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    A military widow is heartbroken after someone stole her rental car containing items belonging to her late husband.

    Jane Horton says she has dedicated her life to serving families of fallen soldiers since her husband, Spc. Chris Horton, was killed in Afghanistan in 2011.

    “It’s consumed me," she said. "It’s become the greatest part of me to serve those that have given their lives and make sure their families are taken care of."

    This week, Horton was in Dallas to attend a military initiative at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum when her rental car was stolen from Greenville Avenue.

    “I know the people who took the car didn’t know, but it’s pretty heartbreaking," Horton said. "I’m pretty broken right now. I’m very upset."

    Horton said she’d gone to a dinner at Ozona Bar and Grille and parked her car with valet.

    A few hours into the dinner, a waitress approached her.

    “I went back and they were like, nonchalantly, 'You’re car’s been stolen.' I was like, 'What?'” Horton said.

    Horton said she hadn’t gone to the hotel yet, so inside the car were all of her belongings, including special items from the time her husband, a sniper, was at war.

    “All my luggage and belongings and some personal items I’d brought of my husband’s to possibly give to the president and some other people,” she said.

    Horton said also stolen was a very special necklace and earrings her husband had given to her around the time he proposed.

    James Monroe, the manager of the company in charge of Horton’s rental car, said he believes crooks grabbed keys and stole two cars when his Superlative Valet employees were busy. One was recovered, but Horton’s was not.

    Monroe said he’s working with police on the case and told NBC 5 he’d offer to help replace some of Horton’s items. The manager at Ozona said he is working with police to recover surveillance video of the theft.

    The restaurant and Superlative Valet are offering a $3,000 reward for the return of Horton’s items.

    Monroe added that there will no questions asked if the cherished belongings are returned to his company’s headquarters in Arlington or to Ozona Bar and Grille.

    Horton pleaded that the thieves “please give me my stuff back." 

    “It’s absolutely deplorable to take anyone’s belongings, but mine are very special to me and they mean the world to me," she said. "Nothing will ever bring back the loss of my husband, but it would be really nice to have something of the things he’d given me.”

    NBC 5's Bianca Castro contributed to this report.



    Photo Credit: NBC 5 News

    Spc. Chris Horton was killed in Afghanistan in 2011.Spc. Chris Horton was killed in Afghanistan in 2011.

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    Norwalk police have arrested three teens suspected of being involved in a bomb threat at Wolfpit Elementary School on Wednesday.

    Three 15-year-olds were arrested on Wednesday night and released to the custody of their parents, police said.

    One teen was charged with second-degree criminal trespass, third-degree criminal mischief, breach of peace and conspiracy, another was charged with second-degree criminal trespass and conspiracy and the third was charged with second-degree criminal trespass.


    Norwalk police have arrested three teens suspected of being involved in a bomb threat at Wolfpit Elementary School on Wednesday.Norwalk police have arrested three teens suspected of being involved in a bomb threat at Wolfpit Elementary School on Wednesday.

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    Jurors Thursday heard a Terrell State Hospital expert review Eddie Routh’s history of mental illness at his trial for the murders of "American Sniper" author and former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle and friend Chad Littlefield.

    Dr. Mitchell H. Dunn, a forensic psychiatrist at the state hospital, said he has been involved with criminal insanity issues for more than 20 years.

    Dunn reviewed medical records, police reports, witness interviews, videos and crime scene photos in Routh’s case.  He said he interviewed former US Marine Routh for more than six hours in April 2014 at the Erath County Jail, longer than the typical prisoner interview.

    “I knew this was kind of a big deal so I wanted to make sure I spent enough time with him,” Dunn said.

    For the jury, Dunn recapped Routh’s mental health hospital stays which began in July 2011.

    Routh was released from the Dallas Veterans Affairs hospital in January 2013, just days before the Feb. 2, 2013  murders of Kyle and Littlefield at an Erath County shooting range where they planned to help Routh with  post-traumatic stress. 

    Dunn said the VA prescribed Routh three medications in January 2013 and diagnosed him with psychotic order, mood disorder, and PTSD.

    “They believed he had psychotic symptoms and mental illness and not one that was going to go away when he was not intoxicated,” Dunn said.

    Dunn said Routh suffered delusions in the weeks before his arrest including the belief that cannibals were trying to cook and eat him at his job in a cabinet shop.

    Routh’s lawyers are trying to prove he was unable to tell right from wrong at the time on the shootings.

    Prosecutors blame drug and alcohol abuse.

    The trial is likely to continue  through next week.



    Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.

    The attorneys of Eddie Ray Routh, on trial for the killing of The attorneys of Eddie Ray Routh, on trial for the killing of "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield, are expected to call doctors to the stand Thursday to discuss Routh's mental state. (Feb. 19, 2015)

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    The combination of a snowy season and the forecast for a mix of snow and rain over the weekend has roof clearing companies busy as residents scramble to get their homes free of snow and ice.

    Ivan Vasquez, of Russo Roofing, said homeowners should get ahead of the problem now.

    "It's an accumulation of ice at the roof edge, so that causes a lot of weight and eventually it causes a collapse," Vasquez said. "We’re getting anything from three feet to six feet of snow in some areas on top of the roof, so they've gotta be cleared because it’s too much weight."

    Experts say residents should have ice dams removed so water does not leak inside.

    More winter weather awareness tips are posted on the state Department of Emergency Services & Public Protection Website.
     



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    The combination of a snowy season and the forecast for a mix of snow and rain over the weekend has roof clearing companies busy as residents scramble to get their homes free of snow and ice.The combination of a snowy season and the forecast for a mix of snow and rain over the weekend has roof clearing companies busy as residents scramble to get their homes free of snow and ice.

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    Water will be shut off for around eight hours after a water main break in Bristol.

    Officials from the Bristol Water Department said there is a water main break at Lewis Street and Burlington Ave and several streets might be affected, including Sharon, Warren, Dover and Lewis streets.

    Crews are at the site and will need to shut water off for around eight hours to make the necessary repairs. Water customers in the surrounding area may be affected.

    Once water has been restored, the water might be discolored.

    If this happens, run cold water until the discoloration clears and the water department recommends that you do not do laundry until the water is clear.


     


    Water will be shut off for around eight hours after a water main break in Bristol.Water will be shut off for around eight hours after a water main break in Bristol.

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    Police rushed to a home on Congress Avenue early Thursday morning after receiving a disturbing call from a man who said he’d shot his mother. Upon arriving at the residence, authorities soon learned that the call was a hoax.

    The call came in at 2:26 a.m. and the man said he was also bleeding, but would not provide additional information, police said.

    An ambulance responded, police surrounded the house and authorities used the patrol car’s public address system, and told those inside to come out.

    When three people who were in the home responded, they were cooperative, came outside and said they knew nothing about what had been reported, police said.

    Police also spoke with a few others inside who also claimed to know nothing of what was going on.

    Police searched apartments and found nothing.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    A woman was robbed at gunpoint while walking near the campus of Albertus Magnus College in New Haven on Wednesday night.

    Police said the woman reported that two men approached her at Huntington and Edgehill streets around 8:25 p.m. and one of them had a silver handgun.

    The men demanded she hand over her valuables, so she gave them her wallet and wasn’t harmed, police said.

    The gunman was in his 20s, had braided hair and was wearing all black clothing, including a hooded sweatshirt, police said.

    His accomplice was also in his 20s and was wearing a black and white T-shirt and a Beenie style hat. He had a stout build and a round face, police said.


    A woman was robbed at gunpoint while walking near the campus of Albertus Magnus College in New Haven on Wednesday night.A woman was robbed at gunpoint while walking near the campus of Albertus Magnus College in New Haven on Wednesday night.

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    A woman contacted police at 8 p.m. on Wednesday to report that two men robbed her at gunpoint and took her pocketbook.

    The woman said two men, including one with a silver gun, approached her in the 700 block of Orange Street at 8 p.m. and demanded her purse.

    She was not hurt and described one robber as 5-feet-8 to 6-feet tall, wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and a black hat. She couldn’t describe the other man, police said.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Police are looking for the man who stole energy drinks from Stop and Shop on Straits Turnpike in Watertown around 10 p.m. on Feb. 14.

    The shoplifter, a stocky, bearded man, stole “numerous amounts” of energy drinks, according to police. He is believed to be in his late 30s to 40s and anyone with information on him is asked to call the Watertown Police Department at 860-945-5200 or CrimeStoppers at 860-945-9940.

    Police are looking for information only and urge people not to make contact with him.



    Photo Credit: Watertown Police

    Police are looking for the person who stole energy drinks from a supermarket in Watertown.Police are looking for the person who stole energy drinks from a supermarket in Watertown.

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    Scattered snow showers moved through Connecticut this morning and an arctic cold front will come by mid-day, bringing the possibility of snow squalls, This front is also ushering in three more days of subzero temperatures.

    The cold front will bring subzero wind chills to the state this afternoon.

    Temperatures will drop into the teens today and continue falling overnight. Expect to see numbers as low as -5 degrees on the thermometer from Thursday night into Friday morning. Wind chills will be well below zero.

    The coldest air will arrive on Saturday morning, with lows between -10 and 5 degrees. Fortunately, wind chill will not be a factor Saturday.

    Saturday will become cloudy and snow will return to the state, before changing over to sleet and freezing rain on Sunday. The wind will also pick up again Sunday, resulting in a breezy and very cold start to the week.

    Send your winter weather photos to shareit@nbcconnecticut.com.


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    A 34-year-old woman fell to her death while trying to help two drivers who were involved in a crash on Interstate 91 in New Haven early Thursday morning.

    Police said Lauren Mohr had stopped just before exit 7 on 1-91 North at 12:30 a.m. to help two other people who had been involved in a crash.

    While trying to coming to their aid, she jumped to get out of the way because she thought a car was coming, fell over a concrete wall and off the bridge, landing about 40 feet below, state police said.

    John Morgan, associate vice president for public relations at Quinnipiac University, said Mohr was a temporary undergraduate admissions aid at the school.  

    Mohr was pronounced dead at Yale-New Haven Hospital. State police are investigating.

    Her Facebook page says she lived in Wallingford.
     



    Photo Credit: Facebook

    Lauren Mohr, 34, died early Thursday when she fell from a bridge off of I-91 in New Haven after she had stopped to help two motorists who had been involved in a crash, according to state police.Lauren Mohr, 34, died early Thursday when she fell from a bridge off of I-91 in New Haven after she had stopped to help two motorists who had been involved in a crash, according to state police.

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    The cold might not bother Disney's Queen Elsa, but it's wreaking enough havoc in Kentucky that a police department announced a joke warrant for the popular "Frozen" character's arrest.

    Police in the small, rural town of Harlan posted a Facebook message Wednesday about Elsa.

    They wrote: "Suspect is a blonde female last seen wearing a long blue dress and is known to burst into song 'Let it Go!' As you can see by the weather she is very dangerous."

    Police soon posted another message, telling residents that all kidding aside, they should take the weather seriously and be careful.

    A massive system dropped more than a foot of snow in parts of Kentucky. Bitterly cold temperatures moved in Wednesday night and were likely to stay for several days.



    Photo Credit: Disney

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    Investigators are working to track down the woman who convinced a teen boy from Cheshire to record himself performing a sex act while they were video chatting, then threatened to send the recording to his whole contact list unless he paid her $350, according to police.

    Det. Sgt. Tom Bobok of the Cheshire Police Department said the 15-year-old boy and his parents filed a complaint Jan. 27. The incident falls into the category of “sextortion,” when a predator entices a young person to send lewd images over social media, then uses them as leverage or blackmail.

    “He had been communicating with a woman via Skype, and she convinced him to perform a sex act while they were video chatting,” Bobok explained. “Unbeknownst to him, she recorded it and came back to him at a later point in time and said she would release it to his contacts via social media if he didn’t pay her a sum of money.”

    The teen never paid a dime, and so far, the recording has not been released. Police are trying to identify the woman behind it but said she has disappeared from the Internet and Bobok said investigators “have no reason to believe” she’s in the United States.

    “The female deleted all of her accounts, which makes it a little harder to track,” Bobok said. “It is a technologically complex investigation in order to get these social media companies to release information about where the communication originated from, but it can be done.”

    Meanwhile, Cheshire Human Services Director Michelle Piccerillo is working to prevent a similar situation from happening again.

    “Internet use is becoming a risky behavior, and I think the way we deal with risky behavior in youth is educating parents,” she said. “We educate kids to the level that we can.”

    Piccerillo suggested implementing parental controls, limiting time online, going through teens’ Internet history and gauging a child’s emotional intelligence and level of responsibility.

    “It is very easy to be tricked or connived into doing something you don’t want to do,” she said.

    Bobok said the 15-year-old boy may not be the only local victim of sextortion and urged others to come forward. He said many of these crimes go unreported because victims are embarrassed.

    “Know the police involved are going to deal with it with the utmost sensitivity and confidentiality,” he said. “The only way to prevent this from further happening to other victims is to get the story out. Let us investigate, find out who these people are and bring them to justice.”



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Firefighters were called to the intersections of Ely and Lexington avenues in Norwalk after a school bus caught fire Thursday morning, according the Norwalk Fire Department.

    Norwalk firefighters said everyone made it off the bus safely before flames engulfed the front end around 8:30 a.m. Thursday. Two companies from South Norwalk responded.

    News 12 Connecticut reports that about half a dozen children were on board when the fire broke out. No one was hurt and a van brought the students the rest of the way to school.

    It's not clear what sparked the fire.

    No additional information was immediately available.



    Photo Credit: Norwalk Fire Department

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    Some call it the deadliest road in the state, but as local leaders call for infrastructure improvements, state Department of Transportation officials say it's the drivers behind the wheel who are causing the crashes on Route 66.

    A series of accidents over the years have given a dangerous reputation to the stretch of the road from East Hampton to Portland, commonly called, "The Ledges."

    "It's not really easy to see around the turns. It's steep and it banks. It can be kind of dangerous at times," said Baret Spencer, of Haddamneck.

    East Hampton City Councilmember Phil Visintainer, a 50-year veteran of the town fire department, said improvements are long overdue.

    "Over the years, I can't tell you how many countless times we've responded to accidents of various natures, and many of them very serious," he said.

    Middletown resident Andrew Tatakis said he hasn't had too many concerns, but pointed out that "it's a curvy road, and people do kind of travel fast on this road."

    The DOT plans to install rumble bars, but department spokesman Kevin Nursick said that won't solve all the problems.

    According to Nursick, most crashes on that stretch of Route 66 are caused by speeding and drivers following too closely.

    He said it's driving habits, not infrastructure, that need to be changed.

    According to DOT statistics, 27 million cars passed through the Ledges between 2010 and 2014, with 27 accidents occurring. Two of those crashes resulted in fatalities. A third deadly crash happened in January of this year.

    Still, Visintainer said he'll continue to push for larger improvements, saying the route has been changed on either side, and now it's East Hampton and Portland's turn.

    "Route 66 has been deemed one of the most dangerous roads in East Hampton for many years," he said.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Five days after a major water main broke on the Thomaston-Waterbury town line, repairs are complete and the stretch of road has reopened, according to the Thomaston Police Department.

    Police said the break happened Saturday, Feb. 14 and crews had to order a replacement pipe from another state before they fix it.

    According to Waterbury water superintendent Chris Bogucki, customers supplied by the broken main received their water from the town service station while repairs were underway.

    The area along the town line where Waterbury Road becomes Thomaston Avenue was closed for five days while crews worked to fix the break. Drivers were detoured onto Routes 8 and 262.

    According to Thomaston police, the road had reopened by about 5:45 p.m. Thursday.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

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    A man who set himself ablaze inside a Southern California Starbucks earlier this week died in the hospital, fire officials said Thursday.

    The man, about 60 years old, lit himself on fire inside the bathroom of a Van Nuys Starbucks on Tuesday when bystanders heard "an explosive sound." He then staggered out of the bathroom and collapsed near the entrance, where Starbucks customers helped douse the flames, officials said.

    The burns covered 90 percent of the man's body, officials said.

    He died in the hospital on Wednesday, according to the LA Fire Department.

    Officials did not provide additional details about the man.



    Photo Credit: NewsChopper4

    One person was hurt with One person was hurt with "extensive burns" while at a Southern California Starbucks on Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015, officials said. He died in the hospital the following day, fire officials said Thursday.

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    An eight-month investigation into the deadly rampage in Isla Vista, California, closed on Thursday, concluding that Elliot Rodger acted alone and that better systems are needed for identifying troubled individuals who might be capable of killing others.

    The investigation also found disturbing searches in Rodger's Internet history and other online activities.

    The 64-page report (here) conducted by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office provides a detailed look at both at Rodger's "premeditated, murderous rampage" as well as an analysis of the evidence uncovered after Rodger killed himself.

    In May 2014, 22-year-old Rodger stabbed three men to death inside his apartment, then went on a shooting rampage that began at UC Santa Barbara's Alpha Phi sorority house, when he fired on students from his car. He went on to fire rounds at multiple locations in the small town, killing another student at a nearby deli and wounding others.

    He killed himself at the end of the rampage.

    One focus of the report was whether Rodger acted alone.

    "The convoluted nature of this rapidly unfolding massacre, and the nature in which it quickly ended, initially led law enforcement to believe that there were two suspects," Detective Joe Schmidt said in the report.

    But detectives found no evidence to show he was assisted in any way.

    At the time of the killings, Rodger was seeing a life coach who had become worried about his behavior. Deputies had been dispatched to his apartment for a welfare check by his mother on April 30, as she was worried about disturbing videos he had posted on YouTube.

    He had been treated for mental health issues for many years, according to the report. He had also come into contact with deputies in the months before the shooting after an altercation with his roommate and others.

    The report indicates, consistent with previous reports, that deputies did not find Rodger to be a danger to himself or others. They did not find that they had enough reason to place him on a mental health hold.

    Rodger emailed a manifesto to some family members just minutes before he went on the shooting rampage, but hours after the first three stabbings, saying he was driven to kill women because no woman had wanted to date him, saying "Women’s rejection of me is a declaration of war."

    The manifesto referenced slicing throats, bludgeoning, slashing and using his apartment as a torture chamber.

    After Rodger killed himself, detectives also found in Rodger's Internet history that he had done extensive research into Nazis in the report, including searches on his laptop including the phrase "Did Adolf Hitler have a girlfriend."

    They discovered Rodger had a strong interest in violent video games, movies and books.

    He also uploaded a disturbing video to YouTube detailing his complaints against a society he felt had rejected him.

    While the investigation concluded that numerous mental health professionals had not been able to foresee his violent crime spree, it encouraged a development of new tactics and methods of sharing information that might help prevent another person with known mental health issues from being able to carry out such a rampage again.

    "It is hoped that a thorough review of these materials by both law enforcement and mental health professionals will lead to the development of some new techniques and practices in identifying and treating such troubled persons."



    Photo Credit: Chris Carlson/AP

    Students cry during a memorial service for the victims and families of Friday's rampage at Harder Stadium on the campus of University of California, Santa Barbara on Tuesday, May 27, 2014 in the Isla Vista area near Goleta, Calif. Sheriff's officials said Elliot Rodger, 22, went on a rampage near the University of California, Santa Barbara, stabbing three people to death at his apartment before shooting and killing three more in a crime spree through a nearby neighborhood.Students cry during a memorial service for the victims and families of Friday's rampage at Harder Stadium on the campus of University of California, Santa Barbara on Tuesday, May 27, 2014 in the Isla Vista area near Goleta, Calif. Sheriff's officials said Elliot Rodger, 22, went on a rampage near the University of California, Santa Barbara, stabbing three people to death at his apartment before shooting and killing three more in a crime spree through a nearby neighborhood.

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    Four adults and four children were forced from their homes Thursday evening when fire spread through their building on Mead Street in New Haven, according to the fire department.

    Acting Deputy Fire Chief Ben Vargas said flames broke out in the kitchen of a first-floor apartment and spread to the three other units in the house. All four sustained damage and utilities have been shut off.

    The single-alarm fire was reported around 4:45 p.m. and is now under control. No one was hurt, but four adults and four children living in the building will have to find another place to sleep tonight, according to Vargas.

    Crews are investigating to determine the cause of the fire.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    The parents of the San Marcos teen girl accused of starting the wildfire that destroyed dozens of homes in San Diego County last year turned down a deal offered by prosecutors Thursday.

    The girl accused of starting the Cocos Fire, which destroyed nearly 40 homes amid a spate of wildfires in May 2014, was 13 when she was first arrested and charged.

    She faces four felony charges, including two counts of arson of an inhabited structure or property in which multiple structures were burned and two counts of arson of a structure or forest land in a reckless manner.

    She also faces a misdemeanor of unlawfully allowing a fire to escape from one’s control. 

    When she appeared in juvenile court Thursday for a pre-trial hearing, the San Diego County District Attorney's office offered her what is essentially a plea bargain.

    The teenager would admit responsibility for one count plus allegations.

    The DA's office tells NBC 7 the teenager's parents and attorney did not accept the offer. As a result, the trial will begin March 10 and will take place downtown.

    In juvenile cases, the focus is on rehabilitation over imprisonment.

    "The goal of the juvenile system is to rehabilitate," said Deputy District Attorney Shawnaysa Ochoa. "It doesn't matter when, if there's a trial or the person pleads before the trial, the goal is always the same."

    In the meantime, the teenager is undergoing counseling and living at home with her parents.

    The fire that sparked near Village Drive and Twin Oaks Road in May 2014 forced the evacuation of Cal State San Marcos and hundreds of other homes.

    The Cocos Fire scorched 1,995 acres and cost the City of San Marcos approximately $10.4 million in damage and firefighting expenses.

    Officials have set up an information line for victims, where they can call for basic info on the case and leave messages with questions. That number is 858-694-4241.


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