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Police Look for Missing South Windsor Man, 52


Police are looking for a missing 52-year-old South Windsor man and a Silver Alert has been issued.

Gregory Burnham, 52, was last seen leaving his home on foot on Friday at about 8:24 p.m. and he might require immediate medical attention, police said.

Police described Burnham as a white male who stands at 6-foot-1 and weighs 210 pounds. He has "salt and pepper" hair and was last seen in a dark T-shirt and jeans, police said.

State police are assisting South Windsor police with the search.

Police ask anyone with information on his whereabouts to contact the South Windsor Police Department at 860-644-2551.

Photo Credit: South Windsor Police Department

Firefighters Rescue 2 From Deck Fire


Middletown firefighters rescued two people inside a residential building during a structure at 6 Alsop Avenue late Friday night.

The fire happened around 11 p.m. When crews responded they discovered a fire on the deck of the two-and-a-half-story residential building that was spreading to the roof along the exterior of the structure.

Two people were still inside and firefighters helped the residents down the stairs to get out. Firefighters extinguished the blaze and cleared the scene soon after.

Westfield and South District firefighters also responded for mutual aid.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

CT Woman Is 5th Globally to Finish "Chipper" CrossFit Challenge


The CrossFit Regionals are underway as athletes from across the globe compete for the title of "Fittest on Earth" and one of the Connecticut participants is just became the fifth woman in the world to finish one of the challenges to put her on top of the female leaderboard for the regional event.

The XL Center was roaring when CrossFit Milford's Kaleena Ladeairous became the fifth woman globally to complete the third event at this weekend's competition, the "chipper." The grueling workout includes a one-mile run, followed by 50 overhead squats at 95 pounds, 100 GHD sit-ups, 150 double unders, 50 sumo deadlift high pulls at 95 pounds and 100 18-inch box jump-overs.

The workout has a time cap of 26 minutes. Most do not finish and are then scored based on how many reps they can do. Ladeairous finished in 25:32.

Danae Brown, of Melbourne, Australia holds the world record at 24:31:09, which she set in the Pacific regionals.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Silver Alert Issued for Missing Hartford Boy, 11


State police have issued a Silver Alert for an 11-year-old Hartford boy who is missing.

Albert Edole, 11,  was last seen Friday, May 22 and state police are calling him an "endangered runaway."

State police described Edole as a black male with black hair and brown eyes who is 4-foot-11 and 105 pounds. He was last seen wearing a dark blue jacket, green polo shirt, khaki pants and black, grey and red Nike hightop sneakers, state police said.

Hartford police ask anyone with information on his whereabouts to call the department at 860-757-4000.

Photo Credit: State Police

"Superman" Sends Bogus Hostage Threat to New Haven PD


"Superman" sent New Haven police a letter demanding $800,000 in ransom money, claiming he was holding all department substations and vehicles hostage, but police determined it was a bogus threat.

The letter about the hostage situation, signed "Superman 2000," had a return address  for a ministry in Meriden, but police don't think it's connected to the threat. Investigators inspected the New Haven Police Department building and all of the department's substations as a precaution and didn't find anything suspicious.

There were "bizarre drawings" and "annotations" in the letter, so police belive it was written by someone who suffers from a mental illness.

Police are holding onto the letter as evidence.

Avon PD Seek Robber in Another Armed Bank Robbery


Police are investigating the second armed bank robbery in Avon in less than a week and have released surveillance photos showing the robber.

Officers responded to Northwest Community Bank at 101 Simsbury Road (Route 10) after a man displayed a black handgun and robbed an undetermined amount of cash from the bank.

Police said he was wearing blue pants, a hooded sweatshirt with the hood over his head, a baseball hat with tan rim, a dark, puffy jacket and a dark bandana covering his face.

He left the scene in a vehicle, but no vehicle description was provided to police and it's unknown what direction he may have headed in.

Just last Sunday, a man robbed the Avon TD Bank at gunpoint on Route 44 in the plaza where Walmart and Big Y are located.

Police have not released information on whether they identified or apprehended a suspect. Investigators are looking into any possible connection between the two robberies.

Avon police ask anyone with information on the most recent robbery to contact Det. Jason Reid at 860-409-4232.

Photo Credit: Avon Police Department

New Haven Police Seek Armed Carjackers


Police are investigating an armed carjacking that happened Friday afternoon in New Haven.

The victim, Nathan Quaye, 28, of New Haven, told police two men approached him when he returned to his girlfriend's black Subaru Legacy, moments after parking it near Ferry and Peck Streets while he stopped at the corner bodega. The men asked for a ride and he agreed to take them to a stop on James Street and then Wolcott Street.

But when they got to Wolcott Street, the man riding in the front passenger seat pulled a pistol on him and ordered him to get out of the car. Once he did, the back seat passenger hopped in the driver's seat and drove off.

Detectives reviewed surveillance footage, which corroborated Quaye's story.

Police are still investigating the case and looking for the car, which bears the license plate, 311-ZEW. No description was provided of the carjackers.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Soldier Father Surprises Daughter


It was a Memorial Day weekend to remember for one local girl who received a heartwarming surprise from her father that was captured on video.

Trent Shoemaker has served in the U.S. Army for more than 20 years and has been deployed to Iraq and Bosnia. Due to his role as a Flight Operations Specialist based in Jacksonville, Florida, Shoemaker only gets to see his daughter, 9-year-old Zolei, as well as his girlfriend, Jennie Mojica, every few months. Trent made sure his latest reunion with his daughter was a special one however.

“I knew I was gonna surprise her,” Trent said. “She actually thought I was gonna be at work.”

Jennie had a camera on hand Friday as she and Trent visited Zolei at her new school, Joseph H. Brown Elementary in Philadelphia. The camera rolled as Zolei ran towards her father, cried out “Daddy,” and jumped into his arms. The father and daughter held each other close as tears of joy fell down her face.

“I was really excited because I miss him,” Zolei told NBC10. “I miss him when he’s away but I’m proud of him.”

While Jennie admits there are challenges with Trent being away so often, she is proud of all that he’s done for his family and his country.

“It’s tough because obviously we want him here physically,” Jennie said. “But we understand that what he’s doing isn’t just for us but it’s for everyone.”

It’s an understanding that is especially relevant for the family this Memorial Day Weekend. It’s also something Trent and Jennie hope other families are aware of as they partake in the normal holiday festivities.

“Keep the people who are still in harm’s way in mind,” Trent said. “There are still people out there across the world, still fighting.”

“I’ve learned a lot through him,” Jennie said. “We have to keep in mind that there are soldiers out there putting their life at risk to keep our country safe. I wish he was home more but we’re all safe because of it.”

Trent will head back to work on Monday. But for now, just like the citizens he protects, he’s enjoying Memorial Day Weekend with the people he loves the most.

Girl Scouts Replace Stolen Flags


A group of Girl Scouts may deserve a "Saving Memorial Day" badge after their quick thinking preserved a Southern California cemetery's tradition of honoring veterans.

The girls of Troop 1124 scrambled Saturday to replace hundreds of American flags apparently stolen from an Inland Empire cemetery. They quickly bought out several nearby stores of their flags, according to the Troop leader Cynthia Bertoldo, spending $450 of their own money in a gesture that a cemetery worker said saved their Memorial Day weekend.

"We used our cookie money to buy new flags so we can remember and honor our veterans," said Bertoldo's 11-year-old daughter, Emiley.

For Memorial Day each year, an Inland Empire Veterans of Foreign Wars post adorns veterans' graves at Elsinore Valley Cemetery with crosses accompanied by small American flags, cemetery administrative assistant Michael Blake said. They work with some other entities and the help of Boy and Girl Scouts.

But the roughly 650 flags were missing from a storage shed Saturday morning, and suspected stolen -- on the day when they were supposed to be laid out.

"We all kind of looked at each other like, well, what are we going to do?" Blake said.

Troop 1124 was at the cemetery at 8 a.m. to help with the project, just like they'd done for the last six years, Emiley said.

But when they were told that, unlike the prior years, they wouldn't be able to plant flags in the crosses, the girls discussed it and voted to take action.

"Tell us where to go, we'll go get the flags now. We don't want to walk away without the flags on these graves," Cynthia Bertoldo said.

They called nearby stores, including a Wal-Mart, Big Lot and Dollar Tree, and reserved all the flags they had on hand.

All told, Troop 1124 spent $450, Bertoldo said, "quite a bit" of their cookie fund, which is usually spent on things like trips. But Bertoldo said that the girls always spend at least 30 percent of the troop's cookie sales profits on the community.

The troop returned triumphant. It was a relief, Blake said, to be suddenly gifted a set of over 700 new, and matching, flags. He called the girls "saviors of the day" and added it was "really awesome of them to step up and do it for us, because that wasn't cheap."

All told, the girls were at the cemetery for about five-and-a-half hours Saturday, until 1:30 p.m., when the flags were all set up, Cynthia Bertoldo said.

"This is what I expect from the girls all the time," she said. "This is who they are. They're just excited that somebody thinks that they're special."

The Bertoldos have a personal connection to the cemetery, too: Emiley's great-grandfather's wife is buried there.

And though she never met him, Emiley thinks about her great-grandfather a lot, she said. Vito Bertoldo was honored with the Medal of Honor for guarding two U.S. command posts in France against a host of enemy soldiers, including nearby tanks, for two long days in January 1945.

"Master Sergeant Bertoldo withstood the attack of vastly superior forces for more than 48 hours without rest or relief, time after time escaping death only by the slightest margin while killing 40 hostile soldiers," his medal citation reads.

Emiley said she was amazed at "all he's done for our country." And as for the great flag rescue of Memorial Day 2015, she said "it feels super good when you're helping the community."

Photo Credit: Tony Shin

Missing Kayaker's Body May Be Found


A body discovered Saturday in the Hudson River could be the 46-year-old missing kayaker allegedly killed last month by his fiancee, according to a forensic specialist close to the case.

"We were informed that a body had been recovered from the Hudson River and that body was believed to be from Mr. Viafore," forensic scientist Michael Archer told NBC 4 New York.

Vincent Viafore has been missing since April 19, when his kayak capsized in the Hudson, about 50 miles north of New York City near Bannerman Island.

Angelika Graswald, 35, who had been his fiancee, has been indicted on a second-degree murder charge in the case. Archer works for attorneys representing Graswald.

"It is my understanding that the body located today was found in the general vicinity where Mr. Viafore went missing," Archer said, "and from various media reporting, the police have said that the clothing on the person found match what Mr. Viafore was last seen wearing."

The body was found near the Cornwall Yacht Club, about a mile south of where Viafore's kayak capsized. A medical examiner is attempting to determine the identity of the body.

Graswald, a Latvian expatriate, admitted to tampering with Viafore's kayak while the engaged couple paddled on the Hudson and later confessed "it felt good knowing he would die," a prosecutor said Wednesday.

Viafore, 46, was not wearing a life jacket.

Assistant District Attorney Julie Mohl said at a bail hearing Wednesday that Graswald felt trapped and stood to benefit by $250,000 from life insurance policies.

Mohl did not detail how Graswald tampered with her fiance's kayak but said it filled with water and capsized. Viafore held onto his boat for 5 to 10 minutes in the cold, choppy water, but Graswald called 911 some 20 minutes after his kayak capsized. Witnesses say she intentionally capsized her own kayak, Mohl said.

Graswald was rescued by another boater and treated for hypothermia.

She later told investigators that she felt relief and "it felt good knowing he would die," Mohl said.

The judge set bail at $3 million cash.

After the hearing, defense attorney Richard Portale noted the language barrier between Graswald and investigators. He said he would look into whether her statements were voluntary.

"I'm skeptical of the statements," he said. 

Youth Soccer Coach Threatens Parent


A Long Island, New York, youth soccer coach was arrested after sending a profanity-laced email to a parent who was concerned about his 6-year-old son's playing time, police said.

Robert Ricciuti, 45, of Glen Head, was arraigned Saturday on a charge of second-degree aggravated harassment for allegedly sending the email, which invited the boy's father to meet with him and his baseball bat.

"However, don't be surprised when I bounce your head off the floor with a Louisville Slugger," the email reads, according to a police citation. "And by the way, I am not simply spitting words out. I would actually prefer to settle this in person. You're a pathetic excuse for a man."

The citation states that Ricciuti admitted to investigators that he sent the emails.

"I lost my head," he told a detective. "I overreacted. I totally went overboard with my emails."

Ricciuti is also a principal at a school in Yonkers.

It was unclear whether Ricciuti had retained an attorney who could comment on the charge.

Photo Credit: NCPD

Hiker Injured After Fall While Taking Photos at Meriden Park


A 42-year-old male hiker was injured when he slipped and fell 10 feet while taking photographs off a trail at Hubbard Park in Meriden Saturday afternoon.

He complained of knee and back injuries and firefighters rescued him and tended to him until EMS personnel arrived to take over. A call reporting the incident came in around 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

The man was transported to Midstate Medical Center with non-life-threatening, minor injuries.

The scene is clear and no one else was injured.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Five Arrested After Gas Station Shooting, Brawl


Five people are under arrest after a large fight and shooting broke out in a gas station parking lot early Saturday morning, sending a man to the hospital with serious injuries from multiple gunshot wounds in his torso.

Police arrested Sterling Cole, 25, Jeremy Cole, 24, and Alisha Holmes, 22, all of 16 Evergreen Avenue in Hartford, as well as Androl Warsop, 26, of 31 Evergreen Avenue in Hartford, and Kiara Rosario, 22, of 655 Broad Street in Hartford in connection to the shooting brawl. Sterling Cole is the only one facing weapons and assault charges.

Police responded to the Mobil Mart in the 500 block of Farmington Avenue near Evergreen Avenue around 3 a.m. Saturday to investigate a report of shots fired. They discovered a male victim suffering from multiple gun shot wounds to the torso after a shooting in the parking lot.

Surveillance video showed a large fight that broke out between a group of women, the man shot, his friend and the suspect(s), police said. The suspect(s) ran into a nearby building and returned with a .22 caliber automatic firearm, shooting the victim multiple times, police said they saw on surveillance video. At least two suspects took turns firing the same gun at him, police said.

The attendant inside the gas station convenience store watched the fight play out on the security monitor.

"I saw seven or eight people. First there was fighting, then one guy came with a gun and he just opened the shooting and one guy was shot seven or eight times," said the clerk at the Mobil Mart, who did not wish to give his name.

The clerk immediately called 911 after hearing the gunfire and said that police arrived less than a minute later.

When asked if he was scared, the gas station attendant said no.

“That happening is like every other day around here, you know? So this is like kind of normal," he said.

Some neighbors said the west end of Hartford near the shooting site is normally safe. Dominique Dupui, of Hartford, said that "this is the west end" and that "nothing like that ever happens here." Hartford resident Jacqueline Starks said, "I think this area is very safe" and that "people walk their dogs all the time."

"Everyone seems to get along," Starks said.

However, others say it's no suprise.

“I’ve been here 15-20 years and you hear a lot of incidents around this area, mostly drug related," Raymond McFarland, of Hartford, said.

The victim was transported to St. Francis Hospital's emergency room and is listed in serious but stable condition. His name has not been released at this time.

Police reviewed the surveillance video of the fight as evidence in their investigation, which is ongoing.

As of 8:07 a.m., the police tape cordoning off the area had been taken down and one police cruiser remained on scene.

Sterling Cole was charged with first-degree assault, criminal possession o fa firearm and unlawful discharge of a firearm and Warsop, Rosario, Jeremy Cole and Alisha Holmes were charged with second-degree breach of peace. Holmes also faces an interfering with police charge.

Car Crashes on Route 9 North in Berlin


A one-car crash on Route 9 north in Berlin shut down the highway overnight.

The accident happened near exit 21 and the highway reopened early Sunday morning.

No further information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Connecticut Beaches Expected to Be Packed Memorial Day Weekend


It's expected to be a busy day at Connecticut's beaches as temperatures are on the climb Memorial Day weekend and the state's campgrounds are full too.

Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison was calm and quiet in the morning, with waters  cool at 51 degrees. But, with the campground full, the park is expected to be packed.

If you are planning to head there for the day, remember to plan for the holiday and weekend parking fees that start this weekend.

There is some construction going on, including new bathrooms and a 4,000-square-foot nature center, but park officials said it shouldn't impact your plans.

If you want to check out the activities going on at the different state parks or reserve a campsite for later this summer, you can download the state's official pocket ranger app and you'll have everything you need to know before you pitch your tent.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

I-95 Reopens in East Lyme


Interstate 95 north has reopened in East Lyme after closing early Sunday morning.

All lanes were blocked as a tow truck was called to remove a 28-foot boat that was overturned on the highway. By 7 a.m., the highway reopened.

There is no word on how the boat got there.

No further information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

New Haven's Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge Closer to Completion


The Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge in New Haven is a step closer to carrying traffic.

The southbound portion of the span is now solid from end to end after crews poured concrete on the last unfinished section of the deck.

Matt Briggs, project director for the state Department of Transportation, told the New Haven Register that it was a good feeling to have the engineering plan for the bridge go as expected.

It will be several more months before traffic flows on the bridge, as roads still have to be connected.

The massive project includes the bridge construction and rebuilding of the interchange of Interstates 95 and 91 and Route 34 near New Haven Harbor. The total price tag is estimated at more than $1 billion.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Firefighters Rescue Puppy Trapped in Culvert


New Haven firefighters rescued a puppy who was trapped in a culvert late Saturday night.

A firefighter climbed down a ladder into the culvert with lights shining a spotlight in the area to locate the pup.

Once retrieved, he carried the puppy up the ladder to safety.

No further information was immediately available. It's unknown how the puppy got there or how long it was there.

Photo Credit: New Haven Fire Twitter

Car Fire in Avon


Avon police and volunteer firefighters responded to a car fire Sunday afternoon.

The car fire happened in the area of 16 Daventry Hill Road in Avon at 2:29 p.m.

It's unknown whether there were any injuries.

The scene has been cleared and the fire is out.

Conn. Residents Arrested for Trafficking Heroin in Vt.


Two Hartford, Connecticut, residents were arrested on drug charges in Vermont Saturday night.

Around 8:55 p.m., Vermont State Police stopped a vehicle for speeding in the town of Rockingham. The motorist and passenger consented to a search of the vehicle.

Troopers initially located a bag containing PCP. Further search of the vehicle yielded 980 bags of heroin and ten grams of raw, unpackaged heroin.

Darnell Baxter, 35, and Maria Garcia, 35, were arrested and transported to the Rockingham State Police barracks. Baxter was held on $50,000 bail and issued a citation for trafficking heroin, trafficking heroin into the state of Vermont, and possession of a stimulant, narcotic, or depressant. Garcia was also charged with trafficking heroin and trafficking heroin into the state of Vermont. She was held on $40,000 bail.

The suspects are set to appear in court on May 26. 

Photo Credit: Vermont State Police
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