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Nation in brief: Craigslist shooting suspect arrested

Tue., April 21, 2009

A Boston University medical student was arrested Monday in the shooting death in a hotel of a masseuse and the robbery of another woman who both advertised their services on Craigslist.

Phil Markoff, 22, was arrested during a traffic stop Monday afternoon on Interstate 95 in Walpole, south of Boston, Police Commissioner Ed Davis said at a news conference to announce the arrest. He is also connected to an assault on a Las Vegas exotic dancer in Rhode Island last week.

Markoff’s arrest came days after his image was shown on surveillance video at the hotels. Authorities said Markoff was originally from upstate New York and now lives in Quincy, just south of Boston. A Facebook profile matching Markoff’s identity, including his photograph, lists him as a 2007 graduate of State University of New York-Albany and in the 2011 class at BU.

A Boston University spokeswoman told Boston radio station WBZ-AM Markoff had been suspended from the medical school after his arrest.

Markoff is charged with killing Julissa Brisman, 26, who was found dead Tuesday at the Boston Marriott Copley Place. The New York City woman advertised massage services on Craigslist and had a massage table set up in the room where she was shot Tuesday, police said.

Markoff is scheduled to be arraigned in Boston Municipal Court today.

Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley said Markoff is also charged with unlawful possession of a firearm. In addition, Conley said Markoff is charged with kidnapping and armed robbery in a separate case involving another woman he met on Craigslist.

New Orleans

Kidnap victims found dead

Police have charged a man in the weekend kidnapping of a man and woman whose bodies were found Monday in an abandoned house in a section of New Orleans east of the Mississippi River.

Fitzgerald Phillips and Calyisse Perkins, both 19, had been dead at least 24 hours before their bodies were discovered at 1:30 p.m. in the Gert Town section of the city after police received an anonymous tip, Deputy Police Superintendent Marlon Defillo said.

Kenneth Barnes, 22, was booked on aggravated kidnapping, possession of stolen items and other charges after investigators discovered property belonging to the victims, Defillo said. Police were looking for at least one other person in the case, he said.

Authorities released no motive, but Defillo said Barnes told detectives he and Phillips, a student at Southern University at New Orleans, sold marijuana together. Phillips, however, did not appear to have any criminal history in the city, police said.

Police said the victims were in Perkins’ apartment when two men got inside, ransacked the residence and forced them to go to Phillips’ house, where more was stolen.


Four found dead in hotel room

A man, two women and a teenage girl were found dead Monday in a hotel guest room in suburban Baltimore, though authorities have not said how they died.

Autopsies were planned for today, and the identities have not been released. Investigators have released few details, though Baltimore County police Cpl. Michael Hill said police weren’t looking for any suspects.

Hill said late Monday that the four people are related, but declined to say how. He also said they are not from the Baltimore area and police are trying to contact the next of kin.


Mother says sons slipped from grip

A woman whose car plunged off a dead-end road into a lake in rainy, dark weather told investigators she tried to rescue her three young sons from the vehicle but lost her grip on them in the water, a sheriff said Monday.

Conway County Sheriff Mike Smith said there was no reason thus far to suspect foul play in the deaths of Aaron Turley, 8; Alex Turley, 7; and Anthony Turley, 2. He said their mother’s story has checked out, but that the investigation is ongoing.

The boys’ mother, 26-year-old Amber Turley, told investigators she was driving home from a friend’s house and made a wrong turn, Smith said. The weather was bad Sunday morning, with heavy rain and fog.


Promise Keepers open for women

The evangelical men’s organization Promise Keepers waived conference admission fees and brought in standup comics trying to recapture its mid-1990s influence. The unprecedented move it’s trying now: opening an event to women.

After 20 years of men-only events, Denver-based Promise Keepers is urging men to bring “the women in their lives” to a July 31-Aug. 1 conference marking the group’s anniversary.

“It’s time for Promise Keepers men to step up and honor women,” Raleigh Washington, the group’s president, said Monday. “We’re going to heal the gender divide that exists in America.”

From wire reports


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