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Unlicensed day care worker accused of breaking baby's legs

A day care worker in Utah is accused of breaking a baby’s legs by slamming him onto a bathroom floor. Salt Lake City police say the woman was not licensed to take care of children.

>> Watch the news report here

According to the New York Post, Elvira Ortega, 66, allegedly operated an unlicensed day care out of her home. She was arrested on Feb. 23 after the 10-month-old child’s parents brought him to a hospital. Ortega acknowledged slamming the baby feet-first onto the floor, police claim.

She was arrested on suspicion of felony child abuse, according to KSTU.

Salt Lake City Police Detective Greg Wilking said Ortega and her adult daughter were responsible for multiple children. The alleged incident occurred on Feb. 22, and doctors diagnosed the child with broken legs at Primary Children’s Hospital on Feb. 23.

>> Read more trending news 

Wilking told the Deseret News that authorities believe the number of children being cared for at the unlicensed day care changed from day to day. Wilking also said that he wasn’t certain if Ortega’s daughter was at the house during the alleged incident.

Police said the incident is another reminder that parents must research where they choose to send their children for day care and should learn whether or not a day care is licensed.

When the mother picked up the boy, “she could tell that [he] was in pain,” according to court documents.

>> On Four children died after a security guard lit a day care on fire, authorities say

The following day, the mother noticed her son “did not want to sit, crawl or move and only wanted to be held,” according to the documents. She then went back to the day care and confronted Ortega and her daughter, and she “felt their explanations were inconsistent and unsatisfactory,” per the documents.

Doctors determined that of both the child’s tibiae were fractured, injuries to the lower legs that were “atypical” for a child who wasn’t walking yet, according to the documents.

Authorities said that when they interviewed Ortega, she admitted that she had become “frustrated” because the baby “would not stop crying,” the Deseret News reported.

Father speaks of 'unimaginable pain' after daughter, 2, killed by falling mirror at Payless store

A grieving father is speaking out following the sudden death of his 2-year-old daughter

>> Watch the news report here

>> 2-year-old dies after mirror falls on her inside Payless shoe store, family says

Police said she died after a mirror inside a Payless ShoeSource store in Riverdale, Georgia, fell on top of her

“They don’t understand what kind of pain I feel," Mohsin Siddique said.

Siddique told WSB-TV's Lauren Pozen that his wife, daughter and son were shopping at a Payless store on Georgia-85 on Friday in Clayton County for new shoes for the children. 

>> On Bus carrying Georgia college team overturns; driver arrested

“The mirror just fell down. She was screaming, my daughter," Siddique said.

Police said the mirror wasn't secured.

The family took a picture of the mirror after the accident. They said they went in the backroom to take it after it was cleaned.

>> On Police, friends start new search for missing CDC worker

They also gave Pozen a picture where you see the edge of the shoe rack where that mirror once hung.

"It only had one or two screws, and it’s not secure. It just fell down," Siddique said. 

>> Read more trending news 

Payless' corporate office said company officials are cooperating with authorities in the investigation. That offers little relief for this grieving father. 

>> On Family of man accused of killing son says he should have been locked up before

"I don’t want any money," he said. "People say, 'Lawsuit money, money.' I don’t need money; I need my daughter. And who did this? They have to have consequences."

Man claims diet pills caused him to meet up with teen for sex, police say

Police in Owasso, Oklahoma, arrested a man who allegedly told officers that diet pills caused him to have inappropriate sexual thoughts.

Officers arrested Brandon Lopez, 29, when he reportedly tried to meet a 16-year-old for sex at an area elementary school near 76th Street North and North 81st Street.

>> Read more trending news 

Police said the teen contacted them after Lopez made lewd proposals to the boy on Facebook. Then officers reportedly used the teen's phone to keep messaging Lopez. They said Lopez wanted to meet the boy for sex at the area elementary school, but he found police there instead.

Officers took Lopez into custody, and they said they found marijuana in his car and photos resembling child pornography on his phone.

An arrest report said Lopez told police he was taking diet pills at the time, and he claimed those pills led to the inappropriate thoughts.

Lopez faces complaints of soliciting lewd acts to a minor, marijuana possession and four complaints for possession of child pornography. His bond was set at more than $100,000.

Company working on bulletproof doors in wake of school shootings

A South Carolina company is trying a new way to protect against deadly school shootings.

>> Watch the news report here

R2P Innovations has been working on bulletproof doors for the past four years.

>> Walmart raising age to buy guns to 21 after Florida high school shooting

The doors are capable of withstanding assault rifles and high-power, military-grade weapons.

Tony Deering, the company's CEO, said the door would be a lasting contribution to school security.

>> Read more trending news 

“Some instances, the shooter was actually outside of the classroom shooting into the classrooms through the door,” Deering said about the recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida. "That would have never occurred in an instance where a particular door solution was employed."

Each door costs roughly $4,000 and weighs 285 pounds.

Construction worker convicted of killing woman who refused to accept $8 for sex

Felix Shirley offered Misha Moore $8 in exchange for sex – but when Moore said it wasn’t enough, Shirley beat and killed her, prosecutors said.

On Friday, a jury convicted Shirley of murder in the Jan. 10, 2017, killing, The Fulton County, Georgia, District Attorney’s Office said. 

Shirley had just ended his shift working on Atlanta's Mercedes-Benz Stadium when 27-year-old Moore approached him and offered him sex in exchange for money, Fulton district attorney spokeswoman Nakell Williams said in a news release. 

>> On Ex-stadium worker arrested in woman’s slaying near Underground Atlanta

The two walked toward Underground Atlanta, where Shirley handed Moore $8. 

When she told him it was “not enough,” Shirley reportedly grabbed Moore and threw her against a wall. She fell to the ground and Shirley kicked and stomped on her, authorities said. Shirley then pulled out a .22 caliber revolver and shot Moore in her face and neck, authorities said.

>> Read more trending news 

The slaying was captured on Underground Atlanta’s surveillance video. Moore’s body was eventually found lying at the bottom of a stairwell by two Underground Atlanta Mall security officers. 

Shirley was sentenced to life in prison, plus five years. 

Woman, 19, charged with murder after robbery turns deadly, police say

A 19-year-old woman is behind bars in connection with a robbery that turned deadly, according to police in Memphis, Tennessee.

>> Watch the news report here

Deborah Spencer is facing first-degree murder and aggravated robbery charges, police said.

Memphis police said Spencer and two other men were at a home in the 2700 block of Midland on Thursday to sell a gun to Don Whitaker.

Investigators told WHBQ that when Whitaker got into the back of a Pontiac sedan, they robbed him. 

>> Read more trending news 

Witnesses at the scene said Whitaker was shot as he ran away from the car.

Police said Whitaker was dropped off at the fire station on Lamar with a gunshot wound, then taken to Regional One, where he died. 

Investigators reportedly found Spencer in the 900 block of Hale in Whitehaven. She waived her rights and told police she was with two males at the time of the crime, authorities said.

Spencer reportedly told police she posted the ad to sell the gun. Police said Spencer informed them that one of the men shot and robbed Whitaker while he ran away.

Spencer has been transported to Jail East for charges. 

Man gets life in prison for beating 9-month-old to death over dirty diaper

On Nov. 9, 2015, 9-month-old Monte Jones soiled his diaper while his mother was at work. Monte had been left in the care of a neighbor, according to investigators. 

Monte’s babysitter, Jaquest Deeric Norris, was so angry over the diaper he beat the infant on the head and all over his body, according to prosecutors. On Friday, Norris was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, the Fulton County District Attorney said. 

>> Read more trending news 

“I do not understand why anyone would kill a child,” District Attorney Paul Howard said in an emailed statement. “Particularly, I will NEVER understand why anyone would brutalize a child in this manner. May God have mercy on his soul.”

After the beating, Monte was found unresponsive in a bathtub, according to investigators. He spent two days in the hospital before he was removed from life support. An autopsy determined Monte died from blunt force trauma of the head, skull fractures, rib fractures and leg fractures.

Norris was arrested and charged with murder after the baby’s death and has remained without bond in the Fulton jail. He was convicted of multiple charges, including felony murder, cruelty to children in the first degree, aggravated battery, aggravated assault and aggravated sexual battery. 

Police: Washington State woman in custody after attempting to kidnap child

A Washington State woman in her 30s was taken into custody Thursday after police said she grabbed another woman's child at a park. 

>> Read more trending news

The incident happened at Bridle Trails State Park in Kirkland, police said.

Police said a grandmother was walking with her 2-year-old grandchild on a trail when an unknown woman hit the grandmother in the head from behind, grabbed the boy and ran away. 

The child's mother was in a vehicle with her baby when she saw the unknown woman with her son, police said. The grandmother and the mother chased after the suspect.

Police said there was a scuffle and the mother and grandmother were able to get the child back and escape from the suspect. 

A Kirkland police officer was on patrol and saw the mother standing in the parking lot with a woman who witnessed the incident.

The suspect reappeared from the wooded area and the officer took the suspect into custody. 

The grandmother had some abrasions to her head and the mother and children were not hurt. 

Lori Edgerton has five children and twice as many grandchildren, and the Kirkland mother said she would go after anyone who tried to hurt any one of them.

“Oh yeah, I’d be all over that, I would be chasing them down. I mean, I don’t think you cannot chase them down,” Edgerton said.

Police said the suspect told them she thought the child was in danger. She was booked into the King County jail on assault and attempted kidnapping

“That leaves you feeling like there’s nothing you can do -- even when you’re holding your child’s hand somebody can take your child,” Edgerton said.

The investigation is ongoing. 

Man who knew Pulse victim admitted to jury pool in trial of shooter's widow 

Jury selection continued Friday in the trial of woman whose husband fatally shot 49 people and injured dozens more in an attack at a Florida nightclub in 2016.

>> Read more trending news

It was the second day of jury selection in the trial of Noor Salman, the widow of shooter Omar Mateen.

The case hinges on whether Salman knowingly helped Mateen plan the June 12, 2016, attack at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. She faces charges of aiding the support of a foreign terrorist organization resulting in death and obstruction of justice. The attack left 49 people dead and 58 wounded in what, at the time, was the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

Of 16 people who were questioned Friday, one woman and six men were admitted to the jury pool, bringing the total to 13 people -- six women and seven men.

Many of the people who were dismissed Friday said they knew too much about the massacre -- either through news coverage or through personally knowing victims or survivors -- to render an impartial verdict.

A Windermere man said he worked at the Universal Orlando Resort with a woman who died in the mass shooting.

U.S. District Judge Paul G. Byron asked the man if he could remain impartial after seeing graphic footage that might show his friend and he said he could. He was admitted to the jury pool.

"There's benefit to the prosecution," WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer said. "But there's certainly no benefit to the defense to have someone closely associated with this Pulse shooting."

Salman, who wore her hair pulled back, wore a black-and-white dress and a black blazer. She took notes throughout the morning.

In the afternoon, she appeared upset and spoke to her attorney, Linda Moreno, when a potential juror said he thought he had remembered hearing that she had driven Mateen to the nightclub the night of the attack.

During a break, Salman was seen laughing and bumping fists with Moreno.

"We appreciate the candor and the civic duty of the good people of Orlando," Moreno said. "Noor Salman really appreciates it. All of us appreciate it."

One man told the judge his daughter was classmates with one of the victims, but he said he would be able to make a fair decision if selected to serve as a juror.

It's likely that those with loose connections to victims will be excused before the jury is finalized, Sheaffer said.

Byron decided Friday that he wants 56 people instead of 60 people to be admitted to the jury pool before selecting the 12 jurors and six alternates.

He said he plans to question at least 18 people Monday, when jury selection is scheduled to resume.

Woman whose bones were found in home’s walls likely fell to death through attic floor, police say

A Houston woman who went missing in 2015 -- and whose bones were found inside the walls of her home last year -- may have died after falling through the attic floor. 

Officials with the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences last month definitively identified the bones as those of Mary Stewart Cerruti, 61, who vanished without a trace in 2015. Her cause of death could not be determined, but following months of investigation, detectives feel confident that the mystery of Cerruti’s disappearance has been solved.

“In the attic, there was a broken board that led down to the space,” Tricia Bentley, a spokeswoman for the coroner, told People. “Law enforcement thinks she may have been up in the attic and fell through the attic floor.”

The Houston Chronicle reported that Cerruti could not be identified through dental records, which detectives were unable to locate, and the results of DNA taken from a tooth and compared to that of a cousin, her closest living blood relative, were inconclusive. 

Ultimately, technicians with the Institute of Forensic Sciences used Cerruti’s jawbone, along with photos and video of her, to conclude that the bones were hers, the newspaper said. Sharon Derrick, identification manager at the facility, said that a photo provided by Cerruti’s former employer showed that the shape of her chin and jaw matched the shape of the jawbone found. 

A video of the normally reserved and solitary Cerruti speaking at a February 2013 Houston Planning Commission meeting also aided in the identification by showing that, when she spoke, she had difficulty moving her jaw and appeared to speak slowly and with concerted effort, the Chronicle reported

The movement of her jaw as she spoke corresponded with a condition that forensic experts found in the jawbone, Derrick said. She called the determination that the remains were those of Cerruti a “comprehensive identification.”

>> Read more trending news

The new details, plus the fact that the bones were found in Cerruti’s home and autopsy findings showing the remains were consistent with a small, frail woman over the age of 40, painted a picture.  

“We added all the other information that we had,” Derrick told the Chronicle. “We never just do a best guess.”

Houston police investigators this week released case files on the Cerruti investigation, including photos from the scene inside her home in the Heights area of Houston. The pictures include images of Cerruti’s skeletal remains.

Click here to see the images, which were obtained by the Chronicle. Warning: Some images may be too graphic for some readers. 

Other photos show red-framed eyeglasses similar to those Cerruti wore, as well as a tattered pair of sneakers, all of which were found with the bones. Photos of the attic floor show a missing wooden plank. 

A photo looking down into the space below the attic and between two walls of the house show deteriorated fabric and skeletal remains. The most prominently visible part of the remains is the skull. 

The bones were removed from the space after firefighters tore through a bathroom wall, the newspaper reported. 

According to the Chronicle, the files also included audio of the 911 call from the new tenant in the house, which had been sold at foreclosure following Cerruti’s disappearance. 

The unidentified tenant made the call just before 2 p.m. on March 4, 2017. 

“So, I just called to report this,” the man said, according to the recording. “I didn’t know exactly how to do it, but I just moved into this house. I’m renting it, just moved in a couple days ago, and I found, between two of the walls, I found a human skeleton.”

Hear the entire 911 call below. 

Cerruti’s former home on Allston Street appears fairly unique. The small, blue one-story bungalow is surrounded, on three sides, by an apartment complex. 

The Chronicle reported that, before she died, Cerruti was the sole holdout against the developer who sought to build the massive apartment building. Despite her fight, which included making the public statement seen on the 2013 video that helped officials identify her, the apartments went up. 

In a Google Street View image taken in June 2015, three months before Cerruti was reported missing by concerned neighbors, the apartment complex was under construction, scaffolding hiding its towering façade. Cerruti’s house, then painted yellow, was nearly hidden by an overgrowth of brush and an unmanicured lawn. 

Her car sat in the driveway, a portion of which was also overgrown with grass. 

The Chronicle reported last year that neighbors had noticed a broken window, and that Cerruti’s mail had started piling up. A sign went up announcing the house was for sale.

A friend ultimately reported her missing that August after she stopped returning his phone calls, the Chronicle reported. A missing person flier issued by the Houston Police Department stated that Cerruti had last been seen in either February or March. 

Police now know that Cerruti was in the house the entire time, her body wedged inside the walls. 

It is still uncertain exactly when Cerruti died. The Chronicle reported that the friend who filed the missing person report went to her home and fished some of her mail out through the broken window. 

Bills showed that she made several purchases in May, so she was still alive at that point. 

In June 2015, an animal cruelty case was called in at the home. The person who responded to that call told police the ladder to the attic was pulled down when they got there, the Chronicle reported

No additional details of the cruelty case were included, but the newspaper reported that Cerruti had several beloved cats who perished in the home after she vanished. 

At the time that her bones were found, Cerruti’s neighbors expressed despair, and even some guilt, over the fact that her disappearance had gone unnoticed for months, and that her body remained undiscovered for so long.

“I wish I knew what more we could have done, how we could have pushed it farther to get somebody to do something else,” neighbor Roxanne Davis said

Cerruti’s cousin, Nancy Stewart Stoddard, told the Chronicle that she still believes there could have been foul play in her cousin’s death.

“I think I’m glad that it’s coming to a conclusion,” Stoddard said. “I still have lots of questions that probably will never be answered.”

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