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AMERICAN MORNING

Missing Player

Aired July 2, 2003 - 09:17   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Now for more on the investigation into the disappearance of college basketball player Patrick Dennehy. Information from an informant led police to a field where Dennehy may have had a fatal altercation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEVE ANDERSON, WACO POLICE DEPT.: We have received information of a location north of Waco. The exact location, I don't have. We had Mr. Dennehy, information that he was at that location. And we've checked, we still have not found Mr. Dennehy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'BRIEN: In fact, nothing was found and there are no suspects if this case. We don't know even what kind of case it is. Are police getting closer to what really happened?

Our guest is from Waco, Texas, and he joins us now.

Jim, this is a hard one to sort out. Lots of datelines, lots of possibilities.

Let's start with scenario number one here, is that this could just be a missing persons case?

JIM RYAN, WBAP RADIO: Well, that's, in fact, how the police are classifying it right now, Miles. Lots of datelines, lots of places, lots of names as well. The name Carlton Dotson came up earlier in an affidavit that the police filed in order to get a search warrant. Dotson was a friend of Patrick Dennehy's. The two are said to have been firing their guns on some property outside of Waco. There was a second search yesterday, an aerial search by helicopter. Officers watching, looking for any sign of anything in some of that patch of land.

They found nothing, though, as you said, Miles.

O'BRIEN: Now you have learned about a friend of Dennehy's come forward and have things to say. Tell us about that.

RYAN: Daniel Copny (ph) is a longtime friend of Dennehy. He describes himself that way. He says he also knows Carlton Dotson. He thinks something is suspicious there. While police walked away from this verbiage, they don't call anybody a suspect yet, only persons ever interest. Copny says he is suspicious of the stories he's hearing. He believes his friend was paranoid for some time, that he was scared for his life, that he bought a weapon to protect himself. He doesn't think it was a spur of the moment attack, or an argument that led to any wrongdoing in the Patrick Dennehy case. He thinks it was sort of a longstanding paranoia, in his words, that Dennehy had.

O'BRIEN: There's a report both Dotson and Dennehy bought weapons together, out of concern about, perhaps, someone else. What do you know about that?

RYAN: Well, that's the mystery here. Who is that "someone else?" There had been telephone conversations leading up to Dennehy's disappearance in which he told family and friends he was concerned for his life. In the last of those conversations, apparently on June 14th, Copny says that Dennehy that he was with Carlton Dotson, that he was afraid for Dotson's life, as well as his own. So it's not so much that he was afraid of Dotson, but he and Dotson were both afraid of someone else. That someone else is still a mystery, though, Miles.

O'BRIEN: Give us a sense of what people are saying at Waco, and at Baylor specifically. Obviously this is something that has captured our attention, it must be front and center there?

RYAN: Well, they are concerned about what's happened here. They're also confused. Because those who know Dotson and Dennehy, and know them together, say that they seemed to be the perfect roommates. They were compatible, they were friendly with each other and with others around them, seemed to be perfectly good friends. I think it caught a lot of them by surprise to read this affidavit earlier in the week in which Dotson Is described as somebody who might have been violent towards Dennehy. They seemed to be best of friends, Miles.

O'BRIEN: Well, and it's worth pointing out in that affidavit, which is what it is, that it's thirdhand information. So we should put that caveat out there, and disclaimer, and tell you that Mr. Dotson, we're told, has spoken with authorities.

Jim Ryan with WBAP Radio in Waco. Thanks very much for being with us.

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