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Texas girl Audrii Cunningham, 11, died from blunt force trauma

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Audrii Cunningham, the 11-year-old Texas girl who missed her school bus last week and was found dead in a river, died from blunt force trauma.

The Harris County Medical Examiner’s Office said the death was described as “homicidal violence” and her manner of death has been ruled a homicide following an autopsy, according to Fox 26 Houston.

Fox News Digital has reached out to the agency.

An Amber Alert was issued for Cunningham after she failed to board the school bus on Feb. 15 and did not attend school.

She was found dead in a river and had a “large rock” tied to her body, authorities said. Officials have charged Don Steven McDougal, 42, with capital murder of a person between the ages of 10 and 15.

“The rope used was consistent with rope that was observed in [suspect Don] McDougal’s vehicle on a traffic stop two days prior,” charging documents state.

McDougal, a family friend who lived in a trailer behind Cunningham’s residence in Livingston, was initially taken into custody on Feb. 16 on an unrelated charge of aggravated assault.

He was tied to three locations of interest through cellphone data, investigators said. Cunningham was tied to two of those locations, including the Trinity River near the US Highway 59 bridge in Livingston, where she was found dead.

McDougal has a criminal history dating back to the early 2000s, when he was accused of dozens of crimes, and was convicted on two child enticement charges in 2008.

“He was probably taking her to… the bus stop, and we do feel that he was the last person to see Audrii,” Polk County Sheriff Byron Lyons said of McDougal during a press conference, adding that there were “some occasions” when McDougal would take Cunningham to the bus stop or Lyons said McDougal admitted to leaving with Cunningham on Thursday morning but didn’t confirm if she boarded the bus to school.

even to school if she missed the bus.

Harmony Montgomery’s Father Found Guilty of Murdering 5-Year-Old

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The father of Harmony Montgomery was convicted this week of murdering his 5-year-old daughter in 2019.

a jury in New Hampshire found Adam Montgomery, 34, guilty of all five charges, including second-degree murder, second-degree assault, witness tampering, falsifying evidence and abuse of corpse, according to The Boston Globe, NBC Boston, and WMUR-TV.

The trial reportedly lasted two weeks and the jury delivered a verdict after about one day of deliberation that began Wednesday. According to WMUR-TV, Adam is scheduled to be sentenced sometime after April 1 and was not present in court when the verdict was read or throughout the trial.

Adam was accused of beating Harmony to death in December 2019, after she became incontinent in their car. Harmony’s remains have never been found.

After the attack, Adam allegedly “pulled into that parking lot at Burger King and he ordered his food,” prosecutor Christopher Knowles said during opening statements, per CBS News.

“He ordered his food and he ate. He didn’t stop to check on Harmony. He didn’t look back at her. He didn’t show any concern for this innocent little girl, the child he had just beaten. He ordered his food, and he ate. And he didn’t stop.”

In the months after the girl’s death, Adam toted Harmony’s body — in a red Under Armour duffel bag, tied up in trash bags — all over Manchester, N.H.

Authorities said he placed Harmony’s body in a cooler and stowed her over a vent in a shelter he shared with his wife and two sons. Then, authorities allege, he placed Harmony’s body into a closet when neighbors complained of the smell, and then snuck her remains into his workplace freezer.

According to the Globe, Kayla testified that she complied with her husband’s demands to help him move Harmony’s remains out of fear for her safety and the safety of her two sons. However, defense attorneys reportedly argued that Kayla concocted a story that pinned the blame on her husband.

During opening statements, Adam admitted in a video call to the presiding judge that he was guilty of abuse of a corpse and falsifying evidence, NBC Boston reported.

Adam is currently serving serving a 30-year prison sentence for an unrelated gun conviction, according to the Globe.

If you suspect child abuse, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to www.childhelp.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages

Wendy Williams diagnosed with aphasia and dementia

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Former talk show host Wendy Williams has been diagnosed with progressive aphasia and frontotemporal dementia, according to representatives for Williams.

The news was shared in a press release to “correct inaccurate and hurtful rumors about her health,” a care team for Williams wrote in a statement.

“As Wendy’s fans are aware, in the past she has been open with the public about her medical struggles with Graves’ Disease and Lymphedema as well as other significant challenges related to her health,” the press release states. “Over the past few years, questions have been raised at times about Wendy’s ability to process information and many have speculated about Wendy’s condition, particularly when she began to lose words, act erratically at times, and have difficulty understanding financial transactions.”

Williams received her aphasia and dementia diagnoses in 2023 from Weill Cornell Medicine, according to her representatives.

The condition impacts communication, personality and the ability to understand language, according to the Mayo Clinic.

“The decision to share this news was difficult and made after careful consideration, not only to advocate for understanding and compassion for Wendy, but to raise awareness about aphasia and frontotemporal dementia.”

CNN has contacted Williams’ care team for further comment.

Williams is currently under a court-ordered guardianship. A Lifetime documentary about and produced by Williams with the participation of her family is set to release this weekend.

CNN has reached out to Williams’ family and Lifetime for comment.

Williams was the host of her eponymous “The Wendy Williams Show” until 2022, when Sherri Shepherd took over her time slot. Prior to the show’s end, Williams had been absent from hosting duties since the premiere of the 13th season, which ended up being its last. At the time, the show attributed her absence to Williams’ recovery from Covid-19 and later said she was struggling with Graves’ disease, an autoimmune disorder.

“The Wendy Williams Show” was created by Williams and debuted in 2008 from studios in New York City. She began her career in radio and developed a reputation for her quick wit and no-filter interviews. She was known for her candor, which also ruffled a few feathers among those in entertainment along the way.

Williams often prided herself on being candid with her viewers as well. She has been open about her previous struggle with addiction. In 2019, she spoke on the show about living in a sober house after seeking treatment for drug use. She filed for divorce from her husband, Kevin Hunter, the same year.

7-year-old girl dies after getting trapped in sand at Lauderdale-by-the-Sea beach

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A young girl has died and a boy was hospitalized in critical condition after they fell into a sand hole and got trapped at a beach in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea.

Broward Sheriff’s deputies and paramedics responded after 3:16 p.m. to the 4400 block of El Mar Drive, where footage from Chopper 6 showed crowds of people standing around a massive sand hole that was roped off.

Two children — a 9-year-old boy and a 7-year-old girl — were taken to the hospital in critical condition. BSO later confirmed that the girl died.

Sloan Mattingly was identified as a young girl who died, and Maddox Mattingly is her older brother who was critically injured.

An initial report from BSO stated Sloan was five years old, but investigators have since confirmed she was seven.

Witnesses said the children were digging the hole and playing around before the ground gave way. The sand hole was about 5- to 6-feet deep, according to Sandra King, a spokesperson for Pompano Beach Fire Rescue.

Cellphone video from a witness showed desperate beachgoers using their hands to dig sand out of the hole as they tried to rescue the kids trapped underneath.

The first deputies arrived about four minutes after the collapse, with paramedics and firefighters arriving moments later, according to 911 calls released by the Broward County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday.

Rescuers used support boards to keep sand from collapsing further in as they used shovels with the help of good Samaritans to dig the children out, King said. She said it wasn’t clear how long they were buried.

According to a 2007 report in the New England Journal of Medicine, between 1997 and 2007, there were 52 documented instances of people who became buried in holes due to sand that collapsed, 31 of those cases resulting in death. The victims ranged in age between 3 and 21 years old.

Last week, a 2-year-old boy was playing on a New Jersey beach when the sand collapsed and buried him alive. The boy’s father was able to quickly save him from the sand pit.

In 2022, a 35-year-old man was found with his feet sticking out of the sand along the Treasure Coast. The victim had his legs up and was leaning back on some sand when it collapsed. Somebody noticed his body three hours later.

Teen accidentally shot himself, another had gun at Dillard High

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Police in Fort Lauderdale are investigating after a teen said he accidentally shot himself and another was arrested after being found with a gun at Dillard High School.

The incident began just after 9 a.m. when a 16-year-old arrived at Broward Health Medical Center with a gunshot wound, Fort Lauderdale Police officials said.

The teen, who suffered non-life threatening injuries, told officers he’d accidentally shot himself in the 1100 block of Northwest 24th Street.

After the shooting, a student at Dillard High on Northwest 11th Street was found with a gun on campus, police said.

That student, a 15-year-old, was detained without incident and later arrested on a charge of possession of a firearm on school property, police said.

Detectives believe both incidents are related and are working to gather more information.

Police later said the backpack the 15-year-old had contained personal items belonging to the 16-year-old and said other evidence consistent with the shooting were found in the backpack and on the 16-year-old at the hospital.

Burgas Prison: Inmate Killed in Altercation

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A prisoner has died in Burgas, BNT reported. Two prisoners got into a fight, and one of them died after the fight.

On-site inspection begins. The report of the incident in the Burgas prison was received around 11:00 a.m. in one of the buildings. Shortly after an altercation between two inmates – 30 and 66 years old, serving their sentence for committed thefts, who were broken up by the guards on duty, the older one fell to the ground and the medic who arrived on the scene noted the lack of vital signs.

A team of employees from the “Criminal Police” department and the “Investigation” department at the Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs – Burgas was formed in due time, which carried out an initial inspection. Visible serious injuries on the body of the 66-year-old man were not noticed. His body was taken for an autopsy to “Forensic Medicine” at the Central Burgas Hospital.

So far, a causal relationship between the prevention and the death that has occurred cannot be confirmed. The data from the upcoming autopsy will be awaited, which will indisputably determine the cause of the loss of vital signs in the 66-year-old inmate. Pre-trial proceedings have been initiated in the case.

Ukraine and Moldova: Council adopts its negotiating mandate to renew the suspension of import duties and quotas

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The ambassadors of the EU member states agreed today on the Council’s negotiating mandate on two legislative proposals which aim to renew the suspension of import duties and quotas on Ukrainian and Moldovan exports to the EU for another year.

The proposal concerning autonomous trade measures for Ukraine aims to renew the suspension of import duties and quotas for another year (from 6 June 2024 to 5 June 2025), while reinforcing protection for sensitive agricultural products, by beefing up the safeguard measures already included in the current regulation (EU) 2023/1077 and including a new automatic safeguard for certain sensitive products.

The proposal concerning autonomous trade measures for Moldova aims to renew the suspension of import duties and quotas for another year (from 25 July 2024 to 24 July 2025), while reinforcing protection for sensitive agricultural products, by beefing up the safeguard measures already included in the current regulation (EU) 2023/1524.

By renewing these measures, the EU will continue to support and foster the trade flows from Ukraine to the EU and the rest of the world, and will contribute to establishing the conditions for enhanced economic and trade relations leading towards Ukraine’s gradual integration in the EU internal market.

Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified war of aggression against Ukraine also continues to have a negative impact on Moldova’s ability to trade with the rest of the world. The renewal of these measures will help to maintain the conditions necessary to enable Moldova continue its trade relations with the EU and with the rest of the world via the EU.

Background and next steps

On 31 January 2024, the European Commission (Commissioner for Trade, Valdis Dombrovskis) submitted to the Council the two proposals to renew the suspension of import duties and quotas on Ukrainian and Moldovan exports to the EU for another year.

The Permanent Representatives Committee approved the text of the Commission’s proposal without any modifications, with a view to reaching an agreement at first reading with the European Parliament.

The European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade (INTA) intends to hold a vote on the proposal at its meeting on 7 March 2024. The European Parliament aims to adopt its position at first reading in one of its plenary sessions in April 2024.

The regulations are then to be adopted by the Council, signed by the representatives of the Council and the European Parliament and published in the Official Journal, before entering into force.

Severed human leg found on NYC subway tracks in Bronx: police

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This story discusses suicide. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please contact the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 or 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

A severed human leg found over the weekend in the Bronx is reportedly suspected to be the partial remains of a man dragged for miles by the subway.

Authorities made the grisly discovery when Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) workers found a man’s left leg on the tracks at around 1:30 p.m. The human remains were in the path of the northbound 4 train between the 167 Street and 170 Street stations, the New York Police Department said.

Police were called to the scene. “Upon arrival, officers observed a human leg along the roadbed. The leg was removed, and the investigation remains ongoing,” an NYPD spokesman told Fox News Digital.

According to the New York Post, investigators believe the leg was separated from a man hit by a train miles away and days earlier.

A man’s body was found after either falling or jumping on the tracks, police sources told the paper. The body was reportedly missing its left leg.

The incomplete remains were found at the Spring Street station in Lower Manhattan, at least 9 miles away from where the human leg was discovered, the Post reported.

Police do not suspect a crime in the man’s death, the report said.

The working theory, according to the Post, is that a train could have dragged the leg for miles of track up to the 167th Street stop in the Bronx, where MTA workers found it while plowing snow away from the tracks.

The leg was removed from the scene and transported to the medical examiner’s office for testing. Police sources told the Post they suspect DNA and blood tests will reveal the limb is a match for the human remains found, although that is not yet confirmed.

The NYPD did not respond to a follow-up request for comment. Law enforcement personnel typically do not make statements about ongoing investigations.

Authorities have not yet released the identity of the man found dead, the Post reported.

Data from the MTA shows a concerning rise in the number of train collisions with people in New York City, FOX 5 New York reported.

In 2022, there were 324 incidents in which 88 people were killed. Police made nearly 1,000 arrests of subway surfers that year, according to the MTA.

Most incidents of people being struck by trains involve mentally ill individuals or people who attempt suicide, the MTA said.

Gabby Petito’s parents reach settlement with Laundrie family and attorney Steve Bertolino in Florida lawsuit

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The parents of Gabby Petito, a 22-year-old travel blogger whose fiance Brian Laundrie killed her in Wyoming on a cross-country “van life” road trip, have reached a settlement in a civil lawsuit against his parents and their attorney Steve Bertolino.

“Christopher and Roberta Laundrie and I participated in mediation with the Petito family and the civil lawsuit has now been resolved,” he told Fox News Digital Wednesday evening, after the parties met with a third-party mediator for much of the day. “The terms of the resolution are confidential, and we look forward to putting this matter behind us.”

Nothing had been officially filed Wednesday evening, but both sides acknowledged the settlement had been reached after an exhausting session.

Petito’s parents, Joseph Petito and Nichole Schmidt, sued Christopher and Roberta Laundrie and later added Bertolino to the case, accusing the trio of inflicting emotional distress by misleading them about the missing woman’s whereabouts before her remains were found north of Jackson, Wyoming.

The undisclosed settlement brings an emotional proceeding that has dragged on for over a year to a close.

In a series of depositions unsealed this month, the Laundries acknowledged they had concerns for Petito’s well-being when their son showed up on their Florida doorstep in her van without her, but they denied having any knowledge of her fate before an FBI-led search uncovered her remains on Sept. 19, 2021.

In his own deposition, Joseph Petito was audibly frustrated with the process and lashed out at attorneys for the Laundries and Bertolino.

The lawsuit alleged his parents knew about the murder and tried to conceal it and help him evade justice.

Days before search teams found Petito, Laundrie slipped away into the night and killed himself, leaving behind a suicide note and confession in a waterproof bag found weeks later.

Petito and Schmidt previously rejected a settlement offer, but their attorney had said they would be open to one under different terms.

Reilly recently asked Bertolino to turn over insurance information that could play a role in any civil judgment or come up in mediation.

The scheduled talks came shortly after Reilly dropped efforts to have the court force Bertolino to testify about his private conversations with Brian Laundrie, which he argued are protected by attorney-client privilege.

If the negotiations had failed, trial would have commenced on May 13.

The two families previously settled a wrongful death lawsuit for $3 million.

Reilly at the time called the sum “an arbitrary number,” but “whatever monies they do receive will help Gabby’s family in their endeavors with the Gabby Petito Foundation.”

MSU Volleyball player dies unexpectedly, community mourns

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Aaliyah Burras, MSU volleyball player, died unexpectedly. No cause of death has been reported as of this posting.

A tribute to her reads, “Aaliyah had a unique ability to brighten even the darkest of days with her radiant smile and uplifting spirit. Whether offering a listening ear to a friend in need or spreading joy through her infectious laughter, Aaliyah had a way of making everyone feel valued and loved. Her kindness knew no bounds, and her legacy of love will continue to inspire those who knew her.”

The visitation for Burras will be held at 8 a.m. The funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. on the same day.

Both will take place at the Morning Star Baptist Church on 1000 Walkertown Way in Marrero, Louisiana.

The repast will be held in the Timeless Moments Banquet and Reception Hall on 4001 Lapalco Boulevard, Suite 21 in Harvey, Louisiana.

The family asks that, instead of flowers, contributors aid in establishing the Aaliyah Burras 777 Foundation. Contributions will go towards helping children experiencing homelessness participate in athletics.