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PURPORTED KIDNAPPER DROPS ULTIMATUM TO CALIFORNIA POLICE: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A person claiming to be the ringleader of a group that says it abducted a California woman last week in an attempt to get a ransom has backed away from a threat to police to apologize for calling it a hoax.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports Wednesday that attorneys for the 29-year-old Vallejo woman and her boyfriend received emails from the purported ringleader saying the group’s ultimatum to cause further harm was wrong and it won’t attempt further damage.

The newspaper previously reported an email it received from the anonymous person threatened police and demand they apologize to Denise Huskins.

Huskins’ boyfriend, Aaron Quinn, reported on March 23 that kidnappers took her and demanded an $8,500 ransom. She turned up safe two days later.

Police initially investigated the case as a kidnapping but later called it a hoax. They have since declined to comment.


INVESTIGATORS SAY STUDENT, ROOMMATE DIED IN MURDER-SUICIDE: DAVIS (AP) — Investigators say a UC Davis veterinary student and her roommate died in a murder-suicide.

Yolo County coroner’s officials said Tuesday that 27-year-old Whitney Engler died after being shot in the head and chest.

Her roommate, 23-year-old Joseph Hein, died from a self-inflicted gunshot to the head.

The bodies were found early Friday on the second floor of their west Davis duplex, hours after police surrounded the home. Officers responded after someone called 911 to report a shooting.


FORMER SACRAMENTO FIREFIGHTER PLEADS NO CONTEST TO BURGLARY: SACRAMENTO  (AP) — A former Sacramento firefighter has pleaded no contest to charges that he stole prescription drugs while pretending to inspect people’s homes for smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

The Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office said 31-year-old Craig White entered the no contest plea Tuesday to two counts of first-degree burglary.

Prosecutors say White dressed in his Sacramento City Fire Department uniform while off duty on Dec. 5, then went to seven homes where he pretended to conduct fire inspections. They say he targeted elderly residents, searching their medicine cabinets to steal prescription drugs.



HAWTHORNE  (AP) — Authorities say a shooting involving police has killed a man and woman and wounded a 12-year-old boy in Hawthorne.

Police in the Los Angeles suburb say that shortly after 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, a woman in a Mercedes pulled up next to a patrolling officer and said she was being followed.

KCAL-TV says moments later, a white Cadillac pulled up and a passenger got out and opened fire on the Mercedes.

The officer then shot the gunman.

The man and woman died at the scene. Their names haven’t been released.

A 12-year-old boy in the Mercedes was wounded and hospitalized in stable condition.

KCAL says the driver and another passenger in the shooter’s car were arrested.  .