National News

Idaho murders: Students to gather on campus at vigil for slain classmates

Idaho murders: Students to gather on campus at vigil for slain classmates

nazarethman/Getty Images(MOSCOW, Idaho) -- University of Idaho students, back on campus following Thanksgiving break, will gather Wednesday night for a vigil for their four classmates who were mysteriously stabbed to death this month. Kaylee Goncalves, 21, her lifelong best friend, Madison Mogen, 21, another roommate Xana Kernodle, 20, and Kernodle's boyfriend Ethan Chapin, 20, were… ... Continue Reading
Housekeeper hospitalized after contact with suspicious powdery substance at luxury five-star hotel

Housekeeper hospitalized after contact with suspicious powdery substance at luxury five-star hotel

ABC News / WABC-TV(NEW YORK) -- A housekeeper at a five-star luxury hotel has been hospitalized after encountering a powdery substance in a hotel room that was allegedly left by a man who trespassed on the property illegally. The incident began on Sunday evening at the Park Hyatt Hotel in Manhattan, New York, when the… ... Continue Reading
New York nursing home sued for fraud, neglect by state attorney general

New York nursing home sued for fraud, neglect by state attorney general

Witthaya Prasongsin/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The owners of a nursing home in Western New York allegedly “wove a complicated web of fraud” that resulted in patient neglect and caused the conditions that led to deadly problems exposed during the COVID-19 pandemic, New York Attorney General Letitia James alleged Tuesday in a new lawsuit. The lawsuit,… ... Continue Reading
Jury convicts Oath Keepers leader, one other of seditious conspiracy in Jan. 6 trial

Jury convicts Oath Keepers leader, one other of seditious conspiracy in Jan. 6 trial

Catherine McQueen/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The leader of the far-right Oath Keepers group on Tuesday was found guilty of conspiring against the federal government as part of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol -- a major conviction in prosecutors' ongoing cases against the rioters that day. Stewart Rhodes, a Yale Law School graduate-turned-militiaman, was… ... Continue Reading
Severe weather updates: Tornado outbreak hits Mississippi and Louisiana

Severe weather updates: Tornado outbreak hits Mississippi and Louisiana

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- At least 15 tornadoes touched down across Mississippi and Louisiana Tuesday night in what can be considered a tornado outbreak, as severe weather impacts the Gulf Coast and the Tennessee River Valley. Tornadoes have been reported near Bakers and Steens, Mississippi, and over Vernon, Mississippi, producing quarter-sized to ping pong-sized hail.… ... Continue Reading
Police forces scramble to fill vacancies as crime rises

Police forces scramble to fill vacancies as crime rises

ABC News(PHILADELPHIA) -- Across the country, police forces are scrambling to keep their roll call numbers at full staff, but officials said they've been hit with challenges. Burnout, low morale, and dejection have caused many cops, both long-time veterans and newcomers, to quit and change careers and recent public backlash against excessive police force has… ... Continue Reading
Suspect in Vanessa Guillen case pleads guilty to multiple federal charges

Suspect in Vanessa Guillen case pleads guilty to multiple federal charges

Bell County Sheriff's Office(WACO, Texas) -- A woman accused of helping Fort Hood soldier Vanessa Guillen's suspected killer dismember and dispose of her body pleaded guilty to multiple federal charges on Tuesday, weeks before her trial was scheduled to start. Cecily Aguilar, 24, was indicted last year on 11 federal charges. She pleaded guilty to… ... Continue Reading
Virginia Walmart mass shooting: Store to close for the 'foreseeable future'

Virginia Walmart mass shooting: Store to close for the 'foreseeable future'

Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images(CHESAPEAKE, Va.) -- A Virginia community is reeling after a man armed with a handgun shot and killed six people and injured several others in a mass shooting at a Walmart in Chesapeake. Survivors said the gunman walked into a break room and opened fire on Nov. 22. The suspect,… ... Continue Reading
Jury convicts Oath Keepers leader, 1 other of seditious conspiracy in Jan. 6 trial

Jury convicts Oath Keepers leader, 1 other of seditious conspiracy in Jan. 6 trial

Catherine McQueen/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- A jury on Tuesday convicted Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes and associate Kelly Meggs of seditious conspiracy in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol while also convicting three others of various crimes in the insurrection -- but jurors acquitted the five defendants of other charges brought against them by… ... Continue Reading
Walmart employee complained about suspect's behavior months before mass shooting: Lawsuit

Walmart employee complained about suspect's behavior months before mass shooting: Lawsuit

Chesapeake Police Department Handout(CHESAPEAKE, Va.) -- A victim of the mass shooting at a Walmart store in Chesapeake, Virginia, filed a lawsuit against the company on Tuesday. The suit accused Walmart of being negligent by hiring and continuing to employ the suspected shooter despite its knowledge of his alleged disturbing interactions with staff and a… ... Continue Reading
Timothy Olson, Wisconsin man accused of victimizing women he meets on dating apps, taken into custody

Timothy Olson, Wisconsin man accused of victimizing women he meets on dating apps, taken into custody

In this photo released by the Racine Police Department, Timothy Olson is shown. - Racine Police Department

(RACINE, Wisc.) -- A Wisconsin man accused of financially preying on women he met on dating apps, and is wanted for questioning in connection with the death of a woman he was with when she collapsed at a bar, has been taken into custody, police said.

Police had warned the public to be on the lookout for Timothy Olson, 52, for several weeks. He was being sought by multiple police departments in the Milwaukee area, including one with a warrant out for his arrest for alleged personal ID theft. Another warned that Olson "has met women on dating apps and victimizes them, resulting in financial loss."

Amid attempts to locate him, Olson was spotted in Franklin, a city in Milwaukee County, Monday night at a business on South 27th Street, police said.

"Please be on the look out for TIMOTHY OLSON," the Franklin Police Department said on Facebook Tuesday while sharing two photos of Olson. "Do not attempt to contact or apprehend him. Call 911 immediately to report his location."

An "observant" officer spotted a man believed to be Olson on the street Tuesday morning around 10:15 a.m., Franklin Police Chief Rick Oliva told reporters during a press briefing. As officers approached, he fled into a nearby condominium complex and after a "brief struggle" was tased and taken into custody, Oliva said.

Olson faces charges of kidnapping, burglary and identity theft in connection with an incident in Franklin involving a 79-year-old woman on Nov. 23, Oliva said.

After a woman declined his offer for a drink at a local bar, Olson later allegedly approached her in the parking lot with a gun and forced her into her car and "held her for a number of hours," including forcing her to drive to at least one ATM, Oliva said. He allegedly took one of her credit cards and withdrew cash, Oliva said. The suspect also was allegedly involved in at least two burglaries in Franklin before his arrest, Oliva said. She was unharmed but "very shook up," he said.

Olson was in the custody of the Franklin Police Department Tuesday afternoon being interviewed by detectives from the police departments in Franklin, Racine and South Milwaukee, Oliva said. It's unclear if he has an attorney who can speak on his behalf.

"We're glad he's off the street," Oliva said. "There's no doubt this person would continue to do what he did until caught."

Link to woman's death in South Milwaukee

South Milwaukee police were seeking to speak with Olson amid an investigation into the death of 55-year-old Kim Mikulance. The two were at Powers on 10th in South Milwaukee on Nov. 17 when Mikulance had an "unknown medical emergency," police said. She was transported to a local hospital where she died five days later, police said.

Surveillance video showed Mikulance and Olson sitting together at the bar before she collapsed, police said.

The South Milwaukee Police Department said it is investigating the incident at Powers on 10th and is awaiting the autopsy results.

"At this time, the investigation is ongoing and it is not known if any crime has occurred, or if this incident is related to any other investigations by other jurisdictions," the department said in an update on Nov. 22.

The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office confirmed that Mikulance died on Nov. 22, and that the South Milwaukee Police Department has placed a non-disclosure order on her case, meaning no further details can be released at this time.

Sam Anderson told ABC Milwaukee affiliate WISN she was bartending at Powers on 10th when she saw Mikulance, a Cudahy resident who was a regular at the bar, collapse.

"I saw the look on her face and I saw she was holding a drink and she kind of started leaning back," Anderson told the station. "She was in here for maybe five minutes until she hit the ground."

For now, friends of Mikulance -- a mother of four who went by Raina -- are left searching for answers.

"There's a lot of conversation going on as to what went down. And we really don't know," her friend, Marc Gaidish, told WISN.

Racine police also seeking suspect for 'similar incident'

The incident at Powers on 10th marked the third time a woman has fallen unconscious while in Olson's presence, according to police in Racine, about 15 miles south of South Milwaukee, who said they are also seeking Olson for questioning in a "similar incident."

Police in Racine have been warning women in the area about Olson for several weeks.

On Nov. 9, the Racine Police Department issued a safety alert to "caution the women in Racine County and get the public's help in locating a male subject who has met women on dating apps and victimizes them, resulting in financial loss."

Olson has a warrant out for his arrest for five counts of felony personal ID theft for financial gain issued by police in nearby Mt. Pleasant, according to the Racine Police Department. The warrant stems from a Sept. 2 incident, court records show.

"The Racine Police Department is looking to speak to Olson regarding a similar incident out of our jurisdiction," the department said.

No further details can be released at this time on the incident in their jurisdiction amid a "very ongoing and active" investigation, Sgt. Kristi Wilcox, a spokesperson for the Racine Police Department, told ABC News.

The Racine Police Department issued another warning on Nov. 21, updating that Olson had been linked to "another woman in a bar who fell unconscious while in his presence" on Nov. 17. That incident was the one that occurred at Powers on 10th, Wilcox confirmed.

That incident marked the third woman Racine police are aware of to have "ended up unconscious" while in Olson's presence, the department said.

Other victims likely, chief says

Oliva said police are working to determine where Olson was living and if he had any association to Franklin. He has relatives in the area, the chief said.

Olson has given a statement to Franklin police, though Oliva said could not provide any additional details at this time.

Police across the jurisdictions are continuing to work through evidence, he said.

"These are active investigations," he said. "There's a lot of evidence to be processed."

Oliva said it's "likely" there are there other alleged victims of Olson, including some who may have been "embarrassed" to come forward.

Now that he's in custody, he said it's possible some will contact their local police.

"Hopefully that will be the case," Oliva said.

Asked why the suspect was still in the area while businesses and residents were advised to be on the lookout for him, Olson said, "We're interested in finding that out, too."

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DOJ reaches agreement, files new complaint against Jackson, Mississippi, over water crisis

DOJ reaches agreement, files new complaint against Jackson, Mississippi, over water crisis

Jason Marz/Getty Images(JACKSON, Miss.) -- The U.S. Department of Justice has reached an agreement and filed a new complaint with Jackson, Mississippi, over the city's alleged mismanagement of its water system. Through its agreement with the City of Jackson, the DOJ will establish a third-party monitor to ensure that water in the city is safe… ... Continue Reading
University of California reaches agreement on wages with 2 of 3 worker groups on strike

University of California reaches agreement on wages with 2 of 3 worker groups on strike

Jill Connelly/Bloomberg via Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Fifteen days into a strike across University of California system campuses, academic researchers and postdoctoral scholars have reached tentative agreements which include wage increases that reflect the cost of living, the United Auto Workers announced Tuesday. Postdocs and academic researchers said they would continue the strike in solidarity… ... Continue Reading
Randy Cox's family, attorneys react to misdemeanor charges against police officers over incident that left him paralyzed

Randy Cox's family, attorneys react to misdemeanor charges against police officers over incident that left him paralyzed

Oliver Helbig/Getty Images(NEW HAVEN, Conn.) -- LaToya Boomer said it was “a slap in the face” when the five New Haven police officers allegedly involved in an incident resulting in her brother Randy Cox’s paralysis while in police custody, were only charged with two misdemeanors. Officers Oscar Diaz, Jocelyn Lavandier, Ronald Pressley, Luis Rivera and… ... Continue Reading
Rescue operations paused for several pilot whales stranded on Massachusetts beach

Rescue operations paused for several pilot whales stranded on Massachusetts beach

International Fund for Animal Welfare(EASTHAM, Mass.) -- Five pilot whales that were stranded on a Massachusetts beach have been returned to the ocean, but they may still be in peril, according to experts. Conservationists from the International Fund for Animal Welfare's Marine Mammal Rescue and Research team were sent to Sunken Meadow Beach in Eastham,… ... Continue Reading
Delphi murders: Suspect's gun matched bullet found by girls, according to newly released document

Delphi murders: Suspect's gun matched bullet found by girls, according to newly released document

Indiana State Police(DELPHI, Ind.) -- A judge presiding over the Delphi, Indiana, double murder case issued an order on Tuesday unsealing the probable cause affidavit related to suspect Richard Allen's arrest. Judge Frances Gull found that "public interest is not served by prohibiting access" to the evidence in the murders of Abby Williams, 13, and… ... Continue Reading
Scientists observe 2 new lava flows on Mauna Loa, the world's largest active volcano

Scientists observe 2 new lava flows on Mauna Loa, the world's largest active volcano

Steve Prorak / EyeEm/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Scientists have observed two new lava flows out of the Mauna Loa volcano on Hawaii's Big Island -- the largest active volcano in the world. The lava is flowing north out of Fissure 3 in the northeast rift zone, crossing the road outside the National Oceanic and Atmospheric… ... Continue Reading
Tornadoes threaten multiple states in the South: Latest forecast

Tornadoes threaten multiple states in the South: Latest forecast

ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- Numerous, intense tornadoes are possible as severe weather takes aim on the Gulf Coast and the Tennessee River Valley.

A tornado watch has been issued for parts of southeast Arkansas, northern and central Louisiana, and central Mississippi. The National Weather Service is calling it a "particularly dangerous situation."

The tornadoes are expected to hit from Tuesday afternoon into Tuesday night. People who live in weaker homes are encouraged to go to storm shelters.

The severe storms could also bring damaging winds and large hail.

Cities in the bullseye are: Jackson, Mississippi; Alexandria, Louisiana; and Memphis, Tennessee. Impacts could also reach New Orleans, Mobile and Birmingham, Alabama; Nashville, Tennessee and eastern Kentucky.

Flash flooding is possible in southern Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

On Wednesday, the storm system is forecast to move east.

Strong thunderstorms are possible from the Florida Panhandle to the Carolinas. In addition, heavy rain and gusty winds are expected from Washington, D.C., to Boston.

ABC News' Melissa Griffin contributed to this report.

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Former police officer allegedly catfishes teen girl online, kills her family

Former police officer allegedly catfishes teen girl online, kills her family

KABC-TV

(RIVERSIDE, Calif.) -- A former Virginia police officer allegedly "catfished" a teenage girl online before traveling to Riverside, California, and killing her family, according to police.

The murders were discovered on Friday after authorities received a report of a girl "who appeared distressed" while getting into a car with a man, Riverside police said.

As officers responded to that report, they received calls of a fire at a nearby house.

Police said three family members were found dead in the house from apparent homicides: 69-year-old Mark Winek; his wife, 65-year-old Sharie Winek; and their daughter, 38-year-old Brooke Winek.

The Wineks "were loving people who didn’t deserve this," the family said in a statement.

The fire appears to have been intentionally set, police said, adding that the causes of death were still pending.

Authorities said the teenage girl lived at that house and the victims killed were her mother and grandparents.

The man getting in the car with the teen was identified as 28-year-old Austin Lee Edwards of Virginia, according to police.

The girl is 15, according to Riverside Police Officer Ryan Railsback.

Several hours after the three bodies were found, authorities said they spotted Edwards driving with the girl.

Edwards -- who had worked for the Virginia State Police -- allegedly led deputies on a chase and fired shots at them, the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Office said. Edwards lost control of his car and drove off the road, pointing a gun at a sheriff's helicopter, according to the sheriff's office.

Deputies then fired at Edwards who was declared dead at the scene, the sheriff's office said.

The teen was rescued and wasn't hurt, according to police.

Riverside police said they determined Edwards met the teen online through "'catfishing,' where someone pretends to be a different person than they actually are."

Police believe the 28-year-old suspect was pretending to be a teenager, according to Railsback.

After Edwards developed a relationship with the girl online, police said they believe he drove from Virginia to California, parked in a neighbor's driveway, went to the girl's home and killed her family. Edwards then allegedly took the teen and drove away, according to police.

Edwards was hired by the Virginia State Police in July 2021 and quit on Oct. 28, 2022, the agency said.

Edwards passed the state’s background check, state police said.

"As a probationary employee, Edwards was also given monthly performance evaluations, in accordance with department policy. During Edwards' short tenure with the department, he never exhibited any behaviors to trigger any internal administrative or criminal investigations," the state police said in a statement.

Edwards was hired by the Washington County, Virginia, Sheriff's Office on Nov. 16, 2022, and had started orientation with the department, according to the sheriff's office.

"Past employers and the Virginia State Police were contacted during the hiring processing; however, no employers disclosed any troubles, reprimands, or internal investigations pertaining to Edwards," the sheriff's office said in a statement.

Washington County Sheriff Blake Andis added in a statement: "It is shocking and sad to the entire law enforcement community that such an evil and wicked person could infiltrate law enforcement while concealing his true identity as a computer predator and murderer. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Winek family, their friends, officers, and all of those affected by this heinous crime."

ABC News' Beatrice Peterson, Jenna Harrison and DeMarco Morgan contributed to this report.

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Dad of slain Idaho student pleads with public for help: 'I have to have my justice'

Dad of slain Idaho student pleads with public for help: 'I have to have my justice'

Heather Roberts/ABC News(MOSCOW, Idaho) -- The father of Kaylee Goncalves, one of the four University of Idaho students mysteriously stabbed to death in an off-campus house, said he's feeling "a little defeated" and frustrated by the lack of transparency from police. But Steve Goncalves said he supports and trusts the law enforcement officers who are… ... Continue Reading