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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
Kidnapped Girl Returned, Manhunt On
Aired July 7, 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, celebrations erupt as a little girl defies the odds and survives a terrifying abduction. Alisa Maier was kidnapped from her front yard, now she`s safe and sound. She was found 80 miles from home wandering in a parking lot with her hair cut off. The discovery sparked an all-out manhunt for a dangerous predator, circling neighborhoods. What were his horrifying plans for little Alisa?
A mother reaches a breaking point. Where is little Kyron Horman? His devastated mom is now demanding answers from Kyron`s step-mom, begging her to, quote, "do the right thing." Reports claim the step-mom allegedly tried to hire a hitman to kill Kyron`s dad. Is she hiding a toxic secret that could lead to little Kyron?
Plus, Lindsay Lohan`s weepy courtroom meltdown takes an obscene turn. The Hollywood starlet is headed to the slammer, but not before sending a secret message with her middle finger. You won`t believe what she wrote on her fingernail. Is this proof that Lindsay`s tears were all just an act?
ISSUES starts now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight a full-blown manhunt is under way and cops need your help. Who abducted 4-year-old Alisa Maier Monday night from her own front yard and then just let her go over 24 hours later?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARY FOLIES, ALISA`S GREAT-GRANDMOTHER: She`s going to be a scared little girl for a while. And I hope she`ll get the help she needs. And I`m so glad. I`m so happy.
KATHY TEPEN, ALISA`S GREAT AUNT: I can`t find words. It`s unbelievable. God was watching over that baby.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Alisa`s big brother, 6-year-old Blake, saw the entire thing go down. A black car pulls up. A thin man gets out and takes off with little Alisa.
Police say the suspect released the child about 80 miles away. The little girl was spotted wandering around a gas station. Get this: the witnesses who spotted the child thought she was a boy, because the suspect had chopped her hair off to disguise her.
Alisa had no obvious sign of physical injury. Still, she was rushed to a local hospital and reunited with her parents, who were joyous, ecstatic.
Meanwhile, a neighbor we`re going to hear from in just moments right here on ISSUES says her son saw a dark car circling the neighborhood for hours and hours, just before little Alisa went missing. What was this sicko planning to do with the little girl, and why did he let her go? What did she experience in the 24 hours she was with this predator? Did this sicko know that an Amber Alert had been issued and the entire country was looking for him? Is that why he let her go? Thank God he did let her go.
Call me, 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297.
Straight out to my incredible expert panel. But first, to Michelle Sigona, investigative journalist with MichelleSigona.com.
Michelle, what is the very latest?
MICHELLE SIGONA, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: I spoke with investigators on the ground, Jane, and right now they`re continuing to follow up with all kinds of leads that have been pouring in on this alleged suspect. Appears to be in his late teens to early 20s, driving a dark-colored car, appears to have damage to the front, possibly a Ford Escort.
This little girl was dropped off at a car wash about 80 miles from home last night. And as you mentioned, someone did recognize her, thought that she was a little boy, picked up the phone, called investigators. When they got out to the scene, that`s when they realized that it was Alisa.
They rushed her off to the hospital. They performed a lot of exams. We don`t know exactly if -- what kind of injuries...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I understand that in the morning, after they got the child back, they decided to go to the hospital again at 4:30 in the morning? And do another E.R. visit? And I`m wondering what that`s all about.
SIGONA: That is something that we`re waiting to find out as well. But at this particular time, her grandfather has spoken out to say that she appears to be in pretty good condition. So again, that may have just been for precautionary purposes.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Who knows if the little child woke up in the middle of the night screaming and crying because of her trauma?
SIGONA: Oh, no, you`re exactly right. But I do want to mention, Jane, since 1997, 502 successful recoveries because of the Amber Alert system. And stranger abductions, not very common, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Only about 115 every year.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Amber Alert rocks.
SIGONA: It does.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I want to talk with my next guest about that, precisely. We are so honored to have with us tonight Erin Runnion, child safety advocate and founder of the Joyful Child Foundation.
Eight years ago, Erin`s precious 5-year-old daughter was abducted from her front lawn by a sex predator and tragically murdered. Erin has turned her grief into action, and that`s just one reason why she is my hero.
Erin, so happy to have you here on ISSUES tonight.
ERIN RUNNION, CHILD SAFETY ADVOCATE: Thank you for having me, Jane.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: An Amber Alert was issued, as we just heard from Michelle, immediately after this child was abducted. One reason is cops had a lot of information. They had the suspect description. They had the car description. And that`s what they need to put out an Amber Alert.
Do you think the Amber Alert was a factor in Alisa being released by this predator?
RUNNION: Oh, I think it`s very likely. The Amber Alert is an unbelievable tool. Not only do you have the public searching for this child, but you also have the predator knowing that the entire public is searching for this child. And so the chances of him being caught once an Amber Alert is issued goes up dramatically. And that does scare a lot of them. It is a huge deterrent. And as your other guest said, we`ve had 500 recoveries. So it`s obviously working.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I just have to wonder, and I say this every single time we have a case like this, and thank God this was a happy ending.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I can`t tell you how happy I was waking up this morning and seeing this news. Because my stomach goes in a knot and I get sick every time I have to cover one of these stories. And when I woke up and I saw she`s been found, I was just so happy. It was just like a gift - - a gift this morning for everyone who got invested in this poor family`s situation.
But I have to wonder, and I`ll put this to Casey Jordan, criminologist, if we had video cameras on every major highway, wouldn`t we be able to catch these predators even faster?
I think we do have a Google map. Let`s show it again. He went 80 miles with this child, and God only knows what this poor girl had to endure the 26 hours that she was with this sicko.
If we had video cameras on every highway, the second he reached a major road, the authorities would have been able to match the description of the vehicle up with that vehicle. The irony is, they do it for traffic in Los Angeles. Why can`t they do it for safety, Casey?
CASEY JORDAN, CRIMINOLOGIST: Well, I think we are moving in that direction, Jane. You have to keep in mind we have a limited description of the car. You know, it`s a dark sedan. The best clue is it has this terribly loud muffler and it`s missing its hubs on the driver`s side. That sort of specificity is super important, because I`ll bet people are running through everyone they know who might have a dark Escort.
The problem with the cameras is going to be expense. I`m with you, Jane, that it`s going to be absolutely worth it to save a child`s life. And we have recovered so many children and caught predators because of cameras in private businesses, especially gas stations and banks and so on, that the world as it embraces these cameras, in spite of the privacy issues...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We need it now. We need it now. You know, we`re spending billions of dollars on foreign wars. Why can`t we just put these video cameras up so that cops can look at all the major highways and roadways in real time when there`s a problem like this?
We have another very special guest on the phone, Anita McKlevis. She is a neighbor of Alisa and knows the family.
Thank you so much for coming on tonight. First of all, what`s the reaction in this town that this beautiful little girl has been found OK?
ANITA MCKLEVIS, NEIGHBOR (via phone): You can`t explain it. Everybody is so happy in this town. It was like -- oh, I can`t believe it, you know. I am so glad this little girl is home.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me ask you a question.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You say your son saw something very ominous in the hours leading up to little Alisa being snatched by this mystery predator. Tell us what your son saw, ma`am.
MCKLEVIS: Well, him and some friends were on the porch across the street. And like maybe within five hours they saw this car going up and down. They weren`t sure if it was the right car or not. But it was a car that, you know, meets the description. And seeing cars going in and out of this little town, there`s not a lot -- there`s not a lot of cars. So it kind of brought to mind, you know, this is -- he`s thinking it might be the car.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So this was a car that was circling for no apparent reason, and it kind of matches the description of this vehicle, a four-door sedan, dark color, that kind of thing?
MCKLEVIS: Yes. It matched that.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And he was just driving around? Just driving around?
MCKLEVIS: Up and down -- there`s a lot of little streets here. He was driving up and down and back around. You`ve got to know that the carnival is just in town this weekend. So seeing different cars in town is -- you know, you`re used to seeing those. But this car kind of stayed around.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, hang in there, Anita. I want to bring in Stacey Honowitz, Florida prosecutor, and you supervise sex crimes. That to me is -- gives me chills, that this guy was circling around, it would appear, for hours trying to find somebody to snatch.
STACEY HONOWITZ, SEX CRIMES PROSECUTOR: That`s exactly what was going on in this case, if that car meets at description. You have sexual predators trolling a neighborhood. And they`re trolling that neighborhood for one specific reason, to be able to snatch a child. And hopefully, we`re going to hear that nothing sexual happened to this child.
And you`d be very surprised. Kids that age, and even the brother, who`s 6 years old, are very good at giving descriptions, and are very good at telling about what happened to them. So hopefully she was able to give ...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And now we need to find this predator. Linda, Oklahoma, your question or thought, ma`am?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hi. How are you doing this?
CALLER: Just fine. I`d like to say that I`m so glad that they found that little baby. And people in Florida have all gone crazy.
And another thing is, how are we supposed to teach our kids and our grandkids to trust anybody, you know, when you`ve got to teach them to hate them almost, to keep them away from the predators. I`m scared for my grandson to even go to school.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, absolutely. That`s why I say we need to kick it up a notch in terms of having an ability to catch these people immediately. This was excellent, excellent outcome. This was the best outcome we can hope for. Look at that precious little girl taken to the hospital. She`s alive. She wasn`t found in some horrific situation dead. She`s alive. We all need to be grateful.
But we need to catch this guy. And we also need to prevent anything like this from ever happening again. Everyone stay right where you are. We are tracking down this predator. And we`re taking your calls, 1-877- 586-7297.
Plus, the search continues for little Kyron Horman. His devastated mother is angry and demanding answers from Kyron`s stepmother.
But first, home sweet home. Alisa Maier defies the odds and survives a terrifying abduction. A town is celebrating.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They did the first step. That`s what I`m telling everybody, he done the first step. He needs to step up and admit that he`s got a problem and turn himself in and be accountable for what he`s done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TEPEN: I can`t even describe it.
I was so afraid she was going to be by herself again tonight. I`m so glad she`s not. Now we`ve just got to catch him. And I think we will. I think he`ll get caught, so he can`t ever do this to anybody else`s child ever.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tears of joy tonight. The family of 4-year-old Alisa Maier back home. Alisa was snatched from her own front yard Monday evening and found 26 hours later wandering around a gas station all by herself. Alisa`s grandpa appeared on NBC this morning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They were just so happy. They were so happy. Hardly any words could be spoken. Alisa`s just -- like we told you many times before, she`s a very happy child. And she likes to smile. So there was a lot of smiling. A lot of smiling right there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What a joyful conclusion. But we still have to find the predator who`s on the loose.
Lisa, Texas, your question or thought, ma`am?
CALLER: I am just am praising Jesus. I just turned it on and found out that you all found this precious baby. And we get -- we get so much bad news, and for once, with all the things going on, wet least got some good news on the news for a change.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I couldn`t agree with you more. There is nothing that makes me sadder or sicker than having to cover a case of a child, an innocent, precious child who`s disappeared.
And Erin Runnion, one of the reasons you`re my hero is that you have turned your grief over the loss of your precious daughter into something positive to try to make this world a better place, and to bring healing and to bring knowledge and to bring hope. And what was your emotional reaction when you woke up this morning and found out this child was found alive?
RUNNION: Just thank goodness. She is -- you know, every once in a while we get some good news on the story like this. And it`s just a miracle. And I was just so grateful. Just so grateful. Made my day.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Does it in any way comfort you, or alleviate the pain that you still feel over the loss of your precious daughter?
RUNNION: You know, it does. It makes me feel like I need to be speaking out more about what parents can do to prevent this kind of thing from happening.
I mean, one of the things that we teach children is if they are given permission to play outside in front of their house or in the street, that if they hear or see a moving car, they immediately start going to the front door and let their parent know that a grown-up is there. So that they are letting a grown-up know that there`s a car moving out front.
And then the other thing is, of course, to make sure that our children know all of the tricks and all of the lures that these people try to use to try to trick children into coming with them. You know, children need to know a that grown-up you don`t know never should be asking you for help. They should never take your picture without asking your parent`s permission or try to take you anywhere without asking a parent`s permission.
And that -- if you empower children to say no to a grownup in those situations, then most of the time they will. If they see somebody coming up to them that they don`t know, they will in fact run. That`s what we want...
HONOWITZ: There`s a problem in all this, Jane, that I noticed. And I agree with the panelist. The problem is, a lot of parents feel that if they`re too overprotective, they`re not letting their child be -- get their own identity. That`s the most ridiculous thing in the world.
You must educate the children. You must tell them what strangers are. And sometimes playing on the front lawn, it only takes a split second to pick up that kid and throw them in a car. Sometimes it`s too slow to get to the front door. Parents need to be aware that it can happen anywhere.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s a sad world -- it`s a sad world that we can`t let a kid play in the front yard of their own home. But unfortunately, that`s the kind of world we live in right now. And it`s terrible. I mean, it`s terrible for parents, because also, keeping their kids on a leash isn`t very healthy either. So it`s a tough situation. And it`s a tough choice that they have to make every single minute of the day.
Now, Alisa`s grateful grandfather appeared on NBC`s "Today" this morning and had a message for the abductor who`s still out there. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This guy`s still out there, and I don`t want him hurting somebody else. He`s done the first step. He`s let my granddaughter go. He`s got a couple more steps to go. He has to come to the realization that he has a problem. And then he has to step up and take responsibility for that and turn himself in.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: My big issue, this predator`s on the loose. The suspect, thin, olive skin, early 20s, early 30s, short dark hair. Vehicle, four-door car, possibly Ford Escort, dark color, tinted windows, missing hubcaps. Cops say there`s no muffler or it`s damaged.
John Lucich, former criminal investigator, this is a lot of information. What do they do with it?
JOHN LUCICH, FORMER CRIMINAL INVESTIGATOR: They get it out there to the public, because that`s No. 1. You know, nothing`s -- I agree with you, Jane, technology`s great. It can help us solve problems going forward once they happen.
But before that, we need people to get involved. The fact that this guy was able to drive around the neighborhood for that length of period and nobody called police is unconscionable. People need to start taking action to report suspicious activity. If they see a guy or hear a guy going up and down the road, it`s for a reason. This guy may have marked that girl and just driving around to wait for a good opportunity to snatch her up.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let`s not castigate anyone. I think that we`re very happy that there was a happy ending here. And we certainly know that it`s easy to have 20/20 hindsight. I`m just really happy. Just joyful that...
LUCICH: We`ve got to get there. We`ve got to get there.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ve got to find this guy.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ve got to find this guy. And we will.
Thank you, incredible panel.
Lindsay Lohan headed to the slammer, but the drama-rama is still spinning out of control. You won`t believe her obscene manicure.
And Kyron, the very latest on him, as well.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, you can feel the pressure building on the step-mom of missing Kyron Horman. Kyron`s biological mother and stepfather are once again demanding Kyron Horman`s step-mom, Terri Horman, tell cops everything -- and I mean everything -- that she knows.
Kyron has been missing for almost five weeks now. Five weeks. Does the step-mom hold the secret that could lead to little Kyron?
Kyron vanished from his school on June 4, under Terri Horman`s watch. We`ve learned that she allegedly tried to hire a hitman six months ago to have her husband, Kaine, murdered. That`s Kyron`s dad.
The day Kaine Horman got that news, he understandably picked up and moved out with their baby girl. Kyron`s biological mom and stepfather talked to reporters yesterday. You could feel their rage and their frustration. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DESUREE YOUNG, MOTHER OF KYRON HORMAN: You need to do what is right. Not for me, not for Tony, not for Kaine and not even for Kyron. You need to do it for Kiara, because she needs to see that you did the right thing to help bring her brother home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: The day little Kyron vanished, step-mom Terri Horman was supposed to drive him to a weekend visit with his biological mother 110 miles away. Was Terri Horman sick and tired of driving Kyron to these visits? Could that have caused a resentment?
I`m taking your calls on this one: 1-877-JVM-SAYS.
Straight out to my fantastic panel. But we begin with investigative reporter Michelle Sigona. What is the very latest, Michelle?
SIGONA: Well, Jane, I`ve got five updates for you, five quick points. First update is that the landscaper, what we`ve learned, reportedly actually went back to Terri recently and was wired and told her that he was going to tell authorities about the particular scheme to be able to, you know, to kill her husband. But she didn`t take the bait and cut the conversation off early. That was the first thing.
The second thing is, is that the district attorney sent a letter to the judge, possibly requesting the release of the restraining order information. I did confirm with the circuit county court that the judge is on leave until tomorrow and is going to review that particular request.
The third thing is, is that Kyron`s stepfather had actually spoke out yesterday and said that, quote, "People can connect the dots and draw their own conclusions in the investigation." Quote, "If you are a reasoning person, you can come to your own opinion about that." End quote.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So, you know, that brings me right to my big issue. What are they waiting for? Shouldn`t cops have arrested Terri Horman by now? She allegedly tried to hire a hitman to kill her husband. She reportedly pursued the hitman even after Kyron was missing. Shouldn`t that be enough for an arrest?
And I`ve got to throw that to Stacey Honowitz. You`re the prosecutor.
HONOWITZ: Well, it`s very interesting. You just don`t make an arrest based on somebody coming forward six months later. And that seems to be the issue in this case.
The gardener, the alleged hit, and the conversation was six months ago. So the credibility of this gardener has to be, you know, feted out. Bottom line is what took him so long? Why didn`t he go to authorities right away? And if there`s no conversation on tape -- that`s why they said, authorities did, it might be a difficult case.
So the sheriff said he`s going to decide by the end of this week as to whether or not arrest -- an arrest is going to be made.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And of course, there is no child at this point. So we don`t know what happened to Kyron. We pray and hope that he`s found alive. But as the old saying goes, and I`m not trying to be morbid here, there`s an old saying, no body, no case. So that is obviously a problem.
When we come back on the other side of the break, we`re going to talk to another contractor who wanted to work for Terri. Are the walls closing in on Kyron`s step-mom? Next.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Lindsay Lohan`s weepy courtroom meltdown takes an obscene turn. The Hollywood starlet is headed to the slammer, but not before sending a secret message with her middle finger. You won`t believe what she wrote on her fingernail. Is this proof that Lindsay`s tears were all just an act?
But first, little Kyron Horman has been missing nearly five weeks now. The focus remains on his stepmom, Terri Horman even though she has not been named a suspect or even a person of interest.
Kyron`s biological mother sent this tearful message to her son.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DESIREE YOUNG, KYRON HORMAN`S MOTHER: Kyron, we love you, and we miss you. We remain here working hard every day to get you home. Please do not be afraid, because the police are going to find you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We have a very special guest joining us tonight. Zach Gallinger is a contractor who got the same ad that this other landscaper purportedly got, the one who was purportedly solicited to put out a hit on Kyron`s dad.
Zach Gallinger, I`m trying to figure out when you connected the dots, when you put two and two together and said, "Oh, my gosh, this woman I was trying to contact about that landscaping job, that`s the same lady that`s in the news," -- that lady with the red hair right there.
ZACH GALLINGER, LANDSCAPIST: I didn`t really figure it out until even after the police talked to me a few weeks ago. I thought it was a detective just doing their due diligence, following up on any information they had and finding out how I was connected. Until later when the story broke that she had tried to hire a landscaper to possibly murder her husband, that`s when it became interesting. And that kind of explained why the officer or detective was so interested in exactly when I talked to her, what we talked about, if we had spoken at all, had I been to the house.
And he wanted all that information.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It makes me wonder whatever happened to this alleged purported murder for hire plot if you tried to contact her, and she didn`t respond to your initiative to try to get this job.
It occurs to me John Lucich, did she suddenly decide, well, I`m not going to do the murder for hire plot? Did the original landscaper turn her down but failed to notify police until after little Kyron disappeared and she was maybe mulling it over? What do you make of it?
JOHN LUCICH, FORMER CRIMINAL INVESTIGATOR: It could all be almost anything Jane. We don`t even know if this really happened. As these guys conduct their investigation, they`re going to be talking to several people now.
This is the only guy that she supposedly offered this to, then there`s an issue there. There may be an issue with this guy`s credibility. If these cops knew that they had a real solid case against this woman for hiring someone to kill her husband, they would have arrested her already.
There must be issues with this guy that`s making these allegations right now, or at least they can`t substantiate what he`s saying.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you know that after -- the purported solicitation occurred long before this little boy disappeared. And then after the child disappeared, the landscaper -- the other landscaper, not the Zach we have on tonight -- but the other landscaper who was reportedly solicited said, aha, this boy disappeared. This lady is the one that asked me to do this. I`m going to go to cops.
And Zach had pointed out, and I think it`s a great point, Zach, you pointed out yesterday if he had gone to cops initially, this little boy might be safe and sound at home. Correct Zach?
GALLINGER: Right. That`s right. I would hope that any landscaper approached with any illegal question would go ahead and bring that to authorities right away regardless of if there is a missing child or not.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Kyron`s biological mother Desiree Young`s anger was palpable when she was asked how Terri Horman can afford a hot-shot attorney. Check out this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
YOUNG: I can`t speak for Terri. And I can`t speak to her circumstances. She`s the only one that knows about all of that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you know who`s paying for him?
YOUNG: I have no idea. Terri would know. You can ask her.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Erin Runnion, your beautiful daughter, Samantha, was abducted and murdered in May of 2002. Of course, we`re hoping Kyron comes home safe and sound. But is there any way you can describe for our viewers what Desiree Young, Kyron`s biological mother is going through right now emotionally?
ERIN RUNNION, CHILD SAFETY ADVOCATE: It`s just agony. Your worst nightmare as a parent is to have your child taken, and to not know whether or not they are suffering from one moment to the next, it`s just a nightmare. It is just a nightmare to have your child missing.
Samantha was found within 24 hours, so I can`t relate to five weeks of not knowing. But just in the 24 hours that I didn`t know, it was torture.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Kyron`s biological mother cleared something up at yesterday`s news conference saying she hasn`t known the stepmother Terri Horman as long as the media`s been reporting.
Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
YOUNG: I didn`t know Terri until after Kyron was born. That was when I met her. It took me about a year and a half before I even ever talked to her. So Kyron was about a year and a half old.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: James Pitkin with the "Willamette Week" joins us by phone. You`re a reporter covering this story. What do we know about the relationship between these two women?
JAMES PITKIN, REPORTER, "WILLAMETTE WEEK" (via telephone): It`s been record here, Jane, that they did know each other prior to Kyron being born, that they were friends. And that at that point Desiree got sick, had to go for some medical treatment. And Terri stepped up to take care of Kyron while she was gone. At that point she developed a romantic connection with Kaine and one thing led to another.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, James, I`ve got to ask you, what`s going on with this murder-for-hire plot? Mean, it`s been reported, and the report`s reliable sources close to the investigation.
We`ve got to wonder, the mom`s reportedly not cooperating. There were reports she was deemed evasive on polygraphs. There were reports her cell phone pings didn`t match up with the story of what she said happened the day Kyron disappeared. Then she purportedly tries to hire a hitman. It seems like quite a bit of an accumulation of fingers pointing at her. But there`s not a peep from in the cops. Why not?
PITKIN: Well definitely. And there`s a lot of frustration about that. I guess they`re trying to protect their investigation. But a lot of people are wondering what they`ve got at this point, what do they still need to make an arrest. Is she dangerous, should she be out there? People are asking these questions and not getting a lot of answers.
STACEY HONOWITZ, FLORIDA PROSECUTOR: Certainly a judge thought she was dangerous.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, a judge granted a restraining.
HONOWITZ: A judge right of the bat -- in order to get a restraining order, the threshold is very high. In this case, the husband walked in, filed for divorce, walked in, got an immediate restraining order based on the fact that the cops gave him this information about this proposed, you know, murder-for-hire. So a judge in that case believed that something horrific could have happened. And he allowed this restraining order against the husband and the 18-month-old baby.
So now we`re just waiting to see -- they have to keep this investigation very close. They don`t want to jeopardize it in any way. We`ll probably know something by the end of the week with regard to that plot and whether or not she truly is a person of interest.
But we can say, we`re talking about, or we`re awfully interested in her. She is a person of interest right now for the police.
MICHELLE SIGONA, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Also, Jane, I just want to point out, that morning that they were at the school, keep in mind, everyone just keep an open mind that it was an open public setting where anyone could have entered through the doors. Investigators are looking at other avenues as well.
There are some bizarre developments in this case and obviously --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You think?
SIGONA: Obviously -- with Terri Moulton Horman. But also just keep in mind that investigators are still accepting leads. They`ve received almost 3,000 to date. We can keep moving forward.
There`s a candlelight vigil this Friday at Skyline Elementary School at 8:30 p.m. to honor Kyron.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Thank you.
Betty, Michigan, your thought or question, ma`am? Hey Betty? Oh, Betty. Ok. Betty is not there.
But let me ask you a question, Casey Jordan, criminologist. If Terri did do something -- and this is a hypothetical, it`s an if, she`s not a suspect.
CASEY JORDAN, CRIMINOLOGIST: Right.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: The lady you`re looking at here with the red hair, there she is, either doing a great acting job or actually upset, we don`t know yet. But you would think that if she did do something untoward to this child, presumably there would be some evidence: a shovel, a tarp, blood, DNA, all the stuff that we talk about in other cases. Where`s the evidence?
JORDAN: We don`t know what the police have, that they haven`t shared with the media. If they are doing a good investigation, they have things that they`re not sharing, so these hold-backs can trip her up. We really don`t know what they`ve got.
And I think that they could be, as they say, assuming that she is their number one suspect, kind of like Susan Smith, give her enough rope to hang herself. In other words, let her have her freedom.
I think that losing her husband, her 18-month-old child, all of her friends and having the media attention on her right now is the pressure that might actually crack this case.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I`ve got to say that I also think it`s very interesting that she was supposed to deliver the child that very day and drive 110 miles. I wonder if her doing all that driving for her step child might have created resentment and caused her to explode.
Fabulous panel, thank you so much.
Switching gears now, Lindsay Lohan`s downward spiral: she`s headed to the slammer for 90 days. But we don`t know if she`s going to serve even half that.
Why is everybody talking about her courtroom manicure? Well, you won`t believe what she wrote on her nails. And it starts with an F -- that`s a hint.
I`m taking your calls on this one, too, 1-877-JVM-SAYS. You will not believe it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LINDSAY LOHAN, ACTRESS: It`s just been such a long haul. I don`t want you to think that I don`t respect you and your terms. Because I really did think that I was doing what I was supposed to do. I mean that with all my heart.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ve got some extraordinary breaking news to tell you about in our lead story; the abduction and release of 4-year-old Alisa Maier. We are now learning that in about 15 minutes, police in Missouri will be holding a news conference to discuss a person of interest in that abduction and that person of interest killing himself.
So what we`re hearing now is that police are going to tell us about a person of interest in the abduction of that precious child -- remember she was abducted Monday night. She was released last night about 80 miles away from her home. And now we`re hearing that a person of interest in that case has killed himself.
Stacey Honowitz, Florida prosecutor, supervisor of sex crimes, what`s your reaction to that news?
HONOWITZ: Well, evidently the walls were closing in. And as the previous panelists were saying that hopefully he knew there was an Amber Alert out for him. And that`s why he released the child. There was some sort of knowledge that he had that he was probably going to be captured.
And if it`s true that this is the person of interest, and this is the person that took this little girl, abducted this little girl and he killed himself, he knew that it was all coming down on him. So am I surprised? I`m not surprised by it at all.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Erin Runnion, you`re a child safety advocate, you`re also the mother of a precious child, Samantha Runnion, who was abducted and murdered. What is your reaction to this news of a person of interest which is a fancy way of saying suspect like killing themselves in the abduction of this child?
RUNNION: Well, it doesn`t agree with my -- my faith, but I can`t help but be glad. I kind of wish --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I agree.
RUNNION: -- that all of the offenders who cannot control themselves and feel the need to hurt a child, I wish they would all just off themselves and be done with it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I have to say that this is a tragic story. But it has a happy ending. That girl, that you`re looking at right there, was found alive with no visible injuries. The only thing that happened to her -- oops, sorry -- her hair was cut.
We`re going to stay on top of that story.
And we`re moving on now to an explosive day, and I mean an explosive day in a head-spinning ruling in court. Lindsay Lohan sentenced to 90 days behind bars; 90 days in rehab. Lindsay completely broke down and tearfully, weeping, begged the judge to believe that she respects the court.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LOHAN: I know that I was ordered to go once a week. And I wasn`t missing the classes just -- I would not do anything like that. I was working mostly in Morocco -- I was working with children. It wasn`t a vacation. It wasn`t some sort of a joke. And I respect you and I`m taking it seriously.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was her perhaps finest Hollywood performance in years. Guess what?
I don`t think Lindsay was being respectful at all. Check out the obscene hidden message we spotted scrawled on her middle fingernail. Yes, it`s a letter that starts "f" and then dash, dash, dash ending in "k", and then the next word is "u" -- "F-U" on her fingernail while she`s in court.
Li-lo, you`ve outdone yourself. You waved you`re manicure and pointed that finger right at the judge. Well, guess what, that judge sent you her own message. There are no mani-pedis (ph) behind bars, Lindsay.
Lohan has two weeks to turn herself in. Will the troubled starlet finally clean up her act or will she spiral dangerously out of control during her last days of freedom?
Lindsay reportedly has a big party planned in an LA nightclub tonight. Will she dare to go?
I want to hear from you. Is this sentence the best thing to happen to Lindsay Lohan? Could it save her life? Give me a holler.
Straight out to my fantastic panel: former "American Idol" and former addict, a recovering addict, Jessica Sierra -- good to have you, Jessica; psychiatrist Dr. Janet Taylor; interventionist ken Seeley, we`re going to him in a second, there you are, interventionist.
And I want to begin with chief correspondent for "Inside Edition" and the author of the fabulous book, "The Last Day of My Life" Jim Moret. Jim, give us the latest.
JIM MORET, CHIEF CORRESPONDENT, "INSIDE EDITION": Well, the latest as you indicate, well, look -- look, you and I are on different sides of the aisle on this one. Because I know that you believed those were crocodile tears. I believed her. I believe she was very upset. I don`t think she was acting.
As far as the expletive on her fingernail, I don`t know that this was -- this was a personal affront to the court. Because I don`t know that this was directed at the court.
I think she has a lot of anger issues. I`m holding the -- the probation report issued -- it was filed yesterday with the court.
Let me just go over it very briefly. There is Zoloft, Trazodone (ph), Adderall and Dilaudid in her system. She tested positive for amphetamines and -- and for opiates, neither of which was a violation of probation because they were prescription drugs. This tells me possibly her dad has it right on the money, that maybe she`s addicted to prescription drugs.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well --
MORET: I think she has a problem. I think she should be treated.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jim Moret, we`re actually on the same side. I`m a recovering alcoholic, ok? One thing I know, you cannot be sober when you`re taking opiates and amphetamines.
Ken Seeley, you`re the interventionist. The probation report was just released and as Jim says it showed the actress tested positive for opiates and amphetamines. Technically it`s ok, because she was prescribed Adderall and Dilaudid, a pain killer that`s like in the morphine and heroine.
So she`s supposedly allowed to take them but you and I both know, Ken, just because they`re prescribed, it doesn`t mean that it`s not making her high. Of course it`s making her high. How can she get sober when she`s high? Impossible.
KEN SEELEY, INTERVENTIONIST: It is impossible, Jane, she isn`t sober. I mean, I think they call it a speedball out on the streets when you`re doing uppers and downers. And we know also that we could go to any doctor in this country and get any medication that we want.
But the reality is when you`re working a program of recovery, you will refuse those drugs and find alternative ways to treat your pain or your anxiety or any other thing that you`re going through when you`re an addict. And she has been known to be an addict. She admits to be an addict.
But she`s not in recovery. And this judge has all the power in the world to save this young woman`s life. She should do it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, Jessica Sierra, you are a former contestant on "American Idol", and you were in "Celebrity Rehab", you`re a recovering addict. Congratulations on your recovery.
What do you make of this bombshell news that she`s on amphetamines and opiates. Of course she`s not sober.
JESSICA SIERRA, FORMER "AMERICAN IDOL" CONTESTANT: She`s definitely not sober. I mean, you can go to any of these clinics and emergency care, urgent care and get anything that you really want, give him a sob story or whatever, you can get anything.
So she`s not technically sober. And she needs help.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But I don`t understand, Dr. Janet Taylor, psychiatrist, why the court doesn`t get it. The court doesn`t get that, oh, it doesn`t matter whether you had a tooth abscess or wisdom tooth pulled and you got morphine. It doesn`t matter why. If you`re taking morphine-like substances, you cannot be sober.
DR. JANET TAYLOR, PSYCHIATRIST: I mean, I agree. I would not want her on Dilaudid however, there is a harm reduction where you know if you can treat someone who may be depressed or may have adult ADHD and as long as they`re in an active recovery program, they can have prescriptions.
But in her case she was not in an active recovery program. And so the fact that she is an addict and had prescriptions, I think, just makes things a lot tougher. There is harm reduction. And some people successfully can complete programs and be under the care of a doctor as long as they are actively trying to stay clean.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: More on the other side.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LOHAN: I wanted to make sure that I come back here making you happy and the court system and show that I meant everything I put into it. And going more than once a week I would try to do that only because if I knew I had to work next week, I figured. And as far as I knew they were ok with this, and it was still in compliance.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Lindsay Lohan tearfully pleading with the judge, "let me off the hook". But meanwhile, she had "F-U" on her middle finger, manicured on to her hand.
Regina, North Carolina, your question or thought, ma`am.
REGINA, NORTH CAROLINA (via telephone): Hey, Jane. First of all, I want to say I love your show, I watch it every day.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you.
REGINA: And my question or thought is why did Lindsay Lohan`s attorney not have her remove those letters from her nails? I felt like she must have seen them.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jim Moret you have a few seconds.
JIM MORET, CHIEF CORRESPONDENT, "INSIDE EDITION": You know, it is very possible. Look, we didn`t see it without the telephoto lens. It is possible that her attorney didn`t notice it. It wasn`t like she was wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with these words on it. It was very small and perhaps to her it was a private joke, perhaps it is just anger that`s pent up inside of her. I just don`t know.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And, by the way, she probably won`t serve the entire 90 days. I think she`s going to serve something like 10 percent or 23 days.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right.
Thank you, fantastic panel.
And here is my issue tonight. BP`s Black Death has now been gushing into the Gulf Coast for 79 days. An entire way of life has been completely destroyed. And the catastrophic toll has just begun.
Tar balls have now been found in Texas meaning every single Gulf Coast state has been infected by BP`s toxic nightmare.
So where is the accountability? Don`t you think it`s time for heads to roll? I do. Look around. I don`t know what`s more abundant, oil or corruption.
Look at the Interior Department. They let BP fill out their own paperwork, including false reports about the cleanup effort. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar should be the first person to go. The lack of oversight, the corruption, the slow-footed response all happened on Ken Salazar`s watch.
And while BP is at the center of this oil apocalypse, this could not have happened without the complicity of our government. Secretary Salazar, do the right thing, sail off into the oil-soaked waters. Go into the sunset. Bye-bye.
That`s my issue.
But I`m not the only one who`s fired up. Here`s one of our viewers with an ISSUES rant. Donna from New York is fighting for the Gulf Coast right along with me. Go, Donna.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONNA, VIEWER: While Americans were enjoying their Independence Day holiday, it appears that our government, along with BP officials, were colluding to chip away at our first amendment rights to freedom of speech.
Want to know how a foreign entity can dictate to me and every other American what we can do on our own soil. I want the transparency, I want integrity, I want honesty, and I want my country back.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You go, Donna. Are you as outraged as I am about this oil catastrophe? Send me an ISSUES video rant, it can be about the oil spill or any story you see on issues that gets your blood boiling. Get going. Send your rant to Jane@CNN.com; that`s Jane@CNN.com.
Keep them to 30 seconds or less and we`re going to air the angriest ones live.
Once again, breaking news on the kidnapping of Alisa Maier; police say they`re closing in on the person of interest and that he killed himself.
Nancy Grace has all the late-breaking developments; she will take you live to the news conference. Keep it here.