Return to Transcripts main page
ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
Morgan Harrington Confirmed Dead; Parents Still Searching for Missing 28-year-old
Aired January 27, 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, the war on women claims another victim. Police have just confirmed Morgan Harrington is dead. She vanished at a crowded rock concert. Now, three months later, her body was found, dumped at a nearby farm. Who killed this beautiful young woman? How long was she kept alive? What are cops doing to find her killer or killers? Morgan`s heartbroken parents speak out.
And a desperate family threatened with violence. Tonight I`m talking with Jennifer Kesse`s mom and dad. Four years ago, their precious daughter vanished without a trace. Now, they`re offering a $1 million reward for her safe return. Where is Jennifer, and why are her parents getting a slew of death threats? I`ll ask them.
Also, sex, lies and the videographer? Elizabeth Edwards has had enough. John Edwards has now admitted fathering a love child with his mistress. Plus, there`s rumors of an alleged sex tape. Is this the final straw for Elizabeth?
And from a marriage in ruins to a marriage on the mend? Is Tiger`s wife really considering giving him a second chance?
Plus, we`re joining the hunt for Aja Johnson. Her mother was murdered, she was kidnapped. Now police are desperately tracking down the step-dad. It`s been four days. This guy could be anywhere. Are police any closer to finding this little girl?
ISSUES starts now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, despair mixed with sheer determination as the hunt for Morgan Harrington`s killer or killers reaches a fever pitch. Cops have confirmed that human remains found on a Charlottesville, Virginia, farm are indeed those of the beautiful 20-year-old coed. What we still do not know: the cause of Morgan`s death.
Her distraught parents, along with her 22-year-old brother Alex held an emotional news conference just hours ago. They chose to speak out from a very specific location. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. DAN HARRINGTON, MORGAN`S FATHER: We wanted to come here today, because this is the last place that Morgan was seen before someone took her and murdered her.
My understanding is that this is not a random place that someone came upon accidentally. This is known to someone here. It`s a local person, and as I`ve said all along, Morgan would be found within five miles of this bridge, and it`s probably a local person. And I`m sure I`m 100 percent right.
GIL HARRINGTON, MORGAN`S MOTHER: For the first time in 101 days, I am not thinking every minute, what is he doing to my daughter now? What is he doing to her? What is she having to endure?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Morgan vanished on October 17 at a Metallica concert. Cops say she left the arena to go to the ladies` room. When she couldn`t get back in, she called her friends to say she would find a ride home.
Morgan was reportedly last seen on the Copeley Road Bridge, where cops say she was hitchhiking. From that point on, Morgan`s moves are a mystery. But there were other clues. More on that in just moments.
Meantime, her father has said the medical examiner will release his daughter`s body in about five or six days. Imagine their grief. Imagine their rage.
How do you feel about this case tonight? I know I am angry. Call me: 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297.
On hand to analyze this case, my incredible expert channel: John Lucich, veteran criminal investigator; Dr. Dale Archer, clinical psychiatrist; Michelle Sigona, investigative reporter and founder of the Web site MichelleSigona.com; Judge Greg Mathis, attorney and host of his own award-winning daily television court show, "The Judge Mathis Show."
Thank you for joining us, Judge.
But first, reporter Henry Graff from HLN affiliate WVIR, who is in Charlottesville, and he has been on top of this case.
Henry, what is the very latest?
HENRY GRAFF, REPORTER, WVIR: Well, what we can tell you right now is they did identify the remains of Morgan Harrington today just before noon. Also, what we are learning today, police back out on the scene, combing some 700 acres of farmland for potential clues in this case right now.
Also today again, the Harringtons speaking out, a very emotional news conference at the last spot that their daughter was seen alive. So a lot of stuff happening today.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m going to go straight to my big issue. Tonight`s big issue: was Morgan Harrington a random victim? You heard what her dad said about this is not a random place. So let`s review the time line of October 17.
Police say Morgan left her friends to use a rest room at the arena. About 8:20 or 8:30, she was seen outside the arena, trying to get back in, but she couldn`t without a ticket stub.
8:48, she made a cell phone call to her friends, "Hey, I`ll find a way home."
9 to 9:20, she`s seen walking through the parking lots outside the arena.
9:30, approximately, Morgan is seen walking on Copeley Road railroad bridge, reportedly hitchhiking. After that sighting, the trail goes cold.
Now, Michelle Sigona, here`s a couple possibilities. One, that the suspect is a stranger who picked her up in a car. Another possibility, a good Samaritan gave her a ride, and she encountered trouble after being dropped off at an unknown location by this good Samaritan.
Here`s another possibility. She met her killer or killers outside the arena, because she left her purse and her cell phone on the pavement there outside the arena. Michelle Sigona, what are cops telling you?
MICHELLE SIGONA, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Well, investigators told me earlier today, Jane, I spoke with Virginia State Police. And they said that the purse that was left in the parking lot did not appear like it was dumped. It appeared to be dropped off. Like Morgan had dropped it on the ground and didn`t realize it, that she had left it there.
They also say that that night she did, in fact, consume alcohol, and had fallen multiple times. This is according to eyewitness accounts that they gave to police. And that she did have a scrape on her chin, not consistent with an assault, but is consistent with the fact that she may have just tripped and fell.
And then the Copeley Bridge Road. That is actually on campus. It`s very close to the arena. That`s the last place that she was seen hitchhiking. Investigators have followed up with a number of clues from the area.
But the one thing that they asked me to focus on here tonight, Jane, is the fact that, if a good Samaritan did, in fact, pick up Morgan and drop her off somewhere, whether it was a gas station or somewhere else, to please come forward and to help close in this time line. You won`t be looked at as a suspect. There`s nothing to be afraid of. But we need to figure out how she got to that particular field.
That field, I did speak with one of the owners of the property. They tell me that it`s close to a subdivision, and so it`s not close to that gate that we keep seeing on the video. And so if someone did access the area, you cannot drive there by car. You cannot even access it by an SUV. That they may have come in through that subdivision close to the farm.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: John Lucich, veteran criminal investigator, this remoteness of the farm, apparently a mile and a half off of a road, ten miles from where she was last seen, 700 acres. Does that tell you that this killer or killers lives in the area, knows the area? Because how would somebody who doesn`t know anything about the area know, even, to go to that farm?
JOHN LUCICH, VETERAN CRIMINAL INVESTIGATOR: Absolutely. That could be an indication that somebody who knows it. If I was out there, I`m not going to find out the best place to dump a body out there. But somebody who knows that area, and knows the fact that -- maybe even how often it gets cut and that it would be undisturbed or unchecked for many months, absolutely.
They`re going to process that scene, and they`re not only going to look for possible DNA and other things from the suspect, but they`re also going to be possibly looking for things on her clothes and on her body that might lead to a place where she was before she was dumped off here. Because one of the first things cops have to determine, did she die at that scene or someplace else and was dropped off here?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, I have a real hard time believing that she died at the scene, the location where she was found, because of this. Let`s listen to what cops said yesterday about the area where her skeletal remains were discovered. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LT. JOE RADER, VIRGINIA STATE POLICE: At the time that Miss Harrington disappeared, the hayfield would have been up to about your waist. And, of course, you know, it has snowed since then. So a lot of environmental things have happened since October.
It is a farmland, and it does not have public access, and I think that describes itself fairly well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So Judge Greg Mathis, I`m not going to assume anything. But I think it`s a reasonable guess to say if there was waist- high -- whatever it was -- wheat, and then there was snow on top of that, that that was probably a place where the body was placed, and that whatever happened to this poor girl happened somewhere else. Is that a reasonable conclusion?
JUDGE GREG MATHIS, HOST, "THE JUDGE MATHIS SHOW": It certainly sounds like that. And I`m concerned about all the young ladies who go to entertainment venues, drink excessively, have provocative wear on, and they leave.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know what, Judge? I`ve got to jump in. Let`s not go to blaming the victim.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Because I think women have a right to wear miniskirts without fearing for their lives.
MATHIS: No, I...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And only frat boys have the right to show questionable judgment and get drunk? You know, frat boys get drunk all of the time. Nobody says -- they don`t say anything about this.
MATHIS: That`s not what I`m saying, Jane. That`s not what I`m saying. I`m saying that we need to keep an eye on young ladies whom that happens to. That`s all. We need to be more protective of them.
But in terms of them being dumped or her being dumped in this case, my question is was she sexually assaulted, were there scratches on her? I think we need a little more detail to be able to help with this investigation.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I agree with you 100 percent there, and we`re waiting for the autopsy results to determine cause of death, and hopefully we`ll have that information soon.
Margaret, North Carolina, your question or thought, ma`am.
CALLER: Hi, Jane. I watching your show every night, and I enjoy it and appreciates everything you do for it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you.
CALLER: Also, on this particular thing, the young lady, I had heard on another news forecast [SIC] that she had called home a couple weeks ago and said everything was fine, and she didn`t know everybody was looking for her. Is that not true? Or...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That is definitely not true. Were it only true, we would be celebrating tonight. But Henry Graff, there has not been any sign of this young woman since that hitchhiking, correct?
GRAFF: No. It was on October 17 when she simply vanished into thin air, no contact at that point. Her cell phone was even left at the scene, so no contact from her from October 17.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. Dr. Dale Archer, quickly, the parents. This is very healthy for them to sort of confront the crisis in their lives head- on, and to take this action, vowing never to rest until the killer or killers of their precious daughter are found.
DR. DALE ARCHER, CLINICAL PSYCHIATRIST: Yes, it is healthy. And basically, the folks that do their best in a case like this are able to take their pain and their grief and their suffering and turn it to something positive. So not only should they go after the killer and not rest. They also need to try to help others who have been through similar situations.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I believe that the father is a psychiatrist, so perhaps he has some coping mechanisms that hopefully will help him and his wife get through this. What a nightmare.
We`re not done. Everyone, stay right where you are. We`re all over this case. What happened to Morgan Harrington? We`re talking your calls on this: 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297.
Plus, we`re staying with the war on women. Jennifer Kesse has been missing four long years. We will talk with her parents next to get the very latest on the investigation into her mysterious disappearance.
But first, who killed Morgan Harrington? She was guilty of nothing more than attending a rock concert and having a little fun. Now she is dead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COL. STEVEN FLAHERTY, VIRGINIA STATE POLICE: And now we begin the work to determine how she came to be in this particular remote location, what the time of death was. We`ll be able to hopefully identify who is responsible for her being where she was found.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FLAHERTY: We still ask the public to please come forward and give us any information they have. We`ve had had over 600 tips to date. And we certainly thank the public for coming forward and making themselves available and providing these details and helping us to establish the time line for the night that Miss Harrington went missing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, confirmation that the remains found yesterday in a farm about ten miles from where the Metallica concert was being held are indeed those of 20-year-old Morgan Harrington.
Right now, I would like to welcome two very special guests, Drew and Joyce Kesse. Their beautiful daughter, Jennifer, who is now 28, disappeared just over four years ago.
Mr. and Mrs. Kesse, let`s listen to something Morgan Harrington`s mother said last night after learning that her daughter had likely been found.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
G. HARRINGTON: We`re trying to figure out how to be a tripod now, you know, instead of four-legged, strong table that we have been. We`ll figure it out. But we haven`t done it yet. I was hoping we would find her alive, but at least we won`t always be wondering for a lifetime.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Joyce, "at least we won`t be wondering for a lifetime." You have been through unimaginable hell. Is it true -- try to help us understand -- that not knowing is almost worse than finding out such terrible news, as Morgan Harrington`s parents have learned?
JOYCE KESSE, MOTHER OF JENNIFER KESSE: Jane, absolutely. It is a hell that continues to go on. And it actually gets worse with the passage of time.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: How do you cope? Or tell me -- tell me your thoughts.
DREW KESSE, FATHER OF JENNIFER KESSE: Well, truly, it`s unconditional love for your child is how you cope. And in our instance, just as in the Harringtons` instance, their daughter needed them. And you can`t sit back and decide to just let things happen. You have to become proactive. And I think they were.
I had the opportunity to speak with the doctor when his daughter first went missing, and it is just keeping the awareness out there that we always need to, for Jennifer and for every missing person. Just to find the answers, but limbo -- limbo is the worst thing possible.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. I think it`s got to be an unimaginable hell. And I`ve said this of before, but it`s true. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night, and I think about you guys. I think about the Harringtons. I think about you. And just to not know, to go through a day wondering. Because your imagination -- does your imagination ever just take hold of you, Joyce?
J. KESSE: You know, it does. But I think that over the four years, we`ve kind of learned to somehow compartmentalize. And absolutely, there are those periods that -- that box springs open, and you just imagine the sheer terror of the moment of her abduction. And that`s -- that`s really tough to think about.
And you just have to kind of quickly put the lid back on the box and hope and pray for a miracle, which is how we continue to move forward.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. It must be hard putting that lid back on that box.
J. KESSE: Very hard.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Phone lines lighting up. People wanting to help, people concerned.
Fran, New York, your question or thought, ma`am.
CALLER: Yes, hi, Jane. This has been bothering me since day one. I`ve been following this case since the October 17th, you know, abduction or whatever. One thing has been bothering me.
I understand she left to go to the ladies` room. OK. Now, I understand they would not let her back into the arena. But wouldn`t there have been a possible way that her friends or security could have seen that she was in there, and she had a ticket stub or something to show that she had already been, you know, into the arena, and just left to go to the ladies` room?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think you`re raising some very good points.
John Lucich, this case could go so many different directions. It`s almost mind-boggling. This arena holds 16,000 people. So, in their quest to find out whether she met anybody who did something untoward, they might have to go and look for the ticket sales to these 16,000 people, correct?
LUCICH: Yes, absolutely. You know, and it may not be somebody associated with that, because it could go in any direction. But I agree with your caller 100 percent.
There`s another aspect of this, which has been troubling me from day one.
LUCICH: And that was everything reported said she was looking forward to this conference. If she ends up outside, why would she, after looking forward to it for so many months, walk away from it and say, "I`ll find my way home? Why don`t you just get me my ticket stub, bring it down here and get me in there?"
It`s almost like she had maybe set up a time to meet somebody outside that stadium, and that possibly went wrong. So many different ways, but I agree with your callers. Something is wrong with that scenario. How do you end up out in the bathroom outside, and then not want to get back in when you`re looking forward to that for months?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And this is where computer records come in. Michelle Sigona, what about this 3:45 a.m. sighting? Some newspaper delivery woman insists that she saw Morgan the next morning, in the morning.
SIGONA: And that`s just one of 600 leads that have come in, Jane, that investigators have worked out. What they do know for sure, based on those witness accounts, is that Morgan was last seen -- the last known sighting was on that Copeley Road Bridge.
And also, when Morgan called her friends back inside, she was very calm. She was very casual. She just said, "Hey, look, I`m cool. I`m going to find a ride home."
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Thank you for your insights. We`re going to stay on top of the hunt for Morgan`s killer.
Now, is Elizabeth Edwards leaving her husband? New reports say she`s had enough. John has cheated on her and had a love child. Now there`s talk of a sex tape.
Plus, a beautiful woman vanishes into thin air. Now, four years later no sign of her. We`re going to talk again to Jennifer Kesse`s devastated parents.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: This week marks four -- four -- long years since the parents of Jennifer Kesse last saw their precious daughter. In that time, they have experienced unimaginable desperation. But they have never lost hope.
They have turned their cars into mobile billboards, featuring their daughter. They`ve created a Web site, held public events, and they keep making the media rounds.
The Kesses have been searching desperately for clues, especially for more information about this man seen in surveillance video by Jennifer`s home. There is a $10,000 reward to find a person of interest in this case, and now they`ve upped the ante, offering $1 million for the safe return of their beautiful daughter.
Somebody`s got to know something. Even if it seems like nothing, it could be the crucial clue that leads to Jennifer. Now is the time to come forward. One million dollars. This reward expires February 24. The clock is ticking.
Joining me once again, the devoted parents of Jennifer Kesse, Drew and Joyce Kesse.
Drew, where did this massive reward come from, and has it generated any new leads in the search for your daughter?
D. KESSE: It`s -- it`s really increased the phone calls, I`ll tell you that much, specifically on our family tip line.
The money has been put together by a small group of individuals that have very liquid cash when, if and ready, to be written as soon as Jennifer shows up.
And the reason why we did put it out again at this time is maybe Jennifer, in my eyes, Jennifer is trafficked. And maybe someone has passed her off, and doesn`t know how much she truly is loved and wanted. And maybe $1 million is good enough for that person at this point. But it is - - it`s worth a try.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: In other words, what you`re saying is that, because her remains have not come up the way we`ve had in this previous tragedy, your thought is, by this time, four years, something like that would have happened. Otherwise she`s alive, and she was the victim of sex trafficking, which is a huge problem in this country that nobody really talks about, except we did talk about it here on ISSUES.
J. KESSE: Absolutely. And it is something that the police in central Florida do not want to acknowledge, it`s a problem that exists. Because they`re so dependent on tourism, in our opinion.
We have found out a lot about human tracking, and Jennifer definitely fits the criteria for having been trafficked for a possession for someone affluent in a foreign country. They like intelligent, educated, beautiful American women. And I have recurring dreams that she is alive and being kept in a palace, Jane.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s hope. Let`s hope. Let`s pray you`re right. This program is seen all over: Canada and parts of Latin America. So let`s hope that we`re helpful.
D. KESSE: Thank you.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here is something quickly that`s unimaginable, Drew. You`ve been through hell, and part of the hell is you`ve gotten threats? Who would possibly want to threaten you? You`re the victim here.
D. KESSE: I wish I -- I wish I could answer that. But at least -- at least three people have. But, you know, we`re victimized. We`re not victims. And there`s a lot of sick people in the world. That`s all there is to it, and unfortunately, they have contacted us. In -- I don`t know -- hopes to get their jollies. But, you know, we fight back. We fight back.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I just have to say that you two are my heroes. Your grace and your courage are unimaginable. And we`re going to stay on top of your story to find your daughter. Thank you so much.
D. KESSE: Thank you.
J. KESSE: Thank you.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Next, are Tiger and Elin staying together? We`re going to have the Edwards scandal, too.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Sex, lies and the videographer? Has Elizabeth Edwards finally had enough?
And from a marriage in ruins to a marriage on the mends; is Tiger`s wife really considering giving him a second chance?
Plus, we`re joining the hunt for little Aja Johnson. Her mother was murdered, she was kidnapped. Now police are desperately tracking down the stepdad.
Famous marriages in the spotlight and in crisis tonight; we`re talking break-ups and make-ups. First, John Edwards and his wife have officially split. Elizabeth reaches her breaking point, and says, "You`re out of here."
The "Wall Street Journal" blog, the Washington Wire, got a sneak- peek at a brand-new tell-all written by Edwards` former aide. The latest shocking claim -- are you sitting down, people -- that this aide watched a videotape of John Edwards having sex. The author also claims John forced him to pretend to be the father of a secret love child.
Listen to this from ABC.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDREW YOUNG, FORMER AID OF JOHN EDWARDS: The senator made full pitch, not just for me -- I mean, he didn`t just have to convince me that I was going take paternity. He also had to convince Rielle that she would publicly claim that I had been the father.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Edwards repeated lied to the public. ABC news captured John`s on-camera lies.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN EDWARDS, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The story is just false, completely untrue.
I have responded to consistently, to these tabloid allegations by saying, "I don`t respond to these lies."
I know that it`s not possible that this child could be mine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Never mind.
"The National Inquirer" outed John with these photos. Was the aide`s tell-all book the final bombshell that sent Elizabeth over the edge?
Plus Elin Woods puts family first? "People" magazine reports Tiger`s wife wants to stay together for the sake of the kids, even if she and Tiger just live together as friends. I`d like to see that one.
Elin may be doing it for the kids, but is Tiger doing it for his career? A source tells "People" he just wants to fix his image to get his endorsements back.
Straight out to my truly fantastic expert panel: Judge Greg Mathis, host of the "Judge Mathis Show"; and I`m also delighted to have the star of Bravo`s "Real Housewives of New York City", she is appearing on that show right here. She is also the author are of an upcoming book, "Secrets of a Jewish Mother". I`m dying to get that one. Jill Zarin thanks for joining us.
JILL ZARIN, "REAL HOUSEWIVES OF NEW YORK CITY": Thanks Jane.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Plus marriage therapist Argie Allen -- delighted to have you tonight Argie. And "Inside Edition correspondent Lisa Guerrero; we have to start with you Lisa.
I`m hearing new reports claiming Edwards had sex with his mistress in the very same bed he shared with his wife Elizabeth -- according to this tell-all?
LISA GUERRERO, CORRESPONDENT, "INSIDE EDITION": Yes, that`s one thing that Tiger also has in common with John Edwards, is allegedly he brought one of his mistresses into their bed, as well.
But what this says, I think, is much more about the disrespect. Not just for their wives, but the disrespect for their own children who also live in these houses. It`s just awful.
Both of these guys seem to be a lot more worried about what the public thinks when in the end they better worry about what their own daughters think of them.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hear, hear to that. "The Wall Street Journal`s" blog reports mind-blowing new claims coming out of former aide Andrew Young`s new book. The aide says there is a sex tape with Edwards having sex with a pregnant woman believed to be mistress Rielle.
His aide say he found the crushed tape in Rielle`s trash and decided, "I`m going to put it back together and take a look at it," and sat down and went into shock. Edwards says he is ready to be a loving dad. But is it all for the cameras?
Listen to this from ABC`s "Good Morning America".
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
YOUNG: It`s been two-and-a-half years, and for it to come out a week before my book has come out, I have expected it for a long time. I expected they were going to do a public relations campaign to promote him, which I`m very skeptical of. All of a sudden, he`s a doting, loving father of Quinn. I`m skeptical of it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: He`s referring, of course, to the fact that it was just a couple days ago that finally Edwards said, "Yes, I am the baby daddy."
Jill Zarin, this sex tape, it makes the Monica Lewinski scandal look like a tea party, even if you include the stained dress. What do you make of it?
ZARIN: You know, I have so much to say on this subject but did you know...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Go for it.
ZARIN: No, no -- but did you know about John Edwards, that with this new guy`s -- I lost my train of thought -- with this new guy`s book, the allegation that he is also saying is that he was paying for all of the motels and the motels while the campaign was going on. And that John Edwards agreed to pay him back after his wife died of cancer, so that she wouldn`t find out about it.
To me, that is the most horrifying. The sex tape is the sex tape. But it`s all of the things that he said and did and the bad behavior. I think he`s much worse than Tiger Woods, to be honest.
ZARIN: I just think we hold politicians to a higher standard, I do. And I think that -- as you saw in the tape, he kept on lying. He literally denied to America all the allegations. And how dare he? This little girl, this innocent, who did not ask to be born, denying paternity; I mean how could he do that?
It`s just different than what Tiger is going through. I think Tiger is a sex addict. And I think the addiction is different than what John Edwards did.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think you make some very...
ZARIN: That was not addiction.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... excellent points. And it`s true. Tiger never held a news conference saying, "I`m a good husband and I don`t cheat on my wife."
ZARIN: The only thing he did is when the car accident happened, he panicked and he came up with a cover story really to protect his wife. Because what his wife did was -- she could have been put in jail for that, because she took a golf club and tried to beat the crap out of him. So I think he was more protecting her than protecting himself at the time.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Jill, I hear you, but let`s not get carried away. Having sex allegedly with 14 women, mistresses, is not what you do when you want to protect your wife.
ZARIN: I`m not voting for him for president. I`m not. And John Edwards was a candidate.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Neither am I.
My big issue tonight: bed behavior. It`s bad enough that Tiger Woods and John Edwards allegedly cheated on their wives but to do it in their marital beds seems to be disrespectful and totally disgusting.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: When John Edwards finally admitted he had a secret love child, Elizabeth remained calm. Listen to her.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ELIZABETH EDWARDS, JOHN EDWARDS` WIFE: John`s just relieved this is behind him, I`m pretty sure. And I think that our whole family feels relieved.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... magazine says she even bought the baby girl Christmas parents.
Argie, if Elizabeth read about her husband`s behavior in their bed, could that have been the thing that pushed her right over the edge?
ARGIE ALLEN, MARRIAGE THERAPIST: Well, it could have been, Jane. And there could be so many other things that have come out that she is not revealing. And the reality of it is, that even though she appears really calm, I`m sure that it`s eating her up inside. And every time she has to speak about it because it is on the public stage, then that`s another injury to her, as well as Elin.
And so we`ve got to look at that, as well as looking at what it`s doing to the children because it`s not just about the adults. The kids are caught up in this as well.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. I`ve got to get into the co-dependency issue here, because I`m very, very admiring of Elizabeth Edwards. But I do think she has a co-dependency problem.
Exhibit A, "People" reports that Elizabeth accompanied John on his real estate rounds as he looked for and ultimately bought a half- million-dollar home for his mistress and their love child.
Lisa Guerrero, I mean that`s what I call taking being a good sport to a new level.
GUERRERO: Yes, that`s ridiculous. Well, you see that a lot in sports, because as, you know, we have heard a lot of elite professional athletes have cheated on their wives; sometimes there is even an agreement that, you know, I`m going go live my life, but you get this great house, and you`re making, you know, having this wonderful life. So you`re going to look the other way while I go out and cheat on you.
So we`re kind of used to seeing that in sports, not so much in politics.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Jill Zarin, what do you think of her -- Elizabeth going shopping for a home for the mistress with John?
ZARIN: It`s -- the whole thing is very sad. And quite frankly, I don`t know why she is doing it. I`ve also heard some things about her. I know that you`re a fan of hers, but I`ve heard some things about her, that she is not as nice and everything isn`t exactly what it appears to be.
And maybe they do have an arrangement. Maybe he paid her off. Who really knows what the truth is between the two of them? It`s really a sick and toxic relationship.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I do agree that in essence water finds its own level, and often there is this dance -- 10 seconds, Argie -- between the cheated wife and the cheater.
ALLEN: Yes, the cheated wife and the cheater sometimes have that tug of war of who is going to win out. But the reality of it is, at the end of the day, this is about family. And family does matter. And they do have children. And so they`re going to co-parent, no matter what. They might as well work towards doing so.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Interesting angle there. Fantastic panel thank you so very much, all of you. Please come back soon.
Jill, it was great having you on.
ZARIN: Thank you.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Two girls born inside Phillip Garrido`s house of horrors have finally been revealed. They now have birth certificates. So how could this little piece of paper help bring this monster to justice?
And the clock is ticking in the search for Aja Johnson, her mom killed. Now cops say this girl is with the killer, the guy who pummeled mom to death, allegedly. Time running out.
We`re taking your calls. 1-877-JVM-SAYS. Your thoughts on little Aja, 1-877-586-7297.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JJ JOHNSON, FATHER OF MISSING CHILD: I need my little girl back. She`s missing. I love her dearly. And she needs her medication.
Please, Lester, if you`re listening or anyone out there who knows where she is. Please return her.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We are talking about an important number, and we just got it in, 1-800-THE-LOST if you want to help track down Aja Johnson. 1- 800-THE-LOST, just getting that in the ear piece as we came on camera there.
Her mother was murdered, now this little girl is missing, and cops say she is with the killer. That is next.
But first we`re going to go to "Top of the Block" tonight.
Fathered by a monster, and kept hidden for more than a decade. Jaycee Dugard`s two daughters were born into Phillip Garrido`s living hell. Nobody ever knew these girls even existed. Now they have finally received their proper birth certificates.
The two girls are listed as 12 and 15 years old, and yes, Phillip Garrido has been named the father, but officially, their last name is Dugard. I can`t even imagine what these girls are going through. Prosecutors are using these birth certificates to establish a time line to use against their father, Garrido.
The sick rapist and his wife are accused of kidnapping Jaycee Dugard and holding her captive inside their home for 18 long years, and that`s when he fathered these girls with his captive. They are expected in court in one month. We`re going to stay on top of that one.
That`s tonight`s "Top of the Block".
All right. Moving on to shocking developments: new developments in the kidnapping of 7-year-old Aja Johnson, it`s been four days since this precious little girl was allegedly abducted by her stepfather, Lester Hobbs, and she needs her medication.
Now her grandmother says Hobbs hated Aja and all but beat the child. A court order prevented the convicted felon from coming near Aja, but that apparently didn`t stop her mom from bringing her over to his trailer over the weekend.
How is this for eerie? Here is some new surveillance video that shows Hobbs and Aja`s mother holding hands while grocery shopping at a Lawton, Oklahoma Walmart. There they are holding hands. The next day she was found dead on the floor of his trailer.
Cops say Hobbs killed Aja`s mom, pummeling her to death before running off with Aja. Aja`s biological dad is desperate to find the child.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNSON: I need my little girl back. She is missing. I love her dearly. And she needs her medication. Please, Lester, if you`re listening, or anyone out there who knows where she is, please return her.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We found out today that Aja`s mom died of blunt force trauma.
So this guy that we`re looking for has a violent past. We have got to find him. We have got to find little Aja. They could be anywhere by now.
Here`s a description of the car Hobbs was last seen driving. It`s a white 1992 Toyota Paseo coupe with Oklahoma tags 577-BPW. Who knows, maybe he painted the car, maybe he switched the tags.
Joining me now, my fantastic panel: Judge Greg Mathis, taking a break from his "Judge Mathis Show" to join us. Thank you, sir.
JUDGE GREG MATHIS, HOST, "JUDGE MATHIS SHOW": Thank you.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And former criminal investigator John Lucich, and investigative reporter, Michelle Sigona, from michellesgona.com. But we begin with Jessica Brown who joins us by phone. She is with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.
Jessica, this is a race against time. What is the latest?
JESSICA BROWN, OKLAHOMA STATE BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION: We are getting in leads from across the country, actually most of them centering in Oklahoma and in Texas. But unfortunately, many of them that are coming in are leads that people saw these folks, whether the car or the man, days ago. And they aren`t helping us pinpoint where they are now.
What we need is someone who has seen these people or the car or a car similar to that, that has been repainted, and in a very unprofessional manner, for those people to call in immediately to that 1-800-THE LOST.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, I just have to ask you, Sally, with a little girl and a man, I mean, they`ve got to stop to get water, to go to the bathroom. I`m just perplexed that there hasn`t been, Jessica, any kind of a sighting yet of any of them at a gas station. They`ve got to get gas if they`re going across the country.
BROWN: We are getting sightings across the country. Again, however, nothing immediate to where we can go and pin them down and arrest this man for murder and kidnapping. Again, we`re assuming that they`re together. We don`t know that at this point in time.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And remember, he had facial hair in one of the photos, and, of course, he could have shaved that facial hair and tried to make himself look different. So don`t necessarily look for a guy with a goatee and a mustache, because he might have shaved those off and even colored his hair along with coloring the car.
The "Oklahoma Newspaper" is reporting Tonya Hobbs took her two daughters to Hobbs` trailer because he wanted to see them before he went to court on a DUI charge. So I guess we should check bars and liquor stores, as well. That would be a good place to look. Tonya had apparently known Hobbs for 18 years. They were married for five, recently separated. They had a child together, 13-year-old Carissa.
On Saturday night, the family had dinner together. Carissa reportedly left the trailer and came back on Sunday. She couldn`t get inside, so her aunt pried open the door, only to find her mother dead.
The grandmother says she fears that this guy, Hobbs, has already killed Aja. Let`s hope that she is wrong.
Michelle Sigona, what are you hearing?
MICHELLE SIGONA, MICHELLESIGONA.COM: Well, here`s what I can tell you. Back in August, Tonya Hobbs actually filed a protective order, didn`t go through with it, Jane. How many times have we seen this over and over again? That claims that he wanted to beat the children with a hammer and kill them, and that he would kill her if she tried to leave him.
Unfortunately, she did not go forward with the protective order. We have seen this time and time again in these sorts of domestic violence cases. They split apart, they reconcile, they get back together, he makes promises, so on and so forth. At this particular weekend, she did actually convince John Johnson son, who does have custody of Aja, that she was going to a birthday party, and she would have the child back maybe by the next day, although she was only supposed to have supervised visits, and then takes the child out to his trailer, the RV that he was staying in, on his sister`s property. But he was not supposed to be around the child. It says that in the custody order.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And then to add something else on top of it, the dead woman`s mother is saying now that this guy you`re looking at with the cowboy hat hated little Aja. So why on earth, Judge Greg Mathis -- we don`t want to speak ill of the dead -- but this mother made some very -- who perished -- made some really bad judgment calls walking into this guy`s life, again, after she`d separated with a child that this guy reportedly hated, who was not his own flesh and blood.
MATHIS: Yes. Clearly she was abused, I believe, because the emergency custody order that the biological father obtained in November of `09 clearly had to state something that put into question the safety of the child and thereby the safety of the mother. And as we`ve seen that has come to pass because she`s been killed and the child is now missing.
So the question really is, is whether the culprit is also abusing the daughter. I`m really concerned about that, because the emergency custody went to the protection of the daughter.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And Jessica Brown, quick question, is there any state that we should focus on? Any state where you think just that he might be more likely than another state?
BROWN: I think Oklahoma and Texas are our two best areas that we`re looking at right now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Stay right where you are. We`re going to have more. We`re just getting in to the hunt for Aja Johnson after the break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNSON: Everyone who`s listening and every parent who`s out there, I need my little girl back. Anyone out there who knows where she is, please return her. Take her to a safe spot. I`ll come and get her. I`ll see that she`s picked up with no questions asked.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: A father`s painful plea for his little girl`s safe return. Phone lines lighting up.
Sally, Illinois, your question or thought.
SALLY, ILLINOIS (via telephone): My question is, why didn`t the father monitor her better? Why didn`t the grandmother do something when she knew the situation? And I don`t know what kind of medication she`s on. And how can this man do that and how could this woman do that? I mean, taking her over full good and well.
I can understand her being alarmed, you know, I mean, about her own life, but her child`s life? I mean, I would have hit Salvation Army; I would have hit any place to stay with my child.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you raise such a good point. And John Lucich, veteran criminal investigator, we find this so often the foreshadowing, the request for protective order and not following up on it or letting it drop.
What is comfortable to an abused woman often feels safer than taking the risk in their mind of going out on their own even though that comfortable area is really a life or death danger -- John.
JOHN LUCICH, FORMER CRIMINAL INVESTIGATOR: I think you`re going to find out that when this guy called up his estranged wife to set up the meeting to bring the child over, that that was pre-planned and what he was going to do before they even got there.
I think they`re going to find out that if he could kill the woman that he loved, what did she think he was going to do to a little girl that he hated? There`s only two reasons he wants that little girl. Either to kill her or to have her as a hostage should he with cornered.
The good side about that is that -- that means he wants to keep her alive. But it`s very, very difficult to travel with a little girl without being noticed and very, very hard to get her across the country without someone picking up on you. So I`d think the worst in this case but I hope I`m wrong about that.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me tell you this, Jessica Brown, you`re the public information officer. When I heard DUI, the first thing I thought of, check the bars and liquor stores. And I say that as a recovering alcoholic, myself. If this guy is an alcoholic, he sure looks likes he`s got all the signs. You can go without water, can go without food, but an alcoholic will never, ever go too long without booze. Have you checked the liquor stores and bars?
BROWN: We certainly have and we`re continuing to do that as time goes on. But let me tell you, he didn`t just have one DUI on his arrest record, he had multiple DUIs. He probably feared the court date he actually missed on Monday; he was going back to prison.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So he has that desperation, Michelle Sigona. The records show he has a long list of priors including convictions for domestic abuse, violating a protective order, and assault and battery.
In fact Aja`s grandmother saw the violence. Let`s listen to her quickly.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALICE DUNKIN, GRANDMOTHER OF MISSING CHILD: I never thought that he would go that far, you know, he`d beat her up and slapped her and black eye and all this, but not anything he would go as far as murder.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Michelle Sigona, final thoughts -- 15 seconds.
SIGONA: It`s very disturbing. It always starts out as verbal, emotional, mental. It leads to physical violence and in some cases it does lead to death. We`ve seen this time and time again.
If you are in a tough situation right now, women out there, you need to pick up the phone, you need to call someone, you need to get help. The national domestic violence hotline is a great place to start.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And if you know anything about little Aja, 1- 800-THE-LOST, call it.
You are watching issues on HLN.