CNN CNN


 

Return to Transcripts main page

CNN SATURDAY MORNING NEWS

International Space Station's Ammonia Leak Prompts Emergency Space Walk; Escape from Captivity; Freed Ohio Women Face Long Recovery; Berry, Kors Team Up to Fight Hunger; Paramedic Charged in Bomb Parts Case; Spacewalk Under Way at Space Station

Aired May 11, 2013 - 8:00   ET

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


(MUSIC PLAYING)

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. I'm Brianna Keilar, and you're watching our special edition of CNN SATURDAY MORNING; we are live from Cleveland, Ohio. It is 8 o'clock here on the East Coast, 5 o'clock out West and we're so glad that you're up with us.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KEILAR (voice-over): All of the Cleveland victims are now out of the hospitals but Michelle Knight's family has yet to see her. We'll be explaining why.

Plus new information about what their suspected kidnapper, Ariel Castro's DNA test revealed.

And she was kidnapped at 13, held for three months in unimaginable conditions. Jessica Muhlenberg joining me live to shed light on what the road ahead looks like for the survivors here in Cleveland.

Also this hour, we are taking you live to space, where an ammonia leak at the international space station is prompting an emergency space walk. We are now minutes away from a live look at that mission.

The Cleveland man accused of holding three women captive for almost a decade is now locked in a 9-by-9 foot cell. Officials say tests of Ariel Castro's DNA confirm he is the father of that six-year- old girl born to kidnapping survivor Amanda Berry. Police also boarded up Castro's home to preserve the crime scene. Meantime, the prosecutor handling the case says he plans to charge Castro for quote, "each and every act of sexual violence he allegedly carried out." Castro also could face murder charges related to claims that he starved and punched Michelle Knight to induce at least five miscarriages.

And this morning, while relatives of Berry and Gina Dejesus continue to celebrate their safe return, Knight's family doesn't know where she is. The 32-year-old woman has been released from the hospital, but a family spokesman say police won't tell them where she went. Let's bring in CNN's Pam Brown now. So, authorities know where Michelle Knight is. Her family does not.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right. I spoke to the stepbrother of Michelle Knight, and he says essentially that they have no idea where she is. That the mother has been trying to make contact with Michelle, she visited her at the hospital, was denied access. She's here in Cleveland still trying to find her, and the family doesn't know where. In fact, the stepbrother said if you know where she is, please tell us. Police know, they're not telling us.

The brother says the mom misses her, loves her, been trying to contact her, and actually said that she hopes to get a call from Michelle Knight tomorrow on Mother's Day. But at this point, the family is left in the dark. The grandmother of Michelle Knight went to the home of Gina Dejesus, hoping to find Michelle Knight there yesterday. She arrived in a van full of balloons but found out Michelle wasn't there. Our Susan Candiotti spoke with the grandmother and here is what the grandmother had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, we had heard over the TV station that she had been released and that she was coming over here. So we kind of wanted to come over here and show our support for her because we haven't seen her.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN: But Brianna, there are indications Michelle did have a strained relationship with her family before she disappeared. There was some family tumult about custody of her child. And so it's a little bit complicated, and we're trying to get the answers and trying to find out why authorities are not telling police where she is.

KEILAR: Yes, and that sort of does make a little bit of sense. Obviously we don't know the answer for why she hasn't made contact with her family exactly, but perhaps that sheds some light on it. The other thing here is that Michelle Knight was on the FBI missing person's list. And Cleveland police decided to take her off of it or they didn't reinforce it. What's going on there?

BROWN: Yes, we checked the FBI's missing person's database and found it says recovered for Gina Dejesus and Amanda Berry, but there was nothing for Michelle Knight. So we reached out to Cleveland police and found out that Knight was taken off that database 15 months after she disappeared. But her case remained open with Cleveland police. According to the missing persons report we obtained, it shows police tried contacting her family 12 times. Now, the police say that according to their protocol, they took the name off because they couldn't reach a family member to confirm she was still missing. It says, though, that as recently as January of last year, it says validated. So we're trying to find out does that mean they did reach a family member last January, and if so, why wasn't her name put back on that national missing persons database? We're still trying to find that out, Brianna. KEILAR: All right, Pam Brown, here in Cleveland, thank you for following the story for us.

Meantime, Ariel Castro is being watched 24 hours a day through a small window in his cell. OffiCIAls say the constant guard is designed to prevent him from killing himself, and that procedure is standard for high-profile inmates like Castro. In his cell he has a bed, a sink, a toilet, but no television and it's not clear whether he's visited with an attorney.

KEILAR: We have some breaking news now coming to us from the White House. The Secret Service is evacuating the West Wing because of a possible fire. I will caution, we're still trying to figure out exactly what this entails, if there is a fire, if there is just smoke. We know there have been reports of smoke and an odor. We're not sure if this is coming obviously from the White House proper or a building outside of the White House that's part of the White House complex.

Agents are stressing this was done out of an abundance of caution as authorities investigate the source of that smoke coming out of what they believe is a mechanical closet. And Athena Jones is on the phone with us now to tell us more. I know, Athena, I think you've been in touch with the Secret Service. Can you tell us what they're telling you?

ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on the phone): I have. That's exactly what the Secret Service has been telling us, Brianna. They said they evacuated the West Wing out of an abundance of caution because of smoke that had been seen coming out of what they believe was a mechanical closet in the West Wing.

They did not appear to believe it was a serious issue, but I can tell you our producer who was kept out of the White House gate tells us there were at least five fire trucks on West Exec (ph) Avenue. That's right between the White House and the building next to it, the Eisenhower. It's an office building. But since then the fire trucks have moved away. So this all happened in the last hour. I would expect we'll be getting and all-clear at some point soon since those fire trucks our producer is telling us have moved away from the White House.

But as we said, this was done out of an abundance of caution because they believe they saw smoke coming out of the mechanical closet in the West Wing, Brianna.

KEILAR: It's important, I think, Athena, to note as we know because we've worked there covering the White House -- and you're seeing pictures of it there -- kind of a larger building to the right of the White House. That is the Eisenhower building. The West Wing obviously kind of across the street and adjacent to it. And beyond that, the press briefing room and the residence.

It does appear that these vehicles, the fire vehicles, were there at the Eisenhower building. But Athena, even if this is something just done out of an abundance of caution, we have seen a fire at the Eisenhower building in the past. And I know that when it comes to security threats or any sort of concerns like this, officials at the White House, the Secret Service, they take these things very, very seriously, don't they?

JONES: Absolutely. I mean, this is where the head of the United States is living and working, so anything that happens there is going to be taken very, very seriously. So that's what I was told this morning, I was cautioned. I haven't heard reports from the Secret Service of actual flames. It was about smoke coming out of a mechanical closet on the West Wing side. Now it makes sense that the fire trucks would have pulled up in that West executive driveway just in terms of for logistical reasons. But we've been told by our producer those trucks are clearing out. We expect we'll find out soon that the situation may have been resolved.

But that was our report earlier this morning. They were keeping folks out of the West Wing in order to investigate the source of this smoke we believe to be a mechanical source. But of course anything like that, any kind of smoke, odor is going to always be fully investigated by authorities anywhere in the vicinity of the president of the United States.

KEILAR: Athena Jones there for us keeping an eye on things in Washington, D.C. You may not recall but there was a fire several years ago in 2007 there in the Eisenhower building. And that was something quite involved. This, though, appears to just be at this point smoke as fire crew there is respond.

And we are just getting word here at CNN that folks are being allowed back in there to the West Wing and to the press briefing area, and the fire crews are leaving. So, this is very good news. Because I'll tell you, having watched several years ago, there was a fire in the White House complex at the Eisenhower building, it was a horrible sight to behold. And we are happy to report that it appears everything has been resolved there at the White House.

Meantime, we are obviously keeping our eye on a number of stories here in Cleveland, Ohio, and around the country. At least one lawmaker says that Russia dropped the ball on the Boston bombing suspect, and that things might have turned out different if Moscow had shared more of its intelligence. Let's go now to CNN's Paula Newton. She is in Boston for more details.

Paula, could it have made a difference, do you think, or are these allegations that might just be being leveled at Russia, could it have made a difference?

PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: It's hard to know. What the "Wall Street Journal" first reported was that there were texts from the mother of Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev saying basically in these texts that her eldest son, Tamerlan, wanted to join the extremist groups in the Caucasuses, those fighting basically the Russian states. That piece of information, that crucial piece of information, was not passed on to American authorities.

And what lawmakers are saying now is hey, would that have made a difference? It might have. The police commissioner here, the FBI here, might have said we're going to basically tail this guy. We're going to watch him or we're not going to let him travel. Because he did then subsequently go to Russia.

You know, you have to think, though, Brianna, and I know you deal with this on the daily basis in Washington, then the American authorities come back and say look, even if we had that piece of information we might not have shared that with the Russians because we wouldn't want to divulge our sources. The point is, Russia alerted American authorities at least two times.

And in hearings in Washington this week, the police commissioner here, Edward Davis basically said I don't know if it would have made a difference. Clearly, though, you always want to work with as much information as you have. So Brianna that's still part of really parsing what is going on in this investigation and could the bombings have been prevented.

KEILAR: That's right, you never know, but it's always that question of what if that you don't want to be asking. Paula, let's talk a little bit about Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the bomber who was killed. He has finally been buried but nowhere near where he lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Where was he buried?

NEWTON: He was buried in rural Virginia. And basically I can tell you from speaking to Hassan Tsarni (ph), his uncle, that they looked far and wide for anyone willing to take the body. What happened in the end, Brianna, was an interfaith coalition led by a Christian woman. She describes herself that way, Martha Miller, who said, look, everyone deserves a burial. She got together with other religious groups in rural Virginia, and they found this Muslim cemetery, a very small Muslim cemetery, to bury him.

Unfortunately, Brianna, it doesn't really put the controversy to rest. Members of that community basically said, look, we weren't told. We weren't given a heads up. We don't want this bombing suspect to be buried forever in our county. But many -- and I can tell you, Brianna from here being in Boston many victims and their families have very mixed feelings about this entire controversy. They did not want the distraction. And I think many are feeling a measure of relief is he now finally buried. Brianna?

KEILAR: And buried far, far away from Boston, Massachusetts. Paula Newton live there for us morning. Thank you for that.

Let's head back to Atlanta and Victor Blackwell. He's standing by with some of the other morning's top stories. Hi there, Victor.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, Brianna. Twelve minutes after the hour now. Sandy Hook Elementary school should be demolished and a new school built in its place. That's the unanimous recommendation from the Sandy Hook Task Force. They say tearing it down will help the community heal after last year's mass shooting. You remember 26 people, 20 of them children, were killed. The proposal will be presented to the school board and then it will go to voters. And in exactly two minutes, NASA astronauts are scheduled to start an emergency spacewalk to fix an ammonia leak at the international space station. We have live pictures - well, they're going in and out. This is Johnson Space Center. That's in Houston and you see the ISS, live pictures there. The ammonia is used to cool the power systems, and it's leaking there. NASA noticed this leak on Thursday. If the leak is not fixed, NASA says it could shut down cooling systems in a matter of hours. Of course, we'll show the emergency spacewalk live in just a couple of minutes.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLACKWELL: These are live pictures of the international space station. A space walk scheduled to start at 8:15. We're now at 8:16, happening in just moments. We're told that the two NASA astronauts, Chris Cassidy and Tom Marshburn, are in the air lock. And they'll be headed out to fix an ammonia leak in just a moment.

We want to bring in CNN's John Zarrella covering this from Miami. John, walk us through leading up to this moment, what's going to happen as they start this emergency space walk, as they call it.

JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Sure, absolutely. They're a little bit behind schedule right now, had a little more difficulty getting suited up and during the (INAUDIBLE) and getting into the outer portion of the quest air lock, where they are now. But as you mentioned they should be out momentarily.

So, what happened was about 48 hours ago, the crew began to notice flakes, white flakes coming out of a section of the international space station. So they fairly quickly identified that it was ammonia leaking out, and ammonia is used to cool the space station. Space station generates a lot of heat. Ammonia absorbs the heat and then it's pumped out of the space station.

Now, give the viewers a look at what we're talking about here. The astronauts will traverse out here along this truss, the backbone of the station. And in this area, right around where all of these solar arrays are, there's a pump out here. These are the radiators that take the heat and pull it off and send it out into space. And they believe that in this pump area, Victor, is where the leak is. But they wanted to get out there very, very quickly, because if that leak should stop, if they lose all of the ammonia in there, they'll never be able to spot where the leak is coming from.

So first order of business, get out there, and then identify where the leak is, if they can. If they determine it's in that pump in there, then they will go and they will remove a spare pump that is stored at the station and replace that bad pump.

But this space walk should take about six-and-a-half hours to accomplish everything that they need to do. And of course, if they can't fix it, they're going to have to go back to square one.

But important thing to know, crew's never been in a danger. Crew still not in any danger. But you do want to get this fixed because you're down one of your cooling systems, so clearly you need every one of them and want every one of them operating properly on the space station so that you don't have any issues with overheating. Victor?

BLACKWELL: All right, John Zarrella in Miami. The man you see on your screen right is Commander Chris Hadfield, who is going to choreograph this six-and-a-half hour space walk. We'll come back to you John, when they leave and head out to fix that ammonia leak. They're about four minutes behind now. John Zarrella in Miami, thank you.

ZARRELLA: Sure.

BLACKWELL: The White House on defense as some in Washington allege a cover-up. We'll take you inside the investigation into the terror attack in Benghazi.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KEILAR: The deadly attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound is now back in the spotlight, and the White House is on the defensive. It's coming under pressure over what it initially disclosed about the attack last September 11 that killed four Americans, including ambassador Chris Stevens.

And CNN's Athena Jones is following this story as well as others for us in Washington. First off, Athena, there are some key e-mails that are taking center stage here. What are we talking about?

JONES: Good morning, Brianna. We're talking about a lot of e- mails, a slew of e-mails, you could say, between several officials in the government from the White House, the State Department, the CIA, the FBI, and the Justice Department. All a group of people trying to figure out what they can say initially to Congress, what they can make public to Congress, and then ultimately what the ambassador to the U.N., Susan Rice, was able to say publicly on Sunday talk shows. And the debate is over what was left in and what was left out.

Some e-mails that have been revealed showed there was maybe more involvement by the State Department and White House on changing the content of those e-mails. The two main things that we're hearing a lot of discussion about being taken out were references to several CIA warnings about possible potential terrorist attacks in the region, in Benghazi, Libya. And the other was a specific reference to Ansar al Sharia, an al Qaeda-linked group believed to be initially, possibly part of this attack. The concern among some, especially in the State Department, was they didn't want to provide too much of this information. They say that would compromise the investigation and possibly give members of Congress fuel to criticize the State Department, to criticize the administration, Brianna.

So this is a big issue that Republicans have been pushing since pretty much immediately after those attacks in September. They still want more answers, and the White House has had to deal with that.

KEILAR: Obviously the White House really doesn't want very much, Athena, to be talking a lot about this. They feel like it distracts from what President Obama certainly wants to be discussing. How big of an issue do you think, though, looking forward for Hillary Clinton, how much of an issue do you think this is going to be down the road in 2016 for her?

JONES: That's really the issue that's being discussed here. That's the big question, because certainly even though she hasn't said that she's running for president in 2016, many people think that the former secretary of state will do that. And so the question here is, is whether or not the Republicans are trying to bring her in to this mix and show that she had a direct involvement in this discussion. The thinking is that this could eventually harm her and harm her political ambitions. But whether or not that happens is the real question here, Brianna.

KEILAR: Still to be seen. Athena Jones for us there in Washington. Thanks for following that.

Meantime back here in Cleveland, many of us just learned about the cases involving the missing women here, but others have followed their cases for years. We'll be talking to one of those people when our special live from Cleveland returns.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KEILAR: Bottom of the hour now. Welcome back, everyone. I'm Brianna Keilar. Thanks so much for starting your morning with us.

The man accused of holding three women captive for almost a decade is now locked in a 9 x 9 foot cell. Officials say tests of Ariel Castro's DNA confirmed that he fathered Amanda Berry's child. Meanwhile the lead prosecutor says he may charge Castro with murder based on claims that he punched and starved Michelle Knight, punching her to induce at least five miscarriages allegedly.

I'm joined now by Scott Taylor. He's a reporter with CNN affiliate WOIO TV right here in Cleveland. You have been following this story very closely. You are I would say kind of the lead reporter who has been following this story. What is the latest that you can tell us about the investigation?

SCOTT TAYLOR, REPORTER WOIO-TV: There's a lot of reporters who've really broke stories here. The latest, though, to be honest with you is the DNA, we were talking about it in the break. The DNA as you mentioned just a few minutes ago that matched with Amanda's daughter, it went through the Ohio Crime Bureau, through the Attorney General's office, it's called a BCI. It cleared all the open cases with murders, rapes, kidnappings.

Now that DNA has been moved over to the FBI and the FBI is taking a closer look at this to see if it matches anything across the nation.

I can also tell you about what's going on right now with Ariel Castro. He's in jail. He's in a single cell all by himself. He doesn't have a TV, radio, had no contact with anybody since Monday and he's under what's called suicide precaution. It doesn't mean that he has actually told people that he is going to kill himself but he is a prime suspect. Prosecutors -- really everybody wants to make sure that this guy gets to trial.

KEILAR: One of the things that we're learning and you've been reporting on this letter that Castro wrote it appears maybe 2004, 2005. Perhaps he had favorites here as we've reported, that he punched and allegedly starved one of the women, trying to induce miscarriages while at the same time it appears fathered a child with one of the other women and sort of tried to raise her perhaps or certainly allowing her to live and maybe raising her as a daughter, taking her out in public.

Were there favorites? Is that the sense you're getting?

TAYLOR: Yes, I think there were. Obviously Michelle the favorite first and then in the letter after they had all the three women, that Ariel Castro had all three women in the basement he said he really didn't understand his urge to have two and then need another.

Well then Amanda became the second favorite. We know that relatives have actually said that he called her a girlfriend. And then Gina DeJesus came in, in 2004, and with Gina, he mentioned that he didn't have an urge to do anything at all or even touch her at first.

He thought that Gina was a lot older, but she was only 14 years old and also and this gets even more bizarre, he had no idea that Gina was the daughter of Felix, her dad. He actually says that it seemed like he was a little shocked when he found that out.

KEILAR: That it was a daughter of his -- of someone he knew.

TAYLOR: Yes a classmate, he actually in that letter it says that I didn't know that Felix's daughter is in my house basically and that this guy is my classmate. They went to Lincoln West. We've reached out to Felix and he said, yes, I went to school with this guy briefly but we were definitely not -- not close friends, not best buddies at all.

KEILAR: Fascinating, very troubling and we know that you will continue to be working this story. Scott Taylor with WOIO-TV here in Cleveland -- thanks for talking with us.

TAYLOR: Anytime.

KEILAR: Now let's focus on the women now, Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, Michelle Knight, they're free after a decade of abuse very few people could understand.

But Jessyca Mullenberg Christianson knows what that life is like. She was kidnapped by a teacher in 1995 at the age of 13. She suffered physical, mental and sexual abuse for more than three months until she was rescued after someone saw her kidnapper on "America's Most Wanted". Jessyca Mullenberg Christianson joining us now. First up Jessyca thank you so much for talking with us; and if you could just tell us a little bit about these girls who have had barely a week of freedom, after being locked up for years, what advice would you give them?

JESSYCA MULLENBERG CHRISTIANSON, KIDNAPPING VICTIM: I would tell Amanda, Gina and Michelle you know to get one day at a time. It's going to be hard but do what's best for you so that you're comfortable and just know that you know your family, your friends and the community are there to support you if you need help in any way.

KEILAR: And that's certainly something that I've been hearing here in Cleveland, a lot of people who say they want to rally around these women. They know that it's a long road ahead for them but they want to be there for them and provide them the resources and support that they need.

Now Jessyca in addition to the time that you were held captive what -- what do you think was different between what happened to you and what happened to the women in Cleveland, aside from just how much time we're talking about?

CHRISTIANSON: When I was kidnapped I mean times were a lot different. You know back then there wasn't a lot of the amber alerts. You know I was taken to the airport with a knife. They didn't have metal detectors then. So security -- security is a lot higher. You know other than based in a time, I mean the kidnappings are all the same with abuse and the psychological damage and the brainwashing and so I mean they're more similar than they are different.

KEILAR: And Jessyca I want to ask you about this, because this is one of the things that has been very difficult for you to you deal with over the -- over the years. You've said that you've gotten a lot of blame as a victim, that people questioned why didn't you just leave? And I think some people might look at the home behind me and wonder why didn't these women just make noise, why didn't they just leave? But I suspect that you would explain to someone that it's really not that simple, right?

CHRISTIANSON: Excuse me, it's not that simple. I mean these guys are gone for ten years and there's no doubt in my mind that these guys did not try to get away. And like in both cases I'm sure that they were threatened with their lives, their family members were threatened. You know if they would have had a chance to get away I'm sure they would have.

Unlike in my circumstance I was tied, I was locked up to the bathroom of Days Inn, I couldn't get away. Even if there was access to a phone they might not have had the chance to call somebody for help. In my circumstances, Oliver had changed all the numbers on the phone so when I tried to call I couldn't get out. And just like them, I wasn't allowed to talk to anybody and I wasn't allowed to go outside so you really can't get help when you can't get out and you're tied up against your will.

KEILAR: And I know that in your case when you tried and there was any resistance, you suffered for it, that you were beaten more for it.

I am wondering and I've heard this, we've heard from Elizabeth Smart's father, he said that in the days following the -- the discovery of his daughter, it was such a time of immense celebration, but I imagine that quickly gives way to the very real issues that these women are dealing with. Can you tell us what it was like for you in the weeks and the initial months following your being returned to your family?

CHRISTIANSON: You know, it is very overwhelming to be home and with your family and your friends but on the other hand it's really hard because you're getting used to all the attention from the media. I was blamed for not trying to call, not trying to get away, so it's a lot of self-doubt and wondering why didn't I do this. You know so you put a lot of blame on yourself. And it's really hard.

Lot of issues I had to deal with were medical issues from being hit in the face so many times and other places, you know, I had to deal with ten jaw surgeries, (inaudible), post traumatic stress disorder, so I mean they have a lot of things that they're going to need to work through and it's going to be hard to get back to a routine life and maybe school for them.

I mean that was a big part for me, trying to go back to school and catch up on all the months that I missed in school so it's a long road.

KEILAR: And you have been -- you have been very successful, but you've also been very honest about the fact that there are still a number of challenges for you. We appreciate you coming on, Jessyca and talking with us about this.

Jessyca Mullenberg Christianson talking with us there via Skype.

We're talking about other news as well, following a number of stories as well as the kidnappings here in Cleveland.

Weeks after the deadly explosion in West Texas one of the first responders there is under arrest. We'll be getting much more on the allegations and the paramedic at the center of that case, next.

But first, Hollywood and high fashion are joining forces not on the runway, though. Actress Halle Berry and designer Michael Kors are teaming up with the UN World Food Program to fight global hunger, all to "Impact Your World".

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HALLE BERRY, ACTRESS: I'm Halle Berry.

MICHAEL KORS, DESIGNER: I'm Michael Kors. As a designer I'm fortunate enough to do what I love. There's not even a question that part of that equation is that you have to give back.

This is a solvable problem. The food is there. You can change someone's life immediately. With the World Food Program we're talking about doing what I've been doing in my backyard but globally.

BERRY: I care so much about women and children. We're finding that we do have a voice and we do have a way to help each other.

It's so important what happens to the baby while they're in utero. Good nutrition during that time period is fundamental. They're helping to educate woman about that fact.

KORS: The problem with hunger is often getting the food to the people who need it the most. The U.N. and World Food Program, they can go anywhere. They have the manpower and we have the food.

BERRY: We can work together and we really can make a difference.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KEILAR: A paramedic who responded to last month's fertilizer plant explosion in West Texas is now charged with having materials to build a pipe bomb. Federal prosecutors have charged Bryce Reed. They haven't though drawn any connection to the blast that killed 14 people. That's why this is somewhat confusing.

Meantime authorities are launching a criminal investigation into the explosion. The State Fire Marshal's office has ruled out several causes and officials are still trying to figure out where the fire started.

Joining me now on the phone is Johnny Curry out of Las Cruces, New Mexico. He actually rented a house to Bryce Reed for two years. So first up Johnny, were you surprised to hear that Bryce Reed was arrested? Did this seem out of character to, when you think of him?

JOHNNY CURRY, LAS CRUCES, NEW MEXICO (via telephone): I was surprised to learn yesterday about his arrest. I didn't have any indication in our experience with him that he seemed like a pretty normal guy.

KEILAR: Did he seem like a nice guy to you, Johnny? Did he just kind of seem like a nice guy doing his job, which is obviously, you know, pretty admirable work, that profession.

CURRY: Yes, he did seem like a nice, normal guy, him and his girlfriend and later wife rented from us for about a year and a half and there was never any indication of him having any violence -- violence, anything like that. Seemed to get along well with people and just overall nice guy.

KEILAR: No indications that he had interest in anything to do with explosives?

CURRY: No, no indication of that at all.

KEILAR: Now one of the things, Johnny, is that he actually left New Mexico pretty abruptly in 2010, and can you tell us why? Did you get a sense of why he just took off?

CURRY: I'm not exactly sure why he left New Mexico, 100 percent. I do know that he worked for an air medical transport company here, and I know that there might have been an accident where a helicopter crashed with some of his co-workers on board. And I think that affected him emotionally a little bit. At least that's what he told me at the time.

But don't know any more about that really -- don't know any cause for that or anything.

KEILAR: That's interesting, that's what he told you. John Curry, thanks so much for chatting with us. We appreciate it.

CURRY: Thank you.

KEILAR: Another story we're keeping an eye on way up in space, the hatch is now open at the International Space Station. The space walk that we've been waiting for is about to get under way. We will have live details next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: International Space Station now -- an emergency space walk just starting now. I'm following NASA on Twitter. It says it started officially 8:44 a.m. Eastern. It's about 30 minutes behind schedule. It was schedules to start at 8:15. The astronauts are trying to repair an ammonia leak that could cause some problems there.

CNN's John Zarrella is joining us now from Miami. John, this is happening miles and miles and miles above earth. It also says on the commander's Twitter account following both of them "Depressurization complete, EVA now under way, working in the vacuum of space traveling at 17,500 miles per hour. Tell us what's happening.

JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, you know, it's phenomenal that when you think about it, that this is the 168th space walk in connection with construction of the International Space Station, maintenance of the International Space Station. And they make it so easy but clearly it is extremely dangerous out there working in the vacuum of space. They have to be oh so careful, oh so meticulous.

And unfortunately right now we're in one of those dead areas. The Space Station was over the Sahara Desert and out of range of the tracking and data relay satellite system so that's why we're seeing these pictures from mission control and not from space.

The astronauts did open the air lock. Again you mentioned Victor about 30 minutes behind schedule. They're going to get out there and what they're going to do is go through their tool kits, make sure they have everything they need and that will take about 45 minutes.

And then we'll show the viewers real quickly over on this space station behind me here, these are the solar arrays and they'll be working out here. There is a pump box in this area that they think is where ammonia coolant is leaking from and what they'll want to do is go out there and the first thing they're going to do, Victor, is eyeball that area, see if they can find exactly where the leak is. They think it's in the pump. If it is, there's a spare pump, they'll replace this one with the spare and then hopefully that will cure the problem.

Now, if it isn't in the pump, then NASA is going to have to go back to the drawing board on that, but all in all, it's going to take about six and a half hours, the space walk. It's about the normal time that the astronauts are usually out on space walks. Don't want them out any longer simply because of the fatigue factor that sets in.

But yes, in the next 10, 15 minutes or so we ought to be able to get the first live pictures back from the International Space Station and we will see astronauts Tom Marshburn and Chris Cassidy outside and preparing to begin a long day of work, trying to find the leak and hopefully fix that leak in the cooling system -- Victor.

BLACKWELL: You know, John, every time we talk about this I want to make sure everyone knows that this is not something that is threatening the safety of the crew there at the ISS.

ZARRELLA: That's absolutely correct. The crew is never in any danger from this, but it is a critical item. You don't want to be down one of your cooling systems for obvious reasons. Heat builds up in the space station. All the instrumentation -- everything on the station creates heat. That heat has to be removed. Ammonia removes the heat from the space station and brings it into this radiator area where it is radiated out into space so you need that cooling system working. That's why they wanted to get this EVA under way within literally two days of discovering the problem -- Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right John. We'll check back when we --

ZARRELLA: Sure.

BLACKWELL: -- maybe can get a look at Marshburn and Cassidy as they start this, as we know, six and a half hour space walk.

Thank you, John.

ZARRELLA: Sure.

BLACKWELL: Two Minneapolis police officers are in stable condition after a shoot-out yesterday afternoon. They shot back and forth, traded some gunfire with a man after stopping him in a traffic stop. The suspect was killed, another man was killed and a woman was hurt when a police car responding to the scene slammed into the motorcycle they were riding. The police chief said that -- and this is a quote, "this is a very tough day for the Minneapolis Police Department."

Police in Mexico City are investigating the possible murder of Malcolm X's grandson. It's believed that Malcolm Shabazz was badly beaten at a bar -- and that's how he was killed. He was in Mexico meeting with a recently deported leader of a California activist group. The grandson of the civil rights icon was just 29 years old.

The IRS denies that so-called political bias played a role in how it handled tax requests from conservative groups but the director admits mistakes were made in considering applications for tax exempt status. Several Tea Party groups accused the IRS of discrimination when they faced delays in their requests. Now an IRS director said that of the 300 groups singled out for review 75 were picked because they had the words "Tea Party" or "Patriot" in their name. On Friday the White House called those actions by the IRS, quote, "inappropriate".

We're live in Cleveland this morning. New details on the kidnapping investigation when CNN SATURDAY MORNING returns.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KEILAR: Good morning, everyone. I'm Brianna Keilar and you're watching our special edition of CNN SATURDAY MORNING. It is 9:00 and we're coming to you live from Cleveland, Ohio, and we're so glad that you could be with us this morning.

The Cleveland man accused of holding three women captive for almost a decade is now locked in a 9 x 9 cell. Officials say a test of Ariel Castro's DNA confirms he is the father of the six-year-old girl born to kidnapping survivor Amanda Berry. Police also have boarded up Castro's home to preserve the crime scene.

Meantime, the prosecutor handling the case says he plans to charge Castro for, quote, "each and every act" of sexual violence he allegedly carried out. Castro also could face murder charges related to claims that he starved and punched Michelle Knight to induce at least five miscarriages.

And this morning while relatives of Berry and Gina DeJesus continue to celebrate their safe return, Knight's family doesn't even know where she is. The 32-year-old woman has been released from the hospital but a family spokesman says police --