kidnapping

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FBI Believes Missing Illinois Student Was Kidnapped

$50K reward offered in search for visiting scholar

(Newser) - The Champaign County, Illinois, branch of Crime Stoppers is offering the biggest reward in its history in the search for a visiting student from China who disappeared more than a week ago. Yingying Zhang, a 26-year-old who was a month into a yearlong appointment at the University of Illinois, was... More »

Mom Who Put Her Girl's Killers in Jail Is Murdered in Mexico

Activist Miriam Rodríguez Martínez was found dead on Mexico's Mother's Day

(Newser) - In a tragic ending to a story of courage and fortitude, the Mexican activist who succeeded in solving her daughter's 2012 kidnapping and murder was found dead Wednesday—Mexico’s Mother’s Day. Miriam Rodríguez Martínez, known for standing up to the Zetas drug cartel by bringing... More »

Missing Teen Resorted to Eating Flowers, Says Lawyer

Elizabeth Thomas lost a lot of weight while with Tad Cummins

(Newser) - One thing seems to have overshadowed Elizabeth Thomas' 38 days spent with her former teacher: hunger. The 15-year-old had resorted to eating wildflowers at times and had lost a significant amount of weight, the family lawyer tells People . "I was so shocked when I saw her," says Jason... More »

Cops: Missing Woman Found in Neighbor's Inescapable Pit

Suspect Dennis Dunn has mental health issues, say police

(Newser) - The pit in the backyard shed—about two feet wide by 3.5 feet deep—was impossible to escape, concealed by a wooden board with several heavy objects placed on top of it, according to police. But the 30-year-old woman's screams ensured help arrived, reports Cincinnati.com . Authorities say... More »

Court Filing: Teen Was Abused by Mom Before Kidnapping

This would have made it easier for Tad Cummins to prey on her, experts say

(Newser) - Tennessee teacher Tad Cummins' alleged crimes look even more repugnant in the light of newly surfaced court documents. According to divorce papers filed Monday by the father of kidnapped 15-year-old student Elizabeth Thomas, the girl was physically abused by her mother for months before her parents separated in November 2015.... More »

Complaint Lays Out Planning of Alleged Kidnapping

And Elizabeth Thomas' father says she was brainwashed by Ted Cummins

(Newser) - Elizabeth Thomas' father says he believes his 15-year-old daughter was brainwashed by Tad Cummins, the former teacher accused of kidnapping her, the Tennessean reports. Cummins and Elizabeth were found this week at a cabin in northern California, weeks after they disappeared from Tennessee. While Anthony Thomas says he hasn't... More »

Family of Alleged Kidnapper Tad Cummins Speaks Out

'Daddy ... come home'

(Newser) - The daughters of Tad Cummins—the former Tennessee teacher suspected of kidnapping a 15-year-old student last month—say they've forgiven their father "no matter what he did." "Daddy, no matter what you've done we just want you to come home," Erica Osborne, 29, says... More »

DA: Teacher Who Kidnapped Student Is Low on Medication

Pharmacies asked to watch for Tad Cummins

(Newser) - It has been a month since Tennessee teacher Tad Cummins disappeared with 15-year-old student Elizabeth Thomas—long enough for the 50-year-old to need a refill of the medication he takes to control his blood pressure. Maury County District Attorney Brent Cooper has asked pharmacists to watch out for customers who... More »

Philippines: Militant Who Ordered Beheadings Killed

Abu Sayyaf commander was planning more kidnappings

(Newser) - Philippine troops battling militants in a central province killed a key Abu Sayyaf commander who'd been blamed for the beheadings of two Canadians and a German hostage and was apparently attempting another kidnapping mission, the country's military chief says. Gen. Eduardo Ano, the military's chief of staff,... More »

Teacher Suspected in Teen's Kidnapping Spotted at Walmart

Tad Cummins and Elizabeth Thomas were caught on surveillance video

(Newser) - A 50-year-old teacher was caught on security cameras at a Walmart in Oklahoma two days after he allegedly kidnapped a 15-year-old girl in Tennessee, the Oklahoman reports. Tad Cummins and Elizabeth Thomas are seen in the video—taken March 15 but not confirmed or released until Friday—using cash to... More »

2003 Report Breaks Quiet Surrounding Sherri Papini Case

Her mother claimed Papini was harming herself but blaming her mother

(Newser) - Investigators haven't gone public with any new info about Sherri Papini's alleged kidnapping since Nov. 30—but the Sacramento Bee has done some digging. After filing several California Public Records Act requests, it obtained a December 2003 police report that's just two sentences long. What it says:... More »

DA: Teacher With Missing Teen May Be Posing as Missionary

Tad Cummins may have fled to Mexico with girl, district attorney says

(Newser) - Tad Cummins, the Tennessee teacher believed to be on the run with 15-year-old student Elizabeth Thomas, may have fled to Mexico with the girl, investigators say. Maury County District Attorney Brent Cooper tells ABC News that the 50-year-old Cummins, who allegedly kidnapped Elizabeth more than two weeks ago, is a... More »

'Romantic' Emails Between Missing Teacher, Girl Found

Family says teen once hid from teacher Tad Cummins

(Newser) - Elizabeth Thomas, the 15-year-old girl believed to have been abducted by teacher Tad Cummins two weeks ago, once hid from Cummins when he turned up at her workplace, her family says. One of the Thomas family's lawyers tells News 2 that, according to Elizabeth's father, she hid in... More »

Arrest Made After Woman's Dramatic Kidnapping Escape

Manuel Towns was just freed from prison 2 months ago

(Newser) - Last week, a 25-year-old nursing student in Alabama made a dramatic escape from the trunk of her car, where she had been locked at gunpoint, NBC News reports. On Tuesday, her alleged kidnapper was arrested. According to AL.com , 28-year-old Manuel Towns was released from prison two months ago after... More »

Unlikely Item Helped Kidnap Victim Escape Trunk

Quick thinking, light of insulin pump gave Brittany Diggs the chance to escape

(Newser) - The Alabama nursing student whose brave kidnapping escape was caught on a gas station's surveillance video last week revealed that her insulin pump played a role in her getaway. In an exclusive interview with the Today show on Monday, Brittany Diggs, 25, said the faint light of her insulin... More »

Cops Think Teacher Kidnapped His 15-Year-Old Student

Tennesee police looking for Tad Cummins and Elizabeth Thomas

(Newser) - Tennessee police are renewing their plea to the public to be on the lookout for a 50-year-old teacher accused of kidnapping a 15-year-old female student. Tad Cummins disappeared along with Elizabeth Thomas on Monday, and surveillance video from a gas station in Decatur, Alabama, appears to show Cummins there that... More »

Watch the Moment a Kidnap Victim Makes Her Big Escape

She popped out of a car trunk at an Alabama gas station

(Newser) - A frightening ordeal for a kidnapped woman came to an end at an Alabama gas station late Tuesday night, and her escape was caught on tape. Sgt. Bryan Shelton says that the 25-year-old was abducted outside her Birmingham apartment around 10:30pm, with the suspect throwing her in the trunk... More »

Militants Behead Sailor Who Was Kidnapped Twice

Kantner survived pirate abduction in 2008

(Newser) - A German man who resumed sailing around the world after being released by Somali pirates in 2008 has been murdered by militants in the Philippines who kidnapped him a second time . The extremist group Abu Sayyaf has released video of the beheading of 70-year-old Juergen Kantner, who was kidnapped while... More »

After a Torture-Filled Abduction, a Survivor Speaks

Nicholas Kollias: 'I didn't want to die and give in to these people'

(Newser) - A University of Rochester student who endured a nearly two-day abduction in late 2015 is still getting his legs back after the terrifying incident, and while it hasn't been easy, Nicholas Kollias is determined to persevere. The Chicago Tribune revisits how the classical pianist and athlete from the Chicago... More »

Teen Stolen at Birth Has Kind Words for 'Mom,' Not for 'Dad'

'I was given the best life,' says Alexis Manigo

(Newser) - She was born Kamiyah Mobley and snatched from her then-16-year-old mother out of a Florida hospital room when she was just hours old—but for the next 18 years, she was raised as Alexis Manigo, and she loved that life. "From that one mistake I was given the best... More »

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