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JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

New Heartache for Family of Isabel Celis; Shocking End to Drew Peterson Trial

Aired August 31, 2012 - 19:00   ET

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


ISHA SESAY, HLN ANCHOR Jim Moret is in for Jane Velez-Mitchell tonight. And that show starts right now.

JIM MORET, HOST: A painful anniversary comes and goes as the parents of missing Isabel Celis have to remember her birthday without here. I`m Jim Moret from "Inside Edition" in for my friend, Jane Velez-Mitchell. Isabel`s parents speak out. We`ll hear from Isabel`s two brothers for the very first time, next.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MORET (voice-over): Tonight, four months after the disappearance of their little girl, the Celis family quietly celebrates Isabel`s seventh birthday with a church service.

The young girl mysteriously vanished when her father reported her missing from her bedroom in the early morning hours. Police have pored over thousands of clues, searching for answers. We`ll have the very latest on the search for this beautiful little girl.

Then bizarre twists and turns as Drew Peterson`s defense team rests their case. The former cop on trial for allegedly murdering his third wife did not take the stand in his own defense. But his son did, saying he never believed his father killed his mother.

With such gripping testimony, you won`t believe who else the defense team called to the stand and why the prosecution reportedly called it a gift from God.

And new developments in the California slaughterhouse story. Jane brought you that story here last week. The company behind the scandal vows to improve their treatment of animals so they can re-open for business, but are they taking the necessary steps? We`re investigating.

SERGIO CELIS, FATHER OF MISSING GIRL: We love you. And we miss you so much.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Isabel was last seen in this home by her parents.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They have been interviewed extensively.

S. CELIS: We are cooperating to the fullest extent.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re labeling it as suspicious circumstances and a possible abduction.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: New details about what may have happened that Saturday morning.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I remember briefly waking up and hearing male voices outside my bedroom window.

BECKY CELIS, MOTHER OF MISSING GIRL: We are here today to play -- to plea.

S. CELIS: And we will never give up. We will never give up looking for you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MORET: Tonight, a family desperate to find their little girl after four long months of unanswered questions. And making matters even worse, little Isabel Celis turned 7 this week. Now her family wonders if she will ever come back to them.

We`re going to hear from Isabel`s two brothers for the very first time.

You remember that Isabel was just 6 when she vanished from her Tucson, Arizona, home last May. Her dad reported her missing on the morning of April 21 after her mom had left for work as a nurse. Here`s the 911 call.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

B. CELIS (via phone): I went to work this morning at 7. And I just - - I didn`t even come and check on her. I should have come and checked on her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right. Just take a deep breath, OK? Does she have any medical conditions?

B. CELIS: No. She has nothing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m sorry. She has what?

B. CELIS: She has nothing. There`s no medical condition. She`s healthy. No allergies, no medical condition.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.

B. CELIS: She`s got brown hair.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you hear anything at all?

B. CELIS: No. I didn`t hear anything at all.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORET: Police say the bedroom window of Isabel`s room was open, with the screen removed. Blood was found in her bedroom. Sex offenders in the neighborhood and Isabel`s family were questioned, but after four months, still no sign of Isabel. And now the family is having to celebrate Isabel`s 7th birthday without her. You can hear in their voices just how difficult that that has been.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

S. CELIS: Happy birthday, Isabel. We love you so much. We love you so much. And we miss you so much. And we want you home so much.

B. CELIS: Happy birthday, baby girl. I love you so much. And I can`t wait to have you in my arms.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORET: Questions everyone`s asking, what is it going to take to find Isabel? How does a little girl simply vanish from her own bedroom? It`s mind boggling.

Straight out now to Tucson reporter Kevin Keen with KGUN. Kevin, what are the latest developments in this search?

KEVIN KEEN, REPORTER, KGUN (via phone): Well, last night we heard from Tucson police, and we checked in during her -- Isabel`s seventh birthday to see where this case stands. It`s been 131 days since she was reported missing.

Tucson police tell us that this investigation is still very much active, still ongoing. There are dedicated multiple detectives still dedicated to this case and working on no other case. But still at this time there are no suspects. And no one has been ruled out according to Tucson police.

MORET: Now, we`ve never heard from Isabel`s two older brothers until now. I want our audience to hear, because they`re talking about their missing sister. This is from affiliate KOLD. Let`s play that tape.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every night when we do the rosary I just pray to God to please help us find her.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I always pray that I will even see her in my sleep and always dream about her, just to have a blessing of even seeing her in my sleep.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORET: We found out a couple of weeks ago that Sergio Celis, who was barred from seeing his sons, can now see them again. And you see them standing together. Kevin, whatever came of that?

KEEN: I`m sorry. Could you repeat the question one more time?

MORET: Whatever came of the fact that the father was originally not allowed to see the sons, but now they`re all together again? Has whatever issues were present then been dealt with? Is he being questioned further? Are there suspicions about the father in any way?

KEEN: Yes. Very early on in the investigation what surprised a lot of people and didn`t surprise some people is that he entered a voluntary agreement, agreeing not to come into contact with Isabel`s two older brothers. And so they were separated, and we would never see them together, and we hadn`t heard from the children.

It was maybe about a month ago that we had heard of the family being out and about all together: father, mother and two siblings together. That`s something that we asked them about a couple of weeks ago. And they would not comment on that. But apparently, that voluntary agreement no longer exists, and they`re able to all be together. And that`s a very difficult thing to confirm from authorities, because they`re not allowed to -- this is Child Protective Services doesn`t comment on cases like that.

MORET: Kevin, are you getting a sense from investigators the level of frustration that they`re feeling over this case?

KEEN: That`s something that, of course, we asked about every single day. There were daily press conferences, and then they went to a lot less than that. They wanted to solve this quickly. They knew that the importance of getting the information out right away, getting all the tips that they needed. And they just weren`t able to do that. But they are still on that trail, they tell us.

MORET: That`s Kevin Keen, reporter, KGUN, talking to us live. Thank you for your time.

And on set we`re joined now by Steve Moore, former FBI agent, and John Manuelian, criminal defense attorney. Thanks to both of you.

Steve, as a former FBI agent, when you`re -- when you`re involved in a search -- and I know you`ve been involved in searches such as this before.

STEVE MOORE, FORMER FBI AGENT: Right.

MORET: Time is of the essence.

MOORE: Yes.

MORET: And we heard 131 days. And I`m thinking as a parent every day, every hour is torture. What do you do as an investigator this far out? And are your fears greater now than they would have been if -- you know, a month out?

MOORE: I think candidly, unfortunately, your fears are greater. But your fears are now that you might not solve the case or you might not be able to convict the person you think is responsible for it. The fears about the child, I think, have gone by the wayside. The chances of her being recovered go down every day.

MORET: We have seen cases where...

MOORE: Absolutely.

MORET: Well all`s been lost and suddenly you find the child, sometimes months later, sometimes years later.

MOORE: Absolutely. Elizabeth Smart`s case. But those are the exception. And I think that`s where we`re going here. The police are trying everything they can. This separation, this voluntary separation agreement, this to me smacks of an attempt to put pressure on Sergio for whatever reason. I`m not going to try to read their minds.

MORET: Sure.

MOORE: But it leads me to believe that maybe they had some things they needed from him. At the same time they had to know at the beginning it was non-sustainable. Obviously, they are no longer in that agreement. And that`s got to be a setback for them, because now they no longer have that over him.

MORET: John, looking at this as a defense attorney, criminal defense attorney, what stands out to you? We heard mention of this separation agreement. That seemed strange right from the beginning. What do you see in this case?

JOHN MANUELIAN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, what`s strange to me in this case is not specifically the separation agreement. I find problematic is the blood in the house. Remember, Elizabeth Smart there was no blood found.

MORET: Right.

MOORE: Separation agreement could mean something. But again, what`s going to be key to finding this girl are the forensics, the physical evidence, what ties the girl to her being missing.

MANUELIAN: And, Steve, if there`s blood in the house, that would suggest a struggle, which would indicates perhaps she did not know the kidnapper.

MOORE: Could be. Blood in the house doesn`t always indicate a struggle. Or it could be a lot of things that I would really rather not discuss. But a lot of things could happen to a -- to a compliant victim that would result in their blood being in the house.

MORET: And, John, do you think that at this point is the father not officially a suspect, given the fact that he`s allowed to see his other children?

MANUELIAN: I think he`s not a suspect. But, again, we have to wait and see what the father knows, what he says, whether his statements are consistent to, you know, where he was at the time, what he was doing at the time and things like that. I`m sure that authorities have already polygraphed him. If not, they probably will at some point.

MORET: OK. We have to take a break. We`ll be back with more of our coverage right after this. Stay with us. I`m Jim Moret filling in for Jane.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

B. CELIS: It`s tough, because we`re already under a lot of stress because we don`t have use of it here. So to have more thrown on us -- but we`re strong. And we`re -- we`ll be OK. We`ll survive it. We just want her back.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORET: I`m Jim Moret from "Inside Edition," filling in today for Jane. We`re covering the case of 7-year-old Isabel Celis, missing for 131 days. Now, her birthday just makes this situation even worse.

Take Kyron Horman, for instance. He was 7 when he vanished from his Portland classroom. He will have his tenth birthday in just a couple of weeks.

Let`s go out now to Jon Lieberman, HLN contributor.

Jon, I`ve covered the Kyron Horman case, for example. These kinds of cases are very difficult. You keep your hope alive. But as we`ve heard from Steve Moore, former FBI agent, you know, it`s difficult. The more time that passes, the more problems develop with the case, the colder the leads get.

JON LIEBERMAN, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, well, Jim, we both covered that case. And miracles do happen.

And I want to underscore, Jim, this is anything but a cold case at this point. And in fact, I`ve seen cases where cops have a lot less to work with then they actually do here in this case. They do have some physical evidence from inside the house, some physical evidence from inside the family car. They have statements from all of the family members. And so police actually do have something to work with here.

Now, obviously, the more the hours go by and the days turn into months, you know, the chances that this poor little girl is going to come home alive obviously decrease. But miracles do happen. And I know for a fact that these cops have two full-time detectives on this case. And they continue to get in leads, as well, that they`re actively following up on.

MORET: In her 911 call, Isabel`s mom clearly in hysterics when police asked if she searched her daughter`s bedroom. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You looked everywhere, under the bed...

B. CELIS: Yes, I looked everywhere. I even looked (UNINTELLIGIBLE). The window`s out of our house. Somebody took the window out of our house.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.

B. CELIS: Please hurry, please and get here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`re almost there, ma`am, OK?

B. CELIS: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where is your husband and your kids?

B. CELIS: They`re outside waiting for the cops.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.

B. CELIS: Oh, my God.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORET: The police later found key evidence in Isabel`s bedroom. The 550-page report that was released by authorities say there were views of apparent blood on the floor. At this point it doesn`t appear we know whose blood that was.

But, Jon Lieberman, when you talk about this being far from a cold case, that`s clearly important evidence. And you want to match it up. You almost have to assume, given the fact that the father`s able to see the young boys again, that it was not his blood. I know that`s a leap, but it is an assumption I`m making here at this point.

LIEBERMAN: Well, but another way to look at it, too, is police, by not coming out and saying they have cleared this family, cleared these parents in this case, you know, they`re also saying as much by saying they`re not clearing them as if they came out and said that they were suspects or persons of interest.

So one thing, Jim, is that police are holding back some important information, as well, that wasn`t released in those documents so that they can use that information to either contradict or corroborate what some of the -- of the witness statements have been. Presumably the parents and the others who might know, you know, what happened to this little girl.

MORET: Steve Moore, former FBI agent, Jon makes a great point. He says we haven`t heard the officials clear the family. So we know blood was found. That`s an interesting point, though.

MOORE: It`s a very interesting point. Quite often you learn more about what`s not been done and what`s not been said by -- than what you learn by what has been said.

The fact that they haven`t cleared the parents officially is troublesome to me, because that would seem to be the first thing you`d want to do in your investigation. At least if I was doing a kidnapping, I`d want to get the parents out of the way to get their lives back at least that much.

MORET: John Manuelian, criminal defense attorney, are you troubled -- if you represented this family would you be troubled they haven`t been cleared at this point?

MANUELIAN: No. Because I believe the investigation is ongoing. There`s probably a lot of unanswered answers. There`s physical evidence that they need to corroborate and statements they need to corroborate. And it`s not going to be very fast; it doesn`t trouble me at this point.

BLITZER: And we`re going to cover more on this on the other side of the break. Stay with us. Don`t go anywhere.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And you`re both natural parents of the child?

S. CELIS: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. So no stepparents? Any problems with any grandparents?

S. CELIS: No.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You`re not having any family issues? Anything like that?

S. CELIS: No.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORET: Covering this case, two young sisters got into a whole lot of trouble when they called 911 pretending to be Isabel Celis.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nine-one-one, what is the emergency?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s Isabel.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: None-one-one, what is your emergency?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Isabel.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORET: That was clearly a prank. Could these prank calls by these two sisters, ages 9 and 11, actually be a good investigative tool? Say, hypothetically, a key individual in the case knew the child was deceased. When cops tell that person, "We just got a phone call from Isabel," would that person`s reaction be revealing?

Jon Lieberman, what have we heard, if anything, about these two sisters? They`re obviously young. You know, we`ve heard about kids doing stupid things before. Is it that or something more?

LIEBERMAN: Yes, unfortunately for this investigation, Jim, it appears that this is just two kids prank calling, frankly, on a Sunday morning, a series of three calls. These 9- -- this 9- and 11-year-old girls.

And unfortunately, at this point it doesn`t look like there`s anything of any investigative value here. This was just poor judgment and perhaps lax oversight by the parents, as well. But it doesn`t look like -- A, it doesn`t look like the two are going to be charged. And, B, it doesn`t look like it`s going to come up with anything firm for the investigation.

MORET: John Manuelian, criminal defense attorney, you get information like this, and you think, well, maybe it`s something -- it`s probably just two kids doing something stupid. Does it muddy up the investigation?

MANUELIAN: Sure. Actually, I disagree. I think it could be a crime if it`s obstructing or delaying an investigation in any way. That could be a misdemeanor charge or a smaller charge.

MORET: Does it -- does it hurt the investigative process?

MANUELIAN: It could, because it takes away the resources of the police department, and it goes on a different lead. So it could absolutely delay an investigation, criminal investigation.

MORET: Steve Moore, as a former FBI agent, what does something like this do to an investigation? You clearly do take resources away.

MOORE: Yes.

MORET: And it`s a detour that could take you a day, a week or longer.

MOORE: R.J. said it right. It can take time away. And every minute is valuable. If that takes eight hours to run down, then it`s going to take more than that of detective time. It`s like calling in a fake fire alarm and then somebody across town dying of a heart attack because the fire engine was not in the station. It could be crucially bad or it can have very little effect.

MORET: And at some point as an investigator do you pull back resources and say, "Look, we`re not getting anywhere. We have to delay this." It`s not a cold case, but it`s not as active as it was earlier on?

MOORE: That`s -- that`s when your boss -- your bosses do that to you. You never want to pull back. You never want to stop. This is -- I guarantee you these detectives are living this and don`t want to give up one minute of their time towards and don`t want it to be back-burnered.

MORET: Well, this won`t be a back burner for us. We will continue to follow the case of Isabel Celis and be back with more on JANE VELEZ- MITCHELL right after this. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A packed courtroom on pins and needles.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Long day. Long day.

LARRY KING, FORMER HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": The third wife.

DREW PETERSON, ON TRIAL FOR MURDER: OK.

KING: What happened?

PETERSON: Don`t know. I don`t know.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Charged with murdering his third wife, Kathleen Savio.

PETERSON: We got information that she drowned in the bathtub.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is morally certain that his dad had absolutely nothing to do with his mom`s demise.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Prosecutors say Peterson broke into Savio`s home and murdered her.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How it became a homicide, I don`t know. It`s a freaking accident.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We just took the one witness that they had, potentially, which was Stacy, and proved that she was just doing it to extort money.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For Stacy Peterson, Drew Peterson`s fourth wife, went missing.

PETERSON: The news and the media had done their best to keep me sinister. Sinister sells better.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORET: Welcome back. I`m Jim Moret from "Inside Edition" filling in today for Jane.

The Drew Peterson trial ended with a bang. The defense rests, the prosecution gives its rebuttal and rests. But the question everyone is asking: did the defense`s own witness do major damage to their case?

Divorce attorney Harry Smith testified for the defense and told jurors that Peterson`s missing fourth wife, Stacy, told him, quote, "Drew killed Kathleen" just days before Stacy vanished in 2004. You heard me right.

Drew is accused of killing his third wife, Kathleen Savio, in her bathtub. The defense says she died from an accidental fall. Now many are wondering why on earth Drew`s team of lawyers would put missing Stacy front and center and put a witness on the stand to potentially prove the prosecution`s own case.

After court, Drew`s attorneys defended their decision, claiming they made one strong point. That is that Stacy wanted more money out of Drew in their divorce. So they say she lied about Kathleen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here`s what you found out today. You found out that Stacy was going to say anything to gain an advantage in the divorce she was going to file. We put it in there, because it`s not credible. Harry Smith was arrogant on the stand. And if the state believed it, they`d have put it in there, and they didn`t.

She had a motive to lie. She wanted the financial advantage in the divorce. And that`s why she did it. And the jury should know that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORET: Wow. OK. Straight out to John Manuelian, criminal defense attorney. John, I`m an attorney, and I don`t even understand this legal argument. I can`t even understand just discussing it. We were talking before we went on the air.

MANUELIAN: Right.

MORET: Why in the world would you want to do anything that hurts your client in such a profound way?

MANUELIAN: You wouldn`t. It was a big blunder. And Greenberg was very emotional. And I`m sure Greenberg went ballistic in court. I read a statement where he said, "I filed 74 motions to keep all this stuff out, and you undid it." It`s not a good day for the defense. And I know Greenberg is irate and upset, and he has a right to be.

MORET: You`ve got members of the defense team that are not in agreement. You have one attorney going rogue in a sense, right?

MANUELIAN: Yes.

MORET: How devastating could something like this be?

MANUELIAN: Huge. I mean the jury -- that may be all that the jury needs to decide to tip the balance in the favor of the prosecution.

MORET: Are you shocked?

MANUELIAN: Yes, but I`ve seen shocking things done before.

MORET: But this is pretty big.

MANUELIAN: It`s pretty big, and it`s pretty bad.

MORET: Jon Leiberman, HLN contributor in New York -- what`s your reaction to this? This seems unbelievable to me?

JON LEIBERMAN, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I`ll tell you, Jim, the shocking thing is that this is what the jury is left with in terms of defense witnesses. I mean the defense actually was riding a wave of momentum. They have Drew`s son saying that he doesn`t believe that Drew killed his mom, Drew`s ex-wife, Kathleen Savio. So they had that.

There were a number of missteps by the prosecution where mistrials were almost declared three different times. So then to do this, a guy that the other guest just pointed out, this is a witness that the defense fought to keep out of court. And then to put him up there and he essentially says that, look, Stacy told him that, yes, you know, Drew killed Kathleen. I mean, it is a huge blunder.

And, Jim, I remember being with the Savio family in Chicago when they came back with the Dr. Baden autopsy which showed that in his opinion, she was murdered. And I`ll never forget that moment standing with that family who is now keeping their fingers crossed for justice in this case. In their eyes the defense might have just done just that for them.

MORET: It`s a complicated case. I want to bring people back up to date. So let`s do a recap now.

Drew, you may recall, is a former cop. He`s accused of killing his third wife, Kathleen Savio. Her body was found in her bathtub in 2004. Now, coroners first ruled that her death was an accidental drowning.

Then he remarried wife number four. That was Stacy. She disappeared in 2007. After she vanished, police re-opened the investigation into wife number three -- that`s Kathleen`s death. Her body was exhumed. Medical examiners then came to a different conclusion. They called it homicide.

Yesterday one of the prosecution`s most notable rebuttal witnesses, world-renowned forensic pathologist Michael Baden testified that all of Kathleen`s injuries are not indicative of a fall. There are too many, there are too many locations; that means there would have had to have been multiple falls.

So John Manuelian, criminal defense attorney, does the fact that this was initially ruled an accident then later ruled a homicide then you have this new testimony, all of that adds up. It`s the last thing the jurors hear, right?

MANUELIAN: It`s the last thing the jurors hear. And again, this is a completely circumstantial evidence. There`s no physical evidence connecting any of the murders to Drew Peterson. And now you get this huge blunder in court. And that`s what they`re left with.

MORET: And, Jon Leiberman, look, we talk about circumstantial evidence. We`ve covered a lot of cases where there`s only circumstantial evidence. It`s very rare, necessarily you can have an eyewitness and sometimes I`ve even covered a case where there`s no body and there`s been a conviction of first-degree murder.

You even said it a moment ago. The last thing the jurors hear is the idea that Drew admitted that he killed the wife. That may be all you need.

LEIBERMAN: Well, it`s a strong message. And, look, Jim, it`s going to come down to this. Is this a CSI jury that has to have physical evidence, DNA and fingerprints? Or is this a jury that likes to put together a puzzle and use common sense and put two and two together and get four? That`s what this is going to come down to.

MORET: But, John, when you`re talking about -- you hear about a CSI jury. You know, jurors every day have to put things together. And we expect things to be wrapped up in 60 minutes. That`s just not how it works.

But when you don`t have any evidence other than statements that are brought in like here and it`s circumstantial evidence, how powerful can it be in swaying a jury where they say, you know what, I think you`ve got proof beyond a reasonable doubt?

MANUELIAN: It could be powerful. But what makes this powerful for the prosecution is that you have a confession. There`s a confession that they`re going to think about during jury deliberations. So in my view you don`t need a CSI jury. With a confession you throw your hands up and say, well, he confessed.

And the lawyer said so -- his own lawyer admitted that his client confessed. So you have two lawyers assisting in the part of the conviction for the prosecution.

MORET: Jon Leiberman, are you surprised at all? It`s very rare you see a defendant take the stand in their own defense. Are you surprised that Drew Peterson decided he would not testify?

MANUELIAN: You know, I am surprised, Jim, just because of knowing Drew Peterson both publicly -- and I was one of the first that interviewed him back in 2007. I bet behind closed doors he really wanted to testify. And his attorneys said, look, it`s our advice, don`t testify. We`ve put on a good case. We don`t need to put you up there and get torn to shreds.

So I believe in my heart that he wanted to testify, but his attorneys said, "Please, Drew, don`t". And he heeded their advice.

MORET: Drew`s son, Thomas, told jurors -- he did take the stand -- he told jurors he believed his father was innocent. So, John, as a lawyer you put a man`s son on, he says I believe my father`s innocent. That`s great if that`s all you hear. But we didn`t just hear that.

We heard, oh, another witness said Drew said he killed her.

MANUELIAN: More of a reason to put Drew on the stand to undo that mistake that the other lawyer did. I mean Drew Peterson is the only one that could say look, I never said that to my lawyer. That`s incorrect and deny it.

And he goes on Larry King and he goes other shows, why isn`t he taking a stand now and fighting for his life?

MORET: Fascinating case.

Ok. Time now for our "Shocking Video of the Day". In Philadelphia, an SUV backs up, the passenger gets out and opens fire at the man in the white shirt who naturally takes off in the opposite direction. Police say he was grazed in the shoulder but was not seriously hurt.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MORET: Here`s your "Viral Video of the Day".

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A little song while they`re eating their peas.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You guys ready?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s very sad.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 16-year-old Hannah Truelove`s body found in some adjoining woods Friday night.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s a very serious crime.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Police aren`t saying how she died. Tweets from Truelove`s Twitter account a couple of weeks ago saying she had a stalker and was quote, "scared".

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There hasn`t been a lot more information other than what was initially first seen.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORET: Welcome back. I`m Jim Moret from "Inside Edition" filling in tonight for Jane.

The mystery of a murdered teen rattles a quiet Atlanta suburb. Can the victim`s ominous tweets just days before her death lead to her killer?

The body of the 16-year-old Hannah Truelove was found last Friday, a day after her mom reported her missing. She was left in a wooded area near her apartment. Police are not saying how she was killed on august 12th.

Hannah posted this tweet on her Twitter page, quote, "I got me an ugly blank stalker." On August 18th she tweeted "So scared right now." And finally, August 22nd the day before she vanished she wrote quote, "I need to move out of these dang apartments."

Was Hannah being stalked and is that person her killer?

Straight out now to investigative reporter Jon Leiberman. Jon, at this point does it seem like these tweets are the best lead that investigators have?

LEIBERMAN: It does, Jim. It absolutely does. And it appears that this young girl was in fact being stalked. And I`m hearing that the murder scene, the crime scene, was so vicious that it showed a crime of passion, which would again indicate this wasn`t a stranger who did this to this 16- year-old. This was somebody who was known to her and police very much believed this person was indeed known to her. And they are now going through all of her social media interaction, text messages, everything, to try and track this person down.

MORET: Steve Moore, former FBI agent. You know, look, you`ve got a young girl. And you put everything on your Twitter page, everything on Facebook. But clearly if you`re upset, if you`re nervous, you go to authorities, you go to your parents. It`s not good enough to go to Facebook or Twitter.

STEVE MOORE, FORMER FBI AGENT: Right.

MORET: When you look at tweets like this over a period of ten days and they all point to "Something`s bothering me. Somebody`s after me. I`ve got to move."

MOORE: Right.

MORET: That is the best lead that they have at this point.

MOORE: That`s a fantastic lead. It tells you a lot of things. It tells you that the stalker that she`s talking about is not some person out there in the Internet ether where she doesn`t know where he is. She says she`s got to move out of the apartment.

MORET: Right.

MOORE: She doesn`t say I got to change my pass codes. I`ve got to get out of these apartments.

MORET: Which doesn`t necessarily mean that the assailant lived in the apartment but --

MOORE: Knew where she --

MORET: He knows where she lived.

MOORE: Right. So you know right away that she believes he knows where she lived.

MORET: Right.

MOORE: She doesn`t just tweet this and not talk to her best friends about this. This was shorthand for everything that she had talked through with her girlfriends, I`ll guarantee you. Somebody knows a lot more than we`re hearing right now.

MORET: So do you think investigators are now talking to all these friends?

MOORE: Oh, yes. There would -- I would do nothing but talk to every single friend she`s ever had. And then you would be looking for people that she had been in relationships with before because these stalkers, there`s two or three types, but one is the type that says "I won`t take no for an answer". And then there are the strangers who just pick you up off of the Internet or Facebook and say "She must love me, I know it in my head."

MORET: Right.

MOORE: So, got to figure out which one it is.

MORET: Jon Leiberman, clearly then police I guess at this point they`re going to try to cross reference all of her Facebook, her tweets with all of her friends and see if there was any perhaps threat of a conversation that might lead them in a new direction. Over and above what Steve`s talking about, actually talking to these people, right?

LEIBERMAN: Well, absolutely. So on one end you have the social media part of the investigation. On the other hand they`re canvassing this whole area to see who saw what. And then the third thing they`re doing is looking for any surveillance video in and around this apartment complex to see if they can actually catch on tape this 16-year-old with her potential killer around the time they know she was killed.

MORET: And, Steve Moore, what`s interesting about social media nowadays is that you`ve got a physical written record.

MOORE: Yes. Yes. It`s beautiful.

MORET: Which from your standpoint has got to be a godsend in cases like this where unfortunately you know the outcome but you`re looking for her killer.

MOORE: Yes. And I`ll tell you one thing I do is I compare everybody on her other social media with who`s on her Twitter page or Twitter account. Because it doesn`t seem like she thought that the stalker was on her Twitter account.

MORET: That`s a good point. We`re going to continue to follow the case of Hannah Truelove and find her killer, work with authorities and bring you the latest as we get more details.

Stay with us for more of JVM. I`m Jim Moret.

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MORET: My new favorite segment. Time for our "Pets of the Day". Send us your pics at hlntv.com/Jane.

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MORET: A stunning decision by the USDA reopens a slaughterhouse in the center of a food and safety and cruelty investigation. And when you see the disturbing undercover footage, you`ll be asking yourself "Why is this place open again?"

After seeing these images, McDonalds`, Costco and In & Out Burgers all decided to stop buying beef from the Central Valley Meat. And the USDA suspended operations at the slaughter house after seeing this footage.

The video appears to expose the abuse of helpless cows. One worker standing on a cow`s nose that says he`s been shot in the head, but didn`t die right away; another cow thrashing about after allegedly being shot over and over again with a pneumatic gun.

Straight out now to Gene Baur, president of Farm Sanctuary and author of "Farm Sanctuary"; Gene, look, the video is horrific to look at. And when you hear that the USDA is allowing them to go forward and re-opens what questions come to your mind first?

GENE BAUR, FARM SANCTUARY: Well, I think the USDA is way too close to agri-business, they have taken a sort of "don`t look don`t find" approach to problems. They did shut this one down temporarily after an investigation by the passion over the killing.

But the USDA should be figuring this out themselves. There were USDA inspectors in that plant that allowed this to occur under their noses and it took an investigator from an animal protection organization to go in, to document this and to expose this.

And USDA is just too close to agri-business that they`re not doing a good job.

MORET: Ok. And for fairness we called Central Valley Meat for a statement. They have not responded.

Two weeks ago when these allegations surfaced, they told us quote, "Center Valley Meat calls the allegations disturbing and surprising." The company says it, quote, "seeks not just to meet federal humane handling regulations but to exceed them." The USDA said their investigation did not find any evidence that the owner -- sick or downed cows were slaughtered at the company when this video -- look, how is it possible, Gene Baur, how is it possible for the USDA to open so soon before seeing new procedures put in place?

BAUR: Unfortunately at these slaughterhouses bad has become normal. And these conditions are all too common place. You know, the animals are seen just as commodities. They`re seen as pieces of meat, meat on the hook and their suffering is not adequately considered.

And USDA is in very close alliance with agri-business and their goal is to get as many of these animals through the process and killed and cut up.

MORET: Ok Gene, you`ve got the last word. Don`t forget to read Jane`s own op-ed on this at hlntv.com

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MORET: In New York City, there`s a battle brewing over horse drawn carriages and whether or not horses should be sharing the road with all that traffic in the first place. On August 16, a horse named Oreo broke free from his carriage and ran through the streets, overturning his carriage with tourists on board and crashing into a parked car.

That incident sparked a protest to ban horse-drawn carriages from New York City for good. And Jane went to the protest and her is what she saw.

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CROWD: They should not be in the city.

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: These protesters say they`re speaking out because the horses can`t. And if they could these demonstrators feel sure the horses that drag carriages around New York and a few other American cities would say, "Enough, get me off these busy streets. I don`t belong here."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s enough. I have seen the hell holes they live in. I know the facts. It`s time to end this. It`s just ridiculous. Other cities have banned horse-drawn carriages. New York can do so much better. It`s time.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: These images went viral after this black and white carriage horse named Oreo got badly spooked in heavy traffic and bolted near Manhattan`s St. Columbus Circle. Oreo galloped for blocks before being caught cut. Luckily Oreo survived the ordeal with just a few scratches. But critics say the six-year-old horse was clearly traumatized.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It doesn`t take much to spook a horse. Even a reflection or a strange sound or something dropping can spook a horse. Oreo then took off and (inaudible) went into a parked car, dumped the carriage with the tourists in it, then broke fear and continued to run in total fear and pain.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The carriage driver got banged up, so did the two Australian tourists who tumbled into the street. The incident has super- charged the opposition to horse-drawn carriages.

More than 90,000 signatures now support legislation to ban the horses and/or to replace them with horseless carriages that could be driven by the very same driver.

You can see dozens and dozens of people here; we`re right across from the famous Plaza Hotel. And I have to tell you, it`s all about these guys -- the horses who are tethered to these carriages. There are hundreds of them in the city and it`s becoming more and more controversial in the wake of this latest incident.

GARETH SMITH, CARRIAGE DRIVER: It was a new horse. It was in odd condition, it happened. It was a rare situation; I mean we`re talking about it now, because it almost never happens.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: While this carriage driver insists Oreo`s terror was an aberration, the "New York Times" reports at least seven incidents last year alone of horses getting spooked, collapsing or crashing into a car.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: $50-dollar rip-off ride --

CROWD: How many horses have to die?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The protesters say with horses like Oreo racing off, this issue could become a big one in the upcoming horserace for mayor of New York.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shame on Mayor Bloomberg.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORET: We reached out to Mayor Bloomberg, a long-time supporter of horse-drawn carriages for comment but never heard back. Now hundreds of horses are still hauling carriages every day. At least one horse`s story has a happy ending. Oreo was sent to a Massachusetts horse sanctuary where he will remain.

Jane I know will be happy about that.

I`m happy for filling in. I`m Jim Moret from "Inside Edition".

Nancy Grace coming up next.

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