Nation roundup for August 9
Suspected killer, kidnapper sought
LAKESIDE, Calif. (AP) — A search for a man suspected of abducting a 16-year-old girl after abandoning her mother and possibly her younger brother in his burning house expanded on Thursday to four western states, Mexico and Canada, with dozens of tips pouring in from Oregon and Washington.
Police also said evidence found in the remains of suspect James Lee DiMaggio’s house suggested he may have fled with homemade explosives and that his car might be booby-trapped.
San Diego County Sheriff’s Capt. Duncan Fraser declined to elaborate on the nature of the evidence.
Oregon State Police fielded about 60 tips after authorities issued an Amber Alert for DiMaggio, 40, and his blue Nissan Versa with California license plate. An additional eight FBI agents were assigned to a command post at San Diego sheriff’s headquarters, as state and local law enforcement agencies went opn alert.
“This is a pretty much an all-hands-on-deck effort. It’s huge,” Fraser said.
On Sunday night, authorities found the body of 44-year-old Christina Anderson when they extinguished flames at DiMaggio’s rural home. A child’s body was found as they sifted through rubble in Boulevard, a tiny town 65 miles east of San Diego on the U.S.-Mexico border.
The body may be that of 8-year-old Ethan Anderson but Fraser said it could take several days to identify the badly burned remains. Investigators were unable to extract DNA.
Gay spouses may get military perks
WASHINGTON — Same-sex spouses of military members could get health care, housing and other benefits by the end of August under a proposal being considered by the Pentagon. But earlier plans to provide benefits to gay partners who are not married may be reversed.
A draft Defense Department memo obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press says the department instead may provide up to 10 days of leave to military personnel in same-sex relationships so they can travel to states where they can marry legally.
The memo from Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to top defense leaders, if implemented, would reverse an earlier plan that would have allowed the same-sex partners of military members to sign a declaration form in order to receive limited benefits, such as access to military stores and some health and welfare programs.
The recent Supreme Court decision extending federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples eliminates the need for such a plan, Hagel said in the draft.
“As the Supreme Court’s ruling has made it possible for same-sex couples to marry and be afforded all benefits available to any military spouse and family, I have determined, consistent with the unanimous advice of the members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, that the spousal and family benefits far outweigh the benefits that could be extended under a declaration system,” Hagel wrote.
According to a U.S. official, the memo is under legal review by the Justice Department, and the Pentagon will not be able to take any action until that review is finished.
Dad claims third of $448M prize
ROSEVILLE, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota man claimed his third of a $448 million Powerball jackpot on Thursday, wasting no time before revealing his good fortune to the world and saying he had “been waiting for this day my entire life.”
Paul White, 45, a project engineer from Ham Lake, said his family often gave him a hard time for frequently playing the lottery, and he had a tough time convincing many of them that he had finally won.
“The only person who didn’t feel I was BSing them was my mother,” a beaming White said at a news conference where he was joined by his girlfriend, brother and two colleagues.
White said he’ll take a lump sum, which will amount to $58.3 million after taxes. Despite the minuscule odds of a jackpot win, White said he often daydreamed about how he’d spend his winnings if he won.
“I’ve totally been waiting for this day my entire life,” he said, lamenting that he has to wait two weeks for his money. “Start the clock right now,” he said, eliciting laughs.
The other two winning tickets were sold in New Jersey, including in a coastal community that is still recovering from Superstorm Sandy. But no one had stepped forward to claim either of those two shares as of Thursday afternoon.
White said his girlfriend called him Thursday morning to say a winning ticket had been sold in Minnesota, and he quickly checked the 10 he had bought the night before.
Former teacher charged in killings
DALLAS (AP) — Authorities have charged a former teacher and Dallas Mavericks entertainer with capital murder in the fatal shootings of his estranged wife and another woman.
Police said in a statement Thursday that 44-year-old Erbie Bowser was arrested Wednesday night at the shooting scene in the Dallas suburb of DeSoto.
Killed in the DeSoto shootings were Bowser’s 47-year-old estranged wife, Zina Bowser, and 28-year-old Neima Williams.
Also shot and wounded were two boys, ages 13 and 11, were hospitalized in critical condition after the Wednesday night shootings.
Police say the shootings capped a bloody night that began with shootings at a house in southwest Dallas about 15 minutes earlier in which a woman and her daughter were killed and the woman’s son and a family friend were wounded.
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