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September 14, 2006 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 2006-09-14

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2A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 14, 2006

413 E. Huron St., Ann Arbor, MI 48104-1327
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Melinda Duckett, 21, the mother of missing 2-
year-old Trenton Duckett, holds a picture of her
and her son in Leesburg, Fla.
Suicide shakes
up Florda case
Friends blame media for
pushing mother of missing child
over the edge
LEESBURG, Fla. (AP) - Two weeks after telling
police that her son had been snatched from his crib, Melin-
da Duckett found herself reeling in an interview with TV's
famously prosecutorial Nancy Grace. Before it was over,
Grace was pounding her desk and loudly demanding to
know: "Where were you? Why aren't you telling us where
you were that day?"
A day after the taping, Duckett, 21, shot herself to death,
deepening the mystery of what happened to the boy.
Police have refused to say whether she left a suicide note,
and said nothing they have found so far in their investiga-
tion of her death has shed light on the whereabouts of her
2-year-old son, Trenton.
Investigators have stopped short of calling her a suspect
but have focused increasing attention on her movements
just before the boy vanished and the notes, computer, cam-
era and other items seized from her house.
Duckett's family members disputed any suggestion that
she hurt her son. They said the media sent her over the edge.
"Nancy Grace and the others, they just bashed her to the
end," Duckett's grandfather Bill Eubank said. "She wasn't
one anyone ever would have thought of to do something
like this. She and that baby just loved each other, couldn't
get away from each other. She wouldn't hurta bug."
Janine Iamunno, a spokeswoman for Grace, said Duck-
ett's death was "an extremely sad development;' but that
the program would continue covering the case.
"We feel a responsibility to bring attention to this case
in the hopes of helping find Trenton Duckett, who remains
missing' " Iamunno said.
Duckett had told police that after she finished watch-
ing a movie Aug. 27, she went to check on Trenton in his
bedroom, and all she found was an empty crib - and a
10-inch cut in the window screen above it. At the time,
she was living with her son, wading through a messy
divorce with the boy's father and trying to get her life
back on track after getting laid off from her job with a
lawn care company.

NEWS IN BRIEF
WASHINGTON
White House, GOP senators clash
Negotiations between the White House and a trio of powerful GOP senators
snagged yesterday over Bush administration demands that Congress reinter-
pret the nation's treaty obligations to allow tough CIA interrogations of ter-
rorism suspects.
Sen. John Warner, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said his panel
would meet today to finalize an alternative to President Bush's plan to prosecute ter-
ror suspects and redefine acts that constitute war crimes. Warner said he was aware
the White House may come out in opposition of his legislation.
The Supreme Court ruled in June that Bush's court system established to pros-
ecute terrorism suspects was illegal and violated the Geneva Conventions. Since
then, Congress and the administration have been drafting legislation that would
authorize Bush to continue with the military commissions.
BAGHDAD
65 tortured bodies found in latest violence
The leader of Iraq's biggest Sunni Arab group demanded yesterday that
the beleaguered Shiite-led government take steps to disarm militias after
police said the bodies of 65 tortured men were dumped in and around
Baghdad.
On a violent day even by the standards of Baghdad, car bombs, mortars and
other attacks also killed at least 39 people and wounded dozens. Two U.S. soldiers
also were killed, one in enemy action in restive Anbar province on Monday and
the other in a roadside bombing south of Baghdad on Tuesday, the U.S. military
command said.
UNITED NATIONS
Annan: Iraq war a 'disaster'. for Mideast
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said yesterday that most leaders in
the Middle East believe the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and its aftermath "a
real disaster" for the region.
Annan said many leaders believed the United States should stay until Iraq
improves, while others, such as Iran, said the United States should leave
immediately. That means that the United States has found itself in the dif-
ficult position where "it cannot stay and it cannot leave."
"Most of the leaders I spoke to felt the invasion of Iraq and its aftermath
has been a real disaster for them," Annan said. "They believe it has desta-
bilized the region."
WASHINGTON
Progress slow in fighting childhood obesity
One-fifth of children are likely to be obese by 2010, yet the government
killed a promising program that portrayed exercise as cool.
Other efforts to turn the tide of childhood obesity are scattershot and
don't have enough money, the Institute of Medicine said yesterday.
The institute did find some encouraging signs that the threat to children's
health is being taken seriously. Programs that target youngsters' growing
waistlines are sprouting nationwide, it said.
But no one knows which programs really help kids slim down, the insti-
tute said in calling for research to identify the best methods.
- Compiledfrom Daily wire reports
CORRECTIONS
M A story on the front page of yesterday's paper (By The Books) mistakenly said
Ulrich's bookstore made $169 million last year. Ulrich's parent company, Nebraska
Book Company, earned that sum.
On the same page, a story (Ford to attend Weill Hall Opening Event)
incorrectly stated the location of the new Joan and Sanford Weill Hall.
It is at State and Hill streets.
Please report any error in the Daily to corrections@michigandaily.com.

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