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Convenience Store Clerk Reported Seeing Edmunds

Aired June 14, 2002 - 13:44   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: We want to return our focus now back to the investigation of the whereabouts of 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart and the whereabouts of Bret Michael Edmunds, who investigators want to question, as it relates to the whereabouts, and for that, we want to go to Hereford, Texas, and we're going there because of a reported sighting of Bret Michael Edmunds. And on the phone with us is Chief David Wagner.

Chief Wagner, thanks for joining us.

Are you convinced that the convenience store clerk who believed she saw Bret Michael Edmunds indeed saw who she thinks she saw?

DAVID WAGNER, HEREFORD POLICE: Well, of course we just have to go on what she is telling us. We did have a report earlier, before that incident, that a tall white male got out of this vehicle that was stolen from Colorado. So we are still working on that. We did take some prints off the stolen vehicle. We've got the FBI involved.

Right now, our car that was stolen here was recovered in New Mexico, and I know that the New Mexico State Police are involved in that.

WHITFIELD: So now you all feel you have enough to try and make the connection. A stolen Mitsubishi Montero maroon vehicle from Hereford, Texas, around the same time that this spotting of Brett Michael Edmunds took place.

WAGNER: Yes, ma'am.

WHITFIELD: And what do you know now about the whereabouts of that stolen vehicle? Is it true that you believe it wag dumped off, that Montero I'm talking about, was dumped somewhere in New Mexico, and that's how you are making those connections.

WAGNER: Yes, what we are hearing from the New Mexico State Police is that it was stuck in a cornfield, and a farmer saw this, and he also saw a tall white male walking to a farmhouse. So what we are hearing is that New Mexico is now in the area, their police department is now in the area.

WHITFIELD: And that's about 16 miles southwest of Hereford, right?

WAGNER: Yes, ma'am.

WHITFIELD: And we're talking about Curry County, or more specifically, Clovis, New Mexico.

WAGNER: Clovis, Fratellis (ph), yes, ma'am.

WHITFIELD: OK, what are those investigators on the scene there able to share with you?

WAGNER: I have not been able to talk to them. They called a couple times and talked to different officers, but I have yet to talk to them.

WHITFIELD: OK, we spoke with Gloria Grajeda a little bit earlier. She is of the All Stops (ph) convenience store. She is the one who said she had direct contact with what she believed to be Bret Michael Edmunds. Do you feel that her account of what took place is fairly credible, that he allegedly stole some water. He had very little interaction in terms of verbal contact with her, and then just took off.

WAGNER: Right. I mean, I don't know. We are still trying to place some of this together. We've got the FBI involved and some other agencies, surrounding agencies. So we are just trying to place, or piece this thing together.

WHITFIELD: Not long ago, Captain Atkinson of Salt Lake city Police was asked very directly about this connection in a press conference, and he said he didn't know anything about a Texas or New Mexico connection. Why wouldn't he? Why wouldn't you all inform the Salt Lake City Police?

WAGNER: Oh, we have. We have, and I'm sure he is busy. And I'm sure they're getting a lot of different leads, so it's -- I'm sure they're busy, and maybe he has just not been informed yet, and I'm unsure of which department within the agency they've contacted. I know that the FBI has been contacted there, because our FBI here, out of Amarillo, has contacted them.

WHITFIELD: Chief David Wagner, thank you very much, of Hereford, Texas, the police department there. Thanks for joining us. We appreciate it.

WAGNER: You bet.

WHITFIELD: And of course we will continue to keep tabs on this story, because it seems to be changing by the moment, and we will try and bring you latest information as we get it.

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