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EARLY START WITH ASHLEIGH BANFIELD AND ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN

George Zimmerman Back in Court; New Search for 1st "Milk Carton Boy"; The Original Milk Carton Case; Dismissed Agents Identified

Aired April 20, 2012 - 05:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. It is Friday. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm Zoraida Sambolin.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Kate Bolduan, in for Ashleigh Banfield.

It's worth dancing around this morning, guys, because guess what? It's Friday and it's 5:00 a.m. That's right.

Well, let's get started.

So, will George Zimmerman go free today? The man charged with murdering Trayvon Martin is back in court for a bond hearing and comes face-to-face with the parents of the slain Florida teen.

SAMBOLIN: A cold case heating up. Police in New York using jackhammers to dig up a basement in Lower Manhattan. They're hoping to find Etan Patz.

He was America's first milk carton kid. Look at him right there, a 6- year-old who disappeared over 30 years ago while walking to the bus stop alone for the very first time.

BOLDUAN: And more fallout from the Secret Service prostitution scandal. The identities of two supervisors who lost their jobs this week have been made public. And in Washington, growing calls for more firings.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D), CALIFORNIA: It's a stunning thing. It's actually disgusting.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLDUAN: Ahead, why the Secret Service scandal has Sarah Palin speaking up.

SAMBOLIN: Flight fright. A flock of birds forces an emergency landing.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We lost our right engine due to the ingestion of birds.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: A passenger captures that moment of impact that could have turned into a very real disaster. We're going to get some more information on that.

BOLDUAN: Definitely.

SAMBOLIN: Meantime, in just a few hours, George Zimmerman will be in a Florida courtroom seeking his freedom at a bond hearing. Zimmerman has been in jail since he was charged with murder in the Trayvon Martin shooting.

Today, for the first time, Trayvon Martin's parents will be face-to- face with the man who killed their son. George Zimmerman has requested a private meeting with the Martins, but their attorney tells CNN the family denied, calling a request at this time self-serving.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BENJAMIN CRUMP, ATTORNEY FOR TRAYVON MARTIN'S FAMILY: He never once apologized on his Web site, on any of the voice mails that he left with his friends, and never expressed any remorse during police interviews the several times that they interviewed him. So we question his motive at this time, saying he wants to apologize.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: CNN's Martin Savidge is live outside the Seminole County courthouse in Sanford, Florida. Martin, what should be happening at today's hearing?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Zoraida.

Yes, we expect this to be fairly dramatic. As you point out, the participants who are going to be there, Trayvon Martin's family and George Zimmerman in the courthouse at the same time.

And, of course, this is a bond hearing. It's a constitutional right. And essentially, Mark O'Mara is going to argue on behalf of George Zimmerman that he's due bond, he's one not a flight risk because keep in mind, he kept in touch with the court during the whole time that this investigation was going on. He did turn himself in.

And then on top of that, he is going to argue that he's not a risk to the community.

Meanwhile, the state on the other hand is going to try to prove oh, no, George Zimmerman is charged with second murder. He is potentially a problem and as a result of that, he should remain inside of a jail until his trial.

What's interesting is that the state may have to bring out more evidence. What do they really have? What has motivated them to charge him with second-degree murder? We could see some of that today. But the real buzz has been about what you mentioned in the lead-in there. And that is this overtures, supposedly that George Zimmerman made that he wanted to have a private meeting with Trayvon Martin's family. Why now and what in the world were they going to talk about? Was it truly going to be some sort of an apology?

We don't know at this point. We do know his attorney made the overture. But the Trayvon Martin family came back and said, no, we don't want to talk in private. Instead, we'd rather he do a deposition and be completely transparent and talk on the record.

So very, very interesting -- Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: We know that both families are going to be in court, as you mentioned Trayvon Martin's family. But also, Zimmerman's family. Are they appearing in court? I heard something about potentially by telephone?

SAVIDGE: Right. That was apparently the discussion of a preliminary -- well, a minor court hearing yesterday. And that they do want to appear. But apparently they don't feel it is safe for them to appear in person. So, rather, they're going to join via telephone.

It will be interesting to hear what they say. Of course, they'll make a plea on the part of their son, requesting that he'd do get bond and that they somehow get reunited while they wait for trial.

SAMBOLIN: Now, it's interesting how he will actually afford bond, right? Because his lawyer has famously said now he is indigent. And also, that it's safer for him to be in jail than to be out in the general population.

So how is he going to justify that? Are we hearing anything about that?

SAVIDGE: Well, very good question. You know, there are a couple of contrasting points here. The attorney has said he's concerned about his safety, but he also said he wants his client out for the betterment of his mental health and also so they can begin planning their defense.

But what kind of cost will it come at? And that is a question. I think bond could be anywhere from $5,000 all the way to $100,000. He doesn't have a lot of money. So it is supposed to be a relatively fair price that they set. We'll just have to wait and see.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Martin Savidge, live in Sanford, Florida, for us. Thank you very much.

BOLDUAN: A new search this morning for America's first milk carton child back in 1979. Six-year-old Etan Patz vanished while walking alone to his bus stop for the first time in New York City. It triggered a nationwide search and sparked a nationwide campaign, focusing on protecting children.

SAMBOLIN: Etan was with never found. He was actually declared legally dead in 2001. But now new and old leads have led investigators back to Etan's neighborhood in Lower Manhattan. And they are searching for new clues.

They're tearing up the concrete and they are searching behind walls.

Alina Cho is here with the latest.

Boy, this is touching a lot of people. It takes them back to that moment when everybody could not believe this.

ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. And remember, this is the case that really got America interested in missing children.

SAMBOLIN: Yes.

CHO: And finding them and trying to protect them on the part of parents, of course. You know, for 33 years, investigators have been searching for answers in the disappearance of Etan Patz. Now, they may be closer than ever to solving it.

Police and FBI are scouring a basement in the SoHo neighborhood of New York where Patz went missing all those years ago.

According to a source, it was interest in a carpenter and part-time handyman, a man who's now 75 years old, who worked in the basement at the time that has prompted this renewed search. That handyman was said to have met with Etan on the day before he disappeared, even gave him $1.

Officials have questioned him but at this point he's been released. We should had point out he has not been charged with any crime, which is why we are not naming him.

Authorities brought are a cadaver dog to the basement of this building, which, by the way, is just one block from where Etan once lived and where his had parents still live. That dog did pick up the scent of human remains and now police are literally digging to find clues.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TIM FLANNELLY, MEDIA REP. FOR NY FBI: This is one lead of many that we are pursuing. And, although the investigation initially began in 1979, we're out here in 2012 not being frustrated by time and continuing to move forward with the investigation the best we can.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHO: It is it not clear whether the basement was ever searched way back when, but investigators say it did figure into the probe, just apparently not enough to issue a search warrant at the time. But all these years later --

BOLDUAN: Thirty-three years later.

CHO: Thirty-three years later, they're going to the basement and they are looking for anything. Obviously they have good reason to believe they might find something.

SAMBOLIN: Absolutely. I know the cadaver dog picking up that scent.

How long do we expect they'll be searching that basement?

CHO: Well, nearly a week, if you can believe it. You know, authorities say they actually plan to continue searching the SoHo basement for the next five days or so. They are meticulously going through the area. They've even set up a grid they're using jackhammers to rip up the concrete floor. And they're also tearing into drywall, something that wasn't possible during the original investigation. And listen why.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LINDA FAIRSTEIN, FMR. HEAD OF NYC SEX CRIMES UNIT: Keep in mind 1979, the state of forensics investigation was entirely different than what you viewers are used to now. DNA was not even a forensic tool, was not used for the first time in this city before 1986, anywhere in law enforcement.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHO: So, now, of course, any drop of blood, hair, forensic evidence can be analyzed to se if it might be connected to the case. There are investigators from the medical examiner's office on the scene, interestingly enough, and any forensic evidence they find will be sent to quantity Quantico, Virginia, for analysis. So, that is really interesting.

Let's hope they find something.

BOLDUAN: It may be a while, whatever they get, before we learn what they've found, if they found --

SAMBOLIN: But this woman said 1986, right? So it still begs the question why now, right? I mean, which is why we're trying to figure that out. If they had that potentiality of being able to look at evidence since 1986, why now? What happened?

CHO: Just a couple of years ago, the D.A. looked at the case, decided to reopen it. That's what led them back too this handyman and the carpenter, all of these years later. They interviewed him again and they have some reason to believe that that little boy's remains might be in that basement, which is why they're going there now.

BOLDUAN: And the people who cannot be forgotten in all of this, of course, are Etan's parents. They still live here.

Have we heard anything from them?

CHO: You know, they still live in the same building.

BOLDUAN: The same building.

CHO: The same building next door. It's 200 feet away from that basement. It's extraordinary.

I was watching old clips of the coverage way back when, and it is just heart breaking to look at that Mother Julie Patz.

You know, CNN has actually reached out to the parents. They don't want to comment at this time, but we did speak with author Lisa Cohen. She's written extensively on the subject. She talked to Etan's parents and she said, of course, they are just waiting and watching. There's not much more they can do at this point.

Now, remember, Etan's case real galvanized the nation. His picture the first to be featured on a milk carton. Now, it is the norm sadly.

And back in 1983, if you can believe this, I did not know this, President Ronald Reagan actually named May 25th, that's the day Etan disappeared 33 years ago, named that day National Missing Children's Day in his honor.

And so, he really -- I mean, this case, as sad as it is, really did galvanize the nation, really got us paying attention to missing children's cases.

SAMBOLIN: And I heard the parents never moved because he had that phone number memorized and he knew (INAUDIBLE). So, they were waiting just in case.

CHO: You know, Susan Candiotti, who I was just talking to, who's been covering this case extensively, said to me, they still have the same message on their answering machine all these years later.

BOLDUAN: Maybe on this May 25th they can at least have some sort of closure.

SAMBOLIN: Closure.

BOLDUAN: Exactly. Thank you so much, Alina.

CHO: You bet.

BOLDUAN: So a flock of birds threatens a jet moments after takeoff. A passenger captures a brief glance of the birds. You're seeing it right there. The birds a split second before they were apparently sucked into the right engine of Delta Flight 1063.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Delta 1063, we'll clear the right. We lost our right engine due to the ingestion of birds. Just do a quick courtesy inspection pleased. And once we're secure, we'll continue to the gate.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

BOLDUAN: The plane safely returned to JFK. Coming up on STARTING POINT: passengers talk about the scare in the air. And we'll from CNN's own Ali Velshi, who was on the plane, as well as (AUDIO BREAK) who made the video recording.

SAMBOLIN: Oh my goodness. Poor Ali.

BOLDUAN: I was just speaking to me.

(CROSSTALK)

SAMBOLIN: There you have it.

Eleven minutes past the hour. Ahead on EARLY START, a shake-up at the Secret Service. Two supervisors identified after losing their jobs in the wake of the Colombian prostitution scandal. And there could be more heads rolling really soon.

BOLDUAN: And an Oklahoma woman sues the railroad after getting roughed up at a crossing. We'll have more on that.

You're watching EARLY START.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SAMBOLIN: It is 15 minutes past the hour. Time to check the story that are making news this morning.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely.

A search of a pond in North Carolina failed to turn up any evidence in the search for a missing soldier from Ft. Bragg. Private Kelli Bordeaux was last seen leaving a local bar early Saturday. Police have interviewed the man who gave her a ride home who said she is asked to be let out a short distance from her home.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NICHOLAS HOLBERT, GAVE MISSING SOLDIER A RIDE HOME: Around 1:00, 1:30, she told me, I'm tired, I want to go home. I said, OK. So we got in the car, as soon as I pulled into Meadowbrook, she said, you can stop right here and let me out. I'll walk.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLDUAN: Bordeaux's husband is believed to be out of town at the time of her disappearance.

SAMBOLIN: Ted Nugent cleared by the U.S. Secret Service after making controversial comments about President Obama. Agents interviewed the rocker after he said he would be, quote, "dead or in jail if the president were reelected."

Nugent says the meeting could not have gone better, writing in an editorial this morning, quote, "By no stretch of the imagination did I ever threaten anyone's life or hint of violence or mayhem. Metaphors needn't be explained to educated people. I personally have never been producer." I have personally never been prouder. Excuse me, I apologize. BOLDUAN: An Oklahoma woman is suing the Union Pacific Railroad, claiming one of their officers attacked her without cause. Mary Hill says she was crossing the tracks when Officer Allen Simmons stopped her and accused her of trespassing. The altercation that followed was caught on surveillance tape.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARY HILL, SUING UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD: What are you doing? Get off of me! I did not, sir!

ALLEN SIMMONS, RAILROAD OFFICER: Quit, quit.

HILL: I did not do that!

SIMMONS: Quit.

HILL: Let go of me.

I wasn't thinking at that time that this man wants to do harm to me. I wasn't thinking like that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLDUAN: Mary wound up getting arrested and charged with assault and battery on a police officer and trespassing.

She was found not guilty. Her lawsuit asks for a minimum of $10,000 in damages. Wow. That's a wild story.

Another big story, of course, we've been following: two senior supervisors who have been forced out of the Secret Service have now been identified. And there are new calls this morning to get rid of everyone involved in the ugly prostitution scandal that's rocking the agency.

This is a photo from the Facebook page of 48-year-old former supervisor David Randall Chaney. He retired from the Secret Service under pressure this week. That's him standing there behind Sarah Palin in 2008.

In the comment section beneath the picture on Facebook, Chaney writes, quote, "I was really checking her out, if you know what I mean." Chaney is married with an adult son.

Greg Stokes has been identified as the other senior supervisor who's been forced out of the department. He was assistant special agent in charge of the K9 division.

On Capitol Hill, probably no surprise, they're calling for more.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PELOSI: Those people who were responsible have brought disgrace, and it's disgusting. I haven't been briefed, but I don't see how those who were involved in this should be able to continue in their work. REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: It does appear that you will have more employees leaving, either today or tomorrow, the exact number I don't know. But I do expect more employees to be leaving the Secret Service.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLDUAN: Jill Dougherty is live from Washington this morning for us.

Good morning, Jill.

So, what more are we learning about this? It seems there's something new every of day.

JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: That is definitely true. And, you know, let's sum up what we've got here.

We've got 11 people with the Secret Service who have been implicated in this and three have already left. One of them is a supervisor who was allowed to retire. Another one resigned. And then another one was pushed out.

Then you have the eight remaining people who have had their security clearances suspended, and they are on administrative leave.

Then, if you look at their investigations, and they're popping up all over the place, too, you've got five pending investigations, including don't forget there was some military people who were being questioned in this, and there is a military investigation pending. So it really is growing, and I think you'd have to say that right now, the implications of this are really broad on so many levels, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely. And speaking of implications, I mean, you're pulling a bit of double duty this morning for us, Jill. Of course, you cover the State Department all the time.

Are there international implications, do you see? Could there be international fallout to the scandal?

DOUGHERTY: Definitely. I think you'd have to just look at the quote that is coming from the former President Uribe of Colombia who's talking about ethics and the whole world, of course, is watching as this unfolds.

There are security implications, as our national security contributor Fran Townsend has mentioned. You know, in Colombia, you have certainly gangs of narco traffickers who could be involved in webs of people who are in the prostitution business.

And then also you have Ben Cardin, Senator Ben Cardin talking about perhaps the Senate looking into trafficking, human trafficking, connected with this. He's not saying that that necessarily happened, but it is very, very serious and it affects what the United States looks like abroad.

BOLDUAN: And as you indicated, with the former Colombian president's statement, it could be creating tensions with some of our international partners, obviously much more to come on all of this.

Thanks so much, Jill. We'll talk to you soon.

SAMBOLIN: It is 20 minutes past the hour.

Next on EARLY START: do you think the country is headed in the right direction?

BOLDUAN: Good question.

SAMBOLIN: Is the economy recovering? We have a surprising result from a new CNN poll. We're going to have that for you ahead on EARLY START.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BOLDUAN: Minding your business this morning: U.S. stock markets closing -- U.S. stock markets lower yesterday -- sorry, still waking up here. Concerns about Europe's recovery pushing stocks down for the second day in a row.

SAMBOLIN: I beg to differ that you are not just walking up. You are dancing in the studio this morning.

The Dow, NASDAQ, S&P 500, which is the best indicator for what is in your 401(k) all in the red. And some growing concern that the economic recovery here in the United States could stall in the months ahead.

Felicia Taylor is in for Christine Romans. She has more for this -- more about this tomorrow.

I said only good news.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLDUAN: This is Friday. Come on, Felicia.

FELICIA TAYLOR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And by the way, I saw both of them dancing in the makeup room. So, they're perfectly awake.

No, unfortunately, it's not great news, and we have a new poll that's just broken and come out this morning. It shows a very mixed feeling amongst everybody out there. Twenty-four percent say that things are starting to recover, 42 percent say things have stabilized -- which is somewhat surprising. Stabilizing is a good thing, certainly. But still in a downturn, we've got 33 percent of the population thinking that things are not actually looking well.

And the reason for that is that people aren't able to find jobs. The expectation is that possibly we could see an 8 percent unemployment rate by the end of the year. But the reason for that is that, because people have stopped looking for jobs, so that they're no longer counted. That's the real problem.

There just isn't enough growth. We saw a 2.4 percent growth rate in the first quarter. What we're really looking for is at least 3 percent. That's what's going to prop up the housing market. That's what's going to make people feel better about spending. That's what's going to propel a recovery for months going forward.

So, until we see a real growth in jobs, then we're not going to be able to see a real growth in recovery.

BOLDUAN: So, what's behind -- there's so much concern regarding the third quarter in particular? Is it just all of it put together?

TAYLOR: It seems to be kind of a trend in the springtime that things kind of fall apart a little bit, I guess because people sort of give up. And that's a problem. Until we can get some kind of good momentum going, consistently, we're not going to have any kind of good feeling.

So the jobs recovery is key to this. And, when we look at some of the corporate earnings we've seen in this first quarter, things look great. Corporate earnings are OK. But the problem is, it's because not necessarily they've actual 30 hired people, it's because they've cut back on things. And they've actually let people go.

So, it's not things are getting better. It's things are sort of --

SAMBOLIN: People are tightening up.

BOLDUAN: It's leveled off a bit.

TAYLOR: It's leveled off.

SAMBOLIN: We need to get more people to work.

TAYLOR: I'm sorry, it's not better.

SAMBOLIN: Happy Friday, everyone.

BOLDUAN: Thanks, Felicia. Why just make it up, so it's good.

SAMBOLIN: Twenty-six minutes past the hour.

Ahead on EARLY START: the search for America's first milk carton kid. Police in New York knocking down walls, digging up floors, they're knocking down walls, they're looking for Etan Patz.

BOLDUAN: And police going from tree to tree in search of a fruit thief in Florida. Could that be him? Or her?

SAMBOLIN: He's cute.

BOLDUAN: You're watching EARLY START.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BOLDUAN: It is 30 minutes past the hour. Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Kate Bolduan. Let's get a check of some of the news making headlines this morning. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BOLDUAN (voice-over): A new search for the first milk carton boy. Police and federal authorities are digging up a basement in Lower Manhattan in search of Etan Patz (ph), the six-year-old boy who became the first missing child ever to adorn a milk carton in 1979. He disappeared while walking to the bus stop for the very first time alone.

Two secret service agents involved in the Colombia prostitution scandal have been identified. David Chaney (ph) and Greg Stokes (ph) were supervisors with the secret service detail for the president's trip. Both lost their jobs. Members of Congress expect more firings ahead.

And the attorney for George Zimmerman in court today asking for bond for his client. Zimmerman has been in jail since being charged with the murder of Trayvon Martin in that shooting that happened just very recently.

In another story, he had a glove and came to play. A little boy makes a dash for the outfield and gets the crowd going in Chicago.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SAMBOLIN: It is 31 minutes past the hour. It was the original milk carton case. A possible break in the disappearance that captured the nation's attention more than 30 years ago. Six-year-old Etan Patz (ph) vanished without a trace from his Lower Manhattan neighborhood on May 25, 1979, without a single shred of physical evidence. The case had gone cold.

But on Thursday, police and FBI officials began searching for evidence in the basement of a building where a local handyman believed to have connections with the boy had laid a new concrete floor around the time of his disappearance. A search warrant was issued when an FBI dog indicated there could be human remains at that site, and sources say the investigation there could take up to five days.

And joining us now, retired police Nassau County, New York police officer, Lou Palumbo. Thank you so much for being with us this morning. So, the big with question here becomes, this case was reopened two years ago. What was it that happened that led to all of this activity in that neighborhood?

LOU PALUMBO, RETIRED POLICE OFFICER, NASSAU COUNTY, N.Y.: Credible information that the FBI and the New York City Police Department, so to speak, had come their way that they felt they needed to follow up on.

SAMBOLIN: What could that be? What could be credible information over 30 years now?

PALUMBO: Conversations that may have been had in jail cells or neighborhoods or possibly someone who knew the perpetrator of this act, and he sat silent for a very, very long time and fell out of good grace and decided to come forth with information and worked (ph), too.

SAMBOLIN: So, let me ask you about this piece of information, because there's this handyman that they're talking about now. I know that this Ramos person originally was looked at as potentially a suspect here, but we have this handyman, and he has not been declared a suspect yet.

We're not releasing his name, but apparently, he was talked to by the FBI recently, and he blurted out, what if the body was moved, when they talked about searching the basement. Do you think that could have been that critical piece of information that led them back to that basement?

PALUMBO: I think it could be part of it. In other words, you have to look at what was the impetus to them even contacting him again so many years after this occurred, but there was certainly something that further stimulated them and reinforced the fact that what was initially information that came to them might have more substance than they realized.

SAMBOLIN: And a couple of days ago, there was a cadaver dog that went over to the site, and you know, and they said that it did find or did sniff some human remains. How likely is that after 30-some years that a dog can pick up a scent like that?

PALUMBO: Some of these dogs, depending on their trainers and the particular dog, it's kind of like an athlete, some are better than others. These puppies are the same way. Some of them are extremely refined and keen in their senses with the ability to do that.

SAMBOLIN: So, let's talk about this other gentleman, Jose Ramos. He will be released this November. There's no physical evidence that tying him to the crime. He was never charged, but he was found civilly liable. And I understand also that they dug up his basement way back when. So, do you think that they're going to be looking at him, perhaps, as well in this case?

PALUMBO: I think they've been looking or considering him as part of this case for a very, very long time. Unfortunately, it's not what we think. It's what we can prove. And I think they're going to continue to hammer away at this case until they have some type of resolution. And I have a sneaking suspicion that, at some point, it will be resolved.

You don't know the relationship between Ramos and this new handyman that they've just generated some interest in. So, this is going to continue to unfold, and the thing you have to realize is that agencies like the FBI and the New York City detectives that are investigating this are going to be somewhat tight-lipped so they don't compromise the integrity of the investigation.

They don't want to volunteer information or do anything that might harm their ability to resolve this case.

SAMBOLIN: But it also leads you to believe that something major must be going on, that they must really suspect something is there, because there's a lot of attention being given to this, five days that they say they're going to spend in that basement. Do you think they're going to find the body of this little boy?

PALUMBO: I -- you know, this would be conjecture on my part. I couldn't tell you with any level of certitude. I will only say to you, as I said earlier, I think there was something that motivated them to dedicate so much in assets in an attempt to locate this young man.

What's interesting about the case also is that even after you find the remains, then the work really begins because you have to conduct what's known as an anthropological study that is basically going to identify the gender, the ethnic background, and the age of the remains.

And then, you have to hope that you have a database and DNA which wasn't around 33 years ago that you can kind of conduct the match to. You know, they have the family. So, this is a tough one.

SAMBOLIN: You know, I was listening to a report, I think, it was in Anderson's show last night. And somebody said back in 1986, they actually were able to do this DNA testing. And so, you wonder why it is that now they've decided to reopen this case, right? Back in 1986, wouldn't they have taken some of the samples back then when it was possible to do that?

PALUMBO: Well, DNA wasn't as refined as it is today. You know, all the investigative techniques in forensic science has come light years, you know, since 1979. The thing I will say to you is that it's my understanding, from a very credible source, from a former chief of detectives in the Borough, Manhattan that there've been about five searches conducted along these lines.

SAMBOLIN: And how long do you think it's going to take to resolve this?

PALUMBO: I think if they found the remains, I think that's when the work begins because even if you find the remains or skeletal remains of an individual, you have to conduct that study that I mentioned earlier, and that could take some time, and that's where you really have to have the scientists come in to try to determine whose bones or whose remains these really are.

SAMBOLIN: Well, tough case. Lou Palumbo, thank you so much for joining us this morning. We appreciate your insight.

PALUMBO: My pleasure.

SAMBOLIN: Thank you. Kate, back to you.

BOLDUAN: Thanks, Zoraida.

He's just four years old, but this little guy is a true hero after saving his family in Indianapolis from a fire. You see there, Andra McGowan was in his bed watching TV when he suddenly saw flames, and he sprang into action. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDRA MCGOWAN, SAVED FAMILY FROM FIRE: I was just in the house, and I saw a fire coming out the plug. I just said, there's fire, mommy.

ANICA DUKE, ANDRA'S MOTHER: That's my man.

(LAUGHTER)

DUKE: I'm just glad that he had wisdom. It was the alarm of my child that let me know, there's something going on, because he's not going to just yell, yell, keep continually yelling my name.

MCGOWAN: I just yelled and got out of the house. So, the fire wouldn't get on her hands, too.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLDUAN: What a smart little boy. The boy, his mother, and two others managed to escape, as you probably imagine. Mom says she talks to her son about all aspects of safety, and it seems, at least, one of those lessons really paid off.

SAMBOLIN: That's fantastic. The devotional bible I was reading there survived that blaze.

BOLDUAN: That's really -- that's adorable.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Thirty-eight minutes past the hour.

An elusive fruit thief has been spotted swinging through trees in a Gainesville, Florida neighborhood. Look at him. I thought he was cute, but --

BOLDUAN: He is --

SAMBOLIN: He is adorable, isn't he? So, he's the culprit. The exotic patas monkey is what it's called. Wildlife officials set a trap late yesterday, and they're hoping to catch him today. They have no idea where he came from, and even though he's been stealing oranges from neighborhood trees, the locals seem to be embracing him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TJ WELLS (PH), NEIGHBOR: I was excited about it, because I never seen a monkey like in the hood.

(LAUGHTER)

WELLS: Someone got to call that the hood monkey.

(LAUGHTER)

KAREN PARKER, FLORIDA FISH AND WILDLIFE CONSERVATION: Could be an escapee. We did have a patas monkey running around the Williston area last year. Don't know if this is the same monkey or not. I've got to get with my investigators to see if anybody has reported a missing monkey.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: All right.

(LAUGHTER)

BOLDUAN: Are you missing a monkey? Might want to call them.

SAMBOLIN: You might. Wildlife officials are asking everyone to stay away from the monkey, however. The large crowds could spook him and make him harder to catch. And there's always a possibility he could have rabies as well. So, if you do see him, don't feed him, don't touch him. Just call.

BOLDUAN: I think my eyesight is bad enough, I could not see it in that video, even though it's highlighted him swinging through the trees, but we're going to trust the video --

SAMBOLIN: Oh, yes. I saw it.

BOLDUAN: Oh, OK. Thank you. (INAUDIBLE)

Still ahead this morning, is freedom in George Zimmerman's immediate future? He'll be back in court for a bond hearing today. We'll talk to a former Florida state attorney about his possible -- the possibility and his chances of release. You're watching EARLY START.

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SAMBOLIN: It is 42 minutes past the hour. Welcome back to EARLY START. It is time to check the stories that are making news this morning.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SAMBOLIN (voice-over): We now know the identities of two secret service supervisors who were forced from their job in the wake of the Colombia prostitution scandal. David Chaney (ph) and Greg Stokes (ph) were both part of the advanced team for the president's trip to Cartagena earlier this month. Members of Congress expect more dismissals as early as today, they.

And a scare in the air for passengers and crew on a flight out of New York moments after takeoff. The pilot was forced to turn around for an emergency landing when an apparent bird strike knocked out one of the plane's engines. A passenger with a video camera shot several birds right outside the plane just before a loud grinding noise was heard. Soledad will be talking to that passenger and another guy on that flight, our very own Ali Velshi, will also join her.

If the latest CNN polls are right, the race for the White House between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney is getting tighter. The poll of polls combines six major national polls conducted after Rick Santorum suspended his campaign, and here are the results. President Obama with 47 percent of the vote, a very slim three-point lead. Penn State University has paid nearly $6 million to the estate of Joe Paterno. The career of the winningest coach in college football history ended in disgrace in a child sex scandal involving one of his assistant coaches. Paterno died in January at the age of 85. The school says three million of the $5.6 million payout was a retirement bonus.

And another rock legend is gone. Levon Helm who was said to be the backbone of the group The Band died yesterday after a long battle with throat cancer. Helm was the drummer and the distinctive lead voice on the group's best songs like "The Wait" and "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down." Levon Helm was 71 years old -- Kate.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BOLDUAN: Thanks, Zoraida. In just a few hours, George Zimmerman will appear before a judge for a bond hearing. He has been held in county lockup for nine days now after being charged with the murder of Trayvon Martin. The new judge in the case, Kenneth Lester Jr. (ph), will preside over the hearing. The prosecutors have the burden of proof to show why Zimmerman should be kept in jail.

Zimmerman will be there in person, but his family will be speaking at the hearing but by phone, apparently, possibly reluctant to appear in public. Prosecutor, Angela Corey, has asked Trayvon Martin's parents to attend as well, and their lawyer, Benjamin Crump, confirms to us that they will be there. Crump also told CNN the Martin Family opposes bond for Zimmerman.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VOICE OF BENJAMIN CRUMP, ATTORNEY FOR TRAYVON MARTIN'S FAMILY: It's a situation where more grounds, public safety grounds and legal grounds we think it is best that he'd be kept without bond until these matters have concluded.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLDUAN: Here to explain what could happen and dig into this a little more with me is former Florida state attorney and judge, Phyllis Kotey, who is currently a law professor at Florida International University. Phyllis, thank you so much for joining me here today.

I mean, first off, you're familiar with the Zimmerman case and you're also very familiar with the Florida justice system. What do you expect to come from today's hearing, and what will determine whether Zimmerman will be granted bond? Could we hear from him today?

PHYLLIS KOTEY, LAW PROFESSOR, FLA. INT'L UNIV.: We certainly could possibly hear from them. I mean, one of the things that we should expect is information about his history, his likelihood of showing up, about the case itself from the prosecutor in terms of telling the judge why they think this individual should be kept and is a danger to society.

BOLDUAN: What are the major factors that a judge weighs when considering bond, especially in such a high-profile case?

KOTEY: Well, there are a couple of things. I mean, first of all, it's just whether to bond the case at all. And because this is a felony that could be punishable by life where one could possibly go to prison for life, the judge would have the option of not bonding or having a no bond in this case. And certainly, other things may happen as a result.

They will look at the family ties or lack of family ties, resources. But certainly, the community's safety and whether this individual is a flight risk and will come back to court should be the principle thing that the judge will look at.

BOLDUAN: Very interesting. So, we know that the Martin Family will be in the courtroom today, not clear exactly if they will be speaking, but likely to -- it is likely that we will hearing from George Zimmerman's family, albeit by phone, which I, myself, found a bit unusual.

What do you think -- what kind of impact could all of this, the appearance, the fact that this is the first time that Trayvon Martin's parents will be seeing George Zimmerman in person, could this have any kind of impact on the hearing today?

KOTEY: It certainly may have an impact on the emotion that we see at the hearing but certainly shouldn't have any impact on the application of the law by the judge.

BOLDUAN: So, Zimmerman, through his attorney, he requested recently a private meeting with Trayvon Martin's parents. They turned this request down. Listen here to -- first to Martin's attorney, the Martin Family attorney on his take on this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CRUMP: We think Zimmerman's request is very self-serving at this time, 50 days later, the day before he's going to have a bond hearing. It's a situation where, you think about it, he never once apologized on his website, on any of the voice mails that he left with his friends, and never expressed any remorse during police interviews the several times that they interviewed him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLDUAN: Phyllis, what do you make of all of this? Is this part of the a legal strategy, do you think or could this simply be that George Zimmerman wanted the opportunity to give his side of the story to Trayvon Martin's parents?

KOTEY: I mean, it certainly can be a part of a legal strategy since the court will hear for the first time, perhaps, from the victim's family in this case. But it also could be the case of time having passed and individuals being not so really reticent about what will happen in the legal system and wanting that opportunity to speak with the family.

It is really, really hard to say. But I think the delay in action certainly causes some concern for suspicion.

BOLDUAN: So, the new judge, Kenneth Lester Jr. (ph), he was assigned -- this is an -- there are so many unusual elements to this case already. He was just assigned to this case two days ago really because the original judge recused herself from hearing the case. What do you know about Judge Lester's reputation? What do you know about him and how he'll handle this case?

KOTEY: I mean, incidentally enough, Judge Lester and I became judges in the same year back in 1996 so he certainly has, you know, been around a long time in terms of knowing and understanding what to do. He's always been, from my understanding, kind of a straight shooter in terms of in application of the law. So, it will be interesting to see what happens in this particular case.

BOLDUAN: And I know you're not going to wand to do this, but break out your crystal ball for just one moment. I can see you already rolling your eyes at me.

(LAUGHTER)

BOLDUAN: Do you think bond will be granted? If so, where do you think the amount will be set?

KOTEY: Well, certainly, I think a bond may be set in this particular case. It may not be set today, because certainly, there may be a delay then. If the judge decides this is a non-bondable offense, well, the judge would have to look at other indicators to decide whether there's enough evidence to say this is a non-bondable offense. But I think, eventually, a bond, perhaps, will be set in this case.

BOLDUAN: All right. I won't hold you to it, though. I know I'm asking you to speculate. Thank you --

KOTEY: I know.

BOLDUAN: Thank you so much, Phyllis Kotey. We'll talk to you much more soon. Thank you so much.

KOTEY: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: It is 50 minutes past the hour. Still ahead, kid in play. A little boy freezes the players and thrills the crowd in Chicago. A field of dreams until security got him. You're watching EARLY START.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SAMBOLIN: It is 53 minutes past the hour. Time to take a look at what is trending on the web. Urban outfitters under fire this morning. Why? This reason. It's a photo of two young women kissing. It's in the latest catalog. The group, One Million Moms, launching an attack on the company.

The conservative group called it, quote, "offensive and inappropriate for a teen." Back in February, One Million Moms also bashed JCPenney and threatened a boycott after the company hired Ellen DeGeneres, an open lesbian as a spokeswoman there.

BOLDUAN: What comes of that?

And one of the biggest pregame celebrations of all time planned in Boston. If you're from Boston, I probably don't need to remind you to mark the 100th birthday of Fenway Park. Every man who wore the Red Sox uniform in history was invited.

SAMBOLIN: Wow!

BOLDUAN: At least every former (INAUDIBLE) they could track down. The legendary, John Williams, will conduct the Boston pops before the game. There will be a flyover with two modern planes, F-16s, as well as two World War II-era P-51 mustangs. That is always impressive.

SAMBOLIN: That's a great celebration.

BOLDUAN: I love the F-6. I love the flyover. And, of course, the Sox will be playing their forever rivals, the New York Yankees at 3:00 p.m. eastern. Both will be wearing vintage uniforms. Another thing I'm a fan of. I love this trend of the vintage uniforms in all sports.

SAMBOLIN: It's going to be a fantastic celebration. Now, they need to win.

(LAUGHTER)

BOLDUAN: Depending on who you're rooting for. We are not in Boston right now.

SAMBOLIN: That's why I said, they need to win, right? They, whomever.

BOLDUAN: We want all of our viewers to love us, Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: All right. We're going to stick with baseball, OK?

BOLDUAN: OK. Let's stick with --

SAMBOLIN: All right. It's not very cute when a drunk guy does this, but take a look at this. The crowd giggled and awed when a little boy jumped the wall and started running around the outfield. This is at U.S. cellular field in Chicago yesterday afternoon. A White Sox outfielder made a nice play, scooping him up.

BOLDUAN: Adorable.

SAMBOLIN: And taking over to security, not so adorable. We're not so sure why he did it, whether he was told to or whether he was just super excited.

BOLDUAN: Look at this.

SAMBOLIN: But rules are rules. Aw. Got to take you away, dude. He was booted, along with the rest of his family.

BOLDUAN: Yeah.

SAMBOLIN: But he's got a big smile in his face, great memories, and looked at national television.

BOLDUAN: He's got a lot of stories to tell his friends when he gets home.

So, coming up, we have new information on a high-profile cold case from more than 30 years ago. This has just been amazing, really, to launch and read and get the details on. Etan Patz was the first-ever missing child pictured on a milk carton.

Now, federal agents are tearing up the floor of a New York apartment building, really, a basement, hoping to find out just what happened to him. More details on the new search for Etan Patz coming up in the next hour.

SAMBOLIN: Birds sucked into a jet engine, tape rolling from inside the plane, and Ali Velshi on that plane, reporting.

BOLDUAN: My gosh. We're not making this up.

SAMBOLIN: True firsthand details of a very scary emergency landing. You know, you worry about this when you're flying, but you rarely hear about it. We're going to worry more now.

BOLDUAN: Yes.

SAMBOLIN: And we're going to give you all the details. You're watching EARLY START.

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