Investigators say D-N-A proves a rape suspect who committed suicide in Florida earlier this summer killed three Virginia girls nearly seven years ago.
Yesterday afternoon-- authorities talked about the evidence that helped solve the cases.
Teresa Hamilton has more.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=At an afternoon]
[SUPER=03-Spotsylvania Co.; :00 ]
[SUPER=01-Dr. Dwight Adams/FBI; :28]
[SUPER=01-Ron Knight/Spotsylvania Co. Sheriff; :57]
[SUPER=01-Ron Lisk/Father; 1:14]
[SUPER=01-Phylis Silva/Mother; 1:33]
[OUT Q=Hamilton, NEWS 7.]
(( At an afternoon news conference-- authorities confirmed what they already suspected.... that Richard Evontiz was responsible for the deaths of Sofia Silva and sisters Kristin and Kati Lisk.
Spotsylvania county investigators say D-N-A helped prove their suspicions...
Police say one of Evonitz's hairs was found inside Kati's sock-- while two of Kristen's fingerprints were found inside the trunk of his 1992 Ford Taurus.
[IN Q= It was a miracle]
((IT WAS A MIRACLE THOSE FINGERPRINTS WERE THERE BECAUSE TYPICALLY AFTER THAT LENGTHY OF TIME YOU MIGHT NOT EXPECT THOSE FINGERPRINTS TO BE THERE. ))
[OUT Q= be there.]
Investigators zeroed in on Evonitz after he allegedly abducted and raped a South Carolina teenager in June.
The girl escaped, and Evonitz killed himself three days later.
Authorities say these padded handcuffs the 15- year old girl was still wearing when she escaped from Evonitz's apartment also bolstered their case.
((THE FIBER EVIDENCE IS ESPECIALLY OVERWHELMING OF THE GREAT NUMBER OF FIBERS FOUND ON ALL THREE VICTIMS AND DETERMINED TO HAVE COME FROM VARIOUS CARPETS AND OTHER MATERIALS FOUND IN EVONITZ'S RESIDENCE ))
[out q= evonitz residence.]
For the parents of the girls-- it's been a long seven years.
(( ron lisk/father: ))
((phylis silva/Mother; ))
[out q= ]
The murder of another Virginia woman remains unsolved...
Investigators say none of the evidence links Evonitz to the murder of Alicia Showalter Reynolds.
Teresa Hamilton, NEWS 7.))
In California, a four- year- old girl is back home after being missing since Sunday.
[SUPER=03-Los Angeles, CA;]
Yesterday, there was cheering in one Los Angeles neighborhood as word spread that Jessica Cortez was alive and safe.
Polie say a staff member at a children's clinic recognized the little girl and called authorities.
The woman that brought her in has been taken into custody.
Meanwhile, the investigation is still under way.
It's Giles County residents' turn to shut off the hose....
The region is being asked to conserve water now that its main water well has fallen from 80 feet ... to 30 feet.
The regional water system provides to about four-thousand connections in the county and six towns.
Officials say conservation and significant rainfall are needed.
The plant has been online since 19-99.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=we're asking ]
((DON CUMBEE/GILES CO. PUBLIC SERVICE AUTHORITY; WE'RE ASKING FOR COOPERATION WE'VE NEVER HAD TO DO THIS BEFORE SO WE'RE HOPING THAT THEY WILL CONSERVE WATER WHICH WILL ALLOW US TO YOU KNOW RECHARGE OUR SYSTEM.))
[SUPER=01-Don Cumbee/Giles Co. Public Service Authority;]
[OUT Q=OUR SYSTEM.]
Mandatory restrictions could be required in the future, but for now, Cumbee says they're using reservoirs with adequate water supply.
Cumbee says flooding last month in Giles is not to blame for the current water woes.
He says the only small effect it may have had was that water usage was up during clean- up efforts.
Three months after Memorial Hospital was acquired by another company, the new owner of the Martinsville medical facility is cutting jobs.
Yesterday, Province Healthcare announced a reorganization that will eliminate 96 full-time positions.
The company had agreed to keep all employees for at least a year, but officials say it became apparent that changes were needed.
Province WILL pay severance through the anniversary of the acquisition, May 15th, 2003.
The changes will not affect plans for hospital improvements, including the renovation of the top three floors and the addition of a permanent M-R-I unit.
In a news release, officials said they had to make adjustments that would allow the hospital to operate more efficiently, but they say the changes will not affect patient care.
Thousands of Virginia students did better on the S-O-L's this past spring than they thought.
More than 56-hundred students who originally failed an English writing test now have a passing score.
The department of education's testing contractor re-calculated the scores after local school systems questioned their accuracy.
In business news, U-S Airways will soon cut flights and announce layoffs as it re- organizes under Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
That was the word yesterday from the airline's President and C-E-O.
But he says that NONE of the 200 U-S Airways destinations will see service ENTIRELY eliminated.
No word yet on exactly how many flights will be cut, or the number of layoffs.
Meanwhile, American Airlines announces thousands of layoffs.
Alexis Christoforous has that story and more in this morning's Marketwatch.
[SUPER=01-Alexis Christoforous/Reporting; :00]
[OUT Q=your local stocks]
((HUNDREDS OF CEOs WILL SIGN ON THE DOTTED LINE.. THAT'S BECAUSE TODAY IS THE
DEADLINE FOR CEOs AT ABOUT A THOUSAND LARGE COMPANIES TO SIGN OFF ON THE
TRUTHFULNESS OF THEIR FINANCIAL STATEMENTS. IT'S AN EFFORT BY THE SECURITIES
AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION TO RESTORE INVESTOR CONFIDENCE IN THE WAKE OF
CORPORATE SCANDALS SUCH AS ENRON AND WORLDCOM... AND TO HOLD TOP BRASS
ACCOUNTABLE FOR ANY CORPORATE MISCONDUCT.
APPLIED MATERIALS IS A STOCK TO WATCH.. THE CHIP EQUIPMENT MAKER POSTED 3RD
QTR PROFITS AND SALES THAT TOPPED WALL STREET ESTIMATES.
STOCKS LOST GROUND AFTER THE FED LEFT INTEREST RATES AT 40 YEAR LOWS... SOME
ANALYSTS SAY THE FED'S DECISION WAS THE WORST POSSIBLE SCENARIO.. NO RATE
CUT AND CONFIRMATION FROM THE FED THAT THE ECONOMIC RECOVERY IS LOSING
THE DOW SANK 206 POINTS LED LOWER BY BOEING AND UNITED TECHNOLOGIES
THE NASDAQ GAVE UP 37 POINTS.
SOME ANALYSTS SAID Lower interest rates aren't necessarily going to help
more because rates are already low, but a cut may have helped from a
SHARES OF THE PARENT COMPANY OF AMERICAN AIRLINES TOOK FLIGHT AFTER THE
CARRIER ANNOUNCED A MAJOR COST CUTTING STRATEGY INCLUDING LAYING OFF
7-THOUSAND WORKRES AND GROUNDING 74 PLANES.
AND IT WAS A SCARY RIDE FOR AMUSEMENT PARK OPERATOR SIX FLAGS.. (PKS) THE
STOCK WAS IN FREEFALL AFTER THE COMPANY ANNOUNCED A SHARP FALL OFF IN
ATTENDANCE AT ITS THEME PARKS IN JULY.
TRACK ALL THE PRE-MARKET ACTION AT CBS.MW.COM ... AT THE NASDAQ
I'M AC IN NY.))
(tape tosses to stocks)
More evacuations across Europe today, as floodwaters continue to rise.
[SUPER=03-Prague, Czech Republic;]
Tens of thousands of people in the city of Prague have already been forced to leave their homes.
It's being called the worst natural disaster to hit Europe in a century.
In neighboring Austria, the best way to get around now is by boat.
The flooding has killed nearly 90 people in several countries.
It's expected to cost billions of dollars to clean up.
A mailbox in New Jersey may provide a lead in the investigation of last fall's anthrax attacks.
Last week, a mailbox in Princeton tested positive for anthrax.
Federal agents are showing merchants in the area a sketch of a man, and asking if they saw him last September or October.
The anthrax attacks killed five people, and made 13 other people ill.
So far, there have been no arrests.
F-B-I statistics show 94 percent of mid- to large-sized cities have a problem with gangs.. you can now count Lynchburg among their ranks.
Police there say they're going to need some help getting a handle on the problem before it escalates out of control.
Steve Smallshaw reports.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Lynchburg police say]
[SUPER=01-Todd Swisher/Lynchburg Police Department; :30]
[SUPER=01-Wayne Duff/Lynchburg Police Department; :44]
[SUPER=01-Bill Petty/Commonwealth's Attorney; 1:03]
[OUT Q=News7, Lynchburg.]
(( Lynchburg police say roughly a half-dozen gangs are operating in the Hill City.. their members are more heavily armed than ever and the crimes they're committing are getting more violent.
((YOU'RE GOING TO SEE A MAN RIGHT HERE WALK AROUND, AND HE WILL ACTUALLY START FIRING A WEAPON, YOU'RE GOING TO SEE FOUR MUZZLE FLASHES COMING FROM HIS HANDGUN, AS HE'S RUNNING TOWARDS THAT WHITE JEEP.))
This shootout at a local pizza place was just one of several recent gang-related shootings, that have left one teenager dead and several other people wounded.
((TODD SWISHER/LYNCHBURG POLICE: ALL THESE AFOREMENTIONED GANGS ARE ESTABLISHED, FAIRLY WELL-ORGANIZED AND EXTREMELY TERRITORIAL (11) WHICH IS CERTAINLY NOT SURPRISING CONSIDERING THEY CONTROL THE STREET-LEVEL DRUG SALES IN THE CITY OF LYNCHBURG.))
[OUT Q=city of Lynchburg.]
((WAYNE DUFF/LYNCHBURG POLICE: THEY ARE PROTECTING A BELIEF OF THEIRS AS WELL AS A TERRITORY, AND WHEN THESE TERRITORIES GET CROSSED, THAT'S WHEN WE START HAVING THESE VIOLENT CONFRONTATIONS.))
[OUT Q=violent confrontations.]
It's just a matter of time, authorities say, before innocent people are caught in the crossfire.
Prosecutor Bill Petty told city council today the time to act is now.
((BILL PETTY/COMMONWEALTH'S ATTORNEY: WE HAVE A BRIEF MOMENT OF OPPORTUNITY TO GET AHEAD OF THIS PROBLEM. ONCE IT BECOMES INGRATIATED IN LYNCHBURG, I FEAR QUITE FRANKLY THAT IT'S GOING TO BE THE SAME AS WE SEE IN NEW YORK AND LOS ANGELES AND CHICAGO AND SOME OF THESE BIGGER CITIES.))
[OUT Q=these bigger cities.]
City leaders say they may form a task force to start studying the problem and look for some solutions.
Steve Smallshaw, News7, Lynchburg.))
(Kimberly tosses to bump)
[TAPE#=net edit of 02-27 TC31:20]
It's the death penalty again for convicted killer (Akeel-ia) Aquilia Barnette.
That was the sentence from a federal jury in Charlotte late yesterday.
[SUPER=03-Charlotte, NC/File Tape]
Barnette was sentenced to die for a crime spree in which he killed a carjacking victim in Charlotte and his former girlfriend Robin Williams in Roanoke.
Barnette had been sentenced to death after a 1998 trial, but that sentence was overturned by a federal appeals court.
Barnette would have spent the rest of his life in prison even if he escaped a death sentence this time.
A food distributor in Salem is expanding its facilities and its workforce there, thanks to the City and the Governor.
US Foodservice is building three new buildings at its Hammit Road location.
Salem will pitch in by building an access road.
City Council voted to buy the necessary land for 5-hundred thousand dollars but will have assistance to the tune of 3-hundred thousand dollars from the Governor's Opportunity Fund.
(///// SOT at :18 /////)
[IN Q=That's 600-thousand between our money and state money...]
((JOE YATES/SALEM PLANNING DIRECTOR: THAT'S 600-THOUSAND BETWEEN OUR MONEY AND STATE MONEY AND APPROXIMATELY 100-THOUSAND FOR A ROAD AND 1-HUNDRED THOUSAND FOR A TRAFFIC LIGHT AT THE INTERSECTION OF FORT LEWIS BLVD. AND WEST MAIN STREET.))
[SUPER=01-Joe Yates/Salem Planning Director;]
[OUT Q=of Fort Lewis Bldv. and West Main Street.]
US Foodservice will pick up the extra one hundred thousand dollar tab.
Yates says he hopes to see construction on the access road completed in about six months.
US Foodservice chose to stay in Salem rather than move to possible sites in North Carolina, Tennessee and Maryland, where the company's headquartered.
The expansion includes the addition of 200-new jobs.
Blacksburg Town Council has given its approval to a controversial development plan.
Plans calls for the Kent Square project to be built here in downtown Blacksburg.
It includes a parking garage and retail space.
Last night, town officials voted to invest two million dollars in the project and will now enter into an agreement with private developers.
Meetings will be held later to arrange the bond issue needed to raise the money.
[GRAPHIC=West Nile Virus]
The Roanoke Health Department says it will continue to test dead birds for West Nile, after finding yet another one with the virus.
Officials say a dead crow found last Thursday along the railroad tracks near 19th Street and Salem Avenue tested positive.
Those results came back from the state lab in Richmond on Monday.
This bird is the third found in the Roanoke Valley to have the virus.... another was found in Patrick County.
Officials say they will continue to test dead bluejays, crows and raptors for the virus until ten positive cases are discovered.
Two men from Pennsylvania led police on a high speed chase through the New River Valley.
State police say the chase started on Interstate 81 yesterday afternoon near the Pulaski-Wythe County line when a stolen car ran through radar at 77 miles an hour and a trooper pursued.
The chase continued onto Route 100 and ended in the town of Pulaski when the suspect's vehicle hit a utility pole and the occupants fled.
The passenger was arrested almost immediately... the driver was caught a few hours later.
The two Pennsylvania men are charged with a number of crimes.
It's the biggest pot bust in Carroll County history.
Yesterday-- authorities seized more than 12- hundred marijuana plants they say are worth more than a million dollars.
[TAKE MAP FULL]
The plants-- which ranged from one to 12- feet tall, were found inside two greenhouses in the Wards Gap section of the county.
Authorities later charged 47- year old Jerry Wayne Chappell of Cana with manufacturing marijuana.