PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The bodies of two men who had been bound with duct tape, stabbed and weighed down with makeshift anchors were pulled from a river Wednesday after a third bound man, wet and also covered with stab wounds, was found wandering along a road in the dark, police said.
The surviving victim said he had been abducted, thrown in a van and robbed by four or five people before being thrown in the river, but managed to get free, police said.
The 20-year-old man, who was not immediately identified, suffered an estimated nine stab wounds to the neck, chest, body and legs, but was reported in stable condition after being hospitalized, police said. Dressed only in underwear and a shirt, his arms had been tied around his back, his ankles had been tied together and he had been blindfolded.
"At this point, the only motive we have for the abduction and stabbing of our 20-year-old victim who's alive is robbery," Chief Inspector Scott Small said.
The two dead men were found with their wrists and ankles duct taped, and also with duct tape around their face, police said.
The bodies were found five feet from a retaining wall along the Schuylkill River, in five to 10 feet of water.
Police said a bucket was apparently used as one makeshift anchor. Next to one of the bodies brought ashore was a roofing cement bucket.
The survivor said at some point during the van ride he realized two other people were also in the back of the van with him, police said.
Police would not disclose the location where the surviving victim was abducted. They hoped to use surveillance video from that location to identify the van.
Autopsies were scheduled to determine if the two men died in the river or were already dead when they were thrown in the water. Their identities were not immediately known.
The area where the men were dumped is a popular area for recreation. As the bodies were being recovered, boaters and runners passed the scene.
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) — A third top doctor has died from Ebola in Sierra Leone, a government official said Wednesday, as a leading American health official warned that the outbreak sweeping West Africa would get worse before it gets better.
The disease has already killed more than 1,400 people in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, and experts have said it could take months to bring it under control.
"I wish I didn't have to say this, but it is going get worse before it gets better," Dr. Tom Frieden, the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said of the outbreak at the end of a visit to Liberia, where he described the situation as dire.
Frieden travels next to Sierra Leone, where the loss of a third senior doctor has raised concerns about the country's ability to fight the outbreak.
Dr. Sahr Rogers had been working at a hospital in the eastern town of Kenema when he contracted Ebola, said Sierra Leonean presidential adviser Ibrahim Ben Kargbo on Wednesday.
Rogers' death marks yet another setback for Sierra Leone, a country still recovering from years of civil war, where there are only two doctors per 100,000 people, according to WHO. By comparison, there are 245 doctors per 100,000 in the United States.
Health workers have been especially vulnerable because of their close proximity to patients, who can spread the virus through bodily fluids. WHO has said that at least 240 health workers have been infected in this outbreak, more than in any other. One of those is an epidemiologist working with the WHO in Sierra Leone, who has been evacuated for treatment in Germany.
"The international surge of health workers is extremely important and if something happens, if health workers get infected and it scares off other international health workers from coming, we will be in dire straits," said Christy Feig, director of WHO communications.
A team of two experts was sent Tuesday to investigate how the Senegalese epidemiologist became infected, said Feig. In the meantime, the WHO has pulled out its team from Kailahun, where he was working.
The epidemiologist had been doing surveillance work for the U.N. health agency, said Feig. The position involves coordinating the outbreak response by working with lab experts, health workers and hospitals, but does not normally involve direct treatment of patients.
There is no proven treatment for Ebola, so health workers primarily focus on isolating the sick. But a small number of patients in this outbreak have received an experimental drug called ZMapp.
Health officials in Liberia said two recipients of ZMapp in Liberia — a Congolese doctor and a Liberian physician's assistant — have recovered. Both are expected to be discharged from an Ebola treatment center on Friday, said Dr. Moses Massaquoi, a Liberian doctor with the treatment team.
The drug has never been tested in humans, and it is unclear if it is effective. Only a handful of people have received ZMapp in this outbreak, and some have recovered while others have died.
Other Ebola developments:
— The World Health Organization said it was notified Tuesday of an unrelated Ebola outbreak in Congo. The agency said Wednesday that 13 of the 24 people sickened there have died.
— The U.S. Agency for International Development announced it is giving an additional $5 million to provide health equipment and emergency supplies, train and support health care workers, and help build emergency response systems.
— The Nigerian Ministry of Health has ordered all primary and secondary schools to remain closed until Oct. 13 to help ensure that Ebola does not spread any further in the country. Five people have died from Ebola in Nigeria, and officials have expressed optimism the disease can be contained.
— Air France temporarily suspended its three flights a week to Sierra Leone because of the outbreak. The French national carrier is maintaining its flights to Conakry, Guinea, and to Lagos, Nigeria.
Paye-Layleh reported from Monrovia, Liberia. Associated Press Medical Writer Maria Cheng in London; David Rising in Berlin; Krista Larson in Dakar, Senegal; Rob Gillies in Toronto; and Bashir Adigun in Abuja, Nigeria, contributed to this report.
ROTHERHAM, England (AP) — Members of Britain's Pakistani community reacted with outrage Wednesday amid reports that officials failed to act on sex abuse cases because of concerns about racism in the northern English town of Rotherham.
Report author Alexis Jay said between 1997 and 2013, some 1,400 children were sexually exploited in the town of 250,000, mostly by Pakistani men. Charities that deal with abused children have expressed shock not just at the number of victims but by the apparent reluctance of town authorities to address the fact that people of Pakistani heritage were involved for fear they would be labeled racists.
Muhbeen Hussain, founder of Rotherham Muslim Youth Group, told the Daily Mirror on Wednesday that Muslims are disgusted that justice was not done in Rotherham.
"Race, religion or political correctness should never provide a cloak of invisibility to such grotesque crimes," he said.
Barnardo's, a charity that works with vulnerable children, unilaterally condemned the abuse that left so many to suffer for so long.
"No one should ever be frightened to act decisively because of fear of being seen as racist or politically incorrect," said Barnardo's chief executive, Javed Khan.
Britain's Labour Party called for the resignation of the police commissioner in the town, a member of its own ranks, after the report found that "collective failures," led to inaction.
But Jay said Rotherham is not the only place in Britain struggling with this issue. She told the BBC that "demand for this kind of sexual activity with children is on the increase and that is validated across not just the UK but Europe and worldwide."
"We can't say that Rotherham is any better or worse than other places because the information simply doesn't exist at a national level to tell us that," she said.
ANGLETON, Texas (AP) — A jury has acquitted a southeast Texas man of murder in the fatal shooting of a drunken driver who had just caused an accident that killed the man's two sons.
David Barajas (bah-RAH'-hahs) cried when the verdict was read Wednesday. He faced up to life in prison, if convicted.
Prosecutors had alleged that Barajas killed 20-year-old Jose Banda in a fit of rage after Banda plowed into Barajas and his sons while they were pushing a vehicle on a road near their hometown of Alvin. Twelve-year-old David Jr. and 11-year-old Caleb were killed.
Defense attorney Sam Cammack (cah-mack) says Barajas didn't kill Banda and was only focused on saving his sons. The gun used to kill Banda wasn't found and there was little physical evidence tying Barajas to the killing.
VALLEJO, Calif. (AP) — The historic blue-collar town of Vallejo is a short distance but a far cry from the touristy Napa Valley vineyards and quaint towns. So when Sunday's earthquake struck, the damage to the wine industry took center stage and the rubble in Vallejo got scant attention.
The bayside city that twice was briefly the capital of California sustained millions of dollars in damage and dozens of people were injured, with a couple hospitalized.
Just 10 miles from the quake's epicenter, parts of the town suffered broken windows and collapsed masonry.
On Vallejo's Mare Island, the first U.S. naval shipyard on the Pacific, numerous century-old buildings used today by more than 100 businesses and other enterprises suffered damage, mostly to their facades, officials said.
The quake — although it exacted a greater toll in damage and injuries in Napa Valley — was the latest blow to a hard-luck community that has weathered years of bankruptcy and is now beset by poverty, gangs and crime.
For City Manager Daniel Keen, the magnitude-6.0 quake posed the first major test for this city of about 100,000 people since it emerged from bankruptcy three years ago with budget, staff and public services pared back.
"This city has been through an awful lot," Keen said, including budget cuts that leave it operating at about 50 percent of normal city staffing. But, he said, "we'd never really worked together as a team" in an emergency before Sunday's quake.
Mostly, it seemed on Tuesday that Vallejo came through the challenge. Yellow-hatted building inspectors and structural engineers, including 20 from the state who showed up that morning to help, climbed the rolling city's hilltops to scan chimneys and rooftops for damage.
In the parking lot of Vallejo's First Baptist Church, 26-year-old Leslie Thomas and others lined up for a free lunch, as usual. But it was the Salvation Army, rather than the usual church workers, serving the coffee, pastries and boxed meals this time. The quake had knocked loose the brick bell tower of the church, forcing local officials to close it and the charity to take over responsibility for the soup kitchen.
"Wouldn't want a lot of people standing in there and then all of a sudden it just collapses," Thomas said.
Vallejo is less than 15 miles south of tony Napa, the wining, dining and tourism center hardest hit by Sunday's quake, but Vallejo is in some ways a world away.
While the wine country thrived, financial mismanagement and the collapse of the housing bubble meant Vallejo took one of the hardest dives of any city in the recent recession. Bankruptcies, mortgage defaults and joblessness soared.
The city's poverty rate stands at 16 percent, and personal income is two-thirds that of Napa residents.
Vallejo saw better times in the 19th century, twice serving briefly as an early capital of California. Much of the housing stock is brick Victorians, veterans of California's quakes.
Elizabeth Hoffman ticked off past quakes felt here: "1906, 1989, and now. I don't think they're going to survive another one." Hoffman, 34, was taking her elementary-school-age son around Tuesday to show him the damage from the latest temblor.
Her driveway was one of 30 sites the city deemed too dangerous to enter because of quake damage. The shaking, less severe overall than up north in Napa, had sent a neighbor's Victorian chimney down on her parked car.
Instead of seeking out an evacuation center, residents who were leery of their buildings after the quake found lodging with friends and family instead, Salvation Army Capt. Vickie Harvey said.
The final damage toll would likely be in the tens of millions of dollars, said Keen, the city manager.
Downtown Tuesday, a crane parked on a blocked-off street of empty stores and thrift shops hauled up rubble from a four-story building whose floors had collapsed in on themselves.
The hard side of everyday life was evident among the quake repairs. Residents walking back from a food bank with arms heaped with canned goods stopped to talk with neighbors about the quake — the new cracks they were noticing in their homes, how someone's cat had behaved in the quake. They were checking on each other, seeing if anyone needed a hand.
"There's a weird camaraderie in this town when weird stuff happens," Harvey said. "People help each other."
Associated Press photographer Eric Risberg contributed to this story.