Human Corpse Discovered in New Jersey Family’s Doghouse

Brian Cheda-Hackembruch, 25, and Matthew R. Thomas, 27, stand accused of disturbing or desecrating human remains in the second degree over the body that was found over the Fourth of July weekend.

On July 3rd, right around noon, authorities received a call about a dead body that was discarded underneath “the deck area” of a home in Andover, N.J., according to the Andover Township Police Department.

“Upon arrival at the residence, officers were met by family members who informed them a body was left in a doghouse underneath the deck area,” the police department said in a news release shared via Facebook on Tuesday afternoon. “The detective and officers began to check the area under the deck when they did indeed confirm a deceased body was contained within the doghouse.”

“The scene was immediately secured which included closing down portions of West Lakeview Road and Hilltop Road in order to process the scene,” the department added. “Members of the Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office, Morris County Medical Examiner’s Office and the New Jersey State Police Crime Scene Unit were requested to the scene to assist.”

According to police, Cheda-Hackembruch and Thomas left the area where the body had been dumped prior to the arrival of law enforcement and were actually the ones who phoned 911 dispatchers at the Sussex County 911 Communications Center.

The family which owned the property and the doghouse were not charged and appear by all accounts to be completely uninvolved with the alleged criminal charade.  It’s unclear why their property was targeted — apparently at random.

Area police agencies received a broadcast in the hopes that the duo’s vehicle could quickly located — but that effort failed.

On July 5, 2021, a task force of detectives from the Andover Township Police and the Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office received information about their whereabouts. Cheda-Hackembruch and Thomas had allegedly found their way to Delaware, so Garden State law enforcement coordinated with the Delaware State Police who tracked the men down and arrested them without incident.

The pair were booked into a Delaware correctional facility and local police in New Jersey are currently awaiting their extradition.

No foul play, however, is believed to have occurred in the head-shaking body disposal case. Just a lot of bad decisions.

According to Andover Township police, Cheda-Hackembruch and Thomas moved the body of a dead Hopatcong, N.J. resident who died from a “medical emergency” in a long-and-winding effort to, for some reason, move them around quite a bit before dumping their corpse.

First, police claim, the two “placed the victim in the trunk of a vehicle belonging to the victim.” After that, they allegedly called a towing company to have the dead person’s car moved all the way to Andover Township. There, the macabre moving team allegedly took the body out of the trunk and put it in the street before finally leaving it “under the deck within the doghouse where the body was later discovered.”

No motive has been offered as to why Cheda-Hackembruch and Thomas may have gone through such an elaborate ritual.

“[T]he investigation is ongoing into the details as to the removal of the deceased body,” the department noted. “Additional charges against both are pending following the completion of the investigation.”

Scientists Accidentally Make A Huge Discovery in Space

Astronomers have accidentally discovered a huge and previously undetected galactic structure that could change the way we think about how stars are made.

The structure, which is made out of a mind-bogglingly large amount of gas, extends throughout the disk of the Milky Way Galaxy and possibly far into its outskirts.

The discovery was made by a group of astronomers including Ron Allen, a professor with the physics and astronomy department of Johns Hopkins University.

Only recently, astronomers also said there could be many more Earth-sized planets orbiting other stars than previously thought.

When astronomers talk about the vacuum of space, they are referring to the empty space between stars and planets that isn’t filled with anything.

However, if one looks at the Universe on a large enough scale, it becomes apparent that even the vacuum of space isn’t entirely empty. Instead, it is filled with what is called the interstellar medium, an extremely low-density collection of gas and dust.

It is thought that this gas is mostly made out of molecular hydrogen (H2), and other molecules.

The problem is that the H2 cannot usually be detected, and so astronomers instead have to look for other molecules mixed in with the interstellar gas which help infer its existence, such as carbon monoxide (CO) or OH gas—usually carbon monoxide. These other molecules are called tracers.

In 2012, Allen accidentally found OH emission but no CO emission whilst he was working on something else. He thought this OH might hint at a massive cloud of H2.

He teamed up with Dave Hogg of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Virginia, as well as Philip Engelke and Michael Busch, both Ph.D. students at Johns Hopkins University, to see if they could use OH as an H2 tracer by observing it with the Green Bank Telescope (GBT), the world’s largest fully steerable radio telescope.

They found that OH can indeed be used as a tracer of H2 gas. The Green Bank Observatory said in a statement: “While it required long exposure times, the OH observations began filling in the gaps between previous CO observations, showing molecular gas as a major component in the structure of our Galaxy.”

Then, Engelke found a large, faint feature in the telescope’s entire line of sight. The researchers thought this was due to the telescope itself rather than something that was actually there.

However, after spending hundreds of hours looking again, using different techniques and even a different telescope, they determined that the huge feature was really there.

A study on the finding, published in The Astrophysical Journal in June, describes the discovery as “serendipitous”—meaning it was found by chance—and described the structure as “an extremely broad and ubiquitous” OH emission located towards the second quadrant of the other galaxy.

It adds: “Our results imply the existence of a thick disk of diffuse molecular gas in the outer Galaxy previously undetected in all-sky CO surveys.”

The team think the existence of the structure has implications for theories on how stars are formed as well as on the structure of the interstellar medium.

Allen passed away in 2020 as the research was being drafted. Engelke said in a Green Bank Observatory statement: “We were very lucky to have known him. Ron was truly excited about this discovery, and I know he would have been proud of the result.”

The U.S. will Answer Cyberattacks with Nuclear Weapons – Say What??

Over the July 4 weekend, the Russian-based cybercriminal organization REvil claimed credit for hacking into as many as 1,500 companies in what has been called the largest ransomware attack to date. In May, another cybercriminal group, DarkSide, also apparently located mainly in Russia, shut down most of the operations of Colonial Pipeline, which supplies nearly half the diesel, gasoline and other fuels used on the East Coast — setting off a round of panic buying that ended only when the company handed over a ransom.

These incidents were bad enough. But imagine a much worse cyberattack, one that not only disabled pipelines but turned off the power at hundreds of U.S. hospitals, wreaked havoc on air-traffic-control systems and shut down the electrical grid in major cities in the dead of winter. The grisly cost might be counted not just in lost dollars but in the deaths of many thousands of people.

Under current U.S. nuclear doctrine, developed during the Trump administration, the president would be given the military option to launch nuclear weapons at Russia, China or North Korea if that country was determined to be behind such an attack.

That’s because in 2018, the Trump administration expanded the role of nuclear weapons by declaring for the first time that the United States would consider nuclear retaliation in the case of “significant non-nuclear strategic attacks,” including “attacks on the U.S., allied, or partner civilian population or infrastructure.” The same principle could also be used to justify a nuclear response to a devastating biological weapons strike.

But our analysis suggests that using nuclear weapons in response to biological or cyberattacks would be illegal under international law in virtually all circumstances. Threatening an illegal nuclear response weakens deterrence because the threat lacks inherent credibility. Perversely, this policy could also wind up committing a president to a nuclear attack if deterrence fails. While the American public would indeed be likely to want vengeance after a destructive enemy assault, the law of armed conflict requires that some military options be taken off the table. Nuclear retaliation for “significant non-nuclear strategic attacks” is one of them.

The Biden administration is now conducting its own review of the U.S. nuclear posture. The 2018 Trump change is an urgent candidate for reevaluation, but people have generally ignored it up to now. As officials work on this process, they have the chance to take full account of what could be called the “nuclear law revolution” — a growing recognition that international-law restrictions on warfare, and especially those that protect civilians, apply even to nuclear war.

Most Americans are aware of the strategic revolution that nuclear weapons themselves kicked off: The massive destruction they created made deterrence the highest national security priority. Soon after the bombing of Hiroshima in 1945, for example, Bernard Brodie, a preeminent early Cold War strategist, wrote: “Thus far the chief purpose of our military establishment has been to win wars. From now on its chief purpose must be to avert them.”

Inherent in the idea of deterrence for decades was the notion that the United States would rain “assured destruction” on the cities of any nation that attacked us or our allies with nuclear weapons. During the height of the Cold War, for instance, U.S. nuclear war plans were designed to destroy “at least 70% of the urban industrial bases of the USSR and Communist China” and expected to kill “30% of the people,” according to declassified top-secret documents from the Nixon administration written in 1969 and 1971.

But such plans were manifestly not reconcilable with the central principles of the international law of armed conflict. This helps explain why the U.S. government asserted at the time of its negotiation that the 1977 Protocol I to the 1949 Geneva Conventions did not apply to nuclear weapons. That later treaty codified the obligation of all state parties to follow in war the principles of distinction (drawing a line between military targets and civilians), proportionality (making sure the unintended or “collateral” civilian harm resulting from a legitimate attack does not exceed the military advantage of that attack) and precaution (doing everything feasible to avoid or at least minimize collateral civilian deaths).

U.S. nuclear war plans in the 1970s didn’t follow any of these rules.a sunset over a body of water: The United States has more convincing ways of deterring a catastrophic cyberattack than to threaten a nuclear strike, Scott D. Sagan and Allen S. Weiner argue. (Los Alamos National Laboratory/Associated Press)The United States has more convincing ways of deterring a catastrophic cyberattack than to threaten a nuclear strike, Scott D. Sagan and Allen S. Weiner argue. (Los Alamos National Laboratory/Associated Press)

In 2013, however, the Obama administration’s official nuclear weapons employment guidance announced that henceforth, “all plans must also be consistent with the fundamental principles of the Law of Armed Conflict.” From then on, even nuclear war plans would apply the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution.

The Obama guidance document was categorical: “The United States will not intentionally target civilian populations or civilian objects.” According to Gen. C. Robert Kehler, the head of U.S. Strategic Command from 2011 to 2013, implementing this guidance led the command to develop nuclear delivery “tactics and techniques to minimize collateral effects,” and to “expand nonnuclear strike alternatives and add significant flexibility to our contingency plans.” The Trump administration’s 2018 Nuclear Posture Review reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to “adhere to the law of armed conflict” in any “initiation and conduct of nuclear operations” — but its interpretation of the law (allowing nuclear weapons to be used in response to a massively destructive biological or cyberattack) was flawed.

The unambiguous embrace of the application of international law to nuclear weapons means that if a future president ordered a Hiroshima-like attack, striking a city to kill as many enemy civilians as possible, it would be an illegal order that senior generals would be required to disobey. This would be true even if the order came in response to a nuclear attack on an American city; nations are not permitted to flout the rules of war protecting civilians simply because their enemies do. (A theory called “belligerent reprisal” holds that states may strike back at civilian populations in a proportionate way if the intent is to get the enemy to stop its own illegal warfare. We and other scholars have argued that this practice is not compatible with current understandings of international law.)

Yet it is not only pundits and the public that have failed to notice this legal revolution. Some writings by nuclear strategists, even those seeking to limit the dangers of nuclear war, have ignored the shift. In 2018, for instance, the late Princeton research scholar Bruce Blair proposed a policy of what he and others have called “minimal deterrence”: His version involved cutting the U.S. arsenal to fewer than 700 warheads, from some 2,000 today, and aiming them to guarantee “the annihilation of scores of [Russian] cities housing banking and oil infrastructure as well as key manufacturing and leadership facilities.” But a policy targeting civilian infrastructure would clearly violate international-law rules that Washington recognizes apply to nuclear targeting.

This is not to say that the laws of war preclude all use of nuclear weapons (a conclusion that some legal scholars have embraced). The principle of proportionality permits some U.S. nuclear attacks against military targets — for example, when the harm such a strike would prevent to U.S. and allied populations would exceed the foreign collateral damage it caused. (Any associated civilian deaths would have to be truly incidental and unavoidable. Deliberately causing purported “collateral” civilian damage to force an enemy to stand down would be illegal.) Those planning a nuclear counterattack would also be obliged to use the lowest-yield weapons necessary to destroy or neutralize the legitimate military targets they place in their sights.

If the laws of war strictly constrain nuclear retaliation for a nuclear attack on the United States, they all but certainly bar such a strike in response to a cyber- or biological attack — even one causing many civilian casualties. In almost any imaginable scenario, the use of nuclear weapons would violate the principle of precaution, the requirement to minimize harm to civilians if feasible. That’s because the formidable U.S. military has the capacity to halt, or to induce the adversary to halt, ongoing cyberattacks through conventional or cyber-responses that would cause less harm to foreign civilians than would a retaliatory nuclear strike.

There are a few possible, but largely hypothetical, exceptions to this rule. One would be if the individuals or organization responsible for the cyber- or biological attack were in an underground bunker that couldn’t be destroyed any other way. Another hypothetical option, a nuclear demonstration strike against an isolated military target, might be legal, but it would be strategically stupid, as it would actually demonstrate lack of resolve. A stronger response would directly target — through conventional means — the perpetrators and their ability to launch further attacks on us or our allies.

Using nuclear threats to deter cyberattacks is also inherently less credible than threatening retaliation with conventional weapons or in kind (that is, with cyber-retaliation). The states that we worry most will launch cyberattacks — Russia, China and North Korea — also have nuclear weapons, and their leaders might reasonably calculate that any U.S. president would be reluctant to use nuclear weapons against a nation that can retaliate in kind. An adversary might also believe that the U.S. military would refuse to use nuclear weapons in response to nonnuclear attacks precisely because of questions around legality. Such suspicions undermine the deterrent force of nuclear weapons; in contrast, if the United States were to commit to only conventional or cyber-retaliation to “significant non-nuclear strategic attacks,” adversaries would have fewer doubts that we would follow through.

Not only might a U.S. nuclear threat against a cyber- or biological attack be perceived as a bluff, it could be doubly dangerous if it subjected the president to what has been called the “commitment trap.” If Washington threatens a nuclear response to deter a cyberattack, but adversaries go ahead anyway because the threat is deemed not credible, then there would be increased pressure on the president to order a nuclear strike to rebut domestic political claims of weakness and shore up international perceptions about the credibility of future threats. But succumbing to such political pressure or the urge for vengeance would create an unacceptable risk of further nuclear escalation.

In their joint memoir, “A World Transformed,” Brett Scowcroft explained why he and President George H.W. Bush did not issue an explicit threat to retaliate with nuclear weapons if Saddam Hussein ordered the use of chemical weapons against U.S. troops in the 1991 Persian Gulf War: “It is bad practice,” he wrote, “to threaten something you have no intention of carrying out.” The U.S. government should follow that principle today. In an era of escalating cyber-dangers, it would be prudent to pay closer attention to both the laws of armed conflict and the logic of credible deterrence. The threat of nuclear retaliation in response to a cyber- or biological attack should be ruled out.

Toddler Shoots Himself Outside of Dispensary – Parents Arrested

Two Colorado parents have been arrested after a 4-year-old boy fatally shot himself.

The shooting unfolded Tuesday around noon outside of Maggie’s Farm, a marijuana dispensary located in Manitou Springs. When officers arrived at the scene, they found the toddler dead in the parking lot.

The child’s mother and a younger sibling were in the car at the time of the shooting, according to the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office. The father was making purchases in the store when the boy discovered the gun in the family’s car.

The boy was pronounced dead on scene after suffering from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head.

“This is a tragic investigation that not only affects the family of the victim, but it affects our community and our first responders,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement.

Officials urged residents to teach gun safety and correctly secure their firearms.

“We want to remind the community to be sure to talk to your children about guns, even if you do not own guns,” the sheriff’s office said. “If you own guns, gun safety must be taught to all those that are near the gun, the gun must be stored unloaded and locked up. All keys to the locks should be hidden.”

The parents have been identified as Ashlynne Perez, 25, and Carlos Perez, 26. They were both arrested and booked into the El Paso County Jail on the charge of criminally negligent child abuse resulting in death.

The Gazette was the first to report that the shooting took place outside of Maggie’s Farm.

The New York Post reported the store closed Tuesday and Wednesday following the shooting, and said it would be a resource for the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office even though the event was unrelated to the business.

Denver city officials unanimously voted last month to proclaim June 4 as Gun Violence Awareness Day.

“We need to be sure that firearms are handled responsibility and kept out of the hands of people who have no business procuring firearms, and that we keep our children, and all of us, as safe as possible,” said Councilman Paul Kashmann.

State lawmakers are also considering creating an Office on Gun Violence Prevention. The bill to form the office advanced in the House last month.

In 2020, Colorado experienced 846 gun deaths and 11 mass shootings which killed six and injured 52. In Denver, 305 people were injured in shootings last year, a 51 percent increase from the year prior.

Newsweek reached out to the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office for additional information, but didn’t receive a response before publication.

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