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Published: Thursday, March 08, 2018 @ 4:25 PM
BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. — THURSDAY, 4:15PM ET UPDATE: Nikolas Cruz withdrew his not guilty plea Thursday and instead chose to "stand mute," according to a court motion.
The Parkland suspect's lawyers have withdrawn his not guilty plea filed last month, instead saying he "stands mute"— Mark Berman (@markberman) March 8, 2018
His lawyers reiterate that he did it, say they felt a not guilty plea "just seemed wrong," but won't plead guilty til they find out if prosecutors will seek death https://t.co/RMvNLixiek
The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.
Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 11:11 AM
CARY, N.C. — A North Carolina man has been arrested after police said he walked past his mother as she laid on the floor dying.
Eric Paul Brunner was charged with second-degree murder and abuse of an elder with serious injury, WRAL reported.
Police said that Brunner’s 74-year-old mother, Cynthia Braverman Brunner, fell down the steps at least a day before he called 911.
Paramedics found the woman dead at the bottom of a staircase, lying in vomit and naked from the waist down, WRAL reported.
Brunner told police that she had fallen at least a day before the Feb. 19 emergency call and that he didn’t try to help her.
He was his mother’s caretaker, Raleigh’s News and Observer reported.
“Based on his statements that she was moving or ‘squirming,’ it is believed that she was alive for some time after falling,” police said in the search warrant application, WRAL reported. “Mr. Brunner admitted to investigators that his mother was alive and made attempts to communicate with him for some time after falling, however, he willfully failed to assist her. He further admitted that he knew his inaction would likely lead to her death and that he wanted her to die.”
Brunner told police that he thought that after she died, he’d be able to access $30,000 in her bank accounts, WRAL reported.
Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 4:17 PM
— A cold case could soon be solved if the skeletal remains found in the basement of a Long Island home turn out to be the woman who has been missing since 1966.
Police recently reviewed the case of Louise Pietrewicz, after The Suffolk Times published a special report in October that brought the case back into view.
Pietrewicz disappeared more than half a century ago, WPIX reported. At the time she was in a relationship with William Boken, a police officer in the area. She had recently left her husband, who was accused of physically and mentally abusing her, the Times reported, and had started seeing Boken, who was married at the time.
In October 1966, Pietrewicz took more than $1,000 from her bank account, and closed it. The next day, she “disappeared in the company of a man friend,” a court document filed 10 years later stated. Pietrewicz left behind an 11-year-old daughter, the Times reported.
Boken died in the 1980s, but his former wife told police investigating Pietrewicz’s case that there was a body buried in a burlap bag in the basement of the Bokens’ former home, WPIX reported.
The house was searched in 2013, but nothing was found.
Last week, spurred on by the paper’s report, another search of the home was conducted. After Suffolk County police homicide detectives, along with Southold Police, used ground-penetrating sonar, they found skeletal remains in the home, WPIX reported. The remains have been taken to the medical examiner’s office to determine whose remains they are and to find a cause of death.
Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 2:45 PM
Updated: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 2:45 PM
AUSTIN, Texas — Police continue to investigate a series of deadly bombings in Austin after authorities said the suspect, identified as Mark Anthony Conditt, 23, apparently killed himself early Wednesday.
Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 12:35 PM
MESA, Ariz. — A tip may have surfaced in a 19-year-old Arizona missing child case, but police and family aren’t too sure.
KPHO reported that a 2009 $1 bill has a message written along the edge that could be a tip in the 1999 disappearance of Mikelle Biggs. She went missing at 11 years old while waiting for an ice cream truck in Mesa, Arizona. The Arizona Republic reported that the girl's mother, Tracy Biggs, reported her daughter missing on Jan. 2, 1999.
“My name is Mikel (sic) Biggs kidnapped From Mesa AZ I’m Alive,” the message on the bill says.
The note, the publication reported, appears to be written in a child’s handwriting but has Mikelle’s name spelled wrong. The bill was reported to police March 14 in Neenah, Wisconsin.
“A man came to the front lobby and dropped it off,” Neenah Police Chief Kevin Wilkinson told ABC News. “He found it in a collection of money for Girl Scout Cookies.”
Neenah Police Investigator Adam Streubel told The Arizona Republic he was doubtful much could be done with the message to solve the Arizona case.
“There’s no way to trace (the bill),” said Streubel, who suspects the message could be a joke.
“There was a little spring of hope for a second, and then reality set in,” Streubel said. “There is nothing you can do with it, which is rather frustrating.”
One of Mikelle’s younger sisters, Kimber Biggs, is also doubtful.
“The fact that her name was spelled wrong was, you know, is kind of discredited,” Biggs told The Arizona Republic Tuesday. I don’t think that would be something she’d do.”
Biggs said she found out about the bill when a photo of it surfaced on a Facebook page she runs called Justice for Mikelle Biggs.
“I was looking at the bill, trying to look at the handwriting and see if it could mean something and I got sick about it," Biggs said. “‘Is this a hoax?’ ‘Did someone play a cruel joke?’ and that made me upset or 'Is it real?' and even the thought of that upsets me if it’s real."
Mesa, Arizona, police Detective Steve Berry told KPHO that his department plans to look into the note, even though changes of finding DNA or fingerprints are low.