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JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

Surveillance Video Shows Baby, Mom Before Disappearance; Where is Baby Elaina?; George Zimmerman Trial

Aired June 17, 2013 - 19:00   ET

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


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: Stunning new developments tonight in the hunt for a beautiful baby girl who vanishes right from her own bedroom in the middle of the day.

Good evening. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, coming to you live.

Tonight, new unbelievable surveillance video obtained by WNWO shows the child and her mom just hours before the child went missing. What does this video tell us, and where is baby Elaina? Tonight.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANGELA STEINFURTH, BABY ELAINA`S MOTHER: I just want her home in one piece. I want to know that she`s OK.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can imagine, it`s rough.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need to bring that baby home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And if you don`t want to give your name or anything like that, just drop her off to a church.

STEINFURTH: I have been shaking for the last three day, and I just want my baby home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A mother who pleaded for her missing baby`s return, well, she`s now sitting in a jail cell.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The baby was injured at one point. She was aware of it. And did not seek medical attention for the baby.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I love you, Angela.

STEINFURTH: I love you, too, Dad.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As her family supports Angela, Elaina`s grandfather was asked if he believes the toddler is alive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. You (EXPLETIVE DELETED) before I get you, because I`m coming for you today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Something has to break. Somebody knows something and somebody has to talk.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Eighteen-month-old Elaina Steinfurth has been missing for nearly two weeks now. Her mother claims she put the child down for a nap at her ex-boyfriend`s home and the child just vanished into thin air. Mom Angela claims she didn`t know Elaina was missing until the child`s father - - and we`ll show you his face in a second -- came to get her. There he is in a custody exchange.

Angela handed over their 4-year-old daughter, no problem, but refused to get Elaina. First thing, she didn`t want to wake her from a nap. Then saying she was afraid to give Elaina to the father because she would never see the child again. Finally, Angela goes to get Elaina, and that`s when she comes running out saying, the baby is gone!

Cops say the mother finally admitted little Elaina had serious injuries she wasn`t treated for. Tonight the mother that you`re looking at right there, behind bars charged with child endangerment. Yes, she`s sobbing in court while her attorney is whispering advice in her ear. Listen carefully.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don`t talk to anybody in jail about the case.

STEINFURTH: OK. I just want to go home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re not going home tonight.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You are not going home until you start talking, lady. Will this mother start spilling secrets now that she`s behind bars? What really happened to little Elaina? And could brand-new information we just uncovered about the ex-boyfriend be a crucial clue? We`ll tell you what we found in a second.

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

Tonight, I will talk exclusively with the child`s cousin as we try to solve this mystery.

But first, straight out to WNWO reporter Angie Gonzalez.

You have obtained this astonishing surveillance video from the day before little Elaina vanished. Tell us: where was it shot and what does it show?

ANGIE GONZALEZ, WNWO REPORTER (via phone): Well, Jane, this video was shot about 12 blocks away from the last place that Elaina was seen on June the 2nd of this year.

A viewer of our station, WNWO, the NBC station here in Toledo, Ohio, was contacted by a family member of Angela. That`s the mother, Angela Steinfurth. And contacted us on her father`s behalf, saying that he had video the day before little Elaina went missing. He contacted us, did not want to go on our airwaves, did not want to be identified but said that he had video of the little girl the day before she went missing.

And in the video you can see the mother kissing her as she walks into the house. You can see her sitting on the porch of the home, cradling her daughter. Allegedly before she`s seen, or last seen the next day by her own mother.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And what is this report that the ex-boyfriend got his van or his mother`s van and put the two kids and the mom, Angela, in the van and was driving around late at night right before her disappearance the next day?

GONZALEZ: He picked her up the day before she went missing. He picked Angela up and her two kids the day before they went missing in this vehicle.

Now, this vehicle was found or was searched by a cadaver dog a few days ago. They took it, the vehicle, into custody. They searched the vehicle, but nothing was found in that vehicle.

They did bring a cadaver dog from an outside county to take a look at the vehicle, and we thought that the cadaver dog said a lot about this case. Unfortunately, police not releasing anything about what they may have found in the vehicle.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Before her arrest, Elaina`s mom spoke out to the people who are pointing fingers at her, saying she needs support. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEINFURTH: I have been shaking for the last three days, and I just want my baby home. She has problems. And the only way they`re going to get handled is with me and her father, will do it for her. I need all the support that I can get to bring her home. Anything to keep me comfortable and from losing my mind.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Again, here is new exclusive WNWO video showing little Elaina and her mom, Angela, whom you just heard from, just a day before the baby is reported missing.

And you know, some people look at this video and say it appears that the child is crying or that she`s not moving very much for an 18-month-old. I don`t know what you can really see from looking at this. But we could establish that the day before, she was there and possibly OK. Maybe lethargic. Maybe not.

I want to go to my exclusive guest tonight, Ginger Smith, the little child`s cousin. Ginger Smith, thank you for joining us exclusively tonight. We want to help. We want to understand the dynamic, first of all. I understand that you were at the police command post or the command post where volunteers and police are gathering and searching.

But tell us about the dynamic between the mother of your little missing cousin, and her ex-boyfriend. Why was she even living at the house of her ex-boyfriend`s mother with her ex-boyfriend and her two kids?

GINGER SMITH, COUSIN OF BABY ELAINA (via phone): I really don`t know. I do know that she was living with them, and I believe she has been living there from march until about a month before Elaina came up missing.

And the night before Elaina come up missing, she had called them and told them that she had no place to go, no place to -- you know, it was cold, it was rainy. They needed food; they needed a place to spend the night. So supposedly, Steven`s mother allowed her to come and spend the night there.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, why would she not have any place to live? What -- I mean, what mother who has a 4-year-old child and an 18-month-old child has no place to live? Was her life in crisis before this little precious innocent child disappeared, Ginger?

SMITH: Well, all I can speculate on that is I do know that the father, her and she and Terry Junior had separated, about February, I understand. And she immediately started living with this gentleman.

She could have definitely taken the children to T.J., but she was holding the children from T.J. She was kind of letting him see them very sparingly. He`d come over a couple times, wanted to get her -- get the kids, you know, and she said excuses.

And then this particular day, well, actually what happened was, when she got thrown out of the house -- let me back up a little bit. When she did get thrown out, she actually turned the kids over to T.J. T.J. had had the girls for approximately a week. And you know, he really thought there was not going to be no big issues. Nothing to have to really jump into immediately as far as custody.

And he had to work. And his girlfriend had to work, so they allowed her to have the girls. But they were supposed to stay at her father`s home which the agreement was. They`d stay at her father`s home. He`d pick them up in the morning when they got off of work. So when he went to get the girls at her dad`s, he -- the dad said that she had never came there. So...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ginger, hold on for a second, because there`s a lot of people you`re mentioning and our viewers, I want to bring our viewers up to date on the cast of characters here, so we can try to solve this terrible mystery.

The baby`s mother, Angela -- you`ve been seeing her crying, there she is -- was staying with her ex-boyfriend, Steven, in his mother`s home at the time of the baby`s disappearance. Now, that ex- is apparently in hiding, because he`s getting death threats. Cops have not charged him with anything. He is not considered a suspect, and I want to stress that.

But Angela`s father, the father of this woman, who`s in jail, believes he is responsible for whatever happened to baby Elaina. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She`s guilty of not taking care of that baby like she should have. She should have took the baby to the hospital. She should have been truthful. She shouldn`t have even been in that house from the get-go. She doesn`t know where the baby is at, but she knew what happened to the baby.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is a very complicated family tree. Let`s lay it out for you.

Angela was staying, again, with her ex-boyfriend Steven King, not the author, in his mother, Julie`s, home at the time the child disappeared. Angela`s 4-year-old daughter was also in the home. The father of two children is Terry Steinfurth Jr., T.J., I guess, is what you were calling him, who came to the house to pick up his kids in a custody exchange. Angela refuses to hand over little Elaina, so he gets his dad, Terry Steinfurth Sr., and they come over. And all of a sudden, that`s when this woman here said that baby you`re looking at there has disappeared.

Now, Ginger, I want to get back to you for a second, but I also want to go to Vinny Parco, a private investigator who is really good at honing in on what could be going on here.

Without pointing the finger at anybody, what do you think is happening, Vinny?

VINNY PARCO, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR: I`m going to have to point my finger at somebody. I`m pointing my finger at the mother.

This sounds like the Casey Anthony case all over again. I mean, she -- for two weeks, she doesn`t know where the child is? The kid had a bruise? My gut feeling is that she might have hurt the baby and disposed of the body. That`s the only thing I can think of at this time.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, that`s another factor, Jon Leiberman, is that once she was arrested or in the process of being interrogated, she revealed that the child had serious injuries that were not treated by going to the hospital, which is why she`s charged with child endangerment.

JON LEIBERMAN, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, absolutely. Vinnie hit on it. I mean, the early hours of a missing child investigation are the most important. The first 24, 48 hours.

In this case, so much time went by. And more time went by until this mother ended up telling police the truth.

We know this baby had injuries. We know the little baby was not treated at a medical facility. And we know police are putting the screws to the mom and they`re also, I have heard, attempting to question this ex-boyfriend further, as well. Because somebody in this circle knows exactly what happened to this baby and where this poor little baby is. She can`t speak for herself.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: On the other side of the break, new information that our show has uncovered about the ex-boyfriend. Stay right there.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to know who in that house knows what and why somebody won`t just come up and say, "Give me immunity. I`ll tell you what`s going on." Somebody has got to know.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As a mom, I don`t even -- I can`t even believe how evil it is.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEINFURTH: I just want her home in one piece. I want to know that she`s OK. It is very hard not having her around. My other daughter is going insane without her sister. They need to be together.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That mother charged with child endangerment. Police think she is holding back information about what happened to her child.

Straight out to Selin Darkalstanian, my senior producer, out of Los Angeles.

You`ve been digging. You`ve got new information about debts Angela`s ex- boyfriend owes, and to set the stage, Angela and little Elaina were staying with him and his mother in his home at the time of the child`s disappearance. What do you know?

SELIN DARKALSTANIAN, HLN PRODUCER: Jane, we`ve just uncovered -- we looked at his background check. I just ran it. And there`s 22 pages here of judgments and liens. He owes a whole lot of money to many, many different people. Some are medical. Some are random people. Some are to civil judgments. So we do know he does owe a lot of money to various different people. Now you have to see, does this play into Elaina missing? What`s his background?

We have tried to reach him all day. We`ve not been able to get through to him or his mother. The phone keeps at the house, but nobody is answering. So we are trying to get -- get in touch with him to see if he would want to speak or if he`s laying low.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Marc Klaas, father of Polly Klaas, who was tragically abducted and murdered, founder of Klaas Kids Foundation, a leading voice on the subject of missing children, what do you make of this situation?

MARC KLAAS, FOUNDER, KLAAS KIDS FOUNDATION: Well, I would be hard-pressed to find logic in somebody taking an action against an ex-girlfriend`s baby as a reason for -- you know, as retribution for him not paying some kind of a debt.

But I think what the police have to do here, and we`re looking at this. We see that the baby was alive the day before at 6:35 p.m. And what the authorities have to do now is they have to be able to fix those time lines from that point until the point when the father showed up to get the baby and the mother came out of the house screaming, "The baby is gone; the baby has been kidnapped."

They need to talk to people in the neighborhood. They need to see if there`s other surveillance tape, perhaps, that exists with the baby on it. But those are the mystery hours right there.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But Marc, let me jump in here and say that there was reports -- Angie Gonzalez, a reporter for WNWO, obtained that video, surveillance video exclusively, says that there were reports that the ex- boyfriend had this van that may belong to his mother, and he had the two kids that belong to Angela, the 4-year-old and the missing toddler -- the now-missing toddler, and Angie in the car the night before. So let`s put that piece to the puzzle.

KLAAS: Well, that needs to be confirmed. I mean, the authorities need to confirm the time line, Jane. That`s exactly what has to happen. Until that happens and unless the mother finally speaks up and says what she knows what went on with the little baby, until the police are able to confirm time lines, this will remain a mystery.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s go out to the phone lines. Diane, New York, your question or thought. Diane, New York.

CALLER: Yes, hi.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hi.

CALLER: I`d like to find out. This woman always gives her ex-husband the baby. Why wouldn`t she give it to him now all of a sudden?

And another thing, I`m getting upset. Just listening to this.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s very upsetting. I want to go to Stacey Honowitz.

CALLER: It is.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here`s what doesn`t make any sense at all. The father, the baby daddy, comes over to get the little -- the two kids, the 4-year- old and the 18-month-old. The mother has no problem handing over the 4- year-old. But she says, "No, I`m not going to hand over the 18-month-old, because I`ll never see the child again."

Now, if she`s so concerned -- there`s the young man, the father, who goes and gets his dad. And they both come over and say, "Give us these kids. We have a custody arrangement."

If she`s so concerned about the dad, why would she give him the 4-year-old? To me it almost sounds like, could the child have already been missing when they go to pick up the child? Could the mother have been aware that the child wasn`t there so she makes these excuses? "Oh, the child is asleep. I can`t give you the child. Oh, the child -- you`ll never see her again. I`ll never see her again."

Do you see what I`m saying, Stacey?

STACEY HONOWITZ, FLORIDA PROSECUTOR: You make all the great arguments that probably all your viewers are thinking. When you look at this and you see the video and you hear the facts, it defies logic.

Was there any problem between the two of them prior to this? Was there ever an issue turning over the kids? Did they ever have to go to court because she refused to turn the child over? Did the father feel alienated? These are all questions that lead you to believe that this mother obviously has some information.

And her being arrested and being in jail, now is the time for police to maybe go in and question her to see what she knows. Obviously, she knows something. She didn`t want to turn this one child over. There were allegations that there were injuries on this child. And so now we have to wait and see where this is going to lead to.

Was there evidence of a break-in? Who had access to the house? All of these questions are important.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Thank you. Yes. And they are, Stacey.

I want to go back to Ginger Smith, our exclusive interview. You are little Elaina, the missing baby`s cousin. What about this mom, Angela? Does she have also trouble? We know that her ex-boyfriend has this long history of owing people money. What -- what`s her story, Ginger?

SMITH: All I can really tell you as far as Angela goes, I do know that she had some problems, according to T.J., with depression. And she was always up and down moods.

And, you know -- and again, I`m not really sure, as far as I understand that, you know, she was known to, you know, punish the kids, put them in bedrooms, things like that, mishandle them, you know, yanking them by their arms, yelling at them. And this was why T.J. was starting to -- the process of going for custody. And then she calls one day and says, "Hey, you can have the girls." And that`s when she got thrown out of Julie`s home.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I want to pick that up with you on the other side of the break. You are dropping a lot of jaw-dropping information, Ginger. Maybe we can piece together this puzzle, this mystery. Stay right there.

More on the other side.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEINFURTH: I don`t know how to explain because there are people crazy. I have been going the last three days and I just want my baby home. She has problems. Nobody can handle it but me and her father can do it for her. I need all the support I can get to bring her home. Anything to keep me comfortable and from losing my mind.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (via phone): She doesn`t know who has the baby. I don`t think she`s showing any emotion of it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: As a sobbing Angela appeared for her arraignment, her lawyers seemed to whisper advice in her ear. Again, this is the mother of the missing child. There they are the day before that little girl right there, disappears. This is the mother in court.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don`t talk to anybody in jail about the case.

STEINFURTH: OK, I just want to go home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re not going home tonight.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, she is sobbing. A lot of tears. Let`s go out to the phone lines. Virginia, California. Your question or thought -- Virginia.

CALLER: Hi, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hi.

CALLER: My father loves you. Anyway, I just wanted to say, in court she has a ton of tears for herself being locked up. Yet when she was interviewing about the baby being missing, there was not one drop of tears. And I think that Steven King`s mom knows where the baby is.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, I think your point about the tears is well taken.

Steven King`s mom, not the author, by the way, is invited on our show any time. We`d love to hear her side of the story.

Marc Klaas, of all the things that I`ve heard as this story unfolds today, my -- my skin, you know, just felt like goosebumps when Ginger Smith, the cousin of this little baby, said that this mother is known to push the children around, be rough with the kids.

KLAAS: Well, and she also seems to have some mood swings, some -- perhaps some mental problems. She doesn`t seem like a woman who`s terribly well equipment to be taking care of her own babies, let alone anybody else`s babies. It`s really disturbing.

She`s in a place she shouldn`t be staying. She`s got a child that`s injured, and she`s doing absolutely nothing about it. We don`t know the last time the child was really any place. She just seems to have disappeared sometime after 6:35 the evening before. It`s very troubling.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, Ginger Smith -- and again, you`re our exclusive interview, the cousin of this precious, innocent child. I really don`t understand why the family at large allowed this woman to walk around when she has no real home with a 4-year-old and an 18-month-old.

OK, she ends up sort of crashing at this ex-boyfriend`s house. And maybe they were just being generous and now, you know, no good deed goes unpunished. But why on earth would family, Child and Family Services allow her to just walk around with these kids when she doesn`t have a stable home life?

SMITH: Yes, we totally agree with that, too. Like I said, they were -- T.J. and her were going to be going to actually be going through -- for custody of the children. And of course, he wanted the girls.

And then like I said, she had called that one day and said, you know, "Well, you can come get the girls. They can stay with you." She`d been kicked out of the home. So he immediately went and got the girls. And, you know, everything was pretty calm and cool. And so then he allowed the girls to spend the night on the terms that they would be at their father`s home.

And unfortunately, when he went to get girls the next morning, now dad never called T.J. and said, "Hey, the girls aren`t at my home." He waited until the next morning to tell T.J., hey, they were at Steven`s home.

So when he goes to the home to get the girls, then you know, he was handed over the 4-year-old, but they refused to give him the baby.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Unbelievable. There is a missing child out there, 18 months old, and she didn`t just get up and climb out the window of her bedroom after her mother put her down for a nap. What did happen to her? And what does this mother know?

More on the other side. And we`re taking your calls. I want to hear your theories.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m not going to say she was directly responsible for anything. But my daughter was in her care at the time that this happened, and police are handling it the way they feel they need to.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just want her home in one piece. I want to know that she is ok.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You need to bring that baby home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you don`t want to give your name or anything like that, just drop her off to a church.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have been shaking for the last three days. I just want my baby home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A mother who pleaded for her missing baby`s return -- well, she is now sitting in a jail cell.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The baby was injured at one point. She was aware of it and did not seek medical attention for the baby.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As her family supports Angela, Elaina`s grandfather was asked if he believes the toddler is alive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. (EXPLETIVE DELETED) before I get you because I`m coming for you today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Something has to break. Somebody knows something and somebody has to talk.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: Rage, fear, sadness, and searching -- 80 people including law enforcement, volunteers, family members, neighbors, combing the area of Toledo where this child disappeared -- little Elaina. And we have surveillance video just in that shows the child with her mother the day before. Actually, the early evening before she disappeared.

What happened between this and the next day when the baby`s dad comes to pick the child up and the mother says, "You can`t have the child." And after stalling for a considerable amount of time then runs out and says she`s gone, she`s gone. Is that a coincidence?

This missing child mystery has the entire community on edge and some think there is more to this story than the mother is saying. Others can`t imagine anyone in this family being involved in this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to know who in that house knows what and why somebody won`t just come up and say, "Look, give me immunity. I`ll tell you what`s going on." Somebody has to know.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As a mom, I don`t even -- I can`t even begin to feel how Angela feels about losing her baby.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The cops have searched the home where little Elaina vanished along with this purple GMC van -- actually it`s similar to this. The van reportedly belonged to the ex-boyfriend at whose house she was crashing, Steven King and it was his mother`s house, actually. But Steven allegedly drove this van to pick up Angela and the kids late at night the night before the little girl vanishes.

So what to make of it? Jon Leiberman, bring us up to date on the investigation.

JON LEIBERMAN, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, Jane, I`ll tell you. Time is of the essence. This little 18-month-old has been missing since June 2nd and police cannot get any straight answers. Local, state and federal law enforcement are all working on this as we speak and the key is this. Police say that this toddler`s mother admitted that the little girl got seriously injured somehow -- they didn`t elaborate -- but did not receive the medical attention that she needed. That is a key in this case.

We don`t know what happened from the moment this little girl was injured up until now. All we know is that time is ticking away and everybody is concerned. And somebody in this inner circle of this family knows exactly what happened to this toddler and it is time that that person came forward and spoke to police.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Or the mother herself whom we are looking at right now, who is behind bars and cops are going to be putting the squeeze on her.

And I want to go to Stacey Honowitz, Florida prosecutor. How do cops put the squeeze on her? We overheard her lawyer saying to her don`t talk to anybody behind bars. How are they going to get her to sing?

STACEY HONOWITZ, FLORIDA PROSECUTOR: Well, listen. We`ve dealt with many of these cases before. We know that lots of times when people are taken into custody, the cops do have a difficult time in trying to break them.

There`s other ways to talk to them. They can talk about forensics. They can tell her that they found certain think. But I think the most troubling matter in this, Jane, we`ve spoken so many times about family members that come forward after the fact to say that this person was not a good mother and they saw signs and they should have done something.

And it is always the problem that if people see that there`s a problem with a parent and a child why don`t they report it so social services can get in there and try to do something? Somebody in this family knows what went on. Somebody knows that the mother had no place to live and now the parents are coming forward, supporting her. Well, why didn`t they let her live at the house with them? There are so many avenues for these police to go down. There really are.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: As they say, on whatever, Facebook, is it? It`s complicated? It is complicated. I want to bring in Ginger Smith -- our exclusive interview with the little child`s cousin.

Now, you have established that TJ, who is the father of the child, was going through a separation, divorce, whatever. I don`t know if they`re married. There was a custody battle essentially. And he was taking care of the kids.

He let her have the kids for just one day is what you`re saying when all of this went down. And that she was supposed to keep the children at her dad`s house -- didn`t. Instead went to an ex-boyfriend`s house -- crashed there. And then the kid just disappears as the dad comes to that house and says, "Give me my child back." Is that correct? Or clarify if it is not.

GINGER SMITH, ELAINA STEINFURTH`S COUSIN: No, that is correct. TJ had possession of the children. For approximately a week prior to this, and TJ allowed her to have them overnight on the condition that she stayed at her father`s home and he drop them off at her father`s home. And going back to get them the next morning is when this all came about -- or around noon, whenever it was when she actually went to the home and they allowed him to have the four-year-old but refused to give over the baby and said that Elaina was napping.

Then when he went back with his father, then it was "I`m not going to give her to you because I`ll never see her again. I`ll never see her again." This went on for about 45 minutes. Finally she decided she was going to allow him to take the baby, so she said, went in the house -- was in the house approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Everybody was wondering why it was taking so long to get a sleeping baby. And at that point she comes out screaming and yelling that the baby is missing, the baby is missing.

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me ask you a question, Ginger. Do you believe that the child just went missing at that moment? Or do you believe that the child was missing for some period of time before and that she was lying when she initially said, you can`t have the kid because she is sleeping. Because I don`t want you to have them because I don`t think you`ll give them back.

SMITH: I believe -- I mean I really hate to speculate on it -- but the way that it is coming about as sounding, I`m not sure that Elaina was in the home when TJ went to get her. Of course, I cannot prove that but again, everybody in that home is saying nobody has seen her. So was Elaina there or was Elaina not there? We don`t know.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Vinny Parco, give us your conclusion here. But we don`t want to indict anybody. We just want to get a sense.

VINNY PARCO, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR: Ok. Well, my feeling is she did something wrong and she is hiding it. You know, nobody ever talked about interviewing the four-year-old. You know a 4-year-old kid is not going to lie. She might have seen or heard something that would give a clue to what happened to her little sister. Nobody even thought of that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think that`s an excellent idea especially considering that the reports are that she went on the ride with her mother and the ex- boyfriend and her kid sister -- the now missing child. Yes. Absolutely somebody should interview the four-year-old.

Ginger, I want to thank you very much for joining us. And we`re going to stay on top of this story. I hope you come back soon. And thank you to my fantastic panel.

On the other side of the break, extraordinary developments in the George Zimmerman case. You will not believe the fireworks in court. We`re going to bring them to you next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE ZIMMERMAN, ON TRIAL FOR DEATH OF TRAYVON MARTIN: That`s when I start screaming for help. I was screaming help (inaudible) and that`s when he grabbed me. I tried to sit up and that`s when he grabbed me by the head and tried to slam my head down.

(inaudible)

ZIMMERMAN: No, my body was on the ground. My head was on the cement.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: George Zimmerman in a second. But first, what`s next in the Jodi Arias trial. Attorney`s for Jodi Arias back in court this Thursday for a hearing in the case.

Last week, prosecutors announced they will pursue the death penalty again. But Jodi`s defense team quick to chime in and make their own request to have the trial delayed until 2014. Are you kidding me?

Thursday will be the first time lawyers for both sides will be in court since the mistrial was declared in the sentencing phase last month. So please stay here because we`re going to bring it all to you. A countdown to Thursday`s huge hearing. Will a judge agree to the delay until 2014 or could Jodi be on trial for her life as early as next month? This Thursday, and all the breaking news on Jodi Arias right here, 7:00 p.m. Eastern.

Keep it right there. We`re back in a second.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ZIMMERMAN: We`ve had some break-ins in my neighbor and there is a real suspicious guy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He just said he should him dead. The person is dead, laying on the ground.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This case is different from I think any other case.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Sanford Police Department is conducting a fair investigation.

SYBRINA FULTON, MOTHER OF TRAYVON MARTIN: My son was not committing any crime.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They all know about the case.

ZIMMERMAN: I grabbed it and I just grabbed my firearm and I shot him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ok. This guy -- is he white, black or Hispanic?

ZIMMERMAN: He looks black.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you see what he was wearing?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes. A dark hoodie like a gray hoodie.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, explosive moments in court in the George Zimmerman case. And this trial hasn`t even started officially. I mean it is in jury selection. The neighborhood watch volunteer charged with second-degree murder for shooting an unarmed teenager, Trayvon Martin. Will George Zimmerman beat a murder charge in one of the nation`s most anticipated trials?

It is week two of jury selection -- attorneys on both sides grilling potential jurors to try to seat a jury of six with four alternates. So far this -- no jurors seated. But there were fireworks in court today as a prospective juror gets out and flat out states, he had given money to George Zimmerman`s defense fund. The juror went head to head with the prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda. Watch this. It is pretty wild for jury selection.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BERNIE DE LA RIONDA, PROSECUTOR: You don`t think the fact that you already spent money to his -- don`t you have kind of a stake in this already?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can see where you`re coming from with that.

DE LA RIONDA: Let`s be perfectly honest.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

DE LA RIONDA: Wouldn`t you agree? Have you ever heard --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I object Mr. de la Rionda suggesting somehow that this juror hasn`t been honest.

DE LA RIONDA: You`ve got a stake in this. You`ve already contributed to his cause, correct?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Correct.

DE LA RIONDA: The trial. And you still think, even though you`ve already contributed to his defense, that you can sit there and just want everybody to disregard the fact that you`ve contributed to his defense?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn`t say that.

DE LA RIONDA: You think that`s being fair?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn`t say that. I said I could keep an open mind. I said I could keep an open mind.

DE LA RIONDA: What other things could affect your (inaudible) being impartial, please educate us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Unbelievable. Straight out to Jean Casarez -- you were in court for that confrontation. Wow.

JEAN CASAREZ, HLN LEGAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, wow. You better believe it was wow. You know this was a juror -- here`s what it stems from Jane. He wrote on his questionnaire, "Do you have an opinion". "No" was his answer. So then he starts talking and he says he has an opinion but he thought the questionnaire meant a conclusive opinion. And he had a conditional opinion and he could separate that out and he could be a fair juror. Although he is about 70 percent for George Zimmerman, 30 percent for Trayvon Martin, he said.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let`s debate it with our expert panel. Will a stealth juror on who knows what side, manage to get on to this jury? Starting with Michelle Suskauer, criminal defense attorney out of West Palm Beach.

MICHELLE SUSKAUER, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Absolutely. That can happen. It is hard to get to the heart of a juror`s opinions. So certainly, that juror is absolutely excused for cause because he is clearly biased in favor of George Zimmerman. But absolutely if a juror doesn`t want to say it and if the right questions are not asked, then absolutely someone can come in with an agenda and that`s what`s so scary.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Rolonda Watts, host of "Sundays with Rolonda".

ROLONDA WATTS, HOST, "SUNDAYS WITH ROLONDA": I absolutely agree. This is where we`re going to see the incredible skills of attorneys. Because there are people -- let`s face it -- as grueling as this job may be, there are people who want to get on this jury. They have a hidden agenda, perhaps.

And it is up to these sharp attorneys, these sharks to come in here and be able to discern between people who are excellent for what this case represents from what America is and justice and people trying to get publicity.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me tell you something. There is another controversy involving another potential juror who was banned from the courthouse. Stay right there. We`ll explain on the other side.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ZIMMERMAN: They said "Do you still want a police officer?" and I said yes. They said, "Are you following him?" I`m sorry. Back there, they said "Are you following him?" And I said "Yes" because I was, you know, in the area. And they said "We don`t need you to do that." I said "Ok." That`s when I walked straight through here to get the address so that I could tell the police officer.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Time for Pet of the Day. Send your pet pics to hlntv.com/jane. Cocoa, I want to have a hot cocoa with you. Oscar, Willow, Louis -- what a pack, a pack of fun. And Bullit -- he says I`m always racing around, I love the grass. I love the park. Ben Affleck, oh my gosh, you`re a superstar.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: George Zimmerman should go home.

DE LA RIONDA: In other words you believe he`s innocent?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I do.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Zimmerman has certainly confessed to shooting Trayvon. It`s more of really weeding out the facts now.

DE LA RIONDA: You have formed an opinion. What was it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Guilty.

DE LA RIONDA: That he`s -- what?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Guilty.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: A potential juror was dismissed over a controversial Facebook post and he was kicked out and escorted to his car because he came back to the courthouse after being dismissed. He bashed the Sanford Police on a Facebook page in support of Trayvon Martin.

The man posted, quote, "In Sanford and I can tell you this. Justice is coming. I only hope the feds go farther than just this case in investigating this police force. The Seminole County justice system needs an enema and they just might get one."

Oh my gosh, let`s debate this. It seems like this courtroom and jury selection has become a magnet for stealth jurors, Patti Wood.

PATTI WOOD, BODY LANGUAGE EXPERT: Absolutely and it concerns me. The research on your Internet presence, the anonymity you feel and the power that you feel when you`re anonymous. And the fact that he took that and then in the courthouse actually pitched a fit -- that concerns me -- that energy, his transferring to that whole potential jury pool.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But everybody comes to anything with opinions even if they tell themselves they don`t have opinions, Michelle Suskauer, they got them.

SUSKAUER: Of course. Everyone does and it`s just a question of trying to unravel this particular person as to whether or not they`re the right juror for this case and it`s hard. But you know there are some really good lawyers in this case and they are going to ask those tough questions and they`re going to be going on social media and interviewing and looking at the juror`s backgrounds as well.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well so far zero jurors selected. Is it a problem? On the other side.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: In case anyone has forgotten, Rolonda Watts, why is this case so heated?

WATTS: Well, this case is so heated because it just taps into the fabric of this nation, the conversation, the hidden conversation that we have and we don`t have but one we must continue to debate to make this nation better. It deals with can we trust our justice system and how do we deal with racial profiling? How do we deal with issues about race in this nation?

This is something that will continue and continue until we sit down and have the great debate. It is what we divides our nation and it is these conversations as gross as they are to have, it is this type of conversation that we must have for our country.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Got to leave it right there. Thank you Ro.

Nancy next.

END