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Sexual Offender Arrested in Case of Missing Teen Runner; Flipper`s Trainer: "Free Tili"; Osmond Family Heartache

Aired March 1, 2010 - 19:00:00   ET



JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Desperation mounts in a family`s frantic race against time. A beautiful teenage girl, abducted while jogging in Southern California. Now cops arrest this registered sex offender. But 17-year-old Chelsea King is still nowhere to be found. Tonight, is she alive? And was she warned that a female jogger was recently attacked in the very same area?

And sobs erupt at the funeral for the Seaworld trainer killed during a live show. Tonight, escalating outrage from animal activists. We`ll talk to the former trainer for the world-famous Flipper. Now he`s flipped and wants whales and dolphins back in the wild. Rich O`Barry takes us inside the underworld of marine captivity in his Oscar-nominated movie, "The Cove."

Plus, dark, deadly depression strikes another Hollywood family. Marie Osmond`s son commits suicide, jumping out of a Los Angeles high rise 15 stories to his death. Tonight, as Donnie and Marie suspend their Las Vegas show, we`re learning this young man had been in and out of rehab and struggled with depression for years.

ISSUES starts now.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, as we speak, a desperate search underway for missing San Diego teen Chelsea King. Just moments ago, the San Diego Sheriff`s Department shot down rumors that a body had been found. Listen to this.


JAN CALDWELL, SAN DIEGO COUNTY, CALIFORNIA, SHERIFF`S DEPARTMENT: Rumors have come to me today from several different entities. There are a lot of rumors out there that a body was found. No body has been found. That would be something I`d bring to you right away.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The beautiful 17-year-old long-distance runner went for a jog after school on Thursday and never came home. Chelsea`s parents last saw her Wednesday when she performed at a school concert.

After a weekend of sheer agony, cops found an article of the missing girl`s clothing which they refuse to identify.

Tonight, 30-year-old John Albert Gardner III, that guy right there, being held without bail for investigation of murder and rape. Cops grilling him say he is not cooperating. Gardner is a convicted sex offender. Plus, he could be connected to two other attacks on women.

Did Chelsea know about those attacks when she went jogging? Did John Gardner abduct Chelsea on that jogging path?

Look at some of the key locations in this case. The sex offender registry lists Gardner`s last known address as Lake Elsinore, about two hours away from San Diego, but he`s reportedly been staying with his mother and stepfather in Rancho Bernardo, just one mile from the park where Chelsea was abducted.

At that park, Chelsea`s car was found with her cell phone and iPod still inside. Cops busted this prize package as he walked out of a nearby restaurant.

Meantime, Chelsea`s parents are obviously living their very, very worst nightmare.


KELLY KING, CHELSEA`S MOTHER: I can`t begin to describe the depth of sorrow. I didn`t know that sorrow could go this deep, and fear. It`s -- it`s been a nightmare. It`s a nightmare.

BRENT KING, CHELSEA`S FATHER: She`s what every parent wants. She`s that kid.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: No parent should ever have to go through this. But here we go again. A woman vanishes, and guess who was in the crosshairs? A repeat offender. I am sure you have something to say about this, so call me now: 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297.

Straight out to my amazing expert panel: Mark Eiglarsh, criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor; John Lucich, veteran criminal investigator; Stacy Kaiser, psychotherapist; and we begin with Michelle Sigona, investigative reporter and founder of

Michelle, what is the very latest?

MICHELLE SIGONA, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Well, at this point, Jane, we are awaiting Gardner to be arraigned. That arraignment is set for Wednesday, where formal charges may be brought forward, possibly rape, possibly murder. These are some things that are sort of looming out there at this particular point.

I can tell you that, since Saturday morning, 4,200 volunteers have been on the ground, searching for this beautiful girl. Also today, 855 volunteers have been out there all -- all day long looking for clues, looking for evidence, moving forward, trying to help investigators. The Laura (ph) Recovery Center has experts there that are helping to work on this case, along with other missing -- missing families in the area.

For instance the Danielle Van Dam case. Danielle Van Dam was abducted from her home and murdered. Her parents -- her mom will be out there later on today. Also, Amber Dubois, her family, her mother and father, they are out there on the ground, helping with the volunteer effort.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, and this is just so horrific, and it is wonderful to hear that these other people who have suffered themselves are coming out to try and help find this really beautiful and straight-A high school student: a runner, very involved, very popular.

Now, here`s what I want to clarify. Law enforcement is already using the term homicide in connection with Chelsea`s disappearance. What prompted them to move so quickly? Let`s listen.


WILLIAM GORE, SAN DIEGO COUNTY SHERIFF: During the course of this extensive investigation, evidence was discovered that linked Gardner to Miss King in such a manner as to warrant his arrest.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. Now, Mark Eiglarsh, now that they`ve arrested him last night, isn`t the clock ticking?

MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, Jane, that`s the first thing I thought about.

The positives, let`s talk about the positives. They didn`t give specific detail as to what the evidence is. So if this guy, assuming he`s guilty, ever does want to speak, he`ll be able to distinguish those things that he heard from the media from those things that he knows first hand.

But yes, his speedy trial rights tick away every single day, and so the question is, why. And I`m not necessarily suggesting there`s anything wrong, but why didn`t they keep him under surveillance for a period of time, continue the search? Maybe you find the body that holds extensive forensic evidence that could tie him to the body.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And here`s another thing I don`t understand. My understanding from reading the wire copy, John Lucich, is that they found this article of clothing, belonged to Chelsea. They did a test on it, and they ran the DNA that they found through a crime database, and he came up.

But that doesn`t necessarily translate -- and we hope it`s wrong. We hope there`s some miracle and we find this beautiful young lady, but it doesn`t translate necessarily into rape and murder. How do we get the leap that they`ve arrested him for investigation of rape and murder?

JOHN LUCICH, VETERAN CRIMINAL INVESTIGATOR: Well, remember, they found physical evidence linking him to this woman, and they arrested him on that. You know, leaving him out there under surveillance poses a tremendous threat to the community. I think these cops did the right thing.

And by the way, I don`t think they`ve actually come out and told you what the formal charges are. They may have charged him with something less right now to hold him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: They haven`t charged him. They are holding him without bail, and they say they`re going to make a decision by Wednesday. But they have said they`re holding him, an investigation of rape and murder.

JOHN LUCICH, FORMER CRIMINAL INVESTIGATOR: They may be holding him as a material witness to hold him. The important part is to get this guy out of society. Because if these guys are tailing this guy...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Look at this smile. Look at this smile on his face.

LUCICH: Absolutely. That`s why this guy`s got to get off the street. Could you imagine if these cops left him out there, he got away, and raped another girl and killed another girl? These cops did the right thing. This guy is no good. He needs to get off the streets, and that`s the only way to keep that community safe.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But here`s my big issue. Why wasn`t there a warning sign up that a female jogger had been attacked in that very same park on December 27? Listen.


B. KING: We would never allow her to run by herself. But she`s a 17- year-old girl. So if she chose to run by herself that day, she did that as a 17-year-old girl. She didn`t do it because her parents said, "Go ahead and run by yourself."

K. KING: But when you`re that age, you`re invincible.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Stacy Kaiser, authorities put up all kinds of signs like when there`s a, oh, a snowstorm. Slippery when wet. Falling rocks. But why the heck don`t we warn women like Chelsea that there is a predator on the loose?

The woman attacked in this very same park last December managed to fight off her assailant by hitting him in the face with her elbow, and she escaped. But I don`t have any knowledge that this 17-year-old, when she went for a jog in the park, had any knowledge that there was a predator on the loose. Shouldn`t we have -- if we`re going to have signs for potential avalanches and wet streets, shouldn`t we have signs out when there`s a predator on the loose?

STACY KAISER, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: I agree with you 100 percent. You know, we have that sex predator registry for people to go and look into for people. We should have signs in parks like that. That may have saved her life.

But I do want to say that she`s a teenager. She`s 17. And that`s an age where people feel invincible. They think it`s not going to happen to them.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: She was jogging. She was just jogging.

KAISER: Right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Listen. Women in America should have the right to go jogging without fear of murder. This is my primary, primary campaign, that this idea that she`s somehow crazy to go jogging by herself. We`re living in a crazy culture if a 17-year-old girl can`t go jogging in a park in broad daylight without fearing abduction by a psycho. I mean, something`s got to change here. This is a war on women.

Everybody, stay right where you are. The war on women rages on, and we`re taking your calls. Skye, stand by. We`re going to get to you after the break. 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.

Plus, inside the hell of marine captivity. Escalating outrage in the tragic death at Seaworld. Tonight we`re going to talk to the former trainer of the world-famous Flipper. Remember that show? Now he`s fighting to free these beautiful creators, and he`s going to give us a plan.

But first, a mother and father desperately, frantically searching for their precious child. Look at this beautiful girl. She vanished jogging. What happened to Chelsea King?


B. KING: Thank you so much for coming out and trying to find our daughter.

K. KING: You have no idea how overwhelming my heart is overflowing with all the support and all this love. And there`s no words for it.




GORE: I want to emphasize, this investigation is not over. Our primary goal in all of this has been to find Chelsea King. We are continuing those efforts. There are several searches going on around the county. We are going to refocus some of our search-and-rescue efforts.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Police promising an intense search for 17-year-old Chelsea King, who vanished jogging in a park near her San Diego home. Thirty-year-old John Gardner III, a registered sex offender -- we`re going to show you his picture in a second -- behind bars tonight on suspicion of rape and murder. Formal charges have not been filed in this case.

Chelsea`s dad responded to that arrest on CBS.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The sheriff, I`m sure, has clued you in, in terms of what evidence they found, and later on the district attorney wants to charge this Gardner character with murder.

B. KING: Yes. So first off, I don`t even want to refer to this person as a person or a name. Second off, the -- I have full trust and faith in everything that the department`s doing and how they`re going about it.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Those poor parents. And look at this guy. This guy, who cops say is not cooperating. The reason we have this rap -- this photo? Because he`s got a rap sheet. Convicted. Lewd, lascivious acts on a child under 14. Why was he out and about in the first place?

Skye, Pennsylvania, you`ve been so patient. Your question or thought?

CALLER: Yes, Jane. I`m just wondering. Mr. Gardner, he does have a criminal record. He is a sex offender. What charges were brought against him to make him a registered sex offender?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, he was convicted of lewd and -- or lascivious acts on a child under 14.

And Michelle Sigona, he is possibly connected to another unsolved mystery that could be connected to this case. And that is the case of 14- year-old Amber Dubois from San Diego. She vanished on her way to school over a year ago.

Let`s listen to what the sheriff said about this just moments ago.


CALDWELL: A lot of questions have come up today about connecting this with other cases, unsolved cases. Obviously, that`s happening. We -- we have the hub of the investigation here, and the spokes of that are the assault that happened in December. Obviously, we`re going to look at the Amber Dubois case.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. So, Michelle, cops say Amber`s case could be connected also to the molestation of a 5- and 6-year-old girl at two different San Diego Wal-Marts last spring. Surveillance videos show a 25- to 30-year-old white male, and that matches the description of this person. What do you know about the Amber Dubois case and the others?

SIGONA: Well, Amber went missing on February 13, 2009, Jane, as she left her house. It was about 20 minutes from this location where Chelsea went missing.

And basically, she left for school that morning. She was walking to the high school. She had been in contact with her grandmother via text message. Had a $200 check on her. She was going to raise a lamb for a farm project, and she disappeared. She went missing. And amber`s parents have really -- and like I mentioned earlier, they`re on the ground right now. They are helping out with Chelsea`s investigation, and they`re hoping to maybe find some answers, along with the other case that you mentioned. And in addition, the jogger. On December 27, a jogger was attacked.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me ask you this question, Michelle. They searched -- this guy, this creepola lives with his mother and stepfather about a mile from the park, but he also has an address a couple of hours away in Lake Elsinore. They`ve gone through the mother and the stepfather`s house, right?

SIGONA: That`s correct. Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did they go through the Elsinore house?

SIGONA: That`s something that investigators are working on at this time. I`m sure that any sort of personal property, any place that this man has been, they will seek those search warrants. They will go through. They will confiscate computers, homes, anything that they can to try to find physical evidence to...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Go ahead. Go ahead, John.

EIGLARSH: I wanted to make a point, you know. He could be wanted for 15 different events. He could have a record dating back to the disco crisis. The reality is, once he comes to trial, and again if it`s within a speedy time period, it will be sooner than later, none of that is admissible. Unless he takes the witness stand, his prior record doesn`t come into evidence. It then means that the evidence that they have against him right now is so critical.

KAISER: Also...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here`s the problem. There is -- there is a very, very sick and disturbing national pattern that we need to look at here. Women who vanish while they`re alone.

Laura Vogel, right now, her family`s in Maui desperately looking for her. She went out hiking. She`s missing. Kristi Cornwell, Georgia, out for a walk, missing. Meredith Emerson, a hiker from Georgia. She was hiking with her dog, viciously murdered.

Now Chelsea is a long-distance runner who went for an after-school jog. Let me get this straight. We have an epidemic of sickos who prey on women who like to be fit and active. This is a national problem that we must address. We must get beyond each individual case and look at this problem, Stacy Kaiser.

KAISER: I agree with you 100 percent. But right now what I want to tell all of your viewers is we women need to take matters into our own hands. We cannot be traveling alone. There are crazy people out there.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So but -- so let`s -- OK, so that`s the psychological burka I told -- that`s the psychological -- we have to put on a psychological burka because there`s sickos out there.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know what I say? If this man was convicted of lewd or lascivious acts with a child, he should have been tracked. We -- we have to Googlize our law enforcement system to track these people better. I don`t care if we have to put a camera on their foreheads. We need to track them.

Cynthia, Texas, a quick question or thought. We`re almost out of time.

CALLER: Hi, Jane, good to talk to you. I am concerned, if they had to release these prisoners out of California to save money, so what that -- what did that cost all these -- this family, a beautiful child.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Right. You`re right. But, you know, we need to get rid of some of the prisoners who were in there for nonviolent offenses, like drug offenses and first-timers, and we need to keep these predators behind bars. Let`s prioritize it.

Thank you, fantastic panel. Coming up, another tragic ending. Marie Osmond`s 18-year-old son takes his own life.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: In tonight`s "Spotlight," Flipper`s trainer flips. In the wake of that horrible attack at Seaworld, he is saying, "Free Tili." Seaworld visitors sobbed this weekend as the Shamu show resumed. The trainers and orcas performed a tribute to their friend Dawn Brancheau, who died. Noticeably, the trainers stayed out of the water.

Dawn died last week when Tili, the killer whale, pulled her into the water, some say by her ponytail.

Now the man who brought Flipper into our living rooms back in the `60s says enough is enough. He is making the case in the Oscar-nominated film "The Cove." Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The dolphin smile is nature`s greatest deception. It creates the illusion they`re always happy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They realize after a while they don`t really belong in captivity.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Joining me now, Rich O`Barry, who is featured in "The Cove." This famous dolphin trainer is campaign director for Save Japan`s Dolphins.

Rich, you came to the realization that we need to free these dolphins and whales when one died in your arms. Now you want Tili released. So what do you say to claims that, "Oh, we just can`t do that. It`s just not practical"?

RICH O`BARRY, DOLPHIN TRAINER: Well, it is practical and it is doable. We`re not saying to free this animal. We`re talking about, you know, moving it out of this concrete box that it`s in to a natural sanctuary somewhere, where it can experience the tides and the currents and the natural rhythms of the sea. That is doable.

No killer whale has ever died in transport, and they`ve been transporting these dolphins from park to park ever since Seaworld started. So it can be done.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And it just costs money. So that brings me to my next point. The Shamu show is Seaworld`s bread and butter. Face it. It`s a big reason why people go to Seaworld. And the money trail is a mile long.

You know, the Blackstone Group, one of the world`s leading investment companies, traded on the New York Stock Exchange, bought Seaworld and some other theme parks last year for $2.7 billion.

Seaworld says it`s all about education. Personally, I think it`s sending the wrong message to our kids. It sends a message when you go there that animals are commodities and here for our entertainment. Seaworld touts its breeding program, but I`ve got to ask you, Rich, aren`t the animals bred, destined to live out their lives also in captivity, probably as performers?

O`BARRY: Yes. I mean, there`s no reason for a dolphin, a killer whale to be born in a concrete box simply to perform for humans. There -- there is no connection between these stupid dolphin shows and conservation. That`s an illusion.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know what? This is a consumer issue. I mean, if people stop going to Seaworld, obviously, that would end it like that.

O`BARRY: Well, that`s -- don`t count on the government fixing this problem. Look, this industry makes $2 billion a year, and they pay taxes just like you and I. That money goes to the government.

So, look, the only hope is that people will stop buying tickets. That`s the solution. It`s based on supply and demand like any other product. And if people stop buying tickets, the abuse will stop.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do you think they will spend the, whatever, 10 million bucks, even though they have billions, to relocate Tili into that protective sanctuary? Yes or no?

O`BARRY: Well, maybe. We`re going to try to talk to the Blackstone group. I don`t think there was much hope with Anheuser-Busch. You know, they look at corporate profits, and they...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, they`re -- they no longer own it. The Blackstone Group owns it. So you can talk to them.

O`BARRY: I know. Yes, I know.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Thank you, Rick. Good at the Academy Awards.

Deadly depression strikes the Osmond family, next.


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: Dark, deadly depression strikes another Hollywood family. Marie Osmond`s son commits suicide, jumping out of a Los Angeles high-rise, 15 stories to his death. Tonight as Donny and Marie suspend their Las Vegas show, we`re learning this young man had been in and out of rehab and struggled with depression for years.

A heart-breaking tragic loss for the Osmond family; Marie Osmond`s 18- year-old has taken his own life. Police say 18-year-old Michael Blosil, seen here with his famous mom, Marie, when he was just 8 years old, committed suicide in Los Angeles. He reportedly jumped 15 stories to his death from his apartment building balcony.

Here he is in a photo posted on RadarOnline. He reportedly left a note for his friend who was with him in this photo saying he couldn`t handle his depression, that he felt completely alone, that he would never fit in.

In the past, Michael reportedly battled depression and may have struggled with substance abuse. In 2007 Marie spoke to Larry King about her son checking into rehab. Listen to this.


MARIE OSMOND, ENTERTAINER: I will say this. My son is amazing. He`s dealing with a lot. He`s one of my kids. He`s dealing with adoption issues, all kinds of things right now.

KING: He was adopted?

M. OSMOND: Yes. I think he was. He is the most amazing kid. And --

KING: How are you dealing with it?

DONNY OSMOND, ENTERTANER: Well, you can see.

M. OSMOND: It`s been a hard thing.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: This has got to be such hell for them. Michael`s male roommate and his female best friend were with him just before his death. They say it seemed like a normal day until Michael got a phone call and left the room.

Listen to this from "Entertainment Tonight".


SEAN SRNIK, MICHAEL BLOSIL`S ROOMMATE: Michael got a phone call and he left the living room. And then that was about, you know, about 9:15, 9:20. Then he left. And then about, you know, five minutes later -- five, ten minutes later, Ruth Ann came in and she asked, "Where`s Michael?" And she asked, "Where`s Michael?" And we`re like, "We don`t know. He just left." He always leaves when he talks on the phone.

And when she came in, she ran into his room and that`s where she found the note on the bed.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Michael reportedly texted one of his friends about the note. They found the note, then they heard sirens, then they ran to the balcony, and that`s when they saw Michael`s body on the ground.

His death is tearing this showbiz family apart. Donny Osmond released this statement. "My family and I are devastated and in deep shock over the tragic loss of our dear Michael."

Michael was one of Marie`s eight children. Five of them are adopted.

Straight out to my fantastic expert panel: addiction specialist, Dr. Reef Karim; clinical psychologist, Michelle Golland; senior editor of "In Touch Weekly" Amy Palmer; and the host of HLN`s "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT", A.J. Hammer.

A.J., what is the very latest?

A.J. HAMMER, HLN HOST, "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT": Jane, this is just a terrible tragedy all the way around. I mean, Marie Osmond is one of those people who what you see is what you get. She wears her heart on her sleeve. She has been through some terrible, terrible tragedy in her life. And just over the past couple of years.

You showed the clip of where she was sitting with Donny and speaking with Larry King after her son went into rehab. Keep in mind, he was just about 16 years old at that time. I spoke to her shortly after that and she re-emphasized to me how dedicated she was as a mother. She didn`t have nanny`s taking care of everybody. And she was very, very proud of her son for everything that he was doing to try to take care of his problems and to battle his demons.

And just a short time after that, she sat down with Larry King again and said, "We think we nipped this thing in the bud." Sadly, obviously, they did not.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Michael`s autopsy was inconclusive and that`s pending drug tests coming back. Marie spoke about her son`s drug use on "LARRY KING LIVE".


M. OSMOND: He`s dealing with a lot. He`s one of my kids. He`s dealing with adoption issues, all kinds of things right now.

KING: He was adopted?

M. OSMOND: It`s the reality, Larry. 75 percent, like you said, of kids under age 18 are dealing with this. It`s affecting every single family in our country. They`re having these -- they`re called pharm parties, where they go and steal medicine out of their parents` drug cabinets.

D. OSMOND: Medicine cabinets.

M. OSMOND: And they dump them in a bowl and they just take them until they pass out. My son didn`t do that, but, you know, he`s dealing with a lot of issues. I don`t know that I feel comfortable talking for him. I think he`ll have to deal with that.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Again, our hearts go out to those two. What they must be going through right now.

Amy Palmer, we don`t really know much about this young man. Marie did a very good job of keeping her family away from the media. What do we know about this rehab stint?

AMY PALMER, SENIOR EDITOR, "IN TOUCH WEEKLY": Well, we don`t know a lot, and that`s the thing. Marie Osmond really is a great mother. We know that she loves her children. That this family has been performing for America for over 40 years. So she understands the pressures of the limelight.

And I think the fact that Michael was so out of the limelight is a testament to how she knows how the fame machine works. And it`s just very sad that the pressures of perhaps being a child of a celebrity and being in that Hollywood scene really caught up with Michael.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The timing of this tragic suicide is absolutely chilling. Just last week my friend and former "Growing Pains" star Andrew Koenig took his own life after years of battling depression; just one piece of bad news after the other.

His father gave this heart breaking warning after his body was discovered. Listen.


WALTER KOENIG, ANDREW`S FATHER: The only thing I want to say is, if you`re one of those people who really can`t feel that -- if you can`t handle it anymore, you know, if you can learn anything from this, it`s that there are people out there who really care.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Reef Karim, they were both apparently battling depression, both children of celebrities. But the similarities end there. Andrew`s body was found in a deserted area of a park he loved. Michael committed suicide in a much more public way, jumping off a building into the street.

What does that tell you about what he was going through, Dr. Reef?

DR. REEF KARIM, ADDICTION SPECIALIST: Well, depending on how the suicide was done, men tend to have more violent methods of suicide than women. Women tend to attempt suicide three times more than men. Men complete suicide four times more than women.

If it`s a violent means, and a public means, it could be a statement. A statement or a symbol of, "I`ve had it. I don`t care who sees. Maybe I want people to see."

And if it was done in more of a quiet way, you know, part of depression is being isolative. That`s one of the hallmark features of depression. And I think this is a really serious subject.

The 11th most common cause of death in our country, across all ages, is suicide. But in the population between 10 and 24, it`s the third most common reason for death. This is huge. And between 1950 and 1990, in the ages between 15 and 19, suicide has gone up 300 percent.

We are a much more anxious society right now, and a much more depressed society, especially amongst our teens. There`s nothing good of this. This is a tragedy, obviously. Both of these are tragedies. But maybe if we can just get more prevention out there, suicide prevention and treatment for depression and realize how serious of an illness this is, we can do something about it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: This brings me to my big issue because there`s so many factors here. You have the adoption factor, you have the rehab factor. You have the child of celebrity factor. You have the fact that his own mom battled depression. But the big issue I think is living in the shadow of fame.

You know, both Michael Blosil and Andrew Koenig are children of celebrities. Take -- you know, Marie Osmond has been famous for years and recently she had this comeback where she was in the spotlight with dancing with the stars.

So Michelle Golland, Andrew`s dad, Walter Koenig, starred in the series "Star Trek". Both of these beautiful young men who have killed themselves are in the shadow of celebrity. What does it do to you?

MICHELLE GOLLAND, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: You know, I think one of the issues that I`ve explored, Jane, is this idea that, how do they get out of their parents` presence, you know? That the towering personality that their parents have had and to be able to create meaning in their life, you know.

That`s the thing, is trying to understand, how do you create a meaningful life --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What are you saying? Are you saying that because their parents are so famous they never feel that they could ever match up in terms of accomplishments?

GOLLAND: Yes. Yes. Sadly, I think that is part of what does happen, that, you know, especially if we`re talking fame and money, and access to things, you know. One of the things that keeps us going is this strive for meaning and what we`re going to do with ourselves and our own accomplishments. And not always, but sometimes there can be this experience that even if I have success in what is my field, it never compares.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. We`re going to have more on the tragic death of Marie Osmond`s son, Michael. Stay right there. We`re just getting started.


M. OSMOND: My son needs me and my kids need me and that`s where I need to be is for them. I`m so proud of him, you know, this is something that affects every single family now. It`s like 25 percent of the kids end up having these problems nowadays. And so, you know, the way --



D. OSMOND: First of all, she`s got her support team around her. A lot of people in this country, a lot of people in the world are dealing with these kinds of issues. And the Osmond family, just because we`re a close family, it doesn`t mean we`re exempt from those issues because society can throw a lot of trash at you.

M. OSMOND: It`s a hard world kids are growing up in. Like you said, they`re dealing with peer pressure.

KING: A lot harder being a kid today.

M. OSMOND: Oh, please.

D. OSMOND: Oh totally, totally but think about the fact that, as sappy as a lot of people may-- may think this is, we are a close family. She does have a support system.

M. OSMOND: I have the best family.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Donny and Marie Osmond talking about their close-knit family in 2007. Marie`s son went to rehab. Tonight, 18-year-old Michael Blosil has tragically taken his own life, jumping to his death from his Los Angeles apartment building complex.

A.J. Hammer, "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT", things were looking up. That`s what doesn`t make sense. He had begun attending the Fashion Institution of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles and apparently was very excited about sort of going on his own and starting this new career.

HAMMER: Yes and as Marie have mentioned in her interview with Larry King, they thought they had sort of handled things and he was taking appropriate actions to deal with his depression. He was known to have had issues with depression. There was some talk, you know, of drugs as well.

But it`s interesting listening to Donny speaking about his close relationship with his family and with his sister, sitting there next to Marie. Those are not empty words with the Osmond family. They have a level of closeness that is so unusual in Hollywood where so many families can splinter apart.

And we know that that applied towards Marie`s kids. As I said, she did not want to have nannies, even though she could afford them, because she wanted to be the mother, to be there for her kids and that of course included Michael.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And what`s happening with their show in Las Vegas, A.J.?

HAMMER: Well, as you`ve mentioned earlier Jane, it is suspended. Right now, it`s being reported that it`s suspended indefinitely. And it really just also points to the rollercoaster that Marie herself has been through over these past few years.

First, the patriarch of the Osmond family died a few years ago, of course Donny and Marie`s father. Then her son going in and out of rehab, then, you know, she had some great moments, her career on this massive comeback, being on "Dancing with the Stars" now the big show in Vegas which was a huge hit for them. But understandably they have it on hold. And I imagine it will remain on hold for some time to come.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: In the past, Marie talked about how important her children were to her, about raising her kids as a single mom in Hollywood. We have a clip of Marie Osmond talking about that. Listen to this.


M. OSMOND: I don`t have a gazillion nannies. I am a single mom. I love taking care of my kids. You know, I choose to be alone. I want to be there for my kids. I don`t want that side of my life.

I mean, it would have been nice to have that kind of relationship, but my son needs me and my kids need me and that`s where I need to be is for them.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So Michelle Golland, it sounds like Marie was a very --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- involved mother. And not one of this typical showbiz mother who`s off all of the time and everything is left to the nanny and the child feels like an orphan, I mean, she`s really involved with her family life.

So that`s why it seems a little odd that he had this deep-rooted feeling that he could never fit in, that he had no friends, according to some of published reports.

GOLLAND: Right. Well, again, I mean, again, the relationship with the mother is not the reason necessarily why children have depression. I mean, he may have been genetically predisposed. I know he was adopted, but he may have been dealing with those issues. And again, I think, dealing with drug and alcohol issues is trying to mask some pain that he was obviously going through. And, and --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, Amy Palmer, apparently he did have a lot of friends, though. This whole -- this whole story that we`re hearing about he felt like he didn`t fit in and had no friends, we`ve seen some photos. We saw one from RadarOnline with a friend. Apparently he did have lots of friends.

PALMER: Yes, his roommates actually talked to "In Touch Weekly" exclusively and the woman in the photo with Michael, her name is Ruth Ann. And that is one of his roommates. They were very close. She describes him as being upbeat, happy, always joking around and that they are completely in shock. They are devastated and they really did not see this coming.

So that`s why this is unusual for something like this to happen when his friends are saying, no, this is not the guy that`s being reported about in the press.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let`s listen to that. Michael`s roommate is saying he was totally taken by surprise. Listen to this from "Entertainment Tonight".


SRNIK: He`s probably the most funniest, happiest guy I`ve ever met in my life. It`s something I would never expect.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Family, friend and "Entertainment Tonight" host Mary Hart echoed the very same sentiments on CBS`s "The Early Show." Listen to her.


MARY HART, CORRESPONDENT, "ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT": Actually he came with Marie to the set. The last couple of times he was here, that was just a few weeks ago. And Michael was in great spirits. I mean, he`d graduated from high school last spring. He`d gone on to school. Having seen him throughout the years, he just is -- has been a great kid.

He`s had his problems. But they were really excited about him attending the Fashion Institute here in Los Angeles. They were upbeat. And he was very happy and seemed to be looking forward to the future. And that`s one of the reasons this is just so shocking.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you know, Dr. Reef Karim, this is one of the just most frustrating things about depression, is that sometimes you can`t spot it. I mean Andrew Koenig was hanging out with his friends right before his death and they didn`t see him as suicidal.

KARIM: Yes, that`s why it`s a family disease. It`s not just an individual`s disease. You know, these people that have depression, these stories just highlight the fact that depression is a true neuro-chemical illness and these people live in their own private hell and with tons of emotional pain even though they may put on a happy face when they`re with their friends.

But something`s happening in their brain where they don`t think the way that is really socially acceptable to society. They feel bad. They feel suicidal. They don`t feel like doing things with other people. But yet they put on a happy face because there`s such a bad stigma about depression.

And if the family doesn`t really intervene, so to speak, or close friends, there`s a lot of people are walking around that have clinical depression that aren`t getting help.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you can`t tell them --

KARIM: I mean, it`s --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- you can`t tell them, I mean, we all have bad days. We all come in to work sometimes we`re a little more grumpy than the next day. It`s very hard to diagnose something. With 20/20 hindsight it`s always easy to spot.

KARIM: Right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But it`s hard to diagnose it as it unfolds. As you heard Mary Hart say, just a month ago Marie Osmond and her son were all delighted about starting this new school that he was starting and everybody seemed happy.

Michelle Golland, now --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: They say that this depression runs in families and Marie Osmond has also talked about her battle with depression, wrote a book about it, but she`s the adoptive mother of this child.

GOLLAND: Right. But I think there`s something that goes on within a family as far as this is also a way that people cope. So that, you know, what he may witness as far as Marie`s depression also impacts him.

I mean, she is the mother so then she`s mothering and if she`s battling depression that changes how she is as a mother. And so those are -- those things can impact the children.

And I think another thing, Jane, that`s really important to note is that --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ten seconds.

GOLLAND: -- you know, five years ago we didn`t really talk about childhood depression. To say that like, a 12-year-old was depressed wasn`t done.


Everybody, stay right where you are. We`re going to have so much more on the tragic suicide death of Marie Osmond`s son.



M. OSMOND: My brothers are my rocks. I tell you one of the great mysteries of godliness is God is there for us, and in those moments when you think, I can`t breathe, he just lifts it. And I don`t know how God does it, but I know he does it.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s take a look at Marie Osmond on "Dancing with the Stars". You saw her in 2007 and this was kind of considered a huge comeback for her, and it was a very tough year nevertheless.

This same year her son, who has since committed suicide, tragically, went into rehab and this was around the same time that Marie Osmond`s dad died.

So she has been through a lot, A.J. Hammer. Try to assess the impact that all of this is having on Marie Osmond. It`s almost unfathomable.

HAMMER: Yes. I mean, it`s just unthinkable what she`s going through right now. Obviously for any mother to lose a child compound that with the fact that he is lost to this terrible suicide tragedy, Jane.

It really is unthinkable, but you heard her speaking about God there. That is something in addition to falling on her family for their guidance, for their support. Her faith is very, very strong. You know, it brings you to mind, you know, what can break a person at what point.

I don`t know, but I will say one thing that I`ve always admired about Marie, and I`ve had the opportunity to sit down with her over the past several years. She has an amazing resilience and tenacity and courage and strength that comes from a place within I think a lot of us wish we had.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s from show business. You know that. That gives you that "Show Must Go On" mentality.

HAMMER: You don`t have a choice.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: A.J., you interviewed Marie, as you mentioned. She talked about her son`s setbacks and how very proud she was of him. This is heartbreaking. Listen to this.


M. OSMOND: My son needs me and my kids need me. And that`s where I need to be is for them. I`m so proud of him, you know, this is something that affects every single family now. It`s like 25 percent of the kids end up having these problems nowadays.

And so, you know, the way he`s dealing with it with the things that`s he`s been through, I`m just proud of him, and I`m there for him. That`s what we have to do is be positive.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, Dr. Reef Karim, she tried so hard, but can`t depression snowball? You feel like you don`t fit in, even though that`s not true, so you might isolate a little bit. Then when you isolate you get more depressed. That feeds on the sense of you don`t fit in and it really kind of snowballs.

KARIM: Yes. It has neuro-chemical effects meaning you just got it, if you get depressed. Then it`s got environmental effects meaning things that happen in the way you`re raised or events that happened to you or traumas all can play in.

And you`re right. It does have a snowball effect in that the signs are feelings of hopelessness, feelings of helplessness, feelings of worthlessness. Something called anadonia, things that you normally find pleasurable you don`t want to do anymore. Having a depressed mood most of the day, anxiety, fatigue, sleep problems; all of that.

They kind of work themselves in slowly. It might start out where you just don`t feel like hanging out with your friends but it may build and build and build until someone has got to come in.

I mean in my practice it`s not like somebody walks in the door and goes, "Hey, I`m depressed. Help me." Usually it`s a family member that sees it that brings them in. And sometimes they`ve got to go to the hospital.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ve got to leave it right there.

They say never compare your insides with somebody else`s outsides. Some people look like they have a fabulous and they`re suffering terribly inside.

Thank you fabulous panel.

Our heart goes out to the Osmond family.

You`re watching ISSUES on HLN.