Where is Gabby Petito? The search is underway for a missing woman after her fiancé returned home from a cross-country road trip without her. Accused of trying to fake his own death, Alex Murdaugh has surrendered to police. And what is a "devious lick," and why are TikTokers doing it?
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Fiancé now 'person of interest' in Florida woman's disappearance
Two people left on a cross-country road trip. Only one of them returned. Now, agencies from several states and the FBI are searching for 22-year-old Gabrielle "Gabby" Petito – and have identified her fiancé as a person of interest after he returned from the trip without her. Petito was reported missing Saturday by her family in New York. The case has gained widespread attention, with media coverage from as far as the United Kingdom, as viewers of Petito's YouTube channel speculate on her partner's involvement in her disappearance. During a news conference Wednesday, North Port Police officials said that Petito's fiancé, 23-year-old Brian Laundrie, drove Petito's van from an unknown location back to North Port, Florida, on Sept. 1 — 10 days before her family reported her missing. Laundrie was home at the time the van was seized but refused to speak with authorities about Petito's disappearance. Instead, he hired a lawyer. According to Petito's family, they were last in contact with her during the final week of August. The FBI has set up a national hotline to receive tips at 1-800-CALLFBI (225-5324).
Family 'holding out hope' for woman who was on cross-country trip.
Alex Murdaugh turns himself in amid botched murder, insurance fraud plot
A prominent South Carolina attorney who is accused of trying to fake his own death in a life insurance scheme turned himself in to police on Thursday. Alex Murdaugh was charged with insurance fraud, conspiracy to commit insurance fraud and filing a false police report in connection with a botched scheme to arrange his murder in order for his $10 million life insurance policy to be paid out to his son, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division said. Meanwhile, multiple death investigations, including those of his wife and youngest son, are swirling around the case. Most recently, officials announced it was opening an investigation in the death of a former housekeeper who died at Murdaugh's home in 2018 and whose family is now suing.
2018 death of South Carolina housekeeper sparks investigation.
What to know: Murders, money and mystery swirl around Murdaugh family.
What everyone's talking about
Unvaccinated TikTokers are calling themselves 'pureblood' in dark trend.
A Florida animal shelter went up in flames, killing at least 20 cats.
Former senator put up Biden 'Making the Taliban Great Again' billboards.
Mayim Bialik, Ken Jennings to host 'Jeopardy!' for rest of 2021.
'America's Got Talent' star-studded finale: And the winner is...
Derek Chauvin pleaded not guilty to civil rights violation against boy.
Death in Grand Canyon: Search for missing man leads to another body.
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Police department in Elijah McClain's death found to be racially biased
A civil rights investigation sparked by Elijah McClain's death has found a pattern of racially biased policing and use of excessive force within the Aurora Police Department, Colorado’s attorney general announced Wednesday. The investigation into Aurora police and fire departments determined they violated state and federal law through racially biased policing, use of excessive force, failing to record community interactions and unlawfully administering ketamine. Announced in August 2020 after multiple police misconduct reports, the investigation was prompted partially by the in-custody death of Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old Black man who was walking home from a store. Earlier this month, five police officers and medics were indicted by a Colorado grand jury in his death. Read more details from the report here.
Aurora police, medics indicted in 2019 death of Elijah McClain.
Elijah McClain was injected with ketamine during arrest. Is that legal?
FDA committee to make a decision on COVID-19 booster shots
A Food and Drug Administration advisory committee is getting ready to decide whether third shots of COVID-19 vaccines are safe and protective against infections. At root is whether the extra shots are "luxuries" or an essential part of providing complete protection against the virus, presidential adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci said. He and other federal officials, including President Joe Biden, say it's time to offer third shots to compensate for what appears to be fading protection. Others, particularly the director general of the World Health Organization, argue that Americans would benefit far more by getting initial shots to the unvaccinated around the world. The FDA committee will consider information from Pfizer and BioNTech in deciding whether to allow the companies to provide third vaccine doses to people 16 and older. And even if they do decide that third doses are safe and effective, it will be up to the CDC and its own advisory committee – scheduled to meet Wednesday and Thursday – to decide who should receive the boosters and on what schedule.
👉 COVID-19 news: Florida's county-level COVID death data public for first time in months; Pfizer CEO urges FDA to approve booster dose: Catch up on the latest.
Feds: Female genital mutilation case involved secret physician network.
France calls killing of Islamic State leader via drone strike a big victory.
Arizona audit: Senate president asks Cyber Ninjas to hand over records.
Florida deputy fired after George Floyd-related comments to inmate.
Sexual assault allegations continue to plague Massage Envy.
Beware of 'devious licks'
Some kids on TikTok are up to some seriously shady back-to-school shenanigans. As if the beginning of this school year didn't already have enough angst with the fight over mask mandates amid COVID-19 outbreaks, now, there's a crazy trend being fueled by and apparently chronicled on TikTok: stealing school supplies – everything from soap dispensers and toilets to computers and film projectors and other school equipment. Restrooms are primary targets for disciples of this "devious licks" craze as mirrors, sinks, urinals, ceiling tiles and toilet stall doors and dividers are among prizes being stolen and shown in videos on TikTok. Since the "devious licks" trend got its start this month, student TikTokers began posting videos of their heists, with the hashtag #deviouslick having gotten more than 175 million views. That hashtag is no longer found in searches on TikTok, which said it was "removing this content and redirecting hashtags and search results to our Community Guidelines to discourage such behavior."
A break from the news
👟 Step it up! How many steps should you be taking every day?
💞 Is my relationship normal? Some common problems couples face.
🩺 Vegan birth control: What is it and does it work?
📲 iPhone 13: Should you upgrade your iPhone or wait?
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Gabrielle Petito missing, Alex Murdaugh arrest, Elijah McClain, COVID-19 vaccine booster shots, 'devious licks' on TikTok. Thursday's news.