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Missing Indiana 9-Year-Old Murdered, Dismembered by Family Friend
Aired December 27, 2011 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Aliahna`s remains have been located.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Alie Marie Maroney (ph) Lemmon was reported missing, she`s 9 years old, that night about 8:40. Unfortunately tonight, the search came to a conclusion that we had hoped wouldn`t happen after three different interviews with one of the individuals involved, Michael Lee Plumadore.
AMBER STORY, MISSING GIRL`S GRANDMOTHER: He`s been a close family friend for a long time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was taken into custody and charged with murder.
STORY: I have no, no qualms in saying that Mike would never hurt any of those children, or any children, period.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the individual that she`d been living with for the last week. He was friends with the family.
STORY: I do not blame him. The only blame is to the person that took her.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NANCY GRACE, HOST: Breaking news. Christmas Eve, a 9-year-old girl vanishes from the home of Mommy`s neighbor, the little girl, Aliahna, partially deaf, partially blind, and her two younger sisters at the neighbor`s home just a few doors down from Mommy, who`s in bed sick with the flu. The neighbor says he finds the front door unlocked, Aylee gone.
Bombshell tonight. With Aylee`s presents still stacked under the Christmas tree, in the last hours, the search for 9-year-old Aylee comes to an unthinkable end. After reporting the little girl`s disappearance here on our program, her body has been found dismembered in the neighbor`s freezer, the family friend. Tonight, we want justice.
We are live and taking your calls. Straight out to David Wheaton, the news director for WOWO, joining us at Ft. Wayne, Indiana. David, how was the body found? It`s my understanding that shortly after our program last night, that the coroner pulls up not only at the family friend that the girl`s grandma vehemently defended to me when I dared to suggest that he may know where the little girl is -- pulled up to his place and to a nearby 7-Eleven, the girl`s head, hands and feet in his freezer, the rest of her body in various plastic bags behind the 7-Eleven.
David, what happened?
DAVID WHEATON, NEWSTALK 1190 WOWO (via telephone): That`s an excellent question, Nancy. Good evening. It`s something that`s completely shocked us and everybody here is simply stunned that something this horrific, this drastic could happen here in our community.
And that`s a question that a lot of people are asking, is, you know, how can this happen and why did it happen? And right now, police say that they simply do not have those types of answers just yet. And as you stated, that it was -- the coroner pulled up and...
GRACE: Well, you know, David Wheaton, news director of WOWO, I`m a thousand miles away and I can tell you what happened. Number one, the whole family let this neighbor, family friend take care of their little girl when they should have been taking care of her. He had not only her but two other little girls.
Let`s see his picture. We were hearing about, oh, how she sleepwalked, she sleptwalked out of the home because she was having night terrors. Yes, I`ve got a pretty good idea why the little girl was having night terrors! Michael Plumadore had been taking care of her for Mommy, the close family friend.
Hey, let`s take listen to what Grandmommy said to me less than 24 hours ago.
AMBER STORY, MISSING GIRL`S GRANDMOTHER (via telephone): I have no, no qualms in saying that mike would never hurt any of those children, or any children, period. I do not blame him. I do not blame my daughter. The only blame is to the person that took her. Circumstances just worked out that she disappeared. It was not anyone`s fault, other than the person who disappeared with her.
She walked out in her sleep. She`s done this before. He, however, did not have a lock high enough on the door where she couldn`t reach it. Her mother does. They have to get permission to get a chain-lock put on the doors out there. He did not have it. But he has been a family friend for very long.
GRACE: This little girl was basically served up on a platter to this guy, this neighbor just a few doors down. The child had been there for days on end while Mommy rested up from the flu.
To Drew Blair, joining us there at the crime scene. Drew, what do you know tonight?
DREW BLAIR, WANE-TV: I`m sorry, Nancy, can you repeat that?
GRACE: Drew, give me a recap. What have we learned tonight?
BLAIR: Well, actually, this morning, Nancy, we learned even more gruesome details than we had ever imagined in this case. And you`ve stated many of them. The fact that this girl died and was murdered is bad enough that (ph), but to the point that her murderer is now accused and has admitted to the Allen County sheriff`s department that he dismembered her body, first put her body into freezer -- into trash bags into the freezer, many hours later proceeded to dismember her with a hacksaw into many small pieces and distributing those, some to a dumpster, some he kept in his own freezer.
GRACE: And the crazy -- even crazier, Drew Blair -- and I`m using that term very loosely because I don`t want the lawyers to start saying this guy`s insane. But the two little sisters were there in the home with him while he`s doing the dismemberment of the 9-year-old girl!
This 9-year-old little girl, partially deaf, partially blind -- take a look at her. She`s absolutely beautiful. She could be on the front of a magazine, a children`s magazine, she`s so beautiful.
And what did Mommy do? Nobody wanted to take care of her themselves. They pushed them off on a neighbor, and now she`s dead. There you see plastic bags being taken out of a dumpster.
What we were told -- to Emily Barsh, who spoke with Michael Plumadore just hours before he broke down and confessed. She spoke to him in depth. He told us, he told our show that that morning, he went to the 7-Eleven to buy a cigar. Now, when I heard that, of a man leaving home at 6:00 AM in the morning to get single cigar at the 7-Eleven in the freezing cold temperature there in Ft. Wayne -- right there, that smelled bad to me.
Emily Barsh, I want to go over everything that he said to you. Because have you thought about it, Emily? while you`re talking to him there at his place, a few feet down from the phone he`s talking on is the girl`s head in the freezer, Barsh! What did he tell you?
EMILY BARSH, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER (via telephone): Let me tell you something, Nancy. Just...
GRACE: On Christmas Eve! You know what? All night long, I was thinking, How am I going to put out the carrots (ph) and the cookies to make everything look a certain way on Christmas morning? I arranged everything so it would look just right, got jingle bells to ring first thing in the morning for the twins to hear.
This little girl probably went through unspeakable torment before her death. And right now, the medical examiner has had had her body since last night. They`re still not through with the autopsy. Why? They got to put the body back together again before they can determine how the girl was killed! Was she sexually molested? They don`t even have a full body put back together again!
Emily Barsh, as you`re talking to this guy on the phone, he`s a couple of feet away from this dead girl`s head, feed and hands in this freezer! What did he say?
BARSH: It turns my stomach to think about what was going on in his home as I was discussing his story with him. He told me the same story about going out to get a cigar at the convenience store. He left the girls, locked the door, because he always locked the door, and it took him five minutes, came back, and they were all there.
But you know what occurred to me which was really creepy? He said little Aliahna woke up at 2:30 in the morning with a night terror and that he tried to get her to go back to sleep, which he did. And he at one point talked about giving her a kiss on the forehead. And it was just -- it was just really creepy.
GRACE: Well, of course, you know, Emily Barsh, we all know what was probably going on at about 2:30 AM when he gave her a chaste kiss on the forehead.
Joining me right now at the crime scene there in Ft. Wayne is a very special guest, Sheriff Ken Fries. He`s the Allen County -- with the Allen County sheriff`s. This is his first on-camera national interview.
Sheriff, I want to thank you for being with us. Your people, your men and women worked `round the clock, around the clock to bust this case. And while everybody, you know, was suspicious of this guy -- he was the last one with the girl -- it`s a long, long road from just being suspicious to proving a case and not messing up the case along the way, not making it to where the evidence doesn`t come in at trial.
Your people cracked this case. You did it, Sheriff. You did it.
SHERIFF KEN FRIES, ALLEN COUNTY, IN: Yes, they did an excellent job. They did an excellent job.
GRACE: Sheriff, how do you...
FRIES: And I give them the credit.
GRACE: Well, because that`s just the way that you are, giving everybody else the credit. Sheriff, how do you go home on Christmas Eve night to your family thinking about this little girl? How do you do it? How do you go back home after -- after what you`ve been through today, how do you go back home to your family and try to act normal?
FRIES: That is the difficult part of being a policeman because we do deal with stuff like that. And it was not easy going home Christmas Eve because we knew there was a 9-year-old girl out there someplace that we couldn`t find. And you`re exactly right, Nancy. Some of the story that we heard from the beginning with him led us to believe he was the key to this case, that we needed to get to him and he was the one that was going to have the answers we were looking for.
And for our officers and everybody involved in it, it is a very difficult case to deal with. Right, now everybody`s still busy with the tasks at hand, but eventually, when they sit down and think about it, they`re going to have to have a lot of debriefing. And luckily, we go home to our families and talk to them about it.
GRACE: You know, everyone, taking your calls, Sheriff Ken Fries, the Allen County elected sheriff. His people have solved the case. It`s not the ending that we wanted, but we have the ending. This little girl is dead. On a holiday weekend where most of us are gathering around our Christmas tree and our nativity scene, this little girl was dead -- from what we know, bludgeoned to death.
I`ve got in my hand an affidavit for probable cause that this sheriff took out. It was signed by a judge. You got the deputy district attorneys on it. But the police, the sheriffs, are the ones that built this case.
Sheriff, I`m looking at this, and in this, this guy finally breaks down and gives a confession. And it must take every -- you don`t have to answer this, but it must take every bit of strength in your body not to just throw him on the ground and force him to tell you the truth because for the longest time, he stuck to that story. I could smell it from there to here. His story stunk. But if you don`t handle him a certain way, if you don`t get that confession out of him a certain way, then it`s all out at trial and you don`t have a case.
When did you first become suspicious, Sheriff -- when did you first become suspicious that he was lying?
FRIES: Well, Nancy, I think you hit the nail on the head when you initially talked about him going out to get a cigar at 6:00 o`clock in the morning. When I heard that story, I thought, What person goes out at 6:00 o`clock in the morning, buys a cigar, smokes it and goes back to bed? And that was the first indicator that I had that this guy was not going to be telling the truth and he was going to be the significant person in this case.
And I think our detectives determined that very quickly, that the focus needed to remain on him. He was the one that saw her last. He`s the one that had the most contact with her. And there were small inconsistencies that led us to lead with him. And honestly, you`re right, we`ve had to be very careful. We`re humans just like everybody else, but we also know we have a case in the end of this that we have to get prosecuted and we have to make sure that it`s done properly.
GRACE: Hey, Sheriff, did you have to get a warrant to search his place, or did he allow you? Did he give you consent to search his place?
FRIES: Yes, he gave consent initially. We searched it, a very cursory search. But then we got search warrants for not only his location but two others so we could do a much more thorough search. And that`s what actually led to the evidence. After he confessed to the officers and told us where we may find some of the body parts, we got search warrants for other locations.
GRACE: And everyone -- a lot of people are calling in, Sheriff, saying, Well, why didn`t they look in the freezer immediately? Of course, you know, that`s all on TV, all right? When you`re looking for a child, you don`t race into somebody`s refrigerator and open the freezer.
And when they started putting two and two together, everybody, this sheriff went and got a warrant so nobody can say, when this thing goes to trial -- and believe you me, this is going to trial. This is going to be a death penalty case. I know the lawyers will say they don`t know yet. But he went and he got a warrant and went back in.
With me, the sheriff. It was his men and his women that go in the home where he is standing right now to take this child`s body parts, including her head, her hands, her feet out of this guy`s freezer.
The search for this 9-year-old little girl has come to an end. Her body has been found in multiple freezer bags. Mommy let the neighbor take care of her, and now she`s dead, with Christmas presents still under the tree waiting to be unwrapped. Now the morgue is still trying to put this child`s body back together again.
All I can say is, lethal injection, people!
GRACE: We are live tonight at Ft. Wayne. The search for a 9-year-old little girl over the Christmas holiday has come to an end. The sheriff and his men and women worked 24/7, the head, the feet and the hands of this little girl found in a neighbor`s freezer. Her other body parts -- - they`re not telling us everything, but we believe have been found in a dumpster in a 7-Eleven.
And joining us right now is the man responsible for cracking this case, Sheriff Ken Fries. Now, a lot of people say cops should have rushed into the scene and torn the house up, but that`s not the way it works. If you`re a lawman that wants to make a case at trial, you got to cross those T`s, you got to dot those I`s. I guarantee you these sheriffs were around the house where he`s standing right now, watching it so evidence would not be removed until they could get that warrant and make a case that will stick.
Sheriff, we`ve been watching, as well, and the morgue, the crime scene, all went to that 7-Eleven. Is it the same 7-Eleven where he, quote, "went to get a cigar"?
FRIES: It`s actually not a 7-Eleven. It is a convenience store, but it is not a 7-Eleven. And yes, that would be accurate to say it`s the same location.
GRACE: You know, you`re right, Sheriff. Let`s see a picture of that. I call it generically -- I call them all 7-Elevens. It`s Phil`s Northway Deli. How far is that from his home, Sheriff?
FRIES: Less than a mile. And you know any time than a child is missing like this, we concentrate on that one-mile circle around the residence. Usually, they`re found within that mile.
GRACE: Sheriff, did you ever believe she had just wandered out, sleepwalking?
FRIES: No. No, I can tell you -- primarily because the time of night that it was reported, due to the fact that it was this close to Christmas, a 9-year-old doesn`t typically walk away, and that concerned us immediately.
GRACE: With me, Sheriff Ken Fries.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Police say a trusted family friend...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He`s been a close family friend for a long time.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... has admitted he killed a 9-year-old girl.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Aliahna`s remains have been located.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... who is partially blind.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We had a little 9-year-old girl that was missing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nine-year-old Aliahna Lemmon.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is not the conclusion we hoped for.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Michael Plumadore is being held with no bond on a single murder charge.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have no indication that anybody else knew anything.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Over this Christmas holiday, the sheriff and his men and women, united, working 24/7 to find this little 9-year-old girl. And what I have to report to you tonight is not good. The search is over. The family friend murdered the 9-year-old little girl. She`s partially deaf and partially blind. Her head, hands and feet found in his freezer.
And with us tonight, the sheriff who cracked the case. He`s giving the credit to his people. With me, Sheriff Ken Fries, who said he became suspicious at the very beginning, when he first heard the story.
Sheriff, you told us you were suspicious that somebody would wander off, a child, a 9-year-old girl, partially deaf, partially blind, that close to Christmas. Her family told me to me face that she sleptwalked all the time. How come you didn`t believe it?
FRIES: I`ve been doing this for 29 years, Nancy, and that would be the first time in 29 years that it`s happened. And any time -- you couple that with the other small stuff that we heard in the case, it didn`t make sense. There was -- there was suspicion from the beginning that we would not rule out anything. Foul play was suspected. And like I say, from the beginning, we knew that one of these three people would have the answer that we needed.
GRACE: Well, Sheriff, you got me by two years. I`ve only been in law enforcement for 27 years. But I agree with you. I`ve never seen it happen. And when they came out with that business about night terrors and sleepwalking, and that freezing temperature -- I mean, yes, there are examples of that. But for a 9-year-old girl to get away and completely be gone -- you guys combed the area!
We are taking your calls. Unleash the lawyers, John Burris, high- profile defense attorney joining us tonight from New York, Holly Hughes defense attorney, Atlanta.
All right, Burris. Let`s hear it. I know you`re all tuned up.
JOHN BURRIS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, absolutely. I know there`s a rush to judgment on this in terms of a death penalty-type case, but I would only hearken back to the fact that he was ordered to do a psychological workup, a drug abuse program. I`d like to know what`s in those records to see what -- if, in fact, he had any kind of disorder...
GRACE: Hey, Burris...
BURRIS: ... of any kind.
GRACE: Burris, let me tell you something, friend. This crazy guy knew enough to get all identifying features of that girl and bag them separately, her head, her face, her teeth, her hands and her feet all kept separate.
BURRIS: I understand. That doesn`t mean he has a first -- the first degree premeditation at the time of the murder. He may have had some cover-up abilities later.
GRACE: He said herself -- himself that he went out and beat her on the head to kill her, bludgeoned her to death as she stood on the front porch. I can`t wait to hear how you and Holly Hughes are going to cook this one up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Aliahna Marie Lemmon was reported missing. She`s 9 years old.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Lemmon`s mother dropped her off a week ago at a friend`s house.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: The family friend reportedly saw Aliahna sleeping in his home. That was the last time anyone saw her.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The search came to a conclusion that we had hoped wouldn`t happen.
AMBER STORY, GRANDMOTHER OF MISSING 9-YEAR-OLD ALIAHNA LEMMON: Mike would never hurt any of those children or any children, period.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He does.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I do not blame him. I do not blame my daughter.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was taken into custody.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Staying at a family friend`s house while her mom was sick with the flu.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She`s been living with for the last week.
STORY: He has been a family friend for very long.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was friends of the family.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Aliahna is gone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NANCY GRACE, HLN HOST: We are live tonight in the freezing temperatures outside the crime scene there at Ft. Wayne. The search for this little girl has come to an end. Her severed head, hands, and feet were found in the trusted family friend`s freezer. The rest of her body found in the dumpster behind that deli, that 7-Eleven.
And with us tonight, the lawman that cracked the case, Sheriff Ken Fries.
Straight out to Drew Blair, WANE-TV. Drew, I want to thank you and Sheriff Fries for being with us.
Drew, they still have not determined whether this child was molested before she was murdered and I`m just telling you right now she was, all right. When are they going to finish the autopsy?
DREW BLAIR, REPORTER, WANE-TV: That is a matter of the coroner`s office, Nancy. They are doing everything they can to put all of these unfortunately literal pieces together. This child was dismembered into several small pieces and distributed. And we`ve been doing our best to learn what we can from the sheriff`s department.
They can tell us what they can without jeopardizing their -- the prosecuting of this case and as we know right now we know that a head, feet, and hands of a human being, a child, were found in the freezer of this mobile home right behind us. We don`t know if the other pieces of the body were actually found. They will not be discussing at this point what evidence has been discovered.
GRACE: With me from WANE-TV, Drew Blair, there outside the crime scene.
Drew, I want you to describe the scene as you were seeing it, hearing it, feeling it right now.
BLAIR: Nancy, this is a really quiet area of Allen County. You wouldn`t really know it`s here unless you live here. You can drive by and not know anything different. It`s going to quiet until something like this happens, and over the last couple of days it has just been an emotional roller coaster throughout all of Allen County and especially right here. I was sitting this evening awaiting to speak to you, and 50 people out of nowhere, unplanned, as far as I knew, came walking around the corner for a candlelight vigil.
That`s just -- this community is wanting to come together as much as it possibly can to support one another.
GRACE: With me right now from D.C., Lawrence Carter-Long, public affairs specialist at the National Council on Disability.
Lawrence, thank you for being with us. Lawrence, you and I have talked so many, many times about crimes and mistreatment of the disabled.
And, everyone, you may not realize it, but Lawrence was actually a poster boy once for the disabled.
LAWRENCE CARTER-LONG, PUBLIC AFFAIRS SPECIALIST, NATIONAL COUNCIL ON DISABILITY: Yes. Thank you.
GRACE: Lawrence, why, why, this girl so defenseless, a 9-year-old little girl, partially deaf, partially blind, have you noticed that predators like this, freak, will pick out the single most vulnerable, the most precious angel they can get their hands on and then destroy them? Why so much crime on the handicapped?
CARTER-LONG: Well, Nancy, I`ve got to tell you, it happens over and over and over again. The patterns are always the same. It`s always somebody that they know, somebody close to the family. We find that disabled children, disabled people in general are more likely to be abused and they have more difficulty reporting the abuse.
They are more dependent upon the caregivers. More dependent upon their parents, their nondisabled peers. It seems pretty clear that this individual probably preyed upon that and probably used that to his advantage.
You know we`ve been tracking this since I was last on the show looking at the levels of abuse and of murder of disabled children since the summer. And what we`re finding are three things. One is that the incidents of these are increasing. There seems to be more and more of them occurring all the time.
We`re also finding that the crimes themselves are more horrific. That we`re finding more and more dismemberments, more and more beheadings, such as the young disabled man who was 7 years old and in Louisiana who was killed in August. We`re also finding as we track to the cases that have gone to court that the penalties that these individuals get are quite often less severe than those individuals --
GRACE: Well, Lawrence, Lawrence, I can guarantee you, Lawrence Carter-Long, we are going to stay on this case and ask and seek the most severe penalty possible and that jurisdiction it would be the death penalty.
Marc Klaas, weigh in.
MARC KLAAS, PRESIDENT AND FOUNDER, KLAASKIDS FOUNDATION: Lawrence, from the Sarah Baker case, and everything he says is absolutely true. These people get lesser penalties for the horrific crimes they commit against disabled persons. And that`s a trend that has to stop.
Listen, Nancy, there`s plenty of blame to go around here. But the bottom line with parents is they have to know their neighborhoods. It turns out that three-fifths of the residences in this trailer park were occupied by registered sex offenders. These kids were in a trap that was waiting to snap and it snapped in the worst way possible.
Parents should be showing their kids the safe places to play and areas to avoid. Unfortunately in this case, everything was an area to avoid.
GRACE: And not only that, Marc Klaas, the mom sent the child over there and had apparently been there for days on end.
To Sheriff Ken Fries, the Allen County sheriff joining us tonight and taking your calls.
Sheriff, were you there when the freezer was opened?
SHERIFF KEN FRIES, ALLEN COUNTY, IN SHERIFF`S DEPARTMENT: No, I was not. We actually had another command post set up at our north office. That`s where the interviews were being conducted.
GRACE: You know, Sheriff, when do you expect to get the full autopsy to find out what really happened?
FRIES: I can tell you that I know that the autopsy is complete now. There is information that we cannot release yet. The formal charges will be read on Friday and hopefully there will be more information in there. The coroner were release any information about the body. As you know the autopsy has been completed and there will be more information forthcoming when we can release it.
GRACE: Sheriff, he stuck to his story, not only with us when we talked to him, this was just a couple of hours before he finally confessed. I mean when we talked to him, he was still sitting there a couple of feet away from this little girl`s frozen head.
How did you get him to finally tell the truth?
FRIES: I can tell you that our detectives were sitting in there for several hours. Just a third interview they did with him. They had the FBI in there with him and they just finally I think hit the cord with him that they wanted to talk. They did an excellent job getting him to that point. And then once he started talking, it was very factual when he started telling them what happened and they just had to sit there and listen to him as if they were just listening to a story with no emotion, just, you know, trying to get him to say more and more and more.
And it`s very difficult to do that. I was a detective for several years and to sit there and listen to this and act as though you don`t want to get up there and have your own form of justice, it`s very difficult. But they did an excellent job. They got him to say everything they needed him to say and at least recover her remains.
GRACE: Sheriff, how long had she been in his care? How many days?
FRIES: We were told that they were over there for about a week.
GRACE: A full week, all three little girls. Sheriff, had the other little girls been taken to a doctor for an exam?
FRIES: Not at this time. I know that a forensic interview was done yesterday and certainly the investigation continues and will continue throughout the week. And even after the formal charges are read on Friday, this investigation is going to go on.
GRACE: With me there at the crime scene, in addition to WANE-TV`s Drew Blair, with us in his first live interview, Sheriff Ken Fries, taking your calls.
Everyone, as we go to break, our family album is back showcasing your photos. Here are my twins, Lucy and John David with Santa. And with their ginger bread house kit we all put together before the walls came tumbling down, I might add.
And now California friends, the Cimoch family. Couple Kathy and Paul, enjoying the holiday season with six children, twins and quadruplets.
Let`s see your photos through our iReport Family Album. Go to hlnTV.com/Nancygrace and click on "Nancy`s Family Album."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: I assume the family friend, the baby sitter has been questioned by the police, right, Miss Story.
STORY: Oh, yes.
FRIES: After three different interviews with one of the individuals involved --
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Killed and hid 9-year-old Aliahna Lemmon`s body.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Aliahna has vision and hearing problems, and is reportedly partially blind and deaf.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kind of concerning behavior, some -- perhaps some careless parents.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Plumadore told police he killed Aliahna outside his trailer home by hitting her in the head multiple times with a brick.
STORY: He`s been up with her all night because she has nightmares. He`s comforting her all night.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: He dismembered her body with a hacksaw and put some of her body parts in a nearby dumpster.
FRIES: Charged with murder.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Head, feet, and hands in his freezer.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My heart breaks for this family. It truly does.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s very hard. It`s hard on the family.
STORY: This gentleman has for the last almost two years taking care of Aliahna`s grandfather. He took care of him until he died.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: This gentleman, this family friend, these children have been pushed off on this family friend for now we believe a week while mommy gets over the flu. The little girl dead. Nine years old. Partially deaf, partially blind, her body dismembered.
We are taking your calls.
But to Dr. Bill Lloyd, board certified pathologist joining us from Winter Park. You know, so many problems in this scenario. Number one, what has taken so long and through no fault of their own to perform this autopsy, Dr. Lloyd?
DR. BILL LLOYD, BOARD CERTIFIED SURGEON AND PATHOLOGIST: Good evening, Nancy. Nancy, first I want to say, the pain that you have endured, the anger that you`re experiencing because you brought this disappearance of Aliahna first to national attention and now to have this horrible outcome.
Nancy, we think we live in a society that is a sturdy boulder but as a criminal prosecutor, you`ve had a chance to look underside that dark moist underside of that boulder.
Nancy, there are youngsters among us.
GRACE: What do you think, Dr. Lloyd? Why it has -- why has the medical examiner had to take so long to put this autopsy together?
LLOYD: All right. Just like you said, the investigation at the mobile home had to be done in a systematic fashion. So it goes for an autopsy. And I`ve been involved in over 500 autopsies. Many of them murder cases. And you have to have methodical, piece by piece, photographing everything, measuring everything. So that you have a detail report because you can bet the lawyers defending this monster are going to try to turn that autopsy report inside and out.
GRACE: Dr. Lloyd, how will they be able to determine that she was sexually abused before she was murdered?
LLOYD: A lot of time is going to be spent examining all of the body orifices of poor Aliahna. And they will be looking for trace evidence. They`ll be looking for pubic hairs. They`ll be looking for body fluids. And they`ll be well preserved in this cold weather and so they`ll be able to find any DNA that`s there or any other evidence of a sexual assault.
GRACE: Dr. Lloyd, just one quick question, seven days to get over the flu?
LLOYD: It`s unbelievable. Any reasonable parent would pull their butt out of the bed on the first day of the flu no matter how bad they felt to take care of their kids and then if not, and this is important for all parents and grandparents, you always have to have a backup plan.
If you can`t get it to work, if you can`t care for the kids, make sure you have someone responsible. Because, Nancy, the monsters are among us.
GRACE: You know, Dr. Lloyd, literally their lives depend on it.
To Leslie Austin, psychotherapist, New York. Leslie, what does it say to you that, number one, the grandma was defending this guy so vehemently when his story stunk to high heaven and number two, that this guy when he kept every identifying feature of the child separate, the hands, the feet, and the head?
DR. LESLIE AUSTIN, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: Well, two things. First of all, he sounds extremely sociopathic therefore could fool people into thinking that he`s a charming nice guy. But when they snapped, they snap in a terrible way. So he`s smart enough and cunning enough to keep those body parts from being identified. Failure of judgment all around.
GRACE: To Woody Tripp, former police commander, weigh in, Woody.
WOODY TRIPP, FORMER POLICE COMMANDER, POLYGRAPH EXPERT: I don`t even know where to begin with this, it`s so horrific. But one thing that we -- and I know we can`t bring them to the kind of justice that we want. But it goes back to the parents. We`re the only thing that stands between them and the monsters that are out there are us, the parents.
So this parent, this is unconscionable and as an investigator, what a horrific crime. I just -- I don`t know what else to say, Nancy.
GRACE: You know the way you said that, that we the parents are the only ones that stand between our children and them.
Pat Brown, criminal profiler, author of "The Profiler," well, you hit the nail on the head.
PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER, AUTHOR OF "THE PROFILER": Well, let me say this about the parents, Nancy. I think they are minimizing a lot of the behavior they saw. This guy is a cold-blooded psychopath. He can`t be a really nice guy every day of the week. They saw more in him.
And my concern is that their behaviors around the house, their own behaviors, may be the reason they didn`t really care. And one of the things they said, which was very interesting, grandma -- remember when she said, he couldn`t put a little chain on the door to prevent the girl from sleep walking, in going out of the house, he couldn`t put a chain up because he had to get permission from the trailer park to do that? This man is a felon. This man has a felony record. I really don`t think if you`re willing to look at the other felonies he`s going to really see that concern that you put up a chain link -- little chain on his door without permission. Garbage. And she knows that.
This man, when he gave his speech originally, when he said, I wouldn`t hurt children and I wouldn`t hurt animals, he was already thinking serial killer right there because that`s what -- you know, don`t hurt children, animals, set fires, he was already thinking serial killer. So this man probably is one. And I can`t believe that the family didn`t know he had bad behavior. I`d say we go back, find out what mommy was really doing. Did she really have the flu for the week?
GRACE: To Nicole Partin, investigative reporter, also on the story.
Nicole, in addition to being a reporter, you also are familiar with mortuary science, forensic medicine. How will the child be buried since we now know she is dismembered, many of her body parts severed?
NICOLE PARTIN, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Good evening, Nancy. Very sad situation. This will be at the discretion of the family. They have a couple of options. They may choose a close casket ceremony with the remains that have been recovered or they may choose a cremation ceremony.
Either way, the psychological issues are going to be extremely overwhelming. It`s so hard to have closure when you don`t have the entire body and then there`s these two 6-year-old siblings that will not be able to say good-bye. You know at 6, most children can`t adequately speak in a vocabulary to express how they`re feeling grief, and unfortunately these two little girls will not be able to say good-bye.
GRACE: Holly Hughes, the defense -- he is going to be given a free public defender. What do they do first, Holly?
HOLLY HUGHES, PROSECUTOR: The first thing they`re going to do, Nancy, and I know you don`t like this answer, is file for a psychological evaluation on this man. We`ve heard a lot of talk about he`s calculating, he took the identifiable parts but he hid the identifiable parts in his own freezer.
That`s not a criminal master mind, that`s not a genius. This isn`t a man with -- and he`s 39 years old. There`s no history of violence in his past. The first thing they`re going to do is file a psychological and find out what precipitated this horrible event.
GRACE: When we come back, Sheriff Ken Fries is with us. His lawmen and lawwomen cracked the case.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FRIES: Aliahna`s remains have been located.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: He killed Aliahna outside his trailer home by hitting her in the head multiple times with a brick.
FRIES: They had to sit there kind of stone face listening to him talk about what happened. Very difficult.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Well, police say they still don`t know why he did it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STORY: I have no, no qualms in saying that Mike would never hurt any of those children or any children, period.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Well, as a matter of fact, he did, according to the sheriffs. This child`s head, hands and feet found in his freezer.
I want to go back to Sheriff Ken Fries. His lawmen and lawwomen cracked this case.
Sheriff, I just want to hear your thoughts. You have been enmeshed in this case 24/7. I don`t -- I don`t even have the right questions to ask you. I just want to hear your thoughts on this case.
FRIES: It`s an emotional roller coaster for all of us involved in this. That, you know, in the beginning, you hope that you`re going to find a 9-year-old girl someplace that was just missing, though from the beginning we didn`t know that was going to be the case. And it`s -- you know, it comes to a conclusion that we didn`t want it to come to, but at least it did come to a conclusion.
We don`t have to drive down past here now thinking where is this young girl laying. And you know the monsters amongst us, I said that the other night, that we don`t know who the monsters are. And as a parent, our job is to take care of our children. And we should know where they are and we should know who they`re with. And if nothing else comes from this case nationwide, at least maybe that message will get out to parents, that know who your kids are with. Don`t just believe they`re good people, know for sure that they are or don`t let them be with them.
GRACE: You know, Sheriff, I assume that you have children?
FRIES: Yes, ma`am.
GRACE: Sheriff, one of these days, and it won`t be far away, you`re going to be in court testifying about this case. And I want to thank you on behalf of everyone for the job that you did that you and your men and women did, and we`re not only going to be watching you.
FRIES: Thank you.
GRACE: But we`re going to be behind you, too, 100 percent.
FRIES: Thank you.
GRACE: Everyone, let`s stop and remember Army Private 1st Class Brian Bradbury, 22, St. Joseph, Missouri, killed in Afghanistan. Bronze Star, Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, loved baseball, soccer, basketball, tennis. Leaves behind parents Rhonda and Lloyd, brothers Jeremy and Bruce. Daughter Jasmine.
Brian Bradbury, American hero.
Thanks to our guests but especially to you. And a special good night from little Georgia crime fighters, 10-year-old Savannah and 5-year-old brother Connor.
I see you, Connor. There you go, big boy. Thank God I got to see them tonight. I get to go home to my twins.
Good night, friend.