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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Aired May 10, 2013 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to a special edition of 360, "Vanished." We have all watched the incredible discovery of three missing women in Cleveland this week, and the investigation into exactly what happened to them continues.
As you know, kidnapping and rape charges have been filed against 52-year-old, Ariel Castro. Authorities say DNA test confirms he is the father of Amanda Berry's 6-year-old daughter who police believed was born in captivity. Prosecutor says that Castro ran a torture chamber, those were his words, and a private prison. Investigators have removed more than 200 items from his home as they are trying to piece together how he allegedly held the three women captive for so long.
The three women, Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight, continue to recover. They returned in Cleveland after so many years, has given hope to thousands of families across the country, families who still search, still hope for their return of loved ones.
We want you to help them. We want you to meet them, the families and the missing. We want you to see their faces, learn their names and their stories, so maybe, just maybe, someone out there will remember something, and maybe, just maybe, another person can come home.
You will also meet some everyday heroes, people saved missing kids, people who took notice and took action, and action is what's needed. The national center for missing and exploited children says 800,000 kids go missing each year in the United States. Up to 2,000 kids were reported missing every day, many will quickly turn off but far too many simply seem to vanish.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think anyone who hasn't been in this situation really understands.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Twenty years and that is long enough.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We pray for those that are searching for justice.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My baby is out there somewhere.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want my daughter to come home. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't sleep at night. I have to find my son.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One of these days, I'm going to see Scott walk right through that door.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hope is, you know, eternal. I'm going to hope until I find him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: But throughout the program, we are going to be showing photos of missing kids and adults. If you see someone who catches your eye, you should call the national center for missing and exploited children at 1-800-843-5678. If it's easier to remember, that's 1-800-the-lost, with any information you may have. Even if you're not sure, it's best to call the number if you have any kind of suspicion.
John Walsh, former host of "America's most wanted," is going to join us throughout the entire hour. And one of the things that's most startling about the discovery of these three missing women in Cleveland is that even though they disappear in separate incidents, years apart, they all vanished within blocks of each other on the same street, on Lorraine Avenue. The home where they were found is just three miles away. Could their discovery lead to the discovery of other missing people in Cleveland?
According to Cleveland police department, 1,100 people there are listed as missing since 2006, 56 in this year alone. Two other women went missing from the same area. We want you to know about them. Christy Adkins vanished in 1995 just four blocks away from the house where the three Cleveland women were found. Christy was 18 years old at the time. She was also five months pregnant. Her sister, Tonia, and stepmother, Mary, are with us tonight,
In the audience is Linda Summers, the step grandmother of Ashley Summers, who was 14 years old when she went missing in the same area in 2007 in Cleveland.
I'm glad you're all here.
When you heard the news about the three missing women in Cleveland, what went through your mind?
TONIA ADKINS, SISTER OF CHRISTY ADKINS, VANISHED IN 1995: There was immediate hope that my sister was one of the three that they found.
COOPER: And how long did that hope last for?
TONIA ADKINS: Maybe an hour. We immediately went to the hospital to see if it was my sister.
COOPER: Are you still hopeful that something about this case will trigger some new information about your sister? TONIA ADKINS: I'm very hopeful that something will, because of this case, will turn around and help me find my sister.
COOPER: How do you feel -- do you feel the police have been on your side, have worked for you?
TONIA ADKINS: I don't feel the police have really done as much as they could have for my sister.
TONIA ADKINS: They came to the house one time, basically told us that she left of her own free will because she was five months from being 18 and that they weren't really going to do anything more, but if we found her, to call them and let them know.
COOPER: They said if you found her, call the police?
TONIA ADKINS: Yes.
COOPER: How did that make you feel?
MARY ADKINS, STEPMOTHER OF CHRISTY ADKINS, VANISHED IN 1995: aggravated, like we were having to do their work, their eyes and ears, instead of them being out there telling us that, as soon as they find anything, we will hear anything.
COOPER: Joan, we hear this from so many families whose kids are over the age of 18, or you know, 20, 21.
JOHN WALSH, FORMER HOST, AMERICA'S MOST WANTED: The real dilemma. And I've got to say this to you, Anderson. This show is about hope. This is keeping these cases in the forefront. And I've always asked, why does it have to be the parents and friends and family that has to do it? But that's the reality. They have to do it.
And the real quandary is that, yes, most of people who run away, the two million kids that are reported missing every single day in this country, 99 percent of them turn up. But every one of -- Ted Bundy, for example, serial killer, almost every one of his 30-plus victims was listed as a runaway. They had families that begged police to say, no, no, no, I know my kid. I know my daughter. I know my sister. She didn't run away. She couldn't run away.
And I said it to police for years. You are sitting there, and you make an arbitrary decision, and you sign the death warrant of that person because you say, no, too busy, runaway. It happened in this case in Cleveland.
COOPER: With Michelle Knight. She was actually taken off the list after six months.
WALSH: Nobody cared about Michelle Knight. She was 20-years- old. Nobody but her family was looking for her. Even Amanda, Amanda was initially as a runaway. Before her mother died -- we profiled her on "America's most wanted" several times. Her mother said my heart is broken. My daughter is not a runaway. She's somewhere, and she was right. She was in that house of hell with a horrible pedophile.
COOPER: You have no doubt that Christy didn't run away.
TONIA ADKINS: I'm positive my sister, Christy, didn't run away.
COOPER: What makes you so sure?
TONIA ADKINS: She was five months pregnant at the time of her disappearance, and she was going to go the next week to find out if she was having a boy or a girl. We were talking about planning a baby shower and baby names.
COOPER: And she was excited about the baby?
TONIA ADKINS: She was excited. She loved children. And I just feel that she didn't run away.
COOPER: Ashley Summers, it is believed that she probably left of her own accord, that she actually packed things. She was staying at, what, her uncle's house?
LINDA SUMMERS, STEP-GRANDDAUGHTER ASHLEY SUMMERS, VANISHED IN 2007: Yes, her uncle's house, which is just ten blocks maybe, if that, from where the girls were found.
COOPER: And you actually believe that you saw her about seven months after she disappeared?
SUMMERS: Correct. Driving down another part of Loraine Avenue, it was nighttime, and we were driving one direction, and she was walking towards our car. And we had a pretty distinctive car. We had a big car, and she was -- the girl was staring, staring intently in the window. And it took a double take. I think that's her because --
COOPER: She looked different. Her hair was cut short.
SUMMERS: Her hair was cut short, dyed blond. By the time I got the car turned around and went back, she darted down an alley, and she disappeared.
COOPER: What do you want people to know about her?
SUMMERS: I want people to know that she was a loving sister. Her sisters and brothers miss her.
COOPER: Did what happened this week also give you hope?
SUMMERS: Yes, it did. We were actually hoping that she also was one of the girls. And once we found out she wasn't, we were hoping they would at least have information about her because Ashley also went to the same middle school as Gina DeJesus, and we really believed -- and she frequented that neighborhood where they disappeared from.
COOPER: John, it really is, in the end, it's up to families, it seems like, more often than not.
WALSH: To carry the ball.
COOPER: Year after year.
WALSH: To keep the case alive. You and I have done so many shows on sex trafficking. So let's say, maybe she did go. Maybe she decided, I had an argument, et cetera, et cetera. How many pimps have I profiled on "America's most wanted," who have beaten or killed the girls that they picked up at the bus stop, saw run away, manipulated them, and then when those girls try to leave or testify against that pimp, you would never hear from them again?
So many teenagers that have run have wound up being horribly exploited because, they come from families of abuse or alcohol or sexual abuse. The streets are worse than the house, but for them they're not. But, this family is desperate to know something about that girl. Wouldn't it be horrible, Anderson? Maybe it's not Castro, maybe it's somebody else.
COOPER: Well, Mary and Tonia, I appreciate you talking to us. And I do wish you strength in the days ahead. And Linda as well. Thank you so much.
Up next, the search for Phoenix Coldon. It's been 17 months since she vanished in St. Louis, Missouri. Her parents are still hopeful especially after what happened in Cleveland, that she will come home. We are going to talk to them.
As we go to break, we will do this through the entire hour, more of the missing. If you think you've seen any of them, please call the phone number you see on your screen.
We will be right back.
COOPER: Welcome back to this special edition of "360 Vanished."
We want to also remind you of the phone number for the national center for missing and exploited children, 1-800-the-lost. Of course, it is not only children who can vanish without a trace as we are talking about before. Michelle Knight in Cleveland was an adult when she was taken. And because of that, her disappearance did not receive the same focus as Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus. But for the families of adults who are still missing, the pain is no less than tense obviously.
Phoenix Coldon was 23 years old when she disappeared in Missouri. Her parents are going to join us in a moment.
But first, here's Phoenix's story.
COOPER (voice-over): It was only a week before Christmas in 2011 when 23-year-old Phoenix Coldon, got into her black Chevy and drove away from her house in St. Louis County, Missouri. Her parents say they thought she was just going to the store, but Phoenix never came back. She's been missing for nearly a year and a half.
LAWRENCE COLDON, FATHER OF PHOENIX COLDON, VANISHED IN 2011: She backed out of the driveway, and we never saw her again.
COOPER: Three hours after Phoenix drove off, her black Chevy was impounded by police. It was found 25 minutes away from Phoenix's house. The car was empty, the motor still running. The driver's side door was open.
GOLDIA COLDON, MOTHER OF PHOENIX COLDON, VANISHED IN 2011: I need to see Phoenix. I need to hug her. She needs to come home.
COOPER: Phoenix is a college student at the University of Missouri St. Louis, plays the piano, guitar, and is a regional champion fencer. Her parents say she is the type of young woman to always call to let them know where she is. They firmly believe she's alive.
Phoenix's parents continue to ask the public to phone in any tips or information on Phoenix's whereabouts.
LAWRENCE COLDON: If someone calls, that's another spark of hope that we have, that we're going to find our daughter alive, and that spark is something that keeps you alive.
COOPER: That spark of hope is keeping them alive. Phoenix's parents, Goldie and Lawrence Coldon join me now. Thanks for being here.
GOLDIA COLDON: Thank you.
COOPER: It's hard for you to even see that now, isn't it?
GOLDIA COLDON: It is hard, especially the part where they were searching and I told them before Phoenix is not laying in nobody's weeds. She's not.
COOPER: You still have her bed made. You still have the Christmas tree up, I understand?
GOLDIA COLDON: I still have -- we rearranged her room so she'd have more room.
COOPER: Her room was a little messy?
GOLDIA COLDON: No, it's not now.
COOPER: Not now.
GOLDIA COLDON: But, you know, the Christmas tree is still up. The original lights burned out because I keep the lights on day and night. So I put more lights on the tree.
COOPER: Lawrence, we learned a lot about missed opportunities this past week about the cases in Cleveland. Talk about missed opportunities. The police they found her vehicle nearby, but you didn't -- nobody told you about it for, what, two weeks?
LAWRENCE COLDON: Two weeks before we found out where the vehicle was, and the east St. Louis police had had the vehicle towed to the impound yard probably three hours after she went missing. I understand that in a situation like that, the police should have determined who the vehicle belongs to and notify the county where the vehicle is registered so that they can contact the people who owned the vehicle, and that wasn't done. So we lost two weeks of investigative time trying to find our daughter, and we didn't know where the vehicle was.
COOPER: Two critical weeks, John.
WALSH: Initially, those moments and those hours are so crucial, Anderson, and everything -- this beautiful, accomplished girl fell through the cracks literally and disappeared off the face of the earth.
COOPER: And I have got to say, just in terms of getting media attention, which is also critical at times like this, oftentimes, the media focuses not on African American people who are missing.
WALSH: Blond, blond little boy with a baseball bat. Elizabeth Smart, blond little girl from a big home, trying to fight with the media and we are in the media. There's a responsibility. "America's most wanted," we don't care what color you are, but black kids stay on the news cycle for about a day maybe, and then they fall off the news cycle. The Hispanic kids are on for two hours.
COOPER: And you see that repeatedly?
WALSH: I have. I've been very vocal about it.
COOPER: Did the police ever say to you, well, you know, your daughter is an adult. Maybe, she left her own accord?
LAWRENCE COLDON: Yes.
GOLDIA COLDON: When I was finally able to convince Lawrence that we needed to call the police. And I call the police. He came out, and he was writing things down, and he wanted to know her birth date, and I gave him the year, and he stopped writing.
COOPER: He stopped writing?
GOLDIA COLDON: He stopped writing. He says, wait a minute, she's grown. She's -- and he started lecturing us about she's grown. She doesn't have to report anything to you. She doesn't have to tell you where she's going. I said, wait, wait, wait. I don't know what wolves raised you, but we raised our daughter to be responsible, and she lets us know periodically when she's gone, where she is, and she calls to check in.
COOPER: What every day keeps you going?
GOLDIA COLDON: She's my daughter. She's my child. And I don't know where she is. And I don't care -- I'm 66-years-old, and I'm still my mother's little girl, and she will always be my daughter. Always. And she's my little girl even though she will be 25-years-old in less than two weeks.
COOPER: Are you going to celebrate that birthday?
GOLDIA COLDON: Yes.
COOPER: How do you deal with the birthday?
LAWRENCE COLDON: Quietly.
LAWRENCE COLDON: Quietly. We're together at home. And we cry and just consoled each other really quietly.
COOPER: John, I talked to a lot of families, who sometimes people have said to them, meaning well, like isn't it time to move on? And as if there's some sort of a timetable for accepting this.
WALSH: There is no timetable. Until you find out what happened to your child, dead or alive, and parents are ready to find out if they're dead.
GOLDIA COLDON: That's right.
WALSH: It took 27 years to solve Adam's case. I knew he was dead. He was decapitated. We were lucky to find his remains. But until you close that door, that chapter of your life, look at the quiet dignity of these people. You have run out of money. You have run out of hope. Your life has changed forever. You can barely go to work, and look at the quiet dignity. It never ends until you know what happened to your child and you can bury those remains somewhere with dignity. You are lucky the tiny percentage of the time to get that child back alive, and you hope that somebody pays for that horrible, horrible thing that happened to you. But there's no closure, Anderson.
COOPER: I hate that word. It's such a TV made up word.
WALSH: It's a TV made up word. One day I went to work, and I never saw my son again. Somebody ripped my heart out. I'm walking around. They are walking around with this quiet dignity, begging cops to look for their daughter. Aren't these kids and these adults women are as important as the fiscal cliff that's on the news every damn day?
GOLDIA COLDON: I'd like to say something, though, about hope. We don't have to keep hope alive because our hope, if it's OK to say it, my hope is in the Lord. That's where my hope is. COOPER: Nothing wrong with saying that.
GOLDIA COLDON: And he is always with me, will always be with me. That's what I instilled in Phoenix that your Lord is your best friend. You will never be alone, and I'm praying that that is what is sustaining her.
COOPER: I heard someone say and it might have been someone in this room saying that hope is a verb. It's not something you do when you are sitting, just waiting for things to happen. Hope is a verb. It pushes you forward. It's action.
GOLDIA COLDON: Hope is not a verb. Hope is a part of me. It's a part of me because God is in me, it's in Phoenix, it's in Lawrence. So it's a verb grammatically, yes, but as far as a human being, hope is a part of me. It's in me.
COOPER: Thank you for being here. Appreciate it.
GOLDIA COLDON: Thank you. Got to give you a hug.
GOLDIA COLDON: Thank you.
COOPER: And hopefully by showing Phoenix's picture, hopefully, we will get some information. Appreciate it.
For more on Phoenix's story, go to CNN.com.
We have much more ahead. Jacob Wetterling vanished nearly 24 years ago, an 11-year-old boy who loved hockey. His parents, like so many others, live in the same nightmare have become an advocate for missing kids. We are going to meet Jacob's mom ahead.
But first, this is D'wan Sims, last seen in Livonia, Michigan December 1994. If you have any information on D'wan, call the number on your screen.
COOPER: Brandon Wright just 14-years-old. You will see photos throughout the hour of missing people throughout the hour. The phone number again at the national center for missing and exploited children is 1-800-843-5678 or 1-800-the-lost.
In west Cleveland this week, we heard over and over how people in the community had waited for this day. They recognized the names of the three women even after all this time.
The family of Gina Dejesus went to great lengths to make sure she was never forgotten. For nine years, they held vigils. They put Gina's picture on t-shirts and posters. Her 14-year-old face never disappeared even as the years passed.
Patty Wetterling has also made sure her son, Jacob, has not been forgotten. She has become the advocate for the missing since he vanished more than 20 years ago. You will meet her in a moment. She's an inspiring woman.
First I want to tell you about Jacob.
COOPER (voice-over): It was a Sunday night in 1989. 11-year-old Jacob Wetterling wanted to rent a movie from the local convenience store. The store wasn't far away. So Jacob's parents allowed him to ride his bike there with his friend Aaron and his younger brother Trevor. It was Jacob's first time riding his bike after dark without an adult.
The boys were on their way home when they were suddenly stopped by a masked man with a gun. The gunman zeroed in on Jacob. Aaron spoke to "a current affair" about what happened next.
AARON, FRIEND OF JACOB WETTERLING: He looked at me and told me to run as fast as I could into the woods or he'd shoot.
COOPER: Trevor and Aaron looked back when they got to the woods, but the masked man and Jacob were both gone. Jacob hasn't been seen since.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's bright. He's got a real clever sense of humor and quick mind. All these things give me hope that, if there's an opportunity, this boy will be home.
COOPER: He hasn't been home in nearly 24 years. The masked abductor has never been identified. Jacob's family still has hope. They live in the same house with the same phone number in case Jacob ever tries to come home.
COOPER: And nearly 24 years later, Jacob's parents, as I said, hold on to hope that he is alive. The news in Cleveland certainly strengthened their hope this week. They started a foundation just months after Jacob vanished. Jacob's mom, Patty Wetterling joins me now. She's also chairwoman of the board for the national center for missing and exploited children. Also, Colleen Nick is in the audience. Colleen's daughter, Morgan, vanished in 1995 at a little league game. She had gone to catch fireflies with friends. She was never seen again. She was just 6-years-old.
Patty, Appreciate you being here and Colleen as well.
You really focus on prevention as well s searching but on prevention. Tell me about that.
PATTY WETTERLING, MOTHER OF JACOB WETTERLING, VANISHED IN 1989: Thank you. I'm fighting for the world. I'm fighting for Jacob. But also the world that he believed in. And our kids cannot be bought and sold and exploited and abducted. And it's going to take men to become engaged in standing up and speaking out. We need to teach our young boys how to have healthy relationships so that they would not grow up to do these kinds of crimes. It's a piece of it we don't talk about enough.
COOPER: Yes. Colleen, tell me about your daughter.
COLLEEN NICK, MOTHER OF MORGAN, VANISHED IN 1005: Morgan was 6- years-old when she was kidnapped. We were actually away from home in a community visiting friends at a little baseball game. She went to catch fireflies during the last 15 minutes of the game. And when she sat down to take sand out of her shoes, the other children walked away from her, and she was taken.
COOPER: And have you had any word, any kind of clues, anything?
NICK: I think we're very fortunate because it was a small town, and law enforcement was very engaged in Morgan's face.
COOPER: Is so you had a good experience with the police?
NICK: We've had a very good experience with the police. We're 18 years into our search. We still have a very committed law enforcement team. We have a lot of leads that come in on Morgan's case, and like Patty and other parents, we fight every day to get every resource, every piece of technology to work with the media, to work with law enforcement to fight for Morgan because, until someone can prove to me that she's not coming home, then I'm going to fight for her to have the opportunity to come home to our family. She is not a case file at a police department. She is not a newspaper story. She's a daughter, and she's a sister, and she's a granddaughter, and she's a friend.
COOPER: John, it's -- and you know these two women.
WALSH: Very, very well.
COOPER: They have kept their children alive in the public consciousness.
WALSH: And kept their wits about them and their heart and soul and raised other children and went to work, and they're on the board of the national center. They're the S.W.A.T. team moms, I call them. They're really seriously tough. And you're the chairman of the board this year. But, they have never ever stop trying to push their children's faces out there. And they have the anger. They have the same anger that every parent says, why don't we do more? Why aren't they more important?
WETTERLING: Almost all of these cases, somebody knows something.
COOPER: That's what's so frustrating.
COOPER: And there are people, often more than one person knows something. WETTERLING: And we need them to trust their instincts. Look at the pictures. If they see something unusual, step up and do something.
COOPER: The case of Shawn Hornbeck, who I spoke to this week. He was watching TV with a neighbor, and the report about the missing Shawn Hornbeck came on television. And the neighbor said to him, you look just like Shawn Hornbeck, are you Shawn Hornbeck? And he laughed it off, and she just went about her business.
WETTERLING: There's a whole bunch of psychological trauma, and it will be interesting to dissect all these cases. We learn from each and every one of them, absolutely. We learn more overall. The national center does a phenomenal job.
COOPER: Our forensic psychologist and police psychologist. You've studied this. It's amazing how quickly people can be kind of broken down and become resigned to their new environment, resigned to being a hostage.
KRIS MOHANDIE, FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST: Yes.
COOPER: It happens very, very quickly.
MOHANDIE: Yes. It can happen within sometimes minutes in hostage situations, hours, days, weeks, depending upon what a person is being subjected to, and such horrific things that these offenders sometimes do, it is understandable how a victim might get to that place. But if they're watching, it can be very empowering and counteract those dysfunctional messages that a manipulative perpetrator is giving.
WALSH: It's the survival mode. You go into survival mode, two things. Elizabeth Smart told me this, and so did Shawn Hornbeck. Shawn Hornbeck says, nobody has the right to ask me why I didn't run. I was 8 years old. I weighed 70 pounds. The man weighed 220 pounds and beat me and scared the hell out of me. I never believed I could get away.
Elizabeth Smart was kidnapped in her house with her 9-year-old sister in the bedroom. There were a couple of occasions, the guy who kidnapped her did three days in jail for robbing a church while his crazy wife, Wanda Barzee, kept her handcuffed next to her.
And I talked to her after her kidnapping -- and I'm the guy that advises all the families. Get the therapy. The national center provides full-time free therapy. Do it when you're ready for it. But Elizabeth went, John, it sets me back. It breaks my heart. It kills me when people say I didn't run.
This guy told me, I got in your house one time, didn't I? Is I'll go back and kill your little sister. You don't run. You're so broken down. You're terrified. When I hear somebody else say, these kids should have run, those women should have run, I go, God, you walk in those shoes for one day. You'll see if you ran.
COOPER: And it was you who said that hope is a verb.
WETTERLING: Hope is a verb. You don't sit home with your feet on your couch. I hope someday I find my child. It's an action word. We are out there.
COOPER: You've got to go out there.
WETTERLING: Absolutely. We'll never stop. We're fighting for our children. They have hopes and dreams and potential. It's our job to find them. We can never give up ever.
COOPER: It's a pleasure to meet you. Thank you so much.
COLLEEN NICK, MOTHER OF MORGAN NICK/VANISHED IN 1995: Anderson, I would really like to say if there are any children watching their show -- we're hearing that kids are watching themselves on TV. If you see this show and you're a missing child, know that we love you, and we're fighting for you. And we want you to be empowered to be able to come home.
COOPER: And that we'll never stop. That love, that fight.
NICK: For any missing child, even if it's not my daughter watching this show, if you're missing, if someone has taken you, know that we love you collectively, and we are fighting for you. We want you to come back home. No matter what has happened to you. We're here for you.
COOPER: We'll be right back.
COOPER: Welcome back to this 360 special, "Vanished." What happened in Cleveland this week, as I said, has given hope to so many families waiting for their loved ones to be found. It's an important reminder that girls and boys, women and men, do survive abductions.
Katie Beers was locked inside a dungeon for 17 days by a family friend. He chained her by the neck and sexually abused. She was just 9 years old. That was more than 20 years ago. Katie joins me now. And also back with us is John Walsh and Kris Mohandie, a police forensic psychologist. It's great to have you here. Twenty years, do you think about what happened still? Do you try not to think about it?
KATIE BEERS, KIDNAPPING SURVIVOR: I try my best not to think about it. I buried my childhood very far. I wrote a book and that was the final part of my recovery process.
COOPER: I read the book, which is an extraordinary account of what happened. Reliving it for the writing of it must have been incredibly difficult. John Esposito, the man who took you, he was actually a family friend.
BEERS: Yes, all my life.
COOPER: So you went with him willingly. You felt like this was someone you could trust.
BEERS: My mother had told me not to go with him, but didn't tell me why. So when my godmother told me it was OK, I reluctantly went with John.
COOPER: In the course of this, a lot was learned about the family situation that you had been kidnapped from, which was also a hellish and difficult situation.
COOPER: How did you get through those 17 days?
BEERS: Like I said before, adrenaline kept me going, the desire to go back and live with my biological mom, and I think that the abuse that I had sustained, the first ten years of my life almost prepared me for this captivity.
COOPER: It is incredible, John, when you talk to people about -- how they're able to survive, how they're able to make it through.
WALSH: Survival mode comes in. I think the women, the girls are tougher than the boys, I really believe that, just from my having met so many. This is the poster woman. This is the poster woman of a survivor. She's married, has two kids, comes to national center events, and willing to talk about it.
Lots of people that go through that will turn to drugs or alcohol. They can't sustain a relationship. This is the poster woman right here. But this creep, again, people in this audience and everybody listening to this can't wrap their head around the fact that many times it is someone, a trusted authority figure, the Jerry Sanduskys, the coaches, the next door neighbor.
This guy built a dungeon and put a huge slab over it so he could kidnap her and keep her as his toy. There is the sociopath hiding amongst us. They're the guy next door.
COOPER: And he'd been building this dungeon for a long time. This was more than a year.
BEERS: I actually remember watching my brother and either a friend of my brother's or my cousin who had passed away when I was 6 years old, jumping in and out of this and wrestling in it and playing in it, and I was too little to partake in that event.
COOPER: He'd already built it then?
BEERS: He was in the process of building it, yes.
COOPER: How do you rebuild a life? How do you move forward?
BEERS: My foster parents did an amazing job of just giving me a normal life.
COOPER: You went to live with foster parents? BEERS: After I was released, yes. I went to live with a foster family, and they were phenomenal. I had a mom. I had a dad. I had siblings. They just very much, with everything that was going on in my life around me, they kept me out of the media spotlight, and they just let me be a normal child. I went to school every day. I played basketball with my foster brothers. I played hide and go seek. It was a great experience that they were able to give me.
COOPER: Saying that being kept out of the media, I do think that's really important. As a member of the media, it's our job to interview people and stuff, but as I said to the family of Gina Dejesus just the other day, she should have as much privacy as she wants. If she never wants to tell her story, that's her right.
WALSH: You and I have discussed this a million times. Every time a kid gets recovered that I profiled on "America's Most Wanted," someone will call me up wherever I'm working, you can get the get. You can get the kid. You can get the parents. No, I'm not. This girl got in a great place.
By the way, you are one of the bravest -- you are one of the bravest, strongest women I have ever met in my life. You truly are. You're a brave mom and you didn't have a great mom. That foster family saved you.
I say to all those victims in Cleveland the Dejesus family believe in me. They thanked me in the press conference. I say, if you never want to talk to the press, don't do it. If you feel strong enough, do it. You don't have an obligation. Elizabeth stayed out of the press for almost a year plus and then she testified in Congress.
COOPER: The other thing about what's happening in Cleveland is there's such interest in it, so many media people there, they almost feel held hostage again in their own homes. They can't leave their own homes. Gina Dejesus was in her backyard for two hours, and then a local news helicopter started circling, and she had to go back outside.
Kris, as a psychologist, what do you recommend to people who have been abducted? How do you survive? How do you get through -- in those -- when you're hostage?
MOHANDIE: You mean while you're a hostage?
MOHANDIE: I think it's about keeping yourself occupied, focusing in on positive thoughts and memories. Even in the midst of what's happening to you, the things that you truly do believe in that you know are -- cannot be taken away from you. It might be a great faith that you have in a spiritual belief system.
It might be a faith in people that you've known, positive messages that you've received because the offenders are trying to take that all away from you. It's the last great act of defiance to still be able to have a triumph of the human spirit over those things. COOPER: I see you nodding your head. You agree with this.
BEERS: Almost certainly.
COOPER: It's really an honor to meet you. Thank you so much for being with us.
BEERS: Thank you.
COOPER: Appreciate it.
As I said, Katie wrote a remarkable book about her experiences. It's called "Buried Memories, Katie Beers' Story." In Cleveland, we know it's the actions of neighbors who helped free the women allegedly held by Ariel Castro. Sometimes it's all it takes is someone hearing or seeing, not turning away, reaching out, reaching a hand out to help.
Up next, the heroes that took action when gut instinct told them something was wrong.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I heard her screaming. I'm eating my McDonald's. I come outside. I see this girl going nuts trying to get out of the house. So I go on the porch. I go on the porch, and she says, help me get out. I've been in here a long time.
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COOPER: Here in New York City, a phrase that become well-known after the destruction of ground zero, it's a phrase that still matters. If you see something, say something. Charles Ramsey saw something in Cleveland and took action.
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CHARLES RAMSEY, HELPED RESCUE AMANDA BERRY: Heard that girl scream, saw him run across the street, and I went outside, wondered what he was doing. And Amanda say, I'm stuck in here. Help get me out. So he, the guy that don't know English that well or panicked. He just looked at me, it's a girl. That's all he did. So here I come with half eaten Big Mac. What's up?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: The other man he was referring to is Angel Cordero, who also heard Amanda Berry scream and ran to help. In another shocking case, Jaycee Dugard's 18 years of captivity ended because two California police officials saw something that didn't add up and told them to dig deeper.
They came in contact with Philip Garrido, Dugard's kidnapper, was with his two children. Something about the kids wasn't right. A hunch to call the parole officer cracked the case. Garrido didn't have two daughters. Those police officials are here with us. Allison Jacobs and Lisa Campbell, it's great to have you here.
Also, Amber Deahn, a waitress at an Idaho restaurant who spotted a little girl who resembled a child in a missing person's poster rather than ignore the resemblance, she called the police, saving the kidnapped child, heroes certainly in our eyes. So explain to me how did Philip Garrido come to you?
LISA CAMPBELL, ACTIONS LED TO RESCUE OF KIDNAPPING VICTIM: Philip Garrido came -- I was an events manager at U.C. Berkeley with the police department. So he came into the office in an attempt to get a permit for an event he wanted to host on campus.
COOPER: What about him -- I mean, what was that gut intuition?
CAMPBELL: He was peculiar in and of himself, but the fact he had two young daughters with him was even more alarming. That's where the bells started going off. Philip, I could not determine whether or not at that point he was a professor, a student, just a random homeless guy.
The girls were sort of recessed on the outer office, but once they emerged, my immediate attention went to the girls. I began -- I'm thinking, whose children are these and he immediately says, they're mine, they resembled him. So there was no doubt in my mind that the children were his.
I think the question then was, well, who had kids with this guy? Really, he was just that out of sorts. He was just all over the place. So I think that's where the trigger sort of started.
COOPER: Did you have the same initial reaction?
ALLISON JACOBS, ACTIONS LED TO RESCUE OF KIDNAPPING VICTIM: It just didn't add up from a police standpoint. You had someone going on about how he can talk to God, and he smells like a homeless man, and he's got these two well-kept, beautiful girls with him, didn't add up at all.
That's when my mother's intuition, went, what are these girls doing with this guy? Why are they with him? Why aren't they flinching when he said he's on parole for kidnapping and rape? Why are they not embarrassed that their father just said, I can talk to God, because socially, a 15-year-old girl, 11-year-old girl would be completely embarrassed.
COOPER: Who was it that called the parole officer?
JACOBS: I called the parole officer. After the meeting was over, basically, me and Lisa look at each other, big sigh, what was going on? We both knew something wasn't right about the situation. I wanted the parole officer to do a home check. That's when he told me, Philip Garrido doesn't have any children.
COOPER: When you heard that, what went through your mind? JACOBS: I said, they looked like him. They had his eyes. They didn't seem to be in distress at all. He's got kids, and you need to go do a check.
WALSH: You've got two real heroes here who did what the FBI, the U.S. Marshals, every law enforcement agency in the country was looking for Jaycee Dugard for 18 years. These two ladies gut feelings saved that woman and her two girls' lives.
COOPER: And your gut feeling as well. You were a waitress. It was late at night. A little girl comes in. Explain what happened.
AMBER DEAHN, ACTIONS LED TO RESCUE OF KIDNAPPING VICTIM: It was about 2:30 in the morning on a Friday night, I believe. I was fully pregnant with my second child at the time, working a night shift.
COOPER: Thrilled to be working the night shift, I'm sure.
DEAHN: Absolutely. Not being able to bend over was great. But it was odd to have children come in. We did have a few regulars who would swing in and grab something because the baby wasn't sleeping. But to see a 7, 8, 9-year-old little girl walk into a restaurant looking completely, just depressed. Tried to give her crayons to have something to do and she wouldn't make eye contact. She kept her hands in a prayer position between her legs, head down, shoulders slumped forward.
COOPER: Did you recognize her right away as Shasta Brownlee?
DEAHN: How could I put this? I recognized her, but I didn't recognize her. Something in the back of my brain recognized her, and I knew something was wrong.
COOPER: And that's what's so amazing because a lot of people might have that feeling and just let it go and think, you know what, what are the chances that this? You actually called police, and not only that, delayed them so that the police would get there.
DEAHN: Fourth of July weekend is a huge weekend in Coeur D'Alene, lots of firework performances, and we had to get officers from the lake up the one way to where the Denny's Restaurant was. It was just a matter of time.
WALSH: But you asked to use the phone, and your boss at the time said no, we're too busy, can't make the phone call.
WALSH: Yes, how about that?
DEAHN: We had two phones in the restaurant, well, three. There's one in the manager's office, a pay phone that hadn't worked forever. And a waitress phone where people could call in, but you couldn't call out. My manager at the time refused to allow me entrance into the office to make the call.
COOPER: So how did you make the call?
DEAHN: I threatened to walk out. She said, if I did, I was fired. And I argued with her until she finally opened the office up, and then she made the call, and I gave the description to her, and she relayed it to dispatch.
COOPER: That's unbelievable. And also, we're all in this together. It's not a law enforcement issue or it shouldn't be the parents on their own, we're all in this. We're all citizens.
WALSH: We're all on the same side.
COOPER: We're all citizens, and we all have a role to play in this.
DEAHN: Nobody needs credentials to do the right thing. It takes a village to raise a family, to sustain itself. I don't have any credentials. I'm not a police officer. I don't work with the FBI. I was a pregnant mother on the night shift trying to make ends meet. If I can do it, there's no reason nobody else can.
JACOBS: This could happen to anyone. We can each be either one of the families that had our children taken, or we could also be a hero sitting up here on this stage, which one are you going to choose to be?
COOPER: We're going to take a quick break. We'll be right back.
COOPER: I want to thank our audience members, especially the families looking for loved ones. If you have any information about any of the missing children you saw tonight, please call the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The number is 1-800-the- lost. Kris Mohandie and John Walsh, thank you so much to all of you.