Friday, January 15, 2021

Mom ‘killed daughter, 7, after faking girl's terminal illness to get donations'

A "MONSTER" mom was accused of killing her daughter after faking the young girl’s terminal illness to obtain thousands in donations for her final-wishes bucket list.

Kelly Turner pleaded not guilty in court on Wednesday to the 2017 death of her seven-year-old daughter Olivia Gant, CBS4 reported.

Kelly Turner, 41, is facing charges of first-degree murder.

The 41-year-old mom faces charges of first-degree murder, child abuse, charitable fraud, theft, attempted influence of a public servant, and forgery, according to the news outlet.

Turner's three-week trial is set to begin on May 3, 2021, in Denver, Colorado.

She currently remains in jail on a $250,000 bond.

Doctors had questioned Olivia Gant's 'medical problems'.

Her daughter passed away in 2017 - just weeks after Turner stopped medical care and nourishment for Gant.

Turner had claimed that her daughter's quality of life was below par, however, some doctors were reluctant to believe Gant was gravely ill.

According to the Denver Post, one physician was allegedly pushed to sign a "do not resuscitate" order.

Olivia Gant is seen in 2017 during the Make-A-Wish Foundation day dedicated to her.

Olivia Gant passed away in August 2017 in hospice.

The indictment ultimately states that Turner faked her daughter's sickness.

Investigators said Turner's daughter was admitted into Children’s Hospital Colorado in the month leading up to her death.

Gant died in August 2017 under hospice care.

Her death certificate revealed she died from chronic intestinal failure, seizure disorder, and autism.

Olivia Gant was granted wishes by Make-A-Wish-Foundation.

A second autopsy found Olivia Gant's death to be undetermined.

Turner was indicted on murder in 2019 after doctors questioned the daughter's "medical problems" in addition to Gant's illness.

Gant's body was later dug up from her grave - leading to a second autopsy which found her death to be undetermined.

Meanwhile, Turner reportedly mentioned Munchausen syndrome by proxy (MSBP) to investigators, however, she denied she had the mental health illness.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

3,000-pound triceratops skull named 'Shady' excavated in South Dakota

A 7-foot-long, 3,000-pound triceratops skull dubbed "Shady" has been unearthed in the Badlands of South Dakota, a Missouri college announced.

"You dream about these kinds of moments when you're a kid," said lead paleontologist David Schmidt.

Excavation of a triceratops skull in South Dakota.

David Schmidt, a geology professor at Westminster College, had just arrived in the South Dakota Badlands in summer 2019 with a group of students for a fossil dig when he received a call from the National Forest Service. 

A nearby rancher had discovered a strange object poking out of the ground. They wanted Schmidt to take a look.

"One of the very first bones that we saw in the rock was this long cylindrical bone," Schmidt told St. Louis Public Radio. "The first thing that came out of our mouths was, 'That kind of looks like the horn of a triceratops.'"

Credit: David Schmidt / Westminster College

Credit: David Schmidt / Westminster College.

After authorities gave the go-ahead, Schmidt and a small group of students returned this summer and spent nearly every day of June and July excavating the skull.

"We had to be really careful," Schmidt told St. Louis Public Radio. "We couldn't disturb anything at all, because at that point, it was under law enforcement investigation. They were telling us, 'Don't even make footprints,' and I was thinking, 'How are we supposed to do that?'"

Another difficulty was the mammoth size of the skull: about 7 feet long and more than 3,000 pounds. (For context, the largest triceratops skull ever unearthed was about 8.2 feet long.) The skull of Schmidt's dinosaur was likely a Triceratops prorsus, one of two species of triceratops that roamed what's now North America about 66 million years ago.

Harrison Duran, a biology student at the University of California, Merced, was part of a fossil hunt last month that yielded a five-foot triceratops skull.

The triceratops was an herbivore, but it was also a favorite meal of the Tyrannosaurus rex. That probably explains why the Dakotas contain many scattered triceratops bone fragments, and, less commonly, complete bones and skulls. In summer 2019, for example, a separate team on a dig in North Dakota made headlines after unearthing a complete triceratops skull that measured five feet in length.

Michael Kjelland, a biology professor who participated in that excavation, said digging up the dinosaur was like completing a "multi-piece, 3-D jigsaw puzzle" that required "engineering that rivaled SpaceX," he jokingly told the New York Times.

The Badlands aren't the only spot in North America where paleontologists have found dinosaurs. In the 1870s, Colorado and Wyoming became the first sites of dinosaur discoveries in the U.S., ushering in an era of public fascination with the prehistoric creatures — and a competitive rush to unearth them.

Since, dinosaur bones have been found in 35 states. One of the most fruitful locations for paleontologists has been the Morrison formation, a sequence of Upper Jurassic sedimentary rock that stretches under the Western part of the country. Discovered here were species like Camarasaurus, Diplodocus, Apatosaurus, Stegosaurus, and Allosaurus, to name a few.

Morrison Formation in Colorado.

As for "Shady" (the nickname of the South Dakota triceratops), Schmidt and his team have safely transported it to the Westminster campus. They hope to raise funds for restoration, and to return to South Dakota in search of more bones that once belonged to the triceratops.

Studying dinosaurs helps scientists gain a more complete understanding of our evolution, illuminating a through-line that extends from "deep time" to present day. For scientists like Schmidt, there's also the simple joy of coming to face-to-face with a lost world.

"You dream about these kinds of moments when you're a kid," Schmidt told St. Louis Public Radio. "You don't ever think that these things will ever happen."

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Mom ‘stabs newborn baby to death with scissors then throws body in the rubbish'

A MOTHER-of-three has been accused of stabbing her newborn son to death with a pair of nail scissors before throwing the body into a rubbish container.

Anastasia Skorychenko reportedly stabbed the newborn with the tool 22 times just moments after delivering him on her balcony, a court in Mykolaiv, southern Ukraine, heard last week.

Anastasia Skorychenko during court hearings.

The 30-year-old confessed to the crime during the sentencing. She has been sentenced to two years jail time for the crime.

Skorychenko reportedly explained her actions by saying "the baby was unwanted" and "she could not afford it".

Skorychenko, who kept her third pregnancy secret, went into labour at home.

Anastasia Skorychenko used nail scissors to stab her newborn child.

The newborn’s mutilated body was spotted by a local female resident who called an ambulance and the police.

She began having contractions at night when her two daughters, aged 7 and 4, and their grandmother were sleeping.

Not wanting to wake them up, Skorychenko reportedly went to the balcony where she crouched over a plastic basin and gave birth to a healthy boy.

The woman used her nail scissors to cut the umbilical cord, the court was told.

After that, she pressed her left hand against the newborn’s face to prevent him from crying and started stabbing him with the scissors she was holding in her right hand, according to the court records.

Skorychenko with her eldest of two daughters.

Police investigating outside Skorychenko's apartment.

A prosecutor said during the sentencing: “The mother inflicted 22 stabs and cut wounds in the neck, chest, abdomen and limbs of the baby.

“The injuries of varying degrees of severity were inflicted shortly before the child’s death.”

When the boy’s body went limp, Skorychenko put him into a plastic bag, carried it outside and threw into a rubbish container near her apartment block, investigators said.

The following morning, the newborn’s mutilated body was spotted by a local female resident who called an ambulance and the police.

Skorychenko confessed to the murder during a police check and was arrested several hours after the corpse was found, it is reported.

Forensics said she gave birth to a healthy full-term boy, who died from horrific injuries following the attack.

The woman did not want the baby and believed her third child would worsen her family’s financial situation, the Zavodskoy District Court heard.

The mother has not been suffering from any mental disorders or postpartum depression and planned the crime beforehand, examinations showed.

On January 5 Anastasia Skorychenko was charged with premeditated murder of her child.

Judges took into account the fact that the mother admitted her guilt and softened their decision, say local media.

Monday, January 11, 2021

Girl, 7, has rotting arm amputated after 'evil aunt's savage beatings'

A seven-year-old girl developed necrosis and had her forearm amputated after enduring months of domestic abuse in Russia.

Little Aisha Azhygova became disabled and will need years of psychological recovery following constant batteries she suffered at the hands of her aunt Makka Ganieva, 36, a court in Sunzha, southwestern Russia heard.

A seven-year-old girl developed necrosis and had to have her right forearm amputated after enduring months of domestic abuse at the hands of her aunt in Russia.

Little Aisha Azhygova's ordeal came to light after her arm swelled and her aunt was eventually left with no choice but to take her to hospital.

The details of Aisha's ordeal surfaced in July last year after her right arm horribly swelled and Ganieva, who was her carer at the time, had to bring her to a hospital.

After examining the child, shocked doctors diagnosed her with gangrene in the lower part of her right arm and found burns, bites and knife cuts all over her body.

Ganieva failed to explain the origin of the girl's injuries and medics reported her to the police.

Makka Ganieva, 36, is a mother-of-two herself, according to neighbours she did not beat her own children.

Speaking with detectives, Ganieva is said to have confessed to breaking Aisha's arm during a beating.

She took the girl for the medical examination only several days later after Aisha's right forearm 'became cold and lifeless', investigators said.

The child was transported to Moscow with a high-grade fever and underwent a partial amputation of her right arm.

The dead section of the limb was removed, including the hand and forearm, doctors from the Research Institute for Children's Emergency Surgery and Traumatology said.

Doctors were forced to amputate part of the little girl's right arm in order to save her life.

Further investigation revealed horrific details of the girl's life during her stay with Ganieva, which lasted for six months.

Reports said Aisha was regularly and cruelly punished for everything her aunt considered as being the 'wrong thing to do'.

Ganieva subjected the girl to cruel tortures by pressing her against a hot stove or injuring her with knife and scissors, the Sunzhenskiy District Court was told.

Prosecutor Maksharip Dobriev told local media: 'Ganieva beat the girl up for any mistake from December 2018 until July 2019.

Aisha's mother Lidiya Yevloyeva (pictured with her daughter) had temporarily sent the girl, who was six years old at the time, to Ganieva's family after facing financial difficulties, Russian media reported.

'As a result of the beatings, the girl suffered serious bodily injuries which led to the amputation of a part of her right arm.

'The accused was found guilty by the court.'

On November 20 this year, Makka Ganieva was charged with deliberate causing of grievous bodily harm with particular cruelty and sentenced to six years in prison.

Aisha was taken to her aunt's family after her father Isa Ganiev, 42, divorced her mother Lidiya Yevloyeva, 31, according to the mother's lawyers. 

Yevloyeva, who thought her daughter would have a better life with the relatives, said she now deeply regrets her decision, adding that she thought Ganieva's six-year sentence was too light.

Aisha's mother said her daughter's physical condition is 'still not well', adding that she will need years of rehabilitation.

According to a local custom, after parents' divorce, children are raised by their relatives from the paternal side. It does not take into account the wishes and feelings of mothers.

Miss Yevloyeva, who was banned from visiting her daughter by Ganieva, said she could not believe the sister of her ex-husband was capable of such savagery, adding that she thought the sentence was too light.

'Aisha suffered from long-lasting abuse and received a severe psychological trauma.

'Her physical condition is still not well. She needs years of rehabilitation,' Yevloyeva said.

According to neighbours, Ganieva, who is a mother-of-two herself, ever harmed her own two children.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Pregnant mom ‘scalded baby to death in bath before begging for cash online’

A PREGNANT mom allegedly scalded her toddler to death in a hot bath, then posted photos and a video of his funeral online and begged for money.

Laureen McArthur, 27, is accused of fatally injuring her 14-month-old son Dominique at their home in Union City, Tennessee, on November 10.

Lauren McArthur allegedly killed her toddler son Dominique.

In a Facebook post Tuesday, Union City police said officers began investigating the case after a child with severe burns was admitted to Arkansas Children’s Hospital on November 10.

Investigators determined that the little boy had been “scalded by bath water over 47 percent of his body,” according to authorities.

The toddler died four days later in an Arkansas hospital burn unit, police said.

Dominique died in a children's hospital burn unit after being scalded by bath water, police said.

NINTCHDBPICT000623440865-1 Credit: Facebook

McArthur - who has a tattoo across her chest which reads, "family over everything" - was arrested and charged with negligent homicide and child abuse on Tuesday, after issuing a plea for cash on her Facebook account, and sharing photos and a video of Dominique’s funeral.

The alleged killer posted a link to her Cashapp account the day after Dominique was admitted to hospital, and wrote: "If y’all wanna send me some money my Cashapp is $hannahp2000 any lil bit will help right now fr (IM NOT PUTING NOTHING ON FB BOUT IT AS OF RIGHT NOW."

She announced Dominique’s death on November 14, writing: "We love you baby boy".

Laureen Mcarthur, has been charged with child abuse and negligent homicide in connection with the child's death.

McArthur also shared a link to a GoFundMe page set up under the name "China Smith" to pay for Dominique’s funeral and "help ease the pain and burden for the family".

Before being arrested, McArthur shared multiple photoshopped images of her late son as an angel, and also uploaded videos of a balloon release held in his honor. She paid numerous tributes to Dominque on Facebook, writing "RIH" (rest in heaven).

Dominique died from his injuries on November 14.

McArthur also uploaded images from the funeral including snaps of pallbearers carrying Dominique’s small white coffin to his grave, and a 15 minute video of a pastor conducting the service.

In May, she shared several photos of Dominique with the caption: "Looking just like his daddy and I hate it".

Investigators have yet to share further details on the circumstances surrounding Dominique’s death.

Officers say Dominique's fatal burns were caused by scalding bath water on over 47 percent of his body.

Mcarthur was arrested in Cullman, Alabama and was extradited on Monday to Obion County.

The incident came just two weeks after McArthur announced on social media that she was pregnant with another child.

In a Facebook post on October 28, she wrote: "Well we are having a girl" and attached what appeared to be a medical record related to the pregnancy.

"(Girls are) a hand full," she added.

McArthur remains in Olbion County Jail ahead of her next court hearing.

Saturday, January 9, 2021

This 2,500-Year-Old Mummy Was Found Covered In Mysterious Tattoos And Holding A Satchel Of Weed

A 2,500-year-old mummy of a tattooed Siberian princess is to go on public display for the first time, despite objections from local ethnic groups.

Preserved in permafrost in the Altai Mountains, her remains will be draped in a mock-fur cover to shield her modesty.

The 25-year-old woman, who is thought to be one of the earliest known victims of breast cancer, was excavated from her icy tomb almost 20 years ago.

The mummified remains of a Siberian princess (pictured) found buried in an icy tomb on the Ukok Plateau in the Altai Mountains are to go on public display for the first time despite objections from local ethnic groups who fear it will unleash evil spirits and want her to be re-interred in her tomb.

She had been buried on the 8,200 feet high Ukok Plateau with six horses and many treasures.

But the decision to put her on public display at a museum in Gorno-Altaisk, close to where her grave was found, has caused outrage among native ethnic groups in the Altai Republic, a Russian region bordering Mongolia, China and Kazakhstan.

They believe showing the mummy with her 'modern-looking' tattoos will unleash evil spirits.

Dug from her permafrost burial chamber on the high Ukok Plateau in 1993, analysis of the princess' remains highlighted sophisticated tattoos of 'great artistry' of fantastical creatures (shown).

The 2,500-year-old remains were unearthed almost 20 years ago in the Ukok Plateau in Russia (pictured).

The princesses shoulders, arms, wrist and fingers were found to be covered in intricate tattoos (pictured). She will be partially covered with a fur cover to help hide her modesty when her remains go on display.

Instead, they want her remains to be reburied at the site of her original tomb.

Local campaigner Akai Khan complained: 'The dead cannot be disturbed, and especially they cannot be held on public display and carried around the world.

'After she was dug out, we immediately saw earthquakes, floods, and hail which were not known previously.'

Yet, despite earlier promises her remains would not go on display, she is to be shown off to the public at the next new moon, in keeping with local superstitions.

Researchers found the woman's tattoos were designs based on fantastical-looking animals (illustrated).

Scans of the remains conducted by Russian scientists Andrey Letyagin and Andrey Savelov revealed a primary tumour in the right breast (shown in red above) and in the right axial lymph nodes (green arrows).

Local groups have objected to the Siberian Princess's remains going on display. Initially they were promised her body (pictured) would not be shown in public but that decision appears to have been reversed.

Experts from a Moscow institute that maintain the embalmed corpse of Russian revolutionary Vladimir Lenin have advised on preserving the mummy of the woman.

They have developed a specially designed wood and glass sarcophagus for the exhibition, in which the Altai princess will be partially covered by a 'fur coat-style blanket'.

The ice princess's body art has won acclaim around the world, and will be visible on her shoulders and fingers.

Detailed scientific analysis has shown that the 'princess' - who lived five centuries before Christ - almost certainly died from breast cancer.

Researchers have also concluded that her illness may have caused her to suffer a fall, probably from a horse, which compounded her health problems.

The woman, who is thought to have been a princess in the ancient Pazyryk culture, is believed to have taken cannabis to ease her suffering.

Buried around her were six horses, saddled and bridled as her spiritual escorts to the next world, along with a meal of sheep and horse meat. 

Archaeologists also found ornaments made from felt, wood, bronze and gold as well as a small container of cannabis and a stone plate on which coriander seeds were burned.

From her clothes and possessions including a 'cosmetics bag', scientists were able to recreate her fashion and beauty secrets.

Her head was completely shaved, and she wore a horse hair wig on top of which was a carving of a wooden deer.

Friday, January 8, 2021

Prosecutors will NOT seek death penalty against man 'who killed his family

Outgoing State Attorney for Orange and Osceola counties Aramis Ayala will not seek the death penalty against a man accused of murdering his wife, their three children and the family dog inside their Disney townhome last year.

On Monday, Ayala, a Democrat who was elected to office in 2016 but did no seek re-election last year, filed a notice of intent to not pursue the death penalty in three high-profile criminal cases, including that of 45-year-old Antony Todt.

Outgoing Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala,

Anthony Todt.

Ayala, Florida’s first African American state attorney, has repeatedly clashed with local law enforcement and the state's current and former governors over her staunch opposition to the death penalty.

Todt, a physical therapist who shared his time between Connecticut and Florida, was arrested in January 2020 for allegedly drugging, suffocating and stabbing to death his wife Megan, 42; their children, Alek, 13, Tyler, 11, and Zoe, 4; and the dog, Breezy.

The decomposing bodies of the victims were discovered inside the family's Celebration, Florida, home two weeks after the killings. 

Todt accused Megan of killing their children and then herself while he was not in the home.

During phone conversations with his sister from jail last spring, Todt claimed that his wife was the one who murdered their three children and then herself after prior unsuccessful attempts, and that he could not stop her because he was not in the home at the time. He also made similar claims in a letter to his father in June.

Investigators with the Osceola County Sheriff's Office said Todt confessed to the murders of his family at the time of his arrest in January 2020 but has since pleaded not guilty.

Defense attorneys have not spoken publicly about Todt's claim that his wife was the real killer. 

Todt, a physical therapist, is accused of drugging, stabbing and suffocating his wife Megan, 42; their children, Alek, 13, Tyler, 11, and Zoe, 4; and Breezy the dog (pictured).

Investigators said Todt, 45, confessed to killing his wife and children after his arrest in January. In her decision to no pursue the death penalty, Ayala cited 'serious concerns' about Todt's mental health

In reversing prosecutors' earlier decision to seek the death penalty against Todt, Ayala cited 'serious concerns regarding the mental health of the defendant' and concluded that it was 'not in the best interest of the people of the State of Florida to pursue the Death Penalty as a potential sentence,' reported WFTV.

Ayala also issued death penalty waivers in the case of Ishnar Marie Lopez and Alexis Ramos-Rivera, who have been charged with murder for the kidnapping and killing of Janice Zengotita-Torres, reported Orlando Sentinel. 

The victims' decomposing bodies were found inside their Celebration, Florida, home two weeks after their killings.

Todt accused Megan of killing their children.

The state attorney's office said in a statement that the relatives of all the victims were notified in advance of Ayala's decision.

'The pursuit of real justice has always been a priority for me, right up until my last day in office,' the statement from Ayala's office read. 'Difficult decisions like these are made with the utmost concern for all involved.'

Ayala, intentionally or not, thrust herself into the forefront of the anti-death penalty movement when she announced in early 2017 that her office would no longer seek the death penalty because of its cost and failure to deter crime. The decision came as somewhat of a surprise since she hadn’t mentioned it during the campaign.

A knife stained with what appears to be blood is seen after being seized by deputies.

Then-Governor Rick Scott, a Republican, responded by reassigning more than a dozen capital murder cases from Ayala's office to a prosecutor in a neighboring district, and top Republican lawmakers in Tallahassee announced budget cuts to Ayala’s office.

In jailhouse phone conversations and letters to family, Todt claimed his wife was the true killer.

Ayala took the fight all the way to Florida’s highest court, which sided with the governor.

The top prosecutor for Orange and Osceola counties in metro Orlando said the court’s definition of justice didn’t comport with the oath she had taken to administer her office in a just manner.

Last January, new Governor Ron DeSantis reassigned the case of Nicole Montalvo’s slaying from Ayala to State Attorney Brad King, who

Incoming state attorney Monique Worrell, who will be the second black woman to hold that office in Florida, is scheduled to be sworn in next week.