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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
Missing Boy, 2, Found Dead; Father Accused of Beating Son, 2, to Death
Aired August 4, 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 horrifying domestic violence. Cops say a 2-year-old boy was beaten to death by his own father. The boy was punched more than 15 times in the head and stomach. Tonight, the dad claims he was just trying to teach his son how to box. So why did he wait 30 minutes to call 911?
Also, an astounding story: saved by her toes. A woman tied up, robbed and beaten during a violent home invasion. But she manages to turn the tables by typing with her feet. Tonight, I`ll talk one on one with the courageous toe-typing woman and the boyfriend who acted on her frantic plea for help.
Plus, blood-boiling (ph) new developments in the "Survivor" murder mystery. This hot-shot reality TV producer is charged with brutally murdering his wife at a lavish Mexican resort. That was four long months ago. But instead of sitting in jail, he`s waltzing around Los Angeles and fighting for his dead wife`s estate. Only in Hollywood.
ISSUES starts now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, breaking news in the disappearance of 2- year-old Emmett Trapp. And it`s devastating news. The child`s body has been found. Just moments ago, searchers briefed reporters about the terrifying journey this little boy went through before he died.
He vanished from his home in central Arizona last Monday while the rest of his family was sleeping. Listen to what the searchers just told us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEFF NEWNUM, SERGEANT IN CHARGE OF SEARCH AND RESCUE: Emmett traveled up a wash and got onto a road. And then traveled again a little bit south. And that`s where he got into another wash. Then he started traveling about southeast, in the direction southeast. All together, Emmett probably walked close to three or four miles.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That poor child. Searchers found Emmett`s body today, only one mile from his home. So was he walking around and around because he was lost? The poor thing.
When he disappeared, Emmett was wearing only a pajama top and a diaper. The family dog was also missing but returned when Emmett`s mom called out for it. It`s not known how Emmett died exactly, but investigators say his small footprints led them directly to his body.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHERIFF DWIGHT D`EVELYN, YAVAPAI COUNTY, ARIZONA: The area where his body was found is being treated like a crime scene, which is common protocol in any unattended death like this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: In the meantime, a second boy also remains missing in central Arizona. Two-year-old Sylar Newton -- you`re looking at him there -- vanished from a campground nearly two weeks ago, only 40 miles away from where little Emmett went missing. He, too, was just wearing a diaper.
Sheriff`s deputies are treating Sylar`s case as a criminal investigation, and they say they believe little Sylar is dead, as well.
Two precious boys go missing within ten days of each other, only 40 miles apart. And now one of them is dead, and the other is presumed dead. What is going on here? The search for answers is just beginning.
And I`m taking your calls on this: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.
Straight out to my amazing expert panel. But first to Ted Houston, a reporter for KFYI Radio on the ground in Arizona.
Ted, what is the very latest?
TED HOUSTON, REPORTER, KFYI RADIO (via phone): As you mentioned, the very latest is that they found the child`s body. They still haven`t determined the cause of death. And as you said he was perhaps wandering around for hours, trying to find their way home. I mean, not too many 2- year-olds are going to find their way home.
They don`t know yet if there are any signs of trauma on the body, if he was maybe killed by an animal or whatever. But neighbors say there are a lot of wild animals in the area: coyotes, havalinas, mounds of fire ants. So he could have come across anything.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Well, I don`t think animals are responsible. I think what happened is, he was found in a mine. And he fell in a mine. And the autopsy will determine how he died. But when a child falls into a mine that used to hold water, he`s liable to have possibly broken his neck. Who knows? I mean, when is the autopsy going to be completed, Ted?
HOUSTON: We haven`t heard any information on that yet. But like you say, there are a lot of those abandoned mines around. There used to be all kinds of mining in Arizona. And a lot of these mines still have open tops or open ends, or just depending on how they were accessed.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Well, the area around Emmett`s home is very rugged. You can see it right there. It`s full of, as we just said, abandoned mines and wells. And by the way, this little boy`s yard was not fenced in, and reports are he had wandered off in the past.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
D`EVELYN: We are just devastated by the loss of this little boy. We had hoped to find him alive, but that -- that was not the case. And we just -- you know, as a parent, just hug your children a little closer tonight.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here`s something sad. His footprints were the only ones around the area where he was found. Mike Brooks, HLN law enforcement analyst, can we pretty much conclude this was just a terrible, tragic accident?
MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Yes, Jane, they`re saying there`s no connection at all with Sylar Newton`s death, disappearance. And that`s what it looks like. Because that`s one of the things they were looking for. Apparently, he was with his dog for at least part of the time. And the mother came out, and she called for the dog. The dog came back. And searchers started there, looking for any dog tracks, any footprints from little Emmett. And apparently, that`s how they did find him. But right now that`s what it looks like, just an unfortunate accident.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Stacey Honowitz, Florida prosecutor, the mother, and our hearts go out to her. We`re certainly not trying to exacerbate her pain and anguish, but I think we have a responsibility to examine this issue. The mother was sleeping. She, according to reports, woke up at about 8 p.m. at night. She has four children. They were there in the house. And she woke up and found the child was gone. Again, no yard.
Is there any potential liability on the part of parents here?
STACEY HONOWITZ, FLORIDA PROSECUTOR: Well, I mean, it`s very difficult not knowing all the facts of the case. Certainly, it`s very difficult right now to say she`s a neglectful mother. She went to sleep, and all the kids were there when she went to sleep, and when she got up one is missing. I mean, certainly, kids do wander out.
I mean, if they`re not in place, if she waited to call the police, if she didn`t call out his name, if she didn`t do things right away, there might be some issue of neglect. But I think at this juncture, not knowing, or just not having a fenced-in yard and having your child wander off, I think it might be very difficult to place any kind of criminal responsibility on her.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Rob in California, your question or thought?
CALLER: Jane, you know, God bless you for, you know, protecting these kids and trying to put information out there. But why aren`t people listening? You know, my first comment is that, if this boy has wandered off before, why in the heck wasn`t there some kind of security to keep him in the house?
No. 2, why would you leave a 2-year-old unattended and, you know -- I don`t get it. We`re hearing this way too much, and it just breaks my heart.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Robin, you raise an important issue. Robi Ludwig, what I thought was a little puzzling is that the mother took a nap and woke up at 8 p.m. I mean, with four kids, how can you nap?
ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: Mm-hmm. Well, I think sometimes when you have four kids, you`re exhausted. And if you are handling those four children by yourself and you just have other stressful issues going on that are connected to parenting, it`s not uncommon for parents to get exhausted. We don`t know the kind of help she had available to her.
You know, it`s easy to look and demonize a parent when we hear horrible stories like this. But as Stacey said, we really don`t know the details. And I think for a lot of parents we just assume, if the kids are close to the home, then they`ll be safe, or somehow that a parent will be able to protect them. Is that true? Not always the case. But that`s very often the thinking parents have.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And we certainly do not want to demonize the parents. We`re asking some tough questions. But our hearts go out to them. And they certainly deserve our condolences. Look at this precious child. What they must be going through tonight. Hell.
Emmett was found on private property called the Old Iron King mine site. He was in a pit that would have once held water.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
D`EVELYN: It`s not really a hole. It`s more like a pit that holds water. But it`s dried up. There`s a little bit of water still in it. But there`s some mud. Where he was found, he was not laying [SIC] in the water or floating in the water. He was just laying [SIC] right in the mud.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, Ted Houston, reporter on the ground in Arizona, this child had wandered, according to the searchers, three miles. They looked at his footprints. But he was found only a mile away from his home. Does that mean he was sort of wandering around, trying to find his way back, got sort of halfway back when he stumbled into that mine? Possibly?
HOUSTON: It would seem to me that, you know, he was just kind of wandering aimlessly and didn`t even know how to get back home. I mean, what kind of 2-year-old knows how to get home?
One thing I think is interesting to point out is we have not heard any information about the ages of the other children in the home. If the oldest kid in the home is 10, or 12, or 15, he or she may have been in charge of kind of watching the others and just got involved in something and let little Emmett wander off.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s a very good point. And it just -- it just occurs to me the horrifying aspect of this is when the mother woke up. It`s very possible, Mike Brooks, that the little boy was still alive and they just couldn`t get to him in time.
BROOKS: That`s a good possibility, Jane. I was hearing that the oldest child was somewhere, I think, around 12 years old. So again, by the time he had a head start on Mom, and just probably went around in a circle, trying to work his way back. And since he walked three miles, Jane, but he was only a mile from the house. Just some rugged territory out there.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Look at it. You can see right there.
Cops say they do not believe there`s a connection between the cases of Emmett and Sylar. But it`s very bizarre that these two little boys disappeared within ten days of each other, both 2 years old, both in diapers, only 40 miles away from one another, both as the adults slept. In Sylar`s case, investigators sadly believe that he`s also dead.
Ted Houston, what is the latest on Sylar`s case?
HOUSTON: Well, in Sylar`s case, they say he was sleeping in a tent at a campground with -- I don`t know it was family members or friends. But they say, based on evidence -- and they`re not telling us what that evidence is -- they believe that he was taken from the campground and that he is probably no longer alive. They`re still following up on that. But it was in the same county as the county where Emmett disappeared. So now that county has two high-profile cases.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Quickly, Mike Brooks. I don`t understand how, if they think he`s kidnapped, how do they know that he`s dead?
BROOKS: Well, apparently, they`ve given some polygraphs to people. We haven`t heard the results of them. And there was no scent evidence outside of that campground. So that means most likely he was taken there by -- taken away by a vehicle. And they`re calling it now, Jane, a recovery effort. Not a good thing.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, wow. And the woman watching that child was also sleeping. That was a custodial -- custodial mother who was watching the child in place of the biological mother. And they had some kind of custody arrangement.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Fantastic guests, thank you so much.
A 2-year-old boy, another 2-year-old boy. This one beaten to death. Horrific story. Repeatedly punched in the head, neck and stomach. You will not believe his dad`s horrifying excuse. We`re taking your calls on this one as well: 1-877-JVM-SAYS.
Plus, here`s what I call thinking on your feet. A woman tied up inside her home in a home invasion. She manages to get help by typing on her laptop with her toes. It`s an absolutely amazing story. You`re going to see her typing with her toes. We are going to talk to her live about her horrifying nightmare.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I, you know, kept telling him that, you know, trying to say calming things. And was hoping he wouldn`t hurt me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, horrific and depraved is the only way to describe what happened to 2-year-old Willy Brown. Cops say this little boy was treated like a human punching bag, and cops say the person doing the punching, the boy`s own father. The dad put on boxing gloves and allegedly punched the boy to death.
At first, Lee Willie DeJesus told police he came home to find his son, 2-year-old Willy Brown, bruised and unconscious on the bed. Cops say the father told them the babysitter hurt the son. But then he changed his story and admitted what he`d done. DeJesus told cops he was teaching his son how to box. Yes, right, by punching this defenseless child 15 times?
He was in charge of his son while the boy`s mother was working. The suspect`s sister cannot believe what has happened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RACHEL DEJESUS, SUSPECT`S SISTER: I don`t understand what could the baby have done or anything that would have caused my brother to be in such rage or something, you know, for the baby to get hurt or anything.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Doctors tried to save the little boy`s life, but it was too late. He`d suffered deadly head injuries.
The suspect`s family says this little boy was growing up -- no surprise here -- in a violent home. Constant fighting between the boy`s parents. So I personally would like to know why this precious child was left in this apparent monster`s care.
And I am taking your calls on this: 1-877-JVM-SAYS.
Straight out to my fantastic expert panel. But first to Lauren Granado with News Radio 610 WIOD. Lauren, what is the very latest?
LAUREN GRANADO, NEWS RADIO 610 WIOD (via phone): Jane, as of right now, what we know is that the little boy`s father is still sitting in jail at this hour. He`s actually charged right now with second-degree murder, but that charge will likely be upped tomorrow.
The judge was ready to grant bail to 23-year-old Lee DeJesus this afternoon. He was only charged with child neglect and aggravated child abuse at that time. But when he actually got word that the child was brain dead after this beating, he decided to up that charge to second-degree murder instead.
Originally, the boy`s family had told us that he died at around 4 p.m. yesterday afternoon. But then we found out that he was actually on life support still today, perhaps pending organ harvesting, as his family did choose to donate. But we have gotten word from the state attorney`s office that the boy has been removed from life support. And so they do plan to charge the father with first-degree murder first thing tomorrow as soon as all that paperwork is in order.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to clarify. Did this -- look at this beautiful little boy. Look at that baby. What an angel.
The boxing gloves, did the father put the boxing gloves on himself or did he try to put the boxing gloves on this little toddler`s hands?
GRANADO: From what we`re told he put the boxing gloves on himself. And they were large, adult size boxing gloves. And those things are very heavy, and they can certainly pack a punch. And as you said, he was punched about 15 times.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What a -- I mean, this is beyond comprehension. Beyond comprehension, evil. What happened to this 2-year-old boy, it turns all of our stomachs. I mean, the father puts on boxing gloves to, quote, "teach the boy how to box." Punches his son 15 times to his head, face, torso, shoulders. For 15 minutes, the boy is knocked off the bed, hits his head against the bedroom wall and the tile floor.
BROOKS: I`d like to teach the father how to box, Jane. Jane.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. I wish you could.
BROOKS: Give him about 15 minutes with me. I`ll teach him how to box. He used this little boy, he hit this boy at least 15 times, Jane, in the face, in the head, in the stomach, in the shoulders. Then he knocked him off the bed into a wall, then onto a tile floor.
But the thing -- but the thing that really gets to me, he waited 30 to 60 minutes to call for help, so the boy became cyanotic and his lips turned blue.
HONOWITZ: That`s the neglect charge that they filed. Now it`s going to be upgraded to aggravated -- it`s going to be upgraded to first-degree felony murder, aggravated battery -- the underlying felony, aggravated battery of a child.
And I mean, he`s telling you that that`s what he did: he was teaching the kid to box. Do you honestly believe that that was going on in his head? Or do you think he was in a rage and beating the crap out of the kid?
BROOKS: But his first story was he tried to blame it on a babysitter, that he said that the biological mother had hired. And then it wasn`t until he got down to homicide and he waived his Miranda rights that he came up with the -- what the real story was.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Family members say the parents of this little boy were always fighting. His own mother says...
DEBRA OPRI, FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY: Can I jump in?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... her son needs to pay for what he did. Let`s listen to this, and then you, Debra.
BROOKS: Wouldn`t stand a chance.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARIA DEJESUS, SUSPECT`S MOTHER: All I`m doing is praying. All I`m doing is praying. You know? And if he did, then he has to -- you know, he has to deal with the consequences.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Debra Opri, jump in.
OPRI: Let me tell you something, Jane. I am moved to tears tonight, because I go into a courtroom every day, and I see these kids either beaten to a pulp or dead.
And my husband was a boxer. And let me tell you something: that is a murder weapon. And that child was murdered. And that man, he should go to the full extent of punishment of the law.
I`m telling everyone out there, I do custody cases and child abuse cases every day. This was heinous. If you see this in your home, don`t tolerate it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. More on this story on the other side of the break.
Also a woman alerts her boyfriend that her home`s been burglarized by communicating with her toes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
R. DEJESUS: I don`t understand what could the baby have done or anything that would have caused my brother to be in such rage or something, you know, for the baby to get hurt or anything.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: A father confesses to police that he put on boxing gloves and punched his 2-year-old son more than a dozen times. The little boy received deadly brain injuries and was taken off life support late this afternoon.
Kelly, Pennsylvania, your question or thought, ma`am?
CALLER: Thank you for everything you do for women. I have a 14-year- old daughter, and you are such a champion with your war on women.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you.
CALLER: Second of all, I was in a domestic -- domestic violence situation. I was a very young mother. I`ve been out 13 years. But the golden rule: once that man puts his hands on a woman, he`s capable of anything. You never leave those babies alone, ever.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You are so right.
HONOWITZ (?): Get out. Get out.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Robi Ludwig...
LUDWIG: That`s why a lot of...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: They beat the kids, they beat the parents, they beat everybody.
LUDWIG: And not only that: a lot of these mothers feel afraid to actually step in, because they are next.
And what did this child do? This child did absolutely nothing. It was the father who was incapable of coping with being a parent. He was unable to tolerate any stress and became violent and did not -- was unaware of the impact of his actions. He was so angry.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: He`s 23 years old. That means he has a 2-year-old. That means he was 21 when he had the child. And what if somebody who obviously doesn`t have their life together have any business having a child at that age?
LUDWIG: They don`t. And I just want to say, there is a myth out there. We need to correct this myth. Having a child does not make you a good parent. It does not give you the right parental feelings. It does not make you not abusive. It doesn`t make you anything other than the person you are, unless you are willing to allow the wonderful situation of parenthood to change you and help you to grow. It is not automatic.
HONOWITZ: Everybody in that family -- everybody in that family knew that there was violence. You talk about being good parents? His own mother said, "I would not be surprised if he beat her up, the wife. But I`m surprised about the child." Now, who makes a statement like that, and doesn`t try to seek help for their children, or do something to intervene?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know what they say. They say it takes a village to raise a child. It takes a village to protect a child. Anybody in this situation that has seen a guy hit his significant other...
HONOWITZ: Thank you. Thank you, Jane.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... needs to make sure that that guy is never left alone with a 2-year-old.
BROOKS: This guy is the village idiot.
OPRI: We have to have a family watch. We have to have a family watch where people get out and say, if a child is being hit in a public restroom, call a cop and make a report. Do your job.
BROOKS: See something, say something.
OPRI: Those children are helpless.
HONOWITZ: Yes, but I wonder...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hold on, hold on. OK.
HONOWITZ: When he was beating her up, when he was beating her, the mother, did the mother ever seek help? Did the mother ever call police? Did she ever go and try to file charges against him?
All these things that we talk about every single night, we see these women that are constantly beaten up and constantly want to file charges. Then they say they don`t want to file charges. They don`t want to cooperate.
I`m not blaming her by any means, but the bottom line is, if there is violence in the family, you need to get help, no matter who the person`s beating up on.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mike Brooks, this is Florida. Death penalty?
BROOKS: I tell you what, I...
BROOKS: ... I say yes. I`d vote yes.
BROOKS: That`s for sure. They better go for the death penalty.
BROOKS: As heinous as this is and the aggravating factors, absolutely, Jane.
OPRI: Let your show be an example, Jane. Let everyone watch, know and listen what`s coming.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Children are not property. They`re not widgets you can toss around.
BROOKS: They`re not punching bags.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re only their custodian. You don`t own them.
Thank you so much.
OPRI: That`s right.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: An astounding story, saved by her toes. A woman tied up, robbed and beaten during a violent home invasion, but she manages to turn the tables by typing with her feet. Tonight I`ll talk one on one with a courageous toe-typing woman and the boyfriend who acted on her frantic plea for help.
Plus blood-boiling new developments in the "Survivor" murder mystery: this hot shot reality TV producer is charged with brutally murdering his wife at a lavish Mexican resort. That was four long months ago. But instead of sitting in jail, he`s waltzing around Los Angeles and fighting for his dead wife`s estate. Only in Hollywood.
Turning now to an unbelievable story of courage, survival and ingenuity: our hero Amy Windom is here to share her incredible story. She was alone in her Atlanta home Monday night when a masked gunman broke in -- how terrifying. He bashed Amy over the head with his gun and tied her wrists to her bed. The intruder spent nearly an hour collecting Amy`s valuables before leaving.
Thankfully he left her laptop computer behind on the bed. And she unlocked the computer pressing control-alt-delete with her toes. Her WiFi popped right up and Amy got a brilliant idea. She used her feet to send her boyfriend John instant messages for help.
Here`s part of the exchange. You there? Yes, you`re up? Help, call 911, police, I`m home tied to bed. Robbed. Midnight.
Police got to Amy`s house about 20 minutes later. The suspect is still on the loose.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMY WINDOM, ATTACKED IN HOME INVASION: I, you know, kept telling him that, trying to say calming things. And I was hoping he wouldn`t hurt me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Amy has come out of the shadows tonight to share her story here on ISSUES. I`m so thrilled to welcome her and her fast-thinking boyfriend, John.
Amy, first of all, I think everybody here at the studio -- bravo. I mean this is fighting back on the war on women.
How did you keep your wits about you during this nightmare? Tell us that whole scene when after he leaves, you begin to try to use your toes?
WINDOM: Ok. Well, there`s certainly a lot of prayer involved. And in terms of what I went through before I started to use my toes, he left around 1:00 in the morning, about quarter to 1:00. And it didn`t actually occur to me initially that -- to use the laptop. I knew he had left it. And we had talked about -- I had recommended against him taking it. Told him there was a tracker device on the laptop, that he probably shouldn`t take it or he would probably be caught. So that`s why he left the laptop.
It didn`t occur to me to use the laptop initially. But I sat there for about, I guess, three and a half hours just yelling, hoping someone on the street, walking by would hear me and also trying to struggle free, obviously, of the restraints around my wrists. And just found that they were digging more and more into my skin. And I wasn`t able to struggle free of those.
So the reason I initially thought of my feet was that I was waiting for -- I was trying to listen for people walking by outside the house so I would know the right time to scream because I was starting to get hoarse from yelling. I knew my alarm clock was going to come on eventually, so I wanted to use my feet to turn off my alarm clock so that it wouldn`t be blaring and prevent me from hearing people outside my house who might be able to come and help.
So I initially flipped my feet over and turned my alarm clock off. And thought, well, that -- you know, that wasn`t that hard. Maybe -- and then it sort of connected the dots and I thought, wait, there`s my laptop. Let me see if I can do something with that.
I dragged the laptop over and propped it up on my comforter to get it at the right angle and was able to open the laptop pretty easily.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: With your toes?
WINDOM: Yes. Well, it`s just a simple, you know, bending it up with the toes. The hard part honestly was control-alt-delete.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: How did you do that with your toes?
WINDOM: I studied the keyboard and tried to figure it out that control-alt keys are next to each other. So I knew with one toe I could get those. The problem was the other toe is too big to hit a single key. I tried it a couple of times and just couldn`t get it to work.
And then I noticed that the power cord was also there. So I used my other foot to pick up the power cord and got the skinny end of the power cord between my toes. So I clamped down on that and used my foot to raise and lower the power cord to hit those keys.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Your hands are tied to the bed during this entire thing.
WINDOM: Yes. Trust me, if I weren`t tied up, I would have been -- yes, getting help long before that.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me ask you this question. You must have been terrified. Because you have no idea whether this guy might be coming back with some friends, right?
WINDOM: Right. It was terrifying.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What was going on in here? Describe it.
WINDOM: Well, I mean, when someone comes at you at night in your bed and holds a gun to your head, you assume the worst, obviously. And I was terrified, and initially fought him off. I don`t think that`s necessarily the recommended approach with someone with a gun, but I just figured I had nothing to lose and was fighting him.
And he took me through the house to get all my valuables and later tied me to the bed. But it was honestly just intense prayer.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Were you shaking?
WINDOM: Yes, I was. I was very scared. But I was trying to stay calm and think through, you know, how best to get information from him.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And you had the courage to actually talk to him and say, hey, don`t take my laptop. This is amazing to me that you had the wherewithal. Tell me about that.
WINDOM: Well, he was there for almost an hour. So we had a lot of conversations because he kept coming in and out of my room to ask me different questions. So at one point he brought the laptop and wanted the password. Or I`m sorry -- yes, the password to get it started. And I told him that. That`s when I told him I would recommend he didn`t take that.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You just said that, you said, I recommend you not take the computer because it`s got a tracking device?
WINDOM: I said that`s my work laptop. It has a tracking device. I wouldn`t take it if I were you.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Is that true?
WINDOM: Well, it`s an AT&T laptop so it may very well have a tracking device. I don`t know that it does.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But that`s so smart that you said that. That`s -- I mean, honestly, you are my hero for the way you handled this.
And I have to say. Here`s my big issue, bravo to both of you for having the courage and creativity to get out of your horrific jam. As Amy and John were instant messaging, John relayed questions from the 911 operator. And I couldn`t believe how detailed and coherent, Amy, your answers were using your toes.
John wrote, they`re asking what he looked like. You answered, describing him right there. That`s your answer. How the heck did you type that with your toes?
WINDOM: Well, this was -- by the time we were at this IM exchange, I had actually been typing with my toes for, I guess about a half hour, 45 minutes by that point. John wasn`t actually the first attempt with the toe typing. I initially tried Googling 911 emergency call. And found a Web site and entered this long form to try to send out a distress signal online. I don`t think that Web site actually sent a dispatch.
And so I -- by the time -- it was 5:00 and I figured John would be up, and he`s the earliest riser I know of, and so that`s when I started initially sending an e-mail and then the IM.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to jump in because we have some video from "The Today Show" showing the toe-typing technique. Let`s check this out. There is -- is this you demonstrating this?
WINDOM: Yes, it is. This is what I did.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tell me about using this little cord to -- unbelievable. How did you do that?
WINDOM: Well, my sister would tell you it`s because I have long prehensile toes. They`re not the prettiest toes, but they were very handy for clamping on to that thing. It was honestly just practicing.
You would be amazed when you`re in a situation as stressful as that. And I was obviously highly motivated to get the police on the case to try to catch this guy as soon as possible.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to do this pretty quickly because I want to get John in there. We`re show the video again from "The Today Show" of you typing with your toes.
John, what was going through you when you got that message?
JOHN HILTON, AMY WINDOM`S BOYFRIEND: It was sheer disbelief. I just immediately wanted to get down there as fast as I could. But, you know, I had to go through the 911 dispatch. They told me to stay online until the cops got there. So I did that. As soon as that was done, I was racing down to make sure she was ok.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I just want to say, once again, you guys are my heroes. We cover the war on women here on ISSUES and you fought back and won in the war on women. And I just -- again, I just -- hats off to you for having the presence of mind, the courage, the common sense -- way to go. I`m so glad you`re alive. And well.
WINDOM: Thank you, Jane. I`m very grateful.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Great meeting you and talking to you.
WINDOM: Thank you.
HILTON: You, too.
Up next, a Hollywood producer accused of murdering his wife on a Mexican vacation is now fighting to prove that his wife`s will is real.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am putting all my intention and attention to bringing justice to this case. And to bring to the kids the best for them and an opportunity for them to be happy and healthy and the best way that, you know, that I feel that they deserve.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Stunning new developments: breaking news in the "Survivor" murder mystery, as this guy roams free in Los Angeles.
We`ve got some new information just in. We`re going to bring it to you up next. You won`t believe it and we`re taking your calls, 1-877-JVM- SAYS.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: In tonight`s "Spotlight", our nation`s out-of-control obesity crisis. Have you seen the junk they`re serving up in school cafeterias across the country? No coincidence that more than 15 percent of American kids are now obese.
In some states the childhood obesity rate is above 30 percent. That is madness.
Now, the amazing Dominique Dawes is tackling this issue head-on, the gold medal gymnast is helping kids slim down and get fit. She told me today one of the biggest obstacles is access to fruits and vegetables.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DOMINIQUE DAWES, THREE-TIME OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST: A lot of people live in deserts, food deserts where they really don`t have access to fresh fruits, they don`t have access to food markets, they don`t have access to these healthy food options. And we need to make sure we bring those food options to them.
I know that there`s -- there`s so many different farmers` markets going on. And we need that brought to the inner cities. We need more farmers` markets to those people that do live in food deserts. And we need to make healthy food more affordable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We sure do. Ironically the U.S. government is the problem in many ways, through its massive payments to giant agribusiness, the U.S. government basically subsidizes the very junk food and fast food that is making kids fat.
I`m thrilled we`re all finally waking up to the obesity crisis, but it`s also time for the government to stop talking out of both sides of its mouth.
All right, switching gears. Ex-"Survivor" producer and accused murderer Bruce Beresford-Redman fights his murder charge in Mexico, and bitterly battles over his dead wife`s will while he`s sauntering around Los Angeles. Bruce is the prime suspect in the violent strangulation death of his wife Monica. But Bruce still wants her estate.
(AUDIO GAP) a Los Angeles judge to appoint an expert to prove the signature on Monica`s will is real. Her family says her signature is forged. The will names Bruce as the executor, and gives his parents a cut of a property that Monica owned.
Monica and Bruce were on a lavish vacation in Mexico trying to save their troubled marriage. Monica allegedly accused Bruce of cheating on her. She never made it home. Her nude, battered body found stuffed in a sewer outside the couple`s swanky Moon Palace Resort.
Now, the Hollywood power couple -- the former nanny and cook could be dragged into this mess. They might need to testify over when and where Monica drafted her will. Plus, Bruce is raking in cash, selling the couple`s vacation home. Is he liquidating their joint assets to pay for his own defense?
Bruce is innocent until proven guilty, but he is wanted for murder. Why hasn`t he been arrested? This is madness. Monica was killed about five long months ago.
Straight out to my fantastic expert panel and we`ve got some breaking news coming from RadarOnline tonight. Bruce apparently has hired an attorney to fight the murder accusations. He`s in Los Angeles. The attorney`s in Mexico doing the fighting.
Dylan Howard, senior executive editor of RadarOnline, what is the very latest?
DYLAN HOWARD, SENIOR EXECUTIVE EDITOR, RADARONLINE.COM: Well Jane, for the very first time we`re hearing from Bruce`s criminal defense attorney in Mexico and he`s giving us an insight into how Bruce is going to defend these charges.
What they`re doing is they are bringing three experts into the fray and those experts have looked at all the evidence presented to the court so far, and they`re determined that there was no probable cause, of course, in their minds to charge Bruce with a crime.
Now, this is interesting, because under the Mexican judicial system, somebody is considered guilty until proven innocent. They`re going to leverage what they believe is to be the new evidence and they will put that to the judge in the hope of defending Bruce successfully in this case.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok, Bruce, through his attorney, is claiming there`s no probable cause to arrest him? Bruce, told police his wife went shopping in the morning and never returned. However, multiple witnesses saw the couple -- which we`re going to show you here in a clip from happier times, and this is from RadarOnline -- many people saw them fighting later that night.
And how about this? Bruce`s key card was swiped almost a dozen times late that night, the night she vanished. And he allegedly had scratches and defensive wounds on his body.
So Debra Opri, this Mexican attorney is now arguing there is no probable cause, while he remains in Los Angeles sauntering around town, trying to get a hold of his wife`s estate? This is crazy.
DEBRA OPRI, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: My answer -- my answer -- probable cause. You know, you can indict a ham sandwich. Do you remember that line, Jane?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I prefer to say a -- a veggie night sandwich.
OPRI: Well, I agree. There is -- and there is probable cause when you have a body, you have him and her at the same resort, you have the key cards, you have the marks on the face, you have independent witnesses that say there was an argument. There was enough probable cause.
However, he`s got attorneys right now who may in fact fight extradition successfully. And the longer they delay, the better it`s going to be for him unfortunately.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is crazy. It`s my big issue tonight: is Bruce Beresford-Redman getting away with murder? Take a look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How is it going there, Bruce?
REDMAN: No comment.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you spoken to the Mexican authorities?
REDMAN: I`m not going to make a comment for you at all today.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you expecting the extradition to go through soon? Monica`s sisters were kind of yelling at you in there. And how did that make you feel?
REDMAN: I`m sorry. I have no comment about that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What would you say to them challenging the will?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: This man is walking around the streets of L.A., he`s playing with his kids, he`s getting his hair cut --
MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: You know Jane --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- and he`s accused of murder and I`ve got to say this, Mike Brooks, the victim`s family says they repeatedly called the U.S. State Department as well as the Justice Department and the U.S. officials say they`ve got not extradition paper work from the Mexican government.
BROOKS: Well, well, you need the paperwork before you can even start the proceedings with the Department of State and law enforcement here in the United States, Jane. If they don`t have any extradition paper, are the Mexicans really telling exactly what they have? Who knows?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: well, Dylan Howard, what`s the hold-up? Why is this guy not back in Mexico facing a murder charge after several months?
HOWARD: Well, Jane, there are more questions than they are answers so far in this case. And the big question is why it took so long for them even to indicate they were going to get an extradition?
At this stage, the onus is on the Mexican authorities, and they`ve been accused of lapsing in judgment and lapsing in their efforts to try and get him to justice. The long arm of the law doesn`t look like it`s going to catch up with him anytime soon.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. On the other side of the break, some stunning comparisons; what`s going on here?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ve been getting some fabulous responses about how you`re working to save the environment.
Today we got a great e-mail from Melina. She says, "My family is going green because of our 6-year-old daughter. She learned all about the environment and keeping it healthy in kindergarten. We recycle everything we possibly can. And we planted an organic garden in the backyard."
Melina, way to go for getting rid of these plastic bottles. Thank you for doing your part. Your ISSUES, eco canister is now in the mail.
Do you have a green improvement? Send them to me at cnn.com/jane. Let`s all be part of the solution. Let`s all go green.
All right. We`re talking Bruce Beresford-Redman, the ex-"Survivor" producer accused of murdering his wife in cold blood during a Mexican vacation. He`s still a free man.
Take a look at him here. Pushing his kid on a swing; he gets to live a normal life and see his kids, even though he`s wanted for murder in Mexico.
And tonight, he`s also at the center of a bitter battle over his wife`s will. Ok, there`s two wills and one favors him, and he says that`s the real one. But the victim`s family says there`s another will.
Dylan, tell us a little bit about that.
HOWARD: Well, Jane, at the center of this dispute is a disputed will from 2008 in which it was notarized and witnessed by the couple`s former nanny. This nanny is the same woman who Bruce Beresford-Redman sacked when she didn`t support his innocence when he fled back to the United States. Now that nanny says that the disputed signature she never made on the specific will. She made that signature on another document.
Now of course the surviving sisters of Monica Beresford-Redman say that a 2004 will should stand; now this is before a Los Angeles judge at the moment. And of course forensic experts are being brought in to challenge and determine the authenticity of the will.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Stacy, Maryland, your question or thought, ma`am?
STACY, MARYLAND (via telephone): Thanks for having me on. I love your show. But my comment is kind of two parts. First, you know, it`s absolutely ridiculous that this guy is able to walk around and even have his kids with him when he`s the suspect in the murder case for his wife. And anybody else, you or I, would be locked up and the key would be thrown away. You know, the other thing is, as far as --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Can I just address that because that`s a really good point, Stacy.
Debra Opri, you`re the family law attorney. How the heck is he able to stay with the kids when he`s a suspect in the murder of the mother of the kids?
OPRI: There are no pending proceedings in a court in California or in the United States. He is a free man who has not been charged in the United States. He may have been charged in Mexico. They have not filed for any extradition. He is a free man until he`s taken into custody under Mexican law.
And unfortunately, my friend, that is the reality. Unless his sisters go in with Child Family Services and ask for a special proceeding for custody, that`s the way it`s going to be.
BROOKS: And Jane, when it comes down to the wills that we`re talking about, it`s going to be a battle of the documents -- forensic document experts. You`re going to get signature, you`re going to get handwriting experts in there. They`re going to say, oh, yes, this person says one thing. The other expert says something else.
It`s not an exact science. That`s the one problem with it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, what kills me is that he is essentially in the sanctuary of Los Angeles fighting a very crafty legal battle with a Mexican lawyer, and he`s in a safe zone, L.A.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Once again, I have to end every show. Forget about it, Jake. It`s Hollywood.
Thank you, fantastic panel.