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."
Scary Times For California Farmers As Snowpack Hits Record Lows 2015-04-02 2:45
The water outlook in drought-racked California just got a lot worse: Snowpack levels across the entire Sierra Nevada are now the lowest in recorded history â€” just 6 percent of the long-term average. That shatters the previous low record on this date of 25 percent, set in 1977 and again last year.
Morning traffic makes its way toward downtown Los Angeles ...
Sharia Policeman in Swedish School 2015-04-02 0:58
Editor's Note: Unfortunately this is not an April Fools story.
On monday morning emergency services were called to Eductus in BorĂĄs, a school specialized in teaching Swedish to immigrants, after a Muslim student threatened classmates who did not abide by his strict interpretation of Islam. They were reprimanded for laughing and a Christian woman who refused to wear a veil fainted ...
â€śUsâ€ť and â€śThemâ€ť 2015-04-01 22:30
Iâ€™ve decided to translate yet another one of Julia Caesarâ€™s popular Sunday chronicles available in Swedish on the website Snaphanen. This one is named â€śUs and Themâ€ť and concerns a scandal of epic proportions, the Swedish governments â€śsociety coachâ€ť program. The plan was for the coaches to assist newly arrived immigrants with getting jobs and becoming integrated into society.
The Expulsion and Extermination of Eastern European Germans: An Overview 2015-04-01 17:40 "Since the end of the war about 3,000,000 people, mostly women and children and overaged men, have been killed in eastern Germany and south-eastern Europe; about 15,000,000 people have been deported or had to flee from their homesteads and are on the road. About 25 per cent of these people, over 3,000,000 have died. About 4,000,000 men and women have ...
Your Smartphone Could be Tracking You Every 3 Minutes, Study Says 2015-04-01 2:24
Your apps want to know where you are
Smartphone apps regularly collect large amounts of data on usersâ€™ locations, sometimes as often as every three minutes, new research suggests.
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University conducted a study where they asked 23 people to use their Android smartphones normally, and tracked location data requests from each device with specially designed software, the Wall ...