The five most popular CNN.com stories during the last 24 hours, according to NewsPulse:
Police say missing California woman may be alive in Las Vegas: A California woman missing for nearly a year and declared dead by a court may still be alive and living in the Las Vegas, Nevada, area, detectives from Los Angeles said Thursday. Mitrice Richardson, a former beauty pageant contestant, was last seen leaving a sheriff's station in Malibu on September 17, 2009. She had been arrested the previous evening at an upscale restaurant for allegedly not paying for her meal, and patrons said Mitrice exhibited strange behavior.
On WikiLeaks scandal, hacker says he didn't want to be 'coward': A California hacker said he doesn't regret going to federal officials to show them alleged confessions an Army private made about leaking more than 90,000 documents that reveal secret information about U.S. war strategy. "I went to the right authorities, because it seemed incomprehensible that someone could leak that massive amount of data and not have it endanger human life," Adrian Lamo told CNN.
Body ID'd as NBA's Lorenzen Wright: A body found in southeast Memphis, Tennessee, on Wednesday has been identified as that of former professional basketball player Lorenzen Wright, Memphis police said Thursday. The cause of death has been ruled as "homicide by gunshot wound," police said in a news release, adding that the Shelby County medical examiner used dental records to confirm Wright's identity. Wright played collegiate basketball at the University of Memphis.
Woman charged in France over babies' bodies: French prosecutors said Thursday they charged a woman with murder after she admitted giving birth to and smothering eight babies over 17 years in northern France. Dominique Cottrez told investigators the reason she killed the babies was that she did not want to have any more children and did not want to see doctors for contraceptives, prosecutor Eric Vaillant said.
DeGeneres to leave 'Idol,' calls decision 'difficult': Ellen DeGeneres is calling it quits after spending one season with the Fox hit "American Idol," according to a statement from the star and the network. DeGeneres said she notified Fox and "American Idol" producers a "couple months ago" that the show wasn't the right fit for her. "While I love discovering, supporting and nurturing young talent, it was hard for me to judge people and sometimes hurt their feelings," she said.