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    Warning: The details of this story are extremely graphic and could be disturbing to some readers.

    A Horsham, Pennsylvania, man is accused of raping and murdering a teen girl and the victim's mother is accused of helping him dismember her body.

    Jacob Sullivan, 44, was arrested Saturday and charged in the rape, murder and dismemberment of Grace Packer, 14, of Abington Township. Police also say Grace’s adoptive mother Sara Packer, 41, aided Sullivan in the crime; helped him dispose of the teen’s body; and then tried to undergo a suicide pact with him.

    On December 30, 2016, Sullivan’s girlfriend called 911 and told the dispatcher she had found him barely conscious and unresponsive inside their home in Horsham, Pennsylvania. She also believed he had overdosed on pills. The dispatcher then asked her if she knew why Sullivan would do that.

    “I don’t know if you have watched the news lately,” the woman replied, according to the affidavit. “Someone we were involved with was recently...It’s a big mess. It’s a big mess and I don’t really know how to explain it. But oh my God.”

    Medics arrived and Sullivan was taken to Abington Hospital where he was placed in critical condition and treated for a drug overdose. Police interviewed Sullivan’s girlfriend and also found a handwritten suicide note at the home. The note, which police say was written by Sullivan, said the following, according to the affidavit:

    Dear babies,

    I love you all so much. You are the only people that I have always been able to count on. I’m sorry that I am taking the coward’s way out, but I don’t have any strength left in me.

    People want to judge and lie and break me down. They have.

    I can’t exist with Sara in jail and those f------ lying pigs and the whore media have made it impossible for us to live.

    They don’t care how many lives or laws they break. I know you will always know that we had nothing to do with this no matter what lies they tell. I’m sorry to leave you. Remember all I’ve taught you. Be brave, stand tall and do your best to be stronger than I was.

    I love you.

    Daddy

    Later that night, Sullivan’s girlfriend called 911 a second time. She told the dispatcher that after police and medics had left, she found Sara Packer unresponsive inside the bathroom of the home. The woman told officials she then drove her to Abington Hospital.

    Police determined that both Sullivan and Packer had entered a suicide pact and tried to kill themselves by overdosing on drugs.

    On Saturday staff members at Abington Memorial Hospital contacted investigators and told them that during the overnight hours, Sullivan admitted he was responsible for the murder of Sara Packer’s 14-year-old adopted daughter, Grace Packer. He also claimed that Sara Packer was his accomplice, according to the affidavit. The hospital staff also told investigators they believed Sullivan admitted he had killed Grace to his family members when they visited him in the hospital.

    During an interview with investigators, Sullivan then admitted he and Packer had plotted Grace’s murder, according to officials. Sullivan allegedly claimed they began planning the murder in the fall of 2015 after Grace returned from living with a family member in North Carolina.

    During the early morning hours of July 8, 2016, Sullivan and Sara Packer drove Grace from her Abington Township home to their new home on Cherry Road in Quakertown, Bucks County, officials said. When they arrived, Sullivan and Packer walked Grace into the house, according to the affidavit. Sullivan then allegedly struck Grace in the face several times. The duo then took Grace into the attic of the home where Sullivan raped the teen girl while Packer watched, investigators said. During his interview with officials, Sullivan also allegedly admitted to sexually assaulting Grace on two occasions prior to that incident.

    Packer then left and obtained several pills, according to the affidavit. The duo then gave Grace the pills, telling her it would help her deal with the pain, tied her up, gagged her and then left her to die in the extremely hot attic, investigators said. Sullivan and Packer then went back to their Abington home and later returned to the Quakertown home around 3 a.m. the next day, expecting to find Grace dead, officials said. The teen was still conscious and alive however, according to the affidavit.

    Sullivan then allegedly wrapped his arm around Grace’s neck and face and strangled her to death. Sullivan and Sara Packer then packed her body in kitty litter, investigators said. The duo allegedly left the girl’s body concealed in the attic where she would remain for more than three months.

    On July 11, Sara Packer went to the Abington Township Police Department and reported Grace was missing. She allegedly lied to police and told them prior to her daughter's disappearance, she sent Grace to her room following an argument over the teen asking to visit one of her friends. Police noted that Sara Packer couldn’t provide an address or name of the friend however, according to the affidavit.

    Packer also allegedly told police Grace took $300 in cash from the home and that she had left the house in the past.

    Police then made several attempts to reach Packer as they searched for Grace over the next two months. But she allegedly ignored them and was uncooperative with the investigation. Police then visited Packer’s Abington Township home on September 7 but discovered she had moved without notifying them, according to the affidavit.

    Police then learned Packer had enrolled her 12-year-old adopted son, who is also Grace’s biological brother, into the Quakertown School District without notifying them, according to the affidavit. Police then received a phone message from Packer apologizing to them for not notifying them of the move, investigators said. She also allegedly told them she had notified all of Grace’s relatives that she went missing. But investigators later determined she had not told her relatives about Grace's disappearance at that time.

    Police then investigated the Quakertown home where Grace's body was being concealed in mid-October, according to the affidavit. It was at then when Sullivan allegedly became concerned investigators would find the girl’s remains. Sullivan and Packer then moved Grace’s body from the attic to the second floor bathroom of the house and used a saw to dismember her limbs, according to the affidavit.

    The duo then allegedly stored her remains in plastic totes and put them inside the trunk of Sullivan’s vehicle. They then drove to a wooded area near SR 2041, White Haven Road in Bear Creek Township, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania where they left Grace's remains. On October 31, around 5:30 p.m., hunters in the woods found the remains and called police.

    During their investigation of Grace’s murder, officials found the receipt of the Bucks County tractor supply store where Packer had bought the saw used to dismember her daughter’s body, according to the affidavit. Investigators say they obtained surveillance video from the store of Packer buying the saw. Investigators also say they obtained a copy of Packer’s debit card purchases which revealed she had bought the pills she used to drug Grace from a Target store in Bucks County.

    Following his arrest Saturday, Sullivan was charged with murder, rape, kidnapping, abuse of corpse, simple assault and other related offenses. He was arraigned at 12:30 a.m. Sunday in Newtown, Bucks County. He was denied bail and is currently being held in the Bucks County Correctional Facility. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on January 20.

    Before police determined she was involved in the plot to kill her adopted daughter, Packer had already been arrested and charged with child endangerment and obstruction of justice for allegedly not cooperating with the investigation. She was later released on bail. Officials say more charges against her in relation to her daughter's death are expected.

    NBC Philadelphia is reaching out to Packer and Sullivan's lawyers for comment. 



    Photo Credit: Bucks County District Attorney's Office
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    Jacob Sullivan is accused of raping, murdering and dismembering the body of 14-year-old Grace Packer.Jacob Sullivan is accused of raping, murdering and dismembering the body of 14-year-old Grace Packer.

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    Republicans watched President Obama crash against the shores of health care reform over and over again over the last seven years. Now the wheel is in GOP hands, and the politics are only more treacherous, NBC News reported.

    Republican leaders are excited at the prospect of fulfilling their longtime promise to replace the Affordable Care Act, Obama's signature legislative accomplishment, and injecting more free market principles into health care. But the path is long, complicated and carries enormous risks, potentially taking the entire insurance system with it in the process.

    The main problem is that there is no perfect replacement: Any changes they make to the system will inevitably create new winners and losers, just as Obamacare did. There is a long list of agonizing choices ahead for Republican lawmakers, many of whom are new to the nitty gritty of health care policy.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    House Speaker Paul Ryan speaks to the media on Capitol Hill, Jan. 5, 2017, in Washington, DC.House Speaker Paul Ryan speaks to the media on Capitol Hill, Jan. 5, 2017, in Washington, DC.

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    Queen Elizabeth II on Sunday made her first public appearance since catching a heavy cold before the holidays, going to church after two weeks spent recuperating at home, NBC News reported.

    The British monarch and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, both got sick days before Christmas, forcing them to delay their annual journey from London to her country estate in Sandringham, Norfolk.

    The pair arrived at St Mary Magdalene church where they were greeted by a small crowd of well-wishers.



    Photo Credit: AP

    Britain's Queen Elizabeth II in a car with Prince Philip, arrives to attend the morning church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, England, Sunday Jan. 8, 2017.Britain's Queen Elizabeth II in a car with Prince Philip, arrives to attend the morning church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, England, Sunday Jan. 8, 2017.

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    Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Sunday said the U.S. hasn't done enough to help veterans deal with post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental issues, following an airport shooting in which the attacker was a veteran that may have suffered from the illness, NBC News reported.

    "No — we keep learning more about how to deal with this kind of illness, we're gonna learn more and we have to do more absolutely," he said when asked on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday morning.

    Carter said PTSD — "the so-called invisible wounds of war — are something we do take seriously and we have to take seriously."



    Photo Credit: AP

    In this June 30, 2016, file photo, Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks during a news conference at the Pentagon. Defense and foreign ministers from more than 30 nations are gathering in Washington to plan the next steps in the fight against the Islamic State.In this June 30, 2016, file photo, Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks during a news conference at the Pentagon. Defense and foreign ministers from more than 30 nations are gathering in Washington to plan the next steps in the fight against the Islamic State.

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    One person was hospitalized after a shooting on Garner Street in Norwalk Saturday night, police said Sunday morning.

    More information was not immediately available.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Orange police have arrested a gym trainer accused of having a relationship with a minor who was a member at the gym where he worked.

    Robert Mele, 24, of East Haven, turned himself in at police headquarters on Dec. 27.

    He was charged with third-degree sexual assault, third-degree strangulation, and disorderly conduct. Police said Mele was charged after an investigation into his relationship with a minor female who was a member of the gym.

    No other details on the case was immediately available. Mele is scheduled to appear in Derby Superior Court on Jan. 11.



    Photo Credit: Orange Police Department

    Robert MeleRobert Mele

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    Bridgeport police are investigating a homicide that occurred on East Main Street Saturday.

    Police said a female victim was taken from the scene near Compare Foods Saturday evening by private vehicle. She was declared dead at the hospital, police said.

    The incident is being investigated as a homicide.

    More information was not immediately available. Check back for updates.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

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    At least two people were stabbed at the Big Y in Old Lyme Sunday afternoon, according to state police.

    Police said they were called to the store located at 90 Halls Road around 2:12 p.m. for a reported assault. At least two people were stabbed, but their conditions are unknown at this time, police said.

    State police report that LifeStar has been requested to the scene.

    According to police, the suspect was still on scene and may be injured. Police stressed that there was no immediate threat to the public.

    Troopers are currently on scene investigating.

    This is a developing story. NBC Connecticut has a crew headed to the scene and will provide updates as they come into the newsroom.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Support is pouring in for a suburban Chicago man with mental disabilities whose beating was broadcast on Facebook Live last week. 

    A GoFundMe page titled "Let's show the Chicago Victim Love" has raised more than $125,000 since Jan. 5. 

    More than 4,300 people have donated to the effort started by Razor Sheldon, of San Francisco, who said his initial goal was to raise $5,000 for the 18-year-old and his family. 

    "I never imagined we'd be where we are today," Sheldon wrote in an update on the GoFundMe page Saturday. "That's heartwarming, and reaffirms the fact there are many, many good folks out there in our local and global communities that care and want to help others."

    The page also provided an update from the teen and his family, who have requested privacy at this time, according to Sheldon. 

    The victim "is a little sore and moving slowly, but he has been more alert and has been enjoying food again, as well as playing some video games with his brothers," the page reads.

    "He has been 'amazed to see all the support and prayers he is receiving,'" the organizer added. 

    Several donors asked if they could send cards or gifts, to which the organizer said the family has established a P.O. Box. Well-wishers are asked to send cards to:

    P.O. Box 641
    Cary, Illinois 60013

    Money raised will go directly to the victim and his family, a spokesperson for GoFundMe has confirmed. The site is working with the organizer and the family on a transition plan "that ensures the intent of the fundraiser is met and the victim is the beneficiary of all of your generous and compassionate donations," the page reads.

    "Let's prove to him that there is far more good in this world than the evil he experienced," Sheldon wrote.

    The teen's brutal beating was broadcast in a video that surfaced Wednesday and has since been seen by millions of people. In the video, police say four suspects, who are black, assaulted the white Crystal Lake teen, threatening him with a knife and taunting him with profanities against white people and President-elect Donald Trump.

    Jordan Hill, 18, of Carpentersville; Tesfaye Cooper, 18, of Chicago; and sisters Brittany Covington, 18, and Tanishia Covington, 24, also of Chicago, were charged with hate crimes, kidnapping and battery Thursday after prosecutors identified them as the suspects seen torturing the victim, who suffers from schizophrenia and ADD.

    All four were held without bond, a decision that was met with cheers when it was announced at a hearing Friday by a judge who asked the accused, "Where was your sense of decency?"

    The ordeal began Dec. 31, authorities said, when the victim met Hill, his schoolmate and alleged attacker, at a McDonald's in suburban Schaumburg to begin what both the victim and his parents believed would be a sleepover

    Instead, Hill drove the victim around in a stolen van for two days before ending up at a home in the 3300 block of West Lexington in Chicago, where two of the other suspects lived, according to police.

    His parents began receiving text messages from persons claiming to be holding him captive, authorities said, and officials discovered the Facebook video while investigating the source of the messages.

    On Tuesday afternoon, officers on patrol found the victim, bloodied and disoriented, wandering in Chicago near the home where he had been held. He was taken to an area hospital where he was treated for his injuries and has since been released, his family said.


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    Awards are set to be handed out at the 74th annual Golden Globes, where speeches about Donald Trump and wins for the Los Angeles musical "La La Land" look like the night's surest things.

    Jimmy Fallon will emcee this year's show, to be broadcast live from Beverly Hills, California, by NBC at 8 p.m. EST. Fallon will start the show with a cold open of an ode to "La La Land." In a version of the film's opening number, where Angelenos stuck in a traffic jam dance on the freeway, Fallon leads a similar routine with limos and the red carpet.

    It's the first time in nearly a decade that someone other than Ricky Gervais or the duo of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler is hosting the Globes. But another transition is on the minds of many attendees.

    Though usually a boisterous, boozy affair, the coming inauguration of Donald Trump is looming over this year's Globes, which take place 12 days before the president-elect is to be sworn in. Throughout the usual self-congratulatory toasting of Hollywood's awards season, many stars and filmmakers have evoked a foreboding sense of dread over a Trump presidency. Fallon, the popular "Tonight Show" host, isn't known for his political humor, but he has promised a steady diet of Trump jokes.

    Damien Chazelle's "La La Land" comes in with a leading seven nods and a seemingly lock on the best picture award for a musical or comedy. Its stiffest Academy Awards competition, Barry Jenkins' coming-of-age tale "Moonlight" and Kenneth Lonergan's family drama "Manchester by the Sea," will square off in the Globes' dramatic categories, along with the heist thriller "Hell or High Water," the Dev Patel-led "Lion" and Mel Gibson's "Hacksaw Ridge."

    "The People v. O.J. Simpson" leads the television nominees with five nominations, including nods for stars Sarah Paulson, Courtney B. Vance, Sterling K. Brown and John Travolta. A number of recent shows are also in the mix, including "Atlanta," ''Westworld," ''The Night Of," ''This Is Us" and "Insecure."

    Last year's ceremony, hosted by Gervais, drew 18.5 million viewers, down about 4 percent from the year before. Among the presenters on tap for Sunday night's show are Leonardo DiCaprio, Emma Stone, Ben and Casey Affleck, Viola Davis, Amy Schumer, Sting and Matt Damon.

    Surely many attendees will be thinking of those absent. After a year full of notable deaths, the back-to-back passing over the holidays of Debbie Reynolds and her daughter Carrie Fisher was felt acutely in a Hollywood that revered both. Reynolds and Fisher were laid to rest Friday in Los Angeles.

    One other thing is assured: Meryl Streep will go home with an award. Though always a good bet for hardware, Streep is this year's recipient of the Cecil B. DeMille Award for career achievement. She's also nominated for her performance in "Florence Foster Jenkins," her 30th Globe nod.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Millie Bobby Brown, Gwendoline Christie and Sterling K. Brown are among the stars out tonightMillie Bobby Brown, Gwendoline Christie and Sterling K. Brown are among the stars out tonight

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    Jimmy Fallon borrowed the traffic jam song-and-dance routine from "La La Land" to kick off the Golden Globe Awards, with a song-and-dance intro featuring cameos from Globes nominees Raimi Malek and John Travolta, among others.

    The pre-recorded intro then morphed into footage of Fallon sitting at a piano serenading stars in the Beverly Hilton Hotel ballroom, including "La La Land" star Ryan Reynolds.

    It's Fallon's first year hosting the Globes and he has combined his love of music with music from one of the year's top movies. "La La Land" is vying for a win in the best film comedy or musical category.

    Perhaps the pre-recorded routine was a good call: Fallon's opening monologue was delayed when he said his teleprompter failed.

    But as the awards stared being handed out it appeared that was just the first surprise of the evening.

    Aaron Taylor-Johnson won the winner of the Golden Globe Award for best supporting actor for his role in "Nocturnal Animals."

    Billy Bob Thornton took home the globe  for best TV drama actor for his role in the Amazon series "Goliath."

    "Atlanta" won the best television comedy or musical Golden Globe Award.

    The FX show stars Donald Glover, who is also the show's creator and director.

    In his acceptance speech, Glover said he was surprised by the honor. He thanked the city of Atlanta and its residents, adding he wasn't sure the show would catch on when it first aired.

    The Globes also awarded Tracee Ellis Ross the best actress in a television comedy during Sunday's ceremony. She stars in the ABC series "Black-ish."

    It's the first time in nearly a decade that someone other than Ricky Gervais or the duo of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler is hosting the Globes. But another transition is on the minds of many attendees.

    Though usually a boisterous, boozy affair, the coming inauguration of Donald Trump is looming over this year's Globes, which take place 12 days before the president-elect is to be sworn in. Throughout the usual self-congratulatory toasting of Hollywood's awards season, many stars and filmmakers have evoked a foreboding sense of dread over a Trump presidency. Fallon, the popular "Tonight Show" host, isn't known for his political humor, but he has promised a steady diet of Trump jokes.

    Damien Chazelle's "La La Land" comes in with a leading seven nods and a seemingly lock on the best picture award for a musical or comedy. Its stiffest Academy Awards competition, Barry Jenkins' coming-of-age tale "Moonlight" and Kenneth Lonergan's family drama "Manchester by the Sea," will square off in the Globes' dramatic categories, along with the heist thriller "Hell or High Water," the Dev Patel-led "Lion" and Mel Gibson's "Hacksaw Ridge."

    "The People v. O.J. Simpson" leads the television nominees with five nominations, including nods for stars Sarah Paulson, Courtney B. Vance, Sterling K. Brown and John Travolta. A number of recent shows are also in the mix, including "Atlanta," ''Westworld," ''The Night Of," ''This Is Us" and "Insecure."

    Last year's ceremony, hosted by Gervais, drew 18.5 million viewers, down about 4 percent from the year before. Among the presenters on tap for Sunday night's show are Leonardo DiCaprio, Emma Stone, Ben and Casey Affleck, Viola Davis, Amy Schumer, Sting and Matt Damon.

    Surely many attendees will be thinking of those absent. After a year full of notable deaths, the back-to-back passing over the holidays of Debbie Reynolds and her daughter Carrie Fisher was felt acutely in a Hollywood that revered both. Reynolds and Fisher were laid to rest Friday in Los Angeles.

    One other thing is assured: Meryl Streep will go home with an award. Though always a good bet for hardware, Streep is this year's recipient of the Cecil B. DeMille Award for career achievement. She's also nominated for her performance in "Florence Foster Jenkins," her 30th Globe nod.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Sofía Vergara, Ryan Gosling and Reese Witherspoon are among the stars out tonightSofía Vergara, Ryan Gosling and Reese Witherspoon are among the stars out tonight

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    After his election, Donald Trump quickly settled a series of business disputes — but just days before his inauguration, the president-elect's company is still waging a legal battle against a Florida shop owner over an unpaid bill. 

    The matter could have been settled for what amounts to pocket change for a billionaire, NBC News reported, but the Trump Organization decided to take its chances in court. 

    Now Trump stands to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars. And if he wins, it could force a small businessman — one of hundreds who say they were stiffed by Trump over the years — possibly into bankruptcy. 

    That businessman, Juan Carlos Enriquez, owner of The Paint Spot, won the first round of the legal skirmish last summer when a judge found a lien he slapped on the Trump National Doral golf resort was valid.



    Photo Credit: Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images

    In this Dec. 17, 2016, photo, President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a thank you rally in Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama.In this Dec. 17, 2016, photo, President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a thank you rally in Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama.

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    After Meryl Streep took the stage at the Golden Globes and took square aim at Donald Trump, the president-elect had a few select words for the actress and the rest of Hollywood.

    Streep accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Award on Sunday night when she made pointed comments about Trump, including, but not limited to, his stance on political issues, such as immigration.

    "Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners, and if you kick us all out, you’ll have nothing to watch except for football and mixed martial arts, which are not arts," the nine-time Golden Globe Award winner said after naming various actors at the event and the foreign countries they are from.

    Streep then took particular exception to Trump's mocking of a disabled reporter, Serge Kovaleskiat, at a rally during the campaign season. Kovaleskiat suffers from a congenital joint condition.

    "There was nothing good about it, but it did its job," Streep said. "It kind of broke my heart when I saw it, and I still can't get it out my head because it wasn’t in a movie, it was in real life. That instinct to humiliate when it’s modeled by someone in a public platform, it filters down into everyone’s life because it gives permission for others to do the same."

    "Disrespect invites disrespect, violence incites violence," Streep added.

    Though Trump was quiet on Twitter, where he has been known for his animated live tweeting, he did speak to New York Times shortly after the awards show ended. He said he didn't catch the event on TV but did call Streep a "Hillary lover" in response to her remarks.

    Trump added that he was "not surprised" that "liberal movie people" had attacked him. He also said, once again, that he "was never mocking anyone," as Streep suggested he did.

    The incident did nothing to bring the president-elect's spirits down, even as his inauguration is a mere one week away.

    "We are going to have an unbelievable, perhaps record-setting turnout for the inauguration, and there will be plenty of movie and entertainment stars," Trump assured.



    Photo Credit: AP, Getty Images

    Donald Trump and Meryl StreepDonald Trump and Meryl Streep

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    A man is dead after being shot in the head in Hartford Sunday night.

    Police said the incident occurred at 52 Lisbon Street around 10:45 p.m. The victim was taken to Hartford Hospital in a private vehicle and was pronounced dead at the hospital.

    The case is being investigated as a homicide, police said Monday morning.

    The 35-year-old victim has yet to be identified.

    This is the second homicide in Hartford in 2017. A 28-year-old woman, Luz Rosado, was shot and killed on Park Street on New Year's Day

    The Hartford Police Major Crimes division is investigating.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    A man is in custody after he breached a checkpoint at O’Hare International Airport and tried to board a plane early Sunday, according to Chicago police. 

    Around 4:45 a.m., the 21-year-old man from suburban Joliet breached a checkpoint in Terminal 3 and unsuccessfully attempted to board an aircraft, authorities said. 

    Two CPD officers and two TSA officers prevented him from entering the gate and the man attacked the officers, striking them repeatedly, according to police.

    The offender, who was unarmed, was taken into custody and taken to Presence Resurrection Medical Center for a mental evaluation, police said. 

    A Chicago police officer suffered non-life-threatening injuries to the face and was also taken to Resurrection for treatment, authorities added. 

    Police explained that the investigation is ongoing. 

    The incident occurred as Chicago police continued to provide heightened security at both O'Hare and Midway airports after five people were killed in a shooting at Ft. Lauderdale Airport on Friday. 

    While there was no link or threat from the Ft. Lauderdale shooting to the Chicago area, according to police, CPD's increased security measures include more officers stationed throughout the terminals. 



    Photo Credit: AP

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    A three-alarm fire ripped through a Milford condominium complex Sunday evening, leaving two dogs dead and several residents displaced.

    Fire officials said they responded just before 6 p.m. to reports of a fire in a second floor unit at the complex at 267 Melba St. When firefighters arrived they found fire coming out of the rear of the second floor. The fire had extended up the side of the building into the third floor and attic.

    The human occupants of the building escaped unharmed and firefighters were able to rescue a cat. Two dogs were found dead inside one of the units during primary searches.

    Over 30 firefighters, including crews from Stratford and West Haven, assisted on scene. It took firefighters about 40 minutes to get the blaze under control.

    The Red Cross responded to assist residents with accommodations and Milford Animal Control was called in to care for the cat that was pulled from the structure.

    The Milford Fire Marshal’s division is investigating the cause of the fire.



    Photo Credit: Christopher Zak/Milford Fire Department

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    A widespread Comcast outage is affecting several customers across the state, as well as some emergency communication centers. 

    A representative from Comcast said the outage began just after 6:30 a.m., crews are working on fixing the issue and customers should begin to see service returning.

    "Early this morning, we identified an issue that affected some of our customers," Kristen Roberts, vice president of communications for Comcast, said in an emailed statement. "We have been working hard to return service as quickly as possible. We are so sorry  - we know our customers rely on our services."

    Tolland County Dispatch Tweeted that their internet connection is down, but they are running on a backup internet provider and the only things being affected are minor internal functions. 

    A Twitter account for the New Haven Fire Department Tweeted that there is a phone outage at headquarters and anyone with an emergency should call 911. 

    Viewers are reporting outages in Branford, East Haddam, East Haven, Groton, Guilford, Hamden, Madison, North Haven, Portland, Salem, Tolland and West Haven.

    Comcast is the parent company of NBC Universal and NBC Connecticut.


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    A jackknifed tractor-trailer is causing issues on Interstate 95 South in Milford. 

    The tractor-trailer jackknifed near exit 38. 

    The northbound side of the highway was closed in Milford early Monday morning after two cars and a tanker truck were involved in a crash.



    Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation

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    The manager and an employee of VIP, an adult store, in Orange were arrested when a discussion over work performance got violent and turned into a fight, according to police. 

    Officers responded to the VIP store at 170 Boston Post Road just after 5 p.m. on Dec. 28 after receiving reports of store employees being involved in a disturbance and learned that the manager of the store, 34-year-old Holly Saunders, of New Haven, had tried to counsel an employee, 26-year-old Jacqueline Ferraro, of Branford, about work performance and the two started arguing, according to police. 

    When the argument escalated into a fight, Saunders hit Ferraro in the head and other store employees intervened and separated the two, police said. 

    Ferraro was charged with second-degree breach of peace and Saunders was charged with third-degree assault and second-degree breach of peace. 

    Both were released on a promise to appear and are due in court on Jan. 11. 



    Photo Credit: Orange Police

    Holly Saunders, left, and Jacqueline Ferraro, right.Holly Saunders, left, and Jacqueline Ferraro, right.

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    A Ledyard man who is accused of trying to robbing a convenience store was shot with a stun gun after a bizarre string of events that ended with him telling police the remote control in his waistband was a gun, according to police.

    Police said they received a 911 call at 1:05 p.m. on Friday reporting an attempted robbery at the Pumpkin Hill Market at 126 Gallup Hill Road.

    They later learned through an investigation that 35-year-old, Alex Huezo, of Ledyard, demanded cash from a clerk, threw cash on the floor when the clerk refused and went home to tell his girlfriend he robbed the store and asked her to call police, police said. 

    The initial report about the attempted robbery included a report that the man was leaving the store in a light blue van.

    Around the same time, a woman at an apartment nearby called dispatchers and said her boyfriend had just come home, told her that he robbed the convenience store next door and asked her to call police, police said.

    As that information was relayed to officers, two Ledyard officers pulled into the parking lot in front of the building and Huezo immediately walked out of the building, said he had a gun and put his hands on his waistband area, according to police. 

    Police said Huezo ignored officers’ commands, so another officer shot him with a stun gun and police took him into custody, where they discovered what Huezo said was a gun was actually a black TV remote control in his waistband, according to police.

    An ambulance brought him to the hospital for medical treatment. Huezo was held on $100,000 bond and charged with third-degree robbery, possession of narcotics, fifth-degree criminal attempted larceny, breach of peace and interfering with an officer.



    Photo Credit: Ledyard Police

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