Thursday August 23, 2001
Four dead in execution-style killing
MEXICO CITY - A woman and three children returning from a day at the beach were shot execution-style and dumped in a cornfield outside Mexico's second-largest city, authorities said yesterday.
Police discovered the bullet-riddled bodies of a family wearing swimsuits under their clothes on a highway outside Guadalajara in western Jalisco state shortly before 2 a.m. yesterday.
They identified the mother as 36-year-old Aurora Caraveo, of eastern Tamaulipas state. The identities and nationalities of her children remained unclear nearly a full day after the killings, however.
Two Mexican television stations reported that the dead children were Americans, citing anonymous police sources who said that authorities found identifications for each child from schools in Tamaulipas and Texas.
A police investigator speaking by phone from Guadalajara last night said the police report identified the children as 9-year-old Melisa Ailen or Melisa Mar; 10-year-old Kelsey Ailen or Kelsey Mar; and 13-year-old Sharon Ailen or Sharon Mar.
Marshal killed, burned trying to serve eviction notice
NEW YORK- A woman enraged by a city marshal's attempt to serve her with an eviction notice beat him to death and set him on fire, police said yesterday.
JoAnne Jones, 53, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder in the death of Erskine G. Bryce, 66.
An autopsy showed Bryce was alive when he was set ablaze, said Ellen Borakove, spokeswoman for the medical examiner's office.
He died of blunt trauma to his head and neck, and extensive burns, she said.
"Everybody has so much affection for him, for something like this to happen is unimaginable," said the victim's daughter, Carol Bryce, who is a police officer for the U.S. Postal Service.
Prosecutors obtained a videotaped confession from Jones, who was arrested late Tuesday, First Deputy Police Commissioner Joseph Dunne said.
Jones was taken to a hospital for chest pains before her arraignment yesterday. At the arraignment she was ordered held without bail. A phone call to her attorney for comment was not immediately returned.
Yosemite-area wildfire forces evacuations.
SONORA, Calif. - Hundreds of residents left their homes near Yosemite National Park yesterday as wind fanned a wildfire that was one of 32 major fires burning in the West.
Six of the most active fires had burned more than 53,000 acres in northern California, but in Oregon and Washington rain helped firefighters get the upper hand.
The 32 major fires counted yesterday afternoon were down from 42 the day before, said Rob Kopack of the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho.
''It's still very dicey in the Northwest right now. But there has been some progress,'' Kopack said. ''California has not had relief from weather.''
The fire outside Yosemite had burned 11,500 acres and closed some roads leading into the park. More than 400 residents fled their homes, and four homes burned. Investigators believe the fire was caused by arson.
Many residents went to Red Cross shelters.
"It's probably the worst fire we've ever seen, and I've been here 42 years," said Joan Tune, a Red Cross volunteer and resident of the threatened town of Coulterville. She called the fire ''monstrous ... a great ball of black and green and white smoke.''
Tatti Morganelli grabbed a few clothes and some medicine before heading to a shelter at the Sonora fairgrounds.
''That is the price you pay for living in the mountains,'' said Morganelli, one of 29 people sleeping at the shelter last night.