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Georgia police Sgt. Kelvin Ansari dies after being shot responding to robbery

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WTOC (SAVANNAH, Ga.) — A veteran police sergeant in Savannah, Georgia, died after he and another officer were shot during a gunfight Saturday night while investigating a robbery, officials said.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said Sunday that the suspect in the fatal shooting of Sgt. Kelvin Ansari had also died from injuries suffered in Saturday night’s gun battle.

Authorities later identified the suspect as 49-year-old Edward Fuller III.

Ansari, a 10-year member of the Savannah Police Department and a U.S. Army veteran, died at a hospital from wounds suffered when he and another officer approached a car suspected of being involved in the robbery, police officials said

The second officer shot in the episode, Doug Thomas, was treated at a hospital and released, police said in a statement.

Ansari and the other officer responded just after 8 p.m. on Saturday to a report that a car connected to an earlier robbery at a barber shop was spotted on a street near downtown Savannah, Keturah Green, a spokeswoman for the Savannah Police Department, told reporters at the scene shortly after the shooting.

Green said that as the officers approached the suspicious vehicle, shots rang out.

The officers were not aware that Fuller was in the vehicle, according to the GBI. When they approached, Fuller exited the car and “immediately began firing,” striking Ansari and Thomas.

Fuller then fled the scene on foot to the backyard of a nearby home, authorities said. When responding officers found him, he emerged from a shed and pointed a handgun at the officers, prompting one officer to fire his weapon, authorities said.

Fuller was struck and later died at a local hospital.

In keeping with the protocol for police-involved shootings, the Georgia Bureau of Investigations is leading the probe.

“Please keep our officers and their families in your thoughts and prayers at this time,” the Savannah Police Department said in a statement.

Ansari had served in the U.S. Army for more than 20 years before joining the police department, officials said.

Ansari is the 18th U.S. law enforcement officer shot to death in the line of duty this year, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page. Three officers have been shot to death this month.

Ansari’s death comes less than a week after Officer Robert McKeithen was killed in an ambush shooting outside the Biloxi Police Department headquarters in Mississippi. Thousands of law enforcement officers from around the country are expected to attend McKeithen’s funeral on Monday in Biloxi.

Darian Atkinson, 19, was arrested in McKeithen’s slaying and charged with capital murder.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Man suspected of child sex abuse turns himself into Oregon authorities after 23 years on the run: FBI

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iStock/bizoo_n(OREGON CITY, Ore.) —  A man suspected in multiple cases of child sex abuse has turned himself in to Oregon authorities after spending more than 23 years on the run.

Wayne Arthur Silsbee, 62, has been wanted since the mid-90s for allegedly sexually assaulting several female victims between the ages of 8 and 10 he was acquainted with, according to the FBI. Silsbee walked to the Oregon City Police Department on Friday afternoon, authorities said.

Silsbee knew the victims from either babysitting them or having “taken them to various events,” according to the FBI.

Charges against Silsbee include sodomy, sexual abuse, unlawful penetration and endangering the welfare of a child, online jail records show. The assaults allegedly occurred between September 1995 and April 1996 in Clackamas County, according to the FBI.

A local arrest warrant for Silsbee was filed on July 24, 1996, and the FBI issued a federal arrest warrant charging him with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution on Sept. 19, 1996.

It is unclear why Silsbee turned himself in. The FBI is asking anyone who may have had contact with him in the last 23 years to call the Oregon City tip line. Investigators believe he may have most recently lived in Nebraska, but he may also have ties to Springfield, Missouri, the San Francisco Bay Area, Colorado, Arizona and northwestern Washington state, according to the FBI.

In the past, Silsbee has been employed as a security guard, tax preparer, school bus driver and warehouseman, according to his FBI “Wanted” poster. He has also worked for multiple temp service agencies and was “purported to be an active member of the Adventist Church,” according to the poster.

Silsbee is currently being held on $50,000 bail at the Clackamas County jail. He will appear in court on Monday afternoon.

It is unclear if Silsbee has retained an attorney.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Commercial pilot Christian Martin indicted in Kentucky triple homicide

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iStock/Pattanaphong Khuankaew(NEW YORK) — In a stunning twist to a cold-case triple homicide in Kentucky, a commercial pilot was arrested on an airplane full of passengers and charged with the brutal 2015 killings of three of his neighbors, including two whose bodies were found burned beyond recognition in a torched car, authorities said.

Christian R. Martin, 51, a former Army Ranger major and a pilot for the American Airlines subsidiary PSA Airlines, was arrested on Saturday at the Muhammad Ali International Airport in Louisville, a day after a grand jury indicted him on three counts of murder and arson stemming from the killings of Calvin and Pamela Phillips and their neighbor, Edward Dansereau.

Martin was taken into custody on an airplane loaded with passengers as he was preparing for takeoff, authorities said.

A jail booking photo of Martin shows him still in his pilot’s uniform.

Calvin Phillips, 59, was found shot to death inside his home in Pembroke, Kentucky, on Nov. 18, 2015. The bodies of his wife, Pamela, 58, and Dansereau, 63, were discovered burned beyond recognition several miles from their neighborhood in a car that had been driven into a cornfield and set on fire, investigators said.

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear said his office took over the investigation after the son of the slain couple, Matt Phillips, met with him two years ago and expressed fears the case might never be solved.

“He was worried that the case was stalled and was worried that justice would not come,” Beshear said in a video statement released on Saturday. “We hope this is one example of when you never stop seeking justice, when you never give up on a case that we can truly get important results for our families.”

Martin was indicted by a Christian County grand jury on three counts of murder, one count of arson, one count of attempted arson, burglary and three counts of tampering with physical evidence.

“Every day, we are haunted by what was done to them and haunted further that someone was still free to do as they wish, beyond the civility of mankind or laws of our nation,” relatives of the Calvin and Pamela Phillips, and Dansereau said in a joint statement. “We are overwhelmed with this positive step towards resolution for people we love dearly…We look forward to justice in court, and we look forward to a verdict to bring an end to this terror, and a fresh start at healing.”

At the time of the slayings, Martin lived across the street from the Phillips couple and Dansereau.

In a 2016 interview with NBC affiliate station WSMV-TV in Louisville, Martin claimed Calvin Phillips was having an affair with his wife but denied any involvement in the murders.

Asked in the interview if he believed he would be charged in the killings, Martin said told WSMV, “No, I have no worries about that.”

The killings occurred just days before Martin faced a military court-martial on charges of assault consummated by battery upon a child under the age of sixteen and conduct unbecoming an officer, according to military records. Martin was ultimately convicted of assaulting his stepson by coming up behind him, “placing his arms around his stepson’s neck in a ‘rear naked choke,’ lifting him off the ground, and squeezing his neck until his body went limp and felt numb,” according to the records.

Authorities said Calvin Phillips was scheduled to testify in the court-martial proceedings, but the nature of his testimony was unclear.

Phillips was found guilty of the charges, dismissed from the military and placed under “confinement for 90 days,” according to the records.

Shortly after the homicides of the Phillips couple and Dansereau, Martin moved to North Carolina.

A former Army helicopter pilot, Martin began working as a pilot for PSA in January 2018, according to the airline.

In a statement to ABC News, American Airlines officials said Martin passed a routine criminal background check that found “no criminal history that would disqualify him from being a commercial pilot.”

“All of us at American Airlines and PSA Airlines are deeply saddened to have learned about these allegations from 2015,” the airline’s statement reads. “Our team was made aware of the indictment [Saturday] morning after his arrest at Louisville International Airport. We have an unwavering commitment to the safety and security of our customers and team members, and we will provide any investigative assistance possible to law enforcement throughout their investigation.”

Martin was being held without bail in Jefferson County, Kentucky. He is expected to be extradited to Christian County and could be arraigned on the murder charges as early as Monday, officials said.

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College awards student who died after getting into wrong car with posthumous degree

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Columbia Police Department(COLUMBIA, S.C.) — Slain University of South Carolina student Samantha Josephson, who died after getting into the wrong car, was awarded with a posthumous degree at what would have been her graduation ceremony.

Josephson, 21, died in March after she got into a car she mistakenly thought was an Uber after a night out with friends. After she got into the stranger’s car, the child safety locks were activated, preventing her from escaping, and an autopsy found that she died from multiple sharp force injuries, authorities said.

Josephson’s parents were in attendance Saturday at the commencement ceremony at the Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, where an empty seat was draped with a cap and gown in Josephson’s honor, according to ABC Charlotte, North Carolina, affiliate WSOC. There, University of South Carolina President Harris Pastide presented Josephson with a degree in political science.

During the ceremony, Pastide reminded graduating students of the importance of safety when riding in ride-share cars, leading the audience in a chant of “What’s my name?”

“Asking ‘What’s my name?’ before entering a ride-share vehicle will save lives and must become as automatic to you as putting on your seatbelt when you get behind the wheel,” Pastide said.

Last month, Josephson’s parents appeared on “Good Morning America,” urging for stricter ride-share safety laws.

“I think it’s just become such a natural or new phenomenon using Uber,” Josephson’s mother, Marci Josephson, told George Stephanopoulos on April 15. “We trust people and you can’t. You have to change the way that the laws are to make it safer because that’s our nature. We automatically assume that we’re safe.”

The man suspected of killing Josephson, Nathaniel Rowland, has been charged with murder and kidnapping. Josephson’s body was found in a wooded area where Rowland recently lived, and her phone was found in his car, police said.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Search continues for Amanda Eller, woman who went missing during hike on Maui 4 days ago

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iStock/MNStudio(HONOLULU, Hawaii) — Friends, family and rescue crews spent a third day searching for a missing Maui woman on Saturday after she mysteriously disappeared during a routine hike.

Amanda Eller, 35, who is a physical therapist who moonlights as a yoga teacher, drove to Makawao to hike the Kahakapao Trail on her day off Wednesday. Eller is a regular hiker and avid outdoorswoman, friends say, but she has not been seen since taking to the trail.

The Maui Fire Department found Eller’s white Toyota RAV4 at noon on Thursday, with her keys and cellphone inside. Friends said it was not uncommon for her to hike or run the trail without her phone.

Her boyfriend told police he last saw her Wednesday morning. He is not a suspect, friends say.

“We don’t know her to have any depression; we don’t know any reason that she would disappear on her own,” her friend Sarah Haynes, who is leading the search effort and created a Facebook page to provide updates, told Honolulu ABC affiliate KITV. “She and her boyfriend are quite close; they’re a very happy loving couple.”

Eller’s friend Lucia Maya, who knows her through her work as a physical therapist, said she spoke to Eller last week and she was as happy as she’d ever been.

“She is just an incredibly delightful, warm, loving, bright person,” Maya told ABC News. “I’ve treasured our time together.”

She called the disappearance “really difficult.”

“I was just so shocked when I saw the news. It was through an email that someone told me that she was missing and I know Amanda to be an incredibly strong — physically strong as well as emotionally, mentally strong — person,” Maya said. “I know that she hikes all the time; she’s a water person. … She goes on adventures, so the idea that she somehow went missing while on a hike or a run in the Makawao forest is just hard to believe still.”

Maya said the main trail is not treacherous, but there are offshoots from the main trail that can be dangerous, including steep drops. The trail can be muddy and is heavily wooded.

Search and rescue crews and dozens of volunteers have scoured the woods looking for Eller since Thursday.

“Each minute, each hour, I keep checking for updates and hope that there is some good news,” Maya said. “It gets harder and harder with each hour that goes by. It’s pretty devastating and I know that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of people that are thinking of her, searching for her, and the more the word goes out the better.

“If she did somehow fall and is injured I just have to believe that she’s somehow strong enough physically and mentally that she’s able to survive and hold out until the rescuers find her. That’s how I’m staying positive.”

Eller is about 5-foot-9 and 145 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. Anyone with information can contact Maui police at 808-244-6433. The family is offering a $10,000 reward for her safe return.

“I’m hoping that somebody’s going to find her and she’s just going to be OK,” Maya said.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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