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Kidnap Victim Rescued; Sinkhole Opens in Florida; Lon Snowden to Visit Son in Russia; WEED Stirs Controversy

Aired August 12, 2013 - 07:00   ET



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My baby girl, I'm so glad she's safe.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Hannah found. The 16-year-old Hannah Anderson rescued from the Idaho wilderness now reunited with her father. We have new details for you and the hero witnesses who spotted her joining us live.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking overnight. A big scare at a resort outside Disney World as a giant sinkhole opens up right beneath it. Just evacuated the hotel (ph) close. What caused it?

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Tearful thanks. Also overnight, Lea Michelle speaking publicly for the first time since the death of her boyfriend, Core Monteith. What she's asking of her fans?

CUOMO: Your NEW DAY starts right now.

ANNOUNCER: What you need to know.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If Miss Jenkins is tied into this conduct, she's in very serious trouble.

ANNOUNCER: What you just have to see.

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


CUOMO: Good morning, everybody. Happy Monday. Welcome back to NEW DAY. It's August 12th, seven o'clock in the east. I'm Chris Cuomo.

BOLDUAN: I'm Kate Bolduan. We're here with news anchor, Michaela Pereira.

PEREIRA: Good morning.

BOLDUAN: An incredible rescue coming up this hour. Sixteen-year-old Hannah Anderson finally reunited with her father. This morning, her alleged abductor killed in the Idaho wilderness after a multistate manhunt. And now, we have disturbing new details about his father, the father of the suspect who kidnapped the teenage girl himself years ago. We're going to talk live with a group of horseback riders who spotted Hannah and James Dimaggio and tipped off police. How their quick thinking probably saved her life?

CUOMO: Also, Sanjay Gupta was on here last week talking about his powerful new documentary about medical marijuana, right? And we knew it was going to touch nerve and it did. Heated discussion across social media about the benefits and misconceptions as well the perceived dangers of the drug. This is one of those very volatile subjects but one he believes needs explanation. He's going to come on and talk about his own evolving view.

PEREIRA: And being fired is bad enough, but imagine being fired in front of 1,000 of your colleagues and co-workers. It happened by an AOL employee, fired by the CEO on a conference call. Take a listen.


TIM ARMSTRONG, AOL CEO: Abel, put that camera down right now. Abel, you're fired. Out.


PEREIRA: Wait until you hear why the CEO Tim Armstrong did it. Does the punishment fit the crime? We'll discuss.

BOLDUAN: First off this hour, though we want to start with, a horrific week. After that horrific week that saw her mother and brother killed and her own abduction, allegedly at the hands of a family friend, Hannah Anderson has finally been reunited with her father. The two met finally on Sunday, the day after an FBI agent shot and killed the suspect, James DiMaggio. In a few minutes we're going to talk to the horseback riders who tipped off the police, but first let's go live too CNN's Miguel Marquez for the latest. Hi, Miguel.

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Kate. We understand that Hannah is doing fiend physically, but the mental side of it will be difficult for her. We're also finding out a lot more about the final days and hours of this terrible story.


MARQUEZ: With 16-year-old Hannah recuperating from a hellish experience, an FBI specialist helping her cope with devastating loss of her mother, her brother Ethan, and a terrifying week on the run with her captor, James DiMaggio. The mystery started unraveling on Wednesday when two couples riding horses in the back country here had an unusual encounter with Anderson and her suspected abductor, providing a critical tip for authorities.

MARK JOHN, SPOTTED ANDERSON IN IDAHO: They showed up at the lake and they was just like a square peg going into a round hole. They didn't fit. He might have been an outdoorsman in California but he was not an outdoorsman in Idaho and he didn't hit fifth. MARQUEZ: That tip led hundreds of law enforcement agents on a days- long search of more than 300 square miles of some of the toughest terrain in Idaho.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a homicide suspect that was in a very rugged area, and we had a 16-year-old girl we wanted to bring home safely. We wanted it to end, particularly, we wanted her home.

MARQUEZ: And then another clue, DiMaggio's blue Nissan Versa was found hidden away in the brush. And finally, Saturday afternoon, a huge break for investigators and searchers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The campsite was spotted from the air, and then the ground units were sent into that area, which eventually led to the confrontation.

MARQUEZ: But the steep terrain forced helicopters to dropped hostage rescue teams hours away from the suspected campsite. As they quietly moved in on DiMaggio and Anderson, they waited until the two separated, and then --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Approximately 5:20 local time, special agents with the FBI's hostage rescue team along with Salt Lake City division of the FBI observed Hannah and the suspect near Moorhead Lake at a campsite. Agents moved in to rescue Hannah. The suspect is deceased.

MARQUEZ: The 40-year-old was killed when confronted. It is not clear what Hannah saw of his end.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This was, you know, started essentially in earnest yesterday morning, and today less than 36 hours later she is home and she is safe. Hannah is safe.

MARQUEZ: As good an ending as possible for a horrific story.


MARQUEZ: While Hannah seems physically fine from everything we have heard, it will take a lifetime for her to recover. The story is winding down for us certainly but for her it just beginning. The first order of business for her when she gets back home, the funerals of her mother and her brother. Chris?

CUOMO: Miguel, important point, so much pain here. Thank you for your reporting throughout the week. But obviously we also want to play up the fact this was seen as unlikely. So the idea that Hannah is back home with her father is good news any way you look at it.

And in big part it because of those eagle-eyed horseback riders who spotted Hannah Anderson and James DiMaggio, and they are being hailed today rightly as heroes. Mark and Crista John and Mike and Mary Young join us now. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much for being with us this morning on NEW DAY. We appreciate it.

JOHN: You're welcome. CUOMO: That is a very nice shirt you have on, sir. So I'm going to begin with you. I know there is reluctance among of four of you of having done something special. You see this as something good people are supposed to do. It is so key what you discovered that I hope you you'll realize how important it was. Do you?

JOHN: Yes we do. At this point we do.

CUOMO: Let's set the scene. You're out there riding. Takes through where you were and what you saw that triggered your curiosity.

JOHN: We started out from the sandy trail head and rode on up to the ridge. And immediately we came upon this young girl and older man. And they just really didn't fit very well. The expressions on their face, their demeanor, just didn't fit that country. They was out of place completely. They weren't dressed for the country or the area.

And then as we rode further on, we encountered the tent that they had set up, which was totally out of place. It was way on top of a mountain, looked like it would make a real good lightning rod. So we was discussing the fact that they didn't fit there, that something was wrong.

CUOMO: So it's interesting. You're talking about the particulars of how they set themselves up as campers, but also one of the ladies felt there was something about Hannah. Ladies, will you speak to that? Who was it they wanted to reach out and speak to Hannah, they were sensing something. What was it?

CHRISTA JOHN, HORSEBACK RIDER, SPOTTED HANNAH ANDERSON: That was me. They followed us from the top of the ridge. We rode done into the lake, and they followed us on foot. And she was sitting there, and I just felt like I should go over there and kind of just see if she needed help. And Mark says, you know, maybe he had a feeling being in law enforcement for all those years and in the military, he had a feeling I shouldn't maybe do that.

I did talk to him about why he was there in this far out place, and he said she got to pick where we went last year. She wanted to go to Los Angeles and to Hollywood, so this year it was my turn. And that was a good explanation for me. But I did want to make kind of a contact with her. And in retrospect I'm glad that I didn't because that could have turned out terribly wrong for all of us.

CUOMO: So the four of you continued on your way but it didn't go out of your mind. You get back home, you turn on the news, you hear about the Amber alert. What do you do?

JOHN: Well, the minute I seen the Amber alert on television, I immediately pointed to my wife, I said that is the girl that we'd seen up on that mountain. So we contacted the other couple that was with us and asked them to turn the TV on and confirm it. And as soon as we conversed over that, then I contacted the Idaho state police and we got the ball rolling.

CUOMO: Mike and Mary, you guys were along on this trip. When you realized it was that I don't think girl, what was that like for you? Did you feel we have to do something about it or we have to go back? Where was your head on that?

MIKE YOUNG, HORSEBACK RIDER, SPOTTED HANNAH ANDERSON: Well, we offered our help. We felt like something definitely needed to be done.

MARY YOUNG, HORSEBACK RIDER, SPOTTED HANNAH ANDERSON: One thing that's come out of this is how important that Amber alert is, that people need to be aware and observant. Otherwise we would have missed turning in that information.

CHRISTA JOHN: It is better to make a phone call and be wrong about the situation than not make it at all. So, please, if you see something, everybody has that God-given feeling you see something wrong, you're usually right.

CUOMO: We tell people if you see something, say something. It's such a big area, you guys know better than certainly I do, they may have not been found until it was too late.


JOHN: That's definitely correct.

CUOMO: Well, thanks very much. I'm sure you weren't looking for this attention, but you need it, because people need to see you're an example of doing the right in a situation where it mattered most. So thank you so all of you, thank you very much. And I appreciate you wearing that beautiful shirt this morning, brightening up our Monday morning.

JOHN: Thank you. You're welcome.

CUOMO: Thank you for joining us on NEW DAY. Isn't that great they saw something, they took the time, they made their effort and look what a difference it made.

Relatives of Hannah Anderson say she will get plenty of support from her family now that she's been found and certainly there's so much for her to deal with. Uncovered this morning was a disturbing family history as well for James DiMaggio. People were wondering how did he do this, why did he do this? We now know things that help fill in that picture, very important details.

CNN's Casey Wian is live in San Diego. Casey, this was the big question, how does someone who is so beloved by this family turn into something so wrong? Now we see a more complete picture, yes?

CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Chris. There are new chilling details emerging about James DiMaggio, his own father, that family background. While that's going on, Hannah Anderson's family in San Diego eagerly awaits her return.



WIAN: The family of 16-year-old Hannah Anderson after fearing the worst for nearly a week.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm so glad she's safe.


WIAN: Before leaving for Idaho, Hannah's father texted CNN he was nervous and excited about their reunion. As family looks forward to Hannah's future, there are new questions about her alleged kidnapper's past. James DiMaggio was described as Hannah's father's best friend, a valuable handyman, a trusted uncle figure to Hannah and her brother Ethan. But he was also the son of another troubled man also named James DiMaggio, who held the 16-year-old daughter of a former girlfriend captive in 1989. Now a woman, she spoke with CNN affiliate KFMB.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I asked him not to kill us, and he said don't worry, you are won't feel a thing.

WIAN: She escaped and the elder James DiMaggio went to prison. The woman attended the same high school as his son who she says told her this one day --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was walking to my locker and his son said my dad is out and he said to let you know he'll be waiting for you after school.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What I found out is that Jim's father had committed suicide in 1998.

WIAN: To be exact, DiMaggio's father took a fatal drug overdose August 10, 1998, 15 years to the day before an FBI agent killed his son in these remote Idaho woods, freeing another 16-year-old girl.


WIAN: There's another date that may have played a role in all of this, and that's August 3rd. That's the day James DiMaggio's father disappeared before his suicide back in 1998. August 3rd also the date that James DiMaggio's mobile home was found on fire with the bodies of Hannah Anderson mother and younger brother inside, launching this manhunt that ended this weekend. Chris, Kate?

BOLDUAN: All right, thanks so much, Casey. There is a lot of news developing at this hour. Let's get straight to Michaela for the latest.

PEREIRA: Good morning, everybody. Breaking overnight, a giant sinkhole has caused a building to collapse in a resort in Lake County, Florida. It happened late last night at the Summer Bay Resort not that far from Disneyworld.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was the most surreal experience. I never could imagine in my wildest dreams.

PEREIRA: A huge scare overnight at this resort just 10 minutes from Disneyworld. While visitors were relaxing a giant 60-foot sinkhole suddenly opened beneath them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One woman was sitting in the tub and the tub just levitated. And that's when she grabbed a pair of shorts and came out with nothing.

PEREIRA: The sinkhole nearly devoured one three-story building and continues to sink another. It happened early this morning and 35 guests were rushed out of the building to safety.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got everyone out of the building.

PEREIRA: The sinkhole left a 15-foot deep crater in the ground. Witnesses say they heard loud noises and windows cracking.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When the fire truck, ambulance came, I just saw people -- one person had to break out of the window because the door frame collapsed, and it was him and his wife and an infant. He had to break the window just so they could escape.

PEREIRA: All the guests were evacuated self and no one was hurt, though the incident certainly did put a damper on many vacations.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We just got here. You know, I don't want the kid it see us, you know, with a sad face. They came to see Mickey, you know, and I'm going to do my best to make it happen for them regardless of, you know, the material things we've lost.


PEREIRA: Good attitude. Local authorities are concerned because that sinkhole is still growing.

In other news, the State Department has reopened 18 embassies and consulates in the Mideast and North Africa. They were closed last week over fears of possible terror attacks, but the U.S. embassy in Yemen will remain shuttered because of ongoing concerns. And the American consulate in Lahore, Pakistan, which was closed due to a separate security threat, will also remain closed at this time.

A pre-trial hearing today for this young man, Justin Carter. He is the Texas teen who spent five months in jail after posting on Facebook that he would, quote, "shoot up a kindergarten" during an online argument about videogames. Carter insists he was joking. He now faces felony terrorism charges. His lawyer says the charges violate Carter's first amendment rights and is filing a motion to have that case dismissed. We'll have much more on this story coming up on our program.

A rodeo clown in Missouri coming under fire this morning for wearing a Barack Obama mask and asking spectators at the state fair if they'd like to see the president run-down by a bull. Many people in the audience say they were frightened be the crowd's over-enthusiastic response. Missouri's Democratic governor, Jay Nixon, called the performance offensive.

All right. Here's a high-wire act to top all high-wire acts. A group of tightrope walkers performing a series of death defying stunts high in the sky over south China, like 380 feet high in the sky. They walked, they sat, they danced, they walked over each other. One of the stunt performers even did a head stand on the steel wire. That is it what you call amazing. Happy Monday. Our gift to you.

CUOMO: That is what you call trust.


BOLDUAN: Nik Wallenda is watching saying I can do that.


BOLDUAN: The only man who's watching that right now.

PERIERA: He can do it, but does he have all the people that are willing to let him?

CUOMO: I'd rather be Wallenda in that situation than the guy lying on the wire. You know? Because you know if he's like look man, I'm about to lose my balance he going to --


BOLDUAN: I know very little about a lot but that is kind of the safety pose that Nik had shown me that if the winds would get high, you go down and lay down on the wire and because you can wrap your legs around the wire if need be.

PERIERA: My safety pose is sitting on the bus. That's my safety pose.

BOLDUAN: Exactly. Safety pose. Not on a high wire. How about that.


BOLDUAN: All right, Michaela, thank you.

We have some more stunning pictures to show you this morning from a resort town outside of Colorado Springs. A flash flood and mudslide. Just look at this. Ripped through the town, torrents of water washing away everything in its path including dozens of cars. One person was killed, another still missing. Jennifer Delgado is in for Indra Petersons this morning, tracking the weather from the CNN center. Good morning Jennifer.

JENNIFER DELGADO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning, Kate. We talk about the flooding that's been happening across parts of the Midwest but we really want to focus on Colorado there. The situation was made even worse because we're talking in a low-lying area. You see the terrain in the mountains there. When the rain came down, it basically just pooled out the bottom, and when you have that heavy rainfall and the region's still recovering from what was a wildfire last year, the water has nothing to hold onto. That's why we saw the mudslides and the rushing water.

What you're seeing in green, that's the area, that's the burn scar from last year's wildfire. The area in red showing vegetation, so that region didn't have anything out there to hold on to.

Now, starting off the morning, across parts of the northeast, we're still looking at rain in New York City. The rain will stick around for the next about two hours or so. In the Midwest, we're going to add in some lightning for you. You can see moving through Kansas City. Chicago, you're starting to dry things out but it is moving through areas, including Detroit. We're going to keep more rain around for parts of the south as we go through the next couple days. We have another front, and that front will squeeze out several inches of rainfall over the next couple of days. That means the flood threat will be great once again. Back over to you.

CUOMO: All right. Important information. Thank you for that.

Let's move on to another story this morning. Strong words from the father of NSA leaker Edward Snowden. Lon Snowden says President Obama and others have ruined the potential jury pool for his son. That said, he does say he plans to visit Russia and work out a plan to bring his son home. CNN's Dan Lothian is traveling with the president who is on vacation in Martha's Vineyard. Dan, good morning.

DAN LOTHIAN, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Chris. For the president it's always a working vacation. He can't escape the Snowden case, the NSA leaker's father delivering that harsh rebuke. But from the White House so far, no comment.


LOTHIAN: President Obama in vacation mode on a Martha's Vineyard golf course, showing a bit of frustration after missing a putt, while NSA leaker Edward Snowden's father appeared on a Sunday morning talk show, taking aim at the president and a Republican congressman who has labeled his son a traitor.

LON SNOWDEN, FATHER OF NSA LEAKER: My son has spoken the truth, he has sacrificed more than the President of the United States or Peter King have ever in their political careers or their American lives.

LOTHIAN: Lon Snowden was reacting to the president's pre-vacation news conference where he dismissed the notion that the younger Snowden's actions served a greater good.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:I don't think Mr. Snowden was a patriot. The fact is that Mr. Snowden's been charged with three felonies.

LOTHIAN: Now Snowden's father says he and his attorney will be traveling to Russia very soon to help his son fight those charges.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have visas, we have a date, which we won't disclose right now because of the frenzy. LOTHIAN: It's that frenzy and outspoken criticism by U.S. officials that Lon Snowden claims will make it difficult for his son to get a fair hearing if he returns to the U.S.

SNOWDEN: I want my son to come home if I believe that the justice system that we should be afforded as Americans is going to be applied correctly.


LOTHIAN: Snowden says that these comments by lawmakers have, in his words, been absolutely irresponsible, and inconsistent with the U.S. justice system. He say that they have poisoned the well, making it difficult to found an impartial jury.

CUOMO: All right, Dan, thank you very much. It's interesting. He was qualified, Lon Snowden, you know originally it sounded like he was going to bring him here to face the repercussions, but then he said if he believes the system, so when you look at that maybe he's not going to bring him back.

BOLDUAN: Maybe not, I mean that would be the -- that's where they want him to be, in a courtroom in the United States at some point soon.

CUOMO: A quick little thing here before we move on. Can we bring back the picture of the president playing golf? The president is in great shape, and he's well dressed. I don't know about the shorts, though.

BOLDUAN: What do they say about those who live in glass houses?

CUOMO: I don't have any goofy shorts.


PERIERA: Is it his physique you're questioning?

CUOMO: No. He's in great shape. I just feel like those golf shorts

PERIERA: He should have worn long pants?

CUOMO: I don't know. I think so, maybe. Something about them.

PERIERA: Tweet him.


CUOMO: I'll have to think about it during the break.

BOLDUAN: Chris is fashion police today.

CUOMO: Hardly. There's just something about them.

BOLDUAN: Coming up next on NEW DAY, Dr. Sanjay Gupta's CNN documentary, "WEED," is generating a tremendous response. Sanjay is going to join us live to talk about that coming up next. CUOMO: Plus, investigators in the Aaron Hernandez murder case now turning their attention to his fiancee. Why? We'll give you the answer.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY. There's quite a lot of buzz this morning, no pun intended, about Dr. Sanjay Gupta's compelling documentary about marijuana. If you didn't catch "WEED" last night on CNN, apparently you're one of the few.

Sanjay is joining us now to talk about all of the reactions to this story. So, Sanjay, you knew that when you were going to come out not only to talk about your position on medical marijuana, but also in putting together this documentary that you spent over a year investigating, you knew people were going to be talking about it, but were you surprised by all the reaction? This has really started a national conversation.

SANJAY GUPTA, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, I definitely -- a little bit surprised by that. And I think the types of people, doctors, people from the church, politicians e-mailing me, and now curious about this, wanting more information.

I think you right. It started a dialogue, I think, nationally and even in places around the world. Part of this is I think a lot of people are thinking about this in a way they hadn't before, but actually being able to be informed about this, so much of the conversation is relying on conjecture and hyperbole and anecdotal stories, I think actually being armed with information regardless of your position, is really helpful.

BOLDUAN: And also in this documentary, you're making a distinction between medicinal use of marijuana and recreational use of marijuana. You're saying one usage of marijuana is fine. Why not both? Talk to be about this distinction and why it's important for people to understand.

GUPTA: Well, yeah the distinction is important I think here. You know, we profile this little girl named Charlotte. And I think when most people think of marijuana use, they immediately think of these images from "Refer Madness." They think of people smoking marijuana, getting high, and being unproductive. That's sort of the tagline on this. And then you watch what happens to this girl Charlotte. First of all, the type of marijuana that she's taking is a medicinal marijuana. And what I mean by that is it has low THC, which is the stuff that is a psychoactive part and high CBD, which can be very medicinal in her case. She's not smoking it. She's taking it as an oil instead, and it took her seizures from 300 a week to two or three a month.

So, what you think of when you think of marijuana use in this country I think will change when you see something like this. But you're absolutely right. I think there's a bright line to be drawn between those two.

BOLDUAN: Let's talk about some of the criticism. You were not surprised. You knew this was going to have people talking. There's a lot that we could talk about but here's some of it. The director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, she came out and said very strongly that marijuana is especially harmful to brain development in adolescents. What has your research found about that?

GUPTA: First of all, Nora Volkow she was in our documentary. Second of all, we said that in the documentary. Third of all, Kate, you and I have talk about this, but I'm a dad. We're not trying to be irresponsible here. I think that there may -- the type of THC and type of marijuana out there, this is not something I would advocate for people who are adolescents, for people's whose brains are not fully developed until age 24, 25 or so.

We say the same thing, and not to draw on the moral equivalence article-- I don't want my kid drinking alcohol either, I don't want them taking narcotic medications if they don't need it. All that is true.

But the trade-off should not be because of those concerns we will deny people therapy, we will deny people therapy that works, we will deny people therapy that may be the only thing that works for them. I get it, but understand what you're trading off here.

BOLDIAN: And is that tradeoff also, is that how you would counter when you face criticism? That the research has not yet proven it's safe enough. Volkow says this was discussed by potential use of cocaine or methamphetamine, that at one point doctors thought there was some medicinal use of these drugs. Clearly there's been research and proof otherwise. She's kind of connecting those dots and saying this is what we're talking about with marijuana yet. Ee don't yet know the long- term effects of the negative effects, so we should be careful not to be pushing it too far too fast.

GUPTA: She's a very educated woman and has spent a lifetime researching this. She knows there's research out there. There's been research for a thousand years. There have been papers that I found between 1860 and 1930 talking about the effects of marijuana. I think if you want to draw a comparison, maybe it shouldn't be to cocaine and heroin, but rather to narcotics that are actually available right now. You know people take these narcotic medications such as oxycontin, vicodin, percocet, in this country for their pain.