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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
Missing Student Murdered; Oksana`s Smoking Gun?
Aired July 29, 2010 - 19:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, horrifying violence as the war on women claims a new victim. The beautiful young student who vanished in Georgia has been found dead. Now, cops have arrested a local couple. Tonight, police say one of the suspects knew the victim and was actually pretending to help the family search for her. Did this woman lure Marci Elliott to her murder? And if so, why?
And mind-blowing new allegation in the Mel Gibson abuse scandal. His ex-girlfriend, Oksana, now says she has a list of people who saw Gibson hit her in the face and threatened her with a gun. Could these alleged witnesses send Mel to the slammer?
Also, a missing woman leads to a stomach churning discovery. Lisa Stone vanished nearly two months ago. Now, cops have found 26 cats and 2 dogs inside her filthy home. Tonight, I`ll talk to two life long friends as they haunt for Lisa.
Plus shocking new twists and turns in the Malibu mystery. Mitrice Richardson vanished from a police station ten months ago. Now, multiple witnesses say she`s alive and well and living in Las Vegas. Her family has been desperately searching for her. But has Mitrice been hiding out in Sin City the whole time? Tonight, I`ll talk one-on-one with Mitrice`s frantic mother about today`s seismic developments. ISSUES! starts now.
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VELEZ-MITCHELL (on-camera): Breaking news tonight in the escalating war on women. A horrific development in a story ISSUES! brought you last night about a missing woman. Tonight, we are learning that this beautiful, young woman who vanished a week ago in Suburban Atlanta was murdered. Her suspected killer is a so-called friend who has reportedly confessed. The body of 21-year-old Marci Elliott was found late last night in a swamp in Carrollton, Georgia.
A short time later, cops arrested the victim`s so-called friend, 29- year-old Farrah Strength, whose phone number was in Marci`s phone. Police also arrested that suspect`s boyfriend, 31-year-old Joshua Clay. Now, both of them are charged with murder, but police say Farrah, the female suspect, is the killer, and investigators think Marci`s murder was meticulously planned out.
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CAPT. JAMI SAILORS, CARROLTON POLICE DEPT.: We`re still working on the motive, but we think she did lure her here for that purpose.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For what purpose?
SAILORS: To kill her.
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VELEZ-MITCHELL: But why? Why invite somebody over to your apartment to allegedly murder them? Did these two former friends have a nasty falling-out? Could this have been some kind of sinister love triangle? Nothing could change the fact that a beloved young woman is dead. Our culture of violence is spinning out of control. Call me 1-877-jvm-says. That`s 1-877-586-7297. Straight out to my fantastic expert panel. But first to WGCL reporter, Mike Paluska. Mike, what is the very latest?
MIKE PALUSKA, REPORTER, WGCL: Hey, Jane. You pretty much summed it up. The two people have been arrested for this murder. That is Joshua Clay and Farrah Strength. This all started on Thursday. And as you mentioned, the police believe that she was lured up here. They believe that she came up looking to get a textbook and that she met at some apartments close by, some lofts close by to where we are right now. They believe that last Thursday is the night that she was killed after she was lured up here. So, late last night around midnight, they ended up finding her body about three miles from here off of a road called Laurel Road near a swampy area, and there`s a little river.
It was just next to a bridge and some brush. Not in the water but right next to that bridge. They believe that Strength led them there. They wouldn`t confirm that, but they do believe that Strength was the one that finally led them to the body. And she did implicate Clay as well as herself saying that they did work together on this. But no reasons, a lot of questions why they did in fact allegedly kill her.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Was she killed, do police believe, in the apartment complex, in the apartment of Farrah strange (ph) and then after she was killed moved and her body dumped three miles away in that swamp?
PALUSKA: At this point, police believe that they met there. She wasn`t familiar with this area, Marci Elliott wasn`t. So, they think that she met there with these acquaintances. They weren`t good friends. They were people that she knew, may have met like at a bar or social setting and then she just came up to get this textbook from. They think that they met there, and then they were taken to another location, possibly Strength`s home which is about a mile up the road and believe that inside that home that she lives in with her mother is where she was possibly killed.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Fascinating because this town, Carrollton, is where the victim was going to college. However, the victim was spending her summer with her parents 40 to 50 miles away in Cobb County, Georgia. So, it strikes me as very odd that a 29-year-old woman is saying come over and borrow a textbook because by 29, you`re usually out of college and the girl who was killed is 21 years old.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So, I don`t think they`re college buddies. It strikes me, perhaps -- and I`ll go to Wendy Murphy, former prosecutor on this, that perhaps while Marci was at college, she sort of came up and met a local element that is not college but is a bad element.
WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Yes. You know, we`re speculating, right?
MURPHY: And you`re polite to call it an element and a bad element, drugs, sex, who knows. But you know what, Jane, you said something interesting, which is this is an unusual case. And what in God`s name is going on here? We`ve had a violence against women problem in this country for a very long time, but this is the very odd case if a woman is the killer. You know, last week, we did a story about a guy who killed and then raped the dead body of a 14-year-old child.
I think you are so right on to say that when we start to see these huge, strange features and the murders start to become grotesque and way over the top as if murder isn`t over the top enough, then I think you`re right, we`re way past epidemic, and we got to change everything about the way we`re doing business.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We are living in a culture of violence, Wendy. And that`s why when we cover these stories, we have to be in the solution. And I`m going to talk about some solutions in a second. But we can`t just -- we can`t just tell these stories without coming up with lessons and how to prevent sick violence like this in the future. Otherwise, we`re part of the problem. Here`s my big issue. Why kill this girl? Police say Farrah and Marci had been good friends until about a year ago. Now, no one can say whether they had a falling-out or they just drifted apart.
Police are convinced when Farrah called Marci last Tuesday, she intended to lure Marci to her home to kill her. Joshua Clay, her boyfriend, apparently didn`t know Marci, but he was aware of his girlfriend`s murder plot. Pat Brown, what`s your read on a motive here?
PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER: It`s very interesting that some of these women out there have a really huge chip on their shoulders kind of a borderline personality disorder. And sometimes, what they`ll do is they feel slighted by that person at some point in time, even a year ago, and from that moment on, they`re like she thinks she`s got the better of me. She thinks she`s, you know, she`s somebody that I`m not. She thinks she`s the winner, and they want to get back because only by getting back at them and taking them down can they feel like they`re really the better person.
And it`s amazing how long they can hold this kind of a grudge and the person who`s the victim may not even really be aware that it`s such a big deal to them. We have maybe a little tiny argument, but gosh, you know, I got over it really quick but the other person did not.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Somebody could be harboring a simmering resentment that is bubbling up and boiling over for a year. We don`t know a motive yet. But in some murders we`ve covered, there`s an issue of a love triangle of some sort. Remember Amanda Knox dubbed Foxy Knoxy. She was convicted in Italy of killing a female roommate, apparently, allegedly during a sex game gone wrong. Her parents say she was framed, but she was convicted. Mike Brooks, could Marci have been targeted over love or sex?
MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Absolutely. You can`t count anything out here until you find out what the back story is and what led Strength to lure her to that apartment. And again, she couldn`t have done it alone. She couldn`t have killed possibly in that apartment and then moved that body three miles to five miles away in that swampy area. That`s what Clay was involved in. That`s why he`s been charged, too. But what the motive is here, still don`t know yet.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: John, Maryland, your question or thought, sir?
JOHN, MARYLAND: Actually, I have a thought and a question.
JOHN, MARYLAND: My first thought is, you know, I read and watch a lot of history on the United States as well as other countries, and I`ve noted that over the centuries, things like pedophilia and senseless murder and things like that have always happened. And now, our whole world is in a -- well, we have a population now that is so huge. It seems like we`re living in a pandemic, but really, we`re not living in a pandemic. It`s just a matter there are so many more people and there are so many more people getting caught.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re right. The U.S. population has now surpassed the 300 million mark. So, everything is increasing. And I think actually, Wendy Murphy, the caller makes a good point. I mean, crime has existed. There are references to it (ph) in the bible, obviously. But now, it feels like a pandemic because there are so many people. And I do believe that people are being exposed to more violence than ever before because of TV and the movies and videogames.
MURPHY: Yes, and then, you know, pornography and sex trafficking and all kinds of other reasons. Look, the raw numbers always go up when the population goes up. The only numbers that really matter are, you know, the prevalence and incidence rates that compare things to the whole population that statistically -- let me be very clear, there is lots of crime. There is far more violence against women and children because our criminal justice system disproportionately fails to redress it. Let`s be clear that we are doing a better job fighting robbery than violence against women and children.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes! And on the other side of the break, I have a solution that I`m going to propose. Everyone stay right where you are. We are just getting started, and I want to hear from you. What`s your solution to this epidemic of violence? 1-877-jvm-says, 1-877-586-7297.
Plus, did Mel Gibson pull a gun on ex-girlfriend, Oksana? She says yes and claims to have witnesses.
But first, a college student vanishes. One week, later she`s found murdered. When are we going to have amber alerts for missing women?
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The cops came to my apartments at the lofts and knocked on my door and asked if I had seen her, but I don`t know where she could be.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s no phone activity, nothing.
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SAILORS: The evidence just started surmounting. She turned into a suspect, and we were able to link the two.
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VELEZ-MITCHELL: Police say Marci Elliott was lured to her death. But why? They`ve arrested her former friend, Farrah Strength and Farrah`s boyfriend, Joshua Clay. Investigators believe Farrah intended all along to murder Marci when she asked her to come over to her home last Thursday. Cops say Marci was killed inside Farrah`s home. Her body transported by car about three miles away and dumped in a Georgia swamp.
Marty, Georgia, your question or thought, sir?
MARTY, GEORGIA: Hi, Jane.
MARTY, GEORGIA: Thanks for taking my call.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thanks for calling.
MARTY, GEORGIA: I`m actually from Carrollton, Georgia, and I was wondering, the area is very close to the college campus but also is a very high drug traffic area. I was wondering if anyone has questioned the possibility of a drug angle in this case?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Great question. Mike Paluska, you`re on the ground, what do you know?
PALUSKA: Jane, I spoke to a couple of friends of hers who told me that they haven`t seen anything suspicious with her activity. She`s an English Major here. She was finishing her last year. That doesn`t mean that there is, in fact, drug angle, but from all of the friends that we spoke to and family members, they told us that she wasn`t involved in any sort of drugs or crazy alcohol or any going to any crazy parties like that. So, at this point, we haven`t been able to confirm that, but we haven`t been able to deny that as well.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Although, I will say that at first when I heard that she was driving 40 to 50 miles from her parents` house all the way back to Carrollton to pick up a book, I had to wonder about that. I mean, who drives 40 to 50 miles to pick up a book? So, I think we`ll learn more about this case as the days progress. I want to revisit the issue of amber alerts for adults.
The rapid warning system helps save the lives of children, period. I believe we need to start using an amber alert type system for adults. Listen to this.
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VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why can`t a communication system like that, like the amber alert, be tailored to save missing young women who disappear, Mark Eiglarsh?
MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I wouldn`t restrict it to women, but I can understand why you might. These stories involve a lot of women. I think that there are missing boys and sometimes men as well.
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VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mau Dubois, you have become a victims rights crusader after your precious daughter, Amber, was abducted and murdered at the age of 14. Now, had she been just a few years older when she was abducted, she would have been too old for an amber alert to be issued. What are your thoughts on my suggestion to use the technology that we have in place to search for women who are abducted?
MAURICE DUBOIS, CO-FOUNDER OF WWW.MOREKIDS.ORG: You know, it would actually be nice if they used it enough when children are missing as well, you know. An amber alert was never issued on our daughter, Amber. And in about 80 percent to 90 percent of the cases out here in the state of California, amber alerts are just not issued, you know. They don`t put them out. It`s based on evidence of a description or identification of a driver`s license plate.
And you don`t have that when a child or an adult goes missing. It`s just not a common thing that you have. So, I mean, who`s to say -- I`m sorry. Who`s to say that even if we implement a process for amber alerts for adults, are they even going to issue them?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I agree. It`s part of a broader problem of law enforcement being reactive as opposed to proactive. Here`s my take on this particular investigation. Sadly, we know that any time a woman disappears, statistically, chances are she`s going to end up dead. So, when a woman like Marci vanishes late at night, I believe cops need to immediately decide that it`s foul play and use every available resource to find her. Now, last night, I asked the police captain if they were using search dogs to help find Marci. Listen to this.
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VELEZ-MITCHELL: What about the dogs?
VOICE OF CAPT. JAMI SAILORS, CARROLTON, A POLICE DEPT: We haven`t worked any or brought any dogs in yet.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why not?
SAILORS: Just didn`t seem feasible at the time. Just putting people on the ground, searching everything within the area.
JOHN LUCICH, FORMER CRIMINAL INVESTIGATOR: I think they need to get the dogs out there. I`d love to be able to see because more people that start flooding that area, the less of chance the dog is going to be picking up on a scent. And the more time that goes by and the more rain and other weather that comes in, it`s going to make a lot harder.
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VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. I hear Mike Brooks shaking his head.
BROOKS: It`s a case-by-case basis. You can`t say, OK, every case bring in the dogs because I`ve worked a lot of cases involved with dogs and different kind of dogs, bloodhounds, German Shepherds, Springer Spaniels, if you will. But it depends if you have any set evidence at all and how big of an area. Where do you start? You just can`t bring dogs out and go, OK, where do we start? Where is the scent?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What about starting where she was last seen?
BROOKS: Do we know for a fact at the time where she was last seen at that apartment? You could have. But would it have done any good? That`s why you got to leave it up to the people who are working the case. I mean, you just can`t inadvertently say bring in a dog. It`s a tool. It`s a tool.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wendy Murphy?
MURPHY: Oh, Mike. You know, the thing that makes me crazy is we have all this angst about oh, we don`t know -- we don`t want to waste the money or the resources. Oh, it`s just too much worry about, we might not need it and, and, and (ph). Human life is at stake. You know, when there`s a tiniest little blip of an irregularity in the Dow Jones, an insider trading might be afoot. No one says should we or shouldn`t we investigate. They don`t paw (ph) whatever the resources are. It all goes.
Why? Because we love our money much more, you know, than we love our women. And that`s part of the problem. I think we should have amber alert for anyone who`s missing and the family says we`re worried. I think we should have amber alerts for peps (ph). We had a guy who raped a woman in the parking garage. The cops didn`t warn anybody because we don`t want to worry the public. Guess what, two weeks later, he raped another woman in the same parking lot.
BROOKS: Happens all the time. You`re right, Murphy.
MURPHY: Have they issued an alert, we might have captured him, and she wouldn`t have been raped. I don`t know why we`re calling this a money issue, resources issue.
BROWN: It is a money issue.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Go ahead, Pat.
BROWN: OK. Here`s the problem. If you ever worked with the police department, you`ll know that a lot of people go missing who just show up a day later. They`re off on some kind of drug thing, they`re hiding at a friend`s house or teenagers are being irresponsible. Parents lie about that sometimes and say, oh, my kids never would run away when actually the kid has done it twice before. So, here`s the problem, they can`t -- the manpower and the money for every single person is impossible. Here`s what I would like to see, if the parents want the amber alert, make them pay for it if their kid shows back up at home.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I would say that`s a great idea. Every time one of these women goes missing you can always tell it`s foul play. Thank you, fantastic panel.
BROWN: But the problem is, Jane, they have stopped making violent crime a priority.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, explosive claims about the infamous alleged January 6 blowout between former lovers, Mel Gibson and Oksana Grigorieva. TMZ report sources connected to Oksana claim there are witnesses other than her 12-year-old son who will tell cops they saw Mel punch her that day. Meantime, Radar Online has released another batch of audio recordings of the man they say is Mel one voicemail with 23 F-bombs.
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Don`t sleep. (EXPLETIVE WORD) get sick. You (EXPLETIVE WORD) me up. You have (EXPLETIVE WORD) me up. You have (EXPLETIVE WORD) me up. You (EXPLETIVE WORD) me up. I did nothing but helped you. But you (EXPLETIVE WORD) on me like a low life (EXPLETIVE WORD).
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VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow! What a way with words. OK. TMZ has some fast breaking developments in this case. Straight out to my buddy, Mike Walters, assignment manager for TMZ. Mike, what is the very latest?
MIKE WALTERS, ASSIGNMENT MANGER, TMZ: Jane, this could be the smoking gun in the domestic violence case. We are told that there are actual third-party witnesses, several of them that witnessed the punch, some of the physical violence, and that night when all of these recordings were made. So, basically, if you lay it down on the table, Mel Gibson is going to have a huge problem with the fact there`s somebody else besides Oksana`s young son, who, by the way, also witnessed some of what happened.
If there`s someone else in that house that saw what happened, this is going to really, really hurt Mel Gibson in this criminal case and could lead to criminal charges against him if those people are willing to testify.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, what about this photo of a purported black eye? What do you know?
WALTERS: You know what, that thing surfaced online, and we`re told that she never used it in the mediation for the $15 million. Think about it, if you`re actually trying to get money from somebody like an ex- boyfriend and they beat you up, don`t you think you would give them every photograph and every piece of information to try to say look how bad it actually was for my $15 million? It seems a little weird that this photo didn`t come out and was never used until after all this mediation happened. It`s just a little weird. And we`re told that a lot of people in this case are saying where did this photo come from. We don`t understand.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Unless, she wanted to keep an ace up her sleeve. All right. TMZ`s big boss and my dear friend, executive producer Harvey Levin, was sucked into the Mel-Oksana drama, not surprising considering it was Harvey who blew open the Mel Gibson DUI scandal back in 2006. Harvey exposed that cops had scrubbed the police report clean omitting that infamous anti-Semitic tirade against the officer. Mike Walters, there`s this bizarre tale about Mel Gibson allegedly wanting to kidnap Harvey and break his kneecaps. What the heck is going on here?
WALTERS: Here`s what weird about this story. We were told that story by Oksana`s rep, Steve Jaffe, long before it hit the internet. And what`s weird about this, don`t you think if that story were true that the sheriff`s department or that somebody probably would have called Harvey during that investigation and said, look, there could be a threat here. We never got the call. And honestly, what we`re told is this is not credible, this never happened.
Mel Gibson never had any kind of plot to do anything like that. This was just something that Oksana and Mel -- they`re throwing allegations at each other making each other look really bad. We`re told this is just one of those things that she tossed out to make Mel look like a really, really maniac type guy.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So, many developments in this case, and thank you so much, Mike. We`re also hearing Leo DiCaprio backed out of a project involving Mel. He is become toxic apparently.
Up next, cops make a horrifying discovery at the house of a missing Dallas woman.
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VELEZ-MITCHELL: A missing woman leads to a stomach churning discovery: Lisa Stone vanished nearly two months ago. Now cops have found 26 cats and 2 dogs inside her filthy home. Tonight I`ll talk to two friends as they hunt for Lisa.
Plus, shocking new twists and turns in the Malibu mystery: Mitrice Richardson vanished from a police station 10 months ago. Now multiple witnesses say she`s alive and well and living in Las Vegas. Her family has been desperately searching for her.
But has Mitrice been hiding out in Sin City the whole time? Tonight I talk one-on-one with Mitrice`s frantic mother about today`s seismic developments.
Tonight the search for a missing Dallas woman leads comes to a horrifying discovery. Weeks after 51-year-old Lisa Stone went missing, cops finally search her house and find dozens of cats and dogs living in filthy conditions. So now we have a missing woman and a possible case of animal cruelty.
Lisa Stone has been missing since June 4th. Her purse was left inside her house. There`s been no credit card activity at all. Neighbors filed a missing persons report. But tonight some of the missing woman`s friends are wondering why that call for help did not appear to come from the missing woman`s partner of 15 years. And friends claim Stone`s partner was seen throwing away Lisa Stone`s personal items in a dumpster.
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JONI SHANNON, Lisa STONE`S FRIEND: You don`t throw away somebody`s birth certificate. You don`t throw away someone`s death certificate, her brother`s death certificate is in there. Just very -- bibles, you know, pictures -- very personal memories that Lisa would never have thrown away.
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VELEZ-MITCHELL: What the heck is going on here? Cops say there`s not enough evidence to point to foul play. You know, I think we`ve been talking about this. Any time a woman disappears and is not using her credit cards, it`s almost always foul play.
Where is Lisa Stone? I am taking your calls on this one, 1-877-JVM- SAYS.
Straight out to my fantastic expert panel and our two very special guests: two lifelong friends of the missing woman, Tina Wiley and Tammye Markle. Thank you so much for joining us. I know you`re desperate to find your friend.
Tammy, I want to start with you. You`ve known Lisa for 45 years. What did you and your friends have to do to get cops to investigate Lisa`s disappearance?
TAMMYE MARKLE, LISA STONE`S FRIEND: Well, we met on July the 3rd as a group and decided to come up with a time line and present that to the police officers. And on the morning of July 4th, we all seven of us went together to the Dallas Police Department to their downtown branch and presented a timeline of events that had taken place since approximately the end of May.
And along with copies of pictures that were taken of the belongings that -- things that belonged to Lisa that were taken out of the dump officer. And we --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Are you happy with the response by law enforcement?
MARKLE: Well, I am. I think they`ve done everything that they could in their power at this point. I do think that we are at a point in the investigation that we need more leads. We need more help. And really we just need to kind of bust the case wide open, so to speak.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, that`s why we are here and that`s why we`re putting her face out here because our number one priority here at ISSUES is to be part of the solution. And we want to find Lisa Stone.
When cops served a search warrant on the house that Stone shared with her partner for 15 years they allegedly found something horrifying; 26 cats and 2 dogs living in filth inside that home. Those animals were seized by the Dallas Animal Services. But the owner is apparently trying to get those animals back. So Stone`s partner is reportedly still living in this house.
Now, we have to say, we`ve tried to reach her but were not successful. She has not been named a suspect in stone`s disappearance. She has a standing invitation to appear on this broadcast to tell her side. We left her a voicemail. We want to hear from her.
But my question to Tina Wiley, the other good friend is why is this woman not facing animal cruelty charges? Twenty-eight animals in one house is way too much and if you can`t take care of them, you shouldn`t have them. Who do these animals belong to? Tina?
TINA WILEY, FRIEND OF LISA STONE: A few of the animals did belong to our friend Lisa. And I believe that the majority of the cats belong to the partner.
When Lisa was in the home alive and well, her animals were well taken care of. I had been in the home several months before. And they were well taken care of. She --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Was there filth and feces in the house when you were there?
WILEY: No, not at all.
WILEY: Yes, it was very neat. I was surprised when I discovered how many pets were in there because there was not a bad odor. Lisa was very meticulous in the way she took care of herself. She loved animals. She was very meticulous in the way she took care of the animals.
Lisa had been gone from the home for over a month to our knowledge when they came in and found these conditions. I would say that is not Lisa`s doing.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That is the missing woman`s brother right there as well.
Mike Brooks, I don`t get it. When I see -- when I hear 28 animals in a feces-infested -- that`s somebody with a problem, in my humble opinion. And they should at the very least be charged with animal cruelty and they should not be given the animals back. That could be used as leverage to try to get more information on this person.
MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: It could very well be used, Jane, because apparently she`s not cooperating -- the partner of 15 years has not been cooperating with law enforcement and telling them the whole truth, if you will. And sure, I mean the Dallas police, along with the Dallas ASPCA working together they could bring some charges on her to kind of force her a little bit more to give up some additional information or at least to cooperate with law enforcement in the disappearance of Lisa.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Because we called today from ISSUES we love to cover animal stories as well, as stories that will help find missing people. Give us a number so we can at least get some of these cats adopted. We found out, no, they`re not up for adoption because the owner is claiming them.
So this person who had them in filth, allegedly, for quite a while, I would guess, because it adds up, the feces, is claiming that she wants them back. That`s another bizarre thing.
Friends say Stone, the missing woman, was down on her luck lately and having money problem but they doubt that she would just disappear. Check this out.
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WILEY: I was in daily contact with her. We were very close. We have tried repeatedly to get answers from her partner, and she has not been forthcoming with any answer.
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VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. So Tammye, Stone apparently inherited money from her parents but spent it. She had a history of depression and anxiety and had recently asked friends for money and for medication and food. What do you know?
WILEY: Well, Lisa did inherit some money from her parents and her brother when they passed away over the course of the last ten years or so. She did own a company with the partner. And the partner was constantly asking her for money to assist with the operation of the company. And through that process, most of the money that Lisa inherited was spent.
She did start contacting several of us as early as March of this year to ask for assistance with money to help her pay some of her bills and help her with food. And this was very, very out of character for Lisa. She was a very proud person and would never have resorted to that.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m hearing, Pat Brown, could there be a financial issue here -- in other words, a financial motive involving her disappearance?
PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER: It`s possible. But it also could be just a control issue. If Lisa was being controlled by her partner and she didn`t do what her partner wanted to, there may be some violent act that occurred.
What`s really strange to me is the partner is so quickly getting rid of all her things. I mean shouldn`t she be looking for this woman that she cared for, for 15 years? Shouldn`t she be waiting for her to come back, contacting the police, doing whatever she can?
Instead she`s getting rid of all her stuff like she knows she`s dead. Why would she be doing that?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Either friend, do you know anything about this dumpster and items like the Holy Bible that we`re looking at here that belonged to your missing friend you found in the dumpster? Who can talk about that? Tina?
WILEY: I actually was on the phone with the partner that morning that she dumped the items. I was on the phone with her and I had -- she told me she was going to pick up Lisa after she had told me for a week different various stories.
She said, "I`m on my way. I`m in the car right now to pick up Lisa." I was on the phone with another friend after that call and she happened to see her on the road. She followed her to the dumpster and saw her throw all those items away -- her birth certificate, her late brother`s death certificate, very personal items, very meaningful items. Basically, everything that meant anything left in Lisa`s life -- all her picture albums, everything.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And then apparently, Lisa Stone had told one of you - - I believe it was Tina -- that there was tension in the relationship. Tell us about that.
WILEY: Yes. She had repeatedly told me the last few months -- discovered one of the e-mails the other day where she had written me expressing very deep concern. She believed the partner had another girlfriend. The partner has become very secretive she said. And I don`t know what to do.
She closes the door, is on long phone conversations and won`t reveal who she`s talking to. So there were a lot of issues going on at this time.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, wait a second.
Ten seconds, Mike Brook. To me this has foul play written all over it.
BROOKS: Oh, absolutely. To me it does. Especially when you don`t have the cooperation of this woman of 15 years, telling law enforcement lies, inconsistent stories with them. It doesn`t add up. And hopefully they`ll get her, put some pressure on her and maybe find out where Lisa Stone really is.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, Tammye and Tina, we`re going to have you back. We`re going to stay on top of this. We`re calling the Dallas PD to find out what they`re doing to find your close and dear friend. We want to find her. We want to be part of the solution.
Thank you so much.
Next Mitrice Richardson has been missing since September. Her family has put their heart and soul into finding her. Tonight: shocking new developments; could Mitrice be hiding in Las Vegas? There are credible sightings tonight from a friend of hers. I`ll talk to her devastated mom next.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight mind-blowing breaking news: is missing Los Angeles woman Mitrice Richardson alive and living in Las Vegas? Her family has been through ten months of hell, living in constant fear that their only daughter is dead.
Tonight police say they are investigating close to 100 sightings of this young woman in Sin City. One lead brings Amento (ph), a close high school friend, this guy shown here on the LATimes.com took Mitrice to her winter formal. He claims he saw Mitrice at the bar at the Rio Casino and Hotel.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAPT. DAVID SMITH, LOS ANGELES SHERIFF`S DEPARTMENT: He walked in and said, hi, Mitrice. She basically looked at him with kind of a shocked look and left the location.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mitrice`s own father also says he thinks he saw his daughter for just a fleeting moment on The Strip. Mitrice, a 25-year-old teacher, went missing in September after leaving a Los Angeles sheriff`s station in the middle of the night. She was arrested when she couldn`t pay her bill at a high end Malibu restaurant.
Mitrice seemed mentally unstable speaking in gibberish. Saying she was from mars but police still released her into the dead of night with no cell phone, car or money.
The sheriff`s office claimed, she appeared to be ok but they offered to let her stay at the station but she wanted to leave. She hasn`t been seen since. Her parents are very upset with how this has been handled.
Has Mitrice been alive this entire time living in Las Vegas? The message for Mitrice: you are not in trouble. We just want you to know that you can come out of hiding if you`re there and nothing is going to happen to you.
Straight to my fantastic expert panel; but first to Mitrice`s mom Latice Sutton. Latice, wow, this is a big development. What is going through your mind and your heart hearing this amazing news that your daughter may be alive?
LATICE SUTTON, MOTHER OF MITRICE RICHARDSON: Well, hello, Jane. Yes, more than a month ago my sister-in-law Lauren Sutton and myself provided this witness information to the Los Angeles Sheriff`s Department. I do not believe that this is Mitrice.
I -- you know, I -- the individual who saw Mitrice is not an old high school friend. He was an acquaintance. He did take Mitrice to a winter formal. He saw Mitrice a handful of times when I went down to Englewood to visit with my sister-in-law. He did not go to school with her. He has not seen her in ten years. He`s not even sure if that was her. He believed that it looked like her.
And I`m so curious as to why the authorities have not released the other part of the statement that Mr. Emerson (ph) stated, which is when he went over to say hello to who he thought was Mitrice, when she got spooked and ran off, another woman came from out of nowhere, ran behind Mitrice and said, "Bee, why are you running off so fast," as if someone was watching her.
Is this Mitrice in Las Vegas? I do not believe it`s her. I think we have to go back to where Mitrice was last seen and that is the Los Angeles Sheriff`s Department in Malibu Lost Hills. And then the first original credible sighting which was at Bill Smith`s house in the City of Montenito before we can explore if this is Mitrice. How did she get from Montenito to Las Vegas?
Mitrice is not voluntarily living in Las Vegas. Mitrice is a critically missing person who has asthma, number one -- severe asthma. And number two, by the LAPD, they have determined that this young lady has developed an onset of bipolar. Where is the FBI if they think this is her? Because now it`s a federal issue because it`s crossed state lines.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Let me jump in here because it`s kind of interesting because often parents of missing children hope against hope that their child is alive and they hang on to the slightest thread of that possibility.
SUTTON: I do. And when I first got the report from Greg that he may have saw Mitrice, you should have saw me a month ago. But as developments unfolded, which we were not allowed to talk about because that is what the authorities requested, I began to do my own research. Because you know we investigate and research ourselves.
I do not believe that that is Mitrice. And furthermore, why weren`t the parents invited to this press conference? The parents were not invited. I asked -- I am the mother. If you believe this is Mitrice, you should have me there to plea for my daughter.
And they did not want myself nor Mitrice`s biological father there. That does not make sense. And why is this young man more credible than Mitrice`s father? When Michael thought he saw Mitrice in Las Vegas back in January, they did not count it as credible, nor did they send a massive task force. Can you answer that question? Why is that?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me ask you this question, because police say there had been almost 100 sightings of Mitrice.
SUTTON: Right. There`s been more than hundreds of sightings of Mitrice based on --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: In Las Vegas.
SUTTON: Right. Even here in Los Angeles. There`s been hundreds of sightings. But why now, Jane?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Her own dad says he thought that he saw her.
SUTTON: Back in January. And guess what. The police did not send a massive task force, nor did they consider his sighting credible. And, as a matter of fact, after Michael said he sighted her, we started doing our investigation. And when we called down to Las Vegas Metro Police Department, they didn`t even know that there was any police officers out there investigating her back in January.
So my question again, why someone who hasn`t seen Mitrice in ten years they consider him now more credible than the biological father? I do not believe this is Mitrice. Mitrice was last seen at the sheriff`s department.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I hear you. Thank you, Latice. I know you`re very passionate about this, this is your daughter. I understand that.
Carla Hall, "Los Angeles Times" reporter who is breaking story after story on this case, quickly, what do you make of this? Do you think it`s a credible sighting?
CARLA HALL, REPORTER, "LOS ANGELES TIMES": I think it`s a credible sighting. Here`s the thing. I have heard Latice say that this man, Greg Emerson (ph), has not seen Mitrice in ten years so that is a problem. But the thing is, this is somebody who did know her and this is somebody who literally approached her. He didn`t see her in the distance. He literally approached her and said, "Hi, Mitrice." Now she turned --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We have to leave it right there for one second. We`re going to pick it up on the other side of the break. Hang in there, back with new developments.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAPT. KEVIN MCCLURE, LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPT: She was sighted at the Rio Hotel here in Las Vegas. She was actually sighted by somebody who actually knew her and had had a personal relationship with her. And that individual is very confident that the person he approached in the Rio Hotel that day was Mitrice Richardson.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Police say there have been almost a hundred sightings of Mitrice in Las Vegas but one very, very credible sighting by a guy named Greg who apparently took Mitrice to her prom.
Carla Hall, you were describing this encounter as we understand it now. Tell us about it.
HALL: Right. Well, he approached this woman at the bar and he said, "Hi, Mitrice." She turned, she looked at him. She first acted like she didn`t know him. Then she maybe sort of seemed recognize him. But whatever -- she didn`t answer and she walked away.
As one of the police officials said this morning at least she didn`t say, "I`m not Mitrice." I think that the investigators feel they just have to follow this up. How could they not follow it up? I think once they started following it up, they started getting all these other sightings in Las Vegas.
I think based on what they`re telling me that if it`s not Mitrice, there is a person there in Las Vegas who looks stunningly like Mitrice and everybody keeps seeing her.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: My big issue tonight is if it is her, why would she be hide something why would Mitrice hide when she knows her parents are frantic and desperately looking for her?
SUTTON: Mitrice is not hiding.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s go over the background here that she could be suffering severe mental distress. Her parents apparently say she is bipolar. And of course, when she was arrested she was talking gibberish, saying she`s from Mars. Thinks she was there at the restaurant in Malibu to avenge Michael Jackson`s death.
You, Latice, the mother of Mitrice Richardson, are absolutely convinced this is not your daughter, which -- actually I`m surprised because I thought that you would be happy to hear about a sighting possibly of your daughter. Are you saying, well, they would have found her already in Las Vegas if it was really her?
SUTTON: What I am saying, Jane, is that when I first learned that Greg thought he saw someone that may be Mitrice, when he contacted us, I was very overjoyed, overwhelmed, elated; couldn`t wait to find out more. This has been going on for more than a month.
Understand that as the officers are investigating, we are still following up. I`m still following up and the more information that I found out, the more it just confirmed that, you know, we have to go back to where we know Mitrice was last spotted. And we have to investigate how does she get from one place to another?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me jump in for one second because I want to talk about the bizarre link to Mitrice`s disappearance. Searchers found a very troubling mural which depicts pornographic images of a woman who looks very much like Mitrice. It was painted on the route where it was known that people would be searching for her that day and even has the same kind of hair.
Ten seconds, Carla Hall, what do you make of this?
HALL: I`m not really sure what to make of the mural. That may just be really vicious people being pranksters in a really bad way. I think that what the investigators feel they have to do is follow up on people who say, "I saw her."
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Got to leave it there. Thank you panel.