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Georgia teen shot, killed while walking to store, witness says

Authorities are investigating a deadly shooting in Union City, Georgia,  in which a young man was shot several times Monday afternoon.

A witness told WSB that it was his younger brother, 17-year-old Chevelle Thompson. He said Thompson was walking to a nearby store when he was shot twice

>> Read more trending news 

Police blocked off part of the neighborhood as they investigated. The Fulton County medical examiner was called to the scene.

Witnesses said that, at some point, Thompson got into a car and rushed to find help in a nearby neighborhood.

“My first thing was to call 911 when I came out of the door,” a witness told WSB. “The operator asked me to hold on and she was going to have them give me instructions to apply pressure wherever the gunshot wound was.”

“It sends chills through my body that there’s a murderer out here on the loose,” resident Stephanie Brooks told WSB. “To see a loss of life, this young man who had potential and a future, I can only imagine what his mother is feeling right now.”

So far, no one has been arrested. Union City police said the neighborhood is typically quiet. Those who knew Thompson said the shooting is unnerving.

Mother arrested after newborns found dead in Florida home, police say

An arrest has been made in the case of two newborn babies found dead in a Florida home, investigators said.

Rachael Lynn Thomas, 30, was taken into custody Monday afternoon. The mother of the infants faces two counts of child neglect and one count of tampering with evidence.

>> Read more trending news 

Police were called to a West Melbourne, Florida, home Sunday afternoon.

Police said the deaths are suspicious but did not release a cause for the deaths. One of the infants was taken to a nearby hospital Sunday and the other was pronounced dead at the home.

“It is something that is very serious. We will methodically investigate this to try to get the answers that the children here deserve,” said Cpt. Richard Cordeau of the West Melbourne Police Department. 

Thomas is being held in the Brevard County Jail on $30,000 bail.

Neighbors said Thomas lived at the home with her mother and kept to herself. They said they’ve only seen one infant and an older child with Thomas. 

Melbourne police and the Department of Children and Families said they have not had any previous contact with Thomas. DCF has opened an investigation into what led to the deaths.

The infants’ siblings are being cared for by relatives.

Georgia man chases ex, her new boyfriend and shoots at them, police say

Decatur, Georgia police are searching for a 23-year-old man accused of shooting at his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend Sunday morning.

The couple was leaving a hotel shortly before 11 a.m. when they saw Rickeyon Jenkins, 23, of Baxley, Georgia, according to a post on the City of Decatur Police Department Facebook page.

>> Read more trending news 

Police said Jenkins had a gun and fired toward the couple while they were in the parking lot, prompting them to flee in their vehicle.

Jenkins allegedly pursued and continued to fire, shooting the victims’ vehicle and also ramming it with his own vehicle, a sliver, four-door, early 2000s Mercury Grand Marquis.

The couple had lost Jenkins by the time they reached another street and called 911. 

“Officers observed damage to the victim’s vehicle consistent with gunshots and also recovered physical evidence at the original scene...,” the post said. “Neither of the victims were physically injured.”

Jenkins is charged with aggravated assault.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts or the case was asked to contact mark.hensel@decaturga.com or 678-553-6687. Crime Stoppers Greater Atlanta can also take information at 404-577-8477 and allows callers to remain anonymous.

Minnesota grandma sought in deaths of husband, Florida ‘lookalike’ killed for ID

A Minnesota woman has become the subject of a nationwide manhunt after allegedly killing her husband, as well as a Florida woman who investigators believe was killed for her identity.

Lois Ann Riess, 56, is shown on surveillance video in a Fort Myers brewery, chatting with a woman found dead four days later in a timeshare condominium where she was staying two blocks away. Lee County Undersheriff Carmine Marceno said during a Friday news conference that deputies went to the Fort Myers Beach condo on April 9 regarding a call for medical assistance.

They found Pamela Hutchinson, 59, who had been shot multiple times, Marceno said. Her purse was in disarray, with all identification, cash and credit cards stolen. 

Her car keys and her white Acura TL were also missing. 

“Further investigation revealed that Ms. Hutchinson was targeted by the suspect due to the similarities in their appearance,” Marceno said

Investigators fear that Riess could be running short on resources and could kill again to further fund her flight from capture, the Star Tribune in Minneapolis reported

“Riess’ mode of operation is to befriend women who resemble her and steal their identity,” Marceno said Friday. “U.S. marshals are actively involved in a national search for this dangerous fugitive.”

The Fort Myers News-Press reported that Hutchinson was in Fort Myers to help a friend mourn her husband. They were planning to spread his ashes in the Gulf of Mexico, the newspaper said.

Hutchinson’s last Facebook post was on April 4. In a post written the day before, she talked about how Fort Myers Beach was “hopping” and she thanked a friend for recommendations on local hangouts, saying she had a “fabulously good time.” She wrote that she could hear music from one bar at her condo, No. 404 at Marina Village at Snug Harbor. 

“Also got to see the sun rise and set,” Hutchinson wrote. 

Her posts indicated that she had decided to stay in Fort Myers Beach an extra day before heading home to Bradenton. 

The News-Press reported that surveillance video from the Smokin’ Oyster Brewery in Fort Myers shows Riess, wearing a light blue shirt, talking to a woman identified by investigators as Hutchinson. The video was shot around 5:40 p.m. on Thursday, April 5.

Surveillance images from Hutchinson’s condo complex also appear to show Riess there, wearing the same blue shirt, the Star Tribune reported. It was not immediately clear when those images were shot. 

A relative of Hutchinson’s said on the slain woman’s Facebook page that she and other relatives were supposed to meet Hutchinson at her Bradenton condo on April 7 to spend the weekend with her, but she never showed up. They learned from a neighbor that she was out of town, but did not know where she had gone or who she was staying with. 

Phone calls and texts to Hutchinson went unanswered, the relative said. 

It would be another two days before her body was found. A man staying at the condo complex told the News-Press that the building manager asked him for help getting the door of Hutchinson’s unit open because something appeared to be blocking it. 

She was trying to get inside because the water to some of the units was not working. 

They found Hutchinson’s body in the bathroom with a pile of towels, Troy Strohm said. It appeared that Hutchison, who had blood coming from an ear, had been dead for a few days. 

“As soon as you opened the door, it just smelled like a dead animal,” Strohm told the newspaper

Detectives who tied Riess to Hutchinson’s death learned that Riess was also a suspect in the Dodge County, Minnesota, death of her husband, David Riess. According to the Star Tribune, David Riess was found shot to death March 23 on the couple’s worm farm. 

Lois Riess became a suspect in the Florida homicide after investigators there found a white 2005 Cadillac Escalade she was believed to be driving after her husband’s slaying. 

“Our detectives have reviewed hundreds of hours of video and traveled throughout the state and collected hundreds of items for forensic examination, and have coordinated efforts with our state and federal agencies,” Marceno said. 

Riess has apparently fled southwest Florida and traveled through the southeast states to Texas. The most recent sighting put her in Corpus Christi, the undersheriff said. 

The fugitive is charged in Florida with murder, grand theft of a motor vehicle and grand theft and criminal use of personal identification, Marceno said. 

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which has been searching for Riess since late last month, describes her as a white woman with brown eyes and pale blonde hair. She is about 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighs about 165 pounds. 

The white Acura she is accused of stealing from Hutchinson has Florida license plate number Y37TAA. 

Riess is known to frequent casinos, the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension reported. 

Marceno said Riess is considered armed and dangerous. Anyone who spots her should not approach her, but should call the nearest law enforcement agency. 

People with information on Riess’ whereabouts can also call Southwest Florida Crimestoppers at 800-780-TIPS. 

The Star Tribune reported that second-degree murder charges were expected to be filed this week against Riess, who lived with her husband in Blooming Prairie, a city of about 2,000 people 85 miles south of the Twin Cities. David Riess’ body was found after a business partner reported to police that he had been unable to reach him for a couple of weeks. 

Officers who went to Prairie Wax Worm Farms to conduct a welfare check found the 54-year-old with multiple gunshot wounds. It was not immediately known how long he was dead before his body was found. 

Dodge County Sheriff’s Office investigators were unable to find Lois Riess, but got a tip that she was at a casino just across the state line near Northwood, Iowa, the newspaper reported. When law enforcement officers arrived, they learned she had been there, but left before their arrival. 

After her husband’s death, Lois Riess is suspected of transferring nearly $10,000 from his business account to his personal account, then forging his signature on three checks totaling about $11,000. She has been charged with theft for the forgeries, the Star Tribune reported

David Riess’ obituary lists the couple as having three grown children and five grandchildren. 

Former ‘Jerry Springer’ producer charged with killing deaf, blind sister in 2015

A former producer for television shows including “Divorce Court” and “The Jerry Springer Show” was arrested last week and charged with killing her disabled sister in a 2015 garage fire. 

The Los Angeles Police Department reported Thursday that Jill Blackstone was arrested in Baltimore on murder and animal cruelty charges. Blackstone is accused of drugging her sister, Wendy Blackstone, on March 14, 2015, and putting her and the siblings’ three dogs in the garage of their North Hollywood home and setting it on fire. 

Wendy Blackstone, 49, and two of the dogs perished in the blaze.

ABC7 in Los Angeles reported that the fire was started by a charcoal barbecue pit left burning in the garage, which filled with carbon monoxide. Wendy Blackstone was found unresponsive next to one of the dogs.

The Baltimore Sun reported that paramedics tried to revive her, but she was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Wendy Blackstone was deaf and legally blind, the newspaper reported. 

>> Read more trending news

“Homicide detectives believe the motive was Jill’s frustration of being forced to provide Wendy long-term care, as well as the associated financial hardship,” a news release from the LAPD said

Wendy Blackstone died of the combined effects of Xanax and inhaling the gas that built up in the garage, the Los Angeles County Coroner’s website states. The manner of death was still listed online as undetermined Monday morning. 

The Los Angeles Times reported that Wendy Blackstone’s autopsy report indicated that her death was “very suspicious” and “possibly staged.” When she was found, an alleged suicide note was in her hand.

Investigators believed that Jill Blackstone wrote the note. 

Near Wendy Blackstone’s feet was a Weber grill and an ash-filled trash can, both of which were considered to be sources of the carbon monoxide, the Times reported. A nearly empty vodka bottle was found nearby, though the autopsy showed no alcohol in Wendy’s system. 

Detectives found several other notes near her body with end-of-life instructions, including a “do not resuscitate” order, but none of the notes had been signed by Wendy Blackstone. 

Jill Blackstone later told detectives that a friend called her home and she “just ‘came to’ and did not remember what happened,” the Times reported. She also told investigators that the grill was used in the garage to keep it warm.

She also said the charcoal was used to roast marshmallows, the newspaper reported. 

ABC7 reported that Jill Blackstone was believed to have set the scene up to look like a suicide or accident. The notes and Blackstone’s inconsistent statements led detectives to suspect her of killing her sister. 

She was arrested shortly after the fire on suspicion of murder, but the Los Angeles County district attorney ultimately decided against filing charges, the news station reported. 

The district attorney ordered further investigation into the case just days later, the Times reported

Homicide detectives and arson investigators from the Los Angeles Fire Department conducted separate probes in the case, the LAPD news release said

“The investigative follow-up required for a successful prosecution included significant travel, research, numerous interviews and additional forensic evidence processing, which added time to this extremely complex and sensitive investigation,” the news release said. 

The district attorney filed murder and animal cruelty charges against Blackstone last month. Homicide detectives tracked her last week to a relative’s home in Hoboken, New Jersey.

When they spoke to her lawyer, the attorney told authorities that Blackstone was hospitalized in Baltimore for treatment of a medical condition, LAPD officials said.

She was taken into custody Wednesday at Johns Hopkins Hospital. As of last week, she remained in Baltimore Police Department custody, awaiting extradition to California. 

Substitute high school teacher arrested for allegedly running ‘fight club’

A substitute teacher at a Montville, Connecticut, high school has been arrested for allegedly running a “fight club” at the school.

WFSB reported Thursday that Ryan Fish, 23, has been charged by police with four counts of reckless endangerment as well as two counts of risk of injury to a minor, and second-degree breach of peace.

>> Read more trending news 

An investigation started by the Montville Police Department in December 2017 found that Fish was supervising the fights, which happened in October 2017, in the classroom. 

BuzzFeed News reported that, according to an arrest warrant it obtained, Fish is seen encouraging students to “Engage in the fighting behavior” at Montville High School. The warrant contains profanity in descriptions of some of the incidents.

Four victims, two 16-year-old males, a 15-year-old male a 14-year-old male and one 16-year-old male witness are included in the arrest warrant.

WFSB reported that the four victims told police about the fights.

According to the warrant, police spoke with Assistant Principal Tatiana Patton Dec. 15, who told police that video surfaced of two kids slap fighting each other in the classroom where Fish was acting as a substitute math teacher.

“I would let them be teenagers and let them get their energy out,” Fish told police, according to the warrant. “I will admit that I did at one point egg them on,” he said.

“The truth is I’m an idiot and wanted to befriend them. I’m immature.”

Patton said she met with Fish and Principal Jeffrey Theodoss about the fights. Fish, the warrant said, “responded ‘boys will be boys,’ that he grew up in the country and ‘boys do stuff like that.’” Fish’s employment was terminated Oct. 10, the warrant said.

“As soon as we learned of his involvement in this, we immediately terminated his employment,” Montville Public Schools Superintendent Brian Levesque told BuzzFeed News. "Student safety is our highest priority each and every day. We believe our staff does a great job of protecting the safety of our students each and every day. This situation was very unfortunate, but not indicative of our regular operations.”

The Hartford Courant reported that Fish was arraigned in Norwich Superior Court Thursday. Police set his bail at $70,000. A court clerk said he was released after his arraignment and is to return to court May 8. 

State child advocate Sarah Healy Eagan said she is following up with the state Department of Children and Families to see how it is responding to the school district’s “apparent failure to follow the mandated reporter law,” the Courant reported.

Day care worker arrested after allegedly smoking meth on job

Authorities said a woman in Montana exposed children to methamphetamine while using the drug at a YMCA day care center where she worked.

>> Read more trending news 

Autumn Sienna Heinz, 30, was arrested Tuesday and charged with criminal endangerment, criminal mischief and criminal possession of drugs, according to the charging document released by the Missoula County Detention Facility.

Approximately 12 children were in Heinz's care at the day care facility, KHQ reported. Heinz is accused of smoking meth in a laundry room and an employee bathroom, the latter in which she exhaled into an exhaust van, exposing the children and other staff members to the toxic smoke, KHQ reported. 

The day care is closed for cleaning, which could cost up to $80,000, KHQ reported. 

Police officers helped sneak massive drug shipment into Memphis, affidavit says 

Two Tennessee police officers face felony drug charges after they were arrested during an elaborate undercover sting, according to an affidavit.

>> Read more trending news

Kevin Coleman and Terrion Bryson of the Memphis Police Department are charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to manufacture, deliver, and sell -- along with criminal attempt felony and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

In February, the Memphis Police Department’s Organized Crime Unit received information that Coleman and Bryson were stealing money and drugs, according to an affidavit of complaint.

Investigators said the officers conducted two traffic stops while on duty and stole money from an undercover officer.

On April 5, Bryson began contacting an undercover officer about protecting a shipment of drugs that would be brought into Memphis, according to the affidavit.

Less than a week later, the officers told the undercover officer they wanted $10,000 to “offer security for the shipment of narcotics.” The pair then agreed to protect 2.5 kilograms of heroin, according to the documents.

During the negations, Coleman, while on duty, allegedly threatened physical harm to the undercover officer’s family if “the arrangement was a setup.”

Eventually, they agreed on a $9,000 fee for the officers to protect the shipment of drugs being brought into the city, according to the affidavit. They allegedly wanted $4,500 up front. Once the drugs got to Memphis they would protect them from being seized and they’d get the other $4,500, according to the affidavit.

On April 12, $4,000 was put into a vehicle in the parking lot of a Walmart in Memphis. Bryson came to the location, went into the vehicle and took the money as payment to protect the heroin, according to the affidavit.

Later that day, Bryson was off duty and Coleman was on duty driving a police car when they met the undercover officer, who they thought had the shipment of heroin. The two escorted the “shipment” to a storage unit, where they were given another $5,000, according to the affidavit.

The two officers left and went to another location, where they were arrested in the middle of a meeting.

Arresting officers recovered $5,020 from Bryson’s vehicle. Coleman told investigators he thought they were protecting three kilograms of heroin, according to the affidavit.

Memphis Police Association President Michael Williams said it’s a sad day when a police officer turns to crime. 

"Even if you look at social media you have a lot of officer speaking out against this because they are out here working hard,” Williams said.

Williams says the accusations the officers are facing is a disgrace to the badge. "You can have a hundred attaboys and one boo-boo, something like this and it sets you back if not months but years of hard work,” Williams said.

Bryson and Coleman have been relieved of duty pending this investigation, police officials said.

Both will be in court Monday morning.

Fugitive nabbed after 37 years when mom’s obituary lists his alias

An Oklahoma fugitive was caught in Texas Thursday morning after 37 years on the run, and law enforcement officials are crediting an obituary with leading them to him. 

Stephen Michael Paris was 22 years old in 1981 -- and 19 months into a nine-year sentence on a drug conviction -- when he escaped from the Jess Dunn Correctional Center in Muskogee. According to the U.S. Marshals Service, the case was adopted by agents there about six weeks ago.

>> Read more trending news

Agents discovered an obituary for Paris’ mother, Joann Rahimi, who lived in Houston before her death on Easter Sunday. The obituary lists Rahimi’s family, including a son, Steve Chavez.

They tracked down the name and found that Paris, now 58, was living and working under that alias in Houston, the Marshals Service reported. He was taken into custody without incident Thursday at his office.

A fingerprint match confirmed his identity. 

911 dispatcher placed on leave following teen’s suffocation death inside van

A Cincinnati 911 operator who took a call Tuesday afternoon from a teen being crushed by a seat in his minivan has been placed on leave for not relaying a description of the van to officers searching for the 16-year-old.

Kyle Jacob Plush called 911 twice while he slowly suffocated to death. Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Issac said Thursday that he has initiated an internal investigation into everyone involved in handling the calls, but that dispatcher Amber Smith has been placed on administrative leave. 

Smith was placed on leave because dispatch records show that she did not relay to responding officers the make, model and color of Plush’s vehicle. The teen told her that he was trapped in a gold Honda Odyssey in the parking lot of Seven Hills School, where he was a student. 

City police officers searched the multiple parking areas on campus but did not see anything suspicious. A Hamilton County sheriff’s deputy who also checked the school’s parking lots saw a van, but did not spot anyone inside.

>> Related story: ‘Tell my mom that I love her if I die,’ teen pleads as van seat fatally crushes him

Issac said that investigators believe the van the deputy saw was Plush’s vehicle.  

Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office officials dispute that belief. 

“That’s simply not the case,” Chief Deputy Mark Schoonover said in a radio appearance Friday morning, WCPO in Cincinnati reported. “He did look into some vehicles. He looked into a van, but he never looked into the victim’s vehicle. He never located that.”

The chief said that a formal interview with Smith had not yet been conducted. He hoped that interview would help shed light on what went wrong. 

“The one thing that we do know is that on that second 911 call, something has gone terribly wrong,” Issac said during a news conference, which was streamed live on Facebook by WCPO. “This young man was crying out for help, and we weren’t able to get that information to the officers on the scene, and we need to find out why. 

“I’m not certain at this point if we’re talking about an equipment malfunction or some type of other user error, possibly, but we’re going to do an investigation to get those answers.” 

WCPO reported that officials are also looking into whether a move the 911 center was undergoing on the day of Plush’s death affected the ability to handle calls. 

Issac said that Smith did press a tone that indicated she was having trouble on the line. The tone could be heard in the audio of the 911 calls and dispatch traffic, according to reporters who have obtained the recordings. Local media have not made the audio public due to the graphic nature of Plush’s calls. 

WLWT reported that the dispatch report, a copy of which the news station obtained, shows numbers designating latitude and longitude, which police officials said are generated by a caller’s phone. Putting the numbers into a Google map dropped a pin almost exactly where Plush’s body was later found inside his van. 

Police officials said investigators are probing why the numbers were not mapped by 911 dispatchers, including Smith. 

Smith was honored last year for helping a 9-year-old girl trapped in a car with her parents, who had overdosed on heroin, WLWT reported. She found the girl by pinging the cellphone the child used to call for help.

It was unclear why that method was not used to find Plush. 

A reporter at the news conference asked the chief about the lag time between when Plush initially called 911 and when it was responded to by a dispatcher – more than four minutes later. 

“Is that a correct reading of the report, that it took that long before it got in the queue, before it was answered?” the reporter asked off-camera. “Isn’t that a long time if that is correct?”

“That is something that we want to find an answer to,” Issac said. “I don’t know right now, but that is something that is going to be examined.”

Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Neil has ordered an investigation into his department’s handling of the calls. County prosecutor Joe Deters has also launched a comprehensive investigation into what led to Plush’s death. 

Plush, who was on the school tennis team, had a match after school the day he died. Investigators believe he was reaching for his tennis gear over the third-row bench seat in the van when the seat tipped backward and trapped him, upside down, in the hatch area with the seat digging into his chest. 

He used his iPhone’s voice command to call for help, indicating that he was unable to dial and speak directly into the phone. He could be heard calling for Siri multiple times during his second 911 call. 

The Washington Post, which obtained the audio of his calls, reported that his cries to Siri were the last thing recorded in his second call for help. 

“Hey, Siri. Hey, Siri,” Plush repeated over and over, the Post noted

Investigators believe his position away from his cellphone it impossible for Plush to hear the people answering his frantic calls. Smith also indicated in conversation captured on the dispatch audio that it was difficult to hear the teen, who she said sounded like he was far away from the phone. 

Plush also suffered from spinal problems and other medical conditions, according to WCPO. It was not clear if those issues contributed to his inability to free himself from his entrapment. 

A recall last year on seats in some Honda Odysseys, which concerned a failure of the second-row seats to properly latch, does not appear to apply to the Plush family’s minivan. The recall was for vans from 2011 to 2017.

The family’s Odyssey is a 2004, according to Honda. The Post reported that a company spokesman said there have been no recalls for the model Kyle Plush died in. 

Issac on Thursday provided a clearer timeline of what happened in the hours before Plush was found dead by his father, who located his body about six hours after the teen first called 911. 

Plush initially called 911 at 3:14 p.m., screaming for help and telling a dispatcher that he was trapped in his van in a parking lot at the school. 

“The caller said they were unable to hear the call-taker and repeatedly yelled for help,” Issac said. “There was also loud noise and banging that could be heard in the background on the initial 911 call.”

Plush was gasping for breath when he sought help. 

“I can’t hear you,” Plush told the dispatcher, according to the Post. “I’m in desperate need of help. I’m gonna die here.”

Because Plush could not hear the dispatcher, he could not answer the questions she was asking him. The call lasted just under three minutes before it disconnected, Issac said.

The dispatcher tried to call Plush back, but the call went to his voicemail, Issac said. 

“Hello, this is Kyle. I’m not available right now. I’ll get back to you as soon as I can,” the outgoing message said. 

Officers were dispatched at 3:21 p.m. to check the school’s multiple parking lots for someone in distress. Two officers arrived at the school five minutes later. 

They searched in vain for about 11 minutes before closing out the call and returning to service. 

Plush called 911 for the second time at 3:35 p.m., Issac said. Smith was the dispatcher who took the second call, during which Plush reiterated that he was trapped in his vehicle and could not hear the dispatcher. 

By this time, the teen had been suffocating for at least 21 minutes. 

Plush sounded weaker the second time he called for help, the Post reported. Creaking could be heard in the background as he struggled to breathe. 

“I probably don’t have much time left, so tell my mom that I love her if I die,” the teen said, according to the audio. “This is not a joke, This is not a joke. I’m trapped inside my gold Holda Odyssey van in the sophmore parking lot of Seven Hills (unintelligible).  

“Send officers immediately. I’m almost dead.”  

Issac said that the city police officers searching for him were still at the scene as Plush tried in vain to summon help. 

At 3:44 p.m., seven minutes after the Cincinnati officers left the parking lot, a Hamilton County deputy working a traffic detail called the dispatch office and said the officers had told him about the search. The deputy said he checked a van in the parking lot, but did not see anyone in it. 

“He then requested any additional information that was available so that he could do a secondary check of the area,” Issac said

Dispatch audio shows that Smith did speak to the deputy at the scene. A Sheriff’s Office spokesman said Friday, however, that the deputy received very little information from the dispatchers about what type of van to look for. 

“No color or anything. It was a van,” David Daugherty said, according to WCPO. “A van could be a box van, a minivan, it’s pretty vague. We’re very sorry this happened. It’s very sad, but I believe that the Cincinnati PD officers on the scene and our deputy did everything they could with the information they had.”

>> Read more trending news

Issac said that Plush’s parents, Jill and Ronald Plush, received a phone call around 8 p.m. from a classmate of their son, who said that he’d seen Kyle walking toward the family’s van after school, but that Kyle had not shown up for his tennis match that afternoon. 

Jill Plush called 911. 

“My son never came home from school,” she said, according to Fox19. “We thought he was at a tennis match, and he never came home from school.”

The Plushes also used the phone-finding app for their son’s iPhone to trace him. The app indicated that he was in the Seven Hills School student parking lot.

That is where Ron Plush found his son inside the unlocked van, unresponsive and not breathing.

The Post reported that a passerby called 911 just before 9 p.m. saying that a man was running around the parking lot, screaming, “Call 911!” A night shift worker at the school also called for help, saying that he was with the boy’s father and that the teen was “turned over in his seat and stuck.”

“He’s been there for a while,” the caller said. 

Officers were dispatched to the scene at 8:59 p.m., Issac said. 

“Upon (officers’) arrival, they attempted life-saving measures, but were unable to revive Mr. Plush,” Issac said

Issac offered his deepest sympathy to the Plush family.

“This is an extremely tragic incident, and we want to convey that our thoughts and prayers go out to their family,” the chief said. 

Plush’s friends, classmates and teachers are reeling from the death of the boy that his elementary school principal described as “creative, vibrant and kind.” Patty Normille, head of Mercy Montessori, hosted a community prayer gathering for the teen Thursday night. 

WCPO reported that Normille described the boy as a “small guy with a big personality.” Despite his spinal problems, which limited his mobility, Plush loved sports and was on the school’s swim team. 

At his first swim meet, the other children were hesitant to enter the cold water, but Plush dove in, she said. 

He took that spirit with him to Seven Hills, where his sport was tennis. The mother of a friend of his wrote on Facebook that the match he failed to show up for was to be his first.

Jackie Taggart-Boyd said her son, Spencer, described his friend as the “most positive person he ever met.”

“I can tell you that Spencer spoke of Kyle often,” Taggart-Boyd wrote. “I only met him a couple of times, but every time Spencer told me a Kyle story, he ended it with, ‘I LOVE Kyle!’”

A Seven Hills School spokesperson said in a statement that Plush started attending the school in the sixth grade. 

“He was a young man of keen intelligence, good humor and great courage, and this whole community feels this loss very deeply,” the statement read. 

Counselors were on hand at the school to help students, faculty and staff deal with their loss. 

Plush leaves behind his parents, younger sister and a host of other relatives. Mourners offered love and sympathy to his family in the guest book with his online obituary

“I knew Kyle as a small boy and remember his constant smile and his absolute zest for life,” Dori Dreisbach wrote. “He wore a back brace when I knew him, but that did not stop him from playing and exploring with all of the other children. May God bring you peace and may your precious memories of Kyle bring you some measure of comfort.”

Another woman, Olivia Canada, wrote that the teen always had a special place in her heart.

“I always loved our chats at NatureCamp at Stanbery Park,” Canada wrote. “No camper could ever love nature and the outdoors as Kyle did.”

Condolences also poured in from strangers. Maureen Tyrrell wrote that she had never left a condolence message to someone she didn’t know before, but that the teen’s story touched her heart.

“I am a stranger, but please know that my heart is full of sadness to hear about the loss of your beautiful son,” Tyrrell wrote. “It sounds like he was a bright light in this world and touched many with his kindness, a rarity among 16year-olds. I am sure you will honor his memory by carrying his goodness, compassion and love for life throughout the rest of your lives.”

Plush’s visitation will be held Sunday afternoon at T.P. White & Sons Funeral Home in Cincinnati, with his funeral scheduled for Monday morning at St. Rose Church, the obituary said

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