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Frantic Search for Missing Ayla Reynolds

Aired December 20, 2011 - 19:00   ET



JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, the search for missing toddler Ayla Reynolds leads cops to nearby Dumpsters, just four miles from her father`s home where she vanished. Neighbors reported hearing a car pull up to his house in the middle of the night, and little Ayla disappeared the very day after her mother tried to regain custody of her. Is there a connection? I`ll talk to her mom`s best friend, live.

And missing college student Aisha Khan vanished, allegedly after an altercation with a total stranger. She called her sister and left a voice mail saying she was terrified after a drunk man tried to kiss her, and she slapped him and ran. That was the last anyone`s heard from her. Is there more to this story? We`re investigating, and her family joins me live tonight.

Plus, brand-new details surface in Kobe Bryant`s bitter divorce. The basketball star`s wife stood by him after he was accused of rape, but now it`s game over after ten years of marriage. Was she biding her time to get to the ten-year mark and get that massive payday? We`re taking your calls.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: A desperate search tonight in Maine for missing toddler Ayla Reynolds.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The police in Maine are searching frantically for a 20-month-old girl who was last seen tucked into bed in her PJs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`ve canvassed the neighborhood, we`ve talked with the neighbors, and it`s produced nothing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: State police are still calling this the family`s home, the focal point of the investigation, as K-9 units search inside the home and also inside the garage.

MICHELLE SIGONA, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: The neighbor on the opposite side of the house, I guess, would be on the backside of the house from where Ayla went missing, did hear a loud noise around 3:30 in the morning. So loud, in fact, that her dog woke up, started barking.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They haven`t ruled out an abduction.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If anybody out there knows anything, and I suspect that probably someone out there may know where this little girl is, just please call us.

TRISTA REYNOLDS, MOTHER: I want to see her face, I want to see her eyes, I want to feel her touch. I want -- I want to tell her I love her. And I feel like I can`t protect her right now.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Stunning new developments tonight in the search for missing toddler, Ayla Reynolds. Police now searching Dumpsters in the area for any sign of the missing 20-month-old girl.

Good evening. Jane Velez-Mitchell coming to you live from New York City tonight.

Police have seized two cars from the home of Ayla`s father, which is the last place this little girl was reportedly seen. One car belonged to her dad, Justin Di Pietro. The other car belongs to an unnamed woman. Who is that woman and why was she at the home? What did she see or hear?

Ayla`s father claims he put the child to bed Friday night and when he checked the next morning, she was gone, vanished into thin air. But he wasn`t the only one in the house. The little girl was supposedly sleeping in the same room as her young cousin. Nobody saw or heard anything? Her father has not made any public comments.

But Ayla`s mother, Trista Reynolds, who does not live if that house, has spoken out, begging for help, begging for information. In a very emotional interview, the mother of this missing girl vents her frustration.


T. REYNOLDS: I guess I just want to, like -- I want to pick her up and I want to hold her, and I just want to tell her, like, she`s going to be OK. And I just -- I want to see her face. I want to see her eyes. I want to feel her touch. I want to -- I want to tell her I love her. And I feel like I can`t protect her right now.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Police say all family members have been cooperative and helpful in the investigation. But it looks like we`re no closer to finding this beautiful little child. I want to hear from you. Call me, 1- 877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297.

Straight out to Norm Karkos, reporter, WMTW in Waterville.

Norm, you have new information from talking to people in the neighborhood. What is it?

NORM KARKOS, REPORTER, WMTW: Well, here we are, day four of this actual search, Jane, and this is the second day they`ve had what we`re calling expanded coverage here. There are 75 officers involving four different agencies including the mainstay police, the Waterville Police Department, which, of course, is leading this whole charge here, the Maine warden service, and the FBI. Kind of atypical, because unusual, because usually the Maine state police is the lead investigative agency in a situation like this.

So today Chief Joseph Massey of the Waterville Police Department, being kind of elusive, not really tipping his cap either way. He is still calling this a very open case. This is still a missing persons case. He`s not calling this an abduction case right now. So therefore, behind me, the home here, 29 Violet Avenue here in Waterville, is not technically considered a crime scene right now.

The evidence response team from the Maine State Police is behind me. We have a couple of state police cruisers, or at least three. Of course, yesterday, I mentioned the fact that two vehicles were towed here. Today they were searching in a one-mile radius...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Who does the second vehicle belong to? Who does the second vehicle belong to, Norm? Two vehicles were moved, one presumably of the dad. The other, we`ve heard, could belong to a female. How many people were in that house that night? That`s what I`d like to know.

KARKOS: Well, we`d like to know that has well. Right now Chief Massey is not speculating. Chief Massey will not actually tell us this. All that he`s telling us right now is the fact that that`s up to the investigators, the FBI or the Main State police right now.

We have speculation that it is a girlfriend. It was a Hyundai, of course. There was the SUV, which belonged to him. We do not know the status or the whereabouts of that second silver car right now.


KARKOS: So that`s what we`re trying to figure out. The chief will not speculate that or let us know either way. That`s in the hands of the investigators.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Norm, thank you. Excellent update.

We have so many people here who are going to weigh in on this. Baby Ayla`s mom, Trista, says she hasn`t actually seen her daughter since last month. And now she`s questioning if her daughter really went missing on Friday night or perhaps much earlier. Listen to this.


T. REYNOLDS: I think maybe he did -- he knows where she is. And I sometimes think now, maybe, like, did it get a little rough for him? He`s refused to send me a picture. He`s refused to let me talk to her. So now I`m starting to think, like, has she been missing for a little bit, and he`s just now doing something about it, or did she really go missing Friday night?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to bring in a very special guest. We have Jessica Reynolds, who is Ayla`s maternal aunt.

And Jessica, thank you for joining us. You were watching this child in October when her mother, who is estranged from the father, went in to rehab for substance abuse. And when you were watching this beautiful little girl, that`s when the father, the biological father, came in and said, "Aha! The mom`s in rehab. I`m taking the child."

Do you think that the father, Justin, has a good relationship with the child? And you know what, I`m going to toss this out to John Lieberman. John Lieberman, you`re an investigative reporter. You`ve been making calls on this all day. And you found some interesting information.

JOHN LIEBERMAN, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Jane, a federal law enforcement source tells me that there were no obvious signs of forced entry into the home. And that`s one reason why an Amber Alert wasn`t issued right away when this little girl was reported missing.

Now, what does that mean? I can tell you from all my years at "America`s Most Wanted," it is very rare to have a stranger abduction from a child`s bedroom. In other words, somebody completely unrelated to anybody come in and snatch a toddler without anybody knowing.

What police are doing right now is they`re trying to contradict or corroborate all of the witness statements. In other words, the handful of people in the house that night, they`re trying to put together a narrative of who is saying what and how it fits with what evidence they have.

For example, they`ve gotten conflicting stories, Jane, about when this little girl was last seen, when did she go to bed? Some people in the home have said 8 p.m. Some have said 10 p.m. Any discrepancies, police are going to dig into and look for evidence.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: John, you have a child. You don`t put your child to bed at 8 p.m. and then check up on them 12 hours later, when you`re dealing with a toddler who gets hungry, who gets thirsty, who cries out. How many parents would leave a child for 12 hours before they check up on them? That doesn`t make sense, especially when there`s another kid sleeping next to her, about the same age.

LIEBERMAN: There`s so much here that doesn`t make sense. For one, absolutely. First of all, no toddler sleeps for 12 or 13 hours straight without wanting a glass of water or what have you. No parent doesn`t go in and at least check on that toddler, as you mentioned.

Today, we saw, and yesterday, the seizing of these vehicles is important as well. They want to see what fibers might be in these cars. Look, everybody is still hopeful that this pretty little girl is alive. But the longer -- as you know, the longer that time goes on, the worse it looks.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to go back to Jessica Reynolds. You were the aunt who was watching this child when the mom, the bio mom decides to go into rehab for substance abuse, and that`s when, it`s my understanding, that you say the dad comes into the picture and says, "I want the child," and gets the child. What happened there?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, hi, Jessica. Can you hear me, Jessica?

J. REYNOLDS: I can hear you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. What was the child`s relationship with the dad? We`ve heard a lot about injuries. We know that the child had a broken arm. How did she get that, and did the child receive any other injuries when she was with the father?

J. REYNOLDS: I can tell you that the injury did come from being with dad. The story we have gotten was they had gone shopping at a local store. And he was carrying Ayla and a bunch of bags. And they fell up two steps that can`t be any more than six inches apart, and he fell on top of Ayla.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do you buy that story?

J. REYNOLDS: Not at all. Not at all. I mean, a lot comes in -- like, why was he carrying her? She`s well able to walk.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did you know of any other injuries that the child sustained under the father`s care?

J. REYNOLDS: I do, actually.


J. REYNOLDS: The very first time he took Ayla for like a visit, he brought her to Chuck E. Cheese, and she came home with bruises on the right side of her face. There was some bruises on her leg.

And the story he gave us was that she was playing in the ball pit at Chuck E. Cheese and fighting with another child. Now, any parent would remove their child from that situation. Instead, I guess he let her keep fighting, and that`s why she came home with the bruises. Didn`t make sense.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jessica, why did he want the child? Why did he want to take the child, if, when he had the child, she kept falling and getting hurt and having, quote unquote, "injuries"?

J. REYNOLDS: I`m sorry. I didn`t hear the beginning of that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why did he want the child if the child was having so many problems and getting hurt so much on his watch?

J. REYNOLDS: Right. I -- I honestly -- I don`t know. I can tell you my sister was -- she absolutely, every time he called to take Ayla, she has hesitant about sending her. She did want her -- she wanted her child to have a relationship with her father. She was scared, though, because every time Ayla came home, there was something wrong with her.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, hold on a second. Don`t go anywhere, Jessica. We`ve got so much more on Ayla`s disappearance. We`re taking your calls. We want you to weigh in on this. And Elaine in Illinois, we`re going to get to you on the other side: 1-877-JVM-SAYS. W

here is this child? What happened to her? Who did what?


T. REYNOLDS: I guess I just want, like -- I want to pick her up and I want to hold her. And I just want to tell her, like, she`s going to be OK. And I just want to see her face. I want to see her eyes. I want to feel her touch. I want to tell her I love her. And I feel like I can`t protect her right now.




DANIELLE WAUGH, REPORTER: Those search parties continue. State police are still calling this, the family`s home, the focal point of the investigation, as K-9 units search inside the home and also inside the garage.

SIGONA: A neighbor on the opposite side of the house, I guess, would be on the backside of the house from where Ayla went missing, did hear a loud noise around 3:30 in the morning. So loud, in fact, that her dog woke up, started barking.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Somebody else is saying they saw a car pull up in the middle of the night to the house. All that activity going on, a child vanishes, and nobody inside the house hears a thing until the next morning? How is that possible?

Trista, the biological mother, is now flat-out blaming Ayla`s dad, whose home she disappeared from, and his family. Listen to this.


T. REYNOLDS: Somebody in his family or him himself has done something with Ayla, and if he has, all he`s got to do is come out and just say it. Just come out and talk to me. Come out and just tell me where she is. Because I want to know where she is.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Little Ayla had been living with that woman you just heard from, her biological mom, until October when the mom went into rehab for substance abuse and left the child with her sister, who`s on the phone with us.

And that`s when the baby`s dad came and child services apparently gave the child to him, even though the family -- the mother`s family says every time the child spent time with the father, something went wrong and she ended up having bumps and bruises and what not. And she had a broken arm at the time of her disappearance, which supposedly was an accident that occurred on the father`s watch.

Let`s go to the phone lines. Elaine, Illinois, your question or thought, Elaine?

CALLER: Hi, Jane.


CALLER: How are you?


CALLER: First of all, congratulations on your 16 years plus. I`m very, very proud of you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you, we`re talking about sobriety.

CALLER: Yes, we are. And also, thank you for giving everything, your all to all the animals that can`t speak for themselves.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, thank you. And that`s, obviously, one of my top priorities: speaking for the voiceless.

CALLER: I know it is.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And this little girl is voiceless right now. What`s your question, ma`am?

CALLER: I love you for it. What I`m going to say is, oh, my lord, OK, another child. Now, OK, we -- and you`ve mentioned this before, OK, have streetlights everywhere, on every street. Why? What can we do to put cameras up next to every streetlight in every street, and so this can be caught on tape. I mean, what can we do to get this done? I mean, I would put money into it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Elaine, excellent, excellent question. I want to go to Mike Brooks, HLN law enforcement analyst. Yes, if there were cameras on every street, we would see exactly who pulled up and who left with what.

MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: But, Jane, how do you get cameras? It costs money. And that`s the problem. Municipalities and cities and counties and states, they don`t want to put the money out there. We see them cutting back on law enforcement, parole and probation, firefighters. Do you think they`re going to cut back on all that -- all that personnel and put cameras up? Not happening.

One question I have, though, Jane. If family members of Trista kept seeing all this, what they thought was abuse, did anybody report it to Maine`s Department of Health and Human Services? Because if they don`t report it, then it didn`t happen.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, excellent question. Jessica Reynolds, you are the child`s maternal aunt. You were watching the little girl at the time that the mother went into rehab, and then the dad comes and takes the child away. Had you told Children Services, "Hey, she keeps getting hurt, reportedly, allegedly, when with the father"?

J. REYNOLDS: Well, I can say we have reported it many times, to department of health and human services, to answer that question that was just asked. I didn`t let the child go with him. I was told I had to give the child to him. It was not an option.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Wendy Walsh, psychologist, I think that`s an outrage. It`s incumbent upon child services to investigate situations like this. Just because a mother decides to go into rehab, which is a good thing, if she`s got a substance abuse program, she`s getting help for it. Why should she be punished by having her child taken away from her?

WENDY WALSH, PSYCHOLOGIST: It is incumbent on them to do the investigation. But Jane, as Mike was saying, again, it`s all about money. And too often the courts just lean with biology. They go with the parent that has a biological connection, and may not have an emotional or psychological connection.

I mean, I`m terrified to think about the stress, the attachment injury that this poor little child suffered being thrown into this other home that she was unfamiliar with. And that`s why the courts need to more and more think about who are the primary attachment figures, even if it`s a babysitter. Who does the child feel safe with and trust? Instead of going with biology all the time.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Ken Altshuler, radio host, you`re in the area. We also understand the mother had said that the father had texted her a few days before the child vanished and said, "Oh, I`m worried. I`m scared that somebody is going to take the child." Hmm.

KEN ALTSHULER, RADIO HOST: Jane, there are so many questions here, but let`s talk about DHHS. I`ve done hundreds of DHHS cases. You have to understand, now we don`t know, this is confidential. Did Trista agree to place custody with Justin? If Justin`s saying to her, "I`m scared someone is going to take the child," did Trista inform someone about that?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I have to say that the father is not considered a suspect. He`s invited on our show any time. We have more on the other side of the break.



J. REYNOLDS: He was holding Ayla, and they fell up like two or three little steps. And he fell on top of her and her arm was broken. And he waited over -- almost 24 hours to bring her to the emergency room. I want reasons -- I want to know -- reasons to why -- why do you wait almost 24 hours to bring a child who he, himself, told me she screamed bloody murder when they fell.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The day before little Ayla goes missing, last Friday, that`s when the biological mother went and filed papers seeking full custody. The next day, the child is missing? And the child just seems to vanish into thin air from the house.

But now Norm Karkos, you`re there at the scene. We`re hearing that there were noises heard by neighbors that night?

KARKOS: Actually, we`re standing in the front lawn of a neighbor, a nearby neighbor who told us yesterday that she heard what she thought was a suspicious car Friday night, anywhere between 9 and 10 or so, but she would not confirm any loud noises or what have you. She did say at one point, she did see another person here, a female here over the course of time. Not specifically that night.

Now, we were in an area here. They`ve looked for the entire mile radius right now, the one-mile radius, where they`ve been searching today. Just wanted to give you a quick update on where they were today.

Now, today they were searching Dumpsters. They were also searching the Messalonskee (ph) stream, which is about an eighth of a mile away from the home here behind me. Yesterday they had airboats out there. There have been low-flying aircraft.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So we`re getting the idea. They are -- they are doing searches. And I don`t mean to interrupt, but we want to cover so much material.

John Lieberman, investigative reporter, the father sends a text reportedly, according to the mom, to her a couple of days ago saying, "Oh, I think the child`s going to be taken." What do you make of that?

LIEBERMAN: First of all, who says that? I mean, that is something that is so unreasonable to say.

Here`s another point, too. The biological mother and the biological father have had no contact since this little girl has gone missing. Even in the worst relationships, if a stranger abduction is feared, those two parents are going to talk. Right now police are treating it, publicly, as a missing persons investigation, but very much behind the scene, this is a criminal investigation.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mike Brooks, John Lieberman pointed out, no signs of forced entry. Now you have neighbors saying they heard noises in the middle of the night, a car pulling up. What do you make of it?

BROOKS: I think the key lies with the father and also with the people who were in the house that night.

Now, one of the local newspapers was reporting that there were several people inside that house, Jane. Only one of which was not a relative. You know, what do they have to say? What are their stories? Most likely you`re going to get some conflicting stories here, but what is the real timeline? And, you know, just like -- just like John was saying, 8 p.m., 10 p.m., when was this little girl last seen by somebody who was inside that house?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Julie, Michigan. Julie, your question or thought, Julie?

CALLER: Hi, Jane. First of all, I wanted to thank you for getting the victims a voice. And I am a grandmother and also a mother of a police officer, and it seems lately that it`s open season on our police officers and our little babies. And I`m wondering if -- when the last actual confirmed sighting was of her...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s the big question! Nobody knows. Nobody knows when the child really went missing.




AISHA KHAN, MISSING COLLEGE STUDENT: Oh, my gosh. It was so scary. My heart is like pounding. I`ve never got this scared in my life.

CHIEF JOHN DOUGLASS, OVERLAND PARK POLICE DEPT: You hear her say there was a confrontation that he may have tried to kiss her.

A. KHAN: And he left. And he was so pissed. Pick up your phones. I am freaked out right now.

DOUGLASS: She hit him and then he ran away.

FAIZA KHAN, SISTER OF AISHA KHAN: She slapped him and she said that he seemed really pissed off.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She rebuffed him. She basically said, "Go away, stop harassing me."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don`t know what`s happened. You know? If she`s out there in the cold, if she`s hungry for the last two days. If she has clothes or not.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Disturbing new developments in the case of missing student Aisha Khan. Why wasn`t she caught on surveillance video and were there any credible witnesses to her disappearance?

Good evening, everyone. Jane Velez-Mitchell back with you live in New York City.

Beautiful 19-year-old Aisha was last seen Friday studying on a college campus in Overland Park, Kansas. Right before she disappeared, she left a terrified voice mail for her sister, in which she described being accosted by a seemingly intoxicated, drunk or stoned, homeless man. Listen to the voice mail.


A. KHAN: And he left. And he was so pissed. Pick up your phones! I am freaked out right now. Ok. Bye.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Right after leaving that voice mail Aisha vanished, gone, poof, just into thin air. But she left behind her bag, her schoolbooks, her iPod, even her cell phone. The FBI now interviewing the family, trying to piece together what might have happened to this beautiful young lady. And the police, who have been scouring the area, may have found some witnesses. Listen to this.


DOUGLASS: Three of the construction workers remember seeing an individual matching her description, walking away from that building to the northwest by herself. I would caution you to understand that seeing an individual and knowing for a fact that it is her are two different things.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok, was Aisha kidnapped on campus? Give me a call, 1-877-JVM-SAYS.

Straight out to our special guests, Aisha`s friends: Pessneem Turkmani (ph) and Emily Cheatham (ph); thank you both for being here. We really appreciate it and we`re doing everything we can to help find Aisha. We want to get the word out. We want show her face. We want to find her.

Let me ask you, and I`ll start with Emily, I guess we`re wondering, does she always wear her head dress? Because in trying to look for somebody who may not be there, it`s going to be interesting to see whether people are looking for just her, basically her face, or her in her garb.

EMILY CHEATHAM, FRIEND OF AISHA KHAN: Yes, she always wears it. I`ve never seen her without it on. I mean, unless the circumstance -- something happened that she didn`t have it on, there is the picture out there on the Internet, going around. But she always wears it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What has this been like for you? And I can direct that at Pessneem. What has this been like for you? This must be kind of horrifying, terrifying. And you must feel obviously frantic. We`re all frantic. I feel frantic in trying to find this young lady. Pessneem?

PESSNEEM TURKMANI, FRIEND OF AISHA KHAN: Yes, it`s very scary and it`s terrifying and I just can`t believe it. It just feels so unreal, like it`s a dream.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s a bad dream. Yes. Police have not been able to find this mysterious stranger, this allegedly homeless, possibly homeless drunk or stoned man who purportedly accosted Aisha Khan before she simply vanished. And there were questions about that posed to the Overland police chief during a news conference. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there any indication that she decided to leave on her own and created this story as a cover-up?

DOUGLASS: We have no information either way. We have no information that -- or solid information that it was an abduction and we have no information that it wasn`t. So you proceed with the worst-case scenario and you keep going in that direction, because if, in fact, she left on her own then ok, she`s ok, and that`ll be fine. But in case she had a problem where she`s in trouble, we want to find her.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Let me ask you this, Emily. You`re a good friend of the missing woman. She got married in July. The cops say, absolutely no reason to believe that the husband is a suspect, whatsoever.

But given that she`s 19 years old, essentially a teenager, and she just got married, I do have to ask you, was she very happy about being married? Were there any reservations that she might have had about her marriage? Is it possible that she might have wanted to get away from her husband?

CHEATHAM: No. I -- she`s always been a really happy girl. There wasn`t anything that I knew that was wrong. Knowing her, I don`t think that she would have run away like that. It`s just not something she would do.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: There`s only one reason that we`re asking this. Is that it was 39 degrees out that day. That was the high for that day, nearly freezing. And what we`re hearing is that she was studying at a picnic table, in this campus setting outdoors, and studying for a test. Now, that is something that has kind of made people wonder.

Jon Leiberman, you`re an investigative reporter.

JON LEIBERMAN, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Yes. Well, here`s the strange thing. I`ve been on that college campus many times. I used to work out in Kansas as a reporter. And it`s generally very busy on that campus, and also, there are cameras everywhere. Which that`s one thing that has police a little bit stumped, because nobody`s come forward to say they saw -- except for the construction worker that you heard -- nobody heard screams, nobody heard a lot of commotion, and cameras haven`t captured anything as well.

And that has led police to keep open this scenario, whereby this young woman may have run away.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, it`s interesting, Mike Brooks, because if you look at this picnic table, it`s outdoors. Now, purportedly, it`s in an area that`s sort of enclosed, so it would not be visible to people who were just walking by. But I can`t get the past idea that she`s sitting there in -- the highest temperature of the day was 39 degrees, so possibly lower than 39 degrees, studying outdoors. That stumps me.

MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Yes, that kind of jumped out at me too, Jane, when I heard that. I`m going, wait a minute. People don`t sit outside in the cold and study, when you can go inside a building and study. You know, especially there with the wind and everything else, you know.

But these construction workers that saw someone like her. If she did have her head covered, she would probably stand out and be recognizable by those people, if they saw her walking away. There was also, apparently, a professor who saw her or someone fitting her description, also walking away from this building.

And this drunk guy -- if you were on a campus, somebody`s going to see this guy again and again, and he`s going to bother somebody else most likely. So is this a made-up story? I don`t know, Jane. It`s just -- it`s -- I`m miffed.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we certainly don`t want to presume, but we have to ask the question because it was asked at the news conference.

BROOKS: No. Absolutely.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s go to the phone lines. Patrick, Texas, your question or thought, Patrick?

PATRICK, TEXAS (via telephone): Hi.


PATRICK: I really just wanted to say the fact that I`m appreciating that you guys are giving this some national coverage. I used to live in the Kansas City Metro area, and I know a lot of interstate highways run through that area. The fact that, you know, if she was abducted, there`s a possibility somebody outside of a local news area could have possibly seen something. And with it getting the national coverage, at least, they might take a look and say, you know, I recognize this young lady or something that went on at that time.

As far as her being outside in the cold, to be perfectly honest, I`ve done kind of off behavior things like sitting out in the cold when I`m trying to be by myself to concentrate as well. So there`s a possibility that could have been the reason she was outside as well.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, absolutely. We just had to ask the question, because it was played at the news conference, that was a theme. I want to play more for you of the voice mail that Aisha left just before she disappeared. This is how she felt after she said the stranger approached her and she had to slap him to get him away.


A. KHAN: Oh, my gosh, it was so scary. My heart is like pounding. I`ve never got this scared in my life.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, Aisha is certainly, unfortunately, not the first woman to disappear from a college campus. Six months ago, Lauren Spierer vanished from the college town of Bloomington, Indiana. Her family and friends have been looking for this woman ever since.

Two years ago, Annie Le went missing on the Yale University campus, and she was found unfortunately, brutally murdered, six days later.

So I think sometimes there`s a false sense of security on college campuses. Women are targeted on college campuses. Sometimes they`re not in great neighborhoods, although apparently this one is in a good neighborhood.

Pessneem, did she -- was she ever harassed because of her head dress? Do you think this might be some kind of a hate crime?

TURMANI: No. Not that I know of. As long as I was with her she was always wearing it and nobody ever bothered her.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did you think she was happy and just -- she was happy and there would be no reason for her to effect this on her own?

TURKMANI: Yes, she was always happy. She was always laughing and she brightened my day.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we pray that everything is ok with this young woman; that she`s found safe and sound. It`s a very serious situation. We have to explore all possibilities.

But I just want you to know, we`re going to stay on top of this story. If you hear anything at all, let us know. We`re going to be in constant contact with the cops, because we want to find Aisha.

Thank you both, dear friends, for speaking out for her.

Kobe Bryant`s wife files for divorce after ten years of a reportedly rocky marriage filled with purported, alleged infidelity. More next.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hey, I need some more research on this.

This job keeps me so busy, but I still have time to eat healthy. Check this out. I went up to the cafeteria and got it with my reusable container. Isn`t this beautiful? What a gorgeous array of veggies and even some fruits. And we`re talking carrots, we`re talking eggplant, we`ve got tomatoes, we`ve got corn, we`ve got nuts, we`ve got cranberry, we`ve got carrots, peppers.

You might say, hey, my cafeteria doesn`t have all this. Well, then, demand it. Say, I want to eat healthy at work.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kobe Bryant`s pre-season just got a lot worse with news that his wife of over ten years has filed for divorce.

KOBE BRYANT, NBA PLAYER: I love my wife with all my heart.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: His wife, Vanessa, stood by him eight years ago when he admitted to a tryst with a woman who had accused him of assault.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I find him as being a very positive role model for young people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She`s asking for, reportedly, spousal support, joint custody of the two kids.

BRYANT: She`s my backbone. You`re a blessing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`ll be crying like that again every time he has to cut a check and realize that half of it is going to Vanessa.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: A multi-million dollar mistake. Lakers` basketball superstar Kobe Bryant`s wife filed for divorce after 10 1/2 years of marriage, and the highest paid player in the NBA is out in the cold without a pre-nup. TMZ says Kobe`s wife, Vanessa, her former stepdad is now claiming that this was her plan all along. Quote, "Her mom had taught her well to wait for the ten-year mark before divorcing."

Vanessa filed for divorce citing irreconcilable differences. Reports claim the real reason was Kobe`s alleged string of blatant affairs. Sounds like the soon-to-be former Mrs. Kobe Bryant might get a huge payday. Reports Kobe was worth up to $300 million, but that`s been scaled back actually to about $150 million; still a lot. That leaves Vanessa with about $75 million in the divorce settlement.

Oh, my gosh. What do you think? Give me a holler, 1-877-JVM-SAYS.

Straight out to Mike Walters, TMZ assignment manager; you`re all over this. What`s the latest, dude?

MIKE WALTERS, ASSIGNMENT MANAGER, TMZ: Like you said, Jane, we spoke to Steven Lane, who is the person who raised Vanessa from a young age, who tells us this was a planned-out thing that she learned from her mother. Steven was married to Vanessa`s mom to a little bit after the ten-year mark, and he says she knows very well that the ten-year mark is a lengthy marriage in the eyes of the law, in the state of California.

And that Vanessa knew that Kobe had all of these infidelities in their marriage and that he was cheating, but the money was after the ten-year mark, because even though she gets the $75 million, she`s still going get spousal support the rest of her life unless she gets remarried. That`s how the law is.

And he tells us her mom knows that very well because he`s still having to pay her $1,800 a month, even though she`s living in one of Kobe`s mansions in Newport Beach. So if that`s what this is, he is saying Kobe Bryant`s wife knew all along he was cheating and waited until this moment to file for divorce because it was a big payday.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And why not? When he was accused of rape, she stood by him and sat by him. And that was a humiliating ordeal where he had to apologize as part of the lawsuit settlement, and say I`m sorry, even though I maintain it was consensual. And she had to sit there and grin and bear that, knowing that he`s admitting that he had affair.

So what if she had to wait ten years?

Who is the latest purported, alleged, mystery woman who may have caused Vanessa to throw in the towel? Some say it`s a "Playboy playmate". Check this out from TMZ.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s rumors circulating on the Internet that Kobe Bryant`s wife, Vanessa, had found Kobe with a very beautiful mistress and that she`s the reason why they`re getting a divorce.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You hear anything about that?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, there`s been defunct rumors also that you were not the person involved.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not you, huh? Awesome.



VELEZ-MITCHELL:L Mike, she kind of looks like Vanessa. What up?

WALTER: Well, she does, but remember, Jane, we worked on this story together in 2003 and even back then, all these girls came forward and there was a bunch of young ladies who said they had slept with Kobe Bryant. The one involved in the criminal case was just that one. But all these women, if you Google it, it comes right up that there are several people out there.

This young lady is saying it`s not her, but I`m guessing this is a Tiger Woods, Jesse James type situation where these women are going to start trickling out in the next few days.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I`ve got to say, it`s always great to talk to you. Mike Walters, my former colleague and good buddy.

Arnie Spanier, sports host, you would think after this horrific incident that Kobe experienced, where he literally was like a near-death experience, where he almost got put on trial for rape and charges were dropped because the woman didn`t want to testify, but there was a lawsuit, he had to apologize. He said it was consensual, but she was there, the wife was there. You`d think that he would have learned something from that.

ARNIE SPANIER, RADIO HOST: What are they going to learn, Jane? What are they going to learn? I mean, he`s a ballplayer. Does this shock anybody? They live a life we could only dream up. They make millions on top of millions on top of millions and they have women throwing themselves at them. Did you see that girl? I mean, did you see that? What a stunner.

Last I checked, girls like that don`t throw themselves at guys that are balding, 50-year-old talk show hosts. So that`s what they have.

Look, Vanessa`s going to get like $75 million. Does somebody like that deserve $75 million for one mistake that Kobe made? $75 million -- I`d marry the guy for $75 million, Jane, are you serious?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I don`t think you`re his type.

All right, on the other side of the break, we`re going to talk to a noted family law attorney about the no pre-nup situation, the $75 million, the $4 million mansion, yada, yada, yada.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was a long marriage. He was accused of rape, you know. So she`s stood by him when he was accused of rape. She stood by him when he cheated. I guess she`s had enough. (INAUDIBLE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He makes enough. He has enough to live six life times. Why shouldn`t he give it up? If he`s a bad boy, he has to pay the price.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I was out there talking to folks, everybody knows about the Kobe divorce, even though the divorce went public Friday, Kobe and Vanessa went to their daughter`s Christmas play the very same day.

Look at this photo from TMZ. Vanessa all smiles, she`s happy. Kobe looks sad, he looks depressed. What do you make of it, Vikki Ziegler, family law attorney; is he sad because he`s going to lose $75 million.

VIKKI ZIEGLER, FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY: Highly likely. Apparently the rumors are that he doesn`t want to get divorced. And even though these alleged infidelities have occurred throughout the term of the marriage, no, no, no, no -- he still wants his cake and eat it too. And life doesn`t work that way. So probably very upset that he didn`t enter into a pre- nuptial agreement which I would never allow any of my clients of that stature even playing in the NBA for a couple of years to enter into a marriage without a solid ironclad pre-nuptial agreement.

With that said, he`s probably very distressed over the fact that, number one, we`re all talking about it, like we are here tonight.


ZIEGLER: And number two, he could lose up to half of his fortune which is big money.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Also there`s the meltdown factor. Remember Tiger Woods when he had his scandal, wild sex scandal and his game fell apart. It is just coming back together now. But it`s been a long time that he had won -- he was not scoring.

ZIEGLER: Right. This could really affect his game.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: On the course. He was not scoring on the course.

All right. Let`s go to the phone lines. Nancy, Massachusetts, your question or thoughts.

NANCY, MASSACHUSETTS: Hi, Jane, how are you?


NANCY: Good. It`s just amazing that -- I don`t know why Vanessa thought that $4 million ring was a strong commitment he would never do it again. These guys live to do this. What is he going to do now, buy her a $10 million ring? That doesn`t mean anything. The commitment is from within your soul not from what you can buy at the store. And once he did it once she should have known he would do it again.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But Arnie Spanier is this sort of the exception as opposed to the norm, or is this the norm as opposed to the exception. What I heard is that professional athletes they are out there on the road all the time, women are throwing themselves at them, I just wonder why they get married. Why do they need to get married? What`s going to happen to his endorsement deals? Why didn`t he just stay single?

SPANIER: You know, Jane, nothing will happen to the endorsement deals. But Tiger Woods` father had it right. He told Tiger, "You know, Tiger, you don`t have to get married. You don`t have to do it. You can play the field a little bit."

As to Kobe instead of buying Vanessa a $10 million ring, go ahead and buy your new girlfriend a $2 million ring, save yourself $8 million and cut your losses. I mean you`re going to get divorced anyway so you might as well start saving your money now. It`s good to be tough. That`s what I would do, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Joan, Tennessee, your question or thought Joan.

JOAN, TENNESSEE (via telephone): I`m so pleased that she`s divorcing him. He`s finally getting what he deserves. I could not believe he got away with being accused of rape and then nothing happening with it. I just -- I`m just so glad that karma is catching up with him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: A lot of people thought what happened to that young woman who accused him wasn`t very fair and she ended up dropping the charges. So, is this a karma kick back? We`ll have to wait and see. More on the other side.



BRYANT: I didn`t force her to do anything against her will. I`m innocent.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was Kobe back in 2003. He was accused of rape. He settled. She backed out. She decided she didn`t want to testify. He said it was all consensual. His wife was sitting by his side. That`s what makes this different Vikki.

ZIEGLER: Right. There are so many other divorces going on with athletes. But this one more in particular, rape is a serious allegation. It wasn`t just an indiscretion which was inexcusable as it is. She stood there. She held his hand and sat by him, stood by him and supported him and she supported him for all of these years.

So you know what? Whoever said that there was divorce planning or she knew it was the ten-year mark, most people do know what the law is. At the end of the day the reason a marriage is failing apparently he had many indiscretions. And you know what; if there was no pre-nup it`s time to get paid and move on.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And she`s going to get paid we think.

Nancy next.