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Friends of TTU professor indicted on child pornography charges 'in complete shock'

(Tennessee Tech University photo)

Investigators are searching for a Tennessee Tech professor accused of having more than 100 child porn images on his office computer. Dr. Omar Elkeelany served as the interim chair of Tennessee Technical University’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He resigned as chair on September 25 and requested a leave of absence.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children first received a cyber tip about the pornography. The tip led investigators to Dr. Elkeelany’s office computer where they found more than 100 child pornography pictures.

Dr. Elkeelany’s next door neighbor, John Ciaccao, was in complete shock when he heard the news.

“That would be the last thing I would ever think about the man,” Ciaccao said. “He’s always been very nice. His kids are unbelievably nice.”

Ciaccao says he and Dr. Elkeelany became friends as they were out in their yards doing yard work over the past two years.

“Why would he do that? I don’t know. He’s got a wonderful family,” Ciaccao said.

Investigators tried to arrest Dr. Elkeelany, but say he may have fled the country.

Now other neighbors just want him found quickly.

“My granddaughter is here two or three nights a week and plays out in the yard and everything, so I would be very concerned,” neighbor Charles McCaskey said.

Investigators are asking anyone with knowledge of Dr. Elkeelany’s whereabouts to contact the Criminal Investigation Division of the Cookeville Police Department or the District Attorney’s office.

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