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Missing Boy, 5, Found; Foul Play Suspected in Sylar Newton`s Disappearance; Grand Jury Hears from Friend of Terri Horman; Giuliani`s Daughter Arrested; Puppies Found Dead; Justice for Brittney Kustes

Aired August 5, 2010 - 19:00:00   ET



JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, a terrifying trend. From Arizona to Oregon, young boys vanishing at an alarming rate. Tonight we`re tracking them down and hunting for answers.

Breaking news in the hunt for Kyron Horman. Another friend of step-mom Terri Horman`s comes forward, claiming she talked to Terri the day little Kyron disappeared. Tonight she appears before a grand jury.

And a stomach-churning tragedy hits Arizona. Two young boys disappear. Now one`s dead and one is still missing in what cops are calling a criminal case.

Plus, caught red-handed? The daughter of anti-crime crusader Rudy Giuliani busted for shoplifting? She`s accused of trying to pocket $100 worth of makeup. Was she desperate for a touch-up or just desperate for attention?

And a flight to Chicago turns deadly for seven innocent puppies. Tonight why were these animals on board in the first place and who is taking the blame?

ISSUES starts now.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, new panic at an Oregon campground when a 5-year-old boy goes missing. Little Isaak Glenn was playing with friends one minute and then gone the next. But this story has a happy ending.

After about 24 hours wandering in a state park on his own, searchers for this adorable child alive, and he is going to be OK. Hurray.

But people these days are understandably jittery when it comes to missing children. Just yesterday, another boy who wandered away from his home in central Arizona was found dead. The body of 2-year-old Emmett Trapp was discovered only one mile from his house.


JEFF NEWNUM, SERGEANT IN CHARGE OF SEARCH AND RESCUE: We`re happy we found Emmett but it is not the resolution that we wanted. And that little boy just -- he went through a lot. He went really far.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Just 40 miles away from that horror story, another little boy went missing a week and a half ago. That boy, 2-year-old Sylar Newton -- you`re seeing him right there -- has yet to be found and authorities fear he`s dead.

Sylar was on a camping trip and sleeping in a tent with his custodial mother when he somehow got out. But did he wander off on his own or did somebody take him? Here is his biological mother.


CHARITY NEWTON, SYLAR`S BIRTH MOTHER: I can`t sit around and do nothing. I can`t. I think somebody took him. I really do think that.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And missing the longest, of course, 7-year-old Kyron Horman. He has been gone for two months now. Take a look at all these darling boys, all four. Just busy doing what boys do: attending science fairs, exploring, playing with friends and camping. How did they end up out of sight? And how do we find the ones who are still missing? Let`s get some answers.

Tonight I`m taking your calls on this: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586- 7297.

Straight out to my fantastic expert panel. But first to James Pitkin, a reporter with the "Willamette Week."

James, great news that searchers found little Isaak Glenn in far western Oregon. We`re thrilled. Tell us what happened.

JAMES PITKIN, REPORTER, "WILLAMETTE WEEK" (via phone): That`s right. We wish all these cases could end the same way. Isaak was found this afternoon. He disappeared last night from the campground his family had just arrived at. He was playing on a hillside above the campground, and then they turned around and he was gone.

He was missing for almost 24 hours until some people found him on a rural road near the campground this afternoon. He had some scratches, but he appeared to be OK. He was pretty hungry. He wolfed down a sandwich when they brought him back, but he`s safe and sound with his family now.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That is just such wonderful news. Here on ISSUES we cover so many sad stories. And I have to say it`s very, very depressing. And to have a happy ending like this. Look at this little boy`s face. He is obviously a curious little fellow and an explorer. And that`s what little boys do. It`s natural.

And we`re so happy to be able to say, in this case at least, this youngster has been found a-OK. And he may have been a little hungry and scratched up but he`s going to be just fine.

Sadly no good news in the case of 2-year-old Sylar Newton. That toddler vanished from a central Arizona campground July 25 wearing only a diaper. He was camping with his custodial family at the time and vanished from his tent in the middle of the night. Sadly, his disappearance is now considered a criminal investigation.


SHERIFF STEVE WAUGH, YAVAPAI COUNTY, ARIZONA: The sheriff`s office believes that Sylar did not wander from the campground, and he is presumably dead. The search -- the search effort is now in a recovery mode, and the investigation has become criminal in nature.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The investigator choked up there. Tonight we are honored to have Sylar`s biological grandmother here on ISSUES. Yvonne Newton joins us by phone.

Yvonne, first of all, our hearts go out to you. We`re so sorry you`re going through this nightmare of losing your grandson. What do you think happened to your precious grandson Sylar?

YVONNE NEWTON, GRANDMOTHER (via phone): Well, I`m not 100 percent positive. All I know is that he`s gone and we want him back.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me ask you a little bit about this arrangement between your biological daughter and the woman who was watching him when he vanished.

Two-year-old Sylar Newton, you`re looking at him right there, is the subject of some sort of special custody arrangement between his biological mom and his mother`s friend. The Mom gets him half the year. Her friend, Christina Priem, gets him the other half.

And Yvonne, your daughter Charity, who is seen here in this video wearing the bandana on her head, raced to Flagstaff after her son went missing while he was with her friend, the custodial mom. Now, here`s your daughter passing out flyers along with that custodial mother, Christina Priem.

So I want to ask you: why does your daughter decide to give Sylar, her son, to her friend for six months out of the year?

Y. NEWTON: Because she felt she needed some help, and for some reason she couldn`t come to us for it, and her friend offered. And at the time, that was really nice. I mean, from what I know of the girl, she was a really good person. But that`s so far what I`ve been finding out is not the case.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I will say that Christina Priem, the so- called custodial mom, has a history of filing a false police report back in 2007, as well as a prescription drug violation in 2004. Did you know about this? And do you think your daughter knew about this?

Y. NEWTON: No. We had no idea of any of this.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What are cops telling you that they think happened to your precious grandson?

Y. NEWTON: The only information I`m getting from the police is what they`re telling my daughter. And then she calls me and tells me.


Y. NEWTON: Right now, all I can tell -- all I`m allowed to say at the moment is it is an ongoing criminal investigation and -- it`s hard to explain right now. I`ve got a whole bunch of mixed emotions. I just got off the phone with my daughter before the show.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What did she say to you?

Y. NEWTON: Information I can`t repeat at this time. They haven`t released any of the information yet. So I can`t repeat it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Does it point to something criminal? Because they`ve already said publicly they think this is a criminal case. Something nefarious?

Y. NEWTON: I`m hoping to God that it`s not, but it`s looking like it probably is.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, does it look like a stranger abduction? Because we know the bloodhounds kept coming back to this campsite. So does it look like this little boy was taken by a stranger in a car or could it be something nefarious closer to home?

Y. NEWTON: No, that`s -- that`s really hard to say, because there for a while, I mean, I assumed somebody took him. And that`s -- that`s my assumption. Somebody did have to take him somewhere. Whether he was dead or alive, they took him somewhere.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Joe Navarro, former FBI senior profiler, what do you make of it?

JOE NAVARRO, FORMER FBI SENIOR PROFILER: Well, this is highly suspicious. You know, the -- children aren`t objects to be traded like chess pieces. So right away, we know there`s something fundamentally wrong with -- in this relationship where this child is being misplaced.

The other thing is, it`s statistically very odd to have a child disappear like this when he`s in the custody of somebody, which is why we usually attribute harm to children from their caregivers. So I find this case in particular highly suspicious.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Sylar`s grandma, Yvonne, let me ask you, why would this biological mom want to have this child when she has her own children that she was camping with, as well? Go ahead.

Y. NEWTON: My understanding about the situation is it all started because she was trying to help my daughter out. And I do know she loved Sylar. Christina does. I know she does. I`ve seen it. I know she loved Sylar. I know my daughter loved Sylar, and they were just trying to do what was best for them.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, does your daughter have any kind of problem or issue that would make her want or need help taking care of her child?

Y. NEWTON: Well, she`s very depressive. She -- she calls herself destructive, because every relationship she`s had, she feels like she`s ruined. And she didn`t want to do the same to Sylar, so she figured it would be better if she had help.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mark Eiglarsh, former prosecutor, are you allowed to do that? Are you allowed to say, "Hey, I`ve got a child but you can have him half a year"? Or is there a legality involved here that needs to be fulfilled?

MARK EIGLARSH, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Well, in family court, judges always make decisions as to what`s in the best decision of the child. And in this case I guess it was OK.

Jane, these cases are so troubling for me. I have a beautiful 8-, 6- and 4-year-old, and we just got them a puppy. And included in the package was a device inside the puppy so in case she ever went missing we`d be able to find her. And Lojack, they boast a 90 percent success rate in getting cars back. What about children?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I agree with you. I think maybe it`s time for a child Lojack if it`s going to save children`s lives.

EIGLARSH: They get the kids back within...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All we talk about here is people -- either women or children getting abducted. So maybe it`s time for people, human beings to have Lojack.

EIGLARSH: Jane, they get these cars back oftentimes within an hour, most of the time within 24 hours. That`s the average amount of time. That`s when the most harm happens to these kids. So let`s let technology catch up with what`s going on with our children.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Fantastic panel, please stay right where you are.

We`re also taking your calls on these tragedies: 1-877-JVM-SAYS.

Plus, the convicted sex offender who kidnapped a teenage girl is back behind bars.

But first, yet another of Terri Horman`s friends is set to testify before a grand jury. What happened to little Kyron?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Terri, do you have anything to say about Kyron`s disappearance? Why won`t you talk to the media? Why won`t you talk to us? If you`re innocent, why don`t you defend yourself?




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Terri, do you have anything to say about Kyron`s disappearance? Why won`t you talk to the media? Why won`t you talk to us? If you`re innocent, why don`t you defend yourself?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Breaking news. A grand jury in the disappearance of little Kyron Horman met again today. The focus is on the movement of Kyron`s step-mom, Terri Horman. She was just there in the video being grilled but not answering questions. She`s the one who took little Kyron to school and claims she left him there in a hallway, but he never made it into the classroom.

We`re now learning yet another friend of that step-mom appeared before the grand jury today.

Michelle Sigona, investigative reporter, what is the very latest?

MICHELLE SIGONA, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: At this particular point, investigators believe that this woman who appeared today may have had some sort of conversation, some sort of contact with Terri on June 4. That would be the day that Kyron went missing, and that she may have some information. That`s why she was called before the grand jury.

Now about this grand jury: they will probably meet all the way through till the end of next week. And while they`re hearing Kyron`s case, from what I`ve learned, they are hearing other cases in this particular -- in this particular area.

Also, there is a hearing that is set to find out how Terri Moulton Horman is paying for her attorney. That hearing will be set for the end of this month. So we should learn a little more about that, as well.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Bruce McCain, former captain with the very sheriff`s office investigating Kyron`s disappearance, what do you know about this other friend of Terri Horman`s who appeared before the grand jury today? This is a woman who spoke to Terri Horman the day the child vanished. Any details that you know?

BRUCE MCCAIN, FORMER CAPTAIN, MULTNOMAH COUNTY SHERIFF`S OFFICE: Sources close to the investigation indicate that this friend also may be questioned about purchasing some cell phones to give to Terri. There`s at least two persons they now believe they`ve identified that helped Terri Horman perhaps evade detection and surveillance by using fresh, new cell phones.

So again, we talked about this last week. The investigators have interviewed dozens of people, but of course, that was not under oath. They could have lied to the police. This grand jury investigation, on the other hand, is sworn testimony under oath. They want to nail these people down as to what their stories are, and particularly, they want to talk to this close circle of friends and find out, if they gave Terri Horman cell phones, why did they do that?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Two of Terri Horman`s friends reportedly bought cell phones for her so she could talk without cops being able to monitor her in the wake of Kyron`s disappearance as the focus turned to her.

Could one of those friends also be Terri`s very best friend, DeDe Spicher? DeDe -- you`re seeing her right here -- she was working near Kyron`s home the day that he vanished. Witnesses say DeDe left her job abruptly that day and was gone for almost two hours. Now, investigators are apparently trying to pin down DeDe`s movements and step-mom Terri`s movements.

Joe Navarro, this is not Manhattan we`re talking about here. This is a small town. We`re talking about what two women were doing in a very small window of time between like 9 and 11:30, because the step-mom pops up at the gym at 11:39. Why is it so hard to figure out what the heck they were doing?

NAVARRO: Well, it`s precisely because it`s a small town, because there aren`t a lot of surveillance cameras, because there aren`t a lot of stores that have video equipment and so forth.

And they`re very familiar with this town. They know their comfort areas. They know where they can travel to and so forth. And that`s what complicates this thing is that they know where they -- where they live. And so it makes it difficult if they`re trying to hide something.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Robin, Texas, your question or thought, ma`am.

CALLER: Yes, Jane. What I wanted to say is I don`t understand why people don`t get that you have to keep an eye on your children not only when you`re awake but when you`re asleep. If you have a toddler or an infant, you keep them under your arm. If you`re camping, if you`re sleeping, if you`re napping, you just don`t -- you`re just not that careless.

I know that my little girl is 11 now. But she is -- was at my -- the end of my fingertips practically every moment of the day.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I agree with you. And I want to go back to Yvonne Newton. The missing boy Sylar -- this is the other missing boy. Sylar`s grandmother, we`re looking at Kyron here who vanished. And that`s mysterious and criminal circumstances, cops believe.

And they also believe that your child, your grandson vanished under criminal circumstances. But have you gotten any explanation from this custodial mother about what in the heck happened that night?

Y. NEWTON: No, I have not talked to her about this situation at all.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you`re daughter was leafleting with her, so what did she tell your daughter? Apparently, they were in a tent and they were all sleeping. And she wakes up, and the boy is gone. Now, don`t you have zippers on tents when you have little kids?

Y. NEWTON: Well, I`ve never taken mine camping. So...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I can tell you there`s zippers on tents. I`ve never gone camping either, but I`ve seen them in the stores.

SIGONA: And Jane, I have a little bit of information about the campground. There`s 13 different sites within the Beaver Creek area. And Sylar and his family that he was with that particular evening, they were at that site. They have to check in with a host there. And then they pay a particular price. And then that`s when they set up their particular camping area.

And then he was heard verbally speaking up until about 9 p.m. that evening. So from that point on, we just don`t know what happened.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, these missing boys we`ve been talking about are the tip of the iceberg. Almost 800,000 children go missing in the United States every year, which is astounding. But it`s about 2,000 kids reported missing every single day. Two thousand kids. Thankfully the vast majority of them are found or they`re the victims of some kind of custodial, family-type kidnapping.

But every year, only 115 children in the United States of America are victims of that stereotypical kidnapping by a stranger or a casual acquaintance. Still, one child kidnapped is too much.

Now, we`re not done with this fantastic panel. Stay right where you are. More questions next.

Also a horrible case of animal cruelty. Seven dogs die during an American Airlines flight.

And why are so many young boys disappearing?



NEWNUM: What really surprises me with Emmett is the terrain that he hiked through to get to where he was at. He went over hills and through thickets, through washes that we`re tracking him through. And the little guy -- he went through a lot.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That poor little boy, 2-year-old Emmett Trapp, walked and walked and walked in circles. Poor little thing was lost. He walked up and down washes, up to a road. He ended up in a mine shaft. All that walking, you think somebody would have seen his footprints. Tragically, this child was found dead, probably from the elements.

Just 40 miles away, little Sylar Newton went missing, and it`s been, well, almost two weeks now, I think. We`re on the phone with Sylar`s grandmother, Yvette Newton.

Yvette, again -- Yvonne, rather. Your little grandson was being watched by this custodial mother, OK, Christina Priem, not his biological mother, not your daughter but her friend, Christina Priem. She`s camping with your grandson and her biological children in a tent. And this little boy suddenly goes missing.

Now, we understand that Christina, this friend, has taken polygraphs. Have you heard anything about the results of those polygraphs?

Y. NEWTON: No, I have not.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It seems to me like you know something but you can`t tell us and it`s almost like a game of 20 questions. Could you give us any sense of what you know? Is it something that would shock us about this investigation?

Y. NEWTON: No, nothing about it right now is going to be shocked - - well, some of it might be, but...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, like -- yes, some of it might be, OK. So obviously, cops know something that they`re not telling us yet.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And that`s how we can explain that cops have said that they believe this child is dead, because, to my knowledge, they haven`t found any clothing of your grandson.

Y. NEWTON: Right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: They haven`t found any DNA or anything. So how would they know and be able to come out and say he was dead, ma`am?

Y. NEWTON: That`s difficult to answer right now, because, again, that`s stuff I can`t really divulge at this time.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I hope they`re wrong. I pray to God they`re wrong, and this adorable child here, your flesh and blood, is found safe and sound.

But it`s very strange, Mark Eiglarsh, when the authorities come out and say they assume he`s dead without physical evidence.

EIGLARSH: Well, you`re presupposing that there`s no physical evidence. I appreciate what you`re doing to try to get this information out. That`s your job. And I really appreciate that Grandma is being tight-lipped, because you don`t want in any way to compromise in any way this investigation. And I think that whatever she knows, whatever it is that we`re dying to find out, it`s something that she believes that will compromise the situation. We want justice in this case.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Joe Navarro, here`s what I don`t understand. The authorities have said they believe the child was kidnapped because the bloodhounds kept going back to the campground, meaning that they didn`t think the child wandered off past the campground. And yet they also say they fear he`s dead. How would they know that if the child has been kidnapped?

NAVARRO: Well, I think we can speculate that the government knows something, that something has been revealed. We may not know where this child is at this time. But obviously, they`re hinting that they know the child is dead.

And, look, Jane, this child was sleeping inches away from the caregiver.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Got to leave it right there.

A famous crime fighter`s daughter allegedly caught shoplifting...


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: Caught red-handed, the daughter of anti-crime crusader Rudy Giuliani busted for shoplifting? She`s accused of trying to pocket $100 worth of makeup. Was she desperate for a touch-up or just desperate for attention?

And a flight to Chicago turns deadly for seven innocent puppies. Tonight, why were these animals on board in the first place? And who is taking the blame?

Rudy Giuliani is famous as America`s leading crime fighter. But tonight stunning news that his own daughter is in trouble with the law; cops say 20-year-old Caroline Giuliani, the rebellious daughter of the former tough on crime New York mayor allegedly arrested for shoplifting makeup.

Rudy`s daughter was arrested at high-end cosmetics store Sephora on Manhattan`s Upper East Side. Caroline a Harvard senior allegedly stuffed more than $100 worth of beauty products and makeup into her purse and coat pocket and reports claim it was all caught on surveillance video.

Caroline allegedly pinched Aqua Cream, Dior`s Skin Flash Primer, a pricey anti-wrinkle cream, a $10 perfume container and a hair net. Why?

It`s no secret this young lady is she`s well off. She`s going to Harvard. She actually had $300 cash in her pocket when she was caught. That`s plenty of money to buy face cream if you want it. So why allegedly steal?

Could this be perhaps a ploy to get her famous father`s attention? The father/daughter duo has reportedly had a rocky relationship for quite a while. And get this. Once the store realized who she was, they said they were not going to press charges.

So now her fate is up to the D.A. And we have to ask will she get special treatment? Caroline was cuffed and taken to the station and charged with petty larceny. Will the D.A. prosecute this case?

Straight out to my fantastic expert panel; we begin with Dylan Howard, senior executive editor of RadarOnline. What is the latest Dylan?

DYLAN HOWARD, SENIOR EXECUTIVE EDITOR, RADARONLINE: Well, Jane, good evening to you. The district attorney`s office is facing a dilemma. They must decide if they`re going to prosecute this individual because at this stage, as you correctly pointed out, the store has failed to sign the necessary documents in order to prosecute her. Now, their decision is going to make it almost impossible, if you like, for the district attorney`s office to press charges.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And you have to really ask why this happened, if it did happen. Again, this is just an allegation.

But it brings in my big issue tonight. Stealing starlets, you might say. This isn`t the first privileged young lady to be caught allegedly shoplifting. In 2001 Winona Ryder was convicted for stealing more than $5,000 worth of designer clothing and accessories from a Beverly Hills Saks 5th Avenue.

There is an actress, Mai Ling (ph) who said she had a breakdown after she was caught shoplifting two celebrity magazines and two packets of batteries at Los Angeles International Airport. Those items had a total value of $16.

Dr. Judy Kuriansky, you have to ask why would somebody who could afford to buy anything they want have an impulse to steal?

DR. JUDY KURIANSKY, CLINICAL PSYCHIATRIST: It`s an emotional answer. It`s psychological. It`s not just a way to get attention, sometimes it`s a depression. You get a rush from getting away with something and it`s often a message.

I`ve known Rudy Giuliani for over 30 years, Jane. He`s been a friend of the family. I also know Donna. They went through a very public, as people remember, acrimonious divorce. They both love their kids, because they have a son too. And it`s been tough for those kids.

There`s a message I think that Caroline is giving to dad. It`s a way of saying, you know, can you get me out of this is one thing. It`s a challenge. And it`s also a way of expressing some kind of anger and some kind of a "help me".

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You might say it`s hitting him where it hurts. Rudy Giuliani`s entire reputation is built on being tough on crime. He was known for cleaning up New York City, and he battled especially hard to put a stop to organized crime.

Listen to this.


RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY: The conviction of Gigante (ph) was another one of a large number of very significant convictions of mob bosses and leaders and people who had spent their entire lives taking advantage of other people.

They`ve done a wonderful thing for the public in holding someone responsible for a life of crime.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jeff brown, criminal defense attorney. This story is fascinating in a sense that it puts him in a kind of awkward position. If you`re going to make tough rules for other people and have a reputation as a "lock them up and throw away the key", that that`s the solution, what do you do when you`re confronted with alleged criminal behavior within your own family?

JEFF BROWN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes. It is a little tough spot. But his office also had what`s called a diversion program which allowed first-time offenders such as this to go into a program, do some probation and the charge get dismissed. So it wouldn`t be inappropriate for the office to do that.

But let me just say -- we keep saying that it`s alleged that she stole the items. It may very well be -- and I have had clients that have told me this where they didn`t have anything or any place to put the items and they put them in their pocket and they`re shopping and looking around. And before they realize they had gone past the register.

It may very well be there`s an innocent explanation to this. It may not be that outright case of somebody that`s just stealing these items because as you said she had $300 in her purse.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely. And we reached out to her attorney who calls Caroline a lovely young lady. She and her attorney, anybody involved in this is invited to our show any time to give their side of the story.

I think this is also interesting because you have to ask, as is so often the case, could Caroline Giuliani get special treatment simply because of who she is. The "New York Post" reporting once Sephora, the makeup store found out Caroline`s last name was Giuliani they quickly decided not to press charges.

Dylan Howard, you`re covering Hollywood all the time. One of the big themes here is do we live in a country with a two-tiered system of justice, one for the rich and famous and powerful and the other for everyone else. What do you say to that?

HOWARD: The answer is a simple yes. We only need to see in the most recent case of Charlie Sheen that that clearly is the case. Certainly anyone else confronted with the situation of Charlie Sheen would find themselves getting the strong arm of the law much more seriously than what he has.

I think also the interesting thing about this is, is going to be seeing to see whether Rudy Giuliani in fact leaps to his daughter`s defense. The pair are reportedly estranged. And of course, you can remember during the 2008 campaign for running for president she famously posted on Facebook joining the Barack Obama group. It`s going to be very interesting to see.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: She obviously has -- and he has a rocky relationship with his son, who said he would be going golfing as opposed to helping his father`s presidential ambitions.

You were shaking your head, Jeff.

BROWN: You know, I do this for a living. I represent people that aren`t famous all the time and I`ve had deals much better than Sheen`s case. I`ve had those same facts and gotten the cases dismissed.

We`re looking at these few cases and saying, oh, my gosh, look at the results but I can give you hundreds of results from everyday people that did not have this.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, because you probably are not -- you`re not a public defender who defends poor people. That`s why.

BROWN: What does that have to do with it?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: If you go on Mothers against Mandatory Minimum you`ll see people locked up for life for having one little rock of rock cocaine and people who have lines of cocaine will end up doing just a couple of years, if at all. And these people with rock cocaine who are generally poor minority end up getting sent away for their lives.

There is a two-tiered system of justice in this country. I myself have personally covered it when I`ve gone to court to cover it, high- profile case and gotten there early and see one person after another with the public defender sent away to the slammer. They barely know what hit them.

BROWN: I`ve been doing this for 20 years. I understand what mandatory minimums are all about. It`s 5 grams of crack in the federal system. But I`m telling you, it`s not always that way. There are lots of times where justice happens and many of the times for those that don`t have the money.

I`m on a court-appointed list in federal court. I handle those cases.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Judy Kuriansky, ten seconds for the last word.

KURIANSKY: The last word is I think that Caroline is also making a message to both her parents. Every kid who has parents who divorced, they want the parents to get back together. It`s a way to force Rudy and Donna to talk and to talk to her.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. It`s a fascinating psychological study. Thank you to all of my guests.

Airlines are supposed to provide safe travel. So, why did one flight take several poor defenseless animals on a journey that ended up with them dying?

And a violent offender back in the slammer after kidnapping a teenage girl.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Several dogs die during an American Airlines flight. That`s next.

But first "Top of the Block" tonight.

A suspect has been arrested in the toe-typing robbery. This brave woman, Amy Windom, joined us here on ISSUES last night with her boyfriend John to tell her incredible story. Windom was fast asleep in her Atlanta home early Tuesday morning when an intruder tied her up and spent an hour collecting her valuables.

Amazingly, this terrified Windom left bound on her bed, tied up, was able to open her laptop computer and instant message her boyfriend with her toes. She demonstrated her incredible toe-tapping skill on NBC`s "Today". There it is.

It was absolutely unbelievable. She actually used that little cord there to hit control-alt-delete. The suspect Dontavius Jackson (ph) had already been arrested for a separate crime.

Thank you, Amy, for your toe-tapping and for winning your battle in the war on woman.

And that is tonight`s "Top of the Block".

Turning now to the outrageous and unnecessary deaths of seven helpless puppies; 14 puppies total were shipped from Tulsa to Chicago, treated like meaningless cargo. Only half survived this horrifying trip.

Of course, these aren`t the dogs we`re talking about, but this video gives you an idea of the cramped conditions. We don`t know exactly why these puppies died, but I have a couple of guesses. Did anybody check on them during the hour-long weather delay in Tulsa?

There were blistering temperatures on the tarmac. I wasn`t surprised to hear -- not surprised at all -- to hear the dogs were shipped by a commercial dog-breeding operation in Oklahoma. The puppies were slated for pet stores around the country. Anyone breeding and transporting animals for a buck, yes, they don`t care about their welfare.

How do we stop more animals from dying like this? This did not have to happen.

Out to my fantastic panel; but first to Peter Greenberg, a CBS News travel editor. Peter, what exactly happened here?

PETER GREENBERG, TRAVEL EDITOR, CBS NEWS: Well, what happened here is that each airline has a protocol, if you will, as to what they will do and when they will do it if they`re going to ship animals at all.

For example -- and it`s all different between the airlines -- JetBlue will not accept any animals for transport neither will South West. In this case American Airlines has a moratorium. If the temperature rises above 85 degrees in the summer or below 45 degrees at any time they won`t take the animals.

Now, this particular plane was supposed to take off at 6:30 in the morning, it was delayed by an hour. And according to the weather service by 7:30 in the morning when it did take off that thermometer was heading up about -- about 87 degrees. So you can imagine what happened after that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, well -- it brings me right to my big issue. Airlines need new pet rules. I think that`s really clear by now.

We contacted American Airlines. They told us as the puppies were being moved to their connecting flight employees noticed that they were lethargic. They gave them water and tried to cool them down.

A spokesperson told us, quote, "We very much regret that these animals died while under our care and we are doing all possible to ensure that this never happens again. American safely transports 100,000 animals each year."

But what about the animals that don`t survive? The Transportation Department says 33 dogs were lost, killed or injured on American Airlines flights from 2005 to 2009.

Ok. US Airways across -- I`m talking about across the board here -- and I believe this is airlines across the board this the United States, lost 224 dogs or had them injured or dead dogs during the four- year period. Ok.

So I`ve got to say Jane Garrison -- you`re the animal welfare expert -- I believe that there is an underlying problem here.

JANE GARRISON, ANIMAL WELFARE EXPERT: Oh, absolutely, Jane. I`m looking at the big picture. You`re saying who to blame. Yes, the airlines definitely should not have put these puppies on the plane in that heat.

But you know who I blame for this? I blame every single person who ever goes into a pet store and buys a puppy from a pet store because what`s happening is they`re supporting these puppy mills. Puppy mills are these cages where these dogs have barely enough room to stand up, turn around, lie down.

They`re stacked four or five cages on top of each other. They`re covered in feces, they`re covered in urine. They have no veterinary care. And these animals live like that for years and their puppies are taken from them and shipped across the country to a pet store.

So that`s who to blame. Until consumers stop buying puppies from pet stores, we`re never going to stop the misery. There are millions of dogs in animal shelters that need homes. We should go to our local shelters. We should go to Web sites like and adopt a dog that needs a home. Let`s stop this craziness of shipping puppies all over the country.

I can`t help but think about these puppies` parents. Yes, it`s terrible that these puppies died. But there`s a mother and father to those puppies who right now as we speak are stuck in a tiny, filthy cage with barely enough room to live, barely enough room to move, stuck in this heat. And they`ll be like that for years until they stop producing pets.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you`re so right.

GARRISON: We have to stop this misery.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re so right because, you know, people always say when they go to a pet store and they say where the puppy come from. Oh yes, it came from knee-deep in grass and they make up a story. This is -- you`re looking at the video of an actual puppy mill.

Not those two but the others. This is how they`re kept and that`s a big cage. These animals are kept in tiny, tiny -- impregnated repeatedly, it`s terrible.

So Jeff Brown, criminal defense attorney.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we have to look at what the rules for the airlines and wonder about whether those rules need to be changed. There`s also the other responsibility, the people who make the decision to send 14 puppies on a plane.

JEFF BROWN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes. The FAA can certainly -- can increase the fines on these airlines for all of these deaths or losses. But frankly, I don`t know how you lose a dog. But the real problem here is that in this country, people like you Jane and I know for myself absolutely love dogs. I love animals.

And so -- yet if somebody was to kill my dog, unless they tortured my dog, all I can recover is the value of that dog as a piece of baggage, as a chair or a television. And I think we need to recognize in this country that we hold our pets in a whole different light than just a piece of baggage. And I think we need to elevate them so that you can have -- you can have crimes such as destroying an animal or shooting my dog or something like that.

We need to get --


BROWN: -- find out where we can move that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jeff, I love hearing that, because I do believe that animals deserve rights. They say animal rights activists. All we`re asking for is basic rights --

BROWN: Right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- so that they cannot be abused. These sentient beings -- that anybody who`s ever had a dog -- and I`ve got three of them right now. You know they dream. They feel pain.

BROWN: Right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: They feel terror. Oh, my gosh.

Joann in Florida --

BROWN: And if -- and if we kill that -- yes, if we kill that dog or your dog all you would be able to recover is just the value of the dog? That`s crazy.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And especially since I adopted all my from the shelter the value would be zero even although he`s priceless.

BROWN: Exactly.

GARRISON: Jane -- and Jane let`s not forget that these dogs came from Oklahoma, a state that has no regulations for puppy mills and no one enforcing anything.

So the only requirement that these dogs are kept in is a cage that is at least six inch longer than the length of the dog. That`s like keeping your dog in the carrier that you`ve take your dog to the vet for that dog`s entire life with no --


GARRISON: -- no human interaction, no toys, no beddings, nothing. Living in filth for their entire life and then --

BROWN: Right.

GARRISON: -- the puppies being pulled from them and shipped on a plane.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Joann, Florida, your question or thought, ma`am?

JOANN, FLORIDA (via telephone): Yes, this goes way back in the `50s when I was flying for an airline. I won`t mention it and we prop planes and we would carry pets but their pets would enter in the cage but they were in the cabin of the airplane behind the pilot and co-pilot and we also had a flight engineer too.

But we -- the airlines at that time would carry the dogs or pets in the cabin of the airplane so that there would always be somebody there now (INAUDIBLE) pressurized and the weather conditions. The airlines have to do something about protecting our wonderful creatures.

And it`s true about the puppy mills.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I agree with you, Joanne. Thank you.

Peter Greenberg, this is the tip of the iceberg because every year -- people don`t know this -- 2 million dogs, cats, livestock, poultry are transported by air. There`s entire industries that box up chicks and ship them U.S. mail.

GREENBERG: Here is the deal. We talk about rule changes. It is going to come in two areas. It is not the FAA, they have nothing to do with this. It is the U.S. Department of Transportation and it`s also the U.S. Department of Agricultural. When you are shipping pets as cargo that is where those rules have to be made.

In 2005 they did change the rules to require the airlines to actually report the number of deaths. That`s why we`re even seeing these numbers to begin with.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, thank you fantastic panel for speaking out for the animals.

Up next, the mother of a kidnapped teenager.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, justice for Brittney. A convicted sex offender with a violent history is back behind bars; his arrest closes a terrifying chapter for 19-year-old Brittney Kustes.

Police say Roy Elwell held Brittney captive inside a Kentucky home for two long weeks. Her mom says she was beaten, sexually abused and mentally abused before being set free last Friday. Her mom told me about getting the incredible news that about her precious daughter had survived.


LAURI KUSTES, BRITTNEY`S MOTHER: I didn`t know if I was going to find her alive and I was preparing myself for that. When we did find her, it was just -- I have never had those feelings ever before. It was one the greatest moments of my life.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Cops tracked Elwell down at -- get this -- a religious campground, just a few miles from where Brittney vanished. Detectives think Elwell was trying to make his way back to her yet again. Thank god she was being held at a secret location.

I am thrilled to have Brittney`s mom, Laurie back with me again here on ISSUES tonight.

Laurie, what went through your heart and your mind when you heard about Elwell`s arrest?

KUSTES: Thank Lord. Thank the Lord. We were so excited and just so relieved. We slept very well last night.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, your daughter is terrified of this guy. How can we make sure that he can never get his hands on her again? Is he going to be charged with any crime in connection with your daughter`s disappearance?

KUSTES: Well, you know, that`s what I`ve asked Detective McGaha. And he said we have to follow through with the county where this took place at which I believe is -- it is in Glasgow, Kentucky. I`m not sure which county but they have to file the charges on him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, now, we were confused, let`s put it that way, bluntly, as to whether your daughter went willingly with him or whether she was abducted. What can you tell us tonight?

KUSTES: Well, I can tell you that she says she did go willingly and then she realized what was going on and requested to go home and he wasn`t going to take her home. His plans were to take her and keep her and to do the things that he did.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What did he do? What can you tell us?

KUSTES: He really mentally abused her, physically abused her and other things I can`t say at this time but it wasn`t a pleasant ride for her at all.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I don`t understand. Even if she went with him willingly, if he abused her in any way, shape or form and kept her against her will there are a whole slew of charges you can hit him with.

KUSTES: Exactly. Exactly.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s hope he is hit with these charges right? I mean what are they telling you?

KUSTES: Really, I`m not being told anything right now. I don`t know if I should be upset. Of course, I`m thrilled he is behind bars. But how can someone keep getting away with everything that this man has done?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes because he took your daughter once before about a year and a half ago. When she came back she was hooked on meth. My understanding is that she was doing meth and Xanax this time around as well. Clarify that if you could.

KUSTES: Yes. That is what we`ve been told. It is not only Brittney that he has done this to. There are other young women that he has done this to. And -- I mean it`s got to stop.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I don`t understand why this guy is not charged with a slew -- a slew of charges in connection to what happened to your daughter.

What would you tell law enforcement if you could -- just a couple of seconds?

KUSTES: Do your job. File the charges that need to be filed.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I certainly hope you are getting through to them. Maybe they`re watching.

I want to thank you. And I`m so happy your daughter was found a- ok.

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