Monkeys found, returned to Dallas zoo
The two emperor tamarin monkeys that were taken from the Dallas Zoo this week were found Tuesday in a closet at an empty home in Lancaster, about 15 miles south of the zoo, authorities said.
The monkeys — small animals with distinctive mustache-like whiskers that are native to parts of the Amazon — were reported missing Monday after their enclosure appeared to have been “intentionally compromised,” the zoo said.
Their disappearance was the latest in a string of bizarre incidents involving breached enclosures or habitats that were linked to the escape and death of other animals at the zoo in January.
The Dallas Police Department said that, together with other local authorities, it had located the animals just before 5 pm, after receiving a tip that they might be at an abandoned home. When authorities arrived, “the home was empty,” police said, noting that no arrests had been made and the investigation was ongoing.
“The monkeys have been returned to the zoo,” police said. The animals will be evaluated by veterinarians, the zoo said.
“We are thrilled beyond belief,” a zoo spokesperson said of the tamarins’ rescue. The facility said it had “substantially increased” the number of cameras onsite, as well as doubled security guards and overnight staff in response to the disturbances to its animals.
NYC sees end to absence of snowfall
NEW YORK — After almost a year with no measurable snowfall, New York City’s snow drought ended Wednesday after a light dusting of wintry mix.
According to the National Weather Service, 0.4 inches of snow was measured at Central Park, ending the city’s 328-day snowless streak. The city was four days away from breaking the record of 332 days with no snow in 2020.
It also marked the latest date in the winter for the city to see snow. The previous record date was Jan. 29, 1973. That winter had the lowest amount of snow on record at 2.8 inches.
Record keeping started in 1869, the weather service said. A tenth of an inch of accumulation is considered “measurable.”
The snow comes a day after the city went all of January with above-average temperatures.
“We’re on pace for one of the warmest Januarys in recorded history in New York,” Bob Larson, a senior meteorologist for AccuWeather, told the Daily News on Sunday.
However, the city may be starting a new streak. A cold snap is set to hit this week, with temperatures dipping into the single digits, though no additional precipitation is expected until next week.
Target shooter said to had mental illness
The man who was fatally shot by police after entering a Target store in Omaha, Neb., armed with an AR-15-style rifle had obtained the weapon just four days earlier at a Cabela’s sporting goods store, police said Wednesday. No one else was hurt.
Court records show that the man, identified by police as Joseph Jones, 32, of suburban Omaha, had no prior felony convictions in Douglas County, where Omaha is located. He also had no prior, documented contact with the city’s police, records show.
He entered the store around noon Tuesday, where police said he fired several rounds, sending shoppers and workers scrambling for exits and cowering in bathroom stalls. Along with the rifle, he had 13 loaded rifle magazines of ammunition.
Jones’ uncle, Larry Derksen Jr., said his nephew had schizophrenia and that his mental illness left him isolated.
“My nephew went into Target. I believe he had no intention of hurting anybody. He fired off a bunch of rounds,” Derksen told KETV-TV. “He had an AR-15 before law enforcement got there. If he had any intention of killing anybody he would have. He would have had time to do so.”
Kidnapper shoots himself before police
SALEM, Ore. — The suspect in a violent kidnapping in Oregon — a man who spent little time behind bars for a similar crime in Nevada — killed two men before being cornered by officers and fatally shooting himself, police said Wednesday.
Benjamin Obadiah Foster, 36, died at a hospital Tuesday night, hours after he shot himself while hiding in a crawlspace underneath a house in Grants Pass. In a news conference the next day, law enforcement officers revealed details on the intensive manhunt for Foster, including finding the bodies of the two men in a rural area north of Grants Pass.
Richard Lee Barron Jr. and Donald Owen Griffith were killed sometime between Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning, Oregon State Police Capt. Kyle Kennedy said.
The men lived together in the unincorporated community of Sunny Valley and apparently did not know Foster, who police said left a gruesome scene and stole some of the victims’ belongings, including their dog.
Authorities converged on the neighborhood with rifles and at least one armored vehicle and searched the house where they had found the woman the previous week. Officers didn’t initially find anyone, but then they sent a sheriff’s department robot into the crawlspace and found signs Foster was hiding there. His presence was confirmed by a camera, Grants Pass Police Chief Warren Hensman said.
The officers expected a gunfight, but instead Foster shot himself in the head, according to Hensman. Foster was said to be unconscious and still holding a .45-caliber pistol while wedged under the house, and officers had to remove floorboards to extract him.