Officer Chavez funeral set for Sunday,
LAS CRUCES, NM – Hundreds of people are expected to gather on Sunday to give their final good bye’s to fallen Hatch Officer Jose Chavez..
Officer Chavez is expected to take his final patrol through the Village of Hatch tomorrow then proceed with his funeral in Las Cruces which is open to the public.
It’s been over a week since Chavez was shot and killed during a routine traffic stop in Hatch, New Mexico. Authorities say that Jesse Hanes, a fugitive out of Ohio is responsible for Chavez’s murder.
While authorities continue to investigate the motives behind Hanes’ actions, his loved ones and colleagues are preparing for his final goodbye.
On Sunday, a group of regional law enforcement will gather near Hatch Valley High School for the funeral procession. They will then lead Chavez’s body on his final patrol through the Village of Hatch, passing by the Hatch Valley Regional Public Safety Building. From there, the motorcade will head south to Las Cruces.
Authorities are advising motorists to be cautious of temporarily closures that will occur once in Las Cruces.
The final stop for Chavez’s body will be at the pan am center.
Doors are set to open at 1 p.m., the funeral is expected to start at 3 p.m.
Those attending are expected not to bring bags, as there is a strict no bag policy.
Flowers and momentos will be accepted at a silent witness display of Officer Chavez’s police unit.
Now keep in mind if you do plan on traveling to Las Cruces for the funeral, parts of I-10 West will be closed all day.
4 arrested in murder investigation; accused
of using social media to lure victim
BROOKSVILLE, FL – Detectives made four arrests in a grizzly Hernando County murder.
A man walking in the woods Sunday spotted a car with a naked body lying near it and called authorities. Deputies spent hours at the crime scene off State Road 50 in the eastern part of the county, processing the scene and gathering evidence. Their investigation revealed the victim had been in contact with three men and a woman on the dating site Plenty of Fish.
The victim has been identified as 35-year old Preston Talley, of Gainesville.
Investigators believe Talley thought he was speaking with 25-year old Kayla Morrow, of Dade City. In reality, he was communicating with 24-year old Joshual Gardner, who lived at the same address as Morrow.
“Her and Mr. Gardner and two other individuals were actually attempting to lure our victim into Hernando County … for what he thought was going to be either sexual acts and or consuming drugs, specifically methamphetamine,” Sheriff Al Nienhuis said.
Talley drove to the area and met with Morrow. The two spoke briefly before he followed her to an isolated wooded area off of the highway. There, the three other suspects were hiding and waiting.
“Our information is the minute he got out of the vehicle, one of the suspects began to hit him with a bat… (They) beat him viciously in the head to the point where he was deceased,” Nienhuis said.
Morrow, Gardner and the two other suspects, 19-year old Andrew Abbott and 24-year old Brandon Harrelson, allegedly took $20 and meth from the victim. At some point, the four allegedly removed Talley’s clothes and disposed of some of their own clothing. The sheriff believes they did so to destroy evidence.
Authorities say the suspects then left the state, heading for the Jackson, Mississippi area. After making their way back into Florida, there were arrested in the Gainesville area.
One or more of the suspects told friends or relatives what happened, detectives said. Authorities interviewed those acquaintances.
Morrow, Gardner, Abbott and Harrelson are charged with robbery and first-degree murder. They will be transported from Alachua County to the Hernando County Jail.
“This crime occurs when a trafficker uses force, fraud or coercion to control another person for the purpose of engaging in commercial sex acts or soliciting labor or services against his/her will,” says NHTRC.
One may think that sex trafficking only happens in under-developed neighborhoods, or only in other countries. Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller reiterates that is simply not true, as it happens in any neighborhood, and from any computer or phone.
In Marion County alone, there have been 20 sex traffickers prosecuted and 25 victims rescued just in the past six months.
Zoeller, an advocate for education and the ceasing of sex trafficking in the Hoosier state, says many victims may not even see themselves as victims. They may experience a phenomenon close to ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ or not know any other life than the toxic one they’re exposed to.
The AG says the victims are not to blame, but the main problem is the business world the traffickers are feeding into.
“This is a growing problem, and one we need to recognize is real. Many people don’t even believe this exists,” says Zoeller. “I’ve called for the fact that people should be arrested and put in jail, the same way we address drunk driving. You may lose your job, or at least the respect of your friends and community. So if we start raising the risk factor, I think we can really take a dent out of the demand that’s out there today.”
Northwest Ohio is also no stranger to human trafficking cases either, as Toledo was once rated fourth in the nation for youth-sex trade due to a high number of FBI busts. Some local coalition members say the busts are actually a good thing.
According to the NHTRC, there have been 289 human trafficking cases reported just this year. 233 of those cases are sex trafficking.
Even higher is the number of phone calls made to report a potential case: 1066.
Jennifer Wedge, a member of the Lucas County Human Trafficking Coalition, says high numbers is not a bad thing, but quite the opposite.
“If there’s a population center with a lot of identified human trafficking victims, it means something in that area is working,” says Wedge. “They’re getting them identified and getting them help. It does happen in every single zip code in our country and in every country around the world.”
Many victims are believed to be missing children.
That’s why Tim Wedge, a Forensics Science professor at Defiance College in Defiance, Ohio (and Jennifer’s husband) wanted to step in and help.
Wedge helped create FAGIN, Facial Analysis to Gain Information Now, a basic crude prototype that he and his students engineered.
FAGIN is designed to take missing person reports with pictures of missing children, run it through the facial analysis software by comparing them to pictures in ads for people being sold for sex online, and produce a report whenever there’s a match.
It even matches old pictures of the children, from the time when they went missing, to an aged picture years later when they’re being sold.
Wedge says FAGIN has the possibility of rescuing a shocking amount of victims.
“If we can take this crude prototype and turn it into a production system, we potentially can rescue every single one [victim] that’s being advertised online. That possibility exists. That [number of victims saved] is very likely going to be in the thousands,” Wedge says.
Wedge has showed the prototype to some law enforcement agencies to show how it works and how it can be made into a full production system.
He believes for that to happen, FAGIN needs the resources of law enforcement officers to officially use it for missing children like from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children database, where 800,000 children are reported missing each year. One in five of them are sex trafficking victims.
Zoeller says knowing the signs of trafficking is prominent in eliminating the epidemic. Be on the lookout for young girls with an older man and it seems out-of-place. There might be some bruising or cuts on the victims, they might seem very controlled, looking down and staying quiet, and they might not have identification on them.
Zoeller says these recognizing these red flags and bringing it to someone’s attention could help get someone’s life back.
To report a potential human trafficking case anonymously, call the NHTRC at 1 (888) 373-7888 or send a text to 233733 (Text “HELP” or “INFO”). Both are available 24/7.
Convicted sex offender attempts taking
LUBBOCK, TX – A Lubbock man has been arrested and charged with attempt to compel prostitution after he allegedly approached a 14-year-old girl at a 7-11 gas station on Parkway Drive on Tuesday.
The man has also been identified as a registered sex offender.
According to Lubbock police documents, just after 1:30 p.m., officers responded to the gas station after reports of an attempted kidnapping. The victim, a 14-year-old girl, was fueling up her mother’s car while her mother paid inside.
Reports say 53-year-old Ricky James Overhulser pulled up next to the girl and told her to get into his car. The girl refused and Overhulser told her again to get in his car and she refused a second time. He then asked her if she “dated.” She told him “no” and went into the store to get her mother.
“She got pretty startled, as a 14-year-old would, as you can imagine,” Lt. Ray Mendoza, Lubbock Police Department, says.
Police say when the mother came outside, Overhulser had driven away. She was finishing fueling up her car when he returned, pulled up close to her car and fanned cash while he asked, “how much for your daughter.” The girl’s mother called him a “dirty old man” and let him know she was calling police.
Overhulser drove away in a white Pontiac passenger car.
Mendoza says the mother and daughter were able to get a license plate number.
“The detectives get called to the scene, they immediately go looking for him, try to hunt him down,” he says. “We put out a broadcast to all our local officers. We reached out to DPS, the sheriff’s department, to be on the lookout.”
Enough information was gathered to obtain an arrest warrant late Wednesday night.
“He had a couple of municipal court warrants, so they were at least, trying to arrest him while the investigators continued to work the case,” Mendoza explains.
Overhulser was already in the Lubbock County Jail on unrelated charges and was re-arrested on the new charges.
Overhulser has been a registered sex offender since 2000, where his victim was a 16-year-old female, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety sex offender registry. He spent 10 years in jail, from 2000 until 2010.
“Always report any kind of suspicious behavior,” Mendoza says. “The citizens are our eyes and ears. If you see something, say something.”