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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
Police Search for Missing Texas Woman
Aired April 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, fast-breaking developments in the war on women. A beautiful young mother going through a divorce vanishes in Austin, Texas. She hasn`t been seen for a month. Her car found abandoned in a drugstore parking lot. Tonight, we`ll talk to the missing woman`s desperate aunt. Does the family suspect foul play?
And closing in on a killer? Stunning new news in the "Survivor" murder history. A Hollywood producer, the No. 1 suspect in his wife`s grisly murder at a lavish Cancun resort.
Now the woman`s family is taking her body back to L.A. Tonight, the family demands answers.
Also, an unbelievable head-spinner in the Sandra Bullock-Jesse James sex scandal. Jesse James` dad now claims his son was obsessed with Nazism since he was just a little boy. Remember, his alleged mistress had white power tattoos, including a swastika. Is James a Nazi or just a nutso?
Plus, an ultimate fighting champion is accused of beating his porn star girlfriend. Porn legend Jenna Jameson claims Tito Ortiz is an abusive boyfriend, but he claims she`s hopped up on OxyContin. Who do you believe?
ISSUES starts now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, desperation and fear are prompting the frantic search for a missing mother out of Austin, Texas. The very last person to see Julie Ann Gonzalez alive, her estranged husband. And Julie`s family says they are not buying his story. They say Julie would never leave her precious 2-year-old daughter and simply disappear into thin air.
Twenty-one-year-old Julie Ann Gonzalez vanished without a trace a month ago yesterday. She and her husband George are going through a divorce. Cops say her husband claims she came to his house to pick up their daughter, and she was acting funny. He says Julie asked him to keep 2-year-old Layla for the weekend, but Julie`s mom says she would never, ever, ever stay away from Layla this long.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDRA SOTO, JULIE ANN`S MOTHER: And she says, "I want to see my mom. I want to see -- I want to see my Julie." And what can we say, you know? All we can say is she`s working, but that`s not working anymore.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, let`s take a look at Julie`s estranged husband. Here he is, 22-year-old George De La Cruz. At least that`s his MySpace page. And while his wife`s family desperately searches for Julie, his status update says, "Starting all over again." What the heck does that mean?
And there he is, George d De La Cruz.
All right. Cops found her car parked at a Walgreen`s where she worked as a pharmacy technician -- we`re talking Austin, Texas, people -- several days after she disappeared. But Austin police are only treating this as a missing persons case. They`re not saying foul play for sure. Why? Does it really sound like this woman would vanish on her own, given that she`s got a 2-year-old daughter?
I am taking your phone calls on this: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.
Straight out to my truly awesome expert panel: former police officer and attorney Marc Harrold; HLN law enforcement analyst Mike Brooks; and psychiatrist Dr. Dale Archer.
But we begin with a very, very special guest tonight: the missing woman`s aunt, Dora Cooper.
First of all, Dora, I want to thank you for being here. Our hearts go out to you. We know this has been a nightmare for your family, and we here at ISSUES want to do everything we can to find your precious niece, who is the mother of a precious 2-year-old baby girl.
Why do you feel -- I understand the family feels that this is a case of foul play. Why does the family feel that way?
DORA COOPER, AUNT OF JULIE ANN GONZALEZ: Because Julie is a very responsible 21-year-old mother. She is not one of these 21-year-old types that just want to be out and party. She`s always been responsible, always looked out for the best interests of her 2-year-old daughter, and that was her main -- main concern 24/7. She always, you know, wanted to get ahead, wanted to get ahead in work, in school. She wanted the best for her daughter at all times. Always, always took care of her.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, I`ve heard some very strange things. No. 1, that MySpace messages have popped up under Julie`s MySpace, but you don`t think they`re really from Julie. Tell us about that.
COOPER: Well, Julie is always logged in mobile, onto MySpace and onto Facebook. So anyone could have posted those messages. I could have posted those messages.
But Wednesday before she disappeared, she was saying, "I`m ready to pick up my Layla. I miss her so much." And then the next one is just Friday at 12:43 p.m.; states, "I`m running away." How does someone change their state of mind in, you know, 36 hours?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, what are cops telling you? I mean, have cops tracked down the cell phone pings and have they told you -- what about her cell phone?
COOPER: They have not stated anything about her cell phone.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I understand that, according to some wire copy that I read, that there were text communications from the cell phone. Is that the MySpace you`re referring to? Or were there separate text communications from her cell phone?
COOPER: There were separate text communications from her cell phone. Not to her family; to two friends of hers.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And what do those texts say?
COOPER: I really can`t discuss -- discuss too much about it. They`re just saying, "I chose to run away. I`m with someone. I`ll be back soon."
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But Mike Brooks, this is what you`d call Investigation 101. If somebody took her cell phone and had her MySpace log in, they could simply be posting those messages. Shouldn`t the cops be tracing down those pings to find who`s really holding onto that cell mean?
MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: You know, Jane, the Austin Police Department is a very professional police department. I know people down there on that department, and right now they`re saying it is not -- they don`t suspect foul play. You know, and we want to get this girl back. We want to find out, make sure she`s OK. But, you know, we just heard that case just last week about the woman who`s seemingly normal with a little baby that ran off with someone else. You know...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, but Mike, listen. Sometimes cops have got it wrong. I mean, here`s my big issue tonight.
BROOKS: I agree. But the whole thing is, are they able to put together a time line? You know, they`re saying it`s not foul play. If it was foul play, I think they would be investigating it, Jane. I mean, the cops don`t always get it wrong. Sometimes they do. But all the indications here, I don`t know.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I -- well, I respect -- listen, you`re the expert, but I respectfully disagree, and I`m asking -- my big issue tonight, are cops wrong? Now, they told us, they are still trying to figure out whether this is a voluntary missing persons case, or an involuntary missing persons case.
BROOKS: How many times do we hear from law enforcement, they say they`re trying to figure out, and they know, but they just don`t have enough to come out and say whether or not for sure it is, you know, someone who went missing on their own accord.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let`s listen to this for a second. Hold on a second.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SOTO: I wouldn`t wish this upon my worst enemy. I wouldn`t wish this upon anybody.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, the family is in agony.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And we do have to say hypothetically, not necessarily referring to this case whatsoever, women between the ages of 16 and 24 are the most likely victims of intimate partner violence. That`s just a statistic. Julie Ann Gonzalez is 21. She`s smack in the middle of that age bracket.
So my question to Dora Cooper, did she have any other kind of romantic relationship going on? Is there something about her personal life: a history of depression, a history of drug or alcohol use that might cause her to disappear?
COOPER: No. Nothing at all.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Just plain old no?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So she`s not -- she`s not a young lady who goes out and gets drunk or uses drug?
COOPER: No. Julie was always very set in what she wanted. She graduated early. She went on to St. Edwards University. She went on and she completed a pharmacy technical certification program. She did all of this on her own. She was a very responsible girl. She always knew what she wanted.
You would figure yes, she`s 21 years old. She`s going to be partying with her friends, no. Once she knew she was having a baby, she was ecstatic, and she was ready to take on that responsibility.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, why -- why did they break up, and who initiated the break up between her and her husband?
COOPER: Julie did.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And why was that?
COOPER: She was very unhappy in the marriage. They had only been married in six months.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And how did the husband react to the breakup?
COOPER: He was not happy. He did not want to be apart from her.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Have you talked to him?
COOPER: Yes, my sister has.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And he`s sticking to his story that she came over and then said...
COOPER: He`s sticking to his story that she showed up, she just was acting funny and she just abruptly said, "You know what? I`m not going to take her. I`m going to leave her with you for a few days. I`ll be back."
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Marc Harrold, got to ask you this. Do you think that cops should put him -- ask him to take a polygraph?
MARC HARROLD, FORMER POLICE OFFICER: Well, they could ask him to take a polygraph. The thing about it is, sometimes leaving people alone, not telling you -- not telling them that you consider them a suspect or a person of interest, sometimes you get more information out of them, just letting them be, letting them give accounts of the same thing over and over, and see how they contradict themselves.
But yes, I mean, if he`ll take a polygraph, it would be helpful. They may not want to get combative with him. He may lawyer up if they ask him to take a polygraph. But I agree with Mike: the Austin Police Department is excellent law enforcement agency. I`m sure they`re doing everything they can. But at this point, it looks like they`re treating it as a missing person case.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Breaking news. Hang on. Hang on, Dora. We`ve gotten the husband. We believe he`s going to get on the phone with us right now. Again, he is not considered a suspect. Apparently, he wants to weigh in and give his side of the story. We`re happy to hear it.
Hang in, on the other side, in just a couple of seconds, we`re going to hear from the husband, all right? So this is absolutely breaking news as we speak.
Also, later in our broadcast, a husband and his pregnant wife brutally murdered in their Malibu beach house. The killer has been on the loose for almost a year. Tonight, have police finally tracked this monster -- monster killer down?
Plus a heartbroken family demands justice. A Hollywood producer, the No. 1 suspect in his wife`s murder. Why haven`t cops made an arrest? We`re taking your calls on all of these cases: 1-877-JVM-SAYS.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She didn`t say everything was fine. But I just say she wasn`t happy at all.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I had the last conversation with her, and she was not saying that everything was fine. She was extremely sad. I was reinforcing with her, you can not have a relationship with this man because there`s no trust.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ve got fast-breaking news here on ISSUES. We have been talking about the desperate search for a missing 21-year-old mother out of Austin, Texas. Her name, Julie Ann Gonzalez. Her estranged husband, George De La Cruz, was the last person to see her before she vanished. We were talking with her aunt, who said she had questions about her husband`s story. And now we have the husband on the phone. He`s a security guard out of Austin, Texas.
George, are you there, sir?
GEORGE DE LA CRUZ, HUSBAND OF JULIE ANN GONZALEZ (via phone): Yes, I`m here.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hi. Well, we`ve been talking about the disappearance of the mother of your child, your estranged wife. You`re not divorced yet.
DE LA CRUZ: Yes.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And tell us about the circumstances of your last contact with her, because that`s apparently when she disappeared. Tell us -- tell us what happened.
DE LA CRUZ: Well, all I can say if she (UNINTELLIGIBLE) to come pick my daughter up, because like, we had a joint custody. And when she arrived I was expecting her to go pick her up, come and get her. Right?
And she came in, and like I said, I saw her. She was different. Like I said, I`ve known her for at least four years, so I know when there`s something wrong with her. And I tried talking to her. I asked the question what`s wrong.
She said, "Well, I`m OK, don`t worry about it." So I let it go.
I said, "Here`s Layla`s stuff. Everything`s there. Do you want to go ahead and check at it to make sure that everything is there so you can take her?"
That`s when she told me, "Well, you know what? I`ve got plans this weekend. Can you please take care of her?"
I`m like, yes. And I said, "So when are you going to come pick her up?"
"I`ll let you know. I`ll call you whenever I want her."
I said, "Well, is it going to be this weekend?"
She said yes.
So I just said, I never thought anything bad was going to happen. So I said OK. I`ll go and take her for a couple more days. And whenever she`s ready, she`s going to call me to pick her up this weekend. So like I said, I didn`t expect nothing to happen until Saturday when I found out that she hasn`t contacted no one.
So like I said, I kind of feel bad, because I was the last person. I should have gone to a little bit of effort to find out what`s wrong. And there was something wrong, because it`s gone a month and there`s nothing that we have heard from her.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Have law -- did law enforcement come and interview you? Did they investigate you? Did they go through, you know, your computer and all that stuff?
DE LA CRUZ: Yes. Like I said, they can come -- they haven`t done it, but I know they came in the house because the family suspected that she might have been hiding here. And so we let the police come in, and they searched around the house and that was about it.
But like I said, I talked to the detectives. The cops come and interview me. And like I said, I`ve been cooperative. Like I said, if they want to come in and search more of the house, I`ll be glad to let them come in.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do you know if she had met someone else? Because it`s very possible that maybe she met somebody else, and that other person is responsible.
DE LA CRUZ: Like I said, I don`t know if she has, because like I say, we`ve been apart for at least four or five months, because we separated. And I don`t know if she has met someone. She never told me anything. But like, from, what`s on her MySpace, I don`t know if it`s her or someone else putting that stuff, but it made it seem that she might have someone.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: She might have a new -- a new man in her life, in other words?
DE LA CRUZ: Yes. Yes. But like I said, we don`t know if it`s true.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, hold on one second, George. I give you props for coming on this show and telling you your side of the story. We always love that here on ISSUES. We want to be fair. But just hold on, don`t hang up.
DE LA CRUZ: Thank you.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dora Cooper, the aunt of the missing woman, Julie Ann Gonzalez, you`ve been listening to George. Do you want to weigh in at all? I thought you had thoughts, perhaps, on whether or not she`d met somebody new.
COOPER: The messages that came off were that she was with someone. Those are the messages that were posted after we reported her missing.
You know, George may or may not know what happened to her, but if anyone knows, we are just trying to reach out to the community. You know, we`ve reached out to local law enforcement to help us find her.
The story we`re getting is she is a 21-year-old. She`s an adult. If she wants to go missing, she can go missing. But I don`t -- we don`t accept that. She has a 2-year-old daughter. She has a family that really loves her, truly misses her. She just walked away from her job, walked away from a brand-new car she just purchased. Why would someone go and spend $2,000 on a vehicle two to three weeks before she disappeared? That doesn`t make any sense.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Were the keys in her car?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Was anything in the car? Her purse?
COOPER: Layla`s medicine, Layla`s car seat. Other little personal belongings.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. What I`m hearing here is also the possibility that she may have met someone. People do that. She got estranged. She may have met somebody else. And maybe that person is somebody that police need to look at. Do you know anything about that, Dora?
COOPER: We have no idea. If that has been indicated, we have no idea who that person would be.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Look, Marc Harrold, or Dr. Dale Archer, you`ve been listening to all this. You`re the psychiatrist. What do you make of it?
DR. DALE ARCHER, PSYCHIATRIST: Can I ask a question?
ARCHER: Yes. I would just like a better description, George, of -- you said that she didn`t seem like she was herself. Did she seem like she was depressed? Did she seem like she was planning something? Nervous, anxious about something going on?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. George?
DE LA CRUZ: Yes. Like I said, she looked completely different. She kind of looked sad. She was down. She was out of -- like not there. Like not concentrating.
And like I said, I know -- I know her, so like I said, I was with her. And I`m married to her, so I know when there`s something wrong. And I tried asking her what was wrong and she never told me what was wrong. She said, "I`m OK. Don`t worry about it." And I know I asked her a couple of times to find out what was really going on.
And I don`t know if she was sad about something, but she never gave me anything. So I just dropped it. Maybe she was just sad about something, about work or anything, I don`t know. But like I said, yes, that time, she was complete different. Even when she interacted with my daughter.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hey, George, hang on a second. We`re going to come back on the other side of this break. We`re going to...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Breaking news on ISSUES. We are trying to solve the desperate, desperate mystery of what happened to 21-year-old Julie Ann Gonzalez. She disappeared almost exactly a month ago from Austin, Texas. She`s estranged from her husband. She has a 2-year-old daughter.
We have her aunt, Dora Cooper, on tonight, who`s begging for answers, and the aunt and the family say that they`re not absolutely sure that the estranged husband`s story makes sense.
But then the estranged husband, George De La Cruz, calls us up and tells us his side of the story. And they`re both on the line now. We`re also taking your calls.
Mike Brooks, you have a question?
BROOKS: Yes, George. I was wondering, have you taken a look at the cell-phone bill, at her cell-phone bill, to see if any numbers possibly that have texted her or she has texted someone else, or if she has any incoming or outgoing calls that you might seem unusual?
DE LA CRUZ: Well, I don`t have connection with that. Like I said, when she moved, she changed everything, so I don`t get her bills from the phone. I know the family has done that. I believe they have. And like I said, I don`t know. Ask Dora. They should know what`s going on. Because as I said, I don`t get that information.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Dora -- Dora, did you get any -- is there anything on -- anything out of the ordinary?
COOPER: Nothing odd, nothing out of the ordinary. And I did provide that to Austin Police Department.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, here`s what I don`t understand, Marc Harrold. If there are text messages coming in on this cell phone, cops can follow that ping and find out where that cell phone is. And if it`s with her, then that`s one story. But if it`s not with her, if it`s with some sicko out there, then they would find that out.
HARROLD: Yes. There`s no doubt that they want to triangulate, get as close as they can to figure out where the cell phone is by using the signal of the tower and back and try to locate it, but yes, I absolutely agree. If she has the cell phone, you want to figure that out. If the cell phone is somewhere else, that may give you another place that you know she was before she disappeared. But at this point, it doesn`t sound like they`ve at least released that information, if they`ve gone and done that investigative technique.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Art, Ohio, your question or thoughts, sir?
CALLER: Yes, Jane. I just had a question for the husband, if he took a lie detector test yet to try to clear his name early in the investigation?
DE LA CRUZ: Say that again?
CALLER: Did you take a lie -- did they ask you to take a lie detector test to just clear your name?
DE LA CRUZ: No, they haven`t asked me to do that. So like I said, but if they want me to, I`ll go ahead and do it, because I`ve been participating. And the family don`t believe me, I`ll go ahead and do it, just to be good with them. Because I want to be part of the investigation. And I want to know answers, too.
Like I said, my daughter is here. She suffers a lot for her. And it makes me sad to see her cry whenever she asks about Julie. And I have to lie to her saying, "Well, she`s at work, she`s at work." And that`s not going to cut it. That doesn`t cut it now, because like I said, she cries to her, and I just want her back. Because she needs both of us, me and the mom, so we can raise this daughter.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dora, I have to go back to this question with you. Are you sure that she did not meet anybody else?
COOPER: I am positive.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So no dating?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Because sometimes when you break up with somebody, you date somebody else.
COOPER: You know, I have access to her phone messages, to everything. I have access to her e-mail. There`s nothing to indicate that anything else was going on.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. This is such a fascinating mystery. Hang on, because we`re not done. We`re -- we`re extending this because it`s just so fascinating. More after the break.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Unbelievable head-spinner in the Sandra Bullock-Jesse James sex scandal. Jesse James` dad now claims his son was obsessed with Nazism since he was just a little boy. Remember his alleged mistress had white power tattoos including a swastika. Is James a Nazi or just a nutso?
Plus, an ultimate fighting champion is accused of beating his porn star girlfriend. Porn legend Jenna Jameson claims Tito Ortiz is an abusive boyfriend. But he claims she`s hopped up on Oxycontin. Who do you believe?
But first, we have breaking news out of Austin, Texas: 21-year- old Julie Ann Gonzalez, a mother of a 2-year-old daughter with an estranged husband disappeared into thin air almost exactly a month ago; her family desperately searching for her.
And what`s involved here on this show tonight is that the aunt was saying that she had questions about the estranged husband`s story. And the estranged husband called us up and has been talking to us at length saying, you know, he`s not responsible. He would be happy to take a polygraph. They can come in and search his home.
And I`m no detective, but he sounds believable to me. So we`re wondering who else could be involved. Because the aunt has said -- and I think it makes perfect sense -- she just bought a new car, she left the new car. Who would leave a spanking new car and vanish, and leave a 2-year-old child behind, and certainly not in that order.
Is there somebody else, a third party, a mystery party that we don`t know about?
Now, here`s what`s so fascinating. It`s -- Dora, you`re saying to me that somebody is sending texts from her cell phone and you don`t know who it is, but they`re trying to pretend like they`re her.
DORA COOPER: Correct.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What are those text messages from her cellphone saying? And they`re coming to your cell phone?
COOPER: No, they`re being posted via Facebook and MySpace.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Listen, we have the missing woman`s mother has also called in right now. And we would like to hear from you, ma`am.
My apologies. My notes are scattered here. Can you give us your name, ma`am, and tell us why you`re calling in?
SANDRA SOTO, MISSING WOMAN`S MOTHER: My name is Sandra Soto and I`m Julie Ann Gonzalez`s mother.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, first of all, my heart goes out to you. We want to be part of the solution here on ISSUES and help find your beautiful, missing daughter so that your granddaughter has a mom.
And we`re looking at the search right now. You`ve been watching our show, ISSUES. What do you make of what you`ve heard so far from George de la Cruz, your daughter`s estranged husband?
SOTO: I think that somebody knows something. I`m not pointing any fingers at anybody, but I know somebody knows something. I`m very concerned about Julie, but also concerned about my granddaughter because George does have an attempted suicide on his record.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: A what?
SOTO: An attempted suicide on his record. In January, when he separated -- when Julie left him, he attempted to commit suicide while he was taking care of Leila.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Is this true, George?
GEORGE DE LA CRUZ, MISSING WOMAN`S HUSBAND: No, I wasn`t taking care of her. At that time, I didn`t have her. Julie came to pick her up and she was already on Julie`s hands.
And at that time, yes, like I said, I did have problems. Like I said, everything was going down. And I went into a great depression, I was depressed. I did want to take my life. But that didn`t happen; I went to the hospital before anything worse happened.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What did you do? Did you --
DE LA CRUZ: No, I just -- took a lot of over the counter pills, overdose.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Let`s take a look at -- we`re hearing from George. Let`s take a look at George vis-a-vis his MySpace page. And his face is going to pop-up in the course of looking at that MySpace page which we`re going to show you in a second.
We lost George de la Cruz -- but I have to tell you, one last question to the mother, did your daughter meet someone else? Because my gut tells me -- and I don`t know, I`m not a detective -- that she may have met somebody else and that person may be the person responsible.
SOTO: Well, you know what? Everybody can say that. Anybody that doesn`t know Julie can say that, but our family is so tight that there is never a lack of information. Our family is always talking to each other, texting each other. You know, cousins, nephews, nieces, aunts, uncles, grandparents; we are tight.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: By the way, there is George right there. You`re taking a look at the gentleman we`ve been listening to on the phone, that`s him. And we just learned that he was so distraught over his wife leaving him that he attempted to take his own life with pills.
He survived; he says he`s not responsible for his estranged wife`s disappearance. The family says she would never disappear on her own.
I have a question for the mother. Do you think police are doing everything they can?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why not?
SOTO: No, because they haven`t been able to locate her phone. They never fingerprinted the car that sat in the parking lot of the pharmacy for up to almost eight days.
COOPER: And they didn`t find the vehicle, I found the vehicle.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dora, you were going to say something?
COOPER: Austin Police Department did not find the vehicle, I found the vehicle.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re saying they never fingerprinted the vehicle?
SOTO: Never, never.
SOTO: And now the vehicle has been repossessed by the car lot where Julie purchased the vehicle three weeks prior to her disappearance. They are still holding on to that vehicle, but they`re ready to put it back into their inventory.
They`re working with me as far as not putting it back into the inventory until APD does something. Even the owners of the car lot know that APD should be looking into that vehicle before they put it back in the inventory.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And when you say APD you`re talking about Austin Police Department.
So they didn`t -- Mike Brooks, what do you make of that? That sounds pretty -- that sounds pretty sloppy. They didn`t do fingerprints or tests, DNA on that vehicle because --
MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, Jane --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Go ahead.
BROOKS: Well, most departments, when someone is reported missing, what they do, they decide is this person a critical or non- critical missing person. And this is done by what they`re presented with. You know, is there any sign of foul play? Was there any sign of a struggle in the car? What else have they found? Did this woman just go missing and it could be that they did not determine this to be a critical missing person --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me tell you another possibility, Dora. Ok. Your daughter isn`t famous and she isn`t rich.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I do feel if this was some big movie star or some highfalutin heiress they would have done the fingerprints on that car.
COOPER: That`s right.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dora Cooper, tell me what your thoughts are.
BROOKS: I have to disagree with you on that one, Jane.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok, well, you can disagree. I want to hear Dora and then I`ll hear you.
COOPER: Well, Jane, another funny thing is after we have reported her missing, that we were informed by the police officers that came out that George had already filed a complaint against Julie, claiming she abandoned her child with him.
DE LA CRUZ: No, that`s a lie. Right there, that`s a lie.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tell us what your side is, George.
DE LA CRUZ: Like I said, we figured out that Julie hasn`t been talking to no one, so we acted up, right? So my mom called the police to just make a report because I was having a lot of problems with Julie saying that she wanted to put me in police supervision because of Leila. There`s times that I come late to give it to her because there`s certain times I have to give to her, and there`s times that I`m going to be there and Julie will be mad.
So like I said, I wanted to be ok with the police saying you know what, Julie left me here for the weekend and she said it was ok. I don`t want no problems with the police. I don`t want to, like I say, take away my daughter. And like I said, we never told her -- I was just trying to cover my end to be ok with the police.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mike Brooks, give me this.
BROOKS: Yes, sure.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Given that text messages have come in from this cell phone, don`t you think cops should have already figured out where that cell phone was and either be able to say yes, this cell phone is in the hands of Julie Ann Gonzalez and she just split, or the cell phone is in the hands of the suspect?
BROOKS: They could. I mean if I was the investigator, One of the things I would probably do would be to try to give that phone a call. See who answers it.
BROOKS: Is it somebody -- is it her or someone else?
COOPER: You know, we`ve already done that. We call it every day.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You call it every day. What happens?
COOPER: No one answers. It goes straight to its little message that this person`s voice mailbox has not been set up yet. That phone is still on. It`s just turned off.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But following the ping, that`s what they`re supposed to do. Go ahead, mom.
SOTO: This is Sandra. What angers me so much about Austin P.D. is that the very first time that we were interviewed on the fox network here in Austin. They came to us and asked us what they thought. My sister went on there. They interviewed her. They went to George`s house and they interviewed him and then they went to Sergeant Greg Moss (ph) at the Austin police department.
She made a very strong statement that she is not considered -- this is not considered a foul play disappearance.
Tell me, how can you make that strong of an assumption without strong evidence to, you know, support it?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I`ve got to tell you one thing. And if Austin Police Department is watching, you are invited on this show to explain your position. We`re not letting this go, Austin TV, we`re going to stay on top of it. We`re going to have this family back.
Will you come back, Dora?
DORA: Yes, I will.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Will you come back, George?
GEORGE: Yes, I will.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And will you come back, we`re talking to the mom on the phone of this missing woman?
SOTO: Most definitely.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re going to have you all on and we`re going to stay on top of this story until we find Julie Ann Gonzalez and find out who is holding her cell phone right now as we speak.
Panel, thank you so much.
Moving on, an adult film star claims she was beaten up by her ultimate fighting boyfriend. This is a story you do not want to miss. It`s --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And we`ve got some fast-breaking news just coming to ISSUES: 80s rocker and reality TV star Bret Michaels -- we`re really sorry to say this -- he`s taken a turn for the worst. Michael suffered a brain hemorrhage. He was raced to the hospital on Friday. Well, tests now show Michael suffered a setback in his recovery today.
Doctors still remain hopeful that he can make a recovery. As of right now, he remains in critical condition in an Arizona Intensive Care Unit. We will keep you posted. Any new information that comes in, we will bring it straight to you ASAP.
Meantime, a celebrity couple spirals out of control. It`s a he said- she said battle that heats up between the world`s most famous adult film star, Jenna Jameson and her Ultimate Fighting Champion boyfriend Tito Ortiz. Jenna has been called the queen of porn. She starred in hits like "Hell on Heels"; "Where the Boys Aren`t" and "Zombie Strippers". She says Tito is a wife-beater who violently threw her into a bathtub.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tito just went on publicized that the press conference said that you`re addicted to Oxycontin; that`s what he`s saying.
JENNA JAMESON, FORMER ADULT FILM STAR: Talk about trying to save somebody`s (EXPLETIVE DELETED) for being a wife beater.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, now and not we`re just saying what he said earlier --
JAMESON: My God.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- earlier at the jail, he said that he didn`t hurt you, that he didn`t touch you.
JAMESON: Oh, ok. Well, he`s trying to save his career.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Police wouldn`t have taken him away if he didn`t do anything.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tito is firing back. He said he never touched Jenna and claims that she is a drug addict who has fallen off the wagon and abuses Oxycontin.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TITO ORTIZ, MIXED MATIAL ARTIST: My parents have gone through an addiction and I see it in the mirror again. I`m not going to let my family go through that. I speak from my heart and as I say, I let my man do his job but I hold everything dear to my heart that Jenna will be ok.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And he even broke down in tears. Yes, that`s right, that tough guy, sobbing at the news conference. Who is telling the truth? A frantic 911 call made by Jenna`s dad led police to the couple`s L.A. home where they arrested Tito for suspected domestic violence.
You know, you`ve got to take a look at this guy. Here is Tito in the ring in his UFC clip; he has been called a registered lethal weapon.
TMZ reports after the altercation, Jenna had visible bruises. She`s also been spotted wearing a bandage covering up her arm. The ex-porn star and the ultimate fighter have two young children. Look at that, twin 1-year-old boys. How adorable are they? I feel sorry for those little kids tonight.
Straight out to my fantastic panel; and we also welcome CNN producer, Alan Duke. Alan, what is the very latest on this D-Lister dramarama?
ALAN DUKE, CNN PRODUCER: I was there at the news conference last night standing just a few feet away from Tito Ortiz as he was sobbing. And it was just remarkable to me this man who probably could kill me in just a few swings was crying because of something that happened with his girlfriend and the mother of his children.
The latest is her lawyer issued a statement this afternoon that disputed his statement but actually didn`t dispute the statement about the drug addiction. Said even if she was high, under the influence of Oxycontin, that was no excuse to hit her. But he, through his lawyer, claims never laid a hand on her.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, what`s fascinating Dr. Dale Archer is that Jenna has a history of drug use, and she`s actually written about it in her book, "How to Make Love like a Porn Star". In fact, she even reportedly refers to crystal meth.
DR. DALE ARCHER, PSYCHIATRIST: Well, she actually makes three different statements over the last couple of days. One saying that he never touched her, one saying that well, he just pushed her around a little bit and one claiming he was a wife beater.
So unfortunately to me, this is sounding more like an addict behavior. Of course, they can`t take responsibility for themselves. It always has to be someone else`s fault. So I`m leaning towards believing him.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, ok. But I have to point out this. He does have a history as well.
And he, I believe, pleaded guilty, Alan Duke, to battery back in 1998 that involved a male. But he`s got that same history.
DUKE: He`s a fighter. That`s how he makes his living. And in fact, making a living is really something he`s trying to protect right now. The remarkable move, as soon as he got out of jail, his publicist calls me at home and says can you come down and meet with him? We`re going to make a statement to the media.
Why would you do that just after you get out of jail for allegedly beating your girlfriend? Well, because his career depends on his fan base and the public perception of him. And he did a pretty remarkable performance. Whether those were real tears or not last night, he really did have them and he was sobbing.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mike Brooks, what I find fascinating is that the attorney for Tito, he`s talking right there on camera said that -- he was asked, Jenna showed up in a sling. And he said well, we have evidence that she went down to the local pharmacy and bought that sling herself.
And my question is, I would think, the key is, did she go to the hospital?
BROOKS: Exactly. And they can find out about that. But you know, the key thing here, too, is Jane, the police went to the house and they locked him up. Now, I can tell you, when law enforcement goes to the house for a domestic violence call they can take one person away, whether it be the male, or the female, or they can take both away. But they took him away for whatever reason.
So that should be part of their investigation. You know, is she telling the truth or not? And will these charges stick?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. "Survivor" murder mystery up next. You won`t believe the developments in this case out of Cancun.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, are the walls closing in on a Hollywood producer whose wife was murdered in Mexico? We`re hearing reports that Bruce Beresford-Redman, the lone suspect, could be arrested anytime now. But that`s been the rumor for an entire week. What`s the real scoop?
Bruce`s wife, Monica, was found strangled to death three weeks ago at a posh Cancun resort, her body dumped in a sewer. Mexican authorities just turned over Monica`s remains to her shattered family. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEANE BURGOS, MONICA BERESFORD-REDMAN`S SISTER: She is an American citizen, and she has a lot of people that love her, and we need to bring the body there so all the people that love her can really, you know, say good-bye and have a place where they can go and, you know, bring their love to her.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BEHAR: Welcoming back my fantastic panel. We begin with CNN producer Alan Duke out of Hollywood. Alan, you`ve been all over this case. What is the very latest?
ALAN DUKE, CNN PRODUCER: Well, she was returned to California. They turned the body over to the family yesterday; three weeks after this whole thing started in Cancun she`s finally back. Also, there was a fund-raiser over this past weekend at her restaurant in Los Angeles to raise money for the funeral and other expenses because this family doesn`t have a lot of money.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. She owns this very popular restaurant called Zazumba -- Zabumba. I`ve actually been there. It`s a very fun place right on Venice Boulevard.
And of course, her husband, Bruce Beresford-Redman used to work on the hit reality show "Survivor", which films at remote locations around the world. And gee, he was at a remote location. He is staying in Merida. And that`s about four hours` drive from Cancun.
Authorities seized his passport. But is that enough to make him stay put? Alan, I`ve got to wonder, who`s watching this guy?
DUKE: Well, supposedly, the consulate, the U.S. consulate in that city on the Yucatan peninsula has supervision of him. But I don`t know that there`s anything to prevent him to go to Mexico City or someplace else if he wanted to.
And I`m not sure that if he wanted to, not that I know that he would, he could probably find a way to leave the country. You can leave the country Mexico without a passport. Millions have proven that.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, Marc Harrold, I`ve been to Merida. I`ve visited the beautiful pyramids down there as well as the Sonote (ph), where people used to get sacrificed back in the Mayan culture. It`s a really beautiful, fascinating place. But it`s also a place where it would be easy to disappear.
I can`t understand if that this guy is considered the prime suspect and Mexican police apparently aren`t really keeping tabs on him.
MARC HARROLD: Yes, your passport`s helpful if you`re trying to travel legally. But there`s no doubt that the main thing here would be if he has the means, the money to travel he can definitely travel in that part of the world pretty much where he wants to go unless there`s more supervision than we know about.
But it doesn`t sound like there is. So if he wants to travel around Mexico or even leave Mexico most likely he can if he has the means.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here`s my big issue. Why no arrest? It seems like there is a lot of evidence, Alan, that Mexican authorities say they have accumulated. They say that there were all sorts of discrepancies in his story. He said she went shopping on a morning and disappeared then even though that night they were seen arguing. What do you make of the lack of an arrest?
DUKE: Well, scientific evidence is what we`ve been told they`ve been waiting on now, for a couple of weeks we`ve been told that. And even in this country, I mean, we`re still waiting on an autopsy report from somebody who died more than six weeks ago here in California. So it takes a while to get that. And they say that`s what they`re waiting for.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Got it. We`re done.
Tomorrow on ISSUES: more on the mystery disappearance of Julie Ann Gonzalez with her family.