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Honeymoon in Jail

Brian DykesMindy McGhee

I know love can make one do strange things and I would assume that a newly wed couple would want to spend some quality time together. Well, Brian Dykes and Mindy McGhee's idea of quality time landed the Tennessee honeymooners in big trouble on their wedding night.

Brian Dykes and Mindy McGhee were married Wednesday at the Angel's View Wedding Chapel in Sevierville's Black Bear Ridge Resort where  they also rented one of the resort cabins.

View Black Bear Ridge Resort in a larger map

According to a police report, a resort worker  noticed the couple's car back outside the chapel around 1:00 a.m. After the car left, the worker found the chapel had been burglarized and a lock-box with cash was missing.

Sevier County sheriff's deputies found Dykes and McGhee at a Pigeon Forge restaurant. The sheriff's department said the couple confessed and turned over a lock-box with nearly $500.

They are being held in the Sevier County Jail on bonds of $10,000 each. Hopefully they are in different cells, just in case they come up with another crazy scheme - like trying to break out of jail.

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Doctors Accused of Child Sexual Abuse

Mark BlankenburgThe Blankenburg TwinsScott Blankenburg

Ordinarily parents would have no hesitation in taking their child to see a pediatrician. However, in the case of Dr. Mark Blankenburg, 53,  prosecutors have raised serious doubts as to whether he was practicing medicine or was using his medical license to practice pedophilia.

Dr. Mark Blankenburg of Hamilton, Ohio has been charged with 54 offenses, ranging from gross sexual imposition to bribery to drug trafficking and various other offenses. His bail was set at $1 million. He is accused of abusing four young boys all between the ages of 8 and 15. Most of the offenses occurred in his office while conducting medical examinations.

Dr. Mark Blankenburg's twin brother, Scott - who is also a pediatrician - with whom he shares a house, was also charged with a total of 22 counts, including multiple counts of child abuse. His bail was set at $500,00. Both brothers are charged with possession of child pornography also found inside their home.

Prosecutors allege that the brothers engaged in a long term pattern of sexual abuse of young boys stretching back as far of 1990. The victims would be offered money and drugs to keep the abuse quiet. They each face separate trials. The trial of Dr. Mark Blankenburg is ongoing. His brother Scott's trial is scheduled for April of next year.

One patient says Blankenburg, who was also his Little League coach, began molesting him when he was 13 and gave him $200.

Another patient was 14 or 15 when Blankenburg molested him and stuck $200 in his hand as he left an examining room. A third was about 14 when he was assaulted and also given money, he said.

A fourth has said he was around 8 years old when Blankenburg first fondled him.

The father of one of the victims talks about how the encounters with Dr. Mark Blankenburg affected his son. See video clip below.

Click link for background and full coverage of this trial.

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Was Baby Yair Carrillo For Sale?

Maria GurrollaYair Anthony CarilloTammy Silas

30-year-old Maria Gurrolla was not only devastated at the loss of her 4-day-old son, Yair Anthony Carrillo, she was also a bloody mess. A woman, later identified as Tammy Renee Silas,39, approached Maria at home at 3816 East Ridge Dr., Nashville, Tn., claiming to be an immigration officer who had come to arrest her.

The "immigration officer" proceeded to attack Maria, stabbing her multiple times. Maria managed to escape and ran to one of her neighbors for help. When she returned to her home she discovered that the "immigration officer" had left, taking Maria's 4-day-old son with her. An amber alert was also issued.

The police were able to locate and arrest Tammy Renee Silas, at her home in Ardmore, Alabama about 80 away. Silas is charged with the federal offense of kidnapping. She is also accused of attacking Maria Gurrolla with a knife and stealing her then 4-day-old baby. The FBI is holding Silas in the Morgan County Jail in Alabama. She'll appear in federal court when U.S. Marshals bring her back to Nashville.

Maria Gurrolla was notified that her baby was found. She went with her other 3 children, aged 3, 9, and 11 to get her infant son. After allowing her a brief visit with him, state welfare officials took him and the other three children and placed them in foster care, without much explanation except to say that it was for the safety of the children.

It was later learned that Department of Children's Services received credible reports that Maria was trying to sell her baby.

A statement released by DCS had said, in part, that "the Department of Children's Services still had concerns about the well-being and safety of (her other) children, based on credible and serious information that we are currently receiving."


See Video Clip Here


However, one day later, Metro police agreed that Yair should be returned to the custody of his parents and a Juvenile Court agreed. Maria Gurrolla has now been reunited with all of her children. A family member said that Gurolla and her family are currently staying with another relative right now because she is afraid to go back to her home where the attack happened.

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Abused Teen Lived in Closet

LaRhonda McCallSteve Hamilton

LaRhonda Marie McCall, 37, and Steve Vern Hamilton, 38, are in jail on $400,000 bail each. They each face 20 counts of child abuse and child neglect. McCall's 14-year-old son was so badly abused over a 4-year period that he had scars and burns all over his malnourished body.

The 14-year-old was finally able to escape from a bedroom closet, where he had been lock up, by prying open the door which had been blocked by a stepladder and a bed. With the help of his 18-year-old sister, he fled the apartment, wearing over-sized shorts held up with a belt. He walked barefoot for nearly a mile before coming across a National Guard armory.

"He ran up to us and asked where the nearest police station was," said Officer Paul Clark, one of two security officers on duty that day. "I asked him why, and he pulled up his shirt to show us his scars. He said he had been abused for four years and nine months, and wanted to tell police so that he would never have to go back."

The other security officer, Leslie Sanders, called police while officer Clark gave the starving boy an apple and a soda. When the police arrived the boy was given more food before being taken to hospital

"He had scars on his neck from being choked with an extension cord, and he was covered in bruises and stab wounds that were still healing," Oklahoma City Police Sgt. Knight said, adding that the victim is now in the custody of the Department of Human Services. "This boy had been abused in the extreme. He was very happy that he was in the presence of police and that he was finally safe."

The boy told police that scars on his stomach and torso were from where alcohol had been poured on him and set on fire. Other scars were from being tied up, hit with an extension cord and choked, the boy said.

The boy was unable to give the police his address but 13 hours and many phone calls later, they were able to locate his mother. They arrived at the apartment and arrested both the boy's mother, LaRhonda McCall, and her boyfriend Steve Hamilton on charges of child abuse and neglect.

There were six other children, siblings of the 14-year-old, in the apartment at the time. They were all taken into the custody of Human Services but showed no signs of physical abuse, injury or neglect. The 18-year-old sister who helped the boy escape was not held.

Sociologist Howard Kurtz said it is a rare for only one child to be singled out like that. He said the 14-year-old victim will need intensive counseling and therapy after experiencing the severe abuse.

"It is pretty unusual, but there are cases where one child is chosen to be the scapegoat," Kurtz said.

The boy said his trouble began four years ago when the family moved from New Jersey to the Oklahoma City area. He hadn't attended school since then, and spent most of his time locked in a closet.

The manager of the apartment complex, at 3500 Northeast Military Circle in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, where the abuse was taking place said McCall had only lived in the apartments for about a month and neighbors were unaware of any abuse.

Karen Gilleland, manager of the Hillcrest Apartments in south Oklahoma City, said that after McCall was evicted for unpaid bills in August, a hole filled with human waste was found in the wall of a closet in their apartment unit.


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We're Not Married??

Frank and Betty Skrout

The date was Oct., 6, 1960. Frank and Betty stood before the late Rev. James Feehley at St. Bartholomew Catholic Church in Wilmore, Pa. with Betty’s 5-year-old daughter and two witnesses. They declared their love for each other and with the blessing of the Rev. became Mr. and Mrs. Frank Skrout. They were married....or were they?

“Not according to us, not according to our records,” Patty Sharbaugh, the elected Cambria County official in charge of the records, said. “They’re not married.”

No, they were not married, according to the state of Pennsylvania. The late Rev. who performed the marriage ceremony never sent in the required “return of marriage” document to the office of the Cambria County Register of Wills/Clerk of Orphans Court, as required by law. The certified marriage license does not exist. There is no record of Frank and Betty ever being married 49 years ago.

“All these years we’ve been living in sin,” the good-natured Frank Skrout said jokingly in an interview on the front porch of the their longtime Wilmore. “I might as well play the field. What the heck.”


View Wilmore, Pa. in a larger map

The Skrouts lived their entire life in Wilmore, a tiny borough in Cambria County, about 55 miles east of Pittsburgh. Frank went to work for Bethlehem Steel and Betty did sewing at factories in Johnstown, Windber and Portage. They have one son, a grandson, five grandchildren and five great- grandchildren.

They discovered they weren't married when Betty tried to apply for a pension due to her through the International Ladies Garment Workers Union. She needed her marriage certificate to show her married name. When she applied at the county court, no record of her marriage could be found. According to the county records, Frank and Betty Skrout were never married.

Tony DeGol, secretary for communications of the Altoona-Johnstown Catholic Diocese, said the marriage certificate should be available.

“Those records are the property of the parish and they can be found,” he said.

Patty Sharbaugh said if the Skrouts can locate the information from the church, she will record it, back-dating the marriage to Oct. 6, 1960.

“We’ve had a lot of fun with this,” Betty said. “But it’s like the priest told us: We were married. The records are there – somewhere.”



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