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Missing or Murdered? Where is Erica Parsons?

Aired August 22, 2013 - 19:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Tonight, breaking news. Shocking new details emerge about the mysterious disappearance of a beautiful North Carolina girl named Erica Parsons.

The missing girl`s brother says their parents brutally killed Erica and buried her in the backyard. But Erica`s parents claim she`s safe and sound with her grandmother. So who`s telling the truth? And if Erica is just fine and dandy, where the heck is she? We`re uncovering that mystery tonight.

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


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Family function. She had bumps or bruises.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You cannot sit there and let them be gone for two years.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Follow the money.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not nowhere she`s at or if she`s OK.

CASEY PARSONS, ERICA`S ADOPTIVE MOTHER: She`s not missing. She`s at Nan`s house.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Grandma`s been dead for five years.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We want you home, where no one`s mad at you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The problem is Erica Parsons disappeared two years ago.

C. PARSONS: We have done nothing to these kids or Erica.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: But where is Erica Parsons, if they`ve done nothing to her? Her adoptive parents say the last time they saw their daughter was in December of 2011. That`s right, almost two years ago, when they claim they dropped 13-year-old Erica at a local McDonald`s to meet up with her biological grandmother, Nan, for a vacation. They claimed Erica called and said, "Hey, I don`t want to call home." So they say they never followed up. Even though she`s been missing for two years, Erica`s adoptive parents never reported her missing.

Just the other day Erica`s parents told Dr. Phil they`re not in the least bit worried.


C. PARSONS: It`s been a year and a half since I spoke with Nan and my daughter. I do not fear anything`s happened to Erica.

SANDY PARSONS, ERICA`S ADOPTIVE FATHER: Erica is fine. I don`t have a doubt in my mind.

C. PARSONS: Erica`s not missing. Erica is with Nan.

S. PARSONS: I thought just a rebellious teenager. She`ll come home when she needs something.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, boy. But Erica`s brother has a different terrifying story. He says his mom and dad kept quiet while they kept collecting the monthly checks for Erica, to the tune of $634 a month.

Erica`s brother says his parents, Erica`s adoptive parents, Casey and Sandy Parsons, actually murdered Erica and buried her in the backyard. They say no way.

I want to hear from you; call me: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.

Tonight, in the Lion`s Den. We have a fantastic panel, including TBO`s Jill Simonian and a panel. And I`ll start with Joe Gomez, a feisty reporter from KRLD in Dallas. What the heck? This child vanishes. They don`t report it?

JOE GOMEZ, REPORTER, KRLD: Very bizarre, isn`t it, the fact that young Erica goes missing for about two years. The parents don`t feel compelled to call the police? And then they don`t have an address or any contact information for the grandma?

Then the biological mother takes to Facebook and says, "You know what? The grandma`s been dead for I don`t know how long. Both of her grandparents have been dead."

So what`s going on here? Where is Erica, and why did her brother, her non-biological brother, decide to go to the cops and tell them that Erica was murdered by her adoptive family and buried in the backyard? Something just doesn`t make sense here, Jane.

Why is this family lawyering up, and why are they refusing to cooperate with police? That`s my big question.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: J. Wyndal Gordon, why aren`t they charged with something? That`s my big question.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I mean, the child is missing. If she`s there show her, produce her. If you cannot produce her, then, I say that`s got to be a charge for something.

GORDON: Where the heck is Nan? Five words. Where is she?


GORDON: Of course there isn`t.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t think there`s a Nan.

GORDON: And that`s the whole thing about it. Something happened to this child. They know what happened to the child. And it`s up to us to find out. So, I mean, the police are on it now, two years behind the fact, but they`re on it now, and we`ll get some answers soon. I`m very confident of that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, listen, Jill Simonian, here is what just drives me crazy. This little girl was supposedly being home schooled and apparently in North Carolina, there`s no checkups. Nobody stopped by, no teacher, no social worker. I mean, all this tax dollars spent for all these bureaucracies. And nobody in all this time checked on this little girl once to find out that she was not around. That`s an outrage in itself.

JILL SIMONIAN, TV HOST: Well that is an outrage and as a mother, I mean, my two little girls are very young, almost 3 and almost 1 1/2, but as a mother, I hear this story and you read the articles and, A, you`re disgusted. I was disgusted.

And then B, the thing that follows right after that is that my eyes welled up with tears and I got sad and I inexplicably felt some kind of a connection, as a mother, to this innocent little girl who has had, you know, not the best of upbringings so far, you know, based on what we`ve read.

Nobody saw anything; nobody said anything. I mean, if I`m in the grocery store with my girls and I see something that looks remotely suspicious, as a mother, you know, with a child and a parent who`s -- you know, who has -- as a mother, I look and I say, you know, is there something that I need to pay attention to? You kind of keep an eye out in that community of, you know, parenthood, making sure these kids are OK.

GORDON: You see that swimming pool? Did you see that swimming pool? That looked like it was filled with algae. Maybe they should start looking there. Erica could be in there. You know...


GORDON: It just goes to show, some people -- some people should not be foster parents. Some people shouldn`t be parents. Some people do it because they love children. That is, become foster parents. And some people do it for the money.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, this whole thing is a complete mess.

GORDON: This family obviously did it for the money.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And there`s a lot of -- it`s not like just a foster family. My understanding is that Erica`s mom was married to the brother of the adoptive father, Sandy. So, it`s all -- it`s a mess.

But who is this mystery grandma, Irene Goodman, OK, Nan, as they say, that allegedly purportedly has Erica for two years? Well, Erica`s mother says -- the adoptive mother -- says Nan contacted her out of the blue on Facebook and knew intimate details of their life. Listen to this from Dr. Phil.


C. PARSONS: She knew all of Erica`s information. She knew her birthday, her biological father`s name.


C. PARSONS: Which we had only met him for, like, well, I had like five minutes in my whole life.

MCGRAW: Uh-huh.

C. PARSONS: She knew all about him. Her birth mother. All of her other half-brothers` and sisters` names. She even knew my other kids` biological, my -- their names. She knew the city we lived in. She knew my phone number. She knew everything about us. And she said Erica`s biological mother had given her information to contact us.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, well, that`s -- that`s perfectly a good reason, then, to drop a child off at McDonald`s and forget about her for two years.

Look, this mom`s name is Casey. This whole thing reminds me, Kinsey Schofield, blogger, of another Casey: Casey Anthony. And you remember Zanny the nanny. Well, this is nanny the grandma, Nanny the grandma, who`s not, I don`t think, a real person. I don`t know.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t necessarily think...

GORDON: Casey Anthony case.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t think that she`s necessarily a real person either.

GORDON: It doesn`t end well. This is another sad story of a child who was abused and now is missing and perhaps even dead. We`ve heard it before, unfortunately. And quite frankly, we all get sick of hearing these stories, but that`s where we are today. I mean, you don`t have to be any crime scene or homicide detective to figure this one out.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But Kinsey, I understand...


DR. TIFFANIE DAVIS-HENRY, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: Not going to do anything different. The problem in this case is so many people saw that this girl was being abused and neglected, and did nothing. Writing on Facebook to say, "Oh, I saw a bruise," or "Oh, I saw a bump," that`s not enough.

They should have called 911 immediately when they saw these things with this girl, and they did not. It is sickening, it`s disgusting and these people are despicable.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But Kinsey Schofield...

GOMEZ: Special needs child. She`s special needs. That`s what makes this even worse.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I understand, Kinsey, that you think that maybe these parents...

GORDON: She was in special need of some parents who care.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... are getting a bad rap?

KINSEY SCHOFIELD, BLOGGER: I don`t necessarily think that the child is dead. At that age, you don`t fit in, no matter where you are. And to be in a home like that, where you`re abused and you -- nobody wants you; you`ve been flip-flopping throughout this family. I would hope that maybe the child ran away, got out.

Or the mother has a history of attempting to sell a fetus. So who knows that she didn`t sell this child to somebody?

So, my hope, my deep, deep hope, I pray to God that this child is still alive, and that is my point. I don`t want to fixate on thinking about there being a dead body. I hope there`s not a dead body. I hope it`s not in the backyard.


SCHOFIELD: The brother is just now saying that this happened. Why wasn`t the brother concerned about this, you know, a year after he hadn`t seen his sister?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hold on one second. Hold on a second. I want to go to Dr. Tiffanie Davis-Henry, but let me first tell you about what`s in the search warrant, because I want to get your response.

The search warrant documents a very troubled relationship between the missing child and her adoptive mother, Casey. It says family members claim the mom was abusive toward the child. They claim Erica was always put in the corner as punishment, that the mom hit Erica with a toy so hard it broke. It goes on to say that this adoptive mother told people Erica was not her daughter, OK? And that Erica always had bumps and bruises on her body.

And the most significant thing, Dr. Tiffanie, is that supposedly, allegedly, Casey said, "I don`t like this girl."

DAVIS-HENRY: "I can`t stand to look at her."

VELEZ-MITCHELL: "I can`t stand to look at her." Tell me.

DAVIS-HENRY: "I can`t stand to look at her." This disturbed me so much, but you know what, Jane? The other thing that really got under my skin with this case, with the affidavit and the search warrant, was when she says, you know, "We took her, me and the husband, we took her, along with our daughter, Brooke, to go see Nan and drop her off."

But guess what? Brooke said in a separate interview, "I was not along on that trip. I did not go with them. They did that on their own." This is her own daughter, her biological daughter that`s saying, "Un-unh, don`t put me in the middle of that. I didn`t do that."

The other thing that bothers me about this is this girl was neglected and abused, from a very, very young age, even in the first grade. When she went to live with another family member, this child was wearing a 3T-size clothing. Three-T. She was neglected.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What -- what -- what...

DAVIS-HENRY: She had been basically abandoned, emotionally, physically, and even in terms of her nutrition.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What is really interesting about this, and it`s tragic, but sometimes, parents can be good parents with one set of kids and they sort of take one child, for whatever reason...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And single them out.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: They single them out, and they demonize it. I`ve seen it over and over again. And maybe it`s because this child reminded the mother of her biological mother, Carolyn, who, according to this search warrant, a family member said that the adoptive mother hated the biological mother. So that is a very sick dynamic.

Why didn`t social workers pick up on that and explore that? We`re going to get to that on the other side. We`re just getting started, and we`re taking your calls.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Parsons went from talking to reporters to speeding away any time they saw a camera. The search warrants revealed allegations of mental and physical abuse.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every time she showed up at a family function, she had bumps or bruises.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`re all sorry that we could not help her, that we did not realize things were like they were.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Straight out to Dr. Lawrence Kobilinsky, famed forensic scientist. I`ve been reviewing this search warrant affidavit. So have you. What have you found in terms of evidence?

DR. LAWRENCE KOBILINSKY, FORENSIC SCIENTIST (via phone): Well, I do think that forensic sciences is going to be the most important aspect of this case. And I think you have to know where to start; you have to start at the crime scene.

The -- the police had warrants for two locations. The first was in the home of Sandy and Casey Parsons. There, they found a red-stained flooring and red-stained dry wall, as well as two large knives in shrink wrap and some literature about the JonBenet Ramsey case and the Susan Smith case.

The second warrant was for a wooden storage building, which was under the control of Sandy Parsons. And in that building they found a videotape, pieces of a vacuum cleaner, teeth and some...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Teeth? Teeth? Teeth?

KOBILINSKY: Teeth. Yes. And that was kind of surprising.


KOBILINSKY: So, first of all, I think this is the kind of thing that an odontologist needs to be looking at those teeth to find out, did they come from a young person, from an older person, from a male or a female? The DNA analysis will tell us very clearly if it came from Erica or not. That could be the first very critical and important lead, to tell us what happened to this young woman.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And God only knows if they took her to a dentist for comparison, so we don`t know if they`re going to be able to identify those teeth.

Mo Ivory, honored personality, CBS Radio. So glad you`re joining us. Book about JonBenet Ramsey, a famous unsolved murder case of a child, and one of the books that I remember is a very famous book, "The Perfect Murder." Why might they have that in the house?

MO IVORY, RADIO PERSONALITY: You would ask yourself that question. Why would they also have material relating to Susan Smith, who drove her children into a river and drowned them?

I mean, I just -- I cannot say anything about this case, except it`s horrific.

But my biggest question is this is to me, where is the village? Where are the people in the neighborhood? A child who you know has not had a great life, does not have great parents, is not being taken care of well, all the people who knew that she was being beat, that she stood in the corner, the other kids in the house.

And then you go missing for two years and no one in the neighborhood says, "Where is she? I haven`t seen her play. I haven`t seen her get in the car. I haven`t seen her come back from school." Nobody in two years thought "Something`s not right in that household. Let me call."

This is also disturbingly about money, which is -- I mean ...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, yes, we`re going to get in a second. But you make some very good points. Let`s -- let`s recap and review some of the problems.

Relatives say Erica frequently had bumps and bruises on her body. They felt Casey, the mom, and Sandy, the dad, always seemed to be punishing the girl. Listen to what this close friend told Dr. Drew.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (via phone): To me, it seems like they were more about the money, because if they did care and love for Erica, well, it seems like they would have reported her missing the day she had left. Because for someone to sit there and say you love this child, you cannot sit there and let them be gone for two years and not know where she`s at or if she`s OK.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jill Simonian, TV host, founder of the, according to reports I read, there was one claim of abuse against this family involving this child. Social workers did arrive at the home, but they did something that`s sort of like new math. Remember that? They did a...

SIMONIAN: Yes, yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... non-adversarial family assessment. Instead of investigating, according to published reports, they sat down with the Parsons and they just said, "How can we all become a better family? How can we help?" What nonsense is that?

SIMONIAN: I know. You know what? To me and you and, you know, hundreds of other people that does sound like complete nonsense. But you`re exactly right. In Rowan County, there is this social worker approach, like you said, non-adversarial. They go in. There`s no confrontation. They talk to the child with the parents, which to me, is -- you know, unheard of, because a kid is not going to tell a stranger that they`re being abused or mistreated, if the threatening parents are sitting right there with them.

And in a lot of the accounts and the reports we`ve read, you know, they`re -- they said that -- they said that Erica went willingly to go sit on their lap...


SIMONIAN: ... while they were -- you know, the social workers were there. It is so scary.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Joe Gomez, what about old-fashioned investigation? This new-fangled...

SIMONIAN: I don`t know.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s ridiculous, Joe Gomez. If there`s a claim of abuse against a child, you know the child`s not going to speak up if the parents are there. Then you investigate; you take the child and you separate the child. I don`t get it.

GOMEZ: Yes, somebody made a mistake down the road here, Jane, obviously. I mean, look, this -- this poor little girl was completely isolated. My understanding is she didn`t have any friends. She was constantly put in detention.

If she was in fact, abused, then she was probably afraid of adults. And if they were questioning her in front of her family, she was probably afraid of some kind of repercussion. She probably thought that if she said something bad, that she was going to get hit again.

So, yes, somebody should have peered behind the curtain, dug a little deeper and maybe, just maybe, little Erica wouldn`t be missing right now, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: On the other side of the break, what these parents told Dr. Phil, their side of the story from their own lips.

And we`re going to tell you about a polygraph.

And for the first time, we`re hearing directly from Hannah Anderson. She`s talking about that terrifying kidnapping and the man who murdered, brutally murdered her mother and little brother.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The suspect, James Lee DiMaggio, was shot and killed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hannah is safe, and that was the best outcome that we were hoping for.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was like a weight lifted off of everybody`s shoulders.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was under extreme, extreme duress.




C. PARSONS: She was just a teenager and she was with her grandparent, completely safe, having fun and just living her life. And having fun. And she loves -- she loves Nan.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s been a year and a half. Why did you not call the police?

C. PARSONS: Because she`s not missing. She`s at Nan`s house. And the last time we talked to Erica in February 2012, she was fine.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So many parallels to the Casey Anthony case. A Casey and then a mystery -- not nanny this time -- mystery grandma, who has the child. Where is this grandma? Does this grandma exist? Wow.

Here`s an age progression. This is what the child looked like at the time she disappeared, Erica, and what she would look like today. A pretty young lady, and we pray and hope she`s alive.

Let`s go to the phone lines. Zoey, California, your question or thought. Zoey, California?

CALLER: How are you doing, Jane? Thanks for taking my call.


CALLER: Basically, I can`t understand why these people are still sitting out in the free world when their child is dead, and they have basically -- it`s just mind-boggling to me they haven`t been taken in, because they haven`t behaved in a not -- I`m sorry, they didn`t report the child missing. They`ve been collecting money off of welfare on this child. And it just boggles me that they`re on TV instead of behind bars.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I agree with you 100 percent.

And by the way, this family -- either Casey or Sandy or both, or their attorney, or all three of them -- are invited on our show any time. And we reached out to them. They`re not commenting at this time. But we want to get their side.

But J. Wyndal Gordon, attorney out of D.C., I mean, why aren`t they charged with something?

GORDON: Well, I think that`s coming, as I said earlier in the show. You want to -- you want to be sure that she was killed, as opposed to died by way of some accident and thereby, bring people into -- haul people into court under false pretenses. So I think the sheriff`s department wants to ensure that they are conducting a full and thorough investigation so that, when they do bring charges against these two, the charges will be able to stick.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, well, I think you`re saying that kind of the old no body, no case. And we pray that she`s alive. We pray that it`s not a body. But you have to...

GORDON: Interestingly, though, they say they found these teeth. And they didn`t say a tooth. They said teeth. So it should be easy for any type of dentist or orthodontist to be able to note whether or not those teeth belong to a 13-year-old or some type of adolescent teenager.

And that would be at least a clue. Now are they dog`s teeth? What kind of teeth are they? They didn`t -- they weren`t even clear on that. But I think...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, listen, I love animals, but who keeps -- who keeps dogs` teeth? Really?

GORDON: Well, nobody. I think they just found them. So...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: For their side, they say these -- this James Parsons, who reported and said they killed the child and they buried her in the backyard, he`s very troubled. And what do we know about that, Joe Gomez, about his troubles, the brother who reported her missing, finally?

GOMEZ: Well, we understand that he had some troubled relationship with his biological parents. They claim that that`s the reason he`s making these very spectacular accusations that they, in fact, murdered little Erica.

But then again, it really brings up the question, why wait two years for this? Why wait? Why didn`t he bring up this to the police a long time ago? What`s his story? That`s still unclear at this point. Why so long?

GORDON: He wasn`t getting a cut of the money.

IVORY: Right. Right, right, right.

GORDON: He wasn`t getting his cut of the money.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, he`s a kid. He`s a kid.

GORDON: My own conjecture, I would suggest that he wasn`t getting his portion of the money.

IVORY: Absolutely.

DAVIS-HENRY: I think the last thing -- the last thing you want do is piss somebody off that has secrets on you.

IVORY: Absolutely.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, is that the truth. Secrets can be murder. I wrote a book by that title. We certainly hope it`s not. Maybe they do have an explanation.

I`m wondering, why would you go on "Dr. Phil" unless you really felt like, Dr. Phil, that`s like being cross-examined by God. Now, why would you do that and submit to a polygraph? We`re going to tell you about that on the other side.


C. PARSONS: We have done nothing to these kids or Erica. Nothing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What did the police say when they showed up?

C. PARSONS: That Erica -- he`s reported Erica, we had killed Erica and buried her in our backyard.




VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s start the age progression.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every time she showed up at a family function, she had bumps or bruises.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You cannot sit there and let them be gone for two years.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Follow the money.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To not know where she`s at or if she`s ok.

CASEY PARSONS, ERIC PARSON`S ADOPTED MOTHER: She`s not missing. She`s at Nan`s house.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Grandma`s been dead for five years.

PARSONS: We want you home where no one`s mad at you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The problem is Erica Parsons disappeared two years ago.

PARSONS: We have done nothing to these kids or Erica.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Where is precious Erica Parsons? This is an age progression photo that we`re going to show you of what she looked like when she disappeared two years ago at the age of 13 and what she would look like today -- we pray she is alive. We`re trying to solve this mystery tonight.

Erica`s parents, adopted parents, claim they believe Erica is safe with their grandma. Grandma died five years ago, sorry to tell you that, people. The dad even took a polygraph on Dr. Phil to try to prove his innocence, but guess what, according to Dr. Phil`s expert, Erica`s dad was anything but honest during the test. Check it out.


DR. PHIL MCGRAW, TV HOST: The question you asked of Sandy is "Did you deliberately cause Erica`s disappearance?" In the second question, a variation of the first, you said, "Did you have a plan to cause Erica`s disappearance?" And his answer to both questions was --


MCGRAW: All right. And you say here that the results to both questions was strongly deceptive.

TRIMARCO: That`s correct.

MCGRAW: You think he knows something he`s not telling us?

TRIMARCO: He does.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Tiffanie Davis-Henry, psychotherapist, why on the earth would these parents, A, go on Dr. Phil --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- with their child missing and then he failed the polygraph.

DAVIS-HENRY: I have no idea. And the interesting thing is she didn`t take the polygraph because she had surgery and felt like she was in a lot of pain and pain can sometimes skew the results of that strongly deceptive nature. Very interesting, right, Jane? But I don`t think we are surprised by the results. I know I wasn`t. I felt the whole thing was strongly deceptive any way. Like they didn`t need to go on Dr. Phil and take a polygraph for me to figure that one out.

JILL SIMONIAN, TV HOST: Yes. Why would you go on Dr. Phil? I mean what idiot --

J. WYNDAL GORDON, ATTORNEY: Some people lie so much that they start to believe their own lies. Look, I`m not -- I`m not one to uphold this lie detector test.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. One at a time. One at a time. I want to give the chance for Jill Simonian to talk. She has been very polite and she hasn`t got a word in there.

SIMONIAN: We all want to jump in on this because obviously we`re very passionate about this. I do have a theory why they went on Dr. Phil. Obviously, we all think that they are hiding something and I think possibly maybe they went on Dr. Phil because they had the first class plane ride dangled in front of them. I don`t know if they had a first class plane ride but they get a glamorous trip to L.A., they get fancy food, they get the hotel.

Television shows typically will not pay guests to appear but perhaps they were enticed with some other things. And perhaps as people who have something to hide they thought, you know what, let`s go on TV so therefore it seems like we have nothing to hide. Maybe they are trying to outsmart us, obviously it does not work.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, you make a very good point because Dr. Phil doesn`t pay, but they do have transportation to a nice hotel in L.A. You`ve got to do that to put somebody up. And, you know, when you`re going crazy over $634 a month, taking it month after month after month, even though your child is not there, I think that that dovetails with that mentality that maybe you said a trip to L.A. I don`t know.

I mean Kinsey Schofield, you are a social media strategist, do you have any clue why these people would want to put themselves in this position? One of the reasons why we are talking about them tonight is because they went on Dr. Phil and talked.

KINSEY SCHOFIELD, SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGIST: Well, keep in mind, that he doesn`t pay guests but he did give Casey Anthony`s mother and father a very large sum of money --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, well, well -- I don`t want to make this about Dr. Phil. I love Dr. Phil.

SCHOFIELD: Ok, I love Dr. Phil, too. I love Dr. Phil, too. God bless him.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I know all the people on Dr. Phil. It`s not about that I`m just saying, you know what, Dr. Lawrence Kobilinsky, you are a forensic scientist, he failed the polygraph, is that infallible?

DR. LAWRENCE KOBILINSKY, FORENSIC SCIENTIST: Well, you know, there is a famous federal case, U.S. v Frye. You cannot use polygraphy in courtrooms in the United States unless there is an agreement on both parties. And the reason for that is there is a certain number of false positives, a certain percentage of false positives and false negatives so it is considered to be unreliable.

But you have to understand that, you know, it is all in the hands of the examiner. With a good examiner in with a lot of experience, who knows how to ask the questions and knows how to follow the different physiological changes, it can be very helpful tool. I think it`s used a lot in investigation. It can not be used in the courtroom but it could be very helpful to the police.

And here we hear over and over that this fellow, the father, is being deceptive. And he probably knows a lot more than he is telling.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Let`s go out to the phone line. Heather, Connecticut -- your question or thought, Heather, Connecticut?

HEATHER, CONNECTICUT (via telephone): Yes, Nancy. Hi, I love what you do --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s Jane, but it`s ok. I love Nancy, too. Go ahead with your question.

HEATHER: Jane, I just wanted to say one thing, let`s say a hypothetical that Erica wasn`t at the home, they are cashing these checks, the checks aren`t being signed over to grandma because she has been gone for all these years. So, what does it say about that, they had all this money? I mean and doesn`t the state have the right to take them into custody for fraud? I mean --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I agree with you, Heather. And you make an excellent point. The attorney on our panel tonight J. Wyndal Gordon, there`s got to be some charge there and traditionally -- I`m not convicting them, let the justice system take its course. You know, maybe they will be found not guilty.

GORDON: Right. Well --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m not saying they are guilty but there`s got to be a charge here, they took this money allegedly, purportedly. And again, their lawyer`s invited on any time, but there`s got to be some charge here where they can put them in jail, and then question them and then put the squeeze on them to find out what else they may know.

GORDON: That could work as a double-edged sword, so to speak. It may not have necessarily have risen to a criminal case, I hope I said that correctly. It`s civil. So the state can come back and sue them civilly, maybe put a lien against their house or something like that.

But based upon their defense of their actions, saying that, you know, yes, we put the child in the care and custody of their grandparents and we have to find out what they actually did with the money. We know that they were receiving the checks but where did the money go?

And you asked earlier why did they appear on Dr. Phil? Some people believe their lies so much, that they start to believe them themselves. And they were thinking hey it worked in Rowan County what we said. Well, maybe it will work all over the world. But the whole world doesn`t think the way they think apparently in Rowan County. Their excuse that they gave with regard to this case is just not enough.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Look, when you`re a parent, you have a responsibility. Anything that happens on your watch is your responsibility. And if say, well, I tossed that hot potato over here so it`s somebody else`s problem, a person who died five years ago who doesn`t exist -- it`s still on your watch.

Stay right there. We will be right back.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I do believe that she wanted to go to Cancun with Travis Alexander, because as typical borderline personality disorder people do she had made Travis her entire world. She had co-opted his friends. She had co-opted his career. So when everybody in her world is going to Cancun and he says I`m not taking you and I`m taking another girl that was enough to make her head explode.

And she created, I believe, a blackmail tape, that she, I believe, played for Travis Alexander and said, "If you don`t take me to Cancun, everybody, including your bishop and the women you`re chasing, will hear this raunchy tape and you will suffer." And he said, "No. You`re evil. You`re the worst thing that ever happened to me. But I`m not taking to you Cancun." And that`s why she decided to kill him.



PARSONS: We had done nothing to these kids or Erica -- nothing.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let`s see about that. Let`s look at the raw facts of this case, the behavior that Erica`s parents admit to. Listen to this from Dr. Phil.


PARSONS: We met at a McDonald`s in Morrisville (ph).

MCGRAW: You met at a McDonald`s? Ok. Now do you know where she took her? Do you know that address?

PARSONS: At her house. No. I don`t.

MCGRAW: Did you ever look at the house to see --

PARSONS: No, she would send pictures of her house to us showing Erica the horses because it was a little farm close to the Biltmore House.

MCGRAW: And do you have those pictures?

PARSONS: No, we have a cell phone number that got disconnected. It was two months after Erica went for the final time with her.

MCGRAW: But you have that number, right?

PARSONS: No, I don`t have that number.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Kinsey Schofield, I`m looking at her, I`m saying "There is something wrong with that woman." There is a lack of affect. There is just -- it`s a dullness.

SCHOFIELD: The entire situation is devastating. These people obviously should not have ever been in control of this child, let alone been allowed to breathe. But at the same time I keep looking at the brother. You know he got in trouble for attacking a dog.

You and I love animals. How can you look at a precious little animal and think it`s ok to kick a dog? I can`t help but think that the brother might have something to do with the story.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Meanwhile, Mo Ivory, I have no idea if that`s true or not, but it -- they had to look everywhere. They have got to look at the brother, too. You`re absolutely right. Because sometimes the one pointing the finger is the one, you know, projection, as they say. The police have got to look at everybody in this case.

But Mo Ivory, what`s really sad is that they have a seven-year-old boy and an eight-year-old girl who have taken from the home as well. Now, we don`t know if there`s any abuse and neglect. As we say sometimes, there is only one child who`s on the brunt and the receiving end of bad behavior, but there`s a hearing today as to what`s going to happen to those children.

Do you think those children should allowed to remain in their home or not?

MO IVORY, ON AIR PERSONALITY: No. Get everybody out of that home. I mean, I -- I am with the train of thought that these two should be in jail right now with the mounting evidence that is against them. But we clearly know they shouldn`t be around, near, in proximity to any children at all.

First of all, who turns your child over to somebody whose house you haven`t inspected? You have not been to the location? You haven`t turned over their medical records. What they like to eat, their toys, their clothes? Meet at a McDonald`s?

I mean, I don`t even meet at McDonald`s when my daughter is going to a slumber party. I want to see the house. I want to know parents. I want to know the other kids in the house. So you mean to tell me that could you turn over your child and you could meet at a McDonald`s to do that? This is all bad -- all bad.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I want to get Dr. Tiffanie Davis-Henry to weigh in on that. What does that say about her psychology, her lack of affect and this, oh, I don`t know, "I left her at a McDonald`s?"

DAVIS-HENRY: You know, Jane that affect was really, really flat. That blank stare, the non-emotion, the lack of empathy and compassion. Mo is exactly right. These people did not care about Erica. That`s very evident. And the evidence that we have in the abuse and neglect and even how they just pass her off to this person named Nan that does not exist.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jill Simonian, a final word.

SIMONIAN: A final word is that something is suspicious. Investigate those parents. Investigate the brother. Do not leave any stone unturned because something is fishy.

GORDON: The parents said that they were the last with her. So I think the focus should remain on the parents and I think there should be some concern about the schools. I mean if she is supposed to be still alive, how come someone hasn`t investigated what school she attends?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: It is absolutely outrageous. And again, in North Carolina, apparently, there`s very precious few rules about home schooling. And that`s something that has to be looked at, too. I mean there are great home-schooling parents all over this country -- I`m not saying that but you`ve got to have rules, structure, boundaries.

We`re going to stay all over this.

And up next, Hannah Anderson, the kidnap victim who courageously survived, tells her story.


ANDREW SPANSWICK, SPOKESMAN FOR JIM DIMAGGIO`S FAMILY: Expected the grandmother to use the money to take care of the two children. It states specifically that he didn`t want to give it to either parent because he didn`t trust them.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Her mother and brother were tortured then killed. The same day, Hannah Anderson was abducted. So why were there 13 phone calls between Hannah and the suspect that day?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, a teenage kidnapping survivor opens up about the unimaginable horror she endured on the run with the killer. The beautiful young cheerleader tearfully responds to her critics -- that`s right, critics -- who question her behavior since she was rescued.

16-year-old Hannah Anderson was abducted by Jim DiMaggio, a trusted family friend who murdered her mom and little brother. He torched his California home with their bodies inside. Six days later, FBI agents gunned DiMaggio down and rescued Hannah about a thousand miles away, somewhere in the Idaho wilderness.

Well, now Hannah is setting the record straight. Straight out to CNN correspondent Stephanie Elam -- you are live in San Diego with new information. What have you got, Stephanie?

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, for one thing, Hannah knows that people have been talking about her and have lots of questions. She knows people know about the fact that there was this exchange of some sort of conversation between her and her alleged abductor, Jim DiMaggio -- those 13 messages.

She wanted to set the record straight about that, and also about some letters that were found in the house. Take a listen to what she said in this NBC News interview.


HANNAH ANDERSON, KIDNAPPING SURVIVOR: The phone calls weren`t phone calls. They were texts because he was picking me up from cheer camp, and he didn`t know the address or what -- like where I was. So I had to tell him the address and tell him that I was going to be in the gym and not in front of the school. Just so he knew where to come get me.

And the letters were from like a year ago when me and my mom weren`t getting along very well. Me and him would talk about how to deal with it. And I would tell him how I felt about it and he helped me through it. They weren`t anything bad. They were just to help me through tough times.


ELAM: Helping her through tough times. Remember, this man was known to her as Uncle Jim -- had been around for her life. So she had known him for a very long time.

So investigators seem to believe this is all on the up and up, what she is saying. But a lot of people were very concerned, what kind of role she was playing. She is saying she had no part in this. She did not know, even, until she got rescued that her mother and brother were gone -- Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you so much for that report Stephanie Elam.

And we are going to go out to "The Lion`s Den" and debate this. I think it`s absolutely outrageous that people -- there was a picture of her going to a fund-raiser wearing sunglasses and everybody is saying oh, why is she out so soon?

And I just think she`s a 16-year-old who has been through hell. So there were e-mail or some kinds of text communications between her and this sicko in the hours before all this tragedy unfolded. She says, hey, he was going to pick me up from cheerleading practice, and we had some communications about that. Enough said. Do you think it`s enough said?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok, Joe Gomez. So you have no questions for this young lady.

GOMEZ: No, I mean, look, she`s gone through a very traumatic experience. I mean "Uncle Jim". How creepy does that sound, that Uncle Jim was the one that kidnapped her. He`s writing her letters, talking about her hard times.

God knows how this girl was manipulated by this man. She is 16 years old. How long was he grooming her, let`s say? We don`t even know how long this goes back to, if he was her father`s best friend.

I mean, she is just trying to cope with all of this. This poor girl was the victim. I truly believe that she was. And she is only 16. She is trying to get her bearings right now.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And J. Wyndal Gordon, let me ask you this. If there was something to this, wouldn`t police -- I think police should come out and say something because people can be very cruel on social media. This young lady has gone through hell. She`s lost her brother. She`s lost her mother to murder.

Now because she showed up at a fund-raiser wearing sunglasses and there were some texts back and forth between these two and this guy is a creep and a half, that somehow they`re looking at her. I think the cops should come out. Don`t you?

GORDON: Well, Jane, you`re not going to like what I have to say. But this whole story seems a bit bizarre to me and her behavior seems extremely bizarre to me. And I`m not necessarily buying any of what she`s saying. I understand why people were critical about her because they are saying the same thing that the whole world is saying. It`s --


GORDON: If you lost -- yes.

GOMEZ: She`s 16.

GORDON: If you lost your mother and brother and you`re going out to fund raisers and you`re doing television interviews.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jane, Jane, listen. I want to say this. I have a 15-year-old daughter. And any time my 15-year-old daughter has dealt with anything that is upsetting to her the first thing she wants to do is get with her friends. She wants to be with her friends.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Got to leave it right there. We`ll be right back.

GORDON: We`re not talking about being with your friends. We`re talking about being on national TV.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Nancy Grace is next.