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Thread: Dam sicko.Throw away de key

  1. #1
    L O S T .'s Avatar . is offline
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    Jan 2005

    Dam sicko.Throw away de key

    Fla. Police Discover Missing Girl's Body

    28 minutes ago U.S. National - AP

    By MIKE BRANOM, Associated Press Writer

    HOMOSASSA, Fla. - The body of missing 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford was found early Saturday, a day after officials said a registered sex offender confessed to kidnapping and killing the girl.

    AP Photo

    AP Photo
    Slideshow: Fla. Police Discover Missing Girl's Body

    Sheriff: Suspect Admits Killing Fla. Girl
    (AP Video)

    Citrus County Sheriff Jeff Dawsy said Jessica's body was found during an overnight search in a densely wooded area, only about 150 yards from the home the girl shared with her father and grandparents.

    Jessica's father, Mark Lunsford, visited the search scene shortly after sunrise and later gave a brief, emotional statement to reporters.

    "Everyone heard me say, time after time, that she would be home," Lunsford said, his eyes hidden behind dark black sunglasses. "She's home now."

    John Evander Couey, 46, confessed to kidnapping and killing Jessica after taking a lie-detector test Friday in Georgia, Dawsy said. She disappeared from her bedroom more than three weeks ago.

    "We're en route to bring him back home," said Dawsy, who added that he wants Couey to face the death penalty. "He's truly a piece of trash."

    Dawsy said Couey's half-sister and two other people were charged with obstruction for failing to notify police when Couey allegedly told them he had committed a crime. A fourth, the sheriff said, was picked up for questioning in the case but was charged only with failure to pay child support in an unrelated matter.

    Dawsy called the four "a bunch of druggies" and said he would urge prosecutors not to allow them to plea-bargain for reduced sentences.

    The three charged with obstruction were identified as Dorothy Dixon, 47, Couey's half-sister; Madie Secord, 27; and Matthew Dittrich, 31. All apparently lived in the home near the site where the little girl's body was found.

    The sheriff declined to describe their exact relationship with Couey, but he has previously said that a relative paid for a bus ticket for Couey to leave Florida and that the suspect had told other people he expected the police would be looking for him.

    Mark Lunsford has said the family did not know Couey, who was arrested Thursday.

    Crews worked through the night to search for Jessica's body in temperatures that dipped into the low 40s. Bright search lights were erected around the perimeter, and several candles left from a late-night vigil burned nearby.

    A stream of official vehicles came and went throughout the pre-dawn hours, and a state mobile forensics unit left the scene about 3:30 a.m. about the time Jessica's body was found and taken to nearby Leesburg for examination.

    At a news conference late Friday from Ohio, the girl's mother, Angela Bryant, repeatedly made the same vow: Couey, she said, "will pay."

    "This man's hurt too many people," she said through tears. "He's hurt too many children. And one of them is my daughter. He took her life from her and she didn't deserve it. He will pay. He will pay. For hurting them children out there and my daughter, he will pay."

    Bryant received word Saturday morning that Jessica's body was found, said Angela Broughton, Angela Bryant's sister-in-law.

    "She just broke down again and started crying and wondering why somebody could so something like that to her baby," Broughton said.

    Angela Bryant and her husband Lonnie will attend a benefit Saturday evening at a church in Lebanon, Ohio, and will drive to Florida on Sunday, Broughton said.

    Jessica, a third grader, was last seen when she went to bed in her home Feb. 23. She was discovered missing the next morning, with the door unlocked and her stuffed animal gone. The clothes she had laid out for school were still in place, and her shoes weren't missing.

    More than 100 police and volunteers, with help from bloodhounds and helicopters, searched the area about 60 miles north of Tampa for days following her disappearance. Jessica's family made emotional appeals on national television for her safe return.

    Detectives grew interested in Couey while interviewing all registered sex offenders in the area. They tried to contact Couey at his home in Homosassa five days after Jessica disappeared and discovered he no longer lived there.

    When investigators followed up with the half-sister, she denied that Couey had lived with her. But another relative confided to a detective that Couey sometimes stayed at the home.

    Authorities said Couey left Florida on or about March 4 after telling relatives that police would be looking for him. He was arrested in Augusta, Ga., on a probation violation for failing to notify officials that he was moving, a requirement for sex offenders. He was awaiting extradition to Florida on Friday.

    Couey has an extensive criminal record that includes 24 arrests for burglary, carrying a concealed weapon and indecent exposure. In 1991, he was arrested in Kissimmee on a charge of fondling a child under age 16. Records don't show how the case was resolved.

    During a house burglary in 1978, Couey was accused of grabbing a girl in her bedroom, placing his hand over her mouth and kissing her, Dawsy said. Couey was sentenced to 10 years in prison but was paroled in 1980.

  2. #2
    Island Soul's PD zenzele1's Avatar zenzele1 is offline
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    Dec 2003
    What an awful way for this little girl to die. Very sad.

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