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Missouri teen ID’d as Arizona cold-case victim from 1982

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Missouri teen ID'd as Arizona cold-case victim from 1982

The body of a girl found off an Arizona highway on Valentine’s Day nearly 40 years ago has been identified as a teenage runaway from Missouri, sheriff officials said.

Coconino County Sheriff Jim Driscoll announced Monday that DNA confirmed 17-year-old Carolyn Eaton was the young homicide victim who was found off Interstate 40 west of Williams on Feb. 14, 1982 — ending a decades-old quest to identify the girl previously known only as “Valentine Sally.”

Eaton had lived in Bellefontaine Neighbors in St. Louis County when she ran away from her home sometime around Christmas 1981 or early in 1982, authorities said.

An Arizona state trooper found the dead girl while assisting another motorist, but investigators were unable to determine her identity until working with a company earlier this year to compare DNA from the body with online ancestry databases.

“Through this process, detectives were able to locate potential family members of Carolyn, obtain DNA samples from them and confirm the identity of the body as Carolyn,” department officials said Monday. “Recent breakthroughs in DNA technology have allowed law enforcement agencies to identify victims as well as suspects in cold cases such as these.”

DNA from the girl’s body ultimately matched with a first cousin in the St. Louis area, Coconino County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Jason Lurkins told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Detectives then traveled to the greater St. Louis to interview relatives who said they had a sibling who ran away from home around Christmas in 1981, sheriff officials said.

“The family members were awestruck,” Lurkins told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “We told one family member we were investigating a missing person case and they asked: Is this about Carolyn?”

Eaton, who was one of six sisters, was a homicide victim, but the condition of her body when it was found prevented narrowing down a specific cause of death, Lurkins said.

Eaton is believed to have been dead for about two weeks prior to the discovery, according to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

The search for a suspect in her death is ongoing, sheriff officials said.

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Spectators injured by out-of-control vehicle at Texas mud racing event

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Spectators injured by out-of-control vehicle at Texas mud racing event

Eight people, including spectators, were injured Sunday at a Texas mud racing event after an out-of-control vehicle plowed through a guard rail, a report said.

Three of the victims were critically injured in the crash at a track in Fabens, KTSM reported, citing authorities. The other five people suffered non-life threatening injuries.

It was not immediately known what caused the driver to exit the track and crash. Three other vehicles were also hit, the report said.

A medevac helicopter was spotted at the event, along with several ambulances.

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Over 5,800 USPS workers attacked by dogs last year

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Over 5,800 USPS workers attacked by dogs last year

Over 5,800 USPS workers were attacked by dogs last year, the agency recently announced ahead of a campaign to highlight the issue.

“From nips and bites to vicious attacks, aggressive dog behavior poses a serious threat to postal employees and the general public,” the USPS said in a Thursday press release.

Of all major US cities, Houston last year experienced the most dog attacks on letter carriers — with 73 of them, the service said in its release. Chicago and Los Angeles were second and third on the list, with 59 and 54, respectively.

California, meanwhile, was home to the most dog attacks by state in 2020 with 782.
New York had 295 attacks, which was the fourth most of any state.

As part of the weeklong awareness campaign, which began Saturday, the service is providing guidance to dog owners to help mitigate the problem.

Among the pointers is not letting children in homes with dogs to take mail from the letter carriers, as the animals may view the worker as a threat.

Kansas City letter carrier James Michael Benson was recently attacked after a child answered the door.

“I knocked on a customer’s door to pick up a package and as a young child answered, a dog came bursting out of the door and bit my forearm, knocking me to the ground “ said Benson.

“I was in shock and struggling with the dog, when he lunged and bit me again on my face, under my ear.”

The dog was then restrained by its owner.

“Dogs are instinctive animals that may act to protect their turf and that why it’s important to inform the public about this campaign,” USPS Acting Employee Safety and Health Awareness Manager Jamie Seavello said in a statement.

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Iowa man gets 10 years for brutal beating over face mask

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Iowa man gets 10 years for brutal beating over face mask

An Iowa man was sentenced to 10 years in prison for attacking and coughing on a person who asked him to wear his mask properly.

Shane Wayne Michael, 42, apparently flew into a rage after a man requested that he pull his mask up over his nose in a Des Moines eyewear shop in November, according to local reports.

The victim said Michael followed him to his car, cornered him in the parking lot — and then knocked him to the ground, gouged his eye and kneed him in the groin, according to The Iowa Capital Dispatch.

Michael then coughed in the man’s face, spit on him and said, “‘If I have it, you have it,” referring to COVID-19, the report said.

The Saylor Township resident was convicted last month of willful injury causing serious injury, and sentenced on Wednesday, according to The Des Moines Register.

Micheal claimed he was acting in self defense and only jabbed his finger in the man’s eye after the man bit him, the outlet said. The victim admitted he bit Michael after being kneed in the groin.

The incident is one of the more severe face mask disputes to arise during the coronavirus pandemic.

An Asian woman was punched in the face by a man who she asked to wear a mask in a Lower East Side shop in April.

A month earlier, another Asian woman was attacked in Midtown by a man who was angry she wasn’t masked up outside.

“Where is your corona mask, you Asian b—h,” the female suspect yelled as she punched the woman, sources said.

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