Friday, July 29, 2011

Norway Massacre: Historic Church Holds Ceremony to Mourn Victims

The Christian Post > U.S.|Wed, Jul. 27 2011 02:08 PM EDT
By Nia Cheney | Christian Post Contributor

NEW YORK – New York City’s historic St. Paul’s Chapel tolled the “Bell of Hope” today in a remembrance ceremony to mourn and honor Norway’s massacre victims.

New York City's historic St. Paul’s Chapel tolled the “Bell of Hope” on July 27, 2011, in a remembrance ceremony to mourn and honor Norway’s massacre victims. The bell was a gift to New York from the city of London a year after the 9/11 attacks.

Norwegian Consul Aslaug Nygard attended the ceremony to ring the bell in honor of the victims.

The ceremony took place at noon Tuesday outside of St. Paul’s Chapel, located directly across from the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan. During the World Trade Center recovery operation following the 9/11 attacks, the Chapel had served a half million hot meals to workers and was seen as a place of hope to city workers.

Nygard rang the bell five times to honor those who died during Friday’s attacks in Norway.

"The popular reaction to these tragic, horrific actions has been the reaction of love and compassion and peace and flowers and candles and remembrance," Norway Consul Nygard said before striking the bell. "I think there is a strong connection between what this bell symbolizes and also how people in Norway feel right now.”

"We stand together shoulder by shoulder in the darkest of times we as a nation show our neighborly love and show our compassion for the victims their families their friends and the survivors."

The "Bell of Hope" was a gift to New York from the city of London a year after 9/11. The bell has been rung previously for the bombings in London, Madrid, Mumbai, and Moscow; for the Virginia Tech shooting; and on the 9/11 anniversaries.

Norway attacker Anders Behring Breivik killed 76 and injured dozens more on Friday, July 22. The attack started with a bomb blast in the capital Oslo and continued with an hour-long shooting rampage at a camp for Labour Party teens on nearby Utoya Island.

Breivik is currently in custody in Norway and has admitted to the attacks, and claims to have been in contact with other terror cells abroad. Police in Norway are currently investigating footage of the attack, and combing Utoya Island for clues.

Norway Shooting, Bombing: Police End Search for Utoya Victims

Friday one of the most horrendous massacres of people, mostly children, occurred in Oslo, Norway. The unspeakable actions of one man have left behind a horde of victims and grieving families as well as a world in shock. The article below was published in the Christian Post on Thursday, July 28.

Following Friday's devastating shooting massacre, Norwegian police have called off the search for bodies and people on and around the small island of Utoya.

The conclusion of the search comes on the same day that the body of a Georgian girl was discovered at the bottom of the lake on the island.

The death toll of the massacre on Utoya stands at 68 of the 76 total victims that lost their lives in the shooting rampage and car bomb attack undertaken by Andres Behring Breivik.

Norwegian police chief-of-staff Johan Fredriksen stated in a press conference, "I can confirm that the search around Utoya has now ended. We will never stop searching if there is hope of finding people."

Fredriksen added, "The number of missing people is very low."

Other police sources alluded that so far only one person had been unaccounted for.

As police work on identifying the bodies, names of the victims will continue to be announced each day at 6 p.m. on the official police website. Many names are expected to be released on Thursday.

As of now, the names of 13 victims have been released.

Meanwhile Breivik, who has confessed to the killings, is in solitary confinement with no access to television or newspapers.

Breivik will be meeting for a second time with police on Friday following a seven-hour session on the day after the attacks. The police have not indicated what information they will be seeking from him.

Police have been condemned for taking too long to reach the scene of the massacre, as it took them upwards of an hour to arrive on the island where hordes of young children were enjoying summer camp.

In response to the criticism, Fredriksen said in a press conference, "I don't think this could have gone faster. I don't see how that would be possible with the distance and with these conditions."

Breivik was arrested within two minutes of police arriving on the island.

Paige Johnson's Mom Wants Daughter's Abductor To 'Do The Right Thing'

The following information was posted by David Lohr in his blog The HuffPost on AOL news on 7/26/11 03:35 PM. Being from KY I wanted to highlight this sad story in hopes of getting Paige's story out there to even more readers.

The mother of missing Kentucky teen Paige Johnson has a message for the individual or individuals responsible for her daughter's disappearance: "I just wish they would tell us please what happened and where she is at. Have a heart and do the right thing."

In an exclusive interview with The Huffington Post, Donna Johnson of Florence, Ky., spoke of the incidents leading up to her 17-year-old daughter's abduction.

Paige has been missing since Sept. 23, 2010, when she went to hang out with a 22-year-old acquaintance named Jacob Bumpass, of nearby Taylor Mill, Ky.

The night she left, she came in my bedroom and I thought she said she was going to her sister Brittney's with a friend of hers named Jason. I let her go because I know Jason -- he lives upstairs in the same building. He has picked her up before and took her there," Paige's mother said. "My daughter left and I have not seen or talked to her again."

Roughly two hours later, at about midnight, Paige sent a Facebook message to her older sister, Brittany Haywood. Paige wrote, "GIRL. I need To Talk To You IMMEDIATELY!"

Unfortunately, Haywood never got a chance to find out what her sister wanted.

Questioned by police, Bumpass claimed he dropped Paige off at about 1 a.m. near the corner of 15th Street and Scott Boulevard in Covington, Ky., which is across the Ohio River from Cincinnati. No one has seen her since.

Donna Johnson said she is skeptical about Bumpass' story.

"She wouldn't just get out on a dark street corner four blocks from where she was going," she said. "It wasn't even on the same street. She would have had to make a couple turns, and she doesn't even know that area to know where to make the turns in the middle of the night or early hours of the morning," Johnson said.

"None of it makes sense."

According to police, Bumpass' cellphone records show his phone was not in Covington at the time he said he dropped off Paige, and that it had pinged off a tower in nearby Florence.

Cell phone records further indicate that at about 4:13 a.m., Bumpass' phone pinged a tower in Batavia, Ohio, and then again, five minutes later, off another tower near Half Acre Road in Batavia. The last location is close to East Fork Lake, an Ohio state park that is 25 miles east of Cincinnati.

After reviewing Bumpass' cellphone records, authorities decided to center their search on East Fork State Park. According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, it is one of Ohio's largest state parks, covering 4,870 acres. The park's terrain "includes both rugged hills and open meadows," according to the state agency's website.

Investigators started their search by clearing the park’s 2,160-acre William H. Harsha Lake, which is more than 100 feet deep in some parts. More than 100 searchers on ATVs and horseback also spread out in the area. Nothing was found during either search.

On Oct. 4, 2010, Bumpass, who is on parole for a theft conviction, was taken into custody for violating his parole because he had alcohol and weapons in his home, authorities said.

For nearly a year, the search for Paige has continued. The Covington Police Department has not returned multiple calls from The Huffington Post, but according to Paige's mother, investigators have told her the case is "far from cold."

Bumpass has not been named as a suspect in Paige's disappearance. He remains behind bars in Kenton County Jail for the parole violation.

Paige's daughter turned 3 years old last month. Donna Johnson said the girl still does not understand what happened to her mother.

"I get her on the weekends," Johnson said. "She will ask where her mom is or say she wants to find her. It is horrible."

Johnson and her mother, Jenny Roderick, do whatever they can to raise awareness, including posting missing person flyers throughout the area -- something that recently caused a bit of a controversy when a Covington police officer asked her not to post the flyers on utility poles because it violates a city ordinance.

Contacted by The Huffington Post, Covington City Manager Larry Klein said a citizen complaint prompted the city to get involved.

"We got a complaint from a citizen about the number of flyers," Klein said. "One of our officers approached the grandmother who had been putting them up and let her know it wasn't permitted."

When local media got wind of the thwarted poster campaign, Roderick gave reporters several interviews, which, according to Johnson, caused the city to lighten up on their posting of the flyers.

"The news got involved [and] then the police chief got on there and said he wouldn't take them down," Johnson said.

While the flyer battle appears to be over, the search for Paige continues. Someone, somewhere knows what happened, and her mother is hopeful they will come forward with information.

"They need to do the right thing and let us know where she is," Johnson said. "She doesn't deserve to be thrown somewhere like a piece of trash. What if it was your sister or your daughter? Put yourself in our shoes. I beg you to tell us, I beg you."

A $3,500 reward is being offered for information regarding Paige Johnson's whereabouts. Anyone with information is asked to call the Covington Police Department at (859) 292-2222 or The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at (800) 843-5678.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Sad Farewell

It is a sad farewell to the Help Find My Child (HFMC) group. This group has worked hard to promote many missing cases and were a shining beacon for missing children worldwide.
We understand that closing the group has been not only difficult but sadly unavoidable due to changes in circumstances.

The Find Madeleine forum would like to say a big thank you to HMFC for their valuable work over the past years.

Help Find My Child - Closing

Unfortunately today I come to you with sad news - Help Find My Child will be shortly closing down. This has been a very difficult decision to take but an unavoidable one due to changes in circumstances. It’s a situation we never wanted to be in particularly so soon, with so much more needing to be done for the missing and those left behind.

Help Find My Child started in a time when social media was not fully utilized in the search for missing children, as a group before and after charity status we pushed boundaries, using technology with online communities to get word out when it was needed where it was needed world wide. We are very proud in what we have achieved and have somewhat lead the way in creating new innovative methods of spreading missing child appeals. Since our conception we have seen some of the larger organisations move in this direction and realise the potential for bringing in information by engaging with the online world.
We will be closing down our pages and referring families where appropriate to other fantastic organisations who can help in the search for their missing loved ones. Donations we will transfer to a selected charity with the same aims to make sure every penny is used as intended and can help other families.
I'd like to pass on my heartfelt thanks firstly to co directors Emma and Helen who have been outstanding in their support, loyalty, dedication and have worked tirelessly for HFMC. Our joint thanks and admiration goes out to our volunteers and supporters.
Our thoughts and prayers are forever with families and the wider missing community.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Find Madeleine's Featured Missing Children Cases for July

Case Type: Endangered Missing
DOB: Mar 2, 1999
Age Now: 11
Sex: Female
Missing Date: Mar 14, 2010
Missing City: POPLAR
Missing State : MT
Missing Country: United States
Race: White
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
Weight: 185 lbs (84 kg)
Hair Color: Brown
Eye Color: Brown

Case Number: NCMC1143038

Circumstances: Ivy was last seen leaving a relative's home on the afternoon of March 14, 2010 and has not been seen or heard from since. She was last seen wearing a pink dress, white sneakers, and white socks with poodles on them. Ivy may be in need of medical attention.

Case Type: Endangered Runaway
DOB: Aug 17, 1998 Sex: Female
Missing Date: May 4, 2011 Race: Asian
Age Now: 12 Height: 5'2" (157 cm)
Missing City: SACRAMENTO Weight: 100 lbs (45 kg)
Missing State : CA Hair Color: Black
Missing Country: United States Eye Color: Brown

Case Number: NCMC1173638

Circumstances: Houa was last seen on May 4, 2011. She may still be in the local area.

Case Type: Endangered Runaway
DOB: Sep 7, 1996
Sex: Male
Missing Date: May 2, 2011
Age Now: 14
Missing City: CHINO HILLS
Missing State : CA
Missing Country: United States
Race: Hispanic
Height: 5'1" (155 cm)
Weight: 120 lbs (54 kg)
Hair Color:Black
Eye Color: Brown

Case Number: NCMC1172703

Circumstances: Esteban was last seen on May 2, 2011. He may still be in the local area. Esteban has a scar on his abdomen. He may go by the nickname Joseph.

BRANDON JEROME FINDLEY 16 - Bendale, South Carolina (USA) - 30/04/2011

Case Type: Endangered Runaway
DOB: Jun 14, 1995
Missing Date: Apr 30, 2011
Age Now: 16
Sex: Male
Race: White
Height: 5'10" (178 cm)
Weight: 148 lbs (67 kg)
Eye Color: Hazel
Hair Color: Brown
Missing City: BENDALE
Missing State : SC
Missing Country: United States

Case Number: NCMC1172081

Circumstances: Brandon may be in the company of an adult male relative. They may travel to Valdosta, Georgia.

Case Type: Endangered Runaway
DOB: Jun 22, 1994
Sex: Female
Missing Date: May 29, 2011
Age Now: 16
Missing City: BUENA PARK
Missing State : CA
Missing Country: United States
Race: Biracial
Height: 5'6" (168 cm)
Weight: 180 lbs (82 kg)
Hair Color: Brown
Eye Color: Brown

Case Number: NCMC1173020

Circumstances: Natani is traveling with her son, Jayden Sullivan. They were last seen on May 29, 2011. When Natani was last seen, her hair was dyed auburn but it is naturally brown. Both Natani and Jayden are Biracial. They are Black and White. Natani's nickname is Tani.

Case Type: Endangered Runaway
DOB: Aug 14, 2009
Sex: Male
Missing Date: May 29, 2011
Age Now: 1
Missing City: BUENA PARK
Missing State : CA
Missing Country: United States
Race: Biracial
Height: 2'2" (66 cm)
Weight: 18 lbs (8 kg)
Hair Color: Brown
Eye Color: Brown

Case Number: NCMC1173020

Circumstances: Natani is traveling with her son, Jayden Sullivan. They were last seen on May 29, 2011. When Natani was last seen, her hair was dyed auburn but it is naturally brown. Both Natani and Jayden are Biracial. They are Black and White. Natani's nickname is Tani.

Case Type: Family Abduction
DOB: Aug 30, 2001
Sex: Male
Missing Date: Jun 9, 2011
Age Now: 9
Missing City: FAIRBANKS
Missing State : AK
Missing Country: United States
Race: White
Height: 4'4" (132 cm)
Weight: 57 lbs (26 kg)
Hair Color: Sandy
Eye Color: Hazel

Case Number: NCMC1173693

Circumstances: Jack was allegedly abducted by his father, Michael Moore, on June 9, 2011. A felony warrant was issued for Michael on June 16, 2011. They may have traveled out of state.

It is believed that Jack in in the company of his father, Michael L. Moore, pictured below.

Friday, June 17, 2011

‘America’s Most Wanted’ ends its long Fox run Saturday, but John Walsh is looking elsewhere

By Associated Press

Published: June 16

NEW YORK — This week marks the final weekly airing of “America’s Most Wanted” on the Fox network after 23 years and 1,153 fugitives nabbed.

“I don’t think it’s hit me yet,” said John Walsh, the host and driving force of what he turned into a nationwide crime watch. “Saturday when I see the last show — that’s gonna be painful.”

But that broadcast, which airs at 9 p.m. EDT, is billed as the season finale — not the series conclusion — on the “AMW” website.

Not surprisingly, this is the same attitude voiced by Walsh.

“I’m fighting hard to keep this franchise going,” he said. “It’s a television show that gets ratings AND saves lives, and we’ll find somewhere to keep going. We’re not done.”

Speaking by phone Thursday morning, he had just arrived back in Washington from Brazil. There, he was hunting for a pedophile who has been hiding out in Rio de Janeiro for 14 years.

“He’s a fake minister who molested tons of boys in Florida,” Walsh said. “I was working with Brazilian police, and I think I’ll get this guy.”

The case will be spotlighted on Saturday’s show, and, as he spoke, Walsh was headed to “AMW” headquarters to supervise editing the segment.

He said he will make some parting remarks at the end of the show, with the promise, “We’re going to land somewhere else.”

And after that?

“I’m so used to doing what I’ve done every day for 23 years that I’m still trying to sort it all out,” he said. “But I have many, many offers, a long list I’ve got to wade through and see where we go from here.”

One possibility, he said, is News Corp. sibling Fox News Channel, which that network confirms.

Fox News chairman Roger Ailes “has had preliminary discussions with John Walsh and he’s a fan of ‘America’s Most Wanted,’” said Fox News spokeswoman Irena Briganti, “but nothing has been decided.”

Walsh said he hopes to have a deal in place, probably with a cable network, within two weeks.

This, of course, is the man who mounted a crime-busting crusade in the aftermath of the abduction and murder of his 6-year-old son Adam in 1981. He became an outspoken advocate for tougher laws against sex offenders, more cooperation among law enforcement agencies, and citizen involvement in flushing out fugitives.

His TV show premiered in April 1988 on the fledgling Fox network and, little more than a year later, it was the first-ever Fox program to rank first in viewership in its time slot. It’s been a fixture on the network ever since, and during the 2010-11 season, was seen by an audience averaging 5 million viewers.

So last month Walsh, 65, was “in shock,” he said, on getting the news that “AMW” had been canceled. The show is too expensive to produce, Fox entertainment head Kevin Reilly explained. The network is planning to air weekly repeats of its prime-time entertainment series in the Saturday slot “AMW” has held for so long.

“AMW” isn’t completely disappearing from the network. There will be four, two-hour specials aired next season, Reilly said in making the announcement in May.

So far, Walsh said, there have been no discussions with Fox about how and when the specials will be produced. And they won’t preserve the current “AMW” operation, with its 70-plus staff.

“I’ve got hotline operators, website guys, reporters, writers, graphic artists, engineers — we’re a full-blown news operation,” Walsh said. “One of the most painful things I’ve got to do is cut everybody loose. Now my first priority is to be sure Fox treats these people fairly, which I think they will.”

Besides offering “AMW” employees what Walsh calls a “really fair” severance package, Fox has agreed to maintain the telephone hotline and website, which are both essential for receiving tips on fugitives from the public.

Then Walsh hopes “AMW” will soon be settled in a new TV home.

“It’s very simple,” he said. “I want to catch bad guys and find missing children — and we’re not done.”



Source: Washington Post 16/06/11

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

PM: I've reopened Maddie McCann files


Published: 13 May 2011

DAVID Cameron has ordered the Met Police to reopen every file on missing Madeleine McCann for a full review of all evidence gathered on her.

The PM acted after the abducted youngster's parents wrote to him in an emotional open letter, published in The Sun yesterday.

Mr Cameron wrote to Kate and Gerry McCann saying he hoped "new action" in the missing Madeleine case would "help boost efforts in the search".

Clearly touched by the couple's plea for help, the Prime Minister held urgent talks on the issue with Home Secretary Theresa May.

And last night it emerged that he has ordered the Met Police to reopen all the files on Madeleine for a full review of ALL evidence ever gathered.

If the probe reveals any fresh leads over how the little girl disappeared from a Portuguese holiday apartment four years ago, a full-blown police investigation will begin.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson was last night pulling together a "sizeable" elite team of detectives for the job.

They will go over every jot of evidence "with a fine-tooth comb", a senior government official said.

A small team of detectives - drawn from the Met's specialist crime directorate - will be dispatched to Portugal as soon as possible, police sources said last night.

A force spokesman said: "We can confirm the Met has agreed, at the request of the Home Secretary, to bring its particular expertise to the Madeleine McCann case. The Portuguese authorities retain the lead."

Kate, 43, and 42-year-old Gerry had appealed to the PM in a poignant open letter, urging him to re-launch the search for Madeleine and press for a full independent and transparent review into her case.

Yesterday, on her eighth birthday, dad-of-three Mr Cameron wrote back to the desperate couple, who he met 18 months ago while Opposition Leader - and whose nightmare he has closely followed.

He said in his reply: "Thank you for your heartfelt and moving letter. Your ordeal is every parent's worst nightmare and my heart goes out to you both."

"I simply cannot imagine the pain you must have experienced over these four agonising years, and the strength and determination you have shown throughout is remarkable. I have asked the Home Secretary to look into what more the Government could do to help find Madeleine."

"She will be writing to you today, setting out new action involving the Metropolitan Police Service which we hope will help boost efforts in the search for Madeleine."

Telling them he sincerely hoped his action would give their hunt "the new momentum that it needs", the PM also promised to stay "in close touch" with the couple throughout.

He added: "I know that everyone hopes and prays for a successful outcome, and our thoughts remain with you and your family."

Madeleine, of Rothley, Leics, was abducted while on holiday in Praia da Luz, Portugal, on May 3, 2007.

Kate, whose book on her daughter - titled simply Madeleine - has been serialised all week in The Sun, admitted this week that the couple's own efforts to trace the missing girl "don't seem to be working".

She and heart consultant Gerry appeared on Sun columnist Lorraine Kelly's ITV1 show yesterday morning, where Gerry said: "We want people to read the book because it puts what's happened to us and what we are doing in context. But more than anything, we want the public to get behind the search for Madeleine like they did in 2007."

We can reveal Home Office officials have been secretly working on re-opening the hunt for Maddie for nine months.

Kate and Gerry spent an hour with Mrs May in August last year to request her help with their fruitless search.

After that, the Home Secretary quietly ordered her officials to liaise with international law enforcement agencies and do what they could in the hope of sparking a new development in the case.

Mrs May told The Sun last night: "We all want to see this beautiful little girl returned to her parents. That's why we have been doing everything we can behind the scenes."

The only British police involvement in Madeleine's case prior to last night's announcement was carried out on behalf of the Portuguese cops.

Leicestershire Police, the McCanns' local force, were the "liaison force" responsible for collating all investigation work by officers across the UK.

The British police, at the request of their Portuguese counterparts, carried out interviews with UK witnesses and also collated sightings reported to police in this country.

All the information was then sent on to Portuguese police. There was never a British investigation into Madeleine's disappearance as her abduction happened in Portugal.

The case review last night won cross-party backing in Westminster.

Shadow Home Secretary Yvonne Cooper said: "We fully back the McCanns' request for information in Madeleine's case to be reviewed.

"Any overlooked piece of this jigsaw could be important. A British child is missing, and the British authorities should do everything in their power to help in the search."

Madeleine's parents have been campaigning for a review for several years. They feel it is "crucial" to finding their daughter, fearing vital leads, sightings and other clues are buried away in Portuguese police files.

They are desperately hoping that a fresh look at the files, similar to a criminal "cold case" review, may discover something that was overlooked in the original investigation.

Gerry said: "The files are not held on a single database. By putting them all together we could discover that vital piece of the jigsaw."

All the files relating to Madeleine's case are held by the Portuguese Judiciary in Portimao - including witness statements and details of sightings.

More than 30,000 pages were released after the Portuguese investigation was shelved in 2008, but some were held back, with police insisting they could not be made public.

Last night Kate and Gerry told The Sun: "We welcome the Government's response. This is clearly a step in the right direction.

"The expertise of the Metropolitan Police is renowned and we are reassured by our government's commitment to the search for Madeleine.

"We would like to thank Mr Cameron and the Home Secretary for committing such a significant resource as the Metropolitan Police to begin the review process. We would also specifically like to thank The Sun, News International, and the general public for supporting the campaign to find Madeleine in the way they have."

Source: The Sun 13/05/11

For more current updates on this case see the News section of the Find Madeleine forum: