CNN BREAKING NEWS
Kidnapped Baby Reunited with Parents
Aired August 14, 2002 - 19:43 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
TUCKER CARLSON, CO-HOST, "CROSSFIRE": Again, we're following the reuniting of the small one-month-old kidnapped girl Nancy Chavez, here it is.
CHIEF MELVIN MARTIN, ABILENE POLICE: Good evening, everyone.
Let me just start off by thanking each and every one of you for all of your assistance, for all your cooperation in making this a great day. This ends up being a celebration. We have the baby, as you can see. We have some very happy parents. There is a lot going into this over the last couple of days and we wanted to give you the opportunity to visit with both the parents and FBI Texas Rangers who assisted us on this case. And I think first of all I think what we will do is allow the father to make some remarks that he would like to make in thanking all of those involved.
So, if you would like to go ahead.
SALVADOR CHAVEZ, FATHER (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): My family and I are very happy to have our baby back with us. Thank you for your prayers
God was with us, taking care of our baby and our family. We appreciate and thank everyone who has been doing all the hard work and has done everything for us. There are people who did not know us, but they came up to us and gave us hugs and said, tell us what we can do and how we can help you. In those moments I was saying that is why this country is so wonderful and so great because the people are great. So many people coming up to us and giving us hugs and offering help, I don't know their names, but they were there. The governor spoke with us earlier and spoke with us very nicely. We appreciate (OFF-MIKE).
The Abilene Police Department, the sheriff's department, the FBI, the Texas Rangers, constables, and television and newspaper for putting out all the information. All working together. Everyone working together so that this could happen. I don't have sufficient words to say the thanks that I have. And I ask God that he bless us. God bless America.
MARTIN: We will answer any questions at this time that you have.
MARTIN: The suspect in the case is back en route to Abilene and she is going to be taken directly to the Taylor County Jail. As far as the particulars on her I don't guess we really know a whole lot more about her background. You want to answer anything about Ms. Roach yourself?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She, of course, was apprised of her Constitutional rights, she waived those rights. She gave the detective Atkins (ph) and the FBI Special Agent Fagan (ph) and myself basically a written confession in which she outlined her reasons of what she did and how exactly she did it.
QUESTION: Did she (OFF-MIKE)?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She said she had this void that she was trying to fill. This was kind of an opportunistic crime.
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)? One day she woke up and said...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think she was driving through the parking lot and that's when it occurred to her. There's still some more investigation that we're doing in that area and the police department is also doing.
QUESTION: Can you tell us how the baby is? Did anything happen to the baby in the last 24 hours at all, diaper change?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, the baby has been well taken care of.
QUESTION: Ranger, describe - you're sitting face to face with this gal, describe her to us, (OFF-MIKE), how she was acting?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was pretty upset. She's not only upset about being captured, I think she was upset because she lost the baby.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't have information along those lines. There was some information that would lead us to believe that she had, but that's still in an investigative stage.
QUESTION: Do you know where she spent the night last night? what she did during the time from the kidnapping until she was gone?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our best guess is that she went to Quanah yesterday evening.
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) go with Amber Alerts across the state (OFF- MIKE) driving into (OFF-MIKE) quite a bit on the roadside?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can't compliment the media enough for becoming involved in that, working in cooperation with law enforcement. I think the quicker that we put the word out, the quicker there was a response. And I think that's going to be the key, don't you think chief? to any future successes that we have in this regard.
MARTIN: Let me clarify one thing that was confusing early on is that the information, I believe, and correct me if I'm wrong, but the information was given from citizens in Quanah about suspicion that she had this baby. So there were some citizens who called in who were apparently aware of the Abilene situation and that is what prompted the deputy sheriff to stop the car.
QUESTION: Did she know in Quanah?
MARTIN: She - yes, she has relatives in Quanah.
QUESTION: What did she say about the baby? When she showed up in Quanah, where she was known, with this baby, what did she say, do you know?
MARTIN: Well, her story here as well as in Quanah was that she had just had the child herself and that she was taking the child home to Quanah.
QUESTION: Do you know if she was at any other houses (OFF-MIKE) before she went to Quanah?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think she did. I think she has got a relative here that she went there to visit prior to leaving town.
QUESTION: Did that relative get in contact with you guys?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not to my knowledge, no. I don't think the relative had any knowledge that any of this was going on. I think he had also been told that she had recently had this baby and had no reason to question.
QUESTION: Did Ms. Roach have any kind of criminal background or anything?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn't see anything in her background that would preluded something like this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The sheriff's office did.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I'm not sure.
QUESTION: Are you concerned about her mental health or is this just a - do you know anything about her mental health history?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't. I would be concerned about anybody that would take a child away from the mother.
MARTIN: What was the question?
MARTIN: She worked - her last known job, I believe was working at a convenience store here in Abilene.
QUESTION: What more can you tell us about (OFF-MIKE) as far as the relatives because of all the media attention that was drawn to this? how did (OFF-MIKE)?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The only thing I would say is that at this point in time I really would rather not say exactly how that came about because I don't want to make somebody cool to respond next time. I will say that it was extremely important that the media was able to get the information out, that the police department, the FBI and the state were able to get together and combine resources and put this information out, and using y'all as a medium to broadcast that information, was able to get it out as far as Quanah, Texas, which I think is a heck of an accomplishment.
QUESTION: (SPEAKING IN SPANISH)
MARGARITA ANN CHAVEZ, MOTHER: I praise the Lord and so thankful with all of the FBI people that have been working hard, trying to find my baby, and all of the police, the Texas Rangers, the governor. But I don't want to forget this teenager that was the first who tried to stop this lady. His name is Robert. Robert (INAUDIBLE) his efforts didn't work, but he did a lot. I want to thank him because he was the first person who tried to save my baby.
QUESTION: Can you tell us how you're doing?
M. CHAVEZ: I'm kind of sore and painful, but very happy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Holding that baby helps, doesn't it?
M. CHAVEZ: There's no worse that can explain how I feel.
QUESTION: How difficult has this all been for you?
M. CHAVEZ: Well, my hope never ended. I trust the Lord and I was very sure that I was going to get my baby back.
QUESTION: Was it difficult at first, the language barrier?
M. CHAVEZ: Yes, yes. It was difficult.
QUESTION: (SPEAKING IN SPANISH)
M. CHAVEZ: (SPEAKING IN SPANISH)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Margarita wanted to say - in English she wanted to share that this is something that happened to her that she couldn't believe had happened to her. And she only reacted the way she knew how to react and it was the only thing she could do.
QUESTION: If you could say something to Ms. Roach at this point, what would you say?
M. CHAVEZ (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): I would tell her that I would want God to bless her and to help her.
QUESTION: Have you seen the teenager since the...
M. CHAVEZ: No I haven't.
QUESTION: What would like to say to him?
M. CHAVEZ: I'm very, very thankful for him. He tried hard, he even hurt his hand trying to break the window of the car. I'm very thankful for him.
QUESTION: Are you happy this nightmare is over?
M. CHAVEZ: Oh, yes.
QUESTION: Can you describe words in English your attempt to get the baby (OFF-MIKE) and describe what happened when she took the baby from you?
M. CHAVEZ: I put all of my groceries in the van. I did open the sliding door and told my six-year-old and three-year-old get in your seats. And then I put the carrier with the baby on the back seat, but I didn't buckle her in. And then I put all of the groceries in the van. And then I took the shopping cart, where they place it. It was right across behind my van. And when I first came and opened the sliding door, there was no car parking in front of me but when I came back from putting the shopping cart to its place, there was a green car parking in front of my van and this woman was taking the baby carrier with my baby out of my van.
And then I yelled, that's my baby, don't take my baby. But she ran to her car to put the baby next to her and closed the door. And then I tried to pull her hair or something through the window, but she started pulled it up and I couldn't do anything, just hang on the window. Then she forward, then she pulled the gun - pedal, going. Then she - I was hanging on the window and I couldn't hold any more. So I pulled from the car.
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) advice do you have for parents about watching kids (OFF-MIKE)? I mean, what do we have to do as parents in society to protect our kids?
MARTIN: Well, definitely the last couple of months, the high visibility cases that we've had here and California, it really makes us aware that there's a lot we have to do, what extremes we have to go through to take care of our youngsters. In this particular case, when you have someone of that mind-set, you know, if they have chosen to do what they're doing right in front of the mother, you know, I don't know if we have an answer for that. Because that starts with the mind-set of that person.
But I think it does bring out the fact that we really need to be cautious. We need to go to whatever extremes to take care of our young people, whether it be in a mall or wherever it might be. Because, without question, while it says the numbers may not be that high overall, we definitely have had some cases like this one that have had a lot of visibility.
QUESTION: What's the possible punishment for this crime?
MARTIN: For aggravated - what is it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Life.
MARTIN: Life, for aggravated...
CARLSON: CNN, of course, will continue to follow this story as it unfolds.
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