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PRIMETIME JUSTICE WITH ASHLEIGH BANFIELD
Mystery of Toddler Missing Still Unsolved; Teenager is Missing After Thanksgiving; Urgent Hunt; Horrifying Discovery; Breaking News; Caught on Camera. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired November 28, 2017 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:00] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KRISTY WOODS, MARIAH WOODS` MOTHER: This is my world, this is my angel.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every second counts when a child is missing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Someone just walked right up in there, grabbed a three- year-old off the bed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Priority one is to find Mariah.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Somebody just comes up and snatches the baby up and walks out.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t believe would go out by herself.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mariah is a member of our community, we will use all possible means to bring her home.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don`t care why she left, we don`t care what happened, we just want to know that she`s safe.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Investigators say the 17-year-old erased her smartphone and left it at home, she then withdrew $200 over the weekend from an ATM in
St. Mary`s, Georgia. Deputies believed she may be in red mercury sable and in company of a man 10 years older.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We want you to let us know that you`re okay. We want you to come back home.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Robinson is facing criminal homicide and other charges including concealing the death of a child after the remains of her own two-
day-old newborn were found Sunday in a crawl space.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was a homeowner that was actually out decorative for cab, putting up Christmas lights, and discovered a bag, when they open
the bag he found the baby.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In upstate New York, an alleged burglar caught on video squeezing through somebody`s window in his bath robe and no pants.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JOEY JACKSON, HOST, HLN: A pleasant good evening everyone. I`m Joey Jackson in for Ashleigh Banfield. And this is Primetime Justice.
So, it`s been about 48 hours since the mom of three-year-old Mariah Woods, you see her there, says that she last saw little girl. The FBI is now
helping local authorities search for Mariah. Mariah`s mom is begging and pleading possible abductors to bring her daughter home.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WOODS: This is my world, this is my angel, you know. She was sent to me for a reason. She was my miracle, this is my everything besides my boy. The
love I have for this girl, the bond that I have is my life. Just please don`t take that away.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bring her back. Bring her back.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JACKSON: Now authorities remain tight-lipped but they told us today that this is now a criminal investigation. And they`re also asking anyone who
talked to Mariah`s family on Sunday and Monday to contact the sheriff`s office.
So joining me now on the phone reporter Merrilee Moore from CNN affiliate WCTI, we also have right there in the box, CNN law enforcement contributor
former FBI agent, Steven Moore. Marc Klaas, he`s the father of Polly Klaas, and the founder and president of the Klaas Kids Foundation, and of course,
defense attorney like me, Deborah Blum.
So, let`s start with our reporter. We understand that there may be some breaking news, so what do we know? Merrilee?
MERRILEE MOORE, REPORTER, WCTI: Joey, hey, Joey, it`s good to see you. We don`t have anything officially confirmed but I will say that up until
moments ago, the focal point really was the house itself where this little girl went missing. But that changed very recently in minutes and now all of
those efforts are being confined.
We`re hearing reports that those efforts were being confined to a pond that many neighbors have been mentioning and asking if they were searching, and
it appears that that is where all of the efforts are now being located. And it appears that there is something that they might have found something but
we don`t have anything officially confirmed yet, Joey.
JACKSON: So, Merrilee Moore, any indication of why they`ve gone to that pond, or what information they`ve gotten over the course of time that would
bring them there? Anything substantive?
MOORE: You know, they really have stayed tight-lipped on this, Joey, but I will say that right -- a few hours ago when they were holding that press
conference they were asking people to come forward if they had any information, especially if they had contact with the immediate family of
tis little girl from Sunday up until now.
And it was during that press conference several neighbors were there and they continually brought up the idea of searching this pond. And since, and
just a few hours since those requests were made by the neighbors, it appears that the pond is now the focal point of the search.
JACKSON: And Merrilee, before I get to the panel, let me just have you bring us up to speed in terms of when it was that she went missing, how it
was she went missing and who was in the home at the time that she disappeared.
MOORE: Well, it started -- what the official report is there were four people who are in the house when she went missing, and that`s the mother,
the live-in boyfriend, and she has two brothers, I believe they are 10 years old and 5 years old.
And the mother said the last time she saw her was Sunday evening when she was tucking her into bed. And then she was reported missing to the
authorities between 6 and 6.45 Monday morning, and I`ve basically been on the scene continuously since then. And that`s how the search has been so
[20:05:00] JACKSON: Merrilee, we appreciate you. We also have a map of the area, I want to show that. And you know, I want to bring in the panel now,
I want to go to our FBI, our former FBI specialist and CNN contributor Stephen Moore.
You know, as we look at the map here, Steve, we know that there are many agencies involved in the search now. What is the coordination like? Take us
through what they`re doing with each other, what resources they`re relying upon in order to get this done and potentially find this missing three-
STEVE MOORE, RETIRED FBI SUPERVISORY SPECIAL AGENT: Well, each agency, Joey, it brings a different thing to the table. You have the local police
and sheriff who know the area, who know the people around them, maybe even know the neighbors and these people.
The FBI brings in the next level of investigative tools. They`ve got a dive team, for instance. They`ve got the Child Abduction Rapid Response team,
who I understand is on site. They have the behavioral sciences unit who can -- they`re known as profilers, who can come in and learn a little bit about
who might have taken this girl, and see who might match that kind of profile.
JACKSON: Yes, that`s so important. So we have a couple of sound bites I just want to get your reaction for. One, I want to start with this, the
coordination I just spoke to you about. And that is the indication that everyone is working together. Hopefully it`s cooperatively. Let`s go to
that if we can.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HANS MILLER, SHERIFF, ONSLOW COUNTY: The Onslow County Sheriff`s Office is using every resource available to find this little girl, including our law
enforcement, partners from the local, state and federal levels. In addition, the FBI`s Child Abduction Rapid deployment team.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JACKSON: So Mark Klaas, let me go to you, I mean, you`re quite the pro on this. What do they need to do in order to potentially find the girl?
MARC KLAAS, FOUNDER, KLAAS KIDS FOUNDATION: Well, I think that they`re doing everything they can. I think another thing that the FBI brings into
this is the experience that was most notably lacking in the local authorities in the local jurisdiction.
And I think another very important partner in this would be the local marines who were out conducting searches for the little girl. And they`re
spectacular in that kind of effort, given the fact that they have proven chain of command, they`re very, very well-equipped and they are organized
and are trained in search and rescue kinds operations.
So I think that they`re doing everything that they can, doing everything that they should do and I`m sure that will solve this in a matter of time.
JACKSON: So, Marc, let me ask you, just sticking with you and we also have a map of Camp Lejeune, it`s there certainly where, you know, it`s important
that you bring in the local marines.
There`s some indication though, Marc, that there are volunteers, as we look at the may there of where the area where she`s last been seen, the area in
red of course is Camp Lejeune. But there is some indication that the community wants to help in the search. So, Marc Klaas, the police at this
point are not allowing that to occur. Why is that?
KLAAS: Well, because they aren`t trained, because they really don`t know what to look for. I mean, there`s a whole learning curve as to the kind of
evidence that you`re trying to seek in a search and you also need organization.
And right now they`re against the clock, they have to do everything they can as quickly as they can. There will come a time if this isn`t solved
quickly when volunteers can help. But one thing volunteers can do is they can search in the outbuildings that live that exist on their properties,
real estate agents can check any unoccupied dwellings that they might have.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely.
KLAAS: Those kinds of things.
JACKSON: So Deborah Blum, I want to get you in here, a defense attorney like me. So, let me ask you this. I want to play a sound bite which speaks
to the issue of what the police are doing and who they want to talk to and I want to have you react to it. OK?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MILLER: We are asking anyone who came into contact with members of Mariah`s immediate family on Sunday, November 26th, through Monday,
November 27th, to please contact the Onslow County Sheriff`s Office.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JACKSON: So Deborah, the apparently, police are vetting the story that the family told. So what would be the other reason as to why the police would
want to speak to anybody who spoke to the family or that`s where they go?
DEBORAH BLUM, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I think that all signs are pointing to the fact that mom and her boyfriend are suspects. You know, there were two
adults at home. Two children, one is 10 years old. One of them should have heard little girl either scream because there was an intruder, not go
willingly, a family friend said that she`s a shy little girl, she doesn`t warm up to strangers, so something to me seems a bit off with this story.
JACKSON: So they`re not suspects yet but do you think that based upon the police, as we look at this, Deborah, right, it`s giving the height, the
weight. Anyone who have seen her please call. There`s a tip line there 910- 938-3273. So is there any indication from the police saying, hey, come forward if you spoke to the family that they are not believing what the
story potentially is from the family?
[20:10:07] BLUM: You know, I think that they`re questioning what the family is saying. Something doesn`t add up here. Why didn`t anyone hear the
girl as I said earlier? I really believe that mom and the boyfriend are suspects. If they are charged with this, most likely the matter will go to
trial and people that are facing murder charges for a little girl who I hope they find, will usually be found guilty. It`s very unlikely for a jury
to render a not guilty.
JACKSON: Not if they have defense attorney like you.
BLUM: That`s true.
JACKSON: All right. So, we`ll see.
BLUM: Or you.
JACKSON: But we`ll reserve judgment on that. But I want to react -- I want you to react to a sound bite I also want to play to the issue of, you know,
the father has some questions here so let`s see what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEX WOODS, MARIAH WOODS` FATHER: Somebody just walked right up in there, grabbed a three-year-old out of bed, she didn`t cry, she didn`t scream, she
didn`t -- nobody heard nothing? Four people in the house, two adults and two kids and somebody just comes up and snatches the baby and walks out?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLUM: You know, I echo his sentiment, what happened, why are mom and dad not telling us more? I don`t know that I really believed the mom when she
was crying on TV. That sounds like a terrible thing to say. If she did not do this, then I really my heart goes out to her, but I just don`t believe
JACKSON: Apparently the police don`t either. Marc Klaas, quick word from you, you know, based upon the circumstances, and how does it happen? You`re
in a trailer and the child just has difficulties -- go ahead.
KLAAS: And Joey, I draw upon my own experiences in two cases, historical cases, Polly`s case and Elizabeth Smart`s case. Both of those cases, the
girls were taken out of the home, and in fact, in front of witnesses, but there were many other people in the home sleeping at that time and none of
those people heard anything.
So I think it`s really premature to jump to any kind of conclusions about the mother acting fake on TV, I don`t see where we can even begin to go in
that direction at this point.
JACKSON: Everyone grieves differently. Panel, stand by, a lot more to talk about. Because up next, there`s more on missing Mariah and a 17-year-old
girl also disappears we`ll tell you about, from home in the middle of the night. You see her there. Now police say that she was with her 27-year-old
And later, Tampa police might have a break in the search for the Tampa serial killer. Details straight ahead.
But first it`s giving Tuesday and we want to show you just how you can help by 2017 top ten CNN heroes continue their important work.
Here`s Anderson Cooper to tell you much more.
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JACKSON: Everyday people doing great things and all of course, all of our top 10 CNN heroes will be honored at the 11th annual CNN heroes all-star
tribute hosted by our very own Anderson Cooper with special guest Kelly Ripa. That`s live Sunday, December 17th. Tune in and you`ll be inspired.
[20:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
JACKSON: Welcome back. We`re talking about three-year-old Mariah Woods, a North Carolina toddler who disappeared from bed Sunday night. You see her
there. Now authorities tonight are asking neighbors to look for any signs of the little girl as they search around the clock.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MILLER: Mariah is a member of our community and we will use every possible means to bring her home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JACKSON: So police tonight are calling this a criminal investigation, they`re asking anyone who talked to Mariah`s family the night that she went
missing to contact them.
So joining me again on the phone, reporter Merrilee Moore from CNN affiliate, WCTI. And of course, we have our panel, CNN law enforcement
contributor and former FBI agent Steve Moore, Marc Klaas, the father of Polly Klaas and founder of -- and president of the Klaas Kids Foundation,
and defense attorney Deborah Blum.
So, Steve, let`s go to you. You know, I have a sound bite which relates to a polygraph test. Before we play that though, let`s talk about how you use
them in law enforcement. You know, take us through, Steve, in terms of law enforcement investigating and gleaning information and possibly getting
things that are reliable and valuable, how much did you rely upon polygraphs which we know are not admissible in court but that they
potentially help law enforcement?
S. MOORE: Well, polygraphs are really investigative tools, and not just to say, you know, whether they`re lying or not, it`s their reaction to whether
they want to take one or not that is sometimes indicative. And so, it is very valuable. I don`t put all my eggs in that basket. And if you do, it
shows that you`re in trouble.
But, you know, the crime scene here or the alleged crime scene here, tells us more by what it doesn`t show than what it does. There are things missing
that should have been there if somebody piled in through a window and got a child.
So, I think the police -- because statistically it is almost -- it is vastly more likely to be a family member than somebody coming in from the
outside, they have to focus on the parents right -- or the two adults in the house right now simply because statistically that`s the logical place
JACKSON: Got it. And Steve, I want to stick with you just on the issue of the polygraph. I want to play a sound bite and have you react to it. And
then I have a question for you, Marc Klaas. Let`s play the sound.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MILLER: That is going to come out in the long run, but not at this time, because investigative details must maintain confidentiality.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JACKSON: Now, you know, Steve, when we deal with investigative matters, there`s always this issue of confidentiality. So why in your view are
police so tight-lipped regarding what the information they have is and why don`t they share more with us publicly?
S. MOORE: Well, this is a crucial point in most of these cases. Because whoever took this girl -- and there are no doubt in my mind that she was
taken. Whoever took this girl knows specific details about what happened, how it happened, what she was wearing, what blanket might have been taken,
details of the room.
The person who took her knows those. And no one else will. And so, if you find somebody who knows those details, then that person has what we would
call culpable knowledge. If that information is put out into the public, well then everybody knows and you can no longer use it as evidence. And
that`s a tragic investigative mistake that they`re not making.
JACKSON: You know, Steve Moore, that`s really critical, because you certainly want information to be reliable, and in the event you put it out
to the public, then of course, everyone knows about it. You know, it`s not unique anymore.
[20:19:57] But Marc Klaas, let me ask you and you pointed this out before when we had the discussion. How does someone, though, a little girl,
apparently she has some issues walking, she has braces, you know, for that purpose, you know, how does she end up leaving out of a trailer, no one
hears from her, there`s no screams, there`s no anything else and now she`s gone.
And now of course, we know from Merrilee who tells us, a investigative reporter, that they`re searching a pond. I mean, does that have the ring of
something that the family may know? What do you make of this?
KLAAS: Well, I can tell you, Joey, that this little girl didn`t leave on her own volition, she didn`t get up in the middle of the night, walk out
the front door and walk to a pond or walk anywhere else. Because the one thing we know about her is that she needs an orthopedic braces, she has
trouble walking on her own volition, so somebody did take her out of the house and take her to wherever she ended up. That`s what we know.
JACKSON: Yes. There`s no question. And Merrilee Moore, I want to go back to you. As we look at this little girl who is missing, three years old,
Mariah Woods. It shoes her height there, she`s 2 feet 9 inches, her weight 30 pounds, blonde hair, blue eyes. That`s our tip line. By all means,
please call if you know anything.
So, Merrilee Moore, how far way is this pond -- this pond that they`re searching in from the home and who is participating in this particular
search in the pond, Merrilee Moore?
M. MOORE: Well, that is the question of the moment actually. Because there is a lot of scrambling here along this road, where she originally went
missing, for people to really nail down where this location is.
Obviously, investigators know but at this point the pond was really in back of everyone`s mind and it was the house that was really the focal point.
So, I know that I`m looking at the house, it is still surrounded by crime tape and I see the deputy vehicle right there in front of me, but everybody
else appears to have moved off to another location. And now all the other reporters along with me we`re currently driving around trying to find the
latest and see what they have found at this pond, but really trying to nail down that location right now.
JACKSON: So we were looking, Merrilee, as you were speaking at the map there, I guess this is a stretch to ask you, but what`s the mood? I mena,
are they confident that they may find something in this pond? Obviously that`s why they`re there, is that the place that they`ve really focused on?
I understand they were using helicopters before, there are many agencies involved in this. What do we know?
M. MOORE: I will say they, if they feel confident about it, they have not told reporters. They have stayed extremely tight-lipped about where they`re
M. MOORE: We really had to view their eyes and ears to see what`s happening, because for the most part investigators really haven`t been able
to tip us off as to exactly where they think things are going to lead in this investigation. Although they did have stated that it`s a criminal
investigation now at this point.
And interesting, I think that they have, you know, usually when an AMBER Alert goes out, there`s, you know, a license plate to look for, a car, none
of that has been present. They have stayed right here at this location where she lived and it`s really, I mean, within miles of this area. That`s
where the search has been conducted for the past days few days.
JACKSON: Sure. Well, Merrilee, we certainly hope for, you know, a positive end to the story.
But let me turn to you, Deborah Blum, on the issue of the family and whether the family may have some involvement here and whatever has
occurred. I know that you are having trouble believing what the family has. From a defense perspective, I mean, how do you defend in the event that
they`re, the focus is on the family?
BLUM: Well, anyone is entitled to a defense. So, if mom or the stepfather or boyfriend are looked at, they should get a lawyer. That`s typically the
best thing to do is for people to retain counsel. Because when the police question you, even if you`re not guilty sometimes they`ll end up making an
admission to something that then the police will take completely to the other direction...
BLUM: ... and you`re going to find yourself facing major charges.
JACKSON: Yes, you know, Deborah, it`s interesting you say that, because you know, when people get a lawyer, everyone says you`re guilty, you got a
lawyer. You got a lawyer. But it`s often a good tool just to ensure that you`re protected.
BLUM: Well, oftentimes the police will speak to the individuals, they`ll question them, they`ll not read their Miranda rights, they think, I can
talk my way out of this. A lot of times people...
JACKSON: It doesn`t happen.
BLUM: It could.
JACKSON: They talk your way into it more than out of it.
BLUM: But it`s totally possible.
JACKSON: You have a right to remain silent. Be silent. You have a right to be silent. So, thank you, Deborah, and thank you, panel.
So, tonight in Florida -- all of you. Thank you so much. Marc Klaas, I appreciate you. Steve Moore, I appreciate you. Merrilee Moore, as well.
So, tonight in Florida, a desperate search for a 17-year-old girl missing with her high school soccer coach. More on that, next.
[20:25:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
JACKSON: Tonight, parents of a 17-year-old girl in Florida are begging for their daughter`s return. That`s Caitlyn Frisina she disappeared. You see
her there, Saturday night. Her cell phone erased. She was seen on surveillance Sunday in Georgia withdrawing $200 from an ATM.
Now police say that Caitlyn is traveling with a 27-year-old high school soccer coach, depicted on your screen, who is reportedly now suspended from
his job. And her parents told ABC that he`s a family friend.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WARD FRISINA, CAITLYN FRISINA`S FATHER: We had communicated during the week through Thanksgiving. And now -- I mean, I texted him first thing in
that morning, hey, have you heard anything, have you talked to anybody that knows -- and I haven`t heard anything. When I call his phone it goes to --
I can`t get a hold of him.
SCARLET FRISINA, CAITLYN FRISINA`S MOTHER: He`s a family friend, and we`ve known him for several years through soccer and the school and everything.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JACKSON: Now police say they are headed north in a red mercury sable. As far the license plate, Z04 SSC, the car has depicted.
Joining me now on the phone is Roger Henderson. He is the news director at WBOB radio in Jacksonville, Florida. Also on our panel, Sergeant Mario
Smith (Ph) who was with the Columbia County Sheriff`s Office, and defense attorney Deborah Blum who remains here.
So, take us through here, Roger Henderson, what`s the very latest on this story? Any indication of where they may be now?
[20:29:57] ROGER HENDERSON, NEWS DIRECTOR, WBOB RADIO: Well, earlier today, we got news that the FDLE, the Florida Department of Law
Enforcement, that`s the state level equivalent of the FBI, has issued a missing child alert. And they say the search for Caitlyn has expanded up to
the East Coast of the United States.
They`re not giving us a whole lot of detail but my assumption is there is some evidence that their presence was in some way noted somewhere along the
east coast of the U.S. She is from Columbia County that is a little west of Jacksonville.
And then were seen in St. Marys, Georgia withdrawing money from an ATM machine. That is a little bit east and north of Jacksonville. So, they`re
probably traveling north right now.
JOEY JACKSON, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY, CNN AND HLN LEGAL ANALYST: You know, as you`re speaking, Roger Henderson, we`re looking here. We see the
map, that was just depicted there, which gives the indication of approximately 600 miles away.
If we want to put it back up, just momentarily, shows where -- see it right there, missing girl, Lake City, Florida, approximately 1500 miles. That is
where the ATM withdrawal was made in Georgia. And of course this 17-year- old was missing. Some indication that she is with the soccer coach.
So, Roger, just staying with you before I get to Sergeant Murray Smith. You talked about an east coast search. What if anything would give the police
based on your information knowledge that she`s on the east coast or traveling in this direction?
HENDERSON: Well, I can only speculate, but I am assuming that maybe they used an ATM machine again somewhere along I-95, the major interstate
highway, to go up and down the east coast of the United States or possibly they were able to figure out through the use of a cell phone that their
location is to some extent being tracked.
I don`t know for sure. These are only assumptions. Probably an ATM -- most of the time, when you have an ATM, many of the banks limit the withdrawals
to a certain amount of money, $200 per day, for example. So that`s possibly why they know they`re somewhere in the Carolinas, possibly traveling north
at this time.
JACKSON: Got it, Roger Henderson. We are looking at both of them there. The girt to the left of the screen, Caitlyn Frisina, missing. And then that of
course is the companion she`s traveling with. He is 27-year-old. He is the soccer coach.
So let me go to you, Sergeant Murray Smith, maybe you can give us some more of an indication of where we are now with this. Now, first, I want to ask
you in terms of them being together, I understand that there`s some surveillance where they are depicted together. Is that accurate?
MURRAY SMITH, PIO, COLUMBIA COUNTY SHERIFF`S OFFICE: That is accurate. Originally when the case came out, we assumed they were together,
everything pointed towards that. We wasn`t until we got that first little bit of video depicting them together that we could confidently say that
they were definitely together. The video took place on Sunday, we got it today, this morning.
JACKSON: So, sergeant, are you saying you`ve got additional video today that depicted them together?
SMITH: No. What took place is the video in St. Marys, Georgia. When we found out that they used their ATM card there, we asked the local agency to
view the video, and they sent us a screen shot of the two together. We then were able to say that they were positively together. We assumed it before,
but now we are able to confirm.
JACKSON: And there`s some indication, of course, we want to let the viewers know, we are showing the car that they are driving, the license plate, but
there is some indication that they`re traveling in the east coast direction. Georgia, North Carolina, there is some sense that they`re coming
to New York City. How is it that you know that, sergeant? What is giving you that indication?
SMITH: Well, we don`t know for sure, but the best logical route for them to take would be to the northeast. Both Caitlyn and Rian both have family
members in the northeast. Rian actually has some family in Canada, where Caitlyn has some in New York. Rian also has some, I believe, in
Pennsylvania. So, we believe that they`re heading to the northeast.
JACKSON: And so just to clarify, is it only because of those family relationships that you`re saying it`s northeast or is there something more?
Were they spotted on additional surveillance? Did you get any tips? Are you working with other local authorities in other states? Is there more than
just they have family members in the area?
SMITH: Absolutely. You`re absolutely correct. We have some unconfirmed tips and some unconfirmed video footage of them in northern states. But again,
we haven`t confirmed that. We have not seen them yet. So, we`re reluctant to confirm that.
But we do believe, best information we have at this point is they are traveling northeast along the I-95 corridor, and we are hoping that through
your coverage and other media outlets that public will give us some tips to their location.
JACKSON: Yes, absolutely. We certainly need that. And standby, sergeant. Just in terms of charges, I want to get our defense attorney in here,
Deborah Blum. I mean, you know, you have
[20:35:00] a 17-year-old traveling with a 27-year-old, Deborah, so, you know, what if anything is that going to do by way of charges for either
Florida or federally?
DEBORAH BLUM, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, this could be a federal case because they`re definitely crossing state lines as the sergeant just told us. We
know that they were seen in another state. I think that probably Florida would retain jurisdiction. Most likely a sexually-related crime would come
into play here. Because for it to be kidnapping in Florida, it has to be done with force. And everything here is showing that the 17-year-old girl -
JACKSON: Went voluntarily.
BLUM: So I do think that it would be a sexually-related crime. The age of consent in Florida is 18. There are some exceptions for 16 to 17-year-olds
JACKSON: But they don`t apply here, right?
BLUM: They don`t apply here.
BLUM: But I really don`t think that they would be able to get this individual kidnapping. Perhaps some federal charges if it were pursued in
federal court statute is different there.
JACKSON: Yes. And also 18 for federal too, that is the age of consent. So, certainly, we want her back home. Sergeant Murray Smith, best of luck to
you. I know you are working very hard in getting this resolved. We appreciate you, indeed.
SMITH: Thank you so much.
JACKSON: Thank you. Deborah, you`re staying right there. An alert tonight from police in California who are searching for this guy. Do you see him?
Cops say that Corey Hughes went missing from the work crew he was assigned to on Monday. With his face, yes, that`s a tattoo, with a face like that,
he shouldn`t be too hard to spot.
And next, a horrifying discovery. A man putting up Christmas lights, and what does he do? He finds a dead baby under his porch. You heard me. Stay
[20:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
JACKSON: A man made a horrifying discovery while putting up Christmas lights. A dead baby under his own front porch. Police say his 23-year-old
daughter left the baby there after giving birth in a bathtub. You see his daughter there. She told police that she didn`t even know that she was
pregnant. But police find that story hard to believe.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIC HERMICK, LIEUTENANT, PENNSYLVANIA STATE POLICE: Once again, she did have an eight-year-old child as well at this time. So, she`s familiar with
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JACKSON: Now Brittany Robinson told police that she wrapped her baby in a t-shirt and left him in a drawer, then later moved him in a crawl space and
left him for work. Joining me now on the phone is Solomon Jones, the morning host of Praise 107.9 FM.
We also have Michelle DuPre, a medical examiner and forensic pathologist. And of course, defense attorney Deborah Blum remains with us. So, let`s
just go straight to the facts. We will go to you, Solomon Jones. Take us through. What is going on here?
SOLOMON JONES, MORNING HOST, PRAISE 107.9 FM (via telephone): So, apparently, Brittany Robinson, who is 23, told police that she did not know
she was pregnant. She said nobody in her family knew she was pregnant.
She didn`t discover that she was pregnant until she started to have stomach pains, took a bath, and while in the bathtub, the bathtub is filling up
with blood, and she said that`s when she realized she was giving birth.
She then told police that the baby was born. She didn`t notice that the baby was breathing at all, and so she wrapped the baby in a t-shirt that
she found in bathroom and then put the baby into a drawer.
And then checked the drawer later to see if the baby was breathing. And when the baby wasn`t breathing, that`s when she put it under the porch in a
bag and left it there and went to work.
JACKSON: Yikes. Now, Solomon, let me ask you, staying with you, there`s some indication that there was abortion pill that she searched for online.
Do you know anything about that?
JONES (via telephone): That`s right. Police -- well, there have been unconfirmed reports that she did order an abortion pill online when she was
already seven months pregnant, but never used that abortion pill. And again, you know, told everybody in the house that she didn`t -- told the
police that she didn`t know that she was pregnant. But if you didn`t know, why are you ordering this abortion pill online?
JACKSON: See, that`s the issue, Solomon Jones, and that`s the issue that I turn to. Before we get to our medical examiner, I have to get to my defense
attorney. So, Deborah Blum, you know, you have someone speaking to the police, you already mentioned that it is not a good idea to speak to the
police, I agree.
And now, you have this search for an abortion pill, but you tell the police, I have no idea that I was pregnant. How do you defend against that?
BLUM: Well, that`s very easy. She could have said that she was sexually active with someone else and that she thought that she might have become
pregnant as a result of her sexual relation with someone else. So, to me, that`s not an issue.
What I think this woman`s defense attorney needs to do right away is have her had a psychiatric evaluation. First, they need to determine if that`s
the right course of action, but they need to act swiftly because this woman most likely is in a period of mania.
JACKSON: All right. Two things I take issue with. Number one, I think a jury might have factual issue over, you`re searching for an abortion pill,
it`s because you`re sexually active, it has nothing to do with the fact you`re pregnant here.
And then the other thing before you get to even the issue of psychology and mental health, doc, I want to bring you into this, that is the issue of
what if the child was stillborn? And I want to play a sound bite for you, Michelle DuPre, and I want you to react to this in terms of the baby and
how the baby appeared when the police found it. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HERMICK: The baby was in great shape with no congenital defects that they could see. No reason the baby should have died. Also there was no trauma to
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JACKSON: So, Michelle DuPre, the issue of course defense attorneys are going to raise is look, if the baby is stillborn, there`s no murder here,
the baby was dead to begin with. That then goes to your specialty and expert like you called to testify. And how and what would you look for in
order to really give a sense of whether the baby was alive or dead at birth?
MICHELLE DUPRE, MEDICAL EXAMINER AND FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: Well, we actually do look at the physical appearance just as this person did.
However, we also do an autopsy. And what we do in autopsy is we look particularly at the lungs.
We try to determine if the lungs are inflated. We can do that by looking at them microscopically. If they are inflated, then we know that the baby did
take a breath. And we determine that by looking at them under the microscope.
JACKSON: Michelle DuPre, when did the baby take a breath? In other words, in an event that she is giving birth and the baby ends up
[20:45:00] choking on the umbilical cord or otherwise being stillborn, there is still a question of fact. The baby may have taken a breath in
utero, but by the time the baby is delivered, the baby is dead. If the baby is dead, there is no homicide.
So, is there anything, Michelle DuPre, which would point to the baby taking that breath, you know, at an early time that would point away from murder?
DUPRE: Again, if we look at the lungs microscopically, a baby taking a breath in utero is not going to show air-filled lungs. The alveoli will
still be collapsed and that will be a baby still in utero.
However, during the autopsy, when we take the sample of the lungs, we can tell by looking at the microscope whether the breath was actually taken
outside of the uterus or not.
JACKSON: And just staying with you for a moment, apparently the results of the autopsy were inconclusive. What does that mean?
DUPRE: That maybe they still need to do some more tests. Looking at the lungs microscopically, they will need to be processed, and they may not
have those back yet. So, they`re maybe waiting on that.
There are also some other factors. If the child was dead for any length of time internally, there might be some decomposition which will make it a
little bit more difficult.
JACKSON: See, Deborah, this is significant to me because I am going to (INAUDIBLE) on this from a defense perspective, right, and say, look, if
the baby was dead to begin with, I don`t have any culpability here. So the expert witness is everything.
BLUM: It totally turns on the opinion of the expert witness whether this baby was alive or not, because that gets rid of the homicide count.
BLUM: You still have the other charges.
BLUM: And I do think that if somebody who is willing to do this for their newborn baby and not report to their family, again, if she wasn`t aware of
it, which maybe she really wasn`t, although that is not believable, she most likely is suffering from a mental illness.
And somebody with a mental illness could be fine at seven months pregnant and not fine at nine months and they could be in this period of mania for a
week or a month. So, it`s possible that she might have been displaying signs of this before she gave birth.
JACKSON: Absolutely. It could be. Solomon, back to you, really quickly, what`s next?
JONES (via telephone): So now police are going to see if the autopsy results, and the autopsy result at this point are inconclusive, but they
still have to check for toxicology, see what kind of drugs may or may not be in the baby`s system.
JACKSON: So important. Solomon Jones, we appreciate it. Michelle DuPre, thank you. Deborah Blum, stay right there.
Now possible break tonight in the search for a serial killer that has been terrorizing Tampa. Those details, that`s next.
[20:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
JACKSON: Breaking news in Tampa, Florida. Police are optimistic. They are questioning a man who may be connected to a series of murders in Seminole
Heights neighborhood. Officers today responding to reports of a man with a gun at McDonald`s. They took him to headquarters, but would not elaborate
on why they think he may be related to those killings.
Four people were gunned down in a little more than a month in Seminole Heights, as you see them there, the map of where this occurred. The
suspected killer was captured on at least two instances on surveillance video. So was it a coincidence or not?
Defense attorney Deborah Blum joins me now. And so, you have those serial killings, police tight-lipped of course, but we remain hopeful for the
community. What are your thoughts?
BLUM: Well, this is incredibly tragic. Four people were gunned down. Three of them were very young, one a 60-year-old man. In state of Florida, they
do have the death penalty and most likely if this case goes forward, that`s what the state will be seeking.
You talked about the surveillance footage. That is probably why they have this man in detention. They`re questioning him of course for the other
crime that he committed in McDonald`s, but most likely they know his identity.
JACKSON: So, let`s talk about that. So on a death penalty issue, I know Florida (INAUDIBLE) trouble. Death penalty is gone to court. Who knows if
it is more symbolic to ever have a prosecution or whether he will actually get the death penalty if convicted if we get that far.
But I just want to talk to you about this. So they have a person on surveillance camera and they`re at scene of the slayings. Is that all the
evidence they have? Couldn`t that be just a mere coincidence that the person running we see on screen and maybe the image of him at another
particular murder, you don`t have anything other than that or do you think they have more?
BLUM: Spoken like a true defense attorney. Most likely there is more evidence here. There might be DNA evidence that will come forward in the
future. They will want to take the DNA of the suspect if they don`t already have it to match it up to crime scenes to see if anything was left there.
There is probably more to the story than we`re being told.
JACKSON: There has to be.
JACKSON: Yes, there has to be. You know, DNA is interesting, because in so many cases, you know this from practicing, I mean, that`s the death nail,
jurors want the DNA. If you have DNA and I am certain certain what police have done is they gone to those various crime scenes and they garnered
evidence. So if that evidence matches his, now it`s problematic.
Now it`s more than a defense attorney just saying, oh, it`s a mere coincidence. He is running on the screen. And as we look there, there you
see, you know, the killer and what the havoc -- whoever did this, I mean, these people are dead. And you certainly would think that the community at
least has some solace and peace believing that this person could be the guy.
BLUM: Absolutely. Nowadays, as defense attorney, it`s a lot harder than the days of O.J. Simpson --
BLUM: -- because there wasn`t surveillance footage, there wasn`t tracking you every step you take, your cell phone records that. District attorney`s
office is able to show where you were. If you`re in the area of the crime, that already pinpoint your client.
BLUM: So it`s a lot more difficult.
JACKSON: Cell phone pings and that type of technology, yes.
BLUM: Big brother is watching us. District attorney`s office uses that against your clients when they`re facing criminal charges.
JACKSON: Hundred percent. Innocent until proven guilty, but I hope for the people of Florida in that neighborhood that they got their guy. They
certainly need some peace.
So, you can call this guy, you`re going to see him here, the bathrobe bandit. It was a tight fit for him as he struggle to squeeze through the
kitchen window. Now police
[20:55:00] are searching for him. Stay tuned.
JACKSON: Police in (INAUDIBLE) New York are searching for this guy. They say that this alleged brazen burglar was caught on camera trying to squeeze
his way through the kitchen window last Saturday night. As you can see, it was quite a tight squeeze.
Now, it took him a bit before he finally made it through, and you could say that he looks more like a bathrobe bandit getting ready for bed than a
robber about to get to work. Despite this crystal clear images of the suspect, police are asking for your help in identify him. I hope you bring
him to justice.
On behalf of Ashleigh Banfield and the entire "Primetime Justice" team,
[21:00:00] we thank you for watching. Have a great night. I`m Joey Jackson. We will see you back here tomorrow night at 8:00 Eastern for "Primetime
Justice." "Forensic Files" begins right now.