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Tragic End for Missing Teacher

Aired January 13, 2012 - 19:00   ET



JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Breaking news. Missing Montana teacher Sherry Arnold tragically confirmed dead. What happened to this popular math teacher and mother who vanished from her small town while jogging? We`ve got the very latest on the investigation.

Plus, it`s judgment day for Joran Van Der Sloot. Peruvian judges take to the bench to sentence the confessed murderer for killing Stefany Flores on the fifth anniversary of Natalee Holloway`s disappearance. Did Joran get a slap on the wrist or finally get what he deserved?

Plus, Heather Locklear hospitalized. TMZ claims the gorgeous actress was rushed to the hospital after taking a dangerous mix of prescription drugs and alcohol. She`s allegedly struggled to stay sober for years. Did her recent broken engagement to "Melrose Place" co-star Jack Wagner send her into a tailspin?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: A beloved high school math teacher goes out for an early morning jog and is never seen again.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re getting reports that missing Montana woman, teacher Sherry Arnold, has been found dead.

GARY ARNOLD, HUSBAND (via phone): I don`t know who -- who would want to harm her in any way. She is one of the best people I`ve ever known.

SHERRY ARNOLD, MISSING MOTHER: If you expect the best out of your students, that`s usually what you get.

G. ARNOLD (via phone): She`s a great wife and mother. I -- I don`t know. I don`t know.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Local news reports are saying that there was a body found, that they have arrested one person, and that they`re questioning another one.

G. ARNOLD (via phone): We talked about a lot of things when we walked, and we talked a little bit about how the nature of our town has changed.

STEVE MOORE, FORMER FBI AGENT: The predators and the violent people, you`re not going to have them moving into Beverly Hills. They want to move to a place where they could disappear.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ve got breaking news out of Montana tonight. And I really wish I did not have to report this. Sherry Arnold, the beloved math teacher who was missing in Montana -- we`ve been covering it for days now -- is dead.

Good evening. Jane Velez-Mitchell, reporting live from New York city.

Tonight this heartbreaking end to a story we`ve been following here on ISSUES all week. we`ve now confirmed that Sherry Arnold is dead. Police did not confirm whether they have recovered her body, however. We do know that two men are being held by police.

A news conference fed in moments ago. Let`s listen.


CHIEF FRANK DIPONZO, SIDNEY, MONTANA, POLICE DEPARTMENT: Based on information received, law enforcement officers from Williams County, Williston, along with agents of the FBI, the North Dakota Criminal Investigation Bureau, were able to take a male individual, age 47, into custody in connection with Ms. Arnold`s disappearance. He is currently being held in the Williams County jail. Additionally, a second male individual, age 22, is being detained for questioning in Rapid City, South Dakota.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s right. Two men in two other states from which Sherry disappeared. She disappeared in Montana. The 47-year-old is in Williston, North Dakota. The 22-year-old man being held in Rapid City, South Dakota. We`re talking about three states. Yes, two men. We do not have their mug shots at this time. We don`t even know if there have been mug shots. We don`t know that they`ve been technically arrested. All we know is that they`ve been held.

Sherry had been missing for almost a week after going out on a morning jog when she never returned. Her family started a frantic search. The disappearance has stunned the entire very small town of Sidney, Montana, population 5,000.

Sherry Arnold had no enemies. The idea that somebody would want to hurt her has rocked this town and most of all devastated her husband, Gary.


G. ARNOLD (via phone): I don`t know who -- who would want to harm her in any way. She is one of the best people I`ve ever known. She`s a good person. She`s kind. She`s sincere. She`s loved -- she`s a great teacher; she`s a referee. She`s a great wife and mother. I -- I -- I don`t know. I don`t know.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: There was one lone clue. A running shoe found in a ditch on the edge of town. Police desperately searched for leads.

New details about the town itself began to emerge. There were a large number of new transient workers coming to work the nearby oil fields and in the town of Sidney, a surprisingly high number of violent sexual offenders.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And guys like the predators and the violent people, you`re not going to have them moving into Beverly Hills. They want to move to a place where they could disappear. And Sidney, Montana, you can usually disappear from most of society.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. I want to hear your thoughts on this horrific story: 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297.

Straight out to Nikki Laurenzo, reporter from KURL [SIC] in Billings, Montana. What do you know?


Well, we are just receiving new information in to the KTVQ newsroom here in Billings. Two separate people are saying that Mrs. Arnold was actually hit, and then these two suspects panicked and then hid her body. Now, we haven`t confirmed this with authorities yet, but we`ve received two tips that this may have happened to her.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So, you`re saying that this was not -- if these tips are accurate, some kind of sadistic, evil abduction of a woman for whatever purposes, but that this was basically an accident gone awry?

LAURENZO: That`s what we`re hearing right now. As I said, this is not confirmed at this time. We`ve received two phone calls really within the last hour saying that this is what happened, but, of course, authorities are not going to rule out anything at this point.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Let`s take a look at the woman who is now confirmed dead, and it could be an accident. Let`s hope, because the alternative, well, that would probably be murder.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) S. ARNOLD: I learned early on in teaching that if you expect the best out of your students, that`s usually what you get. And they`re just doing really well and having a lot of fun.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. And you just heard from the reporter from KTVQ. People are calling and saying, well, it could have been a car accident and these two men who were apprehended may have panicked.

Now, here are the facts. Early Saturday morning Sherry went running toward the edge of town, the truck route. Thousands of trucks pass through nearby oil fields and factories. Then the town ends, vast open space.

People in the area, Mike Brooks, had been complaining that oil rigs had been attracting a transient, even dangerous element. We got to wonder, could these apprehended men be oil workers or truckers? Apparently, one of the towns where they were found across state lines is also known for oil rigs.

MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Right. And that is Williston, Jane, because Williston is just -- just over the North Dakota border, just northeast of Sidney. And that is also where a lot of the oil workers are. There -- that`s where, you know. That`s the center of the oil boom for that area, if you will, between North Carolina -- between North Dakota, Montana, and Saskatchewan to northern Canada, so there`s a very good possibility.

But there is a 22-year-old man who is in Rapid City, South Dakota. What role is he? Was he in this truck with this -- with maybe the 47-year- old man who`s being held in Williston? They`re not giving any details as of right now.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s take a look at the Google map. You see this is where she disappeared from in Montana. Man No. 1 found in Williston, North Dakota. That`s about 45 miles away. Now, man No. 2 found in Rapid City, South Dakota. That`s about a six-hour drive from where this woman disappeared.

I want to bring in Rob Rogers, reporter, "Billings Gazette." He had been at the news conference. I got to ask, Holly Hughes, this is what I found perplexing. In the news conference, authorities did not make mention of a crime scene. They did not make mention of a body being found or where it was found. My first thought was maybe she was taken across state lines to South Dakota. What are your thoughts?

HOLLY HUGHES, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, it`s possible what they did was remove the body in order to give themselves time to get away. Because if you hit a body at any speed enough to kill it, Jane, and knock that body out of its shoes, which is likely what happened here, there`s going to be significant damage to your vehicle.

If they left her there, somebody would have found her and immediately been alerted. So it is highly likely they picked that body up, whoever the driver was, and took it away so that they would give them time to get their vehicle hidden and/or fixed.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Another aspect of this story is that the FBI is reporting that a tip led them to these men. So, that`s another interesting sort of perplexing aspect, Steve Moore, former FBI agent. You have these two men found in two different states from which the woman disappears, and a tip leads to them. So, could it be somebody along the side of the road seeing what was going on?

MOORE: It could be. It could be somebody who saw it. It could be a relative who -- who knew one of the men. It could be anybody who knew it, saw the damage, put two and two together and said you got to look at this.

You know, you got one guy and six hours away. He was probably trying to flee. My guess is he`s from that area. So the tip likely came...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Let me just jump in here for a second, because we have on the line now Sandy Papka (ph). He is the owner -- or she, rather, is the owner of a restaurant a block from the truck route, and also, this individual, Sandy, lives a block from where Sherry`s shoe was found.

Sandy, can you hear me?

SANDY PAPKA (ph), RESTAURANT OWNER (via phone): Yes, I can.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. What do you know about this truck route from which Sandy [SIC] disappeared? We`ve been hearing that, because of the oil rigs in the surrounding areas, it is kind of a transient area. Is that true or not? Sandy?

PAPKA (ph): Yes, it is.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Sandy. OK, do you know what it is? Sandy has her radio on or her TV on and she can`t hear us.

But I got to go back quickly to Nikki Laurenzo, KTVQ reporter. You`re there. What about the other possibilities? I mean, I pray to God that you are right, that this was -- what you`re hearing is correct, that this was an accident, that there`s nothing nefarious, because the alternative is just so disturbing to contemplate.

LAURENZO: It really is, and, you know, this whole town, really this whole state, has been hoping for the best in this story. But when you`re talking about the death of a beloved teacher, of a mother, of a friend, and really a big part of the city community, you want some answers.

And there are -- there always is those alternative theories. Is it someone that was coming to the Williston area? Did it have something to do with the influx in people in that area, because anyone that lives in that part of Montana, as it trickles over into the Dakotas, they`ll tell you there is a definite increase in crime rate there. So thinking the worst in this story really isn`t -- I mean, everyone`s going to think that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And why did they flee? I mean, why would somebody flee if they are, in fact, involved, from one state to another state to a third state because of a near accident? Hmm.

We`ve got more. We`re just getting started. We`re going to try to get another reporter who was in the news conference on the line with us.

Joran Van Der Sloot finally faces judgment day, yes!

Plus, more on this heart-wrenching story, a beloved Montana teacher dead. Unbelievable.


G. ARNOLD (via phone): I don`t know who -- who would want to harm her in any way. She is one of the best people I`ve ever known. She`s a good person. She`s kind. She`s sincere. She`s loved -- she`s a great teacher. She`s a referee. She`s a great wife and mother. I -- I -- I don`t know. I don`t know.




DIPONZO: Based on information received, law enforcement officers from Williams County, Williston, along with agents of the FBI, the North Dakota Criminal Investigation Bureau, were able to take a male individual, age 47, into custody in connection with Ms. Arnold`s disappearance. He is currently being held in the Williams County jail. Additionally, a second male individual, age 22, is being detained for questioning in Rapid City, South Dakota.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Who are these men? And why are police not saying anything about a body or where it was found? We`re talking about 43-year- old Sherry Arnold. Tragically, it`s been confirmed that she is dead. There was fear that she had been abducted.

She`s a popular math teacher. Class was let out early. The Friday night game has been canceled. In this Sidney, Montana, region people are devastated.

But I also was just talking to Sandy, who hung up, but we`re trying to get her back. And she says that people are relieved at least that there`s some closure, because people had been -- we heard from other sources, buying pepper spray, buying mace, buying guns because they were terrified. They were absolutely terrified, Holly Hughes, that there was some kind of abductor, predator on the loose, especially given the fact that Sidney has some pretty serious crime stats. Of the male population of 2,800, there are a huge percentage, 41 registered sexual and/or violent offenders.

HUGHES: And, you know, that is a dense number in a very small population. So, absolutely people, until they have answers, Jane, are going to worry. And they need to be very, very aware. You need to always be aware of your surroundings. Who`s in front of you; who`s behind you.

And as tragic as it is that the body has been found, let`s hope, as you said, that it is an accident. There will still be criminal charges, Jane. A lot of times people will flee an accident, because they`re under the influence of something. They don`t want to be drug- or alcohol-tested immediately.

So, we are still looking at someone paying the price for this tragic death, but let`s hope it stems from an accident and not an intentional criminal act.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you make a very good point, because we got a very ominous e-mail from someone who wanted to remain nameless, saying that not only are transients coming through the area because of the oil companies, but also made reference to drug smuggling going on in town. We don`t have any confirmation of those claims.

But, you`re right. In my experience, as well, when things go terribly wrong and someone dies and somebody`s running to cover it up, and there`s an accident, a car accident, if that`s what this is, often there`s alcohol or drugs involved.

We`re going to go to the phone lines. Sharon, Florida, your question or thought? Sharon?

CALLER: Hi, Jane.


CALLER: I was just wondering why they don`t put notes on people`s door when they`re within the vicinity of sex offenders? Me, for instance, I had gotten a note on my door one time because there was a sex offender in the area. And also, why don`t these girls pack guns or pepper spray or some kind of defense when they go running?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Excellent question, and I`m going to bring it to Mike Brooks, because, yes, we showed you the map there. There`s so many sex offenders in this area, four times the national average. And I would be terrified to go jogging with that picture in my mind.

BROOKS: Well, you know, people also have to look out for themselves. You can go right online and punch in Sidney, Montana, in the state registry, and that`s where I got all the names yesterday, you know. And ten of those people, they have not been known to verify their address in what is -- they call a sexual violent predator.

So, you know, people shouldn`t expect the police to just give them information. But I -- every single time there`s a change of address or something in my ZIP code where I live -- I signed up for alerts, and I get them. People should look into whether or not that`s available where they live, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think that`s an excellent suggestion. We`ve heard a report that there was a second attempted abduction in another Montana town. According to the "Billings Gazette," a woman in the town of Forsythe, Montana, which is about 200 miles away, but it`s, like, literally, like, the next big town over, if you could call it a big town, small town over.

She was at a weigh station when a man approached her with a knife. And she says he demanded she come with him, saying, "You need to come with me or you`re going to end up like that `B` word on TV." In an apparent reference to the woman who, at the time, was missing and not confirmed dead, Sherry Arnold.

Here`s the best part about this story, Holly Hughes. She pulled out a gun and pointed it at him, and he took off before she could be abducted.

HUGHES: Good. Do you know what, basically...


HUGHES: ... most criminals are cowards at heart, and that`s why they need to attack when nobody`s around. That`s why they need to attack when your defenses are down. That`s why they have to have a weapon, because they can`t deal with life on the straight and narrow. They want to take what they want to take. And do you know what? Good for her.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I have to say that this story, Mike Brooks, and I know for you, as well, it`s become personal.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ve been speaking to the husband. Our hearts go out to the family. I pray, I really do, that this is some kind of accident and not something more sinister, ominous, horrific. I don`t even want to contemplate the alternative.

We`re going to stay on top of this story and bring you the very latest on Monday.

Up next, Joran Van Der Sloot, judgment day! Finally!


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) G. ARNOLD (VIA PHONE): I don`t know who -- who would want to harm her in any way. She is one of the best people I`ve ever known. She`s a good person. She`s kind. She`s sincere. She`s loved - she`s a great teacher; she`s a referee. She`s a great wife and mother. I -- I -- I don`t know. I don`t know.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, this story is personal for us here. We`ve been speaking to the husband of the woman who`s now been confirmed dead, 43- year-old Sherry Arnold, who disappeared while jogging in Montana, and her family has just issued this statement. We just got in moments ago.

"We want to express our deepest gratitude to everyone who`s helped in the search for Sherry. Thank you to the community, Sidney law enforcement and the country for holding her in your hearts and prayers these past six days. We are heartbroken by this outcome and appreciate time to come together as a family to grieve." It ends. Our condolences, our hearts go out to you.

We are still trying to find out the circumstances surrounding Sherry`s death, why law enforcement did not mention where her body was located, except to say that two men have been apprehended, one 47 years old, one 22 years old, in two different states, North Dakota and South Dakota. Very, very perplexing and mysterious.

Let`s go to the phone lines. Josh, Washington, your question or thought, Josh.

CALLER: Yes, Jane.


CALLER: How are you doing?


CALLER: I was -- I have a real quick question. Me and my wife are here at Fort Lewis, and we caught the news. And I was wondering, you know, my -- she wanted to be a teacher, and if this thing happens like in this podunk (ph) town, that`s devastating. How can it not proceed north, west, east or south?


CALLER: And I just wonder what we`re going to do about situations like that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. I think you`re -- I can sense the fear in your voice. Holly Hughes, former prosecutor, people were terrified in this area, and they continue to be, because we don`t know. Do you think that this was a car accident gone awry? Or do you think that there`s something more to it?

HUGHES: Well, it sounds to me like it was a car accident gone awry. If you are going to abduct someone, Jane, you snatch her up. You put her in your vehicle. You drive away. But when you find a single sneaker out there, that sounds like, to me, a very high-speed impact where you literally knock the person out of their shoes.

We`re also getting those tips our reporter was telling us about earlier that, yes, this was a car accident. Which would explain why the body was picked up and moved. Give them time to get away. They don`t get stopped right away and drug tested or blood tested. So that`s what it`s sounding like to me.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But Mike Brooks, I`m perplexed by the idea that these men were found in two different states, two different neighboring states. You have her disappearing in Montana, and they`re found in North and South Dakota, two different cities. That`s a long ways to go and a lot of cover- up for a simple car accident.

BROOKS: Well, you never know what else they may have had and Holly was talking about drugs or alcohol on board. Maybe one of them had paper, had a warrant against him. Maybe they were wanted. But we are hearing that the information came from a tip, Jane. So maybe there was somebody who saw something, knew something, because something like this happens, somebody`s going to run their mouth, usually, especially if they`re scared. If it was, in fact, you know, a pedestrian being struck. We don`t know.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I find it perplexing that authorities did not say anything about where the body was located. Again, we`re all over this story.

Joran Van Der Sloot next.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is sentenced to 28 years of incarceration.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Joran Van Der Sloot has pled guilty to the murder of a young woman he met in Peru.

JORAN VAN DER SLOOT, SENTENCED TO 28 YEARS IN PRISON (through translator): I want to give a sincere confession. I am truly regretful for what I have done. I feel very bad.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Finally he has to face this panel of three judges and finally he admits, "Yes, I did kill 21-year-old Stephany Flores, but it was the media`s fault for bringing up Natalee Holloway."

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: His game plan supposedly was to give a sincere confession in an attempt to get leniency, but it sounds like the judge did not like his very serious tude.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is scared. He`s just trying to be lackadaisical about it, but I`m sure he`s scared to death.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can`t help to think of what you`ve covered extensively the Natalee Holloway case and her disappearance in 1995 and how her mother at the most desperate point going in to prison and saying, "Please, Joran, tell me what happened to Natalee." He was stringing her along, saying, ok, maybe I`ll tell you, maybe I won`t.

And you have to think about what she feels today. She`s looking in his eyes as we are in that courtroom and wondering if this guy has any feelings, any remorse.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Good question. Breaking news out of Peru as the man long suspected of killing an American tourist in Aruba, Natalee Holloway, is sentenced to 28 years in a Peruvian prison for killing another young woman brutally. But how much time will he really serve?

Confessed killer Joran Van Der Sloot dressed in a green t-shirt and jeans and sweating up a storm was forced to listen as the Peruvian judges through other people in the courtroom detailed horrible, depraved things that he did to 21-year-old Stephany Flores in his hotel room.


UNIDENTIFIED JUDGE (through translator): He held her by the throat with both hands and strangled her as she was still breathing and the aggressor`s shirt was bloodstained. He removed the shirt and placed it over the victim`s head.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: You might say for the very first time Joran Van Der Sloot looked visibly upset, sweating profusely, wiping his brow with his hand. Is he finally a broken man?

At times Joran even hung his head. Could this be a sign of surrender, of acceptance of what he really did? Or is he still that arrogant, narcissistic young man that thought he could get away with everything? Does Joran Van Der Sloot finally realize he`s been caught and he`s not getting away with it this time?

Joran was also ordered to pay almost $75,000 in restitution to the family of Stephany Flores, a family that was in the courtroom today.


RICHARD FLORES, STEPHANY FLORES` FATHER (through translator): I would hope that today this chapter will be closed, that we may be able to live in peace. Thank you, all of you. Thank you.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, some might say this is case closed for Joran Van Der Sloot, but I have a feeling Natalee Holloway`s family is in as much pain as ever. Will they ever find out what really happened to their precious daughter?

Straight out to "In Session" correspondent Jean Casarez, you were in Peru covering this story. You`ve been to the jail where he was held. You were all over this case. Tell us. Paint a picture, of what happened in court today and the significance of the 28 years.

JEAN CASAREZ, CORRESPONDENT, "IN SESSION": I think the headline is the judges did not accept his sincere confession. They said, "Yes, you confessed early on, but your own attorney said that you didn`t have a proper translator, so we can`t consider it a sincere confession." So he didn`t get as much time shaved off as he wanted.

But yet the reality is, yes, sentenced to 28 years. But the true reality, after nine years, Jane, he can go before what is like a parole board and ask to be paroled.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: To me, Holly Hughes, it was as if this three-judge panel all women said, well, ok, we feel like we have to give him something. We must have promised in some way, shape, or form that we would give him some kind of reduction, so they gave him the absolute minimum reduction off the max, a minimum of two years. I thought that was fantastic although I would love to have seen him ultimately have gotten life in prison.

HOLLY HUGHES, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Absolutely. And like you say, they gave the minimum that they felt they could give. These three women obviously did not buy this whole, you know, suave I`m just a great guy act that Joran has been pulling on young women for years, Jane. These are three older, educated women, who looked at him and said, do you know what, buddy, we`re not buying it, because you did confess at some point. And because you are pleading guilty -- and let me tell you, that`s really important in the Peruvian system as well. It is in the American judicial system.

When you accept responsibility by pleading guilty, you are said to be saving the state and the court a lot of time and expense. So, you`re given a little bit of consideration for that, but like you, I`m happy it was very little consideration, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, very little consideration. So, now, Joran Van Der Sloot returns to Castro-Castro prison. Now, Jean Casarez, you showed us the prison where Joran is going to be living. Let`s watch as you were there.


CASAREZ: This is the entrance to Castro-Castro, one of the highest security prisons in Peru. Some of the most violent offenders are housed here. We understand Joran Van Der Sloot is separated from the main prison body in a special wing with even higher security. And it`s all very close to a working class neighborhood right here in the outskirts of Lima.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So, my big issue tonight, prison luxuries? We`re hearing that Joran is going to have it pretty good. That he`s going to have a laptop, possibly even a cell phone. That`s outrageous, but the most outrageous of all is how soon he gets to apply for parole, Jean Casarez.

CASAREZ: Well, that is true. And a minimum nine years he has to serve before he can potentially get out. But even after that, Jane, after 10 or 11 years, he could be out for good time credit.

And the family of Stephany Flores said today that they want a reform of all the prisons in Peru, because there are major, major problems. Because it`s not like a five-star hotel, that`s what Ricardo Flores said, but it is to Joran Van Der Sloot.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Can he have conjugal visits?

CASAREZ: Well that, the prison would not confirm that with us, but we heard from the people when we were in Lima that those things happen, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And he has a whole bunch of women, who -- I don`t what these women are thinking writing him letters, one even said, oh, she wants him to father her child. There`s a radiologist, a doctor in Florida, who`s obsessed with him, who reportedly sent him money. Who knows?

Joran has to face up to all of his depraved acts. This is the one piece of good news before the judges sentenced him. We heard a long diatribe, which include his sickening attempts to pretend like he did not know that Stephany was dead inside the motel room after he viciously killed her. Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): He went back to the room at 8:24 a.m. carrying both glasses of coffee. He looked nervously both ways and locked the door. He appeared to knock on the door. And he looked around for a few minutes.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Robyn Walensky, this guy was actually performing for the surveillance camera, knocking twice on the door with two cups of coffee when he knows all along that there`s a dead woman on the other side who cannot answer that door because he viciously killed her.

ROBYN WALENSKY, ANCHOR/REPORTER, THE BLAZE: That`s right, Jane. You know, he is an absolute animal, and he is a manipulator.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Don`t call him an animal. Let`s not insult animals. Go ahead.

WALENSKY: Well, yes, exactly. But he`s not a human being. And he is an animal, and he left -- we have to bring up Natalee Holloway. He left her to die on a beach, never calling 911. Most likely disposed of her body, you know, and now Aruba.

Let me just tell you something. In this case, I think that all women -- all parents in Peru, everyone, we should have instant gratification, Jane, for one reason. And that is hopefully that he will not be out for a decade to kill anybody else`s daughter.

And now Aruba needs to step up to the plate now that Natalee Holloway has been declared dead in Alabama by the judge, and they need to dot their I`s, cross their T`s, get people involved to get to the bottom line of what went on in Aruba, and then when he`s out in a decade, they ship him over there and he stands trial in Aruba for murder of Natalee Holloway, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You make a very important point. Holly Hughes, former prosecutor, now that Natalee Holloway just yesterday -- the timing of this is just so bizarre -- was declared legally dead. Do the U.S. authorities have some more leeway in perhaps bringing him to justice in the death of Natalee Holloway?

HUGHES: Well, the problem is, we don`t have any authority over what happened in Aruba. It`s a jurisdictional issue. What happened over there is unfortunately left to the Aruban authorities. But don`t forget that this monster, after he killed Stephany Flores, and while he`s trying to -- after he killed Natalee, he`s trying to get money together.

Do you know how he got the money to get to Peru? He extorted it from Natalee Holloway`s mother. He said, "If you give me $25,000, I`ll tell you where your daughter`s body is." Now, it doesn`t surprise any of us that he lied about that.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: But let me ask -- let me jump in here for a second very quickly and ask you about the fact that in some cases a guy who killed allegedly his wife in I believe off the coast of Australia has been brought back to the United States to face those charges here. It can happen in cases.

HUGHES: But he`s from here originally, so what we`re looking at is did he commit any of the elements of the crime here? Was there a conspiracy? Did he use interstate, you know, commerce? Was he e-mailing people over in Australia to set up a hit to get some -- there`s a whole lot of things happening.

The problem with Joran Van Der Sloot is he was living over there in Aruba. He committed the crime completely in Aruba, and there`s no nexus to that crime here, but there are the extortion charges that federally he faces in Alabama for what he did to poor Beth Holloway.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. Up next, Heather Locklear race to the hospital.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Heather Locklear has been rushed to the hospital after a 911 call.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Heather Locklear was rushed to the hospital after allegedly mixing prescription drugs and alcohol.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They discovered Heather Locklear in distress there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you spoiled?



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Another gorgeous Hollywood star in crisis. The beautiful Heather Locklear raced to the hospital after her sister calls 911. And now it seems all of Hollywood is asking, given Heather`s history of the DUI arrest and alleged prescription pill problems has Heather Locklear relapsed?

TMZ claims police sources told them yesterday`s 911 call came after Heather allegedly took a dangerous mix of prescription pills and booze. But we have not been able to confirm that with police.

However, earlier this week, Heather was seen lunging after a drink at a friend`s hands at a basketball game. Of course, we don`t know if there was alcohol in that drink, could be cranberry vodka. It could be cranberry.

Heather skyrocketed to fame as Amanda on "Melrose Place". You all remember her, seen here on YouTube. Ok.

Now, that was Heather, right there, with her ex-fiance Jack Wagner. The two recently called it quits. That`s always painful.

Heather is in ICU right now. The hospital says she is stable. We certainly wish her the best. At first Heather`s parents released a statement saying, quote, "She`s in no danger and she`s going to be just fine, thank you." But now TMZ is reporting that the family wants Heather to go directly to rehab after getting out of the hospital.

Is this 50-year-old beauty in danger of succumbing to the horrors of addiction? Straight out to Alexis Tereszcuk, senior reporter for RadarOnline; Alexis, what do you know about a possible relapse?

ALEXIS TERESZCUK, SENIOR REPORTER, RADARONLINE: This has been a problem for Heather. She and Jack Wagner, they were so happy together, they were engaged. It`s on again, it`s off again, it`s on again. This has been a big problem. Jack is actually sober and one of the problems in their relationship we learned is that she is not. And that`s what they struggled with.

She really seems to have been hitting rock bottom in the last couple of years. She has a wonderful career, a beautiful daughter; a few marriages but nothing that escalated to this point until recently. And this is something her family has said as well to us that they want her to get help as soon as possible.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, of course. This wouldn`t be the first time Heather has had trouble with pills and alcohol. Back in 2008 a doctor -- her doctor, called 911 to say Heather was trying to commit suicide. Luckily it turned out to be a false alarm.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 911 emergency, what are you reporting?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What are they doing?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We were at the market. She was drunk in the market. She got in the car. And then we saw her pulled over. She`s now pulled over and she wandered up and down the street but now she`s back in the driver`s seat.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Also, in 2008 Heather was arrested on a DUI that was then reduced to a misdemeanor reckless driving, but she has a history. And now TMZ is reporting that yesterday`s incident was not an isolated incident. They are claiming that Heather has been struggling with prescription drugs for a long time and they claim that sources tell them Heather checked into an LA area rehab last October and stayed for two weeks. We have no independent confirmation of this.

Howard Samuels, you`re an addiction specialist and the founder and CEO of The Hills Treatment Center in Los Angeles. But this would be classic addict behavior if -- what are your thoughts?

HOWARD SAMUELS, FOUNDER/CEO, THE HILLS TREATMENT CENTER: Well, Jane, absolutely. It`s so typical, it`s sad, but for Heather, who is in her late 40s, early 50s, to be still struggling with this issue is very, very sad.

I mean, the reality is, is that there are two things that create overdoses. Heroin, shooting heroin and prescription drugs mixing with alcohol. Now because she mixes alcohol with prescription drugs --


Samuels: -- her overdosing -- allegedly -- her overdosing is going to become more and more problematic. So what it means is that if she`s already in her late 40s and she`s not already on top of this issue, her prognosis for a long life is very, very bad, so that`s really what`s sad about this.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: As a recovering alcoholic myself with 16 years of sobriety and hopefully 17 if I get to April -- it`s hard. You don`t -- you cannot rest on your laurels in any kind of recovery program. All you have is today, and you have to work it today.

And Heather Locklear is 50 years old. Life can get challenging in Hollywood for an actress who has crossed that threshold, especially when they were once heralded in their youth as a great beauty. Look at her on "Melrose Place" I think she`s still a very, very beautiful woman, but the last time she had a movie that came on the air was seven years ago.

This is sexist, but it`s often a hard fact. It`s sometimes difficult, Alexis, for actresses to make the leap from mother to grandmother, as character actresses in movies, and then you add on a break-up with a loved one. It can be challenging.

TERESZCUK: Absolutely, you`re right. Heather is somebody who she was on countless television shows. She was on covers of magazines. Gorgeous, she still is beautiful. But she hasn`t had the roles that she wanted. She did a Lifetime movie a few years ago, but there`s been nothing else. She was on a reality show for just a few episodes recently.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And then a breakup. Listen, we wish Heather the best. Heather, if you`re watching, we hope that you get sober and stay sober and get healthy.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tonight I chose a trendy restaurant that`s not just vegan but raw as well.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How are you feeling?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Really good. Really good. I feel lighter.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I see myself getting a little slimmer in the tummy and the thighs and that`s great. I want to go all the way with this.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So how`s that New Year`s resolution to lose weight going for you? Not so good? You may want to check out a fantastic new documentary called "Vegucated". In this award-winning film, three people take the challenge to live a veggie-rich lifestyle for six weeks, trading in fat-laden meat and dairy dishes for meals filled with veggies, fruits, nuts and grains.

You know it. Most Americans, two-thirds of us, are overweight or obese. It doesn`t have to be that way. Studies show vegetarian and vegan lifestyles are highly effective for long-term weight loss and the weight stays off.

Full disclosure, I`m one of those people who eats fruits and veggies, that`s it. And I couldn`t be happier or more energetic as you know.

Straight out to Marissa Miller Wolfson, the director of this extraordinary new film; Marissa, tell us how you got inspired to make this very important movie.

MARISSA MILLER WOLFSON, DIRECTOR, "VEGUCATED": Well, I was watching "Super-Size Me" and I thought, if Morgan Spurlock can use a vegan diet to detox from his binge, why doesn`t someone make a documentary showing the reverse of that. So taking a regular bacon cheeseburger loving American and have them go on a completely vegan diet for six weeks and track their process on tape. And then I talked to my colleague Mary Max and she said, let`s do it so we made a film.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And this is an exciting film. I made the switch, life-altering switch to a vegan lifestyle 16 years ago, and I`m loving it. Thanks to mainstream movies like "Super-Size Me", "Food Inc.", "Forks over Knives", and now "Vegucated", people are starting to change their mindset.

And don`t take it from me. Listen to former President Bill Clinton, who is now eating an almost exclusively vegan. Check this out.


BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Changing the culture is hard. It`s turning a ship around before it hits the iceberg. But I think we`re beginning to turn it around.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Marissa, do you think we are in the middle of a food revolution in America right now?

MILLER WOLFSON: Without a doubt, Jane. There`s never been more awareness around this issue. There have been -- there have never been more labels than there are on food than now because people really care about it. They`re really asking questions. They`re thinking critically.

And in the film we actually have some of our film subjects ask some of the hard questions that some of the industry doesn`t really want you to ask. But we dug down deep.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I have to tell you, a lot of people say, well, you must have a lot of willpower. I say, absolutely not. I consider the way I eat: fruits, veggies, nuts and grains -- we`re going to show some more of that -- an adventure. I enjoy it. I get to experience food from around the world, whether it`s Japanese food or Middle Eastern food or Latin American food. All of it really is essentially plant-based so it -- do you consider it an adventure in fun eating?

MILLER WOLFSON: Without a doubt, Jane. You know, people eat vegan food all the time. It`s just not labeled as such. So we`ll have delicious Indian curries. We`ll have beautiful veggie sushis like you said, spaghetti marinara, bean burritos. It`s an adventure, and I like to say that we`re cultural and culinary pioneers right now where we are in our stage of our social evolution when it comes to our relationship with food.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So I say let`s all get "Vegucated". Thanks, Marissa.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m very happy to announce this morning that we have identified a permanent home for the Garvey family.

SAMANTHA GARVEY, SEMI-FINALIST, INTEL SCIENCE TALENT SEARCH: This is just the most amazing think we could ask for. I know everyone -- we`re all in tears here.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I am so happy to give you an amazing update on a story we here at ISSUES brought you yesterday. This inspiring whiz kid, Samantha Garvey, is a semi-finalist in one of America`s most prestigious science competitions, and she did it all even though she`s homeless. That`s right; she`s been living in a homeless shelter with her family.

Now we have learned that Samantha and her family won`t be homeless for much longer. Officials in Suffolk County, New York, have decided to rally to her cause, and they found the Garveys a rent-subsidized home to live in.

Samantha, we`re so captivated by your story. You deserve all the good things coming your way. Thank you for being an inspiration to me and so many other hardworking Americans. You are what make this country great.