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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
Caylee`s Grandfather Attempts Suicide; Missing Woman Mystery
Aired January 23, 2009 - 19:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN ANCHOR: Tonight, from horror to heart-break. A stunningly sad twist in the Caylee Anthony case as the murdered child`s grandfather, George, reportedly says he wants to end it all and be with Caylee. Suicidal text messages send cops on a desperate race against time. They find George holed up in a seedy motel in Daytona Beach.
How much can one man take? What was Casey`s reaction when she was told behind bars that her dad apparently wanted to kill himself? We`ll have the truly shocking details.
Plus, who is Charlie Myers? The sexual predator charged with viciously gunning down a young mother while she valiantly tried to stop him from sexually assaulting her four-year-old son. Tonight, we look deep into his extremely troubling past and try to get inside the mind of this accused killer.
Tomorrow is the three-year anniversary of the disappearance of 24-year-old Jennifer Kesse. Her distraught parents continue their desperate search, going to unconventional places for help, including prisons. Does a convicted killer hold the key to solving this mystery? We ask a detective who has been following this case to help us put this tragic puzzle together.
"ISSUES" starts now.
Tonight, a stunning and troubling twist in the Caylee Anthony murder case: George Anthony, little Caylee`s grandfather, hospitalized early this morning after reportedly sending suicidal text messages to his family late last night. Police say the text messages suggested George wanted to end his life. CNN affiliate, WKMG, also reporting that a suicide note was found in George Anthony`s car allegedly with the words to the effect of I want to go be with Caylee. This is so sad.
Daytona Beach police chief Mike Chitwood reveals how this all played out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHIEF MIKE CHITWOOD, DAYTONA BEACH POLICE: At around midnight, we received a call that a George Anthony was in the Daytona Beach area, that he was despondent, contemplating suicide. We started searching the areas around the ping of the phone. We were able to locate George Anthony at a hotel -- at a motel.
Very friendly; he was ready talk to us. He was very amenable to our requests. Based on our interview of him and the text messages and some other things, we decided it was best to transport him to the Halifax Behavioral Center here and let the doctors evaluate and go from there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: George Anthony is in stable condition at that facility and was admitted after undergoing a medical and psychiatric evaluation. At this point, we do not know how long he will remain there.
George disappeared after skipping an afternoon meeting with his wife, Cindy, and family attorney Brad Conway. They then filed a missing persons report. After hours of frantic searching cops finally located George at about 2:00 this morning at a motel in Daytona Beach. Anthony family attorney Brad Conway expressed relief.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRAD CONWAY, ANTHONY FAMILY ATTORNEY: George is okay. Thank God. Had it not been for cooperative efforts between Orange County and Volusia County, I don`t know what the outcome would have been. George is now safe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Casey Anthony was told about her father`s situation earlier today by Orange County jail staff. We do not know her response.
Tonight, expert analysis of this very sad situation with my panel: Wendy Murphy, author of "And Justice for Some" and a law professor at the New England School of Law; Terry Lyles, psychologist and crisis expert; and Darren Cavnoky (ph), criminal defense attorney; plus Rozzie Franco from WFLA 540 AM.
Rozzie, I understand you spoke to Daytona Beach police chief Mike Chitwood who transported George Anthony to the hospital. What did he tell you?
ROZZIE FRANCO, WFLA 540 AM: I`ll tell you, it was no surprise that George said to Mike Chitwood, "You have no idea what I`m going through." After watching this case, you almost wonder at what point was someone going to break? Mike Chitwood says to him, "You`re right, I don`t have any idea what you`re going through."
He did tell me that there weren`t any drugs or any weapons in the hotel room. But he did believe that George Anthony was safer going with him into custody and Baker Acted as opposed to being in there in the hotel by himself.
Darren Cavnoky, criminal defense attorney, explain the Baker Act and what it allows authorities to do.
DARREN CAVNOKY, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ANTHONY: Yeah, well, first of all, this is a tragedy unlike anything that William Shakespeare would cook up in his worst nightmares. How much this family can withstand really is the question here. I agree, it was only a matter of time before somebody was going to break.
But the Baker Act is similar to the laws on the books in most states, which allow the police to take somebody into custody if they pose a significant danger to themselves or other people. And they go, not into law enforcement custody but they go to a mental health facility where they`re monitored. And that hold can be extended if there`s good cause. That`s where the courts will get involved.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Darren, I couldn`t agree with you more.
I don`t think any one of us can even possibly begin to imagine the strain that George Anthony has been under. I want you to look at this gold fish bowl of insanity this family has been thrust into. Take a look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Don`t touch him again.
GEORGE ANTHONY, CAYLEE ANTHONY`S GRANDFATHER: I wish you`d get the hell out of here. You know what you`re trying to do? You`re trying to get me negative.
You guys aren`t even looking for my granddaughter. You`re not. You guys are paying them to be here. I know that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Take a look at that, Wendy Murphy. This is a man who, first, his granddaughter went missing. Then the granddaughter`s remains are found and she has been murdered, his daughter is accused of that murder. The details of their personal life spilled out in court documents. And videotapes of their jailhouse conversations and protests outside their house by people who gathered together on the Internet and media attention. How could anybody withstand that?
WENDY MURPHY, AUTHOR, "AND JUSTICE FOR SOME": You know, the flame is up real high, Jane. But forgive me for not pulling out my hanky too much. No one should commit suicide. It`s always sad.
But I`m hoping that this is a true expression of some kind of sympathy, compassion, whatever, for that child and that the squeezing he`s feeling is going to produce truth instead of the circus generated in part by members of his own family, the nonsense about let`s go see this --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But you can`t be responsible for what your family does.
MURPHY: I understand, but I`m hoping --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: A lot of people in families everywhere have one family member who is a nut job or who always is in trouble. And we can`t all walk around being our brother`s keeper in that sense.
MURPHY: My point is very simple. I hope that this is the kind of pressure that will force him to reveal more truth. That`s all. I feel bad for the guy. But I`m hoping it produces value to find justice for this child.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m going to talk about whole immunity issue in a moment, but first I want to go to Terry Lyles, psychologist and crisis expert, exactly the kind of person we need right now.
I would think that with what he is going through, he would have to have some therapy, some counseling, some kind of a support group to help him through this. But given this unique situation, how could he even do that because of all the leaks? If he went to a support group, somebody would end up talking to the media.
TERRY LYLES, PSYCHOLOGIST: Absolutely. He`s going to need one-on-one care, first of al for his own safety, and also to process this. Obviously, as was mentioned, this has been a circus of situations day after day, getting crazier by the moment.
But grief is a process and a stage that we all go through. Sometimes we get stuck in a process of grief. It sounds like now he`s in that depressive mode. For what reason, we don`t know. I don`t know the causation of that, but obviously if people aren`t taking care of him, this thing could get even worse.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I`ll tell you the causation of it. It`s the fact that he lost his granddaughter. That`s enough to drive anyone to a point of despondency. But it`s beyond that.
Then his beloved daughter, who we may not like as a person, but it`s his daughter, is accused of that murder.
Now, here is my thought. As we all know, there are five stages of grief: denial, bargaining, anger, sadness, and acceptance. He`s obviously been through the denial. We`ve discussed that ad nauseum that the daughter, Casey, has given him these ridiculous stories, the whole Anthony family, about Zanny the nanny and fake boyfriends and fake jobs and they believed it.
He`s done the bargaining. We`ve seen that. We`ve seen the anger, obviously. We just saw that. We now see with this tragic turn of events, the sadness. If he gets through this, Terry, could he get to the final stage, which is acceptance that might give him some measure of serenity?
LYLES: Absolutely. I`ve seen hundreds -- hundreds of people go through horrific grief cycles from 9/11 to tsunami and worked with them. There is light at the end of the tunnel. But what happens when we get tunnel vision, we can only see what`s in front of us. All this that he has going on in his life, people run out of options. Somebody has to keep the options in front of him.
You know, life is here for all of us. As the attorney mentioned, as the story continues to develop and unfold, there could be more of this go on within this family culture that`s happening.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, we were talking about the whole immunity situation. In the aftermath of George Anthony`s hospitalization, Anthony family attorney Brad Conway addressed the issue of immunity for the grandparents. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just to make clear to our understanding, law enforcement has never directly indicated to you that there was any suspicion with George. This was something you were doing on your own, if we could just make that clear.
CONWAY: Absolutely not. The sheriff`s department, as well as the state attorney`s office, have assured me from the day I entered this case that they were not the subject of prosecution. Charges had not been filed. Charges were not in the pipeline and nothing has changed since then.
Wendy Murphy, you heard it from Brad Conway. They are not the subject of prosecution. They did not do anything wrong, according to him.
MURPHY: I have no doubt about that, especially with regard to George. What I`m saying is that he`s in a family where there`s a lot of information we haven`t received yet in the public. We all want to know a little bit more about the truth. He`s in that family where we know his daughter has been charged for good reason.
Evidence has been taken from his house. He knows stuff, Jane. He could be suicidal and we can feel bad for him, but it`s not only that he`s grieving. It could be that he knows things that are driving him mad.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Darren? Is this a way of saying --
CAVNOKY: I got to jump in.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Is this a way of saying, "Oh, my God, I don`t want to face what prosecutors say my daughter did?"
MURPHY: Jane, he said that already. When he was interviewed, he said I know what the smell in the trunk smelled like. I don`t want to admit that my daughter could possibly be capable of killing my granddaughter.
CAVNOKY: As much as there`s great interest -- Jane, thank you for letting me jump in on this. I`m climbing out of my skin here. As much as everybody in the court of public opinion would want to hear from him now, the really appropriate time for all of us to play out is in a court of law. That way evidence can be tested.
Ultimately, it`s the government`s burden whether or not they can meet it is yet to be seen. It`s their burden to prove the case with confident evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. And whether this plays into that --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: In just a second, Darren. Don`t despair. We`ll get back to you.
Dealing with a tragic loss of little Caylee and his own daughter being charged with murder and the intense scrutiny his family is under has gotten to George Anthony before. More in just a bit.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CONWAY: Why would George leave Cindy, leave Lee, put them through this? George isn`t gone. George is here. And he hasn`t left.
We just don`t know why he would leave and not say where he is.
Well, certainly the strain -- I mean, we`ve all had times where we just need to get away.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ain`t that the truth? That was Anthony family attorney Brad Conway giving us some sight into George Anthony`s disappearance and subsequent hospitalization.
Back with me, my fantastic and fiery panel. And I know Darren Cavnoky was jumping to get in on the debate. I think what Wendy was saying, if I could interpret your words for a second, Wendy, is that perhaps these grandparents have information that they have not yet revealed that would help prosecutors build a case against their daughter.
Darren, who could blame them for not wanting to help prosecutors convict their own daughter?
CAVNOKY: Well, of course there`s that natural tension. But the other thing is this. If they really have important and meaningful things to say, as much as we, who comprise the court of public opinion, want to hear all of that juicy stuff now, this is not the appropriate time for them to air it.
The only appropriate time is from the witness stand in court if they truly have relevant material to add that they`re motivated to add so that it can be subjected to cross examination and all of the -- of the testing that naturally through the court process.
MURPHY: Yes. Nice try, Darren. Nice try.
We, the people who care about the child, have to shut up and wait for court. But they, the defense and all their shows and the mom until she went silent after the body was found can go on Larry King and make stuff up and talk to us about fake Caylee sightings.
So we have to play by the rules, but the defense can make a mess and dupe us and trick us and stay quiet. Are you kidding me?
You know what else about George Anthony? You have to keep this in mind. They did cooperate a little bit in the beginning. He, as far as I know, did testify in front of the grand jury. But the police have wanted to talk to both parents again. They`ve asked them to take a lie detector and they`ve clammed up.
You may want to say they don`t have a duty to help the state prosecutor, that`s fine. Don`t tell me to feel bad for the guy if he can`t take the heat because he can`t figure out how to do the right thing.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m not telling you to feel bad for him. I`m just saying I feel bad for him. Darren?
CAVNOKY: And I would for anybody who doesn`t feel bad for him, I`d want to check to see whether or now you have got a heart thumping in your chest? The fact of the matter is that this man is going through an incredibly difficult time with the loss of his granddaughter. And this, by the way, the love and affection that the Anthony grandparents had for their granddaughter is, I think, one of the very compelling arguments --
CAVNOKY: That Casey Anthony will have in her defense.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I will jump in here and say something about the Anthony family. You could say they`re dysfunctional. First of all, how may functional families are there in America. Let`s face it, maybe one or two. And secondly, if any of our dirty laundry were exposed to this extent, wouldn`t we all look bad?
And number three, can`t we tell from the videos when little Caylee was alive how much these grandparents love this little child and doted on her? So I think we have to put this in perspective, Wendy.
MURPHY: Yeah, look, I feel bad for anyone who tries to commit suicide. But as a prosecutor, every time it happened in my cases, it was because somebody felt guilty about something. Whether it was they did something bad or just knew something that they couldn`t figure how to deal with the information. That`s the experience I had.
The saving grace here is at least it doesn`t appear to be fake like Michael Jackson doing that thorazine shuffle in his pajamas outside the courthouse to make us feel bad for him. He can`t handle the stress. At least this isn`t that.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s leave Michael Jackson out of this for a moment. Terry Lyles, when --
LYLES: Interesting dialogue. I mean, I`m following it. It`s interesting.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me get to this very sad circumstance that has just occurred with George. Could it be that it wasn`t really an attempt to take his life? We don`t have any evidence of that. All we have is reports of text messages. Could this have been a cry for help? Or, as the attorney said, he just needed to get away and he was despondent, so he sent some text messages that he didn`t really mean?
LYLES: Well, listen, under pressure, we all do weird things. Anybody that felt pressured knows whether it`s a loss of a loved one or a situation as crazy as this one, we`re going to find places to find reprieve. It probably was a cry for help. I don`t think he had anything to harm himself. We don`t really know his motive in that.
But I do want to say something that was tossed around this panel a moment ago about guilt. There`s a difference between guilt and shame. If he`s guilty, that could cause this reaction. But if he hasn`t -- if he doesn`t have guilt, shame can cause you to do the same thing. We don`t know which it is.
The end result is this man is in trouble. This family is in trouble. We all know it. It`s going to play itself out in court as Darren mentioned.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Rozzie, I want to bring you into this conversation. Tragically or at least unfortunately for George, what he was doing to get away from the madness is only going to increase the madness. I`m sure there`s media outside the hospital where he is right now. And isn`t the circus going to get another ring?
FRANCO: Jane, you took the thought and the word right out of my mouth. That`s exactly what I was going to say. These folks have been -- they have -- they thrusted themselves in the center of the media`s attention. In doing this -- I mean, you know, even if it was a cry for help, it just -- he should have known that the media -- it was going to be a media frenzy. Yes, they`re all over the hospital.
As far as being Baker Acted, he`s going to a different facility, a behavioral facility. He`s going to be held for 72 hours. They could be camping out there in front of the Anthonys` home. It`s happening all over again. They`re at the jail.
Having known that, why take that risk?
LYLES: He`s not thinking logically. That`s why. He`s in a situation of not knowing what to do and where to turn.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s where we have to leave it for the time being. Wendy, Terry, Darren, Rozzie, thank you for your insights on this sad occasion.
Of course, no one knows this tragic story better than Nancy Grace. She will have the very latest immediately following this program at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.
And we will have more on the stunning developments in the Caylee Anthony case in just a bit.
Also, Charlie Myers sits in a cell awaiting trial for the horrific murder of a young mother and the sexual assault of her four-year-old son. Unbelievable new information in that case next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHARLIE MYERS, CHARGED WITH MURDER: I`m sorry for the crime, but it`s my first time I never had a gun in my whole life. I`m 22 years old. I never had a gun in my whole life. I made a mistake. I apologize to the family.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MICHELL: That was Charlie Myers charged in the brutal murder of a young Ohio mom who gave her life to save her son. You may remember her shocking ordeal.
Cops say Myers broke into her home, tied her up and then shot her after she broke free and stabbed him as she struggled to save her four -year-old son from sexual assault. Myers refused to answer a plea during his arraignment this week forcing the judge -- forcing the judge to enter one of not guilty for him. He is charged with murder and gross sexual imposition of a child.
Ashleigh Banfield, anchor of "In Session" joins me now.
Ashleigh, you`ve been working your sources at the Ohio juvenile facility where Myers spent time in his late teens. What have you learned?
ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, ANCHOR, "IN SESSION": Not only was he at that juvenile facility for a couple of years. Most reports put him there at least three years. But he was transferred there from another facility, apparently, according to the guards at the Indian River facility for some kind behavioral problem with the staff at the facility before that.
There are reports that have him at that former facility because he`d raised a baseball bat at his foster mother at the time. And was given probation and had to live there for the two years of the probationary period.
I`ll tell you, the quotes I`m getting from those who actually oversaw him during his incarceration at the juvenile facility and they`re not good. Troubled, tormented soul. Misunderstood. Lost. Didn`t want any kind of education and could not find his way in the world.
However, Jane, nobody suggested that he had this kind of violent capacity. Only the kind of violent capacity that he would pester the younger inmates at the facility and had some kind of sexual deviance apparently at the juvenile facility as well.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s no wonder, Ashleigh, if you look at his history. He was born with fetal alcohol syndrome and deaf. His mother dies of a heart attack related to drugs when he`s four. He lives with his dad at a homeless shelter. Then he gets sent from 12 to 20 different foster homes.
He starts smoking pot and drinking by the age of eight. Tries to commit suicide at 11. Burns a house down at 17. Functions at an elementary school level.
This is a prescription for criminality. And what bothers me is that there is no mechanism in place to catch these kids and get to them before they kill.
BANFIELD: Well, the sad part of it is that he needed help. The reality of it is that we in America don`t have a system whereby we can project possible criminal behavior and incarcerate someone for it. When he finished his term at the Indian River Corrections facility, he finished his term and you have to release inmates whether they`re in the adult system or the juvenile system if they finish their term. There`s no way to track them and try to prevent their future violence.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What I`m saying is there has to be something in the foster care system. When a child has got fetal alcohol syndrome and is deaf and has been abused because he was beaten by his father. That child is not just put in a home.
I`ll tell you, I`ve seen it happen with my own eyes. Those kids don`t work in the homes so they get transferred from home to home to home and then suddenly they truly become a serious problem because they`re so angry.
BANFIELD: It`s interesting you say that. Because one of the things I asked one of the officials who asked to remain nameless at the Indian River facility was did he ever want any help? This official told me there was loads of help at the -- at the juvenile facility for any of the kids who actually respond to it, but he said absolutely not. He had no interest in even learning with his disability sign language, for instance.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ashleigh, great job. Please come back and give us some more insights from this case.
Drew and Joyce Kesse mark a heart-wrenching anniversary tomorrow. Three years to the day their daughter disappeared.
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN ANCHOR: A heart-breaking turn in the Caylee Anthony case. Tonight, Caylee`s grandfather is undergoing psychiatric evaluation after reportedly sending suicidal text messages. A desperate search led to a seedy Florida motel where he was found safe.
George reportedly told his family he has no desire to live. Sources tell one reporter he wrote, "I want to go be with Caylee." Meanwhile, his daughter, Casey, learns about his condition behind bars where she`s charged with murdering her baby girl.
It`s so, so sad.
We`re back talking about the troubled twists in the Caylee Anthony murder case. George Anthony, little Caylee`s grandfather, hospitalized early this morning after going missing and reportedly sending suicidal text messages to his family late last night.
George is now in stable condition. He is still at that facility. We understand Casey Anthony was told about her father`s situation earlier today by Orange County jail staff.
Joining me once again, Wendy Murphy, a former prosecutor and author of "And Justice for Some" and law professor at New England Law Boston and Terry Lyles, psychologist and crisis expert.
Terry, what happens to George now as he goes through this terribly traumatic ordeal? He is being held under the Baker Act for 72 hours. What happens during that 72 hours and what could happen afterwards?
TERRY LYLES, PSYCHOLOGIST AND CRISIS EXPERT: Well, obviously Jane, they`re going to do psych evaluation and try to stabilize him and find out where he really is on a continuum of trying to hurt himself. And support and stabilize him and then probably try to get him to a place very quickly where he can find some sanity in the midst of this craziness.
It`s going to be very difficult to do, but I`m sure he`s in great hands. He`ll get great care there but it`s a very touchy window if they`re trying to establish what really happened. Was it a cry for help?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you heard at the very beginning our reporter Rozzie say that he was basically -- when speaking to the police chief, he was calm, he was quiet, he was amenable. He didn`t act in any erratic way.
So assuming that that`s consistent, after 72 hours, do they just say bye- bye, go home, and deal with your problems?
LYLES: Well, I think and I don`t know all the law with the Baker Act, but there are continuums and issues that go along with that, depending on how he gets through the evaluations, where they deem his psychiatric mentality at that time. And then he would have to be in someone`s care and custody so they could watch him.
So it will really determine during that 72 hours what that evaluation unfolds.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Sometimes lost in the circus of all of this, is a mom and dad who lost their granddaughter and their daughter, Casey, on trial for murder. Let`s listen to Anthony`s attorney, Brad Conway, paint a picture of what Cindy is going through at this moment in time.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How is Cindy holding up?
BRAD CONWAY, ANTHONY FAMILY ATTORNEY: I think I`ve said this a lot of times. As well as can be expected, but she`s good. George is safe and he`s with us. And so it`s all good.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What -- we`re hearing things that he may have been leaving behind notes that he may have been threatening to harm himself.
CONWAY: George has been through a lot. The entire Anthony family has been through a lot. And George is ok.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wendy Murphy, in a crisis like this, each family member reacts differently. It seems that Cindy has the mettle that just withstands all of this and continues to function and meet with the attorneys and go through the motions.
WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Yes. It`s funny. I mean, as gender issues go, you`d expect the grandfather to be the tough one and the grandmother to be withering. It`s interesting that the reverse appears to be true.
Can I say something right to George though, I`m sure he watches your show Jane and I hope he does, because I want to say this to him and to anybody in the situation.
George, don`t take your own life because you can be an angel right here on earth if you just tell the truth about what you know. Caylee deserves justice. You are an important voice. You know the truth. Tell the truth no matter what it does to the other people involved.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we are making a lot of assumptions with that comment, that he knows something that he`s not revealing, and we don`t have that for a fact. I mean, that may be your deductive reasoning, but I think we need to say to our viewers that we have no -- you heard his attorney, Brad Conway, say they are not considering prosecuting him. That he is under absolutely no suspicion.
So I think we have to give him the benefit of the doubt.
And, Terry Lyles, the pain that this man must be going through, just losing a granddaughter is enough to make somebody totally despondent. But this unique circumstance, we can`t imagine what he`s going through.
LYLES: No, Jane. We really can`t. And to the earlier comment, I mean, what is so tough about this is he could be totally innocent. He might know information. He might not.
But just think of it. I mean, his daughter can go down for this. He`s already lost his granddaughter. And who knows what`ll take place within his own marriage after this. I mean, that`s a lot of pressure. What I consider a stress layers that can pile up and weight us down to very, very dramatic, you know, results like we`re seeing.
MURPHY: But, you know what, you`ll agree with me, truth is a great healer, isn`t it?
LYLES: Absolutely. It`s the only thing that sets us free. And part of the issue with this that I`m sure with the gag order, there`s only so much they can share, when they can share it. They are being told not to talk. That pressure alone has to be devastating.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: One of the things that I would like to say that I think we can all agree on because we`ve all covered so many high-profile cases, is that this is a unique situation and this man is probably under more pressure in terms of scrutiny in the course of a criminal situation than almost any other individual, certainly any family, has been under in ages.
Terry, Wendy, thank you so very much for your insights. Please come back soon. And share some more.
And don`t forget Nancy Grace will have more on this disturbing twist in the Caylee Anthony murder case immediately following this program at 8:00 p.m. Eastern right here on HLN.
You know, when seemingly everyone was looking for little Caylee Anthony this past fall, the Equisearch team took on another search in the same area of Florida for 24-year-old Jennifer Kesse. Tomorrow marks three years since the beautiful financial analyst went missing from her Orlando area home.
Jennifer`s community and parents have planned an awareness event tomorrow to mark that heart-breaking occasion. It will include fingerprinting and video identification of children as well as self-defense demonstrations. The case may be three years old, but parents Drew and Joyce Kesse, who have been through total hell.
You want to talk about hell? Yes. George has been through hell. Guess what. This family, the Kesse family, also has been through complete and total hell.
Their daughter went missing three years ago and they have no idea, not a clue, what happened to her. And they continue to take every lead seriously.
Jennifer`s dad, Drew, even walked into a local jail to seek information from a confessed murderer. New tips regularly pour in. Investigators have not let up.
I am joined now by one of the detectives who has been working on this case full-time, Detective Joel Wright with the Orlando Police Department.
First of all, detective, I want to thank you for joining us tonight. And I know we are all basically on the same page. We want to brainstorm, get the word out, do whatever we can to find out what happened to this beautiful young woman who wasn`t doing anything wrong, who was a hard-worker, who stayed out of trouble, was just minding her own business and vanished.
You have evidence you recovered, Jennifer`s car. Where was it found, and were there any forensics in that car which could point you toward who may have abducted her?
JOEL WRIGHT, ORLANDO POLICE DEPARTMENT: Well, thank you for having me, Jane. We did have the car recovered two days after Jennifer went missing. We did find some items inside the car that we hope eventually some day will lead us to the right person.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Can you give mea little more of a hint? I mean, it`s been three years. Was DNA found? Because if you look, for example, at the Ann Pressly case, the beautiful anchorwoman who was again, minding her own business at home alone when somebody barged in and beat her to a pulp and she later died.
And we have something here on "ISSUES" called the "War on Women." And these two stories fit it to the "T" women who are doing everything right and are still are subjected to unimaginable horrors. Presumably and certainly with Anne Pressly`s case and quite possibly unfortunately with Kesse`s case.
So with the Pressly case they didn`t know who did it and then they found DNA from a rape in another area nearby and they matched the DNA. That`s how they caught the suspect who is now charged in that case. Do you have anything like that?
WRIGHT: Unfortunately in our case at this time, we don`t have anything that we could enter into a database who would give us a hit as that case probably was.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So you have no DNA from the car?
WRIGHT: At this time we don`t have -- the DNA that we have is not enough for a profile at this time. However, with scientific advancements, you never know, so we hold on to all the evidence that we pull out of the car.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, what about the surveillance video of this person? And I don`t know if he`s a person of interest, but we do have some video -- surveillance video, we`re going to show you in just a moment -- of a man. It appears to be a man, anyway, walking past a chain fence or a metal fence. There you see him. Do we know anything about this man? Paint the picture of the circumstances surrounding this particular video.
WRIGHT: We don`t know anything about this particular person. We did have the video -- the grainy video that you see, we had that video of the car being parked. We see this figure getting out and walking by that particular gate.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So he got out of the car? Out of Jennifer`s car?
WRIGHT: Yes, he did Jane. He spent approximately 30 seconds inside the car. Now, we could speculate as to what he was doing in there, maybe wiping it down or maybe waiting until the coast is clear --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So this could be the guy who did it then? I mean, it`s not his car and she`s missing and he got out of the car. That`s -- that`s something.
WRIGHT: It could very well be our suspect. Just because no one has called in saying that it`s them. If it was just somebody that parked the car for a suspect, it seems like they would have called us by now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Quickly, what was the last moment she was seen? The boss, the night before, saying good night at work. But Tuesday morning, did she go out for coffee?
WRIGHT: No one reported seeing her at all Tuesday morning. Monday night, she had a conversation with her boyfriend that ended at about ten minutes until 10:00 at night. And that was the last anyone heard from Jennifer.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh my gosh, we`re going stay on top of this story. I know you`re going to stay working hard on it.
Detective Wright thank you for taking the time with us. And please come back soon. And let`s keep our fingers crossed we`re going to get a break in this case. If we have anything to do with it here on "ISSUES" we`re going to help you do that.
More on the disappearance of Jennifer Kesse in just moments.
But first, another look at one of the few tangible clues authorities have in this case; images from a 2006 surveillance video.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: More on the mystery surrounding Jennifer Kesse`s disappearance just moments away.
But first, "Top of the Block" tonight.
The shocking and totally, totally sick story of a 47-year-old Missouri grandfather charged with murder, rape, and incest. Now, I have to say this slowly because it is just so shocking. It takes a while to sink in. Get this.
He is accused of fathering four children with his own daughter. Cops say he began molesting her when she was 13. She is now 19. But that`s not the worst of it. Investigators acting on a tip discovered the bodies of two of those children.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TERESA HENSLEY, PROSECUTOR, CASS COUNTY, MISSOURI: Recently in an investigation through the sheriff`s office, two infant remains were found in coolers on property in Cass County.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s right. It`s so sick. These remains were inside a sealed cooler found in somebody`s garage. Prosecutors believe a third child is dead and buried on an Indian reservation in Oklahoma. The fourth child, a three-year-old girl, is alive and, thank God, in protective custody tonight.
According to reports, one of his other daughters turned him in. It`s an extremely disturbing case. We`re going to cover it in detail on Monday here on "ISSUES" at 7:00 p.m. Eastern.
Right now, I want to get back to the mysterious disappearance of Jennifer Kesse. She was last seen three years ago. This nightmare began when Jennifer just didn`t show up for work one January morning. Her car was found two days later just a mile away. Her parents joined me earlier this week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOYCE KESSE, MOTHER OF MISSING WOMAN: It`s very, very, very tough, but trying to remain as positive as you can, despite the negativity of this surreal three-year state. You`ve got to believe. You`ve got to have faith that you will have the answers.
And Jennifer deserves, needs, as do all the missing, they need to be found. Their families need to have them brought home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What an unbelievable tragedy for any parent. I am awed by their strength. And here on "ISSUES," we`re going to stay on top of the story. We do the "War on Woman."
This is a perfect example of what`s wrong with this country that this kind of story is sort of taken for granted because it happens so much. That`s got to stop. This is unacceptable, and we have to solve this particular disappearance.
Joining me now: Don Clark, former special agent in charge of the Houston FBI; and Rhonda Saunders, stalking expert and author of "Whisper of Fear"; plus Leslie Snadowsky, an investigative reporter.
Don, what do you do when you`ve track down every single lead and it`s three years later and you have no suspect and no indications pointing toward a suspect on the horizon except for one lousy photo of somebody you can`t even tell whether it`s a male or a female walking past a gate?
DON CLARK, FORMER SPECIAL AGENT, FBI: Yes, you know Jane exactly what you do is continually do what Jane (sic) and Drew are doing. They seem to be following a path that John Walsh set out there some years ago. And the police also seem to be continually looking into this situation.
You`ve got to go back and try to find those leads and look at the ones that give you some imminent probability that they may be something that`s going to lead you to a clue, which is ultimately going to lead you to some evidence. You can`t go away from it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Leslie Snadowsky, you covered this as an investigative reporter when the case first broke three years ago. How big was the story then? And has the local media kind of forgotten about the story over the three years? Has it just sort of disappeared?
LESLIE SNADOWSKY, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Well, I think the family has done a very good job of keeping the story alive. And it was huge in the beginning. There were so many searches and fliers. There were still flyers and there`s a website. I mean, Orlando is definitely haunted by this disappearance.
But there was that break in the case, and I think they`re still a little optimistic about it. I mean, what a weird break also. I mean, it comes from a confessed killer at the Seminole County Jail. Supposedly he was playing cards with his inmate pals and his cards were strategically placed there by cops. Because these cards were special they had information about unsolved cases on them.
So all of a sudden, David Russ, this convicted killer, he was convicted of a 2007 murder of a 58-year-old woman. He sees the card of Jennifer Kesse and goes, hmm. So he has this revelation and contacted his lawyer, the lawyer contact Jennifer`s dad and Jennifer`s dad Drew and David Russ have a sit-down in jail.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, speaking of dad, Jennifer`s dad, Drew talked about how he walked into the prison and talked to this confessed murderer who claimed he had information about Jennifer. Let`s listen to Drew`s impression of this man.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DREW KESSE, FATHER OF MISSING WOMAN: I truly believe that the inmate, Mr. Russ, truly believes what he heard. And the investigators are working through it. We`ve been on the ride so many times, Jane. It`s -- I don`t know. You know, we`ve had leads from jail before. This is the first time I`ve gone in, which made it very interesting, to be quite honest.
But we try and not to get too excited about things until something truly comes about and our investigators would tell us that. As of, you know, three or four weeks later almost now, they`re still working through it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Rhonda, how often does jailhouse information solve a case?
RHONDA SAUNDERS, AUTHOR, "WHISPER OF FEAR": Generally speaking, jailhouse informants are unreliable. They`re out for only one person and that`s themselves. They can gather information from news reports, from old newspapers, they put it together. And then they use it to exploit.
And I`m not saying that`s happening in this case. But generally, that`s been my experience with these jailhouse snitches.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Okay, quick break. Hold that thought. We`re going to be back with more on the mystery disappearance of Jennifer Kesse on the eve of the three-year anniversary of that terrible day and moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DREW KESSE, JENNIFER`S FATHER: The last time that we saw Jennifer was actually her boss on January 23rd at approximately 6:00 p.m. They both walked out of their -- their business together and went home.
Jennifer on the way home as well as at home, spoke with myself, Joyce, her brother Logan, her boyfriend, her best girlfriend, a couple of girlfriends all that evening. And she ended up speaking with her boyfriend who lives about three hours south of Orlando at 10:00 p.m. He was the last person, they said good night. They were very tired from a four-day trip in St. Croix.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And that was it. Rhonda Saunders, could this be some kind of stranger stalking case that we`re dealing with here.
SAUNDERS: Generally stalkers want to be noticed by their victims because the fear in terror is part of their M.O. In this particular case, though, it could have been somebody who is an opportunist.
However, they do have DNA, and in the past couple of years, there`s been so many inroads with DNA including, an expansion of the database where states now are passing laws that any one who is even represented for a felony must give a sample. I would suggest, run that DNA sample again. We might be able to get a hit off of it this time.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, that`s an excellent suggestion.
Don Clark apparently there was construction work nearby it. But parents said they weren`t able to track down all of the construction workers. Some might be illegals. How do you deal with that situation?
CLARK: Well, I think that you have to expand the scope of this investigation. You`ve got to get way beyond Orlando. It`s possible that this person could have been a transit that`s moving in about the area.
I know they don`t have very good photographs but they do have the images of the guy leaving the car and so forth. They`ve got to get those to border crossings. They`ve got to get those to where people come and go in this country and other states.
Who knows, Jane, someone may look at a backside of a picture and notice something that could lead them to a better lead.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: By the same token, though, Don. Sometimes it`s somebody right down the block. When you have situations that involved stalkers, you could have somebody who has been eyeing this person, who might work at the local coffee shop or might work at the local dry cleaners and developed a fixation, right, Rhonda?
SAUNDERS: That`s correct.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Leslie, I will give you the last word. This all happening ironically in the same area where little Caylee went missing.
SNADOWSKY: It`s strange and going back to on your previous question about the type of story it was when it broke and the family, keeping the story alive. Tomorrow there`s going to be a special event at the Mall at Millennia, kind of a safety and community event called "Jennifer Kesse, Keeping Hope for the Missing."
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And we`re going to leave it right there. Thanks so much for joining us.
I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell. You`re watching "ISSUES" on HLN.