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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

More Murder by Derrick Todd Lee

Aired May 29, 2003 - 19:36   ET

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

ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES: We have some new information that has just come in to CNN. We want to talk to Ed Lavandera, who is in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with an update on the case -- the developing case against Derrick Todd Lee -- Ed.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Anderson. Well, what officials here -- and investigators in the Baton Rouge area -- have been saying for the last couple of weeks is that they're confident that Derrick Todd Lee is connected to at least five murders of five women in the Baton Rouge area dating back to September of 2001, but there's also concern -- not only in the Baton Rouge area but in surrounding parishes -- that perhaps Derrick Todd Lee might be connected to another string of crimes dating back to the 1990s.

Evidence of that today, of just how authorities feel about this today coming out of the time of Jackson, Louisiana, which is north of Baton Rouge. And I just got off the phone with the sheriff in that area, who says that they have gone to the home of a former girlfriend of Derrick Todd Lee, who lives in that area, and they've got a tip from a friend of Derrick Todd Lee's last night saying that back in 1998, after a couple days after a 28-year-old girl in that area had turned up missing that they had seen. This person had seen Derrick Todd Lee pouring a slab of concrete at the home of a former girlfriend. He had done this, apparently, according to the sheriff, they were told that this was done in the middle of the night.

So authorities are up in Jackson Louisiana, at the home of a former girlfriend of Derrick Todd Lee's digging up a concrete slab. The sheriff told me, just a little while ago, that so far they found part of a bone and a bracelet. So far, nothing else. That digging continues at this hour. But the sheriff also does point out that there's no idea what this bone might be or what this bracelet might be, if it is indeed that.

So there's still a lot of testing that needs to be done as this digging continues. But this situation developing right now up in Jackson, Louisiana, as authorities and investigators dig up this concrete slab to see if there's any evidence as to perhaps their understanding just checking out whether or not if this missing person, this 28-year-old missing woman, might have been buried underneath that concrete slab. So that work continues. A developing situation here -- Anderson.

COOPER: Well, Ed, just last night I think we had talked to the mother of this woman who had disappeared. It was May of 1998, as I remember. Body was never found. The mother was at the time actually told the name Derrick Todd Lee. He was a suspect in the case at that time. I guess they never had enough evidence to actually bring him in for that. But obviously a lot of people in that area are going to be following this case very, very closely and waiting to see what developments the police come up with in the next couple of hours.

Ed Lavandera, thanks very much. We'll continue to follow this and bring you any more developments as warranted.

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