Friend offers bombshell testimony at fiancee murder trial

At the trial of a Colorado man accused of killing his fiancee, the defendant’s close friend took the stand on Friday, bringing bombshell testimony about alleged behavior before and after his fiancee vanished.

Prosecutors allege that Patrick Frazee attacked Kelsey Berreth with a baseball bat at her Woodland Park, Colorado, home on Thanksgiving Day 2018 while the couple’s 1-year-old daughter, Kaylee, sat in a playpen in a back room.

Prosecutors allege Frazee put Berreth’s body in a black plastic tote and burned it on his property.

The 29-year-old’s body hasn’t been found.

PHOTO: In this Dec. 13, 2018 file photo, a poster with the picture of missing Kelsey Berreth is propped up with candles for a vigil at Memorial Park in Woodland Park, Colo.
Kelsey Brunner/The Gazette via AP

In this Dec. 13, 2018 file photo, a poster with the picture of missing Kelsey Berreth is propped up with candles for a vigil at Memorial Park in Woodland Park, Colo.

When Frazee’s friend, Joe Moore, took the stand on Friday, Moore testified that Frazee was acting so odd in early 2018, months before Berreth’s alleged killing on Thanksgiving, that he started taking notes.

Moore testified that on April 26, 2018, he asked Frazee about Berreth, and Frazee replied, “I’ve figured out a way to kill her,” adding, if there’s “no body,” there’s “no crime.”

Frazee’s ex-girlfriend has testified that Frazee had several prior plots to kill his fiancee, including asking the ex-girlfriend to poison Berreth’s favorite Starbucks drink.

PHOTO: Patrick Frazee is seen heading into court.
ABC News

Patrick Frazee is seen heading into court.

After Berreth had vanished, Moore testified that Frazee claimed: “Why are they even investigating this? If there’s no body, there’s no crime. Why are they even after me?”

On Dec. 20, weeks into national news coverage of the missing young mom, Moore testified that Frazee said he did not understand why Berreth’s case was getting so much attention since people go missing every day.

Moore told the jury that Frazee had said: “If I had known it was gonna be this big I never would have…”. According to Moore, Frazee then stopped talking.

PHOTO: This undated booking photo provided by the Teller County Sheriffs office shows Patrick Frazee.
Teller County Sheriffs Office via AP

This undated booking photo provided by the Teller County Sheriff’s office shows Patrick Frazee.

Moore, overcome with emotion, said on the stand, “You don’t want to picture somebody you’ve known for so long and have trusted… you don’t want to think he could do something like this.”

Frazee was arrested in December and charged with first-degree murder. His trial began last week.

Frazee’s ex-girlfriend, Krystal Kenney Lee, testified Thursday that Frazee called her to come to Berreth’s house where she cleaned up the bloody scene.

She said she “saw blood all over the floor and blood all over the wall. … There was blood on the front of the stove and the dishwasher, and on the floor there were bloody footprints.”

Lee, who has admitted to disposing of Berreth’s phone, has pleaded guilty to tampering with physical evidence. She is awaiting sentencing once Frazee’s case concludes.

PHOTO: This undated file booking photo provided by the Colorado Springs Police Department shows Krystal Jean Lee Kenney, who pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence in the disappearance of Kelsey Berreth.
Colorado Springs Police Department via AP

This undated file booking photo provided by the Colorado Springs Police Department shows Krystal Jean Lee Kenney, who pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence in the disappearance of Kelsey Berreth.

During cross-examination Thursday, public defender Adam Steigerwald recounted the three times that Lee came to Colorado at Frazee’s behest when the defendant allegedly wanted her help killing Berreth. The public defender pointed out that if Lee had been charged with attempted murder and if convicted, she could have faced decades in prison.

Instead, prosecutors allowed Lee to plead guilty to moving Berreth’s phone, and now her worst-case scenario is three years in prison, the defense stressed.

Lee began to cry on the stand as Steigerwald repeatedly got her to admit that, even though she drove from her Idaho home to Colorado multiple times when Frazee allegedly wanted her help killing Berreth, she never took her suspicions to Berreth’s family, her own family or police.

“You were looking at essentially the rest of your life in prison,” Steigerwald said. “Instead, the district attorney allows you to plead guilty to moving Kelsey Berreth’s cell phone.”

“Your worst-case scenario is three years in prison, correct?” Steigerwald asked. “You could get probation with no jail.”

“Yes,” said Lee, through tears.

The defense has also pointed out that the victim’s body and the murder weapon have never been found.

Plane crashes after pilot drops hundreds of gallons of pink water for gender reveal

A gender reveal is believed to have caused a recent airplane crash in Texas, according to a National Transportation Safety Board report.

The pilot of the aircraft dumped about 350 gallons of pink water from the plane for a gender reveal on Sept. 7 in the city of Turkey, the report stated.

However, the pilot then told investigators that the plane “got too slow” and stalled, prompting it to crash into the ground.

PHOTO: An airplane stalled after the pilot dumped 350 gallons of water of the plane, according a National Transportation Security Board accident report. There were only minor injuries.
NTSB via FAA

An airplane stalled after the pilot dumped 350 gallons of water of the plane, according a National Transportation Security Board accident report. There were only minor injuries.

The aircraft — an Air Tractor AT-602 — sustained damage to the fuselage (the main body of the plane), right wing, and empennage (the tail of the plane), according to the report.

The pilot said there had been no “preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.”

Two people were aboard the plane at the time. One sustained minor injuries and the other was unharmed, according to the report, which was released on Tuesday.

It is not the first gender reveal to go amiss.

In late October, a 56-year-old woman was killed after a homemade device that was meant to discharge colored powder instead exploded like a pipe bomb and struck the victim in her head, according to authorities.

Trump would love to accept Putin invite to Russia military parade

President Donald Trump said Friday that he would “love to go” to a Russian military parade that Western officials have avoided in recent years over Russia’s annexation of Crimea, after Russian President Vladimir Putin invited him earlier this year.

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Trump confirmed Putin had invited him to Russia’s annual Victory Day parade, which commemorates the end of World War II and is Russia’s biggest national holiday. Western leaders have skipped the May 9 parade — which features dozens of missiles and tanks rolling through Moscow’s Red Square — after Russia invaded Ukraine and annexed Crimea in 2014.

“I was invited, I am thinking about it,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Friday, after a reporter from a Russian state news agency, TASS, asked him about it. “That’s right in the middle of our campaign season, but I am thinking I would certainly think about it. President Putin invited me to the — it’s a very big deal, celebrating the end of the war, et cetera, et cetera. Very big deal.”

PHOTO: Russian T-14 Armata tanks parade through Red Square during the Victory Day military parade in Moscow, May 9, 2018.
AFP via Getty Images, FILE

Russian T-14 Armata tanks parade through Red Square during the Victory Day military parade in Moscow, May 9, 2018.

The Kremlin said in June that Putin had extended an invitation to Trump when they met on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan, that month, according to TASS. At the time, Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Trump had responded positively; a White House official said then that Trump “believes it’s important to commemorate the Allied troops who lost their lives in WWII” but that he had “not confirmed participation.”

On Friday, Trump suggested the 2020 election might influence his attendance.

“I appreciate the invitation,” Trump said. “It is right in the middle of political season, so I’ll see if I can do it. But I would love to go if I could.”

PHOTO: Former President George W. Bush, center, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, share a light moment as they sit with Laura Bush, right, and other heads of state during a military parade in Red Square in Moscow, May 9, 2005.
The White House via Getty Images, FILE

Former President George W. Bush, center, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, share a light moment as they sit with Laura Bush, right, and other heads of state during a military parade in Red Square in Moscow, May 9, 2005.

George W. Bush was the last U.S. president to attend the parade, in 2005, while President Bill Clinton attended 10 years before.

Trump has in the past expressed affection for displays of military might. He called a 2017 Bastille Day parade he attended in France “one of the greatest parades I’ve ever seen” and said it inspired him to hold his own militaristic celebration at the Lincoln Memorial for the Fourth of July this year.

PHOTO: President Donald Trump speaks to the news media before boarding Marine One to depart for travel to Georgia from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., Nov. 8, 2019.
Leah Millis/Reuters

President Donald Trump speaks to the news media before boarding Marine One to depart for travel to Georgia from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., Nov. 8, 2019.

As Trump contemplated going to a celebration of Russian military might, his top defense officials have for several years been warning of current threats and future challenges posed by Russia, among others.

“Russia’s foreign policy demonstrates a blatant disregard for state sovereignty,” Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said in Brussels last month. “In addition to their military incursions in Georgia and Ukraine, their use of cyber warfare and information operations continues to interfere with other states’ domestic affairs. In the case of both China and Russia, their malign behavior, combined with aggressive military modernization programs, puts the international security environment on a trajectory that should concern all free nations.”

Coast Guard suspends search for missing airman

The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended its search for the missing Air Force airman who fell from an aircraft over the Gulf of Mexico five days ago, officials said.

The search has now transitioned to a recovery effort and the U.S. Air Force is taking the lead, according to a statement from the Air Force on Friday.

PHOTO: Master Sgt. Marcus Hildebrand and Tech. Sgt. Patrick Englishby, 39th Rescue Squadron loadmasters, scan the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Kelly Goonan

Master Sgt. Marcus Hildebrand and Tech. Sgt. Patrick Englishby, 39th Rescue Squadron loadmasters, scan the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

“We would like to extend our gratitude to all of the federal, state and local units that have aided in the search for our Airman, especially the U.S. Coast Guard,” U.S. Air Force Col. Matt Allen, commander of the 24th Special Operations Wing, said. “We will continue our recovery effort as long as circumstances and resources allow to bring our Airman home.”

The Special Tactics airman fell from a C-130 aircraft on Tuesday over the Gulf of Mexico during a parachute training exercise. Officials have not yet released his identity, but will do so after the family has been notified.

PHOTO: Tech. Sgt. Brett Corriveau, 39th Rescue Squadron loadmaster, scans the waters of the Gulf of Mexico from the inside of an HC-130P/N Combat King aircraft for any sign of the missing Airman from the 24th Special Operations Wing.
U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Kelly Goonan

Tech. Sgt. Brett Corriveau, 39th Rescue Squadron loadmaster, scans the waters of the Gulf of Mexico from the inside of an HC-130P/N Combat King aircraft for any sign of the missing Airman from the 24th Special Operations Wing.

The Air Force is investigating the incident. It is still unclear what led to the fall and the Air Force did not respond to ABC News for further comment on Saturday.

Recovery teams are adjusting the search area as they move forward in their efforts, but no other details were provided.

Forever 21 employees organize in midst of restructuring

Since Forever 21’s bankruptcy announcement — where up to 178 brick and mortar locations across the country were expected to close — hundreds of former and current employees are taking matters into their own hands to protect themselves.

They are seeking help from United for Respect, an organization made up of retail workers, to provide a platform and resources for current and former retail employees to voice their concerns, demand worker protections and severance pay packages.

Following the organizations successful Toys “R” Us campaign, its employees received a $20 million financial assistant fund from the company’s former private equity owners. The big box toy store declared bankruptcy in 2018.

“When they (Toys “R” Us employees) found out stores were closing many of them found out from other sources, they were left in the dark they decided to come together and take local action that led to this fund,” said Esperanza Fonseca, national deputy organization director for United for Respect.

PHOTO: United for Respect action with Sears, Kmart and Toys R Us workers protest in New York City, January 2019.
Courtesy United for Respect

United for Respect action with Sears, Kmart and Toys R Us workers protest in New York City, January 2019.

Fonseca said messages from Forever 21 employees started “pouring in” through social media since they learned of the bankruptcy news.

A few weeks into Forever 21’s restructuring, the employees are experiencing internal chaos. “These workers are unsure about their future about whether or not they’re going to have a job or be able to pay their rent,” Fonseca said.

The first time April Jackson and her co-workers at a Skokie, Illinois, location heard the news that Forever 21 was filing for Chapter 11 was through the news.

Jackson, 31, said it came as a shock as they weren’t “getting any information from the company, zero.” The only hint Jackson and her team received that their location would close was a sudden halt of fall and winter items shipments, Jackson told ABC News.

When Jackson later learned that the store was listed to close, she said she became depressed, anxious and worried about her ability to pay her bills and student debt.

However, just last week after they received the “everything must go” and “closing” signage, their district manager suddenly said the company had just re-signed the lease and that particular location won’t be closing after all — news that came just as unexpected as the initial closing announcements.

Concerned over the uncertainty and the terms and conditions of the lease, Jackson said “A lot of things aren’t adding up. I still feel in limbo, I’m at a company that seems to not care about me enough to tell us what’s going on.”

Jackson, along with other retail workers from Payless, Kmart and Sears, sat down with Congressman Jesus Garcia (IL-04) of Illinois’s 4th congressional district to discuss worker protection legislation.

PHOTO: Congressman Jesus Garcia poses for a picture with United for Respect members, November 2019.
Courtesy The Office of Congressman Jesus Garcia

Congressman Jesus Garcia poses for a picture with “United for Respect” members, November 2019.

The number of major retailers declaring bankruptcy has been growing in recent years. In addition to shifts in consumer behavior, Congressman Garcia believes the record breaking store closures is largely due to the “impact of the negative roles of private equity in retail services area.”

As a member of the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services, Congressman Garcia has helped introduce two pieces of legislation — Reward Work Act, and Stop Wall Street Looting Act — which are both an effort to regulate private equity industry and give workers a voice at the table.

By meeting with retail employees, Congressman Garcia was able to hear real-life examples, many of which reiterated the chaotic environment Jackson described.

PHOTO: Congressman Jesus Garcia at the roundtable with retail workers, November 2019.
Courtesy The Office of Congressman Jesus Garcia

Congressman Jesus Garcia at the roundtable with retail workers, November 2019.

“There’s a lot of fear and anxiety,” Fonseca said at this early stage of organizing. United for Respect’s goal is to connect these employees with each other and draft their demands.

At the roundtable, Congressman Garcia talked about two Payless workers, who both worked for the company for over 20 years and were looking forward to retiring, but were given “crumbs from what was left from the bankruptcy.”

Another Forever 21 employee, Chris Angelo recounted a similar story where the store he was working as a visual merchandiser suddenly announced its closure and even shut down a few days earlier than expected. Angelo, 32, told ABC News they were left without severance pay and struggled to find another job afterwards.

Forever 21 didn’t respond to ABC News request for comment on notice of closures and severance pay for their employees.

Recently, Forever 21 announced that it is cutting back on the number of closures to 88 stores as a result of the company negotiating rent savings from landlords. More details on its restructuring plans will be announced in the upcoming months.

Until then, Jackson will keep sharing her experience, “If telling our stories is what I can do then I want to use my voice as a tool.”

Roommate among 2 suspects after police find body of missing student

An Atlanta college student missing for more than a week was found dead on Friday, and police have identified two suspects, officials said.

The body of Alexis Crawford, a 21-year-old senior at Clark Atlanta University, was discovered in a park in DeKalb County, Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields said at a press conference.

Crawford’s roommate, 21-year-old Jordyn Jones, is considered a suspect and led police to the body, Shields said. Jones initially told police that she had last seen Crawford on Oct. 30 at her off-campus apartment, according to a police report.

Jones’ boyfriend, Barron Brantley, 21, also is considered a suspect, Shields said.

PHOTO: Alexis Crawford, a 21-year-old senior at Clark Atlanta University, was last seen at her off-campus apartment on Oct. 30, 2019.
Atlanta Police Department

Alexis Crawford, a 21-year-old senior at Clark Atlanta University, was last seen at her off-campus apartment on Oct. 30, 2019.

Police are working to secure arrest warrants for both individuals.

“Jordyn had been Alexis’ friend and her roommate. … The case has come to one of the saddest conclusions possible and has been absolutely heartbreaking” Shields said.

Shields said a motive had not yet been clearly established. However, she noted that Crawford filed a police report on Oct. 27 in regard to Jones’ boyfriend, alleging unwanted kissing and touching by him.

Investigators released several photos of Alexis Crawford, showing her inside a business in Southwest Atlanta prior to her disappearance.
Atlanta Police Department

Investigators released several photos of Alexis Crawford, showing her inside a business in Southwest Atlanta prior to her disappearance.

Crawford was reported missing on Nov. 1 by her family after she didn’t show up for class or work, police said.

Crawford’s mother, Tammy Crawford, said she “seemed to be in good spirits and was laughing” during a FaceTime conversation with her and Alexis’ sister around 3:30 p.m. on the last day she was seen, according to a police report.

“I just want you to come home and be safe,” her younger sister, Alexandria Crawford, told reporters Monday. “I hope God is walking with you and please prevent any evil that comes her way — and we’re here for you.”

PHOTO: Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields announces that the remains of missing student Alexis Crawford had been found during a press conference in Atlanta, Nov. 8, 2019.
WSB

Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields announces that the remains of missing student Alexis Crawford had been found during a press conference in Atlanta, Nov. 8, 2019.

ABC News’ Karma Allen contributed to this report.

3 students allegedly plotted to attack their middle school: Officials

Three middle school students who allegedly planned to attack their middle school in upstate New York have been charged, officials said.

The alleged threat was at Albion Middle School in Albion, which is about 35 miles west of Rochester.

The threat was reported to a middle school staff member late Monday afternoon, according to Albion police.

Three students, who allegedly communicated through the messaging app Discord, had set a date to plan to kill or injure students with explosives and guns, police said.

Police described the threat as credible, but not imminent. Authorities did not disclose the date the students had allegedly set.

PHOTO: In this undated file photo, Albion Central School in Albion, New York is shown.
Google Maps Street View

In this undated file photo, Albion Central School in Albion, New York is shown.

The three students, all of whom are under 16 years old, are charged with second-degree conspiracy, police said. They were not identified because of their ages.

While there was no specific motive, the plot was initiated after one student was upset over being “shunned” by a classmate, said Joseph Cardone, the district attorney for Orleans County, where Albion is located.

No specific students were targeted, Cardone said.

Several “legally possessed” firearms have been seized, according to police.

The students involved “have been removed from school pending the completion of the investigation and disciplinary and other corrective action to ensure the safety of our students,” Michael Bonnewell, superintendent for the Albion Central School District, said in a letter sent Wednesday.

He described reports of middle school students sharing “inappropriate and threatening messages and images” through Discord.

Sean Li, director of Trust and Safety at Discord, said in a statement that the company wants it to be a “positive and safe place for all our users.”

“We have a zero-tolerance approach to harassment and illegal activity on our platform and take immediate action when we become aware of it,” Li said.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned that “any person posing a threat to our schools will face the harshest possible penalty under the law — whether or not they intend to actually execute that threat.”

“School and police officials across this state continue to be on high alert and I encourage anyone who notices any unusual or suspicious behavior to report it to school administrators and law enforcement right away,” Cuomo said in a statement on Friday.

Cold blast to bring single-digit wind chills for Midwest, Northeast

A significant blast of cold air by November standards is dominating the eastern half of the country on Saturday morning — but it is only a tease of the arctic blast of air coming next week.

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Temperatures feeling closer to December or January in the Northeast on Saturday morning with wind chills in the teens from New York City to Boston. Actual low temperatures will approach daily cold records. It feels like the teens Saturday morning in the Midwest, with Chicago seeing a wind chill of 12, and Detroit a wind chill of 16.

The cold reaches all the way into the Deep South, with wind chills in the 20s and 30s from Mississippi to South Carolina.

PHOTO: Wind chills are in the teens and 20s across the eastern U.S. on Saturday morning.
ABC News

Wind chills are in the teens and 20s across the eastern U.S. on Saturday morning.

By Tuesday, an arctic blast will overtake much of the central U.S. with widespread wind chills in the single digits. There will be little daytime recovery in temperature and therefore a large swath of the country, from Texas to New York, could see potential record-cold high temperatures during the daylight hours. Temperatures in this region will be nearly 30 degrees below average.

PHOTO: Wind chills on Tuesday will be even colder than they are over the weekend.
ABC News

Wind chills on Tuesday will be even colder than they are over the weekend.

Brutal cold will move into the Northeast on Wednesday. Wind chills will be in the single digits — more typical of January than November. On Nov. 1, less than two weeks ago, it was 71 degrees in New York City.

Snow will begin to develop in parts of Montana and the Dakotas on Sunday. Late Sunday and Monday, snow will move into the Central Plains and parts of the Midwest. In particular, parts of Interstate 80 could see snow overnight Sunday into early Monday. Chicago could see shovel-able snow as well.

Snow will like extend from as far south as Arkansas and to New York state by late Monday, with possible heavy snow in parts of Ohio and western Pennsylvania.

PHOTO: Snow will move into the central U.S. on Monday night.
ABC News

Snow will move into the central U.S. on Monday night.

As the frontal system clears the coast by Tuesday, rain will change to snow in parts of the Northeast and it appears that some of the big cities, from Washington, D.C., to New York and Boston, will have a chance at seeing some flakes.

Additionally, as cold air races over the warm Great Lakes, lake effect snow will ramp up while there could be significant lake effect snow next week as well.

PHOTO: Northern New York could see 6 inches of snow or more in the beginning of the week ahead.
ABC News

Northern New York could see 6 inches of snow or more in the beginning of the week ahead.

The results of this frontal system and the cold air quickly surging in will bring 1 to 3 inches of snow to Chicago, with pockets of 3 to 6 inches or greater across parts of Indiana, Michigan and Ohio through Monday. On Tuesday, there could be 6 inches of snow in parts of New York state, some of it lake effect-enhanced. Snow could pile up along the Canadian border and across Northern New York and Vermont.

Actress playing murderer in film charged in real life for killing uncle

An actress who plays a murderer in a low-budget horror film has been accused of shooting her uncle to death.

Aisling “Tucker” Moore-Reed was released on bail after she was arrested for allegedly shooting her uncle Shane Moore in Jackson City, Oregon.

Moore-Reed went on to audition for the leading role of “From the Dark” under the pseudonym “Wyn Reed.”

Moore-Reed, 30, landed the leading role as Valerie Faust in the “rural murder-thriller” about a tour guide’s last day at work in the isolated mountains where things go wrong. In the film Faust also shoots someone to death.

PHOTO: Aisling Tucker Moore Reed is seen on the set of From The Dark.
Siskiyou Productions

Aisling Tucker Moore Reed is seen on the set of “From The Dark.”

As the movie was filming from April 2018 to July 2018, the investigation into the 63-year-old man’s death continued. Moore-Reed’s defense team handed over her cellphone with a video she recorded of the encounter with Moore in order to provide evidence of self-defense, according to the Washington Post.

After the shooting, Moore-Reed hysterically cried, “I didn’t mean to shoot him in the chest,” according to a video originally posted by The Oregonian.

Moore-Reed’s mom, Kelly Moore, is a former California lawyer and also told The Washington Post her daughter acted in self-defense.

PHOTO: Aisling Tucker Moore Reed is seen on the set of From The Dark.
Siskiyou Productions

Aisling Tucker Moore Reed is seen on the set of “From The Dark.”

The Oregon-based production company, Siskiyou Productions, tells ABC News that they found out her real-life murder case on July 23, 2018 — the day after they wrapped on principal photography.

Because of the lack of the production company’s funds, Moore-Reed was not paid for her participation in the film and they did not conduct any background check on her.

The production company said they “believed her story and felt for her deeply” when they heard her self-defense claim. But, once they saw the cellphone footage that caused the charges to get upgraded to murder, the production company’s “perspectives changed.”

PHOTO: Aisling Tucker Moore-Reed is seen in a booking photo from the Jackson County Sheriff.
Jackson County Sheriff

Aisling Tucker Moore-Reed is seen in a booking photo from the Jackson County Sheriff.

A trailer for “From The Dark” was released on Oct. 31 after the production company addressed the news about Moore-Reed.

“We need to clear the air about some rumors that have been going around,” Siskiyou Production tells ABC News. “Our lead actress is currently facing a legal battle that we were not made aware of until after filming had wrapped. Since then we have been struggling with how to approach this unfortunate situation.”

Moore-Reed is currently being held without bail and her trial is set for December.

CDC identifies strong culprit in vaping related illnesses and deaths

Officials have identified Vitamin E Acetate as a “strong culprit” in the vaping-related lung injuries that left thousands sick and 39 people dead, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday.

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The agency collected lung fluid samples of patients with EVALI, short for “E-cigarettes or Vaping product use Associated Lung Injury,” as part of its ongoing investigation. Vitamin E Acetate was found in all of the 29 samples collected. THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, was found in the majority of samples and nicotine was found in about half of samples.

Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC, described the Vitamin E Acetate link as a “breakthrough” in the investigation, but cautioned that the news does not mean the investigation is over.

“These findings do not rule out other possible compounds that may be causing lung injuries but help us better understand potential ingredients that may contribute to the cause of EVALI,” Schuchat said during the Friday news briefing. She also stressed that inhaling Vitamin E acetate is very different than applying it as a cream or taking it as a supplement, neither of which is thought to be harmful.

“We are not talking about the Vitamin E capsules that people swallow,” Schuchat said. “This is a case of inhaled aerosol.”

There have been 2,051 lung illnesses and 39 deaths linked to vaping, according to the CDC’s latest numbers.

PHOTO: In this Aug. 28, 2019, photo a man exhales while smoking an e-cigarette in Portland, Maine.
Robert F. Bukaty/AP

In this Aug. 28, 2019, photo a man exhales while smoking an e-cigarette in Portland, Maine.

Seattle public schools filed a lawsuit against Juul Labs and its parent company, Altria Group, on Thursday on the grounds that the e-cigarette company purposely targeted minors with its advertising campaigns.

Juul did not respond to ABC News’ request for comment on the lawsuit.

Two surveys published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that mint was the most popular flavor among older high schoolers, and the second most popular flavor among younger high schoolers, who used Juul e-cigarettes.

Nearly 60% of high school students and 54% of middle school students reported that Juul was their preferred e-cigarette brand.

Juul halted sales of the mint e-cigarettes, its best-selling flavor, on Thursday.

The Trump administration said on Friday that it would announce the details for a possible ban on flavored e-cigarettes next week.