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Body of Laura Garza Found; New Developments in Haleigh Cummings Case; Has Missing Utah Mother Been Found?

Aired April 26, 2010 - 19:00:00   ET



JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, major breaking news in the war on women. A tragic end to a desperate search. The gruesome remains of Laura Garza have been found in Pennsylvania. This beautiful young woman was last seen leaving a New York City nightclub. That was more than a year ago. Now she`s turned up dead. Tonight, we`re tracking down her killer.

And an unbelievable new development in the desperate search for little Haleigh Cummings. Claims that Misty Croslin`s Grandma Flo is now sick, devastated over her own family`s reactions to claims her grandkids may have killed Haleigh. Tonight, who is telling the truth?

Plus, addict nation out of control. Dramatic new legal moves as the war escalates between Lindsay Lohan and her father. As Michael fights for control of Lindsay`s affairs, Lindsay wants a restraining order against her dad. Tonight, Lindsay`s latest meltdown. Did she throw a glass at her ex- girlfriend?

ISSUES starts now.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, fast-breaking developments in the disappearance of Laura Garza. This beautiful, small-town Texas girl moved to the Big Apple with dreams of becoming a dancer. Now tragically, DNA tests show the human remains found two weeks ago are that of Laura Garza, only 25 years old when her hopes and dreams gave way to torment and death. And tonight, we ask who murdered her and how?

Cops say Garza left a Manhattan nightclub on December 3 with a man known to be a registered sex offender. Police have interviewed Michael Mele, you see him right there, but he has not been charged in this case. Still tonight as we speak, this man is behind bars on unrelated charges. Turns out this guy has got a rap sheet a mile long with a slew of sex- related offenses.

Laura Garza`s remains were discovered in Pennsylvania, 120 miles away from the Manhattan nightclub where she was last seen. So how did she end up so very far away?

This trusting young woman was the pride of her family. Her disappearance has left them totally shattered and devastated.


IVAN GARZA, LAURA GARZA`S BROTHER: We need her here with us. I never thought something like this could happen to her. People should pray for her even if they don`t know her.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Those poor people.

Could Michael Mele be involved in Laura`s murder? Given his extensive rap sheet and sex offender status, why was he in that nightclub that night and not behind bars? Call me: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.

Straight out to my phenomenal expert panel: criminal defense attorney Jayne Weintraub; addiction specialist Dr. Reef Karim; and HLN law enforcement analyst Mike Brooks. But we begin with reporter Peter Thorne, from WPIX.

Peter, you are outside the very nightclub where Laura was last seen. How was Laura`s body finally discovered? Any theories on how her remains ended up in Pennsylvania? And please speak up, Peter.

PETER HORNE, REPORTER, PIX: Well, police investigators, beyond confirming that they have found the remains of Laura Garza, are not saying very much more than that. But we can certainly surmise just by watching the developments in this case, that whoever abducted her and may have possibly killed her tried to do everything he or she could in order to cover up his or her tracks.

The body was found -- or the skeletal remains, I should say, were found a few miles outside of Scranton, Pennsylvania, a town called Mount Cobb, found by some ATV riders who were out enjoying themselves when they stumbled on this gruesome discovery.

She disappeared from this nightclub, Marquis, here on 10th Avenue in Manhattan on December 3 in 2008. She had moved to New York from Texas. She had been here, Jane, only five months.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, I understand that shortly after her disappearance, a witness told New York state police that he saw Laura Garza and Mele laughing and kissing as they sat side by side in his SUV. They were seen together in New York, more going toward upstate New York or Westchester after leaving the nightclub. What do you know about that, Peter?

THORNE: Well, there are surveillance cameras all over this nightclub inside, I`m sure, and outside. Right now I can count probably five or six. So surveillance video from this club was able to capture the two of them, Michael Mele and Laura Garza, leaving here.

And you do have those witness statements, as you mentioned, of people in upstate Orange County, New York, who say they saw the two of them together.

Now, Michael Mele has been, according to police, decidedly uncooperative. They want to ask him, as you might imagine, a whole laundry list of questions. How did you meet? What were you doing? Where did you go? And of course, the key question, the critical question, is what happened after you left her or where is she? According to police, Michael Mele has not been forthcoming with any of those answers at all.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, when questioning Michael Mele about Laura Garza`s disappearance, cops found -- get this -- scratches and a possible bite mark on his body. Cops went to his apartment in upstate New York, and they found patches of carpet that had been cut away. They hauled away bags of evidence.

In 2008, search teams found a bleached piece of carpet along Route 17 near the city of Bloomberg. They believe it matched carpet in Mele`s apartment. Mele lived only 30 miles away in Newberg, and then actually he had moved over to Newkill (ph). And I don`t think that was 2008. I think this was right after she disappeared, obviously.

Mike Brooks, Mele, again, as you heard, not cooperating with authorities. What do they need to connect the dots in this case and come up with a charge?

MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, Jane, we`re not really hearing exactly what kind of other evidence they may have found, where they found the remains. So could there possibly be clothes there? Absolutely. Could there be DNA on any other evidence there? There could also be. But they`re going to have to determine cause and manner of death.

And, you know, Mele, he`s not going to say anything right now. But hopefully, they were able to get some evidence on this guy to link it back to this young lady`s death.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. The carpet was found in 2008. She was last seen on December 3, 2008 and the carpet was found right after that as part of their investigation. Somebody wanted to say something -- Peter.

THORNE: That`s right. That`s me, Jane. I want to tell you something else was discovered at the scene where the remains were found, as well. It`s a very big clue. They found a wrist watch at the scene along with the skeletal remains.

But there are conflicting reports as to whether it was a woman`s wrist watch, in that case likely Laura Garza`s, or if it was a man`s wrist watch and possibly Michael Mele`s or somebody else who -- who did some harm to Laura Garza. So there`s conflicting reports on that wrist watch.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here`s my big issue tonight. One to three years in prison? That`s a joke. Cops say Mele allegedly assaulted or masturbated in the presence of more than a dozen women and teenage girls on numerous different occasions. Mele has numerous convictions for public exposure and masturbating in public between 2005 and 2008. They all involved masturbating in front of women and teenage girls. The details are way too graphic for me to tell you about them on television. But you do the math at home. I think you know what we`re talking about.

Despite all of this, OK, Dr. Reef Karim, he was sentenced to six years` probation. And then when he violated his probation, a judge locked him up for only one to three years. I mean, if they had locked him up for longer, he would have been behind bars and not at the nightclub that night.

DR. REEF KARIM, ADDICTION SPECIALIST: Yes. The way the criminal justice system is working with these types of guys, they`re letting them off. Sixty percent to 70 percent of registered sex offenders are on parole or probation, walking the streets, hanging out with everybody else.

So -- and when they do get locked up, they don`t get locked up for long enough times. And they`re not really receiving treatment. I mean, treatment in regards to a sex offender is incredibly difficult, as you can imagine. And it requires a complete different way of thinking, a complete lifestyle change that does not happen when you`re incarcerated for less than a year. It happens over a long, extended period of time.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jayne Weintraub, why is this guy still a person of interest and not a suspect?

JAYNE WEINTRAUB, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: That`s all semantics, Jane. And whether or not he`s named shortly or afterwards, they have time to name him. What`s important is that they name the right person correctly.

But to answer most of everybody`s questions, it all comes down to the Department of Probation and Parole. State to state, everywhere we go, all your cases, it comes down to underpaid, understaffed, overwhelmed and not supervised. We need to prioritize a sex offender to have supervision. This is a guy who was lacking...

BROOKS: Or just keep them locked up.

WEINTRAUB: ... not registered. It should have been one month before he was...


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And let me tell you something else. I`m writing a book right now about addiction and incarceration. We`re locking up the wrong people. We`re locking up huge -- tens of hundreds of thousands of people for non-violent drug offenses when the violent sex offenders are being let out or not being incarcerated. We`ve got a messed-up criminal justice system, and we`ve got to revamp it top to bottom to get the violent people in jail and get the drug addicts treatment.

Fantastic guests, thank you so much.

A decomposed body has been find in Idaho. Could this be a missing Utah mom, Susan Powell? You know the case probably well. We`ve covered it so many times here on ISSUES.

Plus, shocking developments in the Haleigh Cummings mystery. Does Tommy Croslin really know what happened the night Haleigh vanished?

And we`re taking your calls on this: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.


FLORA HOLLARS, MISTY CROSLIN`S GRANDMOTHER: Yes, I do love them. Regardless of what they`ve done, I will always love them. No less and no more. But if you do something like that to a child, I`m sorry. I`m not going to have it.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jaw-dropping new developments in the murder of 5- year-old Haleigh Cummings. Are we finally closer to getting justice for Haleigh? Or have we hit another brick wall?

Misty Croslin was babysitting Haleigh on the night she vanished. I think we all know that by now. She first claimed the little girl just disappeared into thin air.


MISTY CROSLIN, EX-WIFE OF RON CUMMINGS: I got up because I had to use the bathroom but I didn`t make it to the bathroom. I seen the kitchen light on. And I walked in the kitchen, and the back door was wide open. And I didn`t notice about Haleigh then until I seen the back door open. And then I go in the room and she`s gone.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now Misty`s brother is throwing a wrench in that story. For the very first time right here on ISSUES on Friday night, Tommy Croslin`s attorney admitted to us that Tommy knows what happened to little Haleigh. Listen.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tommy knows something. but you -- you`re saying he`s not responsible but he knows what happened?

JAMES WERTER, TOMMY CROSLIN`S ATTORNEY: Again, I will say -- well, I will go with that, yes. I`m quite comfortable in you saying that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. So we`re seeing Tommy knows what happened but he`s not responsible?

WERTER; Correct.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: He says Tommy told him everything that happened. This is the first time we are hearing from a credible source, an attorney, that Haleigh didn`t just vanish in the dead of night mysteriously.

Plus, Misty`s own grandmother, Flo Hollars, makes some very, very, very disturbing allegations.


HOLLARS: Well, if it was your child or your step-child, would you be walking and laughing with her gone? Look how Misty is laughing. She doesn`t care. She had Ron by herself.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Flo also said Misty told her Tommy Croslin and their cousin, Joe Overstreet, tied Haleigh to a brick and then threw her in the river.

Now, tonight we are hearing from Flo`s friend that Grandma Flo is allegedly upset with how she and her granddaughter, Misty, are being portrayed in the media. Grandma Flo is so upset, she has taken to her bed with headaches. But I don`t really get it, because isn`t she the one who took to the air waves and alleged her own grandchildren were involved?

Straight out to my fantastic panel, all experts on this baffling case. First, to HLN law enforcement analyst Mike Brooks.

Mike, on Friday, Tommy`s lawyer told us Tommy knows what happened to Haleigh. And though he wasn`t involved, the implication was he told cops the whole real story. So why no arrests?

BROOKS: Well, Jane, you know, are they waiting for more information? I don`t know what more information they could get, unless they have a little something that they`re just holding up -- you know, holding up the slate. I don`t know.

My suggestion is, in this whole thing, if Grandma Flo is telling the truth, why not give her a polygraph test to see whether or not she is being totally forthcoming with the information she`s giving?

And, you know, we asked Jim Werter on Friday, Jane, if he has heard the tapes from the jail between Tommy and Grandma Flo. Apparently not as of yet. That will be the key.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I agree. Polygraph, a brilliant suggestion, Mike. Buddy in New York, your question or thought?

CALLER: Hi. I`m Betty, not Buddy.


CALLER: Hi. I think that this girl has fed her grandma a whole bunch of malarkey just to get that attention off herself. They`re nothing but blaming each other all the time. I think that Grandma wouldn`t have had the nerve to go on air and act like that if she didn`t know something, if she hadn`t heard something.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, I think you make an important point. Misty`s grandmother has made some very shocking allegations about sexual abuse.

Now, Flo claims Misty was assaulted by her cousin, Joe Overstreet, and that Joe might have also molested little Haleigh. Listen to this shocker.


NANCY GRACE, HLN ANCHOR: Isn`t it true that there has been a scenario put out there, and it had to come from behind bars, that Misty Croslin heard the child in the next room screaming?


GRACE: Where did that come from?

HOLLARS: So did little Junior, hear the couch bouncing.

GRACE: And my question is where did that story come from?

HOLLARS: It came from Misty.

GRACE: What did she say?

HOLLARS: That she heard Haleigh in there crying.

GRACE: And who was in the room with Haleigh?

HOLLARS: I`m going to say Joe or Tommy, one.

GRACE: Or both.

HOLLARS: Or both.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. Tommy`s lawyer was so outraged over this allegation he came on our show to emphatically state Tommy did not do this, although he added Tommy knows what happened. Joe Overstreet also denies all of this. His lawyer told us he didn`t want to comment, having no knowledge of these claims.

But I have to stress, Joe is not a suspect. They all have open invitations to come on the show to set the record straight.

We need a shrink on this one. Doctor Reef, given these stunning accusations by Grandma Flo, what -- what do you make of her friend saying she`s taken to bed because she`s so upset about the controversy her comments have created?

KARIM: Yes, this is getting messier and messier and messier. And it almost sounds like there`s so much self-interest in this amongst all parties involved that that`s why it`s so difficult to get to the truth.

I totally agree with Mike that -- we should polygraph everyone. Forget just Grandma Flo. I mean, there`s so many different interesting, you know, biases on all sides that it`s incredibly hard to get to the truth.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, here`s my big issue tonight. Grandma Flo don`t know? Levi Page, I mean, maybe Grandma Flo don`t know a whole heck of a lot.

LEVI PAGE, HOST, "THE LEVI PAGE SHOW": Well, you know what? I was critical of her at first, but when you listen to her story, she`s implicating three of her own grandchildren. Why would she lie just to get on TV?

BROOKS: Exactly.

PAGE: This case has been going on for a year. If she wanted to get on TV, she could have done it right when this case happened.

So while I think I was critical of her, I think I was a little harsh on her. I think that her story was corroborated. They did search through the river.

And I think that she has a lot more information. Misty Croslin stayed with her grandmother in Tennessee for ten days right after she divorced Ronald. I`d like to know what Misty said during those ten days. That would be interesting to ask her. And hopefully, I hope she gets to feeling better, and I hope she talks more about this case.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re so out of time. But let`s hope they didn`t hit a wall in this case.

Meantime, the battle between Lindsay Lohan and her dad getting ugly, ugly, ugly. We`ll tell you all about it, next.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, fast-breaking news. A body found in the woods in Idaho. Could it be that of missing Utah mom Susan Powell? The body is badly decomposed, but police say skeletal remains are likely female.

A stranded motorist made the grisly discovery. Local police contacted Utah investigators working on the Powell case. Idaho Falls is -- get this -- 213 malls north of Salt Lake City, where Susan lived. You may remember cops say her husband, Josh Powell, rented a car after his wife disappeared and took a mystery trip, driving several hundred miles before returning the car.

Powell is not cooperating with cops. He insists he took his kids camping December 7, the very night Susan vanished, even though it was below freezing and very snowy. He missed work the next day and says his wife was gone when he returned home.


JOSH POWELL, HUSBAND OF MISSING WOMAN: A lot of times I just go camping with my boys. You know, not anything big. I just go overnight. And we do s`mores and stuff like that. And so I just went with the boys.

You know, I didn`t -- I was somehow thinking that it was Sunday. I didn`t go to church. And I just missed a day and thought we`ll come back Sunday.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Josh Powell`s bizarre behavior has made him the focus of the investigation into his wife`s disappearance.

Idaho police tell HLN the body might not be Susan. It could be one of two missing women in the area, two other missing women. How many missing women are there in that area? It will take a few weeks, possibly even months to identify the body.

Mike Brooks, I find it fascinating that she was found 213 miles away and her husband logged several hundred miles on his vehicle.

BROOKS: You and me both, Jane. And, you know, this guy just started a new job. He says, "Well, I lose track of time." And that`s -- you don`t lose track of time when you have a brand-new job.

Hopefully -- even if it`s not Susan Powell and it`s one of the other two missing women, hopefully there`s evidence there at the scene.

Also, is there maybe some evidence law enforcement hasn`t told us yet on his cell phone that showed he may have gone there? Or maybe he knew to turn his cell phone off.


BROOKS: Police aren`t saying too much. But hopefully, we`ll be able to -- this guy is always this -- I`ve always thought his story was B.S. right from the very beginning.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And remember, he`s a person of interest but only because he`s the last person to have seen her alive.

BROOKS: And you know what I call "person of interest"? "Suspect Light."

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. Well -- well, we have to say that he is only a person of interest because he was the last person to see her.

BROOKS: Right, exactly.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Susan`s family believes Josh has reacted very oddly to his wife`s disappearance. Mike was just talking about it.


CHUCK COX, SUSAN POWELL`S FATHER: He`s not saying anything. And I -- I`m not buying the story that he gave the police.

SHELBY GIFFORD, COX FAMILY SPOKESPERSON: I find it very disturbing that he won`t speak up or say anything. And that he doesn`t seem to show concern or love or care. It`s just not a way a husband should react with his wife missing.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jovonna, you`re a friend of the Powells. What`s the talk of the town over this new development? Jovonna?

JOVONNA OWINGS, SUSAN POWELL`S FRIEND (via phone): Just that they hope to hurry up and get some information back as to who the body is.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Is it hopeful that at least this -- there`s been this kind of break?

OWINGS: It is. We`re hoping that, with snow melting that there`s going to be a lot more evidence turn up.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Got it. Thank you so much.

Eighties rock star Bret Michaels, hospitalized. We`ll tell you about it in a second.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Addict nation, out of control. Dramatic new legal moves as the war escalates between Lindsay Lohan and her father. As Michael fights for control of Lindsay`s affairs, Lindsay wants a restraining order against her dad.

Tonight: Lindsay`s latest meltdown. Did she throw a glass at her ex-girlfriend?

More on that in just a moment, but first, "Top of the Block" tonight.

Donald trump claims he has been in touch with people at the L.A. Hospital where "Rock of Love" heartthrob and "Celebrity Apprentice" contestant Bret Michaels remains in ICU. He says, unfortunately, sad to say that the prognosis is not good.

The `80s rocker was admitted to the hospital just a few days ago after experiencing excruciating headaches. Then came devastating news that he was diagnosed with a massive brain hemorrhage. His manager told ISSUES doctors are trying to locate the source of the bleeding.

The 47-year-old diabetic has struggled with health issues, recently undergoing an emergency appendectomy just two weeks ago. Everyone here at ISSUES, wishing Bret a speedy recovery; our thoughts are with him and his family.

That is tonight`s "Top of the Block".

Turning now to the latest bombshells in what appears to be Lindsay Lohan`s public breakdown. The troubled starlet and her little sis, Ali, trying to get now a restraining order against their dad. The move comes just a day after a panicked Michael Lohan took cops into Lindsay`s Los Angeles lair, her apartment, to check on 16-year-old Ali.


MICHAEL LOHAN, LINDSAY LOHAN`S FATHER: I`m here to check on my kids.


LOHAN: No one wants to do anything. I`m going to do it.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Michael was a guest on ISSUES the very next day. So I asked him what his daughter looked like when he saw her.

Listen to this.


LOHAN: She looked like she had a major hangover. Her eyes were red; her makeup was smeared all over her face. She was irate.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Michael told us Lindsay is a wreck. He claims she is binge drinking and popping all sorts of pills. I asked him if he would be willing to seek a conservatorship, meaning he would be Lindsay`s legal guardian.

Here`s what he told me on Friday.


LOHAN: All I want to do is get my daughter into a place in her life where she can rebuild and resurrect her life and her career. And if that`s -- if someone has to be a conservator, whether it`s me or anyone else, whoever is in the right position to do that, that`s what I want.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And tonight, he is saying that he is moving forward with that possibility.

As the Lohan family drama escalates and keeps ratcheting up, it looks like Lindsay is continuing her hard partying ways. She reportedly has been banned from an L.A. nightclub after throwing a glass allegedly at her ex-girlfriend, Samantha Ronson, Friday night.

Here`s what Samantha Ronson had to say about that.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why did she throw a glass at you?

SAMANTHA RONSON, LINDSAY LOHAN`S EX-GIRLFRIEND: I don`t know. She`s an angry human being.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did you hear that? Samantha says Lindsay is an angry human being.

It looks like all of this drama is affecting Lindsay`s career as well. The 23-year-old actress was just allegedly reportedly fired from a film.

So will her dad ultimately step in and take control? Or will a restraining order filed -- if it is filed by Lindsay and Ali keep day away? What a soap opera.

I want to welcome back: psychiatrist and addiction specialist, Dr. Reef Karim; criminal defense attorney Darren Kavinoky of "The Insider" and Jim Moret, chief correspondent for "Inside Edition".

Jim got to start with you, what is the very latest?

JIM MORET, CHIEF CORRESPONDENT, "INSIDE EDITION": Well, the very latest is that Lisa Bloom -- you know her, she`s been on your show many times --


MORET: -- she`s representing Michael Lohan. And, you know, she`s trying to speak out for her client`s interest in taking care of his daughter.

Jane, we`ve seen this story play out with different people. We`re seeing it sadly play out with Lindsay Lohan. I don`t know whether she`s addicted or not, but she certainly exhibits behavior that suggests she has a problem and suggests that --


MORET: -- she may be out of control. Yes, I do.


MORET: I mean it`s sad and it`s heart-breaking because you`re talking about a very talented young actress who now has just been let go from a movie, "The Other Side" because apparently they think she`s not bankable as an actress and they don`t want her to participate in the film.

When you see her career start to crumble and then her social life start to crumble and then she`s doing all these things that seem erratic and out of control, what`s the ending?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Michael told reporters he plans to ask a judge to either force Lindsay into rehab or give him a conservatorship.

Here`s what he told us today. Quote, "Best-case scenario is I work with Dina" -- the mom -- "and she and I work together to help Lindsay like I`ve wanted for so long. If not, I will get child protective services and the court involved."

You know, Darren Kavinoky, you`re kind of an interventionist as well being a fantastic lawyer. A conservatorship worked very well for Britney Spears. Now, will Michael be able to get this 5150, involuntary hold and conservatorship, or if Lindsay goes ahead and gets a restraining order against him, will that block him from being able to get the involuntary hold?

DARREN KAVINOKY, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, they`re squaring off for a battle royale and there`s layer after layer of complicated legal issues. It may be more difficult in this case to get that conservatorship than it was relating to Britney Spears.

In order to get a conservatorship, remember, there`s two kinds: there`s one over the person and there`s one over their estate or their financial dealings. And in order to get it, you basically have to show that somebody is totally incapable of taking care of themself. As much as Lindsay`s behavior may tell all of us that she`s got substance abuse issues, she`s got behavioral issues; it may be too high of a burden to overcome legally.

And candidly, to Monday morning quarterback this a little bit, my prayer for everybody is that they would play this out privately rather than a public spectacle.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: They`ve tried. Here`s the thing. Michael has tried private. Michael has tried private. It hasn`t worked. And I believe that`s why he`s going public.

I mean a lot of people, Dr. Reef Karim, are attacking him for going on TMZ and our show and others and telling his case, but if you`ve tried privately and you`ve tried everything you can privately and it`s not working, then maybe this is the only option.

DR. REEF KARIM, ADDICTION SPECIALIST: Yes. When you`ve got someone that`s exhibiting all this self-destructive, out of control behavior, you have a bunch of options as a family member.

One of them is to cut them off. That didn`t seem to work. Another one is to try the intervention route. That didn`t seem to work. Then you`ve got legal consequences. That hasn`t seemed to work. You`ve got potential medical consequences. And finally, you go for the 5150 which is an involuntary hold for 72 hours that`s usually psychiatric-based or you go the conservatorship route.

In the conservatorship route, you have to show grave disability which is an inability to care for oneself regarding food, clothing and shelter. In the Britney Spears case, that was easier because there was also a mental health component, and that`s a health impairment. In this case --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And she had kids. And she had kids.

KARIM: Yes, and she had kids.

In this case, it`s going to be really hard to show that. But what we`re seeing is, you know, the addict playing out. And drama and addiction follow each other very well together. And you`ve got all these celebrities that have had such tragic deaths. And we want to avoid that at any cost for our -- for society and for family members.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, absolutely.

KARIM: So I can understand his place.

KAVINOKY: There`s one other piece to this, though. I`m sorry -- just very quickly, there`s one other piece to this. And that is, if we take this out of the context of Hollywood, people who are over the age of 18 have the right not to have relationships with their parents.

And we`re all sort of leaping to this conclusion that Lindsay is the one who -- who needs the help or Lindsay`s the one who is in trouble and we`re sitting there with some kind of a judgment. But really, if she wants to not have a relationship with Michael, that`s her prerogative.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, but guess what.

KAVINOKY: With the 16-year-old sister it`s a little bit different.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The 16-year-old is staying -- or was at least staying with Lindsay when Michael arrived at Lindsay`s house, and that`s the problem.

And this is what I don`t understand, Jim Moret, is that Dina Lohan has been quoted as saying that she thinks that that`s ok, that she doesn`t see a big problem.

If Lindsay has been in and out of rehab and Dina Lohan was quoted as saying just this past November, I believe, that she should go into rehab again, how is it at all ok that Lindsay is -- is being sort of the guardian of this 16-year-old?

MORET: Well, I mean, look, we`ve seen parents defer to children when they shouldn`t. That may be the case in this situation. It doesn`t seem like Lindsay is capable of controlling her own behavior, let alone being a guardian for her sister.

I would be afraid if my younger daughter who is a minor is staying in her care. And I, as a father, would want to do everything I could just like Michael is without looking beyond at what his motivations would be. He`s still her father and he still has two kids now whose lives are literally on the line.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And he said he doesn`t want finances. He doesn`t want to be in control of her finances. He just wants to get her stabilized.

Now, we want to let you know that here on issues tomorrow night, we`re going to talk to Michael Lohan`s California attorney, Lisa Bloom.

Fantastic guests stay right where you are.

Michael Lohan says he`s doing everything he can to save his daughter`s life. Why is Lindsay trying to get a restraining order against him? We are taking your calls on this next, 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586- 7297.



LOHAN: I had a problem, Dina has a problem drinking. There`s members in Dina`s family that have problems drinking. And I think Lindsay was around it.

Thank God my other children don`t have that problem. My brothers and sisters don`t. But I do think that it has to do with the element, the elements in our life, our environment.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was Lindsay Lohan`s dad, Michael, right here on ISSUES Friday.

Here is my big issue. Is Lindsay Lohan a lost cause? That`s how a former close friend of Lindsay`s described her to TMZ, a lost cause.

I asked her dad Friday if he thought Lindsay would die if she didn`t get help soon. Listen to what he said.


LOHAN: Anyone can die in her position and what she`s doing. I just want the people around Lindsay to know that they`re on notice. If something happens to my daughter and you`re around her and you enable her, you`re going to be held responsible, too, and my lawyers will make sure of that and I will as well.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And you know, he should know because he`s in recovery. He used to have a substance abuse problem. And he`s been in recovery, been sober.

Richard, Alaska, your question or thought, sir?

RICHARD, ALASKA (via telephone): Yes, I would just like to make a comment on supporting Michael on doing what he`s doing because she obviously has a problem. And to have a 16-year-old minor staying with her, I mean, good for him for -- for at least doing whatever you`ve got to do to at least look out for her.

I mean, there`s fathers -- there`s fathers all over the world that try to get involved with their kids and people always want to slam them for not. He`s trying to get involved. So why not?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. But I`ve got to tell you that by the same token, Dina Lohan, Lindsay`s mom, is calling Michael a liar and says he`s only interested in getting control of Lindsay`s money.

Now, Michael then turned around and made some pretty harsh allegations against Dina, Lindsay`s mom. Listen to this from ISSUES. This one is a bit of a shocker.


LOHAN: Dina`s got to set a good example for Lindsay. She`s got to stop drinking; she can`t party with her. And she`s got to be there as a mother. Stand by my side put our differences aside and let`s help our daughter.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re saying Dina is partying with Lindsay?

LOHAN: Oh, come on. We`ve seen it 100 times when she`s out here and when she`s in New York. They`re always out drinking together. They go to the same clubs together.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jim Moret, have you heard that, that Dina, the mother, would actually go clubbing and drinking with her daughter who has been in and out of rehab three times and --

MORET: Those are the things we`d heard for some time. I don`t know if -- I haven`t heard that recently, but I`ve heard it in the past.

And as far as Lindsay`s money is concerned, there was a report out last week that she was $600,000 in debt on credit cards. I don`t know if whether that`s true enough, but there have been reports of money problems with Lindsay.

I don`t think that you`ve got anything like you had with Britney Spears, that wealth with Lindsay Lohan. She hasn`t worked to that much in the last few years. And she`s reportedly gone through a great deal of money. So I don`t think the motivation here is really money.

I have to take Michael at face value and say maybe he`s really worried about his two daughters.

KAVINOKY: And you know, Jane, it`s so interesting to your caller`s point, and maybe I`m just really old, but I`m thinking back about Carroll O`Connor whose son overdosed and died. And Carroll was very public about going out and saying that he -- he wished that he hadn`t practiced tough love. And that if your child, who is addicted is drawing breath, don`t give up on them. Nobody is a lost cause.

And I know this personally from working in addiction and criminal defense for the years that I have. As long as people are drawing breath, there`s always a possibility of recovery and redemption.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Frances, Kentucky, your question or thought, ma`am?

FRANCIS, KENTUCKY (via telephone): Yes. If Mr. Lohan is concerned about his children and he wants to go to court and do all of this stuff, why can`t he have the court appoint somebody other than him because it is not going to work with him? And the guy that was just talking about giving up tough love, you cannot ever say -- somebody`s lost. You can`t do that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Reef Karim, that`s a very good point. I have to ask another question. Lindsay has been arrested twice for DUI. In the second incident, she was charged with cocaine possession. She is reportedly on probation for a 2007 DUI conviction. She is supposed to be participating in a required alcohol counseling program.

But given all the reports and her father saying that she`s out there all over town drinking and stumbling, the report that just Friday night she threw a glass at her ex-girlfriend and the glass shattered everywhere; if she`s violating the terms of her probation, why don`t cops just lock her up and put her in jail like they do any other average person?

KARIM: Because celebrities get special treatment and that special treatment also includes special treatment in rehab and special treatment in -- in regards to what we do in addiction treatment, which is not good. Special treatment means you continue to enable in an entitled ways. And these celebrities a lot of them think they`re above it all. And unfortunately, their brains are no different than any other brains when it concerns addiction.

And you know, in my practice, I see a lot of parents fighting over, you know, having their own differences in regards to their kids and the care. And we`re seeing this play out right now.

And I can`t tell you the number of times the kids continue to self-destruct because the parents are not unified in regards to how they want to treat their kid and how they want to tackle the all-powerful addiction that`s possessing their child. And until they get on the same page the kid usually continues to do what they`re going to do.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, she`s got other problems. Lindsay is being sued over a very bizarre and much-publicized car chase back in 2007.

You may remember this. Three young men claim a wasted Lindsay commandeered a car they were passengers in and she sped allegedly after a car driven by her assistant`s mother. The people in the car claim she reached speeds of 100-miles-an-hour on Pacific Coast highway. Here is the 911 call from her assistant`s mother. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ok. What`s going on there?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t -- we were -- we were just about to park our car. We were coming home and out of nowhere, a huge, white GMC came up and -- ok, that`s ok. We`re coming -- we`re at 4th and Wiltshire -- we`re coming down right now. We`re being followed by a GMC. The gentleman jumped out of the car.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And what did he do?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my God sir, they`re following us. We need help.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Lindsay was arrested for DUI and cocaine possession. She served a whopping 84 minutes in jail. Now she`s being sued. She`s missed two depositions for the lawsuit that she is facing.

Darren Kavinoky, this is what makes me so angry. I hope she gets sober. I`d like to see compassion for any addict.

But there is just a total two-tiered system of justice in this country. Anybody else, particularly let`s say a poor minority, would have been charged probably with carjacking, with assault with a deadly weapon and with drug possession, they`d be in jail for decades -- Darren.

KAVINOKY: Well, there`s a few things at play, there is certainly been plenty of examples of celebrities getting favorable treatment in court. Frankly, celebrities can afford better lawyers. There`s also a geographical component, I`m sorry to say, depending on where your court case is, it can also influence the outcome. But I -- I actually hear what you`re saying --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Got to leave it right there. Jim Moret, up next.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And my buddy Jim Moret back with us in our "Spotlight" segment tonight. You know him as a TV personality and chief correspondent for "Inside Edition". But what you may not know about Jim Moret might surprise you.

In his first book, called "The Last Day of My Life" -- I read it beginning to end -- this former CNN anchor chronicles his life after CNN, saving his marriage, saving face, and tackling an enormous amount of debt and how he even contemplated suicide.

Jim, people would rather talk about their sex life than how much money they make or lost or what their debt is. I applaud you for having the courage to talk about this final taboo. What made you want to write this book and put it all out there?

MORET: You know, I think -- it`s funny looking at that picture with my hair so dark. It`s gone so gray now. But you know, Jane, you and I talked about this off the air. You get to a certain point -- we`re in a time of extreme hopelessness and despair. A lot of people are losing their homes, worried about their jobs.

I was in that position with my house. It`s very difficult to talk to others about it. You feel like you`re all alone. And one day when I literally came to this decision, whether to end it all or to go forward, I chose to go forward, and I really started to re-examine my life. And what was important.

And the things that I started writing about had nothing to do with the balance on my bank statement. They had to do with love and gratitude and forgiveness and apology and compassion and tenacity.

And you know, it`s very difficult to talk -- it`s funny, you say most people will talk about their sex life; they won`t talk about their financial problems. It is interesting. Especially men don`t want to talk about the failures that they`ve had. And we`ve all experienced challenges.

And I felt that it was a very cathartic experience for me to put these things down, not to tell people how to live but to tell them how I chose to live. And I`ve gotten so many responses from people saying, "You know, I thought I was alone, I`m so glad to hear somebody`s putting a public face on this despair and depression that I`ve been feeling."

VELEZ-MITCHELL: In your book, which again, it`s a fantastic book. I read it in one sitting, top to bottom. You talk about your darkest moments, and you write at one point, "And I thought, you know, that I`m worth more dead than alive. Maybe I should go right over the cliff, it`ll look like an accident." But then you changed your mind.

Tell us about what you were contemplating that day as you were driving probably along like Pacific Coast Highway, right? Something like that?

MORET: Yes, I was in the hills above Malibu on a very narrow road. You could only go about ten miles an hour on the road. And what struck me, I`ve never been on this road before, there was no guardrail.

As I was coming down, and it`s a beautiful day, and I could see the beach and the water, I had this thought because I had so much debt, and I had $3 million in life insurance. And I thought, you know what, if I just go over the edge, my wife and three children will get $3 million, it`ll look like an accident, and everything will be perfect.

And you know what? I literally stopped the car right then because something told me everything wouldn`t be perfect because I could see their faces. I could see the pain that I would be causing them. And I realized very clearly that I had to rethink everything.

And I thought to myself, so what if this were the last day? What if this were my last day? What would I value? And I went home and I started writing. When I finally revealed to my wife these thoughts, she cried and she was shocked. She knew that I had despair. But she said, "Look, I don`t care about the house, I don`t care about anything. I care about you. We love you. Let`s talk this through."

And I wrote this. And with her help it became a book.

I`m so proud of you. It`s a great book. It shows you that love is more important than stuff.

You`re watching ISSUES on HLN.