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CNN NEWSROOM

Three Women Released from Captors after Ten Years; New Jersey Governor Gets Stomach Lap Band

Aired May 7, 2013 - 15:30   ET

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


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BROOKE BALDWIN, ANCHOR, "CNN NEWSROOM": Back here live in Cleveland, we're noticing even more activity. You see the guys and gals, I should say.

These are FBI agents. We have seen them for about the better half of an hour and a half we've been standing here on Seymour Avenue and you can they're now suiting up, these white suits with hoods, some sort of protective gear they're wearing, presumably before they enter this home.

They have put up this green tent. You see the tarp there, and they have been folding out some tables in front of this home in which Ariel Castro lived, and apparently where the three young women lived as well, being held against their will for just about a decade.

So we're watching this for you here in Cleveland. And just think about it, just all the years of the frustration and the angst here of what is happening with these young women.

The family of Georgina or Gina DeJesus said they never gave up hope that she would be found alive.

Her parents spoke out when two boys were actually found. This was back in 2007, just a couple of years after their own daughter disappeared.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FELIZ DEJESUS, FATHER OF GEORGINA "GINA" DEJESUS: It is a miracle that they found these two young boys. I cried almost all night.

NANCY RUIZ, MOTHER OF GEORGINA "GINA" DEJESUS: That gives us, all of the parents, now more hope to stand up stronger and never give up that hope, never, because you never know. It's just like now. You never know.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: You never know. That was 2007. Flash forward to now, all those years of frustration and sadness are finally over for the DeJesus family in these hours after their daughter's escape.

They have been getting to know, really reacquainted with their daughter, Gina, who, as we mentioned, vanished in 2004.

CNN's Poppy Harlow has been speaking with her brother. Poppy, he must be elated. What did he tell you?

POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Elated and, just like our viewers heard in that interview from 2007, Brooke, that you just played, he never gave up hope.

We spent a lot of the morning talking to Ricardo DeJesus, the older brother of Gina. He's 33. She's now a 23-year-old woman.

The last time he saw her, before last night, was when she was 14- years-old. And last night at the hospital, he and his family got to reunite with Gina after nine long years of searching for her.

The way he described his sister, to me, is my best friend. He is a protective older brother who now says he will not let her out of his sight.

But he's grappling with a lot, excitement, happiness, but also surprise. He saw this on the news last night, with his father, that's how they found out that Gina had been found. He said, I thought this was still a dream.

I want our viewers to take a listen to part of what Ricardo told me.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICARDO DEJESUS, BROTHER OF MISSING WOMAN FOUND ALIVE: We were in disbelief. We cried. We were shaking. We were just happy.

HARLOW: Tell me about Gina. Younger sister, she's 10 years younger than you. She's 23 now. Tell me what about her sticks out to you most?

R. DEJESUS: She's like my best friend. I miss her and I'm glad she's home.

HARLOW: Tell me about the relationship the two of you had before she disappeared.

R. DEJESUS: Like I just said, like a best friend. Able to talk to her, be there for her and everything else.

HARLOW: What was she like? What did she like to do most?

R. DEJESUS: She liked to dance a lot, crack jokes, be around with the family.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARLOW: There are still a lot of questions, Brooke, about any relationship between the Castro family, Ariel Castro, and the DeJesus family.

We still have a lot of unanswered questions, but I did ask the brother Ricardo if he knew Ariel Castro, and he told me, yes, he knew him a long time ago, he said, when they were both younger.

But over the last 10 years, the span that his sister has been gone, disappeared for, he has not talked to or seen Ariel Castro.

BALDWIN: Poppy Harlow, thank you so much.

And you see the crime tape where Poppy is standing. Get a shot of where I am because there has been crime tape here surrounding this home on Seymour Avenue.

Again, as we have been seeing this activity, we just saw one of the K- 9s, one of the dogs getting out of the K-9 unit that pulled up. I'm seeing police. I'm seeing sheriff deputies. I'm seeing FBI agents.

Again, you can see this one guy suiting up, putting on some sort of protective gear before walking into Ariel Castro's home, a man who has kept, again, no charges yet, but who apparently, according to police, has kept these three young women and what appears to be one of the woman's daughters in this home for the better part of a decade.

What will the law enforcement folks find inside? That is a big, big question, key in their investigations as they begin sorting through the evidence inside this home here in Cleveland on Seymour Avenue.

But how did the case break? Let me tell you about Charles Ramsey because he heard a girl just yesterday in distress. She was screaming, ends up kicking in this door here at this home, and helped Amanda Berry escape.

Next, the entire ordeal in his own words.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHARLES RAMSEY, NEIGHBOR: Heard her screaming. I'm eating my McDonald's. I come outside. And I see this girl going nuts trying to get out of the house.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: I'm Brooke Baldwin, live here in Cleveland for special CNN coverage of this fast-moving story of these three women who have been rescued after years of captivity here in this home on Seymour Avenue.

You have Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight. Here are their faces, faces now reunited with their families today, this young women, truly amazing.

A true hero as well emerging from this story, it is this man. You've seen him by now. This is Charles Ramsey.

He's the guy who was home next door when he heard the screams and you know what? He didn't think twice before springing into action.

Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CHARLES RAMSEY, NEIGHBOR: Heard her screaming. I'm eating my McDonald's. I come outside. And I see this girl going nuts trying to get out of the house, so I go on the porch and she says, help me get out. I've been in here a long time.

So, you know, I figured it was a domestic violence dispute. So I opened the door and we can't get in that way because, how the door is, it's so much that a body can't fit through it, only your hand.

So we kicked the bottom and she comes out with the little girl, and she says, call 911. My name is Amanda Berry.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And did you know who she was when she said that?

RAMSEY: When she told me, it didn't register until I got the call to 911, and I thought I'm calling the 911 for Amanda Berry? I thought this girl was dead. You know what I mean?

And she got on the phone, and she said, yes, this is me. And the detective -- Detective Gregory Cook says, Charles, do you know who you rescued?

See, the girl Amanda told the police, I ain't just the only one. There's some more girls up in that house. So they going up there, you know, 30, 40 deep, and when they came out, it was just astonishing.

Because I thought they would come up with nothing because we see this dude every day. I mean, every day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How long have you lived here?

RAMSEY: I've been here a year. You see where I'm coming from? I barbecue with this dude. We eat ribs and what not and listen to salsa music. You see where I'm coming from?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you had no indication that there was anything ...

RAMSEY: Bro, not a clue that that girl was in that house, or anybody else against their will because how he is -- he just comes out to his backyard, plays with the dogs, tinkering with his cars and motorcycles. He goes back in the house.

So he's somebody that you'd look and you'd look away because he's not doing nothing but the average stuff. You see what I'm saying? Nothing exciting about him. Well, until today.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Charles Ramsey, in his own words, how he helped ultimately free these young women. He was a very, very astute man and helped them call 911.

We're going to take you back ...

(AUDIO BREAK) (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Back here in Cleveland, I'm Brooke Baldwin, and we have been watching a little bit of activity here.

You see some neighbors over my shoulder, a lot of neighbors just sitting here and watching this scene unfolding right behind me.

This is the closer shot, so you can see. You have police in front of that patrol car. It is a maroon SUV in which we saw two K-9s get out. That's the K-9 unit. In front of them, there are sheriff deputies. So it's a federal, local presence here.

You see to the right of this screen, men and women dressed in these white protective suits. They have just been suited up.

In the last 10 minutes I'd say, as we have been watching what is happening, they have put up this tent. You see the green tarp there. They've put out a table and it is that home.

You see there are two flags. It's the Puerto Rican flag and an American flag flying and there's one single porch light on, and that is the home that they will be going in and investigating, likely for days and possibly weeks to come to find out what the heck happened in there over the course of the last decade.

We're going to take you back to Cleveland in a moment, but let's talk Chris Christie, and his weight loss program has potential implications as well. It could signal he is looking at his options for a run at the White House.

So with that part of the story, let's go to chief Washington correspondent Jake Tapper.

Jake Tapper, what have you learned about the governor?

JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Brooke. How are you?

Well, it's interesting. About a year ago, last July, for "Nightline," I interviewed Governor Christie and asked him about his weight, frankly as a health issue.

I told him a lot of individuals who cared about him were worried about his weight. He's obviously obese, and it would be very difficult for him to not only run for president, but to continue to live and thrive as he has been.

So I asked him if he would take some steps to try to rectify the situation and here's what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: Some people, you know, drink too much. Some people take drugs. Some people eat too much. You can live every day without drinking. You can live every day without taking drugs. You can't live every day without eating and I've struggled with this for the last 30 years on and off.

And I'm trying. It may not look like I'm trying sometimes, but I am.

TAPPER: Do you ever think about gastric bypass surgery or anything along those lines?

CHRISTIE: No, it just doesn't strike me as something I'd want to do. Too risky.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: But, Brooke, now, of course, we know that over Presidents' Day weekend this year, Governor Christie -- he didn't have gastric bypass surgery, but he did have a lap band put inside him that would basically make his stomach smaller.

We'll have Sanjay Gupta on "THE LEAD" later to explain in more accurate and technical detail as to what it is.

When asked by "The New York Post" who broke the story, Brooke, whether this was a move he was taking because of the 2016 presidential race, and the possibility he might run, he said, that was not the case at all.

The issue was he looked at his wife and his four children and he wanted to be around for them and, though he didn't want to make running for president seem like a small thing, it paled in comparison with wanting to be around for his kids and his wife.

Brooke?

BALDWIN: OK, so, Jake, I want to come back to you, but I want to show a picture. We have a couple of pictures of Chris Christie from one point in time to the next.

You mentioned this lap band surgery. And I guess my final question, you've been around Washington for a really long time. We hear him saying, you know, yes, he's doing this. He's motivated by his children and his family.

Do you believe him, Jake Tapper?

TAPPER: Well, I know him a little bit and I do believe that that would be an overwhelming factor.

But keep in mind, Brooke, there are not a lot of elderly people who are that heavy. I don't want to make light of this because I don't think it is very funny.

A father of a good friend of mine in high school was very overweight, and he died at a very early age. He is doing this to be healthy.

Now, could that help him run for president? Absolutely. I don't think in his current condition he would have the ability to withstand the rigors of a presidential race and, maybe at a leaner weight, more fit, he would be able to do so.

But I take him on his word -- at his word, that he was doing this for his family because, frankly, it is about survival. It is about basic survival when you're that heavy.

Brooke?

BALDWIN: And wanting to be a father to his children in the years to come.

Jake Tapper, thank you. I know you're tackling this a little bit more in depth in "The Lead." We'll look for you in about 10 minutes from now.

Meantime, we will take you back here to Cleveland, live here on Seymour Avenue, this stunning story that's developed in the last 24 hours as we see more police and FBI activity out front of the home, where theses three young women apparently were held captive for years.

But before we go to break, let's take a live look at the Big Board as we see the Dow, as we've been waiting, above the 15,000 mark.

You're watching CNN's special coverage. Back in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: We are watching two developing stories for you right now this afternoon.

The first, the reason why I'm standing here in Cleveland, we're watching now as we have seen the front door of this home opening.

We know law enforcement are inside investigating where the man and these young women have been living, these women for 10 years.

Also, we're watching the Dow today as it has been above the 15,000 mark. This could be the first time we see it close above the 15,000 mark ever.

More on those in a moment. First, this is a side of Amanda Knox you have never seen. Six years after the death of her roommate in Italy, her legal troubles still aren't over.

And CNN's Chris Cuomo sat down with Amanda Knox.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: How are you, Brooke?

BALDWIN: And joining me now -- forgive me, Chris. I thought we were going to hear some sound.

But joining me here is Mr. Cuomo, himself. So you have this sit down and how was she? Was she direct in answering your questions?

CUOMO: She was. What Amanda Knox asked for, Brooke, was something different. She says she knows there are still a lot of doubts out there. She wanted to deal directly with the questions and issues that fuel people's doubt about her.

So this was a very critical analysis, this interview. It wasn't very open-ended. Here are the things that raise questions about your behavior before, the day that you discover the scene at your villa, the behavior afterwards, the case the prosecution makes, all of those things, and that's how it was.

So it was very direct. But this is what Amanda Knox wanted, and she did seem satisfied afterwards, Brooke, that she had dealt with the questions.

And what you meet when you find yourself with Amanda Knox is someone who has obviously been damaged by this experience.

Remember, she's just 20-years-old when this happened. She's only 25 or so now. And she struggles with something that is very difficult to satisfy, the feeling she is constantly being examined. So everything she says, everything she doesn't say, the way she is, is all calculated in her head because she's not sure how to be because she is so afraid of giving an impression that people will see her the wrong way

And it is has somewhat paralyzed her. And if they're ready now, let's take a look at the interview and you can judge for yourself.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: How many nightmares where you wake up in prison? How many nightmares where you get the phone call the United States has decided you have to be sent back -- it's not double jeopardy?

AMANDA KNOX, ACCUSED MURDERER: I mean, I had a panic attack on Saturday. Two days ago, I had a panic attack.

CUOMO: When you say panic attack, you don't mean a moment of doubt, right?

KNOX: No, I sit in my hotel room and cry so loud until the security calls the room because the person next door has heard me crying.

CUOMO: Are you getting help for that?

KNOX: No. I don't know what -- it's really hard for me to talk to people about it. It's like as soon as I allow myself to cry, I can't stop.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: It's difficult to imagine yourself in that situation. If, in fact, it turns out, Brooke, she is absolved of responsibility in this situation, what a burden to carry. And it's something she feels every day.

Then again, questions do remain. Italian authorities are strongly considering a retrial, so we put the questions to her that will motivate further investigation, and she gives the answers the best she can, Brooke.

BALDWIN: I cannot wait to hear what she says when you ask her the questions. Chris Cuomo, thank you.

Want to tell all of our viewers, watch the special, DVR the special. This is the Chris Cuomo interview, "Amanda Knox -- The Unanswered Questions." That is coming up tonight, 10:00 Eastern time.

And when we come back we take a look at what could be a potentially historic day on Wall Street. We are minutes away from the closing bell.

Will the Dow end above 15,000? Perhaps.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Back here in Cleveland, we've been watching as a door has now been taken off of the front of this home and placed in the back of one of the cars here. Law enforcement presence is huge, FBI, K-9.

We're back here talking Cleveland at the top of the 5:00 hour. I'll be joining Wolf Blitzer.

In the meantime, breaking news with the Dow, Jake Tapper and "THE LEAD" starts now.