CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Interview With Smart Family
Aired July 5, 2002 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, it's now a month to the day since Elizabeth Smart was abducted. Joining me, the people who love her. Her parents, Ed and Lois Smart; and her grandparents and aunts and uncles, all gathered with me at a family home in Salt Lake City next on LARRY KING LIVE.
Good evening and welcome to a very special edition of LARRY KING LIVE. We recorded this earlier this afternoon for broadcast tonight at a relative's house in Salt Lake City. The story, of course, deals with the Smart family. We'll also tell you, we're inside a house that's 100 degrees in Utah today. They've turned off the air conditioning. So don't mind if we get a little perspiration along the way.
We begin with -- and the entire family, or many members of the family are here. The only ones who will not be with us on mic today are the two brothers of Ed. And they are Tom and Chris sitting in the back row on the left. All the rest of the people will be appearing in various segments.
It's exactly a month to the day. How, Ed, how did you handle the Fourth of July yesterday?
ED SMART, ELIZABETH'S FATHER: You know, there was a big hole.
KING: What did you do?
E. SMART: We went up -- we went up to our cabin in Brighton and spent some time there together as a family.
KING: The whole family?
E. SMART: Uh-huh.
KING: What did you do last July Fourth, Eleanor (ph), with Elizabeth?
LOIS SMART, ELIZABETH'S MOTHER: We were in Boston with the entire extended family, on a trip, enjoying the Boston fireworks, and just having a great time.
KING: What was it like for you, Dorotha, yesterday?
DOROTHA SMART, ELIZABETH'S GRANDMOTHER: Well, we didn't need to say how much we missed Elizabeth. But we couldn't help just thinking about the contrast between last year and this year. We all had that silent prayer in our heart for her.
KING: July Fourth is a very big day in Utah. Maybe more than most of America, they really put on a show. So, it's easy to remember last year to this year. What was it like for you, Charles?
CHARLES SMART, ELIZABETH'S GRANDFATHER: Last year, we had a great time together as a family. And it was really a great loss to have Elizabeth gone. And she is such a cheerful, quiet, but wonderful girl. Just heartbreaking.
KING: What keeps your hope going, Ed? I mean, every time we see you, you're very sad and very hopeful. Is that contradictory?
E. SMART: Well, it's just -- it's sad that she's not here. It's sad that someone would break into our house. I can't believe that somebody would be willing to do there, come in and take one of our children. But I do feel strongly that she's out there, that she's out there alive. And we're just very hopeful that the person, the perpetrator, will let her go or something will happen that will bring her back to us soon.
KING: Is that strength, a lot, based on your beliefs?
E. SMART: Absolutely.
KING: Does that strengthen you, Lois?
L. SMART: It does.
KING: Can you explain how?
L. SMART: I just think having a faith in the heavenly father and Jesus Christ, who will support us and strengthen us and build our testimonies and help us to understand the purpose here on life. And it gives us great strength and comfort.
KING: Dorotha, no sense of blame, no sense of being angry at God?
D. SMART: Not at all. In fact, you can say that our faith is our anchor. And we appeal to him, constantly. And the prayers from all around the world, I think, have also given us that feeling of hope. And we appeal to them to continue to pray.
KING: Does it ever waiver, Charles?
C. SMART: Well, yes. I'd say that we get discouraged every once in a while. But I think the overriding faith is that God is going to see us through, and that this life is not the only one, that we have hope for the life hereafter. But we really are looking for Elizabeth right now, and we think that's she's alive. And we have faith that she's alive. And we're going to continue until we can see her either return home or be found otherwise. KING: As a parent, Ed, one would gather, it could never leave your mind, right? You can't have a normal minute, right? You can't enjoy anything.
E. SMART: That's right.
KING: So, is it just sort of existing?
E. SMART: Well, life moves on. And we have five other children. And, you know, when we're alone together, I think that, you know, you have more time to think about it. But with five other children keeping us going, you know, we have to keep on with them. We have their lives to...
KING: But that's the thing you're doing for them. But your head can't be there.
E. SMART: No. No. No.
KING: How is Mary Catherine holding up?
L. SMART: She's doing well. She has this new little dog that follows her everywhere and protects her. And if a brother acts like he's going to get after her, this little dog is just right there.
KING: Does she talk about Elizabeth?
L. SMART: She talks about Elizabeth a lot and can't wait until she comes home. She has little gifts that she's collected for her and cards that she's made. She talks about...
KING: Does she talk -- does she talk about, Ed, the incident?
L. SMART: She doesn't like to.
E. SMART: No. We just try not to infringe on that part of her memory.
KING: But the police and FBI did, though, didn't they? Would you say, I mean, nine-years-old, tough to -- was she cooperative?
L. SMART: Very, very cooperative.
E. SMART: You know, sometimes in the morning when we go down to the briefing, the command center, she'll say, dad, I want to come down and help. And she is very anxious to do anything that she can to bring Elizabeth home.
L. SMART: She puts all the little ribbons on the pins.
L. SMART: On the buttons.
KING: Would it be a mistake to put her on somewhere? Media exposure for her, is that considered wrong for the age? L. SMART: Yes. I think it -- not right now would be a good time.
KING: Do you agree, Dorotha?
D. SMART: I really do.
KING: She's the only eyewitness, though.
D. SMART: We have -- well, but for the girl, to see her, I don't think it's quite fair. We have to think about the normal life for her in the future. And it was very hard. We had the children with us outside of Salt Lake while Lois and Edward were trying to take care of so much. And the whole time we were away, we had no radios or televisions on. We didn't want to remind them of that.
And it was so hard for us too. We could hardly wait to get back and find out what was happening. The Red Cross put out that little brochure when 9/11 took place. And we've passed that out to people, who have had their children somewhat traumatized. And it says don't play over and over again the scene of the problem. And that's kind of how we felt about the children.
KING: You're a physician. You were a physician, retired oncologist. But physicians learn about lots of things. What's the long-range effect on Mary Catherine?
C. SMART: Well, I think it's always going to be there. I think it's always going to be a trauma. But she is very resilient. And I think that she's going to do all right. She's a very resilient little girl.
KING: We'll be right back with the relatives of the Smarts. We're not giving the exact location. We don't want -- there's enough public bothering, but there's also public helping too. We'll ask about that. Don't go away.
KING: We're back at the home of a relative in Salt Lake City, as we hope to help find, safely return Elizabeth Smart. By the way, there's a new hotline number. We're going to give you that too. And another reward has been offered. We'll give you that too.
Other members of the family joining us now, are Angela Smart, she is Elizabeth's aunt and Ed's sister; and Dave Francom, he is Elizabeth's uncle and Lois' brother. Before we talk with them, Ed, you acknowledged earlier today that things had been stolen from you. Do you associate that with Mr. Ricci?
E. SMART: You know, there is -- yes.
KING: You do. Do you hope it's not him?
E. SMART: You know, I just -- I hope that things come to a closing. I don't wish anything bad for Richard. I just want to see this whole thing come to a close.
KING: Lois, do you hope it's not him?
L. SMART: Yes. When Richard worked for us, I liked Richard. I didn't have a problem with Richard.
KING: And he never showed you any signs of something...
E. SMART: No.
KING: Angela, you're the aunt. You're the sister of Ed. How is it going for you?
ANGELA SMART, ELIZABETH'S AUNT: I think, amazingly well, considering. But we're all weary. We were hoping to have Elizabeth back day one. And so, that's been very difficult. But all of us are strong. We have a united family that helps strengthen one another and a wonderful community that has helped us look for Elizabeth and helped us look for the perpetrator.
KING: Was she a close niece, Dave?
DAVID FRANCOM, ELIZABETH'S UNCLE: Well, my children are very close in age to Lois and Ed's children. We also have six. And we -- we get together frequently at my parents' home. And we were all a very, very close family. We all support and love each other. And, yes, we certainly are very close.
KING: Was she as outgoing as some of the films we've seen of her appear to be.
FRANCOM: I saw her more...
KING: Doesn't look shy.
FRANCOM: Well, she's a little bit quiet. She's not somebody who really asserts herself like maybe some of the other kids you've seen. She's a more quiet and kind type of a child.
KING: Do you try to search, Angela, in your mind for who would do this? Why would they do this?
A. SMART: I think we all -- I think we all do. I think we...
KING: That would be constant, wouldn't it?
A. SMART: It is constant because all of us would like to know. I think that we really tried to focus, and I think we can all speculate and everything else. But right now, what we're really trying to do is keep bringing our focus back and everybody focus back to continuing to look for Elizabeth. And that's, you know, part of, unfortunately, the speculation.
KING: Dorotha, do you wonder about things like a ransom note?
D. SMART: You know, I went out to my mailbox, every day, wondering, we're not far from Lois and Edward. And just any of us think of all sorts of things. But that doesn't matter, no. I don't look at that now at all. And I just keep thinking of her. And may I just say one thing about Elizabeth? If there is ever a little girl that could be strong enough to endure such a thing, she is the one. She has great faith. She may be a quiet child, but she is a remarkable child.
KING: Are you saying if someone is keeping her now, she would hold up well?
D. SMART: If anyone could...
KING: Let's say she's -- let's pray that that's -- let's say someone has her in a condition of whatever the circumstances. But she's alive and someone is keeping her, some kind of whacked person, you know, holding her. She'll handle that?
D. SMART: Well, we can't. We are saying...
KING: Would you guess she would?
D. SMART: I'm saying if any child could, she could because she has great faith. She knows the tremendous love that we all have for her. And she -- we really pray that guardian angels are there to have -- to protect her and help her during this terrifically trying time.
KING: You ever say why us, Ed?
L. SMART: Sure.
KING: I mean, why us?
E. SMART: Why us, I say it all the time. I can't even imagine. I can't -- I can't.
KING: So, you don't think about circumstances?
E. SMART: I think about circumstances all the time. But in my mind, I can't come up with an answer. I can't -- I can't see why somebody would choose us or, I mean, in my mind, I guess the easiest thing for me to conceive of is that somebody had a fixation on her. That's, you know, that's the only thing that I can rationalize in my...
KING: And if that's true, Angela, that maybe is keeping her alive.
A. SMART: Exactly. We're hoping.
KING: The fixation may not be to harm, but attraction.
A. SMART: That's exactly right, but to care for her. And to really care for her, Elizabeth needs to come back home. If you want -- if she needs to be cared for, which she does need to be cared for, we need her back home. KING: What, then, are we saying? Supposing -- everything in life about this is supposing -- the perpetrator has her somewhere, has not harmed her, has this infatuation with her. What do you say to him?
E. SMART: I would say to him...
KING: He's been good to her.
E. SMART: He's been good to her.
KING: Let's say that's the circumstance.
E. SMART: But I would plead with him that she has a family, a family that loves her very much. That his infatuation or whatever his misguidance is is something that he needs to realize, that she has a family. She belongs with us. And to let her go and come back home.
KING: Does your faith, Charles, teach you compassion for a perpetrator?
C. SMART: Yes. I would say it does teach compassion for a perpetrator. And it's very difficult at this point, though, to feel a great deal of compassion, even though I'd like to. I really believe, again, that your question about ransom, I really would choose the ransom. But we have had no indications that this is the case.
KING: This family would pay immediately, right? With any hope.
C. SMART: I would say so, yes.
KING: Dave, do you have compassion under this circumstance?
KING: You look like you wouldn't.
FRANCOM: Thank you, Larry. I do try to understand why somebody would do this and I cannot. It's incomprehensible. There's no way to figure out why this would happen to Lois and Ed, such wonderful people. Do I have compassion for this person? I think I try to realize that he must be sick, that something must be very wrong with him. And in that way, I try to realize that, you know, he needs help.
KING: One of the key questions -- did Mary Catherine know the person? We've never gotten an answer.
E. SMART: You know, we don't know. We don't know.
KING: Is she able to say to you, oh, that's Bill?
E. SMART: No.
KING: Or that's not Bill.
E. SMART: No. L. SMART: No.
KING: Did she say she didn't know, Angela?
A. SMART: I don't know. I haven't asked Mary Catherine.
KING: The police must have. There's a hesitancy to respond. Have they told you not to respond on this end?
E. SMART: Well, you know, we can't...
We can't go into the investigation.
KING: OK. All right, then.
E. SMART: Thank you.
KING: We'll be back, meet two more relatives joining our panel here in the front on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.
KING: We're back. Two other family members joining Ed and Lois Smart and the grandparents, Charles and Dorotha Smart, and they are Cynthia Smart Owens, Elizabeth's aunt -- she is Ed's sister -- and Dave Smart, Elizabeth's uncle, Ed's brother.
Before we talk with them, we have a new anonymous tip line being offered by the FBI and Salt Lake City police. That's in addition to the $250,000 reward. They're offering $25,000. This is anonymous.
You can call 801-799-INFO. That's 801-799-4636. The regular numbers for regular tip hot line are 800-932-0190 and 801-799-3000. And the Web site is www.elizabethsmart.com.
All right. Cynthia, what goes through your head every day? Do you thinking of scenarios?
CYNTHIA SMART OWENS, ELIZABETH'S AUNT: Yes. I just keep praying that somehow God will hear all these prayers and see all the effort that's gone into this and help us to find Elizabeth. We know that His will will be done. And it is -- it's in the plan, whatever His will is. But we pray that we'll be able to find her. We pray that she's protected.
KING: No thinking that God has let you down?
OWENS: No. And I do get discouraged. I feel a great inner peace and reassurance.
KING: And you, Dave, how do you handle this? Your brother's kid.
DAVE SMART, ELIZABETH SMART'S UNCLE: It's just unspeakable. The emotions that go into it. It's almost just bearing yourself into trying to think of any way and going out and searching and keeping your mind busy so you don't start wandering.
KING: Are you a strong believer?
DAVE SMART: Yes, I am.
KING: Like everybody else here, you don't doubt?
DAVE SMART: I don't. I don't doubt.
KING: Do you go to ward or a church on Sunday?
DAVE SMART: Certainly.
KING: You do?
DAVE SMART: Yes.
KING: You'll go this Sunday?
DAVE SMART: Yes.
KING: All of you will go? All right. You don't have a mic in the back, but someone (UNINTELLIGIBLE)
Isn't it hard, Lois, to sit in church?
L. SMART: Yes. Because she was always at my side on Sunday.
KING: She sat next to you?
L. SMART: Yes. My whole family did, the five of us. And she helped with the younger ones. Her friends are there, and her teachers are there. They all are praying for her and want her back home.
I think of, you know, from the time she was very, very young, 18 months, they have a nursery where they go in and they learn stories, Bible stories and that.
KING: Do you think a lot, Ed, about that night? You were sleeping, how you woke up, calling people over. I mean, do you relive the night?
E. SMART: I've relived that night a number of times. A few nights ago, Lois and I went into our bedroom. It was about 1:30 a.m. or 2:00 a.m.
And you know, it's just -- it's really hard to think of somebody coming in there and taking her the way they did. It's -- I just -- I can't imagine it. I still can't. It seems like I'm going to wake up and it's not going to be what it is.
KING: Does anyone go in that room? I mean, Sleep in that room? Does Mary Catherine go to sleep in there?
L. SMART: No.
KING: No one does. Has anyone -- have you asked -- Cynthia or Dave, have you been asked to testify before the grand jury about what you might know? Have you testified?
KING: Dave? Ed?
DAVE SMART: No.
D. SMART: No.
KING: Are you happy with how they're handling this, Ed? The police, the FBI, the authorities?
E. SMART: The authorities have been very good. They have been doing all that they possibly can do, and they keep us informed. And we pray for them constantly. We pray that they will receive the guidance and the direction to help us find her.
KING: Dave, are you surprised at all about the attention this has gotten worldwide?
DAVE SMART: You know, given the fact that Elizabeth has 28 aunts and uncles who are willing to drop everything and just put their shoulder to the wheel and go after it and see how we can find her and also the support of the community, how all faiths and religions...
KING: You're not surprised by it at all?
DAVE SMART: ...have jumped in. It's -- we're not surprised. The press has been great in helping get Elizabeth's picture out. The Web site also able to get flyers printed out around the world.
OWENS: If I may.
OWENS: I actually am surprised, in some levels, because it -- as horrible a thing as it is, it should get this kind of worldwide coverage, but it occurs too commonly. It's not always actually going into a locked home with a family there. But just in the United States, to think there are 314 attempted non-family abductions daily in the United States.
There have been so many abductions since Elizabeth that I wish that every child could get this kind of attention and help. And I do feel that in some way our prayers are being answered by the hearts that have been moved to help us, and I think we all need to really unite and just say we won't allow this to continue, starting with Elizabeth. KING: Charles, you think it's the circumstances that have focused the attention so much -- a wealthy neighborhood, a believing, close family, someone intrudes, walks into the house, takes someone. The little sister sees. You think it's the unusualness of the story?
C. SMART: I think it's the unusualness of the story. I think, again, that we have all, as a family, contributed a great deal around the world. We've been in different countries in our family, in our immediate family, why, we've probably been in eight different countries, and we have a lot of friends and a lot of people that have been praying and helping and asking in our community.
We've helped a lot in the community, and the community have been unbelievable in their support. And I think that it's the network and the family and the network and the community and the prayers of all the world that have really been the reason that we've had so much attention.
D. SMART: I feel also, so many strangers have come up to me and said, you know, I have a child this age. And I relate so much to that. This is terrible. I can't help but feel it could have been my child. I think, to me, that is really what has hit so many people.
KING: It's a pain it doesn't go away.
D. SMART: That's right.
KING: You need closure. If Elizabeth, God willing, were watching, I know you wanted to say something -- Lois.
L. SMART: I just want to tell Elizabeth how much I love her, how much her family loves her. We all love her and we need her back. We're waiting for her to come back. Mary Catherine needs her desperately, wants her back, has little presents for her, and that I know Elizabeth is a strong girl, and that she has a faith from the time she was very little, three, calling her favorite doll after her nursery teacher, Sister Pratt (ph).
She is a very strong, wonderful girl. And she'll make it.
KING: You still jump when the phone rings, Ed, or has it got past that?
E. SMART: I do. We have so many people calling us all the time that it's hard to answer the phone, just because, you know, everyone has their own opinion of everything.
KING: I mean, initially you hoped...
E. SMART: You know, I would wish for that.
KING: We'll come back. Angela will return, and Stan will join us in our remaining moments. Don't go away.
KING: Welcome back to a relative's home in Salt Lake City, as we continue the search and the prayers for young Elizabeth.
We join now Angela Smart, Elizabeth's aunt, Ed's sister, returns. And she is joined in the back panel by Stan Francom. Stan is Elizabeth's uncle, and he is Lois' brother.
And as was given me, good advice. On that anonymous tip line, you might say, well, if I phone in the tip and I'm anonymous, how do I get the reward? When you finish talking, you are given a number. That is your number. And therefore, if your reward pans out, you just call in, the circumstances warrant it, you say I'm number 281, they confirm it with your voice-in, you get the $25,000, and the $250,000 still stands, as well.
Stan, you're the newest member of our group here. How has it been for you?
STAN FRANCOM, ELIZABETH SMART'S UNCLE: Every day, I think about it. Every night, every morning I get up thinking with Elizabeth in my mind. There's hardly a moment that goes by that I'm not thinking, "how can we find her? How can we help her?"
KING: Are you and your sister close?
S. FRANCOM: I would say so. Very close.
KING: So therefore, you were close with your niece, too?
S. FRANCOM: Yes.
KING: Do you go through the same thing everyone has described, wondering what, who, why?
S. FRANCOM: I think so. I think each of us have tried to analyze our thoughts. And who could do it? Who might have done it? Where might she be?
KING: Were you offended, Angela, when some people thought that the family was first under suspicion? Or is that the first thing they look for in any case like this?
A. SMART: I think that's the first thing that they look for in any case. And we opened ourselves up wide open and said, look, see what you want to find. And we were very willing and are still very willing to say, please, you know, we want to be sure that everything has cleared up so that they can move and try to find out who has taken Elizabeth.
KING: Ed, we also think about things. Do you think, do I have someone that doesn't like me? That it's personal to me?
E. SMART: I've tried to think through that. You know, I feel like I try to be forthright with everyone that I work with, and I can't think of anyone that I've offended or...
KING: Did Elizabeth ever mention anything about a stranger or someone talking to her? Or I met this person today?
L. SMART: No.
KING: Because that would go through my mind, too.
L. SMART: Well, we have thought that. But she had never mentioned that, or was never concerned about someone watching her.
KING: The authorities have talked to all of her schoolmates?
L. SMART: I would imagine. I don't really know.
KING: Do you know, Charles, do you know if they have? Everyone surrounding her, friends, associates, teachers, they've talked to?
L. SMART: I know they've talked to many. I don't know if we could say they've talked to them all.
KING: Do you think the public can do anything at this point, Stan?
S. FRANCOM: Well, I would like to continue to ask for their continued prayer and faith and hope. I'm overwhelmed at the numbers of people that share their prayer and their faith for Elizabeth. And if we could just ask that, I think that's very important.
A. SMART: I think another, in addition to Stan's, to the prayers and the faith, I think we need to continue searching. We need to find the perpetrator. We don't necessarily have the perpetrator. He's out there. He has Elizabeth. And we need to each continue to look. Every individual is a searcher. And we just need to have that heightened awareness that we need to keep looking. If there's something unusual, to report it, to follow up on it.
KING: What would you say to him, Lois?
L. SMART: I would beg him. I would plead with him and ask him to please, please let Elizabeth go. That he could never have a life with her. They would -- it would never work out. She needs to be back with her family. We need her. Begging, pleading with him to please let her go.
KING: Do you sleep well, Charles?
C. SMART: Well, I wake up several times every night just thinking about where is Elizabeth and what can we do to help find her?
DOROTHA SMART: My doctor allows me to take a half a sleeping pill, and that's the only way I can sleep.
KING: Lois? L. SMART: No, I don't sleep well at night. No.
KING: Walk around a lot?
L. SMART: I do.
KING: Ed? You're not going to go in the room again.
E. SMART: It's hard not -- it's hard not to go into her room. But I -- it is hard to sleep. I mean, I guess our best sleeping is in the morning.
KING: When it's early morning?
E. SMART: When it's early morning.
KING: Angela, when you open your eyes, it's the first thing you think of, right?
A. SMART: It is.
KING: That's another thing about something like this. You can't open your eyes and think about the ball game yesterday.
A. SMART: No. It's been very difficult because we all know that we need to have some sort of balance in our lives. But life is out of balance.
KING: There's no normalcy, is there, Stan? In any phase of life. You can do something, though, right, like you can take a child to a movie. But what your head is going through ain't normal.
S. FRANCOM: You can go through the motions, but there's always that lingering thought -- where's Elizabeth? How can we help her? Let's get her back home.
KING: I'm most amazed at how the faith doesn't diminish. That still is extraordinary to me -- it's coming from somewhere who would be questioning all the time, why this could happen to a child. And now you the other day came out to speak for all abducted children. What prompted that?
E. SMART: I just -- the thought of any parent going through this, it's just -- it's horrible. I mean, it's the worst nightmare in life. And I feel so for anyone who has been through it. And unfortunately, for the people who will go through it in the future, it's something that you just -- you can't prepare yourself for.
KING: There is no advice you can give them? Is there?
E. SMART: No, there isn't.
A. SMART: One thing, though, is that this has been a horrible, and is, a horrible experience. However, because of the attention that this has been brought -- that has been brought forth, we want to be sure that we can make it better, if it can be better, for the next child. We were fortunate enough to be able to use the Rachel alert and have Elizabeth's picture go out and her name go out and the information go out very quickly throughout the state and the inner mountain area.
But how much more effective it would be if we could add upon that, shoulders upon shoulders, that we could add upon that and make this a better system for all children. So when a child is taken that there's a full-court press put on the perpetrator, that he will know he will not get away with this.
KING: Can't say it any better than that. The numbers are, the tip hot line number, 800-932-0190, or 801-799-3000. The Web site is www.elizabethsmart.com. And the new anonymous tip line, where they will give you a number at the end of the tip, is 801-799-INFO, or 801- 799-4636.
When we come back on LARRY KING LIVE, a panel discussion with experts in the field discussing their thoughts on this continuing sad story.
NANCY GRACE, COURT TV: Welcome back, everyone. Larry King is there in Salt Lake with the family of Elizabeth Smart. I'm Nancy Grace here in New York -- here in Washington with our panel to discuss the ongoing investigation. What do we know about that investigation?
Joining me, Mark Geragos in L.A.; Dr. Henry Lee world renowned forensic expert; Cynthia Alksne, former federal prosecutor; and there on the scene, Karen Scullin is joining us. She's a reporter with KSL in Salt Lake City. Hi, Karen.
KAREN SCULLIN, REPORTER, KSL: Hi, there.
GRACE: Karen, what can you tell us so far? Is there any arrest or charges pending?
SCULLIN: What we know right now is that the investigation still definitely focuses on Richard Ricci, of course, is the former Smart handyman. I've been told possibly next week, he could face charges. Those charges though look like burglary charges.
If you remember, towards the beginning of this investigation, the chief of police said that he was being considered as a possible suspect, not only of a burglary inside the Smart home when he worked there a year ago, but also on several homes throughout the Federal Heights area. So, we're told, possibly next week, maybe burglary charges, maybe more than that, theft, maybe larceny. But it's my understanding, not kidnapping at this point yet.
GRACE: Well, you know, from what we've been told, Karen, the police have been handed a burglary charge on a silver platter. The man confessed. Items belonging to the Smarts were found in Ricci's home, if we are to believe what we have read in the wires. So, the best that they can come up with at this point with the confession and the stolen goods is a burglary charge? SCULLIN: That's what it looks like right now. What they have is circumstantial evidence. They continue to say, sources tell me, no forensic evidence at this point to directly link Ricci to the crime. So I guess if they can charge him with anything, at this point, that's all they can do.
GRACE: Right. That is a way to keep him there behind bars while the investigation continues. Good point, Karen.
Let me go to you, Dr. Lee, regarding forensics. Let's go back to that white jeep that's been the focus of the investigation up until this point. Wouldn't you think, Dr. Lee, that by this point, if there were any fibers, any hair, in that vehicle, we would know it by now?
DR. HENRY LEE, FORENSIC EXPERT: Yes. If they found any direct evidence by now, they should link to him. Of course, they found some of the indirect evidence. So, still have to sort through. And if they found Elizabeth's fingerprint or any DNA that belongs to her, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) already have the arrest. And, of course, this white jeep still looking at mileage. They try to sort it out. Probably try to analyze those trace evidence, (UNINTELLIGIBLE), soil, fibers, hopefully can have some linkage.
GRACE: Well, one thing we can determine, Mark Geragos, is the fact that they have not released the white jeep back to the Ricci family. Must be some type of indication. The other two cars have been released, have they not?
MARK GERAGOS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, they have. And they don't have to and they're not going to. I mean, it's a common technique for police to impound a vehicle here, especially when you have a suspicion. They're going to go through it with a fine-toothed comb, as I'm sure they already have, and maybe go back to it again in case they come up with something else.
And they don't have to -- I mean, this idea -- don't -- I don't want anybody to think that they're just doing the burglary charges and that's all they've got. I don't think that they need to even do the burglary charges, since they've got the ability to violate him, since they've already got the admission that he's violated the law, which clearly is going to violate his parole. So, they may or they may not. But they have got no time pressure.
I think what was more significant, out of what Larry's interview just was, was when he asked the family did the nine-year-old recognize whoever the intruder was, there was a silence there that I think spoke volumes. Either they've been told not to release that information or there seems to be something that somebody knows or she knows or some hint which I think maybe informs the possibility as to why they seem to have such an abiding faith that she's still OK. I think that they seem to -- there seems to be at least a hint that they know what's going on here.
GRACE: Mark, you're so right. And, Cynthia, from what we can tell, every time they speak, they're indicating loud and clear that they think she is holed up against her will somewhere in some mountainous or rural area.
CYNTHIA ALKSNE, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Wouldn't you? I mean, that's what they have to hold on to. And God bless them for it. I mean, I thought they had incredible strength and much more than what I would have if someone took one of my children. You know, this whole identification issue is pretty interesting. Why if they think Ricci is the big suspect, why hasn't someone said, OK, here is his picture. Not just his picture, because as we know, we don't do that, but, OK, here's six different guys and they all have bald heads and they all have mustaches. Do you recognize any of these? The reason why they haven't done that is because they don't think she can ID him.
GRACE: And, of course, then if it turns out to be him and she has got a bad ID, and that comes out at trial...
ALKSNE: Then she's ruined as a witness.
GRACE: ... then it's ruined. The whole case is ruined to a certain degree.
Let me quickly go back, before we go to break, to Karen Scullin there in Salt Lake. Karen, the name Pete Romero (ph) has popped up. Who is he?
SCULLIN: Pete Romero (ph) is one of actually several ex-cons that supposedly have associated with Ricci. Pete Romero actually lived in the trailer court, a couple of trailers down from Richard Ricci. He is a convicted child rapist. At one point, he apparently raped a 14-year-old child. He's on parole right now and, as far as we know, has kept pretty clean over the last few months since he's been on parole.
So, he says he has nothing to do with it. But, again, it sounds like the FBI and the rest of them are pretty much looking at anyone and everyone who had any association with Richard Ricci. What they're looking for, of course, is the man who possibly picked Richard Ricci up from the mechanic shop. They think he could hold the key to a lot of this.
GRACE: Right. And, Cynthia, as we had discussed earlier, Angela Ricci could easily have passed her polygraph, could be telling the truth. He could have been home with her the night of the abduction and be involved, as well, if there are co-conspirators.
ALKSNE: Sure. And what the FBI is looking for is one of his running buddies from jail. I mean, this man was in and out of jail for 29 years. Somebody there with a sex background, because that's what we're looking for, is the key person. And because what we know about a child rapist is once a child rapist, always a child rapist.
GRACE: Everybody, we are taking a quick break. Larry King there in Salt Lake with the Smart family. The panel will continue on what we know tonight, the one-month anniversary of the disappearance of Elizabeth Smart.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) GRACE: Welcome back. I'm Nancy Grace from Court TV in for Larry King tonight. What do we know about the investigation regarding the disappearance of Elizabeth Smart? Let me go again to Salt Lake City. Karen Scullin, you're standing by. What can you tell me about another name that has popped up, aside from Pete Romero, but now John Russell Remmington (ph)?
SCULLIN: Well, he is just another ex-con that police are looking at. The FBI is looking at him, not so much, they tell me, as a co- conspirator, but really just looking for whoever picked Richard Ricci up from that mechanic's shop. They are looking for those seat covers, for one, and maybe possibly an explanation of the mud and other things.
GRACE: But Mark Geragos, if there is a co-conspirator, and if he trusted someone enough to approach them with seat covers, with bags full of stuff, with post-hole diggers, wouldn't that suggest to you that this person is actually an accomplice that's in on the plot?
GERAGOS: If there is somebody there who has got post-hole diggers and is disposing of items, it's an accessory clearly, probably an accomplice, and is a hopeful sign that maybe that person is still holding her somewhere, if, in fact, this person is linked to it.
I still come back to the point we made the other night, which is the description that the mechanic gave of this other person is 5-foot- 8, dark hair. Now, I know that's the same description as Dr. Lee, at least in general terms, but at the same time, that is what the little girl ended up describing, roughly, who was in that bedroom. And so that's something they have to follow up and they have got to see if there is anybody that fits that description, who is a known associate or somebody who's hung with this guy at some point.
ALKSNE: Well, I'm sure they're looking at all the jail records. Who was in the cell block with him at the time, who fits that description. Everybody who was ever arrested with him before, whether or not they were charged or not. Anybody they can connect him to, that way.
GRACE: Yeah, but another thing, Karen Scullin, this John Russell Remmington (ph), not only is an ex-con, about the same age, with the same type of violent crimes in his background, but he also worked two blocks away from the Smart home. He had been hired by Douglas Rex Young, along with Richard Allen Ricci. They all three worked together in the Smart neighborhood. Now, maybe it's just a coincidence, but what do you think?
SCULLIN: Well, what I think is that, you know, you have to remember, the prison community, both in prison and out of prison, is pretty darn tight. They're pretty loyal to each other. So even if they aren't directly involved, clearly they may know something simply because they're loyal to one another. A lot of them work together here in this Federal Heights area, doing some handyman work around here. So it wouldn't be such a surprise to say, you know, possibly they at least know something, even if they weren't directly involved. GRACE: So, Mark Geragos, how long will that loyalty last? You know, Utah has the death penalty. There, you have the choice of lethal injection or firing squad.
GERAGOS: The loyalty is not going to last a whole lot. I've seen that loyalty, and it lasts about as long as somebody gets their parole revoked and then they get back into custody, and then all of a sudden, they're doing whatever it can take to talk to get out of custody again. So that doesn't worry me in terms of this investigation.
I think that they are running it down because the authorities want to see who was where, who actually can come up with some kind of incriminating or at least a conflicting story from that 26 hours of talking that Richard Ricci did. I mean, that appears to me, I've said it before, to be the centerpiece of this investigation. They have got 26 hours to really see if they can trip him up, with some kind of a contradiction from somebody else.
ALKSNE: Right. Right. And that's why when they are interviewing his ex-con friends, they're not just interviewing them, they're just pulling them in -- but one of them was violating his parole, was violating because he was drinking while he was on parole. I mean, they are putting the screws to them and letting them know that they are not kidding around and that they're going to put them back in jail, where they do not want to go, in order to force some kind of cooperation.
GRACE: Dr. Lee, we are running out of time, but I have got to ask you quickly, how long does it take to get a DNA result back normally?
LEE: The DNA usually takes two weeks to get a result. What I think they're just using the shotgun approach, to put a lot of pressure on his friend. Give us some information. Meanwhile...
GRACE: Dr. Lee...
LEE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) yes.
GRACE: I wish I could ask you more about that, but I've just heard in my ear, we've run out of time. Everyone on the panel, thank you. And tonight, our prayers go out to the Smarts, the one-month anniversary of the disappearance of Elizabeth Smart.
This weekend on Larry King with Larry King, a tribute to Rosemary Clooney, and Rosie O'Donnell will join Larry. Thanks for being with us. Good night.
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