Review Category : National News

New Jersey Nun Beatified in First-Ever US Ceremony

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEWARK, N.J.) — A New Jersey nun who died nearly 90 years ago became the first person beatified in the United States on Saturday.

Sister Miriam Teresa Demjanovich is credited with curing a boy’s eye disease, an act declared a miracle by Pope Francis earlier this year.

Hundreds attended Saturday’s ceremony at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart, marking the third of four steps required for Demjanovich’s declaration of sainthood.

The liturgy was the first ever in the country, as the beatification process — which has its origins in the early days of the Catholic Church — usually takes place in Rome.

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Parents of Threatened American Peter Kassig Address ISIS Captors in Video Message

SERA(INDIANAPOLIS) — The parents of American aid worker Peter Kassig released a video statement to their son on Saturday, expressing concern and calling for militant group ISIS to “show mercy.”

Kassig, a 26-year-old Indiana native, is seen at the end of the most recent ISIS video released Friday, which showed the apparent death of British captive Alan Henning.

“Know that we love you, and our hearts ache for you to be granted your freedom so we can hug you again and then set you free to continue the life you have chosen, the life of service to those in greatest need,” mother Paula Kassig said in Saturday’s message. “We implore those who are holding you to show mercy and use their power to let you go.”

Kassig, who has taken on the first name Abdul-Rahman, according to the family, is an Army veteran who served in the Iraq war. He was honorably discharged for medical reasons and later went on to work as an emergency medical technician and volunteer medical assistance in border hospitals in Lebanon.

He was abducted in 2013 while traveling in eastern Syria for a a non-governmental organization he founded and converted to Islam while being held hostage, according to a family spokesperson. Kassig converted “of his own free will,” the representative added, saying that prior to his captivity, he had fasted during Ramadan with friends and colleagues.

“The driving force in our family has always been to serve others. Our son comes from two long lines of teachers and humanitarian workers,” his father, Ed Kassig, said Saturday. “Our family deplores all human suffering and the loss of innocent life, no matter who is responsible.

“We respond by trying to provide aid and assistance. Our son was living his life according to that same humanitarian call when he was taken captive.

We know that Syrians are suffering. We also believe violence is not the solution to the problems that trouble us all. There is so much that is beyond our control. We asked our government to change its actions, but like our son, we have no more control over the U.S. government than you have over the break of dawn.

We implore his captors to show mercy and use their power to let our son go.”

Watch the full video statement here.

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Fire Destroys Three Buildings at Flight 93 Memorial

Credit: Dennis Macdonald/Getty Images(STONYCREEK TOWNSHIP, Pa.) — A fire at the National Park Service Headquarters of the Flight 93 National Memorial destroyed three administrative buildings.

At about 3:10 p.m. Friday, a fire was reported in the headquarters complex, which is about two to three miles from the actual memorial, dedicated to those on a hijacked plane during the September 11th attacks who fought back against the hijackers and crashed the plane in a field.

Some memorabilia in the offices were saved. “Fortunately,” Mike Litterst, Public Affairs Specialist for the National Park Service said, “only 10 percent of the Flight 93 National Memorial collection was kept on-site in this building, and many of those objects are stored in fireproof safes.” Litterst also noted that no one was injured in the fire.

The memorial is expected to be open to visitors on Saturday.

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Government ‘Monitoring Closely’ 2012 Ford Focus Steering Complaints

Zoonar RF/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is “monitoring closely” possibly dangerous issues surrounding the 2012 Ford Focus’ steering, an official with the agency said Friday, a day after a private group named it the top auto safety concern for the second straight quarter.

“NHTSA is aware of the issue and [is] monitoring it closely. We urge all owners with a potential safety defect to contact NHTSA directly,” the official said. “Protecting the American public and ensuring vehicles are safe is [NHTSA's] top priority… Building on its proven track record, NHTSA routinely monitors consumer complaints, EWR [Early Warning Reporting] data and leads from a variety of sources… to identify potential safety defect trends that warrant investigation.”

NHTSA’s statement came in response to ABC News’ report Thursday on the latest Vehicle Watch List, a quarterly-compiled early warning list by the non-profit The Safety Institute of the top 15 vehicle trends to which safety experts say automakers and the government should be paying attention.

The list is compiled using publicly available data from NHTSA and includes consumer complaints as well as reports of injuries and deaths. The Safety Institute states it is not a list of defects, “but rather these are areas that potentially need more investigation and to prioritize limited resources.”

The inaugural list, released in June, put the 2012 Ford Focus at the top spot, based on dozens of reported injuries in which drivers cited problems with the car’s steering.

The second list, which takes into account new data, indicates NHTSA has continued to receive complaints on the 2012 Focus, including reports that the electronic power steering randomly shuts down. Friday marks the first time the agency has acknowledged it is looking into the potential problem.

“Power steering sporadically comes in and out – usually when the car is just started and we attempt to back out – the steering has no power. If this happens while driving at a higher speed – this could be bad,” wrote a consumer to NHTSA just last week. Another complaint included with the Safety Institute report from mid-June said the steering wheel locked when the driver had just started a drive.

“Thank goodness I was not in the middle of driving when this occurred,” the driver said. “This should really be investigated in order to avoid a fatal accident from happening.”

“It’s trending again at the top, it certainly needs to be investigated and this is something that should be of great interest to NHTSA,” Sean Kane, president of the board of directors of The Safety Institute, said Thursday. Kane in a different role also consults with lawyers who sue automakers.

There are no recalls or investigations into steering issues on the 2012 Ford Focus, and a spokesperson for Ford had no comment Thursday on the vehicle placing top on the Vehicle Watch List for a second time.

Upon the list’s first release in June, a spokesperson for Ford told ABC News it did not “recognize” the methodology for the safety watch list.

“We are confident in our current methods for quickly identifying and addressing potential vehicle issues,” the spokesperson added. “When the data indicates a safety recall is needed, we move quickly on behalf of our customers.” The spokesperson said then that the company takes the safety of its customers “very seriously.”

On Friday the NHTSA official asked that “anyone with additional information regarding these or any other vehicles to contact NHTSA directly.”

“As always, the agency continues to monitor our data for problems with these vehicles and consumer and others should provide NHTSA with additional information they may have,” the NHTSA official said.

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Police: Manhunt Target Eric Frein Living Off Tuna, Ramen

Courtesy: Pennsylvania State Police(MONROE COUNTY, Pa.) — Police searching for an accused cop killer who’s been hiding in the Pennsylvania woods for three weeks have confiscated a stash of food, ammunition, clothing, and other supplies at a camp site.

Lt. Col. George Bivens of the Pennsylvania State Police said he believes suspect Eric Frein is weakening every time police find one of his supply caches. This week they found more than 90 rounds of ammunition for a .308 rifle, the same caliber weapon Frein is accused of using when he allegedly ambushed two state troopers on Sept. 12, killing one and wounding another.

“One of the things he seems to be surviving on predominantly would be cans of tuna fish and ramen noodles,” Bivens said.

The colonel said he doesn’t think Frein is trying to live off the land.

“I believe his food is running out and we’ve seized a big amount of it,” Bivens said.

He added that while there have been sightings of Frein, the rugged terrain and thick forest makes it hard to apprehend the suspect. Troopers are using sticks and ski poles to prod the ground during the search.

“You could literally walk right past someone in this terrain and not see them… unless you stepped on them,” Bivens said.

As the manhunt stretches into the 21st day, the changing weather “is turning in our favor,” he said.

“That helps us because leaves are coming down,” Bivens said, explaining that thermal imaging works better without a thick canopy of leaves.

“It also puts him in a more difficult situation in terms of just keeping warm and we believe that will force him out,” he said.

Police have found empty packs of Serbian cigarettes, an AK-47, ammunition and two pipe bombs in the search, which is focused on the border of Pike and Monroe counties in eastern Pennsylvania.

The suspect is a self-trained survivalist and war reenactor obsessed with Eastern European militaries and weapons. He learned to shoot from his father, a retired Army major.

Bivens said his family, who lives nearby in Canadensis, is being cooperative.

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US Journalist with Ebola Will Be Treated In Nebraska

Facebook(NEW BEDFORD, Mass.) — The American journalist who tested positive for Ebola while working in Liberia will be transported to Nebraska for treatment, officials said Friday.

Ashoka Mukpo, who was working as a freelance cameraman for NBC, will be the second American to be treated at the Nebraska Medical Center when he arrives in Omaha on Monday. The Nebraska facility treated Dr. Richard Sacra last month after he also contracted the disease in Liberia.

“We are ready, willing and able to care for this patient,” said Dr. Phil Smith, the director of the center’s biocontainment unit.

“The experience we have in treating Dr. Sacra should prove to be very valuable in treating this patient,” said Dr Angela Hewlett, the associate medical director of the biocontainment unit. “We learned a lot about treatment methods the first time around and have been able to refine our operation processes in several ways.”

One such change was the creation of a lab inside the isolated unit where blood can be tested directly, rather than having to run the tests in a different part of the facility.

The Nebraska Medical Center is one of only four biocontainment units throughout the United States. There is another unit at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases in Fort Detrick, Maryland; one in Missoula, Montana; and a third at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, which is where Dr. Kent Brantley and nurse Nancy Writebol, the first two Americans to catch the disease, were treated.

News of the transfer comes hours after Mukpo’s mother, Diana, told ABC News affiliate WLNE how she knew her son had Ebola as soon as she was told he was sick.

“My husband was on his way back from a medical conference in Barcelona, and he called me in the middle of the night and told me Ashoka was sick,” Diana Mukpo said. “I knew immediately what that meant.”

The family has been coordinating with the State Department and she said that the plan is for a plane to bring him back to the United States on Sunday. It has now been confirmed that he will land in Omaha on Monday.

“Of course it’s nerve wracking… needing to wait two or three days before he can be back to get optimum medical care,” Diana Mukpo said.

She said that, in her latest call with her son, he reported that he was “a little better today.”

“He was very nervous yesterday, of course, it’s a very frightening experience,” she said.

“I think he’s extraordinarily relieved that he’s going to be evacuated and come back to the United States for optimum care,” Diana Mukpo said.

According to his mother, Ashoka Mukpo had spent two years working for a Liberian NGO before returning to the U.S. earlier this summer.

“He feels a tremendous commitment to the Liberian people and the Liberian culture, and when he heard about the Ebola outbreak he felt compelled to go back… much to the anxiety of his parents and family, obviously,” Diana Mukpo said.

Ashoka Mukpo contributed to reports for various news outlets before getting sick, but also shared emotional updates on his personal Facebook page.

“Man oh man I have seen some bad things in the last two weeks of my life,” he wrote in one such post on Sept. 18, two weeks before testing positive for the disease. “How unpredictable and fraught with danger life can be. How in some parts of the world, basic levels of help and assistance that we take for granted completely don’t exist for many people.”

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Meet the Private Investigator Who Helped Find Sabrina Allen

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children(AUSTIN, Texas) — When the case of missing child Sabrina Allen went cold, the girl’s father turned to private investigator Philip Klein to help bring her home.

Now, 12 years after she went missing — and nine years after Klein agreed to take on the case — Allen, 17, is back home in the United States.

“Phil’s role was huge,” Greg Allen, the girl’s father, told ABC News’ Austin, Texas affiliate KVUE in an interview Wednesday. “He helped manage all of it, took the heat off.”

“Phil told me finding her would be the easy part. Getting her out will be the hard part,” Allen added.

Klein, who told ABC News that Sabrina Allen was his 363rd rescue of an abducted child, described the emotional rush of finally being able to bring the missing child home.

“I live in a very dark world and I go to that dark world to find these children,” he said. “It’s bringing the kids from the dark to the light and letting them just be kids.”

Jeff Griesemer, president and CEO of the Child Rescue Network, has worked with Klein and said he “wants to help get these kids back where they belong.”

“He’s a phenomenal guy and really knows what he’s doing,” Griesemer told ABC News.

Acting on a tip from a confidential informant, Mexican officials worked with Klein’s team to track Sabrina Allen and her non-custodial mother, Dara Llorens, on Tuesday morning to a small apartment in the Mexican state of Tlaxcala.

The girl from Austin, Texas, whose face was plastered on missing persons posters, now has dark brown hair and goes by her middle name: Fair.

Sabrina Allen and Llorens were flown back to Texas on Tuesday night. Llorens was booked into Travis County Jail on an aggravated kidnapping charge and is being held on a $1 million bond, according to jail records. It was not immediately known whether she has hired an attorney. She has not entered a plea and has yet to appear before a judge.

“There wasn’t a dry eye in the house,” Klein said, describing the moment he took Sabrina Allen to a place in his office the team calls their “go room.” On the wall are photos of children and cases Allen’s team is pursuing.

“She stared at her pictures, surveillance photos, age enhanced photos,” Klein said.

Allen then began to take items from her case off the wall, Klein said, and put them into a box the team had provided.

Klein said he typically only offers children 13 and older the chance to view their case materials, which he said helps bring closure.

“It lets them know no one is hunting them, no one is looking for them,” he said. “They’re used to that and it creates a mental condition where they’re paranoid.”

The box was stored in Klein’s office, where he said Allen will be welcome at any time to view her case materials.

After taking her shopping for the “essentials” at Wal-Mart, dinner and helping her get comfortable back in the United States, it came time for Allen’s team to pass over her care to what he calls a “transformation team” of medical professionals.

Allen has been reunited with a family member, according to Klein, who would only say that it was not the teen’s father. This relative will also play a role in helping the teen transition back to life in the United States.

“They’re the ones who bring the kids back to reality world from fantasy land,” Klein said.

That includes dispelling anything Allen may have been told about her father.

Greg Allen said in an interview with KVUE that his daughter “has been told that I didn’t want her and that I committed suicide.”

Despite the work ahead for Sabrina Allen, Klein said he has faith the reunion between father and daughter will happen soon enough.

“From my personal observation, I don’t think it will be as long as everybody thinks it will be,” he said.

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Texas Ebola Watch Eyes 50 People, 10 at ‘High Risk’

Will Montgomery(DALLAS) — The number of people being monitored in Texas for possible exposure to an infected Ebola patient has been narrowed to 50, with 10 of those believed to be at “high risk” for exposure, Texas health officials said Friday.

The effort to prevent any spread of the often lethal virus became more focused on a day when the family of Thomas Eric Duncan said he appeared to weaken, and a special cleaning crew began sanitizing the Dallas apartment he was staying at when he became ill.

Health officials said earlier this week that they had determined that as many as 100 people could require monitoring after having come into contact with Duncan before he was hospitalized. That number was sharply reduced on Friday.

There are “approximately 50 individuals we need to follow on a daily basis,” Texas Health Commissioner David Lakey said. “Most of those individuals are low risk. There are about 10 that are high risk.” He did not say what constituted “high risk.”

Lakey said all 50 would be visited daily by a health care worker and their temperatures would be taken twice a day.

“All those individuals are doing well,” and none have symptoms of Ebola, he said.

Duncan, confined to an isolation unit at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, appeared to be struggling with his illness, his family told ABC News.

The family had said earlier in the week they spoke with Duncan by phone and prayed with him on the phone, but that is no longer possible, Duncan’s nephew, Joe Weeks, told ABC News.

“At first we were able to talk to him on the phone, but now he is just too sick to speak,” Weeks said.

Weeks lives in Kannapolis, North Carolina, along with Duncan’s sister and 87-year-old mother. The mother and sister may travel to Dallas soon, Weeks said.

A cleaning crew arrived Friday at the Ivy Apartments in Dallas where Duncan had been staying when he got sick from the Ebola virus. The crew was turned away on Thursday, but returned Friday. They are also expected to sanitize a car Duncan had used.

The cleaning crew is tasked with disinfecting all of the surfaces that Duncan could have touched, Dallas Judge Clay Jenkins said Thursday. The man’s clothes and sheets have been “bagged,” Jenkins said. Additionally, food has been delivered to the apartment for Duncan’s relatives.

Weeks is concerned that the apartment had not yet been sanitized despite having four people confined there by a judge’s order until they are determined to not be infected with Ebola, which can take as long as 21 days to incubate. Among the people in the apartment are a teenage boy and woman named Louise Troh, who traveled from Liberia with Duncan.

“The house that he lived in has not been cleaned or disinfected. You still have four more people in there, that lived in that house and were allowed to leave and go shopping, go do other things that normal people would do,” Weeks said.

Thomas R. Frieden, the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told ABC News Friday that the Ebola diagnosis offers new challenges for authorities.

“It’s the first time we’re having Ebola in this country and the challenges are real in terms of what do you do with the waste, how do you move it, how do you dispose of it and we want to make sure that everything is done correctly,” Frieden said. “I’m confident that will get sorted out today.”

The initial handling of Duncan’s case has been the subject of controversy. Duncan first visited the hospital last Thursday, Sept. 25, but was allowed to leave the hospital despite telling a nurse he had come from West Africa. Duncan returned to the hospital by ambulance on Sunday.

The hospital said in a statement Thursday that the physician and the nurses followed protocol, but his travel history didn’t automatically appear in the physician’s standard workflow.

Weeks also had concerns that the hospital wasn’t aware that Duncan may have been infected with Ebola. Weeks said that he called the hospital to report his concerns about Duncan’s condition — and when he didn’t get the reaction he wanted, he called officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health, at which point Duncan was put in isolation.

“They had him in the ER, like any other patient, and I didn’t think that was the right procedure,” Weeks said.

“I don’t know how long it was going to take, but I wasn’t trying to wait to see how long it was going to take, so I pre-empted and called CDC and reported that there might be a possible Ebola case in Texas. But the hospital was not doing what it needed to do at that time,” he said.

Duncan, who worked as a driver in Liberia, flew to Brussels on Sept. 19. He continued to Washington’s Dulles Airport, before flying to the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport on a United Airlines flight, arriving on Sept. 20.

Although American Ebola patients have been treated in the United States prior to this diagnosis, they all contracted Ebola in West Africa.

Ebola has killed more than 3,400 people, with nearly 7,500 cases reported since the outbreak began in March.

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Utah Husband Conrad Truman Faces Trial in Wife’s Murder

iStock/Thinkstock(OREM, Utah) — A Utah man on trial for murdering his wife after watching the TV show Dexter was forced to watch his police interrogation tape in court Thursday.

Conrad Truman, 32, appears uncomfortable in the taped interrogation, at times rambling as police interrogated him about the 2012 shooting in which Heidy Truman was killed.

“No f—— chance … I’ve got nothing to gain with a dead wife,” he tells detectives when they ask if he was responsible for her death.

The Orem, Utah, resident is accused of shooting his wife in the head after a night of drinking and watching Dexter, a television show about a serial killer. Conrad Truman can be heard shrieking and speaking incomprehensiibly in his 911 call.

“She was in the shower, she came out of the shower, I heard a pop, and there’s blood. It’s her blood,” Truman told the 911 dispatcher. “She’s choking,” he added.

After the frantic call, police initially thought they were responding to a suicide. But police said when they arrived, Truman was behaving oddly.

“The defendant is asked by Sgt. Crook what happened and the response from the defendant was, ‘If she dies, I will kill you and everyone you know,’” prosecutor Ryan Peters told jurors.

Truman told police there was a chance his wife may have killed herself by accident or that someone outside the home may have shot her through the window despite there being no bullet hole. His attorney, Ron Yengich, says he was upset and had been drinking — that’s why his story changed.

“This is a fairly hyper young man, not greatly educated, kind of a country boy who’s drunk, who’s trying to react to what he sees,” Yengich said.

Prosecutors claim Truman killed his wife to collect nearly $1 million in insurance benefits. He has pleaded not guilty.

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Star Witness in IL Murder Trial Recants Testimony that Sent Co-Worker to Prison

ABC News(JOHNSBURG, Ill.) — A former Illinois grocery store worker, who was the star witness in a murder trial involving a missing person, is now saying prosecutors coerced him into giving false testimony to help put an innocent man behind bars.

“All of it was false, every single thing … the state’s attorney set it up,” Shane Lamb told ABC’s 20/20 in an exclusive interview from prison where he is serving time for burglary.

Lamb was working as a stock boy at Val’s Foods, the only grocery store in the small town of Johnsburg, Illinois, when another stock boy, 17-year-old Brian Carrick, went missing Dec. 20, 2002.

Carrick hasn’t been heard from since and his body has never been found. But in April 2013, another former stock boy, Mario Casciaro, 31, was convicted of first-degree murder with intimidation in Carrick’s death and sentenced to 26 years in prison.

But Lamb, whose testimony was a crucial part of the prosecution’s case against Casciaro, is now claiming neither he nor Casciaro had anything to do with Carrick’s death or disappearance.

“I didn’t have anything to do with this,” Lamb told 20/20. “Mario didn’t have anything to do with this. He doesn’t deserve to be in prison.”

Casciaro’s family owns Val’s Foods, and several members of the Carrick family, who lived across the street from the store on Johnsburg Road, worked there.

When Brian Carrick disappeared, police later found blood evidence belonging to Carrick in the store’s produce cooler. They also found a bloody fingerprint on the door handle. Authorities were convinced that Carrick was killed over a drug debt he owed Casciaro, who was working at the store the day Carrick disappeared. But with no witnesses or physical evidence linking Casciaro to the crime scene, the investigation went cold.

For years, Lamb denied he knew anything about Carrick’s disappearance. But then, in 2010, he said he was again facing serious charges and made a deal with assistant state’s attorney Michael Combs.

“I was arrested for cocaine charges and my offer was 12 years [prison time],” Lamb told 20/20. “They said that I would be indicted for murder if I didn’t cooperate.”

In a 2010 videotaped meeting with prosecutors obtained by ABC News, Lamb says on the night Carrick was last seen, Casciaro had called Lamb to ask him to come to the store to scare Carrick into paying back drug debts he owed. Prosecutors characterized Casciaro as a drug dealer and Lamb as his enforcer.

Lamb is heard on the tapes telling prosecutors he punched Carrick a few times and left him unconscious in the produce cooler. He claimed that Casciaro then told him, “Get out of here. I’ll take care of this.”

In exchange for incriminating testimony against Casciaro, Lamb said prosecutors offered him immunity from all charges related to Carrick’s death and a reduced sentence on a cocaine conviction.

Casciaro was charged Feb. 25, 2010, with first-degree murder with intimidation and unlawful restraint in Carrick’s disappearance, a rare charge that meant even though Casciaro never touched Carrick, or ordered Lamb to hurt him, he was still responsible for Lamb’s actions that night.

Prosecutors took Casciaro to trial twice. At the end of the first trial, on Feb. 1, 2012, jurors were deadlocked, 11 to one in favor of the prosecution, and a mistrial was declared. The case was retried in March 2013, and on April 2, 2013, Casciaro was found guilty of first-degree murder with intimidation.

Lamb’s testimony at both trials about Casciaro telling him to threaten Carrick into paying back his drug debts played a key role in the prosecution’s case. But now, Lamb claims that everything he said during that 2010 meeting, which was recorded by the state attorney’s office, was false and the incident “never happened.” Lamb said he sat alone with prosecutor Michael Combs for an hour while Combs fed him what to say.

“I was following what [Combs] wanted me to say. They just wanted to close the case,” Lamb said.

Lamb claims that this is not the first time he tried to come clean. Lamb said that after Casciaro’s first murder trial in 2012, he ran into Casciaro at a local bar.

“I was like, ‘If you, you know, you brought me into this. My family doesn’t have money to pay for a lawyer. They don’t have money to bond me out like yours does.’” Lamb said he told Casciaro. “You know, I’m like, ‘They were trying to indict me for murder,’ and I’m like, ‘I didn’t have money to fight this case.’”

Casciaro confirmed Lamb’s story. “He [Lamb] said, ‘They came at me with a murder indictment and they said it was either me or you, and I figured your family had money to defend you. You can get a lawyer, I couldn’t,’” Casciaro told 20/20.

Lamb said that when Combs learned that he had talked to Casciaro about the case, he was called in for a meeting with Combs.

“I thought I was going to get in trouble,” he said. “He [Combs] said, ‘Not as long as you don’t change your story. If you change your story, it’s going to be, you can be indicted for murder.’ … And I was forced to say nothing.”

Lamb said Combs was determined that someone take the fall for Carrick’s disappearance and at the time, prosecutors were talking to him and another stock boy who worked at Val’s Foods in 2002 named Rob Render.

“[Combs] said Rob Render was in Lake County Jail, if I didn’t want to talk to them, that they’re going to go to Rob Render next,” Lamb said, adding that he thought that meant prosecutors would offer Render the same immunity deal.

But even though Lamb says he is telling the truth now, he is a five-time convicted felon who has a long history of lying and a lengthy rap sheet that includes assault and battery of a police officer.

In a statement to 20/20 about Lamb’s recantation and the allegation that he was coerced by prosecutor Combs, the McHenry County state attorney’s office said: “Shane Lamb gave a videotaped, recorded account of the incident as it occurred in Johnsburg the day Brian Carrick disappeared. He gave a videotaped recording in the State Attorney’s Office, with the advice and counsel of his attorney and in his attorney’s presence on January 20, 2010. He consistently repeated the same account of the events at two subsequent jury trials.”

The Carrick family also rejects Lamb’s latest story. The family, their attorneys and the Johnsburg Village Police Department declined ABC News’ requests for an interview or comment for this story.

Lamb said he understands he’s the reason Casciaro is in prison, but he wants to set the record straight.

“I have absolutely nothing to gain,” he said. “The only thing that can happen to me right now is them recharging me for murder. I have everything to lose right now.”

“I don’t want to be the reason that [Casciaro] is doing 26 years,” Lamb continued. “I just want to tell him I’m sorry, his family that I’m sorry.”

Casciaro, who is serving his prison sentence at Menard Correctional Center, Illinois’ largest maximum security prison, is appealing his conviction. His new attorney, Kathleen Zellner, filed a petition this week to have Cascario’s conviction overturned. His case will be reviewed over the next several months.

“I’m happy that [Lamb is] finally telling the truth,” Casciaro told 20/20. “I wish he would have done it at the trial so that way I wouldn’t have been subjected to this, because this changes your whole life.”

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