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Malaysian Officials Declare Flight 370 Passengers Dead; Missing Girl Abducted by Alleged Murderer

Aired March 24, 2014 - 19:00:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Breaking news tonight, as loved ones scream and collapse in agony, as officials finally conclude, missing Flight 370 ended in the ocean with everyone onboard dead.




VELEZ-MITCHELL: That poor woman. These poor people.

Tonight, after 17 long days, hoping against hope, grief and rage erupt as word breaks, and officials concluded all 239 lives are lost. Families tormented by the lack of answers, wondering what their loved ones endured for seven hours, as the flight catapulted into the unknown. Were they conscious and terrified? Or had they passed out as the plane lost cabin pressure? Was it fire or foul play or something else entirely?

Right now, many people wonder if officials are even correct, if they`re even right in their conclusion that the plane is now deep in the ocean. Tonight, conspiracy theories abound.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Flight MH-370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re hearing from Malaysian Airlines that there is no hope left. There were more than 230 passengers onboard.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Malaysia Airlines have already spoken to the families of the passengers and crew.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight the grim search for the debris of Flight 370 has zeroed in on the southern Indian Ocean, about 1,400 miles from the southwest tip of Australia. It`s a vast expanse, far away from any runways, where the ocean is miles deep. It was new satellite information and calculations that led officials here, and this location dovetails with reported sightings of two large objects floating in the water.





VELEZ-MITCHELL: After 17 agonizing days, these devastated relatives were told their loved ones are dead, but adding to their torture, nobody knows what these passengers, their sons, their sisters, their friends suffered as they flew for seven hours to their deaths after communication with flight controllers were lost. Seven long hours.

Straight out to "The Lion`s Den." I`ll start with forensic and clinical psychologist, Judy Ho. A large part of the families` devastation is their hopes were built up for 17 days, and then shattered, without any real tangible evidence in the form of, here`s the wreckage being presented to back up this conclusion.

And then relatives are left to imagine the possibilities. The passengers, were they screaming in terror as the plane hit the water, or were they already long dead? Isn`t knowing these details a form of torture, Judy?

JUDY HO, FORENSIC AND CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Absolutely, Jane. Not knowing is what prevents people from actually being able to move on. When they have answers, they can move through all the stages of grief. And right now, they`re all still in denial.

For the entire time, for the last two and a half weeks, they`ve all been hopeful, hoping for the best. And then all of a sudden this bomb drops. But there is no physical evidence, so it doesn`t feel conclusive. We still don`t know all the reasons and what happened for those seven hours. So there`s just too many unknowns to allow these individuals to feel good about starting to make that journey of moving on, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: They are in a nightmare. A nightmare. After they were told their loved ones were somewhere in the ocean, you could see there was wailing, anger. Some people had to be rolled out on stretchers.




VELEZ-MITCHELL: I mean, this is mishandled, in my opinion. Having the cameras there, as they`re wheeled out, causing more outrage tonight as the family members of the passengers got a text, a text, Wendy Murphy, former prosecutor, from the airline, informing them their loved ones would not be coming home. You`re looking at the text.

And it says, "Malaysia Airlines deeply regrets that we have to assume beyond any reasonable doubt that MH-370 has been lost and that none of those on board survived. As you will hear in the next hour, the Malaysian prime minister, we must now accept all evidence suggesting the plane went down in the southern Indian Ocean."

I mean, Wendy Murphy, former prosecutor, a text?

WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: All I can think of, Jane, is that in terms of getting advice about how to handle this, they went to some, you know, sadist camp training program. I don`t know.

How -- how do you decide, after this many days, that the right way to approach such a horrible situation is to be this insensitive, this impersonal? I don`t get it. I mean, I hope there`s more to the story about how they conveyed this information. I hope that wasn`t the only way they communicated.

But I will say this. What`s hard, I think, is what feels to these poor families like a series of not only incompetent false statements, misinformation followed by insensitivity. I mean, you would think this was a story about, I don`t know, you know, a forest fire where a couple of, you know, a couple of homes burned down and nobody got injured. I don`t understand...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Two hundred and thirty-nine people.

MURPHY: ... from the beginning how this case has been handled with such incompetence.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Two hundred and thirty-nine people. And tonight, boy, the conspiracy theories on the Internet exploding, saying, oh, we shouldn`t accept this explanation. I don`t know. But that`s what many people are saying. How do we know they`re right?

Today Malaysian authorities delivered this news that Flight 370 crashed into the Indian Ocean. Listen.


NAJIB RAZAK, PRIME MINISTER OF MALAYSIA: It is, therefore, with deep sadness and regret that according to this new data, flight MH-370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Brett Larson, CNN technology analyst, a lot of people don`t feel that the people saying this have that much creditability. They`ve heard all sorts of stories. I mean, the list is endless.

Remember when the Chinese thought that they saw debris somewhere else entirely, and then it turned out not so much? And now we`re seeing possible objects here, 1,400 miles southwest of the tip of Australia. But they haven`t actually found the plane.

BRETT LARSON, CNN TECHNOLOGY ANALYST: Yes. And that`s what`s so surprising about this. I mean, we`ve said it already, but I will say it again. It is a failure from start to finish on all parts. The Malaysian government really fumbled this one. And with texting their loved ones.

And honestly, Jane, I expected the announcement today to come out and say that they had credible information, not based on math, not based on what the satellites found, but based on finding something in the water that could solidify their belief that that is the direction the plane went.

Now, I know how they figured this out. It is a math process. It involves these Inmarsat satellites and the information that they got from those jets. And that`s where they drew this conclusion.

But we`re talking about technology that`s used to keep tabs on an airplane, not technology used to track its whereabouts in the event of an emergency. So this was -- this was quite a roundabout way of coming to this conclusion, and very shocking that they drew this conclusion without any hard evidence in the water still.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s go to the phone lines. They`re lighting up. Lisa, Illinois, what do you have to say? Lisa, Illinois.

CALLER: Hi, Jane. I just wanted to say that I think their lack of compassion for the people on the aircraft and the families, and also their lack of information. They didn`t have anything to -- any concrete evidence to back anything up. They just left it kind of a mess.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I think it is a mess. And I`ve got to tell you, Lisa, fueling the conspiracy theories is the constant change of information. You may remember last week, a very ominous detail reported last week -- we talked about it. Well, it`s now being discounted. That 12-minute gap. OK.

Officials now say the flight plan was not -- I repeat, not -- reprogrammed 12 minutes before the co-pilot said, "All right, good night." It was soon after those final words that the flight completely changed course.

Now, experts say it would have taken about two minutes for the pilot to execute that sharp turn in the opposite direction of the original flight plan. But in those two minutes, you`ve got to wonder, Jon Leiberman, why didn`t somebody in the cockpit alert air traffic control with a mayday telling anybody why they were turning the plane around?

JON LEIBERMAN, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, that`s absolutely right. That`s one of the major questions still left.

The other thing, Jane, is this: that this technology used to make this finding today has been around. The Malaysian authorities should have asked two weeks ago to enlist the help of these satellites and this mathematical work. And I`ll tell you why, because now there`s a very real chance that no debris will ever be found, because this part of the Indian Ocean is known to have some of the strongest currents, some of the strongest winds, some of the roughest waves on the entire planet.

So two weeks ago, had they come out with this information, and focused the search on this part of the Indian Ocean, there may have been a much better chance to find debris.

And you know what, Jane? I liken this to when you have a murder case and you charge somebody with murder without finding the body. That`s exactly what`s happening here. To come to a conclusion without hard evidence.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, I agree. Rolonda Watts, host of "Sundays with Rolonda," I get the feeling, and other people have suggested, maybe they just wanted to get the families away. In other words, that dealing with the families of 239 passengers was so overwhelming, that they thought, well, if we give them something, if we tell them this, then we can just -- they will go back to their homes, as sad as they are, and we`ll focus on the investigation. Because this was mishandled.

Let me tell you something. I have covered stories where people have learned -- large groups of people have learned about the deaths of large numbers of people. They keep them separated. They take them away from the media without anybody ever seeing them. That`s what they should have done, not parade them before the media -- Rolonda.

ROLONDA WATTS, HOST, "SUNDAYS WITH ROLONDA": Well, there`s so many things they should have done. And if you think those families -- and my condolences certainly go out to them in this horrific situation -- if you think that they`re angry and upset right now? You wait. How many lawsuits are there going to be after this?

These families want evidence. They want more information, probably because many of them in this angry state right now are thinking of suing. Who do you sue? It`s an American-made plane. It`s a Malaysian airline. We`re talking about Australian waters. There`s so much more information that needs to come out.

And quite honestly, where`s all the luggage that would have floated? Two hundred and thirty-nine people?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All that cargo? You know, it just seems -- it`s just like nothing, and they make this conclusion over two little pieces of metal? Come on. There`s a lot more to this story that haven`t -- we haven`t even touched on yet.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And a bunch of mathematical calculations that are over our pay grade.

All right. We`ve got more to come. The phone lines are lighting up. We`re also going to put up what you`re saying, what you`re tweeting about this later. This beautiful young girl kidnapped. Cops believe a man who murdered his wife is now on the run with this 8-year-old girl. You won`t believe the back story here. Is the girl`s mother refusing to cooperate with police?

But first, the agony of family members, and the mystery of Flight 370. Why?



UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This woman`s son is among the missing. She was overcome with emotion before being dragged out of a press briefing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Many questions surround Flight 370.

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The FBI is assisting in the investigation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is never supposed to have happened. There`s just no explanation for this.






VELEZ-MITCHELL: You are looking at people in the throes of grief and rage. What they have been through in the past 17 days, absolutely emotionally, intellectually, psychologically overwhelming.

Their hopes were built up over 17 days. Well, maybe their loved ones were alive; maybe the plane landed somewhere. And then in a text message, they are told, no, forget about it, all of their loved ones are dead. And then the Malaysian prime minister spoke in a news conference.

And then they`re wheeled out in front of the media in this horrific, hellish, just chaotic scene. It defies description. There has -- there must have been a better way to inform them.

Carol, Indiana. Carol, Indiana, what do you have to say?

CALLER: OK, Jane. How are you doing? I`ve got a couple of things to say.

The jet has been gone for 14 days. You would not have to tell me that my loved one was dead. No. 1.

There should have been support groups involved in this to prepare the families for this news that we all knew was going on. How are you going to survive that?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well -- OK, go ahead.

CALLER: And I have a comment.


CALLER: They lost five -- five airplanes 50 years ago off the coast of Florida...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. You know what? I`m going to -- I`m going to -- Carol, your first point was very well taken. And I want to say, they did have support groups there and personnel that were helping the bereaved. They have done that. They haven`t done everything wrong. But this scene is wrong.

And, you know, I want to go to Jon Leiberman. I have covered some horrible events that I still remember. I`ll remember on my deathbed, where, for example, a fire and a lot of parents rushing in, trying to figure out if their child is alive or dead. You never saw any of the public. These parents were whisked into a room. And when they left and they had the horrible news, they went out a secret way. They were not paraded in front of the media like this.

LEIBERMAN: Well, right. That`s absolutely right, Jane. I mean, look, they`ve gotten so much criticism over there for not releasing enough information and hiding things.

So erroneously now, they put these families out front to say, "Look, we`re being upfront with the families."

I will say one thing, though. Most families did get a phone call, a personal phone call. The ones that they couldn`t reach got that text message.

But you know -- and the media is swarming there. Because the media, too, is to blame for swarming on these families, frankly.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s international media, from all around the world. We`re going to stay on top of it, obviously. Any information that comes in on Flight 370, we will bring it to you instantly.

Cops say a man who shot his wife to death is now on the run and has this precious 8-year-old girl with him. She was taken from a homeless shelter where her alleged captor worked as a janitor. And that`s just the start of this very, very, very troubling mystery, next.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A truck that police had been looking for in their search was found near the D.C./Maryland border with no sign of Tatum or Relisha. Tatum`s neighbors say she saw Relisha last Saturday.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She didn`t look like she was in any danger or anything. So I just came out of the house and left.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Relisha Rudd has been missing for weeks.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That is sad. That is heartbreaking, actually.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Relisha Rudd is believed to be with a janitor, Kahlil Tatum, who worked at the D.C. General shelter where the girl, her three brothers and mother were staying.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I asked him (UNINTELLIGIBLE). Nobody gets (ph) with a knife.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight breaking news. It`s a race against time as cops say this beautiful 8-year-old, Relisha Rudd, was kidnapped by an alleged murderer.

Investors say -- investigators say Relisha`s family let a supposedly trustworthy friend, a janitor at the homeless shelter in Washington, D.C., where the family lives, take Relisha to stay at his house almost a month ago. But Relisha`s stepdad said they trusted this janitor, Khalil Tatum, to bring their little girl back.


ANTONIO WHEELER, STEPFATHER: Relisha`s very smart. She`s got a big heart. She liked to make friends. She`s not a bad little girl. I want to know why he didn`t bring her back. I asked him to bring her back. I just don`t know why he didn`t bring her back.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Cops say they followed the clues to a hotel less than nine miles away from Relisha`s school and the shelter. But instead of the missing girl and her abductor, they found the friendly janitor`s dead wife instead. Now cops say they`re hunting for Relisha`s kidnapper and an alleged murderer.

Straight out to reporter for WNEW out of D.C., Cameron Thompson. What is the very latest?

CAMERON THOMPSON, REPORTER, WNEW (via phone): Well, Jane, they held a press conference just a few hours ago, basically to release new photos, both of Relisha Rudd and of Khalil Tatum.

The five photos that they released of Rudd really aren`t much different in terms of they show mostly her face and nothing else. But the big photo here is of the 51-year-old Tatum, in that it shows a defining characteristic, or indicator of him, if you will, that being a set of tattoos on his left bicep. At least one of them is an Egyptian ankh, and then there are four smaller ones to the left of that that...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do they have any idea where they are? Do they have any idea where he might have taken her?

THOMPSON: What police are saying in terms of where they`re searching, they`re not saying where they think they are, or where they`re looking. They said their search is taking them to the D.C. region and beyond. But they won`t put out what states are being included in that search.

Meanwhile, you can look at what the Amber alerts said (UNINTELLIGIBLE). Those Amber alerts have gone as far north as Pennsylvania and Delaware, and as far south as Florida.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And let`s remember, he may not be wearing glasses. He may not have a mustache. She may not have the same hairstyle. They can change all that. But they can`t change the fact that she`s 4 foot tall, 70 to 80 pounds, and was last seen February 26.

Now, investigators say this wasn`t the first time Tatum took Relisha to his house. In fact, Tatum seems to fit the classic predator profile. He was nice to Relisha and her family. He brought her gifts and gave her food and took her on trips.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She used to stay overnight with him and his family. She used to stay overnight. She went out of town with them.

On his cell phone he showed me and Ashley endless pictures of her at the veteran`s memorial. And then he showed us pictures of her eating food.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That is the grandmother of the missing child.

I want to go to our exclusive guest, Danielle Rothman, who worked with this missing child at the shelter. She is site manager for the Homeless Children`s Playtime Project.

Thank you for joining us. This is so disturbing. I mean, this -- first of all, tell us about this child. She seems absolutely adorable.

DANIELLE ROTHMAN, SITE MANAGER, HOMELESS CHILDREN`S PLAYTIME PROJECT: She is adorable. We love her. She`s a sweet girl. She`s a trusting girl. She`s a caring girl. And we want to do everything that we can to make sure that we bring Relisha home safely.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What I don`t understand is, the child was last seen February 26. Now we`re in the end of March, and suddenly we`re talking about this.

Now, this janitor worked there, apparently? He was being really nice, which is always a red flag, to this little girl. And would it be fair to assume that, since he had a wife, and since the family was living at a homeless shelter, they thought, "Well, it would be better for the little girl to live in a nice home with this guy and his wife," and so they could take her. Is that basically, you think, the parents` reasoning?

ROTHMAN: I mean, you know, I don`t know what the family was thinking, or what was actually going on with Mr. Tatum and the family. But we really just want to make sure that we`re focusing all of our energy on -- instead of placing blame, on really working to make sure that everyone is out there looking for Relisha and trying to bring her home safe.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: No, I understand that. And I`m not trying to place blame. I`m trying to understand how -- because now, you know, February 26 to now is a long time. And let me just ask you to stand by for a second.

Jon Leiberman, what have we learned about this man that they`re hunting and also another individual who was lurking around, another man?

LEIBERMAN: Let me start with this suspect. First of all, he has a lengthy rap sheet back from the early 1980s through the mid-2000s for things like breaking and entering, larceny and the like. There are no sex crimes, no violent crimes up until him being accused of this murder.

I can also tell you this. I`m told by law-enforcement sources that he has property, a cabin in Frederick, Maryland. So police are searching those suburbs of Washington, D.C., around Frederick.

The other guy who was named in the Amber alert in the very beginning, he has now been ruled out in connection with this case. So they`re only looking for this suspect.

And I`ll tell you what: My police sources are saying me they`re frustrated, because they don`t have a good timeline here. They don`t know for sure when this little girl was last seen, because she wasn`t reported missing right when they believe she went missing. In fact, it was the school that called authorities, because she had been out a number of days from school.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wendy Murphy, former prosecutor, let me jump in here, if you can extrapolate. We don`t know for sure, but this guy`s wife is dead. What would occur to me as a possibility, a hypothetical, is that the wife starts asking questions about his obsession with this 8-year-old child, and they`re -- end up in a motel somewhere, and then suddenly she`s dead, and he`s gone with the child.

So initially, he may have been pulling one over on the wife, too, like, "Hey, honey, we`re going to take care of this little girl. She`s living in a shelter. We`re going to do something right by her," with an ulterior motive of you know what. And then the wife catches on. Boom, she`s gone.

MURPHY: Yes, yes. And maybe she walked in and caught him doing something sexual to the child.

You know, look, I know you don`t like blaming victims. Nor do I. But the victim here is this child. OK. And I know his wife is a victim, too, but let`s focus on the child. We`re not blaming the child. We`re blaming her damn parents! Who lets the janitor takes their kid? Who does that? That is not acceptable. And then you don`t...


MURPHY: ... even know whether your kid is in damn school?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, wait a second. Judy Ho, clinical and forensic psychologist, the child is living in a homeless shelter. That is a dangerous situation sometimes, although you can see from Danielle that they do a lot with trying to make it a normal life for a child. Is it possible that the mother`s just hopelessly naive?

HO: Well, Jane, homeless individuals, families, they have a lot less resources from a common person. Just as Danielle was saying earlier, the exclusive guest that you had, this child is very trusting. But, you know, that`s part of her circumstances. There`s not a lot of individuals who stay around in a homeless person`s life.

So anybody who is familiar is almost like family sometimes to a homeless person. And so the janitor took advantage of that. Also, this probably didn`t come out for as long as it did, because when you`re in a homeless shelter and when your environment is that of some chaos, you`re not going to know when people are missing. There`s not as much of about tracking them --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: No, no, no. That`s -- you had me until then. You had me until then. Danielle, you`ve been able to speak to the mother of this child since this whole thing broke, and how is she dealing?

DANIELLE ROTHMAN, WORKED WITH MISSING GIRL AT SHELTER: I haven`t spoken to the mother. And, you know, she is very upset. The family is very upset and everyone just really wants to make sure that we`re looking out for Relisha and we`re trying to bring her home as fast as possible.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we`re doing everything we can by putting this guy`s face up there. If you see him, do not approach him. Call police immediately. And give them a precise location. We have to find this child. It`s a race against time.

Now coming up next, this is a wild story. Two teens accused of gunning down a cop and then committing suicide. But the family of the stunningly beautiful teenager said "No, no, no, she`s not a suicide. She`s not a killer. She`s a murder victim. An unbelievable story next.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: According to the UK newspaper "Daily Mail", Hollinghurst originally is from Manchester, England and recently moved to Florida with her family. Posts on her sister`s Facebook page suggest that the family believes she was also a victim and murdered.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just prior to 4:00 a.m. this morning, Officer Robert German checked out with two individuals on a stop. When those officers arrived on the scene, they found that Officer German had been shot. Officer German did not survive his wounds on this day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s a lump in your throat. It really is sad. My heart goes out to these people that are defending us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two individuals, a male and female were located just across the street from where Officer German was rescued. And they were found dead.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, shock waves over the violent execution of a popular Florida police officer. Investigators say the cop was murdered in cold blood, and the suspects are the two teenagers you`re looking at the top of your screen right there. But cops say the two teens then shot themselves to death in a suicide pact.

However, tonight, the family of the stunningly beautiful girl says, no way. Their innocent daughter didn`t kill the cop and she didn`t kill herself. She was murdered by her troubled boyfriend. That`s what the family says.

So was it a double suicide or a double murder of a cop and a teenage beauty by her violent boyfriend? It happened last Saturday while Officer Robert German was patrolling this multi-million dollar super exclusive neighborhood near Orlando. At about 4:00 in the morning the officer called for backup after stopping these two teenagers, 18-year-old Brandon Goode and his 17-year-old girlfriend, Alexandria Hollinghurst. The two were suspiciously walking near a multimillion dollar home in the middle of the night.

When backup officers arrived, the cop was laying on the ground with a gunshot to his head. Seconds later, the responding officers hear more gunshots nearby. Cops say the teenage couple was laying a block away, both of them dead from gunshot wounds. Friends and family of this beautiful girl are completely shocked.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was like always quiet to herself. But she had fun. She did online classes, college credit classes to graduate early.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ve reached out to Alexandria`s parents and have not heard back. Our hearts go out to them. Straight out the Lion`s Den and News 96.5 reporter, Mark Starling, in Orland near where all this happened. Mark tell us the brand new information about how this actually started the day before when the girl vanished and cops were looking for her and the missing boyfriend describing them as endangered and suicidal.

MARK STARLING, NEWS 96.5 REPORTER (via telephone): That`s right, Jane. This was actually Polk County. And Polk County was asking for assistance in finding these two teenagers. Well, an officer in Kissimmee spotted this car, in a Walgreen`s parking lot. And when he went to approach them, they basically tried to run him down. They were not able to relocate the vehicle right away. In fact, they didn`t find that vehicle, Jane, until this morning.


STARLING: So it`s really not clear how they made it from where they were in Kissimmee over to Windermere. It`s not a short distance by any stretch of the imagination. Orlando, it`s not like a big city as far as public transportation goes. So it`s a little bit different here and it`s staggering what`s really happened.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And it turns out that when this other cop, Officer German, who was gunned down, stopped these two, one of them, and I would presume it was the boy, the teenage boy had a gun. And the next thing you know, the officer is dead, lying on the ground with a bullet to the head.

Now, tonight, Alexandria`s family says she is also a murder victim, not a suicide. She was a star student, working hard to graduate high school early. But she had this boyfriend with a very long criminal history, even though he was only 18.

Just last month, Brandon Goode was arrested for possession of marijuana, and underage drinking charges. Two years ago at the age of 16, Brandon was arrested for aggravated assault on his own mother with a deadly weapon, so we know he has a history of guns.

And then just last Thursday, literally a couple of days before this whole tragedy erupts, Brandon reportedly started a pretrial diversion program to deal with substance abuse.

Out to the "Lion`s Den". Jon Leiberman -- it`s an odd pairing: a beautiful over-achieving high school girl dating this outlaw type who was reportedly a classmate at school. But cops say they have two suicide notes. So give us a timeline because it`s a little confusing how all this went down.

JON LEIBERMAN, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, essentially cops find the two suicide notes, then a "be on the lookout" goes out, and then the event described by the last guest happens where he`s accused of trying to run down the cop. Then a number of hours go by, and that`s when these two teens encounter the police officer who ended up shot and killed.

Presumably these two knew they were going to go to jail, because there was a warrant out for each of their arrests from that earlier incident involving the car. So the minute this officer confronts them, and runs their names, he presumably sees warrants for their arrest. And that`s when cops believe one or both of them, you know, shot this officer dead.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Rolonda Watts, this guy has a troubled history. The girl has a zero troubled history. She was involved in one little car accident that was not her fault. The idea that she would murder a cop is not fathomable to me. And the idea that she would shoot herself as well, I don`t buy it. It doesn`t make sense to me. But the authorities say that they are both suspects in the cop`s killing. And they both are likely suicide victims. What say you?

ROLONDA WATTS, TV PERSONALITY: Well, first of all, the aggravated assault with a deadly weapon against your own mother? Well, that`s pretty telling in itself, about the level of violence. And if your mom`s not safe, who is?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And that`s not her, that`s the boy. Just to clarify. That`s not this girl. It`s her boyfriend. Yes, go ahead.

WATTS: Right. The girl, I mean, she had everything to live for -- lots of friends. You look at her Facebook page, she`s happy. Lots of friends. She`s graduating early from school, doing well, comes from a good family. It`s hard to believe that this is someone who wants to kill themselves much less kill a cop.

It also makes me wonder how do two people commit suicide at the same time? That just logistically doesn`t make sense to me. I mean how does that happen?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: On the other side of the break, we`re going to talk to famed forensic scientist Dr. Lawrence Kobilinsky. How do you tell whether it`s a double murder, suicide, or a double suicide murder? Stay right there.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It appears that they likely committed suicide after the incident where Officer German stopped them on the roadway.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two individuals, a male and female were located just across the street from where Officer German was rescued and they were found dead.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Cops found both of these teens dead from gunshot wounds, only a block away from where the officer was executed, allegedly by them. Although the young woman`s family says no way, she`s a victim here. She didn`t do anything wrong.

Now, here`s the interesting part. The cops were given suicide notes that were reportedly written by both these teens. But we don`t know when exactly they got those suicide notes. Let`s face it. It`s possible he could have forced her to write a suicide note.

So Lawrence Kobilinsky, you know, we question whether this man, this young man killed the cop, then killed her, and then killed himself, after forcing her to write the suicide note. How could they determine that this was a likely suicide? Or what`s the difference between somebody killing themselves and being shot?

DR. LAWRENCE KOBILINSKY, FORENSIC SCIENTIST (via telephone): Well, Jane, first of all, there`s only one gun found. So the last two deaths were clearly sequential, and not simultaneous.

But there are three items of evidence that are going to be crucial in reconstructing what happened. The first, of course, is the lapel camera that will provide police with a digital video record of how Robert German was shot to death. And secondly, there will be gunshot residue on the hands of the shooter, perhaps not on both Brandon Goode and Alexandria Hollinghurst. But most importantly, it`s likely the DNA on the gun, on the trigger, will demonstrate, will show if there are contributions of both Goode as well as Hollinghurst. And that will help us determine whether each used the gun individually, or if Brandon Goode was the only person on that gun. And he actually committed two murders, and then turned the gun on himself.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, here`s another piece of the puzzle. Mark Starling, you learned details about when he attacked his own mother, and they`re shocking. Tell us.

STARLING: Yes, Jane, this is really -- it will put a perspective on his mental state. This was in 2012, he had his face painted, he covered all the windows in the house with blankets, pinned his mother between a table and the wall and threatened her with an ax. And he was demanding that she accept his father`s offer in reference to a divorce settlement.

I mean here`s -- I get the picture of like Braveheart in my head with the painted face and ax on his hand. You know, and held his mother at bay. That`s what that domestic event was.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Forensic and clinical psychologist Dr. Judy Ho, do you think that maybe it`s premature to say this was a double suicide, given how violent the young man is, and how unviolent -- nonviolent the girl is? Or was?

HO: Absolutely, Jane. Because if you look at his rap sheet, including this aggravated assault, the degree of hostility is so incredibly rare. I mean, these are the things that we see in repeat criminals. People who end up, you know, in the juvenile halls, and all of that, when they`re young. So somehow he missed that radar a little bit.

And then when they got in with the argument itself, what happened, where was the follow-up? I don`t really know what happened at that point. And to add to that the research really shows that women do not use violence very, very lethal forms to actually commit suicide. Most girls and most women do not use a gun as their suicide weapon of choice.

So I really think that it`s much more likely that he pulled the gun on her, then on himself, and who knows about the suicide notes, if he actually forced her writing and wrote that suicide note, too. I mean we don`t have information yet.



HO: -- what`s going on with that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: On the other side, an even more bizarre twist. Has something like this happened before in the same area?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- accused of killing Officer German are 18-year- old Brandon Goode and 17-year-old Alexandria Hollinghurst, both lived in Davenport. Eventually investigators found both of their bodies not far from where German was shot. Detectives believe the couple committed suicide.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I found that tragic, yes. It`s completely and sad.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I know them. That`s Brandon Goode. She took online classes, college credit classes to graduate early.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Three people dead, a cop and two teenagers. Now the police say that the teens are suspected of having murdered the cop and then committed suicide, but the parents of the girl say no. By the way, you`re looking at Shaquille O`Neal and Tiger Woods because all of this is happening in a very, very expensive area, Windermere -- home to the likes of Tiger Woods, Shaquille O`Neal -- multi-million-dollar homes.

The two teens in the upper part of your screen were walking around this multi-million-dollar area called Windermere, Florida at 4:00 in the morning. They live 40 miles away in a less exclusive area. What were they doing there at that hour with a gun?

I want to go to Mark Starling, reporter, anchor, NEWS 96.5 out of Orlando. You had some startling, jaw-dropping information about some kind of trend?

STARLING: Yes, Jane, you know, our community, Orlando and Windermere and this entire area, we were devastated six weeks ago when an Orange County Sheriff`s officer or Orange County Sheriff`s deputy was gunned down in Windermere under some very similar circumstances. A young couple, I believe she was 18 and he was, you know, under 20 years old. They had been breaking into cars over a span of about two or three weeks.

And deputy Scott Pine found these two at night, chased them down, and as the man of the couple ran away, he hid behind a house and ambushed Deputy Pine. I believe that he was shot.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We only have a couple of seconds, but what you`re saying, Mark, is that this is the second officer to be targeted in this area, but not by these, necessarily.

We`re going to have more tomorrow.

Nancy is next.