JORAN VAN DER SLOOT
Joran van der Sloot could be extradited from Peru to the United States to face extortion charges within months, his attorney told CNN Monday. According to Maximo Altez, the US has taken the first step in the process and he expects a formal request for extradition soon. Altez said that if van der Sloot is convicted in federal court, he would likely return to Peru to serve the rest of his 28-year prison sentence for murder there and then come back to the US to serve whatever sentence is ordered here. See CNN’s full report here for more details.
Authorities confirmed Tuesday that remains found by a man walking his dog in a wooded area in Falmouth, Massachusetts last week are those of Trudie Hall, a 23-year-old pregnant woman who disappeared nearly two years ago. Hall was reported missing by her mother on July 28, 2010. According to the Boston Globe, prosecutor Michael O’Keefe said at a press conference that investigators believe Hall traveled from Nantucket to Cape Cod on July 27. Her rental car was found on July 29 with blood inside, the Cape Cod Times reported.
O’Keefe told reporters Tuesday that investigators know from examining the body that Hall was shot multiple times, though he would not reveal how many. He said a decision had not been made yet on whether they can pursue a second murder charge for the death of her unborn child once a suspect is identified. According to O’Keefe, it is possible that someone out there “knowingly or unknowingly” aided Hall’s killer after the fact and police would like to speak to that person.
Two weeks after a young Virginia mother vanished, her family is appealing to the public for help finding her. WSET reported that 22-year-old Heather Hodges has not been seen since April 9, when her boyfriend called police to report that he left her home alone for about 10 minutes while he went to Dairy Queen and she was gone when he got back.
According to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, no evidence of foul play has emerged, but several details about her disappearance concern them, including the fact that she left her 2-year-old daughter behind and has not called to check in on her. Relatives told reporters Monday that Hodges has gone missing voluntarily before, but never for this long and never without contacting anyone. Authorities say Hodges’ 39-year-old boyfriend has been cooperating with the investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office at (540) 483-3000.
A Washington judge has denied a defense request to throw out evidence against missing woman Susan Powell’s father-in-law in a voyeurism and child pornography case unrelated to her 2009 disappearance. Attorneys for Steven Powell argued that a search warrant executed on his home in August 2011 as part of the Susan Powell case was overly broad and illegal.
The recently-unsealed warrant was intended to recover physical and digital copies of Susan’s journals that Powell and his son Josh claimed to have, but investigators also found discs containing images of undressed young girls who were later identified as Steven Powell’s former neighbors. Prosecutors alleged that the images may have been recorded from Powell’s bedroom window. As a result, he was charged with 14 counts of voyeurism and one count of possession of child pornography. He has pleaded not guilty.
According to KOMO, the judge agreed with prosecutors that Powell’s own public comments about having the journals provided probable cause to obtain the search warrant. Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said in a statement that he was “pleased” with the ruling. Powell’s trial is scheduled for May 7.
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