It was definitely the biggest search party ever assembled in the Kayenta area and one of the biggest ever on the Navajo Reservation. In the end, the search turned up the missing kids who apparently had locked themselves in the trunk of a car that was parked in back of their house.
The two children, Ethene Atene, 2, and Star Love Holiday, 3, were playing in a yard on the evening of May 9. But when their two mothers went to look for them about sunset, they were nowhere to be found.
A search began immediately with all of the neighbors contacted and tribal police began looking to see if anyone suspicious had been seen in the area during the day.
By the early morning hours, the search group had expanded to include volunteer fire fighters and community residents who began searching all of the neighborhoods and nearby fields in search of the two children.
By 8 a.m. on May 10, the FBI was involved with agents from Flagstaff at the site and help on its way from the Phoenix office as the feeling became more apparent that it was not likely that the two children just wandered off by themselves.
But about 11:42 a.m., one of the children's mothers was walking by a car that was parked in back of the house when she heard a faint noise coming from the trunk of the car.
Since no one had the keys to the trunk, rescue workers had to tear up the back seats to get to the trunk, where they found the two children who were sweating profusely and were found to be hydrated but otherwise in good health.
They were both taken to the Kayenta Clinic and were released in the afternoon.
Navajo Prep locked down
Officials for Navajo Preparatory School in Farmington called for a lockdown at the school on Wednesday after a mysterious package was left on the steps in front of the administration building.
Lt. Bruce Holiday, public information officer for the Farmington Police Department, said the city's bomb squad was called to the school about 10:33 a.m.
What they found was a computer bag wrapped with duct tape. The word "bomb" was on the duct tape.
Using a robot, the bomb squad removed the bag from the front steps and took it to a safe place where it could be examined.
Holiday reported that there was no bomb.
Farmington city police are asking anyone who has information about the incident to call lead bomb technician Stephen Smith at 505-334-6622. People may also call Crime Stoppers at 505-334-8477 where they can remain anonymous and receive up to a $1,000 reward.
Men arrested for break-in
The senior citizen center in Upper Fruitland, N.M., was vandalized on May 6 by two men and a juvenile who broke into the building and an adjacent building and caused damage to both.
The three also stole keys at the center and used them to drive one of the center's vehicles through a gate. The three got out of the vehicle and walked back to the center and then stole a second vehicle and fled the scene.
Tribal police were called in a short time later and began searching for the second vehicle, which was found in the Nenahnezad area .
The two adults who were arrested have been identified as Brandon Smith, 19, and Davis Jim, 20. The juvenile's name was not released by police.
Couple gives conflicting accounts of beating
Tribal police are investigating a beating of a Navajo couple in the Inscription House, Ariz., area on May 3 but the investigation is hampered because the couple has given police multiple accounts of how they got beaten up.
Police said they know that something happened to Rosita Hurley, 45, and David Hurley that night because when they were interviewed for the first time, police found they both had many bruises.
David Hurley's lips had been bruised and he had a swollen nose and a bump on his left forearm. Rosita Hurley's left facial area was swollen and she had puncture wounds to her left cheek and her left ear lobe.
At first, David Hurley told police that the two had returned to their home after midnight and had been beat up at a nearby home but when police checked the people in that house, police were told that the Hurleys had not been there and there was no signs that an attack had taken place.
Later David Hurley changed his story and said the two were attacked by strangers.
Police said at the time of the interviews both Hurleys appeared to be highly intoxicated.
Second Mesa man sentenced in shooting case
PHOENIX – On May 14, Mitchell James Karty, 39, of Second Mesa, Ariz., was sentenced to 177 months in federal prison for using a firearm during a crime of violence, assault with a dangerous weapon, and assault of a federal officer, according to the U.S. attorney's office.
According to court documents, on Oct. 5, 2011, police officers responded to a residence on the Hopi Reservation following a domestic violence incident in which Karty was the suspect.
Officers waited at the residence while the victim of the incident packed some belongings. While officers were waiting, Karty returned to the residence, verbally taunted the officers, and then drove away.
Concerned for the victim's safety, officers instructed her to get inside of a police vehicle with her young child. An officer then began driving the vehicle to the police station, with another police vehicle following behind.
En route to the station, when officers saw Karty's vehicle approaching them from the front at a high rate of speed, they activated their lights and sirens.
Karty then stopped his vehicle in front of the officers at an angle that blocked both lanes of travel. Karty jumped out of his vehicle, put a high-powered Mak 90 assault rifle to his shoulder, took aim at the police vehicle, and fired his weapon several times.
Several bullets struck the vehicle while the victim and her child crouched below the dashboard. The officer was able to drive past Karty's vehicle on the dirt shoulder at a high rate of speed and continued to the police station.
Meanwhile, Karty returned to his vehicle and officers from several agencies pursued him throughout the day.
During the pursuit, Karty got out of his vehicle on three separate occasions and fired at officers, striking and damaging several vehicles.
One of the officers was injured when a bullet caused several metal fragments to splinter and embed behind his ear.
Karty eventually abandoned his vehicle on the side of the road and fled on foot.
Several hours later, Karty turned himself in and was arrested by the FBI. Upon arrest, officers located the Mak 90 assault rifle, three loaded magazines, and other loose live ammunition.