April 28, 2009 in Nation/World

Nation in brief: FBI says suspect has plane ticket


The manhunt for a University of Georgia professor suspected in the shooting deaths of his wife and two men shifted away from this campus town Monday as the FBI revealed he has a plane ticket for the Netherlands later this week and left behind an empty passport wallet.

George M. Zinkhan has not been seen since the shootings near campus Saturday, and law enforcement agencies nationwide have been enlisted in the search for the marketing professor, authorities said. His relatives also have been working to help Athens-Clarke County police and the FBI find him, his brother told the Associated Press.

Gunfire erupted at a midday gathering of a local theater group at the Athens Community Theater. Killed were George Zinkhan’s wife, 47-year-old attorney Marie Bruce, and two members of her theater group, Ben Teague, 63, and Tom Tanner, 40. Zinkhan, 57, disappeared after the shootings in a red Jeep Liberty.


Mother charged in child’s death

A Southern California mother has been charged with murdering the 18-month-old daughter she initially reported missing last month.

Prosecutors in Los Angeles County said Monday that 24-year-old Stacey Marie Barker of Quartz Hill was charged with one count each of murder, assault on a child causing death, and child abuse.

Barker had claimed that an attacker knocked her out and abducted her daughter Emma on March 18, authorities said. She later recanted and helped sheriff’s deputies locate the child’s body in the brush beside a road in the Sylmar area of Los Angeles.

“At this point, as best as we can determine, the infant died through suffocation at the hands of the mother,” sheriff’s Lt. Pat Nelson said.

Jonah, Texas

Twisters damage school, homes

The National Weather Service said a tornado has damaged more than 20 buildings north of Austin, Texas.

Meteorologist Chris Morris said 12 to 15 homes were among the structures damaged when the twister touched down west of Jonah in Williamson County early Monday. Winds between 85 and 95 mph downed trees that fell onto homes.

Another tornado collapsed a roof at a school building in Corsicana. A teacher dived under a table to avoid falling debris but no one was hurt at the Robert E. Lee Center. From wire reports

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