Archive for Saturday, June 14, 2003


June 14, 2003



Homicide probe under way in deaths

Police are investigating as homicides the deaths of two Caney residents found in a car that had slammed into a tree in this southeast Kansas town.

Independence Police Chief Lee Bynum said Samuel Yanofsky, 22, and April Milholland, 21, were found dead in Milholland's 1990 Thunderbird about 6 a.m. Friday.

Police said Yanofsky's body was found in the trunk of the car, which had struck an elm tree, while Milholland's body was in the back seat.

Police declined to comment on what caused their deaths, except to say both appeared to be the victims of a homicide.

Bynum said the pair was last seen alive around 2 a.m. in Caney, which is along the Oklahoma border about 20 miles from Independence.


Suspect in slayings ruled competent

An Olathe man has been found competent to stand trial in the death of his mother and her aunt.

Doctors who treated Charles E. Peeler III, 19, at Larned State Hospital reported at a hearing Thursday that he was capable of assisting in his own defense.

Peeler was arrested in November and charged in Johnson County District Court with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of his mother, Lucy Peeler, and her aunt, Nina Pilcher. Lucy Peeler, 44, was found dead Nov. 10 at the family's Olathe apartment. Pilcher, 74, was found two days later in a Missouri farm field.

Peeler had previously been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.

A preliminary hearing was set for Aug. 26 and 27.


Duplex fire turns fatal

Firefighters responding to a fire Friday morning at a duplex in east Topeka found a man and woman dead inside, authorities said.

Authorities were awaiting autopsy results to determine the cause of death of Lester A. Webster, 54, and Eris McCleery, 55. Police Lt. John Sidwell called the deaths suspicious.

A neighbor called the fire department about 6:25 a.m. after hearing a smoke alarm, Sidwell said. Firefighters were unable to resuscitate the victims.


K.C. Call publisher dead at age 91

Lucile Bluford, editor and publisher of The Kansas City Call and a champion of the civil rights movement, died Friday after a brief illness. She was 91.

Bluford joined The Call as a reporter in 1932 after she graduated from Kansas University. After publisher Chester A. Franklin died in 1955, Bluford took over as publisher. She also served as editor and was a part-owner. Bluford stayed at The Call until suffering a stroke five years ago, after which she relinquished her duties but retained her titles.

In 1990, she received the Distinguished Service Citation, the highest honor awarded by KU. Bluford was the second black student to major in journalism at the school.

Bluford was named the 2002 Kansas Citian of the Year by the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce; a branch of the Kansas City Public Library is named for her.


Body found buried near park football fields

Authorities searching for a missing teenager discovered the remains of an apparent homicide victim buried near football fields in a city park.

An autopsy was planned Friday on the remains, which detectives believe are those of a 16-year-old boy reported missing earlier in the week from his Wichita home, police Capt. Nelson Mosley said.

"We cannot say 100 percent that (the missing boy) is the victim, but we strongly believe that it is," Mosley said.

Interviews with more than a dozen potential witnesses led to the arrest of an 18-year-old man on suspicion of first-degree murder. He was being detained in the Sedgwick County Jail.


Sunday liquor sales ordinance a no-go

An ordinance allowing liquor sales on Sundays and selected holidays in Hays did not come to a vote after two city commissioners said they would cast the defeating votes against the measure.

Commissioners Kent Steward and Wayne Billinger said Thursday that the public told them the ordinance was not necessary. However, both said they had heard constituents argue for the measure.

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