LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES
Interview With Min Labanauskas
Aired June 23, 2003 - 20:19 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Over the first few days of April, an American couple, Min Labanauskas and his wife Mona had a visitor at their Mexican villa. They didn't know it at the time but the visitor was in fact a wanted fugitive. Until June, the couple remained in the dark about who this man was and then a stunning e-mail from mutual friends. The friends were pretty sure the visitor was Andrew Luster, the Max Factor heir convicted of raping three women.
Joining me now from Puerto Vallarta is Min Labanauskas who played a part in breaking this case, good of you to join us. Thank you so much for being with us this evening.
MIN LABANAUSKAS, MET ANDREW LUSTER: Good evening.
ZAHN: Help us understand at what point you actually realized this man who was hanging out in your swimming pool was, in fact, Andrew Luster?
LABANAUSKAS: When the e-mail arrived it also came with a Web site from the FBI about their most wanted criminals in the L.A. area and we checked the Web site and sure enough it was who we knew to be David Carrera but, in fact, turned out to be Andrew Luster.
ZAHN: So, at what point did you call the FBI?
LABANAUSKAS: I called my attorney in Mexico because I knew the FBI didn't have jurisdiction down here and he called, tried to call the FBI three different times and called the American consulate in Puerto Vallarta as well.
ZAHN: And nothing happened?
LABANAUSKAS: But he -- the American -- the FBI, nothing happened.
ZAHN: So, what finally do you think broke open the case?
LABANAUSKAS: We also noticed a Web site in the search engine that included Mr. Chapman, so I contacted Mr. Chapman and he was very excited because he had been on the hunt for Mr. Luster for over five months. Once he knew that we had information that would have -- that would be able to place Mr. Luster in a certain location he began to take action.
ZAHN: Did you ever envision that this man you called would end up in jail for taking part in this action? LABANAUSKAS: No, heavens no. No. We spend a lot of time with him. I think he was very conscientious in the way he went about it and even in the end he didn't even harm Mr. Luster in any way.
ZAHN: Yes, I guess a point that needs to be...
LABANAUSKAS: And we certainly weren't expecting...
ZAHN: Carry on.
LABANAUSKAS: We were not aware -- yes, we were not aware first of all that anything such as bounty hunting or looking for somebody in Mexico would be against the law and Mr. Chapman assured us that he was in contact with the FBI in Ventura County and that once he had located Mr. Luster, had him in a secure place, that they would come and take him back to the United States.
ZAHN: And before we let you go, we should say Mr. Luster has started to serve part of that sentence. What were your observations of him before you even knew anything about this e-mail? Did you think there was anything odd about any of his activities?
LABANAUSKAS: I didn't. My wife felt he was a little bit strange. She didn't get a very good feeling about him but in reality even the people that he partied with never felt that they sensed themselves to be in any type of danger or that anybody was looking at him. He was just a -- he told us he was a surfer from Hawaii looking for property in this small development that we have called Costa Costodios (ph) 75 miles north of Puerto Vallarta, very secluded.
ZAHN: A lot of people are giving you and your wife credit for taking it one step further. Mr. Labanauskas thank you very much for joining us and we apologize for that delay in the signal.
LABANAUSKAS: Thank you.
ZAHN: From Mexico tonight. I know there are pauses in the system that can be rather disconcerting. Thank you again for your time.
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