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Fla. Woman Accused Faking Own Abduction

November 22, 2006

BARTOW, Fla. (AP) _ A 31-year-old woman is accused of faking her own abduction to win back an ex-boyfriend. Gretchen Morales was arrested Monday and charged with filing a false police report, child neglect and contributing to the delinquency of a child, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said.

Morales’ baby sitter reported Morales was missing on Thursday after she arrived to find the front door unlocked and her not home, The Ledger of Lakeland reported Tuesday.

Judd said Morales told detectives plans for the abduction came to her in dreams since she and her ex-boyfriend, Arnulfo Corpus, 33, split. Corpus is the father of Morales’ 2-year-old daughter.

Her two children had been left alone and were still sleeping when the baby sitter arrived, and deputies searched the woods behind Morales’ home for 12 hours Thursday looking for her.

St. Petersburg police found her about 10 p.m. Thursday after she called 911 from a drug store, claiming she had been abducted.

Detectives who interviewed her at a hospital didn’t believe her story that two men grabbed her from her garage and forced her into a car.


Soldier sparks donations for Iraqi children

ORMOND BEACH, Fla. (AP) _ A call from a local soldier serving in Iraq for clothing donations for Iraqi children has been answered with an outpouring of support.

In a profile in The Daytona Beach News-Journal, U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Gary Calhoun said he was seeking clothing for Iraqi children. His cousin, City Commissioner Bill Partington III, offered to pay the shipping.

The outpouring of donations nearly overwhelmed Partington and his dad, Bill Partington, owner of AHC Safe and Locksmith Shop, the drop-off spot for contributions.

``I think we are going to have about 1,000 pounds of stuff,″ the younger Partington told the News-Journal Monday as he packed boxes. ``The maximum allowed box weight is 70 pounds, but we can only get about 25 to 30 pounds in a box because it’s bulky.″

Donated items included clothes, shoes and even some toys.


Authorities identify 2 teens found dead of apparent drug overdose

BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) _ Authorities identified Tuesday two teenagers found dead of apparent drug overdoses in a Florida Atlantic University dormitory suite.

FAU freshman Nicole Phillips, 18, of Weston, Conn., and Richard Cardindale, 19, were found dead Sunday afternoon.

Cardindale was not an FAU student, officials said. Phillips’ friends told The Palm Beach Post that Cardindale had recently moved to Boca Raton from Tampa and was working as a roofer.

Both died of overdoses from an unspecified drug or drugs, FAU Deputy Police Chief Keith Totten said Monday.

Investigators are awaiting autopsy results to determine the causes of death.

``Our hearts and thoughts go out to the friends and families of both of these young people,″ FAU President Frank Brogan said Monday.

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