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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
Reality Star a Suspect in Model`s Murder; Abandoned Dogs Kill Couple
Aired August 20, 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, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, unreal developments in the hunt for a reality TV star, wanted for questioning in the dramatic murder of a swimsuit model. Has Ryan Jenkins taken to the high seas? The self-proclaimed millionaire`s SUV was found near the Canada border with an empty boat trailer. Jenkins called cops to report Jasmine Fiore`s disappearance but then fled the scene before cops found her body inside a suitcase in a Dumpster. And wait until you hear about his criminal past with women. This story is almost too crazy for late-night TV.
Plus, the FBI joins the search for a missing Georgia woman, the woman who screamed "Don`t take me" while talking to her boyfriend on her cell phone. That was nine days ago. That was the last time anyone has seen or heard from Kristi Cornwell. Her family joins us to share their heart- aching story.
Then, Octomom`s upside-down world goes prime time. Her two-hour documentary, the first of several to air in the U.S., premiered last night. So did it reveal an ounce of evidence that this mother of 14 isn`t the self-obsessed publicity-driven crazy person? We`ll analyze.
And then, pets abandoned by their owner, an issue plaguing our country. Fatally attacking an animal-loving couple who was trying to give them food, these maggot-infested dogs live day and night without shelter. Why? Because someone decided to move on and thought their pets could fend for themselves. Give me a break. We`ll talk about what can be done to stop pet abandonment. The story you will only get on ISSUES.
ISSUES starts now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Fast-breaking news tonight in the murder of model Jasmine Fiore. Prosecutors have charged her ex-husband, reality TV star Ryan Jenkins, with her murder. That suspect has been on the run all week.
We expect a news conference from authorities at any moment, which could hold huge developments. We will bring you the very latest as it comes in on this breaking story.
Cops, federal agents, Canadian authorities, all on a desperate manhunt for Ryan Jenkins, who is believed to have fled to Canada, or at least trying to. Ryan Jenkins, once married to Jasmine Fiore. The 28-year-old gorgeous swimsuit model was found naked, stuffed inside a suitcase, and tossed like garbage into a Dumpster outside her apartment. The building manager who discovered her body spoke about this horrific finding.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FRANK DISTEFANO, DISCOVERED VICTIM`S BODY: It was partially opened. I lifted it up one time and saw skin, but I wasn`t sure, so I lifted it up again, and then when I saw the birthmark -- or the marks on the body and everything, I verified that it was a body. And immediately called 911.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That is disgusting.
Just hours after that man found Jasmine Fiore`s body, her ex, Ryan Jenkins, called cops to report her missing, and then, voila, disappeared. Now Jenkins refuses to talk to cops, and they believe he has fled the country. Jenkins, the last person seen with his ex-wife.
In a bizarre twist, this suspect was a finalist on the VH1 reality show "Megan Wants a Millionaire." Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RYAN JENKINS, MURDER SUSPECT: Time with Megan alone was enough to let her get in touch with my deeper side and redeem myself for, you know, some of the silly things I said at dinner.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Redeem yourself? Well, that was Ryan competing for the attention of another woman and claiming to be a millionaire on VH1.
Now TMZ reports the suspect`s dad has a private jet and connections in Honduras. Could this so-called smooth operator be headed that way?
Plus, TMZ has learned that Ryan allegedly hit Jasmine back in April, and a criminal complaint was filed. This guy has a history of domestic violence. She was convicted of assaulting a different girlfriend a couple of years ago, as well.
With reports mounting that Jasmine was leaving Ryan and had actually packed her bags, we`re left wondering if this allegedly abusive ex-husband turned into a murderer on the lam from the law.
Straight out to my fantastic expert panel: Lisa Bloom, CNN legal analyst; Curtis Sliwa, founder, Guardian Angels; Pat Brown, criminal profiler and CEO of the Pat Brown Criminal Profiling Agency; and Darren Kavinoky, criminal defense attorney, a.k.a., the voice of reason; and the one and only, Mike Walters, assignment manager for TMZ.
Mike, we are waiting for an announcement from law enforcement. Could come in any second now. We`ve got our cameras trained on that news conference in Orange County, California. We`ll bring it to you when we get it. What do you know, in the meantime?
MIKE WALTERS, ASSIGNMENT MANAGER, TMZ: Well, like you said, I think the breaking news right now is the fact he`s been charged with murder. The Orange County district attorney charged -- charged him with one count of murder.
Now I think we should get back really quick to what you said about his past. You know, he`s been in two different instances with two girls, one being Jasmine. He has a complaint against him in Las Vegas for hitting Jasmine with his fist in the arm.
He`s also been convicted in Canada for -- this is two years ago, for an ex-girlfriend, for attacking her -- and with battery. And this charge, he actually had to do domestic violence counseling and sex addiction therapy at a hospital.
I think that this -- this painted picture, it`s just really weird that we had to go through the 007 James Bond stuff with this guy, going up to the Canadian border. I mean, he literally took a boat across a bit of the ocean, jumped out, docked the boat, got out, ran across the border on foot. That`s what they`re saying. This is...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And by the way, we`re looking at the boat right now, Mike. I`m jumping in to say, look at the cops. They`re looking at the boat right now. And what are the things...
WALTERS: This boat...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Go ahead.
WALTERS: This boat, I mean, this is a ski boat. He actually went, got the boat, put it in the water, went across, because he knew he could get into Canada that way, tied it up where -- this place where he used to - - where he grew up and went and walked across the border. It`s unbelievable to me, several days after this happened. And they`re married, unbelievable.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Lisa Bloom, we`re all trying to figure out what are they going to announce when they hold this news conference any moment. Now, we don`t have a crystal ball, but how rare is it to charge somebody with murder who hasn`t been apprehended yet? You see they found the boat. If he was out on the water, that`s nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. Do you think they`ve got him?
LISA BLOOM, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I think they very well may, or they just want to file so they can get the Canadian law enforcement authorities involved.
Look, this flight is consciousness of guilt in an American court. He`s the one who called on Saturday and said, "My wife is missing, boohoo." Well, guess what? Now that they`ve found the body, he immediately has taken off. He`s going to have to come up with kind of a good story if he`s going to say to me he`s innocent as to why he decided to go on the lam and flee the country immediately after his wife`s body was found. Good luck with that one.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, this is a tour he`s taking of the entire West Coast. Let`s retrace exactly what happened last weekend.
Friday, Jasmine Fiore, last seen with her ex-husband, Ryan Jenkins, who is now the suspect, in San Diego at a poker tournament. The very next morning, Saturday, a building manager at Jasmine`s Buena Park, California, apartment -- that`s in Orange County -- a little bit farther north found her dead, stuffed naked in a suitcase in a Dumpster.
Later that night, Jenkins told cops she was missing, but it wasn`t until Monday cops I.D.`d the body as Jasmine`s. By Wednesday, cops were searching the entire West Coast for Ryan, and a man fitting his description was seen riding a boat in Blaine, Washington, and his car was found there with an empty boat trailer. He was right next to the Canadian border, where cops believe, last we heard, he is.
Darren Kavinoky, now here`s another problem. If he`s in Canada, Canada will not extradite somebody charged with a death penalty offense, correct?
DARREN KAVINOKY, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, that`s true. There are many countries that won`t extradite somebody to the United States when they`re facing the death penalty. That doesn`t hold true if it`s just life in prison. And obviously, at this point, we don`t know, assuming that he`s the guy that did it.
And of course, I agree Lisa, his flight certainly shows consciousness of guilt, but he may yet have a good explanation. We`ll have to stay tuned.
He could be charged with first-degree premeditated murder. It could be second-degree murder. It could be some kind of a manslaughter charge, ultimately.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do you think if he`s in Canada...
KAVINOKY: We don`t know enough details.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do you think if he`s in Canada, they`ll bring him back?
KAVINOKY: Most likely, he`s going to be coming back. And of course, you already mentioned that there are ties to Honduras, as well. So it`s just a question of where in the world he`s tracked down.
BLOOM: How do you take a woman and you stuff her into a bag and then you dump her in a Dumpster, and it`s not first-degree murder? I mean, you`re right, he might not get charged with the death penalty. Most husbands who kill their wives, by the way, do not get to the death penalty here in the United States. And not charging him with the death penalty will ensure that the Canadian authorities will cooperate.
But this is clearly, I think, going to be a first-degree murder process. What possible explanation does he have to flee?
KAVINOKY: Hang on -- hang on...
BLOOM: He just decided to take a vacation right about now?
KAVINOKY: Hang on, let me answer that one.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wait, wait.
KAVINOKY: Because what somebody does with the body afterwards doesn`t necessarily speak to the way in which that body got killed. So there`s...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: There`s a guy with a red cap right in front of you who is going to jump out of his skin if he doesn`t get a chance to say something.
BLOOM: Jumped into a bag and threw herself into a Dumpster? I mean, come on.
CURTIS SLIWA, FOUNDER, GUARDIAN ANGELS: You know, Jane, I`m wondering, if I was that woman in the reality show and this guy, Jenkins, said, "You know, she helped touch my deeper side," I`m saying, thank God she didn`t help touch his dark side, or she might have been beaten or a victim. Because this guy clearly, as you said, Jane, was a predator on a prowl.
And now that he`s on the lam, we`ve got to depend on Dudley Dooright and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to pinch this guy and hopefully extradite him back to the United States. I`d like to see the gas chamber in San Quentin fired up for this guy.
PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER: It`s not going to happen. It`s going to be second-degree, because what we have is a scenario where he supposedly saw this text message that she had this other guy, and he`s going to claim that it was one of those crimes of passion. He didn`t plan anything. He just went crazy and accidentally strangled her. And that`s why I think it`s going to be second-degree. How he got rid of the body is a different issue.
KAVINOKY: If it`s truly a crime of passion -- if it`s truly a crime of passion, that`s voluntary manslaughter.
BROWN: There`s no such thing as -- no, there`s no such thing as a crime of passion.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. OK. Darren, you were saying?
KAVINOKY: Yes, if it truly is a crime of passion, then that is by definition, voluntary manslaughter. And the disposal of the body afterwards is an entirely separate issue. I mean, the defense could be...
BLOOM: It`s not a crime of passion just because she texted some other guy. Give me a break!
KAVINOKY: Well, it depends on more of the facts of the case. It certainly is possible. I mean, we`re jumping to all of these conclusions with very little facts...
BLOOM: I mean, this sounds like Chris Brown all over again, you know.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hold on, everybody. We`ll be back in a second.
BLOOM: Next thing, we`re supposed to feel sorry for him.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But take a look. If you saw those wedding photos, it was a quickie wedding, and they got married right after they met, not a good idea, generally.
More on this truly bizarre murder mystery in a moment.
We`re also taking your calls: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.
And then a pack of abandoned dogs left to fend for themselves fatally attack a couple. The real criminal in all this, people who dump their pets and leave them to fend for themselves. It`s a story you will only get here on ISSUES.
Plus, a reality TV star wanted for questioning in a swimsuit model`s bizarre death may have hit the high seas.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our fear is that he might possibly be en route to Canada. He was the last person seen with her.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: A news conference under way right now in the death of Jasmine Fiore. Let`s listen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... as well as supervisory inspector Burt Topea (ph). I also have with me the family of Jasmine.
First, on behalf of those represented here today and from all of the men and women of the Buena Park Police Department, I would like to extend our sincere and heartfelt condolences to the family and friends. And I can also promise the vigorous and judicious pursuit of justice in this case.
Since the beginning of this investigation, our personnel have been working very closely with the Orange County district attorney`s office, and I can now announce that as of this afternoon, we now have a warrant for the arrest of Ryan Alexander Jenkins for the murder of Jasmine. This arrest warrant is the result of significant efforts by individuals of both my department and so many other law enforcement agencies.
At this time, I would like to recognize and thank the members of my department for their outstanding and tireless efforts in this investigation, many of whom have been working every waking moment since the discovery of Jasmine`s body. Words cannot adequately describe my appreciation for their efforts. This investigation has progressed to this point through their hard work and the outstanding teamwork and assistance of numerous law enforcement agencies, which have included the Orange County Sheriff`s Department, the Los Angeles County Sheriff`s Department, Los Angeles Police Department, San Diego Sheriff`s Department, the Las Vegas Metro Police Department, the Orange County District Attorney`s Office, California Department of Justice, the United States Marshals Office, the United States Customs and Immigration, the United States Coast Guard, the Blaine Police Department in the state of Washington, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
This has definitely been an investigation that has included significant resources, and I would like to convey my appreciation to all.
As I have indicated, we now have an arrest wander for Ryan Alexander Jenkins. Last night, officers from the Blaine Police Department in the state of Washington recovered one of the vehicles that we had previously announced. That vehicle is the black 2003 BMW X-5. The white 2007 Mercedes Benz COS-550 with paper plates is still outstanding, and we continue to ask the public`s support in the assistance of locating that vehicle.
At this time, it`s our belief that the suspect has crossed the border into Canada, and we are currently working with the royal Canadian Mounted Police in our attempts to locate him.
Last night, the black BMW was located in the city of Blaine, Washington, with a boat trailer attached. Later, a boat, which is owned by Ryan Jenkins, was located in Port Robert in the state of Washington, which is located just south of the Canadian border. It is now our belief that he has now crossed the border on foot.
At this time, I would like to call forward Chief Inspector Thomas Session of the United States Marshal Service.
THOMAS SESSION, CHIEF INSPECTOR, U.S. MARSHAL SERVICE: Thank you, Chief. Chief inspector Tom Session, U.S. Marshall Service. I command a regional fugitive team that is assisting Buena Park Police Department in this investigation.
Our condolences also go out to the family of the victim of this crime.
What the marshal service is doing is we`re assisting in -- both on this side and in the United States and with our Canadian partners in locating the suspect. And at this time, while we believe he has crossed into Canada, we`re not 100 percent sure of that. And there will be no stone unturned, and we`ll look under every rock for him.
He needs to understand that he`s now officially wanted, that we don`t stop looking for him. The men and women of the task force and the various agencies involved will continue to work for him until we have him apprehended and in custody.
Given that, anybody that assists him, helps him in any way, is also subject to being charged as aiding and abetting and harboring a fugitive. So I would suggest to anybody out there, that is looking to assist this individual, that they don`t. Because they`re going to be subject to being charged also. Thank you very much.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Now they have issued a warrant for the arrest of Ryan Jenkins for murder. Their boat was located just south of the Canadian border. That`s the boat you`re looking at. They believe this suspect, who was the ex-husband of the murdered woman who was found dumped in a suitcase, has crossed probably on foot to the Canadian border.
You know what this reminds me of, Curtis Sliwa? It reminds me of the Max Factor case. Remember the heir to the Max Factor cosmetics fortune, who fled the country?
KAVINOKY: Andrew Luster.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, Andrew Luster. And you know who got him back? Duane "Dog" Chapman. Is this a case, Curtis, for Duane "Dog" Chapman, the bounty hunter?
SLIWA: Well, remember last time, the Mexican authorities, who can`t even rein in their narco terrorists, wanted the Dog extradited from Hawaii to Mexico to stand charges for that, and they almost got their wish.
But yes, I`d say put the call out to A&E, the Dog and see if the Dog is ready to take his posse up to Calgary and Alberta and literally help the RCMP. Because there are a lot of rural areas up there. There`s a lot of oil fields and natural gas fields in which you can hide a month of Sundays.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Lisa Bloom, I was so sure they were going to say, "We caught him." I was a tad disappointed, and I saw the grieving family, obviously, the poor mom. I believe that`s the mom.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Making an assumption here. So I`m not sure, certainly, but she looked like she was about to faint at any moment, grief stricken. I thought they were going to say they got him. I was a tad disappointed that they just said they were -- that they have a warrant.
BLOOM: Yes. And of course we are. But, Jane, with shows like this and his face being on television, and Canadians watch American television, and this is going to be all over their TV, it`s not going to be long before the Canadian authorities catch him. Believe you me.
And I also like that the police officer said, "Hey, anybody who helps him, you`re going to be charged with aiding and abetting." So everybody can be on notice. You cannot help him. You can`t give him food. You can`t give him a place to stay, nothing, or you`re going to be charged with a felony, too.
KAVINOKY: Jane, you know...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Go ahead.
KAVINOKY: This is an important difference, Jane. You mentioned Andrew Luster. The thing that was his undoing is that he wasn`t just hiding away in the mountains somewhere. He was down in Puerto Vallarta, going to all these dance clubs, being out, mingling around.
This guy is going to be the focus of everyone in the world. Lisa`s absolutely right. It`s out there on all the TV shows. He`s going to have a really, really tough time. Unless he`s just socked away in the Canadian mountains somewhere, he`s going to be found. He is the No. 1 most wanted guy in the world right now.
BROWN: He doesn`t know how to do that, though, because he`s Mr. Pretty Boy. He`s Mr. Party Guy. He`s Mr. Hang Out in Las Vegas. So I think he`s going to try to get to Daddy. So I hope he didn`t fall -- I hope he fell really far from that tree so that Daddy doesn`t help him.
I also want to comment that I think the marshal`s absolutely correct. I think he`s doing the right thing, because he knows where to look:" under a rock.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I would say, you`re absolutely right, Pat Brown. Look to Daddy and ask Daddy, where`s that jet of yours? And you had better not be taking off with that jet.
Thank you to my fantastic panel. We`re going to stay on top of this throughout the hour, bring you the very latest developments.
It`s been nine days since a Georgia woman vanished into thin air, leaving zero trace of where she could be. Her distraught family joins us to share their heart-wrenching concerns.
Then, when will people learn, if you dump your pets in the woods, leaving them to fend for themselves, no good can come from it. A tragic story of two people just trying to help. Now all the dogs you`re looking at are dead.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: In the "Spotlight" tonight, the real story behind a horrific dog attack in rural Georgia. Sixteen dogs, five of them puppies, put to death because they killed a beautiful animal-loving couple.
These dogs were captured, the ones you`re looking at right there, and then killed after they mauled the retired professor and his wife last weekend. The dogs were domesticated animals, pets, that appeared to have gone feral because they had been abandoned by their original caretaker. They reportedly fell on hard times and moved away from the area.
Now, although some neighbors fed them from time to time, the animals were essentially left to fend for themselves outdoors, day in and day out. Some of the dogs infested with maggots when they were caught.
This gut-wrenching tragedy was 110 percent preventable. So who`s really to blame?
Joining me now, Jane Garrison, animal welfare expert, who has done many abandoned pet rescues. I videotaped her on several occasions.
Jane, I called this an extreme case of human error. Two people, wonderful people, who leave behind a dozen pets of their own, and 16 dogs who were put in an impossible situation, all dead. What could have been done to prevent this?
JANE GARRISON, ANIMAL WELFARE EXPERT: Well, first of all, the dogs should have never been abandoned. It is completely wrong and illegal to abandon an animal. People should not just move away and leave their animals to fend for themselves.
In addition, none of these dogs were spayed or neutered, and a dog who is not spayed or neutered is more likely to attack, which is one of the many reasons that communities should be passing mandatory spay/neuter laws.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And they were having puppies. So the five puppies get put to sleep, just as part of the group. Who knows whether those puppies were involved in the mauling situation or not?
Now, here`s a very disturbing statistic. The Humane Society says 6 to 8 million -- 6 to 8 million -- dogs and cats end up in shelters every year. Of those, 3 to 4 million are euthanized, a fancy way of saying killed.
Jane, some people say hard economic times have forced them to abandon their companion animals, but even rich people often treat animals as disposable objects. So what role do breeders pay in this pet overpopulation crisis in America today?
GARRISON: Well, breeders are the No. 1 reason that so many dogs are being killed. We need to stop breeding more animals and concentrate on finding homes for the animals who are sitting on Death Row in shelters. And we all can help stop the killing by boycotting breeders and pet stores.
Jane, 30 to 40 percent of dogs in shelters are purebreds. So people can get any dog they want by going to their local shelter or by visiting Web sites like AdoptaPet.com.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And if people weren`t buying so many dogs and the breeders weren`t making money off of breeding and selling dogs, there would be fewer dogs in the shelters, and maybe this poor man who had fallen on hard times wouldn`t have felt obligated to leave his dogs in the country to fend for themselves. He could have had them adopted by somebody, because there would be homes available.
GARRISON: Exactly. It`s a vicious circle. We need to stop supporting breeders, stop supporting pet stores, and we need to spay and neuter our animals. And we never, ever abandon an animal to fend for themselves. It`s just not right.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And it also seemed that this was sort of a hoarding situation, in the sense that this was too many dogs -- too many dogs for one person to have and then abandon them.
GARRISON: Exactly. And dogs act differently when they`re in packs. We saw this when I was rescuing animals in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. You saw cocker spaniels and Chihuahuas and all these little dogs joining up and becoming packs. They act different in packs, and we need to stop them roaming free, spay and neuter them, and limit the number that people have.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ve got to leave it right there. Thank you so much, Jane Garrison.
Breaking news. The FBI has joined the search for a missing Georgia woman. Here`s the latest on her horrific abduction. Her family joins us right after the break to talk about their heartache.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Breaking news tonight. Authorities announced the murder charges filed against reality star Ryan Jenkins, a self-described multimillionaire. He is charged with murdering his ex-wife, a beautiful model, by the name of Jasmine Fiore. She was found naked, stuffed in a suitcase on Saturday in Orange County, California.
Moments ago, if you were watching, authorities revealed gruesome details of her death. Her fingers and her teeth were, reportedly removed, according to authorities at the news conference. That is shockingly sick. What does it signify?
We are going to stay on top of the story and we will analyze all these developments as they come in. That is really, really horrifying.
Speaking of horrifying. We`ve got some new developments tonight in the very frightening abduction of a Georgia woman, Kristi Cornwell. The 38-year-old mom disappeared as she was out, just walking, getting some exercise while she was talking on her cell phone with her boyfriend. He says he heard her scream "Don`t take me" before the phone was disconnected.
Today, for the very first time, Kristi`s boyfriend spoke publicly to NBC`s "Today Show." He believes she is still alive.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DOUGLAS DAVIS, MISSING WOMAN`S BOYFRIEND: When you meet someone this precious -- it may only come once in a lifetime -- and to see this tragedy occur, it`s like someone took my heart and ripped it out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, authorities say the boyfriend has apparently been ruled out as a suspect, because he was in Atlanta, far away.
Kristi`s family has just released this home video shot 15 years ago when she just became a mother; the family hoping that somebody, somewhere, will recognize her and call in that crucial lead that they need.
Meantime, some disheartening news to tell you about: the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has stopped the ground searches for Kristi, but the FBI is still involved and sex offenders have been questioned in three separate states.
Joining me tonight: Michelle Sigona, national correspondent with "America`s Most Wanted;" Vinnie Parco, private investigator extraordinaire; Pat Brown, criminal profiler and CEO of the Pat Brown Criminal Profiling Agency; and Terry Lyles.
But first, I want to bring in a very special guest by phone. Jo Ann Cornwell, the mother of the missing woman, Kristi Cornwell.
Jo Ann, thank you so much for taking the time to speak to us tonight. None of us can possibly, possibly even begin to comprehend the hell you`ve got to be going through right now. And we hope by covering this story, we might jar somebody`s memory for that crucial lead.
Take us through the time line, would you? What happened after Kristi`s boyfriend heard her scream, "Don`t take me"? Who did he call?
JO ANN CORNWELL, MISSING WOMAN`S MOTHER: He immediately called me and told me what had happened and what she had said. And then we hung up, quickly, and I called 911. And then I went out searching for her, until the police arrived. And that was about 9:00, 9:15. I`m not sure, exactly, the time.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: How long did it take for police to arrive?
CORNWELL: Oh, within five to seven minutes, I would say. It seemed longer, but I don`t believe it was.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: This crime was reported so quickly, it was heard -- which is a tremendous advantage -- and then the authorities arrived very quickly. But somehow, that advantage hasn`t really paid off in terms of getting a lead on finding your daughter.
Does that concern you at all? Couldn`t authorities create some kind of a perimeter around the area so that any car that would go through in any direction would be stopped and we could look for your daughter?
CORNWELL: Well, it only takes a car just a few seconds to take off and, you know, be gone. So they could have been a few miles away by the time the police arrived. So I think they did all they could do as quickly as they could.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tell us about your daughter. We understand she is a woman of tremendous faith. Tell us about what she`s like.
CORNWELL: Well, she`s fun loving, she likes to laugh and joke. She has -- she`s very loyal to her friends. She`s a wonderful mother. She`s a wonderful daughter, sister, aunt, granddaughter. She has a grandmother that loved her very much and is very close to her.
She loves to just get out and walk and exercise. And she`s just someone that people usually like to be around.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we`re showing home video that you released in the hopes that it would jar somebody`s memory. This was your daughter 15 years ago when her son was born. He is now 15 years old. How is he handling this extraordinarily traumatic and infuriating situation?
CORNWELL: Well, he`s handling it very well. He`s surrounded by a lot of family and he`s getting a lot of love and a lot of support. He has a lot of wonderful friends and everybody is supporting him and just helping him in any way we can.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Kristi`s dad cautioned about young people using the Internet to meet people. Are you thinking that this is possible an Internet-related crime?
CORNWELL: I mean, it could be anything, but I doubt that.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So she wasn`t cruising the Internet, looking for people? She certainly doesn`t look like the type of person that would do that.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: No. How are you coping with the news that the Georgia authorities ended their ground search?
CORNWELL: Well, it sounds like maybe it would be a bad thing, but we don`t look at it that way. We feel like that since she was not found within the three to five-mile radius that they searched, that that`s a good thing.
And that, you know, that she probably is somewhere still alive and ok. Just someone`s holding her and hasn`t turned her loose.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jo Ann, I want to say that our thoughts are with you. We really pray that your daughter is found safe and sound and that you can come back on the show and just announce some really, really good news.
CORNWELL: Thank you. And we appreciate all that you`re doing to get the word out about Kristi.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we promise you, we`re going to stay on top of this story. We`re going to do everything we can.
CORNWELL: Thank you so much.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you, Jo Ann.
Let`s take a look at the map of the area. The abduction happened in Union County and now they`re searching three states, Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina. Given the advantage of knowing about the abduction at the very moment it happened, which is rare, I`m going to ask Michelle Sigona. Couldn`t cops have made some kind of perimeter in the area and narrowed this search before this person or persons had time to cross state lines?
MICHELLE SIGONA, NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, "AMERICA`S MOST WANTED: Absolutely. And usually, Jane, as you know what happens in these sorts of investigations, once they get to the scene and start to verify information and a little bit of time has passed by and they start to look at the phone calls and call the boyfriend and figure out where he is and then talk to the family and figure out an exact time line, and just trying to put everything into perspective, it takes a little bit of time to be able to establish that.
And then they can move forward and figure out how many resources they need to bring in. What other departments need to step in to be able to achieve those kinds of goals pretty quickly?
This is a very rural area. This is a county of about 20,000 to 25,000. The road that Kristi was walking on is a two-lane stretch of highway. There`s not a lot of vehicles there. That`s why investigators came forward and said, you know what, we`re looking for white SUV. We don`t know a model or a make, but it was odd enough for it to be in the area to spark someone`s interest.
In addition, that`s why they also put out the lookout for the gold or tan-colored small compact vehicle, because it`s another vehicle that was in the area that really didn`t seem right to people.
So they started going door to door. They started tracking down sex offenders. They did start setting up road blocks, but you`ve got to be able to verify that information and lock down that time line before you can move forward.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, but Pat Brown, it strikes me, if we can put somebody on the moon, we can figure out a system where the second somebody goes missing there`s a system -- just like there`s an Amber Alert system for missing children -- to put up a circle around the area.
I don`t say that to criticize. I couldn`t be a cop if my life depended on it for 5 minutes. I took the course as part of a story I did years ago and I failed miserably. They told me, "You will never be a police officer. Forget about it." So I have the utmost respect.
I`m just trying to -- it`s infuriating that he heard the abduction and it didn`t give them the advantage.
PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILE: It does. But they have to check out things first, and that`s what they always say.
But I want to make a point, I don`t see happening in enough of these cases, really has to happen. The police need to go public to everyone, all the citizens, and give this kind of information.
Before the crime occurred, did you know anybody who was a psychopath, who hated women, who is very narcissistic, who is a liar, who has no empathy for anybody? Was somebody you know in the area, was he hanging around with some other creepy dude? Maybe there`s a couple of these guys involved.
And after the crime -- where were they at the time. Do you know somebody who`s missing at that time? Somebody who`s running around?
After the crime, did you see somebody vacuuming out his car, washing, taking his car to the truck wash to get that taken care of? Did you see him hiding anything? Did someone ask you for the alibi?
They have to go to the public get that information coming in or they`re not going to have nothing to work with, no leads.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you`re right. I agree.
Terry Lyles, it`s not like these psychos wake up and go, I`m going to do this right now. They`re exhibiting behavior before this crime. I would usually suspect drugs; people on crack or people who are mentally ill, who are hearing voices.
But they`re not just going to be a normal, average citizen and suddenly commit a crime like this.
VINNIE PARCO, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR: Many of these people are impulsive. We have to keep in mind too.
TERRY LYLES, PSYCHOLOGIST: Yes, of course. And Jane, we talk about this every week. These people are everywhere.
And I think some of the issues, we just live in our own worlds and we`re kind of in silos, we`re busy, we`re texting and walking and on the phone, which is fine, well, and good. But sometimes I think that vigilance has gone away, that we`re really not aware of our situational awareness right around us. And sometimes things like this happen because we are too relaxed in some cases. There`s a lot of weird people walking around ready to prey.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Vinnie Parco, weigh in on this because it`s a total mystery. It doesn`t make sense at this point.
PARCO: You know, she was a parole officer. It could be somebody that she violated while she was a parole officer who feels that he`s going to get revenge on her.
BROWN: It`s been seven years. I don`t think that has anything to do with this.
PARCO: But some of these people don`t forget.
BROWN: I think somebody had an opportunity. Somebody`s coming down, there she is.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Vinnie.
SIGONA: I think that if there`s a chance for her to come out of this, it`s a very good chance. She does have police training. There is that opportunity for her to be able to set herself free and to come forward, I think she`ll take that chance because she`s trained in self-defense.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I hope you`re right. I just haven`t been able to put this case out of my mind, thinking, what`s happening to this woman. It`s a torture for all of us and it`s sick.
PARCO: In defense of the police, I have to say, when these things happen, the police have to evaluate the situation before they can act, and that takes a few minutes.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re right. Got to leave it right there. Got to leave it right there. Thank you, fantastic panel.
Will former New York giants Plaxico Burress serve any jail time for a weapons charge? We`ll analyze the details of that case next.
And octo-mom says she wants to shield her kids from being overexposed. Ok, but she doesn`t see the hypocrisy in signing them up for a prime-time TV show?
Give me a holler -- 1-877-JVM-SAYS; tell me what you think.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: More octo-mom madness as Nadya Suleman`s two-hour documentary aired last night. Isn`t this what Suleman once claimed was exploitation that she didn`t want to expose her kids to? All that in a moment.
First, "Top of the Block:" former New York Giant Plaxico Burress pleaded guilty today to a weapons charge and could end up serving two years in prison. Burress was originally facing three-and-a half years behind bars after he accidentally shot himself in the leg at a Manhattan nightclub last November with a semiautomatic. According to the D.A., teammate, Antonio Pierce was with him, drove him to the hospital, and then arranged for the pistol to be taken to Burress`s New Jersey home.
No one called the police to report the gunshot wound as required by law and Burress was not licensed to carry the weapon in New York or New Jersey. The one-time super bowl star, free on bail until his sentencing, September 22nd.
This is yet another example of mystifying, self-destructive behavior. Burress was a guy who had everything: wealth, fame, achievement. He, himself, took it all away with one shot. You might say he shot himself in the foot.
That`s tonight`s "Top of the Block."
Fourteen kids and a single mom: that`s a recipe for a prime-time train wreck. More than 4 million people watched Nadya Suleman and her brood in a two-hour prime-time special last night.
Fox`s "Octo-mom: The incredible unseen footage" was an inside look at their surreal world. These poor kids.
Here`s a snippet of the complete chaos they endure every single day.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. That`s enough to give you a headache in five seconds. That`s a total calamity. Even with an around the clock staff of nannies, take a look at this. My head`s getting scrambled, just trying to absorb all of this.
And of course, she says she hates being a celebrity. Listen to this one.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NADYA SULEMAN, MOTHER OF OCTUPLES: I don`t like the attention. I don`t know. I think it affects the kids negatively.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Really? If you don`t want the attention, don`t allow cameras into your home. This is a woman who already had six kids when she became pregnant with octuplets. She reportedly used the same sperm donor to conceive all 14 kids through in vitro fertilization, a decision her own mother calls unconscionable. I agree with her mom.
There`s a million kids out there, hungry and homeless. If you love kids so much, Nadya, why didn`t you opt to take care of some of those orphans who need homes?
Straight to my fantastic panel: Rachel Dallas, contributing editor for "Life and Style Weekly;" Elizabeth Kelly, criminal defense attorney, there you are; and Dr. Dale Archer, clinical psychiatrist.
Rachel, what`s the talk in Hollywood today, the day after this special? How special was it in terms of ratings?
RACHEL DALLAS, "LIFE & STYLE WEEKLY": You know what, not so great. It was the bottom, the lowest rated show of the four broadcast networks last night; about 4.2 million viewers. And granted it`s a little bit more than Kate gets on her show, but that`s a cable network.
So the rumor going around is people weren`t that interested. And, you know, she disses Kate on this special, saying that she`s craving attention and she`s desperate. But clearly, she wants the attention too, the octo- mom.
It`s like (INAUDIBLE) calling Paris Hilton a dumb blonde. They are the exact same, you know.
She loves it! She loves the spotlight. And you know, she signed her kids up for three years now to do a documentary, featuring their lives. So clearly she`s in it for a little bit more than privacy.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: If these were my kids, I would be so embarrassed that -- and I don`t have kids. I have three Chihuahuas -- but if I had kids, I would be so embarrassed, Dr. Dale, that they`re running around like this, crying and screaming, looking so unhappy. It doesn`t seem like she has any concept of how she`s being perceived.
DALE ARCHER, CLINICAL PSYCHIATRIST: No, obviously not. And I think with the show last night, I just have to say, when they`re showing the birth and all that, yuck. If I wanted to see that many cords tangled up, I would look behind my entertainment system, I wouldn`t watch multiple births on TV.
It just was disgusting. And then some of the quotes that she said, when she`s talking about Kate and saying, "Oh, well, some people" -- implying people other than her -- "just crave attention."
Really, Nadya, did you really say that? That other people, i.e., Kate, crave attention. And what about you? Do you love attention? Do you want attention? Do you need attention? It just goes on and on.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hey, what`s next? I could be a reality TV show producer. A hot wrestling with hot oil between Kate Gosselin and Nadya Suleman, Elizabeth Kelly, because even that seems like, oh, a crass suggestion on my part, it could happen.
ELIZABETH KELLY, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: It could happen. But, look, Jane, I don`t see what the problem here is. Yes, she loves attention. Yes, she`s tacky. But I haven`t heard any substantial allegations of child abuse. The woman hasn`t done anything criminal.
ARCHER: No, she hasn`t done anything criminal, but it`s just more outrageous and some of the things she said, you`re just shaking your head. I`ve been a psychiatrist for 22 years and I think I`ve heard it all and some of the things that I hear coming out of her mouth, I`m just going, "Really."
KELLY: If we indicted everyone who said something stupid, our prisons would be ten times fuller than they are right now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ve already got more people in prison than any other country in the world...
ARCHER: We`re not saying that what she`s doing is criminal. And I totally agree this is not abuse in any way shape or form. And I don`t think its abuse to have cameras taking photos of your kids. So I agree with you completely on that.
KELLY: But what about the camera woman in the birthing room? That was...
ARCHER: In the birthing room...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hang on fantastic panel because we`re going to get to that. We`re going to show you the birthing room and all sorts of other stuff either. It`s a cringe fest. We`re going to be back.
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It`s a recovery memoir that`s coming out in just a couple of weeks. You can pre-order your copy right now. Click on CNN.com/Jane and look for the pre-order section.
If you know somebody with a substance abuse problem this book will help you cope.
Octo-mom: her life behind the scenes debuts on primetime. What motivated her to expose her 14 kids in this fashion? Is it going to damage them? We`re going to show you some of the highlights.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think you`re going to start a reality show?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When your kids are all grown up?
SULEMAN: No, I think that`s exploitation of my kids.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes back in February, it was exploitation. But now we`re getting our first look at the astonishing birth of Suleman`s eight babies.
Here`s another clip from last night`s Fox Special. In it you`ll hear Nadya`s friends arguing with nurses over filming the delivery.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, that`s not what she wanted. And that`s not what we agreed on. You need to step out.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You need to leave.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is your problem?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am moving.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You need to get out of the way.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You need to step away from me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Find something to do important instead of bothering me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m not bothering you ma`am, I`m trying to ensure the safety of everybody in this room.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m filing a complaint against you right now. You need to go away.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Rachel Dallas, that is disturbing. And it kind of reminds me of these crazy scene when she brought the babies back, but it`s worse than that. I mean it`s just - there is something -- we shouldn`t be watching that, I don`t think.
DALLAS: It`s so bad. But I have to say that was the best part of the whole documentary. I mean, other parts of it we have kind of already seen the footage. And getting that glimpse into the birthing room of how desperate - desperate they really were to get that footage was unbelievable.
I thought that nurse was going to anesthetize that camerawoman right on the spot. Just to how was she was getting in the way I mean it really was disturbing to see that.
ARCHER: I have to say that I thought that I was watching the nature channel and a shark feeding frenzy instead of a primetime TV show.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, boy.
KELLY: Well, what`s disturbing to me is poor octo-mom, no matter what you think of her, she`s giving birth to eight babies at this point. And there`s this psychodrama going on in the delivery room and no one is really paying any attention to her or the eight new babies which are coming into this world. It`s crazy.
ARCHER: No, I think the medical staff was paying a lot of attention to her. They were trying to move the cameraperson out of the way so that they could pay attention.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: This isn`t a regular birth.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is a birth that is very tricky, complicated birth with all these lives at stake. And that`s what makes that scene honestly -- I became physically nauseous watching that. I don`t know if that was just me...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But it really hit me and I kind of like, "This is not a good thing."
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But Jane is there anything that she does now that can possibly surprise you anymore? I mean, it`s just one thing after another.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: No, I said I predict that there`s going to be a hot wrestling contest between her and Kate Gosselin and I stand by that. I`ll bet you ten bucks.
ARCHER: We need to refer to Zoolander and they can do a walk-off in bikinis her and Kate to see who the best mom is.
KELLY: There you go. I would suggest...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me just bring in this issue because I want show the mom. What would possess a woman to have so many children by herself?
Now, Suleman says it`s part of being an only child and she claimed she had an icy mom. So what does mom think about this? Check out this clip from "Octo-mom: the unseen footage."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANGELA SULEMAN, MOTHER OF NADYA SULEMAN: What she did was unconscionable, and I haven`t forgiven her yet. I`m not comfortable in her presence anymore. She`s just not the way she used to be.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Rachel, what happened to the mother?
DALLAS: I think the mother is just as shocked as the rest of us that she would, after having six children, want to have another eight. And obviously this is a huge conflict between her and her mother, Jane.
And you know, initially she was living with her and living off of her parents. You know, they obviously had a falling out. She moved out.
It was interesting to see the dynamic between the two of them during this special. And I think that`s going to continue to play out.
And I just think, you know, the mom looks at her in the same way we all do, like, "What were you thinking?"
ARCHER: And the mom tried to talk her out of it, actually. And tried to also ask her to give the kids up for adoption and she refused to do it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Got to bring out the old gavel.
We`re out of time. Thank you, fabulous panel.
And you are watching ISSUES on HLN.