True Crime News Roundup: Florida Toddler Shoots Mom Dead, Dad Arrested For Manslaughter

Plus: Gabby Petito’s autopsy results are revealed; the search for a missing woman turns up human remains in the California desert; the rapper Tyga is accused of felony domestic violence in L.A.; and an Indiana cop allegedly kicks a handcuffed man in the head.

October 15, 2021
Shamaya Lynn takes a selfie wearing a pink headband and a white t shirt standing in front of a white wall

21-year-old Shamaya Lynn

Photo by: GoFundMe

GoFundMe

21-year-old Shamaya Lynn

By: Aaron Rasmussen

A Florida father is arrested after his toddler finds a loaded gun in a Paw Patrol backpack.

A mother in Florida was fatally shot last summer while on Zoom after her 2-year-old child found a loaded gun — and the toddler’s father is now accused of manslaughter, officials said. On August 11, a colleague of Shamaya Lynn, 21, phoned 911. “The person stated that during the work-related call, they saw a toddler in the background and heard a noise just before Ms. Lynn fell backward and never returned to the call,” the Altamonte Springs Police Department said in a statement. Responding officers found Lynn with a fatal gunshot wound to the head. The Seminole County State’s Attorney’s Office said an investigation allegedly showed the child had discovered the loaded and unsecured handgun in a Paw Patrol backpack in the parents’ bedroom. The toddler’s father, Veondre Avery, 22, was arrested on October 12 in connection to the shooting, and he now faces negligent manslaughter and unsafe storage of a firearm charges.

A Wyoming coroner reveals the cause of Gabby Petito’s homicide.

Teton County Coroner Brent Blue announced Gabby Petito’s autopsy results three weeks after the 22-year-old New York native’s body was found in the Wyoming wilderness and nearly a month and a half after her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, 23, returned home to Florida alone from their cross-country trip. According to Blue, Petito died by manual strangulation. In an October 12 statement, Laundrie family lawyer Steven Bertolino called Petito’s death “at such a young age” a “tragedy.” In response, Petito’s mother, Nicole Schmidt, sent a text message to Tampa news station WFLA-TV: “His words are garbage. Keep talking,” she wrote. Laundrie, who vanished on September 13, is the only person of interest in Petito’s death. He is currently wanted on a federal warrant for the unauthorized use of his fiancée’s debit card after she went missing.

For more updates on this tragic murder, stream Gabby Petito: ID Special Report now on discovery+. A panel of true crime experts examines the case from every angle, including the global dragnet, social media's role, updates on other missing persons, and more.

The search for a woman who vanished in California months ago turns up human remains.

Searchers scouring the California desert for a New Jersey woman who went missing last summer discovered human remains in a rugged area of the Yucca Valley on Oct. 9. “The remains were transported to the San Bernardino County Coroner's Division where staff will work to identify the remains and determine a cause of death,” the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department said in an Oct. 10 statement, noting, “The identification process could take several weeks.” Lauren Cho, 30, was last seen alive early in the evening on June 28 walking away from a Yucca Valley home where she was staying with friends and an ex-boyfriend, CNN reported. According to the news network, Cho’s ex-boyfriend reported her missing several hours later and, investigators said, he “indicated she was suffering from mental distress.” Family explained in September that while Cho’s missing person’s case may share similarities with that of Gabby Petito, “these two cases are NOT the same and the differences run deeper than what meets the public eye.”

The rapper Tyga turns himself over to police following allegations of domestic violence.

On October 12, the Los Angeles Police Department booked rapper Tyga for felony domestic violence in connection to an alleged incident that occurred in Hollywood. The prior day, Tyga’s ex-girlfriend, Camaryn Swanson, posted photos on Instagram showing herself with what appeared to be a swollen and bruised eye. “I've been emotionally, mentally and physically abused and I'm not hiding it anymore,” she wrote, alleging Tyga “physically assaulted and refused to let me leave for hours.” She added: “I'm so embarrassed and ashamed it had to get to this but I have to stand up for myself.” Tyga, whose real name is Michael Stevenson, was released on $50,000 bond and is due in court on February 8. Tyga’s rep denied the allegations against the musician, People reported.

An Indianapolis police sergeant is accused of kicking a handcuffed man in the head.

On September 24, Sgt. Eric Huxley, a 14-year veteran of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, was assisting an officer who was arresting Jermaine Vaughn. The officer’s body cam footage shows that while Vaughn was handcuffed and lying on the ground, Huxley kicked him in the face, WTHR reported. On video from the body cam of a second officer on the scene, the sergeant claims he meant to put his foot on Vaughn’s shoulder but instead accidentally kicked him in the mouth, court records state. Police officials said Sgt. Huxley, who was suspended without pay, faces felony charges of official misconduct of a public servant, and battery resulting in moderate bodily injury. The two other officers involved in the incident are on leave pending an internal investigation but are not expected to face criminal charges. “Accountability and transparency will continue to be a top priority for the department,” Chief Randal Taylor said. “My hope is that my actions today will show that we will hold people responsible for their actions, and that goes for my officers as well.”

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