September 15, 2018
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Evelyn Rodriguez, whose 16-year-old daughter Kayla Cuevas was murdered by members of the MS-13 gang two years ago, was fatally struck by an SUV Friday after an altercation with the driver shortly before an anniversary memorial service for her daughter's death.

Rodriguez was preparing for a candlelight vigil when she was killed; the driver of the SUV called 911, and an investigation is ongoing. The SUV's driver has not been arrested at this time.

After her daughter's death, Rodriguez became a prominent advocate for victims of gang violence. "It's a fight that I have to continue to make sure all communities are safe," she said the day before her death.

To honor her advocacy work, Rodriguez was among President Trump's invited guests for the State of the Union address in January. "My thoughts and prayers are with Evelyn Rodriguez this evening, along with her family and friends," Trump tweeted Friday night. Bonnie Kristian

September 8, 2018

"My days were just thinking, what was going to happen? What am I doing here?" 13-year-old Alejandro told CNN of the two months he was separated from his mother by U.S. immigration officials per the Trump administration's rescinded family separation policy. "I was so worried that the frustration wouldn't let me sleep ... I felt like it was a nightmare that would never end."

Alejandro and his mother, Dalia, journeyed to the U.S. from Guatemala. They entered the U.S. illegally, seeking safety from domestic abuse by Alejandro's estranged father, whom Dalia says was too well-connected in her country for police protection to mean much. The plan was to seek asylum in America, but before Dalia could make her case, mother and son were separated, she sent to a prison and he to a shelter.

The agents "wouldn't allow any physical contact," at the moment of separation, Alejandro said. "I only told her through the window that I loved her very much and that everything would be okay. All I could say was 'goodbye,' and they took me."

The teen reports he was treated well but was only able to speak to his mom on the phone three times in two months: "It hurt me so much because [she] was the only thing I had. I was completely alone." After two months they were reunited and released, Dalia fitted with an ankle monitor to keep track of her until her asylum application can be adjudicated.

Read Alejandro's full story here. Bonnie Kristian

September 1, 2018
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Two people who were wounded in a stabbing attack at the main railroad station in Amsterdam on Friday were both Americans, the U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands, Pete Hoekstra, said Saturday. They were visiting the country as tourists, and their identities have not been released. Both have been hospitalized, as has the attacker, who was shot by police.

The stabber has been identified as a 19-year-old Afghan citizen who lives in Germany. "At this moment he is under police custody in [the] hospital. He is being questioned about his motive," an Amsterdam police representative said of the suspect. "We are looking at all scenarios, also the worst scenario, which is terrorism." Dutch police are working with German authorities to learn more about his history. Bonnie Kristian

August 28, 2018
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A Guatemalan toddler died of a severe respiratory infection that "went woefully under-treated for nearly a month" while she was in Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody earlier this year, a lawsuit filed by her mother alleges.

Yazmin Juarez, 20, sought asylum after entering the United States with her 18-month-old daughter, Mariee. They were taken into custody by ICE in March and held in the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas, for about three weeks. Throughout that time, Juarez repeatedly sought medical attention for Mariee, the suit says, but the help she received was inadequate and the prescriptions were not effective. In addition to respiratory symptoms, Mariee suffered weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever.

After the mother and daughter were released, they flew to New Jersey, where Yazmin's mother lives, and took Mariee to the hospital the next day. The little girl was hospitalized for respiratory failure for six weeks to no avail. She died May 10.

"A mother lost her little girl because ICE and those running the Dilley immigration prison failed them inexcusably," said a statement from the Juarez family's attorneys.

Child welfare officials in Texas are investigating what may be the same case, though details of the child whose death is at issue in that probe have not been released. ICE told CNN it is "committed to ensuring the welfare of all those in the agency's custody, including providing access to necessary and appropriate medical care." Bonnie Kristian

August 25, 2018
The San Diego Union-Tribune/Screenshot

A deadly crash involving a sports car heading the wrong way on a highway near San Diego on Thursday was caused by a popular teenaged YouTube star, California authorities said Friday.

The YouTuber, named Trevor Heitmann but known as "McSkillet" to his 900,000 followers, was 18 years old. He was driving a $250,000 McLaren sports car at least 100 mph the wrong way on state Route 805 when he rammed his vehicle head on into an SUV carrying Aileen Pizarro, 43, and her 12-year-old daughter, Aryana.

Both cars burst into flames, and all three were killed. Subsequent collisions caused by the primary crash caused at least one serious injury.

Law enforcement are still investigating the crash. Heitmann was banned from a lucrative online video game marketplace where he made much of his fortune earlier this year, a development some of his followers believe is connected to his crash.

Aileen Pizarro was a marriage and family counselor who worked with children who were removed from dangerous homes. "She loved to work with them and tell them they were worth something," said her elder son, Dominic Pizarro. "She went out of her way to bring light to them in hopeless situations." Aryana would have started seventh grade on Monday. Bonnie Kristian

Editor's note: This article originally wrongly implied a clear motive behind Heitmann's actions. It has since been corrected. We regret the error.

August 25, 2018

"My love, I'm your mommy," a Honduran mother pleads with her squirming 3-year-old son as they are reunited after three and a half months of separation by the Trump administration's discontinued policy of splitting up migrant families.

The moment of reunion is shown in a gutting video released by the ACLU. The boy refuses eye contact, crawling away from his crying mom. "What's wrong with my son?" she asks her husband. "My son is traumatized."

As the ACLU report accompanying the video explains, the Reyes-Mejia family (a pseudonymous name for the sake of safety) came to the U.S. from Honduras to escape spiking violent crime. They did not enter the country illegally but presented themselves at a border crossing facility to seek asylum.

The father, Ever, was told he could briefly leave his son alone at a detention facility while he completed some paperwork. When he returned, the boy was gone. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents had shipped him to foster care in Michigan.

Because the boy is just 3 years old, the Reyes-Mejia family was given priority for reunification when the family separation policy was shut down. His response at reunification with his mother is emblematic of the "traumatic psychological injury" mental health experts warned the separations would produce, especially for young children.

As of Thursday, the ACLU says, 528 migrant children remain separated from their families in federal custody. Bonnie Kristian

August 18, 2018

Police in Weld County, Colorado, northeast of Denver, on Thursday found the bodies of Shannan Watts and her two daughters, Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3. Watts was pregnant with her third child.

The family members are believed to have been killed by their husband and father, Chris Watts, who has been arrested but not yet formally charged. He reportedly confessed to the crime after his arrest and is expected to face murder charges by Monday.

The bodies were found on the property of a petroleum and natural gas exploration company where Chris used to work. Court documents filed Friday suggest strangulation may be the cause of death. Bonnie Kristian

August 12, 2018
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The airline employee who stole and fatally crashed an empty plane at the Seattle airport late Friday has been identified as Richard Russell, 29. His family has described him as "a faithful husband, a loving son, and a good friend," expressing total shock at his decision to take the plane.

"We are devastated by these events, and Jesus is truly the only one holding this family together right now," said a statement from the family. "Without him, we would be hopeless." Russell was reportedly suicidal, and while speaking with an air traffic controller who was trying to persuade him to land the plane described himself as a "broken guy" with "a few screws loose."

Russell had worked for the airline for several years. He had permission to be in the area where the plane was parked but should not have been on the plane alone. "If you're going to access the aircraft ... you make sure that you check with someone else, and that someone else [will confirm] that ... you have the right authority to get onto that aircraft," explained CNN safety analyst David Soucie. Security protocols are being reviewed following the crash. Bonnie Kristian

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