A false tip from a psychic prompted Texas authorities to swarm a rural home searching for a nonexistent mass grave and up to 30 bodies, including those of dismembered children.
A few hours later it was clear the tip was nothing more than a gruesome wild goose chase.
"There’s no crime scene," Liberty County Judge Craig McNair told reporters as deputies, Texas Rangers and FBI agents wrapped up a fruitless search that gained national media attention.
Mr McNair and Capt Rex Evans, spokesman for the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office, said the woman who twice called in the tip would be investigated for making a false report.
Mr Evans said the sheriff’s office took the tip seriously because she claimed children’s bodies were in the mix. The department called the FBI for help, and the Texas Rangers spent hours obtaining a warrant to search the one-storey brick home at a rural intersection near Hardin, about 82km east of Houston. A cadaver dog also joined the search.
But soon after media reports said the sheriff’s office confirmed having found bodies, outlets quoted the same agency saying they had no evidence of them.
The Houston Chronicle and KHOU-TV tracked down the home’s occupant, who said he and his wife, both long-haul truck drivers, had left on Sunday en route to Georgia and he knew nothing about dead bodies.
"I haven’t killed anybody," Joe Bankson told the Chronicle .
He told the television station his daughter’s ex-boyfriend had gotten drunk and cut his wrist at the home two weeks before, possibly leaving blood that might have piqued investigators’ interest.
Mr Evans declined to address details when he finally addressed reporters as other officers packed up to leave.
"A this time no bodies have been recovered," Mr Evans said. "We have investigated this part of the scene as much as we can."
41% of Americans Support Criminalizing "Hate Speech" 2015-05-23 7:31 The following are from a recent poll about what some are calling on for "hate speech"
1. Support for Hate Crimes Legislation
Do you support or oppose the federal law that requires increased penalties for hate crimes committed on the basis of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, or gender of any person?
2. Support for Expanding Hate Crimes
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FBI agents canâ€™t point to any major terrorism cases theyâ€™ve cracked thanks to the key snooping powers in the Patriot Act, the Justice Departmentâ€™s inspector general said in a report Thursday that could complicate efforts to keep key parts of the law operating.
Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz said that between 2004 and 2009, the FBI tripled its use of bulk ...
Sweetener Stevia Was Once Hailed As An Anti-Fertility Agent for Population Reduction 2015-05-23 7:13
Maybe it's not so sweet now... If you've thought stevia, the natural alternative to sugar and artificial sweetners with aspartame, et al., is too good to be true, there may be a catch. Check out this textbook written in 1970 by Paul and Anne Ehrlich, the precursor to the textbook Ecoscience they wrote with Obama Science Czar John P. Holdren ...
TPP Aproved: Senate Republicans Give Obama New Powers - Details Remain 'Classified' 2015-05-23 6:43
President Obama won a big victory for his trade agenda Friday with the Senateâ€™s approval of fast-track legislation that could make it easier for him to complete a wide-ranging trade deal that would include 11 Pacific Rim nations.
A coalition of 48 Senate Republicans and 14 Democrats voted for Trade Promotion Authority late Friday, sending the legislation to a difficult fight ...
Circumcision battle: Mom seeks release from jail after federal lawsuit is dismissed 2015-05-23 3:22
West Boynton mother on Wednesday gave up trying to get a federal judge to stop her 4 1/2-year-old son from being circumcised as his father wishes â€” a battle that also led to her arrest May 14 on a state court warrant.
An attorney for Heather Hironimus, who lost similar legal challenges in two state courts, notified U.S. District Judge Kenneth ...