Return to Transcripts main page


College Student Murdered by Boyfriend

Aired October 2, 2012 - 19:00   ET



JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Tonight, a family in total disbelief after their precious beautiful daughter is brutally murdered inside her dorm room. She tweeted with the suspected killer just a couple of hours before her death. Her family stunned over who cops have arrested. Who is behind bars tonight? What secrets was this suspect hiding?


VELEZ-MITCHELL (voice-over): Tonight, a beautiful 18-year-old college student found viciously beaten to death just hours after sending an eerie and mysterious tweet: "Should`ve known." What does that mean? What happened during the early morning hours inside her dorm room? And is her star athlete boyfriend behind the brutal killing, as cops suspect? We`re investigating tonight. And I`m taking your calls.

Then stunning phone calls revealed. Jurors hear Elizabeth Johnson talk to her ex, missing Baby Gabriel`s father, as he desperately tries to figure out if Elizabeth is capable of finding their child, who disappeared on her watch.

And why was this mom sobbing in court today? Has the pressure finally gotten to her? Is she still holding onto the secret of what really happened to this precious toddler? We`ll have the very latest from inside court.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: On Saturday morning just before 3, Kogut was found dead in her dorm room. The medical examiner says that she died of blunt-force trauma.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She`s always giggly, always happy. And that showed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: News of her death spread quickly on campus. Found in her dorm room beaten to death.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a safe campus. It`s a safe environment. But we all know that bad things can happen anywhere.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kogut`s mother called campus police to say she couldn`t get in touch with her daughter. They found her dead in her dorm room. Hours later Kogut`s boyfriend, 21-year-old Clayton Whittemore, a Utica College student, was arrested at a freeway rest stop and charged with her murder.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, did sick secrets fuel the brutal murder of a beautiful college coed?

Imagine the scenario: a frantic mom calls campus police when she can`t locate her 18-year-old daughter. But this mother could never have imagined what police would find in her daughter`s dorm room.

Good evening. Jane Velez-Mitchell coming to you live.

When police entered the dorm room of Alexandra Kogut, they found her brutally beaten to death. Cops say the stunning young woman everyone called Alex suffered severe trauma to her upper body. And now police have arrested her long-time boyfriend, 21-year-old Clayton Whittemore.

He was visiting Alex for the weekend, and they had been exchanging fun tweets leading up to this visit. Cops say Clayton arrived well before Alex was killed, but at a certain point things turned sinister.

Alex sent an ominous tweet at 12:13 in the morning just after midnight just hours before cops say she was killed. Alex wrote, "Should`ve known." What does that mean? "Should`ve known." What was she trying to say?

Her friends say they cannot believe what has happened.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s really hard to think about her not saying hi to her in the halls. There`s nothing we can do now except for remember her and keep going.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Alex and the suspect, Clayton Whittemore, started dating back in high school. They were high-school sweethearts. But he attended a different college. In high school Clayton was a promising hockey star.

Here he is. Here is the suspect talking about being named athlete of the week. Listen.


CLAYTON WHITTEMORE, MURDER SUSPECT: We switched up the lines and I got Jason on my line, and I played with him all year. So we had some chemistry already, and it definitely helped. He works in the corners and helps set me up, and we work good together.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Seems like an all-American kid, right? The suspect was a star hockey player. The victim, a star swimmer. Nobody has come forward to say the couple was having any problems that we know of. So what toxic secrets led to this horrific ending?

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

I want to hear your theories, your thoughts, your questions for the latest in this breaking news story. Let`s go straight out to Kelsey Smith, reporter, WHAM, in New York. What have you learned tonight, Kelsey?

KELSIE SMITH, REPORTER, WHAM (via phone): I actually got an opportunity to sit down with Alex`s uncle, Peter Kogut. He tells me the family is devastated by the loss of Alex. He remembers her being giggly and spontaneous. He said she was excited to be a freshman at Rockport and was just really looking forward to her future.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is what really horrifies me. Something we have learned about the suspect`s past. Now, let`s start with friends saying Clayton and Alex had been dating on and off for a couple of years. And one of Alex`s friends thought he was a very nice guy. Check this out.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As far as I knew, he was a great guy. I didn`t -- it`s so weird to think about someone that you graduated with, shared that kind of memory with, could do such an awful thing.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me pause and say look what a beautiful young woman that was. Here`s the suspect.

Cops in Broward County, Florida, wouldn`t say he was such a nice guy. OK? I`m holding in my hand his arrest report. He was arrested January 2011. They encountered -- cops say they encountered a very, very rageful and angry drunk -- operative word "drunk" -- Clayton Whittemore in January of last year, and they had to arrest him for disorderly intoxication. Cops found an intoxicated male knocking on a door. And despite numerous warnings, he would not settle down. When placed in the patrol car, cops say he began yelling, screaming and cursing at the top of his lungs.

Mark Eiglarsh, former prosecutor, and you`ve got You can ask your questions to Mark Eiglarsh yourself.

Listen, I`m a recovering alcoholic. I know alcohol can unleash rage. It makes a person uninhibited. When I saw this police report I said, "Oh, alcohol, rage, bad combo."

MARK EIGLARSH, FORMER PROSECUTOR: It`s very, very likely. And it made me immediately think of the George Huguely case out of the University of Virginia where a star lacrosse player, also arguably a good-looking guy, good-looking victim, went -- alcohol was a big issue, and he allegedly, physically beat her to death. And he just was sentenced to 23 years.

I think, if this confession is as solid as law enforcement`s alleging, he`s looking at the same fate.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. But he pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder.

EIGLARSH: We always -- Jane, we always plead our clients not guilty. That just means, OK, maybe they don`t have the evidence. Maybe we can work something out. It doesn`t necessarily mean he didn`t do it. He didn`t plead innocent. There`s no way to plead innocent.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But Mark, why was he charged with second-degree murder? She was beaten. She had severe trauma to her body. Why second- degree murder? Why not murder one?

EIGLARSH: We don`t know -- because we don`t know what specifically he`s alleging and what the evidence is. If they don`t have the evidence to reach to murder one, you don`t charge it. It might be appropriately charged at second. And that carries with it a potentially very serious sentence, too, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. Well, Ed Miller, investigative journalist, murder one involves generally premeditation. So I want to look at the timeline of events. And let`s see if we can extrapolate. We don`t know. There`s a lot of unanswered questions.

This was a planned visit. Cops say Clayton arrived at Alex`s dorm long before she was killed. Now, she tweets "Should`ve known" at 12:13 a.m. on Saturday. The autopsy shows she was killed just a short time later between 1:30 and 2 a.m.

Her mom called campus police, couldn`t reach her. They find Alex around 3 a.m., her body. And Clayton, police operated very quickly. They arrest him an hour later. And he`s about an hour`s drive away from the dorm, presumably heading back to where he was going to school.

So here`s what I`m wondering, Ed Miller. Tweets at 12:13 a.m. on Saturday, "Should`ve known." What could that mean? And mind you, he has a history of drinking and rage. And the bars in that area -- we checked -- close between 1:30 and 2 a.m. right around the time that she was killed.

ED MILLER, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: "Should`ve known" can only mean one thing and one thing only. These are her final words, that she has regrets. That there were warning signs that were flashing red lights and somehow she didn`t pay attention to them. Again, these are her final words.

This woman was beaten to death, extensive injuries, they`re using the word battered, which means it wasn`t just one smack or one hit but battered over and over and over again, which means rage.

And, again, you can only imagine you have to speculate of course because so much of crime fighting you do speculate, is that she must have begged for her life, and he ignored those pleas and just continued. Which again goes to the theory that this was out-of-control rage.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, here`s my thought. And we`re going to examine this on the other side of the break with T.J. Ward, a private investigator, former police officer, as well as a forensic psychologist. She`s tweeting something at 12:13. She`s tweeting at someone. OK. Is she tweeting at him?

My theory, and I say this as a recovering alcoholic with 17 years of sobriety, I know back in the day when I was in my disease, if I was in a dorm room and there was no alcohol, I wasn`t hanging around there. I was headed out to the bars.

And it occurs to me that, perhaps, that he headed out to the bars, that she kind of had this little -- often if you`re not dating somebody else who drinks heavily, there`s a conflict over that. And he goes out kind of like a frat boy mentality: "I`m going out to the bar."

She says, "Oh, I knew he was going to go out. Should`ve known." It`s a criticism of him. He`s drinking, he sees it. This is all hypothetical. We have no idea what happened. But we`re going to analyze this possibility on the other side.

Stay right there.


WHITTEMORE: We switched up the lines, and I got Jason on my line. And I played with him all last year. So we had some chemistry already. And it definitely helped. And he works hard in the corners and helps set me up. And work good together.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That is 21-year-old Clayton Whittemore. He is charged with murder two tonight, accused by police of beating -- viciously beating his girlfriend to death in her dorm room when he came up to visit her. Look at this beautiful couple. Now the lives of them, their families, everyone in their circle devastated. And why? Why did this happen?

"The Utica Observer-Dispatch" published several tweets. Alexandra, known as Alex, and Clayton exchanged before a date with death. She wrote, "So excited for @Whittemore21 to come to Brockport Saturday." And then they talked about Clayton bringing her some cookies called white moons. All really happy stuff, right?

And then he says, Clayton, "Not if I eat them first. Yum."

And then some time after that Clayton apparently arrives. And then around midnight, everything turns to a different tone. Alex tweets in a very different sort of way, sort of ominously, "Should`ve known." What does "should`ve known" mean?

Now, again, this is all hypothetical. We don`t know what "should`ve known" means. But I want to bring in a clinical and forensic psychologist, Jeff Gardere.

What do you think, hypothetically, might have been behind her tweeting that ominous and sort of cryptic tweet?

JEFF GARDERE, FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, we have to look at the tweets that were coming before that were very loving between the two of them. She was looking forward to seeing him. He was looking forward to seeing her. So something drastic must have gone wrong. Everything she expected didn`t turn out to be.

And I am surmising -- again, you`re absolutely right, Jane. We don`t know what happened there, but "should`ve known" meant that he didn`t change. If there was an issue of drinking alcohol, that she should`ve known that, just because it was an idyllic setting, it didn`t mean that the outcome was going to be any different than perhaps what it was many times before. I`m sure this is not the first time that they`ve had arguments about his drinking, because she appears to be someone who`s not a major drinker in that way.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I would agree with you, because generally, when somebody does drink to the point where they`re arrested for disorderly intoxication, it`s a problem. It`s something that they haven`t done just once. That it is -- it could be a trend.

Now, that`s all we know is this one arrest. But we will learn more.

T.J. Ward, private investigator, former police officer, when she`s tweeting "should`ve known," it raises the specter, anywhere, that he`s not there, that he may have gone somewhere else and then came back. But there was no sign of forced entry. And then what about the other people in the dorm? How is it possible that somebody is beaten to a pulp to the point where they die, and nobody hears something and rushes to her aid?

T.J. WARD, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR: Well, we don`t know how crowded the dorm was, were other college students home or whatever.

One thing I will say, Jane, is that law enforcement and/or police would want to look at this guy to see other relationships he may have had with other people that he may have been under the influence and gone into a rage. And also people may have known him in the bar after he gets intoxicated, what his personality is after he has this much alcohol in him. That may have been a cause of this tragedy.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, first of all, we have not determined that he had alcohol in his system.

Now, when they arrested him -- and I want to go back to Kelsie on this. By the way, she was 18 years old. She couldn`t go out with him legally and go to the bars. Drinking age is 21. But, Kelsie how many hours after this terrible tragedy, which cops say she was killed 1:30, 2, how many hours after that do they find him? And we`ve tried to get an idea, could they have done a breathalyzer and determined whether he was drinking?

SMITH: I`ve heard nothing on -- as far as the drinking goes. He was arrested just a few hours after her body was found. She wasn`t found until around just before 3 a.m. Saturday morning.

I spoke with some students who lived in the dorm. According to them, nobody heard anything. The only reason campus police showed up to her dorm that night was because her mother called them, worrying about the well- being of her daughter.

Kenny, Indiana, your question or thought, Kenny, Indiana.

CALLER: Hi, Jane. How are you?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Fine, thank you.

CALLER: My question is, do we know if this guy was stable, sick or have anybody did a mental test on him yet?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I got to go back to Mark Eiglarsh on this. Former prosecutor, criminal defense attorney, you`ve seen so many people come through the criminal justice system.

Again, let`s talk about this Huguely case. This is a very similar situation, a lot of commonalities to this case of the Yeardley Love murder. And Yeardley was a beautiful, beautiful -- there she is. Look at her. A stunning athlete. She was a lacrosse player. She was brutally beaten to death inside her apartment, University of Virginia by her ex-boyfriend, George Huguely, who was also, just like this suspect, a very handsome star athlete. And some said there was evidence -- there was evidence that he had a problem with alcohol, as well.

So do you see, Mark Eiglarsh, in these commonalities, these handsome, rugged, star athletes with sort of the cutest girl in class kind of thing developing a sense of entitlement, developing a sense of "the rules don`t apply to me?"

EIGLARSH: I don`t know his motivation at all, but I do see similarities. I think the cases literally mirror each other in terms of facts.

I definitely see alcohol playing a role in the Yeardley-Huguely case. I studied that case very closely. He had a long history of alcohol use and abuse that I think affected his thought process when he killed on the University of Virginia campus.

Similarly in this case, you`ve got the disorderly intoxication. In that arrest report that I read thoroughly, he was wasted. He wasn`t just slightly impaired. His behavior was not only intoxication, but it was violent.

And so you add alcohol to the equation, it would probably be the only way that I could get my hands around why he would have done what he did in this instance.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely. Alcohol and rage can equal violence. Again, this man is just charged. But cops claim that he confessed, and now he`s pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder.

More on the other side.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s really hard to think about her and not having like saying hi to her in the halls. There`s nothing we can do now except for just remember her and keep going.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: This beautiful, beautiful young woman, Alexandra Kogut, 18 years old, first month of college.

This man accused, her high school sweetheart, of brutally beating her to death. And based on how her friends describe Alex, it`s hard to understand how Alex could be party to any kind of violent argument. So let`s listen to her friends.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She`s the same as she is now: bubbly personality, never had a bad thing to say about anyone. She was just a great person. She just -- she`s always giggly, always happy.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Here`s the key point. At 12:13 she tweets "should`ve known," that`s her final tweet.

Now, cops say she was beaten to death between 1:30 and 2:00. I`m wondering, Ed Miller, is it possible that he didn`t show up in time? Even though cops said he arrived, maybe he could have arrived in town but didn`t actually go into the dorm room. And she`s frustrated. We`ve all been stood up. "Should`ve known," and then a couple hours later he could show up.

MILLER: Yes. Anything is possible, of course. I just keep going back to that message and say should have known. It`s should have known better. In other words, she`s saying to the world, which I believe she did tweet this message to several people, that "if I had to go back in time, I should have seen the warning signs."

And you know this, Jane. There are almost always warning signs in boyfriend/girlfriend relationships that go bad. There are almost little -- little acts of violence or little acts of over-obsession, too much obsession, that will give you clues that something is wrong here. He`s a little too obsessive. Or just a little too violent. Or temper, he can`t control his temper.

Again, I go back to the fact that she was battered. Not just hit once or twice, but she was battered. Which means repeatedly beaten. That`s rage. Really bad rage.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, my gosh. Here, according to this arrest report for disorderly conduct, this guy suddenly became enraged, left the house where he was staying, freaked out. Cops said they arrested him, placed him into the patrol car. He began yelling, screaming, cursing at the top of his lungs, again, yelling and cursing. This is a real rage.

And so, Jeff Gardere, bring it home for us.

GARDERE: This is a situation of where, yes, it is rage. But you also have to look at the personality behind that rage, the personality behind the alcohol. Yes, alcohol does lower your inhibitions, and it brings out in you something that is sometimes submerged.

So I would bet dollars to donuts that this is a guy who had some real anger issues all the time, may have been on the edge, at times can be very, very demure, but if you push him the wrong way and if alcohol gets in there, forget about it. This guy is off the hook.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Unbelievable story. Again, he is accused. We don`t want to convict him. If he, his attorney rather, would like to come on, any family members, we would love to have them. From anybody connected to this story is invited on our show. We want to answer the unanswered questions.

Thank you, panel.

Our shocking video of the day. A plane crash. Discovery network shows us a plane crash, how it would feel and look from the inside. They crashed a plane into the desert. You`re looking at what it would feel and look like, OK, to be inside a plane that is crashing. And I hope none of us ever have to experience that.

Nancy Grace coming up top of the hour. What you got, Nancy?

NANCY GRACE, HLN ANCHOR: Jane, on the radar tracking crime and justice, to Florida. Mom picking up after her 14-year-old girl gets a shock of a lifetime. In a cardboard shoebox, wrapped in filthy wet laundry, she finds a full-term baby boy, dead. The baby brutally beaten, blunt-force trauma. Thirty-two blows to the head, manual strangulation. Tonight we learn the awful truth, Jane.



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

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where is Baby Gabriel?

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

ELIZABETH JOHNSON, MOTHER OF BABY GABRIEL: I don`t exist anymore. I`m a ghost.

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: You`d be surprised what a person is capable of when you push them enough.

LOGAN MCQUEARY, FATHER OF BABY GABRIEL: She told me on the phone you`re never going to see Gabriel again.

Where are you? Where is Gabriel?

JOHNSON: 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 him in a dumpster like trash.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight the prosecution has rested in the Baby Gabriel kidnapping trial. The courtroom drama hit a fever pitch as Baby Gabriel`s mom has a total emotional breakdown sobbing during her trial for her toddler son`s disappearance -- a disappearance which occurred on her watch -- as cops read the private and personal MySpace exchanges between 26-year-old Elizabeth Johnson and Baby Gabriel`s father, Logan, Elizabeth breaks down into sobs.


SGT. BRIAN THOMPSON, TAMPA POLICE DEPT: I have done the best for Gabriel. I always have and always will even if that means giving him up. I forgive you. I just want -- I just want this over with and go on with my life. And I don`t wish you anything bad. I hope you get your life together as well and do good. I`m sorry.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Baby Gabriel was last seen three long years ago when he was only eight months old. Elizabeth and her ex-lover, Logan, were locked in a bitter custody battle. And when the judge ruled that they had to share custody, Elizabeth took off with Baby Gabriel and headed to San Antonio.

From Texas Elizabeth called and told her ex, Logan, that she had suffocated the infant and tossed him away in a dumpster. Listen to Elizabeth`s chilling confession.


JOHNSON: I suffocated him and he turned blue and I put him in a diaper bag and put him in the trash can.

MCQUEARY: You did not hurt Gabriel.

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


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Then Elizabeth changed her tune when cops arrested her in Miami. She told police, well, "I gave the baby away to a mystery couple in a park in San Antonio, Texas." She`s charged with kidnapping because nobody`s ever found this little baby of hers.

Do these tears that she`s now shedding in court mean Elizabeth is finally ready to reveal the secret about what really happened on her watch to her son?

What do you think? Call me, 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.

Straight out to Lina Jacobson from "In Session", you`ve been in court the whole time. You were in court. Tell us about Elizabeth`s tears and why did Elizabeth ask to leave the courtroom, Lina?

LINA JACOBSON, CORRESPONDENT, "IN SESSION" (via telephone): Well, you know, she knew these phone calls were going to be played this afternoon, Jane, of course, that very emotional phone call Logan played to her after she sent the text message to him saying she`d killed their little son. So she knew what to expect.

There was also a call between her and Tammi Smith that was set up by police where the two argue about who instigated what in this whole mess. And she knew she was going to get emotional. She said very honestly to the judge, "Look, I`m not going to be able to sit here through this. I don`t want to be here for the afternoon." He cautioned her. He said, you know, "I`m hesitant to let you do this," but he let her sit out the afternoon, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I thought as I watched her cry that we`re seeing finally a change. This is Tammi Smith, her friend who was obsessed with adopting a child and has already done some time for forging adoption papers. We`ll get to that in a second.

But Elizabeth`s wardrobe -- let`s get back to her wardrobe choices in court because it sparked a lot of controversy. Ok. Now, look at this on the left. She looks like she`s going out to a nightclub, she`s wearing earrings, low cut tops. That was for most of the trial thus far.

But take a look at her now. Hair pulled back. She`s wearing a very conservative shirt with a collar. And no earrings and now she`s finally starting to sob and cry.

My question to Jeff Gardere, clinical forensic psychologist, do you think the enormity and severity of what happened is finally dawning on her that this game she was playing because there`s a fine line between love and hate and she went from loving this guy she had this child with to hating him that the game has finally given way. And there`s the guy. And he`s a good looking guy. So you know how she might have been in love with him.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And then decided I`m going to punish him by using the baby as a pawn. Do you think the severity and the enormity of what has happened here has finally dawned on her?

GARDERE: Yes, absolutely. Look, in therapy what we do is we have someone lay on that couch and go through their lives. Go through it step by step. She`s being forced to do the same thing in this trial. She has to sit there and look at her whole life from A to Z; everything she ever said, how she said she killed the baby, all of those texts or messages that she sent. So now she has to re-experience all of that and do it in a way where she cannot escape. She can`t run away. She can`t use a defense mechanism. So she`s almost being tortured to have to face her life.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And look at this beautiful girl too and this handsome father. The question that we`re all trying to get the answer to including cops and prosecutors, is this precious baby dead or alive?

Elizabeth told her ex-lover, Logan, Gabriel`s dad, over and over that she killed her baby, their baby. Listen to that confession carefully. And then we`ll analyze.


JOHNSON: I suffocated him and he turned blue. And I put him in his diaper bag and put him in the trash can.

MCQUEARY: You did not hurt Gabriel.

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


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Don`t forget about the chilling texts, quote, "U will never see Gabriel again. I made sure of that." And "You can spend the rest of your pathetic life wondering about him."

So T.J. Ward, former police officer, private investigator, listen, I wonder, did she really kill him? Look at this baby. How could you do that? But it is done. So there is a possibility. But there`s also the possibility she gave the child to this mystery couple.

Here`s one thing I noted, she said to Logan, "I suffocated the child until he turned blue." Now, is that -- does that have any basis in fact? Or could that lead you to believe that she`s concocting a story to get at him?

T.J. WARD, FORMER POLICE OFFICER, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR: I think she`s probably changing her story so much because she hasn`t said the truth yet what she`s done with the baby. She`s changed her story so many times. And now that the reality`s coming to her in court, I don`t think she knows what to do.

But I think she does know where the child is and who has the child if that`s a possibility. I don`t think at this point that she`s killed the child. I think there`s somebody else that`s playing a part in this picture.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I hope you`re right. Because generally if a child disappears -- and this lady, she is sort of a person who insinuated herself into the situation. She says she`s a good-hearted person. She was desperate to have a kid -- a lot of people are.

She`s done a little bit of time. She was convicted for forging adoption papers, but no indication that she was involved in anything more extensive than that.

But I have to say that I really hope that you`re right. I hope this precious child`s alive.

The question is, and I got to go back to Lina on this. She said that she only got the first names of the couple she gave the child to. This is the other story she told cops. Have we ever heard those first names? Because even though they`re first names, they could provide a real good clue. There`s only --- if it`s a married couple with let`s say John and Mary, there`s only so many John and Marys married together who are in the San Antonio at that time.

JACOBSON: She said the woman`s first name only so far that I`ve heard.


JACOBSON: And I simply can`t remember what it was because it was something very common like Sheryl, something along those lines. I don`t think that would really provide a clue. That`s all she said she could remember. And the funny thing is even Tammi Smith, the woman who tried to adopt little Gabriel, challenged her on this and said you knew mine and Jack`s names. How could you give him to this couple and not even know their names? So that`s all we know.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Terry, Michigan, your question or thought, Terry, Michigan.

TERRY, MICHIGAN (via telephone): I don`t really have any questions. I just wanted to say that I can`t even believe this type of thing goes on. And it absolutely sickens me to think that a woman can do this in this day and age.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, it sickens me too, Mark Eiglarsh. By the way, you can speak to Mark at But Mark, hell hath no fury like a woman scorned -- Shakespeare. It`s a stereotype, as a woman I find it offensive, but sometimes, maybe in this case it`s true.


You know what name she probably gave law enforcement? Zanny. I mean I don`t buy any of what this woman`s telling law enforcement. I think that she probably carried it out. She knows about the blue face because that`s what she witnessed. And who would give a baby away to a couple with no last name? I give clothing away to people. I know their last name.

I`m not buying this, Jane. I would like this baby to be alive, but I don`t know. I don`t feel good about this one.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, we`re going to take more calls on the other side and continue to analyze. So much happened in court.

Stay right there.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And here`s your "Viral Video of the Day". Take a look at this. A woman born without arms took to YouTube to show potential employers she can do anything anybody else can. And she turned into an inspiration for others.

This gives me such joy. I have a new hero. Way to go, girl.



THOMPSON: Please don`t fight me on this. I can take care of Gabriel. I can try and give him a good life. And you even said you can`t take care of him right now. I want to see him so bad. Don`t do this because you`re mad at me. I can take care of him.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was one of the messages that this beautiful baby`s dad wrote. He wanted to take care of his child, but she didn`t want him to have any part of the child. What about her attitude? One of the last people to see Baby Gabriel alive testified. And it`s the babysitter Elizabeth hired after Elizabeth fled Phoenix and arrived in San Antonio. She hired a babysitter.

Listen to what this babysitter said about Elizabeth`s attitude. Check it out.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She basically said that she needed a babysitter for the following day so she can look for work because she had just moved here. Not here, just moved to San Antonio.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What happened when you met Elizabeth?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was kind of mad.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And when you say she was mad at you because you were late, how did you know she was mad?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s obvious by someone`s facial expression and tone of voice.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. So, I don`t understand this. T.J. Ward, private investigator, she flees with her child to San Antonio because she doesn`t want the father to have any part in it. And then she hires a babysitter to go out and claim she`s looking for work? What do you make of that?

WARD: Well, that`s why I`m saying I think the baby may still be alive. She`s not going to tell anybody who she gave the baby to. She`s making up names. She`s making up she strangled the baby to cause harm and get arousement from the father of the child to let him know that she`s in control.

I think there`s another person that`s involved in this that we don`t know about yet. And before she gets sentenced or after she gets sentenced, she may come out and find the reality and maybe tell the truth.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Quickly, Jeff Gardere, if you`re going to kill a child, God forbid why do you hire a babysitter first?

GARDERE: Yes. I mean to me this just does not make any sense at all. What it can speak to is that she was very, very confused as to what she wanted to do with this baby; what she was going to do with her life. We know this was a borderline personality this young woman who was very confused, love/hate relationships, everything black and white -- very, very, very disturbed. So this is part of her confusion.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But, Mark Eiglarsh, she`s angry. And that`s what scares me. She hires a babysitter. She`s confused but she`s also very angry.

EIGLARSH: That`s the best thing the defense has working for them. They can say that those are the things said out of anger. They don`t truly reflect how she feels. But I have to go back to that one other issue. In other words, there`s someone else involved caring for this child whose face is all over the media and that person is not concerned that they might get caught? I don`t buy it. That`s why I think unfortunately this child may not be around.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re going to stay on top of this case. Come here to our show for the latest. Prosecution has rested, and then big question, is she going to take the stand in her own defense?

Stay with our show. We`ll have the latest.

Next, well, what a wild, fascinating wonderful story, you`ve got to see to believe.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Time for our "Pet o` the Day". Chappo, you`re a fabulous, fabulous, fabulous dog. And Buttercup, we love you, too. You`re part of our companion animal world. Biscuit and Ollie, you`ve got plenty of company with each other. And Here Kitty Kitty, I like that name.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Time for "Rico`s Rescues". Right, Little Rico?

Let`s save some lives, huh, Rico? Rico? Rico? Hey, Rico?



VELEZ-MITCHELL: I love him. My mom`s dog, Rico. we call him Little Rico. He`s from Puerto Rico on a rescue mission, he`s from the streets. We`re trying to save animals, who are in shelters from deaths and match them up with wonderful, loving families.

This weekly segment is called "Rico`s Rescues". And so far we`ve been very successful. We`re 2 for 2. We found a home for Benny who came on the show with NHL hockey coach John Tortorella. And we also found a home for last week`s Griffin, who was saved by a rescue group on the very day he was going to be killed. Now he has a second chance at life with a wonderful new family. And now he has a second chance at life with a wonderful new family.

So we`re going keep up the good work right now. And this week`s special guest is going to find a home tonight. We want to introduce you to Josh. And with him is my dear friend, animal welfare expert, Jane Garrison.

Jane, tell us about this adorable, adorable pooch.

JANE GARRISON, ANIMAL WELFARE EXPERT: Josh is such -- as you can see, he just wants a kiss. He`s a lovely 5-year-old Pomeranian. He was, sadly, given up by his family to a high-kill shelter in Los Angeles because -- are you ready for this, Jane -- he had fleas. And that`s why they did not want him. Yes. So they dumped him at this high-kill shelter. And the day that he was going to be killed, a wonderful group in Los Angeles called A Dog`s Life Rescue, they saved Josh`s life.

Now Josh, as you can see, he is so loving and so sweet. He just wants a home. Right now he`s unfortunately being boarded at a vet`s office. So he`s going back to a cage tonight unless we can find him a home.

He loves to go on walks. He`s a couch potato if you want to be a couch potato.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Look at him. He`s a love. He`s a kisser.

GARRISON: He`s a good boy.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re falling in love with this dog. You can adopt him. And you can do so by contacting A Dog`s Life Rescue in Los Angeles. Their Web site is And we`ll give you the number -- 310-590-7387. Or you can go to our Web site. It`s all there,

Now for the people who aren`t in the L.A. area and they want a similar dog, Jane, you`ve been researching. You have found 300 Pomeranians in shelters around the country who are on death row right now.

GARRISON: Exactly. Jane, I will give people two things they can do. Right now, as you said, over 300 Pomeranians are in shelters. who are going to be killed this week if we don`t get them out. So you go to, you put in your area and you search for Pomeranians, and you can rescue one.

If you`re not in a position to rescue a dog, you actually can rescue a dog. Go to, get a picture of a dog and post him on your Facebook or your Twitter and save a dog right from your home.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Jane and Josh, more on the other side. Oh, is he cute?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: "Rico`s Rescues", we`re going to save josh. We`re going save the 300 other Pomeranians who are on death row. You can go to my Facebook page. Let`s save a life.

Nancy next.