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Arrest in Etan Patz Murder; History in the Heavens; The Invention Convention; Conviction In Fort Hood Bomb Plot

Aired May 25, 2012 - 05:00   ET


ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: For the first time in 33 years, an arrest in a disappearance and likely death of 6-year-old Etan Patz. We have a detailed description of what the suspect says happened when he allegedly snatched that little boy.

ALINA CHO, CNN ANCHOR: Plus, Hurricane Bud is packing 110-mile- per-hour winds. We're talking about a major category 2 hurricane. We're going to have the latest track of the storm for you.

BANFIELD: And for the first time in history, a commercial spacecraft linking up with the International Space Station. Let your geek flag fly, folks. We are going to take you live to outer space in just a moment.

Hi, everybody. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm Ashleigh Banfield.

Look who's here!

CHO: Good morning.

BANFIELD: Nice to have you here.

CHO: I'm Alina Cho. Zoraida has the day off today.

It is 5:00 a.m. in the east. On this Friday before Memorial, we've got lots of news.

BANFIELD: We do, so let's get right to it.

And this is a big story. For the first time in 33 years -- in fact, the anniversary today -- New York police may finally have their man in the murder of Etan Patz 33 years ago.

He is 51-year-old Pedro Hernandez. He is under arrest and is expected to be charged with second-degree murder. He was 19 at the time that six-year-old the Etan Patz disappeared while walking on his bus stop in 1969. Hernandez was working at a grocery store and living in the neighborhood that Patz and his family were living in.

New York's police commissioner says Hernandez detailed the crime in a confession.


RAY KELLY, NYPD COMMISSIONER: Hernandez described to the detectives how he lured young Etan from the school bus stop at West Broadway and Prince Street with the promise of a soda. He then led him into the basement of the bodega, choked him there and disposed of the body by putting it into a plastic bag and placing it into the trash.


BANFIELD: Just last month, police thought that they had a break in this cold case, another dead end.

The renewed attention produced a tip that led police to (AUDIO BREAK) court appearance in just a few hours.

And again, this is 33 years to the day that Etan Patz vanished.

CNN's Susan Candiotti is live in Lower Manhattan.

You've been working this story for some time now. What makes police think they really do have their man this time?

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, Ashleigh, it's hard to pinpoint that precisely, but at the press conference, the police commissioner said it's because of the detailed statements that he made to police that took 3 1/2 hours, and because of everything that they told him.

Naturally, we asked time and again throughout the day yesterday -- I talked to my sources -- but do you have more than only his statements to go on? Is there any physical evidence? Hard to get a precise answer. I was told that there is other evidence, but it remains unclear as to whether that goes beyond what family members have said about what he told them, whether they have been able to obtain any physical evidence that he is connected to this crime.


DAN WOLLICK, PEDRO HERNANDEZ NEIGHBOR: He seemed like an all right guy. He had a wife and there was a young daughter. And they were, you know, they said hello and everything. They were always smiling. And well, this guy, like they say, confessed to it, 33 years he's been living in his own personal hell.


BANFIELD: Susan, you know, it's remarkable, but this is a phenomenon that happens. People confess to crimes all the time that they don't commit, and they have had confessions in this case as well from other people.

Why did they think they confession and these details are any different than any of the other confessions they've had in the last 33 years?

CANDIOTTI: Well, they haven't given us much detail on that, as a matter of fact. All of them saying that he talked to them a long time, that he went to the crime scene with them, the crime scene where he says Etan Patz was killed. Remember, he was only 19 years old at the time, working as a stock clerk in that store.

And when they talked with him and they also learned from other people that he had told them that years ago, that he had done something very bad, in his words, that he had killed a boy in New York, but he was never specific about mentioning a name.

So, Ashleigh, it wasn't until about a month ago, after police were searching that other basement in the area and it turned up nothing, they got a phone call from a tipster, and that tipster said, I have spoken to this man, I have information, relatives know something, you should go and speak with them.

And that led police to talk to others who discovered that he had made comments about this over the years but never mentioning Etan by name. So, that's when they found him, interviewed him. He went back to the area a couple of days ago and showed them the store location that used to be a convenience store at the time, but now they sell fashion eyeglasses there in SoHo.

And he took them to the basement, said this is where it happened. Of course, will they ever recover a body? Police say highly unlikely.

BANFIELD: And, you know, the difference in forensic collections back in 1979 to today. This is going to be one heck of a difficult case, if it ever ends up at trial. Talk to me a little bit about today.

We're expecting a court appearance today of Mr. Hernandez?

CANDIOTTI: That's right. The police have charged him with probable cause, but still, it's the prosecutors, the Manhattan district attorney's office, which reopened the case back in 2010, that will be the official charging agency. And we expect that to happen some time this day. And when that does, then he will make his very first court appearance, and it's possible at that time that police might reveal more information, or prosecutors, rather, about this case.

You know, what's interesting here as well is that police say they don't have any motive at this time. Why did this man allegedly single out this little boy? What's the connection? And they also added that at this time, there seems to be no evidence that little Etan was sexually abused.

BANFIELD: Well, let's just hope that the police kept one little detail that only the killer would know and that they could get some final resolution in this case.

Susan Candiotti, great work. Thanks so much.


CHO: Twenty years in prison for a Texas man who tried to sneak out of the United States and give al Qaeda restricted military documents. The court also ordered Barry Walter Bujol to pay a $10,000 fine. Prosecutors say he wanted to join al Qaeda and tried to provide the organization with money and two restricted as access Army manuals related to U.S. drones and GPS equipment.

Bujol was arrested two years ago after using a fake ID to sneak into a Houston port and board a ship that was headed to the Middle East.

BANFIELD: Later this morning, jurors in the John Edwards trial will begin deliberating for a sixth day. Yesterday, they made some interesting requests, 20 different exhibits involving payments made to Edwards' 2008 presidential campaign by a wealthy benefactor.

They're trying to determine whether those payments were, in fact, illegal campaign contributions used to cover up the candidate's extramarital affair.

CHO: There are new details on the Georgia grad student fighting to survive a rare flesh-eating bacterial infection after falling off a homemade zip line. Doctors say 24-year-old Aimee Copeland could be out of intensive care in just about three to four weeks. Aimee's father said she's now able to sit up in a chair for a couple of hours, but she's still in critical condition. Aimee's on full-time kidney dialysis and relies on oxygen because her lungs are still not fully functioning. You'll remember she lost both of her hands, her leg and her other foot.

BANFIELD: New trouble for the trainer of that horse that won the first two legs of the coveted Triple Crown. California state racing board suspended trainer Doug O'Neill for 45 days. The reason? High levels of carbon dioxide in one of his horses' blood.

And also under suspicion for a milk shake, suspicion he gave one of the horses a milkshake, an illegal performance-enhancing substance that's force-fed to a horse, but he was cleared of that. His suspension's not going to take effect until July 1st, which means that he is going to be at the Belmont when his horse, "I'll Have Another," makes a run for the first Triple Crown in more than three decades.

CHO: Hurricane Bud now a powerful pacific storm lurking just of the Mexican coast. Want to take a look now at Bud from space. You can just how big it is there. A hurricane and tropical storm warning is in effect right now. And now there's word of another storm gathering strength off the coast of Florida.

Our Rob Marciano live for us this morning with a look at all that.

Hey, so, where is that storm headed, Rob?

ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Heading right towards Mexico, Montello, of the west coast of Mexico.

And yesterday at this time, Alina, we thought it was going to weaken somewhat and maybe not even reach the coastline. Well, in the last 24 hours, when a category 3 strength, with winds of 115 miles an hour. It's little weaker right now.

We've seen the eye dissipate just little bit. So we expect continued weakening, but it's so close to land right now that hurricane warnings have been issued and watches continue to be posted, and we do expect, National Hurricane Center is forecasting to make landfall now as a hurricane, and just kind of linger along the coastline.

By the way, this is the first time since we've kept records that a category 3 storm in the eastern Pacific has developed this early. Category 2 now, expected to decrease to a 1 and make landfall some time tonight and then dissipate as it hugs the coastline, gets a little drier air and runs into the mountains.

So heavier, heavier rains, some mud slides with this in the hills and also, obviously, some high surf and some winds there. This system just north of Cuba now has the potential to develop into our next tropical system, and this will impact the U.S. potentially, and at the very least in the form of heavy rains and some big surf, and we'll watch this potentially develop into a depression or a storm here in the next 24 hours.

Alina, back up to you.

CHO: Boy, if this is any guide, might be a busy hurricane season, right?

MARCIANO: Well, to have two tropical storms before June 1st, that's only happened a couple of times. But this is not an indication of how busy this hurricane season will be, even though we're off to a pretty good start.

BANFIELD: All right. Rob, thank you.

Ten minutes now past 5:00 on the East Coast. We are just a few hours away now from something we have never seen before.

CHO: Cue the music.

BANFIELD: Do you love it? In the decades of space exploration by man. So, what is it, and how are astronauts preparing to pull this baby off? We are back after this.


CHO: Fifteen minutes after the hour. Welcome back.

Right now, a private space capsule is moving into position to make history. It's called the Dragon capsule. It's now less than a mile away from linking up with the International Space Station.

BANFIELD: There it is!

CHO: And you are looking live at it. You se it's a big, wide world out there, because that little clicking dot is the capsule.

BANFIELD: That's it!

CHO: That's right.

BANFIELD: That little, tiny dot.

CHO: NASA is giving it the all clear after a successful practice fly-by yesterday. These are complicated things, right? So it takes a while.

BANFIELD: This is the view from the space station.

CHO: That's right.

BANFIELD: Looking out at the arriving Dragon on its way.

CHO: Apparently, what, a mile away?

CNN's John Zarrella is live in Miami with more on this story.

Hey, John, good morning.


CHO: So, when's it going to dock?

ZARRELLA: About 6:59 Central Time, so just before 8:00 a.m. Eastern Time.

And remember, ladies, this isn't a space shuttle. It's really tiny. You could fit this inside the space shuttle's cargo bay.

And one thing that we have to make sure everybody understands, this is what they call a berthing. It's not going to dock to the space station like the shuttle did, backing in and connecting right up. They actually have to reach out with the space station's robotic arm, and they will grab it with the robotic arm and then very slowly pull it in and berth it, as they call it, to the International Space Station.

Now, Don Pettit, the astronaut aboard, along with and Andre Kuipers, the two of them will perform that maneuver, very, very delicates maneuver. If you just touch it the wrong way and don't grapple it properly, you could hit it and spin it out of control. So, it is not easy to pull this kind of maneuver off.

So, bottom line, the next couple of hours are going to be pretty interesting as this approaches ever closer to the station. And you know, they're not going empty-handed. This is a practice mission.

But it's filled with all kinds of cargo. They're bringing up almost 200 meals for the astronauts. They're bringing up a computer, some batteries, so a variety of different things going up on this flight.

CHO: Isn't it also carrying, John, the ashes of the Canadian actor who played Scotty on "Star Trek"? I mean, how did that happen?

ZARRELLA: No, it's not in this vehicle. It's not on the Dragon. It was on the Falcon 9 second-stage rocket that was the booster that put Dragon up to where it is now, so --

CHO: Ah, got it, got it.

ZARRELLA: In that booster segment, there were the remains of 320 people, amongst them a portion of his ashes actually did fly with all those other folks and is now orbiting the earth.

CHO: Wow. Well, we'll be watching that closely and I know you will, too. John Zarrella, thank you very much.

ZARRELLA: Sure, absolutely.

CHO: Coming up at 6:45 Eastern Time, NASA astronaut Dan Tani, is that Tani?


CHO: Who's logged over 131 days in space will talk to Ashleigh to talk little bit more about how important this mission is --

BANFIELD: And all the stuff he has to unload.

CHO: That's right, 674 pounds of food. They're also bringing up clothes and lots of stuff. So we look forward to that next hour.

BANFIELD: Kind of a cool job. If you're on the space station, you know this thing's coming. They've done it a million times before, but never from an aircraft that's a private enterprise.

CHO: Well, especially with NASA effectively cutting back and eliminating the shuttle missions, at least for now, it looks like this is where it's going, right?

BANFIELD: So it's Dan and his friends who have to realize, I hope you're really good at what you do, because eventually, we're going to be on those things.

CHO: We need that food.

BANFIELD: Exactly. It is 17 minutes after 5:00 on the East Coast.

Time for your "Early Reads."

We like to update you on what's going on around the world and around the country.

"L.A. Times" has a pretty shocking story about a former football star's exoneration for rape. His name is Brian Banks -- he was just 16 years old when he was convicted of raping a high school classmate. Her name, Wanetta Gibson. This happened in 2002. He spent five years in prison. See him? Look at that reaction. His budding football career was extinguished. He was awarded a $1.5 million judgment from the school district.

Last year, Gibson sent Banks a Facebook friend request. He responded by asking her to meet with him. Their meeting was secretly recorded. And guess what? The victim, the so-called victim admitted that she lied.

So, guess what? He's out and cleared, but that doesn't clear the five years that the guy spent --

CHO: Well, I'll bet this never happened to you in school. Listen to this story, pretty shocking stuff.

A preschool teacher in Houston is actually accused of scaring her kids --


CHO: That's right, by locking them in what's called the monster closet.

BANFIELD: Oh, come on!

CHO: It looks scary to a little kid, a monster closet, right? Our affiliate in Houston, KHOU, says the closet is really a janitor's closet. The kids were locked inside five minutes at a time as a form of punishment.

One mom says her son was thrown in the closet for laughing in class and he was so scared that he vomited!


CHO: I know. The teacher has been suspended.

BANFIELD: At the very least, I would hope. There is no excuse for that kind of punishment. That is not a time-out. That is torture for a little kid.

CHO: For a 4-year-old kid.

BANFIELD: Nineteen minutes now past 5:00.

If you want an expanded look at all of our top stories, we have it for you. Aim to please. Go to It's on our blog, everything you want there.

CHO: Well, this is the news homeowners are hoping for. Our Christine Romans says the housing market is taking a major turn. Going to tell us why after the break.


BANFIELD: Twenty-three minutes now past 5:00. We have great news for you this morning. Really, honestly, this is great, no matter what.

CHO: So nice to have that, isn't it?

BANFIELD: Even if you're not a homeowner, this is good for you. Mortgage rates are at historical, historical lows this morning.

CHO: You may buy a home as a result, right? It's that great.

Christine Romans joins us now with a look at that 3.78.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that is the new mortgage rate. That's a new record low.

You just refinanced, right?

CHO: I did.

ROMANS: I just refinanced.

BANFIELD: I'm in the process.

ROMANS: You're in the process of refinancing. Look, some people are complaining they can't qualify for a refinance because they're under water, and that's part of the problem here with people who can't get advantage of al this.

Also this week, we've seen this raft of housing news that's better, guys. The housing market is healing. And I've been hearing from realtors for several years that things are going to be great, the spring selling season will show there's a turn, it's the bottom, and they've been wrong. This year, they may be right.

You got house prices are up 10 percent year over year, folks. You've got home sales up as well. And buying a house has never been cheaper. Interest rates at a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage at record lows, 3.78 percent. These are Freddie Mac numbers -- record lows almost a full point below where it was just a year ago.

What is the savings here? Tens of thousands of dollars in lower interest payments over the lifetime of a loan.

We did some math for you. Here's the perspective. This week's lower rate would reduce payments on a $100,000 home loan by $48 compared to last year's rate. That's a total savings of more than $17,000 over the lifetime of a loan.

CHO: Wow.

ROMANS: That's a $100,000 loan. So multiply that into a bigger loan. Fifteen-year fixed-rate mortgages, which are popular with borrowers who want to refinance -- 3.04 percent. Now, a lot of you are complaining, it doesn't matter to me because I can't get it! I know, you have to have a good credit score. You have to have money in the bank. Your house can't be under water if you're trying to refinance --

BANFIELD: None of that stuff is easy stuff.

ROMANS: None of that is, but there are multiple offers in hot zip codes, right? People are moving. They're taking a 5 percent loss on the house and they're selling it because they've got to move on. They've got to get jobs. They're retiring, moving because they have to move.

So there's movement in the housing market again. It is nowhere near healthy, so you know, don't scream at me about that, but it is healing, and that's the first time we've really been able to say that. It's good news.

CHO: Are you saying everybody should look at their mortgage right now and look at refinancing?

ROMANS: If you have not looked at your mortgage -- if you have a mortgage in the 5 percent rate, turn -- don't turn off the TV. Wait 35 minutes and then go and call your mortgage broker when they wake up, or call your bank.

People are also telling me they are having an easier time doing the hhamp and h.a.r.p. than a year ago. The banks are getting more comfortable. These are the government's refinancing and modification programs. People are saying they're having an easier time with the big banks getting that done, too.

BANFIELD: A big pivot here, and I hate to switch you off that fabulous news, but there is good news for people who invested in Facebook and are mad.

ROMANS: Yes. OK. So, this is the one thing to know about your money today if you've been involved in the Facebook drama. Morgan Stanley is reviewing every single trade --


ROMANS: -- that was made, every single trade, and they're looking at the time it was made, the time you put the trade in, the time you were confirmed. And if you paid too much for the shares because of the debacle at NASDAQ, they're going to make sure that people pay the price that they were supposed to pay for the time --

BANFIELD: You don't hear that often. It's pretty incredible.

ROMANS: The keeping them honest part is we'll continue to watch this and make sure people are made right. But even yesterday, people were telling me they still didn't know if their trade was canceled. So, there's still a lot of drama around Facebook.

BANFIELD: Imagine the work that's going to take. Christine, great news. So squeaky wheel might get the grease.

ROMANS: Yes, that's the one thing to know. Be the squeaky wheel.

BANFIELD: Thanks, Christine.

At 27 minutes now past 5:00 on the East Coast, which means it's early, but it could be late for you.

Wow, this is an amazing story! A daring escape in China. You probably heard about that already. But you have not heard from the dissident himself. Chen Guangcheng, in his own words, on Anderson Cooper here on CNN, talking about what he calls suffering beyond imagination.

There's a reason those flashbulbs are going off. The story is remarkable. You'll hear it here.


CHO: Good morning. His daring escape from Chinese authorities triggered an international crisis. Now, Chen Guangcheng is giving CNN's Anderson Cooper an inside look at the ordeal.

BANFIELD: Plus, we are talking to the teenage science whiz kid who managed to do what cancer doctors have been trying to do for decades. And did I mention, he's a kid. Fifteen years old. Look at him.

CHO: Oh, he's just great.

And moved to tears. A young girl overcome with emotion doing something most of us take completely for granted. We're going to tell you what that is.


CHO (on-camera): Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Alina Cho in for Zoraida this morning. Good morning. We're so glad you're with us.

BANFIELD (on-camera): Nice to have you here with us, Alina.

CHO: Thank you.

BANFIELD: I'm Ashleigh Banfield. It is now 31 minutes past 5:00 on the east coast, so let's get started. We got a great story for you this morning.

CNN's Anderson Cooper landing a big exclusive. The first television interview with Chinese activist, Chen Guangcheng, since his dramatic escape from house arrest and his arrival right here in the good old U.S. of A. Chen's been in New York for less than a week, and he had plenty to say to Anderson, exclusively, about the world that he left behind in China and what it was like to be their prisoner in his own home.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I sat down with Chen Guangcheng yesterday, on Thursday. It was his first extensive interview since arriving in New York over the weekend with his wife and two young children. He was speaking out right now, because he's very concerned about the other activists who are left behind in China, who aided in his escape from his home province and helped him get into the U.S. embassy.

He's also particularly concerned about his other relatives, his mother, his brother, and his nephew. His nephew has actually been arrested, charged with intentional homicide. He allegedly brandished a knife against Chinese plain-clothed security officers who broke into his house while searching for Mr. Chen.

I talked to Mr. Chen about the years that he spent in a Chinese prison. He spent about four years and three months in a Chinese prison. And also, about the nearly two years that he was in home detention. Here's what he said.


COOPER: When you were released, you were under house arrest. What was that like?

CHEN GUANGCHENG, CHINESE ACTIVIST (through translator): I want to correct one thing here. When we talk about my situation in the future, let's not use the word house arrest, but instead, let's use the term illegal detention. It's hard for me to describe what it was like during the time, but let's just say my suffering was beyond imagination.

COOPER: Did you feel like there was an end to it? Did it feel like it was just going to go on and on?

GUANGCHENG: I didn't see much hope.


COOPER: Mr. Chen originally was arrested in China back in 2006 after filing a class-action lawsuit. He and his wife are basically self-taught attorneys.

His wife, because Mr. Chen is blind, his wife read to him from legal textbooks, and he kind of learned the law and filed this lawsuit on behalf of role formers and women, in particular, who he says were forced to be sterilized -- forcibly sterilized and also forced to have late-term abortions because of China's one child policy at the time.

I talked to Mr. Chen about whether he regretted speaking out, something he says he does not regret, and if he knew at the time what it might lead to. Here's what he said.


COOPER: You say it's natural to want to speak out against evil, but many people remain silent. Why do you think -- you must be very courageous. GUANGCHENG: I only feel it's a natural reaction from my heart. My nature wouldn't allow me to sit idly by and disregard what was going on. I think everybody should act that way.


COOPER: Mr. Chen is in New York now. He has not sought political asylum. He's here on a student visa. He plans to study for one year at New York University. He does say he hopes to, one day, go back to China. Whether Chinese government will allow that is not clear, and whether he will choose that is not clear at this point.

He's going to be studying at New York University, learning more about the law, hoping to learn English, and he does plan to continue to speak out.


BANFIELD: Again, CNN's Anderson Cooper with a big exclusive. Mr. Chen is urging authorities in Beijing to prosecute the law -- or to prosecute, quote, "the lawless officials who have harassed and abused him and his family and his supporters."

A florida judge says it is OK to flash your headlights to warn oncoming drivers about speed traps! You know, we all kind of know about that. It's that unwritten thing. Turns out, 25-year-old Ryan Kitner (ph) of Lake Mary, Florida, got a ticket for doing it last summer. He flashed his lights to warn somebody ahead that there was a speed trap he saw.

Seminole County police called that headlight flashing a violation of state traffic law. But guess what? Not so much. A judge tossed out the ticket and ruled that Kitner is protected. It is constitutional free speech, folks, first amendment! Flash away.


CHO: Yes. That's right.. You like that story? You're going to like this one even better.

Ryan Young (ph) got his job back. Do you remember this story? We recently told you about this Safeway meat clerk from California. He raced from behind the counter to help a pregnant customer who was being attacked by her boyfriend.

Now, ryan's actions made him a national hero, but Safeway actually suspended him without pay for violating what it calls its zero tolerance policy on workplace violence.

BANFIELD: But that's weird --

CHO: That's right.

BANFIELD: -- because he's trying to enforce the zero tolerance policy.

CHO: That's right.


CHO: But anyway.

BANFIELD: Go figure.

CHO: You know, hundreds of Ryan's supporters actually started boycotting Safeway --

BANFIELD: No surprise.

CHO: And picketing outside the store. Now, the company has just announced he's going to get his job back and also with full back pay.

BANFIELD: Go, Ryan. You're our new superhero.

All right. This one's terrific. A 10-year-old girl from Texas is deaf, but she's regained her hearing all of this because of a cochlear implant. You've probably heard of them. There's little Sammie, Sammie Hicks. She was born with a genetic mutation and lost her hearing by the time she reached age two.

Her implant surgery last month cost a lot of money, $100,000. And we want to ask you this question, do you want to know if it's worth it? Because when you se this video, you are going to see something remarkable. Take a look at Sammie the moment that doctors activated the implant. She literally jumps when the first thing that she hears is the sound of her own breathing.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're hearing yourself better. She's hearing herself breathing, and I don't think she realized what it was. It's OK. You can cry. It's OK.

SAMMIE HICKS: I started to cry because it was overwhelming. I had no idea what the sounds were.

JEN HICKS, SAMMIE'S MOTHER: My heart just stopped. It's -- I can't really put it into words what it felt like watching her hear those little things that we never thought she would be able to hear.


BANFIELD: That is the most remarkable raw emotion. Sammie's eight-year-old brother, Jacob, also is hearing-impaired.

CHO: Wow.

BANFIELD: And guess what? He may be going through the very same experience, because he's going to get his own cochlear implant coming up not too long from now. CHO: That is one happy family.

BANFIELD: Can you imagine what that would be like?

CHO: So happy she's crying like that. That is really great.

BANFIELD: Not only for Little Sammie.

CHO: Right. And her mother.

BANFIELD: But her mom and dad.

CHO: And her mother, her mother. That's right.

Modern science -- we're talking a little bit more about modern science. You're not going to want to miss this. Can't believe this. Now, doctors and scientists have been trying to do this for decades, but the big breakthrough came courtesy of a 15-year-old kid. That's him right there. His name is Jack Andraka, he's blinded by science, isn't he? Look at him.

We're going to have him right in the studio. We're going to talk to him. He's a high school freshman, and he's developed a new way to detect a deadly cancer. He just won a major science competition. He's a happy guy.

BANFIELD: Look at him!

CHO: And we are talking to him. Now walking Tebow, almost Tebow. We're going to talk to him next right here in the studio, live.

BANFIELD: That's great.


CHO: Welcome back. Forty-two minutes after the hour.

Well, you might call it the invention convention. The idea is to spawn more scientists. Students from across the country competing in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair last week. It happened in Pittsburgh. And out of the 1,500 or so kids who competed from more than 17 countries, guess what? Fifteen-year-old Jack Andraka from Maryland was named the best and the brightest.

He created a noninvasive and cheap way to detect pancreatic cancer, which by the way, is the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. Now, this test is essentially based on those diabetic test paper strips, and by testing a person's blood and urine, Jack was able to determine whether or not that patient had early-stage pancreatic cancer. And I am so happy to say that Jack Andraka joins me now right here in the studio wearing those ribbons. Congratulations. I have to shake your hand.


CHO: Congratulations. You are one happy kid. You won $100,000 in prize money, which you're going to put toward college. Congratulations.

ANDRAKA: Thanks so much.

CHO: Tell me, how did you come up with the idea? I know you were inspired by a close family friend who died recently of pancreatic cancer, but how did you start thinking about doing this?

ANDRAKA: So, once that close family friend died due to pancreatic cancer, I got really interested in early detection of pancreatic cancer, because that's one of the main problems behind the huge death rate. And so, then, I was looking at blood tests, because those are really the only way to detect it in its early stages for teen screenings, and so, then, I developed the sensing.

CHO: It's so remarkable. It's faster, it's cheaper, it's much more accurate.


CHO: And I know you're working on a patent right now. Meanwhile, we tracked down this video of you winning. It is so remarkable. I watched it a couple of times. We want to play it for you. We want you to watch it as it's happening. You see it there on the TV?




ANDRAKA: I remember that. I was so excited. I was amazed with winning.

CHO: Do you remember what was going through your mind? I mean, you say that you really didn't think you were going to win a prize, let alone the top prize, right?

ANDRAKA: No. The projects are at such a high caliber that I did not think I was going to win a prize.

CHO: I love it.

ANDRAKA: I was, like, depressed I wasn't going to win a prize when I first walked in.

CHO: That's what I call what you just did there, a half Tebow, kind of like a bow, not quite a full Tebow, but a half Tebow. Tell me, what's next, because a lot has happened just since that short time that you won, right? You're working on a patent. You're talking to quest diagnostics already? So, what's going on? What has happened as a result of this? ANDRAKA: So, what's actually happening is I'm working with the Johns Hopkins University team of patent lawyers to make my patent a bit more applicable and ironclad. And then, also, we've already started to get offers from several companies such as Bio-Rad, and then also, Audit Micro.

CHO: That is incredible. I mean, when you consider the fact that nearly 44,000 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2012, I just can't imagine how good you feel having done this.

ANDRAKA: Yes, because what's so cool about this is it can detect pancreatic cancer before it becomes invasive, where basically, your survival rate is close to 100 percent. So, it's just amazing how this will be applicable, because you can also look at other forms of cancer, cancer drug resistance, how effective a cancer treatment is, and basically, any disease.

CHO: Well, you are one remarkable kid. You're only a high school freshman. I can only imagine what's in store for you for the future. Jack Andraka, I shake your hand again. Thank you so much for coming in.

ANDRAKA: Thank you so much.

CHO: Waking up early for us -- Ashleigh.

BANFIELD: Congratulations, Jack. Fantastic story. Just remarkable. It's 46 minutes now past five o'clock on the east coast.

There is a story that we've been looking at here in New York. Look at these two papers. It is not often that you see both of the tabloid newspapers with the same headline, but this little boy, Etan Patz was the first face on a milk carton of a missing child, and that's why this missing New York Boy is a national story. And now, we have some resolution, possibly, to this national story.


BANFIELD (voice-over): It's remarkable, but New York City police say they may have their man. Fifty-one-year-old Pedro Hernandez, apparently, confessing to killing Etan Patz back in 1979. That six- year-old boy vanished on his way to school.

And the date he vanished was 33 years ago today. Hernandez is expected to be charged with second-degree murder in connection with this case. He's expected to make that first court appearance today.

Hurricane Bud, the first pacific hurricane of the 2012 season, strengthening into a major Category 3 and now threatening Mexico's coast. Bud with a maximum sustained winds of 115 miles per hour. Hurricane and tropical storm warnings are now in effect and this could make landfall near some very popular tourist spots as well.

A federal jury in Texas convicting an American soldier of plotting to detonate a bomb near the Ft. Hood army base last summer. Twenty-two-year-old army private Naser Jason Abdel (ph) planned to avenge the killing of fellow Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was convicted of six felonies. This carries a possible life sentence.

This is a sad sign of the times. After 175 years, the New Orleans "Times-Picayune" will cease being a daily newspaper. The paper will cut back its print edition to just three days a week while publishing online every day. The story "Times-Picayune" won a few Pulitzer Prizes for its coverage of hurricane Katrina. The staff will actually be cut back, but the publisher isn't saying just how many jobs will be lost. Really sad.

And quick-thinking bystanders rescued a man who drove his car -- yes, that's a car -- into a neighborhood pool in Smyrna, Georgia. It plunged right through a fence yesterday afternoon after the driver suffered some kind of a medical emergency. But luckily, the pool was pretty much empty, and that driver, luckily, is expected to be OK.

CHO (voice-over): Well, all the money in the entire world adds up to about $60 trillion, but music record labels claim that file- sharing site, Limewire, owes them more $72 trillion. The label claims that 11,000 songs were downloaded illegally on Limewire thousands of times.

And those downloads add up to more than $72 trillion. The federal judge of the industry is entitled to some damages, but not the total cost of each individual download. Limewire was shut down back in 2010.

BANFIELD: If you're hitting the roads this holiday weekend, here's a little news you can use. You'll pardon my pronunciation here, but I think it's called Waze, W-A-Z-E. A social media navigation app got some pretty helpful tips to save time, and gas and maybe even your sanity.

It says the best time to hit the road today would be before 10:00 a.m. or after 4:00 p.m. Kind of defies logic, doesn't it, after 4:00 p.m.

CHO: Yes, I don't think so.

BANFIELD: That's a weird one. Traffic could start building today as early as 10 o'clock, way earlier than your typical rush hour. Most cars on the road, believe it or not, between 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. So, maybe rush hour is the best hour for you.

CHO: Hmm, interesting.


CHO (on-camera): Well, have you ever got this story? Former GOP presidential candidate, Jon Huntsman's, been called many, many things. He's a father of seven, governor, ambassador, and now, sex symbol?

BANFIELD: Serious?

CHO: That's right. We're going to have much more on this coming up. Oh, Jon Huntsman.


CHO: And while you rock out to "Sexy and You Know It," if you're live and you're leaving the house right now, you can still watch us any time on your desktop or your mobile phone. Just go to


BANFIELD: It is 53 minutes now past five o'clock on the east coast.

CHO: You have no idea what we were just doing.


BANFIELD: You have no idea. During the commercial break, oh, if there were only a webcam. We like to look at what's trending on the interwebs, and here we go. The man who's made a living by saying look at me has done it again. NFL wide receiver, Chad Ochocinco, has claimed that somebody smashed out the back of his Cadillac Escalade and stole his wallet.

He was so shaken up, he just had to tell everybody on Twitter about it. But the only thing that really seemed to phase him was the fact that his prized Starbucks gold card was gone.


CHAD OCHOCINCO, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: Took my Starbucks card. Not just any Starbucks card. I earned the gold card. Do you know how many coffees I've had to drink and (ph) I've had to purchase to get to that gold card?


BANFIELD: I would like to -- do you know how many coffees we have to drink to do this job?


CHO: That's right.

BANFIELD: How do you get the gold card?

CHO: I have no idea.

BANFIELD: I've never heard of such a thing.

CHO: I mean, obviously, he's a repeat customer.

BANFIELD: I think so. Guess what? Twitter actually came to his rescue, because later in the day, Ocho tweeted -- can I just call him Ocho for short.

CHO: You can. BANFIELD: Is that fair enough?

CHO: Yes.

BANFIELD: Ocho tweeted "Crazy! I found my wallet using social media. Unreal how powerful this site is."

CHO: Wow.

BANFIELD: "They left I.D. and credit card but stole my Starbucks card." What's that "WTF" mean?

CHO: I don't know.

BANFIELD: Come on, Alina, aren't you with it? Never mind.


CHO: You know, this story really got my attention -- it's my favorite story of the day. "Huntsman the hottie." That's right.


CHO: The AARP says that the former Utah governor and GOP candidate, Jon Huntsman, is one of the 21 sexiest men alive over 50.

BANFIELD: Well, it is AARP, right?

CHO: That's right.


CHO: He came in at number 20. That's 19, by the way, 19 behind George Clooney --

BANFIELD: Is George Clooney 50?

CHO: He is -- yes. He is 52, Huntsman, and he was singled out for being the hippest dude in the conservative crowd.

BANFIELD: And that is tough.

CHO: That's right.

BANFIELD: That is tough to beat, that one.

CHO: And for his brain power, of course, under that dreamy salt and pepper hair, he was once in a band, did you know this?

BANFIELD: I didn't. Really?

CHO: I did not know this. That's right. Relax, ladies, he's married and a father of seven. You know who else made the cut, actually for honorable mentions? Colon Powell.

BANFIELD: Oh, I would understand that. Yes, I believe that. In fact, I would think Jon Huntsman could make "Maxim." That's just me.

Never works out well for a bear in a tree, right? Again, this is the interwebs, and we love these videos. This one from Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Wildlife officials called into a neighborhood where a black bear wandered up a tree. Look at him. Oh, he's so cute. He was shot with a tranquilizer.

CHO: Where did this happen?

BANFIELD: How adorable! Steamboat Springs.

CHO: Oh, man.

BANFIELD: Yes. So, they had to bring out the big old ladder. Here we go. Ready? Ooh, down he goes. Usually, they have something nice for him to land on, but that's -- oh and we slow-mo it for you.

CHO: That's right.

BANFIELD: Have to slow-mo the bear -- something about bears falling from trees on this program. We do have a lot.

CHO: And I hope that guy's OK.


CHO: Oh, good.

BANFIELD: Taken out of the city and back into the wild to fly his trade away from people like you and me. The bear in the tree.


BANFIELD: Yes, see, they're holding something. There you go. That's what was out of the shot right there, so that he'd be safe. So, it's always nice to know that it works out well.

CHO: Great.


CHO: A Texas man tries to sneak out of the country to go work with al Qaeda. Why and how he wanted to hurt Americans, that's ahead. You're watching EARLY START. We're back after this.