Orange County, Florida authorities held a press conference today regarding their continuing investigation of the suburban scene where bones were found last week not far from the home missing toddler Caylee Anthony shared with her mother Casey and grandparents, George and Cindy Anthony. Investigators have found new bones near the scene. They termed the bones a “significant” find; meaning, perhaps, they are close to assembling a nearly-complete skeleton?
An interesting fact that seems to have inadvertently been revealed during the presser was this — some sort of call was made to authorities about the same general area on August 11, 12 and 13. These calls came just two months after Caylee vanished and they were made by the same utility worker, a meter reader who allegedly found the bones on Dec. 11 while searching for a secluded spot to take a whizz. It may be that he actually returned to the area last week out of curiosity about something he saw last summer.
Based on inquiries made during the press conference, it appears as though the unnamed meter reader may be subject to some suspicion — at least from the press (so take it with a grain of salt). Police emphasize only that they have definitely found the bones of a small child and that they are attempting to clarify the meter reader’s story. Authorities say they have found other evidence on the scene as well, and that it is substantial.
Further information is said to be available at the Orange County Sheriff’s website [osco.com] but that site has been inundated with traffic and is, at the moment, unavailable.
This post will be updated and revised.
The other day I posted “Clint Horvatt: Do You Believe His Story?” The blog entry was about a man who witnessed the death of his fiancee, Summer Smith. Summer was allegedly killed by a mysterious black man who robbed the couple on an empty highway near Gainesville, Florida last Friday, December 12. In a video embedded in the entry Clint Horvatt spoke to a reporter from First Coast News about the tragedy. For the most part, he was surprisingly calm and collected. He seemed to grow emotional late in the interview, but he never quite made it to real tears.
The majority of comments on that post have expressed a great deal of skepticism about Clint Horvatt’s story. Now it looks like police may be a little skeptical as well. At least that’s one way to interpret what investigators asked Clint to do the day before Summer Smith was laid to rest.
On Tuesday this week, Clint Horvatt returned with authorities to the scene of the crime. At their request, he tried to retrace what happened after Summer allegedly told him to pull over to help the driver of the apparently broken down maroon or red Ford F150. The hoodie-wearing black man with cornrows who allegedly shot Summer with his right hand after taking her wallet with his left.
Clint said re-enacting what happened last week was rough, but he told the media that it was necessary to assist investigators in finding Summer’s killer.
I think police were either seeking exactly what they said — clarification of the timeline of events — or they were seeing if Clint might just trip himself up in his re-telling of the story. Cops would do that anyway — hunt for holes in a story. In a story like Clint’s which seems to lack plausibility as it is, they are probably more eager than usual to figure out where the truth lies.
As I noted, many of the comments here have been very skeptical Clint Horvatt’s tragic tale — mostly due to his unruffled demeanor in the video interview. Readers of other articles have voiced similar opinions. From comments left on the article linked at the bottom of this post:
I can’t believe that the investigators are really falling for this story. It’s always the black guy. First of all, I am a black woman. From experience most white people are skeptical of stopping to help a black woman, let alone a black man. And with corn rows, he can’t be serious. Why hasn’t this guy been ruled out as suspect?”
“controversy wrote: Investigators took Horvatt back to the scene for about an hour Tuesday in an effort to uncover more clues […] I think they’re not really believing his story! It’ll all come undone by next week.”
“PJnGA wrote: I
find his story a bit unbelievable too. Doesn’t make sense that an armed
robber would shoot just the woman and not try to shoot him too. The man
had to have been a bigger threat than she. I’m sure with this
investigation they may find his story doesn’t add up.”
To be sure, there were a few comments taking the opposing view, refusing to indict Clint Horvatt before the police place him under suspicion:
“Ernie1 wrote: My
gosh, what a tough crowd! Just about everyone has thrown the guy under
the bus already. I can definitely hear the Oprah/Nancy Grace “All men
are evil and plotting to kill their wives/girlfriends” mantra being
recited here […] I think I’ll reserve judgement on this one till the
investigation is complete.. I still remember how Oprah and Nancy G.
tried and convicted the Duke Lacrosse team on their shows, only to eat
humble pie later when the truth was revealed….”
“bugztyler wrote: […] Clint did not do this and it will all be proven soon. I have known
Clint since he was 5yrs old and if he’s guilty of anything its being a
kind hearted person who has to much trust in people who don’t deserve
it. God bless you Clint!”
I think anyone familiar with a certain type of domestic homicide is simply going to find this story hard to swallow. I don’t blame Oprah or Nancy Grace for that — I blame Susan Smith, who blamed the murderous “mysterious black man” before it was revealed that she’d rolled the car holding her boys into the lake. I blame Justin Barber. Barber’s explanation of his wife’s death on a Florida beach in the summer of 2002 was about as believable as Clint Horvatt’s, and Barber went the extra mile by shooting himself.
Clint Horvatt doesn’t have super-suspicious, allegedly man-hating talking heads to contend with — he has to deal with raw, recent true crime history. So far, it’s working against him.
Then again — he really could be telling the truth, strange as it may sound. If he isn’t, I suspect we’ll know pretty soon. [FirstCoastNews.com]
Brian Leroy Trumble is the creepy-looking dude rocking the Deliverance vibe there on the left, and he has a lot of explaining to do.
The Osceola County (Florida) Sheriff has charged Brian Leroy Trumble with nearly a thousand counts of possessing child pornography. That’s bad enough, but Mr. Trumble is already a resident of the Osceola County jail, facing more than 120 hits for child molestation.
Before he was ever charged with allegedly owning an epic amount of kiddie porn, Trumble was hit with the molestation counts after police received tips that he might have molested two girls aged 14 and 12 while the girls and their family were staying with Trumble in his residence, which was not, surprisingly a dark, fetid cave, but a local motel. The alleged molestation happened in the summer of 2007, but for some reason was not reported till this year. After police picked him up it began to look like the inappropriate touching of the 14-year-old had continued since 2007 — and been supplemented by the victim posing for Trumble’s camera. Then the other shoe dropped — the same thing had allegedly continued with the younger girl as well, including the photography.
Even if your life is at a place where you have no choice but to live at a motel, this proves something — try your best to not end up living with a dude who looks like things might be setting up shop in his mountain man beard. Something creepy will probably happen, sooner or later. [Osceola.org via MyFoxOrlando.com.]
In a press conference held earlier today, Cape Cod D.A. Michael O’Keefe told reporters a bit more about a horrific discovery made yesterday evening. A burning body was found on the Cape in a hole where several new bungalows have recently been built. The heart of the grisly crime scene was the bottom of a 10-foot hole that authorities say already existed on the property where the crime occurred. The burned remains are those of a black teenager, and investigators believe he and his assailant may have known each other. The scene was termed “very disturbing” to the first responders who had to deal with it. The name of the victim has not been released.
AP video short about the Dec. 14 arrest of Joshua Turnidge.
Police in Oregon have apprehended 57-year-old Bruce Turnidge. He is the father of former Navy Serviceman Joshua Turnidge, who is currently facing multiple counts connected to the deadly Friday, December 12 bombing of a bank in Woodburn, OR. The elder Turnidge was arrested not far from Jefferson, OR and charged with conspiracy to manufacture an explosive device. He has also been charged with conspiracy to possess an explosive device.
Court documents have also explained why the explosive device that took the life of State Trooper William Hakim and police Capt. Tom Tennant was inside the bank when it went off.
Simply put, the cops thought they were dealing with a hoax. They’d examined the green metal box as it sat outside the bank and William Hakim apparently felt confident that it was a fake. Tom Tennant was holding the box and Hakim was attempting to open it when it exploded.
As for primary suspect Joshua Turnidge, he was apparently tracked in part through tell-tale purchases he made at a Wal-Mart in Bend, Oregon. Turnidge was directly fingered, however, because a Wal-Mart security video caught him leaving the store and taking off in a blue 80s model pickup registered to his father, Bruce.
Joshua Turnidge made his first court appearance today. He is due back in court again the day after Christmas. As is too often the case, his neighbors seem utterly shocked by the whole thing.
Prosecutors have yet to reveal a motive in the case, but several media reports indicate banks were being targeted. So there’s that. In these straitened times, it’s surprising this kind of thing has only happened once, so far. [KPTV.com]
The investigation into the hideous 1981 murder of Adam Walsh is officially over. In a Florida press conference held today police said that investigators believe Adam was killed by serial slayer Ottis Toole. They believe the now-deceased Toole, a hideous sexual predator, abducted Adam from a department store 27 years ago, killed, and then beheaded the little boy. Speaking during the emotionally-charged presser, Adam’s father John Walsh (of AMW fame) stated that “The not knowing has been a torture, but that journey’s over.”[FoxNews.com, see also: AMW, statements by the John & Reve Walsh and Hollywood, Fla Police Chief Chadwick Wagner.]
Oregon authorities say they’ve arrested a suspect in the bombing of a Woodburn, OR bank on Friday. The alleged bomber is 32-year-old Joshua Abraham Turnidge, of Bend, OR. Per KATU.com, the charges against Turnidge are:
* Manufacturing and possessing a destructive device
* First- and second-degree assault
* Conspiracy to commit aggravated murder
* Two counts of attempted aggravated murder
* Six counts of aggravated murder
Turnidge was arrested shortly after Marion County Sheriff Russ Isham released suspect photos culled from bank security footage on Sunday. Police say Turnidge was not apprehended as a result of tips from the public.
Two police officers were killed in the blast on Friday and another officer was severely injured. The victims are: Capt. Tom Tennant of the Woodburn PD; William Hakim, an Oregon State Trooper; and Woodburn Police Chief Scott Russell, who remains in critical condition.
Police are keeping details of how they tracked the suspect close to the vest. Turnidge’s motives remain elusive as well. Suffice it to say, though — bomb-making is something that requires a bit of planning and forethought.
Turnidge had a low profile online. At least it seems that way, so far. I was able to find evidence that he’d been an active paintballer in the past, and he had a denuded MySpace account under the screen name, “pink503.” Turnidge’s last login was November 24 of this year and he had only 2 friends as of Monday night — one of them MySpace’s ubiquitous “Tom.”
Any tips or suggestions about a possible online handle or profile for Joshua Turnidge are welcome — post in the comments below or e-mail, using the address found in the sidebar.
Police say they’d still like tips in this case — if you have something relevant to the investigation, you can call 1-888-780-5678. [KATU.com]
AP video package about the bones found near the Anthony residence.
George and Cindy Anthony have released a statement about the bones found near their home last. Police believe the bones are likely those of the Anthonys’ missing granddaughter, Caylee Anthony, who vanished last June.
From the statement:
In the event this is not Caylee, we will immediately continue our search for our beloved grandaughter […] Please respect our privacy and understand that we will not be making
any statement or appearances in the near future. We would ask you to
continue your prayers for Caylee and all other missing children.
If the remains are indeed Caylee Anthony, they will be given to the family after autopsy.
Casey Marie Anthony remains in jail, charged with Caylee’s murder. Jail officials have said that she is under ‘psychological’ observation and in isolation.
I had a feeling we’d not be hearing much out of the Anthonys after this find. Looks like I might have been right about that. Maybe they’ve finally received a very ugly reality check, one so strong that even their denials can’t stand up under its weight. One can hope. [ABCActionNews.com]
A suspect was arrested on Sunday in connection with the bombing at a Woodburn, Oregon bank on Friday. Two police officers were killed in the blast and another as critically injured. Marion County Sheriff Russ Isham told the media that the arrest was “the result of an intensive round-the-clock investigation” by local, state and federal agencies. The suspect, who has not been named, was arrested near Salem, Oregon. [CNN.com]
(I’ve been knocking it off on the weekends. This story was too intriguing to wait till Monday.)
His name is Clint Horvatt. He tells a harrowing story in the video above. Clint tells the story in great detail.
And he seems like he is either still in shock, or he’s simply far too calm considering what happened to him and his fiancee on Friday.
Clint and his fiancee Summer Smith were driving to Gainesville, FL on Friday afternoon when Clint says Summer asked him to pull over and help a man they saw parked on the side of the road.
Summer, according to Clint, recognized the man’s seemingly broken-down truck.
The man was black, over 6 feet tall, had his hair in corn rows, and was wearing an unzipped hoodie and work boots. He allegedly came up to the passenger side after the couple pulled over. He allegedly tried to rob the couple, then he shot Summer Smith in the head.
Clint Horvatt says he backed up and sped away. He wasn’t injured. Clint managed to flag down an emergency services vehicle.
Summer later died at the hospital.
Now Clint seeks the public’s help. A flyer is circulating in the Gainesville area describing the suspect’s dark red Ford Ranger with a missing tailgate and drooping rear bumper.
In the video, FirstCoastNews.com’s raw footage of Clint’s interview, the man drops some oddly specific details. The killer took a wallet from Summer Smith with his left hand, then shot her with his right. The killer used a revolver. The interior of the Ford Ranger was also a shade of red, like the exterior.
Do you believe Clint Horvatt’s story? I’m not going to give my opinon yet. Mind you, in the article linked below, it states that police say Clint “is not in any way a suspect in the case.“