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Psychics Helping Police Solve Crimes

Aired April 29, 2004 - 21:00   ET


NANCY GRACE, GUEST HOST: Tonight: violent crimes unsolved, leaving authorities desperate: no leads, no witnesses, nowhere to turn except to the last resort, psychics. Can they solve a boy's kidnapping? Will they prove a husband really murdered his wife? Will a missing person case turn into a murder investigation? And can they find a missing 5-year-old boy in time to save his life? Solve the mysteries with us next on LARRY KING LIVE.
Good evening. Welcome to LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Nancy Grace from Court TV, in for Larry tonight, and I want to thank you for being with us.

If you are a cynic like me, someone that only believes in hard evidence, you're going to find tonight's show very tough to believe -- psychics that believe they can use their special powers to crack unsolved mysteries. Out of Little Rock, Arkansas, a teenager never shows up home after work. Can you imagine? It's every parent's worst nightmare. His family is mystified, and one of the biggest manhunts in Arkansas history takes off. As a last resort, police bring in a psychic.


ANNOUNCER: Carol asks for a photograph of Tyson (ph), and when she touches his image, she immediately feels an intense and positive energy. But frightening and violent images start flooding her mind.

CAROL PATE, PSYCHIC WHO HELPED FIND KIDNAPPED ARKANSAS TEEN: I felt the trauma of the abduction. I was able then to get a combination of a visual, where he was taken or being taken. It was the country. And I knew that he was being kept in the back of this house. It was just -- there was nothing to the house. It was just flat.


GRACE: With us tonight, the parents of a missing boy, Tyson, Anita and Henry Efird. Also with us, the psychic whom many people claim can crack the case, Carol Pate. Welcome, everyone, to LARRY KING LIVE. Thank you for being with us.

Right off the bat, let's go to Henry and Anita. Anita, when did you first realize that evening that something was very, very wrong with your son?

ANITA EFIRD, PSYCHIC HELPED FIND HER KIDNAPPED SON: Well, it was about midnight. He was at work, and he was supposed to get off work at 10:00 o'clock, and he was supposed to come down to the deer camp and spend a couple of days with us. And about midnight, a car drove in, and I thought it was his truck and -- but it wasn't. It was the sheriff. Henry saw him, and he said, Well, what's up? And he said, I think we've got a problem. He said, We can't find Tyson.

GRACE: Oh, Lord! And Tyson had never been in any trouble before. I looked at the background of this case -- perfect student in school, had this job, no problem at all. This is every parent's worst nightmare. When a sheriff showed up on your doorstep and told you Tyson was missing, what did you think?

ANITA EFIRD: I knew something was wrong because I knew that he just wouldn't go off because he -- you know, he was looking forward to coming and spending a few days with us at the deer camp, that we did every year, and I knew that something bad had happened to him. It was just...

GRACE: Well, let me go to you, Henry. When did you finally decide to call in a psychic?

HENRY EFIRD, PSYCHIC HELPED FIND HIS KIDNAPPED SON: It was about two days into the search. We decided then to venture out and see if we could find other ways and means. We were grasping for anything to find any trace of any type of evidence. And that's...

GRACE: Did you go looking for him yourself? Did you try to go out and scour the area, the grocery store where he worked? You found his truck parked there. That must have broken your heart, Henry.

HENRY EFIRD: Yes. See, I was an investigator for the sheriff's department, and whenever the sheriff came and notified us, well, I knew there was something bad wrong then. And by finding his truck still left in the parking lot, well, I knew that something had happened.

GRACE: At any point, did you let it cross your mind, Henry, that Tyson could be dead?

HENRY EFIRD: Oh, sure, because I worked several kidnappings and homicides and stuff, and normally after about 24 to 36 hours, you're looking for a body.

GRACE: Carol Pate, how did you finally get involved in the case?

PATE: A family member of the Efirds called me up and asked me if I would help on this case, and I said yes, I would. And they asked me what I needed, and I told them that I needed a photograph or something of Tyson's. And I began working with the photograph.

GRACE: And what do you do? You hold the photograph, and what? What happens then?

PATE: I hold the photograph in my hand, and I tune into the energy of the individual. The individual has a signature energy, and I'm kind of like a radio. I tune into their station, and once I get that signal, I then know if they're alive or dead, what they're thinking, what's happened to them.

GRACE: When you tuned into Tyson's photo...

PATE: Yes.

GRACE: ... this teenager that has been missing for days now, what was your immediate read on him?

PATE: He was alive.

GRACE: What did you see?

PATE: I saw that he was alive. I saw that he was with these men, one man in particular. I began to describe basically what had happened, that he had been kidnapped from the parking lot of the store, and that he had been put, I think it was in a truck, and that I then saw where they were taking him. And then I saw the house and what it looked like, and I described the house. And I noted a belt buckle that the man had on -- it was very distinctive -- and described him, and I...

GRACE: You also saw camouflage, right?

PATE: Yes.

GRACE: Camouflage material?

PATE: Material.

GRACE: Like a camouflage outfit?

Stay with us. When we come back, you will find out the significance of what Carol Pate, a psychic, claims she saw. Where does a belt buckle fit in? What does a camouflage outfit mean? And what will happen to a missing boy? Stay with us.


PATE: I use what's known as psychometry. I work as a radio station. I fine tune my frequency to the frequency that I'm touching, and I can get any type of information that I basically need.

I don't have the facilities or the means or ways of solving the case, but I can give the police a way to go, a place to look, an area or an avenue that they did not know exists.



ANNOUNCER: A 17-year-old boy reports to work, then vanishes in the middle of his shift.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was like he completely disappeared. No trace, no nothing.

ANNOUNCER: His family is mystified, and in a desperate search for answers, turns to an unlikely source for help.

PATE: I have means and capabilities of going into areas, reaching into areas that the police cannot go into.

ANNOUNCER: Can detectives use a psychic's vision to catch a kidnapper?


GRACE: If you are a dyed-in-the-wool cynic, you may change your mind after listening to tonight's show. Imagine this: it's every parent's worst nightmare, a teenage boy never came home following his job. One of the most massive manhunts in Arkansas history ensued, and still nothing, until finally, the parents contacted Carol Pate, a psychic. She immediately, after holding Tyson's photo, the missing boy, got visions of a violent kidnap there at his job, visions of a belt buckle, and of camouflage.

Let's go back to Carol Pate. Carol, what happened then?

PATE: I then made a trip to Melbourne (ph), and I got together with Mr. and Mrs. Efird and tried to find out more, tried to find the location of where he was being held. So we went to the parking lot, and from the parking lot, I began to get more information. "Ridge (ph)," came into my head.

GRACE: Well, this is what's incredible to me, that the name, ridge -- when I was first reading about your case, I couldn't understand, did you get the word "ridge"...

PATE: Yes.

GRACE: ... or did you see a ridge in your mind's eye?

PATE: No, I got the word.

GRACE: The word "ridge."

PATE: And I asked Mr. Efird about it, and then it was Ridge -- it was Ridge Road. And then I saw the direction of where they drove out of the parking lot, and we followed the direction through the energy, if you will, and sure enough, we ended up on Ridge Road. If I could tell...

GRACE: It's incredible. It's incredible. Henry Efird, what happened after she revealed to you belt buckle, camouflage, Ridge Road, violent abduction in the parking lot where Tyson worked? What finally cracked the case?

HENRY EFIRD: Well, she directed -- Carol directed us within a half a mile of the house, but we never could actually get right to the house or we never did go down to the house. We had two deer hunters then to take and say that they had seen two men with a young boy in a truck with them. And then there was so much traffic of police and FBI agents and stuff around the house, he gets scared. He plays Russian roulette with him, which Carol had told us that they were playing Russian roulette with him. He gets scared, carries him out, rapes him again, after raping him numerous times at the residence, carries him out, gives him $1,000. And Tyson tries to convince him that he's not going to tell me about it, and Anita, carries him within a mile of our residence and turns him loose. And he runs through the -- one of our neighbors'. They call us at 2:00 o'clock in the morning.

GRACE: So Tyson lived through the ordeal. And what became of his kidnappers, the people that sexually abused your boy?

HENRY EFIRD: He got three life sentences and 50 years. I sorry!

GRACE: Mr. Efird, I'm sorry, too. But you know what? I'm just so thankful that he came home alive. And let me go to you, Mrs. Efird -- Anita. When you look back on what happened, and you remember what Carol Pate was telling you, can you believe it? Had you ever believed in psychics before?

ANITA EFIRD: Several years ago, I went to one that was there in Malvern (ph), and there was some things that she told me that was true and there were some things that weren't. But when your son's gone like that and you don't know where he's at, you'll do anything. And it was my sister and my brother who told me about Carol. And when Carol came and talked to us and told us the things that were going on -- Carol is what really kept me going because she kept saying, He's alive. Don't give up on that because he's alive.

GRACE: And what's so incredible is that when Tyson was found by police, he described his trip in the car when he was abducted, and the perpetrator was wearing camouflage and a distinctive belt buckle, and he was held on Ridge Road -- everything that Carol Pate, the psychic, had told you.

Last question, Anita. Was there any way that Carol could have known these details at the time she revealed them to you?

ANITA EFIRD: No. Absolutely not.

GRACE: Well, I'm happy to say that the Efirds' story had a very happy ending. Their son was recovered alive, and the kidnapers are today behind bars for three consecutive life sentences.

I want to quickly take you to Portland, Oregon, and another case regarding so-called psychics. Now, if you're a dyed-in-the-wool cynic like I am, you may not believe this, but take a listen. Laurie McQuary, a family friend and local psychic investigator, are brought in to solve a case with no leads and very little evidence. A family is convinced their daughter has been killed. Her clues leave a skeptical detective amazed at what the psychic finds.


LAURIE MCQUARY, PSYCHIC WHO HELPED FIND KILLER AND VICTIM: The information I normally need in a missing person case is, like, a picture and a birth date. And I use the birth date as merely a focal point. But that's all I need. In fact, I don't want any extraneous information. I find that it kind of clogs the filters, so to speak. ANNOUNCER: When Laurie concentrates on Alexis's (ph) image, she immediately senses that the young mother has been murdered.


GRACE: Let's go to Portland, Oregon. Standing by is psychic Laurie McQuary and Detective Bob Lee. Welcome to LARRY KING to both of you.

First to you, Bob Lee. Tell me how the case started.

DET. BOB LEE, LAKE OSWEGO, OREGON: One of my uniformed officers took a missing person report from a man by the name of John Burke (ph). His wife had been gone for about three days, and my officer was so incensed that John's reactions just weren't what he expected.

GRACE: Well, wait a minute. Wait a minute. Detective, a man's wife has been missing for two or three days before he calls it in?

LEE: He only called it...

GRACE: Do you really need a psychic?

LEE: Well, he only called it in because family members made him.

GRACE: Well, that's a good start. So tell me, how does the psychic get into the picture?

LEE: A couple of months after the woman was reported missing, we had gone through about everything we could, and she was contacted by the mother of the missing woman, who -- Laurie told her a bunch of things. And I contacted Laurie by phone and made an appointment to meet with her for lunch, just to find out what she had to say about the case.

GRACE: Well, wait a minute. Detective, when you say you had done everything you could -- you've got a 28-year-old girl, beautiful, who allegedly just walked out on her baby, her home, her husband, and all you have is her car parked about, what, 100 miles away?

LEE: No, actually, it wasn't even that far. It was 12 miles north of Vancouver, which is very close to here, parked at a rest area.

GRACE: Right. Right. Right. I remember that now. Now, there was no DNA, no fingerprints, no anything to go on.

LEE: Well, we didn't have anything as far as the vehicle was concerned because all the fingerprints belonged to John, the husband, and we didn't know whether they belonged to the woman or not simply because we didn't have her fingerprints. But there was nothing to indicate that a crime had even occurred. We just had a vehicle.

GRACE: So how long into the case did you go? How many leads did you follow until you finally contacted psychic Laurie McQuary? LEE: We're talking -- the case itself ran about two-and-a-half or three volumes of paperwork, and we had contacted over 40 people before we met Laurie for the first time.

GRACE: Wow. At the end of their rope, a 28-year-old mother, Alexis, is missing, no leads, no witnesses, no forensics, no DNA. And finally, last resort, the detective seeks out a psychic. Stay with us.


ANNOUNCER: Coming up next, Laurie McQuary has a shocking vision.

MCQUARY: I felt Alexis had been murdered.

ANNOUNCER: Can Laurie's psychic insight put detectives on the right track?




ANNOUNCER: Right off the bat, scenes of a troubled marriage play out.

MCQUARY: ... or she was going to leave. And I think they had this huge fight.

LEE: She said that they argued over the normal things -- you know, finances, John being lazy, John working for his father and not making enough money, over medical bills.

MCQUARY: And I think...

ANNOUNCER: And then Laurie sees a chilling and brutal attack.

MCQUARY: ... with his hands. I just knew the first words that came to me is that she had been strangled. There was never a question in my mind.

ANNOUNCER: Laurie believes that John Burke is a murderer, but she also sees an accomplice, possibly a brother. Detective Lee confirms that Burke has a younger brother named Kelly (ph).

MCQUARY: I could see two people handling this poor woman's body.


GRACE: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Nancy Grace from Court TV, in for Larry tonight. Thank you for being with us.

Tonight, an intriguing story about a case with no leads. And finally, detectives seek out a psychic. Let's go back to Portland, Oregon, to the psychic, Laurie McQuary. Now, how -- what were your first visions or feelings regarding the case of missing 28-year-old Alexis Burke?

MCQUARY: My first impression is that someone close to her, perhaps her husband, had been involved in this. And I did not feel she was alive.

GRACE: So you see this 28-year-old mother's picture, and you get this thought. You think she's dead. What was your next, I guess, vision of the case? What happened then?

MCQUARY: Right. Well, what I do, Nancy, is I sit down seriously with -- what I do is a profile on the case myself. I sit by myself with the picture and the little bit of facts I have on it. And I immediately felt she was buried. I felt that other people in this family had been involved in her disposal. And I felt certain specifics about where she might be buried. And that's what I shared...

GRACE: I got to tell you something...

MCQUARY: ... with the family.

GRACE: ... Laurie, that really threw me for a loop, is when you told detectives you saw a hand around her throat.

MCQUARY: Yes. Yes.

GRACE: And also, that she was buried underground, near water. So long story short, Detective, what had become of this 28-year-old mom? Just a gorgeous girl!

LEE: She had been strangled. She was buried near water. Of course, the water part -- this is Oregon, so there's a lot of water. But of the 30 things that I documented when I first met Laurie, 28 of them came out to be absolutely true the day we dug up the body. The 29th turned out to be true a couple of years later, when I contacted the suspect in jail.

GRACE: And also, Detective, the fact that Laurie was able to tell you, without knowing any of these people, that there was a co- conspirator that helped bury this body, that was very close to the defendant, and it turned out to be his brother, right?

LEE: That's correct.

GRACE: So what has become of those two?

LEE: John, the husband, actually spent 13 years in the Oregon state penitentiary for her murder. We had made a deal for no prosecution for the younger brother in exchange for him showing us where the body was buried.

GRACE: Detective Lee, had you ever used a psychic in a case before? LEE: Prior to that time, I viewed psychics as little old ladies with a 4-by-8 sheet of plywood in their front yard that says Madame Melba Reads. I'm a left-brain thinker, meaning I'm very good with numbers and computers, and I'm not too far in touch with the right brain, which most psychics are. So no, it had never occurred to me before.

GRACE: Detective Bob Lee, not a happy ending in the fact that Alexis Burke had been murdered by her husband, but at least the victim's family has peace. To the two of you, thank you for being with us.

MCQUARY: Thank you.

GRACE: And when we come back, another hard to believe and incredible story of psychics cracking cases that seem to be unsolvable.


MCQUARY: Psychic work is not an exact science, and if you look at anything that we do in life, is anything perfect?

The police work very, very hard. Sometimes they come up against a stone wall. Sometimes there's a fact perhaps that they didn't pay attention to or they overlooked. I'd like to think maybe I brought them back to that point where they could examine it again.

LEE: Laurie said that the body would be buried where John could keep an eye on it. And that was quite strange because we're talking -- the body was buried 75 yards away from the building where John worked. She described the argument, what had occurred between Alexis and John.

She mentioned the people that should have known about the case, including the older brother, the younger brother. There were just so many things that were tremendously accurate. You know, it boggles the mind.




ANNOUNCER: A nurse named Melanie Uribe vanishes on her way to work without any suspects or physical evidence. Los Angeles detectives are searching without a map for the missing woman. But one woman, Etta Smith, feels she knows exactly where Melanie Uribe is. How? A psychic vision supplied her with the exact location of the missing nurse.


GRACE: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Nancy Grace from Court TV in for Larry tonight. I want to thank you for being with us. Tonight, violent crimes unsolved. Detectives left with no leads become desperate. I want to tell you about a case out of Spokane, Washington. A case that really defies logic. Take a listen to this.


ANNOUNCER: Etta doesn't know Melanie Urbie, but she's sure that the images flooding her mind are connected to her disappearance. Detective Ryan knows that every second counts in the hunt for a missing person. Could Etta Smith's psychic clues give them a much needed break in the case? Etta Smith's vision becomes a reality, when she sees the exact location flash in front of her eyes.


ANNOUNCER: Now, investigators left to make sense of a bizarre chain of events. A woman goes to the remote canyon and finds the body of a murder victim she claims she's never met. It seems like an improbable feat. So improbable, that Etta Smith becomes suspect No. 1 in the murder of Melanie Uribe.


GRACE: I want you to meet detective Lee Ryan, and psychic Etta Smith. First of all, detective Ryan, when did you first become involved in the case, and this is an incredible case, in my mind.

LEE RYAN, LAPD: Etta Smith approached the detective desk of the Valley Office of LAPD, and indicated that she had some information she felt that she just had to share with us regarding a case that we've been working on.

GRACE: When she approached you, had she ever had any history of psychic visions? Had she ever worked on any other cases before?

RYAN: No, she stated that she felt in the past that she might have seen or heard things, that might have been of a psychic nature, but never of a nature where she felt she could assist in solving a very prominent homicide we were investigating.

GRACE: Well, Detective Ryan, a lot of police would have probably tried to arrest her right there on the spot. I mean, a woman comes into your office, you've got a missing nurse, all that's left is a burned out car, nobody knows where she is. She's been missing for some time. A lot of people, a lot of cops would have arrested Etta right then.

RYAN: Etta had credentials from her employer. She had top security clearances. She lived in the community. She was obviously a professional businesswoman, and she...

GRACE: Well, thank god you did not arrest her on the spot.

Let's go to the lady in question, Etta Smith. So how did you become attracted to this case?

ETTA SMITH, PSYCHIC: I had heard the news earlier in the week, Monday or Tuesday, that this nurse was missing.

GRACE: Melanie Uribe?

SMITH: Right. On Wednesday, while I was at work, I was listening to the news off and on during the day. And around 3:00, I heard the police say that they were doing a house to house search for her after locating her vehicle. And as soon as that thought registered, instantly my mind said, she's not in a house. As soon as that thought passed, it was as if I saw a movie. I could visually see where she was. I didn't know the name of the street, but I knew how to get there. And I couldn't shake this. I couldn't it to leave me.

GRACE: When I you say you saw, what did you see?

SMITH: I saw a canyon road. I saw where the road curved. I saw a dirt path going to a white object, and a hill behind it very, very clearly.

GRACE: An so officer, Detective Ryan, what did you do when this woman, you've never seen her before, comes up with this vision?

RYAN: I invited Etta to step into the squad room, where we have large wall maps of the area of our division and asked her to indicate as best she could the area she felt this canyon was in and the roads that led to it. And as she did so, I took several photographs depicting both her and her pointing to the location in case it did turn out that she was possibly involved.

GRACE: So you were cynical, weren't you?

RYAN: Yes, I was.

GRACE: When you come back, we are going to hear the rest of the story. At this juncture, a 31-year-old nurse, Melanie Uribe, never missed work, as reliable as a Timex wrist watch, goes missing. All that is found is her burned out car, and suddenly, a psychic comes on the scene. Stay with us.


SMITH: I have and experienced things ever since I was a very young child that I didn't know that everybody didn't think the way I did. One example, I always will remember is we used to go to the country sometimes on the weekend to my grandparents' house. We would still be at home. I'd see us leave the house. I'd see us arrive in the driveway, and see my cousin come out with the baby and the family on her hip. We'd have conversations. I couldn't wait to get my hands on the baby and yet we hadn't left the house.

And then when we did leave the house it would happen just like I already saw.




ANNOUNCER: Just 24 hours after she disappeared Melanie Uribe is found raped and murdered in a remote canyon outside of Los Angeles. Etta Smith says a psychic vision led her to the crime scene, but some investigators don't buy it. Etta is booked on suspicion of murder and sent to jail. Etta spends four days in a cell, haunted by the visions that led her to Melanie Uribe's shallow grave.


GRACE: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Nancy Grace from Court TV and want to thank you for being with us tonight. If you are a cynic like me, you're going to find tonight's show very tough to take in.

But I want to you meet Etta Smith, a psychic, and Detective Lee Ryan. They are confronted with a missing 31-year-old nurse. No leads, no clues, no forensic evidence, until Etta Smith walks into Ryan's office and says she's had a vision.

So Detective Ryan, we left off where she was pointing on a map where she thought, after seeing a vision of a canyon, this missing nurse was. What did you do then?

RYAN: The area she was indicating is a very remote sector of the San Fernando Valley, Lopez Canyon. I then instructed her to be back at the station the following morning at 7:00 a.m., and we would have a helicopter from air support divisino there to take there up into this area and search with her help and assistance.

GRACE: The following morning, did she show up?

RYAN: No, she didn't.

GRACE: What happened, Etta? Why were you a no show?

SMITH: Well, as I was leaving the police station, Mr. Ryan had told me they had not checked that area yet, and I told him I had a feeling I would. Something inside of me said they might not check in time. I didn't know if the victim was dead or alive. I just felt so strongly she was there, that if somebody needed to get to her, they needed to get to her right away, and I couldn't let it rest because it wouldn't leave me alone. I kept seeing it over and over and over again. So I proceeded to go to the canyon.

GRACE: So you get in your car, and drive to this remote area, all on your own.

SMITH: Right, with some family members.

GRACE: You know, Etta, this is such an incredible story to me. You get in your car. You drive out to this remote canyon, and tell us what happened.

SMITH: Well, in driving up the canyon, I had instructed everybody with me to please be on the alert for anything white showing through shrubbery. We cruised the canyon very slowly, got to the top, didn't see anything but I could feel trauma.

And at the top when all of us got back in the vehicle, I said we may not have seen anything, but I feel her. I very much feel her. She's in this canyon, and I said we're going back down the canyon. If we don't find anything, we're leaving here, because I feel it.

GRACE: So you go back down the canyon and?

SMITH: Got halfway down, I noticed tire marks in an embankment on the left side of the road. I also noticed tire marks in dirt on the right side of the road. Instinctively, something told me to stop. I got out of my van. I looked to see if someone possibly could have turned around in the middle of this narrow canyon road, and I put my fingers into the impressions in the dirt, and as soon as they touched the dirt, it was almost electrifying, I could just feel all kinds of trauma.

In leaving that side, I went to the other side of the road laid my fingers in the impressions and the same thing happened. And I knew, I knew this was the vehicle. I knew that these tire impressions were involved with this victim.

GRACE: So what, in the end, Etta, did you find?

SMITH: We ended up finding the victim exactly as I had said, off on the right-hand side of the road with a dirt path leading to her, white showing through shrubbery with a hill behind her.

GRACE: Detective Ryan, this woman, Etta Smith, a psychic, found a dead body before the police could, and in return, they arrest her, detective. How was the case finally solved?

RYAN: Well, it was very complicated. That touches on the perimeter of the story. Basically, because she had found it, and nobody else was able to or come up with any clues, naturally, all involved in the investigation had felt that she had to know the perpetrators and, or, band of participant in order to go to that location so specifically.

I believe that it was not luck. I believe that she had a feeling for the location. There hadn't been anything in the newspapers indicating the clues that we had or the suspects we might be looking for. And basically the case was going absolutely nowhere at that point. So her finding the body just really tended to point fingers...

GRACE: At that point, it did make her a legitimate suspect, but in the end, as it turns out, three guys had been overheard bragging that they had kidnapped and tortured and killed a nurse. And they were turned in, and confessed, and were found guilty and the end of the story, I guess, Etta is something you didn't predict. You sued the police department and won for false arrest.

SMITH: Right. It took six years to do, but I felt forced to do it. I had to clear my name. I did not want any cloud of suspicion hanging over me, plus I had a high level clearance with the Department of Defense, and I needed my day in court. GRACE: Another case with a sad ending, cracked by a so-called psychic. Stay with us.


ANNOUNCER: To this day, despite the trouble she endured, Etta still feels a powerful connection to Melanie Uribe.

SMITH: I doubt there's a week that goes by that she doesn't come across my mind. I never knew her. Sometimes I feel like maybe she's with me, maybe she guides me, but I know that because of her, my life changed forever.




ANNOUNDER: It is every detective's nightmare, a small child lost in the woods on a stormy night. Hundreds of volunteers search in vain.

UNIDENTIIFED MALE: If he wasn't in the lake, exposure was certainly going to take its toll.

ANNOUNCER: As hope fades, they are joined by a psychic who can see through the fog.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If I felt like I was losing touch with him, then I would hold onto the sneaker even more.

ANNOUNCER: But can a psychic compass lead them in the right direction?


GRACE: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Nancy Grace from Court TV, in for Larry tonight. Thank you for being with us.

An incredible story of so-called psychics helping to crack a case. But do they ever have happy endings? Here is a parents' worst nightmare, a 5-year-old boy dressed in nothing but a swimsuit missing in a giant national forest. Take a listen.


ANNOUNCER: Don and Mary Kennedy bring their 5-year-old son Tommy to Empire Lake for a family picnic. After lunch, the little boy has a temper tantrum and runs off. When the Kennedys go looking for him, it is as though the woods have swallowed him whole. Their son has disappeared.

After an hour of fruitless searching, they go to a park ranger for help. He, in turn, connects the Tioga County Sheriff's Office and detective Dave Retsicker. Retsicker heads to the lake and questions the Kennedys. By now he knows Tommy could be anywhere.


GRACE: With us tonight from bing hamton, New York, retired detective Dave Retsicker. Also with us, psychic Phil Jordan. Thank you, gentlemen, for being with us here on LARRY KING LIVE. Very quickly to you, detective, tell me how the case first started off.

DAVE RETSICKER, RETIRED DETECTIVE: Well, the lake where this occurred was out in a rural area of our county, and I was off that particular day and received a call from my office that there was a missing boy. And so I responded to the scene and that would be security guard there, and he filled me in on what had happened.

We notified the local fire departments and emergency squads to form search parties, and commence the search parties. This was early in the afternoon on a Sunday. By nightfall, the weather had turned very poor, a thunderstorm came up. We had to call off the searches. And at that point, we were going to wait until morning.

GRACE: Oh, gosh, with a 5-year-old boy lost near a lake. I'm sure the parents were beside themselves, detective.

RETSICKER: Yes, they were. The father actually contacted Phil, who in turn contacted me. Turns out that he was requesting Phil's help to help us up at the scene. Although Phil and I have known each other for years, at the time I hadn't thought about contacting him yet.

GRACE: So Phil, what was the first you knew of the case?

PHIL JORDAN, PSYCHIC: Well, the first I knew of the case, I had been on a trip down in Pennsylvania and I got back right about 7:00 that night, when we were having a very bad electric storm. And I ran from the garage to my apartment, and as I ran across the back yard, the landlady stood in the back door of the house and the fire siren was ringing and I was wondering what was going on. I thought maybe lightning had hit something. And so I asked what was going on, and she informed me that a little boy was missing up at Empire Lake.

GRACE: So detective, you had actually sounded a siren and called for volunteers to start looking for the boy until you finally had to call it off for the night, right?

RETSICKER: That's correct, yes.

GRACE: So, let me ask you this, Phil Jordan, what was your first initial feeling regarding the case and how did you help the family?

JORDAN: My first initial feeling was that the boy was alive, because I could see him lying down with his headresting on his arm, as if he were sleeping under a tree. And they had assumed he may have gotten in the lake and drowned, because he was wearing a swimsuit, last seen with a swim toy. He was barefoot so they thought maybe he had gone into the lake and drowned, but I felt he was very much alive. I felt he was sleeping under a tree. GRACE: Now, how did you lead them actually on the search through the forest?

JORDAN: Well, as night fell, I really -- and the father did contact me later on, and as night fell, I really felt that I couldn't go to the scene in the dark, because I might miss a clue. And so I took a piece of paper and drew a map of where I felt the little boy would be found. And I felt that I would arrive at the lake and there would be three overturns boats on the shore and across from that, there would be a building and I'd go in the lake or into the woods behind the building across the lake, and we would find an opening where there would be some stones gathered together, as if somebody was getting ready to build something. We continued on...

GRACE: Had you ever been to this lake before?

JORDAN: No, never, never. Even though it had been somewhat in my area, just not a place I had ever been.

GRACE: Well detective, when he shows up then with this map he's drawn during the night, what did you make of it?

RETSICKER: Well, I was surprised at the accuracy of it as far as around the lake and the three boats that were overturned on the shore, and the building that was actually a wall tent, but it was exactly where he had placed it on his map.

GRACE: Well in fact, it was going in a different direction that you all had initially presumed the boy went.

So you followed the map through this very dense forest. I've seen photos of it, video of it, and what ultimately happened detective?

RETSICKER: Well, very short period of time, actually, we had spent well over 12 hours with a couple hundred searchers without success, and it was actually less than an hour before Phil led us right to the boy.

GRACE: Were the parents there with you at the time?

JORDAN: No, they were still at the lake. We brought the boy back to them.

GRACE: And detective, a 5-year-old Tommy, what was his condition when you finally found the boy?

RETSICKER: Remarkably, he was very well: dirty, cold. We brought him back to the camp by the lake, and we had the emergency squad there and we had several of the EMTs check him out, and then he was taken to the hospital just for follow-up. He turned out nothing more than a few scratches and a little dirt.

GRACE: Man, what a story. And finally, a happy ending. Gentlemen, thank you. An incredible, incredible story, the 5-year-old boy, alive and well, just as psychic Phil Jordan had predicted. Finally, a happy ending.

This story and others just like it, can be seen every Wednesday night on Court TV on "Psychic Detective." In fact, Friday night, 10:00 p.m., a Court TV special episode of "Psychic Detective."

I'm Nancy Grace, signing off for tonight. I want to thank you for being with us. Tonight. Bye-bye.


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