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Girl, 13, Found but Family Still Missing; "No Jail" Rape Deal Tossed

Aired November 15, 2010 - 19:00:00   ET



JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, a bizarre and alarming discovery in the case of a missing Ohio family. SWAT teams swarm a house and find a 13-year-old girl bound and gagged in the basement. The homeowner, who neighbors call a weirdo, is now charged with kidnapping. But what on earth happened to the teen`s mother, brother, and family friend?

Plus, explosive accusations in the search for missing Kyron Horman. Is there now a bitter divide between Kyron`s biological mother and his father?

Then, mind-blowing details revealed about a grandmother who won $1 million in the lottery two years ago. Cops say she tried to sell her grandson, and they claim it`s not the first time she put a child up for sale. You will not believe what her own daughter is saying.

ISSUES starts now.



SHERIFF DAVID BARBER, KNOX COUNTY, OHIO: She is a very brave, very brave little girl. Not only is she assisting in the investigation, but, under the circumstances, a 13-year-old girl being held captive for four days by a total stranger, I would call her the epitome of bravery.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, a bizarre and terrifying mystery swirls in Ohio. An entire family vanishes into thin air, leaving behind a massive pool of blood inside their home.

Tonight, police have miraculously found and rescued the daughter, 13- year-old Sarah Maynard. She is alive. We`re happy to say that tonight. Police say Sarah was being held captive. She was bound and gagged in a total stranger`s basement.

But Sarah`s mother, her 11-year-old brother, and a close family friend, they are all still missing. And horrific breaking news tonight. Police say there is now a possibility they could all be dead.

Cops say they have caught Sarah`s kidnapper, 30-year-old Matthew Hoffman, who neighbors describe as the town weirdo. They describe him as a voyeur, a creepy peeping Tom who was always watching everyone else. Check this out.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He is a weirdo. I mean, he really was a weirdo. Like, he sat in the trees -- if you look back there in the tree, there`s a hammock where he would sit and watch people. He`s just different.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. That is weird.

That suspect`s parents lived right near where this missing family lived. So could this creep have been secretly watching their house as he went to visit his parents and looking for an opportunity to pounce? And if so, why?

No one has heard from this entire family since last Wednesday when Sarah`s mom, Tina Herrman, did not show up for her shift at the local Dairy Queen. SWAT teams busted into the family`s rural home, and they found a very disturbing scene: blood and, according to some published reports, beer cans everywhere.

It`s unclear what led police to this guy right there, Matthew Hoffman. But cops say they did become suspicious when he bought a tarp and was also possibly spotted at one point standing next to the missing mother`s abandoned car. Police are now scouring a park near that suspect`s home, as well as ponds and a gravel pit. They have removed four bags of evidence, and they`ve pulled a car right out of the water. Are they looking for bodies?

Call me, 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.

Straight out to my fantastic expert panel, but first to Tanisha Mallett, reporter with WBNS.

Tanisha, hammer out this complex time line for us so we can understand what`s going on here -- Tanisha.

TANISHA MALLETT, REPORTER, WBNS: Well, that`s one of the things that the Knox County sheriff`s office is still trying to fine-tune what they`re doing.

Here`s what they`ve been able to tell us. Wednesday is the last time that they believe that anyone has seen all four of those people. They have confirmed that the two young children, they did go to school that day. Their mother, Tina Herrman, she did not go to work that day. Exactly where Stephanie Spring was that day and how she somehow met up with the other three, that`s still something that they have not been able to determine.

It was Thursday when a co-worker of Tina`s came to the home, and that`s when she discovered, by looking through the window, some of the blood that was in the house. And that was the first alert that they had. That is when the call went out. That is when the search began. And it was late Thursday evening that they found Tina`s pickup truck about eight miles away at a nearby college.

And again, that search has continued with the only person that has been recovered, that 13-year-old girl.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. So this 13-year-old girl was kidnapped on Wednesday. She was rescued on Sunday. Five days with this sicko, bound and gagged in his house?

Mike Brooks, what cops did say was "all our information was that most definitely Sarah was going to be in that house," the house belonging to this Matthew Hoffman.

I would assume that this girl could tell them something about what went down where she ended up at his house bound and gagged and her entire family ended up missing.

MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Oh, absolutely. I`m sure she has a lot of good information, Jane. It`s just that because of her state she`s going to have to be handled with kid gloves.

But there`s a lot of other things, too, that they`re looking at in this case, because we`ve got -- you know, you`ve got Tina Herrman`s car that was recovered and almost just on the edge of the woods near this college. Was there any surveillance in the college that might have put this guy there at the scene?

You`ve also got the blood inside her home. Is it blood from one person? Is it from two, three, possibly four?

And then you`ve got this vehicle, you know, that was -- during "Prime News" we watching they were pulling out of this pond. It might not even be involved in this, but it -- they have to check out every single lead, and evidence is crucial in this. And even in Ms. Spring`s car, because her car was at -- in front, apparently, at Tina Herrman`s house.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, it`s not just the family that`s missing. It`s an adult female friend...

BROOKS: Right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... of the mother. And you have to wonder, if one person`s involved in this, how does one person commandeer that many people?

People who knew you him say this suspect, Matthew Hoffman, was strange and violent. We already heard he allegedly threatened to punch an 8-year- old boy who lived nearby, and neighbors say Hoffman also abused his last girlfriend. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My friend dated him, and she just broke up with him like two weeks ago. And he had choked her, and she had marks on her from where he had choked her.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. I believe we have Cheryl Christopher, a neighbor.

You live right near the suspect, Matthew Hoffman`s, home. What can you tell us about this guy, Cheryl?

CHERYL CHRISTOPHER, NEIGHBOR (via telephone): I know very little about Hoffman. I actually live across the street and cattycorner from him, but I couldn`t tell you what he looked like or anything. I would never see him going in or out of the house. He did have parking in the back of the house, and that`s where I assume that he parked most of the time to go in and out. So as far as knowing the man, I didn`t know anything about him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, did he -- did he seem, according to neighbors, did they say, "There`s a weird guy that lives" -- because he`s been described as the town weirdo, that he used to sit in a tree in a hammock and stare at people, also that he had sort of pyromaniac tendencies was lighting fires in his yard.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did you see anything out of the -- go ahead.

CHRISTOPHER: Yes, I would say that for some time now, I was able -- I would sit in my living room chair, and there`s a window that was directly across the street. And several times I would mention to my husband about a fire being in the backyard of his home. And we have an open burn law here that you`re not allowed to burn. And -- but several times there was fires, I would say three, four times a week. He`d have fires back there.

BROOKS: Jane, you know, he was convicted in arson in another state.


BROOKS: So I`m not surprised at all about that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, exactly. You`re right. He was convicted of arson back in 2001 after -- get this -- burning down an apartment complex.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And then you`ve got to wonder why is somebody who burned down an apartment complex walking around so that he can sit in trees and observe his neighbors and eavesdrop on them?

Neighbors say he was a pyromaniac. You just heard that from the neighbor, Cheryl Christopher, was also setting off fires in his yard. Now here`s what`s interesting. They say Hoffman had a fire burning in his yard the very same night this family vanished. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We seen a big silver truck sitting in the backyard for the last four days. But I made my kids come in the house because he was having a fire. And he had said to my friend, Jen, that he wanted to punch my kid in the face, and my kid`s 8. So the guy is disturbed, obviously.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`ve got to wonder: was he burning evidence in that fire?

Debbie, North Carolina, your question or thought, ma`am.

CALLER: I was just wondering, how did the cops know that the little girl was in the house?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Tanisha, we`re all kind of wondering how did they know to storm that particular house when this guy is a stranger to this family?

MALLETT: Well, here`s the thing. They don`t know what the connection is between the four women -- the four people, rather, who were missing and this suspect, but they did confirm today that the first time the young girl says that she met this suspect was inside her home on Wednesday. And they said that the girl said that she was with her mother and her brother. Stephanie Spring was not in the house at the time.

Again, that`s another part of the time line they`re trying to figure out: how she became missing, how she caught up with them, if ever. But that is the first time that the young girl has told investigators that she had ever seen that suspect.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Unbelievable. Everybody stay right where you are. We`re just getting started, and we`re taking your calls: 1-877-JVM-SAYS.

Plus outrage erupts after a juvenile counselor who worked for the courts admitted to assaulting -- sexually assaulting -- teenage girls. And we had heard last week, oh, he was going to walk on probation and not serve any jail time. We covered this on ISSUES.

On Friday, we said, "No way, this guy has got to serve time." Well, guess what? There was a big development today. I`ll just give you a hint. These women, who are protesting, they won. I`ll tell you about it next.

But more on this alarming discovery of a missing family and a girl bound and gagged in a stranger`s basement.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They found that girl, like tied in the basement. Who would do that to a kid? She`s only 13. That`s really sad. Really sick people.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: SWAT team came and the blast I heard, it was they blasted the door and went in. And, you know, I heard the guy was sleeping on the couch, and they found one of the girls that was missing tied up down in the basement.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, a 13-year-old missing girl found alive, bound and gagged in the basement of the home of a guy that neighbors call the town weirdo. Sarah Maynard, 13, recovering. But where is the rest of her family tonight?

On the same night that Sarah was kidnapped by this man that she calls a stranger, a total stranger, according to cops, her mom, younger brother and a female family friend vanish off the face of the earth.

Now, Stacey Honowitz, prosecutor, what really worries me is when they went to, not the place where the girl was found, which is the suspect`s home, but to the original home, from which they all disappeared, they found a lot of blood and beer cans all over the place. And, remember, this apparently happened on Wednesday, and there were several days there before -- in other words, paint a picture of what might have happened in that house.

STACEY HONOWITZ, PROSECUTOR: Well, certainly I`m sure that the viewing public is thinking the absolute worst, which most people would fear because of finding that kind of trace evidence when you get to a crime scene. And it is a crime scene.

And like Mike Brooks said, the girl, the missing girl, the 13 year old, although she`s probably extremely shaken up and in a state of mind, she will be the key in all of this mystery. Hopefully, she will be able to describe for the police officers what happened, who this person was, what happened after that. I mean, she really is the key piece of evidence. And we`re going to have to wait and see what kind of interview she gives and what kind of leads she gives to the police officers.

But right now, like you said, it is very grim when you go into a crime scene, and there`s a lot of blood and four days have passed. You keep your fingers crossed that it`s not the worst of the worst.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Brand Wade, clinical psychologist, the cops said they found the house in the home from which the family disappeared, their home, to be very strange, because it`s a home where kids are living, obviously. They found not only blood but beer cans everywhere.

That would lead me to believe that the suspect was in there drinking beer, which scares the wits out of me, because you`ve got this one man, allegedly, and a 13-year-old girl, two adult females and an 11-year-old boy. My head doesn`t even want to process what could have been going on in there.

BRENDA WADE, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Yes, Jane. It sounds awful. I mean, we`re all grateful that at least the 13-year-old girl was found, but at the same time, as everyone has said, where is the rest of the family?

Now, there`s one other thing about this case that disturbs me, Jane. Did you notice how many people had something to say about this guy being weird, being convicted of arson, burning down an entire apartment building, having fires in the back of the house, threatening an 8-year-old boy, beating up on his other girlfriend. He was violent.

Here is a guy where, if we look at all the puzzle pieces, he was a dangerous person. He was an incident, a crime, waiting to happen.

And I can`t say this often enough or more intensely enough. When we see all of these things adding up, we have to take action, even if the neighbors aren`t sure what the guy is all about, it`s OK to report that someone threatened your child. It`s OK to report, and you must report if you see fires if it`s against the law. You must report if you`re that girlfriend who`s been beaten up. Because this is the only way that we can begin to see, "Hey, there`s a dangerous person here."

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Exactly. This is something we have to learn from. When people are behaving in a violent fashion, don`t wait until it gets out of hand.

WADE: That`s right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And by the way, he also has a history of burglary. So that says to me, if he was looking around, maybe had his eye on this 13- year-old girl, oh, he has the capacity to break into that home.

WADE: That`s right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And invade that home.

Derek, Ohio, your question or thought, sir.

CALLER: Yes, Jane. You reported at the top of your show that the suspect, Hoffman, was spotted near the suspect`s abandoned Ford pickup truck. Now, one of the affiliates you guys are using reported that stopped him earlier this weekend. Is it possible that there could be another suspect? Because it`s impossible for this guy to drive two vehicles at once.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. Tanisha Mallett, you`re on the scene. Could there be more than one suspect?

MALLETT: Well, today the Knox County sheriff said that they did not believe that he acted with anyone. They believe that he acted alone. And although that sounds hard to believe, they said that they do not believe that there`s any other suspect that they`re looking at -- or looking for, rather, at this time.

WADE: This guy has a pattern of antisocial behavior, and it just adds up, Jane.

HONOWITZ: Like you said, Brenda, it`s always too late. We always do these stories, and then the neighbors go on camera after the fact.

BROOKS: Right.

HONOWITZ: They wait until after something happens. Then, of course, they`re shocked, and they come forward and they say he`s a weirdo. He`s this. He`s that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You want to say something? Fifteen seconds.

MALLETT: I wanted to say in the days that they arrested him, the neighbors talked about being very frightened and very afraid of him. So I don`t know if their inaction was just being, you know, ambivalent or...

WADE: If you`re afraid of someone, you should be reporting the fear.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely. Thank you, fantastic panel.

A grandmother allegedly tries to sell her own grandson? You will not believe who the cops say was the buyer.

And wow, this story is a huge victory for these women! Their voices were heard. If you`re angry, protest.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Rape is a real crime. Simmons should do real time. Rape is a real crime. Simmons should do real time. Rape is a real crime. Simmons should do real time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Rape is a real crime. Simmons should do real time. Rape is a real crime. Simmons should do real time. Rape is a real crime. Simmons should do real time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Rape is a real crime. Simmons should do real time. Rape is a real crime. Simmons should do real time. Rape is a real crime. Simmons should do real time.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hey, we did it! Tonight, a huge victory in the war on women, as a sweet plea deal that would have let an admitted rapist walk free gets tossed out of court.

And now the suspect, Tony Simmons, is headed to trial for allegedly raping a 15-year-old girl and sexually assaulting two other teenage girls. This photo from WCBS.

Simmons -- get this -- used to be a juvenile court counselor in Manhattan. He admitted sexually assaulting these poor girls while they were in his custody on the way to court. His plea deal would have given him probation. That`s right, no jail.

This is a perfect example of cause and effect. Our voices were heard. We condemned this plea deal right here on ISSUES just this past Friday. And the group National Organization of Women descended on the Manhattan courthouse Friday and today to protest and demand this man be held accountable.

Straight out to prosecutor Stacey Honowitz.

Stacey, the judge said she threw out the plea deal because Simmons was blaming his victims, saying they kind of asked for it. But I personally suspect she just may have noticed the public outrage. You think?

HONOWITZ: Oh, yes, absolutely. I mean, listen, it`s strength in numbers. And the media plays a huge role in situations like this. We`ve had a lot of cases where judges have been called on the carpet. "What are you doing? Can you not see the forest for the trees?"

And in this case it might be very easy to say that the plea deal is being knocked out now because he was blaming the victim. But where was that explanation last week?

So I applaud the National Organization of Women. I applaud your show and everybody else that protested and said, "Why isn`t this guy going to jail?" Well, now he`s going to have to go to trial. He`s going to have to face the music, and we`ll see what happens.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And we women take note that we have a lot more power than we might think.

We cover all the time here on ISSUES stories where women are not treated seriously by the criminal justice system. Rapists let out and the victim isn`t even notified by the court system, and then the attacker comes and visits the person he raped at the person`s workplace and we`re outraged.

When we have situations like that, we women have to band together, right, and we have to make our voices heard, because we have power in numbers, Stacey.

HONOWITZ: Yes, absolutely.

And I want to tell you another thing. It`s not just the media and everybody else that puts pressure on the court system. You have to remind anybody that`s a victim of sexual assault, you cannot back down. It is difficult. It`s not easy. I`m not going to lie. It`s not the most comfortable thing to have to come into court and talk about a sexual experience.

But you have to realize just how important it is. You have to stand up, because if you don`t, situations like this take place, because people just say, "Listen, victims don`t want to come forward. Why should we even bother with it?"

As hard as it is, please be mindful. If anything happens to you, if you`re a victim of sexual assault, don`t be afraid to come forward.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Well, let me say, one of the victims here was so upset she actually did speak out. Let`s listen to what she had to say for a second.


ASHLEY, RAPE VICTIM: I totally went numb. You know, you`re not -- there`s no way you could have any kind of feeling towards the situation like that. Like, OK, I`ve just been raped and now I`m going to go sit in a courtroom and be sentenced.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ten seconds. How do they put the genie back in the bottle? Because he already pleaded, and now he`s going to unplead and go to trial?

HONOWITZ: Yes. What happens is, you know, the plea -- the judge cannot accept the plea. That`s what happens. The judge says, "I`m not accepting it," even if it`s a negotiation. The judge has the ultimate say. At this point, the judge said, "I`m not accepting it. Make a decision. Either the state..."

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Got to leave it there. And we won!


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Explosive accusations in the search for missing Kyron Horman. Is there now a bitter divide between Kyron`s biological mother and his father?

Then, mind-blowing details revealed about a grandmother who won a million bucks in the lottery two years ago. Cops say she tried to sell her grandson. And they claim it`s not the first time she put a child up for sale. You will not believe what her own daughter is saying.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This transaction today was absolutely take this baby, give us our money and go. That was the concept behind it.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, mind-blowing twisted details. Just when you thought you`d heard everything bizarre and twisted about human nature, along comes this story.

It`s about a million-dollar lottery winner and her adult daughter who cops say hatched a plan to sell the daughter`s 8-week-old baby boy. I thought grandmothers were supposed to spoil their grandkids, not try to sell them. Wait until you hear who they allegedly tried to sell this baby to.

The grandmother, Patty Bigbee, also recently, not too long ago, a couple of years ago won $1 million in the lottery. Well, apparently in two short years she burned right through all that money.

So let`s see, you`re short on cash, grandma, so, what should I do? Oh, I know. I`ll sell my grandchild. Are you kidding me? I wish I was kidding. But sadly this is not fiction. We have not made this up. This actually happened say cops.

Cops arrested Bigbee, her daughter Stephanie who is the baby`s mother and also Bigbee`s boyfriend by the name of Lawrence Works. Incredibly, they allegedly tried to sell the baby to -- I hope you have a notepad here because it`s complicated -- Bigbee`s estranged adult daughter Danielle. A daughter Bigbee allegedly sold 27 years ago.

That daughter, that adult daughter and her husband, when they were contacted by this woman, agreed to take the child. But then they were given a price tag of many thousands of dollars. They called police. Ok.

Who looks at a baby and thinks, gee, I can make a few grand off of this? This family is seriously, seriously disturbed.

Call me, 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.

Straight out to my fantastic expert panel: got to begin with HLN law enforcement analyst Mike Brooks. Mike, this story blows me away. The fact that this grandmother looked up this daughter she had given away years ago on Facebook, found her and said, hey, want to buy a kid from me?

MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Right. And she was going to charge her a $75,000 adoption fee, Jane. It`s unbelievable. I guess -- well, you know, Patty Bigbee, she got out of prison in 2007 in Michigan for serving an eight-year sentence for armed robbery.

But then Danielle decides she`s going to cooperate with police and Florida Department of Law Enforcement, they went ahead and set this whole thing up. But, you know, the part that just even more boggles my mind, they were going to rip off Stephanie Bigbee Flemming, the 22-year-old girl who just had the baby, they told her, hey, we`re going to get a $10,000 fee and you`re going to get $9,000 of it. And, Jane, what was she going to do with that $9,000? She was going to buy a new car.

This is just --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Are you kidding me?

BROOKS: No. It gets crazier and crazier. You talk about dysfunction. You took the words right out of my mouth. It`s an unbelievable family.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Just so people get it at home, the grandmother who was going to sell this grandson, this baby infant, 8-week-old, tells the mother of the child, hey, I`m going to give you something like nine or ten grand, telling her basically she selling her for -- selling the child for like ten grand when, in fact, she had been trying to sell the child for like 30 grand so she could pocket a whole lot more. So she`s lying to the person, this girl, who produced the child.

BROOKS: Exactly.



BROOKS: It started off at $75,000; then they worked the deal down at $30,000. And that was the agreed-upon price was going to be $30,000. That`s when they -- we`re going to meet at a Best Buy store to get a check and seal the deal. That`s when everybody got --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Honestly, if you had a team of Hollywood script writers sitting around burning the midnight oil trying to come up with some sick family pattern, they could probably -- if they came up with this, people would say that`s ridiculous. Nobody would ever do that.

And that is my big issue tonight: sick family pattern. Thank God this long lost daughter whose name is Danielle Skyver who I think is a hero broke this sick family pattern. She had just recently reconnected with her mother on Facebook.

Skyver reportedly told Bigbee, the grandmother, that she wanted a baby. She`s telling her mother, we`re reconnecting, I want a baby. That`s when Bigbee says, hey, I`ve got a baby, I`ve got my grandson. All right? And the sticker price is 75 grand.

Well, Skyver, this good daughter, went to the cops and said no way I`m going to let this happen again because, Wendy Walsh, this woman with ho had reconnected with her actually sold her 27 years ago.

WENDY WALSH, PSYCHOLOGIST: Yes. I`ve got to say, Jane, this is like textbook psychology for me.

Here this young girl who had been abandoned and rejected by her own mother when she was little finally gets the get-back, right? She`s like, I`ll take that baby, sure -- all as part of a sting.

Of course she`s going to be -- every human longs for maternal love -- of course she`s going to try to reconnect with her mother on Facebook, only to find out that the mother is crazy and that`s why she gave her up.

I also wonder like, did this grandmother on some maybe deep level think, we can`t care for this baby, we`re not good at that, and maybe this baby will have a better life elsewhere -- because truthfully this is tragic.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: No. I wouldn`t give her that much credit.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I wouldn`t give her that much credit.

STACEY HONOWITZ, FLORIDA PROSECUTOR: But Jane, the bottom line is the baby will -- this whole thing, when you think about it, this baby would be better with this girl rather than this sick person who`s trying to sell the baby, I mean ultimately.

This baby deserves to be in a better home than with that grandmother and that daughter.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Maybe this woman will with end up with the child because I`m sure the child has been put under the care of Family Services and taken away from this sicko family. And ultimately they`re going to have to decide where the child goes and this person is a blood relative and did the right thing. So maybe she will get the little baby boy.

I agree with you. I think that would be the best outcome.

Now, here`s what blows my mind, is that this grandma -- this is the daughter but let`s go back to the video of the grandma -- she blew through $1 million in two years. And I`ve got to go back to Wendy Walsh. What does this say about her? That she goes through all this money and then money seems to be at the root of all of her behavior.

WALSH: Yes. You know, this is really common, Jane, with lottery winners. Because so many of them come from a social class where they`re not used to handling money, and when they get a chunk of it, they start living large so fast they think that they`re Robin Leach and it`s "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous".

You know $1 million really doesn`t go a long way once a chunk of it goes to tax and if you buy a house in there. Before you know it, you can whittle it away pretty quickly. You know, she probably didn`t have the ability to figure out how to plan it -- financially plant it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And then she got a taste for money. And once you`ve gotten the taste for money, it`s like getting a taste for champagne. It`s hard to put it down.

So she`s broke after blowing through a million bucks and she says what am I going to do now? Oh, look, I`ve got this little baby here because, Mike Brooks, didn`t the biological mother, in other words, the grandmother`s daughter, once she had the baby left the baby, right, with her mother, the grandmother, and then takes off to go back to live with some guy who may be the child`s biological father?

And isn`t it true that that biological father said, hey -- to this girl you`re looking at right here -- I want to have more kids so we can sell them, too.

BROOKS: Oh, yes. It just sounds like a baby mill, if you will. That`s exactly what happened. And again, I -- you`re right, though. Danielle Skyver, she is to be commended because she stepped up and did the right thing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Unbelievable.

Stacey Honowitz, everybody who was arrested in this, the photos we`re seeing here, has a rap sheet. The boy`s mom is on probation for stealing. We`ve got money issues there. The grandmother served eight years for armed robbery. That`s the star of this sick story. And the boy`s possible father has a record of assault and child cruelty. And, again, the boy`s possible father says, let`s pop out some more kids, honey, so we can sell them, too. Stacey Honowitz?

HONOWITZ: What do you do? You can`t stop people from having sex and having a child. That`s the unfortunate thing. There`s no law that says -- I mean once you`re selling babies of course it`s illegal -- but you can`t stop these baby mills from happening. People are desperate.

You know, we`re all sitting here so shocked. Unfortunately in the line of work I do, I see stuff like that. I see women trying to sell their babies. We prosecute for child abuse. They want them for drugs and for other things to make money.

But there`s no law on the books, unless that person goes in front of a judge and the judge orders a sentence as part of your probation you can`t have sex and have a child, but it`s never going to happen. You`re never going to have anything like that.


Jo -- I`m seeing you`re a woman -- Missouri, your question or thought, ma`am.

JO, MISSOURI (via telephone): Well, my comment is, it`s all over and trying to get to sell that baby and the daughter she gave away years ago was trying to buy it. I think that they should take the baby away from the whole family and let that daughter raise this baby. Because she deserves it and she probably would be a good mother to the baby.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I agree 100 percent. There is a hero in this story. It just shows you that she is also lucky that she was sold out of this family because God only knows what would have happened to her if she was raised in this family. She might be doing the same thing. But she obviously found a better way.

Thank you so much, fabulous panel. Again, you can`t make this stuff up. It`s beyond comprehension.

The husband of a 34-year-old mother found beaten to death in her own home now speaking out and giving a new theory on his wife`s murder.

Plus, we finally hear from eyewitnesses at Kyron Horman`s school about the very moment he disappeared. So many developments in this case, and I want to hear your thoughts on missing Kyron. Call me, 1-877-JVM-SAYS.


DESIREE YOUNG, KYRON HORMAN`S BIOLOGICAL MOTHER: Kyron, we love you and we miss you. We remain here working hard every day to get you home. Please do not be afraid because the police are going to find you.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Coming up, eyewitnesses in Kyron Horman`s disappearance open up.

But first "Top of the Block" tonight.

The devastated husband of Julie Mitchell is giving a possible motive and a terrifying time line from the night of her murder. Teddy Mitchell`s lawyer says he was traveling when his wife was killed. And when she didn`t answer the phone, Teddy calls his son Daniel who then goes over to house and finds Julie`s body and the 13-year -- 13-month-old baby -- this woman`s 13-month-old baby in a closet drenched in blood. And then he calls the cops.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Daniel told Teddy that he and his wife had committed suicide, he thought. And Teddy was able to get off the plane.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, Teddy`s lawyer said at 7:30 that night furniture was delivered to the Oklahoma house and Julie answered the door. And then less than three hours later she was found dead and tens of thousands of dollars were stolen from the family`s safe.

You`ve got to wonder, are cops trying to track down who delivered that furniture? Will we ever find out what really happened to Julie? We`re going to stay on top of this story here on ISSUES.

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


YOUNG: Terri Horman to fully cooperate with the investigators to bring Kyron home.

We`re coming to get you. We will bring justice to you and we will bring Kyron home. You cannot escape.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, Kyron Horman`s biological mom comes out swinging. Desiree Horman (SIC) whose precious son Kyron who`s been missing for almost six months now tells NBC "Today" she tried to get her child back from ex-husband Kaine but that Kaine had shut her down.


YOUNG: Starting a year prior to his -- him going missing, I tried to get custody of him.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And what would happen?

YOUNG: Kaine told me it was not an option. Kyron on many occasions told me he wanted to come live with me, and on a couple of different occasions Terri had called me specifically so that I could talk to Kyron because he was so upset. And Terri personally wanted me to take Kyron.



So she is claiming, the biological mother is claiming that the stepmom wanted to get rid of the kid and wanted the biological mom to take him back.

Now, just hours ago Kaine was asked about Desiree`s jaw-dropping interview on NBC, but told reporters he hadn`t seen it yet. Kaine did acknowledge that Kyron was not crazy about moving back and forth between his home and his biological mother`s home.

He chalked it up -- Kaine did -- to the boy`s separation anxiety. Meantime, Desiree has stinging, stinging, words for stepmom Terri.

I`m taking your calls on this, 1-877-JVM-SAYS.

Straight out to Victoria Taft, host of "The Victoria Taft Show" on KPAM Radio in Portland, Oregon; Victoria, what is the very latest?

VICTORIA TAFT, HOST, "THE VICTORIA TAFT SHOW", KPAM RADIO 860 -- PORTLAND: Well, what`s going on right now is the shocking fissure between Kaine Horman and Desiree Young. The fact that they`ve been peas and carrots all this time in their united front against Terri Horman since practically the jump in this case, it`s surprising that we see this fissure.

And -- and frankly, you know what, Jane, I`m not surprised that in -- in some ways that this has happened because she should have known that -- Desiree Young should have known that to some extent that there was some problem there with Terri Horman and her ex-husband because it was because of Terri Horman that Kaine Horman is Desiree Young`s ex-husband.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes it`s complicated but this is really important. At a news conference just hours ago, Kaine was asked about allegations that Terri Horman, this little boy`s stepmother, had abused alcohol. Listen to this.


KAINE HORMAN, KYRON HORMAN`S FATHER: The alcoholism was something that I had some concerns about but I didn`t have any -- I didn`t have enough information at the time to be able to say, hey, this is what this problem is.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So, first of all, let me get to this. This is important. Terri is not being called a suspect, but she is the focus of the investigation -- that woman there and she has essentially said that any suggestion that she`s involved in this is a vicious lie. And we invite her or her attorney on to speak on her behalf at any time. We want to be fair here.

But I got to say this, Mike Brooks. What the biological mother Desiree is supposedly angry about is that this woman, according to Kaine, had severe alcohol problems. This is the claim by Kaine about Terri, and that she, Desiree, the woman here, did not know that the woman who was taking care of her son had these alcohol problems.

Let me read to you from the court document we have here that Kaine`s attempt to describe these alcohol problems because it`s absolutely fascinating.

Respondent, meaning Terri, the stepmom, has historical problems with the abuse of alcohol, which may have impaired her functioning since Kiara`s birth, their child. Respondent was convicted for DUI, blah, blah, blah, that was not an isolated incident of alcohol abuse. It was common for respondent to be visibly impaired from alcohol: slurred speech, staggering gait, several nights a week.

So Desiree`s mad that nobody told her, allegedly, Mike.

BROOKS: Right. And you just heard Kaine, he had to have known and he would let Terri Horman --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: More on the other side.

BROOKS: -- drive her little --



SHERIFF DAN STANTON, MULTNOMAH COUNTY, OREGON: We have the knowledge of things that we don`t want to know about. And that`s the only way I can answer that. We have knowledge of things we wish we didn`t.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Up until this morning, Kyron`s parents have appeared as a united front but on NBC`s "today" Desiree, the biological mother, appeared by herself and spoke out against Kaine, the biological father. Listen to this.


DESIREE YOUNG, KYRON HORMAN`S BIOLOGICAL MOTHER: Kaine needs to let Tony and I know what was going on in the house, and he did the not. He had several opportunities to make the right choice, and either let me know or remove Kyron from the house. I would have removed Kyron from the house had I known what was going on.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s my big issue: old wounds, new rift? What Desiree is reportedly upset about is that she found out in this court document that Kaine, the biological father, felt that his wife, the stepmother, was a drunk. Ok? Slurring speech, staggering gait, several nights a week; she would pass out on the couch after drinking heavily and would wake up on and off for the rest of the night.

Now, listen, you`re invited on, if you want to, Terri Horman, stepmom, counteract this, come on our show and tell us this is not true.

But I got to tell you, Bruce McCain, that is upsetting that the biological mother did not know that this woman here, according to her husband, had a drinking problem.

BRUCE MCCAIN, MULTNOMAH COUNTY: Well, Jane, what you really see happening here, and I think the most significant aspect of this, is that we have always known Desiree does not like Terri Horman and has always blamed her directly for Kyron`s disappearance. But what we have now seen is Desiree blaming Kaine at least indirectly, and that`s very, very significant.

The e-mails that Desiree talked about that she received just last Friday raises two really important questions. One is why only now do those e-mails come out to Desiree and more importantly, why they did not go to Kaine. In the earlier part of this investigation, they were deliberately leaking information to Kaine, into helping his divorce. Now they seem to be funneling this information to Desiree.

There is clearly a rift between these two but don`t forget design, despite all appearances to the contrary, whenever you see Desiree Young sitting next to Kaine Horman on any kind of national program, she was sitting right next to the guy that was cheating on her with Terri Horman while she was pregnant with Kyron. Desiree Young is --

HONOWITZ: But before all that Jane --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hold on. Stacey, go ahead.

HONOWITZ: Before all of this, I understand the allegations of her drinking came out later, but she said with Meredith Vieira -- Meredith asked her a very pointed question. What did you do about it when you heard Kyron didn`t want to go, that he was having issues, that the mother didn`t like him? She said well, I tried to bring it up but Kaine shot me down.

And I think this is crucial for people to know that are going through divorces when there`s custody issues. If you feel like there`s an issue with the other spouse with your child, you have a right to go back into court and fight custody, at least bring those issues to the forefront without having the other person telling you don`t worry about it. I`m not blaming her.

I`m just saying at some point she said that child should have been removed. Did she ever go to court; did she ever try to bring an action against him?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: But what she`s saying is she had to learn in a court document that her ex-husband thought that his wife, the stepmother, had drinking problems. That she feels like she should have known about that and maybe she would have taken that action.

HONOWITZ: Absolutely.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Thank you fantastic panel.

Stay right there. Nancy Grace has the very latest in the Zahra Baker investigation. Stunning new details about where the little girl`s body may have been hidden, next on "NANCY GRACE".