The Reporter-Times from Martinsville, Indiana on June 7, 2000 · 6
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The Reporter-Times from Martinsville, Indiana · 6

Martinsville, Indiana
Issue Date:
Wednesday, June 7, 2000
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6 The Reporter-Times Wednesday, June 7, 2000 Search goes on for missing girl BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) You can't live here without knowing about Jill Behrman. The 19- year-old's picture hangs on the sliding doors of grocery stores, on bulletin boards MM Mm in record stores, at the bank, the post office, on telephone poles and mailboxes. Throughout this tight-knit college town is the photo with the bobbed brown hair, the smile, the head slightly cocked. The Indiana University student's name comes up now in public meetings and conversations, in hushed tones and outraged exclamations. (People looking for her have put up posters around Martinsville.) Jill Behrman is missing, presumed abducted during a daytime bike ride. It will be a week Wednesday, and still no one seems to have a clue. Her parents, Eric and Marilyn Behrman, spent Tuesday at their home in Bloomington, waiting for a phone call, a tip, anything. "If someone has taken her and has her, we need them to know that we want her back," Eric Behrman said. The $25,000 reward being offered was increased to $50,000 Tuesday, going to anyone who provides information leading to an arrest and conviction. About 50 officers from state and local agencies are working the case, joined Monday by 10 agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. No motive has been established and there are no suspects. "What we're doing now is good old-fashioned leg work," Bloomington Police Capt. Bill Parker said Tuesday. "We just have kind of a very loose timeline, but other than that we don't have much." Behrman, an avid cyclist, is believed to have left for a bike ride last Wednesday morning, and she was last spotted a few miles south of her home. Her bicycle was later recovered undamaged 10 miles to the northwest. Eric Behrman, who works for the IU alumni association, said police dogs picked up no trace of Jill Behrman's scent in the area where the bike was found. "We didn't find anything," he said. "We couldn't find a helmet, a glove, nothing." So now the Behrmans can do little but sit and wait, keep a watch on the street out the kitchen window, talk to strangers and hope that spreading the word will help. As the days pass, their memories of last Wednesday grow sharper. Marilyn Behrman left for work at the IU Foundation around 8:30 a.m., just as her daughter was get ting up. She asked Jill to mow the lawn if she could, since it was supposed to rain later. Jill Behrman was supposed to be at work at the IU recreation center at noon, but she never showed up. She was supposed to meet her father and grandparents for a late lunch at 3 p.m., but she missed that as well. Her father came home, found her red backpack sitting by the door. It had her money and identification in it. Where would she go without this? The television was on in the living room, and the lights in the upstairs bathroom were still on. Still, she's 19, just finished her freshman year, she could be off with friends and just forgot about everything else. Then nightfall came, and the Behrmans' concern escalated. They called friends and family. No one had seen her. They called the police. They waited. And waited. "I stayed up all night cleaning house," Marilyn Behrman said. "I just felt like any minute she'd come walking in the door." As news of Jill Behrman's disappearance spread, the community reacted. By Friday, hundreds of volunteers from Indiana and surrounding states came together to help search. Her brother, 21-year-old Brian Behrman, got help from fellow IU students and made flyers now displayed across the city. Bicycle groups got word of the missing student and took to the streets searching. Cricket Houze, a member of deCycles, a group Jill Behrman belongs to, said everywhere members ride, they're looking. "How did they get her?" Houze asked. "That's what's so bizarre about this. What went on there? Jill is strong. She's so strong." The Bloomington Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Commission met Monday night and members said they'll try to organize a night bike ride to raise money for Jill Behrman's reward. Waitresses at a downtown bar and restaurant are donating this Friday night's tips to the Behrmans. Yellow ribbons are wrapped around trees for blocks leading up to the family's home, which is visited constantly by concerned friends and neighbors. Eric Behrman said he's been humbled by the community's response. But still, there's only one thing that matters. "We want her back," Behrman said, unable to keep his eyes off the window looking out to the street. "Someone out there knows where she is." "We hope," Marilyn Behrman added. "We hope." On The Net: http: (tilde)alumniiuaajillbehrman Questions raised about possible abortion pill restrictions WASHINGTON (AP) The government is considering rules for use of the abortion pill RU-486 that could restrict access to that early-abortion option. Planned Parenthood's director said Tuesday. The Food and Drug Administration said in February it would approve sale of RU-486, also known as mifepristone, once some final, but undisclosed, requirements were met. The pill's sponsor, the nonprofit Population Council, last week told abortion providers the FDA is proposing some curbs on the pill's use, said Gloria Feldt, national president of Planned Parenthood. "We are deeply concerned that FDA is considering restrictions that in my view would virtually assure that very few doctors would ever make mifepristone available,'' Feldt said Tuesday. Planned Parenthood is a family-planning group that favors abortion rights. She said the biggest concern is an FDA proposal that physicians allowed to administer RU-486 must be part of a registry, which she said would deter doctors wor ried about anti-abortion violence from offering the pill. Feldt said the FDA also is considering long-term health tracking of at least some RU-486 recipients, something she called unnecessary because half a million European women have used the pill successfully since 1988. FDA officials declined comment. "Some of the FDA's recent proposals are more restrictive than we had expected," said Sandra Waldman, speaking for the Population Council. She would not be more specific. But Waldman stressed that FDA discussions over the pill's use have just begun and no requirements are complete. Studies show RU-486 is 95.5 percent effective in causing abortion when taken within the first 49 days of pregnancy. But a very small percentage of patients required additional surgical treatment or blood transfusions, something the FDA must consider in determining how the pill should be used One question is how to ensure women return for an exam to be sure the pregnancy was terminated Heat deaths rise along Arizona-Mexico border TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) Four days into what she was told would be a six-hour trip, Yolanda Gonzalez lay dead of dehydration in the Arizona desert a victim of a searing sun, 110-degree heat and her determination to save her daughter. The 19-year-old mother from Oaxaca, Mexico, had given nearly all the water she carried to her 18-month-old daughter. Only a few ounces remained in the toddler's bottle when Border Patrol searchers reached them on Memorial Day. The youngster was rescued. Gonzalez became the sixth illegal immigrant to die of heat-related exposure in the past week in the Arizona desert. In all, 19 have died since October. With summer still nearly three weeks away, "we're expecting that it is going to get worse," said Doreen Manuel, a tribal detective on the reservation where Gonzalez was found. Heat-related deaths are an annual occurrence on this parched section of border, which draws those immigrants who don't believe they can get into the United States anywhere else. They're more of a concern this year, with immigrants pouring into the state by the thousands each month. In March, the Border Patrol arrested 76,245 illegal immigrants in the Tucson sector, which covers all but 50 miles of the Arizona-Mexico border. That puts the sector on pace to break an annual record of detaining more than 470,000 illegal immigrants. Federal authorities have increased patrols in California and Texas, forcing more border cross-ers to enter through Arizona. And stricter enforcement of the border near Arizona's urban areas is in turn pushing immigrants to try remote areas where they can find little water and must often endure triple-digit heat. Most are ill-prepared to survive. During all the 1999 fiscal year, there were 10 heat exposure deaths in the Tucson sector's western deserts, but none before mid-June, said Border Patrol spokesman Charles Klingberg. Still look for helicopter jail escapee INDIANTOWN, Fla. (AP) Authorities using bloodhounds trekked through mosquito-ridden marshes for a second day today, searching for a convicted sex offender and the helicopter pilot who plucked him from a treatment center yard in a daring escape. The men fled from the helicopter after it cleared a 15-foot razor-wire fence surrounding the center and crashed Monday near an orange grove about 100 yards away, authorities said. "It is out of a Hollywood script, isn't it?" said Jenell Atlas, a Martin County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman. "He landed in broad daylight, and he (the inmate) ran out like in a movie But unlike in a movie, they crashed." After a few hours' rest early today, authorities again began combing a 5-by -9-mile search area of orange groves, forests and swamp in muggy, hot conditions. Deputies were posted at school bus stops, Atlas said. "They escorted all of the school buses near the area to make sure all of the kids were safe," she said. The inmate, Steven Whitsett, 28, and the student pilot, Clifford Berkhart, 23, were believed to be armed. Deputies found two gun holsters beside the helicopter and authorities said they had found tracks The Martin Treatment Center is surrounded by orange groves, swamp and woods about 35 miles northwest of West Palm Beach "We have brush so thick it will tangle vour legs, and you can't get through it," Atlas said. "You've got to assume they're not prepared to survive out there." The escape happened at 1 p.m. Monday after Berkhart allegedly MMtJF M " St MMMMMMm) ' MMMMMMMMimltbr t JOwMMMMMMmV &MmY XMMMl Vwwl urn M MmmwJm JU W$$wlSmM? MMMM" A HaJBMSBWMBi- ' T0 MMMMMmY MMMMMMMMMMMM ' fc. T.T Bft Mr 9MMMMMMMM MM Wf jMMi BBwSPwPi?'. MJt UMM k V MMM f iMMMMMMMMMmMMM!MSm-'Xf " " . v JfJV ili0$$ MMMMMMMm Activity at the scene of the wreck Tuesday on State Road 252. Mother wants from page 1 a baby bed in our family room." She had been waiting for Krista and Brooke to get home because they were planning to move back in with her at Painted Hills. Krista, who was a certified nursing assistant, had been ill and having a rough time, her mother said, and she was anxious for them to return home yesterday so their things could be moved. "Now, I guess, I'll have to do that myself. "Brookie was a pistol, so funny. Didn't sit still. She was exactly 23 months old yesterday. I have her birthday present in the closet. They asked if I wanted to put it in her casket, and I said I needed to keep it," said Mrs. Burger as tears ran down her cheeks. "This is the first time my mother gets to hold her," she sobbed. She explained that her mother, Carolyn Martin, died seven years ago and never got to see or hold Brooke. Learns about wreck Mrs. Burger learned about the wreck from her son, Billy Guy Jr., at the Martinsville bowling alley, but she had a feeling something wasn't right before that. When she realized there had been a wreck on State Road 252, she drove by her daughter's house to see if her car was home. She didn't see it there and left again. Earlier in the afternoon, she had driven her daughter Jaime to band practice at Indian Creek. She had to detour because of the accident on Conservation Club and Old Morgantown roads. She saw helicopters in the sky, and guessed one was Lifeline and another was from a TV station. When she went to the bowling alley later, her son told her a light blue van was involved and that some of the passengers were ejected while others were extricated. "This really shook me up," she said, as she realized that Krista s friend Shalondra owned such a van. She got back in her car and went past Krista s apartment. This time she saw that Krista 's car was there and figured she must have missed seeing it the first time. She rushed home When she arrived she backed in and asked her husband Scott: "Have you heard from Krista?" She sounded a deafening scream when he responded: "She's gone and so is Brookie." Shortly thereafter, she phoned Krista s dad, Robert Baker of State Road 44, and told him the news. Mrs. Burger said that many Martinsville people knew Krista, though she went to Indian Creek High School. In her teens, she mmmmmmmmmmmmmmummmmmmmmt 2 & t Bedroom 12 Double TownhomeJ minutes South of the Circle A 8 minutes from Greenwood Mall' Call: Franklin North Milage Franklin. Indiana 736-4761 played in the Martinsville BaseballSoftball League. She also had worked at Burger King, Golden Corral, Kennedy Home, Domino's, Heritage Home Health Care and Papa John's. Recently, she started a job at Lost Name Steak House in Mooresville. Mrs. Burger didn't know where Krista and her friend had been but said they sometimes visited another friend at Morgantown. One woman who was one of the first people at the scene told Mrs. Burger that she prayed "so hard" for the baby. Mrs. Burger didn't know that Brooke had lived for a few minutes. "It just isn't right for a child to go before its parents," said Mrs. Burger. "I always thought that if there was a situation where they were suffering that God would take them quickly. But they're still gone from me, and I'm still suffering." Mrs. Burger said that she is checking on insurance coverage for funeral expenses. She doesn't believe her daughter had any. Mooresville from page 1 Japanese car manufacturers, as well as steel parts to the housing industry there. Gutzwiller said this will be TOA's first U.S. factory, although they already own a 30 percent share of Austin Tri-Hawk, an Indiana auto parts manufacturing plant in Austin. And if TOA chooses the Ravvlings site here, infrastructure improvements, such as widening the intersection and installing a traffic light on S.R. 67 will have to follow. Gutzwiller said one thing Mooresville has in its favor is Iizuka has been touring Mooresville over the past several weeks, and was very impressed with the small-town atmosphere while Leing so near to the amenities of Indianapolis. "From a visual standpoint, I couldn't th.nk of a better place to locate," Gutzwiller said. "They have been very complimentary of Mooresville as a community. I think that's otie of the advantages we have. A small-town with the big city amenities." TOA attorney Stroble said he expected the company to make a decision based on how good an offer they get from each community. "I think they're looking at the community incentives and the state incentives in Illinois, and the community incentives and the state incentives here," he said. Mother, baby from page 1 cell phone. She said she was holding a severely injured child and needed help. The child, Brooke, died in her arms. Those that stopped to help were badly shaken by the accident. A woman who lives in Trafalgar and is a licensed practical nurse helped care for the injured. She said she wanted the people whose family members had died to know they had been given the best care they could. Some of the helpers held an impromptu prayer service at the scene. Several of the emergency workers had a hard time dealing with the double fatality, especially the child's death. As one worker stated, "I've lost three people in four days. This hurts." (That person was one of those who responded to the bicycle accident on Godsey Road where former City Councilman Richard Cassens lost his life.) Workers "debriefed" A debriefing was held at the Washington Township Fire Department to help those involved with the accident deal with the deaths of the mother and her child. The accident closed the highway for over four hours. The Indiana Department of Transportation set up roadblocks and help reroute traffic around the accident scene. There was a delay in getting help to the scene. One call to the sheriff's department gave the location as being around three miles east of Martinsville near the Morgan Trails Subdivision. The Washington Township Fire Department and sheriff's deputies were dispatched to that location. A Morgantown police officer traveling westbound on State Road 252 came upon the accident, which was about three miles west of Morgantown. He provided the correct location. Also complicating the situation was the area where the accident occurred was a "dead spot" for most cellular phones and radio traffic, meaning communications were difficult. Those at the scene include the Morgan County Sheriff 's Department, Morgantown anH Trafalgar Police Departments, Morgantown, Martinsville, Trafalgar, Green and Washington Township Fire Departments, Indiana State Police, Rural Metro Ambulance, Lifeline Helicopter and the Morgan County Emergency Management Agency. Krista and Brooke Baker were the 11th and 12th fatalities in Morgan County this year. Authentic Mexican Cuisine 1010 Morton Ave. Martinsville. IN 765-349-1180 ' ' - - - - DAILY LUNCH SPECIALS Fantas $7 SO I 6 Mmm AM Marearita $1 99 !ion -1 nurs. 1 1 a.m.-3 p.m. With Coupon $3.25 s$2.50 Off 2 Dinners Mon. Thru Thurs.J)

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