Articles by "Crime"

This file photo, taken on June 30, 2016, shows Ivory Coast’s former first lady Simone Gbagbo looking on as she attends a trial at the appeals court in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. (By AFP)
A court in Ivory Coast has acquitted former first lady Simone Gbagbo of crimes against humanity and war crimes charges linked to her role in a 2011 civil war, which killed about 3,000 people, state television announced on Tuesday.
The trial, the West African nation’s first for crimes against humanity, was held in an Ivorian court after the government rejected her extradition to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.
Gbagbo, who has often been absent from the trial on complaints of poor health, was not present for the verdict, either.
Her husband, ex-president Laurent Gbagbo, is standing trial before the ICC on similar charges connected to the brief conflict, which was triggered by his refusal to accept defeat to Alassane Ouattara in a 2010 presidential runoff election.
Ivory Coast’s former president Laurent Gbagbo
“We are happy. Since the start of the trial we proclaimed her innocence. The prosecution’s case against her was empty,” Simone Gbagbo’s lawyer Mathurin Dirabou told Reuters after the verdict was announced.
But Human Rights Watch said the judgment left “unanswered serious questions about her alleged role in brutal crimes.”
“The acquittal... reflects the many irregularities in the process against her,” Param-Preet Singh, the associate director in Human Rights Watch’s International Justice Program, said. “The poor quality of the investigation and weak evidence presented in her trial underscore the importance of the ICC’s outstanding case against her for similar crimes.”
Simone Gbagbo had already been tried and convicted in March 2015 of offenses against the state and sentenced to 20 years in prison, a jail term that was upheld on appeal this month.
Prosecutors in her war crimes trial alleged she was part of a small group of party officials from Gbagbo’s Ivorian Popular Front (FPI), which planned violence against the supporters of Ouattara, who is now president, to stop him taking power.
“We regret this decision when we think of the many victims,” Soungaola Coulibaly, a lawyer for the victims, told Reuters by telephone.
“If Simone Gbagbo is declared not guilty of these acts, then who was?... The victims do not understand this decision.”
(Source: Reuters)

Khalid Masood had previously been investigated by the intelligence services but merely as a ‘peripheral’ figure. (Composite by Met police)
The British-born man who killed four people and injured more than 50 others in an attack outside the British Parliament in London last week was known as a potential extremist to UK intelligence agencies in 2010, a report says.   
Khalid Masood first came to the attention of Britain’s domestic intelligence agency, MI5, six years ago after returning to the country from Saudi Arabia where he had been teaching English, the Guardian reported on Monday.
The Saudi Embassy in the United Kingdom on Friday confirmed Masood had visited Saudi Arabia three times, including two stints teaching English there. Saudi Arabia, where Wahhabism is widely preached and practiced, stands accused of sponsoring terrorist groups such as Daesh.
But some time before the deadly attack in London on Wednesday, Masood fell off the radar of intelligence officials, the report said.
Earlier, Prime Minister Theresa May confirmed that the attacker had previously been investigated by the intelligence agencies but only as a “peripheral” figure.
The 52-year-old taught English in Saudi Arabia from November 2005 to November 2006 and again from April 2008 to April 2009 before returning to Luton, Bedfordshire, to teach English.
According to The Sunday Times, Britain’s extremist al-Muhajiroun group, led by imprisoned cleric Anjem Choudary, was active in Luton, and that Masood was loosely connected to people under investigation by British agencies.
But it is not clear how closely he had been monitored by MI5 and why that surveillance had been halted some time before the attack.
Police officers stop to look at floral tributes to the victims of the March 22 terror attack, near the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, central London, on March 27, 2017. (Photo by AFP) 
It comes as the British police made yet another arrest on Sunday night as part of their investigation into the terror attack.
A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said, “A new arrest has been made as part of the investigation being carried out by the Met’s counter-terrorism command into the Westminster attack,” which was claimed by the Daesh terrorist group.
The Metropolitan Police said on Sunday a 30-year-old man was apprehended in the central English city of Birmingham "on suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts."
A statement published by the Amaq News Agency, which is seen as the terror group's official press service, has said the assailant was a "soldier” of Daesh.

South Korea’s ousted president Park Geun-hye (C) arrives at a prosecutor’s office in Seoul, March 21, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
South Korean prosecutors are seeking an arrest warrant for ousted president Park Geun-hye, who has become vulnerable to prosecution and potential incarceration following the loss of her political immunity.
The Seoul Central District Court said on Monday that an arrest warrant hearing for Park had been scheduled for Thursday at 1030 am local time (0130 GMT).
The court would decide whether to arrest Park and hold her in custody for up to 20 days while she is investigated or not. The decision is likely to come late Thursday or early Friday.
The 65-year-old former president, who was removed from power over a corruption scandal earlier this month, now faces charges that include bribery, leaking government information, and abuse of executive power.
“The accused abused her enormous power and status as president to receive bribes from companies or to infringe upon the rights to freedom of corporate management and leaked important confidential information on state affairs,” prosecutors said in a statement on Monday.
The statement came almost a week after Park was brought in by judiciary officials for questioning in connection with the corruption scandal that culminated in her impeachment and removal from power.
Prosecutors also said in the Monday statement that, “A large amount of evidence has been collected so far but the accused is denying most of the charges, and there is a risk of destroying evidence in the future.”
Park’s confidante and alleged accomplice Choi Soon-sil is already on trial, and prosecutors said it would be “counter to the principle of fairness” if Park were not arrested. Park could face more than 10 years in jail if convicted of receiving bribes.
Park faced massive outcry as the scandal involving Choi gained momentum late last year and early this year. Huge rallies were held against her, and a parliamentary vote to impeach her was ultimately upheld by the country’s Constitutional Court, permanently forcing her out of office.
Despite her denial of any wrongdoing, Park has apologized to the nation several times in the past months.
Prosecutors have long been seeking her arrest over the scandal but had faced legal obstacles back when she enjoyed immunity under the constitution as sitting president.

UK police officers secure the area near the Houses of Parliament in central London on March 23, 2017, the day after the March 22 terror attack in Westminster. (Photo by AFP)
The British police have made yet another arrest as part of their investigation into the recent terror attack near the Parliament in London.
The Metropolitan Police said on Sunday a 30-year-old man was apprehended in the central English city of Birmingham "on suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts."
The police said the man is in custody under the Terrorism Act (TACT).
In a statement, the police said they arrested a total of 12 people in connection with the attack but nine were released with no further action.
At least four people were killed and 50 others were injured in the attack on Wednesday after the assailant plowed a car into pedestrians and stabbed a police officer near the British Parliament in London, an incident that has been declared a terrorist incident. The attacker was also shot dead by the police.
Earlier, Home Secretary Amber Rudd said the intelligence services must have access to encrypted social messaging services.
(L-R) London Mayor Sadiq Khan, British Home Secretary Amber Rudd and Acting Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service Craig Mackey lead a vigil in Trafalgar Square in central London on March 23, 2017 in solidarity with the victims of the March 22 terror attack at the British Parliament and on Westminster Bridge. (Photo by AFP) 
The perpetrator of the attack in Westminster, British-born Khalid Masood, is believed to have used messaging app WhatsApp on the same day.
However, rights groups said accessing social media messages amounts to spying and intrusion of people’s privacy.
The Saudi Embassy in the United Kingdom on Friday confirmed Masood had visited the kingdom three times.
Earlier, Britain’s The Sun newspaper reported that the London attack suspect was a former English teacher working at the institution controlling Saudi Arabia’s civil aviation.

An arrested Indian fisherman looks out at a lockup at a police station in Karachi, Pakistan, January 27, 2017. (Photo by AP)
Pakistan has arrested at least 100 Indian fishermen for illegally fishing in its waters, officials said on Sunday.
The Maritime Security Agency (MSA) made the arrests Saturday night, and also impounded 19 wooden boats, a security official told AFP on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media.
"The 100 men would be taken to the court on Monday," senior police official Adeel Chandio said after the fishermen were handed over to the police by MSA officials.
Every year dozens of Indian and Pakistani fishermen are picked up in the Arabian Sea after straying across maritime borders.
They often languish in prison even after serving their sentences, as poor diplomatic relations between the bitter nuclear foes hamper the bureaucracy.
Pakistan released 219 Indian fishermen as a "goodwill" gesture in January.
But overall relations have plummeted since a deadly attack on an Indian army base in the disputed region of Kashmir in September, which New Delhi blamed on Pakistan-based Islamist group Jaish-e-Mohammed.
There have since been repeated outbreaks of cross-border firing, with both sides reporting deaths and injuries.
Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since the end of British colonial rule in 1947. Both claim the Himalayan territory in full and have fought two wars over the mountainous region.

The undated photo shows Egyptian Coast Guard officials and rescue workers in the port city of Rosetta.
An Egyptian court sentenced 56 people to prison terms of up to 14 years on Sunday over the capsizing of a boat that killed over 200 people, one of the deadliest disasters in the dangerous Mediterranean crossings of migrants to Europe.
The boat capsized off the Egyptian coast on September 21, 2016. Rescue workers and fishermen rescued at least 169 people, but at least 202 died.
Fifty-seven people faced charges including causing the accidental death of 202 passengers, not using sufficient rescue equipment, endangering lives, receiving money from the victims, hiding suspects from authorities and using a vessel without a license. One woman was acquitted.
The boat sank in the Mediterranean off Burg Rashid, a village in Egypt's northern Beheira province where the sea and the Nile meet. It had been carrying Egyptian, Sudanese, Eritrean and Somali migrants and was believed to be heading for Italy.
One month after the boat sank Egypt's parliament passed legislation setting prison terms and fines for those found guilty of smuggling migrants, acting as brokers or facilitating migrants' journeys.
The file photo shows a refugee boat off the Egyptian coast.
A record 5,000 migrants drowned in the Mediterranean last year, aid agencies have said. In the worst known incident, around 500 African migrants and their children died when a fishing boat capsized off Egypt's coast in April.
Since Turkey and the European Union reached an agreement a year ago to curb the flow of migrants and refugees sailing from Turkish shores to Greece, most migrant journeys have taken the more dangerous route from North Africa to Italy.
In Libya, people traffickers have operated with relative ease, but many migrants and refugees also set off from Egypt.

National Crime Agency (NCA)
Official statistics show the number of potential human trafficking victims identified in the UK has surged by nearly 80 percent in a year, triggering concerns about modern slavery.
The latest available data from the National Crime Agency (NCA) goes back to 2015, with 306 cases of trafficking reported by local councils and over ten-fold that number by other sources.
Some cities saw a very clear surge in the number of reported human trafficking victims and greater Manchester experienced a 197 percent increase.
Authorities say labor exploitation is the most common fate of trafficking victims in Britain.
In spite of the significant increase in the reported cases of abuse, there are still up to 13,000 victims of human trafficking in the UK.
The number of victims of human trafficking in the UK rose in 2015 (File Photo)
The figures have alarmed Local Government Association (LGA), a group that represents 370 local councils, calling the situation modern-day slavery and warning it is a rising threat and a major concern.
LGA has urged the British public to be more aware of human trafficking in order to prevent criminal gangs from exploiting vulnerable foreign workers.
“Modern-day slavery is a rising threat to our communities, and because of its hidden nature, is a major concern,” Simon Blackburn, the head of the LGA’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said.
Blackburn encouraged people to look out for “tell-tale signs,” such as large numbers of people staying in homes and people being taken to and from the address in vans or minibuses early in the morning and returning late at night.  
“Tip-offs from communities can help councils work with partners to better tackle slavery and exploitation. A simple phone call could make a world of difference to people living wretched lives at the hands of heartless gang-masters,” Blackburn added.
The NCA report states that there were victims from 102 different countries, though Albanian, Vietnamese, and Nigerian nationals were the most common. People from Sudan make up the fastest growing category of modern slavery victims.
The main obstacle in dealing with human trafficking is the apparent “hidden nature” of the crime, the report said.
There have been several high profile stories that made headlines over the past recent years in Britain, stories that portray migrants in a negative light. Many of them are desperate and in search of a better life from countries that many argue Britain has destroyed or destabilized through war and foreign policy.
One of the most recent cases of modern slavery was revealed last month, in which 16 women were released from a trafficking ring operating in Glasgow.

A police officer walks by floral tributes with other bystanders in Parliament Square in front of the Houses of Parliament in central London on March 24, 2017 two days after the March 22 terror attack on the British parliament and Westminster Bridge. (Photo by AFP)
The Saudi embassy in the United Kingdom has confirmed that London attack suspect Khalid Masood visited the kingdom three times, including two stints teaching English there.
Britain’s The Sun newspaper reported on Friday that the man who carried out a deadly car ramming and stabbing attack near the UK Houses of Parliament was a former English teacher working at the institution controlling Saudi Arabia’s civil aviation.
In response, the Saudi embassy issued a statement late on Friday confirming the Sun report.
"The Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia wishes to clarify that Khalid Masood was in Saudi Arabia from November 2005 to November 2006 and April 2008 to April 2009, when he worked as an English teacher having first obtained a work visa," the embassy said in a statement.
"In 2015, he obtained an Umra visa through an approved travel agent and was in the Kingdom from the 3rd-8th March,” it added.
"During his time in Saudi Arabia, Khalid Masood did not appear on the security services' radar and does not have a criminal record in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia," the statement claimed.
Saudi King Salman (L) and British Prime Minister Theresa May attend a (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council summit on December 7, 2016, in the Bahraini capital Manama. (Photo by AFP)
At least four people were killed and 50 others were injured in the attack on Wednesday after the assailant plowed a car into pedestrians and stabbed a police officer near the British Parliament in London, an incident that has been declared a terrorist incident. The attacker was also shot dead by the police.
The Saudi embassy expressed its condolences to the British people, saying the kingdom “continues to stand with the United Kingdom during this difficult time and reaffirms its commitment to continue its work with the United Kingdom in any way to assist in the ongoing investigation."
The embassy went on to say that the “attack in London this week has again demonstrated the importance of international efforts to confront and eradicate terrorism.”
“At such a time, our ongoing security cooperation is most crucial to the defeat of terrorism and the saving of innocent lives,” it stated.
Khalid Masood, the assailant of the deadly attack is treated by emergency services outside the Houses of Parliament in London on March 22, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)
This is while Saudi Arabia, where Wahhabism is widely preached and practiced, stands accused of sponsoring terrorist groups, such as Daesh, across the Middle East region.
Daesh and other Takfiri terror groups use the extremist ideology to declare people of other faiths as “infidels” and thus to kill them.
Fifteen of the 19 hijackers who allegedly carried out the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States came from Saudi Arabia and available evidence suggests some of them were linked to high-ranking Saudi officials.
Furthermore, Saudi Arabia has been engaged in a military campaign against Yemen since March 2015 to reinstate the country's resigned president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh, and undermine the Houthi Ansarullah movement.
The Saudi war has killed more than 11,400 Yemenis, and taken a heavy toll on the country’s facilities and infrastructure, destroying many hospitals, schools, and factories.
In Syria, the Saudi regime has been sponsoring Takfiri terrorists fighting against the government of President Bashar al-Assad since 2011 in a conflict that has taken the lives of a half a million Syrians.

A massive manhunt is underway for Mary Thomas and her schoolteacher. Photo / The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation
The father of a teenage girl who disappeared with an armed, 50-year-old teacher was determined his daughter would return home after authorities issued two Amber Alerts saying she could be 'anywhere'.
Authorities believe Elizabeth Thomas, 15, of Maury County, Tennessee, was kidnapped on Monday by Tad Cummins, who may have lured the girl to sexually abuse her. 
At a vigil for his daughter on Saturday night, Anthony Thomas said: "What Tad did, he stole my daughter from me, but Maury County is a big community. He didn't just steal from me, he stole from the whole community.
But he remained hopeful, saying: "We are going to get her back. Please help us bring her home."
At the vigil on Saturday, Thomas' family members pleaded for her return.
Her sister cried and said Thomas completed their family of 10 children. She had a message for the 15-year-old and said: "I want you to come home, because we all love you. I want to see you again."
The nationwide search for Thomas and Cummins has now entered its seventh day.
Cummins, who faces charges of aggravated kidnapping and sexual contact with a minor, has been added to the state's Top 10 Most Wanted list.
The former health teacher at the Culleoka Unit School allegedly met Thomas through the local chapter of HOSA, an international student organisation that promotes career opportunities in the health care industry.
Cummins was suspended in February after he was caught kissing the young student, and has since been fired.
Authorities in Tennessee released surveillance video from a gas station showing the final sighting of the married teacher who filled up his SUV before disappearing with Thomas.
Video from the Shell gas station near a Shoney's in Columbia shows Cummins pulling up in his silver Nissan Rogue at 8.35am on Monday morning (local time).
The 50-year-old is seen getting out of his car and filling up, before driving off about four minutes later.
Thomas was last seen being dropped off at the same Shoney's eatery by her friend at 8am. Her parents reported her missing later in the day.
Thomas was last pinpointed in Decatur, Alabama, on Monday at 3.06pm, but the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said there have been "no credible sightings" since.
"It's absolutely important that everyone in this nation know about these individuals because frankly, they could be anywhere right now," Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokesman Josh DeVine told Fox 17 Nashville.
"We've amped up our language because we really need the public to know that this young girl is in danger."
According to TBI's second Amber Alert, the investigation into the alleged abduction has revealed "a troubling pattern" by Cummins.
It suggested the married father and grandfather "may have been abusing his role as a teacher to groom this vulnerable girl for some time in an effort to lure and potentially sexually exploit her."
Cummins in the weeks before he vanished with the teenager. Photo / The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation

Investigators said Cummins, who is believed to be armed with two handguns, had secured a $4,500 title loan for a personal vehicle just days before his disappearance.
The FBI has now joined the search and on Thursday evening a nationwide BOLO, or a be on the look out alert, was issued for both Cummins and Thomas.
The TBI said Saturday: 'The low number of tips, combined with the limited resources Cummins is believed to have in his possession, leads investigators to believe he may be keeping her out of view of the general public.
"For example, he potentially may have them sleeping in the vehicle or Cummins may have driven them far away from Tennessee to a rural community.
"Having now been on the run for more than five days, Cummins may have taken her, frankly, anywhere."
The teenager is described as being 5-foot-5, weighing 54kg, with blonde hair and hazel eyes. She was last seen wearing a flannel shirt and black leggings.
Cummins is described as 6 feet tall, with brown hair, brown eyes, and weighing 90kg.
The former health science teacher at Culleoka Unit School, is carrying two handguns and is driving a silver Nissan Rogue with Tennessee plates 976ZPT.
On his Twitter account, Cummins describes himself, in part, as a 'Jesus freak,' husband, father and grandfather.
In recent weeks, an Instagram account under Cummins' name posted several quotes about love. His last post six days ago stated: "It's a beautiful day to start."

James 'Jimmy' Gargasoulas aka Dimitrious Gargasoulas. Photo / Facebook
The case of accused Bourke Street killer driver Dimitrious Gargasoulas is returning to court.
The 27-year-old has been excused from appearing at Melbourne Magistrates' Court today when his case is listed for a mention.
Mourners leave flowers and tributes to the victims of the Bourke St mall incident. Photo / Getty

Gargasoulas faces five counts of murder over the January 20 rampage and is expected to be charged over the death of a sixth victim.
He is accused of deliberately driving a car into pedestrians at Bourke St mall before crashing after police shot him.

A "greedy"treasurer from Grimsby, pictured, sank her own sea rescue charity after selling its lifeboat on eBay.
A "greedy" treasurer sank her own sea rescue charity after selling its lifeboat on eBay.
Roxanna Bridgland, 56, spent five years swindling £24,500 from Cleethorpes Rescue Service, an inshore rescue charity.
The treasurer was handed a two year prison sentence, after selling the charity's £13,000 lifeboat for £6000 on eBay.
Bridgland, from Grimsby, Lincolnshire, left the charity crippled beyond recovery after engineering the resignation of its chairman and selling stolen property for her own gain.
Hull Crown Court heard how the rescue service, which was set up in the wake of three child deaths, was left to deal with unpaid gas and electricity bills and debt collectors.

"During that time, she abused her position of trust by selling charity assets, not using proceeds for the charity and withdrawing cash for herself.Prosecutor Geraldine Kelly told the court: "Mrs Bridgland was treasurer of the Cleethorpes Rescue Service from 2007-2012.
"She also claimed gift aid from Inland Revenue by false making claims."
The court heard how the charity was set up in 1969 after three young horse riders and an adult were cut off by a sea mist on the beach at Cleethorpes, East Lincolnshire.
At the time when Bridgland joined, the charity had a boat, Land Rover, headquarters and jet ski. The organisation offered courses in water safety and worked alongside the RNLI and Coastguard service.
Kelly told the court how Bridgland engineered the resignation of the former chairman and treasurer Peter Mason. After taking over the role as treasurer, she began stealing money and selling off its equipment.
Andrew Bailey, defending, told the court: "She had a great deal on her plate and took on too much She inherited £20,000 in 2007 and managed to lose or spend all that.
"Her dishonesty is timed with her husband's deterioration in health from 2000. "She was spending more time with him and you will see she is his registered carer.

"The charity was very poorly managed by her. It would appear that fairly swiftly she turned to dishonesty... She was topping up her earnings."
Bailey told the court how Bridgland is now surviving on benefits.
After pleading guilty to five charges of fraud and three of false accounting, Bridgland was handed a two year prison sentence.

Addressing Bridgland, Judge Mark Bury said: "As a direct result of your offending the charity has not survived... This has all been a result of your greed over a five-year period."

A riot police officer patrols inside Orly airport, south of Paris, as flights resume yesterday. Photo / AP
Police are questioning relatives of a man shot dead by soldiers at a Paris airport as they sought clues about why he tried to seize an assault rifle in an incident that has pushed security to the top of France's election campaign.
Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said that the man, named as 39 -year-old Ziyed Ben Belgacem, had shouted he was there to "die for Allah" when he tried to seize the gun from a woman air force member on patrol at Orly airport.

After throwing down a bag containing a can of petrol and putting an air pistol to the head of the soldier, he was shot three times by her colleagues.
More than 230 people have died in France in the past two years at the hands of attackers allied to the militant Islamist group Isis (Islamic State). These include coordinated bombings and shootings in November 2015 in Paris when 130 people were killed and scores injured.
With the country in the throes of a highly-charged election campaign before a two-round presidential election in April and May, the attacks fuelled the political debate about security.

He had been reporting regularly to police under the terms of a provisional release from custody for theft and he did not have the right to leave the country.Belgacem, who had been in and out of prison for theft and drug offences according to judicial sources, was already on the authorities' radar. They said he became a radicalised Muslim when he served a prison term several years ago for drug-trafficking.
Several hours earlier before he was killed, Belgacem had shot and wounded a police officer with his air pistol after a routine traffic stop north of Paris before fleeing, officials said.
Later he entered a bar in Vitry-sur-Seine on the other side of Paris and opened fire with his air gun without hitting anyone. He also stole a car before arriving at the airport.
Belgacem's father, who was initially detained by police but then released, denied his son had been involved in terrorism.
Police said they were questioning a brother and cousin of Belgacem and an autopsy on the dead man would be carried out.
Conservative Francois Fillon said that France was in a "situation of virtual civil war" and spoke out against a proposal to lift a state of emergency in place since the November 2015 attacks.
Far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, running on an anti-immigration, anti-EU ticket, said the Orly attacker could have caused a "massacre".

A man found dead inside a burned home in southern Illinois had been shot in the head, and a gun was found in his ex-wife's SUV after she drove into a nearby lake and died shortly after the fire was reported, authorities said on Friday.
The pair's infant son was pulled from the submerged SUV by a paramedic who swam through frigid water, quickly realised a baby and not a doll was floating inside, and performed CPR on the boy atop the vehicle's roof. Six other children safely escaped the Thursday fire at the house, where the divorced parents - who had a history of domestic violence - both lived.

Cristy and Justin Campbell had a volatile relationship and divorced in 2013, although they still lived together. Photo / Facebook

Preliminary autopsy results released on Friday show 37-year-old Justin Campbell died from the gunshot wound. But testing can't be done to determine whether the gun found in Cristy Campbell's SUV was used to shoot Campbell because the bullet that struck him hasn't been found, according to Madison County Coroner Steve Nonn.

Police said the tangled chain of events began when some of the children ran to a Wal-Mart store near their home around 5.15am on Thursday in Glen Carbon, Illinois. They told an arriving worker to call emergency services because their house was on fire. Responding firefighters found Justin Campbell's body.Nonn later told the Associated Press that nothing in the investigation or autopsy suggests the gunshot wound was self-inflected.

Justin Campbell's body was found in the family's burned out family home. Six of the couple's children managed to escape. Photo / AP

About 16 minutes later, a motorist called emergency services after seeing an SUV travel down a hill and into Silver Lake in Highland, about 25km away from the house.
Paramedics Todd Zobrist and Ty Barr arrived minutes later. Zobrist said he could see headlights in the water and knew there might be someone inside the SUV, which was submerged in about 1.5m of water. He stripped off his shirt, socks and boots, and swam 25m to the vehicle.
"When I got halfway there I was thoroughly thinking to myself, 'This is a terrible decision and I really need to just turn around and go back to the dock because I'm going to get myself in a lot of trouble,'" Zobrist said at a news conference on Friday. "At that point, though, I was committed, I was already wet, I was already cold."
Dark outside and difficult to see, he found the only access inside the vehicle was through an open driver's side window. Zobrist peered into the back seat, and saw something.
"It looked like two feet and two hands," he said. "And at first I thought it was just a doll, a kid's toy of some sort."
It was 3-month-old Julian Campbell, alone and floating inside the SUV with about 20cms of air space.

Paramedic Todd Zobrist was first on the scene and managed to save a 3-month old baby. Photo / Facebook

Zobrist pulled the unresponsive infant out the window and began CPR on the SUV's roof. Once the baby spat out water and began breathing, Zobrist, his muscles aching from the cold, called back to his partner to see if firefighters with a boat and wetsuits were coming.
But the team was delayed by a train blocking access to the lake, so Zobrist swam back to shore with the baby in one arm. The baby was hospitalised and expected to recover.
Zobrist, who has two young sons of his own, was treated for hypothermia in an emergency room but said he was fine. He shied away from any talk about his heroics.
"It was just right place, right time," he said.
Cristy Campbell's body was found hours later in the lake. Preliminary autopsy results determined she died of "environmental exposure and drowning", Nonn said.

Law enforcement work beside Silver Lake near an SUV that was found in the water with a baby inside. Photo / AP

The Illinois State Fire Marshal's office is investigating the cause of the fire.
The Campbells had a volatile history but were living together with their children, said Captain Mike Dixon of the Madison County Sheriff's Department.
Before they married, Justin Campbell was charged with domestic abuse in 2005. He was accused of attacking Cristy Campbell, known then as Cristy Brueggemann, when she was pregnant by slapping her on the head. He was sentenced in March 2006 to probation and fined $500.
Despite the violence, they wed on November 3, 2006. She filed for legal separation in September 2010, but the matter was dismissed two months later.
In April 2012, Cristy Campbell obtained an emergency protection order against her husband and filed for divorce. She alleged in court papers that he "abuses me on a weekly basis", including punching and choking her.
"He has told me that I'm a no good wife," Campbell wrote in her application for the protection order.
The divorce was granted in February 2013.
Glen Carbon police have answered around 50 calls to the Campbell home, including some "domestic-related situations," Madison County Sheriff John Lakin said. He declined to elaborate.
Authorities said the children are with Illinois authorities and will be placed with relatives.


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