State police: Abductor of girl, 15, killed by officers

NANTICOKE (AP) — A man held a teenage girl at knifepoint in a Pennsylvania high school, assaulted responding officers, fled with her in their vehicle and was finally found and killed by authorities who rescued the girl unharmed, police said.

State police in Luzerne County said “deadly force” was used Sunday against Jordan Oliver, 20, after he and the 15-year-old girl were found.

Officers responded Sunday afternoon to a report of Oliver holding the girl hostage “with a knife to her throat” at Nanticoke High School, near Wilkes-Barre. It’s not unusual for people to be at or walking through the school even on Sunday since it is centrally located, according to police.

Officers tried to negotiate with Oliver and separated them, putting her into a police vehicle. But a struggle ensued, and Oliver sprayed Mace on the officers and fled in the marked Nanticoke City police vehicle with the girl still inside, police said.

State police then took over. An Amber Alert was issued for the girl and an arrest warrant was issued for Oliver on charges of kidnapping, aggravated assault, unlawful restraint and theft.

After Oliver and the girl were reported to be in the Warrior Run area, a special emergency response team located them and initiated contact with Oliver, who, according to police “was holding the female victim hostage.” Police said deadly force was used, without providing details, and said the victim was freed unharmed.

Court records indicate the suspect had twice been the subject of restraining orders including one involving Sunday’s victim, The (Wilkes-Barre) Citizens’ Voice reported. Her mother said her daughter was assaulted and threatened by Oliver, who then continued to bother her by Facebook and showed up at her home.

Governor warns of harm from changes to minor league baseball

HARRISBURG (AP) — Pennsylvania’s governor wants Major League Baseball to rethink a restructuring plan that would affect three minor league teams in his state.

Gov. Tom Wolf on Monday wrote to baseball commissioner Robert Manfred to express concern about the impact on the Erie SeaWolves, the Williamsport Crosscutters and the State College Spikes.

The Professional Baseball Agreement between Major League Baseball and the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues expires after the 2020 season. The restructuring proposal would lead to 42 minor league teams being dropped from circuits.

Major league teams say they spend nearly $500 million annually in salary to support the minor leagues but get back only $18 million.

Wolf says the current proposal will put players and employees out of jobs and be economically harmful to host communities.

Man who made thousands of vulgar calls to women gets prison

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A 50-year-old Oregon man who for years made thousands of anonymous vulgar phone calls to seven women in Pennsylvania has been sentenced to nearly three years in prison.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports each victim received over 200 calls from Bob Ugwa in a two-year period; one woman received 1,162 calls from him at all hours.

In June, Ugwa pleaded guilty to one count of cyberstalking and six counts of telephonic harassment.

Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon Hannah Horsley says Ugwa typically used multiple cellphones to make the calls and used technology to conceal his caller ID and his identity, which made it impossible to block his calls.

She says it’s unclear why he chose the victims, but Ugwa had previously lived in Pennsylvania.

Ugwa apologized in court Monday saying it would never happen again.

Mother charged with murder in deaths of 2 young children

KEMPTON (AP) — Authorities are linking the mother of two young children found hanging in a Pennsylvania home to internet searches for suicide and crime shortly before their deaths, according to court documents filed in support of murder charges against the woman.

Lisa Snyder, 36, was charged with first- and third-degree murder, child endangerment, and evidence-tampering in the deaths of the 4-year-old Brinley and 8-year-old Conner, prosecutors announced Monday. The children died three days after they were found hanging Sept. 23 in the basement of their Albany Township home.

A call was made to Snyder’s attorney seeking comment.

“This is a horrific, tragic incident,” District Attorney John Adams told reporters.

“I don’t think that I can stand up here, nor can anyone, explain the horrific loss of two innocent children’s lives. I think it goes without explanation,” Adams said. He said prosecutors will decide later whether to seek the death penalty if Snyder is convicted of first-degree murder.

Police said in an affidavit of probable cause that Snyder was linked to internet searches for episodes of a documentary series on crime called “I Almost Got Away With It,” and the day before the bodies were found the account was used to search methods of hanging. On the day the bodies were found, a search was made on whether an idling hybrid car would produce carbon monoxide, authorities said. The defendant acknowledged that she had picked up a dog leash from a store that day that was used in the hanging, authorities said.

The Lehigh County coroner’s office said Monday that both children were killed by hanging and ruled the deaths homicides.

Snyder has maintained that the children killed themselves, but Adams said authorities were suspicious about the case from the beginning.

“Eight-year-olds, generally, that I am aware of, do not commit suicide, so of course we had questions,” Adams said.

Snyder had alleged that the boy was bullied, but authorities said there was no evidence of that, and they said he showed no sign of distress on bus security video on the day the children were found.

Snyder remains in custody without bond; she said nothing to reporters as she was escorted from a state police barracks.

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