WFSB - Eyewitness News

Search for missing boater in Connecticut River continues on MondayEAST HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – Divers will try to head back into a river near East Hartford on Monday to continue searching for a missing boater. Monday marked the third day of their search for 39-year-old Ivan De Jesus Morales Mencia, who went overboard while riding along the Connecticut River on Saturday afternoon. Crews said they had to suspend their search around noon on Sunday. On both weekend days, <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/news/crews-call-off-search-identify-victim-in-drowning-on-ct/article_9a6510f0-8fb1-11e9-a5ab-271cd0cbd446.html" target="_blank">dive teams suspended their search</a> for safety reasons. They described the water as being fast-moving with a strong current and debris can obstruct a diver's view. Also, the cold water could lead to hypothermia. Capt. Keith Williams of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection spoke to Channel 3 about the conditions. He said the water temperature averages about 60 degrees this time of year. Once hypothermia sets in, a person quickly loses muscle function which could ultimately lead to drowning. The water underneath the railroad bridge by Great River Park is about 40 ft. Crews used site-scanning sonar to find Mencia. Friends who were on the boat with Mencia said he went into the water while the boat was moving. Officials say the driver tried rescuing him by throwing a floatation device several times but was unsuccessful. “It’s tough. It’s devastating for all of us going through this," Williams said. "We’ve done this numerous times. It’s never fun trying to recover somebody and telling their family member that they lost a loved one. It’s one of the hardest parts of the job." Channel 3 was told Mencia was a father of three. Friends say he was not wearing a life jacket and may not have known how to swim. Williams urged anyone heading out on a body of water to have a life jacket and a plan of action if something like this happens.
Young child found wandering in New LondonNEW LONDON, CT (WFSB) - Police in New London are investigating after a young child was found wandering in the city on Monday morning. They said the 2 or 3 year old was found in the area of Montauk and Willetts avenues. The child was brought to a local hospital. Police canvassed the area and were able to locate the child's home on Crescent Street. However, they said the investigation remains active. Channel 3 has a crew headed to the scene. Refresh this page and watch Eyewitness News for updates.
Police search Avon pond in connection with missing mother caseAVON, CT (WFSB) - Sunday marked 23 days since a mother from New Canaan disappeared. Jennifer Dulos has been missing since May 24. She was last seen dropping her children off at school in New Canaan. State police have been searching the MIRA trash facility in Hartford in connection to her disappearance. On Sunday, no police were found searching the facility. New Canaan police said on Friday that they have received more than 600 tips regarding her disappearance and 80 responses to a request for surveillance footage. <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/news/timeline-events-surrounding-new-canaan-mom-s-disappearance/article_81bb741a-8613-11e9-b806-bf0cff043a93.html" target="_blank">TIMELINE: Events surrounding New Canaan mom's disappearance</a> Police said they and their partners continued their search at the Materials Innovation and Recycling Authority facility in Hartford and Fisher Meadow pond on Old Farms Road in Avon. Fisher Meadow is a another pond in Avon, <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/news/search-of-avon-pond-linked-to-missing-mom-case/article_89d51604-8cfa-11e9-b800-db38a52afec0.html" target="_blank">separate from the one that was being searched</a> earlier this week. Divers told Channel 3 they didn't find anything. The estranged husband of Jennifer Dulos, Fotis Dulos, was arrested in connection with the case and charged with evidence tampering and hindering prosecution. He is out on bond. Thursday, it was learned a person connected to Fotis Dulos has hired a lawyer. Defense Attorney Lindy Urso, who is based out of Stamford, said he is representing someone in connection with the Dulos investigation. Over the phone, Urso declined to identify his client, but said his client has "cooperated fully with authorities and is not in any way a suspect." He continued to say his client "is just looking forward to moving on with his life, post-Fotis Dulos." Attorney interview Fotis Dulos' attorney, Norm Pattis, <a href="https://audioboom.com/posts/7288076-fotis-dulos-lawyer-norm-pattis" target="_blank">spoke to 99.1 WPLR's Chaz &amp; AJ on Thursday morning</a>, in which he outlined his office's position that foul play is suspected and that there may be a body somewhere. However, he said his client didn't do it. Pattis said investigators did not find a "bloody scene" at Jennifer Dulos' New Canaan home. He also said that both Fotis Dulos and girlfriend Michelle Troconis have alibis for the day Jennifer Dulos disappeared. He shed some light on the alleged participation of Troconis in the case. "It's not clear to me that she has gone into a cooperation agreement," Pattis clarified. "I think what she agreed to do is speak to the police. And my understanding is that her speaking to the police has ruled her out as a participant in any involved way in New Canaan." Pattis said Troconis took a polygraph test about whether or not she had any knowledge of foul play. "She satisfied police and provided an alibi," he said. Fotis Dulos was home in the morning, took a call from Greece and had a meeting in the afternoon, according to Pattis. Pattis also said that the FBI has Fotis Dulos' cell phone and that he expects a report about it soon. Police said early on in the investigation that they were able to trace the phone to an area of Hartford, which led police to surveillance video of someone matching Fotis Dulos' description dropping off dozens of trash bags along Albany Avenue. "I suspect that his whereabouts will be traceable by cell phone," Pattis said. However, he said even if it turns out that Fotis Dulos was on Albany Avenue, it would be circumstantial. "My understanding is there are two potential bags, not 30," Pattis explained. "There may have been 30 stops by the car that he and she were believed to be in. It’s my understanding as well that she satisfied a polygraph that she did not know what was in any of those bags." Pattis said the only thing he'd been given access to is Fotis Dulos' arrest warrant. He has not see any of the evidence outlined by prosecutors. He said only evidence that hurts his client was sought. He argued that there may be more that's being withheld, specifically the location of his client's cell phone the morning Jennifer Dulos went missing. Pattis said they have their own private investigator looking into the case, including what Jennifer Dulos may have been doing before her disappearance. "We are beginning a parallel investigation beginning with the assumption that our client was not involved," Pattis said. A new search location Wednesday, investigators searched a body of water in Avon where dive teams were spotted. They continued searching there on Thursday. Fotis Dulos lives near the area in neighboring Farmington. He was described as a frequent water skier on the pond. He even wore a t-shirt with a water ski club's name on it shortly after posting bond on Tuesday. The ski club's president told Channel 3 that Fotis Dulos and the five children he had with Jennifer Dulos were avid members. <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/news/search-of-avon-pond-linked-to-missing-mom-case/article_89d51604-8cfa-11e9-b800-db38a52afec0.html" target="_blank">Divorce records stated</a> water skiing was a point of contention in the marriage. Jennifer Dulos called the training schedule dangerous and excessive. "My husband is obsessed with water skiing and insists that the children must train to be world class water skiers," the documents said. The search for Jennifer Dulos extends across the state. State police continue to search the MIRA trash facility in Hartford for clues. They've been there since last week in the wake of the surveillance footage along Albany Avenue in Hartford. Evidence in those garbage bags included a bloody sponge and clothing, according to court documents. Investigators also searched the Farmington home of Fotis Dulos along with another property with which his construction company is associated. Crews also scoured a park and the home of Jennifer Dulos, both in New Canaan. Court appearances Fotis Dulos and Troconis faced a judge for the second time on Tuesday. Both pleaded "not guilty" to evidence tampering and hindering prosecution charges. See their appearances <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/court-appearances-michelle-troconis-and-fotis-dulos/video_ae041d2c-7e55-579e-a52c-012c38abb007.html" target="_blank">here</a>. Evidence presented by prosecutors placed Fotis Dulos at what they called the crime scene, the home Jennifer Dulos was renting in New Canaan. They said a mixture of Fotis Dulos' and Jennifer Dulos' blood was found on a kitchen faucet. They said Fotis Dulos was at the home two days before the mother's reported disappearance. However, Fotis Dulos' attorney, Norm Pattis, said his client has an alibi and was not in New Canaan that day. A plea for information A 7-year-old boy from Wethersfield offered his savings as a reward to help find Jennifer Dulos, according to a statement from Carrie Luft on behalf of family and friends of Jennifer Dulos. "The impact of Jennifer’s disappearance on her five young children, family, and friends is affecting many people in similar ways," Luft said on Thursday. "We urge this young man to keep his savings, but we honor his impulse. This is about more than a reward—it is a call to do something." Police said they are the ones best equipped to conduct searches. However, citizens can help most by providing information. Anyone with information about Jennifer Dulos' disappearance is asked to contact New Canaan police at 203-594-3544. Police said also created a website dedicated to finding her. It can be found <a href="https://findjenniferdulos.com/" target="_blank">here</a>. Tips and info can also be emailed in to FindJenniferDulos@newcanaanct.gov.
Troopers identify East Hampton man killed in crash in HaddamHADDAM, CT (WFSB) -- Troopers identified an East Hampton man killed in a motorcycle crash in Haddam on Saturday evening. Crews responded to the intersection of Route 154 and Hayden Hill Rd for reports of a motorcycle crash just after 8 p.m. on Saturday. Officials said 25-year-old East Hampton man, Raymond Kuritz was killed when troopers said he was navigating a left turn and was ejected from his motorcycle. Kuritz collided with a mailbox and a telephone pole, troopers said. Troopers said Kuritz was pronounced dead on scene. Officials are encouraging those with information about the crash to contact Haddam Resident State Trooper, TFC Joseph DeAngelo #825 at CSP Troop F at 860-399-2100.
State police trooper injured in crash on I-95 in FairfieldFAIRFIELD, CT (WFSB) – A Connecticut state trooper was seriously injured in a crash on Sunday morning on I-95 in Fairfield, said officials. Police say a trooper was checking on a disabled vehicle in the median of I-95 Northbound about a quarter mile south of Exit 22 in Fairfield. The trooper’s police cruiser was stopped behind the disabled vehicle with its emergency lights on. According to police, a vehicle was traveling in the left lane when it veered into the left shoulder and hit the rear of the police cruiser. The cruiser was then pushed into the disabled vehicle. The trooper and the operator of the third vehicle were extricated from their vehicles by the Fairfield Fire Department, officials said. Police say the trooper was taken to Bridgeport Hospital for serious but non-life-threatening injuries. The operator of the third vehicle, as well as the operator of the disabled vehicle and a passenger were taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital for minor injuries. The crash is under investigation by the Connecticut State Police. Witnesses are urged to contact State Police Troop G at 203-696-2500.
Crews call off search, identify victim in drowning on CT River on Sunday afternoonEAST HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -- Crews with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) suspended their recovery search on Sunday afternoon for a man who police said went overboard into the waters of the Connecticut River on Saturday afternoon. Officials with DEEP identified the victim as 39-year-old Hartford resident Ivan De Jesus Morales Mencia. "It's tough, it's devastating for all of us going through this we've done this numerous times. It's never fun trying to recover someone and telling their family they lost a loved one," said DEEP ENCON Police Captain Keith Williams on Sunday morning. DEEP Spokesperson Lee Sawyer confirmed to Channel 3 the hours-long search was suspended at 8 p.m. on Saturday. Sawyer said the recovery efforts resumed on Sunday morning. Crews began searching the waters of the Connecticut River in East Hartford for a man witnesses said fell off a boat into the water. Officials with DEEP said Mencia fell off the boat and was swept under by the current. Passengers and the operator of the boat threw flotation devices to Mencia, but officials said he could not grab on. East Hartford Police Department Lieutenant Josh Litwin told Channel 3 fire and police crews were called to the railroad bridge in East Hartford around 2:15 p.m. for reports that a man jumped from a boat into the water and was swept under by the current. Captain Williams said crews will be using sonar in hopes of making a recovery on Sunday. He said crews will not go into the water until they get a hit on their scanner because of the dangerous conditions in the water. There were five people on the boat on Saturday, Captain Williams confirmed. He said officials are not sure why the man left the vessel. Captain Williams said they have no reason at this time to believe foul play was involved. Lt. Litwin told Channel 3 that witnesses said they did not see the man resurface. DEEP crews, East Hartford Fire and Police, and Hartford Fire crews are assisting in the search for the man. This story is developing. Stay with Channel 3 for updates.
Glastonbury police seek man who stole cash register from farm standGLASTONBURY, CT (WFSB) -- Glastonbury Police are asking for the public’s help to identify a man who is suspected of stealing the cash register from a farm stand. Police said employees with Killam and Bassette farm stand located on Main Street reported one of their cash registers was stolen at about 2:45 p.m. on Saturday afternoon. Employees told police a man, approximately 30-40 years old, 5’10”, skinny with shaggy gray hair, seen wearing a bucket hat, dark sunglasses, khaki cargo shorts and a dark blue t-shirt “bear-hugged” the register and walked away with it. The unidentified man may have been driving a newer model black SUV with tinted windows and black duct tape covering the digits of a CT license plate, police said. Police are encouraging those with information is asked to contact Ofc. Collard at 860-633-8301.
Middletown kicks off first-ever Pride Parade on Saturday afternoonMIDDLETOWN, CT (WFSB) -- Residents came out in droves to celebrate Middletown’s first Pride Parade on Saturday afternoon. Main Street in Middletown was doused in color as rainbow flags and colorful pride was proudly presented by the hundreds who attended on Saturday. The goal to spread love and awareness for all ages and backgrounds. Channel 3 spoke with Berlin resident, Natalena Fantozzi who set up a table to give out ‘free hugs’ to anyone that wanted or needed one. “Just feeling a sense of belonging, feeling a sense of love and pride in who you are regardless of who that is. We’re all human, we all deserve to be loved and to give love,” said Fantozzi. The parade started on Main Street at St. John’s Square and continued down Main Street to Union Street. Organizers told Channel 3 that pride is more than just a party. It is meant to acknowledge that LGBTQ+ people still face monumental challenges. Dri Simons told Channel 3 she identifies as a lesbian and said she has experienced hurt from others regarding her sexuality. “It gives people an outlet to express themselves and if you have all that pent up for a while, it’s going to hurt, and it’s going to hurt bad,” said Simons. Organizers told Channel 3 they received some pushback at first, but they said it was exactly why pride parades are needed in the first place. Their hope, they said, is to create a future that is welcoming for generations to come.
Fire destroys multi-family home in New Britain on SaturdayNEW BRITAIN, CT (WFSB) -- A large fire destroyed a multi-family home in New Britain on Saturday evening. Crews responded to reports of a fully engulfed home on Wallace Street around 6:30 p.m. on Saturday. Fire officials remained on scene to extinguish the fire as late as 8 p.m. Fire officials said no one was injured but could not confirm how many people were displaced from the home. Hartford firefighters assisted the City of New Britain firefighters in knocking down the fire. This story is developing. Stay with Channel 3 for updates.
Local Target stores report registers offline in national outageNEWINGTON, CT (WFSB) -- Local Target stores told Channel 3 that registers are offline amid a national outage on Saturday afternoon. Nationally, thousands of Target customers took to social media to report the retail giant’s systems had failed and were no longer allowing for check out. West Hartford resident, Brad Spranale told Channel 3 he was shopping during the outage. “It just seemed like there was some confusion with the registers whether they were working or not,” said Spranale. An employee spoke with Channel 3 who said the server crashed around 1:30 p.m. on an originally busy shopping day. He said it appears many registers were incapable of scanning and accepting payments. The retailer issued a statement: “We’re aware that guests are currently unable to make purchases at Target stores.” Customers told Channel 3 that some people abandoned their carts and left. “They were full of stuff. I don’t know if that was re-stocking but they were all by the front by the door, so I don’t know if that was people coming back to get them,” said Spranale. Approximately two hours after the outages, Target issued another a statement with information that the glitch was resolved. Target’s registers are fully back online and guests are able to purchase their merchandise again in all stores. The temporary outage earlier today was the result of an internal technology issue that lasted for approximately two hours. Our technology team worked quickly to identify and fix the issue, and we apologize for the inconvenience and frustration this caused for our guests. After an initial but thorough review, we can confirm that this was not a data breach or security-related issue, and no guest information was compromised at any time. We appreciate all of our store team members who worked quickly to assist guests and thank everyone involved for their patience.