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August 18, 2018

Police in Weld County, Colorado, northeast of Denver, on Thursday found the bodies of Shannan Watts and her two daughters, Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3. Watts was pregnant with her third child.

The family members are believed to have been killed by their husband and father, Chris Watts, who has been arrested but not yet formally charged. He reportedly confessed to the crime after his arrest and is expected to face murder charges by Monday.

The bodies were found on the property of a petroleum and natural gas exploration company where Chris used to work. Court documents filed Friday suggest strangulation may be the cause of death. Bonnie Kristian

August 12, 2018
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The airline employee who stole and fatally crashed an empty plane at the Seattle airport late Friday has been identified as Richard Russell, 29. His family has described him as "a faithful husband, a loving son, and a good friend," expressing total shock at his decision to take the plane.

"We are devastated by these events, and Jesus is truly the only one holding this family together right now," said a statement from the family. "Without him, we would be hopeless." Russell was reportedly suicidal, and while speaking with an air traffic controller who was trying to persuade him to land the plane described himself as a "broken guy" with "a few screws loose."

Russell had worked for the airline for several years. He had permission to be in the area where the plane was parked but should not have been on the plane alone. "If you're going to access the aircraft ... you make sure that you check with someone else, and that someone else [will confirm] that ... you have the right authority to get onto that aircraft," explained CNN safety analyst David Soucie. Security protocols are being reviewed following the crash. Bonnie Kristian

August 11, 2018
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A reportedly suicidal Horizon Air ground service agent stole one of the airline's planes from a maintenance area at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport Friday night and crashed it about an hour later.

The plane, a Bombardier Q400 turboprop that seats 76 people, was otherwise empty at the time of the crash. It was pursued by military jets before crashing on Ketron Island in Puget Sound.

"I've got a lot of people that care about me," the man who took the plane told an air traffic controller who was trying to persuade him to land nearby. "It's going to disappoint them to hear that I did this. ... Just a broken guy, got a few screws loose, I guess." He is thought to have been killed in the crash.

The identity of the man who stole the plane has not been released as local and federal authorities investigate. No terrorism ties are suspected, and no one else was injured in the crash. Bonnie Kristian

July 28, 2018

The Catholic Church has a "global and pervasive" problem with the sexual abuse of nuns by priests and other male clergy, The Associated Press alleged in a lengthy investigative report published Saturday. The true prevalence of the abuse is unknown, as abuse reports are often kept quiet:

Some nuns are now finding their voices, buoyed by the #MeToo movement and the growing recognition that adults can be victims of sexual abuse when there is an imbalance of power in a relationship. The sisters are going public in part because of years of inaction by church leaders, even after major studies on the problem in Africa were reported to the Vatican in the 1990s. [...]

The extent of the abuse of nuns is unclear, at least outside the Vatican. Victims are reluctant to report the abuse because of well-founded fears they won’t be believed, experts told the AP. Church leaders are reluctant to acknowledge that some priests and bishops simply ignore their vows of celibacy, knowing that their secrets will be kept. [AP]

"It opened a great wound inside of me," one nun told the AP, recounting her experience of abuse at the hands of a priest who was supposed to be hearing her confession. "I pretended it didn't happen." She came forward with her story only after the priest in question died.

Earlier Saturday, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington, D.C., who has been credibly accused of sexual abuse of a teenaged altar boy. And on Friday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court approved publication of a 900-page grand jury report on more than 300 "predator priests."

Read The Associated Press' full report here. Bonnie Kristian

July 28, 2018

Five people were found dead Friday night in what police believe to be a murder-suicide in Robstown, Texas, a small town near the state's southern coast.

Three of the people killed were discovered at a nursing home, and two were at the shooting suspect's house. The suspect was identified as Richard Starry, 60, and the victims named were his father, stepmother, the stepmother's son, and the couple's adopted son.

"Our hearts go out to the victims' families and the residents, visitors, and employees at Retama Manor [Nursing Center] who experienced this tragedy," said Robstown police chief Erasmo Flores. Watch a local news report below. Bonnie Kristian

This is a breaking news story and has been updated throughout.

July 22, 2018

Authorities are searching for a University of Iowa student named Mollie Tibbetts, 20, who disappeared Wednesday while out for an evening jog. Tibbetts was running in Brooklyn, a small town about halfway between Iowa City and Des Moines. She gave no indication anything was wrong before her jog, her boyfriend said.

"Everything's on the table, unfortunately," said Poweshiek County Sheriff Thomas Kriegel. "We're hoping that she's somewhere with a friend, and she'll show up Monday or Tuesday, and everything will get back to normal." Bonnie Kristian

July 21, 2018
CBS News/Screenshot

The father of two survivors of February's mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, was fatally shot by an armed robber in his convenience store Tuesday.

Ayub Ali, 61, was stocking shelves when a robber forced him to open the cash register. The robber took the money and left, but then returned to shoot Ali, who was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

A suspect identified as Tyrone Fields Jr., 19, was arrested Friday based on security camera footage from the store. He has been charged with murder and robbery with a firearm.

Ali is survived by his wife and four children, the youngest of whom is just 22 months old. "It's hard for them to accept it," said a family representative. "He [met] everyone with a smile." Bonnie Kristian

July 8, 2018
WRAL/Screenshot

A toddler in Fresno, California, accidentally killed himself Saturday afternoon with a gunshot wound to the head.

"At the time that this occurred, there were two adults inside the home with the child," said Lt. Rob Beckwith of the Fresno Police Department, but they were not the boy's parents. It is not yet known who owned the gun, how the boy was able to obtain it, or whether criminal charges will be filed.

"It's just very tragic to have that happen," said a neighbor, Bob Wittwer. "We were in the backyard, and we heard all the police cars show up and came out to see what happened, and then we saw them take the child away in the ambulance." Bonnie Kristian

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