Archives For Haiti


Detective Yves Dambreville retired in 2012


An FBI operation at rural home in Indiana, April 2, 2014.  WISH-TV

WALDRON, Ind. — A team of FBI agents, archaeologists and other experts are confiscating Native American and other artifacts and relics from a collection described as having immeasurable cultural significance from a home in rural central Indiana, authorities said.

An FBI investigation determined that the homeowner, Donald C. Miller, may have knowingly and unknowingly collected objects in violation of several treaties and federal and state statutes, Special Agent in Charge Robert Jones said Wednesday.

“We know that some of the items were acquired improperly,” Jones said.

The items, stored in several buildings on the property about 35 miles southeast of Indianapolis, areto be collected, identified and repatriated, he said. Those that properly belong to Millerare being safeguarded, he said. A number of statutes and law may not have been in effect when Miller collected some of the items, he said.”The exact number of artifacts in the collection is unknown at this time but it’s believed to be in the thousands,” Jones said. “The monetary value of the entire collection and of its individual pieces is yet to be determined however the cultural value of these artifacts is immeasurable.”

Jones said that the extensive collection, which Miller amassed over eight decades, includes Native American artifacts and relics as well as items from the United States, China, Haiti, Australia, Russia, New Guinea, Italy, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Greece, Peru and possibly several other countries.

He said he could not comment on the nature of the items but said that Miller had traveled extensively. He said the team was trying to determine the exact time and method of each acquisition.

Larry Zimmerman, a professor of anthropology and museum studies, said he was overwhelmed when he saw the collection.

“I have never seen a collection like this in my entire life except in some of the largest museums,” he said.

Miller, 91, told CBS News that he was a lifetime collector who had a museum of hundreds of artifacts in his basement.

He said he “absolutely” has rightful ownership of the artifacts and that he was cooperating with the FBI’s search.

“I have been in 200 countries collecting artifacts,” he said.

Miller has not been charged with any crime.

Television helicopter video showed a mobile FBI command vehicle, a moving van and several tents alongside a two-story home near the town of Waldron.

Some 200 people are involved in the process, which could take years.

 


By Hasani Gittens, News Editor, NBC News

Seventeen migrants died early Wednesday when their overloaded boat capsized off the Turks and Caicos Islands as it was being towed to port by the authorities.

A spokesman for the British territory‘s government said that 33 others were pulled from the water after the boat overturned.

All aboard were believed to have been migrants from Haiti.

The sailboat had been detained early Wednesday by the marine division of the Turks and Caicos Royal Police Force and was being towed to the island of Providenciales when it overturned near shore.

Those rescued from the water are now in custody on suspicion of attempting to illegally enter the territory, authorities said.

“I can confirm that 33 people were detained as suspected illegal Haitian immigrants,” said Colin Farquhar, of the Royal Turks and Caicos Island Police Force. “This group consisted of 21 males, including one child, and 12 females. These people will be repatriated to Haiti at the earliest opportunity.”

He said that the search for casualties had concluded for Wednesday, although a “scaled down search” would begin again on Thursday.

The U.S. Coast Guard deployed two helicopters to the scene after local authorities requested help, U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Sabrina Laberbesque said. Two fast-response vessels from Florida Coast Guard bases were also dispatched.

Dozens of Haitians have died in similar accidents in recent years, as many seek to escape an island still reeling from the devastating 2010 earthquake.

In November, at least 30 Haitian migrants drowned when their overloaded boat capsized off the southern Bahamas. Eleven Haitian migrants died in June 2012 when a boat carrying 28 people from the Bahamas to Florida sank.

Turks and Caicos are about 120 miles north of Haiti in the northern Caribbean Sea.

Reuters contributed to this report


Maine mom uses social media to scatter son’s ashes

Hallie Twomey uses Facebook page

This Dec. 17, 2013, photo shows an urn containing the ashes of C.J. Twomey on a shelf at his parent’s home in Auburn, Maine. C.J.’s mother, Hallie Twomey, is asking people to help scatter his ashes throughout the world so he can become part of the world he never got to see.

AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty

AUBURN, Maine —For 3 ½ years, a black stone urn of C.J. Twomey’s ashes has sat on a shelf in his parents’ Maine home, not far from the door he walked out of one beautiful April day shortly before shooting himself.

Now, his mother is using social media to enlist the help of strangers to scatter his ashes from Massachusetts to Japan in the hope that her adventure-loving son can become part of the world he left behind.

“I don’t want him to have to sit in an urn for my benefit for whatever rest of time that we have,” Hallie Twomey said. “I wanted to give him something. I’m trying to give him a journey.”

It started with a simple request on Facebook to help C.J. – who was only 20 when he died – “see the mountains that he never got to climb, see the vast oceans that he would have loved, see tropical beaches and lands far and away.”

The post was shared by nearly 100 of her friends, and soon even strangers started offering to scatter C.J.’s ashes in their hometowns, on family vacations or just somewhere beautiful. She started a separate Facebook page called “Scattering C.J.,” which now has more than 1,000 likes.

The pictures and videos on Facebook tell the story of where C.J. has been. A man scatters C.J’s ashes on a beach in Massachusetts. One sprinkles them in the forest in Jamaica, and another off a rocky cliff in Hawaii.

Along with his ashes, Twomey sends a note and a small photo of smiling C.J., wearing a Boston Red Sox shirt with sunglasses propped up on his head. She asks the recipient to do four things: Think about C.J., think about the people he gave life to through organ donation, tell him that his mom and dad loved him and tell him that his mom is sorry.

Twomey regrets rolling her eyes at her son instead of hugging him as he stormed out of their home after an argument. A few minutes later, C.J. shot himself in his car in front of the home, she said.

C.J., who thrived on adventure like jumping out of airplanes, was upset about not making a special forces team with the Air Force, she said. After being honorably discharged, he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do with his life, she said. But she never thought he would do what he did that day.

Last week, C.J. was sent to Haiti and India and soon someone plans to take him to the top of Mount Everest, Twomey said. About 150 packets of his ashes have traveled so far and 300 other people have offered to share in CJ’s journey. When most of C.J.’s ashes have been scattered, Twomey hopes to put together a book with all the notes and photos people have sent her. The proceeds would go to the New England Organ Bank, she said.

Many of those offering to help scatter C.J.’s ashes have also been affected by suicide or lost children. The kindness has been overwhelming, she said.

“Really, why would a complete stranger want to help us?” she said. “I really think people are doing whatever they can, even if it’s a small thing, to ease our burden or to embrace life.”

Jessica Hale, who lives in Juneau, Alaska, heard about C.J.’s mom’s idea from her sister, one of Twomey’s neighbors. She was struck by how much she had in common with C.J. Hale is also a veteran and says she has contemplated suicide.

Seeing the impact C.J.’s death has had on Twomey’s family opened her eyes to the immense hurt suicide leaves to those who are left behind, said Hale, a 37-year-old security guard.

“It made me realize that I couldn’t do that, and it made me make a promise to myself that I would never do that.”

Hale scattered C.J.’s ashes near a rocky beach in Juneau that reminded her of a picture she saw on Facebook of Twomey’s family when C.J. was still alive.

“I feel like I had closure … some inner peace after that,” she said.

For Twomey, finding peace has proved more difficult.

“I want to find peace in this. I want to feel better, but my guilt is so intense so I haven’t yet. I don’t know if it will,” she said. “I hope. I just have hope that maybe this will help in some way, because for 3 1/2 years, nothing has.”


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