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Published July 8, 2006

Mentally disabled woman, 18, disappears, then returns home

TAMPA - A mentally disabled 18-year-old woman returned home Friday after she disappeared Thursday afternoon, police said.

Bakhiyta Muhammed, known to her family and friends as "Atara" and "Kita," returned home about 5 p.m., said police spokeswoman Andrea Davis.

Detectives planned to question her about her whereabouts Friday evening, Davis said.

Muhammed's family had posted fliers and notified police of the teen's disappearance, telling authorities it was unusual for the teen to leave home on her own. The family was also concerned that Muhammed had met strangers online through her page.

Applications accepted through Monday for judgeship

LARGO - The Sixth Judicial Circuit Nominating Commission is now accepting applications for the judicial vacancy created by the retirement of Circuit Judge James Case.

The deadline is 5 p.m. Monday.

The commission will select between three and six nominees. Gov. Jeb Bush then will select Case's replacement from that group.

Applicants must be registered voters and have been members in good standing with the Florida Bar for the last five years.

Man accused of stealing OxyContin from pharmacy

PINELLAS PARK - A Tarpon Springs man robbed a pharmacy in Pinellas Park on Friday, Pinellas County sheriff's officials said.

Deputies said John D. Walling, 30, robbed the G&H Pharmacy, 6236 66th St. N, shortly after noon and ran from the store with a large amount of OxyContin and a pharmacy clerk in pursuit.

A few blocks away, Walling jumped into a car driven by Lemuel Cousins, 52.

The clerk called to Cousins that Walling had just robbed the pharmacy, and Cousins told Walling to get out.

Sheriff's officials said Walling got out, hit the clerk on the head with the butt of a hunting knife and ran.

Deputies established a perimeter, and 18 minutes later Deputy James Durrett found and arrested Walling.

He was charged with aggravated battery, aggravated assault, robbery and trespass.

He was being held at the Pinellas County Jail late Friday in lieu of $75,150 bail.

[Last modified July 8, 2006, 01:10:21]

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