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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

Step-Mom`s Friend Brought into Missing Boy Investigation

Aired July 23, 2010 - 19:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, head-spinning new developments in the case of missing 7-year-old Kyron Horman. Have police set their sights on a potential accomplice in the little boy`s disappearance? Cops reportedly claim step-mom`s Terri`s best friend was spotted leaving her job the morning Kyron vanished and was out of reach for 90 minutes. Does she know anything about the missing boy? Is this the break cops need to find little Kyron?

And a devastated family demands justice for what they believe is a casualty in the war on women. A 23-year-old mother found dead in a vacant lot near a New Jersey train station. Police say they can`t figure out how Jenna Lord died, but her family insists she was murdered. What happened to Jenna Lord? Did the cops do enough to help find her? We`ll talk to her outraged family tonight.

Plus a sordid love triangle ends in death. A woman on trial, accused of stabbing her romantic rival because they were in love with the same man. The defendant breaks down and sobs as she takes the stand. You`ll hear her jaw-dropping testimony as this dramatic trial reaches its crescendo.

ISSUES starts now.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight breaking news. Explosive new developments in the Kyron Horman case.

Little Kyron vanished seven weeks ago today. The cloud of suspicion still hangs over his step-mom, Terri Horman. But now her friends are being pressured to talk. And that includes Terri`s best friend. Here`s the friend: DeDe Spicher. This photo from what we believe to be her Facebook page. Comes say she`s a close confidante of Terri`s, and Kyron`s father believes DeDe is not cooperating with authorities.

Cops raided three -- count them, three -- homes, including Spicher`s house. They were seen removing several boxes. KGW-TV claims they`ve learned from a reliable source that DeDe Spicher was working in a garden near Kyron`s home the very day the little boy vanished and that she suddenly left work for 90 minutes and could not be reached by cell phone. Where did she go?

At this point, it`s obvious Kyron`s dad is at the end of his rope.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KAINE HORMAN, KYRON`S DAD: It feels good, but it`s incomplete. He`s not there with us. So it`s still -- it`s still pretty empty. I`m just -- come here, do what we can, get the house ready for him to come home.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That poor man.

There`s another bombshell. Reports claim the boy`s step-mom, Terri Horman, told Kyron`s teachers that he would be out of school for a doctor`s appointment on the very day he vanished. No wonder the school didn`t report him missing.

Police have not talked to the media in days. Why the silence, given the swirl of new developments? Seven weeks after little Kyron vanished, where does this investigation stand?

Straight out to my fantastic expert panel. But first to investigative reporter Michelle Sigona.

Michelle, what is the very latest?

MICHELLE SIGONA, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Later on tonight, Jane, the sheriff`s department did confirm to me that they will answer questions regarding Kyron`s case. But they are not ready at this particular point to come out with some of the answers for questions that were provided to them earlier this week. That`s the first step.

The second part is, is that during those particular search warrants that were executed, Jane, DeDe, as you mentioned, the parents spoke out about her saying, quote, "We have been informed they have identified a person" -- they being the police -- "that has been in close communication with Terri Moulton Horman since Kyron went missing, and her name is DeDe Spicher. She has not only been in close communication with Terri but has been providing Terri with support and advice that is not within the best interest of our son, Kyron."

They do believe that DeDe has significant information. They implore her to come forward.

And also I did talk to the school district about that particular doctor`s note. Matt Shelby, who is the spokesman, said he can`t comment specifically on what exactly Terri told the teachers, but there are reports that she`d mentioned that Kyron had a doctor`s appointment that Friday and that some of the students may have heard that, as well. That`s why red flags weren`t launched during the day.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. We have to stress Terri Horman`s friend, DeDe Spicher, has not been implicated in Kyron`s disappearance at all. In fact, we would like to talk to her. We have tried to reach out to her today unsuccessfully. She has an open invitation to appear on this broadcast and say whatever she wants and to tell her side. We want to be fair here. But we do have to report the news, and police are reportedly interested in what Kyron`s step-mom, Terri, might have told her friend DeDe.

We know she and Terri share common interests like gardening and fitness. In fact, KGW reports Spicher used to work out with Terri.

We`ve showed you the photos of Terri when she was a competitive body builder five years ago. KGW also says police have questioned DeDe Spicher and searched her condo. And Spicher reportedly spent a whole lot of time at Terri`s house after her husband moved out, upon learning of an alleged plot by Terri to hire a hit man to kill him.

So once again, on the day that Kyron disappeared, "The Oregonian" reports that Spicher was working nearby. Michelle, specifically tell us what you know about DeDe`s movements.

SIGONA: Apparently on the morning that Kyron went missing, there are reports that indicate -- and, again, I asked the sheriff`s department specifically about the location and the timeline, but they won`t comment specifically.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What do you know?

SIGONA: About her possibly being somewhere near Kyron Horman`s home on the morning that he went missing. She was apparently doing some gardening in that area.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Well, apparently, she left for 90 minutes and, according to published reports, somebody couldn`t reach her. They tried to reach her on the cell phone. And there were a couple of people -- the homeowner and somebody she worked with who said they couldn`t find her, and they tried to reach her.

Yes, Michelle?

SIGONA: That`s correct. That`s the same information that I have.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Pat Brown, what do you make of it? You`re the criminal profiler.

PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER: Well, I`m sure there`s a lot of possibilities here. One is that she could have had something to do with it from the beginning. I tend not to believe that.

It is also possible that Terri called her in some supposed panic and said, "Please can you help me. I have this problem," whatever it might have been.

And we have to remember that Terri is a very manipulative person as far as we`ve seen. So it`s possible that DeDe is under her spell, that she became her friend, she believes what Terri says; she thinks everybody is out to get her, that all these lies are being told about her and she`s been framed. A lot of people fall into that kind of a pattern, believing these kind of things. So it`s possible she`s a dupe in the whole thing and really is.

She might have information. That`s, of course, why the police are all over her.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, here`s my big issue tonight. Terri Horman has managed to suck a whole lot of people into this drama vortex. There`s the landscaper she allegedly tried to hire, to recruit to kill her husband.

There`s Michael Cook, a high-school friend of her husband`s. He only got involved after little Kyron went missing, so he was never considered a suspect. But he admitted to inappropriate contact with Terri but not to an affair. She allegedly sent him graphic sexual photos of herself and hundreds of texts.

And now there`s this best friend. So I`ve got to go to the shrink on this. Dr. Jenn Berman, what is it about Terri Horman that she`s able to suck so many people into her problems? I mean, obviously, she`s -- she`s at the center of a searing hot spotlight of negative attention.

DR. JENN BERMAN, PSYCHIATRIST: She appears to be someone who has a seriously underdeveloped conscience and also someone who is highly narcissistic. And sometimes when someone is potentially that pathological, they almost have a sixth sense on who they can suck into that vortex. And clearly, this woman does. She knows who to go to and who she can get to follow her and is evidently a smooth enough talker to get people to do so.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Maybe charisma, you know. She might have some strange charisma that makes people want to get involved with her personal issues.

Vicky, Nebraska, your question or thought, ma`am.

CALLER: Yes, good evening, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hi.

CALLER: I have a thought. That if they were having marital problems and possible suspicions, why would they -- why would Kaine allow Terri to take the child alone and...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s an interesting question. And just to give the viewers the back story, in case you missed it, Kyron`s dad -- you see him there. He was originally solidarity with Terri. Then apparently, police told him that Terri allegedly tried to hire a hit man several months before little Kyron disappeared to kill him. And that`s when he packed his bags and took off, taking the child with him.

Bruce McCain, you`re a former sheriff`s investigator with the very sheriff`s office investigating this case. What do you make of all these leaks to the parents? And then the parents are the ones delivering to the media all the news about what`s happening with the investigation?

BRUCE MCCAIN, FORMER SHERIFF`S INVESTIGATOR: Jane, it`s almost unprecedented to see an agency use a private family as their DeDe facto public information officers.

It`s not just this latest tabletop press release that was thrown out through DeDe`s own e-mail last night. This goes all the way back to the divorce case, the restraining order, the show cause hearing. Everything that Kaine alleged in that press release last night was fed directly to him by the investigators, who on the same time have gone completely into hiding.

It`s really frustrating to the media here in the Portland markets, because there`s no official public face to this investigation, and Kaine Horman now is playing two roles. He`s the father of the missing child, and he`s become the DeDe facto public spokesperson for this agency.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And why are the cops doing this, do you think? You were one of them. Do you think this is their way of trying to put pressure on these principals to spill their guts?

MCCAIN: Well, there`s no question that the investigation has brought out Michael Cook and now DeDe at this point. So they`re going to -- if they can`t get Terri, they`re going to try to go after somebody else that knows and put the hammer on them, including the possible hindering prosecution charges. That`s the investigative side.

But the other part of it is how this is being handled in the public relations realm. Right now the public here in this area has nobody they can look to, to provide them with an answer. The agency has become very defensive. They`ve closed down everybody, and they`re answering everything by e-mail instead of face-to-face contact.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. It`s the dad who`s giving us all the new information. More on little Kyron Horman next.

Plus, a love triangle turns deadly. And we`ve got breaking news. A verdict just in. You`re going to hear the defendant`s jaw-dropping testimony in a moment.

But first the latest stunning twists and turns in the case of missing 7-year-old Kyron Horman. Will this latest break be what cops need to find this missing child?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL COOK, FRIEND OF KAINE HORMAN: It`s only reasonable to assume that people would speculate and become suspicious of Terri. But it doesn`t mean that she had anything to do with it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HORMAN: He`s still out there. He`s still out there. We just need to find him. And just the love we have for him and how much we miss him and how much we`re just trying to do everything we can to find him. He`s waiting to be found. He`s out there.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Kyron Horman`s dad holds on to hope that his son is still alive. Police widening the circle in their investigation by pressuring friends of Kyron`s stepmother. Terri Horman not named a suspect but certainly the focal point in this bizarre investigation.

Nick, New York, your questions or thought, sir.

CALLER: First of all I wanted to say it`s an honor to speak to you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you. You, too.

CALLER: OK, thank you very much. The reason -- I`ve had a problem ever since Kyron was missing, I`ve had a problem with the stepmother for a long time. Her behavior is fishy.

First of all, she takes a picture of him in front of the science fair to justify herself that she took him to school, and then she doesn`t even deposit him in the classroom.

And then second of all, if your child was missing, anybody`s child would be missing. They would be frantic. They wouldn`t be able to eat, sleep. But her behavior was very strange. She`s body building, and she makes an excuse that a cop told her that, you know, you have to get on with your life and she`s body building. Jane, that is such B.S. It doesn`t even pass the smell test.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Well, does it remind anybody of Casey Anthony going out partying at the same time that she claimed she was looking for her missing daughter? I don`t know.

But I will tell you this. There`s another stunner in this case. Relates exactly to with this caller said. Kyron`s mom, Desiree Young, told NBC she`s racked with guilt for not attending the science fair the day that Kyron vanished.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DESIREE YOUNG, KYRON`S MOTHER: To know that I was 4 and 1/2 hours away when he needed me to protect him, that`s what I feel guilty for. The fact that I had to work that day instead of going to the science fair like I wanted to, that I feel guilty for, too.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s go back to that crucial day, June 4. In a stunning new development, Terri reportedly told the school -- are you sitting down -- that Kyron had a doctor`s appointment and would not be in class. Later, she apparently told police she really meant that he had a doctor`s appointment the following Friday.

Darren Kavinoky, what do you make of it?

DARREN KAVINOKY, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, these kind of inconsistencies, as the caller points out, really have an impact both in terms of the court of public opinion and the jurors in a court of law. This is the kind of stuff -- and it`s -- admittedly, it`s just circumstantial evidence. It may not directly prove something related to his being missing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, please.

KAVINOKY: But this kind of stuff, it doesn`t pass the smell test. And hey, I`m agreeing with you here, Jane.

But hang on. You`re also -- you`re also missing out on these search warrants. Remember, these search warrants contain not just the area where things are to be searched and items to be seized. But there`s got to be an affidavit going along with it sufficient to convince a judge that there`s probable cause that you`re going to find this stuff there. So there`s a lot more.

And the fact that law enforcement is being tight-lipped right now suggests to me that we`re close to having some kind of meaningful break in the case.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I hope you`re right.

Pat Brown, this fishy explanation of a doctor`s appointment. If Terri is claiming that she was actually referring to a doctor`s appointment the next Friday, obviously police are going to see was there a doctor`s appointment for next Friday? And wouldn`t Kyron`s father know about the doctor`s appointment?

BROWN: Well, one would think so. And one would also wonder that they didn`t know whether that child had a doctor`s appointment that very day. Because if he did, for example, it`s possible she took him to the science fair and then they left, and on the way to the doctor`s appointment or before that, something happened, and he was murdered at that point in time. And so then she changed the whole day. "Oh, no, there wasn`t a doctor`s appointment. He was in school. I don`t know what happened to him."

Or was there never a doctor`s appointment, and therefore, it`s more suspicious there`s something premeditated. So that`s what it`s really going to come down to. Was there a doctor`s appointment or wasn`t there a doctor`s appointment?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: First of all...

KAVINOKY: And Jane...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Go ahead.

KAVINOKY: I`m sorry, but we`ve got all these other people involved. And my experience is that there are two kinds of secrets out there, Jane. There are secrets that are not good enough to keep and those that are too good to keep. And there`s too many people who, it sounds like, know too much, and ultimately, the truth is going to come out.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I agree with you, and that`s why I wrote a book called "Secrets Can Be Murder." Toxic secrets often explode in violence. I have a feeling we`re at the tip of the iceberg on the toxic secrets in this particular case.

Bruce McCain, again you`re a former investigator with the very department that is investigating this disappearance. Why has it taken us seven long weeks to find out that Terri, the step-mom, claimed that he had a doctor`s appointment?

MCCAIN: Well, again, Jane, the significance of this doctor`s appointment really isn`t whether it occurred or not. What`s important is that the school believed it was happening. That then gives Terri Horman the possibility now of bringing Kyron to school, establishing basically a reverse alibi that he was actually there, probably be seen left with him. But more importantly, neither the teacher, the cafeteria worker, the bus driver was alarmed the fact that he wasn`t there.

And that also was why the school never picked up the phone to call Kaine. And that gave potentially six to seven hours when Kyron was able to be missing with nobody being concerned about his whereabouts.

And frankly, if he`s -- if he was taken from the area driving the speed limit from Portland, Oregon, you can be in California or Canada in six hours. So the story about the doctor`s appointment, whether it`s true or not, what`s important is that the school believed it and did not raise the alarm.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you`re raising the possibility of yet other people being involved, because remember: Terri posts the picture of him in the science fair from the school that morning, before class. She posts that at 1:21. So the window is between 8:45 a.m. and 1:21 p.m.

And it is interesting that DeDe disappears between 11:15 and then shows up again at 1 p.m. So we`re seeing kind of a narrowing of that window.

And you know, I have to wonder if there is this explanation of a doctor`s appointment, whether that was used to lure the child out of the school, because the little boy is going to wonder, "Why am I leaving school? Class is about to start."

"Well, honey, if you`ve got a doctor`s appointment." Right?

Everyone stay right where you are. Next, a young mother`s mysterious death leaves police at a dead end. Her devastated family joins me to demand justice.

But first new clues in the disappearance of little Kyron Horman. Will this be the big break?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

YOUNG: Unfortunately, I`m kind of at that point where I`m so angry, I don`t even have words. I just really want her to do the right thing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Explosive new developments as we mark the seven-week point of Kyron Horman`s disappearance. Police search the homes of three people connected to Kyron`s step-mom, Terri Horman. She was the last person with Kyron when he disappeared.

Now one of the houses is where Terri`s best friend, DeDe Spicher lives. This picture comes from what we believe is her Facebook page. She has been spending, reportedly, a lot of time with Terri in the days following Kyron`s disappearance. Police want to know what she knows, and Kyron`s parents claim that this friend is not cooperating. We don`t know. We`ve been trying to reach her.

Irma, Texas, your question or thought, ma`am.

CALLER: Yes, Jane, thank you for taking my call.

There`s a question that`s going over and over in my mind. Knowing that this lady was a body builder, I was wondering is there a possibility she`s having a residual effect on -- with steroids? I heard that it makes you kind of aggressive and crazy.

And one other question was, if they have looked into the possibility of insurance policies to kind of sway this woman to do something -- to get rid of the father and her son. And his, you know...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I think we`ve already asked about the insurance policies, and the answer is we don`t know.

But Dr. Jenn Berman, psychotherapist, the caller makes an excellent point. We`re going to try to show you those pictures of her body building again. This is what they shared in common. DeDe -- and believe it or not, this is a picture of the step-mom a few years ago before she had a child with Kyron`s dad. And look how buff she is.

They shared this passion for working out together. What does that tell you?

BERMAN: Well, in terms of steroid use, yes, when someone is using steroids they`re more likely to have outbursts of anger. But everything that we`ve seen so far points to something that is far more potentially premeditated if, in fact, she did it. So I wouldn`t point to the steroid use.

I know that there`s been some talk of postpartum depression, but to me that doesn`t fit a either, because this isn`t postpartum psychosis. She`s not having delusions. And with postpartum depression, she would be depressed. She wouldn`t be acting out aggressively. She wouldn`t be kidnapping, and she wouldn`t be potentially causing the disappearance of this young boy.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And you know, again, nobody has been named a suspect. And the cops just want to talk to Terri`s friend. But I find it fascinating that people get sucked into the drama of other people, the negative excitement.

Hypothetically speaking, criminals often have enabling friends, Pat Brown. I mean, O.J. Simpson had his Al Cowlings. Joran Van Der Sloot had his Kalpoe brothers. Correct?

BROWN: Oh, yes. Oh, yes. You know, it`s an interesting thing about these people. They are extraordinarily manipulative, and they`ve learned how to -- for years, practically since they`ve been a child, how to use people.

And there are those people who are definitely attracted to something exciting. You know, most of us, we live regular lives, and when that kind of tornado comes through, a lot of people say, "Gee, I have the option of just being on the sidelines or being in the middle of something."

So it`s really hard to say, you know, why these people exactly are picking to hook on to Terri at this point in time or before. But certainly, they`re caught up in her little spell. But I think the police are really stirring up that hornet`s nest and is watching them all swirl around and starting to get more and more information by the day.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, and...

KAVINOKY: But Jane...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Go ahead.

KAVINOKY: Being on the sidelines is -- being on the sidelines of this game is a dangerous place to be because, of course, there`s charges like accessory after the fact or obstruction of justice or, if somebody does aid and abet in the planning and in the crime itself, they could have exposure for even murder. So been a great danger.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Got to leave it right there. Fantastic panel, thank you.

Police say they`re at a dead end in a mother`s tragic death. Her heartbroken family says it`s murder. They`re outraged. They join us next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: A devastated family demands justice for what they believe is a casualty in the war on women. A 23-year-old mother found dead in a vacant lot near a New Jersey train station. Police say they can`t figure out how Jenna Lord died. But her family insists she was murdered. What happened to Jenna Lord? Did the cops do enough to help find her? We`ll talk to her outraged family tonight.

Plus, a sordid love triangle ends in death. A woman on trial accused of stabbing her romantic rival because they were in love with the same man. The defendant breaks down and sobs as she takes the stand. You`ll hear her jaw-dropping testimony as this dramatic trial reaches its crescendo.

Tonight we want justice for Jenna. What happened to this beautiful young mom? Her outraged family joins me here on ISSUES tonight. Jenna Lord vanished over the Fourth of July weekend and turned up dead two weeks later. Her family says cops have dragged their feet because of Jenna`s history of drug addiction.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DESIREE CARUSO, JENNA LORD`S MOTHER: I believe that`s why they`re not investigating it, because they think she`s a junkie. I don`t care what she is. She`s still my daughter. She`s still a human being and I want her home.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But Camden police told ISSUES that they`ve been working hard on Jenna`s case since day one. Her uncle discovered her body last Sunday in a crime-ridden Camden, New Jersey lot. Her remains were in such bad shape the initial autopsy was inconclusive. So cops say they can`t even figure out how Jenna died and have not labeled this a homicide.

The coroner found, quote, "no obvious signs of foul play", end quote. Those words infuriated her family. They saw with their own eyeballs Jenna`s body at the scene and they are convinced she was murdered.

Her family says while Jenna had a drug history she had been clean and sober for months now and was turning her life around. Will her checkered past get in the way of solving this case?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HOWARD SAMUELS, ADDICTION SPECIALIST: I think that addicts and alcoholics are looked at as second class citizens. So it does not surprise me that the police would not really make this a high priority.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s not right. Pat Brown, Darren Kavinoky joining me again. I`m also honored to welcome Jenna`s uncle, Ariel Morales, who joins me on the phone. And we begin with Jenna`s aunt Kimmy McCardle.

Kimmy, we can`t imagine what you and your family are feeling and we want you to know, here at ISSUES our deepest condolences go out to you and your family. Tell us why you think your niece was murdered.

KIMMY MCCARDLE, JENNA LORD`S AUNT: Well, it`s obvious. Like we found -- like Ariel found her and the rest of my family was right there; I myself have viewed a picture. My niece was murdered and it was a brutal murder at that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, tell us -- I don`t want to be too gruesome but I`ve heard reports that the body looked burned. What did you see that would indicate? Bruising, anything?

MCCARDLE: There`s this investigation going on. I can`t go into too much depth but just take my word for it. I do not want to -- I just don`t want to put that out there. My niece has been -- she went through enough. And it`s horrifying. And it`s a terrible, terrible tragedy.

And I don`t want to -- just don`t want to put her out there like that anymore. You just --

(CROSS TALKING)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What have you been through?

MCCARDLE: -- just need to take our word for it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What have you been through? What have you been through emotionally?

MCCARDLE: Tragedy. My family is twisted. They`re torn apart. It`s horrifying. You go and you have to go and find your own family member in a vacant lot. And I can understand you come across the body. The body passed away.

This body was not a passed-away body. This body was brutally murdered. They said they couldn`t find as of yet the cause of death, the time of death. So I don`t want to hear that there was no foul play involved. She was murdered. That`s foul play enough in my eyes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do you think that the cops have dragged their feet on this case? For example, it was the family members who found her just ten blocks away from where she was last seen. It wasn`t the cops who found her.

MCCARDLE: No, not at all. The moment we put Jenna`s name into the CICU for the missing persons -- I know it takes a little time to get it into the database. And it didn`t take two weeks to get it into the database. As soon as it got into the database, it should have been sent over to Camden police. I had Camden Police Captain Lioni (ph) call me and apologize that they never received that information.

Apparently they didn`t get that information and Collingdale didn`t believe that that was their jurisdiction. So it was just left in limbo until my family came out with a group of people from Facebook -- thank everybody that came out -- to help search for Jenna.

Like I said, my family said they were going to find her. My family found her. My family also found a gentleman -- and this was actually Jenna`s stepfather who found this man -- brought him to Camden on the day of the search. He literally told him where Jenna`s body was located. The police took him. We assumed that the police were going to question him.

The police didn`t question him but put him in the police car for his own safety. Not because he murdered my niece or they didn`t fingerprint him. They didn`t run anything on the man. I want to know why.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What? This is a guy -- let me see if I understand you correctly. You`re saying that while you were searching for your niece and your family ultimately found your niece in a lot ten blocks from where she disappeared -- not cops.

MCCARDLE: Seven blocks.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok, seven. Now, during that time, a man -- a mystery man approaches your search group and says I was with Jenna that night, the night before, I spent time with her?

MCCARDLE: No.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And here she is. I`m going to point you where her dead body is?

MCCARDLE: Basically, he was in another -- he was in Philadelphia. Jenna`s stepfather found him on a manhunt, got to the right people, led him right to this man.

Once again, our family brought him to the Camden search. Told the police -- I really can`t verbatim what he said. This is the guy that basically pointed out where Jenna was. He said he was with Jenna, she passed and he left her there. They did not hook him, book him or anything else.

I was under the assumption they put him in the police car to take him to jail and find out what was going on, maybe interrogate him a little bit. Nothing of that sort was done. He was let loose because Jenna`s boyfriend beat the crap out of him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Really?

MCCARDLE: Which -- yes. And the police pulled him away and put that man in the cop car, which we thought he was going to be questioned. He was not questioned. He was put in that police car for his own protection.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But, I mean, obviously, if he pointed to where the body was, he`s an obvious suspect. Are you telling me --

MCCARDLE: He`s a person of interest.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did cops get his name? I mean can cops find him?

MCCARDLE: I know for a fact -- at this point I don`t know. I don`t know if he took off and ran further than where he was. I couldn`t tell you. But believe, the family knows his name and I just -- I really hope that the police do find this man before our family does. I really do.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we`re going to have follow up on this and call law enforcement and find out if in fact a person who pointed out I was with her, she passed out, her body is over there and then takes off. If they didn`t take the man back and interrogate him, that`s a big problem.

MCCARDLE: Why? Why?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s retrace Jenna`s step that fateful July 4th weekend. She went to a family barbecue in Collingswood, New Jersey.

MCCARDLE: No.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The next morning, she went to a train station in Camden, New Jersey. Cops say from there she took a train to Philly. Once in Philly, I have to say she did something that looks pretty strange. Surveillance video shows Jenna at the Philly train station taking a bundle of clothing from an unidentified woman. Jenna then took the train back to Camden.

Police say she was last seen walking away with two unidentified men and again her body found less than ten blocks, seven blocks from the Camden station.

So Kimmy, this series of train rides seems very curious. Do you know why your niece would have gone from Camden to Philly, meet this strange woman, get a bundle of clothing possibly with something inside it and then go back to Camden and then walk away with two unidentified men?

MCCARDLE: It`s not like Jenna to do something like that. I have -- in my heart she was forced or baited in some way to do this. And Jenna was the most trustworthy person in the world. She was naive. I can give you that much. She was a naive girl. But she trusted in everyone. And just having that trait this is what happened to her.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me just say briefly she was due in court the day after she vanished and she had --

MCCARDLE: Jenna did not run from court.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes.

MCCARDLE: She did not.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: She had a series of aggravated assault, reckless endangerment. She was up for -- do you think she might have become despondent about the record that she was going to face, the charges that she was going to face?

MCCARDLE: No. Jenna would have faced her charges. If in fact most of them were true. Half of the things that were written -- she wasn`t convicted of half of the things that were written in the papers.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do you think it`s possible that she might have had a slip? I mean I`m in recovery myself. It does happen.

MCARDLE: I know it happens. That could be a possibility. But even if she did relapse, she would have called us. She would have cared. She is very close to her family. We tried to help her as much as possible with any situation, as we will with any member of our family. She would have called us.

Jenna didn`t make it out of there in the first 24 hours that she was in Camden.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I just want to say --

MCARDLE: She`s been sitting there for two and a half weeks.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We want to stay on top of this case. It doesn`t matter whether she slipped or not, she was a human being who deserved to be top priority of the police. Our thoughts are with your family. Kimmy, we want you to come back very, very soon.

Thank you so much.

MCCARDLE: Thank you so much, everyone. Can I say one thing?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: An issues viewer rant, on the Gulf oil spill.

Plus a sordid love triangle end in bloodshed. Hear the defendant`s dramatic testimony.

Breaking news a verdict is in, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

EWELL M. SMITH, LOUISIANA SEAFOOD PROMOTION BOARD: I don`t know how much more the people can take. We`ve been through -- we`ve been through Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike. Now this is something we would -- and the oil spill now. This situation is a whole lot bigger than I think most people realize. BP put $20 billion aside. We believe this is a $100 billion to $200 billion problem.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you for sending in your ISSUES rant. Are you outraged about an issue you see on this show? Send us a video rant. It can be about this or any story that gets your blood boiling. Send your ISSUES rant to Jane@CNN.com, 30 seconds or less and we will air the most passionate ones live.

Breaking news: a verdict in the love triangle murder trial. Check it out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We the jury find as follows as to the defendant in this case. The defendant is guilty of murder in the second degree as charged. So say we all, Michael Schwartz foreperson of the jury July 23, 2010.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Rachel Wade stabbed her rival Sarah Ludemann through the heart with a kitchen knife after their feud over a two-timing boyfriend exploded.

Yesterday jurors in Florida saw two sides of Rachel. Here she testifies in her own defense.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you ever mean to stab her to kill her, to murder her?

RACHEL WADE, CONVICTED OF KILLING RIVAL: No.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were you defending yourself that night?

WADE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you have any idea what would have happened to you if you didn`t have the knife?

WADE: I thought I was going to get seriously hurt. I mean, I didn`t know.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But just hours earlier, jurors were exposed to this vicious tirade message left by Rachel on her victim`s voicemail. Listen to this.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

WADE: I told you to watch your (EXPLETIVE DELETED) back and not to (EXPLETIVE DELETED) chill with him. Now your (EXPLETIVE DELETED) is mine and I`m guaranteeing you I`m going to (EXPLETIVE DELETED) murder you.

I`m letting you know right now because you know what Josh might have played me but, (EXPLETIVE DELETED), I`m going to play your (EXPLETIVE DELETED) out too, so watch. You are a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) fat (EXPLETIVE DELETED) and I`m going to (EXPLETIVE DELETED) kill you. I swear on my life. Watch out your (EXPLETIVE DELETED) window when I get off of work tonight.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Straight out to my fantastic panel, Jen Bermann (ph), a psychotherapist; Ryan Smith, host of "In Session" on TRUTV -- there you are, Ryan; Beth Karas, "In Session" correspondent.

And we begin with Jay Hebert, Rachel`s attorney on the ground in Clearwater, Florida. Mr. Hebert, your client was just found guilty. Your reaction to the verdict?

JAY HEBERT, RACHEL`S DEFENSE LAWYER: Well, as in any situation, we always respect the jury`s verdict. We`re obviously disappointed. I`m dealing with a 20-year-old. She is still somewhat in denial, still somewhat very confused, very, very upset. And we`re hopeful that we will get through this and prepare for sentencing and present her testimony accordingly.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And what could she face when sentenced?

HEBERT: Well, she could face up to life in prison. This is a second degree murder. The minimum is 20 years. And we`ll have to see what the judge is going to do with this.

But it`s been a difficult week, a difficult trial. There was no doubt this was a tragedy. A lot of folks watched this and know firsthand.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Listen to how Rachel describes what happened that fateful night last April.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HEBERT: Who was the aggressor? Who came at who?

WADE: Sarah came at me.

HEBERT: Did she attack you?

WADE: Yes.

HEBERT: Who threw the first punch?

WADE: Sarah.

HEBERT: How many punches do you think she threw?

WADE: About three.

HEBERT: And she was hitting you on the head?

WADE: Yes.

HEBERT: What were you doing with the knife?

WADE: At -- when she was hitting me?

HEBERT: Yes.

WADE: I began to swing my arms back in retaliation.

HEBERT: To defend yourself?

WADE: Yes. I looked down and I saw blood. I didn`t know what -- who had been stabbed where. I have no recollection of actually doing it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So Jay Hebert, back to you. You`re saying that your client was attacked and punched and that then she responded by knifing the victim. Is that going to be a mitigating circumstance if true in her sentencing?

HEBERT: Well, first of all, I -- based on the jury`s verdict, we have to accept that as being true. I think the mitigation really we`ll be talking about Sarah. She has no prior record. Her youth, age. This whole case was about a very tragic situation, a very explosive situation.

And clearly those voicemails, as Ryan probably can tell you, and Beth, were -- were the most difficult things that we had to overcome. And unfortunately, even though they were nine months old in some instances, they were just -- it was just too big of a mountain for us to climb.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I don`t know that we have to accept that she was punched before she stabbed because the jury found your client guilty, because there were those news reports that claim that she just jumped out and stabbed her immediately upon running into her.

So you`re claiming that she was beaten first and that she responded in self-defense. But the jury --

HEBERT: Absolutely, I mean --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- the jury found her guilty, so that`s not necessarily a commentary on whether or not they believed that she was punched before she did it.

HEBERT: I think the jury has to wrestle with whether or not she was met with deadly force. And that may have been the key issue in the case.

PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER: Hey Jane, I have to say something. There is no -- only tragedy here was for the victim, not for the guilty party. She`s lucky she didn`t get first degree. This was a premeditated homicide. She obviously went online and tell -- I mean with these text messages telling her she was going to kill her.

Why -- because she`s a jealous stalker. She was mad that the girl had won something that she wanted; had beaten her out. That`s psychopathy. This girl wanted to do what she did. She did it. She`s lucky she got second degree.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ryan Smith, why are we seeing so much violence with teenagers? So many of these cases boil down to the same thing; viral violence then turns into real violence.

RYAN SMITH, HOST, "IN SESSION": You know what, Jane? You have a great point. It just got out of control in this case. And I think a lot of it played into the idea that you have these teens going back and forth over this guy, threatening each other and doing it also in public forums like the Internet where you tend to get your back up and you don`t want to be embarrassed so you feel like you have to strike back.

I think in this generation a lot of times -- and again, we`re not speaking for all teens -- things get out of control especially when you talk about young love. These were two girls that were in love with this young man and it spiraled out of control. And I think that`s happening more and more in some of the cases that we see -- Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I agree with you. We`re out of time.

Up next we`re going to talk to a hero who rescued dozens of monkeys from an appalling testing.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dozens of monkeys brutally tortured, experimented on and confined to tiny dark prison cells for their entire lives released after a truly amazing rescue. Last week an animal testing facility in New Jersey shut down leaving 55 monkeys with an uncertain future. The In Defense of Animals rescue group swooped in relocating these beautiful creatures to outdoor sanctuaries.

Take a look at this amazing moment after a lifetime of painful abuse and a 2,000-mile journey, the monkeys experienced freedom for the first time in their lives.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What you see is a pretty spectacular moment. This is an unprecedented event where we have been able to remove these monkeys from the only life they`ve known which has been in dark prison cells being abused and now they get to live with green grass, fresh air and blue skies for the rest of their lives.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And there they go. About 100 adorable beagles just like these were also rescued from the same lab by another group, Best Friends Animal Society. Bravo.

I`m delighted to welcome Scotlund Haisley, president of In Defense of Animals, the hero who led this rescue. Scotland, what was the emotional and psychological state of these monkeys when you rescued them?

SCOTLUND HAISLEY, PRESIDENT, IN DEFENSE OF ANIMALS: Any time you place an animal in a cage, they decline. And it doesn`t matter what kind of animal it is. They decline emotionally, socially and physically almost immediately upon entry to that cage.

But these monkeys were born in captivity and lived up to six years of their entire lives in these cages. Their ages range from 2 to 6 years. So as you can imagine, a cage -- a significant psychological turmoil on these monkeys as well as any animal.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, it`s called torture. It`s called torture. Look at these poor things. Look at these -- and these are our ancestral cousins.

I say we have to put a stop to this. There are other ways to test chemicals and products. And there`s a growing movement to find alternatives to animal experimentation. In fact, there`s going to be major conference on August 26th and 27th in Washington D.C. You can learn more about it. Just go to pcrm.org and we put that up there on the screen for you.

I have to say, Scotlund, this is why I only buy household and cosmetic products that say "not tested on animals". To a large extent, this is a consumer issue, is it not?

HAISLEY: Absolutely, Jane. You know, the USDA estimates that there is well over 120,000 primates in research as we speak being tortured in the name of experimentation.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It has to stop. I mean we live in an era where things can be analyzed on a molecular and sub-molecular level. And additionally, we`re finding out a lot of these chemicals that are torturing these animals are not good for us either.

What we need to do is become more holistic and use products that have fewer ingredients and that are not filled with chemicals. They will not pollute the environment. They`re going to be less harmful for us. And we don`t need to test animals on them.

Is this not a growing movement, Scotlund?

HAISLEY: And quite honestly, we have technology today to support this non-animal experimentation.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. We have to do something.

And now, tell us about these animals now. Have they started to enjoy life feeling the sun, stepping on grass?

HAISLEY: You know -- and I appreciate you calling me a hero, but it took a small army of heroes to make this happen. 12 organizations and about two months of very hard work cutting through incredible amount of bureaucracy to finally get to the point where we could make those animals the promise their suffering has ended forever.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. We`re going to cover next week on ISSUES an uproar over NASA`s alleged funding of radiation experiments on monkeys and bring you the story of an engineer who resigned.

You`re watching ISSUES.

END