Second death in Utah child custody battle puzzles police
PARK CITY, Utah – A dispute over child custody that turned exceedingly ugly may have ended. Two of the three protagonists have died, and authorities have cleared the third individual, a developer from Wasatch County, which is adjacent to Park City.
In August, Natalie Turner, 31, who was director of the chamber of commerce at Hailey, which is near Sun Valley, went to the Park City area accompanied by her boyfriend, David Charles Gayler, also 31. The two seemed intent on seizing Turner’s two children, ages 4 and 6, from their father, a developer in the Park City area.
What happened next depends largely upon the story told by the father and ex-husband, John Pochynok. According to the Park Record (Sept.7), he says he opened the door, expecting to see his children, and was instead shot. The boyfriend, Gayler, apparently did the shooting. Somehow, the three all ended up in a car, which was met by a sheriff’s deputy and a wildlife officer.
Based on reports, statements, and videotapes, authorities in Utah concluded that Turner, the chamber director, got out of the car, asked the officers to shoot her, and then aimed generally at them before pulling the trigger, but with no result. She asked again, then aimed again, and this time the officers shot her.
The boyfriend was jailed, but was found hanging from his neck by a sheet tied to a stall in a bathroom. The father of the two was reported to be at home coalescing from his wounds. He was shot twice with a .357 handgun.
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Tree-thinning may help clear Lake Tahoe
LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – Federal money appears headed toward Lake Tahoe in an attempt to thin the adjoining forests to avert large fires. With fewer fires, there will be less mud washing down from mountain slopes, thereby preserving the lake’s clarity. The Tahoe Daily Tribune (Aug. 28) says that $30 million in federal funds has been promised.
Forestry consultants at a recent workshop said they want broader authority to cut in forests than environmental groups ordinarily approve. For example, they want permission to cut large trees when necessary and thin fuels around streams and on steep slopes. They say they also need incentives to cut the smaller trees that are ordinarily worth little.