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Why Was Restraining Order Filed on Missing Boy`s Step-Mom?; Manhunt Underway for Murderer of Two Cops

Aired June 30, 2010 - 19:00:00   ET



JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, suspicion mounts in the search for Kyron Horman. His step-mom has now been barred from seeing her children. She was the last person to see little Kyron alive. Now she`s been isolated by her family and police. Is she hiding a dark secret? Tonight, we`ll investigate a stunning new 911 call made from the family home.

And a gruesome double execution in sunny Florida. Two cops gunned down during a routine traffic stop. The cold-blooded gunman fled the scene as two police officers lay on the ground bleeding to death. Tonight, ISSUES joins the hunt for justice.

Also, a desperate family fights back. Mitrice Richardson was released from a Malibu-area police station in the dead of night. She hasn`t been seen since. That was nine months ago. Now her family is suing the county and the sheriff`s department. Tonight, I`ll talk her furious, heartbroken mom.

Plus, what or who killed Anna Nicole Smith? Tonight I`ll talk one on one with Judge Larry Seidlin, the controversial judge who wept on the stand during Anna Nicole`s trial. So why does he now suspect foul play? And you won`t believe what he`s saying. ISSUES starts now.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, explosive details surrounding the disappearance of 7-year-old Kyron Horman. We have inside information on the restraining order Kyron`s dad got against Kyron`s step-mom. What did Kaine Horman tell the judge to bar his estranged wife, Terri Horman, from being able to even have contact with their 18-month-old daughter?

Plus, breaking news tonight. We have learned about a 911 call made from the home right before the divorce drama erupted. Terri Horman, who is the missing boy`s step-mom, has been under the microscope since Kyron disappeared nearly four weeks ago. She purportedly snapped the now infamous photo of little Kyron at his science fair just moments before he vanished. Little Kyron has not been seen since this.

This week, Kyron`s dad suddenly moved out, got a restraining order, filed for divorce, and took their baby girl with him. Kyron`s dad says he cannot even think about the horrible things that might have happened to his son.


KAINE HORMAN, KYRON`S FATHER: He is somewhere, hopefully with someone who is taking care of him. And he`s protected and safe. And that`s -- whether or not that`s what actually happened, I can`t predict every other thing that comes to my mind, because I don`t want to.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The restraining order against Terri Horman is sealed. But by law, it must show why Kaine Horman -- you just heard from him -- feared his wife was a threat to himself and their baby girl. What did cops tell Kaine Horman that led him to take such drastic action? And will this all somehow help find Kyron?

I am taking your calls on this. Give me a holler: 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297.

Straight out to my fantastic panel, all experts on this case. But we begin with investigative reporter Michelle Sigona.

Michelle, what is the very latest?

MICHELLE SIGONA, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: At this particular point, I can verify for you from Lieutenant Lindstrand that there was definitely a 911 call placed from the Horman household on Saturday evening at some point. And sometime after that 911 call, that is when Kaine and his daughter packed up, and they left the home.

And that`s when we know, on Monday, the divorce paperwork was filed. The restraining order paperwork was filed. And so it just makes you wonder what happened at that house on Saturday night to be able to turn this case around and to be able to have evidence to bring to a judge, to keep this mother away from her 19-month-old daughter?

We don`t know at this particular time, because the sheriff`s office is not releasing a lot of that information. But Lieutenant Lindstrand did say today, she said, "Look." She said, "We`re continuing to go out on leads. This is not something that we are just kind of closing off and zeroing in on one particular area." All ends of this case are still open, and they still need your calls tonight.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, my understanding is that Saturday is also the day that she was told, or had to take the second polygraph. Is that your understanding?

SIGONA: That is my understanding. But unfortunately, the sheriff`s office will not confirm that information at this time.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But I mean, you`ve got a lot happening on Saturday.

SIGONA: There`s a lot going on here.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Pat Brown, you`ve got her taking the second polygraph reportedly. You`ve got him deciding to leave. But before that, there`s a 911 call that talks about threats. And then he takes off, and then on Monday he gets a restraining order and files for divorce.

PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER: Yes. You know, Jane, this is very, very unusual, because when you have this kind of a situation, even if there`s a possibility of one parent being involved, almost always you see the other parent standing by them, absolutely denying they could have any involvement.

And in this particular case, this is not what you`re seeing. You`re seeing basically him and the other people in the family, like rats fleeing a ship, they`re all gone. I mean, they`re like leaving her stranded. And that`s so unusual. One has to think that there is a tremendous amount of information that has really sent up red flags to them where they said, "Oh, my God. You can`t -- you can`t be here."

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, yes, and let me say this. We know, according to published reports, that all of this erupted after Kaine Horman, Kyron`s dad, was fully updated by law enforcement as to what was going on with their investigation. Quick reaction to that, Pat Brown.

BROWN: Well, there must be something that she said in her interviews that aren`t matching the reality. And he`s beginning to realize that she is not telling the truth. And if she`s not telling the truth, why would that -- what could that possibly be? And he has to know the answer to that. And it`s a terrible one.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, but you know, I`ve got to say -- let`s rewind to last weekend at the home of Kaine and Terri Horman, Saturday, the 26th, a monumental day.

Somebody calls 911 from the home. And all we know about that call is it involves some sort of threat.

Now, two days later, this past Monday, Terri tells a reporter her husband Kaine has not moved out, gives a thumbs up and says, quote, "Everything is good," end quote. Was she lying?

BROWN: Well, yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Less than one hour later, Terri is served with a restraining order and divorce papers. This all comes on the heels of a second polygraph given to Terri, which was scheduled for Saturday the 26th, the same day as the 911 call.

BROWN: You know, Jane...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Explain -- yes, go ahead.

BROWN: You know, Jane, I wonder if during that 911 call something was said that was on tape. Because I`m wondering, what is the judge listening to that is really going to give him the right to, you know, to do this particular restraining order? Absolutely no contact. I`m wondering if, during that 911 call, there were things said that they said, wait a minute, he`s got a point here. So I`m curious to see what that one said.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, let`s take a closer look at that 911 call made from the Horman home. The sheriff`s office says it came in at 5:46 p.m. Saturday regarding threats on the property, the very day Kyron`s dad then, apparently right after that call, moved out of the home that he had shared with his wife, who was the last person to have seen his little son.

Now, what kind of threats trigger a 911 call? Was the threat perhaps from a member of the public, harassing Terri? You know, very nasty things have been said about her on the Internet. Certainly the parents of murder suspect Casey Anthony, they know what it`s like to be harassed by the public. Check this out.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you say about the new theory that Caylee might be dead, it might have been an accident?



VELEZ-MITCHELL: And George Anthony flew into a rage trying to get people off his property. People actually protested on the front lawn of Casey Anthony`s parents` home.

So I have to ask you, Jayne Weintraub, all we know about it is 911 call involving a threat. If it was a domestic dispute between --and we can get rid of the Anthonys now. We`re back to the Hormans. If it was a 911 call involving a domestic dispute, wouldn`t it be logged as domestic instead of a threat?

JAYNE WEINTRAUB, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Exactly. It would have been logged as domestic, and typically they would have made an arrest, and they didn`t. And that brings me to another point.

You know, we`re all rushing to judgment. We have to take a step back, Jane, for two reasons. One, there`s been no reports of any domestic violence in the past. There`s been no prior 911 or police activity to that home. That says a lot.

And third, I want to point out that they have a 19-month-old together, and she has a teenager of her own from a prior marriage. This is not somebody that`s M.O. is going to hurt a child or is jealous of a child in that marriage.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, but we`re learning more about her. We`re learning about Terri Horman. In 2005, she had a DUI. reports that her 11-year-old son was in the car when Terri was pulled over. She had a blood alcohol level of 0.15. She was charged with DUI and child endangerment. We`re looking at her mug shot. She pleaded guilty and was sentenced to probation for 12 months and alcohol education classes.

She`s also had eight other traffic violations between 1988 and 2004, most of them for speeding.

Brenda Wade, clinical psychologist, could alcohol be a factor, possibly, in her behavior?

BRENDA WADE, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: It absolutely could be a factor, Jane. We know how high the recidivism rate is when people are struggling with this terrible disease. And clearly, if this family came apart that fast -- he`s filed for divorce, he`s moved out -- something was already wrong. This was a fragile family, a fragile marriage. Nobody`s marriage that is strong unravels in 24 hours. It just doesn`t work that way.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Joanna in Kentucky, your question or thought, ma`am.

CALLER: Jane, I was just wondering about this woman that`s doing this weight training and body building. What about steroid rage?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, well, that`s a very interesting aspect to this case. One of the sides of Terri Horman that we`re going to talk about right after the break is that she, the step-mom, the one who is, although not a suspect or a person of interest, apparently, the focus of the investigation into the disappearance of her stepson Kyron. She`s a body builder.

We`re going to talk about that. We`re going to show you, actually, some pictures of her body building on the other side of the break.

Everybody, stay right where you are. We are taking your calls on this one: 1-877-JVM-SAYS.

Plus, two police officers killed in cold blood. The shooter still on the loose tonight. We are hunting down a cop killer.

But first, are the walls closing in on Kyron`s step-mom? Why the restraining order? Why the two polygraphs? Why did her husband move out, taking the child with him, getting a restraining order? Is she hiding something?


HORMAN: I saw him the day of the science fair that morning. And I was just really proud of him for his -- all the work he put into his project. And gave each other a couple big hugs and just told him to have a great day at the fair. And...




DESIREE YOUNG, KYRON`S BIOLOGICAL MOTHER: I pray a lot. And I look at tons of pictures of Kyron. It helps me get through the hard times.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Breaking news tonight on ISSUES as the hunt continues for missing Kyron Horman. New information on the restraining order against Kyron`s step-mom, Terri Horman. She cannot even go near her 18-month-old daughter. Her husband, Kyron`s dad, has moved out, taking that baby daughter with him. And it`s really, really a dramatic series of developments in a very short time frame. From Saturday till today, everything has changed.

Joyce, South Carolina, your question or thought, ma`am?

CALLER: My question is, or my thought is, I`m wondering if -- of course, I believe that she did this. She had it pre-planned. And taking him to that island like she did, if in fact she did, and when she got to the island with him, perhaps that ping on her cell phone was the call she made to somebody that might have met her there and picked him up.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK, Michelle Sigona, we`ve heard that this island -- you saw the island. While they called off the overall search and told people they didn`t think it was a stranger abduction, they`ve been searching this island, and there`s some report of pings from her cell phone. What do you know?

SIGONA: That`s correct. There are reports of the pings. Lieutenant Lindstrand and her team won`t confirm that. But I mean, the proof is in the pudding. You have investigators out there. You have them combing that particular area for days and days and days, along with the immediate area inside the Skyline Elementary School and the area surrounding that. So there`s been a lot of focus points here.

And obviously, investigators aren`t going to spend that time and money and resources on a place where they don`t believe that they could possibly find something.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here`s a different side of Terri Horman we haven`t seen before. She used to be a professional body builder. That`s right, the step-mom, last seen with Kyron, used to be a professional body builder. And we`ve got some pictures, courtesy of, taken in 2005. Take a look at that. She actually placed fourth in one competition.

Terri is still known to be an exercise buff. The day Kyron disappeared she posted on Facebook that she was going to the gym.

Pat Brown, though, she looks very different in the news conference than she does there. Either Pat or Brenda, do you have any thoughts on this, because that kind of? I don`t know what to say about it.

BROWN: Well, you know, we all go downhill after we have a child. And she is an exercise buff. But you know, even under those circumstances, when your child goes missing, exercise is not the thing you`re thinking about doing at that moment.

And that, again, is the first thing that threw everybody out of whack that, "Whoa, wait a minute. Something`s really strange about this woman." Her behaviors are odd. Along with the fact when, you know, they came to her door and they said, you know, "Is everything OK with your husband?"

And she says, "A-OK," you know, basically. Hey, wait a minute. She`s basically able to smile and say everything is great when she knows everything is absolutely not great. She doesn`t say, you know, "We`re having -- we`re working on it."


BROWN: "And we`re dealing with things."


VELEZ-MITCHELL: But then again, if I actually did something, if I actually did something nefarious, I wouldn`t then say, "Hey, I`m going to the gym." I would act extra...

WADE: You know, we have an old saying, Jane, that...


WADE: Jane, when it -- when it comes to criminal behavior, there`s an old saying. It says that we have bad people on their best behavior. So the fact that she`s smiling, that she seems to either be in colossal denial or she`s covering something up, we don`t know. But the behavior, I agree with Pat; the behavior is abhorrent. We don`t expect a mom whose child is missing to look that way.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Terri Horman has never been named a suspect or a person of interest, we want to stress that.

And we know what happens when parents are unfairly accused. The parents of JonBenet Ramsey were under the microscope for years. They repeatedly denied any involvement in their daughter`s death. Ultimately, a new DNA test proved it was not them. Cops exonerated the parents.

But you know, imagine the pain that the Ramseys -- and there they are, and of course, Mrs. Ramsey has passed away -- imagine the pain that they felt all these years.

We`re very honored to have Maurice Dubois with us.

Thank you so much for being here, sir. Your daughter, Amber, was tragically kidnapped and killed last year. You know, let`s talk about the pain of being the parent of a missing child. And we`ll extend that to stepparent. Did you ever feel your family was under suspicion for Amber`s disappearance? And we know now that a monster named John Gardner was responsible for killing her.

MAURICE DUBOIS, FATHER OF AMBER: Well, yes. You know, when law enforcement does their job properly, they investigate everything. They don`t leave any stone unturned. And in our case, Carrie`s boyfriend Dave was a huge suspect in the case, and they -- he, against the advice of counsel, he volunteered for eight polygraphs, his house to be searched, his vehicle to be searched.

You know, if this woman has nothing to do with it, she will fully comply with law enforcement and assist them in any way that she can.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, a friend was quoted in the newspaper as saying that she was unhappy with the second polygraph. Now, we don`t know if that`s unhappy with the results or unhappy with having to take a second polygraph. But Mo, what do you make of that?

DUBOIS: Well, you know, we`re not professionals on the polygraph area. We don`t deal with that. But if she was unhappy and not willing to do it, you know, of course, it`s going to raise some suspicion. But what`s the most important is that law enforcement do focus on all avenues and not rule out any possibilities.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Sharon, Florida, your question or thought, ma`am.

CALLER: Is it a possibility that Terri Horman was -- her resentment built up because she sent her son away to live with, I believe it was her parents, because her husband doesn`t get along with her son? And she resented it, and she finally snapped and decided to send Kyron out of the picture?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Michelle Sigona, what do you know about that? We know Terri has a 16-year-old son from her first marriage who had been living with her and her husband, and Kyron, and the little baby girl. Suddenly apparently left and moved away.

SIGONA: We don`t know the reason why he left. Teenagers, there can be times, especially when families are split apart, where they say, "I want to leave. I want to go live with so-and-so. I want to do this; I want to do that." And that`s just teenagers in general. So we don`t know the dynamics with that. But we do know he did, in fact, move out.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Fantastic panel, stay where you are. We are not done with the Kyron Horman case.

But first, two cops killed in cold blood.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, a killer on the loose. A massive manhunt in Tampa for a cop killer. SWAT teams are widening the search for a man who gunned down and killed two Tampa police officers. The alleged shooter, Dontae Morris, has been on the run since yesterday. And this is a search that is out of control right now.

Authorities are really trying to tighten the loop on this guy and catch him, because when you shoot a police officer, let me tell you, and when you shoot and kill two police officers, every single law enforcement facility, capacity, manpower is immediately directed on finding the person responsible.

Straight out to Pat Brown, criminal profiler. Pat, what do they need to do to find this guy?

BROWN: Well, you know, he is so dangerous right now, Jane. We`re talking about a guy who had an 18-page rap sheet. Shot down two police officers in cold blood. He knows that when he`s caught, he`s going down with the death penalty in Florida. He is going to be extremely, extremely dangerous.

They have got to try to fan out and find all the places he might be at, finding who he hangs out with, his friends, family, any of his haunts. Because that guy, you know, they`ve got to be very careful. Because he might as well take a few more down is what he`s thinking at this point. If he`s going to go out blasting, because you know, what does he have to lose at this point?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Friends and fellow cops are actually stunned and heartbroken over this double murder. Listen to this.


OFFICER JASON WARD, TAMPA POLICE: Jeff was a phenomenal officer, a real go-getter. He -- the term I liked to use with him was he was a -- he was a fire breather.

OFFICER WHITNEY MCCORMICK, TAMPA POLICE: Dave enjoyed the honor guard. He felt it was something that was a necessity to pay tribute to the individuals that had given their lives in the line of duty.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: One of the officers died just hours before his wife delivered their newborn baby. The other leaves behind four sons.

Pat Brown, police say the suspect`s family does not condone this and hopes that Dontae Morris will come forward. They traced his scent with bloodhounds but lost it. They believe he may have hopped in a car. Interestingly enough, there was a woman with him. They interrogated her and let her go. Do you think that was a smart decision?

BROWN: They may be watching her to see where she goes to. That may be one of their attempts to get a lead on where this guy is.

We`re talking about a guy who could get into a spree, you know, at this point, a spree mode, and that can be very dangerous, where he can just start running, carjacking, shooting, doing whatever. They know they`ve got a problem on their hands, and they want to bring this guy down for the safety of the community and also for these two officers who lost their lives like this. It`s just horrible. So I mean, they -- everybody`s going to be out after this guy. And I just hope they get him before he causes any more damage.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Cops believe that he could be getting help staying undercover. Will those individuals face prosecution, as well?

BROWN: Well, they should if they`re aiding and abetting, but you know, he`s out -- with a rap sheet as long as he`s got, he`s got a lot of buddies out there, a lot of friends who think what he did is not all that bad, because a longtime criminal like that doesn`t like cops, and neither do any of their friends.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Remember, this was a routine traffic stop for outstanding warrants, and it turned into a blood bath. Our society is so addicted to violence, and it`s so unnecessary, all of it. We`ve got to do something about this out-of-control violence plaguing our streets. Really, we have to.

And we pray that this man is brought to justice. And our condolences to the families of those two brave officers who lost their lives.

Pat, thank you so very much.

Coming up, does Kyron`s step-mom know what happened to this adorable little boy? We are now going to go inside the investigation. Stunning new information.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: A desperate family fights back. Mitrice Richardson was released from a Malibu area police station in the dead of night. She hasn`t been seen since. That was nine months ago. Now her family is suing the county, and the sheriff`s department. Tonight i`ll talk to her furious heart-broken mom.

Plus, what or who killed Anna Nicole Smith. Tonight i`ll talk one-on- one with Judge Larry Seidlin, the controversial judge who wept on the stand during Anna Nicole`s trial. Why does he now suspect foul play? And you won`t believe what he`s saying.

As the search continues for 7-year-old Kyron Horman, his family appears to be collapsing under the strain. At the center of it all, Kyron`s stepmom, Terri, who has not even been named a suspect or a person of interest but clearly a focus of the investigation.

Kyron`s dad, Kaine Horman moved out, taking the couple`s 18- month-old daughter with him. He has now filed for divorce. He has now taken out a restraining order and he is living at an undisclosed location.

We have reached out to Kaine`s family and attorneys for comment. No response at this point.

Michelle Sigona, investigative reporter, bring us the very latest in terms of what happened on Saturday. It was a day of huge developments. And then what happened on Monday?

MICHELLE SIGONA, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Apparently there was a second lie detector that was administered to Terri Moulton Horman. Something happened along the first lie detector test. It may have indicated, number one, inconclusive, or number two, some inconsistencies may have shown up. That`s why a second one may have been administered.

After that apparently around 5:30 in the afternoon, Pacific time, that`s when a 911 call was placed from the family home in Oregon. We do not know who placed the call. We do not know the contents of that particular call. But we do know afterwards, Kaine and his daughter left the residence. They left the home. And then on Monday, the court -- the judge did in fact agree to a restraining order against Terri Moulton Horman, and also did -- he moved forward with divorce paperwork. I have the petition in my hand right here.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here`s my big issue: sharing secrets? Did the cops share a secret with Kaine Horman, Kyron`s dad, the husband of the woman they`re investigating? It`s got to be tricky because you never know how a spouse is going to react. After all, Kaine Horman was with his wife when they walked to the bus stop and discovered Kyron did not come home on the bus that fateful day.

Listen to the dad.


KAINE HORMAN, KYRON HORMAN`S FATHER: I was there. Yes, I was home from work, working from home in the afternoon, and walked down with her to the bus with our daughter to go pick m up. So I was there when the bus driver said he hadn`t been -- he wasn`t on the bus.

At first, he was in solidarity with the woman that is hugging him, his wife Kyron`s stepmom. But now, Kaine has filed for divorce from Terri and sought a restraining order. And that was right after he was fully briefed by cops on the investigation into his son`s disappearance.

So Judge Larry Seidlin, you`ve covered so many of these cases, what would a cop say to a spouse of someone they`re investigating that would cause them to file for divorce?

JUDGE LARRY SEIDLIN, AUTHOR, "THE KILLING OF ANNA NICOLE SMITH": Well, I believe that a lot of red flags were waved here. And the natural father of this missing boy had some questions. And I believe that the officer gave him some answers. And he felt his other child was in danger.

And he ran to the courthouse -- and I sign thousands of restraining orders over the years -- and he ran there because he felt that child was in jeopardy. He gets a restraining order against his wife, and now he`s also seeking a divorce. So he thinks something smells very badly here because under a normal set of --

JAYNE WEINTRAUB, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Judge, it could be as simple as a domestic affair, you know that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: No, no, no, no.

WEINTRAUB: It could have been something in the polygraph?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The timeline -- yes, exactly. I mean the timeline is too compressed. First, there he is, hugging her at the earlier news conference. All of a sudden, boom, he talks to cops, they update him on the case and he immediately -- he moves out with his daughter and files for divorce and files a restraining order.

WEINTRAUB: Jane, the cops might not be right. I mean they don`t always get it right. And that`s why I`m saying, let`s not rush to judgment. Let`s wait and see what`s in the restraining order.


BRENDA WADE, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: They may not have it right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: One at a time. Go ahead.

WADE: They may not have it right. But on the other hand, in a family that is strong, in a marriage that is strong, you just don`t jump up overnight and divorce your spouse. It doesn`t work that way.

I see other problems here, Jane. There are other fractures.


WADE: This was not a strong family to begin with.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, it`s a blended family. And I`d like to talk about the issue of enmeshment. Kyron went to live with his father, when his biological mother, Desiree Young moved to Canada because she had become ill, kidney failure. When she came back to Oregon, it appears that Kyron`s biological mom did not try to regain custody of little Kyron. And now she says the guilt is overwhelming.

Let`s listen to that.


DESIREE YOUNG, KYRON HORMAN`S BIOLOGICAL MOTHER: It was the first night, and I just had this overwhelming feeling of -- sorry -- a feeling of guilt for not being there to protect him.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why didn`t she try to get her child back? Published reports say Desiree Young also has a child from a previous marriage, a boy who would be a teenager now. So you have to wonder, could the reason she didn`t try to get Kyron back in terms of custody is because she already had a son.

I mean this is a very enmeshed situation, Brenda Wade.

WADE: Well, you know Jane, she`s also been very ill. Kidney failure is a very serious illness to cope with. And it could be she was depressed. People who are ill get depressed. They get depleted.

But the other thing I want to say is, today, a lot of families are under stress, and maybe this family just waited too long. They should have gotten help a lot sooner. There was drinking. There were a lot of traffic accidents. There were problems here. There`s a string of things that make me question, why weren`t they in marital coaching? Why weren`t they getting help? If a family`s under stress, the right thing to do is don`t wait; get help right away.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Elizabeth -- go ahead.

WEINTRAUB: I`d like to see the school records for the teenager and for Kyron. I think that might have a hint in it. Co-dependency.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, look, I want to talk about, you know, Terri Horman comes off as sort of this white knight, she comes in to help care for Kyron when Kyron`s mom goes to Canada for health reasons. Is this a selfish -- selfless act or could there be hidden selfish motivation? I would kind of describe it as co-dependency.

Brenda Wade, when do you cross the line between being a helping friend, helping out a good female friend in a pinch, and becoming basically over-involved in somebody else`s personal life and co-dependent and enabling?

WADE: You know, Terri`s a stepmother. If the other mother, the biological mom wasn`t available, maybe she was just fulfilling her duties. But the answer to your question as we know, co-dependence is on board when that person is doing things for someone else, they should be doing for themselves.

But here we have a sick woman. So Jane, it`s very hard to call it. If I had to vote right now, with limited information, let me tell you what I would vote for.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hold on one second.

WADE: I would vote for that the real problem here, this is long distance, I would say the real culprit isn`t co-dependence, I would say it`s possibly alcohol.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, alcohol is a factor in so many crimes. And the fact is she did have a DUI. But we don`t know for sure that she is an alcoholic.

WADE: Exactly.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: A lot of people can get a DUI --

WADE: I don`t know for sure. But I would put my money there first.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, I just want to say a couple of things. First of all, everybody is very fascinated with these body building pictures. So we`re going to throw them up again because they`re absolutely astounding. You see the lady there in the t-shirt? Ok?

Now, that`s her a few years ago. That`s pretty astounding. That`s a pretty astounding change, ok? I find that very interesting. I don`t know if there`s any significance to it. But I find it pretty fascinating that that woman has changed.

So maybe she was overwhelmed by the burden, Mo Dubois, of caring for three kids, and one of them is not even hers. What do you think?

MO DUBOIS: You never know. The burden of raising a child is a tough task to take. You know, any parent who has to deal with raising your own child as well as someone else`s, it can take a toll on you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I agree with you. And we don`t want to pre-judge. She is not named a suspect or a person of interest.

Fantastic panel thank you so much. We`re going to stay on top of Kyron`s disappearance in the hopes of finding that beautiful young boy alive.

Judge Seidlin, you just heard from him a second ago, he`s speaking out. Coming up, I`m going to talk to the lightning rod judge at the center of the Anna Nicole Smith saga. You will not believe his new allegations.

But first, missing in Malibu, Mitrice Richardson vanished more than nine months ago. Should cops take the blame? Coming up, I`m going to talk one-on-one with Mitrice`s furious heartbroken mother. And we`re taking your calls. 1-877-JVM-SAYS.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If her name was Spears or Lohan, they would never let her walk out by herself. They would have escorted her home.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: BP continues to spew Black Death into the Gulf Coast. And now it`s payback time. They have been killing animals, burning sea turtles alive, allegedly. People said they saw it.

Now, environmentalists are finally suing the oil giant, trying to force BP to protect these beautiful creatures. These sea turtles are endangered.

Guess what, BP, killing them is against the law. You should go to jail for it.

Not only are the turtles losing their habitat, but they are being set on fire while still alive in the so-called cleanup efforts.

What the heck is it going to take for BP to take this oil spill seriously and deal with it in an ethical way? It`s hard when you`ve been used to living in an ethical wasteland. This could be the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history and there is no end in sight.

And now tropical storm Alex is bearing down on the oil-soaked Gulf Coast. This Black Death could literally be washing up in this storm right into people`s living rooms; onto the streets.

BP, you`ve already destroyed the homes of the poor turtles. Are you going to destroy our homes next?

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

Meantime, tonight, mounting desperation drives a missing woman`s family to take on the cops. Mitrice Richardson`s mother is suing Los Angeles sheriff`s deputies for wrongful death. Mitrice vanished nine months ago after deputies released her in the dead of night with no phone, no purse, no car, no nothing.

Her family says deputies were completely negligent and should have realized that Mitrice was suffering a mental breakdown that night.



LATICE SUTTON, MITRICE RICHARDSON`S MOTHER: Something is wrong with her. She seems to be in some type of crisis.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hours before she disappeared, Mitrice was arrested for not paying her tab at a swanky Malibu restaurant. Cops found a tiny amount of marijuana in her car. They impounded that car. They took Mitrice to a sheriff`s substation. There is a video of Mitrice from inside a holding cell.

According to the lawsuit, the footage shows Mitrice quote, "clutching the screen of the holding pen, rocking from side to side. Pulling at her hair, trying to get into the fetal position while face down on a concrete bench". It sounds to me like she was in distress.

So why was she allowed to walk out the door alone in the middle of the night in a remote area without any money or car or cell phone? Can the lawsuit help this poor family get some answers?

I would like to welcome back my panel. And I`m honored to welcome Mitrice`s mom, Latice Sutton. Latice, we know this hasn`t gotten any easier for you we see you last on our show. Our hearts always go out to you. Tell us exactly --

SUTTON: Thank you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- why you filed this lawsuit.

SUTTON: Yes. Jane, thank you so much for having me again. I really appreciate you having me back here to keep Mitrice`s story alive. My purpose for filing the lawsuit is to be able to obtain more information about what really happened to Mitrice on that night.

As it stands now, when I request certain video footage, such as the booking cage footage, or certain reports, I`m always told, well, because of the possibility of a lawsuit, we cannot provide you with that information.

So, therefore, I feel I have no other alternative. They -- they being the sheriff`s department has forced me to take this action. And it is time to hold them accountable. And it is time to get some more assistance.

We need the FBI involved in this case. We need to find what has happened to my baby. What has happened to Mitrice? She has vanished. And she should not be missing. Clearly something was wrong with her.

And they knew this from the beginning, from my very first phone call, telling them that this is uncharacteristic of Mitrice. And based on the witness testimony at the actual scene where the officers responded.

So it`s time to push forward. I need some answers. I need my daughter.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I have to tell you, we contacted the sheriff`s department and they issued a statement to us, saying essentially, "Whenever a lawsuit`s filed, the whole story isn`t being told. We look forward to telling the whole story. Our comments about this unfortunate situation are on the record, we stand by them. We anticipated the lawsuit. It`s not a surprise. It will not change how we search for her. All indications were she was doing ok that night."

So there`s -- there`s a total conflict here. Here`s my big issue.

SUTTON: There is a total -- yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`ll go to my big issue and I`m going to get your response. Here is my big issue. Where is the tape from the night Mitrice went missing? And as we just mentioned, we called the L.A. County sheriff`s office and we asked for the video and they said, sorry, we`re not releasing it.

From the start the sheriff`s department explained Mitrice was acting in a completely lucid and normal manner while she was at the station. Well, if that`s the case, then show us the tape. Why not let the video speak for itself.

Latice, you`re the mother.

SUTTON: Absolutely.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Your thoughts?

SUTTON: Oh, absolutely. Release the video. And it will show that clearly she was not acting like a lucid adult. And let me say this, based on the sheriff`s statement that information is not -- is missing, and not being stated. You are absolutely correct.

From the beginning, the Los Angeles sheriff`s department has withheld information, such as the very video footage that they had to admit to three months in to the investigation looking for Mitrice.

So clearly, the Los Angeles Sheriff`s Department has a lot that they`re not providing us. And that is the grounds of this lawsuit. So we can find out what we don`t know.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Right. And I just want to mention that the people at the restaurant said she was acting strangely, talking in gibberish, saying she was from Mars, saying she was there to avenge Michael Jackson`s death.

Now, this case took a wildly disturbing turn earlier this month. Search crews looking for Mitrice found a sick, pornographic mural depicting an African-American woman who looks pretty much like Mitrice. We have to blur the images because they are too graphic for television.

SUTTON: Absolutely.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mitrice`s family is convinced whoever painted the graffiti wanted the search teams to find it, because it was on the search route. And really, they`re really gross.

Latice, let`s listen to how you yourself described the mural on the show recently.


SUTTON: What this -- this mural of hate tells me is that they are showing me what they are doing to my daughter. The depiction of the young woman, the young African-American woman in the wheelchair with her arms being pulled forward, that one affects me the most.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Latice, have the cops investigated this to see if this is the sicko who took your, Latice, your daughter?

SUTTON: Jane, what I am told, which is a standard PR statement, I believe, they tell me that the investigation is progressing forward. They will not give me any specifics. They will not give me any detailed information.

So they have not answered if this is in fact related to the disappearance of my daughter. But I still contend it is not coincidental. This is not an accident. And I believe it is related.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we`re going to stay on top of your daughter`s story. You come back soon. We don`t want to forget it.

Up next, Judge Larry Seidlin.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The fiery case of the death of superstar Anna Nicole Smith revs into high gear. Anna Nicole`s lover and attorney, Howard K. Stern and her two personal doctors are facing serious drug conspiracy charges. And that hearing is just a couple of weeks away.

Tonight we`re talking to the one and only Judge Larry Seidlin whose controversial kooky remarks made history when he presided over the trial that focused on Anna Nicole`s remains.

Check it out.


SEIDLIN: I`m not going to talk about this case, ever again. And I hope to God you guys give the kid the right shot.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Judge Seidlin has now written an explosive, fantastic new book about the starlet`s untimely death ominously entitled "The Killing of Anna Nicole Smith". Judge Seidlin, thank you so much for joining us. In your book you allege there was foul play involved in Anna Nicole`s stunning the overdose. Tell us about your theory.

SEIDLIN: Well, Anna Nicole is killed by prescription drugs. And I do something different here that`s never been done before. I make the reader the jury. Whether it was murder, whether it was a lesser included offense like reckless conduct, the juror will decide, the reader will decide.

And I present documents, I spend the next three years -- the trial was three years ago -- I spend the next three years giving you documents in this book. It`s like a true crime book. And it`s fascinating.

And the critics are telling me the book is compelling. It`s a page-turner. You look at the death of Daniel. Daniel`s death takes place in the Bahamas. He gets there at 9:00 at night and in the morning, at 6:00 in the morning he`s dead as a doornail.

Anna Nicole as we all know was under prescription drugs. Her mind was not clear. And she decides to bury Daniel in the Bahamas.

He has no nexus. He has no ties to that country. And when the pathologist -- I show you the Bahamian inquest. When the reader sees that, you`re one of the few people in the world, other than Jerry Brown, the attorney general, to see the inquest.

And it shows that he dies from methadone, this boy never took methadone. He was against prescription drugs. And that`s the cause of his death.

And then when we look months later, I have Anna Nicole. I have to decide where to bury her. And she loved that son. And I said in the book I can`t separate son from mother.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I just have to say, I like your thesis. But I have to point out that Howard K. Stern has said he`s not responsible for her death. And, you know, she`s an adult and she was swigging some of this stuff herself. So, we are responsible for our own addictions ultimately.

Judge Seidlin, thank you. Come back soon. We love you, Judge.

SEIDLIN: Well, thank you, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: A big story tonight: Larry King has announced he`s going to step down later this year. Larry`s been a part of our lives making TV history for decades.

But I`d like to say something about Larry King, the human being. He is a very kind person. I have had the honor of being on his show numerous times. And he`s always treated me very, very sweetly.

If you wonder why people don`t seem nervous on "LARRY KING LIVE", it`s because of Larry King. He has a gift for making you feel at ease and at home. And that is just one reason why he is such a brilliant interviewer.

I just want to say thank you, Larry, and best wishes.

You`re watching ISSUES on HLN.