BREAKING: Nearly three months after Akia Eggleston vanished, Baltimore Police now suspect foul play in her disappearance. The 22-year-old was 35 weeks into a high-risk pregnancy when she went missing in late April or early May.
At first, investigators believed that Akia left on her own. However, given the amount of time that has passed, they now say that it's likely something may have happened to Akia and her child. Below is what the Baltimore Police spokesperson told local media:
“At this state, I think we’re prepared to pivot, that foul play is something that we’re absolutely exploring,” Baltimore Police spokesman T.J. Smith says. “We’re obviously beyond the point where she could have given birth.”
If you know where Akia Eggleston is, call the Baltimore Police Missing Persons Division at: 443-984-7385.
Video Source: Baltimore PD Periscope
Imagine the pain the families of four young men shot dead, burned and buried on a property in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, are going through right now.
Nothing can prepare a family for the moment when police officers knock on the door to confirm a loved one's death. If you've never had to experience that door knock, consider yourself blessed. I can tell you from personal experience, it haunts you for life.
The victims are identified as: Dean Finocchario, 19; Thomas Meo, 21; Mark Sturgis, 22; and Jimi Patrick, 19. Their families reported them missing the week of July 6 and from there the investigation took off. This case is a perfect example of how crucial it is for investigators to reach out to the media on missing persons cases, and for the media to respond, especially in those first few hours.
How can the public be expected to come forward with information if they don't even know someone's missing?
Bucks County District Attorney, Matthew Weintraub, was front and center from the start of this investigation, holding multiple news conferences and encouraging the public to provide tips "Keep them coming" he said numerous times. Pictures of the victims were shown on every news channel--local and national--as well as online.
The public responded by providing crucial information to investigators. As a result of those efforts from the public, the media and most of all due to outstanding police work, this case resulted in the arrest of cousins, Cosmo DiNardo, 20, and Sean Kratz, 20.
According to the probable cause affidavit, all four bodies were found on a property belonging to DiNardo's parents. Three of the bodies were buried in a 12-foot-deep common grave, the fourth was buried in a shallow grave not far from the others. In exchange for his confession to the killings, DiNardo won't face the death penalty. Both men are being held without bond.
Although heart-wrenching, at least the victims will be returned to their families and justice will soon prevail. Thank goodness the four young men weren't dismissed as just runaways or troubled youth. The chilling details of their final moments, allegedly over drug deals gone wrong, will haunt their families and the community where this atrocity occurred for years to come.
But at least the families have answers. Their sons' cases won't go cold. Their files won't sit somewhere collecting dust. Most important, they won't have to live with the not knowing as so many families of missing loved ones do. Many missing persons - especially minorities — don't get any media coverage at all.
Metro Crime Stoppers of Maryland is offering a $2,000 reward for information on Akia Eggleston. Akia was eight months pregnant when she disappeared without a trace.
There seems to be conflicting information on when Akia was last seen. Initially it was said May 3, but Metro Crime Stoppers now say it was April 29.
Akia's public Facebook page shows she was last active on April 28, but a close friend of Akia's shared two posts from May 3. In one post, Akia, who uses the profile name New Chi, expresses excitement about her daughter going to summer camp. In the other message, Akia (assuming it's her posting) seems upset. Is it possible that Akia argued with someone that day? If so, with who? It's not clear if investigators have gained access to her cell phone records, social media messages or email accounts.
If you know where Akia is or who she's with, call: 1-866-7-LOCKUP
By: Claudia Rivero
A nightmare. That's how Nancy Peña describes what life has been like ever since her twin brother Horacio was killed — shot multiple times outside his home in Phoenix, Arizona — on June 3, 2016.
The pain so overwhelming and paralyzing, Nancy says it's been hard to function. She lost a job and at times felt her life spiraling out of control.
"It's been a horrific journey," Nancy told me recently via an email.
Phoenix police linked Horacio's case to a string of random shootings carried out by the so-called "Phoenix Serial Street Shooter" — a phantom gunman who targeted men, women, and children mostly in the West Phoenix community of Maryvale — from August 2015 to July 2016.
A break in the case came in April with the arrest of former bus driver Aaron Juan Saucedo for the 2015 shooting death of his mother's boyfriend, Raul Romero. The following month, on May 8, investigators announced Saucedo, 23, was also the prime suspect in the Phoenix Serial Street Shooter case. They also added the shooting death of Jesse Olivas, 22, to the other seven linked to that investigation.
But it took nearly two months for Saucedo to be officially charged in the serial shooter investigation. Nancy says she began to question whether the cops had the right guy. Even worse, she feared her brother's murder would remain unsolved.
"I was driving myself crazy with so many questions," Nancy said.
On June 27, a grand jury handed up a 20-count indictment of the former bus driver. In addition to the shooting death of his mother's boyfriend, Saucedo is now officially charged with eight more counts of first-degree murder, two counts of attempted murder, six counts of drive-by shootings, two counts of aggravated assault, one count of discharging a firearm and one count of endangerment.
Below is Nancy Peña's response to the indictment. She sent it to me on July 4.
What was your reaction when you heard about the grand jury's decision?
Relief. For the past few weeks I started feeling doubtful that he'd be officially charged with the shootings. It was going on almost two months since he was booked, and yet he was only being held in jail for the murder of Raul Romero (his mother's boyfriend). I was naive in the beginning thinking that he would definitely be facing charges for the serial shootings, but a month into it I couldn't find anywhere in print that he would; he was only being named as the prime suspect.
Then on June 19, when they released the date of his trial it was only for the killing of Mr. Romero. That is when I started to wonder if they even had the right guy. Why was it be taking so long to indict him, especially in such a high-profile case? Did they not have enough evidence? I was driving myself crazy with so many questions. So when they officially charged him I wanted to fall to my knees. It felt like my fight to do anything needed to get the person responsible caught was finally over.
I could finally grieve the loss of my twin brother without the distraction of knowing the suspect was still loose. The interviews we all did to keep this case out there were all emotionally draining. Where we would be advancing in our grieving process, we would take two steps back after an interview because we had to continually relive it in order to answer the questions. I've lost a job because of it. It's been a horrific journey, but to know he will no longer cause other families to hurt the way we have is such a relief.
How did you find out about the indictment?
Through media reports. I set up an alert on my email to get updates on the case, and that's how I found out. The media has been the one keeping us informed unfortunately, and it's been frustrating to have others ask me how I felt about the latest turn of events and me not knowing what they were talking about. I'd have to Google it to get more information. But with that being said, I know that officers have put countless hours into this case to get us to where we're at now. I hope they know I will be forever grateful to them for that. -Nancy Peña
UPDATE: According to local news reports, attorney's for Saucedo waived his presence in the courtroom for his arraignment on July 6. He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges. His next court date is set for August 16.
Claudia Rivero Investigative Reporter/Producer