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JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

Faux Tears for Baby Gabriel?

Aired September 26, 2012 - 19:00   ET

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


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL starts right now.

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Tonight, tears and drama in the Baby Gabriel courtroom. The 8-month-old infant`s mother stands trial for his kidnapping. The child went missing while she was on the run with him. And the child could be dead or alive, we don`t know. Were her tears and her sobs in court real or just another way to manipulate and lie? We`ll analyze next.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VELEZ-MITCHELL (voice-over): Tonight, emotional outbursts from inside court as missing Baby Gabriel`s mom breaks down sobbing as a witness testifies for the prosecution. Is the mother of the missing 8-month-old boy actually upset? Or is this all part of this defendant`s act?

Will her trial uncover the secret of what she really did with Baby Gabriel? Did she suffocate the precious baby, as she told her ex? Or is the little boy alive and living with a mystery couple, as she told cops?

We`ll go inside the courtroom. And we`re taking your calls.

Then, a beautiful 3-year-old girl vanishes without a trace from her West Virginia home. The little girl`s mom says the last time she saw the toddler she was in her bedroom. And when she checked on her hours later she was gone. So who took the child and why? Police remain tight-lipped. But will the secrets of the mother`s past shed light on this mystery? The little girl`s frustrated aunt joins me live tonight.

Plus, a new party craze putting college kids in the hospital. You won`t believe what one University of Tennessee frat house was just suspended for. Is this bizarre ritual the latest version of extreme partying trends?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Johnson`s alleged conspiracy to give away her infant son Gabriel.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where is Baby Gabriel?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The 8-month-old was last seen at a Texas motel back in 2009.

ELIZABETH JOHNSON, GABRIEL`S MOTHER (via phone): I don`t exist anymore.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The boy`s mother, 23-year-old Elizabeth Johnson, picks up everything and takes her baby on a two-day journey, traveling from Arizona to San Antonio, Texas.

JOHNSON: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) capable of when you push them enough.

LOGAN MCQUEARY, GABRIEL`S FATHER: She told me on the phone, "You`re never going to see Gabriel again."

(via phone) Where are you? Where is Gabriel?

JOHNSON: I killed him. I killed him this morning. Gabriel is in the Dumpster. You want to talk to girls, that`s the price you pay.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: She confessed to strangling the baby, putting him in a diaper bag and throwing his little body in a Dumpster like trash.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, emotional outbursts as Baby Gabriel`s mom sobs loudly during her high-stakes kidnapping trial. What caused the infant`s mom to break down at the defense table?

Good evening. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell coming to you live.

Eight-month-old Baby Gabriel has not been seen in over three years, and his mother, 26-year-old Elizabeth Johnson, is standing trial for his kidnapping, because he vanished after she took him on the run.

Now, she melted into tears and sobbed loudly as a prosecution witness accused her of manipulative scheming ways. Her outburst is fast. So we`re going to play it for you twice. Listen carefully.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHNSON: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The witness told the jury that mom, Elizabeth, and her friend, Tammi Smith, conspired to have Tammi adopt Baby Gabriel without the boy`s dad saying OK or even knowing about it. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Elizabeth and Tammi came up with a plan in order to get the baby away from Logan. She was going to do whatever she had to do to make sure that he was going to sign those adoption papers.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Originally, Elizabeth told Gabriel`s father that she murdered the baby, suffocating him until he turned blue, and then tossing him in the Dumpster like trash. Listen to this chilling confession.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHNSON (via phone): I suffocated him and he turned blue, and I put him in a bag and I put him in the trash can.

MCQUEARY (via phone): You did not hurt Gabriel.

JOHNSON: Yes, I did. I suffocated him. You knew I would do it and you pushed me anyway.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Elizabeth later took back that confession and told cops she gave little Gabriel to a mystery couple in a San Antonio, Texas, park. Which is it? And are those real tears in court or the work of a calculated manipulator and liar? Tonight we will expose her secrets.

Call me: 1-877-JVM-SAYS; 1-877-586-7297.

Straight out to Joe Gomez, investigative reporter for KRLD. Set the stage for us. How was this child, according to prosecutors, used as a pawn in the war that Elizabeth, the mother, declared on the baby`s father?

JOE GOMEZ, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, KRLD: That`s exactly right as you say, Jane. Baby Gabriel was a pawn, according to prosecutors. Elizabeth was shunned by Baby Gabriel`s biological father, and she used Baby Gabriel as some sort of a -- some sort of a mechanism to get even with his father, because he allegedly didn`t want her any more. So she was a woman scorned, according to prosecutors, using this innocent beautiful little boy as some sort of tool in this bizarre game.

Of course, she is now claiming that she gave Baby Gabriel up to some strange couple in San Antonio, but we don`t know for sure if that`s the fact or if she killed Baby Gabriel, as she said, choked him until he was blue in the face and then threw him in some garbage bin. It`s a very bizarre story, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And how do you finds this mystery couple, who may not even exist?

Elizabeth`s courtroom antics have been theater worthy. Let`s listen to that sob again.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(UNINTELLIGIBLE)

JOHNSON: (END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to go to Lena (ph) Jacobson (ph). You are a field producer for TruTV. You`ve been in court. Was this a theatrical performance? Set the stage. Tell us about this sob session.

LENA (PH) JACOBSON, FIELD PRODUCER, TRUTV (via phone): Well, you know, the timing of this outburst, Jane, was a little bit of a mystery to me. The witness on the stand, Deanna Alla (ph), is a friend of Tammi Smith. She had nothing directly to do with Johnson.

We`ve seen other emotional testimony. We`ve seen pictures of the little boy, that sort of thing. And I`ve seen Johnson shed tears before, but she chose Deanna Alla`s (ph) testimony to start sobbing loudly, as your viewers just heard. I think it just all added up. I think it was genuine emotion, that she was overcome after all this time sitting there listening to it.

What she`s upset about you can speculate if that`s getting caught or the loss of her son. But I think it was genuine emotion. And the judge seemed to agree, because he didn`t actually reprimand her. He said it seemed like a spontaneous outburst.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I heard that she left the courtroom for a second. What happened there?

JACOBSON: Yes. You know, after direct concluded of this witness, her attorney said, "Let`s take a break. Let`s let her compose herself." And when court started again she was OK. She`s been emotional throughout you can see. But she did much better. And I think she`s tried to keep herself in check.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Lena (ph), I`m looking at her outfit. And I`m going to take this to Holly Hughes, criminal defense attorney. She`s wearing earrings worthy of going out partying. She`s wearing a low-cut purple top. On other days she`s also worn makeup, as you see here, and a low-cut top. What does that tell you about this defendant?

HOLLY HUGHES, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: It tells me she`s a young immature lady. That`s what it tells me. And, based on the allegations the prosecution is putting forward, she`s playing right into their hands.

If I was representing this young lady, Jane, I wouldn`t want her dressed like that in court. I would want her to be a little more buttoned up. And like you said, a little less party-like. You don`t want chandelier earrings when you`re sitting there accused of engaging in this behavior, which is by all accounts, if you listen to the prosecutor, very immature. She`s a woman scorned. So to get even with the father of her child, she, No. 1, lies, if you believe that her initial confession is a lie, and says, "Well, I killed your baby. I suffocated him. I put him in a Dumpster." Or she gives the baby away just to keep him from the father.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes.

HUGHES: I wouldn`t want her dressed like that, quite frankly. I`d want a little more conservative ensemble.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Either way it`s horrifying.

HUGHES: Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But we`re trying to figure out what`s the truth. What did she really do?

Now, Baby Gabriel`s father told the jury about some horrific messages Elizabeth sent him, saying the infant was dead. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCQUEARY: That`s when I got the first text message from Elizabeth. And the only thing she texted me was, "I killed him." She told me that she killed Gabriel, and I said no, she didn`t -- or, "No, you didn`t."

And she said, "Yes, you made me. You made me kill my baby boy."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mike Brooks, HLN law-enforcement analyst, here`s what I`m wondering. Usually when somebody does kill, they lie and say they didn`t. They don`t call somebody up and say, "Hey, I just killed someone." So that`s possibly why authorities are saying that they believe there is a possibility that this little boy, we hope, is alive.

MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: And where were the tears there when they were talking -- you know, the father was talking about the baby boy. There was no tears there. But there was tears when they were talking about relationship between Elizabeth Johnson and Tammi Smith and these forged court documents.

But you know, Jane, this baby has been gone since December 2009. You always hold out hope. But we`ve seen the searches in San Antonio by the San Antonio police at a landfill. We`ve seen searches all over the country between Arizona, San Antonio, Miami. We still have not found this baby boy. But there`s always hope, especially when you`ve got characters in this case, Jane, like Tammi Smith, like Elizabeth Johnson. You never know.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You absolutely don`t.

And on the other side of the break, we`re going to bring in a psychotherapist to analyze the fine line between love and hate. And what happened that made this woman declare war? Is she mentally ill? Is she vindictive? Is she just a woman scorned? Or is she truly evil? We`re going to analyze on the other side. And take your calls.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When you call these people you said on the third day you gave them the baby. So when you called them what did you say? Did you call them and say, "Hey..."

JOHNSON: I never called them. You called them. I left it up to you. I did everything you told me to do.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You are a liar. A liar.

JOHNSON: You are. Everything you`ve been saying and doing, throwing people under the bus, you`re throwing me under the bus.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Elizabeth, you belong under the bus. You gave your baby away. And you`re not telling anyone...

JOHNSON: To you. To you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. This young woman, Elizabeth Johnson, the mother of this precious child who has now been missing three years, she sucked other people into her drama. That woman you saw listening to this conversation, Tammi Smith, met this woman in an airport. And suddenly, she`s trying to adopt the child. She and her husband desperately wanted a child.

And then you hear them fighting over the phone over what actually happened. Was there a mystery couple? Wasn`t there?

Robi Ludwig, psychotherapist, do you know who this reminds me of? Casey Anthony. Where the line between fiction and reality is blurred and people are talking to her because they think they`re dealing with reality. And she had a fantasy world going on in her head. It sounds very similar.

ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: It does. It does. And clearly, anyone who lies is in a self-serving place, right? Emotionally. So she lies, she tells people what they want to hear, or she tells somebody something based on her own agenda. But this is a very, very sick woman who basically is very vindictive when she doesn`t get what she wants.

Now, the hope is she didn`t actually kill this child, because we haven`t found the child. So the possibility is still out there that maybe she, in fact, did give the child to some, I don`t know, some ring where they can have him adopted.

The question I have is, why wouldn`t she save herself at this point? Right now her life is on the line.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, that`s an excellent question. I want to throw that to Holly Hughes. I mean, why not? If she did give the child away, say, "You know what? The child`s alive. I can give you some hints as to where this child is."

Even if she gave the child to a couple of strangers who were going to get on a bus in San Antonio and take off, she could describe who these mystery people are.

HUGHES: Right. But what she`s facing is kidnapping on custodial interference charges, which she`s still going to be on the hook for even if the baby is alive, Jane. So at this point, it will be very interesting to watch this trial progress and see if she takes the stand and tries to defend herself.

But the bottom line is she already admitted on those tapes that are being played by the prosecution, "I took the child. I gave him to this person. Oh, no, I killed him."

So she`s already basically admitted that she interfered with Logan, the daddy -- you know, the daddy of the baby, with his custodial rights and taking him away from Logan. That`s guilty right there of what she`s charged with, the charges that she`s actually facing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: There is a fine line between love and hate. And it strikes me incomprehensible, but it`s possible, I suppose, that she`s doing all this still to get back at this rather handsome father of this child, who may have dumped her after she showed that she was a little looney tunes and was screaming where he worked, et cetera, allegedly.

And I find that there`s a possibility, because one of the texts says when she`s texting him, "You will never see Gabriel again. I made sure of that. And you can spend the rest of your pathetic life wondering about him." Mike Brooks, she wants him to wonder. She doesn`t want this question to be answered. She wants him to be left tortured his whole life.

BROOKS: You know, and I think Holly is right on target with this, Jane. About, hey, why give it up now? Keep with your story. You`ve got the story going. But what is the real story?

I think -- I think she really does want to get back at Logan McQueary, because she knew how much Logan really loved Baby Gabriel and really cared for Baby Gabriel and didn`t want to give that baby up.

And I think Holly`s absolutely right. Why give it up now? Because you`ve got kidnapping, child abuse and custodial interference. You`re found guilty on that, OK, somebody could still have that baby. And maybe she knows somewhere that baby`s alive. But, you know, it doesn`t seem like that`s the case, Jane. But you always, always, always hold out hope.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We hope. Quick question, Kenny, Indiana. Your question or thought, Kenny.

CALLER: Hi, Jane. I just was wondering if she ever took a lie detector test.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Excellent question. Lena Jacobson (ph), you`ve been covering this from the beginning. Did she ever take a lie detector?

JACOBSON: You know, we haven`t heard anything about that. Of course that would not be admissible in court, and no one has breathed a word to me about whether she did. So that`s a mystery.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, I wish they would change the rules to allow that to be used at least -- I don`t know that it should be introduced as evidence, but at least something that can be used more reliably as an investigative tool.

Some people say, well, they`re wrong. People can fool them. But still, wow. I would love to know if she took one and what the results were.

More on the other side.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHNSON (via phone): Gabriel is dead. I killed him this morning.

MCQUEARY (via phone): What?

JOHNSON (via phone): I killed him this morning.

MCQUEARY (via phone): No, you didn`t.

JOHNSON: Yes, I did.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That is the father of Baby Gabriel just ripped apart. This family, the whole family, his dad destroyed by his grandson`s disappearance. Listen to the grandfather testify in court. And it`s heartbreaking. Check this out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Was this his first Christmas?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you and Logan take him to see Santa Claus?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We didn`t get the chance to.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. They didn`t get a chance to take this little boy to his first Santa because he was missing and quite possibly dead by that time. Let`s go out to the phone lines.

Let`s go out to the phone lines. John, Virginia, your question or thought, John.

CALLER: How are you doing tonight, Jane?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m doing good.

CALLER: Good. Jane, my name is John. I`m calling from Chesapeake, Virginia, with my wife here, Dixie Lee. And the thing is, I watch you guys every night right after my dinner. Me and Dixie enjoy you. And the thing is, I want to know why that girl that I see right there in the purple with these dangling little earrings, why is she getting away with scot-free murder? Me and my wife don`t think that is fair.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Well, I think you make a very good point.

Lena (ph), Lena Jacobson (ph), you`ve been covering this case. She looks -- she presents as super normal. You could run into her at a nightclub or at a diner. But has she had mental issues that have kept her from being ruled competent to stand trial in the past?

JACOBSON: Yes, she has. She was ruled incompetent to stand trial initially, then ruled competent later. She`s had ongoing issues -- I think it`s pretty clear that she has some. And she`s been very emotional. And she told the judge last week that she expected to have outbursts in court. She didn`t think she`d be able to keep from that. That`s definitely a part of her personality, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Robi Ludwig, how does somebody -- how does a jury, how does a judge, how do the courts distinguish between an actress? Especially when you`re dealing with an attractive young woman and that sways people subconsciously -- and somebody who is seriously off?

LUDWIG: You know, truth of the matter is you can`t always tell when someone is lying or being overly dramatic. Sometimes we like to think that we know when someone is being dishonest or disingenuous, but we can`t always tell. Sometimes these personalities are very convincing.

Or it`s her own feelings of wanting to believe that a woman truly is sad over the loss of her child that might get us or a jury member inclined to want to believe a woman like this.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: To be so cold. Joe Gomez, Child Protective Services visited this home, talked to Elizabeth before the child vanished. I think they dropped the ball.

GOMEZ: Well, certainly, I mean, they could have picked up on a few signals, that`s for sure. I mean, if you look at the past and what she`s done, you know, texting her -- texting her ex about killing the boy, texting, you know, saying that she wasn`t going to tell him anything until she was in a safe spot.

And you listen to this grandfather`s testimony. That`s what really shakes me, Jane. Is that he paints this picture that Baby Gabriel`s father was this doting loving father who was changing diapers. His boy was his whole world. And prosecutors say that Baby Gabriel`s mother, Elizabeth, was -- she was so bitter, so angry at him that she would do anything to get even with him, even if that meant putting this little boy at risk.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Maybe.

GOMEZ: There`s something definitely wrong there.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Maybe. She was jealous of the child getting all the attention from the man she was obsessed with.

Robi, ten seconds.

LUDWIG: OK. She might have also been envious of her baby and the love that Logan was giving to this baby and realizing, "Hey, why can`t I get the love that he`s giving to my child? If I eliminate the child, that will really punish him for loving the wrong person."

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Unbelievable. On the other side, an equally horrifying story involving a little girl who`s missing.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Around 9, 9:30 I went back in to wake her up, and she was gone.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A 3-year-old little girl dressed in Dora the Explorer pajamas disappears from her own crib.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That morning the mother checked on her at 6:30, the child went back to sleep. And at 9, 9:30 the child was missing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Search teams have turned this typically quiet neighborhood upside down in the hopes of bringing her home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They are doing everything that they possibly can. But the more people we can get to help, the better chances of bringing her home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: With no clues, search crews continue to look for three-year-old Aaliyah Lunsford who went missing from her Dennison home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE Family members say Aaliyah is a shy child. They say she never talked to strangers and would never have wandered off alone.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She never leaves the house unless an adult is with her.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The main mission here is to try to rescue a child.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: While the search continues, investigators keep questioning Aaliyah`s family. A human remains dog was brought in, but it hinted at nothing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right now there`s no clues leading us anywhere. No clues. It`s just like she`s just disappeared.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We love her and we miss her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We want her home.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: Tonight, an adorable -- look at this precious toddler, missing and forgotten -- no, not by us. Three-year-old Aaliyah Lunsford vanished from her own home in West Virginia just about a year ago this week. She was last seen by her mother at 6:30 in the morning, says the mom, as she snuggled in bed feeling sick. Hours later and the mom says she goes back to check on the child and the little girl is nowhere to be found.

It`s a secret family members want to uncover. What happened to this child? Volunteers, local police and the FBI searched high and low for Aaliyah. They turned up absolutely nothing.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SGT. MICHAEL POSEY, LEWIS COUNTY SHERIFF`S DEPT: We did a full canvas of the neighborhood, used K-9; now we have divers in the water. We`ve entered her "missing". Right now there`s no clues leading us anywhere. No clues. It`s just like she`s just disappeared.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The cops tell us this mysterious case is still an active investigation. And CBS News reports the FBI does have a working theory about what happened to this beautiful little girl and that they do not believe an intruder took the child, which is another way of saying they don`t think it`s a stranger abduction. They aren`t revealing what theory they`re working on or whether they think the child is still alive. We certainly hope so. They reportedly did describe people of interests only as a small universe.

So, again, this is the adorable little girl we`re talking about. Take a good look at her. Aaliyah`s great aunt says it seems like everybody`s forgotten her. But we`re not going to let that happen.

Aaliyah`s great aunt joins me now by phone. Thank you so much for joining us Vickie Bowen. I have to say that the first thing I noticed about the picture of the missing child and we can take a look at this, is that there is a black eye. Under her left eye you see what looks like a bruise or a blackened eye, which is unusual for a little girl.

Do you have any idea how that happened? Or was there a problem in the home with any kind of domestic abuse by anybody?

VICKIE BOWEN, AALIYAH LUNSFORD`S GREAT-AUNT (via telephone): Well, I don`t know how it happened. I know what was told to me, which I don`t believe. I was told that she ran into a door facing.

If you look at all of her pictures, you`ll see marks on her and never a smile. Yes, I do believe that she was abused.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: By whom?

BOWEN: I believe it was by her mother and stepfather.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I will say this. Lena, the mother of this child, filed for divorce from Ralph, the stepfather, right after the little girl vanished. She had been ordered by a judge to live apart from him after he allegedly, according to published reports, admitted to buying and using bath salts. Those are powerful synthetic drugs that have caused users to do some very terrible and violent things.

Ralph, by the way, has a rap sheet as long as my arm. Since 2000 he`s reportedly been charged with more than 20 crimes including domestic battery, burglary, conspiracy DUI and attempted malicious assault after allegedly swinging an axe at his niece and another man. Not a good sign.

Cops have questioned Ralph several times. They are not calling him a suspect or a person of interest. We have not been able to reach Ralph Lunsford ourselves but he is invited on our show any time to tell his side of the story or his attorney.

But I want to go back to Vickie Bowen, the great aunt of the missing child. Such a precious little girl -- breaks my heart. What do you know about Ralph? And why do you think Lena divorced him right after her daughter disappeared?

BOWEN: I think the divorce was mostly for show thinking maybe -- she knew she was going to prison for welfare fraud, which she is in prison. And I think that maybe she thought that maybe he could get the other children back. I don`t know. I don`t understand her thinking at all.

I know they were supposed to live apart, however they`d seen each other every day the whole time they were apart -- supposed to be apart.

(CROSSTALK)

BOWEN: It`s an act -- it really.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, did -- as an obviously responsible family member who -- and I applaud you for trying to do the right thing by this precious child. And I notice she seems very sad, the little girl, in a lot of the photos -- in fact in all of the photos. This picture she has a bruise --

BOWEN: In all of the photos.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Tell me.

BOWEN: There was some happy pictures. She lived with my sister, which was her grandmother -- well, actually, Aaliyah was born while Lena was in jail and my sister Joanne took her home straight from the hospital. She lived -- Joanne raised her herself until Lena was about 18 months old - - or until Aaliyah was about 18 months old. Then Lena got out of prison and was on parole and had to live with Joanne.

And as soon as she got off parole she took Aaliyah and all the children, this was last May, and moved out. That`s when a lot of the sad pictures and everything started happening, I think.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me say this. Aaliyah`s mom hasn`t spoken much since the child`s disappearance. But here is the mother of this missing child making a rare public plea.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LENA LUNSFORD, MOTHER OF AALIYAH: They are doing everything that they possibly can, but the more people we can get to help, the better chances of bringing her home.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Lena`s currently in prison for welfare fraud, as you heard. Her lawyer tells us Lena believes Aaliyah is out there alive. She has told the FBI everything she knows. Her attorney also has been quoted as saying no blood relative of Aaliyah knows what has happened to her.

So I`ll throw this out to Tina Smith, also the aunt of the missing girl. What does that mean? No blood relative knows what happened to her?

TINA SMITH, AUNT OF AALIYAH LUNSFORD (via telephone): I think she`s trying to cover something. I don`t understand why she would say no blood relative. A three-year-old little girl doesn`t just vanish into thin air.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, that`s what I wanted to ask you about. Apparently when she discovers the child missing, she says she gets in her car and drives to the point where the car runs out of gas. Tina, why would she drive when we got a toddler here who can`t get that far?

SMITH: Right. She would say that she wouldn`t leave the house without an adult. Well, if she didn`t leave the house without an adult, then why go for hours in a vehicle when the first thing is to call the police.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mike Brooks, what do you make of this very, very sad case? This poor, poor child.

MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: You know, one of the things I was thinking about, Jane, right off the bat when this happened, when this little girl disappeared was, with all the financial problems the parents had, was she possibly sold to somebody? You know, but the FBI`s theory isn`t that it was a stranger abduction. So what does that say?

As a former investigator that says to me that the FBI believes that it was somebody close to her that is involved with her disappearance. But they have no evidence to say that right now in order to prove that, otherwise they would have arrested somebody even on a circumstantial case.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And, Vickie Bowen, there are other children. This missing child has siblings. We`ve heard half a dozen. What`s happened to them?

BOWEN: They`re all in CPS custody. When Aaliyah came up missing, Lena was pregnant with twins. The twins were born on the 10th of November. And they were taken right from the hospital into CPS custody. All the kids, you know, as far as I know they`re all separated.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh.

BOWEN: Her brother was at a dove release ceremony on the 24th. And that`s the first we`d seen of him. He`s with his biological father.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Vickie, we have to leave it right there. But I can tell that you`re a responsible human being. I hope you get a chance to take care of some of these blood relatives and that we stay on top of this case. We promise that. This poor little girl deserves justice. We want to know what happened to her. We`re going to stay on top of this case.

In tonight`s shocking video, two police officers caught on dash-cam video beating two brothers who say they did absolutely nothing wrong. The brothers say they were just walking down the street when the officers approached them. Police say the two men were acting in a strange manner and appeared intoxicated. But the video shows the officers seemingly pounding on the brothers and then throwing them to the ground. The brothers were also pepper sprayed.

They have filed a formal complaint. Police say they are investigating and they are not commenting on this caught-on-tape incident.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re hearing more and more about potentially dangerous ingredients in the beauty products we slather on our bodies. You know 100 ingredients on the back of the bottle; we don`t know what those ingredients are.

My alternative is I make my own -- makeup remover, perfume, body lotion. Essentially what I do is almond oil, very simple. I pour that in and then I use essential oils like tea tree oil and rosemary and lavender. And I mix it all up and put it in various bottles so that I can go on trips. I can go exercise, people always ask me what are you wearing and I say, I made it myself.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: And here`s your "Viral Video of the Day" -- a little kitten and a doggie hanging out and being really good friends. This is from Kitten Rescue of Los Angeles. Just shows you that two species can be really good friends. We could learn a lot from them about peace and getting along. Oh, yes. That`s good.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Students at the University of Tennessee apparently thought that alcohol enemas would be a good thing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They say the man`s blood alcohol was .4 -- that`s five times the legal limit.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Police say that members of Pi Kappa Alpha thought that they would get drunker faster with an alcohol enema.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Twelve students have been cited for underage drinking, one for disorderly conduct and the fraternity has been suspended.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, a college campus secret. Are students taking part in a bizarre form of extreme binge drinking?

20-year-old Alexander Broughton pictured here from MySpace was rushed to the hospital suffering from an apparent case of alcohol poisoning. Police say he had absorbed massive quantities of wine allegedly through an alcohol enema although his family is not so sure.

Students on campus had this to say.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I personally have never heard anything like that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Heard of it I guess before, but no never practiced the method.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: Police say Alexander was dangerously close to death with a blood alcohol level of .40. That is nearly five times the legal cutoff for driving. But Alexander and his family are not convinced that he in fact took an alcohol enema. They point out he`s already back at class, hasn`t missed a day of school.

Police say however when they investigated and went to the frat house and they found rubber tubing and material used to give alcohol enemas at the frat house including several other young men police say who were passed out. And they discovered bags filled with wine in tubing sort of scattered about. The frat house has been suspended. At least a dozen members cited for underage drinking.

But forget all that for a minute. Why would anybody go to such extremes to get blackout drunk? What do you think? Call me, 1-877-JVM- SAYS.

Straight out to addiction specialist Jamison Monroe; and Jamison, your specialty, you deal with young people. So have you ever heard of this the use of alcohol enemas? What is your take on what some people are saying is the latest bizarre craze of extreme drinking.

JAMISON MONROE, FOUNDER AND CEO, NEWPORT ACADEMY: Jane, yes. I actually, unfortunately have heard of this before. And it`s actually been happening for decades. The thing is, is that teenagers are going to find ways to ingest drugs whether that`s through the rectum, through their mouth, smoking. Using -- inserting alcohol through your rectum is analogous to shooting heroin in your arm intravenously. It goes into the system immediately. It bypasses the liver and it shocks the system. And so that`s why you have a young man who`s blacked out, not functioning properly at five times the legal limit. It doesn`t take as much alcohol or as much time in order to give possible deadly effects.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, the University of Tennessee is not taking this whole saga lightly, effectively shutting down the frat house for at least the next 30 days. Listen to this.

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TIM ROGERS, VICE CHANCELLOR OF STUDENT LIFE, UNIV. OF TENNESSEE: We`ve shut the house down for everything except those that reside there and those that may be on a meal plan. It means no activity for the chapter other than meetings to discuss how we might better resolve this case and get to the bottom of what did and did not occur.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. Let me just tell you this is what a traditional enema looks like. You know, a bag with a cord. But it would appear according to the reports by police that some of the frat boys may have been using a bag from wine. The police report says bags from wine boxes, some empty and some partially empty were found at the frat house strewn across the halls and rooms. Remember, wine boxes -- and I quit drinking 17 years ago. I had no idea that wine came in boxes, but it does. And inside the box is a plastic bag. So cops could be implying that the young men were attaching the tubing to the bags and then using it like an enema to super charge the high, bypass the digestive system and get high super fast.

Howard Samuels, have you ever heard of it? You`re an addiction specialist.

HOWARD SAMUELS, FOUNDER, THE HILLS TREATMENT CENTER: Yes, Jane. I mean let`s add this to the list of insanity. And the insanity has to stop. Whether it`s an alcohol enema -- which I`m definitely familiar with; or it`s taking heroin and shooting it into your genitals, or whether it`s smoking crystal meth that has battery acid in it.

I mean, there is a mindset out there in America like your book "Addict Nation" talks about, Jane, that we need to deal with and we need to talk about just like we`re doing today in this form. And to me it`s the college administrations that need to start getting involved with these frats and stop the insanity.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: On the other side, the parents` reaction and we`re taking your calls.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: Time for "Pet o` the Day". Corey and Zoey, I think you are a fabulous pair. Phoebe, you are gorgeous just alone as you are, tres chic. Lily, she says, "I`m hanging out in the sink and I will do as I please." And Moby the love bandit is on the prowl. He wants to have some fun. Yes.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to ask both of our addiction specialists -- Alexander`s parents launching their own investigation. They say Knoxville police released erroneous information.

Jamison Monroe, do they have a point? Was this too personal and potentially embarrassing for the police to release?

MONROE: I don`t think it is. I think that they did conduct their own investigation and these are the facts that they found. I think this -- we have a family that`s in denial here and doesn`t want to take a look at the fact that their son was five times over the legal limit and in the hospital.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Howard Samuels?

SAMUELS: Yes, I totally have to agree with Jamison. I mean this is embarrassing for this family. I mean, they need to stand up and take responsibility and truly help their son before it`s too late for their son and he ends up dying.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But I have to say that we were all teenagers and college students once and we all did embarrassing things that we wouldn`t like the world to know about, myself included. So my heart goes out to this family and I do have compassion for them.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: Fantastic news. Griffin, the dog who was about to be killed in a shelter and was put up for adoption on our show yesterday has found a home. Griffin, the first dog to be featured on our "Rico`s Rescue" segment and he made quite an impression, because calls poured in.

Where is he now? He`s with a new family. Take a look at the video. We have video of him playing. A family in San Diego wanted a playmate for their dog, and they got Griffin and they`ve been playing like this ever since.

Let`s get the rest of the millions of dogs languishing in shelters on death row adopted. We`re going to do it every week.

Stay right there. Nancy`s next.

END