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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The fatal stabbing of a 66-year-old man in New York City on Monday night is being investigated as a bias crime, according to police.

Authorities identified the suspect as James Harris Jackson, 28, of Maryland, an Army veteran who'd served in Afghanistan.

Assistant Chief Bill Aubry said during a news conference on Wednesday that Jackson has a deep-seated hatred of black people. Police say he allegedly wrote a manifesto about attacking blacks in New York City.

"It is believed that he was specifically intending to target male blacks for assault," he said. "The reason why he picked New York is because it's the media capital of the world and he wanted to make a statement."

He is in custody and is being charged with murder, police said. Jackson has not yet entered a plea and is expected to be arraigned Wednesday evening.

"Based on statements that he made, the subject, as well as a preliminary review of video, it reveals that the attack on [victim] Timothy Caughman was clearly racially motivated," Aubry said.

Aubry said Jackson arrived from Baltimore, Maryland, on Friday via BoltBus and then stayed at a Midtown hotel from Friday to Monday afternoon. Aubry said video surveillance footage had captured Jackson wandering through the city.

Police said the fatal stabbing occurred around 11:15 p.m. Monday, as Caughman, a can and bottle recycler, was rifling through the trash.

Police said Jackson walked into a police substation in Times Square a little after midnight today, allegedly saying that he was wanted for a murder that had occurred 24 hours earlier.

Knives were found in his possession, police said. Aubry said police had recovered a 26-inch black mini sword, which investigators believe to be the murder weapon. Aubry said that Jackson did not attack anyone else.

Police said Caughman walked more than a block to a police precinct before collapsing. He was pronounced dead at Bellevue Hospital.

Aubry said that Jackson is still being questioned by police. Aubry said authorities are working to upgrade charges to a possible hate crime or racially motivated crime.

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The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation(NEW YORK) -- A former Tennessee teacher accused of kidnapping his 15-year-old student is believed to have watched a TV show about living off the grid before the pair disappeared, law enforcement sources told ABC News.

Tad Cummins, 50, is accused of kidnapping Elizabeth Thomas on March 13. As the manhunt intensifies, officials say there have been no credible sightings of the duo. Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokesman Josh DeVine told ABC News that if the duo isn’t outside the Southeast, they are likely "off the grid" in a rural area.

Three days before the alleged kidnapping, Cummins did online research about his car "to determine if certain features could be tracked by law enforcement," the TBI said Tuesday.

He also researched if his SUV was suitable for camping, law enforcement officials said.

Cummins, a married father and grandfather, researched teen marriage online as well, specifically the age of consent, according to law enforcement officials.

The TBI said that Cummins, who was fired one day after the alleged kidnapping, "may have been abusing his role as a teacher to groom [the teen] ... in an effort to lure and potentially sexually exploit her."

One of Thomas' schoolmates had reported seeing Thomas and Cummins kiss in his classroom on Jan. 23, according to a school district investigative report, but Thomas and Cummins denied the claim.

Thomas' sister told ABC News that the 15-year-old was bullied in school by students and teachers after the reported kiss and told her "I just have to get away, we have to get away."

"I can't handle this anymore . .. all the teachers, all the kids constantly saying mean things, I can't handle it,’" the sister said.

Cummins is wanted on allegations of aggravated kidnapping and sexual contact with a minor. An Amber Alert has been issued for Thomas.

Authorities say Cummins is believed to be armed and that the teen is "in imminent danger."

Authorities said neither Thomas nor Cummins has been in touch with family members.

Cummins' wife, Jill, pleaded with her husband Friday to "come home."

"I had no idea my husband was involved with anything that has led to all this. My heart breaks for the family of Beth Thomas,” she said. “Tad, this is not you. This is not who you are. We can help you get through this. ... Your family wants their poppy back. Please do the right thing and turn yourself into the police and bring Beth home.”

In an interview with ABC News Monday, the teen's father, Anthony Thomas, said he wants his daughter to "please let us know you are all right and please come home to us."

Thomas family attorney Jason Whatley told ABC News that Cummins was "taking advantage” of his student and "manipulating her into leaving with him."

"We are very concerned about the control that he has over her," Whatley said. "We believe that is 100 percent the reason why she is missing at this point. He is the problem, she is not. She’s a child, she’s a victim."

Cummins is described as 6 feet tall and weighs about 200 pounds. He may be driving a 2015 silver Nissan Rogue with a Tennessee license plate number 976-ZPT.

Elizabeth Thomas is described as 5-foot-5 and weighs 120 pounds. She was last seen wearing leggings and a flannel shirt.

Authorities are asking that anyone with information call 1-800-TBI-FIND and that anyone who sees a car with a Tennessee license plate 976-ZPT call 911. A $1,000 reward is available for information leading to Cummins' arrest.

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Purestock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — U.S. authorities became convinced that security measures for certain U.S.-bound flights needed to be boosted only after conducting a series of tests to determine the credibility of new intelligence indicating that ISIS associates were trying to develop explosives-laden electronics that could be smuggled onboard planes, ABC News has learned.

The tests were executed in recent weeks and led authorities to one conclusion: "It can be done," as one source put it.

The Department of Homeland Security ultimately banned all electronics bigger than a cellphone from the cabins of some direct flights to the United States from 10 airports in eight Muslim-majority countries.

Sources said that the airports affected by the restrictions were not directly named in the most recent threat intelligence gathered by authorities, but those airports were identified through intelligence analysis paired with other government information.

In an interview with ABC News, Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-California, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, warned about the "new aviation threat."

"We know that our adversaries, terrorist groups in the United States and outside the United States, seek to bring down a U.S.-bound airliner. That’s one of their highest value targets. And we’re doing everything we can right now to prevent that from happening," Swalwell said Tuesday.

Nearly two years ago, ABC News first reported that an internal investigation of the Transportation Security Administration revealed security failures at dozens of major U.S. airports. Undercover investigators were able to smuggle mock explosives or banned weapons through checkpoints in 95 percent of trials, ABC News reported. The series of tests were conducted by Homeland Security Red Teams who pose as passengers, setting out to beat the system.

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iStock/Thinkstock(CHINO, Calif.) — A Southern California high school student was taken into custody on Tuesday for allegedly threatening to carry out a Columbine-style shooting attack.

The 15-year-old Chino High School student from Ontario allegedly made the threats via Twitter, ABC affiliate KABC reported Tuesday, citing the Chino Police Department.

The teenager, whose identity was withheld, allegedly tweeted, "I'm recreating Columbine" and "Chino needs a good shooting," according to a group known as "The Tactical Institute," who saw the messages and reported them to police, the report said.

The comments refer to the 1999 shooting massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado where two students killed 13 people before taking their own lives. The shooting is the deadliest school massacre in U.S. history.

The student is currently being held at a juvenile facility in San Bernardino on suspicion of criminal threats, according to KABC.

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Stockbyte/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) — The head of the Los Angeles Police Department on Tuesday warned of a "strong correlation" between dramatic drops in violent crimes being reported by Hispanics in Los Angeles and fears of being deported, suggesting that the community may be avoiding contact with local law enforcement in the wake of immigration polices favored by the Trump administration.

Newly-released LAPD crime statistics for 2017 show that among Hispanics, reports of rape have dropped 25 percent while those of spousal abuse have decreased by 9.8 percent. Similar reductions from the start of this year were not found in any other ethnic group, according to the LAPD numbers.

"Imagine your sister, your mother, not reporting a sexual assault for fear that their family will be torn apart," Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck told reporters on Tuesday.

With a large Hispanic population, Los Angeles has been one of several large U.S. municipalities to have resisted new federal immigration policies under President Trump, who has promised to toughen laws against the estimated 11 million immigrants living illegally in the U.S.

Police in California's largest cities have long warned of the difficulties of local officials enforcing federal immigration laws, partly because such enforcement could drive large immigrant populations into hiding and be fearful of reporting crimes, which could result in higher crime rates overall.

Speaking Tuesday, Beck said that immigrant populations should not have to fear the police.

"In L.A. we don't care what color your skin is, where your parents come from or what language you speak," he said. "We are your police department."

In February, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and other city leaders sent Immigration and Customs Enforcement a letter asking that federal immigration agents stop identifying themselves as "police" while going after undocumented immigrants. They argued the practice makes the immigrant population fearful of police and potentially afraid to report crimes due to deportation fears if exposed as illegal immigrants. The authorities said in some cases a victim might be legal but be worried that calling the police could lead to a loved one being deported.

For its part, ICE has argued it uses "police" because it’s an internationally recognized term for law enforcement understood in any language.

The LAPD has long had a policy of not asking about the immigration status of individuals who come into contact with its officers.

On Tuesday, Garcetti signed an executive directive expanding that policy to Los Angeles Airport Police, Harbor Police and the Los Angeles Fire Department.

"We believe that many local families are keeping their kids home or backing off of engaging with our law enforcement officials and our public safety officials because they're afraid of what they believe could happen," said Garcetti.

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iStock/Thinkstock(ASPEN, Colo.) — The Trump clan — sans its patriarch, President Donald Trump — ditched the East Coast this week and headed west to the ritzy Colorado ski town of Aspen.

Lara Trump, who announced on Monday that she and President Trump's son Eric are expecting a boy in September, posted a photo on Instagram Tuesday with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, as well as Donald Trump Jr.'s son, Donald III — all of whom are decked out in chic skiwear atop a snow-covered mountain.

Donald Jr. and his wife Vanessa are also in Aspen with their children, and Ivanka and Jared's children are also there.

Eric also posted a photo of the couple's two dogs, writing, "These two love Aspen!"

These two love Aspen! pic.twitter.com/iNMtBg5FNd

— Eric Trump (@EricTrump) March 22, 2017

Eric announced the upcoming arrival of their child on Monday, tweeting, ".@LaraLeaTrump & I are excited to announce that we are adding a boy to #TeamTrump in September. It's been an amazing year. We are blessed!"

.@LaraLeaTrump & I are excited to announce that we are adding a boy to #TeamTrump in September. It's been an amazing year. We are blessed! pic.twitter.com/ENrhdxdziA

— Eric Trump (@EricTrump) March 20, 2017

Congratulations Eric & Lara. Very proud and happy for the two of you! https://t.co/s0T3cTQc40

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 20, 2017

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iStock/Thinkstock(OVERLAND PARK, Kan.) — An eight-alarm fire that injured three firefighters and destroyed multiple homes in Kansas this week was ruled an accident on Tuesday, according to emergency officials said.

Investigators believe the fire, which began at an unoccupied apartment complex in Overland Park, Kansas on Monday, was accidentally ignited by a welder working onsite, the Overland Park Fire Department said in a statement Tuesday evening.

The fire was the biggest in the city’s history, according to the statement on Tuesday.

The fire broke out at a luxury apartment complex under construction at around 3:30 p.m. Monday before quickly spreading to several nearby homes in Overland Park, which is the state’s second most populated city, fire officials said.

At least 22 homes were affected by heat exposure and flying embers, according to Overland Park fire officials.

Three firefighters were transported to a local hospital with minor injuries but appear to be doing well officials said early Tuesday.

Overland Park Fire Department spokesman Jason Rhodes described their conditions as a "mixed bag" of damaged and destroyed on Monday evening.

He described the initial scene as "a bit of a war zone" and said the fire was intensified by winds, which pushed fire embers south, and dry air conditions.

Fire officials said they worked into early Tuesday morning to fully extinguish the fires.

FF's working into the night. Neighbors be vigilant embers still a danger. Those needing assistance go to Christ Lutheran Church 117th Nieman pic.twitter.com/UFCpynKQur

— Overland Park Fire (@OPFDMedia) March 21, 2017

City building inspectors were in the area on Tuesday to assess the safety and "livability" of the damaged homes, according to Overland Park fire officials.

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The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation(CULLEOKA, Tenn.) -- A former teacher accused of kidnapping his 15-year-old student researched "teen marriage" online eight days before he allegedly abducted the girl, authorities said Tuesday.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said the suspect, Tad Cummins, 50, also did online research about his car "to determine if certain features could be tracked by law enforcement."

Cummins is accused of kidnapping Elizabeth Thomas on March 13 and was fired from his job the next day. An Amber Alert has been issued for Thomas, and Cummins is wanted on allegations of aggravated kidnapping and sexual contact with a minor.

"We need you home," Thomas's sister, Sarah, told ABC News today. "Whatever he's telling you is a lie. .. just call or text us whenever you can."

Amid the desperate search for the victim, the TBI released a photo today showing Thomas and Cummins together in their Culleoka school in January. The photo was taken days before Cummins had "alleged inappropriate contact with her," the TBI said.

One of Thomas's schoolmates had reported seeing them kiss in his classroom on Jan. 23, according to a school district investigative report, but Thomas and Cummins denied the claim.

The TBI said that Cummins "may have been abusing his role as a teacher to groom [the teen] ... in an effort to lure and potentially sexually exploit her."

Thomas's sister told ABC News that the victim was bullied in school by students and teachers after the reported kiss and told her "I just have to get away, we have to get away."

"I can't handle this anymore . .. all the teachers, all the kids constantly saying mean things, I can't handle it,’" the sister recounted.

Sarah Thomas said her sister woke her up urgently the day she disappeared and made her promise to call the police if she was not home by 6 p.m. that night. Sarah Thomas said her sister sounded "serious," not happy. "She's not a serious person."

When the 15-year-old didn't come home, Sarah Thomas was scared.

"I felt like it was my fault," she told ABC News. "Maybe if I would have done something" that morning, and didn't fall back asleep, "I could’ve stopped her," she said.

But Sarah Thomas said she doesn't think Elizabeth Thomas knew she was leaving that day; she said her sister wouldn't leave without at least hugging her.

“If she gets sick, he can’t do anything ... she doesn’t have a way of getting to the doctor," Sarah Thomas said.

She also said her younger sister is "not a camper." She hates the woods and is scared of snakes and spiders, Sarah Thomas said.

An attorney for the school district has not responded to ABC News' request for comment about the bullying claims.

As authorities search for the pair, authorities say Cummins is believed to be armed and that the teen is "in imminent danger."

Authorities said neither Thomas nor Cummins has been in touch with family members.

TBI spokesman Josh DeVine told ABC News about 600 tips have come in as of today, which he called "substantially low." And there are still no credible sightings of the duo, which DeVine says is very rare.

Join us in holding out hope. It only takes one solid lead. pic.twitter.com/VShoOaUksX

— TBI (@TBInvestigation) March 21, 2017

Cummins' wife, Jill, pleaded with her husband Friday to "come home." "I had no idea my husband was involved with anything that has led to all this. My heart breaks for the family of Beth Thomas,” she said. “Tad, this is not you. This is not who you are. We can help you get through this ... Your family wants their poppy back. Please do the right thing and turn yourself into the police and bring Beth home.”

In an interview with ABC News Monday, the teen's father, Anthony Thomas, pleaded with his daughter to "please let us know you are all right and please come home to us."

It's been a week, but we're not giving up hope. Stay vigilant, stay alert, and let us know if you spot these individuals or this vehicle. pic.twitter.com/jDACuW1iUg

— TBI (@TBInvestigation) March 20, 2017

Thomas family attorney Jason Whatley told ABC News that Cummins was "taking advantage” of his student and "manipulating her into leaving with him."

"We are very concerned about the control that he has over her," Whatley said. "We believe that is 100 percent the reason why she is missing at this point. He is the problem, she is not. She’s a child, she’s a victim."

Cummins is described as 6 feet tall and weighs about 200 pounds. He may be driving a 2015 silver Nissan Rogue with a Tennessee license plate number 976-ZPT.

Thomas is described as 5-foot-5 and weighs 120 pounds. She was last seen wearing leggings and a flannel shirt.

Authorities are asking that anyone with information call 1-800-TBI-FIND and that anyone who sees a car with a Tennessee license plate 976-ZPT call 911. A $1,000 reward is available for information leading to Cummins' arrest.


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Sarah Walton(NEW YORK) -- When Sarah Walton needed to transport her deceased 4-year-old daughter's ashes from the funeral home, she put them in the only logical place she could think of: the little girl's car seat.

Ellie Walton died in January from a rare brain tumor. She endured 17 surgeries, 14 of them brain surgeries, in her short life.

Sarah Walton "wasn't sure" why she photographed the temporary urn in the car seat, but she's received such an outpouring of support since she posted it on the Facebook page Prayers for Ellie Walton that she hopes it's raising awareness about pediatric cancer.

Currently, 4 percent of cancer research funding goes to pediatric cancer.

"It's been two months of pure torture, agony, and despair," Walton wrote. "All I want back is our daily life, whatever they entailed, I want it back. I want hospital visits back, and chemo back, I want your laughter, and your joyous heart back. The things that brought my heart so much pain, only a few months ago, I so desperately want back today."

Walton told ABC News that she never wants another mother to go through this.

But posting about Ellie, Walton told ABC News, also helps her cope with her daughter's loss. "I love to talk about her and have people remember her. I love to hear about her and I love to talk about her."

Ellie wore sunglasses everywhere she went, her mother said. "But she always wore them upside down. Even when I put them on her the right way she turned them around." She also loved animals, especially dinosaurs, and pickles.

"She was the kind of kid who would have brain surgery on a Monday and by Tuesday she wanted to leave the hospital so she could get a Slurpee," her mother told ABC News. "She lit up a room. She was very outgoing and spoke to every person."

The outpouring of love on the family's Facebook page has been tremendous. "Awareness is about funding, of course," Walton said. "But for families going through this, just having people support them is important, too."

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The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation(CULLEOKA, Tenn.) -- Tad Cummins, a 50-year-old married former high school teacher and Elizabeth Thomas, his 15-year-old former student, have been missing for more than a week -- without any sightings.

Here's a timeline of the alleged abduction and the events leading up to it:

Pre-2017

Cummins married his wife Jill in 1985, according to his Facebook account. The couple have adult children together and are also grandparents, according to police.

He worked as a health sciences teacher at Culleoka Unit School, which is where he met Elizabeth, according to police.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) said that the teacher used his position of authority to shape a potential relationship with his student, but it's not entirely clear when he allegedly started that process with her.

Cummins "may have been abusing his role as a teacher to groom this vulnerable young girl for some time in an effort to lure and potentially sexually exploit her," according to the TBI.

One way Cummins may have done this is by telling the girl elaborate stories about himself, according to Elizabeth's father, who told ABC News that he bragged about being a millionaire and a CIA operative that traveled on secret missions.

January 23rd

It was a Monday in late January when one of Elizabeth's schoolmates alleged she witnessed a kiss between Cummins and Elizabeth.

The girl said that she was walking into Cummins' classroom when she saw Elizabeth and Cummins kissing, according to a Jan. 30 investigative report conducted by the school district.

"It wasn't like a make-out kiss, just a peck on the lips," the student said in a written statement quoted in the report. She said she told another student about what she believed she saw.

January 24th

The schoolmate who said she witnessed the alleged kiss sought out Cummins, with a different friend, on the morning of Jan. 24 to ask for an explanation, according to the report.

She wanted to know the nature of his relationship with Elizabeth before proceeding. According to the school's report, Cummins told the students he was "a father figure" to Elizabeth and he "saw her as a close and best friend."

January 30th

One week after the alleged kiss, a report on the January 23rd incident was created by the school. The report noted that a kiss "could not be confirmed."

Elizabeth was assigned to be removed from Cummins' class as a result of the report.

January 31st

In a letter from his attorney, Jason Whatley, Elizabeth's father said he found out about the alleged incident when sheriff's deputies questioned him on Jan. 31, but said he was never informed by the school district. He also said in the letter, issued on Feb. 6, that when he called the school about the report, a woman he spoke to expressed regret that he had been "left in the dark."

February 3rd

Eleven days after the alleged kiss, a letter from the district addressed to Cummins stated that Elizabeth had been in the teacher's classroom, against orders.

February 6th

Three weeks after the alleged kiss, the school district wrote a letter to Cummins telling him he was suspended without pay immediately "pending an investigation."

Whatley sent a letter on behalf of Elizabeth's father to the school district.

February 6th to March 12th

According to Whatley, Elizabeth's phone history indicated she was still in contact with Cummins.

Maury County Sheriff Bucky Rowland told ABC News that he believed it was likely that Cummins planned an escape with the girl during the time after the suspension was issued.

In the days before they disappeared, security footage showed Cummins shopping for what appears to be women's hair dye, according to TBI.

March 13th

Elizabeth was last seen around 7:30 a.m. or 8 a.m. Monday at a Shoney's restaurant in Columbia, Tennessee. She was dropped off by a friend, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

Elizabeth's family told ABC News that she told one of her siblings to call police if she didn't return home by 6 p.m. on Monday, March 13th.

What appears to be the latest photo of the girl, issued on March 20th by TBI, shows her wearing what looks like an over-sized flannel and carrying something (https://tbinewsroom.com/2017/03/20/amber-alert-update-4-elizabeth-thomas/) in her arms, possibly her belongings.

Sabrina Gallup, a manager at the Shoney's where Elizabeth was dropped off, told ABC News by phone that she had no connection to the restaurant beyond being a potential customer.

She said the girl's disappearance has left people in the community of Columbia unsettled.

"Everyone's keeping an eye out," Gallup said. "The entire town is looking out for her right now."

Surveillance footage from a gas station near the restaurant appears to show Cummins, 50, filling up his silver Nissan Rogue, the car in which authorities believe he is traveling with the teenager, at about 8:30 a.m.

Later, they were reportedly near Decatur, Alabama, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

A spokesperson for the Decatur, Alabama, police told ABC News by phone that Elizabeth had not been physically seen in or around Decatur and that reports of their whereabouts may have been attributed to a ping from the girl's cell phone.

March 14th to March 21st

At some point, Elizabeth updated her Instagram bio to read "wife."

March 14th

Cummins was fired from Culleoka Unit School, only after the alleged kidnapping, according to TBI.

March 15th

An Amber Alert about Elizabeth's disappearance was issued by TBI.

March 17th

Cummins is added to the state's ten most wanted list.

His wife, Jill Cummins, held an emotional press conference begging for her husband to return.

"I had no idea my husband was involved with anything that has led to all this. My heart breaks for the family of Beth Thomas," Jill Cummins said. "Tad, this is not you. This is not who you are. We can help you get through this ... Your family wants their Poppy back. Please do the right thing and turn yourself into the police and bring Beth home."

March 20th

TBI issued the last known photo of Elizabeth, as well as surveillance footage showing Cummins purchasing hair dye, which they said on Twitter "was not part of his intended plan" for Elizabeth.

"As of early this afternoon, the TBI has received more than 600 leads. The lack of confirmed sightings, however, continues to lead TBI to believe Cummins could have Elizabeth hidden from view of the general public or far away from Tennessee," TBI's update of their Amber Alert said.

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Michele Whitlow(NEW YORK) -- Little Oliver and fluffy Leo are the best of friends. But 11-month-old Oliver also loves trying to nap on Leo, over ... and over ... and over again.

“Oliver is constantly using Leo as a pillow,” Oliver’s mom, Michele Whitlow, told ABC News.

 Leo was the couple’s “first baby” and has been very patient since Oliver came along.

“Leo has always loved attention. Originally when Oliver was born, Leo was sort of getting shafted because all the attention was going to Oliver,” she explained. “So he was feeling left out. But over time he realized Oliver can actually play with him and now they’re constantly together.”

Whenever Oliver touches Leo “he becomes a statue,” said Whitlow.

“He just stands still. He just stands still and lets Oliver climb all over him,” she added. “He’s super patient. He doesn’t seem to care ever.”

The dynamic duo are inseparable.

“Anything Oliver is doing, Leo is following,” said the proud mom. “He loves to lay his head on him and honestly nail on his head. We’re trying to teach Oliver to be gentle with Leo but he’s your typical boy: rambunctious. But Leo is so patient and it’s been good for us that Oliver is learning with him.”

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?

Apparently, he’s right next door to baby Juliet at Coastal Carolina Hospital in Hardeeville, South Carolina.

These bundles of joy are named Romeo and Juliet. They were born 18 hours apart, delivered by the same doctor, in the same hospital.

Their parents had never met and had no idea about each other’s chosen names.

“We had picked the name out months ago,” Juliet’s mom, Christiana Shifflett, of Bluffton, told ABC News. “We wanted a J name to go with our son’s name, Jonas. We picked Juliet because we were watching the TV show ‘Psych’ and the character’s name is Jules.”

Romeo’s parents, Morgan and Edwin Hernandez, also had their name chosen months ago.

“It’s funny because we didn’t even name him Romeo after Shakespeare,” said Morgan, 24, of Beaufort. “We named him after a singer named Romeo Santos that my husband and I both love.”

Neither family can believe the coincidence and both said “it’s too funny” how this happened.

“Our kid’s already famous and she’s only a day old,” Shifflett’s husband, Allan Umana, said with a laugh.

Social media can’t get enough of these star-crossed little babies who are going viral after the hospital’s newborn photographer, Cassie Clayshulte, posted their precious photos to her Facebook page.

“Both parents had picked these names out early on in their pregnancies and neither couple knew each other until they met today!,” she wrote in her post Monday, which already has almost 3,000 likes. “Both babies have full heads of hair and already make the cutest couple!”

Romeo and Juliet’s parents already mentioned they’d like to try to get the babies together for their first birthdays to have a Shakespeare-themed photo shoot.

And Clayshulte’s says she's also got big plans for their future.

“We already discussed that if they get married I get to shoot the wedding and their engagement photos,” she joked.

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The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation(CULLEOKA, Tenn.) -- As authorities hunt for a former Tennessee teacher accused of kidnapping his 15-year-old student, one former FBI agent explains the potential avenues police may be exploring as the investigation intensifies.

Tad Cummins, 50, is accused of kidnapping 15-year-old Elizabeth Thomas on March 13, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said.

Cummins is also accused of having an inappropriate relationship with Elizabeth while he was a teacher at her Culleoka, Tennessee, school. Cummins has denied the claim, but nearly two months before Elizabeth and her former teacher went missing, one of Elizabeth's schoolmates reported seeing the pair kiss in Cummins' classroom, according to a Jan. 30 school district investigative report.

The TBI said that Cummins "may have been abusing his role as a teacher to groom [the teen] ... in an effort to lure and potentially sexually exploit her."

Cummins was fired March 14, one day after he and Elizabeth disappeared.

An Amber Alert has been issued for Elizabeth, and Cummins is wanted on allegations of aggravated kidnapping and sexual contact with a minor.

Cummins is believed to be armed and authorities say the teen is "in imminent danger."

NEW PICTURE: Here's the last known photograph of Elizabeth Thomas prior to her alleged kidnapping. Spot her? 1-800-TBI-FIND! #TNAMBERAlert pic.twitter.com/5hInjYHU5d

— TBI (@TBInvestigation) March 20, 2017

TBI spokesman Josh DeVine told ABC News about 600 tips have come in as of today, which he called "substantially low." And there are still no credible sightings of the duo, which DeVine says is very rare.

Former FBI Agent and ABC News contributor Brad Garrett agreed.

“In a high-profile case that involves a juvenile in the hands of an adult, it crosses all boundaries as far as people reaching out to police," Garrett said, explaining that people who might not usually reach out to police because they have their own history with law enforcement will often reach out to give tips in these dire situations.

"Everyone is concerned and outraged about a child of this age disappearing with an adult," Garrett told ABC News today. "It troubles me that they don’t have more leads."

The possibilities

DeVine told ABC News the TBI thinks the duo is "off the grid" in a rural area or are outside of the Southeast.

Garrett believes there are two main possibilities in this case: One is that Cummins selected a predetermined, isolated spot, like a secluded cabin or a trailer, that the duo was able to reach before anyone could spot them arrive.

"If that’s true, you can only survive in that setting so long," Garrett said. "During that time period, he has to continue, I assume, convince her it's OK to stay with him. Because when you have someone this young and that old, it can become a real issue in trying to keep them, because they may have second thoughts at this point. It's a big change and risk for them."

The second possibility, Garrett said, is, "I have concerns that something bad could’ve happened. ... He’s lost his job, he’s going to be prosecuted, he could very likely spend the rest of his life in jail. He’s humiliated in the community ... [and the alleged kidnapping created] significant issues with his current wife."

DeVine said the TBI is still working under the assumption that Elizabeth is alive and said the agency will work in that spirit until information suggests otherwise.

Hiding nearby

While DeVine said today the duo may be outside the Southeast, Garrett thinks they are likely not too far from middle Tennessee.

"They had maybe a several hour [head] start in this case before law enforcement got involved, but after that ... everybody was looking for them," Garrett said, adding that he'd "be shocked" if somebody spots them in another country.

Since the FBI has publicized the license plate of the car Cummins was believed to be driving, Garrett thinks Cummins is no longer near that car, because keeping it would be "too high profile." According to Garrett, Cummins and Elizabeth likely either reached their remote location quickly before the license plate was broadcast so widely, or Cummins picked a place to ditch the car, like a barn or a parking garage.

Rural refuge

DeVine said today if the duo isn’t outside the Southeast, they are likely "off the grid" in a rural area.

Garrett also thinks they’re hiding out somewhere rural. Garrett said that when investigators look for people on the run, they often begin looking at places where they have some history; for example, a place Cummins has gone hiking, or a remote place where he has friends.

Garrett said investigators "have to put [their] faith in running down every conceivable lead as to where he has a history that has a remote aspect to it."

And if the teen and former teacher are somewhere very rural, like in the woods or a campground, not in a cabin that has a kitchen and water, they would have to have the skills to survive, Garrett said.

"Fugitives have to stay in places at least for a period of time they feel they can at least survive today, tonight and tomorrow," Garrett said. "It’s very difficult."

Garrett said Cummins may have pre-stocked a location, but added, "that takes a fair amount of time.”

“The question would be, [as a teacher,] did he have a life situation day in and day out that would have allowed him to do that?" Garrett said. "My guess is, let's say he did some stockpiling, there’s going to be a record of that -- if he bought 10 cans of beans ... or he’s been to a camping store and purchased a tent ... other things that one would need to survive in a remote or wooded setting."

On Monday, DeVine told reporters that the TBI was encouraging property owners, especially in rural areas, to search their grounds for suspicious activity. He said the TBI was also encouraging people to be on the lookout at campgrounds, parks, large parking lots, parking garages and other isolated areas.

Tracing phones

Authorities said neither Elizabeth nor Cummins has been in touch with family members.

Maury County Sheriff Bucky Rowland told local ABC affiliate WKRN-TV that the last time Elizabeth’s phone pinged was the day she went missing, off a tower near Decatur, Alabama.

Garrett says since then, the duo may have turned their phones off, ditched their phones or purchased throwaway phones, which are hard to trace.

But Garrett predicts they likely ditched their phones because "who are they going to want to talk to? Nobody in their past."

Garrett said Cummins also likely "doesn’t want to have any cellphones around," because "the last thing he wants [Elizabeth] to do is pick up the phone and call somebody."

"Part of his control and isolation of her would also be no way to communicate with the outside," Garrett explained.

Looking ahead

Going forward, Garrett said "the most important thing that both law enforcement and the public can do is keep this case out there. To not let up on who they are, what they might look like."

He added, "I wouldn’t totally give up on continuing to look for the car, because even if you find the car, it's still a lead ... which might tie in, for example, with some place he has a history."

"As time goes on," Garrett said, "they’ll have to come out of the woods at some point. They’ll be out of food, they’ll be out of water, she maybe going sideways on him."

And as soon as they move, they will be "more vulnerable," Garrett said, explaining that every person they encounter has the potential to ID them.

"All law enforcement really needs is a hot tip," Garrett said.

It's been a week, but we're not giving up hope. Stay vigilant, stay alert, and let us know if you spot these individuals or this vehicle. pic.twitter.com/jDACuW1iUg

— TBI (@TBInvestigation) March 20, 2017

In an interview with ABC News Monday, Elizabeth's father, Anthony Thomas, pleaded with Elizabeth to "please let us know you are all right and please come home to us."

Thomas family attorney Jason Whatley told ABC News that Cummins was "taking advantage” of his student and "manipulating her into leaving with him."

"We are very concerned about the control that he has over her," Whatley said. "We believe that is 100 percent the reason why she is missing at this point. He is the problem, she is not. She’s a child, she’s a victim."

Cummins is described as a white man with brown hair and brown eyes. He is 6 feet tall and weighs about 200 pounds. He may be driving a 2015 silver Nissan Rogue with a Tennessee license plate number 976-ZPT.

Elizabeth is described as a white girl with blonde hair and hazel eyes. She is 5 feet, 5 inches tall and weighs 120 pounds. She was last seen wearing leggings and a flannel shirt.

Authorities are asking that anyone with information call 1-800-TBI-FIND and that anyone who sees a car with a Tennessee license plate 976-ZPT call 911. A $1,000 reward is available for information leading to Cummins' arrest.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

 



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ABC News.(NEW YORK) -- An 8-year-old boy with a skin disorder that causes white patches on his skin was able to fly across the country to meet a dog with the same condition.

Both the boy, Carter Blanchard, of Searcy, Arkansas, and the dog, Rowdy, 13, who lives with his owners in Oregon, have vitiligo, a disorder with no known cause in which the cells that make pigment in the skin are destroyed, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Carter when diagnosed with the disorder in December 2014 when he was in kindergarten. The first white patches appeared around his eyes and caused him to lose confidence, according to his mom.

“He was at a big school with a lot of kids and his face was transforming very quickly,” Stephanie Adcock told ABC News. “As he was trying to come to terms with it, he had his classmates trying to also because his face was changing in front of them.”

She added, “The first thing he’d tell me when he got in the car is that he hated his face and hated the way he looked.”

It was around that time that Adcock saw a photo of Rowdy by chance while scrolling through Facebook. She clicked on his photo not knowing that he had the same condition as her son.

Adcock quickly discovered that Rowdy had gained a worldwide following because of his unique look. The dog, who was also diagnosed with vitiligo in 2014, has his own website and social media accounts.

Carter began watching videos of Rowdy online and made what his mom called a “180” in how he thought of his skin disorder.

“Vitiligo is a very rare condition and he was very upset that he had it but now he is proud that he was chosen to have vitiligo and this is the way he is and he wouldn’t have it any other way,” Adcock said. “He thinks that everyone else’s skin is boring.”

Adcock and Rowdy’s owner, Niki Umbenhower, began to email each other and kept in touch. When the story of Carter and Rowdy’s friendship was featured on Oregon ABC affiliate KATU, an anonymous viewer donated $5,000 to help fly Carter and his mom to Oregon to meet Rowdy in person.

Carter and Rowdy met over the weekend for the first time.

“When we walked in I didn’t feel like we were walking in for the very first time, they were family already,” Adcock said. “You could tell Rowdy knew something was going on and felt the energy of the room.”

Umbenhower said Rowdy has reacted to Carter as if they were old friends.

“Carter will be on the floor doing Legos and Rowdy will come and lay down next to him,” she said, adding of the pair's first meeting, "Carter hugged him and petted him for two hours straight and they’ve been together ever since.”

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Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — There, indeed, was an FBI wiretap involving Russians at Trump Tower.

But it was not placed at the behest of Barack Obama and the target was not the Trump campaign of 2016. For two years ending in 2013, the FBI had a court-approved warrant to eavesdrop on a sophisticated Russian organized crime money laundering network that operated out of unit 63A in Trump Tower.

The FBI investigation led to a federal grand jury indictment of more than 30 people, including one of the world’s most notorious Russian mafia bosses, Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov. Known as the “Little Taiwanese,” Tokhtakhounov was the only target to slip away, and he remains a fugitive from American justice.

Five months after the April 2013 indictment and after Interpol issued a “red notice” for Tokhtakhounov, the fugitive appeared near Donald Trump in the VIP section of the Moscow Miss Universe pageant. Trump had sold the Russian rights for Miss Universe to a billionaire Russian shopping mall developer.

“He is a major player,” said Mike Gaeta, the FBI agent who led the 2013 FBI investigation of Tokhtakhounov and his alleged mafia money laundering and gambling ring, in a 2014 interview with ABC News. “He is prominent, he has extremely good connections in the business world as well as the criminal world, overseas, in Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, other countries.”

Gaeta, who ran the FBI’s Eurasian Organized Crime unit of the FBI’s New York office told ABC News at the time that federal agents were closely tracking Tokhtakhounov, whose Russian ring was suspected of moving more than $50 million in illegal money into the United States.

“Because of his status, we have kept tabs on is activities, and particularly as his activities truly enter New York city,” Gaeta said. “Their money was ultimately laundered from Russia, Ukraine and other locations through Cyprus banks and shell companies based in Cyprus, and then ultimately here to the United States.”

The FBI investigation did not implicate Trump. But Trump Tower was under close watch. Some of the Russian mafia figures worked out of the 63rd floor unit in the iconic skyscraper — just three floors below Trump’s penthouse residence — running what prosecutors called an “international money laundering, sports gambling and extortion ring.”

The Trump building was home to one of the top men in the alleged ring, Vadim Trincher who pleaded guilty to racketeering and received a five-year prison term. He is due to be released in July.

“Everything was moving in and out of there,” said former FBI official Rich Frankel, now an ABC News consultant.

“He would have people come in and meet with them. He would use the phones. He would also communicate, wither it was through e-mail or other communications through there,” Frankel said of Trincher. “His base of operations was in the Trump Tower.”

In court papers, the FBI described two years of intercepts of phone conversations and text message exchanges of the key figures in the gambling ring.

“Mr. Vladim Trincher was on one occasion intercepted speaking with a customer of the gambling operation who owed a debt of $50,000,” one court document stated. Trincher told the gambler about an enforcer who works with him named Maxin. On the recording, Trincher “threatens the customer that Maxin would come and find him, would come and find the money, and that he should be careful, lest he be tortured and lest he wind up underground.”

Last Fall, a Trump Organization spokesman told ABC News that Russians did not represent a disproportionate share of residents in Trump properties. Federal agents confiscated a total of four units in connection with the poker ring — two in New York and two in Sunny Isles, Florida.

ABC News conducted a review of hundreds of pages of property records and reported in September that Trump-branded developments catered to large numbers of Russian buyers, including several who had brushes with the law. Russian buyers were particularly drawn to Trump licensed condo towers in Hollywood and Sunny Isles, Florida. Local real estate agents credited the Russian migration for turning the coastal Miami community into what they called “Little Moscow.”

Organization lawyer Alan Garten told ABC News at the time that the firm did not track the nationality of buyers and that the company rarely plays a role in recruiting buyers — a job typically left to developers who buy rights to use the Trump name. Neither Garten nor the Trump Organization spokeswoman Amanda Miller responded this week to questions from ABC News about the 2013 poker raid.

Nor did they respond to questions about Tokhtakhounov, who, despite Interpol’s international “Red Notice,” is regularly seen in Moscow at popular restaurants and other public places. The poker case was not the first to target Tokhtakhounov. He had been indicted years earlier in the United States, accused of pay bribes to Olympic judges so that Russian figure skaters would win gold medals.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



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