Thursday, October 20, 2005

Blogosphere's Most Wanted

UPDATE: (10/20/05 12:15 AM CDT) From last week's North County Times:
Sister of murder suspect pleads guilty

By: JOHN HALL - Staff Writer

FRENCH VALLEY ---- The sister of a man wanted in connection with the slaying of a soldier home in Murrieta on leave from Iraq pleaded guilty Tuesday to being an accessory to the murder.

Patricia Pena Urrea's trial was set to begin Tuesday morning when she instead decided to plead guilty to Judge Judith C. Clark at Southwest Justice Center.

She is the second family member of fugitive Fabian Cayetano Urrea, 19, of Mead Valley to plead guilty to helping him escape after the June slaying. He has not been found, but a warrant alleging murder has been issued for his arrest.

Patricia Urrea, 24, of Hemet, faced up to three years in state prison if she had gone to trial and been convicted by a jury.

During Tuesday's proceedings, Clark said the most Urrea would receive when she returns to be sentenced Nov. 8 would be 16 months. She could receive as little as just probation.

Urrea will be interviewed by a Riverside County probation officer prior to her sentencing next month and Clark will review that report before rendering a sentence.

Prosecutors and Murrieta police say that Urrea helped her brother escape capture after the June 9 shooting in the parking lot of an apartment complex on Jackson Avenue.

The 19-year-old Mead Valley man is accused of shooting 24-year-old California Army National Guard Spc. Jorge Estrada three times in the upper body, killing him.

Estrada was home on emergency leave from active duty in Iraq to be with his 20-year-old wife, Diana, when she gave birth just three days before the slaying. Fabian Cayetano Urrea is the biological father of the newborn girl. Authorities say there was an argument over visitation of the child that led to the fatal shooting.

Fabian Urrea then fled in a pickup and has never been found by police. Authorities suspect he may be somewhere in Mexico and say at least two relatives helped him get there.

Fabian Urrea's aunt, Margaret Arambula, 42, of Homeland, pleaded guilty in August to being an accessory to murder and was sentenced last month.

Arambula was sentenced to 270 days in county jail and three years' formal probation. With time she has already served, she had 62 days of her sentence left, which she can serve on weekends.

Arambula admitted knowing about the shooting and driving her nephew to the U.S.-Mexico border, but told a probation officer she didn't know Estrada was dead until her drive back home.

At a court hearing in July for Patricia Urrea, Murrieta police detectives testified about phone calls between cell phones belonging to Fabian Urrea and his sister after the killing, conversations among family members about where Fabian Urrea would go, and Patricia Urrea's purchase of underwear for the accused killer before their aunt drove him to Mexico.

One detective testified about a June 14 jail telephone conversation between Patricia Urrea and her mother after Patricia was arrested and booked.

In it, he said, Alicia Urrea told her daughter, "I have to tell you something about Fabian." Patricia Urrea then asked three times, "Is he in the same place?" the detective testified. Following that were inaudible whispers, he said.

Contact staff writer John Hall at (951) 676-4315, Ext. 2628, or jhall@californian.com.

I have a few things to say to this.

1. Fabian, we're gonna get you, sooner or later!

2. As to the aunt... 270 days sentence for accessory to murder? Somethings wrong with that picture!

(end update)
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UPDATE: (7/28/05 9:35 PM CDT) The North County Times reports that a judge has reduced the bail for Patricia Pena Urrea. She has been in jail since her arrest on June 13, charged with accessory to murder for her part in helping Fabian Urrea, her brother, elude police. Fabian is believed to have escaped to Mexico. See my two previous updates for my thoughts on the Mexico bit.

With family and children here in the States, sooner or later he's gonna come sneaking back across the border. I wonder what are the chances that he will be captured then. Probably slim, unfortunately.

(end update)
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UPDATE: (7/22/05 11:35 PM CDT) Hmmm, another hit from Mexico, this one from Guadalajara, which is as far as I can figure several hundred kilometers Southeast of Culiacan. Again, I may be overly sensitive to this, but I can see no reason for anyone in Mexico to be doing searches for fabian cayetano or, in this case, fabian cayetano urrea, unless they are family, friends, or Fabian himself. I wonder how common this name is?

(end update)
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UPDATE: (7/20/05 5:45 PM CDT) I don't know if I'm reading too much into this, or not, but...

Today I was looking at my blog stats, and noticed that I had had a visitor... from Mexico. The hostname was customer-cln-44-158.megared.net.mx, location Culiacan, MX. The only Culiacan that I know about is this one (sub-map C1), in Sinaloa State. The referring URL was a Google search for fabian cayetano. Now, this not being a border town, I immediately wondered just why anyone from so far South would be googling this guy, or even if it WAS this guy being googled. Very curious.

My suspicions are that this place is now harboring a fugitive suspected of murder, who is now checking to see how much heat is being applied to the case.

Also, when the visitor left, they went directly to Major K's blog.

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(original posting)

My blog is still new, and has few visitors. Regardless, I am posting a picture here of Fabian Cayetano Urrea, wanted in connection with the murder of Spc. Jorge Estrada, on the off chance that one of those few will know his whereabouts.

Murrieta police are asking anyone with information about Fabian Urrea's whereabouts to call investigators at (951) 461-6358 or (951) 696-3615.

The Inland Southern California (free registration required) has the story. Some info also available at the North County Times.

Major K has a personal interest in this, as should we all. Let's put him up on the Blogosphere's Most Wanted and see what happens.

Update: (06/21/05 1:55 PM CDT) The hunt still goes on. More info and background here and here.

"He might be gone," [Steve] Bogan said. "He will not be forgotten."

Update: (06/25/05 10:26 PM CDT) thunder6 has a post about the unit memorial service for Spc. Jorge Estrada:

"SPC Estrada".

After a long moment the First Sergeant cried out again "SPC Estrada".

Again the call went unheeded.

The First Sergeant put forward one last call "SPC Jorge Estrada"

As the First Sergeant’s words faded out of existence our silent reverie was shattered by the angry crack of rifle fire. The firing party discharged three volleys, and as the last shots echoed off the barren walls the mournful cry of a lone bugle cut through the dying light. Every soldier in the Nightstalker Battalion stood and held one last, long salute as the baleful notes of "Taps" echoed off our troubled hearts.

Read the whole thing.

(Note: photo posted on my own dime.)

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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Hurricane What's Its Name - Updated

As of yesterday, October 22, Tropical Depression 25 grew into Tropical Storm Alpha. An historic event. And my daughter wins the bet as outlined below.

*** end update ******

*** original post *****

My daughter and I made a little wager a couple of months ago concerning the total number of named storms that would occur this season. She took the position that we would, in fact, have a storm named Alpha. I took what I thought was a more likely position, that we would not get past Wilma. History was and is on my side. It is beginning to appear that the weather patterns, weather cycles, global warming, global cooling, or cyclonic gremlins (take your picks!) may be on her side.

(As an aside here, if you are interested in following tropical cyclonic activity, and want to know the nitty-gritty details of hurricanes, visit and bookmark/blogroll the Stormtrack Blog. Information is available from the projected tracks of storms, prokected life and history of storms, and explanations for such esoteric phenomena as 'eyewall replacement' and 'bombing out'. Good stuff!)

We have been following events closely, mostly the development stages, trying to keep track of just how our prospects for a win are looking. During the course of this hurricane season, many interesting discussions have arisen. One of those discussions involved the naming conventions applied to tropical storms. And the naming conventions of hurricanes edges me a little closer to the point of this post... (source: LiveScience)

Before the 2005 hurricane season is done, you might read about Hurricane Alpha.

Each year, 21 common names are reserved for Atlantic Basin hurricanes, with the list arranged alphabetically and skipping certain letters. Rita is the 17th named storm in the Atlantic Basin this year. There are only four left.

So what will officials do after tropical storm Wilma develops, assuming it does?

"We go to the Greek alphabet," said Frank Lepore, spokesman for the National Hurricane Center.

The 21 alphabetic names referenced above exclude names starting with the letters q, u, x, y and z, due to the dearth of names beginning with those letters. Keep this fact in mind, because I'll come back to it in a bit.

Well, as you all know, Wilma has developed, now, into a full scale category 5 hurricane. Next up, should it occur, will be Tropical Storm/Hurricane Alpha, then Beta, et cetera.

The names are kept on six-year rotating lists. Therefore, the names keep repeating. With certain exceptions. (For a complete six year listing of all storm names, worldwide, visit the National Hurricane Center.) Those names retired are of hurricanes that are exceptionally deadly or costly (from NHC):
[...] The only time that there is a change is if a storm is so deadly or costly that the future use of its name on a different storm would be inappropriate for obvious reasons of sensitivity. [...]
I also read somewhere (can't find it, ATM) that another reason for retiring certain names is that it would be less confusing, historically.

Anyway, here's the point of this post... a question. Assuming that we experience 21 named storms during a season, and the 22nd comes along (Alpha), and it turns out to be both deadly and costly... Will the name Alpha be retired? Due to the nature of most alphabets, there is only one letter available to fill that first slot. What would it be replaced with? Will the entire Greek alphabet be retired to avoid a hodgepodge of alphabetic characters? Somehow, I don't think that THIS would be an option.

What’s more, a storm name is retired if it causes widespread damage and deaths. So if there is a deadly Hurricane Alpha, what is it replaced with when it’s retired?

“It will go to the Swahili alphabet or something else,” joked Jim Lushine, severe weather expert at the National Weather Service in Miami.

Although I don't think the Swahili alphabet is appropriate, at least I'm not the only one asking What if... ? The same article goes on to say:

Actually, when old names are retired, new names have to be drafted in to a database maintained specifically for Atlantic Ocean storms, said Mark Oliver, spokesman for the World Meteorological Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, which maintains the database.

“There’s certain specifications which they have to meet,” Oliver said. “They have to be fairly easily remembered, they’ve got to be in alphabetical order.”

Hopefully, we will not have to worry about this too much. From the same article (emphasis mine):
If we get up into that league, we’ll have issues larger than naming these storms,” said Frank Lepore, spokesman for the National Hurricane Center in Miami. “The new phrase will be hurricane fatigue. Let’s coin that right now.”

Yep, Hurricane Fatigue. I would imagine that it wouldn't take too many hurricanes to induce that!

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