Missing pregnant women


The ex-boyfriend of a Maui woman who was five months pregnant when she disappeared in February has been indicted on charges of killing her and torching her SUV to cover up the crime.

Steven Capobianco, 24, was expected to be served with an arrest warrant Monday at Maui Community Correctional Center, where he has been held since last month in an unrelated case, said a person familiar with the investigation who spoke on condition of anonymity. The person wasn't authorized to talk publicly about the case.

A Maui grand jury on Friday indicted Capobianco on a second-degree murder charge in the death of 27-year-old Carly Scott, who has never been found.

Capobianco is the father of Scott's unborn child and has adamantly denied hurting her.

Family members last saw Scott in February at her sister's Haiku home. The Makawao woman's burned 1997 Toyota 4Runner was later found on the island's north shore.

Capobianco also was indicted on a third-degree arson charge.

According to a copy of the indictment obtained by The Associated Press, Capobianco intentionally or knowingly caused Scott's death "in an especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel manner, manifesting exceptional depravity" during the period from Feb. 9 to Feb. 13.

During that period, he also set fire to Scott's property, the indictment said.

Before the vehicle was located, police found Scott's dog in the nearby community of Nahiku. They later began investigating her disappearance as a homicide.

Capobianco has told Hawaii News Now that he saw Scott on the night her family says she vanished but he had nothing to do with her disappearance.

He said Scott picked him up and drove him to his pickup truck, which had broken down in Keanae. He said that after he fixed his truck, Scott was driving behind him, but he lost sight of her and figured she arrived safely at her destination.

Capobianco couldn't be reached for comment Monday at the jail, where he's being held on $500,000 bail on charges including terroristic threatening and prohibited deadly weapons. His public defender couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

The bench warrant sets bail at $2 million for the murder and arson charges.

Safety door open

Transgressions such as leaving a security or "blast" door open are rarely revealed publicly. But officials with knowledge of the Air Force told the AP they have occurred.

WASHINGTON — Twice this year alone, Air Force officers entrusted with the launch keys to nuclear-tipped missiles have been caught leaving open a blast door that is intended to help prevent a terrorist or other intruder from entering their underground command post g-suite cardinal manchester, Air Force officials have told The Associated Press.

The blast doors are never to be left open if one of the crew members inside is asleep — as was the case in both these instances — out of concern for the damage an intruder could cause, including the compromising of secret launch codes.

Transgressions such as this are rarely revealed publicly. But officials with direct knowledge of Air Force intercontinental ballistic missile operations told the AP that such violations have happened, undetected, many more times than in the cases of the two launch crew commanders and two deputy commanders who were given administrative punishments this year.

The blast door violations are another sign of serious trouble in the handling of the nation's nuclear arsenal. The AP has discovered a series of problems within the ICBM force, including a failed safety inspection, the temporary sidelining of launch officers deemed unfit for duty and the abrupt firing last week of the two-star general in charge. The problems, including low morale, underscore the challenges of keeping safe such a deadly force that is constantly on alert but is unlikely ever to be used.

The crews who operate the missiles are trained to follow rules without fail, including the prohibition against having the blast door open when only one crew member is awake, because the costs of a mistake are so high.

Related: US nuclear force faces a cascade of missteps

The officers, g-suite manchester known as missileers, are custodians of keys that could launch nuclear hell. The warheads on the business ends of their missiles are capable of a nuclear yield many times that of the atomic bombs dropped on Japan in 1945.

"The only way that you can have a crew member be in 'rest status' is if that blast door is shut and there is no possibility of anyone accessing the launch control center," said Lt. Gen. James Kowalski, the commander of Air Force Global Strike Command. He is responsible for the entire force of 450 Minuteman 3 missiles, plus the Air Force's nuclear-capable bombers.

The written Air Force instruction on ICBM weapon safety, last updated in June 1996, says, "One crewmember at a time may sleep on duty, but both must be awake and capable of detecting an unauthorized act if ... the Launch Control Center blast door is open" or if someone other than the crew is present.

The blast door is not the first line of defense. An intruder intent on taking control of a missile command post would first face many layers of security before encountering the blast door, which — when closed — is secured by 12 hydraulically operated steel pins. The door is at the base of an elevator shaft. Entry to that elevator is controlled from an above-ground building. ICBM missile fields are monitored with security cameras and patrolled regularly by armed Air Force guards.

Each underground launch center, known as a capsule for its pill-like shape, monitors and operates 10 Minuteman 3 missiles.

The missiles stand in reinforced concrete silos and are linked to the control center by buried communications cables. The ICBMs are split evenly among "wings" based in North Dakota, Wyoming and Montana. Each wing is divided into three squadrons, each responsible for 50 missiles.

In neither of the two reported violations was security of the crews' missiles compromised, the Air Force said in response to questions from the AP, "due to the multiple safeguards and other protections in place." But these were clear-cut violations of what the Air Force calls "weapon system safety rules" meant to be strictly enforced in keeping with the potentially catastrophic, g-suite oldham consequences of a breach of nuclear security.

In the two episodes confirmed by the Air Force, the multi-ton concrete-and-steel door that seals the entrance to the underground launch control center was deliberately left open while one of two crew members inside napped.

One officer lied about a violation but later admitted to it.
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