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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

Player Turns Himself in to Police Regarding Dennehy Disappearance

Aired July 17, 2003 - 19:13   ET

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

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: New developments to tell you about. A teammate of the missing Baylor University basketball player has turned himself in to police.
Patrick Dennehy has been missing, of course, since June 14. Today Carlton Dotson, who had been named a, quote, "person of interest" in connection with Dennehy's disappearance turned himself in without consulting his attorney.

Joining us now with details is Matt Mosley of the "Dallas Morning News."

Matt, what's the latest?

MATT MOSLEY, "DALLAS MORNING NEWS": Well, you know, what has been a bizarre case, Anderson, has just gotten more bizarre today. As you mentioned it seems as though Carlton Dotson, with the past few weeks he's been back in Herlock, Maryland, his hometown, with TV trucks in his front yard, he just, without even consulting his attorney, he decided to go and talk to the police.

He checked -- he went to the sheriff's deputies there in Dorchester County, Maryland.

COOPER: So as far as you know he's still with them now?

MOSLEY: As far as we know that he is. We're trying to determine, of course, what they're talking about in there, but as far as we know that's correct.

COOPER: We've got a statement from Carlton Dotson's attorney, who's been on this program before. Let's put it on the screen and read it out.

"Mr. Dotson contacted authorities on his own initiative. Our office is unaware of what Mr. Dotson will say to authorities. We are not aware of any wrongdoing which has taken place on his part in relation to the disappearance of Patrick Dennehy."

That from Grady Irvine, the attorney of record. It will be interesting to see whether or not he tries to go to Maryland to be in on these discussions.

This is the latest odd turn in case that in the last couple days has had a lot of developments. Let's talk first about these cell phone calls or perhaps I mean these reports of cell phone calls. What do we know?

MOSLEY: Phone records show that someone with Patrick Dennehy's phone made a couple of phone calls and in one that the "Dallas Morning News" reporters were able to track down a limousine driver in New York who said she knows nothing. Basically when our reporters talked to her, said that she had heard nothing about the case, knew nothing about it.

But still another bizarre thing that one of the calls, one of the two call made after June 14, by someone using Dennehy's phone was to a New York limousine driver.

COOPER: Well, a couple of other mysteries about this I read in the Dallas Morning News. This information coming from Dennehy's girlfriend, saying that there was another call, there were two calls made. But she wouldn't come forward and say what the second call was.

MOSLEY: Yes. I think Miss Della Rosa at this point has told everything she knows to authorities and so, again, when we talked to her, we get bits and pieces. But she wouldn't comment, she wouldn't comment on exactly, you know, what that other call was.

COOPER: The other thing I found remarkable, again I read in the "Dallas Morning News," was that Dennehy's stepfather says that he told police about these calls a long time ago, but it wasn't until Wednesday or at least what he was told by police, it wasn't until Wednesday they actually applied to go through the process of actually getting these phone call records. I mean I watch "Law and Order" and that's, like, Police Work 101, pull the records.

MOSLEY: It's very curious and from the start, you know, we have to go all the way back to the first announcement from the Waco police.

On a Friday afternoon they sent out a press release that said that they're launching a missing player, you know, they're launching an investigation into a missing player, investigating it as a possible homicide. And then they -- the thing that, of course, went national immediately is when they -- the next statement they made is that there could be players on the team that were suspects.

And it became such a huge story at that point. They tried to come back and back off that, you know, three days later. It's been very interesting to watch, you know, how that process has taken place.

COOPER: I mean, you've been following this thing. Have they messed up this investigation? Do they have a grip on this thing in your opinion?

MOSLEY: I don't know. It's hard to say that. I think federal authorities are involved right now. As far as Waco police are concerned, I think the investigators have been out, they're searching Waco. They thought from the start that if Dennehy is, in fact, dead, that his body is somewhere in the Waco area. They've been searching by helicopter with the help of sheriff's deputies in McLennan county.

It's hard to say. We haven't been able to get much from the Waco police and from the start after making that shocking statement, they haven't really said much of anything. So it's hard to say. It's hard to make -- you know, have any speculation on what their investigators have -- and detectives have been doing because they're not talking to us.

COOPER: All right. Matt Mosley, appreciate you joining us. You've been covering this thing really well for the "Dallas Morning News," and obviously, we want to hear what Carlton Dotson is saying to authorities right now. We'll try to follow it as close as we can. Thanks very much, Matt.

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