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Police Corner Indianapolis Family Massacre Suspect
Aired June 2, 2006 - 20:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, GUEST HOST: Tonight, breaking developments in a gruesome family massacre in Indianapolis, seven people found dead inside their home, a suspect now in custody and a second this close to being captured. And tonight, breaking news in the Clemson University bikini strangulation case. Police release a photo of the young man they believe killed 20-year-old student Tiffany Souers. Will this picture, plus other evidence, bring Tiffany`s killer to justice?
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We continue to make progress. Each day, there`s something else, additional evidence being developed. So we`re still moving forward with the investigation.
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VELEZ-MITCHELL: Good evening, everybody. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, sitting in for Nancy Grace. Thank you for being with us. Tonight, police piecing together all kinds of evidence in the murder of Clemson University student Tiffany Souers, the murder weapon her bikini, a new photo of the likely suspect made public. And who is the person in custody charged with rape in the very same apartment complex where Souers lived?
But first tonight, fast-breaking developments in what`s being called the worst homicide case ever in the city of Indianapolis. Just a little while ago, a suspect was taken into custody, accused of being part of the slaughter of seven family members, including three children, inside their home. And as we speak, police are on the scene, surrounding another potential suspect. Tonight, we are taking your calls.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) inside the house. (INAUDIBLE) the door, it looked like somebody had just drug her in. Then I seen a brother come around the house real fast, and (INAUDIBLE) heard about 8 or 10 shots. I ran into the house and called the police. They`re good people. I don`t see it.
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VELEZ-MITCHELL: A horrific scene at a home in Indianapolis, seven family members shot to death in an attempted robbery. For more on what happened last night and what`s happening right now, let`s go straight out to Devon Scott, reporter with WIBC radio on the scene. Bring us up to date. What is the very latest?
DEVON SCOTT, WIBC 1070 AM: Well, thank you, Jane. And good evening. One suspect is in custody in this slaughter of seven family members. The second one is cornered inside a home. And the home is actually about two blocks from where the murders took place on Indianapolis`s east side. The first suspect that was arrested was picked up during a traffic stop earlier this afternoon. A SWAT team is on the scene of a home right near the women`s prison on the city`s east side.
Basically, what happened was, last night at around 10:15, seven members of the same family were gunned down by maybe up though three or four suspects. And then things just started happening from there. The media became alerted to this very, very quickly. The police have spent the entire day hunting for these suspects.
The first suspect`s name was released at about 6:00 o`clock this morning Eastern time by officials. They say 28-year-old Desmond Turner may be responsible for the murders of these seven family members. Turner has an extensive criminal record, including possession of a handgun, assault, battery, five pages of criminal records from the criminal computer in Marion County. So there`s a just a lot that`s happened in the last 24 hours.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And this is a crime that has absolutely shocked the city of Indianapolis. Let`s hear what the police chief had to say about that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This incident has shocked our police department and shocked our city. This outrageous and inexplicable act of violence is not the norm in our city. We do not have these kinds of crimes. And as such, we, as a police department, have taken very aggressive and very substantive measures to make certain that we have pursued this case as aggressively as possible and do everything within our power to bring the person responsible for this to justice.
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VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, we are very happy to have with us right now Major Lloyd Crowe. He is the commander of media relations for the Indianapolis Police Department. He can give us -- give us, sir, the very, very latest on what is going on at that home in Indianapolis that is surrounded by law enforcement officials. What are you doing? Who do you think is inside?
MAJOR LLOYD CROWE, INDIANAPOLIS P.D.: Well, right now, we are waiting. The ideal resolution to this incident would be to not have anyone else injured or killed. As you reported, we do have one, we think our secondary suspect, taken into custody earlier. And now we have a house surrounded that we believe contains our primary suspect. At this point, we can`t be 100 percent certain of that.
We`ve tried to communicate with the individual inside the house, and at this point, we do not have two-way communication so we don`t know conclusively or absolutely that he is inside the house. But we believe he`s there. And again, we`re waiting. We`re negotiating to try to resolve this in the most peaceful manner that we can.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, do you believe that this may be Desmond Turner?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Who has been described as extremely dangerous and possibly armed?
CROWE: Correct. That is our belief that it possibly is Desmond Turner.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Is it possible that he might have other people in there with him? In other words, is there a possibility that other lives could be at stake?
CROWE: That is possible. But again, we don`t know that absolutely.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So this is a very, very dicey situation. You want to err on the side of caution, absolutely.
CROWE: Definitely. Definitely. I mean, if we can have a peaceful resolution to this, then that would be the most successful outcome that we could have, and to bring this potential suspect to justice through the criminal justice system.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: How did you connect this suspect, Desmond Turner, with the crime that occurred last night, the slaughter of seven family members?
CROWE: Well, we have some very, very good homicide investigators in Indianapolis. And from the moment they arrived on the scene, they began working this incident, interviewing individuals in the area. And fortunately, we did have some help from the community, and Mr. Desmond Turner was identified as the subject that went into this house just moments before this crime occurred.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you, sir. And stand by. We`ll be getting back you to.
We`d like to go to CNN correspondent on the scene, Jonathan Freed, right now. We`ve talked about the very, very fast-breaking developments. But explain to us what happened last night, this slaughter of seven family members, so we can put all these current developments into context.
JONATHAN FREED, CNN CORRESPONDENT: OK, Jane. That`s a good question. I can do that for you. I can tell you that I`m standing right in front of the home where all of these murders happened yesterday. This all happened between 10:00 and 10:15, Jane, yesterday evening. And we have a couple that lived here. Their grown children were involved in this, and three other children, who were children and grandchildren. That`s the basic breakdown of the geometry, if you will, of who was in the house. It gets a little bit more complicated than that.
But suffice it to say a 22-year-old daughter came home just after 10:00 o`clock yesterday. She was being driven around by a friend because she was in the course of moving into an apartment, and she had left her 5- year-old son here. So she came home between 10:00 and 10:15, went into the house. Her friend stayed in the car, parked outside. And then her friends started to hear the daughter, the 22-year-old, screaming, No, no, not my child! And then she started screaming, telling her friend who was outside here not to come into the house, at which point, another witness said that they saw the daughter appear to be pulled into the home, and then shots were fired, multiple shots.
And then somebody carrying what was described as a long gun came out onto the porch here, according to the witness who was in the car, who had been driving the daughter -- if you`re following me so far -- I mean, this is quite an event that happened here yesterday. That person appeared to come outside, looking to see who the daughter might have been shouting to. And that person went back into the house, and then a number of people were seen fleeing.
And it was at that point, Jane, that somebody was able to identify Desmond Turner, the 28-year-old who has been the only suspect named in this all day long by the police -- Jane.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And where does this house sit in relationship to the house that authorities have surrounded?
FREED: That is the big question. Police do not want to tell us exactly where that is, for operational considerations right now, although we can tell you that there are multiple helicopters -- have been hovering approximately a mile in that general direction for the last little while. And what police had told us is that about an hour-and-a-half ago is when the SWAT team initially surrounded that home, which they described as being in the near east side of Indianapolis. And they said about an hour-and-a- half before that that they arrested somebody that the police department described as Turner`s accomplice.
Now, one of the things to point out here is that during the day, there have been different numbers reported as to just how many people police were looking for, who was at large, and who could possibly be threatening the community. We knew about Turner because they named him, Jane. But at one point, they were saying, OK, we`re looking for one other person. And later in the day, it was switched to possibly two other people.
I had a chance to talk to the police not long before coming on the air with you this evening, and they say that they`re now satisfied that there were only two people that they were looking for, that they had arrested that one person they described as Turner`s accomplice approximately an hour-and-a-half or so ago, and at the time, they told me that they had had that house surrounded and they were confident that Turner was inside. And they said there were negotiators on the scene. I asked if there had been any dialogue, Jane, at all going on, and they said, at that point, there had been none -- Jane.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So it appears very fast work on the part of authorities, if, in fact, they do have Desmond Turner surrounded.
We`d like now to read a list of the victims because it really is extraordinary and astounding in a terrible way -- 56-year-old Alberto Covarrubias, his wife, Emma Valdez, her son, Magno Albarran, her daughter, Flore Albarran, the children of Alberto Covarrubias and Emma Valdez, Alberto, Jr., and David. Now, Alberto, Jr., was 11, David was 8 or 9 and Luis, the youngest, was 5 years old. The three children were apparently gunned down and found in the bed together -- three children found gunned down with an assault weapon in the bed together.
I think we have to go straight out to psychotherapist Bethany Marshall to try to comprehend why somebody would want to kill a 5-year-old who would probably not be able to identify anybody in a police line-up. What possible reason or explanation is there?
BETHANY MARSHALL, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: Well, to put it in context, first of all, this is mass murder, OK? It`s more than three people. And a lot of times, these perpetrators, they will kill children because they do not want to be IDed. And you know that tissue you blow your nose on, you throw it in the trash and has no value to you? That`s the amount of value that human life has to these perpetrators, no value at all.
These guys could have gone in, taken human life, like they wanted to take possessions, over a $20 microwave oven. They really didn`t care about life, but definitely, they didn`t want to be IDed.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Bethany, you know, as I do, that there`s a conscious motivation for crime and then there`s the unconscious motivation. They believe the conscious motivation was robbery, but is there also a lot of rage here?
MARSHALL: There`s unbridled rage, and it is not mitigated by deep feeling or deep emotion. And what you and I have talked about, Jane, is that a lot of times, these psychopaths have very shallow emotional quality. They do not feel deeply. So that when it comes to killing other people, it really doesn`t matter.
But I think we also have to consider envy, too, because according to one neighbor`s report, this house had just been fixed up and was one of the nicer ones on the block. So not only did they perhaps think that there were things to steal inside, but these were neighbors who were a little bit more advantaged. And then also, you know, one in four violent crimes occur in or near the victim`s home. So I think they were more vulnerable in that they were in their own homes, and probably the perpetrator truly was a neighbor or somebody...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Bethany, I want to go right out again to Major Lloyd Crowe because we are trying to figure out why. What is the motive, at this point, sir?
CROWE: That`s something that we still don`t have a definite finger on. I mean, we wish we knew that. We`re still getting the information in and trying to establish that. But right now, we`re focused on the house and our possible primary suspect. So I really can`t tell you what that is. We think it`s...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do you -- go ahead.
CROWE: We think it`s a residential robbery that obviously went bad. But beyond that, I just -- I couldn`t confirm anything.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do we know whether the suspects knew this family?
CROWE: We believe there was some casual acquaintance, and that`s the way it was described to me. Now, what makes it qualify as that, I really couldn`t tell you.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, thank you, sir. We know you`re very busy tonight. We very much thank you for taking the time to bring us the very latest on this case.
Let`s go to tonight`s "Case Alert." The search continues in North Dakota for 3-year-old Reachelle Smith,. About 200 horseback riders are set to conduct a weekend search for Smith, who has been missing for two weeks. Police believe she was abducted by a 22-year-old man who turned up dead from carbon monoxide poisoning. This is a race against time. Anyone with information, please call the Minot Police Department at 701-852-0111.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This incident has shocked our police department and shocked our city. I`m pleased to report to you we have identified a suspect, Desmond Turner, age 28, of Indianapolis. His information has been provided to all of our officers, and we are aggressively searching for him now.
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VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, in tonight for Nancy Grace, who is attending the wedding of one of her top producers, Ellie. Regular viewers know Ellis as the keeper of the details.
Tonight, we are looking into a really horrific crime and trying to figure out what happened inside the Indianapolis home of an entire family gunned down by a group of suspected robbers. They appear to be treating this as a robbery, but they don`t know for sure. Do we need to know for certain what the motive is before we can determine what kind of charges these suspects face? And want to throw that question out to former prosecutor Pam Hayes. Do we need to know exactly why before we charge them?
PAM HAYES, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Absolutely not. We know what they`re going to be charged with. They`re going to be charged with murder. If there`s an indication that there was a theft, they`re going to be charged with felony robbery, with robbery being the underlying basis.
However, I`m just not really sure that we need to know a motive here. It might go to the degree of the murder that you want to talk about. Do we have an intentional murder. Is this a felony murder, or you know, something like that. But I don`t think you need a basis of why before you start your charge. They`re pretty clear on what happened.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s hear what a neighbor and a family friend, Frank Dotson (ph), had to say about this family gunned down last night.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Alberto`s a friend of mine that lives over there, and he was just over here visiting me tonight for a couple hours, and we was just, you know, shooting the crap around the table, and he went home. Next hour, that`s what happened. I don`t think it`s no family squabble, it`s something else. I have no idea what.
I didn`t know that they were even arguing with anybody because they -- you know, they go to work every day. They`re good people. Just -- I don`t see it. (INAUDIBLE) come out, and that happens. I don`t know what could have happened, why it happened.
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VELEZ-MITCHELL: Good, hard-working people is how this family has been described. By the way, they`re originally from Mexico, but we understand they have been in this country approximately a decade. And obviously, we don`t know the nationalities of the younger ones. The youngest is 5 years old.
Let`s go straight out to former FBI agent and private investigator Harold Copus. What we are essentially trying to understand is why the horrific violence. Using an assault weapon, they gunned down all seven family members, including three young children. That goes beyond robbery. Why would they do that, in your experience?
HAROLD COPUS, FORMER FBI AGENT/PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR: Well, you have to dominate. And when you do something such as a home invasion, you dominate by violence. And they`ve obviously displayed it, and these individuals have shown they have a complete disregard for human life, and that extends all the way down to that small child.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And there`s no pattern that you see here. In other words, you couldn`t say, Well, they were probably doing this when things got out of hand.
COPUS: Oh, I think something definitely went out of hand, and I suspect it`s when we had the extra person come into the home. At that point, they upset their whole plan. They panicked. Then we hear the shooting occurred, and then we had the mass murder. These people are close to being animals, is really what it comes down to.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, animals, I don`t think, use assault weapons to kill people, so I would disagree with you there. But I get your point.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s quickly go to Diana from North Carolina. Your question, ma`am?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Your question, ma`am.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Hi.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you. Has the world gone mad?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, that`s a wonderful question, and I think you raise a very good point. It`s almost business as usual sometimes, psychologically, when we`re dealing with crime because there is so much crime out there, but I think it`s so important for us to stop and take a moment and realize how truly astoundingly nightmarish this situation is, an assault rifle used to gun down an entire family, three generations, I believe, from a grandmother down to a grandchild. And it really is mind- boggling.
And I think the way you phrased it, ma`am, is excellent, "Has the world gone mad?" It`s a good question.
In tonight`s "Case Alert," a couple accused of videotaping the brutal rape and killing of a Kansas woman are now facing additional charges. Forty-one-year-old Richard Davis and thirty-nine-year-old Deana Riley are accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a 5-year-old girl -- speaking of the world going mad. The couple, who became fugitives following the death of Marsha Spicer, were captured last month with the young girl in Missouri. Prosecutors also say they admitted being involved in another grisly slaying of another woman, that attack also captured on videotape.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, sitting in tonight for Nancy Grace. You are looking at a makeshift memorial outside the home where seven family members were gunned down with an assault rifle, possibly more than one assault rifle. A neighborhood, a city, indeed the entire country in shock. This is the worst killing, mass killing in Indianapolis history.
Let`s go straight out to Ashley Wright. She is a neighbor of the slain family. Ashley, how has this impacted your community?
ASHLEY WRIGHT, NEIGHBOR: The community`s taking it really hard. It`s something that`s tragic, and nobody really knows how to react.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You say you don`t know how to react. In other words, shocked, stunned, just unable to really come up with a reaction because it is -- it defies logic, in a way.
WRIGHT: Right. Exactly.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Are you -- did you know this family at all?
WRIGHT: I`ve seen them in passing. I didn`t know them personally.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to go out to Harold Copus again because assault rifles, as we mentioned, were used in this killing. They could have been obtained illegally, but there`s also the possibility -- and I want to ask you about that -- could they have been obtained legally? Can we purchase assault rifles in this country, and in that state in particular?
COPUS: Well, I -- there`s a debate how they would have obtained those weapons. I think most of us would assume they were not obtained legally. And there`s really no reason to have that type weapon. That was meant for violence only, and it`s a violent act by a bunch of individuals who`ve already -- probably at least one has served time for that. I suspect we`ll find the other one did, also.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And interestingly enough, that family had its own gun collection, but of course, never got a chance to use it, as is so often the case with people who have guns in their home.
We at Nancy Grace want very much to help in our own way help unsolved homicides and find missing people. Tonight, take a look at 10-year-old Michael David Riggs, Jr., from Pensacola, Florida, missing March 15, 2006. If you have any information on Michael David Riggs, please contact the Escambia County Sheriff`s Department.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The assailant did not have a close relationship with these people. We`re working on several motives. Again, at this particular time, it might be premature to say what we believe precipitated the shooting.
His history is for violence. He had a gun violation charge here, where he received, I think, a six-year sentence, where he served five hundred and some-odd days of it. I know that he was convicted for committing assault with bodily fluids.
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VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell filling in tonight for Nancy Grace. Fast-breaking developments in the hunt for whoever gunned down seven family members in Indianapolis.
Let`s go straight out to Devon Scott. He`s a reporter with WIBC Radio. What do you know about the surrounding of the house where they believe the primary suspect is holed up? What`s the latest?
SCOTT: Well, Jane, the latest that we`ve heard is that police are kind of in a standby mode. A negotiator is on the scene. SWAT surrounded this house on the city`s east side a couple hours ago, probably just around 6:00, and they were trying to negotiate.
They believe the man inside is Desmond Turner, the 28-year-old prime suspect in these brutal murders. A secondary suspect was taken into custody a couple hours before that during a traffic stop. Little is known about this man, other than they gave a description this morning over the police scanner of what he might look like.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And CNN correspondent Jonathan Freed, I believe, if I heard you correctly, you said that they now think these are the two suspects, that there weren`t more than two people involved. So, essentially, if they get this guy who`s holed up, they`ve cracked this case?
FREED: That is what police say is the case now. Earlier in the day, they thought there might be as many as three people. They said that was a very fluid situation for them.
But just as the house was surrounded about an hour and a half ago, I asked that question to them. I said, if you`ve got the person you`re describing as the accomplice and if Desmond Turner is, indeed, inside and you capture him, is that it? Does the community have to be concerned that there might be somebody else at large? They said, no, at this point, they think that that`s it, those two guys.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And, Jonathan, do you think that this was fast work by the police department, combined with some good calls from neighbors who immediately called 911, reportedly, when they heard the shots fired?
FREED: It seems to me, having covered a number of these cases before, that the police had a very good relationship with the media. They were very accessible to us throughout the day; that can sometimes be a problem. And I think that helped us in getting things like descriptions out very early on.
And they seemed to be very focused on this investigation. And in certainly less than 24 hours, if they have, indeed, captured the two people that they feel confident were responsible for what happened in this house behind me yesterday evening at 10:15 p.m. here, then that certainly is quite quick.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It sure is.
Let`s go to noted forensic scientist Dr. Larry Kobilinsky, who has been standing by patiently. Dr. Kobilinsky, thank you for joining us, sir. What kind of DNA and other evidence is left behind in a crime scene like this, where you have basically an assault weapon used? There may not have been a lot of hand-to-hand combat.
LAWRENCE KOBILINSKY, FORENSIC SCIENTIST: Well, Jane, of course, DNA is very important. And I`m certainly not saying it`s not there, because it probably is.
But I think what really is important here is the blood splatter and the ballistics evidence, because I think what we know is that the adults were slain at different times and their bodies were found around the house in different locations.
But I guess what bothers most people is the finding of these three children all in the bed. And the blood splatter pattern will show, certainly, that they were, indeed, killed at the same time in that location. Whether they ran to hide there or they were collected and forced into that position is very unclear.
But in order to make this case, you really need to know: What happened from beginning to end? In other words, when did they come in? How did they enter? What exactly took place in the house?
I think motive is important. All the evidence is important in making the case. And, eventually, they left through that same entrance. And I think the eyewitness evidence is really critical here, and they did a great job, really professional work, very fast, very thorough investigation.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And, apparently, there were a lot of shell casings left behind. How will that help them tie this crime to the suspects that they`ve captured or are in the process of capturing?
KOBILINSKY: Well, we haven`t yet heard about the weapon, the so- called assault weapon, or whether there was more than one weapon. I`m assuming now that the person who killed these individuals was one in the same person using a single assault weapon.
Ballistics evidence will tie the shell casings, as well as the bullets, to that weapon. The weapon, presumably, has fingerprints. It will all come together like the pieces of a puzzle.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I want to go back to L.A. psychotherapist Dr. Bethany Marshall. We are going to take a call in a second. But, Bethany, you`ve been hearing all this. They may have been casual acquaintances in the neighborhood, and then there`s a robbery.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: How do these things transpire from a psychological standpoint? They say there are no accidents, there are no random choices, really.
MARSHALL: Right. We know that, in homicides, when the victim- offender relationship is known, in about 78 percent of those cases the victim is known to the perpetrator. There is some relationship.
And what we can really deduce from that is all the motivations toward murder occur in the context of somewhat intimate relationships. You see someone; you get mad at them; you want something that they have; you`re envious of them; you want to obliterate them because they remind you of something in yourself.
So the motive for homicide is usually not random. It has to do with the attachment between the perpetrator and the victim.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Very good point.
Levy, Tennessee, you`ve been hanging on a long time. What is your question?
CALLER: Thanks, Jane. We know the suspect has a long criminal record. I`ve also heard this area has a high crime rate. Were his previous crimes committed around the area of these murders?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Excellent question. Let`s go out to Devon Scott. Any information on where he committed his other crimes?
SCOTT: Well, I personally did not get a look at the criminal records, but what we do know is that he has an extensive criminal background. We took a look at his background in the criminal justice computer this morning, and the records go back five pages -- at least -- dating back several years. And he does have a few convictions on his record, as you`re showing.
He was known in the neighborhood -- it has been reported that Turner did grow up in that area of the city. And that area -- actually, the mayor was out there earlier today and reporters spoke to him. And he told us they were about to announce a major initiative to kind of revitalize the east side of town.
Of course, this just happened to be a coincidence that this happened at the same time. Driving through the neighborhood, you see a lot of blighted homes, you know, it`s not the most upscale of neighborhoods in the city of Indianapolis.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But it appeared that some family members were, including these victims, trying to upgrade things and doing a lot of work on their homes, as was reported earlier.
Very quickly to defense attorney Randy Zelin, I know you`ve been hanging in there. What do you make of this? When these two individuals are brought to justice, how do you mount a defense?
RANDY ZELIN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, the defense is going to hinge upon the evidence. You can`t talk about a defense in a vacuum; you have to look at how much direct evidence there is and identification, physical evidence left behind.
The weapons, are the weapons recovered from their person? Are the weapons recovered from the place where they are apprehended? Do they make any kind of an admission, whether to law enforcement or to other people? So you have to first determine the quantum of evidence. That`s going to determine your defense.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And, of course, everybody is presumed innocent; they haven`t been convicted of anything. These people are the suspects at this point.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The focus of the task force is working on this case, is becoming sharper, and they are committed not to stop until we have identified and apprehended the person responsible for this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell in for Nancy Grace, who is attending the wedding of one of her top producers, Ellie.
Our other big story tonight, police in South Carolina asking for your help in identifying a young man they believe killed popular Clemson University student Tiffany Souers. There have been a flurry of new developments in this case, as well, including the shocking arrest of somebody who lives in Tiffany`s complex on suspicion of a rape in the same complex back in April.
Plus, a just-released photo of Tiffany`s suspected killer trying to use her ATM card.
Let`s go straight out to WHNS reporter Lidia St. Mark for the very latest -- Lidia?
LIDIA ST. MARK, WHNS REPORTER: Well, what you were talking about right now is that Stephen David Kudika. That`s the 25-year-old man. He was arrested about a month ago, and we just heard about this today during the press conference. And he was arrested for criminal sexual conduct in the first degree.
Now, according to South Carolina a law, that is one of the heaviest, most serious rape charges you can have. He either, according to this -- because we cannot get our hands on the police report, because they did give it to us so late and their offices close at 5:00 -- but, according to this statute, he would have to have used some sort of aggravated force, either using a weapon, or hitting, or he had to use some sort of forcible confinement, kidnapping, robbery, or he broke in, or he drug the victim, allegedly. So this had a very serious charge.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So, Lidia, what I`m trying to understand, we`re looking at photos of this man wearing a bandanna over his face and his head -- very bizarre, macabre kind of ATM shots that we`re seeing here. Have police eliminated him as the alleged rapist that they have in custody? In other words, are they convinced that these are two different people, or are they still investigating the possibility that this may be one in the same person?
ST. MARK: They would not comment on that. We asked that during the presser several times, and he would not comment on it. He didn`t say yes, and he didn`t say no. Just Solicitor Bob Ariail, that`s the prosecutor, 13th circuit prosecutor, he said, "Can`t comment."
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, Ed Miller of "America`s Most Wanted," very nice to have you with us this evening. You work with law enforcement. What do you make of this, especially that this guy with these crazy bandanas on his head is trying to use the victim`s ATM card six times, unsuccessfully?
ED MILLER, REPORTER, "AMERICA`S MOST WANTED": Right. Right. Well, the headline here is, of course, that two hours after she was murdered you have somebody caught on tape trying to use her ATM card, although cops say the crime was not a crime, that robbery was not the primary motive but, rather, it was a sexually motivated crime and that robbery was an afterthought.
Now, we do know for a fact that the sheets were taken from the bed and may have been disposed of. That`s why the Dumpster was sealed off, because they thought -- police thought that he might have been trying to get rid of the sheets in the Dumpster, but they did not recover those sheets. So he must have taken those sheets thinking that he wanted to get rid of the evidence that would tie him to her murder.
Now, we do know that, despite getting rid of those sheets, that police do believe that they do have his DNA from the cords of the bikini, whether his skin cells or perspiration, but they do have his DNA, so they will eventually be able to make a match once they figure out who he really is. But the big headline is, is that they have him on tape on those rather blurry ATM pictures.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But I have to ask psychoanalyst Bethany Marshall, what do you make of that? Does that say a person who is, oh, desperate to, let`s say, get drugs, that`s why he tried the ATM six times unsuccessfully? That`s what it kind of says to me. Or somebody who is crazy? I mean, what about these bizarre bandanas?
MARSHALL: Well, they are bizarre, but we know, in 16 percent of all homicide cases, the homicide is a part of another type of crime, like a felony rape, arson, burglary, which applies to the other case we`re talking about.
I think that, most likely, the primary motivation was the sexual component of the crime, as the police have said, and that extreme cruelty was fused with aggression and used, you know, in the service of this crime.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And we want to jump in right now with the family of Brooke Holsonback. Brooke was found strangled and floating in a lake nine years ago. Her case remains unsolved; that also occurred near Clemson University.
We so thank the Holsonbacks for joining us tonight. When you heard of this latest case, what ran through you, and I`ll address that question to Debbie?
DEBBIE HOLSONBACK, PARENT OF BROOKE HOLSONBACK: Horror, shock, disbelief and that this is something that I never wanted to happen again, but I`m so sorry for this.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, I know you`ve been fighting to keep the case of your daughter -- her murder remains unsolved -- alive. Do you feel that this can, Warren, put new attention on your daughter`s unsolved strangulation?
WARREN HOLSONBACK, PARENT OF BROOKE HOLSONBACK: Yes. We`re hopeful that, you know, someone out there knows something about our daughter`s death, her murder. And hopefully this will bring -- you know, jog somebody`s memory or just bring it to light, any little piece of information that they may think is trivial could be what we need to solve our case.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know what I found so shocking about this, is that there was this alleged rape that occurred in the same apartment complex. And, apparently, some of the young women living in that complex didn`t know about this unsolved case.
What do you make of that? Do you think that there`s a lack of sort of urgency to how authorities and campuses -- and I`m talking all across the United States; sadly, this is not unique -- deal with this kind of situation?
W. HOLSONBACK: Yes, I definitely don`t think this is a unique situation to just Clemson. It`s happening all across our college campuses, all across the country. It`s more and more -- it`s starting to come more to light, problems that are going on around campuses, but it`s still -- it`s not being brought to the public eye as quick as it could be.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I totally agree with you. I`m very shocked that there was this rape that occurred here. And apparently, a lot of the girls left their doors unlocked because they didn`t know that there was an unsolved rape in their complex and so they weren`t taking any precautions.
So if you had a message to young women out there, Warren, what would the message to be, to co-eds in campuses all across the country, very briefly?
W. HOLSONBACK: Please be aware of your surroundings. Don`t take anything for granted. Whether you hear about it or not, things are happening across this country on college campuses. And please, please don`t put yourself in jeopardy.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I agree, sir.
W. HOLSONBACK: Keep your doors locked.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you so much for taking the time. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. We hope you find justice in your case, as well. Thank you for joining us.
Quickly to tonight`s "All-Points Bulletin." FBI and law enforcement across the country on the lookout for Manuel Benitez, wanted in connection with the 2004 murder of his girlfriend, 22-year-old Stephanie Spears, Hawthorne, California.
Benitez, 36, 6 feet, 190 pounds, brown hair, brown eyes. If you have any information, please call the FBI at 310-477-6565. Local news next for some of you. We will all be right back.
And, remember, live coverage of a Michigan mom facing murder charges for allegedly poisoning her 7-year-old daughter to death, 3:00 to 5:00 Eastern, Court TV.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What a week in America`s courtrooms. Take a look at the stories and, more important, the people who touched our lives.
NANCY GRACE, HOST: A gunman forces a 34-year-old lady lawyer into a car. Sandra Gregory just found bound and covered with a sheet in a local motel.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... came to a very successful conclusion.
GRACE: What ever happened to flowers and candy? Why approach her in a parking lot with a .38 caliber, Saturday night special, and force her into a car, the bind her hand and foot in a Motel 8. People, don`t ever get into a car, if you can help it. Lay down on the asphalt, whatever you`ve got to do.
A 24-year-old Clemson University co-ed brutally strangled to death. The murder weapon: a bikini top, still around the girl`s next, when she was discovered dead in her own apartment.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Strangulation is a particularly personal way of killing someone. Shooting someone is much more distant. So there`s some real personal interaction with strangulation. And using an object, you want to really make sure that that person`s going to die.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It has struck fear. It has struck sadness. Just people are shocked.
GRACE: Well, into day four in an intense search for an 8-year-old boy missing in the Colorado mountains, out under the hot sun, elevations over 7,000 feet. Eight-year-old Evan Thompson, no food, no water. Just a few moments before we went to air, Evan reported alive.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They`re always, you know, telling me, "Oh, he`s a special needs child and everything." Well, then you should have been watching him better. You think you can do things better than me? Then you should have been watching my son, because he`s my only son.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... just heard about eight or 10 shots. I ran in the house and called the police.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When the officers arrived, they entered the home and found seven individuals deceased; all were suffering from fatal gunshot wounds.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t know what could have happened, why it happened.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This incident has shocked our police department and shocked our city.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, we remember Corporal Brian St. Germain, 22 of Warwick, Rhode Island, killed in Iraq. Brian, an honor student and a track-and-field athlete is survived by his parents and brother. Corporal Brian St. Germain, tonight and always an American hero.
We`d like to thank all our guests tonight for their insights. Thanks to you at home for tracking these important cases with us. I`m Jane Velez- Mitchell in for Nancy Grace tonight.
And congratulations to her producer, Ellie, who`s getting married. You go, girl.
Nancy`s back on Monday, so we hope to see you back here Monday sharp 8:00 Eastern. Until then, have a terrific weekend.