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'Warrior princess' that inspired Charles Co. loses battle to leukemia

LA PLATA, Md. (WUSA9) --For seven years, the La Plata community rallied behind their warrior princess while she battled leukemia.

But on Tuesday, Maddie Major's battle suddenly ended. Friends of the family said her death wasn't expected and it happened fast.

A boat named in Maddie's honor now hangs from the roof of The Blue Dog Saloon in Port Tobacco.

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Body of male found in Charles County

INDIAN HEAD, Md. (WUSA9) -- The body of a male was found in Indian Head, Md. Friday afternoon, the Charles County Sheriff's Office announced.

The body was found at around 2 p.m. in a wooded area near the 3800 block of Cindy Court in Indian Head. 

The body is possibly believed to be that of 18-year-old Steven Coltman of Indian Head. He lived in the 3800 block of Cindy Court. Officials said he was reported missing from his house last week. A gun was found close to the body. 

Coltman was arrested and charged in connection to an attempted home invasion earlier this month in White Plains, according to the sheriff's office.

Charles County man charged with producing child pornography

GREENBELT, Md. (AP) - A Charles County man has been charged in a federal criminal complaint with pretending to be a teenage boy and enticing underage girls online to make sexually explicit videos.

Fifty-three-year-old Jose Antonio Jaramillo of Lusby was charged Wednesday in the complaint with production, receipt and possession of child pornography, coercion and enticement of a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity, and another offense.

According to the affidavit filed with the criminal complaint, Jaramillo posed as a 12-year-old to 17-year-old boy on social media sites. Prosecutors say Jaramillo took part in sexually explicit conversations with underage girls and induced them to produce sexually explicit images and videos and send them to him.

Firefighters give Waldorf fire victims a hero's sendoff

WALDORF, Md. (WUSA9) Several Charles County fire departments gave a great grandmother and her grandson killed in a Waldorf house fire last week a touching send-off that's usually reserved for one of their own. .

They didn’t know 6-year-old Zavion Atkins personally until that fatal day.

“I was on the truck company that had went inside initially, inside to do the search for to missing people,” said Waldorf Volunteer Firefighter Quentin Mills.

“The whole alpha bravo quadrants of the house fire were engulfed in flames,” said Waldorf Firefighter Chris Garrett.

See photos from the funeral

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Mallows Bay may become National Marine Sanctuary

NANJEMOY, Md. (WUSA9) -- Mallows Bay in Charles County, Md. is well known as the nation's largest collection of historic shipwrecks. But time and nature could turn the bay into a National Marine Sanctuary.

They're not much to see on first glance, but the tiny islands that dot the bay are the remnants of decades-old shipwrecks. 

"Those swampy islands are shipwrecks in the process of de-evolution," Don Shomette, a marine archeologist said.

The ships were built to transport war supplies to Europe during World War I, but were abandoned here in the 1920's.

"It is an environment which is evolving. it is a living laboratory of nature and humankind interacting in a way that we really don't know a lot about," Shomette said.

And this living laboratory is set to become the nation's 15th National Marine Sanctuary.

96 vases stolen from Waldorf cemetery

WALDORF, Md. (WUSA9) -- 96 bronze vases were stolen from a cemetery in Waldorf, according to the Charles County Sheriff's office.

The vases were stolen from the Trinity Memorial Gardens Cemetery on Mattawoman Beantown Road sometime between Tuesday and Wednesday, according to the sheriff's office.

Pack Light, Pack Right While Traveling by Air This Fall

Pack Light, Pack Right While Traveling by Air This Fall

Fall is a time when millions of people around the country begin to make their travel plans. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the busiest travel times of the year are just around the corner, which include Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. There are some great reasons why packing light will help make your trip easier and more enjoyable. And the good news is that it’s not difficult to do, either.

“If you want to pack right when you travel then you really need to focus on packing light,” explains Tina Aldatz, chief executive officer of Savvy Travelers. “There’s much less hassle and stress when you pack light and stick to the basics. You can put your focus on your travel, rather than having all of your attention go to dragging around way too much luggage.”

Here are some Savvy Travelers tips for packing light and right for fall and holiday air travel: