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ABC News(LOS ANGELES) -- Former University of Southern California gynecologist George Tyndall was arrested on Wednesday in the wake of allegations levied by hundreds of former students who claimed he sexually assaulted them under the guise of medical care.

Tyndall, who has been accused of molesting more than 400 female patients over his decades-long career at the university, was arrested at his California apartment on felony sexual assault charges Wednesday morning, authorities said.

The former campus doctor was charged with 18 counts of sexual penetration and 11 counts of sexual battery by fraud for “sexually assaulting 16 young women over the course of seven years while he worked as a gynecologist at the University of Southern California,” the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office said in a statement Wednesday.

“Tyndall is accused of sexually assaulting 16 female students at a campus health center. The victims, who range in age from 17 to 29, went to the facility for annual exams or for other treatment,” prosecutors said in a statement, adding the alleged incidents took place between 2009 and 2016.

Officers with the Los Angeles Police Department have previously said the scope of their investigation spans more than three decades.

Tyndall, 72, resigned from his position in 2017.

His arrest came in the wake of several lawsuits filed against both Tyndall and the university. One of the suits claimed USC ignored complaints that Tyndall allegedly made crude remarks, took inappropriate photographs and groped patients to "satisfy his own prurient desires."

A federal judge recently granted preliminary approval to a $215 million class-action settlement for former patients, according to university, which has agreed to pay the women. Under the terms of the settlement, approximately 17,000 students who received women’s health services during Tyndall's tenure would each be eligible to receive between $2,500 and $250,000. The amount would depend on the severity of the alleged misconduct and the women’s willingness to offer written statements "detailing their experience of Dr. Tyndall’s conduct, the personal impact, and any injury they wish to be considered," the university said.

Former University of Southern California President Max Nikias stepped down last summer amid criticism over how he handled the accusations against Tyndall.

USC Interim President Wanda Austin said she hopes Tyndall's arrest helps to bring together the campus community.

“We care deeply about our community and our top priority continues to be the wellbeing of our students, health center patients and university community,” Austin said in a statement. “We hope this arrest will be a healing step for former patients and our entire university.”

Tyndall could face as many as 53 years in state prison if convicted as charged. Prosecutors recommended that bail be set at more than $2 million.

Tyndalls' attorneys, Leonard Levine and Andrew Flier, said he denies the allegations.

“After a year of being tried in the press, Dr. Tyndall looks forward to having his case adjudicated in a court of law where the truth will finally prevail,” they said in a statement. “He remains adamant he will then be totally exonerated.”

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iStock(CAMDEN, N.J.) -- A 27-year-old woman is in custody in New Jersey after she allegedly stabbed her identical twin to death, prosecutors said.

Amanda Ramirez was charged with first-degree aggravated manslaughter in the slaying of Anna Ramirez, who was found lying on the ground, stabbed in the chest, outside the Centennial Village apartment complex in Camden, according to a criminal complaint.

Responding officers Saturday morning found Amanda Ramirez, who appeared to have blood on her clothing, outside her Centennial Village home, according to the probable cause statement.

Officers also spotted several bloody footprints leading from the victim's body to the doorstep of Centennial Village, according to the probable cause statement.

Investigating detectives concluded that Amanda Ramirez's story was evolving over time.

She allegedly first told officers she had picked up a "disheveled" Anna Ramirez, and when they got home, her sister collapsed and was bleeding.

Amanda Ramirez allegedly admitted to officers that she got in an argument with her sister.

Amanda Ramirez then allegedly told detectives that she, her sister and a friend were hanging out and drinking at her cousin's home in Camden late Friday night and early Saturday morning when Anna Ramirez left in a taxi to go to Centennial Village, the documents said.

Amanda Ramirez said about 45 minutes later, she and her friend drove to Centennial Village and found her sister sitting on the porch of the home appearing ill, the documents said.

Amanda Ramirez allegedly claimed her twin said she was going to get a cigarette, and when Anna Ramirez stood up and started walking, she collapsed to the ground, according to the probable cause statement.

"Amanda Ramirez made no mention of the argument with her sister that she had previously brought up when speaking with officers," the probable cause statement asserts. "Amanda Ramirez claimed that she noticed her sister was bleeding from her chest and she asked the friend to call 911."

Detectives noticed fresh scratches on Amanda Ramirez's face and head, dried blood in her left ear and lacerations on a finger, according to the probable cause statement. She told detectives she got those injures in a fight about one week earlier, documents said.

In what is alleged to be her third account of events, Amanda Ramirez admitted that she, her sister and the friend went together from the cousin's apartment to her apartment early Saturday morning, according to the probable cause statement.

They were outside the apartment, she said, when Anna Ramirez started a fight, hitting her in the face, the document said. Amanda Ramirez claimed she and her twin "exchanged multiple blows" before Amanda Ramirez ended up on her knees, the document said.

She said Anna Ramirez went into the home and came back with a knife; Amanda Ramirez claimed she fought her twin for control of the knife and "ultimately stabbed her sister in the chest," according to the probable cause statement.

Amanda Ramirez was taken to the Camden County Correctional Facility, according to the Camden County Prosecutor's Office. She has a detention hearing scheduled for Thursday, prosecutors said. Attorney information wasn't immediately available.

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New Canaan Police Department(NEW YORK) -- The defense attorney for the estranged husband of a missing Connecticut mother of five is considering a "revenge suicide hypothesis as an explanation for her disappearance," he told reporters on Wednesday.

Jennifer Dulos vanished on May 24 amid the couple's contentious custody battle over their five children.

Investigators believe she suffered a "serious physical assault" in the garage at her New Canaan home, where bloodstains were found, according to arrest warrants.

Clothes and sponges with her blood were found in trash cans where surveillance cameras captured a man appearing to be her husband, Fotis Dulos, disposing of garbage bags, according to the documents. A woman in the man's car fit the appearance of his live-in girlfriend, Michelle Troconis, according to the documents.

Fotis Dulos and Troconis are charged with tampering with or fabricating physical evidence and hindering prosecution. Both have pleaded not guilty.

Fotis Dulos told reporters Wednesday that he's thinking about his children.

"I just want to tell my children that they're constantly on my mind and that I love them and I miss them very much," he said after the court appearance.

The five kids are in the custody of Jennifer Dulos' mother.

Fotis Dulos' lawyer, Norm Pattis, said Wednesday he's "actively contemplating a revenge suicide hypothesis as an explanation for her disappearance."

"We will not comment further on our investigative activities," he added.

Carrie Luft, a spokeswoman for Jennifer Dulos' family, did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment on Wednesday.

Earlier this week, however, she said Jennifer Dulos was stable, responsible and reliable.

The beloved mom is "not a woman that would ever, ever leave her children," Luft told ABC News.

When asked if police are considering a "revenge suicide hypothesis," New Canaan Police Chief Leon Krolikowski didn't directly address the question, instead telling ABC News via email Wednesday, "Our multijurisdictional law enforcement team is committed to (1) Finding Jennifer and (2) Bringing those responsible for Jennifer's disappearance to justice. We will not rest until we find Jennifer."

Pattis told ABC News earlier this week that he was "investigating the possibility that this is a 'Gone Girl'-type case and considering the possibility that no third party was involved in foul play."

In the "Gone Girl" book-turned-film, a wife fakes her own disappearance, framing her husband.

Luft called the defense's "Gone Girl" theory a "smokescreen."

"I think that drawing any comparison to a work of fiction does an incredible disservice to the family," Luft told ABC News. "This is not a film, this is not a novel, this is our real life."

"This is about someone who is missing following a violent attack and people are doing everything they can to solve the mystery," she said.

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Scott Olson/Getty Images(FAIRFAX, Va.) -- A high-ranking leader of the NRA has resigned amid growing turmoil in the gun group.

Chris Cox has stepped down from his post as the NRA’s chief lobbyist and principal political strategist for the Institute for Legislative Action -- the lobbying arm for the NRA, according to Andrew Arulanandum, the NRA’s managing director for public affairs.

Neither the NRA nor Cox has released a statement about his resignation or confirmed any details as to what prompted the move.

ABC News was not able to immediately reach Cox.

Cox’s resignation comes days after The New York Times reported he had been put on administrative leave. In the article, Cox denied that he was pushing for an internal coup to oust NRA Executive Vice President and CEO Wayne LaPierre.

In a statement to the newspaper, Cox called the allegations "offensive and patently false."

"For over 24 years, I have been a loyal and effective leader in this organization," he said in the statement, according to the paper. "My efforts have always been focused on serving the members of the National Rifle Association, and I will continue to focus all of my energy on carrying out our core mission of defending the Second Amendment."

Cox is one of the public faces of the NRA. He was the one who announced the NRA's endorsement of then-candidate Donald Trump during the 2016 election.

The group has been under both internal and external scrutiny of late, amid reports of alleged financial mismanagement. Its former president, Oliver North, resigned in April, and the fallout has continued in connection to ongoing lawsuits.

Beyond the internal politics of the organization's hierarchy, it also announced Tuesday that it will be stopping production of NRA-TV.

"After careful consideration, I am announcing that starting today, we are undergoing a significant change in our communications strategy. We are no longer airing 'live TV' programming. Whether and when we return to 'live' programming is a subject of ongoing analysis," LaPierre said in a statement posted to the NRA website.

"What necessitated the change now is our conclusion that our longtime advertising firm and website vendor failed to deliver upon many contractual obligations it made to our association," the statement reads.

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Forsyth County Sheriff's Office(ATLANTA) -- A Georgia family and local sheriff's deputy are opening up about the "emotional" moment they rescued an unidentified baby girl who was abandoned in a plastic shopping bag.

The baby, temporarily named India, was found in good condition in a somewhat isolated, wooded area of Forsyth County on the night of June 6, according to the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office.

Her umbilical cord was still attached. Authorities believe she was born within hours of being found.

"When we were able to pick her up, wrap her up, get her a little warm, I was able to talk to her a little bit," Forsyth Sheriff's Deputy Terry Roper, who was the first to the scene, told Good Morning America on Wednesday.

"I wanted to give her comfort," he said. "A little bit later I realized it was the first time she had felt love, and I felt honored to be able to give her that."

India had no significant injuries, Forsyth County Sheriff Ron Freeman said, calling it "a miracle."

The sheriff's office said Wednesday that she's "thriving and is in the care of the Georgia Department of Family and Children Services."

It was a 911 call was made by a local family that led to India's rescue.

The Ragatz sisters were unloading a trailer outside their house when Kyler Ragatz said she heard what she thought was a cat.

Her sister, Kayla Ragatz, said, "It sounded like a baby, but you never would think that it's a baby."

The sisters decided to grab flashlights and check the sound out with their parents.

"She was in the plastic bag tied up, but her arm had come out of the bag," Kayla Ragatz told GMA.

Kyler Ragatz said she "started balling ... it was just so emotional."

"I was angry, scared, sad," she added.

Freeman called the family "the heroes in this."

"To hear a noise that is a considerable distance from their home, that this baby can cry this loud while being tied up in a plastic bag ... to think they actually went and took the time to go investigate this," Freeman told GMA on Wednesday. "Without them, this is an entirely different and much more tragic story."

But the sheriff said he still needs to know who left the baby and why.

"Whoever left this child there did not leave this child with the intent of it being found," Freeman said. "We need the public's help ... somebody knows something about Baby India."

The sheriff's office on Tuesday released some body camera footage from the scene in the hopes of getting information on India's identity.

In the video, the crying baby is heard as responders rush to help. The deputies take her out of the plastic bag and scoop her up into a makeshift blanket as little India wraps her hand around an officer's finger.

Anyone with information about Baby India's identity is asked to call the tip line at 770-888-7308.

Georgia's Safe Haven Law allows a mother up to 30 days after birth to leave a baby with an individual at a hospital, a fire station, a police station or sheriff's station, the sheriff said.

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iStock(DENVER) -- A shortcut to the Denver International Airport turned into a "muddy mess" on Sunday for dozens of drivers who were following directions from Google Maps.

Connie Monsees of Highlands Ranch, Colorado, was on her way to pick up her husband when she hit a traffic jam on Pena Boulevard. She pulled out her phone and used the app to find an alternate route that would get her to the airport in half the time, but didn't realize how off-road she would be.

"It eventually took me to a road that ... became dirt," Monsees said on ABC News' Start Here podcast. "I was not the only one. There was probably a hundred cars out there."

The route was "a muddy mess of a field," she said, because it had been raining all weekend, and cars were getting stuck in ditches slick from Colorado's clay soil.

As Monsees bypassed some of the really slippery spots with her all-wheel drive, other people started asking her for a lift.

"This man walked by my car and said, 'Are you going to the airport?' And I said, 'I am,'" she recounted to the podcast. "He got in the car with me because the car he was in was not going to make it."

After picking up an Uber passenger who was also hoping to catch a flight, Monsees eventually emerged from the mud and got back on pavement. "We made it out and they both made their flights. It was just incredible though."

Although the ride took her 3 1/2 hours, when normally she said it would take about 1 1/2 hours round-trip, Monsees doesn't blame Google, "They, as far as they knew, they took us to a good spot. But I think, as a society, we … are too wrapped up in trying to just do things quick."

"We take many factors into account when determining driving routes, including the size of the road and the directness of the route," a Google spokesperson said in a statement to ABC News. "While we always work to provide the best directions, issues can arise due to unforeseen circumstances such as weather. We encourage all drivers to follow local laws, stay attentive, and use their best judgment while driving."

This story is featured in Wednesday's edition of ABC News' Start Here podcast.

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amphotora/iStock(AVON, Ill.) -- A sheriff's deputy was shot and killed in Illinois on Tuesday evening -- the fifth law enforcement officer shot and killed in just eight days across the country.

Troy Chisum, 39, was shot at about 2 p.m. in Avon, Illinois, about an hour west of Peoria, while responding to a battery and domestic disturbance call, according to the Fulton County Sheriff's Office.

Chisum had worked for the Fulton County Sheriff's Office for 4 1/2 years and was also a paramedic with Fulton County EMA.

"On behalf of the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, I would like to extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Deputy Chisum," Sheriff Jeff Standard said in a statement. "Deputy Chisum dedicated his life to the service of his community. His legacy and sacrifice will forever be remembered."

The suspect barricaded himself in a home for hours after the shooting. Police said late Tuesday the situation was still ongoing. The incident took place in an extremely rural area.

The Indiana State Police and Avon Police Department also responded to the shooting.

Hundreds of officers saluted as Chisum's body was driven to OSF Healthcare Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria Tuesday.

Chisum is the fifth officer shot and killed in the line of duty in just over a week across the U.S.

Officer John David Hetland, of the Racine, Wisconsin, Police Department, was shot and killed on June 17 while he was off-duty, but sprang into action when he saw a man robbing a bar. The 24-year veteran was shot and killed, while the suspect managed to escape.

Tara O'Sullivan, a Sacramento Police Department officer, was gunned down while responding to a domestic violence situation on June 19. The 26-year-old had been a part of the force for just six months.

Cpl. Jose Espericueta of the Mission, Texas, Police Department was shot and killed on Thursday, authorities said. The 13-year veteran, nicknamed "Speedy," was married with two children. He was killed after a woman waved him down and said her son was shooting at her car. He then opened fire on Espericueta as he fled the scene, according to police.

Michael Langsdorf from the North County Police Cooperative was killed "execution"-style in Wellston, Missouri, on Sunday. The 40-year-old was shot in the back of the neck while lying face down on the ground after struggling with a man who had allegedly tried to cash a bad check at a grocery store.

Chisum is the 26th police officer fatally shot in 2019, and the fifth killed in June -- tied for the most of any month this year.

Five officers were also fatally shot in January, February and May.

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FBI(NEW YORK) -- Decades after a 14-year-old girl boarded a New Jersey bus to head to a babysitting job and vanished, the FBI is releasing a clip of a ransom call in the case, hoping it may lead to answers.

Margaret Ellen Fox was last seen about 8:40 a.m. on June 24, 1974, getting on a bus in Burlington City to go to Mount Holly, according to the FBI.

On Monday -- the 45th anniversary of her disappearance -- the FBI released an audio clip from a phone call made in the hours after Margaret was reported missing by a man who claimed he had the teen and demanded money.

"$10,000 might be a lot of bread, but your daughter's life is the buttered topping," the mysterious caller said.

Margaret was heading to an interview with a man who went by "John Marshall" for a babysitting job for his young son, the FBI said. The two connected through a newspaper add, the FBI said.

The prospective employer had called the 14-year-old from a phone booth at a Lumberton, New Jersey, supermarket and told her he'd pick her up at a corner in Mount Holly, the FBI said. Witnesses reported seeing a girl matching her description getting off a bus there that day, the FBI said.

The FBI also on Monday announced a reward up to $25,000 for information leading to an arrest.
"The disappearance of Margaret Fox has haunted this community for decades," Burlington City Police Chief John Fine said in a statement. "I want to bring closure to this case and bring home an answer to the Fox family and community."

Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina added in a statement: "If someone out there possesses information that could assist the investigators working to solve this mystery, I urge you to come forward."

An FBI spokeswoman said the audio is being released after all these years because advancements in technology made it possible to enhance the quality and make it clearer.

Margaret is described as having brown hair and blue eyes. She was a wearing a light blue, long-sleeved, floral shirt, maroon, flared jeans with a yellow patch on one knee, brown sandals with a heel strap, a gold necklace with flowers and a blue stone and a gold charm bracelet with a round blue stone.

She was carrying a brown bag and and a glasses case with the Huckleberry Hound design.

Anyone with information is urged to call the FBI Newark Field Office at (973) 792-3000 or Burlington City Police Department at (609) 386-0262.

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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- More than 120 damaging storms were reported from Montana all the way to Florida on Tuesday, a barrage that included 70 mph winds from Texas to Illinois, golf ball-sized hail in Nebraska and up to half a foot of rain in parts of southern Iowa.

In parts of southern Texas that saw a foot of rain overnight on Monday, there were disaster declarations on Tuesday as authorities rushed to provide flood relief.

Storms are expected to continue on Wednesday as a new system makes its way out of the West. Severe storms could stretch from Washington state to Illinois.

Damaging winds, hail and a few tornadoes are likely to be the biggest threats.

Although many northern U.S. cities have had a pretty mild spring and early summer -- cities including Denver, Chicago and New York have yet to hit 90 degrees -- that may soon change.

A full-blown heat wave -- meaning at least three days with 90-degree highs -- is now expected in Philadelphia and Washington as things head up along the East Coast.

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kali9/iStock(MORGAN HILL, Calif.) -- Three people, including the suspected gunman, died at a Ford dealership in Northern California on Tuesday night, police said.

Authorities responded to the Morgan Hill Ford Dealership just after 6 p.m. and found two employees with gunshot wounds, according to a statement from the Morgan Hill Police Department.

Both men later died on scene. The suspect was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot, police said.

Sgt. Bill Norman, a supervisor for the investigation team, said there were no other suspects and that the scene had been secured.

The suspect's motive is not yet known.

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BlakeDavidTaylor/iStock(LOS ANGELES) -- A 45-year-old woman has been arrested in California after one of her twin sons shot and killed the other as they played around with a handgun.

Gabriela Keeton was being held on suspicion of felony child endangerment, ABC Los Angeles station KABC-TV reported on Tuesday.

Police said Keeton's 12-year-old boys, home alone, somehow gained access to an "unsecured firearm," loaded it and one accidentally shot the other. The gunshot victim died after arriving at a local hospital Monday night.

"It turns out that the weapon was possibly unsecured within the residence, and the juvenile was able to retrieve the weapon, was playing with it in the residence, and pointed it at the victim and accidentally fired a round," Sgt. John Echevarria of the San Bernardino Police Department told KABC.

The boys' father was hospitalized for an unrelated issue at the time of the incident.

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Salt Lake City Police(SALT LAKE CITY) -- Police on Tuesday released the last known photos of missing University of Utah student Mackenzie Lueck, who disappeared shortly after she was snapped by security cameras deplaning at the Salt Lake City International Airport.

Lueck, 23, left the plane at 2:09 a.m. on June 17, and didn't appear to talk to anyone at the airport, police said.

At 2:40 a.m. she took a Lyft from Salt Lake City's airport to Hatch Park in north Salt Lake City, police said.

The Lyft driver told police that an individual met Lueck at the park and the 23-year-old did not appear to be in distress, Salt Lake City Police assistant chief Tim Doubt said.

The college senior hasn't been seen since. There's no evidence of foul play, Doubt said, but police are concerned.

"She isn't somebody that would go off the grid and would disappear," her friend, Juliana Cauley, told ABC News' Good Morning America.

Police are desperate to find the individual she met at the park and want that person to call police, Doubt said.

"We cannot confirm the make and model of the vehicle that picked up Lueck or the description of the person at Hatch park," Doubt said at a news conference Tuesday.

The description of that person is vague and could be man or woman, Doubt said.

To concerned friends like Cauley, it was odd that Lueck didn't go straight home from the airport.

"She has this cat, cute little black cat named Nova. She came back and didn't even go by to see Nova, and that's strange," Cauley said. "That cat's her best friend."

Lyft officials and the driver have spoken to police and have cooperated with the investigation, authorities said.

Lueck, from Southern California, had gone home for her grandmother's funeral, and when she landed in Salt Lake City early that morning, she texted her mother to say she had arrived safely, ABC Los Angeles station KABC-TV reported.

The college senior has missed a midterm exam since she vanished, Doubt said.

To Cauley, that shows "there's something wrong. Because she's never been one to ditch her priorities even when she's been going through tough times."

Lueck was scheduled to fly back to California on Sunday, June 23, but wasn't on the flight, Doubt said.

"I feel very concerned and very worried," her friend Kennedy Stoner told GMA. "It's out of character for Kenzie to go just off the grid like this. She is very close with her family."

"I would just want anyone to come forward with any information no matter how small it is," Stoner said. "We need to find Kenzie. I'm praying everyday that she's safe."

Doubt asked the public to come forward if they know if the college student has an alternate phone, hidden social media contacts or may be in contact with someone online.

Officials at the University of Utah said they're "deeply concerned about the well-being of Mackenzie 'Kenzie' Lueck and her family."

"The university's dean of students has spoken with Mackenzie’s family to offer support and to express the campus community’s shared hope for her safe return," university offiicals said in a statement said. "The dean’s office is also talking with and providing support to Mackenzie’s classmates."

Cauley read a statement on behalf of the family at Tuesday's news conference, urging anyone with information to call the tip line at 801-799-4420.

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Seneca Police Department(SENECA, S.C.) -- Authorities in South Carolina are seeking to identify a woman whose remains they are finding piece by piece, according to officials.

The first set of remains, a right pelvic bone and a right femur, were found on June 17 after a dog discovered them and brought them to a home on Asbury Drive in Seneca, Oconee County Coroner Karl Addis told ABC News via email. Two days later, additional remains were discovered in a creek close to the home, according to a press release from the coroner's office.

On Monday, a head and upper torso were found after a team of 35 searchers combed through another tributary creek off Beech Drive in Seneca, according to a press release from the Seneca Police Department. The remains are in an advanced state of decomposition and are presumed to be associated with the body parts that were found last week, Addis said.

Authorities believe the remains belong to a white woman about 5-foot-1 to 5-foot-7 in height and who was about 25 to 45 years old when she died, according to the coroner's office.

The woman likely died between a few months to a year ago, Addis said.

An autopsy will be conducted on Thursday, and DNA will be collected and compared to any known missing persons from Oconee County, according to the coroner's office.

Authorities are asking residents who live nearby to report anything suspicious they have seen or observed.

Additional information was not immediately available, authorities said.

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Santa Barbara County Sheriffs Office(SANTA BARBARA, Calif.) -- Around 350,000 plants and 20 tons of processed cannabis have been seized by a sheriff in California.

The bust was so massive, it took authorities four days to complete, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office, which directed the Cannabis Compliance Team to conduct the seizure earlier this month.

Complaints from the public, as well as tips provided to the sheriff’s office, prompted a two-month investigation into the cultivation site that lead to the bust, according to authorities.

Four search warrants were obtained for an agricultural property located northwest of Santa Barbara, where officials found cannabis growing on 40 acres, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office.

It took a 35-person team composed of detectives, investigators and wildlife officers to complete the operation, according to officials.

Authorities are now looking for the owner of the property, who has not yet been identified.

Officials are also looking into potential fraudulently obtained cannabis licenses, as well as possible illegal cannabis sales.

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Courtesy of Christine Cornell(CHICAGO) -- The killer of a young Chinese visiting scholar who was studying at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (U of I) can be heard chuckling in an audio recording obtained by ABC News after he says that he "hit her with a baseball bat" and decapitated her.

Brendt Christensen, a now-30-year-old former teaching assistant at the university, described to an FBI informant on secretly recorded audiotape how he kidnapped and killed Yingying Zhang shortly after picking her up on June 9, 2017.

Zhang, a 26-year-old Chinese visiting scholar and agriculture researcher at U of I, was last seen on video entering a black Saturn Astra on June 9, 2017. Although Christensen had pleaded not guilty, his own attorney admitted Christensen kidnapped and killed Zhang in his opening statement earlier this month. The defense added that it took issues with "the way the government says the events occurred."

Terra Bullis, Christensen’s girlfriend at the time, agreed to secretly record him for the FBI. Bullis recorded Christensen a total of nine times in June 2017. Christensen’s alleged confession took place while the two were attending a campus vigil for Zhang.

"Did she fight?" asked Bullis, who wore an undercover wire, in the recording.

"More than anyone else," replied Christensen.

In the recording, Christensen says Zhang was his 13th victim. "She was stronger than any victim I have ever had."

The audio recording took place on June 29, 2017, the day before Christensen was arrested.

In the recording, Christensen says Zhang was his 13th victim. "She was stronger than any victim I have ever had."

The audio recording took place on June 29, 2017, the day before Christensen was arrested

Christensen's lawyers argued that he was intoxicated when this conversation was recorded and that he exaggerated his claims. Bullis, who testified in court last week, told defense attorney Robert Tucker that although Christensen was drinking, he was not drunk.

On the recording, Christensen went on to describe to Bullis what he did to Zhang in detail. "I just cut her clothes off and just started doin' stuff to her," Christensen is heard saying.

Also in the recording, Christensen is heard describing Zhang's "valiant" efforts to fight back, saying it was "supernatural, almost, how [Zhang] just didn't give up."

Bullis told jurors that at the time Christensen seemed "boastful.”

After claiming he sexually assaulted her in his bedroom, Christensen is heard on the tape saying he was surprised she was "still alive." He tells Bullis that he eventually took her to the bathroom, attacked her with a baseball bat, and decapitated her.

"So I chopped her head off and said that was the end of it," Christensen said with laughter, which could be heard on the recording.

Bullis testified that Christensen said he "admired" serial killers like Ted Bundy.

"The last person I would ever consider at my level that actually did anything was Ted Bundy," Christensen is heard telling Bullis in the recording while commenting on the "legacy" he wishes to leave behind.

"Do you really think that you might be the next successful serial killer?" asked Bullis.

"I already am," replied Christensen. "I already am."

Prosecutors and investigators alike say they have not found any evidence linking Christensen to other crimes. In the audio, Christensen says Zhang’s case is the first to put him on investigators’ radar.

"Yingying is the only person that has produced evidence that leads back to me," Christensen is heard telling Bullis. "Number 13.”

When Bullis inquires about the whereabouts of Zhang's body in the recording, Christensen says he'll never tell.

He goes on to say Zhang's family will "leave empty handed."

Zhang’s father was present in court last week when this audio was played for the first time. He received a Chinese translation via a one-way headset. He kept his head down throughout the recording, but stared directly at Christensen upon its conclusion and held his gaze until the end of the day’s court proceedings.

Christensen was found guilty Monday on all counts: one count of kidnapping resulting in death and two counts of providing false statements to the FBI. It took the jury less than 90 minutes to reach a verdict. Christensen is expected to be sentenced in mid-July and could face the death penalty.

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