On Friday 18-month old Leah Brown-Meza was remembered in a vigil on the Viejas Indian reservation. The emotional ceremony included burning the little girl’s clothes and Christmas gifts.
Leah was found unresponsive Tuesday at the motor home she shared with her mother on a property in Alpine. An autopsy has revealed blunt force trauma as the cause of death.
Officers have arrested the boyfriend of the little girls mother. He has been identified as 26-year-old Wiley Foster. He has been booked into the San Diego county jail on a single count of murder.
SAN DIEGO – Pamela Anita Thomas of Lemon Grove and Darla Ann Ausman, formerly of Henderson, Nevada, pleaded guilty in unrelated cases this week to stealing Social Security benefits intended for their parents who had died years earlier.
According to court documents, Thomas’ father began receiving Social Security retirement benefits via direct deposit into his bank account in 1998. Although her father died in November 2001, Thomas made no effort to notify the Social Security Administration that the beneficiary of these retirement benefits had passed away, or to cancel the direct deposit. Over more than a decade, Thomas allowed an additional $170,000 in benefits to be deposited into her deceased father’s bank account, and then repeatedly transferred the money for her own personal use.
Similarly, Ausman’s mother began receiving Social Security retirement benefits via direct deposit into her bank account in 1996, and died in May 2007. Ausman also failed to notify the Social Security Administration that the retirement benefits were no longer warranted, and allowed over $120,000 in benefits to continue to be deposited directly into her deceased mother’s bank account.
Both defendants admitted knowing that their respective parent’s Social Security retirement benefits should not have continued to be paid after their deaths.
“By collecting benefits that did not belong to them, these defendants took money away from those who need it most – elderly retirees, people with severe illnesses and widows and children of deceased wage earners,” said U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy. “This office will continue to investigate and prosecute fraud and waste in these important government programs.”
“The Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General is committed to pursuing those who violate the public trust,” said Robb Stickley, the Special Agent in Charge of the San Francisco Field Division, which is responsible for Southern California. “We will continue to uphold the integrity of Social Security’s benefit programs, which are a lifeline for so many Americans and their families.”
As a part of their plea agreements, Thomas and Ausman agreed to repay all the money that they stole from the Social Security Administration, but each still faces up to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Both were released on bail pending sentencing.
Thomas is scheduled to be sentenced on February 27, 2017, before U.S. District Court Judge Cynthia Bashant. Ausman is scheduled to be sentenced on February 17, 2017, before Chief U.S. District Judge Barry Ted Moskowitz.
The park has been decked-out with more than one million Christmas lights, and the lights of SeaWorld’s 320-foot Skytower Tree of Lights, the largest Christmas tree in Southern California, will dance in sync with classic holiday songs.
New this year is a very special guest from the North Pole: ™. You can visit the lovable reindeer and his friends at the all-new Rudolph’s Christmastown, which features fun photo ops, hands-on games and more.
You can also enjoy seasonal favorites that have made SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration a family holiday tradition, like Shamu Christmas Miracles and Clyde & Seamore’s Christmas Special. Plus, starting December 17, younger kids can slide down sled lanes at Snow Hill.
All of this is in addition to SeaWorld’s regular animal experiences, like the penguin encounter. CW6’s Audra Stafford went inside the exhibit to get a look behind the scenes (you can check out the video above!)
All of SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration festivities (except for arcade-style games and reserved experiences such as Breakfast With Shamu and Santa) are included with park admission. Guests can and visit the rest of 2016 and all next year with the purchase of a 2017 Fun Card. SeaWorld is open year-round and has a variety of ticket offers that provide tremendous value perfect for both Southern California residents and tourists. Visit or call (800) 257-4268 for information.
From wheels to waves, icy wonderlands to infinity and beyond, your family’s favorite Disney moments will come to life at DISNEY ON ICE PRESENTS WORLD OF ENCHANTMENT! CW6 has your chance to win a family 4-pack of tickets.
Experience the four fantastic Disney adventures of Frozen, Cars, Toy Story and The Little Mermaid in one ice show!
To enter, watch CW6 News in the Morning from Monday, January 12th through Friday, January 16th and listen for the code word.
DISNEY ON ICE PRESENTS WORLDS OF ENCHANTMENT
Thursday, January 26th through Sunday, January 29th
Valley View Casino Center