NEW YORK (AP) — Disgraced self-improvement guru Keith Raniere, whose NXIVM followers included millionaires and Hollywood actors, was sentenced to 120 years on Tuesday for turning some adherents into sex slaves branded with his initials and sexually abusing a 15-year-old.
U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis called Raniere “ruthless and unyielding” in crimes that were “particularly egregious” because he targeted girls and young women in the sex-trafficking conspiracy that resulted in Raniere's conviction last year.
He handed down the unusually stiff sentence in Brooklyn federal court after hearing 15 victims call for a long prison term to reflect the nightmares and anguish they'll confront the rest of their lives.
As he announced the sentence, Garaufis noted that Raniere labeled some of the victims' claims lies. The judge told a woman who Raniere ordered to be kept in a room for two years when she was 18: “What happened to you is not your fault." He said that went for the other victims too.
Raniere, who looked at victims as they spoke in the courtroom, maintained his defiant tone, although he said he was “truly sorry” that his organization led to a place where “there is so much anger and so much pain."
“I do believe I am innocent of the charges. ... It is true I am not remorseful of the crimes I do not believe I committed at all," Raniere said.
Prosecutors had sought life in prison, while a defense lawyer told the judge Raniere should face 20 years behind bars.
The sentencing was the culmination of several years of revelations about Raniere’s program, NXIVM, which charged thousands of dollars for invitation-only self-improvement courses at its headquarters near Albany, New York, along with branches in Mexico and Canada. Adherents endured humiliation and pledged obedience to Raniere as part of his teachings.
NXIVM has been the subject of two TV documentary series this year, HBO’s “The Vow,” and the Starz series “Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult.”
Prosecutors said Raniere, 60, led what amounted to a criminal enterprise, inducing shame and guilt to influence and control co-conspirators who helped recruit and groom sexual partners for him. Raniere was convicted on charges including racketeering, alien smuggling, sex trafficking, extortion and obstruction of justice.
After victims spoke for 2 1/2 hours, the judge grew impatient and a bit angry when defense lawyer Marc Agnifilo sought to portray his client's organization as “doing good” for women before things turned bad for some.
“I've heard enough about Mr. Raniere's theories," Garaufis snapped.
The judge said Raniere groomed a 13-year-old girl so that “two years later he's having sex with a 15-year-old girl."
At another point, he cut Agnifilo off as the lawyer tried to argue victims were not always factually correct.
“You're starting to tire me out here," the judge said. “It's pretty clear he took advantage of people sexually."
Earlier, India Oxenberg, the daughter of “Dynasty” actor Catherine Oxenberg, called Raniere an “entitled little princess” and a sexual predator and lamented that she “may have to spend the rest of my life with Keith Raneire’s initials seared into me.”
Another victim said she had the initials removed from her body by a plastic surgeon.
Other victims labeled him a liar, a parasite, a terrorist, a sociopath, a racist, a sadist and “a toddler with too much power and zero accountability."
And the woman who was sexually abused beginning at age 15 said Raniere groomed her by telling her she was mature for her age.
“It is false. I was a child," she said.
She said that when Raniere saw blood running down her arm after a botched suicide attempt, he revealed his self-obsessed attitude, asking her: “Do you know how bad that could have been for me if you killed yourself?”
The likelihood of leniency had seemed to dissipate with the recent sentencing of Clare Bronfman, 41, an heir to the Seagram’s liquor fortune, for her role in NXIVM, which has been described by some ex-members as a cult. Bronfman was sentenced to nearly seven years in prison. Prosecutors had only sought five years.
Ex-followers told the judge that Bronfman for years had used her wealth to try to silence NXIVM defectors.
Reniere’s followers called him “Vanguard.” To honor him, the group formed a secret sorority comprised of female “slaves” who were branded with his initials and ordered to have sex with him, the prosecutors said. Women were also pressured into giving up embarrassing information about themselves that could be used against them if they left the group.
Along with Bronfman, Raniere’s teachings won him the devotion of Hollywood actors, including Allison Mack of TV’s “Smallville.” Mack also has pleaded guilty to charges in the case and is awaiting sentencing.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Tanya Hajjar told the judge only a life sentence would protect the public because Raniere otherwise “would be committing crimes today, tomorrow and in the future."
Outside court afterward, Barbara Boucher, who described herself as the first whistleblower of Raniere's scam when she left the group 11 years ago, said the sentencing left her “enormously relieved."
“I loved Keith for many years. I really thought he was my soulmate," said Boucher, who recalled her role in helping to build the organization when she first viewed it as a kind of Camelot where people could be empowered to be more loving and compassionate and live better lives.
“A lot of people today in this room will carry their wounds with them for life. You don't recover fully from something like this. It's deep," she said. Still, the once-successful financial planner sees a future.
“This is a 20-year book and this is the last chapter of the book and when I leave here today, that book is closing," Boucher said.
DECATUR, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Highway Patrol: Two killed in crash involving a school bus and utility service vehicle in eastern Tennessee.
FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) — A wildfire that has scorched more than 326 square miles (844 square kilometers) since it started in mid-August, becoming the largest in Colorado history, has damaged or destroyed more than 200 homes, officials said.
As of Monday, the Cameron Peak Fire in northern Colorado had destroyed 426 buildings and damaged another eight, said David Moore, a spokesman for the Larimer County Sheriff's Office. The affected buildings include 209 homes, 208 outbuildings and 17 buildings that were designated as businesses as part of the Shambhala Mountain Center, a meditation retreat in the mountains northwest of Fort Collins.
The fire ignited in arid and rugged terrain near Rocky Mountain National Park on Aug. 13 and has charred some of the most pristine land in the state. Fire investigators have not said what caused the blaze, which is 64% contained.
Damage assessment crews were combing the area after snow and cold weather put a damper on the fire over the weekend.
Meanwhile, crews were trying to determine how many homes were damaged and destroyed by Colorado's second-largest recorded wildfire which forced evacuations and closed Rocky Mountain National Park.
The East Troublesome Fire, just southwest of the Cameron Peak Fire, has destroyed about 301 square miles (780 square kilometers) and is 20% contained.
The blaze forced thousands of people to flee their homes and burned part of Rocky Mountain National Park, but the full extent of the damages is not yet known. Grand County Sheriff Brett Schroetlin has previously said there was “lots of structural loss” because of the fire but has declined to estimate the number of homes lost.
The town of Grand Lake, which was evacuated last week after the fire exploded in size, was not damaged, and no one is unaccounted for in the area burned by the fire.
Lyle and Marylin Hileman, aged 86 and 84, were found dead Friday after refusing to leave their home near Grand Lake. Their last known words were in a call to their son, saying calmly and adamantly that they would stay in their basement.
Gov. Jared Polis said Friday that the East Troublesome Fire, which was reported Oct. 14, was likely caused by human activity.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The family of a Black man killed when Philadelphia police officers fired a dozen rounds in a shooting caught on video had called for an ambulance to get him help with a mental health crisis, not for police intervention, their lawyer said Tuesday.
Additionally, Walter Wallace's wife is pregnant and is scheduled to have labor induced in coming days, the lawyer, Shaka Johnson, told reporters from the steps of a family home. Wallace’s father planned a statement later Tuesday, Johnson said.
Philadelphia officials anticipated a second night of unrest Tuesday, and a Pennsylvania National Guard spokesperson told The Inquirer that several hundred guardsmen were expected to arrive in the city within 24 to 48 hours.
Chief Police Inspector Frank Vanore said earlier at a news conference that police had received a call Monday about a man screaming and that he was armed with a knife.
The two officers each fired at least seven rounds — at least 14 total shots — but could not say how many times Wallace, 27, was struck.
Wallace’s father, Walter Wallace Sr., earlier told The Philadelphia Inquirer that his son was on medication and struggled with his mental health.
“Why didn’t they use a Taser?” he asked.
The officers had not been interviewed as of Tuesday afternoon, Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said. She said the officers' names and other identifying information, including their race, would be withheld per department policy until the department could be sure releasing the information would not pose a threat to their safety. Neither officer had a Taser or similar device, with Outlaw saying the department has previously asked for funding to equip more officers with those devices.
Wallace was shot before 4 p.m. Monday in an episode filmed by a bystander and posted on social media. Witnesses complained that police fired excessive shots.
Police arrested at least 91 people during unrest Monday night and Tuesday morning, with three people cited for failing to disperse and about a dozen charged with assault of an officer. Police had previously said 30 officers were injured in the unrest, most of them hit with thrown objects like bricks. One officer was still hospitalized Tuesday with a broken leg after being purposely run over by a pickup truck, police said.
Officials with the Fraternal Order of Police, the union representing officers in Philadelphia, said the officer injuries were unacceptable and called for public patience as the investigation into the shooting continued.
Officers said they found Wallace holding a knife and ordered him to drop the weapon several times. Wallace advanced toward the officers, who fired several times, said Officer Tanya Little, a police spokesperson.
In the video, a woman and at least one man follow Wallace, trying to get him to listen to officers, as he briskly walks across the street and between cars. The woman, identified by family members as Wallace's mother, screams and throws something at an officer after her son is shot and falls to the ground.
The video does not make it clear whether he was in fact holding a knife, but witnesses said he was.
Wallace was hit in the shoulder and chest, Little said. One of the officers drove him to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later, she said.
No officers or bystanders were injured in the initial confrontation, Little said. Both were wearing body cameras and were taken off street duty during the investigation.
Outlaw and other city officials said police were stationing extra officers on business corridors in west Philadelphia and elsewhere in preparation for more unrest.
Outlaw said earlier Tuesday that she had requested aid from neighboring counties as well as the National Guard. Mayor Jim Kenney had said the city had been in talks with the state about possible National Guard help related to elections, but a spokesperson for the Guard told the Inquirer that their presence would be related to the unrest.
Hundreds of people took to the streets in west Philadelphia Monday night and into the early hours of Tuesday, with interactions between protesters and police turning violent at times, the Inquirer reported. Video showed many yelling at officers and crying.
Dozens of protesters gathered at a nearby park, chanting “Black lives matter.” Police cars and dumpsters were set on fire as officers struggled to contain the crowds. More than a dozen officers, many with batons in hand, formed a line as they ran down 52nd Street, dispersing most of the crowd.
The 52nd Street corridor was also the site of protests against police brutality at the end of May, after George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police. Those protests have been the subject of City Council hearings, with protesters describing harsh and unnecessary tactics, including tear gas and projectiles fired by police.
DECATUR, Tenn. (AP) — Authorities report a school bus carrying children has been involved in a serious crash in Tennessee.
LIBERTY, Mo. (AP) — A Kansas man accused of killing his two sons and taking his two daughters from their home before being stopped in Oklahoma was charged Tuesday with capital murder in the boys' deaths.
Donny Ray Jackson Jr., 40, was also charged Tuesday with two alternative counts of first-degree murder, Leavenworth County Attorney Todd Thompson said at a news conference.
The capital murder count covers both boys' deaths and, if Jackson is convicted, could result either in the death penalty or life in prison without parole. Thompson said his office is still considering whether to seek the death penalty.
Thompson said he had discussed the charges with the children’s family, who he said were “doing as well as can be expected.”
Law enforcement officers went to the family home Saturday afternoon in Leavenworth after one of the siblings didn’t show up for a soccer game. The bodies of 14-year-old Logan Jackson and 12-year-old Austin Jackson were found and their two younger sisters, 3-year-old Aven Jackson and 7-year-old Nora Jackson, were missing.
After an Amber Alert was issued, Jackson was arrested Saturday night near Erick, Oklahoma, and the girls were returned to their family.
Jackson remained jailed in Beckham County, Oklahoma, Tuesday awaiting extradition proceedings.
Thompson declined to discuss any details of the case, including a possible motive, how the boys were killed or where Jackson might have been heading when he was stopped.
“In fairness to the justice system, the defendant has a right to have the facts presented to a jury and we would hate to taint that,” he said in an interview.
There are no charges related to the girls' abduction because law enforcement is seeking to determine whether Jackson had legal custody of the children when they were taken from the home, authorities said.
Maj. James Sherley, of the Leavenworth County Sheriff's Department, said Monday that Jackson and his wife were going through a divorce and Donny Jackson had "on-again, off-again access to the children.”
Gary Nelson, the attorney handling the divorce for the children’s mother, Tara Jackson, didn’t immediately respond to an email message from The Associated Press seeking comment.
Jackson was stopped in Oklahoma after a truck driver notified Beckham County authorities that he was following a car with tags mentioned in the Amber Alert.
Officer Jonathan Burrow, with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, said he spotted the car a short time later and was able to pull over the driver and call for backup, KFOR-TV reported.
“I feel happy that the girls are safe. That was my main thing the day that it happened,” Burrow said.
Heather Hollingsworth in Mission, Kansas, contributed to this report.
IRVINE, Calif. (AP) — Wildfires roared through hills in Southern California, pushed by the region's whipping Santa Ana winds that often fuel flames in October.
The fires, driven by little moisture and ferocious wind, drew dangerously close to homes, forcing tens of thousands to flee and spreading smoke over highways and neighborhoods. Two firefighters have been critically injured, and crews worked Tuesday to gain control.
The two fires around the Orange County cities of Irvine and Yorba Linda come during a wildfire season that peaked early. October and November are traditionally the worst months for fires, but blazes have already burned a record amount of land throughout California, while causing deaths and destroying people's houses and businesses.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A man is facing charges for allegedly stealing a cellphone from a collapsed jogger who was dying on a St. Louis sidewalk.
Brian Davenport, 35, was arrested Monday and is charged with felony stealing, authorities said. He does not yet have a listed attorney.
The 64-year-old jogger collapsed around 1 p.m. Oct. 18 in the city's Soulard neighborhood, police said. Davenport was arrested after surveillance video showed a man getting out of a van, taking the phone and leaving the woman on the sidewalk.
The woman later died at a hospital. Her name has not been released.
SARDIS CITY, Ala. (AP) — A 200-pound tortoise named Sparkplug that escaped from a pen in Alabama is back home after a journey across two counties and at least one soybean field.
Sparkplug, a 60-year-old African spurred tortoise that lived in an enclosure in Etowah County, pushed its way out of the fenced pen on Thursday. A motorist who spotted the animal on the side of the road took it to his 200-acre (81-hectare) spread in Marshall County, owner Ty Harris told The Gadsden Times in a story Monday.
Harris found out what had happened after using social media to spread the word about Sparkplug, but there was still the matter of finding the tortoise on the land where he'd been released.
A big, roaming tortoise leaves tracks, and area farmers were able to see where Sparkplug had plowed through soybean fields. The man who initially released Sparkplug into the wild found the tortoise and returned it to Harris on Saturday.
“He just had a couple of days out on the town,” said Harris.
Harris used to operate a wildlife sanctuary in the area and got Sparkplug from a family in New Jersey that couldn't keep the animal.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Police shot and killed a 27-year-old Black man on a Philadelphia street after yelling at him to drop his knife, sparking violent protests that police said injured 30 officers and led to dozens of arrests.
The shooting occurred before 4 p.m. Monday as officers responded to a report of a person with a weapon, police spokesperson Tanya Little said.
Officers were called to the Cobbs Creek neighborhood and encountered the man, later identified as Walter Wallace, who was holding a knife, Little said. Officers ordered Wallace to drop the knife, but he instead “advanced towards” them. Both officers then fired “several times,” Little said.
Wallace was hit in the shoulder and chest. One of the officers then put him in a police vehicle and drove him to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later, Little said.
Hundreds of people took to the streets to protest the shooting late Monday into early Tuesday, with interactions between protesters and police turning violent at times, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Video showed many yelling at officers and crying.
Police cars and dumpsters were set on fire as police struggled to contain the crowds. More than a dozen officers, many with batons in hand, formed a line as they ran down 52nd Street chasing protesters away from the main thoroughfare. The crowd largely dispersed then.
Thirty officers were injured, most of them from being struck by projectiles such as bricks and rocks, according to preliminary information from police. One officer was hospitalized in stable condition with a broken leg and other injuries after she was struck by a pickup truck, police said, while the other injured officers were treated and released.
Video of the fatal confrontation recorded by a bystander and posted on social media shows officers pointing their guns at Wallace as he walks in the street and around a car. He walks toward the officers as they back away from him in the street, guns still aimed at him. They yell at him to put his knife down.
Both then fire several shots and Wallace collapses in the street. A woman runs up to him screaming. Several bystanders then approach him.
It is unclear in the video if he had a knife. Witnesses said he was holding one.
No officers or bystanders were injured in the confrontation, Little said. The names of the officers who fired the shots were not immediately disclosed. Both were wearing body cameras and were taken of street duty pending the investigation.
Some people spoke with city Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw, who arrived at the scene a short time after the shooting occurred.
“I heard and felt the anger of the community,” Outlaw said in a statement, adding that the video “raises many questions” and that “those questions will be fully addressed by the investigation.”
Wallace's father, Walter Wallace Sr., told the Inquirer that his son was also a father, was on medication and struggled with mental health issues.
“Why didn't they use a taser?” he asked.
The races of the police officers weren't immediately confirmed. The shooting occurred in a predominantly Black neighborhood in west Philadelphia. The Inquirer reported that dozens of protesters gathered at a nearby park and chanted “Black lives matter.”
MIAMI (AP) — Authorities found the body of an aspiring hip-hop artist inside the trunk of a Virginia man's car after he crashed on a Miami highway, police said.
Robert Deupree Avery Coltrain, 25, was arrested and charged with illegal transport of human remains and second-degree murder in the death of 25-year-old Brian Trotter, news outlets reported.
A Miami-Dade police report said Florida Highway Patrol responded to a crash on the Palmetto Expressway Sunday afternoon and found Coltrain and his silver Acura.
Troopers towed the car to the parking lot of Hialeah’s Westland Mall and became suspicious of Coltrain when he asked to remove his belongs from the car, which included a gun case.
Authorities said they were also suspicious because they noticed buzzing flies and the smell of rotting flesh around the car.
Troopers opened Coltrain's trunk and found Trotter's body “wrapped in a piece of fabric and in an advanced stage of decomposition,” the police report said.
An autopsy revealed Trotter was fatally shot multiple times.
A motive for the killing wasn't immediately released. It’s unclear whether Coltrain had an attorney who could comment on his behalf.
Trotter was last seen on Oct. 17 leaving his home in Triangle, Virginia with Coltrain, who is also from Virginia.
The two had been friends for more than a decade. Trotter's family said he was trying to forge a hip-hop career. His rap name was “Kent Won’t Stop.”
ARGO, Ala. (AP) — Two young girls in a pickup truck led police on a chase of at least 30 miles through metro Birmingham, authorities said.
News outlets reported the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office received a report about the unauthorized use of a vehicle. Bessemer police spotted the vehicle Sunday afternoon with an 11-year-old girl and another girl believed to be 11 or 12 inside.
A chase that reached speeds of 80 mph went up Interstate 59 and ended when the truck wound up in a ditch.
Justin O'Neal, a spokesman for the Alabama state troopers, said no one was injured. Both girls were in custody awaiting transfer to the Department of Human Resources.
DALLAS (AP) — Another top deputy to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is leaving his agency, continuing the exodus of lawyers who earlier this month accused the Republican of crimes including bribery and abuse of office.
Darren McCarty, the deputy attorney general over civil litigation, confirmed his resignation Monday but declined to comment further. He's set to depart the attorney general's office next week.
McCarty’s resignation comes as Texas is involved in a landmark antitrust lawsuit brought with other states and the U.S. Department of Justice against Google.
Paxton’s office did not immediately respond to questions about the resignation or how the top civil lawyer’s departure might affect the case against the online search giant.
McCarty was one of seven senior lawyers who reported their boss to law enforcement for alleged crimes tied to an investigation requested by one of the Paxton's wealthy donors. Most of them have since resigned, been put on leave or fired.
Paxton's office dropped the investigation into claims made by Austin developer Nate Paul after his staff's revolt became public. He has denied any wrongdoing and refused calls for him to leave office.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A judge says a Minnesota couple accused in the drowning death of their 21-month-old son after leaving three children unsupervised for nearly two hours will not have to serve prison time.
Eddy Louis, 55, and Sabina Lewis, 26, of Bloomington, pleaded guilty in August to second-degree manslaughter for the September 2019 death. Hennepin County District Court Judge William Koch on Friday sentenced the couple to six months of home monitoring, three years of probation and 150 hours of community service.
The criminal complaint says the couple left the house before 8 a.m. on a Saturday and went shopping at Cub Foods and Walmart. They told police the children were asleep at the time, and they thought the kids would continue to sleep until they returned.
When the couple came home, they said the oldest child was still sleeping but they heard their 4-year-old in the bathroom, where they discovered the baby in the tub.
As part of the sentence, the couple must also engage in family therapy and complete a parenting class.
MIAMI (AP) — Zeta has become a hurricane on its track for Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.
KINGSTON, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee couple pleaded not guilty Monday to dozens of charges including murder and abuse involving children they had adopted.
Michael Gray Sr., 63, and Shirley Gray, 60, were arraigned on the 42-count indictment handed down last week by a Roane County grand jury, news outlets reported.
The charges involve the death of a girl, whose remains were found on the property, and other children the couple had adopted.
The couple was arrested in May after a little boy was spotted walking alone along a Roane County road.
Arrest warrants say passersby called 911, and a responding officer began asking questions. The boy’s legal guardian soon confessed, the warrants said, to burying the remains of a little girl in a barn and locking a 15-year-old boy in the basement for four years.
Two other children spent time in a wire dog cage, while all were supposedly homeschooled and appeared to be “stunted in growth,” according to the warrants.
Michael Gray told authorities that the girl was about 10 when she died in 2017, a few months after she was locked in the basement, and that he buried her inside a barn in the backyard, the warrants said. Investigators found her skeletal remains the day after the 911 call.
The couple is also facing a theft charge. Authorities say they didn't report the girl's death and kept receiving state benefits.
The Roane County case led authorities to search a Knox County property where the couple lived previously and court records show the remains of a second child were found.
The Knox County case is still under investigation and no charges have been filed, news outlets reported.
The Grays are due in court again in December.
DETROIT (AP) — Panel restores control of Detroit Public School’s finances to elected school board after 11 years of state oversight.
WOODINVILLE, Wash. (AP) — Authorities were investigating why a man wearing a pro-Trump baseball hat pulled out a handgun during a confrontation with demonstrators opposed to the president in suburban Seattle on Saturday.
It happened after anti-Trump demonstrators, mostly teen and young adults, gathered in Woodinville to oppose another group that had been rallying for President Donald Trump at an intersection.
The situation escalated when someone flung a bucket of liquid at the man, Sgt. Ryan Abbott of the King County Sheriff's Office told The Seattle Times. Officers retrieved the bucket with fluid inside and were working to confirm the contents, he said. The unidentified man who drew the gun remained nearby and told officers that his eyes were burning, Abbott said.
Video footage shows the man holding a handgun parallel to his head before a woman pushes him away and someone shouts “It's water, you snowflake!”
Mandy Luttinen, who joined the event to watch over the anti-Trump demonstrators, said the incident happened as the opposing events were winding down and the pro-Trump group walked past the young protesters on their way to a parking lot. The bucket appeared to be holding water tainted with mud or tobacco juice and was thrown by someone not participating in either demonstration, she said.
EMBDEN, Maine (AP) — A man with a metal detector has found a long-hidden, 222-year-old coin under a few inches of soil outside a church in Maine.
Shane Houston, of Charlotte, North Carolina, was on a metal-detecting trip with a friend from New Hampshire when he found the coin earlier this month, the Bangor Daily News reported.
The copper penny, dated 1798, comes from the first decade of American-minted money in North America.
He said it was found on the grounds of a church in Embden where he had permission to use his metal detector.
The penny is not in pristine condition. Houston said it might fetch $200 but he has no intentions of selling it.
On the same trip, he also found an 1818 penny, a full wagon wheel and a musket ball. The ammunition was measured at 0.75 caliber, making it British in origin.
MISSION, Kan. (AP) — Authorities found two girls who were abducted from a Kansas home where two boys were discovered dead Saturday, and a suspect is in custody.
The Kansas Amber Alert System said about 7 p.m. on Twitter that the girls were found by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol near Erick, Oklahoma.
The Kansas Bureau of Investigation earlier identified the girls as 3-year-old Aven Jackson and 7-year-old Nora Jackson. An Amber Alert said the suspect in the abduction is the girls' father, 40-year-old Donny Jackson.
Leavenworth County Emergency Management said in a Facebook post that Jackson also is a person of interest in the homicides.
The time of the abduction and killings are unknown. Authorities began investigating around 1:15 p.m. after receiving a 911 call from an adult who discovered the homicide scene at the home where Jackson lived when one of the children didn't show up for a soccer game, Maj. James Sherley, of the Leavenworth County Sheriff’s Department, said in a news briefing.
Less than an hour before the discovery was made, the Kansas Highway Patrol made an unrelated car stop on the suspect’s vehicle on U.S. 169 near the Oklahoma border. The stop was for a traffic infraction, Sherley said.
The abducted children were in the vehicle, according to an update posted on the KBI website.
The names of the slain boys weren’t immediately released. Sherley said he believed the boys were 11 and 14 and were the girls’ siblings.
The FBI referred questions to the patrol, which said the sheriff's office was answering questions in the case.
Sherley said “there had been some back and forth with family" but that the motive wasn't clear. He added: “At this time investigators are trying to determine what went on with the family dynamic that got us to this point."