Return to Transcripts main page


Rescue at Sea; Tonight's Powerball Payoff at $425 Million; Amazing Medical Miracle; Castro House to be Demolished; Amber Alert Manhunt

Aired August 7, 2013 - 08:00   ET




BRETT ANDERSON, FATHER: The damage is done. I'm begging you to let my daughter go.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: "You run" -- a father's message to his daughter, held captive by this man, who police say killed her mother and is now on the run with two children. New details this morning.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Late night news. President Obama comes out with some of his strongest words yet against Russia and new information on why the U.S. shut down embassies across the Middle East.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Cheating death. The amazing video. An escape artist handcuffed, locked and then thrown out of a plane. His daring escape all caught on camera.

CUOMO: Your NEW DAY continues right now.



ANNOUNCER: What you need to know --

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There is no spying on Americans. We don't have a domestic spying program.

ANNOUNCER: What you just have to see.

UNIDENTIFIED BOY: Everybody could help. Little kids, big kids, even grownups. One step at a time.

ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan and Michaela Pereira.


BOLDUAN: Good morning. And welcome back to NEW DAY, everyone. It's Wednesday, August 7th, 8:00 in the East. I'm Kate Bolduan.

CUOMO: And I'm Chris Cuomo.

We're here with our news anchor Michaela Pereira.

PEREIRA: Good morning.

CUOMO: And we have a lot to cover this hour. Right now, take a look at your screen, please?

This is the house where Ariel Castro held three women captive for 10 years. It is being destroyed, something the community very much wanted. And you can see it live. The aunt of victim Gina DeJesus made the first hit. Another victim, Michelle Knight, arrived with balloons. We're going to bring you there live.

CUOMO: Plus, this. If you had to choose between saving your dog or saving your spouse, which would you choose? Well, what would you do? When this family boat started to sink, the husband chose the dog. Does he have bad priorities or are we rushing to judgment?


OPRAH WINFREY, TALK SHOW HOST: You have to think about that one, don't you?



PEREIRA: Also check this out. Oprah returning to the big screen, the starring role in this new movie called "The Butler" and Nischelle Turner sat down with the queen of media to talk about this film, and also to talk about Oprah's own experiences with racism. Really interesting conversation the two of them had. We'll bring that to you.

CUOMO: All right. Let's get to breaking news, though. Right now, the demolition of Ariel Castro's house. The horrors that went on in there for so long for these three women. Now survivors and family members are there. This time for good reason, they're watching it being taking down. Gina DeJesus taking the first hit on the house, operating a crane with some help.

Survivor Michelle Knight arrived at the site. As we told, she was carrying yellow balloons which she handed to neighbors and people on the street. She also made a statement. Take a listen.


MICHELLE KNIGHT, CLEVELAND KIDNAPPING VICTIM: It is important to be here today because nobody was there for me when I was missing, and I want the people out there, including the mothers, that they can have strength and they can have hope, and their child will come back.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CUOMO: After what she has lived through -- boy, that does give hope. Remember, less than one week ago, Castro was sentenced to life in prison plus 1,000 years. No possibility of parole.

CNN's Martin Savidge is live in Cleveland.

Good morning, Martin.


Yes, it's not often that people celebrate the tearing down of a house. Of course, this house is the big exception on Seymour. They were cheering at 7:17 when, Peggy Arida, the aunt, you mentioned, took the first swipe using that excavator there. And a lot of swiping has been going on ever since, family members allowed to make the first blows, Chris.

CUOMO: All right. Just give


KNIGHT: It is important to be here today because nobody was there for me when I was missing, and I want the people out there, including the mothers, that they can have strength --


CUOMO: All right, Martin, obviously, this is something the community there very much needed and I'm sure they're going to come out in big numbers today to symbolically say it's over for us. Appreciate the reporting from there this morning, Martin.


BOLDUAN: All right. Now, let's get the latest on the suspected killer there. Police are desperately searching for this man, 40-year- old (AUDIO GAP) murdered a family friend and may have taken off with her teenage daughter and son. In a moment, we're going to talk with a member of the San Diego sheriff department to get an update.

But, first, Miguel Marquez is reporting live from San Diego.

Good morning, Miguel.


Mr. DiMaggio is considered dangerous and possibly armed. The dozens of tips have come in and they just need that one to bring this to an end.


MARQUEZ (voice-over): Overnight, a vigil of hope for children allegedly kidnapped by this man, James DiMaggio --

HALLIE LANDY, COUSIN: We all miss you, Hannah. We love you so much. We're here. We're all here. We're all praying for you.

MARQUEZ: -- following an emotional appeal from the children's father, Brett Anderson.

ANDERSON: Jim, I can't fathom what you were thinking. The damage is done. I'm begging to you let my daughter go, you've taken everything else.

MARQUEZ: Speaking directly to Jim DiMaggio, the man who investigators believe killed Anderson's ex-wife and possibly his 8-year-old son, and then kidnapped his 16-year-old daughter Hannah.

ANDERSON: Hannah, we all love you very much, if you have a chance, you take it. You run. You'll be found.

MARQUEZ: The body of the children's mother, 42-year-old Christina Anderson, was found on Sunday night, inside DiMaggio's burning home. Investigators believe DiMaggio set the fire.

Deputies also found the body of a child who has not been identified.

The case leading to California's first statewide Amber alert over smartphones late Monday night -- road signs calling motorists' attention to the nationwide alert, investigators anxious to catch a break.

LT. GLENN GIANNANTONIO, SAN DIEGO SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: It is safe to say that he is a very dangerous person. Armed or not, it would be safe to assume he is armed. That's why we're asking any members of the public who may believe they see him, don't attempt to contact him, don't attempt to contain him or do anything. Just call 911.

MARQUEZ: Investigators updating pictures of the kids and the alleged kidnapper, even a mock-up of a bald James DiMaggio, just in case he shaved his head to disguise his appearance.


MARQUEZ: Now, DiMaggio was in a blue Nissan Versa. They said that he may have changed that car. He also may have his appearance, as well as Hannah if she is with him may have changed her appearance, and her 8-year-old brother, Ethan.

Investigators say if you have a suspicion, if you have a belief, call 911. Do not confront him.

Back to you guys.

BOLDUAN: All right. Miguel, thank you so much for that reporting.

Let's bring in Lieutenant Glenn Giannantonio of San Diego Sheriff Homicide Department to get the latest on this, obviously, developing situation.

Lieutenant, thank you so much for joining us this morning. So, a couple things. A bit of confusion it seems or it seems confusing. At the moment, are you still looking for two children being abducted by this suspect James DiMaggio?

GIANNANTONIO: We are looking for two people. We believe that DiMaggio abducted both children. There is a possibility that the child's remains found in the burned out home there is that of Ethan. But we just don't know. We haven't been able to make a positive ID at this point.

As far as we're concerned, we're looking for two children. I don't want any of the public to think if they see someone fitting the description of DiMaggio and Hannah it's not them because Ethan isn't with them. But we're holding out hope that Ethan is still alive and OK with Hannah and hopefully we'll be able to get them both back.

BOLDUAN: Now, he's still on the run with, as you believe, two children, possibly. What is your best guidance to where they are and where they're heading?

GIANNANTONIO: We're not sure. There's been some information that has gone out that they would be heading to either Texas or Canada. Really, we don't know. We're casting a really wide net in hopes of wherever they are, they'll be found. We don't want to focus or have the public focus in one area in particular. They could be anywhere at this point.

BOLDUAN: And are you getting tips from the public? Is the public being helpful?

GIANNANTONIO: Yes, we've been getting tips since literally two minutes after the Amber alert went out in California. I was actually at the boulevard substation and within probably two minutes of the Amber alert going out they received two calls with people calling in tips. We are following up on every tip we get. So far, there's no positive sightings, but we're still holding out hope that somebody will see them and we'll be able to end this situation quickly.

BOLDUAN: Now, of course, everyone is wondering why. Why, oh, why? The family members of the Andersons, they say that DiMaggio has known them for years.

What more are you learning about his connection to the family and to the children?

GIANNANTONIO: From what we know, the families, the family was very close with DiMaggio. Brett, the children's dad, considered him a very good friend. I've heard a best friend. He was very close with Ms. Anderson, also.

We don't know at this point what the motive was. We have some theories, however, nothing concrete to back up those theories.

BOLDUAN: Well, what could the theories be if such a close family friend? I mean, what are the hints you're working off of? GIANNANTONIO: I'm sorry. I can't go into detail what our theories are because we don't have any evidence to support it. We'll just have to wait and hopefully when we get a hold of DiMaggio, we'll be able to speak with him and find out what was driving him to this.

BOLDUAN: Now, do you have any indication why the children, why Christina, their mother, was there that night?

GIANNANTONIO: No, we don't have any information. We don't know if they went there willingly or taken there. The DiMaggio residence is about an hour's drive from where Christina and the children live. And at this point, we don't know why they were at the DiMaggio's residence.

From what we understand, they were over there quite often and we don't know if this was a normal visit or something else to it.

BOLDUAN: Now, before we let you go, I want to make sure we get as much information out there as possible. What information do you want people to look out for, keep an eye out for, and make sure they send into the sheriff department if they see anything? What specifically -- what kind of information do you want to send out this morning?

GIANNANTONIO: Well, this is critical. We followed up every investigative lead and we continue to follow up every investigative lead we can. What this case may come down to for its conclusion is a member of the public seeing something, calling it in and leaving law enforcement to contact them.

The pictures have been widely circulated. We're looking for DiMaggio, Hannah and hopefully Ethan. If anybody sees anything that they believe might be them, please, call 911. If -- we don't want anybody to try to contact them, you know, go up and talk to them, find out if it is them. We consider him to be an extremely dangerous person and we would rather have the contact done by law enforcement so it will be a little safer.

If anybody has any other information rather than a recent citing to please contact the San Diego Sheriff Department at 858-974-2321.

BOLDUAN: And you see that right there on the bottom of our screen. Make sure people get that number out. And as you said, you're looking at an area from Texas to Canada. So, it's a huge area for people to keep an eye out for all across the country this morning.

Thank you so much, Lieutenant. Thanks for your time.


CUOMO: All right. Let's get to the other news developing at this hour -- Michaela.

PEREIRA: All right. Good morning to both of you. And good morning to you at home.

Making news: President Obama defending his decision to shut down 19 embassies and consulates in the Arab world. On the appearance with "Tonight Show" with Jay Leno, the president saying it was not an overreaction.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There are things we can do to keep the pressure on these networks that would try to injure Americans. And the first thing I think about when I wake up and the last thing I think about when I go to bed, is making sure that I'm doing everything I can to keep Americans safe.


PEREIRA: The president also stressing the importance of using caution and common sense if you're vacationing abroad.

A stunning admission at the start of army major, Nidal Hasan's, court martial. Hasan acting as his own attorney telling a judge, "I am the shooter." The army psychiatrist is charged with killing 13 people, wounding some 32 others in that massacre at Ft. Hood, Texas, in 2009.

Now, if convicted, he could become the first active duty serviceman executed in more than 50 years.

U.S. prosecutors filing a sealed criminal complaint in connection with the deadly attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi. Sources telling CNN several suspects have been charged, including a prominent Libyan militia leader named Ahmed Abu Khattala. The White House not saying whether any of the suspects have been taken into custody.

As you recall, four people were killed in that attack last September including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens.

Things getting pretty ugly between New York mayoral hopefuls. Check out the testy exchange between Anthony Weiner and Republican candidate George McDonnell.


ANTHONY WEINER (D), NYC MAYORAL CANDIDATE: I heard what you said. Really?



PEREIRA: Apparently, the name-calling doesn't end there. "New York Daily News" said McDonnell has called Weiner a self pleasuring freak.

So, you're stuck in a sinking yacht and have to choose between saving your wife, the love of your life, arguably, and your beloved 9-year- old dog. What do you do? The husband saved the dog. However, he's not heading for divorce court.

CNN's Erin McLaughlin explains. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): What started as a dream boating holiday ended with a South African husband forced to make a split-second decision: save his wife or their dog first.

Graham and Cheryl Anley (ph) set sail off the coast of South Africa. Also onboard, their 9-year-old Jack Russell terrier, Rosie.

And then their yacht sail under to troubled waters and hit a reef on the early morning hours of Sunday morning. The only thing they could do to survive -- abandon ship.

But Cheryl's safety line snagged on the steering gear. She was unable to swim to shore. She told her husband to get Rosie the dog to safety first.

Station commander Jeff McGregor (ph) was part of the team that helped rescue the couple.

GEOFF MCGREGOR, COMMANDER, NATIONAL SEA RESCUE INSTITUTE (via telephone): She insisted that Graham, the dog, to the beach and then come back to help her. By the time, Graham got back to assist her, she had got herself free and then they both come back to the beach.

MCLAUGHLIN (on-camera): But at that moment when he made the decision to take his dog to the shore before his wife, she was very much in danger.

MCGREGOR: She was, because at that stage, anything could have happened with the swells that were running. Could capsized the yacht and the worst could have happened.

MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): We're all familiar with pampered poo chips. From day spas to doggy hotels, but it takes a unique breed of dog owner to save the life of Fido first.

Erin McLaughlin, CNN, London.


PEREIRA: And that is love.

CUOMO: I feel like, I feel like we've given the guy a bad name.


PEREIRA: In his defense, she said, take him and I bet she was saying, because you know how we are.


CUOMO: He says in the piece, told her husband to take the dog. So, they assess the situation. This is what she said to do. We make it sound like this guy just threw his wife under the bus or under the boat.

BOLDUAN: Threw her off and I'm leaving with the dog.

CUOMO: I got to stick up for husbands out there. But I know, the women will turn on you. You'll never get --


PEREIRA: A fantastic story, I have to say. A story of survival, thankfully. Quite a story to tell. So does the dog. Tell all his buddies when he gets home.

CUOMO: Poor guy. I feel bad. I feel you, my brother. I feel what's going on. If the wife's OK with it, don't worry, everybody else --

All right. Back to serious matters. Flooding is ongoing in Missouri this morning. Indra Petersons has more information on the dangers that are out there. Indra, what do we know?

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, there you. I'm going it keep saying it, because no matter how much I say it, I feel like I wake up every single day and I still see video that looks like this. People are trying to drive through flood waters. And every day, it feels like I have to tell another story if someone lost their live in a vehicle. It is so dangerous.

Let's show you why one more time. When you have the force of the water that is stronger, the force of friction, all you have is your tire there's, you're going to float. One foot of water, that makes you lose the weight of 1,500 pounds. Most cars only about 3,000 pounds. So with that, it's going to take your car right off the road six inches. That's enough to take you off your feet.

Here we go again today, Kansas, Missouri, same thing yesterday, five to nine inches of rain. Today, again, we're looking at heavy rain training. The exact same spot and notice as we go forward in time. Severe weather right through Oklahoma and Kansas, tomorrow even fronting again into Missouri, Illinois, eventually -- spread into Tennessee and Kentucky.

So, once again, dealing with the same places that already have heavy amount of rainfall and flash flood warning. More of it headed their way. For the rest of us, that same system won't be as heavy, but we will start to see some of that rain going into the mid-Atlantic and to the northeast. Tough.

BOLDUAN: Thank you so much, Indra.


BOLDUAN: All right. Expect some long lines today if you want to get in on tonight's big Powerball lottery drawing like we are. The jackpot is now up to $425 million. So, is that enough to get your attention? What does a lottery winner do with that kind of cash? I've got a few ideas.



BOLDUAN: All right, Alison, so what is it?

KOSIK: $425 million. You know, the options are endless. Buy a few cars, a few diamonds, maybe, actually, give some money to charity. Tonight's, Powerball game is getting so many of us to dream and dream big about those endless possibilities.


KOSIK (voice-over): Lotto fever is creating a frenzy over the third highest jackpot in Powerball history. $425 million. And if you're lucky enough to nab the cash payout, you can afford to pay it forward. You can send over 3,000 students through Harvard Law School or send almost 1,000 people to space on the Virgin Galactic. In fact, one jackpot winner, Gloria McKenzie, donated $1.8 million of her $590 million jackpot to repair a local school's leaky roof.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's good news to hear that we have someone willing to help us out.

KOSIK: But what about yourself?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'd sail around the world and buy myself a private jet.

UNIDENTIFIED KID: I would buy baby some little stuffed animals.


KOSIK: Now, before you make it rain green, research shows that 70 percent of people who receive a large sum of money will lose it within a few years.

CARL RICHARDS, FINANCIAL PLANNER: Suddenly, you've got all sorts of interesting societal pressure. You've got friends that you never knew you had showing up asking for money.

KOSIK: With more than half of Americans buying a lottery ticket this past year, advice is needed.

RICHARDS: Buy CDs for the rest of your life. Buy U.S. treasuries. You've got enough money right now that you don't have to do anything special.

KOSIK: Advice put to the test as millions await the big cha-ching Wednesday night.


KOSIK (on-camera): OK. Don't get too ahead of yourself, though. Your chance of winning here, slim. The odds are one in 175 million. Sorry to pour cold water. But the reality is, people are still lining up and millions more tickets are expected to be sold just today before the drawing tonight.

BOLDUAN: So, bump up even later tonight.

KOSIK: Exactly.

PEREIRA: Because someone has to win. One person will Win. I'm a hopeless -- hopeful -- (CROSSTALK)

BOLDUAN: You're a hopeless hopeful.

PEREIRA: Exactly. Exactly.

CUOMO: I like that the adult says I'm going to buy a plane and the little baby says I would buy another baby some stuffed animals. Very interesting as we grow older.

BOLDUAN: i'm just going to keep dreaming. Just going to keep dreaming. Thanks, Alison.

CUOMO: But, first, we'll go to break. So, we'll give you some time to dream.

When we come back here on NEW DAY, a 12-year-old girl attacked by a brain-eating amoeba. You remember, we told you this story. She wasn't expected to live, but guess what, she's beating the odds and Dr. Sanjay Gupta will be here to explain how.

BOLDUAN: And a dare devil in a coffin. And even more, in free fall. Can he get out before it's too late? And why, why would you even attempt it?

CUOMO: If he didn't make it, he was in the right place.


CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY, everybody. Doctors are calling it a medical miracle. 12-year-old Kali Hardig contracted a rare but extremely deadly brain eating amoeba after swimming at an Arkansas water park last month. Now, against nearly impossible odds, she's showing dramatic improvement.

CNN chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, joins us now with more on her story. Great to have you here, doctor. What great news.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: It is. And you know, we say beating the odds and that really does apply here because the odds are very much stacked against her as you're about to hear. But we also want to dive a little bit into this idea of why she's beating the odds. What really worked in her favor? Take a look.


GUPTA (voice-over): By nearly all accounts, Kali Hardig should not be alive. During a swim at this water park, the 12-year-old contracted these rare, but deadly brain-eating amoebas. Her chance of survival, less than one percent. In fact, of 128 known cases in the past half century, just two patients have lived.

And now, Caylee might just be the third. Against the odds, but improving. The big number three on her mom's T-shirt, it's no longer just a prayer.

TRACI HARDIG, KALI'S MOTHER: Each day now it just gets closer and closer that feeling that she's going to be number three.

GUPTA: Kali is slowly waking up from the coma that doctors at Arkansas Children's Hospital induced to save her life. Just yesterday, they removed the breathing tube that she's had for more than two weeks.

HARDIG: We've had tears of ultimate joy. You just wanted to get up and jump up and down and scream hallelujah. It was so great and a wonderful feeling to see her breathing on her own and looking at you and squeezing your hand.

GUPTA: Dr. Mark Heulitt has been treating Kali.

DR. MARK HEULITT, KALI'S DOCTOR: She has a very good chance of surviving this, and I think she is definitely on the road to recovery.

GUPTA: But what about those amoebas that feed on brain tissue? If they caused any permanent damage to Kali's brain, it's still too soon to know, but doctors are encouraged.

HEULITT: When I say, is this your dad and she'll shake her head. So, that way, we know that she's processing information.

GUPTA: An incredible recovery for a girl, who even her mom admits, had almost no hope at all.

HARDIG: I feel like my prayers have been answered. That it's just a miracle.


GUPTA (on-camera): She is still in the intensive care unit, but as you heard there, her breathing tube is now out and clearly understanding, able to point to people, point to her father. Rehab is going to be the big name of the game for her. This is unchartered territory. We don't know exactly how she's going to do, but they know that she's making astounding recoveries.

CUOMO: Any insight into why they're calling it a miracle? The why. Was it her age, the protocol, the medicine?

GUPTA: You know, from a neuroscience standpoint, I looked at this case pretty carefully. They did two things. One is they lowered her body temperature pretty significantly. And the idea is that the brain was sort of under attack, let's basically cool it, and reduce its function. Allow it to heal on its own.

And the other was they used a new type of drug that they knew had some efficacy, some effectiveness in the lab, but really hadn't been used in humans. You know, still on trial, still experimental drug. So, that might be something that's more of an option. But, you know, again, the numbers are terrible. Maybe three survivors out of 128. This drug, that therapy, may make a difference.

BOLDUAN: But still a long road to recovery for her.

GUPTA: Yes, I think so. But, you know, she's 12 years old. The kids tend to rebound pretty quickly. So, now, that she's over this hump, and obviously, her brain is working, hopefully next week it will be even better.



BOLDUAN: Thanks so much, Sanjay.

CUOMO: Absolutely. Appreciate it. That's a good story. Don't forget to tune in to "SANJAY GUPTA MD" that airs weekends right here on CNN, Saturday at 4:30 eastern and Sunday at 7:30 eastern time.

BOLDUAN: Coming up next on NEW DAY, sky diving scary enough, but one daredevil is taking it to a whole new level doing it while locked inside a coffin.

CUOMO: And, Oprah on a roll. Her network is turning a profit, she's headed back to the big screen after 15 years, and now, she gets to sit down with Nischelle Turner. Could her luck get any better? (ph) I say no. Even if she won the Powerball, I'd still say no.


CUOMO: One person who doesn't need the money.