9 dead after nearly 40 people found trapped inside semi-truck trailer in San Antonio

The death toll in a “horrific” human trafficking case in San Antonio has climbed to nine, federal officials announced Sunday afternoon.

Eight people were initially found dead and another 31 people were taken to area hospitals after they were found trapped in the trailer of an 18-wheeler in a Wal-Mart parking lot early Sunday morning.

One of the 31 taken to an area hospital has died, officials said.

Federal and local are investigating, but in the meantime, here’s what we know:

A Wal-Mart employee alerted police

A Wal-Mart employee called San Antonio police around 12:30 a.m. Sunday after a disoriented man approached him asking for water. The Wal-Mart is located at 8358 Interstate 35 South on the city’s southwest side.

8 were found dead at the scene, another other 30 were hospitalized — 1 more has died at the hospital

The cause of death is believed to be from a combination of heat exposure and asphyxiation. First-responders found the 30 survivors “hot to the touch” and showing signs of heat stroke and dehydration.

Seventeen people were taken to area hospitals on Priority 1 status: life threatening injury/illness. Thirteen others were taken on Priority 2 status: not immediately life-threatening.

2 of the 30 taken to area hospitals are school-aged children

Police said those two are believed to be about 15 years old. The others are in their 20s and 30s. Investigators have yet to determine their country of origin or destination.

‘Human trafficking crime’

Police have the driver of the 18-wheeler in custody. The driver is facing state and federal charges.


Surveillance footage could lead to more arrests

“Checking the video from the store, we found a number of vehicles that came in and picked up a lot of the folks that were in that trailer (who) survived the trip,” McManus said.

Federal investigators are involved

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Homeland Security officials have also been called in to investigate

Watch early morning briefing from SAPD Chief William McManus and SAFD Chief Charles Hood:

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Cocaine found in Cookie Monster doll leads to Key West man’s arrest

A 39-year-old Key West man is in jail after he was caught with a large amount of cocaine hidden in a Cookie Monster doll, according to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.

Camus McNair was arrested Wednesday on a charge of cocaine trafficking.

A deputy initiated a traffic stop on U.S. Highway 1 in Marathon after a car drove past him with its license plate obscured and windows illegally tinted, sheriff’s spokeswoman Becky Herrin said.

When the driver, identified as McNair, rolled down his window, the deputy could smell marijuana coming from inside the car, Herrin said.

During a search of the car, the deputy found a backpack with a Cookie Monster doll inside. Noticing that it weighed more than it should, the deputy found a slit cut in the doll and found two packages of cocaine stuffed inside, Herrin said.

Paperwork found inside the backpack indicated that it didn’t belong to McNair, Herrin said.

McNair was being held without bond on the felony charge.

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Facebook friend request warning message is fake

If you’re a frequent Facebook user, chances are at least one of your friends has sent you a message warning you not to accept a friend request from Jayden K. Smith.

There’s no need to forward the message or be concerned about a friend request from Mr. Smith because the message is a hoax.

If you haven’t received the fake warning yet, consider yourself lucky. But, here’s what to look for:

“Please tell all the contacts in your messenger list not to accept Jayden K. Smith friendship request. He is a hacker and has the system connected to your Facebook account. If one of your contacts accepts it, you will also be hacked, so make sure that all your friends know it. Thanks. Forwarded as received. Hold your finger down on the message. At the bottom in the middle it will say forward. Hit that then click on the names of those in your list and it will send to them.”

The message isn’t entirely new. In fact, several versions of it have circulated on social media for years.
People may think they’re helping their friends by forwarding the message, but in reality, they are only perpetuating the hoax (and probably annoying their more savvy friends in the process).

The fact-checking website Snopes says “Accepting a Facebook friend request from a stranger will not provide hackers with access to your computer and online accounts.’’

While “friending” someone won’t give them the ability to hack into your account, it is still recommended that you not accept friend requests from people you don’t know because you are giving them access to whatever personal pictures and information you may post.

While the hoax message isn’t exactly helping any of your friends, the fake message has provided fodder for snarky Twitter users which could at least give them a laugh:

BREAKING: #Trump angrily tweets #JaydenKSmith is a terrible loser and needs to get off the Internet.

— Jamie S. (@Twinmom0) July 10, 2017

People PLEASE STOP IT WITH THE MESSAGES ABOUT Jayden K Smith. You look like IDIOTS! #jaydenksmith #FFS pic.twitter.com/RWEABT0set

— Kelly Collier (@KellyColli) July 10, 2017

Today I learned I have a lot of dumb, gullible Facebook friends…. #JaydenKSmith

— Alexandra Markus (@AM_Markus) July 10, 2017

Jayden K Smith is not accepting my friend request 😭 #jaydenksmith pic.twitter.com/6eMkEAFRjf

— Kelly Collier (@KellyColli) July 10, 2017

Poor #jaydenksmith pic.twitter.com/DXzjkXahza

— Che (@mountainembrace) July 10, 2017

Because we all received like 20 messages… #Facebook #friends #friendrequest #JaydenKSmith #omg #lol pic.twitter.com/X0DEhU9jlj

— Misty Misteria (@MysteriaMI) July 10, 2017

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Baby born on Spirit Airlines flight from Fort Lauderdale

A woman gave birth to a baby boy on a recent Spirit Airlines flight from Fort Lauderdale to Dallas.

Christina Penton was 36 weeks pregnant when she told flight attendants that she wasn’t feeling well.

“Everything started happening very quickly,” Penton said. “I didn’t think I was having the baby, because it was too soon, but after a few minutes, I knew I needed medical attention. The flight attendants contacted doctors on the ground, and they advised the flight attendants to see if there were any medical personnel on board.  As it turned out, there was a pediatrician and a nurse.  Soon after that, it was clear I was having my baby, and I was in pure panic.”

The flight was diverted to Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, but the baby was born before the plane landed.

Christoph Lezcano weighed in at 7 pounds and was 19.5 inches tall.

Penton and her newborn son were taken to a hospital in Kenner, Louisiana, as a precaution. Both mother and baby are OK.

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Afraid of sharks? Flu, asteroids pose far greater risk

You might want a bigger boat, but you probably don’t need better odds.

The confirmed return of great white sharks to Cape Cod has rattled some boaters and beachgoers. Yet the chances of an encounter involving a human are infinitesimally small, and the likelihood of an attack resulting in serious injury or death is smaller still.

How small? With apologies to “The Hunger Games,” may the odds be ever in your favor — because they are.

In 2016, there were 53 unprovoked shark attacks in the U.S. — none fatal — according to the Florida Museum of Natural History’s International Shark Attack File. Thirty-two were in Florida; 10 in Hawaii; four in California; three in North Carolina; two in South Carolina; and one each in Texas and Oregon. Worldwide, there were 81 confirmed attacks last year, including four deaths.

Statistically, experts say, you’re more likely to be killed by an asteroid than by a shark.


Q: Exactly what odds are we talking about here?

A: They vary, depending on where you are and what you’re doing in the water. But the National Aquarium in Baltimore says the odds of being killed by a shark are one in 3.7 million.

You’re much more in danger of succumbing to the flu (a one in 63 chance); a car accident (one in 90); a fall (one in 218); a lightning strike (one in 960,000); or even an asteroid (one in 1.6 million). University of Florida shark experts say you’re 290 times more likely to die in a boating accident than to suffer a fatal shark attack, and 132 times more likely to drown at the beach.


Q: Are there things we do in the water that increase the risk?

A: Surfers tend to suffer the most attacks. Last year, nearly six in 10 U.S. attacks involved someone engaging in a board sport. Experts say that’s probably because surfers spend a lot of time in the “surf zone” where waves are breaking – an area sharks also tend to frequent. They urge bathers and others to avoid places where seals, a favorite prey for white sharks, congregate.

Swimmers and waders accounted for one in three attacks. Snorkelers and people using flotation gear figured into a combined 8.6 percent of all U.S. attacks. Massachusetts’ last attack was in 2012, when a white shark bit a bodysurfing man on his legs. Even so, perspective is everything: A 2015 Stanford University study concluded that scuba divers are nearly 7,000 times more likely to be hospitalized for decompression sickness than for shark bites.


Q: Where are these great whites, and how many are there?

A: Biologists tracking them in Massachusetts say they’ve identified 279 individuals over the past three years, most along Cape Cod’s outer Atlantic-facing coastline. Increasingly, though, they’ve been straying into Cape Cod Bay. Earlier this month, an 8-foot-long juvenile nicknamed Cisco, for the popular brewery on Nantucket, was detected in the bay near Barnstable. More are expected in July, August and September – the peak months on the Cape.

There are also great white sharks feeding off Long Island, New York, and the New Jersey shore, including one nicknamed Mary Lee that’s gained celebrity status because of its Twitter profile managed by the nonprofit group OCEARCH.


Q: If the odds are so minuscule, why are we so scared of sharks? Is it some kind of primal fear?

A: Gregory Skomal, a shark expert with Massachusetts’ Division of Marine Fisheries, thinks so. Humans, he notes, have evolved an acutely tuned sense of survival that alerts us to potential threats.

Despite the fact that any interaction between a person and a shark is highly improbable – particularly a deadly one – “there’s a deep-seated fear in all humans of being bitten by some animal, either on land or in the sea,” Skomal says. “And the ocean looks dark and deep and foreign to us. It embellishes that fear.”

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Homeowner stops armed would-be robbers with machete

A Sarasota man stopped an armed robbery at his home after arming himself with a machete and holding one of the suspects until law enforcement officers arrived.

Surveillance video shows three men — armed with a shotguns drawn — storming the home. The homeowner disappears for a few moments and reappears armed with the machete, according to the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies said the other two men left and were found a short time later at a gas station with two other men. One of the men was carrying several zip ties, deputies said.

Detectives said two of the men admitted to committing the robbery.

The Sheriff’s Office said the two men not seen in the surveillance video helped to coordinate the robbery.

All five suspects — Alen Beltran-Vasquez, Ronier Jauregui-Lorente, Angel Cabrera-Basulto, Jorge Valido-Leyva and Roberto Salcedo-Balanza — were arrested and remain in the Sarasota County Jail without bail.

The investigation is ongoing.

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