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Battle for South Carolina Congressional Seat; Three Missing Ohio Women Found Alive; Psychology of Rescued Abductees

Aired May 7, 2013 - 10:30   ET


JIM ACOSTA, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: And, as you know, the National Republican Party sort of pulled out of this race and didn't really give you much support. How did you do without them?

MARK SANFORD (R), S.C. CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: Well, a lot of friends talking to friends. I mean, so the downside we had a million or million plus dumped on our head with some fairly strong negative ads based on, you know, the Nancy Pelosi and associated interested pouring into this campaign.

But the good news was a lot of folks who are out there talking to friends and neighbors and, you know, I tell folks, look, we can't keep up with the number of ads, but if enough friends talk to other friends it could make a remarkable difference in this race. I think it has. Whether or not it proves to be enough come tonight we'll find out.

ACOSTA: And finally, can you pledge to the voters here in this district that if you are elected tonight and you go to Washington that you'll never again betray the public trust?

SANFORD: Yes. Well, let's be clear, though, I don't know that I betrayed the public trust. I certainly has --


ACOSTA: You don't feel like you did?

SANFORD: It's a much longer conversation. We'll come back to that, but we can debate that at another day. What I would say is I absolutely failed, period. And a number of taxpayers have come up and said Mark you never failed me once the taxpayer in the way that you advocated the public policy that I believe in. But that's another debate.

The thing I can absolutely say is I totally failed and our minister gave a great sermon a number of weeks back on do the events of your life refine or define your life.

I think that political opponents or people in life will try and knock you down and keep you down based on a failing. I think that these events can in essence become not defining but refining. Ultimately making us better people for it and as a result of doing a whole lot of soul searching that comes in the wake of failure particularly public failure.

ACOSTA: All right, Governor Mark Sanford, thanks very much. Good luck to you today. I appreciate your time. Thank you.

SANFORD: Thank you.

ACOSTA: Carol, as you heard right there, you know, he -- he has essentially asked the voters for forgiveness time and again throughout this campaign and it has worked. I mean, we have seen this time and again out on the campaign trail with the Governor. He has gone up to voters individually. I think you saw during that live shot there, a gentleman walked right up in the middle of this interview and gave him a card.

And we've seen Mark Sanford do that time and again he -- if he pulls this out tonight, it's because he's done it on a retail political level voter-by-voter and he's gotten a series of campaign stops later on today. About -- about ten or so before the polls close later on this evening. And we'll be watching as the returns come in -- Carol.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Yes and of course he's running against Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch. I just wonder the polls show them neck and neck. Any prediction? Anybody making predictions there? Too close to call?

ACOSTA: It is -- it is very, it is way too close to call at this point, Carol, and, you know, I have been talking to, you know, even the people who are so-called political experts here in Charleston and this first congressional district, they are not making any predictions.

Elizabeth Colbert Busch, the sister of comedian Stephen Colbert. You know there were some polls indicating she might walk away with this, but what happened -- it was interesting to see Mark Sanford do this. He sort of waged a battle on two fronts. With the national media he would, of course, do all of these interviews, talk about how he's asked for forgiveness from the voters and so forth.

But on the local level he has tried to tie Elizabeth Colbert Busch to Nancy Pelosi. He was out on the street corner one day debating a cardboard cut-out of Nancy Pelosi saying well I'm going to debate her since I can't get a debate with Elizabeth Colbert Busch. Although they did have one debate he feels like they should have had more.

And so it's been interesting to watch that strategy unfolds and if it works out in his favor tonight, I think that's what's going to carry the day -- Carol.

COSTELLO: All right. Jim Acosta reporting live from Charleston, South Carolina.

We're going to take a quick break we'll be back with much more out of Cleveland, Ohio. And that's just amazing and horrifying story there. Those three abducted women.

We'll be right back.


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.

COSTELLO: All right we want to get back to the breaking news out of Cleveland, Ohio. And the story of those three abducted women held captive for more than a decade by a man police say is Ariel Castro. Police also believe two of his brothers may be involved.

We know that Amanda Berry was able to escape that home. She called 911. That led to the rescue of these women. We also know Amanda Berry left with a child, a six-year-old girl and police have confirmed that child is, indeed, Amanda Berry's.

John Ryan is with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. He joins me now to talk about this case. You know it's interesting that we don't hear much about Michelle Knight. She was -- she was abducted in 2002, the first woman to be abducted. She was around 19 or 20 when she was abducted and police during a press conference earlier this afternoon said not much attention was paid to that and that -- that kind of hurt of me. Why do you think that is?

JOHN RYAN, NATIONAL CENTER FOR MISSING & EXPLOITED CHILDREN: Well, it's hard to say, Carol. Certainly the ages of two young girls when they were abducted, one 14 and one 16 clearly minors when they were abducted -- Michelle I understand was approximately 19 or 20. Even though it deserves the same level of attention, the reality is, you know, more focus is given to when children are abducted.

COSTELLO: Yes police said there were a number of vigils held for the two younger women, but not much in the way of vigils or a big movement to find Michelle Knight. I don't know. I was just curious to what you would say about that. Did you get a chance to listen to the news conference by Cleveland police?

RYAN: I listened to a good portion of it, yes.

COSTELLO: What went through your mind? What caught you?

RYAN: The fact that they remained vigilant and active for the past ten years working on leads, you know, following up on any possible tips that they received; engaging with the community, with the families. From all intents and, you know, purposes it sounds like, you know, these agencies did a wonderful and comprehensive job. They never gave up hope.

COSTELLO: And you also work for an organization that never gives up hope, so when you heard last night that three women were found alive who had been missing for more than a decade, what went through your mind?

RYAN: Frankly, it was like a celebration when I got the call. I was at home actually preparing for this evening's Hope Awards events here in Washington D.C. in which we're honoring Jaycee Dugard who was, as you know, found in 2009 after 18 years in captivity.

So the message is there is always hope and these families, as I've heard them speak, they never gave up hope. They had faith that they would see their children again. And that is the message and the commitment that we have at the National Center and we work with families who are still looking for their children and they actually provide a peer support network called Team Hope, so this is a band of a -- families and they work together, they work with law enforcement and they work with the National Center. And the message that resonates is never give up until a child is recovered or accounted for.


RYAN: And last night is the best evidence for that.

COSTELLO: Absolutely. And Jaycee Dugard, speaking of Jaycee Dugard she -- she did release a statement about these young women. And I want to read it to our viewers right now.

This from Jaycee Dugard, quote, "These individuals need the opportunity to heal and connect back into the world. This isn't who they are. It is only what happened to them. The human spirit is incredibly resilient. More than ever this reaffirms we should never give up hope."

Thank you very much for joining us. We appreciate it.

RYAN: Thank you.

COSTELLO: All right let's go back to the Cleveland neighborhood where police are still canvassing the neighborhood, searching that house. Martin Savidge, any new word on what's inside of that -- can you hear me, Martin?

I don't think Martin can hear me. All right. We're going to take a break and work out our technical issues. We'll be right back with more from Cleveland.


COSTELLO: All right, back to that breaking news out of Cleveland, Ohio where three women were rescued after being held in captivity for more than a decade. That's thanks to Amanda Berry who managed to escape that house, call 911. Police came and the three women were freed.

I want to talk to Jeff Gardere. He's a psychologist who has worked with many victims and -- and Jeff, it struck me when Amanda Berry was talking to the 911 dispatcher, she said I'm Amanda Berry -- I'm Amanda Berry, as if she thought that the dispatcher should know who she was, which kind of said to me that she kind of knew what was going on in the world while she was being held captive.

JEFF GARDERE, PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, that's right. And it's quite possible of course that this captor allowed them to watch television. Had he to keep them entertained in some particular way, again part of that mind control. Making them think that this is some place that they needed to be and that he really cared for them, which we know he was just using them as captives, as slaves, as sex slaves. COSTELLO: I want to bring in Elizabeth Cohen, she's our medical correspondent, and, you know, police, they told reporters you can't ask tough questions about exactly what happened to these women just yet. Why are police so concerned about that?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: You know there's some debate about how early and how often and how intensely you ask these people to retell their stories. I mean these women have, what, nearly ten years worth of stories to tell. You can only imagine what happened in that house.

And some people want to talk about it. And it's therapeutic to talk about it over and over again, both to a therapist, to the family, or even to the media, but for other people they're not going to want to do that. I think what he is saying is let's hold off before we ask them for the terrible details.

COSTELLO: And Jeff, as police are questioning these women, how are they going about it? Are psychologists standing nearby and counselors?

GARDERE: Yes, absolutely. There are psychologists standing by working with police officers so they can ask the right questions. Not rush them too quickly to retraumatizing themselves by telling the story and making sure whatever is said is said in a way that it can be processed clinically to help them with the healing.

You know what I really would love to see, Jaycee Dugard herself if she is healthy enough emotionally being involved in some way in providing some advice and counseling to these young women because, as we know, with Vietnam vets they open up to other Vietnam vets, other war veterans open up to other war veterans.

So with her very powerful words that you read today, Carol, that tells me that it helps her to heal. This would be something that would be incredible to be able to connect with these young women. And I hope she's hearing that and that can happen.

COSTELLO: Well, I know she is one strong woman. She's being honored tonight by the way in Washington D.C. for her spirit. She's just amazing. She made sure to send the message out not to define these women by what happened to them because they're individual people. She also said it's important for us to give them space.

I want to talk about the legal aspect of this case now with Sunny Hostin. Hi -- Sunny

SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Hey Carol, how are you?

COSTELLO: I'm good. As far as we know, police have not charged Ariel Castro. They've not filed any charges against him. Why are they waiting?

HOSTIN: You know, this is a very active investigation, and we've just been talking about the women. I mean these are the main witnesses against this defendant and perhaps three defendants. You have to take it certainly slowly because if the charge is kidnapping, which I suspect it would be as well as sexual assault, each sexual assault is a separate count. And so you really have to detail in the investigation what happened, and that could be very traumatic to -- especially victims of sexual assault.

I suspect that is why it's taking a bit of time, but I will tell you, Carol, that this is a case that will be on the fast track. This is a case that will move quite quickly. I believe that we should see charges certainly before the end of the week.

This is an investigation, while active, we have some experience with this, right, in law enforcement. We've been talking about Jaycee Dugard. Elizabeth Smart comes to mind. There is so to speak a blueprint for a case like this, and that's why I say we're looking at kidnapping, we're looking at sexual assault. Even though we don't know all of the particulars about what happened, we do know that these women were missing for at least a decade.

Much like Jaycee Dugard who was missing for almost two decades, and so again, this is a case that we're going to see in the court system very quickly. They've already been arrested.

COSTELLO: Yes. And sadly, we know that this little girl that was taken out of the house, Amanda Berry rescued her from that home, police did confirm that that is her daughter. And she had that child while she was -- I don't know, while she was being held captive. So we'll see what happens as a result of that.

Also, police said that they'd probably file state charges against Ariel Castro. The FBI is involved. Why just state charges?

HOSTIN: Yes. You know, if they were just kept in Cleveland and they weren't moved to any other state, I think it may be difficult for the federal government to get involved making this a federal case. But state governments are very, very capable of bringing these kinds of cases. They have everything to gain from being able to police their own communities, their own districts.

The FBI is the best team out there to secure a crime scene and to process a crime scene, and so oftentimes, Carol, certainly the FBI is brought in even on the state level to help out, to help state investigators. So you already have the best of the best working on this case, and I do believe that the DA's office in Cleveland, Ohio is the right place for a case like this.

We're talking about three of Cleveland's citizens affected by this -- communities affected by this and in those types of cases you do want justice to be found in that particular jurisdiction.

COSTELLO: Sunny Hostin, our CNN legal analyst, thanks so much.

We're getting a quick break. We'll be back with much more with new developments out of Cleveland, Ohio. We'll be back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COSTELLO: All morning long, of course, we've been talking about these three women held captive in a home for more than a decade. The ordeal only ended when Amanda Berry managed to escape the house and call 911.

We're also finding out a little bit more about the suspect in this case. His name is Ariel Castro. He owned the home where these women were being held.

Laurie Segall, knows everything about the digital world. And we know that on Facebook Ariel Castro posted something on May 2nd. I'm just going to read it to you. He said, "Miracles really do happen. God is good." That was his last Facebook post. What more have you been able to find -- Laurie?

LAURIE SEGALL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Carol. Yes, you're absolutely right. He posted quite a bit of things like this. He also posted recently about how he was excited to be a grandfather of five. He posted quite a bit about family, about children, and any -- and you see him posting also about music.

There's a picture of a guitar where, Carol, he says "I know quality when I see it." We've looked at groups that he's in. He's in a lot of Puerto Rican groups and that kind of thing. And we actually were able to gain some other access. We see lots of pictures of family and children.

You're looking right now at a picture that his friends Tito actually gave to me. I reached to his friend Tito, and this is a picture of Ariel when he was actually playing at a band at the night town jazz club in east Cleveland. And Tito posted this on his Facebook page and here said "Here's a lunatic to the far right." This is three years ago, and he said I didn't know I was performing music with a kidnapper.

He is really in shock. I actually got on the phone with him this morning. We spoke about it. And Tito said that he has actually been friends. He has known Ariel for 20 years. They had beer together.

He has been over at his home, and he said "I didn't see anything suspicious." He said, "You know, Laurie, this man was in my house, in my apartment with my daughter there, and so he is kind of wrapping his head around this and you're beginning to see it as we do in these kinds of cases the digital imprint and just trying to piece together this information to see if there's something we could see if there are any signs or just to get a better idea of who Ariel was -- Carol.

COSTELLO: It's just so bizarre. So when Ariel mentions his grandchildren, were any of the grandchildren a six-year-old girl?

SEGALL: You know, we can -- we're looking right. We just got some access and we can't confirm anything right now. But you see --

COSTELLO: I guess that would be his daughter. I'm sorry. If it is his daughter --

SEGALL: Yes. COSTELLO: -- and police don't know that yet. I just wondered.

SEGALL: Look, like anything on these digital media sites and when you see some of this stuff you immediately want to think, oh, my goodness, but we're looking into a lot of his stuff. We're digging on it. We're definitely investigating right now, Carol.

COSTELLO: And as you were talking to this Tito. Tito said he was in the house on Seymour where these women were being held.

SEGALL: He said I have been on the porch. I've been inside, and not just once, you know, one, two, three times. The last time he was there, Carol, was in 2011, and he said "If I'd had any inkling. I would have called the police. I can't believe that I was in there in that house." He said, "You know, Ariel was also a bus driver."

He said that Ariel had actually come to his home once, pulled up with the bus and he would come in, and they were sharing music. They played in different bands because he said Ariel was a talented bass player and he played piano, and he said they never spoke about women. They never spoke about this kind of thing, and he just had no clue.

As you can imagine, he is shocked. And that's, you know, that's pretty what he conveys on his social media site. He said -- another one of the captions on the site -- is he says "I'm so shocked right now." Here is he in the back. We're going to talk to him later. We'll definitely have more on that for you -- Carol.

COSTELLO: All right. Laurie, I'll let you get back to your digital detecting. Thanks so much, Laurie Segall, reporting for us.


COSTELLO: That will do it for me. I'm Carol Costello. Thank you so much for being with me this morning.

NEWSROOM continues after a break.