Arizona man fakes Down syndrome so carers can bathe him and change diapers

A man has been arrested in Arizona for pretending to have Down syndrome so he could hire caregivers to change his diapers and bathe him.

According to ABC13 News, police arrested 31-year-old Paul Anthony Menchaca on September 6 at his home in Gilbert, Arizona.

Police say Menchaca allegedly posed as a mother called "Amy" in order to hire a caregiver to look after her son with Down syndrome.

A caregiver then told police she assisted Menchaca with diaper changes and baths on around 30 occasions over the US summer at different locations in the Phoenix area.

Two more victims then took over care giving duties in July this year. Police say the three caregivers all know each other, and said Menchaca became sexually aroused when they bathed him.

Menchaca's ruse was discovered when his first caregiver became suspicious and followed him to his actual home after he was dropped off at an address after a caregiver session.

She met Menchaca's parents and found out he didn't have Down syndrome or need care.

The caregivers then banded together and confronted Menchaca, who confessed he had been lying to them.

Menchaca has since been charged with sexual abuse and fraudulent schemes.

Paul Anthony Menchaca. Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office



Student dies after suspected cardiac arrest in Gold Coast classroom

A Gold Coast high school student has died after suffering a "serious medical incident" in class.

Paramedics were called to Ormeau Woods State High School around 11.35 this morning, after the Year 10 boy collapsed and fell off his seat, 9NEWS reports.

A teacher performed CPR and the 15-year-old boy was taken to hospital in critical condition but could not be revived.

It's been reported the child was in cardiac arrest when paramedics arrived, AAP reports.

Acting principal Dan Finn wrote a statement on the school's Facebook page to parents and carers offering support to the school community.

"I know you and your children may be affected by this situation and will have many questions," Mr Finn wrote.

"Guidance or counselling services are being made available for anyone who may require support."

Students will be able to access counselling services at the school from tomorrow, Mr Finn said.

Afternoon tutorials at the schoool were cancelled as staff and students came to terms with the sudden death.

No further information could be immediately provided "out of respect for the family", he said.

Australian ambulance Source: istock.com

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'Marching toward extinction' - Ailing orca is declared dead off Northwest US coast

Efforts to find a sick young orca from a critically endangered population of killer whales in the US Pacific Northwest came up empty today, and a scientist who tracks the animals declared her dead.

The grim news left just 74 whales remaining in a group that has failed to reproduce successfully in the past three years.

The orcas have struggled with pollution, boat noise and, most severely, a dearth of their preferred prey, chinook salmon, because of dams, habitat loss and overfishing.

"We're watching a population marching toward extinction," said Ken Balcomb of the Center for Whale Research. "Unless we do something about salmon recovery, we're just not going to have these whales in the future."

The whales are in such bad shape that experts prepared last-ditch efforts to save the emaciated 4-year-old known as J50.

A sharpshooting veterinarian fired an antibiotic-filled dart into her, to no avail, and scientists even mulled capturing her so they could treat her for parasitic worms.

J50 had not been seen since last Friday. As teams scrambled to find her today, she failed to appear with her pod once again, despite favorable sighting conditions.

Mr Balcomb, who tracks the whales for the US government, declared her dead shortly after.

Michael Milstein, a spokesman for NOAA Fisheries, said boats and planes in the US and Canada were on the lookout for J50 and a network of people who respond when marine mammals wash ashore had been alerted.

Whale experts feared the orca was dead earlier this month when J50 lagged behind her family and went missing. But she later turned up and was seen with her family.

The distinctive black-and-white orcas, known as southern resident killer whales, have struggled since they were listed as an endangered species in the US and Canada well over a decade ago.

The orcas' numbers are now at their lowest in more than three decades.

Another whale in the same pod, known as J35, triggered international sympathy this summer when she kept the body of her dead calf afloat in waters for more than two weeks.

In this June 9, 2015, photo provided by the Center for Whale Research, an orca whale designated J2 swims in the Salish Sea near the San Juan Islands, Wash. J2, known as Granny and the oldest member of the small population of endangered Puget Sound orcas, has been missing for months and is now likely dead, bringing the toll of dead or missing whales to seven in 2016, researchers reported. J2 had been spotted thousands of times over 40 years of orca surveys but has not been seen since October, according to the Center for Whale Research on San Juan Island, a nonprofit group that keeps the federal government's annual census of the whales. (Ken Balcomb/The Center for Whale Research via AP)
Granny, the orca whale can be seen swimming in the Salish Sea last year. She has now been missing for months and is likely dead, bringing the toll of dead or missing whales to seven in 2016, researchers reported. Source: Associated Press


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Elizabeth Smart outraged over planned release of one of her kidnappers - 'Do I believe she's dangerous? Yes'

Elizabeth Smart said today the news that one of her kidnappers will be released from prison next week was "a big shock", and she hopes there is a way the woman can be committed to a treatment facility since there is no legal recourse to keep her behind bars.

Wanda Barzee is expected to be freed next week after 15 years in custody, including time at the state hospital, after Utah authorities said they had miscalculated the amount of time the 64-year-old woman should serve.

Standing on the steps of the Utah state capitol, Ms Smart, now 30, recalled some of the horrors she experienced when she was snatched from her home in 2002.

"She is a woman who had six children yet could co-conspire to kidnap a 14-year-old girl, and not only sit next to her while being raped but encourage her husband to continue to rape me," Ms Smart said. "So do I believe she's dangerous? Yes."

She said Barzee "saw me as her slave. She called me her handmaiden. She never hesitated to let her displeasure with me be known."

Barzee is expected to be freed next week Her attorney questioned at a hearing in June whether her release date took into account time she'd served in a federal prison, and earlier this week the board agreed that she had served her sentence.

Attorney Scott Williams has said Barzee has been diagnosed with several mental illnesses, but he's not concerned about her being a danger to the community. Mr Williams did not immediately return a message seeking comment today.

"I only found out shortly before everybody else," said Ms Smart, who is now a married mother and activist for victims' rights. "And yes, it was a big shock. Only months ago, I was on my way to a parole hearing and was told she would never be let out before 2024."

Her father Ed Smart also questioned why authorities didn't give her more warning about the impending release.

Ms Smart said she is taking unspecified steps to protect her family, but that she refuses to live in a "state of fear."

If Barzee had shown more clear signs of rehabilitation, she would likely feel differently about her release, Ms Smart said.

"I do believe in forgiveness. I am a Christian," she said. She also urged authorities to reconsider release decisions, and take the possibility of further threat into considering rather than simply the time they've served.

Ms Smart was abducted from her Salt Lake City bedroom at knifepoint by street preacher Brian David Mitchell, who came in through an open kitchen window. The kidnapping triggered waves of fear around the country.

Ms Smart was found while walking with Barzee and Mitchell on a street in the suburb of Sandy, Utah, by people who recognised the couple from media reports.

Mitchell is serving a life sentence after being convicted of kidnapping and raping Ms Smart. He and Barzee were married at one point.

Barzee was convicted of both state and federal crimes, and transferred to the Utah state prison in April 2016 after finishing a federal sentence in Texas. She will be under federal supervision for five years after her release from prison.

If she violates the conditions of her release, which will include mental health treatment and an order not to contact Ms Smart's family, she could go back to prison, said Ms Smart's attorney Brett Tolman.

Mr Tolman was previously the US Attorney for Utah who prosecuted Mitchell, and is now in private practice.

Barzee's family could also request a possible civil commitment to a mental-health facility, if that's warranted, he said.

Wanda Barzee helped kidnap Smart from her Salt Lake City bedroom in 2002. Source: Associated Press


Armed police comb east Auckland property over alleged clan lab

Armed police have reportedly swarmed an east Auckland property early this morning following suspicions a clan lab has been set up inside the house.

A 42-year-old man was arrested after a planned search warrant was carried out at a property on Kings Road, Panmure, at around 6am.

The suspect will be facing court on charges relating to the manufacturing of drugs at a later date.

An eyewitness told 1 NEWS they could see multiple cars and armed police outside the property.

Inquiries are ongoing and police remain at the scene.

Anyone with concerns or suspicions over possible illegal activity being conducted at a home is encouraged to contact police.


Source: 1 NEWS