Weird News

From NBC

Man rescued after two days at bottom of mine shaft was searching for gold

John Waddell, 60, told his friend that if he wasn’t back home by Tuesday to search for him. He was found on Wednesday.
Image: Arizona mine shaft rescue

Maricopa County Search and Rescue personnel in Arizona work at a mine shaft where a man fell in and was trapped for two days.KPNX

 / Updated 
By Minyvonne Burke and Alex Johnson

An Arizona man was searching for gold when he fell into a 100-foot-deep mine shaft in a remote desert area, sparking an hourslong rescue mission.

John Waddell, 60, was pulled from the shaft on Wednesday night, two days after his carabiner clip broke, sending him tumbling 40 to 50 feet into the bottom of the mine.

Terry Shrader said Waddell, a close friend, called him on Monday to say he was trekking out to the remote desert area near Aguila, about 90 miles northwest of Phoenix, to search for the precious metal. Authorities said Wednesday that Waddell owned the property and had worked it for 20 years.

Shrader and Waddell had made a deal that if Waddell wasn’t back by Tuesday, Shrader needed to search for him.

Image: John Waddell
John Waddell.Facebook

Shrader told NBC News that he became worried when he still had not heard from Waddell on Wednesday. Luckily, he knew exactly where to find him.

“Just as I pulled up in the truck, I could hear him hollering,” Shrader said.

Shrader said he found an area where he could get cellphone service and called 911. He then dropped water to Waddell as they waited for help.

Waddell’s dramatic rescue was recorded on video that shows rescue workers’ using rope to pull him to safety. It took about five hours before Waddell was removed from the shaft.

He was then flown to Banner-University Medical Center Phoenix with injuries that weren’t considered life-threatening, Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Joaquin Enriquez tweeted.

“We are looking forward to his recovery. Great outcome today with all MCSO and law enforcement partners,” he wrote.

A hospital spokesperson told NBC News that Waddell broke his legs and underwent surgery on Thursday.

“Mr. Waddell is happy to be with his loved ones and is looking forward to a successful recovery. The family has asked for privacy at this time,” the spokesperson said.

Shrader said Waddell told him he had to kill three rattlesnakes to keep them from biting him as he waited for someone to find him.

“He’s a tough guy,” Shrader told NBC affiliate KPNX of Phoenix. “I’ve never seen anything like this. He’s got both artificial knees. One of them was messed up pretty bad.”


Father accused of kidnapping son from Canada 31 years ago

Allan Mann Jr. used fake birth certificates to live in the United States since 1987, prosecutors said.
 / Updated 
By David K. Li and Janelle Griffith

Modern technology helped to capture a 66-year-old Connecticut man who allegedly kidnapped his infant son from Canada more than 31 years ago and raised him in America using fake names.

Allan Mann Jr. was arrested on Friday in Vernon, a suburb of Hartford, where he had been living as “Hailee Randolph DeSouza,” investigators said.

Image: Allan Mann Jr
Allan Mann Jr., who is accused of kidnapping his nearly 2-year-old son in Canada 31 years ago, has been arrested by federal authorities.Missing Children Society of Canada

Det. Sgt. Wayne Banks, of the Toronto Police Fugitive Squad, at a news conference Monday in Toronto, said Canadian and American authorities used facial recognition to identify the 66-year-old Mann.

The dual Canadian-Ghanaian citizen took his 21-month-old son, Jermaine Allan Mann, on June 24, 1987, during a court-ordered visit in Toronto, officials said.

After coming to the United States later that year, Mann used a fake birth certificate — purportedly from St. Joseph Hospital in Houston, claiming he was born in 1957, according to prosecutors. Jermaine also lived with a fake birth certificate, purportedly from Hermann Hospital in Houston.

Both Houston’s Health Department and Texas’ Health and Human Services Commission have confirmed those documents are phony, prosecutors said.

Federal officials declined to name the son or reveal where he currently lives.

Lyneth Mann-Lewis, who was notified Oct. 25 that her son had been found, traveled from Toronto to Connecticut over the weekend to meet her now 33-year-old son allegedly stolen from her more than three decades ago.

“The words ‘Your son is alive; we’ve found him’ — that is breathtaking,” she said Monday.

Mann-Lewis said when the two met, she grabbed her son and squeezed his head to see if he was real.

“I said, ‘Oh my God, my baby.’ He said, ‘Mommy, you have my eyes.’ He hugged me and he kissed me and we held for a long time,” Mann-Lewis said.

Their reunion was the result of at least 200 tips from the public — all of which investigators said were taken seriously in Toronto and the U.S. — and three to four hundred interviews.

Asked if there was anything she would like to say to Mann, she responded: “I just thought it was sad for him to have done what he did. You never take a child from its parent, no matter what.”

Banks said Jermaine Mann was under the impression that his mother had died shortly after birth.

The son attended Mann’s initial appearance before a judge on Friday and left court without commenting.

“And since his son is a victim in this case, we can’t disclose any information about him,” Department of Justice spokesman Thomas Carson said on Monday.

Mann, who has been living in publicly subsidized housing in Vernon since 2004, was charged with making false statements and making false statements to get HUD housing.

Since the alleged kidnapping, Mann had also lived in the Bronx, New York, and Jamestown, North Carolina, according to a criminal complaint.

His next pre-trial hearing is set for Nov. 9.

Mann-Lewis thanked the Missing Children Society of Canada and officials in both countries for investigating her son’s disappearance. She said she wanted to encourage other families with missing children and loved ones not to ever give up hope on finding them.

“I am the proof that after 31 long years of suffering, 31 long years, one should never give up,” she said. “But be patient. Be strong and believe that all things are possible and that anything can transpire.”

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