True Crime News Roundup: Beauty Pageant Hopeful Vanishes After Flying To Las Vegas
Plus: Young boy’s body found in Nevada freezer; man accused of murdering, and Florida serial killer convicted of three murders.
A beauty pageant contestant goes missing after she flies to Las Vegas for a competition.
A North Carolina beauty pageant hopeful who went missing for almost two weeks after she said she was traveling to Las Vegas to compete was found safe, family has confirmed.
Farrow then seemed to vanish, and loved ones grew more and more concerned as time ticked by with no word from her.
“Like every day was like…maybe the next day we’ll hear from her, maybe the next day, okay, definitely by the morning of the 18th she should be home at the latest…and still nothing,” Farrow’s brother, Randy, told the station on Feb. 22.
He added: “In my head, you try to think positive, but you can’t help but think of all the scenarios where she could be a worst-case scenario.”
On Feb. 24, the missing woman’s mother, Olivia, told WFMY-TV, “[LeJourney] was found. She was stuck in Vegas and her phone was broken.”
WGHP reported that pageant officials in Vegas said Farrow was not on their competition’s roster of contestants.
Authorities have not released further details about the case.
Las Vegas police find a boy’s body in a freezer after his sister gives her teacher a secret note.
A Las Vegas man is accused of killing his girlfriend of 11 months' 4-year-old son and storing the boy’s body in a garage freezer.
On Feb. 22, the victim’s 7-year-old sister delivered a note from her mother to a teacher at the girl’s elementary school. According to police, the mother wrote she was being held against her will and she feared her son was dead.
After the teacher contacted authorities, officers surveilled the home of 35-year-old Brandon Toseland and detained him when he and the mother left the residence together in a Nissan sedan around 10 a.m.
According to an arrest report obtained by the Reno Gazette Journal, police noted there was a handcuff secured to the vehicle’s front passenger seat.
Officers later located the victim, Mason Dominguez, “hidden under a false cardboard bottom and under multiple items of food” in the freezer.
According to the woman, her son became ill in December and Toseland locked the child in the couple’s master bedroom. After Toseland allegedly later admitted the boy was dead, the arrest report states, he took the woman’s phone and would tie her up as well as handcuff her as a way of “preventing her freedom of movement.”
Police said the woman is not considered a suspect in Dominguez’s death.
Toseland was being held without bail on charges of kidnapping and murder, according to the Gazette Journal.
A man accused of murdering and dismembering teenager’s body claims he acted in self-defense, his attorney says.
A suspect in Texas was arrested and charged with murder after he allegedly confessed to strangling and dismembering a teenage girl, police said.
Sara Goodwin, 18, disappeared on Feb. 6 in Houston and friends reported her missing.
Court filings state that on Feb. 19, Henry David Cossette, 27, tried to kill himself by setting his apartment on fire.
According to a criminal complaint obtained by People, police located the murder victim after Cossette allegedly admitted he killed the teenager and dumped her remains along a road 15 minutes from his home.
Cossette was being held on $1.2 million bond and faces charges of murder, evidence tampering, and arson, according to People.
At a Feb. 24 court hearing, Cossette’s attorney, Kevin Howard said the suspect “had indicated that this was a self-defense situation.”
“I haven't had an opportunity to do my own investigation to see the facts, but this is America and everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law,” Howard noted.
A mother praises a quick-thinking Starbucks employee for watching out for her daughter.
A mother credited a Starbucks barista for making sure her high school-age daughter was safe during a recent incident in Corpus Christie, Texas.
“She was sitting at her table alone studying and this man came by and noticed what she was studying and wanted to talk to her about it,” Brandy Roberson said in an interview with WKYC. “He, I think, just kind of became really loud and animated about it.”
Observing the situation unfold, the barista took action and brought the girl “an extra hot chocolate someone forgot to pick up,” Roberson said, explaining the employee had penned a note on the cup that read: “Are you okay? Do you want us to intervene? If you do, take the lid off the cup.”
While the girl reportedly felt comfortable enough to not remove the lid, her mother is still thankful for how the barista handled a possible threat.
“How grateful I am for people who look out for other people!” Roberson wrote on Facebook following the incident.
A Florida jury finds accused serial killer Robert Hayes guilty of three women’s murders over 15 years ago.
On Feb. 22, serial killer Robert Hayes was found guilty in Volusia County, Florida, of the first-degree premeditated murders of three women between 2005 and 2006, prosecutors said.
At the time of the slayings, Hayes, 39, was studying criminal justice at Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Hayes used a .40 caliber handgun to fatally shoot his victims, Laquetta Gunther, 45, Julie Green, 35, and Iwana Patton, also 35.
According to the Daytona Beach News-Journal, Hayes also faces a separate trial in Palm Beach County, where he is accused of strangling to death Rachel Bey in 2016.
The outlet reported the three Volusia County cold case murders were reopened after DNA from a male recovered from Bey’s body in Palm Beach County matched forensic evidence found on Gunther and Patton. Green was then linked to Patton through ballistic evidence, prosecutors said.
Jurors must now decide if they will recommend Hayes be sentenced to death in connection to the three Volusia County killings.