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Published: Thursday, October 05, 2017 @ 6:20 PM
MILWAUKEE — A Wisconsin woman is accused of killing her 4-year-old son with autism, who police officials say was found burned and bound with seven belts in the bathtub of their apartment.
Amelia Di Stasio, 23, of Milwaukee, is charged with first-degree intentional murder, according to jail records. She is being held in the Milwaukee County Jail in lieu of $350,000 bond.
Fox 6 News in Milwaukee reported that firefighters were dispatched to Di Stasio’s home Sept. 28 after smoke was spotted coming from the apartment. The firefighters forced their way in and found smoke coming from the stove and the bathtub.
In the tub, they found the body of Antonio Di Stasio, the news station reported. The boy’s hands were bound behind his back and there was a garbage bag secured tightly over his head.
“(A) majority of his body was burned,” a criminal complaint obtained by Fox 6 News said. Antonio’s autopsy revealed “significant charring” and thermal injuries.
His death was ruled a homicide, but it was not immediately clear if he died of the burns or of asphyxiation from the plastic bag on his head.
Antonio’s grandfather, Ralph Di Stasio, told the news station that his daughter suffers from bipolar disorder. The grieving grandfather said he is trying to understand how she could have hurt her son.
“She loved Antonio with all of her heart,” he said. “That’s why this was so hard.”
Di Stasio wrote on Facebook that his grandson was “bright and happy,” but that his autism caused him to “act out” and scream, which caused neighbors to complain about the noise. He said the apartment where the boy died was his third home in a little over a year.
“Your (sic) all gonna be down on his mother. But she loved him,” Di Stasio wrote. “Took him everywhere with her. Tried to get him treatment. And she's now under arrest. I don't know what happened, only that I've lost both my grandson and a daughter.”
A neighbor of Amber Di Stasio’s told police that the day before Antonio’s body was found, she heard the boy crying, “Please, Mommy. Stop! I won’t do it again,” and then his mother yelling at him to “shut up,” the criminal complaint said. The witness said she heard a banging noise coming from the Di Stasio apartment the next morning.
Antonio’s pet guinea pig was found drowned in its cage next to the bathtub, the news station reported. An open bottle of canola cooking oil was sitting on the sink and the apartment’s smoke detector had been removed and submerged in water.
Police officers who responded to the scene found Di Stasio’s cellphone, on which they discovered searches asking: “How do canabals (sic) die” and “how to kill a canabal (sic),” the complaint said.
The search results included a link to the message board about an online game in which players fight cannibals, the news station reported. The messages detailed ways to kill a cannibal, with the first suggestion being to “kill it with fire.”
The board also offered details of the game, in which the cannibals “like to bathe in oil,” Fox 6 News reported.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that a witness told investigators she saw a woman who looked “frazzled” jump from the window of the apartment shortly before firefighters arrived.
Di Stasio was taken into custody a few hours later after a Milwaukee police officer spotted her walking along a street several miles north of the crime scene, the Journal Sentinel said. In her purse were identification cards for both her and her son, as well as a piece of paper with a name and phone number on it.
When an officer called the number, he talked to a man who said he’d given the phone number, which belongs to his wife, to a woman he saw crying at a bus stop that morning. The man told the officer that he’d asked the woman what was wrong.
“I did something really bad (and) I need to talk to a pastor,” the woman told him, according to the criminal complaint.
The man said he offered the woman his wife’s name and number because his wife is a Christian, the Journal Sentinel reported. Investigators showed the man a photo array, from which he identified a photo of Di Stasio as the woman he’d met.
Antonio’s family members told Fox 6 News that they are struggling to understand his death.
“He was a good kid. Always smiling,” his uncle, Juan Allen, said. “It’s just sad. That’s an innocent life that’s gone. I’m just trying to cope with the pain right now.”
The boy’s aunt and Amelia Di Stasio’s sister, Eva Allen, told WTMJ-TV that she is angry with her sister.
Published: Saturday, February 17, 2018 @ 11:57 AM
FREDERICK, Md. — A Maryland woman says there was a live surprise in a package of fish she purchased at Costco last week.
Emily Rhoades Randolph said she purchased a package of fresh cod on Feb. 9 at Costco. On Monday, she recorded video of what appears to be a worm wriggling around a corner of the sealed package and posted it on her Facebook page on Wednesday. The sell-by date on the package is the same day she recorded the video, according to Randolph.
Randolph said in the Facebook post that when she returned the contaminated fish to Costco, the clerk at the seafood counter commented that another customer had returned salmon with worms in it. Randolph said she did not receive an apology for the incident.
Published: Friday, February 16, 2018 @ 8:27 PM
— Once again, first lady Melania Trump gave off the impression that all is not well in her marriage to President Donald Trump when she broke presidential protocol on Friday following a report alleging the president had an affair with former Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal.
As the Trumps headed to Florida to meet with the victims of this week’s mass shooting at a high school, they began the journey separately. While it’s tradition for the couple to cross the White House lawn to Marine One together, Mrs. Trump decided to forgo the usual walk and instead drove separately to Andrews Air Force Base. She arrived in a separate vehicle ahead of the president and ascended the stairs to Air Force One without him.
First lady Melania Trump skipped the traditional South Lawn couple's walk to Marine One for travel to Florida, opting instead to drive separately ahead of President Donald Trump https://t.co/dSuz7mo4fG pic.twitter.com/5zj1bCPXYy— CNN (@CNN) February 16, 2018
“With her schedule, it was easier to meet him on the plane,” Stephanie Grisham, the first lady’s communications director, explained the situation, adding that she does intend to join her husband in visiting the victims.
The suspicious choice comes just hours after The New Yorker published a report based on an account from McDougal, who provided details about her alleged affair with President Trump between June 2006 to April 2007. At the time, the Trumps had been married for two years, and their son, Barron, had been born a few months earlier.
The White House responded to the allegations in a statement saying, “This is an old story that is just more fake news. The President says he never had a relationship with McDougal.”
Published: Friday, February 16, 2018 @ 8:54 AM
— J.M. Smucker Co. is pulling back some of its shipments after a television news investigation found that some of the company’s dog food tested positive for a drug used for euthanasia.
The company is having shipments of wet canned Gravy Train, Kibble ‘N Bits, Skippy and Ol’ Roy foods returned to the the company, The Associated Press reported.
The move came after Washington, D.C.-based television station WJLA tested 15 cans of the Gravy Train brand and found 60 percent, or 9 out of the 15 cans, tested positive for the drug pentobarbital.
The station’s investigation started after a woman said that shortly after feeding Evanger’s pet food to her five dogs, they were falling over and convulsing in 2016. She sent the rest of the dogs’ food and the remains of one of the dogs for testing, where the dog was found to have been poisoned by dog food and that the food contained pentobarbital, WJLA reported last week.
In 2017, Evanger’s recalled a batch of its Hunk of Beef food because it was exposed to the drug.
Smucker’s officials, which doesn’t produce Evanger’s, told WJLA that it was investigating the results of the station’s investigation on its food and are working with suppliers.
Smucker’s officials said this week that the low amounts of the drug found in the station’s investigation is not a threat to pets.
WJLA reported that their test showed non-lethal levels but any amount of the drug is not permitted according to federal law.
“However, the presence of this substance at any level is not acceptable to us and not up to our quality of standards,” Smucker’s officials told the AP.
The company said it doesn’t use meat from animals that were euthanized in its pet food products, the AP reported.
Published: Friday, February 16, 2018 @ 11:32 AM
— Nikolas Cruz, the gunman charged with killing 17 people at a Parkland, Florida, high school Wednesday afternoon, has reportedly confessed to the shooting and, his attorney says, is now on suicide watch.
Cruz, according to a timeline put together by police, set off alarms as he entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, the school he had been expelled from, hoping to get more people into the hallways and into his line of fire.
After firing into classrooms and at students in the hallways, Cruz dropped the weapon he had with him, an AR-15 weapon purchased legally one year ago, and blended in with the crowd of students fleeing the building.
From the school, he headed to a Subway and bought himself a soft drink, went to a McDonald's to sit for a few minutes, left the restaurant and was arrested a short time later without incident.
On Thursday, he was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.
Here, from information from the Broward County’s Sheriff’s Office, is a timeline of the events that happened that day.