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Couple Missing From Cape Cod Area

Aired August 6, 2003 - 19:32   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: On going mystery to tell you about now. The picturesque shores of New England's Cape Cod are where generations visitors have found relaxation and romance, but tonight the families of two missing college students are desperately hoping they didn't find something much more sinister. Jason Belini reports now.

JASON BELINI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: More than ten days ago Danela Lopez, 19 and Justin Craig Gouveia, 21 drove off in the early morning from this bed and breakfast on Cape Cod. The couple hasn't been seen or heard from since.

Massachusetts police are perplexed, so are their families.

MARIA LOPEZ, DANELA'S MOTHER: They're great kids, and very responsible.

BELINI: The couple met at Disney World three years ago, and Gouveia transferred to Michigan State University to be with her, family members told police.

The day before their disappearance nothing seemed abnormal, said their parents, who spoke with them by phone.

JOE GOUVEIA, JUSTIN'S FATHER: He called me about ten of ten on Friday night and said, dad, I'm giving you a call. Mom told know call and check in with you.

LOPEZ: I keep thinking I wish I would have stayed on the phone with her.

BELINI: Investigators say the students' cellphones and credit cards show no activity since July 26, the day they left the bed and breakfast.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think they would call. I think something's keeping them from the phone. It's not like them to do this.

BELINI: Their vehicle, also missing. Their reason for leaving a day early from an already paid for room? Unknown. Family members told police the couple had about $1,000 cash.

Michigan investigators are examining videotapes and Gouveia's journal, found in a storage locker near the university, as well as their e-mail, but so far they say, they found nothing that indicates why, where or how the prelaw students vanished. Jason Belini, CNN.


COOPER: Well, the search is on. Want to find out what we can find out more about this ominous case. Joining us now from Boston, Susan Flynn, she's the aunt of Justin. And Edward Davis, superintendent of the Lowell, Massachusetts police department. Appreciate both of you joining us.

Susan, how is your family holding up?

SUSAN FLYNN, JUSTIN'S AUNT: They're doing the best that they can. Obviously they're extremely concerned, but we're holding up as best we can.

COOPER: When was the last time you heard from these two? Your family heard from these two?

FLYNN: Actually it was Friday evening. About 10:00 in the evening when Justin and Daniela were returning from the Red Sox game. Justin always checked in with his mom or dad and he made a call into his dad and let them know they were on their way to the cape or just about arrived at the bed and breakfast.

COOPER: Superintendent Davis I understand they checked out of their bed and breakfast early. They paid for the whole weekend and left a day early. Do you have any idea where they went after that?

SUPERINDENDENT EDWARD DAVIS, LOWELL MASSACHUSETTS POLICE: We don't. That's really the focus of our investigation right now. We are attempting to locate the vehicle to get some sense of what happened after they left the driveway. They were last seen leaving the driveway at about 7:00 a.m. of that bed and breakfast.

COOPER: Do you know why they left early?

DAVIS: No. It's a matter of speculation right now, but there was nothing amiss inside the room. There was some money left for the inkeepers that they owed them, so -- and all the belongings went with them.

COOPER: And we just saw a photograph of their car. I mean, you found there's been no cellphone usage, no credit cards, even their car hasn't been found. How unusual is that?

DAVIS: It's very unusual, that's what makes us concerned. We've been working closely with the authorities in Detroit and also with the Mass. State Police and the Yameth police, in tracking cellphone records and records on the credit cards and the laptop computer that they have, but there's been absolutely no activity for 11 days now.

COOPER: Susan, what goes through your mind? Where do you go from here? How do you deal with this on a day-to-day basis?

FLYNN: Well actually, we all have to keep strong for Joe and Leann. We're all trying our best. You know, we want to keep a positive outlook because it's so uncharacteristic for this type of thing to happen, especially Justin is very, you know, dependable and would never not call his mom and dad.

COOPER: I understand, I mean, he had a job he was working at he hasn't shown for. It's not a case of them wanting to take off and be on their own for a while it would seem.

FLYNN: Not at all. Anyone who knows Justin and Daniela know that can't be true. That no matter what they did or where they went they would always call in and check in. It's so unlike them to do something like this.

COOPER: Superintendent Davis where do you go from here in the investigation? Obviously we've been showing these photographs, showing the car, the license plate, the number, obviously you want people on the lookout. What are you looking for?

DAVIS: We're looking for the car, first of all. In addition to that, we're questioning people in Yamath. We have a team of detectives down there for the next several days. The state police launched an aerial search of the area to see if the car had gone off the road anywhere in the area of Yamath.

We're chasing down leads now that are coming in from all across the crossing, possible sightings. None of them have panned out yet, but we want people to be on the lookout for this vehicle. If we can find the car it will be a good starting point for us.

COOPER: I hope as the story develops and as more and more news agencies pick it up I hope get more and more information. Police Superintendent Edward Davis, thanks very much. And Susan Flynn, our thoughts and prayers are with you. Good luck to you all.

FLYNN: Thank you so much.


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