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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Missing Month-Old Baby Found

Aired August 14, 2002 - 15:17   ET

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


LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: We're going to cut you off because we want to go now to that press conference. The press conference, we understand, is just now getting underway.
Let's listen in.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

SGT. KIM VICKERS, ABILENE POLICE: ... so that we can return her to her parents. And we are just very gratified for all the help that we received in this investigation; and an answer to a lot of prayers that she was found and she's safe, and it looks like we're going to be OK.

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: ... identification made?

VICKERS: All I can say, at this particular time we have scientifically made positive identification of her.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

VICKERS: We -- I'm not even (sic) been told exactly how it was made, I just know that we do have absolute, positive identification of this child.

QUESTION: Was it an Amber Alert tip that helped you find her?

VICKERS: We feel like it was a combination of factors.

There were factors in Quanah that led to the car being stopped. But another part of that, we have learned, was due to the regional information that was put out through that Amber Alert system.

So we do feel like the Amber Alert system deserves a lot of credit in this information getting out this quickly, and the fact that we were able to get this baby back as soon as we were.

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: ... in custody?

Is there a suspect? Do you have a suspect?

VICKERS: We do have a suspect in custody. I do not have detailed information on her at this time. She is being transported back to Abilene so that we can continue that part of the investigation here, and we will do so just as soon as she gets back.

But yes, there is a female in custody in relation to the baby being taken.

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: Did you question her? Did she say what was going on in her mind?

VICKERS: I really do not have that information at this time. I know that they've been speaking with her in Quanah trying to find out exactly what she was doing with the baby, and trying to get details there.

I have not been given that information, so I don't know exactly what discussions or interviews have been taking place with her. But I do know that she is in custody and is being transported back.

QUESTION: What time did it happen?

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

VICKERS: My understanding is the suspect has been living in Abilene. I don't know if she is currently living in Abilene, but she does have Abilene connections.

But that's about as much as I can go on that. I'm sorry, I don't have very detailed information on her at this time.

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: ... family specifically -- she was targeting them particularly?

VICKERS: We don't know that for sure.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) the wife took the baby?

VICKERS: I have no idea ma'am. I have not heard any of the interviews that they have done with her, and we'll find that information out, I'm sure, when we get her back here and continue that part of the investigation.

QUESTION: Has the baby been taken to a hospital, being checked out?

VICKERS: I'm not real sure about that. I know that they're very comfortable. I'm sure that they got medical attention to make sure that baby was OK. So I would think that would be a standard procedure once we found the infant, the child.

But every indication, every information I have is that the baby is in perfect health and is ready, I'm sure, as the parents are, for her to be brought back home.

QUESTION: When will you charge the suspect? VICKERS: I really am not sure.

Once again, that part of the investigation will continue once she gets back into Abilene. And at that time we'll start making determinations on exactly where that case is going to go and what, if any, charges will be filed and where we'll take it from there.

QUESTION: What's the timetable for (OFF-MIKE)

VICKERS: We're hoping to have her back in town within a couple of hours. Naturally, we're having to work some transportation issues out, and to get her back safely and as quickly as possible but -- and still be careful and make sure we care of all of our business.

So we're hoping to have her back within a couple of hours and reunite her with her family.

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: Where are the parents? Are they still here?

VICKERS: The parents are here at the law enforcement center.

QUESTION: Do you have a name for the suspect?

VICKERS: No I don't. I'm sorry.

QUESTION: Can you describe how the patients took the news?

VICKERS: Very well. They were very excited. I was there when our chief of police explained to them that we had found her daughter -- her daughter had been found. And I think everybody is just very excited and very happy and grateful that prayers were answered and that she has been found.

QUESTION: What about you? What's going through your mind after almost 24 hours of this case going on? How does it feel for you guys (OFF-MIKE)

VICKERS: I'm a parent. Throughout this whole ordeal my number one concern has been for the safety of this baby, and worried about these parents and what they must be going through. And that's been foremost in my mind.

And it was very touching, very emotional to be there and watch them get this news because I can just imagine what they had been through.

So that's what I've been thinking about more than anything, is the baby's welfare and the parents and what they're going through.

QUESTION: Is this the first time you used the Amber system? And how did you feel it worked?

VICKERS: This is the first time the Amber system has been used on a statewide basis. Governor Perry just recently set it up on a state -- enacted it for a statewide basis.

It had been used on a more localized basis in Dallas, in the Dallas area, on some instances I've had there.

This is the first time on a statewide basis it was used, and I think the results pretty much speak for themselves. I think that it's a very positive thing, and I believe it had an impact on our ability to get this baby back home as soon as we did.

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: ... found the young lady? I mean, how did they all come about? Was it because somebody pointed out (OFF-MIKE) noticed her?

VICKERS: As I said, I think it was a combination of factors. There was some -- the situation there in Quanah that aroused a suspicion. And that, along with the fact that he knew what he was looking for because the information had been spread out over such a wide area so quickly that I think law enforcement officers all over the whole country were pretty aware of what we were looking for. And it helped identify this vehicle much quicker, and I think that the Amber Alert system did have a definite impact in the way that this vehicle was stopped.

QUESTION: Was she armed at all?

VICKERS: I have no idea. I'm not sure. I don't have that information.

QUESTION: Did you say this was a DPS trooper?

VICKERS: I -- honestly, I'm not sure. I was -- I have heard from one source that it was a DPS trooper that stopped it, but I don't have absolute information on that. So I would hate to commit to that.

QUESTION: Was she cooperative when she was stopped?

VICKERS: I don't know. I'm sorry.

QUESTION: Are the parents going to be coming out to speak with us or say anything?

VICKERS: What we would like to do is to get Nancy back here first and let her parents reunite with her and spend some time with her.

After that time, I would anticipate that there would be an additional news conference where the parents would be made available to the media along with, I believe our chief of police is going to be here to speak with you and bring the family to speak to (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

That's what we're looking at right now. That's what we're aiming for.

QUESTION: Are the parents with her now, or are they here?

VICKERS: The parents are here. The parents have remained here most of the day, or ever since we felt like there was a possibility that we might have found their child. But the child has not left the area where she was found yet. And like I said, there are probably a couple of hours before we get her back here and reunited with her folks.

QUESTION: Is she being flown up here, or...

VICKERS: They're working out transportation arrangements right now, and I'm not real sure which way it's going to be.

I know they were having some problems with the fact that Quanah is not a very large town, and not very large runways up in that area.

So I don't know exactly how they're going to get her back. They might drive her back. I'm not real sure. We'll just have to see.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) condition of the baby? Had her diaper been changed? Had she been fed? Was she clean? Can you talk (OFF-MIKE) anything like that?

VICKERS: I really don't have any details on that. I just know that information that we were given was that is very healthy, in very good condition, and -- which is very good news to all of us.

And that's the main thing, is that she's in good shape and healthy and, I'm sure, ready to get back home.

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: ... suspect returned here?

VICKERS: Yes, the suspect will be returned here for further investigation.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) traffic stop how this all started? This woman that you found?

VICKERS: Yes, this started as a traffic stop where a law enforcement officer did stop this car for a variety of reasons, one of which was it matched the description. And subsequent investigation into that showed that the situation fit. The car fit, the suspect's description fit, the infant's description fit.

But once again, we didn't want to jump on any kind of speculation as to -- that we knew we had this child until we could absolutely confirm it, which we can now do. So we're very happy to bring that information to you.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) question is, the Amber Alert notifies the public of the abduction, and you all have your own systems of (OFF- MIKE) that notify law enforcement agencies.

I think all of us are asking: Was it the Amber Alert, or was it your own information?

VICKERS: I don't think we'll know until we can speak to the officers that made the stop. The information that I've been given is that it was a combination of factors.

And the Amber Alert doesn't only work for the public. I would think that it works around the law enforcement arena as well.

Yes, there is a system that we have by which we put out interlocates through teletypes and stuff like that. But, you know, not everybody is working all the time. They may not be privy to that information on quite as readily a basis -- as readily as other officers might be.

And so I think we're going to really feel strongly that it's a combination of factors that helped to get this stop made and helped get Nancy back home.

QUESTION: Sir, have you been getting a lot of tips over the last couple of hours?

VICKERS: We've gotten a ton of tips.

I want to take an opportunity, while I have it, to thank the people of this community and this area and the people of Texas. We have gotten calls constantly since yesterday when we put out a plea for information to try to find this young lady and this car. And the calls have been phenomenal; the number of calls have been phenomenal. We've been trying to check every one of those out.

But, you know, that's exactly what gets this kind of case solved, is you have to get that information out because, as I had said earlier, somewhere, somebody is going to see this woman and this child. If they surface in the public anywhere, if you get that information out thoroughly enough, somewhere somebody is going to see them, as evidenced by Los Angeles yesterday.

And I think you can attribute some of that to this.

So we're very thankful, very grateful to the people of this community and for all the people that called in and gave us information.

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: You may already have answered this, but were they the only two in the car? The only two people in...

VICKERS: That is my understanding at this time, is that they were the only two in the car.

QUESTION: And can you elaborate on the other circumstances that drew the attention of the DPS officer, or the arresting officer?

VICKERS: I really -- I don't have absolute facts on that. And, once again, I really hate to give you anything that I can't absolutely say is the truth, so...

QUESTION: Do you know which way she was headed?

VICKERS: No, I don't.

QUESTION:

VICKERS: I really don't.

QUESTION: In Dallas-Fort Worth (OFF-MIKE) remote parts of the state, given where she was found, is there anything like that that posts -- that alerts drivers driving down the street as the Amber Alerts?

VICKERS: You know, I'm not really sure how widespread that system is at this time. I know that, talking to people coming from Dallas to here, that they saw the signs that were coming into Abilene, and saw signs that had this stuff posted.

But I rally don't have idea how widespread that system is at this time. So I'm not real sure what impact that had in the more rural areas yet.

QUESTION: Are there any clues to where they might have stayed the night?

VICKERS: No, I have no idea.

Is that it?

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) suspect is from, where she lived?

VICKERS: Just a rough idea that, as I said, she has spent time, lived for some time in Abilene. I think there were also some Quanah ties. But that's just information that I've heard as potential information in this, and I can't say it's absolute fact yet. But that's what I understand -- my understanding is.

QUESTION: Did the family know suspect at all or have any (OFF- MIKE) suspect?

VICKERS: No, I don't believe so at all.

QUESTION: Thank you.

VICKERS: You bet. Thank you all very much. We'll be back in a little bit with the family once we get her back, get her reunited with the family. And I'm sure the chief of police is going to have some comments for you and invite you to be back at that time.

Thank you very much.

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: Well, that is the kind of good news we like to deliver here at CNN.

HARRIS: You got it. KAGAN: The Abilene Police Department confirming the news that we had heard -- that our Susan Candiotti reported just before that news conference started, that the baby Nancy Crystal Chavez, who was taken from that Wal-Mart parking lot in Abilene has been found. They have done a scientific identification, and they know that it's the baby.

They're working on getting the baby together with the parents. The parents are at the Abilene Police Department, and wanted to get together.

There's not a lot of information about the suspect. Susan might have more on that. But just that it's a woman, they believe someone who's been living in Abilene, definitely has connections in the Abilene area. And someone who's in a lot of trouble right now, justifiably.

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