By Tracy Dingmann 2/26/09 1:43 PM
Painting by Bonny Holder
There is a graveyard west of town, but it doesn’t have green grass or headstones. The place where at least 11 people were buried on the city’s far West Mesa is a crime scene, perhaps the city’s largest ever.
Or is it?
Until recently, Albuquerque police said they weren’t really sure these were homicides. To be fair, that was a few days ago, back when the body count stood at six, including the bones of one woman and her fetus.
But how does anyone end up dead and buried on a remote mesa if they weren’t murdered?
I’ve been watching this case closely since the first bones were pulled from the ground in early February, and I’ve been struck by what I see as the media and law enforcement doing their best to tamp down public alarm over the fact that people were murdered and dumped like trash — AND that there was or may still be a serial killer at large. Continue reading
Thursday, February 26 02:32 pm
A 15-year-old schoolgirl from the northeast earned about 14,000 pounds over two months by working as a prostitute, it emerged on Thursday.
Her unusual weekend job was exposed when a teacher at her school in South Shields, near Newcastle, found condoms, lubricant and details of the agency she worked for in her school bag.
Police officers who searched her home found more than 8,000 pounds stashed in the attic in November last year. The girl, who cannot be named because she is a minor, is thought to have netted around 1,700 pounds per weekend.
Details of the case emerged during a hearing at South Tyneside Magistrates Court on February 13 to decide what should happen to the cash.
Asa Anderson, representing Northumbria Police, told the hearing: “The money was seized after police received a phone call from a school where a teacher found a pupil’s bag. The bag was found containing certain items.”
The court decided the cash should be forfeited to the authorities.
Police said a man aged 44 and a woman aged 46 were arrested on suspicion of inciting child prostitution, but later released facing no further action. The schoolgirl herself is not thought to be facing any charges.
Phoenix Police Allege That Two 16-Year-Olds Ran Child Prostitute Operation Out of Apartment
By SARAH NETTER
Feb. 26, 2009—
They were unlikely suspects — two 16-year-olds arrested for allegedly masterminding a child prostitution ring. But one of them is adamant that she was not a madam.
In a jailhouse interview given to ABC’s Phoenix affiliate, Tatianna Tye disputed the police allegations that she led a ring of at least five girls, recruited from area schools.
“I would just never do that,” she told the affiliate, although she did not deny being involved in prostitution. “I would never, ever, ever put someone in that position.”
Police say Tatianna and Jazmine Finley recruited girls between the ages of 13 and 17 to work an area of Phoenix known for prostitution. They were even able to rent an apartment, where they often brought girls to work, Phoenix police Sgt. Andy Hill told ABCNews.com. Continue reading
Mesa graves yield ‘wonderful kid’
Reporter: Michael Paluska
Web Producer: Bill Diven
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The second woman identified from 11 sets of bones collected from makeshift graves on the mesa should be remembers as a loving mother rather than for her rough lifestyle, her father told KRQE News 13 Wednesday.
Earlier in the day Albuquerque police revealed Jane Doe No. 8 to be Michelle Gina Valdez who was 22 when her father reported her missing four years ago. Medical investigators identified her through dental records.
“She was my daughter and didn’t deserve to be buried in the desert.” Dan Valdez told KRQE News 13.
Investigators digging on the West Mesa near 118th Street SW and Sen. Dennis Chavez Boulevard have now unearthed 11 sets of skeletal remains including Valdez’s unborn fetus. The child would have been Dan Valdez’s third grandchild.
“She was a wonderful kid,” he said. “Everybody liked her and loved her.
“She was a fun person to be with, always smiling joking. Those were the good things I’ll remember.” Continue reading