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JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

Mommy Model Murdered Over Money?

Aired February 25, 2014 - 19:00:00   ET

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


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Tonight, a stunning model and mommy of two found dead in a swimming pool behind her family`s lavish Florida estate. Was she murdered?

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

It just so happens the model and her doctor hubby were slugging it out in a nasty divorce and custody battle, accusing each other of battery, sex and infidelity, among a host of other things. This doc had lost big -- and I mean big -- in their divorce. His wife got their palatial home, custody of the kids, child support, and alimony. Could that have been a motive for murder?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Frasch was a dangerous person.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It appears that he`s in a lot of trouble. I`d be worried about the kids more than anything.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Neighbors describe extravagant parties at the Golden Eagle home, a driveway often filled with Maseratis and Ferraris.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is the pool where Samira Frasch was found dead.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thirty-eight-year-old Samira Frasch was living a glamorous life: luxury cars, world travel, over-the-top parties. She was promoting her 2-year-old daughter as a child supermodel and celebrity. She also had a YouTube channel for her own music videos. Like this one.

In a tragic foreshadowing, she chose a swimming pool as a backdrop for one of those videos, long, long before she could have known that a swimming pool would be where her body was found. Check it out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(MUSIC)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tragically a maintenance man found Samira`s body in the pool at their lakefront Tallahassee estate Saturday morning.

Her estranged husband, Adam Frasch, had picked up their two young daughters just three hours earlier. Tonight he is in jail, accused of violating their custody agreement. But he is being held without bond. Is there a reason they`re determined to keep him behind bars?

The dead woman`s lawyer claims Adam is a loose cannon and a very dangerous man. I`m going to talk to that lawyer in just a moment. Listen to his startling reaction to his client, Samira`s death.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUDDY WHITLOCK, SAMIRA FRASCH`S ATTORNEY: I wasn`t completely shocked. Mr. Frasch was a dangerous person. I felt so strongly about that that I started carrying a gun in my car.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What happened to this beautiful model and mother of two? Call me: 1-877-JVM-SAYS. What do you think? 1-877-586-7297.

Our expert Lion`s Den panel ready to debate, on standby. But I start with Buddy Whitaker [SIC], the attorney who was representing Samira Frasch in her very, very bitter divorce.

Mr. Whitaker [SIC], thank you for joining us. And Mr. Whitlock, tell us about the circumstances surrounding your client Samira`s death. She`s found in this pool. The kids have been taken by her estranged husband, against the custody agreement. What was happening in her life at that moment in time?

WHITLOCK: Well, I don`t know what could have possibly happened, other than I was notified that she was found in the pool. And the sheriffs confirmed that she is deceased.

But he did not have any right to the children at all. Not even visitation. Because the court order provided that, if he wanted to visit the children, he needed to file a motion and ask the court to allow him to visit the children. And as of this date, he has not filed any motion to see the children. And she didn`t want him to keep the children. Because she didn`t think he cared for them like he should.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So do you -- let me just ask you this, sir. Do you think there`s any coincidence in the timing? He comes three hours before her body`s found, takes the kids from the house that she won in the divorce, and she`s found dead in the pool, and now he`s in jail, being held without bond on a charge that would normally not have people held without bond.

WHITLOCK: That`s correct. Normally he would be entitled to bond. And I think that is very strange circumstances.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to go to Eric Schwartzreich, criminal defense attorney. You`ve been looking at this case. What kind of trouble is this guy in tonight?

Again, the wife that he`s having this very vicious divorce battle with is found dead in the family`s swimming pool, in the house that she won in the divorce. The kids that he`s not supposed to see without extraordinary measures are taken by him three hours earlier.

ERIC SCHWARTZREICH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Listen, he`s certainly got a lot of issues, and a lot of answers and a lot of questions. I mean, divorce is the psychological equivalent of getting a rectal colonoscopy. But that doesn`t mean that gives -- and I know it sounds -- but that doesn`t mean it gives him that -- that he committed the murder. I mean, is there smoke, is there fire?

And right now they think there`s something up, because he is sitting on a charge that a state case would normally have a bond. So they`re holding him. But the issue is, they need proof. And whether or not this is going to go into a murder case and they can prove murder, and just because he loves his children and wants to be with his children, is he going to make that quantum leap to commit murder. I mean, that`s a completely different issue. And right now, it`s not there. The investigation is going on.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Samira and Adam Frasch led a very extravagant lifestyle. Here`s what we know. They met at a fashion show in Paris where she was walking the runway, a couture model for a very prestigious modeling agency. There was a whirlwind romance in Paris. After dating for several years, in 2009 they get married in Las Vegas.

In 2010, the couple moves to sunny Florida, and that`s where their marriage hit the big speed bump. OK? Shortly after they moved to Florida, professionally, and Frasch keeps practicing as a doctor, Samira keeps pursuing her modeling career and even branches out into music videos. Here`s a music video now of the dead woman posted on Facebook.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(MUSIC)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Very talented woman. And this is just a horror that she is dead.

I want to go to Linda Walker, family friend and babysitter, out of Bainbridge, Florida.

Linda, you were there with the family, seeing them, day in, day out. Do you think that this husband, who the attorney for the dead woman is describing as dangerous and a hot-head, and furious over the divorce, was capable of doing something untoward?

LINDA WALKER, FRIEND (via phone): I really don`t know what happened in the case, anything like that, but he showed me that he can be that way. I don`t, in my opinion, think that he did it, but you never know what can happen behind closed doors. I`m hoping that he didn`t. If there`s any way that they allow visitors, I would like to go and see him.

But I just don`t know. I don`t know at this point.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, this is a pretty lavish place that they live. And I`ve got to ask you this question. First of all, let me state that he is not considered a suspect in the death of his estranged wife at this point at all. So we`d be happy to have him on, except he`s behind bars. We`d be happy to call his attorney and have that attorney on except he apparently represented himself in the divorce. And we do not know of him having an attorney. But if he has one and you`re watching, you`re invited on. We would like to get his side of the story.

But here`s what I want to read from their incredibly nasty divorce filing. OK, This is a legal document I`m reading from. And it was filed by Samira. And this is what she said.

Upon her arrival at Tallahassee, she learned that she was pregnant. Almost immediately thereafter she received a telephone call from a woman who advised her that she had a child with the respondent. She agreed to meet with this woman and learned that while she was in France, this woman had been staying in the marital home, and had been using her clothing and personal belongings. And that the respondent, i.e., this guy, had gifted many of her belongings to this woman. And she was devastated, and as a result, miscarried her pregnancy.

Sheryl Lee Ralph, actress, Nickelodeon`s "Instant Mom," I mean, if there is any truth -- this is an allegation in the divorce proceeding -- what does that say about this man?

SHERYL LEE RALPH, ACTRESS: I`m telling you, there`s a whole lot going on there. Can you just imagine, all of your great couture clothing being worn by some other man toy over there? It`s just a mess.

And what the heck is going on in Florida. Florida, Florida, Florida! One madness after the other.

But the real important part of all of this, I am so sorry that there are two young children who are left without their mother. And that is the saddest thing of all. But this girl spent a whole lot of money on these videos. My goodness. Look at that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And she spent a whole lot of money, but apparently during the divorce, she did not have a whole lot of money, because Buddy Whitlock, the attorney for this now dead woman, you apparently graciously offered a guest house at your home for her to stay while she was going through this divorce. Why did you do that, sir? Was she scared?

WHITLOCK: Well, whenever she first came to me, she had been -- he had obtained an injunction against her and she was put out of the house. And he had the children. And she had nowhere to go. And so we had a townhouse that was available. And we let her stay there. She stayed there from September through November.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But suffice it to say, she didn`t have her own money? She didn`t have her own money to go and get her own nice place to stay at. So it`s possible that money was another big issue in this very nasty break- up. Because as Sheryl Lee Ralph pointed out, those music videos that she was making were not cheap.

Stay right there. We`re just getting started. This goes very deep. Many layers, many wild accusations. You`ll hear more next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WHITLOCK: I wasn`t completely shocked, because I considered that Mr. Frasch was a dangerous person.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He`s not been charged in his wife`s death.

WHITLOCK: I felt so strongly about that, that I started carrying a gun in my car.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That woman found dead in the pool, during a very nasty divorce battle, after -- just hours after her husband grabbed the two kids and left. He`s behind bars tonight.

Now I`ve got to tell you, in these absolutely vicious, vicious court battle documents, this woman accuses her doctor husband of stealing a fortune from her personal safe, at least $50,000 cash, tons of other stuff, as well as Cartier jewelry, but it goes beyond that.

Buddy Whitlock, you`re an attorney for this now dead woman. You say you started carrying a gun when you were handling her divorce? Why?

WHITLOCK: Well, we had several court appearances in which he was -- he represented himself, and he was there. And just the way he acted in the courtroom, the way he talked to me, the way he talked to the judges.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, describe it. Arrogant? Abusive?

WHITLOCK: Just out of control.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: He was out of control?

WHITLOCK: Very much.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Was he angry?

WHITLOCK: Very angry. And in the courthouse, I mean, he cussed me in the courthouse, and then when I was going down the street to my car, he hollered and called me all these names across the street. And so after that, I started carrying a gun in my car. Because the guy`s about 6`4", about 250. And he was being trained as a heavyweight boxer, according to the testimony of one of his witnesses.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Chuck Williams, psychologist, what do you make of this man, and what are your thoughts vis-a-vis what happened to his now- estranged wife being found dead in the pool?

CHUCK WILLIAMS, PSYCHOLOGIST: You know, as you said, Jane, he`s not yet a victim, if I -- a suspect, if I heard you correctly...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Right.

WILLIAMS: ... in her death. But he has a classic personality of a doctor, grandiose. He thinks very highly of himself. He goes off and gets this young model.

I would imagine that her public documents that I`ve read, that if she, this young, beautiful woman, may she rest in peace, asserted herself, asserted her independence in any kind of way, wanted to do her own thing, that could have caused a lot of tension in their relationship in the home. My guess is, he thought he owned her. And if she did anything against that, he probably did what he did to keep her -- put her in her place.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Kimberly Priest Johnson, criminal defense attorney out of Dallas, what do you make of this guy being held on no bond? An autopsy was performed, but we don`t know the results. They`re waiting for the toxicology reports, which could take a long time.

Now, I don`t know. I don`t know if she has physical injuries to her body, or what. But she was dead in the swimming pool.

KIMBERLY PRIEST JOHNSON, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I think everyone involved in this case thinks he did it and thinks that he was involved. And that`s the reason why there is no bond. Otherwise there would be.

If we look at the past, if we look at all of the allegations in the petition, there is a history of abuse, both emotional and physical. And I think the pattern is perfect that he ended her life.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And again, the cops are not calling him a suspect at this time. But we do know he is behind bars. The two children tragically now have lost a mother. Their father`s behind bars. And apparently, they`re not being held in foster care, per se, with a stranger. We`re hearing that possibly they may be with a family member. But we don`t know that for a fact.

All right. Let`s go to the phone lines. Lisa, Canada, what do you have to say? Lisa, Canada.

CALLER: Hi, Jane.

First, quickly, can I say your show has been amazing for 10, 11 years, I know it`s been on that long. And also my quick point is that, could it possibly be he killed her unfortunately because of the two children, he wanted custody? And also, he wanted the house and all the finances?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you raise a very important point. Samira professed online to be basically devoted to her toddler daughter, and tried to turn her into a child supermodel. Now, here is just one of many YouTube videos of this little baby, basically being treated like a superstar celebrity. Check it out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(MUSIC)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Listen, carol Lee Ralph, these are extraordinary videos. And you pointed out, they`ve got to cost a pretty penny. Not only that, but in this divorce, he lost everything. She got the house; she got the kids. She got alimony; she got child custody.

RALPH: Let me tell you something. When it comes to divorce, there are two things that ruin a marriage. Sex and money. Sex and money. Nothing else, just sex and money. And either one of those two things can get you killed. A lot of people have been killed for much less. You lose everything in your divorce, you come up with nothing, sometimes you get frustrated and make a life-changing mistake. Someone comes up dead.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Buddy Whitlock, you did a great job for her as an attorney. She won on all counts. Financially, the custody, the house. And the question is, what was his emotional reaction to that devastating loss of everything? You saw the house. Pretty fancy house.

On the other side, we`re going to discuss that. Is that a danger point when a woman is getting divorced, and then she wins in court? She wins it all. Stay right there.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Frasch was a dangerous person.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It appears that he`s in a lot of trouble. I would be worried about the kids more than anything.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Neighbors describe extravagant parties at the Golden Eagle home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The driveway often filled with Maseratis and Ferraris.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(MUSIC)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Samira and her now estranged husband, she`s now tragically dead, and they just had a divorce.

Samira and Adam, they both agreed that they wanted their child to be a superstar. Now, their oldest child, 2 years old, had her own YouTube channel. Almost like her own reality show. Her name was Hyrah.

On the baby`s Web site they write, quote, "She lives a life of luxury, traveling the world each week and meeting her adoring fans. Her parents decided a celebrity childhood best fit their child`s natural charm. They hired a 24/7 camera crew to track Hyrah`s extravagant life and make this superstar a reality."

They even threw this little girl an extravagant theme birthday party. Now let`s play the clip and then we`re going to talk to Linda Walker, who was organizing some of these parties. Here`s a clip.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(MUSIC)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: First of all, I have to say I`m feeling sick. I`m feeling sick that this little child, who is treated like a superstar, has now lost her mother, and she`s -- God only knows where foster care or something -- I mean, it makes me sick. The dad`s behind bars. Being held without bond. This woman, the mother, is dead. It makes me sick. It makes me sick.

Kimberly Priest Johnson, I mean, this child who was lavished with some attention, the contrast is just going to be so, so devastating to this child to lose her mother and end up who knows where.

JOHNSON: Right. And the children, they`re always the victims in these circumstances.

You know, this case, this case is extravagant on the outside just because of the money and lavishness and everything that was doted on, for the children.

But underneath the extravagant lifestyle is just a typical domestic abuse case that we see and we hear about every single day. And we ask ourselves, why do these women stay? These women stay, because they`ll end up dead if they don`t. And that`s what`s happened in this case.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The most dangerous time for a woman is when she says, "I`m going to get a divorce," and especially when she wins everything in the divorce.

RALPH: Oh, yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`ve always said it. I`ve covered so many of these cases. Get out! Get far, far away, and conduct whatever you have to conduct from a far-away place. Never stay within the orbits, the danger zone.

And again, her husband not considered a suspect. We don`t even know how or why she died. She`s found dead in the swimming pool of that lavish estate.

We`re going to stay on top of that story. Thank you so much for that. Buddy Whitlock, the attorney for the dead woman, and my heart goes out to her family.

A convicted child rapist on the run. A nationwide manhunt is out for this sicko, this child rapist. I`m going to talk to my very special guest, the leader in finding missing children and hunting down predators like this, Marc Klaas, next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The sexually violent predator. And he`s got a history of habitual criminal acts towards females.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a guy who has a pretty dangerous past, who is out there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The frantic search for a child rapist missing from a Colorado halfway house.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Last seen wearing a quilted fluffy coat, blue T- shirt, blue jeans.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Twice he`s escaped from electronic monitoring.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Use extreme caution.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Those are the patterns, or the behaviors of somebody who probably isn`t feeling or showing a whole lot of remorse.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight he is still on the loose. How has this child rapist, Eric Hartwell, managed to elude cops for five days? This is a nationwide manhunt. This is a dragnet. Ok. This guy cut off his ankle monitor and he disappeared, walked away from a halfway house in Denver, Colorado.

Now, we`re going to show you the area. It`s a big city. All right? Take a look at it. There`s no trees, no forests to hide in, yet he wasn`t spotted fleeing the scene in a car or a truck. So he could be just a couple of blocks away. He could be hiding anywhere at this moment in time.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s a very good chance that he`s gone. He`s in some other state now. He doesn`t stick around. He`s maybe smart enough to know that he`s going to get busted if he sticks around.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hartwell was convicted of raping a 6-year-old girl. He was also convicted of attempting to rape a pregnant teenager, just a couple years later. Ok? But despite all that, he`s managed to spend precious little time behind bars. And when he gets out, he fails to register as a sex offender over and over again.

You know what else he does when he gets out over and over again? He cuts his ankle monitor and takes off. He`s done it at least twice at this point. It`s unbelievable.

Marc Klaas, founder of Klaas Kids Foundation, I know this infuriates you. You have the dubious honor of being a leader in this field, because your precious daughter, Polly, was abducted and murdered. You know of what you speak. It just angers me right now that it didn`t have to happen at all. This man should never have been in a halfway house. Marc, take it away.

MARC KLAAS, FOUNDER, KLAAS KIDS FOUNDATION: Well, you`re absolutely correct, Jane. This is an individual who has shown through all of his past actions, throughout his criminal history, which extends well back beyond 20 years now, that he`s not serious about getting treated. That he`s going to go out and commit heinous crime after heinous crime. When he`s in a halfway house under a GPS monitor, he`s going to cut it off and he`s going to flee.

This guy was under federal custody, and he is a perfect example of an individual who should be held under a civil commitment law, which means regardless of what his sentence is, he needs to be kept behind bars, until he`s no longer a threat to society. Yet inexplicably he was put in a halfway house and now he`s somewhere in the United States, and is, quite frankly, a threat to every woman and child out there until he is caught.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Kimberly Priest Johnson, criminal defense attorney. We look at his patterns. He`s gone from state to state. But here`s what I say, having covered these kinds of stories -- he could be right in the same neighborhood, he could be living in a dumpster.

I mean they haven`t seen him flee. They have no record of him carjacking, or getting on or off a bus, or being in a way station or convenience store. You know they`re checking all that video. Where do you think he is right now given that -- and we`ll show the map again -- he was at a halfway house in Denver, Colorado, cut off his ankle bracelet and just vanished?

KIMBERLY PRIEST JOHNSON, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Look, you have an experienced criminal. He has no respect for the law. He has no remorse. And he has a sexual aggression problem. For all we know he`s already attacked someone else. I don`t think he`s in Colorado anymore. I think that the authorities are exactly right, he`s too smart and he knows he needs to get away.

I can tell you one thing. I`m the mother of five small children and he better stay away from Texas. I know he came to Texas the last time. And this man needs to be caught and put behind bars for the rest of his life.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Chuck Williams, psychologist, he knows the clock is ticking. He knows that as stupid as his decisions have been to let him out over and over again even though he raped a six-year-old girl, even though he attempted to rape a pregnant hitchhiker. He knows well, they can`t be so stupid that they`re going to put me in a halfway house again. I`m going to end up behind bars forever. So will that make him more dangerous and more likely to attack a child?

CHUCK WILLIAMS, PSYCHOLOGIST: That`s actually a great question. I think that yes, to some extent, yes, all things being considered because look, he probably ran away from the halfway house because, one, he didn`t like the supervision. Two, he wanted to be able to do his own thing. And that could include the third point is, he wanted to re-offend.

So the stress from running away from a halfway house, to have federal law enforcement officials chasing him, could cause him to act out. And that`s a really dangerous possibility. We have to look out for it.

As we show his face, let`s look at his face and show the facial hair. And as you study it, he could change the mustache that he has, he could get a fake beard, he could dye his hair. He could do any number of things to change how he looks. Take a look at that. He could put a beard on, he could wear a cap. So when you look for him, you know, keep your imagination open because he may have disguised himself.

Marilyn, New Jersey, what do you have to say -- Marilyn, New Jersey?

MARILYN, NEW JERSEY: I have to say that forget jail. I would get this man and put him on the gurney, with cyanide dripping slowly. He has ruined this little girl`s life. I worry about my daughter -- my daughter is grown, I worry about her coming out of her work every night going to her car. He could be there. Somebody like him could be there.

Why should he go to jail when a judge in about 15 years is going to let him out? And this is what`s going on.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: 15 years, Sheryl Lee Ralph, he raped a 6-year-old child, he barely did any time behind bars, then he tried to rape a pregnant hitchhiker -- again barely did any time behind bars. Every time they put him in a halfway house, he cuts off his monitor and takes off. What is wrong with our criminal justice system when we`ve got more people behind bars than any other country in the world -- a lot of them for nonviolent offenses?

SHERYL LEE RALPH, TV PERSONALITY: Because sometimes as much as we believe in the justice, we come face to face with injustice. We all hear of these crimes committed by this man, and we are incensed. We are wondering why more cannot be done to save all of our children. Bring back saltpeter -- let`s just take the urge away. What can we do to fix this?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`ve got to tell you, for five days, he has eluded -- yesterday we talked to federal law enforcement officials. They`ve got everybody, everybody with a badge on the West Coast of the United States, and the East Coast, is looking for this man. How on earth is he eluding everyone? What is he doing? Or maybe he`s doing nothing. Maybe he`s sitting in a dumpster somewhere. They better catch him soon.

On the other side, this beautiful young woman is missing. She vanished Saturday; the same day that her boyfriend had a very tense and quite dramatic standoff with police. What is going on here? Where is Tiffany?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Talk about a bad family gathering. An entire family, 24 people, plunged to the cement when they`re taking a family photo. The deck just collapsed. It`s caught on all these different camera angles. That`s what`s so incredible about it. It`s absolutely outrageous. Three people seriously injured -- still can`t walk weeks after the accident.

The family is suing the company that built the deck. The company says the law shields them from liability because the deck was more than ten years old. Really? What, is there a sign on decks to say "Travel at your own risk, this deck is more than ten years old? Are you kidding me? Oh, my God.

Yes, we got to see it one more --

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Authorities say the man in this cell phone video is Jonathan Nall (ph) from Alabama, who spent more than two hours Saturday threatening suicide in front of a convenience store. And what happened to the woman last seen with him -- 26-year-old Melinda Denny?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He saw the phone, I guess, and told me to film it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He went up to her with a gun to his head and said "call the government".

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Evidence has been found to indicate the possibility of foul play.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, this missing woman`s boyfriend involved in a dramatic standoff with cops. And it`s all caught on cell phone video. Check this out from our affiliate WWL.

(JONATHAN NALL`S STAND-OFF WITH POLICE)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Cops say 34-year-old Jonathan Nall held a gun to his head and threatened to commit suicide at a Louisiana gas station. After two grueling hours, these officers -- and I applaud them for their courage -- were able to take Jonathan into protective custody. But his stunning girlfriend is nowhere to be found. And obviously that is a crisis.

26-year-old Melinda Denny, seen here in Facebook photos, last seen early Saturday morning. She was with this boyfriend who had a meltdown at the time. Fast forward ten hours later. Jonathan is alone, threatening to kill himself. What happened during the time they were last seen and the time that this meltdown occurred?

Straight out to the "Lion`s Den". I want to go to Marc Klaas, founder of Klaas Kids Foundation. And I hope you can use some of the skills that you have in locating missing children to give us insight into what may have happened to this young woman.

He has a gun, the boyfriend. His mother tells our affiliate that he`s bipolar and hadn`t been able to get treatment. We see in the cellphone video he`s ranting about the U.S. government. Others said he was ranting about aliens also being part of the problem. Here he is. This is a very dangerous set of circumstances, Marc.

KLAAS: Well, sure, it is. I mean this is a man with a very serious mental illness, who is not getting treatment, does not have his medications. And therefore, can easily move into a propensity for violence. He`s going to have to be contained somehow and brought back into coherence before they`ll be able to find this girl.

Now that having been said, the authorities in Louisiana are taking this very, very seriously. And the sheriff`s search and rescue teams are out there diligently looking for this young girl. But I`m afraid he holds the key and they need to bring him back to get to the truth.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Eric, what do they have to do to get him to open up, briefly?

ERIC SCHWARTZ, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, you know, from a legal standpoint, I mean as an attorney I would advise him that a fish doesn`t get caught if he keeps his mouth shut.

However, with that being said, Jane, I mean they need to question him. But rather than, you know, point the fingers and say that maybe he snapped and he`s bipolar and he`s having these delusions of grandeur talking about aliens and all this. You know, perhaps it was a trigger.

Maybe something happened that caused him to act like this. We don`t know if he had anything at all to do with her disappearance or he caused it. Certainly there`s issues with acting like this. Kudos and hats off to the law enforcement officer for not killing him or suicide by cop when he`s got this gun to his head. Hopefully they`ll be able to follow some leads and maybe -- maybe he`ll speak to them.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Look at this beautiful woman. She is missing tonight. Our hearts go out to her family. We want to find her. Thank you, Eric. Thank you, fantastic panel.

Stay right there. More on the other side.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: Time for Pet of the Day, send your pet pics to hlntv.com/jane.

Polo -- he`s good too -- we are playing tennis there. Ricky Ricardo - - oh, you are so, so, so suave and sophisticated. And Bugsy, what, are you licking an ice cream cone? Bugsy you`re always getting into trouble. Not like Mr. He just reads "The New York Times" every day and he`s up on all the international news. Aren`t you Mr.?

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hey, little Rico.

Tonight our "Animal Investigations Unit" has breaking news. An undercover investigation reveals controversial plans to build a facility to breed and house thousands of monkeys for lab experiments. And it`s happening right in our backyard.

The group Animal Defenders International has uncovered plans to put a laboratory monkey breeding facility in Hendry County, Florida. You may not realize this, but experimenting on primates is still legal in the U.S. despite the growing outcry from critics who say these highly intelligent, highly social animals experience terror and pain, adding just because it`s legal doesn`t make it morally right.

Animal Defenders international claims the plan is to import monkeys like these from a country called Mauritius off the coast of Africa. ADI claims its undercover investigation on Mauritius uncovered hideously cruel and abusive treatment of monkeys ripped from the wild and thrown into captivity.

Animal Defenders International says these monkeys endure a lifetime of horror from the moment they`re captured, all the way through transportation, and ultimately ending up in a laboratory or as breeder monkeys.

ADI says its hidden camera investigation shows what appears to be workers swinging monkeys -- screaming monkeys by their tails, babies ripped from their mothers` arms, and monkeys tattooed while conscious. Look at the video that adinternational.org found. Look at these animals.

We`ve reached out the companies ADI claims are involved with this new facility planned for Florida. But we have not heard back.

Straight out to Jan Creamer, from Animal Defenders International -- Jan, your group is calling for a halt to the plans to put this facility in Hendry County, Florida. Tell us why you believe monkeys used in this manner are abused?

JAN CREAMER, ANIMAL DEFENDERS INTERNATIONAL: Thank you, Jane, for inviting and revealing this story. I think that anyone who sees what happens to these monkeys on this video will be appalled at how they`re treated. So not only are these animals tortured in laboratories, but their whole life before they even get to the laboratory is one of brutality and just absolute hell for these animals in these breeding facilities.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: A couple of years ago, I covered on this show a protest that erupted In Puerto Rico over plans to build a monkey breeding facility there to supply labs to monkeys to experiment on. These are some of the protests from Puerto Rico. Protesters complained about the lack of environmental impact, the lack of public input, said they had no idea this was going on, until they saw it on our show. And the ethical concerns. The issue went all the way up to the Puerto Rican Supreme Court which shut the facility down before it got a chance to open.

Now, we reached out to Hendry County, Florida commissioners to ask them about the review process for this planned monkey farm and we did not hear back. We also contacted the EPA which told us to talk to the USDA which told us these kinds of facilities are inspected and regulated and they have nothing yet on file about this planned facility for Hendry County.

Jan, does that ease your concerns?

CREAMER: Well, it makes me even more concerned that all of these government departments are just passing the buck and no one is taking responsibility. I mean do people really want to import into the U.S. a facility like the one that we`ve got on our footage? Is this the kind of thing that people in Florida want?

And it seems to me that no one is actually checking up on the plans for these companies, what they intend to do. I think people will be disgusted and I think that they need to protest this and try to stop it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And by the way, we`ve reached out to these companies. Anybody from these companies who want to come on to talk to us, you`re invited. We are seeking your side of the story. We`ve been trying to contact you.

It`s images of experimentation on these highly intelligent animals that are so human like that make people question the ethics of these practices.

We`re showing you video from the U.K. of animals -- monkeys, highly sentient, highly intelligent beings being experimented on. These are not images from the United States, but this is what critics say animal experimentation on primates look like.

Hendry County, Florida some critics are maintaining is becoming Ground Zero for monkey breeding, for laboratory experimentation. There are two other monkey breeding facilities located here.

So what are your concerns about what`s going on in this area of central Florida?

CREAMER: Well, I think it`s very worrying that Hendry County seems to be so welcoming to these kind of companies. And in the discussions and documentation that we were looking at, the company seems to believe that Hendry County has an easy permit process, and it seems to be fairly easy that these kind of companies are welcome there.

I mean I wonder how many people in Florida realize that companies like this one that treats animals like this that you`re seeing on screen, do they realize that they think that they`re going to find a welcome in Florida?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, again, this story is just developing. We`ve been reaching out to comment from the county commissioners, Hendry County commissioners, haven`t heard back from them. We would love to have them on. We would love to have any of the companies that are involved with this facility, the one planned for Florida, the one in Mauritius, anyone of them in Mauritius, on.

We want to get the story and we`re trying to get it story for you, and we`re going to stay on top of it.

On a much lighter note, my mom turned 98 this weekend, and here`s her birthday. I learned my animal activism from my mom. She became an activist as a child in Puerto Rico. Happy birthday, mom.

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