McDonald's says it will reach out to a man widely quoted in accounts of the three women who were found in Cleveland after they went missing about a decade ago.
Charles Ramsey, who lives in the neighborhood where the women were found, noted in an interview with a local TV station that he was eating McDonald's when the scene unfolded Monday. He also made note of his meal in a 911 call. Both the interview and the 911 call went viral online.
On Tuesday, the world's biggest hamburger company said on Twitter: "We salute the courage of Ohio kidnap victims & respect their privacy. Way to go Charles Ramsey -- we'll be in touch."
Representatives for McDonald's, based in Oak Brook, Ill., did not immediately return calls for comment.
The vast majority of the $1 million reward for ending the manhunt for Christopher Dorner will go to a couple who was tied up at gunpoint in their Big Bear cabin by the rogue ex-cop, Los Angeles police said Tuesday.
The LAPD posted a document on its website in which a panel of three judges detailed the payouts for the much-sought reward.
They decided about $800,000 will go to James and Karen Reynolds. Fifteen percent will go to Daniel McGowan, who found Dorner's burning truck in the Big Bear area where he eventually was discovered, and 5 percent will go to tow-truck driver R.L. McDaniel, who spotted Dorner at a Corona gas station earlier in the manhunt and reported the sighting.
The $1 million reward was announced by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa during Dorner's rampage in February.
Dorner had vowed warfare on Los Angeles Police Department officers and their families for what he called an unfair firing. He killed four people, including two law enforcement officers, during his nearly one-week run from authorities that ended with his death on Feb. 12.
Multiple parties came forward claiming they provided the key tip that ultimately led Dorner to hole up in a vacant mountain cabin where he apparently took his own life after a shootout with law enforcement officers.
Among those who laid claim to the reward was a camp ranger whose truck was taken by Dorner. He filed a lawsuit seeking the $1 million last week.
During their ordeal, the Reynolds were held up at gunpoint and tied up before Dorner stole their purple Nissan SUV to escape.
After escaping her constraints, Karen called authorities, identified Dorner, gave the location of the cabin and the Nissan's description. Less than half an hour later he was spotted by Fish and Wildlife wardens and a chase ensued.
A Texas death row inmate convicted of killing a fellow drug dealer while robbing him outside of a Waco convenience store 10 years ago was executed Tuesday evening.
In the seconds before being injected with a lethal dose of pentobarbital, Carroll Joe Parr told the wife of his victim that she should talk to her brother and that he would "tell you the truth about what happened to your husband."
Then he said he had a "statement to the world." He said he was "in the midst of the truth."
"I am good. I am straight," Parr said.
He added that he wanted his "partners" or friends to know that he would "be back" like the Arnold Schwarzenegger "Terminator" film character.
"I'm on my way back. These eyes will close, but they will be opened again," he said before telling his family he loved them and thanking his spiritual adviser.
As the lethal drug began flowing into his arms, he took a breath, yawned, then began snoring. He was pronounced dead 19 minutes later, at 6:32 p.m. CDT.
Parr's attorneys didn't file any last-minute court appeals but Parr himself filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court to stop his punishment, arguing his legal help at his trial was deficient. Earlier Tuesday, the same appeal was denied by a judge in his trial court in Waco.
State and federal courts had rejected all of Parr's earlier appeals, most recently last week.
Parr, 35, became the fifth inmate executed this year in Texas, which has 10 others scheduled for the coming months including one next week.
Parr, known on the streets as "Outlaw," had told The Associated Press during a recent interview that he was resigned to his fate — and even welcomed it — although he insisted someone else killed 18-year-old Joel Dominguez.
"Death to me is the prize," Parr said. "My eyes are clear."
Prosecutors said Parr bought 7 pounds of marijuana from Dominguez for $2,500 on Jan. 11, 2003, and he and a friend, Earl Whiteside, went to rob Dominguez of the money later that evening. They said Parr and Whiteside herded Dominguez and another man, Mario Chavez, to a fenced area next to the store, where Parr pistol-whipped Dominguez and demanded the money, which Dominguez gave him.
Parr ordered Whiteside to "smoke 'em," according to court documents. Whiteside shot Chavez in the hand. Parr shot Dominguez in the head.
Parr said he was nowhere near the convenience store at the time of the killing and contended a surveillance video that showed him there was doctored by prosecutors.
"They chopped the tape," he said.
Parr declined to say who did the shooting, saying he "gave the dudes my word" that he wouldn't snitch on them.
Whiteside, who is serving a 15-year sentence for aggravated robbery, testified that Parr was the one who shot and killed Dominguez. Several other witnesses, including Parr's girlfriend at the time, said Parr had told them he killed Dominguez.
"It probably was somebody who borrowed his body that's on that video," Russ Hunt Sr., one of Parr's trial lawyers, said facetiously.
Hunt said the prosecution's case against Parr was strong. The defense team focused on trying to save Parr's life by showing jurors he had an abusive childhood and grew up in a "hellacious environment," the lawyer said.
"We did our best for him," Hunt said. "He really did have a terrible life. ... The state had all the evidence. That makes our job a little harder."
Parr, from prison, described himself as a third-grade dropout who "grew up on the streets since I was 9." He said he had fathered five children.
Prior to the killing, Parr had several drug convictions, including one for three counts of delivering cocaine, for which he was placed on probation. He was also linked to, but not charged in, a fatal drive-by shooting, another shooting and an assault.
Parr recently told McLennan County authorities he had killed 16 people and offered to lead them to the remains of at least two of his victims if they would dismiss a robbery case against his nephew. But the Waco Tribune-Herald last week reported that investigators didn't find Parr's claims credible.
Next week, Jeffrey Williams, 37, is set to die for the 1999 slaying of a Houston police officer who had pulled him over for driving a stolen car.
Federal authorities announced a crackdown Tuesday on predatory businesses that cheat "desperate and vulnerable" people harmed by the 2008 financial crisis with phony promises to consolidate their debt.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara told a news conference that charges were brought against the owner and three employees of a New York company that cheated over 1,200 customers nationwide after opening its doors in 2009. They were indicted on charges of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, along with separate mail and wire fraud charges.
He said Mission Settlement Agency promised to help people harmed by the economic collapse for a $49 monthly fee but instead often made them worse as it made $2.2 million in fees from customers it did not help while taking in more than $6.6 million in fees in all.
"The true mission of Mission turned out to be fraud and deceit," he said. "And for more than a thousand consumers, the dream of debt relief turned into a nightmare of deeper debt trouble."
Bharara said the prosecution was the first to result from a case referred by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The agency was created under the 2010 financial law known as the Dodd-Frank Act. The agency is charged with reducing the risk of a credit bubble by helping to ensure that borrowers are better informed and loans are more likely to be repaid.
Richard Cordray, the bureau's director, said similar prosecutions would be brought in the future to protect the 30 million Americans who are chased by debt collectors.
Bharara promised the prosecution would not be the last against those taking advantage of people struggling financially.
"Our concern is that predatory practices pervade the industry," he said.
U.S. Postal Inspector in Charge Phil Bartlett said the men arrested in the case lived lavishly, buying homes, fancy cars and operating a Brooklyn nightclub with money received from victims he described as "both desperate and vulnerable."
Jeffrey Lichtman, a lawyer for the company's owner, Michael Levitis, said his client had cooperated with federal authorities since being approached in February.
He said Levitis, who was freed on $1 million bail, was victimized by "rogue employees who were acting like cowboys in a sense."
"He'd gotten wind there were rogue employees making ridiculous promises. Some even started their own debt settlement companies," Lichtman said.
In the tight-knit neighborhood near downtown where many conversations are spoken in Spanish, it seems most everyone knew Ariel Castro.
He played bass guitar in salsa and merengue bands. He parked his school bus on the street. He gave neighborhood children rides on his motorcycle.
And when they gathered for a candlelight vigil to remember two girls who vanished years ago, Castro was there too, comforting the mother of one of the missing, a neighbor said.
Neighbors and friends were stunned by the arrest of Castro and his two brothers after a 911 call led police to his house, where authorities say three women missing for about a decade were held captive.
Castro and his brothers, ages 50 to 54, were in custody Tuesday but have not been formally charged.
Ariel Castro was friends with the father of Gina DeJesus, one of the missing women, and helped search for her after she disappeared, said Khalid Samad, a friend of the family. He also performed music at a fundraiser held in her honor, Samad said.
"When we went out to look for Gina, he helped pass out fliers," said Samad, a community activist who was at the hospital with DeJesus and her family on Monday night. "You know, he was friends with the family."
Tito DeJesus, one of Gina's uncles, said he played in a few bands with Castro over the last 20 years. He remembered visiting Castro's house after his niece disappeared, but he never noticed anything out of ordinary, saying it was very sparse in furniture and filled with musical instruments.
"That's pretty much what it looked like," DeJesus said. "I had no clue, no clue whatsoever that this happened."
Juan Perez, who lives two doors down from the house, has known Castro for decades.
"He was always happy, nice, respectful," Perez said. "He gained trust with the kids and with the parents. You can only do that if you're nice."
He said Castro had an ATV and a motorcycle and would take children on rides. Nothing seemed wrong with it then, he said, adding that he now thinks that was one way Castro tried to get close to the children. He also worked until recently as a school bus driver.
Castro's personnel file with the Cleveland public school district, obtained by The Associated Press through a Freedom of Information request, shows he was hired in 1990 as a bus driver after saying on his application that he liked working with children.
The personnel file includes details on his dismissal, approved by the school board last fall after he left his bus unattended for four hours.
Police identified the other two suspects as the 52-year-old's brothers, Pedro Castro, 54, and Onil Castro, 50.
Lucy Roman lives next to a house that she said is shared by Pedro Castro and his mother. She said police arrested him Monday night.
"I feel sorry for her," Roman said of the mother. "She's a very nice lady."
Several residents said they saw Ariel Castro at a candlelight vigil for the missing girls.
Antony Quiros said he was at the vigil about a year ago and saw Castro comforting Gina DeJesus' mother.
One neighbor, Francisco Cruz, said he was with Castro the day investigators dug up a yard looking for the girls.
Castro told Cruz, "They're not going to find anyone there," Cruz recalled.
Castro's Facebook page identifies him as a Cleveland resident and graduate of the city's Lincoln-West High School. His interests include Virginia Beach, the Chinese crested dog breed and Cuban-born salsa singer Rey Ruiz.
On April 11, he wrote to congratulate "my Rosie Arlene" and wish her a fast recovery from giving birth to "a wonderful baby boy. That makes me Gramps for the fifth time. Luv you guys!"
Associated Press writers Mike Householder, Thomas J. Sheeran, Andrew Welsh-Huggins in Cleveland and Meghan Barr and Mark Scolforo in Harrisburg, Pa., contributed to this report.
A Kansas City animal shelter is caring for a puppy that authorities say survived in a locked car that was impounded for nearly a month in a city lot.
The 12-week-old puppy, which has been named Kia, apparently survived by eating trash left in the car. The terrier and schnauzer mix didn't have access to water.
Toni Fugate, a spokeswoman for the city's animal shelter, says the puppy is dehydrated and malnourished but is expected to survive.
Records show that the car was towed to the lot April 8. A lot employee saw the dog Monday afternoon and called police, who broke into the car.
The Kansas Pet Project is working to find a foster home for Kia. She won't be available for adoption for some time.