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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  Georgia police have arrested a 33-year-old man in connection with the 2005 disappearance of a high school teacher.

Ryan Alexander Duke, a former student of the Georgia high school where the woman taught, was arrested Wednesday, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said today in a press conference. He was charged with burglary, aggravated assault, murder and concealing a death during his first court appearance Thursday.

On Oct. 22, 2005, Tara Grinstead vanished from her home in Ocilla, Georgia, a small town with a population of less than 3,500 about 160 miles south of Atlanta. She was 30 years old at the time. Police immediately suspected foul play in Grinstead's case, the GBI said in a press release.

A massive manhunt was launched after Grinstead's disappearance, but the case proved difficult due to the lack of evidence found in Grinstead's home, according to the GBI. Though they have received many tips over the years, none led to credible information.

However, the case remained open and the GBI recently received a tip that led authorities to interview subjects they had never interviewed before, which led them to gather enough probable cause to charge Duke with Grinstead's murder. The tip was given to police earlier this week in person when someone with the information walked into a local sheriff's office, ABC affiliate WSB-TV in Atlanta reported.

"I can say that this gentleman never came up on our radar through the investigation," Richardson said.

In today's court appearance, Duke requested a court-appointed attorney and said he did not want a preliminary hearing. He will appear in court again on April 12.

Grinstead's stepmother, Connie Grinstead, said in Thursday's press conference that Duke's arrest is "another chapter in a long and painful journey," WSB reported.

Although the case is more than 11 years old, a GBI policy requires all investigative case files to be reviewed several times per year, and the case remained active for more than a decade.

Grinstead's remains were never found. The investigation is ongoing.

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iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) --  Lawyers for two teen siblings involved in an altercation with an off-duty LAPD officer filed civil lawsuits against the Anaheim and Los Angeles police departments today, alleging battery, negligence and state civil rights violations, among other claims.

The lawsuits come the day after as many as 300 people demonstrated and at least 23 were arrested after protests broke out over the altercation. Some vandalism was reported in the demonstrations, according to police.

Police say the off-duty officer fired his weapon into the ground during the scuffle on Tuesday, which was caught on video and spread through social media.

A video of part of the incident appears to show the off-duty officer struggling with a 13-year-old boy, clinging to the boy's hooded sweatshirt as he tries to get away.

The officer appears to argue with the boy and several other people who began gathering around. At one point, the officer is shoved over a bush and a person appears to take a swing at his face.

The officer then draws what appears to be a pistol from his waistband and later reportedly fired a shot into the ground.

"The confrontation began over ongoing issues with juveniles walking across the officer's property," Anaheim Police Sgt. Daron Wyatt said in a statement. "During the confrontation, a 13-year-old male is alleged to have threatened to shoot the off-duty officer, at which time the officer attempted to detain the male until [Anaheim police] arrived.”

The boy's mother, however, maintained that her son had said he was going to sue, not shoot, the officer.

Police arrested the 13-year-old on charges of criminal threats and battery and a 15-year-old for assault and battery. Both have since been released.

Police said today they knew of a 2015 report in which the officer had reported youth walking across his lawn. That report did not involve a physical confrontation or the same youth, authorities said.

The officer and the two juveniles arrested have not been named.

The teen siblings who filed suit today are identified in court papers as John Doe and M.S.

“I personally wish the off-duty officer would have awaited our arrival,” Anaheim Police Chief Raul Quezada said at a press conference today.

"As a father and a police chief, I too am disturbed by what I saw on the videos that were posted on the internet ... Having said that, as a police chief, I am charged with enforcing the laws absent my personal feelings," Police Chief Raul Quezada said today. "I thank God that no one was hurt."

Police said they interviewed 18 juveniles after the incident along with the officer's father and others and that they have insufficient evidence at this time to prove any criminal wrongdoing by the officer.

Quezada said his department was close to completing its investigation and would presents its findings to the Orange County District Attorney's Office within the next two weeks. Charges could still be brought against all parties involved, he said.

The step-father of 13-year-old boy is a civilian employee of the Anaheim Police Department, officials said.

"Like many I am deeply disturbed and angered by the video," Anaheim mayor Tom Tait said at the press conference, adding that the city was "committed to full and impartial investigation."

The officer has been placed on administrative leave, according to assistant Los Angeles Police Chief Michael Moore. The LAPD is conducting a separate investigation into the officer's actions.

Moore said the LAPD is looking into the off-duty officer's decision to initiation action, his reasoning and tactics along with his decision making.

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Scott Olson/Getty Images(CANNONBALL, N.D.) — The protest site for the Dakota Access pipeline has been cleared after some demonstrators refused to leave Wednesday, when a deadline for evacuation passed.

The Oceti Sakowin camp was cleared as of 2:09 p.m. local time, a spokesperson for the North Dakota Joint Information Center told ABC News.

About 50 demonstrators who remained in the camp were present when law enforcement made announcements to disperse or be arrested, according to the North Dakota JIC. About two dozen people who did not comply were arrested.

While many protesters exited the camp voluntarily throughout the day, law enforcement arrested about 46 people total Thursday as the process to clear the camp progressed.

One veterans group occupying a tent refused to leave voluntarily, the North Dakota JIC said. The group informed law enforcement that they would not be violent but would only go with passive resistance, so they were carried out of the camp by authorities.

 “I am very happy to say that we finally introduced rule of law in the Oceti camp,” said Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier. “I am hopeful that this announcement brings us closer to finality in what has been an incredibly challenging time for our citizens and law enforcement professionals. Having dealt with riots, violence, trespassing and property crimes, the people of Morton County are looking forward to getting back to their normal lives.”

This morning, more than 200 law enforcement officers clad in full riot gear entered the main encampment for those protesting the Dakota Access pipeline near Cannonball, North Dakota, where some people remained despite state and federal orders to leave.

ABC News observed lines of military-style Humvees entering the camp, which is at the edge of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe reservation.

Officials said most people left the soggy campsite peacefully on Wednesday before the 2 p.m. deadline, amid concerns about spring flooding. But as many as 50 people remained there Wednesday night, and authorities were still deciding this morning how to remove them.

Activists protesting the four-state Dakota Access crude oil pipeline told ABC News on Wednesday that they are committed to staying and estimated that dozens would remain in the Oceti Sakowin camp.

 On Wednesday, 11 people were arrested outside the camp at its main entrance, outside a barrier put up protesters to keep out authorities. Those who were arrested were charged with obstruction of a government function, a class B misdemeanor, Gov. Doug Burgum said at a news conference that night.

The protesters lit about 20 fires on Wednesday, which were characterized as ceremonial, with many saying they would rather burn camp structures than have authorities seize and destroy them. Two people in the camp were injured as a result of the fires, including one person with severe burns who had to be airlifted to Minneapolis for treatment.

Burgum set up a travel assistance center to offer camp residents water, snacks, a food voucher, a personal hygiene kit, a health and wellness assessment, hotel lodging for one night, a taxi voucher to local bus terminal and bus fare for a return trip home, and transportation was provided from the Oceti Sakowin camp to the assistance center in Bismarck.

"This free service will provide protesters with support as they prepare for their return home," Burgum's office said in a Facebook post on Tuesday night. "All camp residents are encouraged to take advantage of these amenities."

 Last week Burgum signed an emergency evacuation order for the camp that reaffirmed a Feb. 22 deadline set by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe began coordinating a cleanup in late January, but state officials said it wasn't happening fast enough. The governor's emergency evacuation order cited increasing temperatures and the threat of flooding as the impetus for accelerating the camp's cleanup.

"Warm temperatures have accelerated snowmelt in the area of the Oceti Sakowin protest camp, and the National Weather Service reports that the Cannonball River should be on the watch for rising water levels and an increased risk of ice jams later this week," the statement from Burgum's office read.

"Due to these conditions, the governor's emergency order addresses safety concerns to human life, as anyone in the floodplain is at risk for possible injury or death. The order also addresses the need to protect the Missouri River from the waste that will flow into the Cannonball River and Lake Oahe if the camp is not cleared and the cleanup expedited," the statement added.

The Cannonball River is a tributary of the Missouri River.

The 1,172-mile Dakota Access pipeline is nearly finished, except for a 1.25-mile segment, part of which will run under Lake Oahe, a Missouri River reservoir in just upstream of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe reservation. Construction of this final phase has been the focus of a contentious legal battle and massive protests in recent months.

While the Army Corps says this area is federally owned land, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe cites an 1851 treaty that it says designates the land for Native American tribes. The tribe, which claims its members were never meaningfully consulted before construction began, sued in July to block the pipeline. That lawsuit is pending, and the Army Corps and the company behind the pipeline argued in court papers that they followed a standard review process.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has been at the forefront of the fight against the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline. The protests have drawn thousands of Native Americans, environmental activists and their allies to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe reservation. The protesters, who call themselves water protectors, argue that the pipeline will threaten the reservation's water supply and traverse sacred sites.

Kelcy Warren, the CEO of Energy Transfer Partners, the Texas-based developer behind the project, has said that "concerns about the pipeline's impact on local water supply are unfounded" and "multiple archaeological studies conducted with state historic preservation offices found no sacred items along the route."

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  Advocates and the transgender community are putting out a loud call to "protect trans kids" after the Trump administration revoked federal guidance established by the Obama administration that directed schools to allow trans students to use restrooms aligning with their gender identity.

The U.S. Justice and Education Departments said in a letter to schools on Wednesday that the issue of bathroom access for trans students should be determined by states instead of the federal government. The letter added that the Obama administration's guidance caused legal confusion and sparked lawsuits.

Though the new federal guidance to schools does not affect other safeguards against harassment and bullying, the Human Rights Campaign said in a statement that it does send "a dangerous message that the current administration will not enforce inclusive policies or stand up for [trans students] at school."

In a statement, the White House defended the guidance. "As President [Donald] Trump has clearly stated, he believes policy regarding transgender bathrooms should be decided at the state level," the White House said Wednesday. It added that the guidance letter "paves the way for an open and inclusive process to take place at the local level with input from parents, students, teachers and administrators."

 ABC News spoke to several trans students and their families about the Trump administration's new guidance. They largely expressed heartbreak and concerns that some states would feel empowered to discriminate more against trans people, but they also emphasized the resilience of the trans youth community in their fight forward.

Here's what they had to say:

Gavin Grimm

One of the most vocal trans students in the fight for bathroom access is Gavin Grimm -- a teen who sued the Glocester County, Virginia, school board in 2015 to use the boys' bathroom at his school. His case has garnered national headlines and will be heard by the Supreme Court in March.

At a gathering in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, Grimm told the crowd his school board "stepped in to complicate my ability to be myself," and unfortunately, "my story is the story of many young people around the nation."

 Despite this, Gavin declared that trans youth "will not be beaten down by this administration or any."

"No one -- not even the government -- can defeat a community so full of life, color, diversity, and most of all, love," he said through tears.

 Scores of people at the gathering in D.C. held signs that read, "Protect Trans Kids," and "Love Trumps Hate." Many were also chanting phrases like "Save our students!" and "No hate! No fear! Trans students are welcome here!"

Gavin told ABC News on Wednesday that he believes there were always going to be "setbacks" and "twists in the road," but said he was hopeful that the nation would move toward love, equality and acceptance.

Lucas Segal

Lucas Segal is a senior at Lakeside High School in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and a youth ambassador for the Human Rights Campaign.

He and his mother, Connie Dean, told ABC News today that they were concerned the Trump administration's decision would lead to more discrimination against trans youth and the passage of more "anti-trans" bills by states.

 "I think there's going to be a lot more bathroom bills popping up across the country," Segal said. "If the president really cared about trans youth and youth in general, he would have kept the guidance to protect trans youth and not put out guidance allowing states to discriminate."

Dean added that she was fearful more "religious freedom" bills could also pop up in states across the country, allowing businesses and services, including health-care providers, to discriminate against trans people.

The mother also said that the new guidance from Trump has renewed anxieties she has over her son's physical safety, as well as his emotional and mental well-being.

Dean added that she believes more officials "need to put a face to the name and get to know us because a lot of their decisions have come from a place of ignorance."

Kimberly Shappley

Kimberly Shappley is the mother of 6-year-old Kai, a trans girl in Pearland, Texas. Shappley has been fighting against the Pearland Independent School District to allow her daughter to use the girls' bathroom.

 The mother told ABC News that her daughter is still required to use a private bathroom in the nurse's office, and said that she fears that the discrimination her kindergartner has had to face will only get worse from here.

"When the president of the United States has come out and said, 'I'm going to allow your state to discriminate against your child,' that is not comforting to me as a mom," Shappley said. "Ever since the news last night, I've gone through the whole gamut -- crying, being mad and being scared."

 Though 6-year-old Kai is not aware nor understands the new guidance from the Trump administration, "She has noticed she's not allowed to use the same bathroom as her peers and is upset by that," Shappley said.

"Adults are teaching my child something she shouldn't have to learn at 6 years old," she said.

Shappley added that she has anxieties over what Trump's decision could mean for parents of trans kids across the country.

"Do we have to change states and move to a state where I know there are laws to protect my child?" she asked. "It's challenging because if our government starts dictating where we can live safely, then politicians will continue gerrymandering and we'll continue to see presidential elections won by the minority because we have the majority huddled in places that are safe."

Juliet Evancho

Another trans teen who has garnered national attention is Juliet Evancho, the 18-year-old sister of Jackie Evancho, a 16-year-old opera singer who performed the national anthem at President Trump's inauguration.

 The two sisters said on ABC's "Good Morning America" today that they were "very disappointed" by the Trump administration's decision to leave the issue of bathroom access for trans teens up to states. They also said they wanted to meet with the president and "enlighten" him and his administration on trans issues.

Juliet Evancho told GMA she would tell the president that she has experienced discrimination every day as a student "at a high school where the policies on the bathroom are unclear."

Juliet Evancho recently joined forces with Lambda Legal, a legal advocacy group for LGBT rights, to file a lawsuit against her local school board in suburban Pittsburgh after the board voted to ban transgender students from using the bathrooms in line with their gender identity.

"I’ve had things thrown at me, I’ve had people say pretty horrible things -- and the unsafe environment is just very unhealthy," she said.

Alisa Bowman

Alisa Bowman is the mother of Ari, a 12-year-old trans boy from Pennsylvania who became a local celebrity after a video of him delivering a powerful speech to his school board went viral in September.

During his speech, Ari countered what he saw as hateful and ignorant rhetoric about trans students, according to his mother.

 Today, Bowman told ABC News that she believes the country has "taken a step backward" as a result of the Trump administration's revocation of guidance supporting bathroom access for trans kids in school.

"This is not a states rights' issue," she said. "If we care about all children, then we all have to say no to limiting bathroom access for trans kids. Right now, it's the right thing to do -- to stop all schools from discriminating against trans students."

Bowman added that she and Ari are lucky to live in a community where trans students "are affirmed and treated like normal beings," but said it's important for everyone to realize that this isn't the case for thousands of other students in areas where "trans students are honestly being brutalized."

The mother also said that many families of trans youth are "very scared right now," but she felt that "the only way we can move forward and create change is if we speak out."

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  Vivian Reeves was emotional as she testified Wednesday before a judge at her husband's hearing in Florida, attesting that her husband, Curtis Reeves, a retired Tampa police captain, had his head in his hands after he shot a fellow moviegoer over a disagreement about a cellphone in January 2014.

Curtis Reeves is accused of fatally shooting Chad Oulson. The shooting allegedly happened after Oulson threw popcorn at the Reeves for being told to put away his cellphone during the movie's previews.

"It happened very quickly, and [Oulson's] whole upper body just came forward, and I thought that he was coming over,” Vivian Reeves testified.

Florida's Stand Your Ground law allows residents to use force, including deadly force, if they "reasonably believe" they are at risk of death or great bodily harm. The law specifies that people have "no duty to retreat" if they feel threatened.

Reeves' lawyer has invoked the Stand Your Ground law citing video footage.

Oulson's widow, Nicole, told ABC News in 2014 that her husband was texting the babysitter, who was watching their young daughter.

"It was a couple of words. No threats. No harm. No nothing," she said.

Why Florida's Stand Your Ground law was enacted

On April 26, 2005, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush signed the first Stand Your Ground into law.

Republican Florida lawmaker Dennis Baxley, who co-authored the bill which was supported by the NRA, told ABC News this week that the law was inspired in part by an uptick in crime after many hurricanes in the state.

"We had a lot of properties that were open and people living in FEMA trailers," he said.

He remembered one situation in which a man "was in his FEMA trailer with his wife in front of their property, and they had an intruder in the night which he shot and killed."

When Stand Your Ground was signed into law, it wasn't controversial, Baxley claimed.

"We had bipartisan support. [It was] unanimous in the Florida senate. Only 20 people in the Florida house opposed [it]," he said.

 The measure passed the Florida Senate 39-0 and the House 94-20. Arthenia Joyner was one of the Democratic lawmakers who opposed Stand Your Ground. She told ABC News today it was “a big debate back in 2005" and the law still leaves her with the same "fears that I had back in 2005."

"It hurts the chances for minorities to receive justice," she said.

Breaking the law down

Traditionally, a defendant who invokes self-defense is required to first retreat and avoid the deadly encounter if possible, Kenneth Nunn, a professor at University of Florida's Levin College of Law, told ABC News. But Stand Your Ground "modifies" that, he said, by telling Floridians they do not have to retreat first and "can use deadly force if it is reasonable."

"What could've happened in [Reeves'] case is Reeves could have turned around and walked away. Without Stand Your Ground we would say the person has to retreat ... but the law says he doesn't have to do that," Nunn explained.

Additionally, Stand Your Ground gives the defendant a chance to claim immunity from prosecution.

"If you can claim Stand Your Ground you can't be prosecuted at all," Nunn said. "The way we determine whether you can claim Stand Your Ground is through a pre-trial hearing. At the pre-trial hearing the defendant has to show ... they're entitled to the Stand Your Ground rule. [The defendant must show] they believe that they were under a threat of deadly force ... and it was reasonable [for them to use deadly force]."

If the defendant can prove he or she acted in self-defense, then no charges can be brought, Nunn said.

Former National Rifle Association president Marion Hammer, who said she worked with sponsors to "perfect the law," told ABC News that "the very idea that when you're under attack that you should have to turn your back on an attacker and run away before defending yourself flies in the face of justice and the constitution."

She continued, "Stand Your Ground law is about protecting innocent people from overzealous prosecutors and courts that have become more interested in convictions than justice."

 Nunn did point out that state lawmakers are currently trying to amend the controversial law.

“There's a statute that has been introduced into the state legislature shifting the burden of proof to the prosecution ... if this law passes, the burden will shift to the prosecution” (to prove that the defendant cannot claim Stand Your Ground) and away from the defendant, he said.

How Florida's Stand Your Ground law "spread like wildfires"

Florida was the first to institute a Stand Your Ground law in 2005. Since then, more than 22 states have enacted similar laws.

Roy Bedard, a use of force and defensive tactics expert, explained why other states followed Florida's lead.

"It wasn't just Florida having these [crime] problems ... it seemed to be sensible to these other states," he said.

He added, "Other states wanted to see how it worked out in Florida [and] it spread like wildfires across the U.S."

Everytown for Gun Safety, an independent organization working to reduce gun violence in the U.S., calls Stand Your Ground laws "a threat to public safety."

"These laws encourage armed vigilantism by allowing a person to kill another person even when they can clearly and safely walk away from the danger, and even in public areas," Everytown says on its website.

 The rate of homicides, especially homicides by firearms, sharply increased in Florida after the Stand Your Ground was passed, according to a study published in November 2016 by the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine. The study's authors, however, acknowledged that multiple factors may have led to an increase in the Florida homicide rate.

"Circumstances unique to Florida may have contributed to our findings, including those that we could not identify," they wrote.

Baxley disputed the findings and argued that Americans should not be "panicking over" law-abiding citizens.

"They are not a threat to anybody and the firearm is not dangerous in the hands of that person," he said. "No one should be beaten, raped or murdered, robbed and feel like they couldn’t defend themselves or they might be in trouble."

Stand Your Ground in the spotlight

Before Reeves' hearing this week, there were two cases in particular that propelled Florida's self-defense laws on to the national stage: George Zimmerman, who was accused of fatally shooting 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, and Michael Dunn, who was accused of fatally shooting 17-year-old Jordan Davis at a Florida gas station in 2012.

Neither Zimmerman nor Dunn invoked the state's Stand Your Ground law because "in both cases the defendants argued that deadly force was used because they 'reasonably' believed that it was necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily injury. That is, at its core, no different than the law in almost every other state," according to Dan Abrams, ABC News' legal analyst.

Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder. Dunn was ultimately convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Following the Zimmerman acquittal, then-Attorney General Eric Holder addressed the NAACP’s annual convention, saying, “It’s time to question laws that senselessly expand the concept of self-defense and sow dangerous conflict in our neighborhoods. These laws try to fix something that was never broken. There has always been a legal defense for using deadly force if – and the 'if' is important – no safe retreat is available.”

The NRA responded with its own statement, vowing to “work to protect self-defense laws currently on the books and advocate for their passage in those states that do not fully respect this fundamental right.”

One mother’s path to advocacy

After Jordan's death, his mother, Lucy McBath, felt compelled to learn more about Florida’s Stand Your Ground law.

“I can’t just turn a blind eye because I received justice,” she told ABC News.

 McBath now serves as a spokesperson for Everytown for Gun Safety. She said she wants to stand up for “all the people across the country who do not have a voice, for people who are dying senselessly.”

“Stand Your Ground laws give untrained citizens more leeway than the U.S. military gives our soldiers in war zones. There’s something critically wrong with that,” she said.

She added, "We have a responsibility, our legislatures have a responsibility ... to challenge these very laws that impinge on a person's civil, moral and ethical human right to live without the fear of being gunned down."

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Indiana State Police(DELPHI, Ind.) — Authorities investigating the slayings of two girls in Indiana have received over 500 tips since making an impassioned plea on Wednesday for people to come forward with information, a law enforcement source close to the investigation told ABC News Thursday.

The surge in tips followed the release of a new video clip retrieved from the cellphone of one of the victims, 14-year-old Liberty "Libby" German. When police played some audio from the clip at a news conference in the town of Delphi on Wednesday morning, reporters heard just three words from a deep voice: "Down the hill."

The audio quality is not great, but police said it's enough for someone to recognize the individual's voice. Investigators believe the clip was recorded just before the attack.

"Libby had the presence of mind to turn on her video camera," Indiana State Police spokesman Capt. David Bursten said Wednesday. "There's no doubt in our minds that that young lady is a hero."

The rest of the video will not be released at this time because of the ongoing investigation. Investigators recovered other evidence from the girl's phone that is also not being released, Bursten said.

German and 13-year-old Abigail "Abby" Williams, both of Carroll County, were reported missing by their families Feb. 13 after the two did not return from a hike.

After organized searches, the bodies of the two girls were found Feb. 14 outside Delphi in the woods near Deer Creek, about three-quarters of a mile from an abandoned railroad bridge where they were dropped off the day before to go hiking. An autopsy revealed their identities.

"Evidence in this case has led investigators to believe that this is a double homicide, and that's what we're investigating at this time," Indiana State Police spokesman Sgt. Tony Slocum told reporters Wednesday.

Indiana State Police on Monday said a man in a photograph is the primary suspect in the investigation. The man — dressed in blue jeans, a blue jacket and a hoodie — was photographed on a nature trial around the same time the two girls disappeared.

He was previously labeled a person of interest, and police had said he might be only a witness to the crime.

"We are actively looking for this person. We believe this person is our suspect," Slocum said.

Authorities spent much of Wednesday's news conference delivering an emotional appeal to the public to submit tips to track down the man in the photograph and the person whose voice is in the audio clip.

"Someone knows who this individual is," Indiana State Police Superintendent Douglas Carter told reporters, while holding back tears. "And if you're watching, we'll find you."

Investigators said that there is the possibility of more than one suspect and that it's unclear whether the voice in the audio clip belongs to the man in the photograph.

The FBI has been assisting local authorities in the investigation since last week. Agents have briefed FBI Director James Comey on the case on two occasions.

Gregory Massa, the FBI assistant special agent in charge in Indianapolis, asked the public to think back to Feb. 13, the day the girls went missing.

"Just think if you had an interaction with an individual who inexplicably canceled an appointment that you had together," Massa said Wednesday. "Or an individual called into work sick and canceled a social engagement. At the time, they gave what would have been a plausible explanation."

Suspicious behavior or a change in someone's behavior should also be a red flag, Massa said.

"Did [an] individual travel unexpectedly?" he asked. "Did they change their appearance? Did they shave their beard, cut their hair or change the color of their hair? Did they change the way they dress?"

Authorities and community leaders are offering a $41,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest.

Citizens can provide information about this case by calling the Delphi murder tip line at 844-459-5786. Information can be reported anonymously. Tips can also be emailed to abbyandlibbytip@cacoshrf.com.

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Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The Trump administration’s pursuit of unauthorized immigrants may have hit a wall in New York City.

City Police Commissioner James O’Neill told officers in an internal memo that the department would not enforce administrative warrants issued by federal immigration agents.

"It is critical that everyone who comes into contact with the NYPD, regardless of their immigration status, be able to identify themselves or seek assistance without hesitation, anxiety or fear," O’Neill wrote in the memo obtained by ABC News.

"The NYPD does not conduct civil immigration enforcement," the memo to rank-and-file officers said. "Specifically, this department does not enforce administrative warrants issued by Immigration and Custom Enforcement agents or federal immigration judges solely in connection with civil immigration violations.”

O’Neill’s memo doesn’t represent any change in NYPD policy. But in light of a federal plan for more aggressive immigration enforcement, New York City’s police commissioner wanted to clarify his department’s policy, both to alleviate any concerns in the city’s immigrant communities and to remind police officers, sources told ABC News.

Still, the NYPD policy may put the nation’s largest police force at odds with the federal Department of Homeland Security, which this week outlined a more aggressive approach to enforcing the nation’s immigration laws.

One of two Homeland Security memos issued this week loops other levels of law enforcement into federal immigration efforts, citing a portion of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act that "authorizes state or local law enforcement personnel to perform all law enforcement functions ... including the authority to investigate, identify, apprehend, arrest, detain, transport and conduct searches of an alien for the purposes of enforcing the immigration laws."

O'Neill specified in the NYPD memo that while New York City officers "do not enforce administrative warrants" over civil immigration violations, they should detain people who pose danger to the public.

"For example, the NYPD does not arrest or detain individuals for immigration violations such as overstaying a lawfully-issued visa. However, the NYPD does and will continue to honor federal immigration detainers when there is a risk to public safety," it states.


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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- A winter storm may bring a swath of heavy snow and damaging winds to parts of the Great Plains and Midwest.

The storm dumped up to 78 inches of snow in the Sierra Nevada mountain range in northern California on Wednesday. The weather system moved through the Rocky Mountains Thursday, producing heavy snow in Montana, Wyoming, Utah and Colorado, according to ABC News meteorologists tracking the storm.

Winter weather alerts stretch from California to Vermont. Blizzard warnings were in effect for the Rocky Mountains Thursday, while blizzard watches were issued for the Upper Midwest region Friday.

The powerful storm is expected to sweep into the Upper Midwest region by Friday morning, bringing blizzard conditions and heavy snow from Nebraska to Wisconsin.

“As of right now, looks like the heaviest snow will be from Minneapolis and south,” said ABC News senior meteorologist Max Golembo.

By Friday night, the system is expected to hit warm and unstable air in the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley region, which could produce severe storms with damaging winds, hail and even a few tornadoes.

Forecasters said the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes regions could see up to a foot of snow. But some spots like southern Minnesota could get as much as 18 inches of snow.

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ABC News(NEW YORK) — Jackie Evancho, the opera singer who performed the national anthem at President Trump's inauguration, said she and her transgender sister, Juliet, hope to "enlighten" the president on transgender issues in the wake of his administration's order to roll back protections for transgender students. But she said that she would still perform for the president again.

"The reason why I did sing for the inauguration was not politics," Jackie Evancho, 16, said Thursday on Good Morning America in an interview alongside her sister, Juliet Evancho. "It was for the honor and privilege to perform for my country and that will stay the same, I think."

But they nonetheless expressed concern over the president's new transgender policy. Jackie Evancho said she had not yet heard from Trump after asking him via Twitter to meet with her and Juliet, an 18-year-old transgender advocate who was born "Jacob."

"I guess I just want to enlighten him on what my sister, I’ve seen her go through every single day in school and people just like her, what they deal with," Jackie Evancho said. "The discrimination, it’s terrible."

The Trump administration on Wednesday night rescinded Obama-era guidance directing schools to allow transgender students to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity.

In a letter sent to schools on Wednesday, the Justice and Education Departments said that the Obama administration's guidance — which cited Title IX — did not explain how it was consistent with the law.

The Trump administration letter claimed that the Obama-era directive caused confusion and lawsuits over its enforcement, and said that the states should take a "primary role" in establishing policy.

Jackie Evancho's response to Trump on Twitter including her writing that she was "disappointed" at his decision to let states decide.

I am obviously disappointed in the @POTUS decision to send the #transgender bathroom issue to the states to decide. #sisterlove

— jackie evancho (@jackieevancho) February 22, 2017

. @realDonaldTrump u gave me the honor 2 sing at your inauguration. Pls give me & my sis the honor 2 meet with u 2 talk #transgender rghts ❤

— jackie evancho (@jackieevancho) February 23, 2017

Evancho, a former America's Got Talent runner-up, faced a torrent of criticism for agreeing to perform at Trump's inauguration. Juliet did not attend the Jan. 20 inauguration to see her sister perform because she was preparing to undergo gender confirmation surgery.

On Thursday, Juliet Evancho said she would also bring a message of understanding were she to meet with Trump.

"Basically that being at a high school where the policies on the bathroom are unclear, I, as Jackie has said, I kind of live it every day, going through discrimination," she said she would tell the president. "I’ve had things thrown at me. I’ve had people say pretty horrible things and the unsafe environment is just very unhealthy so I feel like Donald Trump needs to know that being in such an unsafe environment won’t do any good not only for the transgenders and the LGBTQ community but as well as everyone as a whole."

"When I heard about it I was very disappointed and I realized that we would need to take action in order to enlighten the administration on everything," she said.

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Hemera/Thinkstock(LAFAYETTE, Ind.) — The winning ticket for Wednesday's Powerball drawing, worth an estimated $435.3 million, was sold in Indiana, a spokesperson for the Hoosier Lottery confirmed early Thursday morning.

The spokesperson said the ticket was sold at a gas station in Lafayette, Indiana, which is about an hour northwest of Indianapolis.

It's the first time that the jackpot topped $400 million in nearly three months, and it's the seventh largest jackpot win in Powerball history.

The numbers drawn Wednesday were 52, 10, 61, 28, and 13. The Powerball is 2.

The $435.3 million jackpot is paid out over 29 years.

If no one claims the winning ticket, the prize will increase again ahead of Saturday's drawing.

Powerball is played in 44 states, plus Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.


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WFTS(NEW YORK) -- The wife of the former police captain accused of fatally shooting a man in a Florida movie theater testified in court Wednesday in a hearing that will determine if his claim of self-defense meets the criteria under Florida's Stand Your Ground law.

Curtis Reeves, 74, is accused of shooting and killing 43-year-old Chad Oulson on Jan. 13, 2014, during a confrontation over texting before a showing of "Lone Survivor" at a movie theater in Wesley Chapel, police said.

If Circuit Court Judge Susan Barthle rules in favor of Reeves, he will receive immunity from prosecution and will leave court as a free man with no criminal murder charges.

Should Barthle decide Reeves did not meet the criteria to "stand his ground" during the encounter with Oulson, he will proceed to a criminal trial at a later date, where he can claim self-defense in the shooting but will not be able to utilize the protection under the Stand Your Ground law.

Prosecutors say Reeves provoked the confrontation, The Associated Press reported, meaning he wouldn't be protected by the Stand Your Ground law.

Reeves has been present for the hearings, which began Monday and will run through March 3.

Curtis Reeves' wife, Vivian Reeves, testified in a Dade City courtroom Wednesday that she and her husband had made a "spur-of-the-minute" decision to see the movie with their son, Matt, because he had read the book of the same title. They chose a matinee showing since it was "cheaper," she said.

After the family bought popcorn and a drink at the concessions stands and used the restroom, they entered the theater, where Vivian Reeves said she noticed Oulson with his phone out and the screen lit. Oulson, who was sitting directly in front of her, was not talking on the phone, she said, and the previews had not yet started.

After a message instructing viewers to turn off their cellphones came on, Vivian Reeves said she saw her husband leaning toward Oulson, who was "very loud" as he was speaking to Reeves. She said he heard him use the word "f---" or "f---ing" and said something about texting his daughter.

“It scared me," she said of the initial encounter between Oulson and her husband. "I was horrified that somebody would act like that, especially in a movie theater.”

Her husband then told her, "I'm going to get the manager," she said. When he returned, she handed him the popcorn and he sat down, she said.

'Stand Your Ground' hearing: Reeves' wife heard Chad Oulson yell at her husband.."you told on me, who the f*** do you think you are?” pic.twitter.com/hSpYdDu0Ln

— ABC Action News (@abcactionnews) February 22, 2017

At this point, the previews were on and the theater lights dimmed, and Oulson and Curtis Reeves interacted again, Vivian Reeves said, adding that she didn't "know who spoke first." She saw her husband leaning toward Oulson, but said she couldn't hear what he said. Then, she said, Oulson spoke in a raised voice again.

"You told on me," Oulson told Curtis Reeves, according to his wife. "Who the f--- do you think you are?"

Before Oulson was shot, she said he was leaning toward them, and it appeared that he was going to go over the seat toward them.

“It happened very quickly, and his whole upper body just came forward, and I thought that he was coming over,” she said.

After she heard the shots go off, her husband said to her, "He hit me in the face," she said.

"I just didn't know what happened," she said.

Curtis Reeves then sat down and put his hands on his head before an off-duty sheriff's deputy approached him and took the gun out of his lap, Vivian Reeves said.

“I said something to Curtis," Vivian Reeves recalled. "I said, ‘What happened?’ You can’t shoot into a theater full of people.’ He said, ‘Not now.’”

Vivian Reeves said her husband never brought his police work home and that she couldn’t recall his ever losing his temper with her, adding that she didn’t see him showing violence or aggression to her or others.

When asked by Curtis Reeves’ defense attorney if he missed the “action” after retiring from the Tampa Police Department, Vivian Reeves replied, “No.”

'Stand Your Ground' hearing: Curtis Reeves' wife Vivian on the stand, married 49-years. First time she's testified in open court. pic.twitter.com/igBTjt9gs9

— ABC Action News (@abcactionnews) February 22, 2017

The couple has been married for 49 years, ABC Tampa affiliate WFTS reported.

 Witness Joanna Turner, who was in the Cobb Grove 16 theater during the shooting, testified Tuesday that she heard Oulson say, "I'm texting my daughter," before she saw a muzzle flash.

Curtis Reeves then put the gun in his lap and put his hands on the side of his head after Oulson had collapsed, Turner said.

Turner also testified that police never instructed witnesses not to talk to each other. Curtis Reeves' defense team alleges that the witnesses talked after the shooting, corrupting their accounts of what happened.

Prior to the shooting, Curtis Reeves had complained about Oulson's use of his phone to movie theater employees, authorities said at the time. When Curtis Reeves returned to the theater, the argument escalated.

Witnesses told police that Oulson threw a container of popcorn at Curtis Reeves before he was shot, police said. His widow, Nicole Oulson, was also shot in the hand. She told ABC News in 2014 that her husband was texting the babysitter, who was watching their young daughter.

"It was a couple of words. No threats. No harm. No nothing," Nicole Oulson said in 2014. "In the blink of an eye, 30 seconds, it just shattered my world."

Bond was initially denied for Curtis Reeves, but he was freed in July 2014 after spending six months in a Pasco County jail and posting a $150,000 bail, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

Curtis Reeves has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, claiming self-defense.

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ABC News(NEW YORK) --  It was five years ago this month that Trayvon Martin, an unarmed African-American 17-year-old from Miami Gardens, Florida, was shot and killed by neighborhood watchman, George Zimmerman.

Since his death, Trayvon’s parents Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin have been at the front of the charge to stem the wave of gun violence in the United States – a role they never expected to take on before their son was killed.

Across the country, an average of 309 people are shot every day, according to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

Zimmerman’s subsequent trial and acquittal transfixed the nation and sparked the rallying cry now called “Black Lives Matter.” Many equate Trayvon’s death as the Emmett Till case for a new generation of activists. Till was a 14-year-old African American from Chicago when he was killed in 1955 for allegedly whistling at a white woman in Mississippi.

“I think that Trayvon certainly re-energized a civil rights movement in this country,” Tracy Martin said. “This was a child who lost his life to a senseless act of violence. Gun violence. To someone who wanted to be a vigilante. And so it came to a point where people were just saying ‘enough is enough.’”

Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin recently penned a powerful memoir called Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin, a look back at the son they raised and the tragic event that would change their lives.

Trayvon would have been 22 years old this month. His mother said she has her “good days and bad days” when she thinks about him.

“I still think about him and cry. I also think about him and smile too,” she said. “If he was still with us, he would be graduating from college this year.”

His father described him as “fun, energetic” and an “innovator.”

“He was very outgoing. ‘Outdoorsman’ I used to call him,” Martin said. “He loved doing things outdoors, and so just to have his life cut short and taken away from him and not to see him continue to do the things that he liked, it was very devastating.”

Six weeks passed before Zimmerman was arrested for Trayvon’s death. He argued he acted in self-defense, citing Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, which allows citizens to use deadly force if they feel threatened.

The case divided the nation, with many Americans asking, “What if Zimmerman had been black?” Celebrities and citizens alike launched protests and took a stand. The clinched fist that had been a symbol of solidarity during the Civil Rights Movement in 1960s was now the hoodie, like the one Trayvon was wearing the night he was killed.

The message eventually made its way to the White House, and President Obama delivered a personal statement about the case, saying, “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.”

“Trayvon was dead on the ground at 17, unarmed, and he was given a drug and alcohol test and background check,” Fulton said. “But the person who has shot and killed him, who was still holding the gun … he went home. My son went to the medical examiners and this person went and got in his bed like as if nothing happened.”

Fulton and Martin painted a painful picture of the confusion and frustration that immediately followed their son’s death.

“When I returned to the residence that night, the crime scene tape had been taken down,” Martin said. “There was no sign of any altercations on the scene. And so … it still isn't clear to me.”

They said they weren’t initially given access to their son’s body and he was initially listed as “John Doe.”

“We had to fight just to get Trayvon's body back so that we can have the body shipped home,” Fulton said. “We didn't ask for anything that any other parents wouldn't have asked for a 17-year-old.”

Once the Zimmerman trial was underway a year later, Trayvon’s parents had to grapple with another difficult challenge – facing the man who killed their son in court.

Zimmerman was eventually found not guilty of all charges, which would mark the beginning of Martin's and Fulton’s new life as activists.

They founded the Trayvon Martin Foundation at Florida Memorial University in Miami Gardens. Fulton spoke at the Democratic National Convention last summer and campaigned heavily for Hillary Clinton’s presidential run. Fulton said she’s even thinking of running for office herself.

“Five years ago … I would not have imagined this,” she said. “But sometimes your life, you are dealt cards and you need to make sure that you are playing the hand right.”

When it comes to the current president, Fulton said, “We don’t know what to expect from President Trump.”

“We don't know what his plans are for gun violence,” she continued. “We don't know what his plans are for [the] African-American community.”

This past weekend, Fulton and Martin participated in a “remembrance march” that commemorated the life and death of their son. Just hours before, in that same neighborhood, three teens were shot on their way home from school in a drive-by shooting. All three are expected to make full recoveries.

“It’s something we need to deal with as citizens,” Martin said. “We just have to work at it piece by piece by piece.”

Although they are energized by Trayvon becoming the face of a movement, in many ways it is a tremendous burden. Fulton said she struggles because she would much prefer to have her son at home and thriving.

“I would much rather prefer that life to the life that I have now,” she said. “But I know … it's not just about Trayvon Martin. It’s about so many other Trayvon Martins. It's about our young ladies being shot and killed. It's about our teenagers being shot and killed. Men being shot and killed.”

She went on, “It's so much bigger than Trayvon that we didn't really understand initially. But I think we kind of get it now that it's very important that we continue this fight.”

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Indiana State Police(DELPHI, Ind.) — Police investigating the slayings of two girls in Indiana released new evidence Wednesday in hopes it will lead to the capture of their killer.

The evidence was a video clip captured by one of the victim's cellphones. When police played the audio from the clip at a news conference in the city of Delphi Wednesday morning, reporters heard just three words from a deep voice: "Down the hill."

The audio quality is not great, but police said it's enough for someone to recognize the person's voice. Investigators believe this clip recorded criminal behavior that was about to occur.

"Libby had the presence of mind to turn on her video camera," Capt. David Bursten, chief public information officer of the Indiana State Police, told reporters. "There's no doubt in our minds that that young lady is a hero."

The rest of the video will not be released at this time because of the ongoing investigation, Bursten said.

The girls — Liberty (Libby) German, 14, and Abigail (Abby) Williams, 13, both of Carroll County — were first reported missing by their families Feb. 13 after they did not return from their hike. After organized searches, the bodies of the two girls were found Feb. 14 outside Delphi in the woods near Deer Creek, about three-quarters of a mile from an abandoned railroad bridge where they were dropped off a day earlier to go hiking. An autopsy revealed their identities.

"Evidence in this case has led investigators to believe that this is a double homicide and that’s what we’re investigating at this time," Indiana State Police public information officer Sgt. Tony Slocum told reporters Wednesday morning.

Indiana State Police on Monday named a man in a photograph as the primary suspect in the double homicide investigation, but nothing is known about him at this time outside of a single image. The man, dressed in blue jeans, a blue jacket and a hoodie, was photographed on a nature trial around the same time the two girls disappeared. Previously, the man had been labeled a person of interest and police said he might only be a witness to the crime.

"We are actively looking for this person. We believe this person is our suspect," Sgt. Slocum said at the press conference Wednesday morning.

Police said there is a possibility of more than one suspect, and it's unclear if the voice heard in the audio clip belongs to the man seen in the photograph.


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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Two male models who were skateboarding in Central Park and paused to take a picture of the sunset ended up saving the lives of seven teenagers who had fallen through ice.

“It was all a matter of ‘right place at the right time’ for the two of us,” Ethan Turnbull said Wednesday on ABC News' Good Morning America.

Turnbull was with fellow model Bennett Jonas in New York City’s Central Park Monday when, out of the corner of his eye, he spotted a group of teenagers playing on ice atop a pond.

“I said to Bennett, ‘Look, man, there’s some kids over there on the ice,’” Turnbull recalled. “Within the time it took me to say that to Bennett and look back, the ice had actually broken because they came together to take a photo.”

Turnbull and Jonas rushed to the scene and jumped into the freezing water to pull the teenagers to safety. The teenagers in the water were all boys ages 13 to 17, according to ABC New York City station WABC-TV.

“One of the first things I learned as a kid was never give your body to somebody drowning and I learned that the hard way,” Jonas said Wednesday on GMA. “The first two kids I got to heading into the water pulled me under.

“They had me completely under the water,” he said. “I had to get them up and get them to [Ethan].”

While other eyewitnesses captured Turnbull and Jonas’s heroic efforts on video, the two friends kept working to pull each of the seven boys to the shore.

“The only time I was really scared was as I was entering the water … it was chaotic,” Jonas said. “They were pulling each other under [and] just knowing you’re heading into the middle of that and they’re trying to get out as much as you’re trying to get them out.”

He added, “You’re their way out so they’re trying to get on top of you, get out any way they can.”

One of the victims was hospitalized overnight. The other teens were treated and released, according to WABC.

Jonas and Turnbull were not injured during the rescue. Jonas described how the pair survived the “brutal” water temperature.

“The adrenaline was so crazy; I don’t think either of us really realized how cold we were until after it all kind of subsided,” he said.

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iStock/Thinkstock(ST. LOUIS) — As of early Wednesday morning, a crowdfunding campaign started by Muslim activists had raised nearly $60,000 in an effort to help repair a vandalized Jewish cemetery near St. Louis, Missouri.

"Muslim Americans stand in solidarity with the Jewish-American community to condemn this horrific act of desecration against the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery," read the crowdfunding campaign's website, which was spearheaded by Muslim-American activists Linda Sarsour and Tarek El-Messidi. "We also extend our deepest condolences to all those who have been affected and to the Jewish community at large."

The effort comes after headstones were damaged late Sunday or early Monday at Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery.

As of early Wednesday morning, the LaunchGood-hosted campaign had raised more than $58,000, far surpassing the original $20,000 fundraising goal that the organizers said had been met in just three hours.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens called the cemetery vandalism a "senseless act of desecration" in a tweet on Monday.

The incident at the cemetery comes amid a spate of threats directed at Jewish centers across the nation this year. The FBI and the Justice Department announced earlier this week that they would investigate the multiple bomb threats directed toward at least 60 Jewish centers, including 11 threats made on Monday alone.

The Anti-Defamation League called the situation “alarming” and “disruptive” in a statement and said that the threats should be taken seriously.

In a speech on Tuesday, President Donald Trump denounced anti-Semitism after facing criticism that he had not acted strongly enough against the threats.

"The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community and community centers are horrible and are painful and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil," said Trump after touring the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.

The fundraisers for the "Muslims Unite to Repair Jewish Cemetery" campaign said they launched the campaign in an effort to "send a united message from the Jewish and Muslim communities" and to condemn "hate, desecration, and violence."

The campaign said the proceeds would go directly to the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery, and that any additional funds leftover after the cost of restoration would "assist other vandalized Jewish centers nationwide.”

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