> Read more trending news 

The father then said the man exposed himself. 

After the father screamed, a group of people surrounded the suspect until police arrived. 

The suspect was arrested at the store

Florida man threatened Disney World shooting if he got enough Facebook 'likes,' deputies say

Brevard County, Florida, deputies are crediting two Facebook users for reporting a post that threatened a shooting at Walt Disney World.

Deputies said Derek Eitel, 23, threatened to "shoot up" Disney and hang himself if he got five “likes” on his post.

>> Read more trending news 

Eitel admitted to making the post, deputies said. He appeared in a Brevard County courtroom Wednesday.

Deputies said Eitel lives with his parents, who told deputies their son did not have access to their guns that are locked up inside the house.

Sylvester Stallone sexual assault case under review by prosecutors

Prosecutors in Los Angeles County, California, are looking into a sexual assault allegation against actor Sylvester Stallone, multiple news outlets are reporting.

>> Harvey Weinstein faces new rape accusation in class-action lawsuit

According to the Los Angeles Times, the county District Attorney's Office is trying to determine whether to charge the "Rocky" star after the allegation was reported to Santa Monica police late last year. The accuser said the incident happened in the '90s, police said.

Reuters reported that the state "has a complex statute of limitations for criminal prosecutions of sexual abuse, but offenses must generally be prosecuted within 10 years."

Martin Singer, Stallone's attorney, said the actor "categorically denies the allegations," according to CNN.

>> Read more trending news 

"It is a false claim," Singer told the Times. "It is a complete fabrication."

He added that the accuser previously had a consensual relationship with Stallone, who is now 71, CNN reported.

Read more here.

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