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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
Toddler, 2, Abducted from Home; Wyclef Jean`s Charity Under Fire
Aired January 18, 2010 - 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, stomach-churning horror. A family says their precious 2-year-old boy was ripped from their home and is now being held for ransom. Three kidnappers allegedly tied up his sister, knocked out his step-dad and left nothing but a mysterious ransom note. Now the clock is ticking, due to the child`s medical condition. What are police doing to find this adorable toddler?
And unthinkable accusations. Rapper Wyclef Jean is accused of using his Haitian charity to pad his own wallet. The hip-hop mega star has raised millions since the earthquake. But where`s the money going? We`re going to hear from Wyclef himself as he defends his charity.
Also, a mass shooting rips through a Texas home. Five family members found brutally murdered, the youngest victim just two years old. Now reports say a relative has been arrested. What`s going on with family violence in America?
Plus from Florida to Arizona, to south Africa, we`re tracking down the elusive Tiger Woods. New reports now claim the billion-dollar golfer is at a sex rehab center in Mississippi. A local student swears she saw him. That, as he gets advice from another superstar athlete.
ISSUES starts now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, the desperate search for an adorable 2-year- old toddler. Police in Roanoke, Virginia, have issued an Amber Alert for little Aveion Lewis. Cops along with the FBI desperately hunting for any sign of this adorable, precious child.
Aveion, 2 1/2 feet tall. He weighs only 26 pounds. He was last seen wearing his yellow Spongebob Squarepants footy pajamas.
The boy`s stepfather says three men broke into the family`s home and abducted the toddler last Thursday at about 5 p.m. He says the thugs hit him over the head, knocked him unconscious. The step-dad says when he woke up, he found his 4-year-old daughter bound and gagged and his little stepson missing.
The family says Aveion`s abductor also left behind a bizarre ransom note demanding $10,000. More on that in a moment.
Here is the step-dad talking to HLN affiliate WDBJ.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRANDON LOCKETT, STEPFATHER OF ABDUCTED TODDLER: I heard a knock at the door, I went to the back door and all I remember was boom. That`s all I remember. When I came -- when I came to, my wife was standing over me, and my son was crying, and my daughter, she was gagged, up stairs in her room, and that`s all I remember.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hmm. Little Aveion has a health problem, because he was born prematurely. The stepfather says he needs to be kept warm. So if these mystery men have this child, the clock is ticking.
Meanwhile, ISSUES reached out to police to ask if anyone in the child`s family has a criminal history or a history with Child Protective Services. Police refused to comment.
What do you think about this nightmarish story? I`m taking your calls. I want your theories, your thoughts, your questions: 1-877-JVM- SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297.
Straight out to my outstanding expert panel: Robi Ludwig, psychotherapist and contributor at Care.com.
ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: Hi.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Judge David Young, television and radio legal commentator.
Great to have you here tonight, Judge.
JUDGE DAVID YOUNG, TELEVISION AND RADIO LEGAL COMMENTATOR: Hey, Jane. Great to be back.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: John Lucich, former criminal investigator with some insight. And we begin with Michelle Sigona, investigative reporter with MichelleSigona.com.
Michelle, cops are very tightlipped. But what have you been able to find out? What is the very latest here?
MICHELLE SIGONA, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: The very latest, Jane, is about 150 leads have come in so far on this case. The FBI has about 20 agents at various points teaming up with the local authorities in Roanoke to field out leads.
And they`re doing something interesting. They`re passing out questionnaires to all residents within the neighborhood, asking them specific questions about anything that they saw that day, anything specific about the neighborhood. And in addition, they`re asking for consent to be able to go inside of these homes and to possible search for clues and to see if there`s anything else.
I can confirm that investigators do have surveillance video, that they are looking through. I personally called the food line in the area. They do not have any outside external cameras, but the gas station down the street may have some -- may have some surveillance that police are looking into, along with a few other businesses in the area at this time.
When we do know is Aveion is still missing. His 4-year-old daughter [SIC] is OK. There were two other children home at the time. And the stepfather is now, as we you -- as we just saw, speaking out. And he also has said that he has the $10,000 and that they just want their son back.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. He says he was knocked unconscious. Does he have any injuries? Did the step-dad go to the hospital?
SIGONA: At this time what many people who have seen him in person say that his lip was split and that he does have bruises on his face. So it does appear that he was attacked.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight`s big issue, ransom riddle. A ransom note demanding $10,000 was reportedly left behind. Published reports claim it was written on the back of a family member`s hospital bill. Aveion`s uncle, the brother of the boy`s mom, tells HLN affiliate WFLS (ph) that makes him kind of skeptical.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS WADE, UNCLE OF ABDUCTED TODDLER: The other side of the note it had my sister`s name circled, and it was like "It`s nothing personal; it`s just business. We`ll contact you."
I find it hard to believe they came here, tied my niece up, grabbed my nephew and still had time to write a note with two different handwritings on there and get out without nobody seeing them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: This case has some interesting parallels to the famous JonBenet Ramsey case. You may remember there a ransom note demanding $118,000 from her parents, John and Kathy, that was found inside the home. It was allegedly written on lined notepaper taken from a pad inside the house.
That`s why the parents fell under suspicion. They were ultimately exonerated, but that famous killing still remains unsolved.
So cops have to be poring over this ransom note left in Aveion`s case. We`re talking handwriting analysis, fingerprints.
John Lucich, you`re the investigator. Your thoughts on this ransom note?
JOHN LUCICH, FORMER CRIMINAL INVESTIGATOR: Most cases that I`ve seen, they go there to the scene of the crime with that note already done. They`re not going to waste any time. If they`re going to come in, grab that kid and try and get out, they`re not going to take time to sit down, look for a piece of paper, find a pen and actually sit there and write that. That is the biggest suspicious part of this whole case right there.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Judge David Young, I don`t understand. If somebody demands a ransom, don`t they also have to tell you where you can put that ransom? "Hey, leave it here, or I`m going to call you at such-and-such a time and tell you where to leave it." I mean, there`s none of that, it would appear. I don`t know. I haven`t seen the ransom note.
YOUNG: It`s very suspicious. There`s something rotten in Denmark.
They leave other children. They take a little baby, which takes much more care to take care of than the other children. It seems to me, Jane, that there`s -- some either family or extended family that`s probably involved in this. And I hope that`s where the investigators are going.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, it`s very interesting, because Robi Ludwig, the stepfather says that the 4-year-old child was tied up. Now, this little boy`s missing. Is the 4-year-old going to be the key to this case? Is she going to be able to say, "Well, yes, I was tied up" or "I wasn`t tied up," and yes, "who exactly tied me up"?
LUDWIG: Well, it depends how emotionally mature this 4-year-old is. And I -- I imagine that they do have experts who can work with 4-year-olds through drawing and asking questions to see what they can tell us about the crime scene.
But yes, this 4-year-old`s going to be very important, because what we know statistically is kidnapping, stranger kidnapping is very, very rare. And what`s most typical is, whenever there`s a kidnapping, it`s somehow related to some kind of family member, usually in a divorce case, although it doesn`t sound like that`s the specific case in this situation.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And remember, children often unintentionally reveal the real story. Who could forget Balloon Boy, little falcon? He busted dad. He said, "We did it for the show."
I`m not saying that`s what happened here, but I`m saying when you talk to that 4-year-old, police may get a lot of interesting information. But of course, children are suggestible, too, impressionable, so they have to be very careful.
Now, Aveion`s stepfather described what he said he remembered the morning his stepson was abducted. Let`s take a careful look at this interview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LOCKETT: I seen some guys earlier that morning, but as far as right then when it happened, I don`t recall no faces. I just remember black, seeing just black. That`s all I remember. But I remember some guys I had seen earlier that morning on the side of my house, and also I seen some guys over here in the Food Lion parking lot. They were standing right out here in the Food Lion`s parking lot. And I remember those guys, but other than that, I don`t recall anything else.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Surveillance might be the key to this case, just as it was after 3-year-old Bryant Rodriguez was snatched from his home by two thugs last May. Cops used footage from two stores where the suspects had gone and released images to the public. And this precious, adorable child was found alive about two weeks later.
Michelle Sigona, what do we know about possible surveillance video? And has there been any independent confirmation of the three suspects being seen or this vehicle being seen, aside from the immediate family?
SIGONA: Well, a couple of things. First, investigators did, in fact, tell me they have surveillance. They are combing over that now. And I would imagine, Jane, and you know as well as I know, as the days go on and the tips start to wear off that they do have something tangible, they will put that out to us. And so that`s something that we`re waiting for at this time. And that`s the first thing.
The second thing is, is that you have to think this crime happened in the early afternoon hours. Nine-one-one was called at 6:41 p.m. by someone inside of the residence. Investigators will not say who, but it`s possibly believed to be the child`s mother. And so if anyone saw anything -- this neighborhood does have a lot of houses. They could have possibly seen these three suspects.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And we`re going to analyze the stepfather`s body language: the hat, the looking down. Everybody, stay right where you are. More on the desperate search for little Aveion right after the break. We`re also taking your calls on this: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.
Plus, say it ain`t so. Musician Wyclef Jean accused of misusing his charity money? The hip-hop star just raised millions for Haiti. Where`s the money going? We`re going to hear from Wyclef himself.
But first, the clock`s ticking in the search for this adorable child. Who has this boy? Why would anyone want to kidnap this adorable child?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LOCKETT: I just want everything to be OK. I hope he`s all right. That`s all I hope, because he can`t hold his own body temperature. He has a lot of medical problems.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Like what?
LOCKETT: He has malrotation, meaning he can eat, but -- he can eat, but his body won`t absorb the fats that it needs, so it doesn`t have the enzymes that it needs. So I mean, he has medical problems. I mean, if you`ve got him, make sure you keep him warm.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LOCKETT: Still right now, I mean, I don`t know what to do. I just want my son back. You know what I`m saying? I want my family back. And me having to go through all this -- man, I`m willing to go through it so my son can come home, but I just -- all I want is him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: A multi-agency search underway at this hour for this adorable 2-year-old, Aveion Lewis. Roanoke police, Virginia State Police, the FBI, all have joined forces, and they need your help.
Back with my panel; phone lines lighting up.
Megan from Milwaukee, your question or thought, ma`am?
CALLER: My comment is that they need to look into history with the family, first of all. Why was this family targeted? Why did this invasion occur, and why was this child abducted? I believe that there has some type of drug activity going on, and...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Was that just -- I mean, you obviously -- thank you for that, caller. You`re in Milwaukee, so you don`t know what`s happening in Roanoke, Virginia. That`s just your gut feeling.
Here`s the thing, Robi Ludwig, is that a lot of times police automatically do look at the immediate family because that`s just the pattern. Eliminate those closest first and then move out.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Should they subject the stepfather to a polygraph, and so we can be done with the questions about him and move on?
LUDWIG: Well, that would be ideal, and what we know is that polygraphs don`t stand -- stand up in the court of law. So what they do do, though, is for the person who`s taking the test, they do believe that it reveals the truth. So if somebody is not inclined or resists taking one of these polygraph tests, then -- then people get suspicious for good reason.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Robi, what do you make -- what do you make of his -- the hat and the looking down?
LUDWIG: There is something about the stepfather`s demeanor that doesn`t ring true. There`s a flatness in his voice. He doesn`t seem to be panicked. It seems like he`s rehearsed some of what he`s saying in his mind.
You know, is this just the way he is all the time? It could be. You know, do we hold some kind of visual prejudice against him because of the way he looks? That`s also a possibility.
But one could also see that he is somehow involved. Stepfathers have all kinds of reactions to stepchildren in some cases. So...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Again, police are treating this as a kidnapping. In fact, an Amber Alert was issued for little Aveion. But what is an Amber Alert after all? And when and how do cops issue them? Take a look at this PSA from the Utah attorney general. It`s on YouTube. Check it out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me go.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When a child is abducted, you may be the only one who can help. The Amber Alert is only issued when law enforcement believes the public can find a child under 18 who has been kidnapped and is in danger. Seconds count. The longer the child is gone, the greater the risk the child will die. But Amber Alerts are bringing hundreds of children home safely.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Roanoke, Virginia, Police Department issued a press release with descriptions of Aveion`s abductors and a possible vehicle. This is as provided by the boy`s family.
They are three black males, one named Tony. Tony, late 20`s, 6`2" with a stocky build, wearing a black puffy jacket and du rag. Second suspect, 20s, 5`11", dreds, red baseball cap, muscular upper body. Third man, 23 or 24, 5`11", wearing a brown and white hat, clean shaven. Cops say the men might be in a 1990s white Chevy Blazer.
This is a lot of detail, John Lucich. So that`s what police are looking for right now, based on the family`s descriptions. What do you make of the detailed nature of these descriptions?
LUCICH: Well, I don`t know if they`re getting the description from the parents, but they may have gotten it from the video that they`ve been taking a look at. There`s a lot of things they`re looking at, including the stepfather may be involved in this.
You know, if everybody is doing their job to go down in multiple directions, they cannot assume that this was just a home invasion, and they can`t assume that it wasn`t. So there are all these cops moving in different directions to verify all this information to be able to move forward and pick a direction in this case.
It sounds like the FBI now knows that this kid was taken. Why this kid was taken they don`t know about. But they at least have suspects and a good description of these people.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Judge David Young, what I don`t understand is why this child, this -- that family does not appear to be wealthy. I don`t know what the father does, the stepfather. But why would anybody target this family? They`re not likely to have money.
YOUNG: Well, that`s why I think it`s someone who`s related to the situation. We keep hearing stepfather, stepfather. Where`s the biological father? What is his role? What is his family`s role? Maybe they want this child back in their family. That`s where I would start the investigation.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you`re right. We haven`t talked about the biological father. What about the mother? I mean, we`re hearing from the uncle.
Michelle Sigona, is there any independent confirmation, aside from the stepfather, of these three men? And my question is, if he was knocked out, how did he get such a great description of the men if, in fact, he`s the one providing that description?
SIGONA: That`s a very good question, Jane. And that`s something that police aren`t commenting on. All that they will say at this point is, look, this is a suspect description that we have. This is the information that we were given.
And again, it could, in fact, be coming also from surveillance in the area, maybe earlier that day, maybe after this abduction.
Also, I did ask earlier today about Aveion`s father. Where is he? Where does he fit into this picture? And investigators did not want to comment at all, which I found to be a little bit odd. Because normally in these types of situations, as you know, parents, whether it`s the biological side, especially in the Haleigh Cummings investigation, you did see the other parent coming out and actively speaking to try to find their child.
So that`s something that we`re going to be looking at and digging a little bit into over the next 24 hours.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely. We have no idea. This could be part of some kind of a battle over the child. It is a mystery. We do not know. Right now police are treating it as a kidnapping. Thank you, fantastic panel.
Family violence ripping through America. Five family members brutally murdered in their Texas home. Reports say a family member is being questioned in this case. Why are these massacres happening all over the United States of America?
And profiting from charity? Wyclef Jean fights back.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Unimaginable devastation in Haiti. Officials fear 200,000 people could be dead, the situation getting worse by the day.
Last week we reported this precious little child trapped under a pile of concrete was saved. I am very, very sad to report that since then that beautiful girl has died. Her leg was crushed, and there was simply no one to treat her.
Reporters in the field are now using this new term called "stupid death." Many people could survive, but they simply don`t have the simple supplies, like antibiotics or gauze. Charities have made it easy to donate by texting. I`ve done it. My colleagues have done it.
Tonight, shocking allegations a charity I donated to, Wyclef Jean`s foundation, Yele, under fire. They`ve already brought in more than a million dollars. What`s happening with that money? Smoking Gun reports Wyclef dipped into his Yele Haiti foundation to pay for performances and rent in the past, but Wyclef vows that his charity is legit. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WYCLEF JEAN, MUSICIAN: I`m not the one that was reporting the news. I`m the one that was carrying the dead bodies on the street. Have we made mistakes before? Yes. Did I ever use Yele money for personal benefits? Absolutely not.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We need to keep donating, but who can we trust? Straight out to celebrity journalist Paula Froehlich, who`s been tracking this case.
Paula, what are you hearing about this Wyclef situation?
PAULA FROEHLICH, CELEBRITY JOURNALIST: Well, you know, it`s actually pretty distressing, but unfortunately, it`s all too common. You get a lot of celebrities who really want to do well and do well for their communities that they came from, so they set up charities. Unfortunately -- in their names, and they don`t have the infrastructure in their own charity. They don`t know the money goes -- well, we`re not sure.
The problem is Yele Haiti has been around for a long time: `98, `99. And they just filed tax returns last year for all these years.
And then you`re seeing that the money -- I mean, most charities, by charitable guidelines, 70 percent should go to the people. It`s acceptable to have 30 percent go to administrative funds and other things. Most of his money was going to -- elsewhere. I mean, they`re in debt.
You`ve got things like $400,000 that he`s giving to commercial entities that he owns. Or a $25,000 performance fee for himself. You know, that`s not OK. I want my money to go to those people on the ground.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And once again, we have to say that, in their news conference, they said all of these expenses are legit. May not have been, in retrospect, great ideas, but they say it`s absolutely not illegal.
Now, in the midst of the devastation, a moving story. Take a look at this rescue dog, hunter named Hunter: saved three young girls from under the rubble. Hunter kept frantically barking around the same large piece of debris. Rescuers finally said, "OK, let`s check that out," and they uncovered the three girls under four feet of rubble. They`d survived with no food or water for five days.
So a couple of seconds, Paula, how do we take good intentions and a lot of money and turn it into water on the ground for the people of Haiti?
FROEHLICH: You know what? You go to the -- UNICEF, the Red Cross, established, charitable funds that know how to act in an emergency. They know what to do. They know how to get it there. And they know how to disperse everything and use your money appropriately.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you so much.
Moving on, five people brutally murdered in Texas. The youngest is 2 years old. We`ll have the horrifying details and ask, why.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: A mass shooting rips through a Texas home. Five family members found brutally murdered; the youngest victim, just 2 years old. Now reports say a relative has been arrested. What`s going on with family violence in America?
Plus, from Florida to Arizona, to South Africa, we`re tracking down the elusive Tiger Woods. New reports now claim the billion-dollar golfer is at a sex rehab center in Mississippi. A local student swears she saw him. That, as he gets advice from another superstar athlete.
Incomprehensible horror in the small town of Bellville, Texas; five members of one family slaughtered, including a pregnant mom, another, a 2-year-old child, and the person being questioned about all this? A male relative.
Other relatives found the bodies yesterday and believe it or not, the carnage could have been worse. Two kids who live at that house thankfully spent the night someplace else. One of the victims was found in the pond behind the house. A woman told police she thinks that`s her husband.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANIE THOMAS: I called him last night before I went to bed, and he was like, "I love you and everything else."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now cops have arrested 20-year-old Marion Thomas on unrelated charges and say they are questioning him about the murders. Cops say he lived in the house where the victims were butchered and he was allegedly caught burglarizing a neighbor`s home and vehicle.
Joining me now, my fantastic panel: I want to start with Judge David Young; former criminal investigator, John Lucich, we have as well; and investigative reporter Michelle Sigona, from michellesigona.com.
But I have to ask Judge David Young, the older member of the family who died in this carnage, 69-year-old George Washington. Judge, I wonder what the real original George Washington, the father of our country would say, if he could see the level of senseless violence in America today.
JUDGE DAVID YOUNG, TV & RADIO LEGAL COMMENTATOR: He would probably break down and cry just like he did when he admitted that he cut down that cherry tree. It`s unfathomable Jane. It`s absolutely unbelievable from a judicial perspective and a human perspective that the destruction of the American family is taking place right before our eyes.
We can`t let it happen. We have to do something about it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Michelle Sigona, what do we know about the person of interest -- who is not a suspect -- he is a person of interest because he lives in the house where the murders occurred and lived with all the victims? He was arrested, however. Tell us the circumstances because I understand there are some very bizarre circumstances surrounding his arrest.
MICHELLE SIGONA, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, MICHELLESIGONA.COM: To my understanding, Jane, and this is something that I`m working on with investigators, he was allegedly -- Marion Thomas was found naked, breaking into a car and attempting to break into a home. Nearby, this is in the Buckhorn community just outside Bellville in Texas. And allegedly, that homeowner held him at gunpoint until investigators were able to arrive on the scene and take him into custody.
Now the district attorney has not filed capital murder charges as of yet because the district attorney has not had a chance to review the preliminary report. But at this time investigators do not believe that anyone else is responsible for these murders.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did you say that he was held at gunpoint naked after allegedly attempting to break into a car and a home of a neighbor and if you said that, what is the time frame as vis-a-vis these murders that occurred in the house nearby?
SIGONA: Well, this is what we know. We know that all five family members were found yesterday just after 2:00 p.m. He was found the morning of, so about 11 hours before, around 3:00 a.m. I can tell you that on the estate property, I did talk to the owners because Mr. and Mrs. Washington were actually renting this home. They`ve lived there for about three years with their family. And the homeowners of the estate property, because this was the home place property, tell me that he did hear a couple of gun shots around 1:00 a.m. But investigators are working to piece together that particular timeline.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`ve got to make sure I`ve got my head wrapped around this. Correct me if I`m wrong, are you saying he was arrested for the burglary before...
SIGONA: Before the bodies were found.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Before the bodies were found, but after the killings? After the time police believe the killings occurred?
SIGONA: That is to my understanding at this point from investigators. But they`re trying to figure out exactly when these murders did in fact happen and if he is responsible.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Robi Ludwig, what do you make of the naked part?
All right. Well, John Lucich, what do we make of the naked part?
JOHN LUCICH, FORMER CRIMINAL INVESTIGATOR: It could be that he had DNA, he had blood all over him from them, from the suspects -- excuse me, from the victims -- and he wanted to get that off of him. He was looking for other clothes inside a home or a car. It could be a lot of different things.
You know when you take a look -- this was done in cold blood. He shot these people -- even looks like the guy who they found in the pond was probably running away and he tracked him down and shot him down there, in the back.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Again, he`s not a suspect.
LUCICH: No, absolutely. He may have.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But he is a person of interest for the reasons we`ve already stated. Bellville, no stranger to front page crime news; last fall a prominent Houston doctor was found murdered on his ranch there. Dr. Jorge Mario Gonzales escaped the big city in order to live on his quiet Bellville ranch with his family. Instead he ended up being shot to death during a botched robbery and kidnapping attempt. A ranch hand was hurt but the suspects left the doctor`s wife and child alone. Four men were charged with capital murder.
Michelle Sigona, what is going on with this rural area? It looks so peaceful. It looks like, you know, the rolling hills knee deep in grass; you`d think this is the place you`d go to, to get away from it all. It`s not near a big city. Look how far away Houston is.
SIGONA: You`re right. No, it`s only about 50 miles away from Houston, and it is -- it`s apparently a beautiful little down. Bellville has 4,000 residents, and this part of Buckhorn community, it`s a small residential area. Houses are about a few hundred yards away. So the neighbors, you`re not on top of one another.
But to my understanding, the Washingtons were very friendly people. They always paid their rent on time, always waving. This was -- George Washington`s second wife, Debra. And apparently -- this is what I`m trying to piece together right now. But it`s to my understanding possibly that Marion Thomas was her son, and that Cedric Thomas (ph), who was found in the backyard, was Marion`s brother.
But again that`s something that I`m working on at this point. Investigators are waiting for the autopsies to come back to say the connection between all the family members, because there are a lot of bodies. There was a huge crime scene, and this is going to take a little bit of time to sort through.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here`s my big issue tonight: family violence and the massacre mindset. Why do people wipe out entire families? You know, there`s even a name for it now, familicide (ph), that`s when a spouse and children are killed or a group of close relatives are wiped out all at once just as happened in this case.
Often the motives are -- well it can be anything; divorce, illness, unemployment, a feud within the family. But what`s the scariest thing? When there`s no apparent motive. Familicide can happen right out of the blue.
Judge David Young, what in the world could motivate anyone to gun down and wipe out a 2-year-old? Especially if that 2-year-old is a relative?
YOUNG: I can`t imagine, except that that individual must have been mentally -- had a severe mental illness. And if you look at the common thread through al these familicides that we`ve seen recently, the one in south Florida and this one, the mental state of the person who is of interest has been -- has been horrifically horrendous.
The guy in this case Jane was found naked 11 hours after the death of those people. That sends a message to me he was having some severe mental illnesses. And when you live in a small town, sometimes people are private and they don`t want to air their dirty laundry. They don`t want to deal with the mental illness of their loved one which I think could have been probably the root of the problem in this case.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s mind-boggling how many times we hear about these family massacres. As the judge has mentioned, a couple of recent horrors just come to mind. In Florida, cops say a man opened fire after Thanksgiving dinner killing four relatives, including his pregnant sister, her twin, and a 6-year-old cousin. Police say he did it to punish his parents. Way to go.
In California, a man plotted an attack on his ex-wife`s family dressed up as Santa Claus. He opened fire and set the house on fire. Eight people died. The suspect was also found dead. His resentment? Divorce and unemployment.
John Lucich, is it just me, or it feels like this is happening more and more.
LUCICH: This is nothing new, Jane. Let`s not forget about John List who killed his families in the 1970s in Westfield, New Jersey. And it happens nationwide. Why it happens, it`s -- something triggers these people, it could be a custody battle, it could be -- for some reason, some people just don`t want to lose. They flip out, and in an instant they make the wrong decision. They actually lose it. And I`m sure it`s going to be different in each case.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right.
LUCICH: I think education is the key here.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, and treatment of mental illness before it gets out of hand.
Thank you, fantastic guests. We are on to the hunt for Tiger Woods have south Florida to South Africa. We`re learning that there are new reports about this billion-dollar golfer. Guess where he`s been sighted now? You will not believe where he`s been sighted now.
We`re taking your calls on this, 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SPIKE LEE, DIRECTOR: He`s insulated. And no one -- if Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan can`t get...
ROBIN MEADE, HLN HOST: Right, that`s insulation because you have like his number.
LEE: And those are his boys.
MEADE: You have his number, right?
CHARLES BARKLEY, TNT BASKETBALL ANALYST: Oh, he changed his number.
LEE: He changed it. It was Charles...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, yet another alleged Tiger sighting. This time RadarOnline reports the elusive golf superstar is in sex rehab, but not in Arizona as previously reported. Oh, my. Tiger has supposedly been spotted in -- want to take a guess, anyone? Mississippi.
A local student swears, "I saw Tiger, I`m 100 percent sure." RadarOnline says he is at the Pine Grove Behavioral Health and Addiction Services clinic, it is considered one of the top clinics for sex addiction treatment.
Today it`s Mississippi but of course, we`ve all heard the rumors that Tiger is well, just about everywhere. We`ve heard Arizona, we`ve heard New York, we`ve heard Africa.
Tiger, personally I`m really tired of speculating. I am begging you, tell us once and for all where you are so we can end this media frenzy. You know by the way, I`ve been wanting to send you a copy of my book, "I Want," this is my journey to recovery from alcoholism. And I think it could help you but I don`t know where to send it.
We have not independently confirmed that Tiger is in rehab. We`ve reached out to his people and the recovery center, but we got no answers. You know I really hope this rumor is true. I have been suggesting over and over sex rehab since the very beginning. Check out this clip from my recent appearance on "The View".
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is the heart of the problem. He surrounds himself with co-dependents and enablers who are co-signing his bad behavior. This is the worst thing he can do, is go off with guys who are going to say, you`re right, you`re the victim here. You didn`t do anything wrong...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who should he go off with?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: He should go to rehab, I think for sex addiction. That`s my personal opinion.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That`s what you think he has?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, absolutely. And it`s a real thing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Straight out to my fantastic expert panel: addiction specialist Dr. Reef Karim, director of the control center in Beverly Hills; celebrity journalist, Paula Froehlich; and joining us by phone, Associated Press reporter, Chris Talbott.
Chris you have been all over this story, actively searching for Tiger. What can you tell us? What`s the latest?
CHRIS TALBOTT, REPORTER, ASSOCIATED PRESS (via telephone): Well, I can`t really tell you anything. Tiger, if he is in...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thanks a lot.
TALBOTT: Sorry about that. If he is in Hattiesburg, I couldn`t find him. I think a lot of people there believe that he`s there. But other than this student, I haven`t actually heard of anyone who can verify that. So I think the chase is still on.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, weren`t there two local stations, I read, that said that they had contacted their sources and that their sources said that, yes, he was in this clinic? Have you heard about that?
TALBOTT: I have heard about that, but, you know, until someone puts their name on record, it`s really hard to verify, you know. And that`s just sort of the state of being these days with anonymous sources. But it`s certainly believable.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Are you down there now? Or -- are you down there searching for him?
TALBOTT: I left Hattiesburg on Sunday.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But that`s bizarre. It must be bizarre as a reporter to have to go all the way down to Mississippi looking for somebody and then everybody swears, yes, I saw him, but you can`t find him. It`s got to be frustrating.
TALBOTT: Yes, it is very frustrating, but it`s just sort of the nature of the job. You don`t always find what you`re looking for.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, hang in there. My big issue tonight: tell us already, Tiger, seriously. We`re tired of playing this guessing game and covering the story every time there`s a rumor about where you are, which is just about every night. You, Tiger Woods, are actually creating more buzz, more news headlines, by keeping your whereabouts a mystery.
If Tiger just came forward, Paula Froehlich and got this over with, these media firestorm would actually calm down.
PAULA FROEHLICH, CELEBRITY JOURNALIST: You know, I think it would and it wouldn`t. I mean, I think the public and -- at least I am completely sick of him. I mean, it`s kind of like...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s what I`m saying.
FROEHLICH: ... you know let`s be honest. He`s a narcissistic jerk who treated women like playing cards and his wife like a dumpster. I mean, dig it, let`s just talk about his wife, for example. I mean, his wife, how many STD tests does she have to go through right now?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, look...
FROEHLICH: You know what? Enough of Tiger Woods, like, it`s just -- I don`t think he needs to go to like sex rehab, I think he needs to go to celebrity rehab. Because it`s not just Tiger Woods, it`s all these celebrities. They get treated like they can do whatever they want. They have everything handed to them on a platter. It`s like, enough. Celebrity rehab.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right Paula, you`re expressing a very popular feeling and sentiment. Dr. Reef Karim, people seem able to accept alcoholism. I`m a recovering alcoholic and God willing I`ll make a day for when I have 15 years but I`ve done things before I got sober that I`m not proud of.
People are able to accept drug addiction. But when it comes to sex addiction, boy, you see people really resisting the idea. Why?
DR. REEF KARIM, ADDICTION SPECIALIST: Yes, the common sentiment in the general public is exactly what Paula was saying. He`s a dog, he`s bad, he`s got all these STDs...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, dogs are great. I don`t want to call him a dog.
KARIM: ... he might, no, but he might be. And Paula might be totally right, he might be. But he also may be legitimately suffering from an addiction. And it`s a behavioral addiction and it`s -- behavioral addictions just are not appreciated in the same way. Most of the research that`s out there now supports the fact that biological addicts, shopping addiction, gambling addiction, sex addiction and others, massage the same neurobiology and neuro-circuitry that heroin, cocaine, alcohol, GHBE. All of these other drugs do. It lights up the reward circuit pathway very similarly.
The issue, though, because it`s sex and it`s such a hot topic, only about three percent to six percent of our country suffers from sex addiction. And when you add access and celebrities...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s a lot, that`s still a lot of people.
KARIM: ... no it is. It is a lot of people. But it`s not 30 or 40 which would be all these people that have affairs and claim to be sex addicts.
KARIM: It`s kind of abuses and trivializes the field. That`s the problem.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let`s get that in this whole addiction issue involving sex. He is reportedly staying at a recovery center called Pine Grove. Their Web site says...
KARIM: Yes, I`m very familiar.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, it`s a program for sex addiction, it typically lasts six weeks and it`s called the Gentle Path.
We got some insight into the disease from Nicole Narain. She is a celebrity who was appearing on sex rehab with Dr. Drew. She spoke to us. Listen to what she says.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICOLE MERANGE, STAR OF VH1`S REHAB WITH DR. DREW: It`s not how much sex you`re having but why you`re having sex. And for me I fall more into the category of love addiction where I`m -- I have abandonment and intimacy issues which are really, really difficult for me because the trauma that follows behind that, it takes a long time to get over and let alone to understand.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: She says she`s a sex addict, Dr. Reef Karim, and that that means she deserves our compassion, but others would say, she`s just a gorgeous girl who`s just going to get hit on a lot.
KARIM: Look, the reality is there are a lot of people that act out sexually. Just because you act out sexually does not mean you have a sex addiction. What sex addiction is most of the time it`s a co-morbid disorder which basically means that first off it`s complicated but it`s usually because there`s an underlying problem, mental health issue, an anxiety disorder, depression, ADHD, bipolar disorder.
Stay right there.
A lot more in a moment.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
TIGER WOODS, PRO GOLFER: Hey, it`s Tiger. I need you to do me a huge favor. Can you please take your name off your phone? My wife went through my phone, and may be calling you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: The question we`re asking tonight, is Tiger in sex rehab at a very, very high-rated clinic -- top-rated clinic in Mississippi? Those are the reports but we can`t confirm them. Of course, the clinic isn`t going to say anything.
Now, another celebrity athlete says he has spoken to Tiger. Tennis champ Roger Federer tells a French newspaper they chatted. Roger said, "The tabloids are going crazy. Sponsor contracts are falling apart. I`ve always been aware that the image you patiently construct for an entire career can be ruined in a minute," end quote.
Paula, isn`t it frightening how quickly a career and an image can be destroyed in one day?
FROEHLICH: I don`t think his career was ruined in a minute. He clearly had affairs for I don`t know, how many years?
I also want to get back to the point of sex addiction. I feel like it`s kind of letting him off the hook a bit. You know? It`s like I was addicted to cigarettes. I had to have them all the time. I would think if you`re addicted to sex it`s mostly anonymous. It wasn`t with him. He kept up his -- he kept up contacts with all these women.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: There`s a lot of people who feel that he was a love addict, which is different from a sex addict, Dr. Reef, explain the difference.
KARIM: Yes. They`re both intimacy disorders and it`s complicated teasing them apart. A love addict craves connection at any cost. And that cost may start out privately, but can end up publicly because they`re so desperate to crave connection. These are people that did not develop the skills to develop intimacy with people.
A lot of us take it for granted. If you can just have intimate relationships with people and feel good and soothed about being with somebody else you feel good about it. These people can`t. And so they go about their lives desperate for connection with other people. They can`t get it.
The sex addict actually acts out sexually as a form of not getting that intimacy. For me if I was standing there with Tiger Woods I`d be like, "Ok, tell me about the sex. Were you actually having sex with all these women and what was the sex like?"
If it was more love addiction I`d be focused more on, "Tell me about the relationships you were having with these women. What you were getting from them." If it was more of an emotional connection with leans more toward love addiction. If it was more of an intimacy problem with sexual acting out it leans toward sex addiction.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Look, I consider addictive behavior anything that you`re powerless over that you binge on, then you feel remorse over and then you get withdrawal for and then that creates a new cycle of bingeing, remorse, withdrawal over and over again.
I know because I`ve experienced it. I think that can happen with just about anything, Paula, including sex.
FROEHLICH: Yes, but listen to the tape. I don`t think he was remorseful. I think he was only remorseful that he got caught.
I mean, let`s be honest. Let`s call a spade a spade. He`s a professional athlete. That`s what a lot of them do. They mess around with a lot of women. You know, I don`t know why anyone is shocked. And also let`s -- I mean, it`s just -- I mean, come on. This is ridiculous.
He`s a professional athlete, fooled around with a lot of women. That`s what a lot of them do and he put his wife and family at risk.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Paula, we`re going to give you the last word. We`re going to have to -- come back tomorrow. Thank you, fabulous panel.
Tomorrow we`re going to have the people`s court judge, Marilyn Milian. She`s going to be here commenting on ISSUES. You`ve got to see it.