Police chief steps down
Pittsburgh Police Chief Nate Harper stepped down Wednesday at the behest of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, who earlier in the day met with federal investigators amid a probe of police business. Harper’s resignation comes a week after the FBI gathered boxes of records from police headquarters and just days after City Controller Michael Lamb announced an audit of the force’s special events office.
Storm smacks heartland
An armada of snowplows and salt spreaders deployed Wednesday on highways across the nation’s heartland as a winter storm that’s already blamed for one death promised to dump up to a foot of snow in some areas and bring freezing rain and sleet to others. Winter storm warnings were issued from Colorado through Illinois. By midday Wednesday, heavy snow was already falling in Colorado and western Kansas. In Oklahoma, roads were covered with a slushy mix of snow and ice that officials said caused a crash that killed an 18-year-old man.
Altar made out of bones
Police officers searching for drugs at a Southern California home instead found a backyard altar adorned with a human skull and other bones last weekend. The Pasadena Star-News reported that the altar included statues of Santa Muerte and Jesus Malverde, folk figures often associated with the drug trade. A resident of the home told police she practices the Caribbean religion of Santeria. Police plan to run a DNA database check in case the bones belong to a missing person or were involved in a criminal case.
Body found in water tank
Health officials issued a do-not-drink order Wednesday at a downtown hotel where a missing Canadian woman’s body was found in the rooftop cistern. A maintenance worker at the historic Cecil Hotel found the remains of Elisa Lam, 21, on Tuesday morning after guests complained about low water pressure. Police were working to determine if her death was the result of foul play or an accident.
Compiled from wire reports.