Man found in crashed car 6 hours after it was towed

Published: Friday, January 02, 2015 @ 2:54 PM
Updated: Friday, January 02, 2015 @ 2:54 PM

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A man was found in critical condition inside a car at Busy Bee Auto Parts and Towing, six hours after the vehicle was reported in a crash and towed from the scene.

“I towed a car last night. I went to go take care of the lot, this guy’s still in his vehicle,” a worker from the business told emergency dispatchers around 9 a.m. Thursday. “He’s in the car, but I towed the car last night, and I didn’t see nothing in it, but it was dark.”

Sheriff’s deputies responded to the crash around 3 a.m. New Year’s Day. Dispatch records indicated that deputies and other emergency personnel failed to locate an occupant of the vehicle, which crashed into a utility pole in front of Willowview Cemetery.

“To tell you the truth, I don’t know if this guy came back to his car and climbed in it,” the 911 caller said.

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The crash scene was about 500 feet from the Busy Bee Auto Parts and Towing, but deputies are not able to confirm whether the man was in the vehicle when it was towed or if he returned to the vehicle after it was towed to the business.

“It’s still an ongoing and very fluid investigation,” said Montgomery County Sheriff’s Capt. Jeremy Roy. “Our crews, along with Harrison Township fire, were looking all around the cemetery.”

It could be 30 to 45 days until investigators know exactly how the man ended up in the vehicle at the tow yard, but Roy said it appeared he yelled for help when workers opened a door while the car, a Chevrolet Impala, was on a flatbed truck at the business.

“If this is a case where somebody was missed, it’s usually due to a crash involved in a rollover, possibly an ejection, where you’re not really sure where that person is,” Roy said. “We will conduct our full investigation. If we feel there is some issues, or proper protocol or procedures weren’t followed, then we will open up an internal investigation.”

Roy said the victim was found along the front floorboard of the vehicle.

Man plans ‘celebration of life’ party, dies the next day

Published: Saturday, March 25, 2017 @ 9:35 AM
Updated: Saturday, March 25, 2017 @ 9:13 AM

The day after gathering with his friends and family one last time to celebrate his life, a Michigan man died.

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Earlier this month, Robert J. Eleveld wrote an article that appeared in the obituary section of the Grand Rapids Press.

“As I write this notice, I am still with you, although my doctors have informed me that this status will change in the near future,” wrote Eleveld.

In his “obituary” he asked his friends and family to join him for a “celebration of life.”

“I have decided ... to eschew the normal process of others celebrating my life after I die, and instead, would like to celebrate your lives with me,” he wrote. “We’d be honored if you would drop in, say hi, share a glass of red and a laugh ... Please know that the end of my life is the ultimate ‘peanut item’ in comparison to how much I have enjoyed my life with all of you”

Eleveld, a successful attorney and local political figure in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area, gathered with his friends on March 18.

“It was just sort of an outpouring of love for my father in that room,” his daughter, Kerry Eleveld, told MLive. “And celebratory in most ways. Of course there were some sentimental moments. But the party, for the most part, was celebratory through and through.”

The next day, Eleveld died peacefully in his bed, according to MLive. He was surrounded by family, who were reading loving notes to him left by the attendees of the previous day’s celebration.

“They were quite beautiful, actually,” Kerry Eleveld said.

Kerry Eleveld said his last celebration was the perfect last day.

“For him, I don’t think it was so much about him as it was about bringing people together,” she said.

Dozens of dogs rescued from South Korea meat trade; arrive safe in Pittsburgh

Published: Monday, March 27, 2017 @ 8:51 AM

Dozens of dogs rescued from South Korea meat trade; arrive safe in Pittsburgh

After a 7,000-mile journey, dozens of dogs rescued from the South Korea meat trade are now safe in Pittsburgh.
The animals landed at JFK International in New York and were picked up by the Pittsburgh Aviation Animal Rescue Team.

While eating dog is on the decline in South Korea, about 30 million are slaughtered in Asia every year.

"These dogs were in the worst deplorable conditions you can imagine and, today, they have hope. Today, they're going from danger to safety in Pittsburgh,” Jonathan Plesset, of PAART, said. 

Most of the dogs will go to South Hills Pet Rescue to be checked out, then they’ll be put up for adoption.

PAART, a not-for-profit organization that provides air and ground rescue for at-risk dogs, cats and other animals. Its mission is transporting animals from danger to safety to provide them with a second chance.

Couple accused of killing deaf son, lighting house on fire to destroy evidence

Published: Saturday, March 25, 2017 @ 2:19 PM

A couple has been indicted on accusations that they murdered their deaf teenage son and then burned down their house to cover up the crime, the Associated Press reported.

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According to the Chenango County Sheriff’s Office in New York, Ernest F. Franklin II, 35, and his wife, Heather Franklin, 33, of Guilford, New York, were charged with second-degree murder, arson and tampering with physical evidence.

The two were indicted Friday on charges of second-degree murder in the death of their adopted son, 16-year-old Jeffrey Franklin, People magazine reported.

Following an investigation of a fire on March 1 at the family’s 1,300-square-foot home, the couple was arrested. Investigators believe they set fire to their home to cover up the killing of their son. An autopsy determined he died prior to the fire, according to the sheriff’s office.

Local law authorities have not said how or when the boy was killed.

The Franklins got married in 2011 and adopted Jeffrey six or seven years ago, the sheriff’s office said. According to People magazine, Ernest is an Iraq War veteran. Heather wrote in posts on her Facebook page that she is pregnant.

The Franklins are being held without bail. They entered a plea of not guilty.

“People are asking themselves, ‘How could this happen?'” Chenango County Sheriff Ernest Cutting Jr. told People magazine. “Certainly for the public here, it’s a mix of anger and frustration and disappointment.”

Just days before Heather Franklin was arrested, she posted an update on her Facebook page about how much she missed her son, who she called JR. She also informed friends and family that she and her husband had added their “needs” and “wants” to the Family Gift Registry because they lost everything in the fire.

A GoFundMe page was also established, but it has been taken down.

The Associated Press reported that police who responded to a 911 call about 1:15 a.m. on March 1 found the Franklin’s house, located about an hour away from Syracuse, engulfed in flames. Jeffrey was inside and unable to escape the fire, according to the sheriff’s office.

Authorities initially said the cause of the fire appeared to be a wood stove, the residence’s main heating source.

“People are wondering how anybody could do something so brutal to a developmentally disabled and handicapped 16-year-old boy,” Cutting told People. “There are a lot of people who would have taken him. There are organizations that would have taken care of him. Why resort to that? … It’s just a terrible, terrible tragedy.”

Virgin Airlines to be no more

Published: Monday, March 27, 2017 @ 8:46 AM

Virgin Airlines to be no more

Being named the Best Airline in North America isn’t enough to save the brand name of Virgin Airlines.

Alaska Airlines, which bought Virgin last year, has announced that it will fly both companies under the Alaska Airlines name by 2019, CNN Money reported.

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But Alaska Airlines said in last week’s announcement that it will keep the options that made Virgin Airlines a household name like its free in-flight entertainment, mood lighting and boarding music.

Alaska, which is based in Seattle, bought Richard Branson’s airline to break into the California market, making Alaska the country’s fifth-largest airline, CNN Money reported.