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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A Jewish man who is a dual Israeli-American citizen has been arrested in Israel in connection with a series of bomb threats made against Jewish community centers and Jewish schools in the United States and other countries, sources told ABC News.

Police believe the man, 19, carried out fake bomb threats in New Zealand, Australia and against scores of Jewish institutions across the U.S.

He also allegedly called in fake bomb threats to two Delta flights at New York City's John F. Kennedy International Airport in 2015, according to Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.

The threats grounded the flights while passengers were evacuated and luggage was re-screened.

The suspect was arrested early Thursday morning in his family's home in the southern city of Ashkelon after a months-long investigation that included the FBI and European law enforcement agencies, Rosenfeld said.

Israeli police confiscated several computers, antennas, satellite equipment and other advanced technology. Some of the equipment was allegedly used to "camouflage" the suspect's voice for automated calls, Rosenfeld said. The suspect also allegedly had equipment that allowed him to use many different IP addresses, making it hard to trace him, Rosenfeld added.

According to an official briefed on the investigation, the suspect had been deemed insufficiently mentally stable to be drafted into the Israeli Army.

The suspect's attorney, Galit Bash, told ABC News in a statement, "This is a young man without a criminal record who suffers from serious medical problems from a young age. There is a concern that his medical condition affects his cognitive functions. In light of this, we asked the court to order the young man to undergo a medical examination. The court accepted our arguments and ordered the police to examine the young man's medical condition."

The suspect appeared in an Israeli court Thursday and the judge ruled that his identity would not be released until his next court appearance on March 30.

Police have not commented on the suspect's motives. It is unclear if the suspect will be tried in Israel or the U.S., police said.

Doron Krakow, president and CEO of the JCC Association of North America, said the organization is "troubled to learn that the individual suspected of making these threats against Jewish Community Centers, which play a central role in the Jewish community, as well as serve as inclusive and welcoming places for all – is reportedly Jewish."

He continued, “Emblematic of the strength of JCCs and the important model they represent for acceptance, inclusion, and appreciation for diversity is the remarkable support we have received from communities and community leaders across North America, including civic, political and faith community leaders. Throughout this long running period of concern and disruption that we are hopeful has come to an end, JCCs have had the opportunity to review and assess our security protocols and procedures, and we are confident that JCCs are safer today than ever before."

Gilad Erdan, Israel's minister of public security, said in a statement following reports of the arrest, "I congratulate the Israeli Police on leading a complex international investigation, together with law enforcement agencies from around the world, which led to the arrest of the suspect. We hope that this investigation will help shed light on some of the recent threats against Jewish institutions, which have caused great concern both among Jewish communities and the Israeli government."

The FBI said in a statement, "Investigating hate crimes is a top priority for the FBI and we will continue to work to make sure all races and religions feel safe in their communities and in their places of worship."

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions called the arrest "the culmination of a large-scale investigation spanning multiple continents for hate crimes against Jewish communities across our country."

"The Department of Justice is committed to protecting the civil rights of all Americans, and we will not tolerate the targeting of any community in this country on the basis of their religious beliefs," Sessions said in a statement. "I commend the FBI and Israeli National Police for their outstanding work on this case.”

Across the U.S. this year there have been five waves of bomb threats at Jewish community centers and Jewish schools. The JCC Association of North America reported 100 incidents this year alone. No bombs were found at any of the locations. The FBI and Justice Department's civil rights division were investigating the incidents.

While the threats were false, Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, told ABC News earlier this month that the threats created "terror" for the people evacuated from the facilities -- including preschool children, the elderly and teenagers -- as well as their family members.

In a statement Thursday, Greenblatt called the crimes "acts of anti-Semitism."

"These threats targeted Jewish institutions, were calculated to sow fear and anxiety, and put the entire Jewish community on high alert," Greenblatt said. "Even though it appears that the main culprit behind the majority of these attacks has allegedly been identified, anti-Semitism in the U.S. remains a very serious concern. No arrests have been made in three cemetery desecrations or a series of other anti-Semitic incidents involving swastika graffiti and hate fliers. JCCs and other institutions should not relax security measures or become less vigilant."

A former journalist arrested in the U.S. earlier this month was accused of making at least eight threats against JCCs, Jewish schools, a Jewish museum and the Anti-Defamation League. The man was not believed to have been the main suspect behind this year's rash of bomb threats. Law enforcement officials told ABC News the man appeared to take advantage of news coverage of the threats in order to exact revenge on a woman who had ended a romantic relationship.

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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- A woman who spent five days stranded in the Grand Canyon described the "true panic" of her harrowing experience in an exclusive interview with ABC News.

"I was panicking and crying and sobbing -- I was a mess," said Amber Vanhecke, 24, about the moment she first realized she was lost without GPS or cell reception.

Originally from Denton, Texas, Vanhecke was sight-seeing by herself near the Southern rim of the Grand Canyon when her GPS instructed her to make a wrong turn, and lead her through increasingly tough terrain.

An experienced Girl Scout and outdoor adventurer, Vanhecke had traveled by herself numerous times before and visited other national parks including Yosemite, Yellowstone, Sequoias and Redwoods.

"I planned out my itinerary, had it posted on Facebook and stuff and off I went with some non-perishables and water," Vanhecke, a college student, said of the spring break trip she'd been planning since January. She left Denton and spent a day in Carlsbad, New Mexico, before driving the rest of the night to the Grand Canyon.

During her drive, she followed her GPS from a highway to a dirt road. But she eventually came across a more primitive road with grass and cacti.

"The problem was, the road wasn't there," she recalled. Vanhecke said that eventually her GPS stopped working entirely and her car ran out of gas.

As it started to get dark and she knew she was lost, Vanhecke started to worry about her spotty cellphone signal and GPS, which eventually stopped working. She was able to briefly get through to a 911 dispatcher in a moment of desperation.

"He said 'what's the nature of your emergency?' and I said 'please help me' because I was panicking and crying and sobbing." But then the call dropped.

"And that was the first moment I felt true panic," she said.

Using her outdoors knowledge, she slept until daylight and re-assessed her situation, but she said that day "no one drove by" past the road she was on.

The second day she made an SOS sign as well as a signal fire hoping that a helicopter or small plane would see her distress signal, both survival skills she said she learned as a girl scout and from movies and television shows.

"I felt very disconnected from just everything and everyone," Vanhecke said.

She initially thought a search party would be sent after her, but it soon became apparent that she might be on her own.

"[A]pparently there was a miscommunication somewhere and no one was looking for me at all," she said.

It dawned on Vanhecke that she would have to take her rescue into her own hands.

"I knew I wouldn't be found unless I did something to signal A, I was in distress, or B, rescue myself," she said.

On her fourth day she hiked toward a road to search for a cell signal and was passed by a large red truck. "I chased them as far as I could," but she said "they didn't hear me and they didn't see me."

"I woke up on the fifth day feeling pretty hopeful," Vanhecke said. Trekking a tiring 11 miles from her car and calling 911 every few minutes, she finally got through to help.

"I immediately stopped where I was because I didn't want to lose it," she said as she attempted to calmly explain her situation and location to authorities. The call cut out and she could not get a signal back out, so she walked back to her car hoping her brief call had this time done enough.

After 119 excruciating hours, a helicopter rescue crew spotted her car and the SOS sign, but Vanhecke was about 20 miles east of it. Fortunately, she had left a note explaining that she was out searching for help and to look for her or wait.

Authorities applauded Vanhecke's ingenuity and her ability to properly implement survival training skills.

"She did a lot of things that helped her survive," said Jonah Nieves, a member of the Air Rescue team with the Arizona Department of Public Safety. "Those notes were clues and those clues led us to where she was."

When the crew eventually found Vanhecke, she was treated for exposure and dehydration, and then transported via helicopter to a trauma center in Flagstaff, Arizona, authorities said.

One day after being rescued, Vanhecke resumed her sightseeing.

"There's this word that really suits me -- it's called Fernweh," Vanhecke said. "It means a longing for places you've never been and that's basically me. It's like wanderlust, but sounds fancier."

When asked how she kept it together, Vanhecke said, "I had stuff to do."

"Besides, I couldn't do that to my sister or my mom or my dad," she said. "I just felt like I had a lot unfinished, but I just wasn't going to give up."

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KTRK(KATY, Texas) — A couple was arrested on Tuesday after their eight-week-old baby boy was left in his car seat on the ground of a busy parking lot in Katy, Texas.

Sarah Shibley, 33, and Gary Collins, 39, were charged with endangering a child, ABC News affiliate KTRK reported Tuesday.

A man found the infant and handed him over to Dee Griffin-Stevens, a mother of three who said she cared for the baby until authorities arrived, the report said.

"I was crying. I was crying because I couldn't believe it was happening," Griffin-Stevens told KTRK. "I'm holding him and I'm thinking, 'Where's your mom?'"

She said the child was alone in the car seat without a bottle or a blanket.

Griffin-Stevens' friend captured the emotional moment on video.

Authorities estimate the baby had been alone for about 45 minutes before the man found him.

Shibley, the baby’s mother, was crying when she was arrested after returning to the scene, according to the KTRK report.

During the couple's first court appearance on Wednesday, a prosecutor said the couple had left the child there by mistake.

"Mrs. Shibley advised she walked out of work with the child in her hand and placed him on the ground. She says she thought Mr. Collins grabbed the child and put him in the vehicle. Apparently, nobody did," the prosecutor said.

The baby is currently in Child Protective Services’ custody until workers can find relatives to care for him.

A CPS spokeswoman described him as a "happy, healthy, chunky baby who looks as if he has been cared for."

Both Shibley and Collins have requested court-appointed attorneys. They are scheduled to appear back in court on Thursday.

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iStock/Thinkstock(ROTHSCHILD, Wis.) — Four people including a police officer were killed in Wisconsin Wednesday after a domestic dispute escalated into shootings at three different locations — a bank, a law firm and an apartment complex — and a dramatic standoff between police and the suspect, officials said.

The suspect is in custody, police said.

Around 12:30 p.m., police responded to a "domestic situation" at Marathon Savings Bank in Rothschild. When they arrived, police discovered two people had been shot. The suspect was not there.

Police then received a call about 10 minutes later from the law firm Tlusty, Kennedy and Dirks in nearby Schofield, where the suspect killed one person.

Then at 1:30, another person was killed at an apartment complex in Weston, where the suspect had barricaded himself in an apartment.

After a few hours of negotiations, there was an exchange of gunfire. The suspect was injured and transported to local hospital in an unknown condition.

Nearby schools and a hospital went on lockdown. The lockdowns were later lifted.

At some point during the events, an officer with the Everest Metro Police Department was fatally shot. Everest Metro is a small, 27-officer force that serves Schofield and Weston.

Police did not provide any further details about the office, nor the other victims or suspect.

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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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