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Texas police arrest illegal immigrant in teen cheerleader’s murder, mother ‘praying for justice’ for her slain child

An illegal immigrant was arrested on Saturday in connection with the murder of a teen cheerleader at Edna High School in Texas, according to police.

The Edna Police Department and the Texas Rangers arrested Rafael Govea Romero in Schulenburg, Texas. The Edna Police Department said in a statement that the arrest was done through the coordination of several agencies, including nearby police departments, Texas Rangers, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Romero was taken to the Jackson County Jail and charged with the capital murder of 16-year-old Lizbeth Medina.

The Edna Police Department noted that Romero is an “undocumented male.”

“Although Romero is apprehended, we recognize Lizbeth’s family and friends are grieving and will still need support from the community,” Edna Police Chief Rick Boone stated.

Lizbeth Medina was found dead in her apartment on Dec. 5. Medina’s dead body was discovered in a bathtub by her mother.

Jacqueline Medina, Lizbeth’s mother, got worried after she hadn’t heard from her for several hours.

“I decided to go look for her. And I kept calling her phone nonstop, and it would take me straight to voicemail… I called a bunch of people and nobody knew anything. It wasn’t until I walked into the restroom that I was on the phone with my friend asking him to come help me look for her – is when I [saw] her foot, and it was in the bathtub. And so I opened the curtains. There she was,” Medina told Fox News.

As Blaze News previously reported, “Medina says their apartment was broken into a few weeks prior to the death of her daughter, and she believes it might be related.”

The distraught mother asked, “I don’t understand why. My God, why would they do this to her? She’s such a beautiful, smart, and amazing girl. There’s moments where I just can’t take it. And then there’s moments where I feel like I need to be strong for her.”

“I just want everybody to know that that was an amazing child,” Medina said. “She wasn’t a normal teenager getting in trouble for doing crazy stuff. She was very mature for her age. She was a caring and loving person who, as far as I know, and from the messages I received, she changed a lot of people’s lives. I just want everybody to remember her that way and not the way that she was taken from me.”

“I lost it. She was my world, my everything. … Everything I do was for her,” Medina said.

“It should have been a great day because she was involved in the Christmas parade. She was going to be with the cheer squad,” Jacquelin noted.

Medina said her daughter was “murdered in cold blood.”

She is “praying for justice” for her slain child.

“Someone dared to go in and just rip my daughter away from me, it just kills me,” the grieving mother stated. “I just want answers to why they would do this to an amazing little girl who would never hurt anyone, wouldn’t dare to hurt anyone.”

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16-year-old Texas cheerleader found dead by mother; allegedly murdered after apartment break-in

​Edna cheerleader, Teen girl killed, Texas cheerleader killed, Cheerleader murdered, Murder, Crime, Illegal immigrant, Illegal immigration, News 

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Buyer beware: ‘Very sophisticated’ gift card scam likely padding Chinese bank accounts

As shoppers look for just the right Christmas gift for their family and friends this holiday season, the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office recently revealed that there is a “very sophisticated” gift card scam that could have a nationwide impact.

The New York Post reported that the sheriff’s office carried out an anti-theft retail operation that resulted in 285 felony and misdemeanor arrests in just a single week. The operation was primarily focused on big box stores, where gift cards are especially prevalent.

Among those captured was a Chinese national who had accumulated thousands of Target and Apple gift cards.

“During our recent retail theft Operation Bad Elf, detectives observed an individual, later identified as Ningning Sun, acting suspiciously near the gift cards in the payment aisles in a Sacramento Target store,” the sheriff’s office stated in a press release.

Investigators apparently watched on as Sun took all the gift cards off the rack in a Target and stuff them inside his jacket. And then he replaced the gift cards with “another set of seemingly identical ones.”

Fox News Digital reported that members of the sheriff’s office followed Sun outside before making the arrest.

Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Amar Gadhi said “[t]hat guy blew up like a piñata at a kid’s birthday party, spilling out gift cards from his jacket.”

Following the arrest, the authorities discovered thousands of gift cards stuffed into Sun’s car. Gandhi noted that the suspect would steal gift cards and carefully remove the glue that covers the bar codes on the cards. Then, he would allegedly record the PINs, re-seal the bar codes with similar glue and return the cards to the shelves.

A press release stated: “[The] investigation revealed Sun was part of a scam that tampered with gift cards, scanned the bar code and stole money from the gift card as money was loaded on them. Victims are completely unaware it is happening, and the money is often siphoned to an offshore account within seconds. Their investigation revealed that the operation spanned across California and several regions nationwide.”

Customers would then walk into the store and purchase the tampered gift cards and load money onto them. However, the money customers believed was loaded on the card was actually transferred to a bank account. Gandhi mentioned that it is believed that the funds were transferred to a Chinese bank.

“It’s going to go unreported because are you going to confront somebody who gave you a $0 gift card? No, that’s rude. And then you’re sitting there fat, dumb and happy, thinking, ‘Oh, I did something nice for somebody,’ not knowing that your money’s gone,” he said.

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Houston hoarder’s body discovered buried beneath four feet of debris in his townhome

A hoarder in Houston was apparently found dead buried beneath four feet of debris inside his townhome on Friday. The man was discovered after residents became alarmed over a “foul odor.”

The Daily Mail reported that the body of a decomposed man in his 70s was discovered in a Houston townhome on Friday. Residents became concerned after they had not seen the man in months. Houston fire officials and police responded after neighbors said that the odor had become too foul to ignore.

The authorities said that the condition of the home was so poor that they had to get assistance from Texas EquuSearch on Friday in order to locate the man’s body. Responders showed up to the home fully equipped with gloves, masks, and Hazmat suits. They apparently located rats and piles of debris that made it difficult to traverse the home.

Tim Miller, founder of Texas EquuSearch, said “[y]ou think you’ve seen everything, and then you realize you haven’t.”

Neil Zimmerman, a neighbor, said “I don’t understand how anyone could live in those conditions.” Zimmerman is apparently a board member of the homeowner’s association at the Shadow Pines Townhomes.

KTRK-TV reported that residents in the area were aware of the man’s hoarding issue. They said they attempted to help the man with the situation until the state agency noted that they intended to exterminate what he said were his pet rats.

Luis Miranda, another HOA board member, said “[w]hen I knocked, as soon as I opened the screen, I could smell the foul odor.”

Board members noted that the HOA will likely be responsible for footing the bill to clear out the townhome. They stated that they wish they could have helped the man sooner, according to a report.

“It is super sad. Nobody is here to claim him or check up on him,” Miranda said. “I feel like we did what we could, but we just had nowhere else to go. We tried the city. We just couldn’t get help for him.”

Experts have stated that the prevalence of hoarding has increased since the pandemic, and they have suggested it could be due to grief, anxiety, and the ease of one-click shopping.

Dr. David Nathan, a psychologist at Allina Health in Minneapolis, said: “As the pandemic was a very difficult experience for all involved, we saw increased rates of all stress reactions, and that includes increases in hoarding behaviors.”

The body was removed by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences. The cause of death is still unknown and will be determined by a medical examiner.

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