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Body of Sarah Lunde has Been Found; A look at Hybrid Automobiles with Lauren Fix

Aired April 16, 2005 - 18:00   ET


CAROL LIN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, obviously a very frustrated Sheriff David Gee talking with reporters there, and delivering the bad news, that the body of 13-year-old Sarah Lunde has been found in an abandoned fish farm, not far from where she disappeared at her home in Ruskin, Florida. The 13-year-old was last seen last Saturday night by her brother. And according to Sheriff Gee, he thinks that so far they think that the body has been at that abandoned fish farm for several days, probably since soon after she disappeared.
So I'm going to toss it now to CNN's Sarah Dorsey who's been standing by covering this case for us.

Sarah, I know that had to be very tough news for the sheriff to deliver, certainly to the family.

SARAH DORSEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It has absolutely been. I'll tell you, Carol, the family left this area about 10:30 this morning, I guess. I was actually speaking with Mark Lunsford. And that's a name we all know. His daughter, Jessica Lunsford, was killed in February allegedly by a sex offender. When this all happened, it was Sarah's mother who made a call to her sister that was here. And they took off and went to the home and were told by detectives that the body was, indeed, found at about 10:00 this morning. It was found in an abandoned fish farm, according to the sheriff, by some search dogs. We had more than 20 volunteer searchers and 100 law enforcement agents out here today. So this news not necessarily unexpected.

The sheriff had told us he wasn't going to talk to the media again until he could tell us something concrete about this body. And he is saying now that the body did have a green cast, which, of course, we all know Sara Lunde had on her arm because of a wrist injury. So that is one of the major things that helped them identify this body.

A very tough time for the family. We are at the First Apostolic Church. This is where Sarah Lunde attended church. Everyone here has been hoping and praying that possibly this body wouldn't be hers. But found only a half mile from the home she disappeared from, it didn't look likely. And the sheriff didn't seem hopeful when he delivered the news today at about 12:30, of course, now confirming all of our fears that indeed this little girl has been murdered.

He said there's no question that she died of homicidal violence, according to a question one reporter asked him during this news conference. He has informed the family. So they do now know and we know that they were home earlier. With Mark Lunsford, also talking to them through this, after finding out that, indeed a body had been found. So I'm sure they're going through some very, very tough times at this point, Carol.

From here, we'll have to wait and see. They have talking to a man, David Onstott. He is a 36-year-old convicted sex offender that once had a relationship with Sarah Lunde's mom. He is currently in jail, being held on unrelated charges, but the sheriff's office has been saying they are talking to him. They do not have concrete evidence yet to charge him. He said that he will name him a suspect if there's evidence to do that, when he can put handcuffs on him. So right now he is not considered a suspect or a person of interest. The sheriff has just named him as one person he's been talking to. But that's what we have, a name. We don't have names of the other people he's been talking to. So that's where this case stands right now. Of course, we did just find out that they are confirming that body found this morning is that of Sarah Lunde.

Carol, I'll send it back into you.

LIN: Thanks very much, Sarah.

We want to go over some of the evidence that was also found at the scene and how complicated this case may be, given the condition of the body and exactly where she was found. So joining me from Houston, Texas is Robert Jensen. He is a forensic expert and the president and CEO of Kenyon International, a leading disaster management company.

Robert, the sheriff, frankly, was straight and to the point. This is going to be very complicated. Her body has been submerged in water. There was a great deal of effort by the killer's part to hide her body. She has been there for several days. How difficult is it going to be to collect evidence from that body and from that scene?

ROBERT JENSEN, KENYON INTERNATIONAL: Well, there's three things that that body needs to tell us, and it is going to be a challenge because this case is complex. The body needs to tell us who she is and the sheriff has not given a positive identification but has come pretty close...

LIN: No, he said -- he just had a news conference and said it is indeed the 13-year-old girl.

JENSEN: OK. Well, we have the positive identification, and of course, the medical examiner is going to have to validate that. The second thing is they have to find out where she was killed, what time she was killed, and how she came to end up where she was found. The third piece that'll be critical here is what evidence is on the body that should not be there, in other words, if the suspect had reason to be in the home, legally, there may be some evidence that he left there, hair fibers, trace evidence that's been transferred to the girl. And the police are going to have to be able to differentiate what should have been there versus what should not have been there.

LIN: Wait, OK. So Robert, let's go over where she was found, once again in a body of water, in an abandoned fish farm. The body had been there for several days, likely since shortly after she disappeared last Saturday. So what are they going to find?

JENSEN: Well, the body can contain a lot of evidence, biological evidence, trace evidence. Even though the body has been in water, there still may be some of that that's covered or recovered, some of it trapped between the skin and the cast, some of it in the clothing. The water will destroy many things but with the forensic techniques that are available and a good investigation, and Hillsborough County has a good forensic examiner, some of that's still possible to be recovered. We don't know and we won't know until the medical examiner is finished but it's crucial they have the time and the opportunity so that they can give that evidence that can exclude or include people as suspects.

LIN: All right. And several beer bottles reportedly found at the scene. Let's give the scenario of last weekend. She was last seen Saturday by her brother. She disappears sometime because the brother comes home Sunday, his sister's nowhere to be found. But who is found sitting at the kitchen table, David Onstott, a person of interest, not necessarily the prime suspect, but a man who has a history of sexual assault. He's a convicted sex offender.

He's currently jailed on unrelated assault charges to this case, but he is sitting at the kitchen table. Before he leaves the house, he grabs a half empty beer bottle. Beer bottle is found at the scene, where the body was found, beer bottle taken from the kitchen table. Does it seem like a no-brainer that if they can get his DNA off the bottle or a saliva swab and they match something to the bottles at the scene, is that enough to arrest this man?

JENSEN: Well, I think, one, he's in custody. Two, it would seem like a no-brainer but again, there's a lot of different things that can be possible. The police may already have his DNA. Many sex offenders in the U.S. have been propelled to provide DNA and it may already exist in a federal government data bank. But again, that may not be enough, because he may have had reason to have DNA in the house from a previous visit, which I understand he -- I think there was a relationship with the mother and him so...

LIN: But also beer bottles found where the body was found at the fish farm. There wouldn't be any coincidence that he...

JENSEN: Well, I'm probably one that doesn't believe in coincidence, but again, having it and being able to prove the relationship...

LIN: Right.

JENSEN: ...going back to look at the lot numbers, things like that that can help confirm they came from the same store, from the same batch. It would look that the police have a suspect to follow, but I think we've seen in some previous cases, focusing on one person to the exclusion of others can sometimes be a challenge in court.

LIN: Yes, it can be and law enforcement can be wrong. All right, Robert Jensen, thank you very much. Timely that we had you, given this breaking news at the top of the hour. Thanks. JENSEN: You're welcome.

LIN: In the meantime, we've got other news. Especially when it comes to our security watch and your safety, the big question today is, are America's airports any safer now than they were on the eve of 9/11? Well, government investigators have reportedly come up with some troubling conclusions about the performance of airport security screeners who have been under federal supervision for more than three years now. CNN's Elaine Quijano in Washington with our security watch.

Elaine, are we any safer?

ELAINE QUIJANO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello to you, Carol. Well, taking a look at what some officials say the news they call is unsettling.


QUIJANO (voice-over): But according to one lawmaker, these reports give airport screeners low marks in detecting possible weapons during undercover government tests. If you hopped a plane after September 11th, you've seen them at work, screeners overseen by the Transportation Security Administration, part of the Homeland Security Department keep watch at the nation's airports.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As far as screening goes, they're going to extremes. But I don't think it's helping much.

QUIJANO: Two new reports, one by the Congress' investigative arm, the GAO, the other by the inspector general for the Homeland Security Department, are expected to confirm what some suspect, screeners aren't spotting everything they should be, according to Congressman Pete DeFazio, the ranking Democrat on the House Aviation Subcommittee. He's been briefed on both reports.

REP. PETE DEFAZIO (D), HOUSE AVIATION SUBCOMMITTEE: They have 1980's technology for a 21st century threat. It's not working. It never will work. You could have the best screener in the world and they would not find many of these threat objects using that obsolete equipment.

QUIJANO: But he and his Republican counterpart, Congressman John Mica, disagree on the solution. Mica has indicated before he backs the idea of using privately employed screeners instead of federal employees. Of the reports, he told the "Associated Press," -- quote -- "a lot of people will be shocked at the billions of dollars we've spent and the results they're going to see, which confirm previous examinations of the Soviet-style screening system we've put in place." The former inspector general for Homeland Security worries past recommendations haven't been fully implemented.

CLARK KENT ERVIN, CNN SECURITY ANALYST: The report will show that there's been no improvement since '03, indeed, since 9/11 and the ability of screeners to detect these deadly weapons.


QUIJANO: But Ervin also notes he thinks Americans are safer in the skies because of hardened cockpits, more air marshals and better trained pilots.

Now, as for the Department of Homeland Security, one official says that he believes airport security is a much better system now than it was before September 11th. The same official, though, says that they understand there is always room to improve, and says they plan to take steps to do just that -- Carol.

LIN: Elaine, thank you very much. Elaine Quijano reporting live.

Of course, CNN is committed to providing the most reliable coverage of news that affects your security. So stay tuned to CNN for the latest information day and night.

In the meantime, it's being called the largest dragnet in U.S. history but will "Operation Falcon" really take a bite out of crime? We're going to go in search of answers next.

And still to come, they have the power to pick the pope, but who picks them and why? CNN takes you inside the College of the Cardinals.

Plus, taking advantage of soaring gas prices. Why one New Yorker thinks his hybrid car can get him $10,000 in profit.


LIN: Well, security and stability remain major concerns in Iraq. A suicide bomber blew himself up in a crowded restaurant in Ba'qubah, where a group of policemen were having lunch. Seven people were killed there; five police were officers, two civilians.

Eleven Iraqis escaped from the largest U.S. run prison today in what's believed to be the first breakout of its kind. Camp Bucca is located near the town of Unquasir. U.S. officials went on alert after finding a hole in a perimeter fence. Ten inmates were quickly recaptured. Authorities are still searching for the final escapee.

A U.S. convoy averted disaster today in Northern Baghdad. Iraqi police say a car bomb that was targeted at the convoy missed its mark. But it did blow up, wounding two Iraqis.

Another attack on American forces turned deadly. A U.S. soldier from the 42nd Military Police Brigade was killed today in a roadside bombing in Taji. The soldier was the second killed in Iraq in 24 hours.

And still no word of the fate of an American businessman, held hostage in Iraq. Jeffrey Ake was first seen in this video Wednesday, surrounded by hooded gunmen. In the video, Ake begged the U.S. government to negotiate with the Iraqi National Resistance and save his life. Ake is from Indiana, and his company is involved in reconstruction work in Iraq. Now, U.S. policy prohibits negotiations with insurgents, but the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad says a 25-member team is hard at work trying to secure his release. And the mystery surrounding a CBS stringer in Iraq is deepening. Earlier this month, a man was mistakenly shot and wounded by a U.S. soldier who thought he had a weapon. Well, the man was detained after the U.S. military said it found evidence, suggesting he may have been collaborating with insurgents. Military officials today said the stringer tested positive for explosive residue. Their investigation is continuing.

Now, you may have heard this week about "Operation Falcon," the coast-to-coast sweep which captured more than 10,000 fugitives. But just who was netted in this dragnet? Well, CNN's Kathleen Koch looks at some of the arrests in the nation's capital and examines whether "Operation Falcon" will have a lasting impact.



KATHLEEN KOCH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A full court press for a solid week by more than 3,000 federal agents and local police officers. The bulked up force netted more than 10,000 fugitives. Normally, in a week, U.S. Marshals would arrest 1,500.

JIM WERKING, U.S MARSHALS SERVICE: We're taking more folks that are wanted for murder, kidnapping, armed robbery, carjacking, you name it. They're the worst of the worst. I mean that's who the U.S. Marshals hunt.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: North Capital area to...

KOCH: In Washington D.C., marshals caught up with 48-year-old Robert Young, wanted for armed robbery of a local store, the shooting of a clerk and an alleged kidnapping last month. He was also wanted for parole violations on unrelated charges, say the marshals. In the wee hours of the morning, law enforcement made their way into this apartment building where Young was hiding.

WAYNE WARREN, DEPUTY U.S. MARSHAL: And as soon as we had reached the door, I could hear the hammer go back on the firearm. Familiar with it, heard it before, so I knew exactly what it was. And I had everybody freeze.

KOCH: Marshal Wayne Warren found Young under a bed and arrested him.

Karen Summer, convicted of second degree murder was arrested at this home on a parole violation. Elsewhere, officers sometimes found more than fugitives.

ED GILMORE, DC METROPOLITIAN POLICE: You could have weapons, laying right there, narcotics right there. So it ended up being a nice seizure. KOCH (on camera): But will this week make a difference? Critics argue it certainly proves police don't normally have the resources to track down all the fugitives who evaded capture.

(voice-over): Tom Hession is the nation's top marshal.

TOM HESSION, U.S. MARSHALS SERVICE: It's very rare that any eight one agency has the manpower and personal and resources to go after the large number of fugitives that are out there.

KOCH: And while "Operation Falcon" boosted those resources for a week, it's unclear whether it will have a lasting impact on crime.

BRIAN FORST, AMERICAN UNIVERSITY: One of the things that's really important is to have an analysis of what happens after a program like this? How effective is it? Who did they pick up? What are their criminal records like? Does crime change?

KOCH: Tough questions for a hard-hitting effort.

Kathleen Koch, CNN, Washington.


LIN: Historic steps are taken at the Vatican. After the break, find out what the cardinals did today that formally cleared the way for the selection of a new pope.

And President Bush wants to take a bite out of gas prices. So find out how, when CNN LIVE SATURDAY continues right after this.


LIN: Well, we are on the cusp of a new era in the Roman Catholic Church. And today at St. Peter's basilica you saw the first signs of that, the final mourning mass was held for Pope John Paul II. His official seal crushed. His fisherman's ring destroyed, all significant moves signaling the formal end to his reign as pope.

Now, Monday, the highly secretive papal election process, the conclave, begins. Cardinals will put their hands on the bible, swearing an oath of secrecy, and then these red-robed princes of the church will take stock of one another. Our Jim Bittermann takes a closer look at this exclusive club.


JIM BITTERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's not easy to become a member of this club. The cardinals, who are the pope's closest associates in life, and elect his successor when he dies, all started as priests. The Catholic Church has more than 400,000 priests. Most all cardinals also were once bishops but you can't become a bishop without the personal approval of the pope. There are more than 4,000 bishops. And to become a cardinal, you've got to be a bishop who has caught the eye of the pope in one way or another. All but two of the cardinals who will be voted for his replacement were named by Pope John Paul II. But does that mean they had to share the pope's views on key issues to get the promotion? The cardinal from London thinks not.

CARDINAL CORMAC MURPHY-O'CONNOR, ARCHBISHOP OF WESTMINISTER: So there's a lot we have in common but we have a real different kind of characters and that's the great thing. The church is united. It is -- and yet, there's a great diversity both in the characters that inhabit it.

BITTERMANN: The fact is the cardinals vary widely in their back grounds, experience and their opinions. Pastoral cardinals, those who work out in the real world with its real problems, tend to see things differently from those working in the Vatican bureaucracy. A cardinal from aid-stricken South Africa, for instance, always maintained the pope's line on the use of condoms, but looks the other way when his flock practices so-called safe sex anyway. The cardinal from Belgium believes it's time for another church-wide council like Vatican II to look at all sorts of issues that have cropped up since. The cardinal from Vienna thinks the church needs to look again at issues like the role of women in the church and celibacy. Everyone is coming to Rome with a different agenda.

REV. THOMAS REESE, CNN VATICAN CONSULTANT: Different parts of the world are coming with different issues trying to find one man who can fulfill this whole big job description.

BITTERMANN: The man who filled is last time was himself a surprise at least in part because he did tolerate some diversity. Some of the pope's men are more hard lined than the pope was himself. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger called homosexual an intrinsic moral evil whereas someone like California-based cardinal, Roger Mahoney, has established outreach ministries for homosexuals.

JOHN ALLEN, CNN VATICAN ANALYST: On many, many questions these people simply don't think alike. You have to remember, Jim, the College of Cardinals is not an organism that has a single will and intellect.

BITTERMANN: And so, if -- while they all might look alike in their red cassocks, the looks can deceive. Many cardinals have towed the line and bated their time waiting for exactly this moment.

(on camera): One American priest used to say there's nothing deader than a dead pope, meaning that when a pope passes away, no one feels any obligation to follow wishes or echo the view of a previous pope when it comes to evaluating what the church may need from the next one.

Jim Bitterman, CNN, Rome.


LIN: Well, here at home, do the nation's gas prices have you thinking about trading in your SUV? Well, before you head to the dealership you might want to do a little math.

After the break, I'm going to talk with an automotive expert about when it makes the natural sense to go hybrid.

And still to come, the biblical inspiration behind a new scented candle, why some are now criticizing its creators.

You're watching CNN LIVE SATURDAY.


LIN: Welcome back and here's a quick look at what's happening right now in the news.

Authorities in Florida say they believe a body they found today is that of 13-year-old Sarah Michelle Lunde. Lunde has been missing for a week and that body was found earlier today about a mile from her family's home.

An earthquake shook Central California today. The magnitude 5.1 quake hit about three hours ago. It was centered near the town of Pine Club Mountain. The shaking could be felt as far away as Los Angeles but there are no reports of injuries or damage.

And change still needed to be made at the nation's airports. Two new government reports due out next week reportedly say security has not improved since 9/11. Critics say better technology and security procedures are still needed.

And NASA is launching an investigation into why its dart spacecraft failed to link with a U.S. satellite. The 500-pound craft was launched yesterday, when computers apparently shut it down, reportedly because of a fuel problem. The dart project is part of a $110 million mission to test technology for tracking and docking with other spacecraft.

And now that we have your attention, the price at the pump dipped just a little bit this week, in some parts of the country, but nationwide, gas prices are still hovering near record highs. Now, in his weekly radio address today, President Bush said Americans are feeling the pinch and called on Congress to back his energy policies.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: America's prosperity depends on reliable, affordable and secure sources of energy. And today, our energy needs are growing faster than our domestic sources are able to provide. Demand for electricity has grown more than 17 percent in the past decade while our transmission ability lags behind. And we continue to import more than one-half of our domestic oil supply.


LIN: But mixed messages from Capitol Hill. On Wednesday, a House committee voted to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling, but on the same day, lawmakers blocked an effort to improve U.S. vehicle fuel efficiency. In their radio address today, Democrats said partisan Republican leaders are keeping both houses of Congress in gridlock, when the nation faces challenges such as mounting gas prices.

So if you're looking to save a few bucks on gas but you might be looking to buy a hybrid car but you might have to wait a few months. They are in demand, and one New York man is trying to cash in on that fact. Allan Chernoff has his story.


ALLAN CHERNOFF, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ken Ruck, proud owner of a brand new Toyota Prius. Fully loaded and with a hybrid engine, gas and electric, it gets 55 miles per gallon.

KEN RUCK, PRIUS OWNER: I love this car because not only does it save me money on gas but it also is pretty cool.

CHERNOFF: What he'd love even more would be to sell the Prius at a profit of $10,000. Ken, an employee of Virgin Mobile, is advertising on the web to sell for 37 grand.

RUCK: I purchased the car on Craig's List's website for $10,000 more than I paid for it. And pretty much every day since then, I've had three to four e-mails offering me not as much as what I'm asking for, but more than what I paid for it.

CHERNOFF: Yes, the Prius is popular. Toyota says the average wait for the car is two months.

(on camera): With gasoline prices near record levels, some people don't want to wait. They want their Prius now. Kelly Blue Book, the authority on car prices, says used Priuses are selling for $1,000 to $3,000 above sticker price. You can find them at or eBay Motors but $10,000 above list?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're either crazy or it's a great car, one or the other.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Maybe he's a better businessman than I am.

CHERNOFF (voice-over): This Toyota dealer says his customers need wait only a month for a Prius. But in New York, he says, anything is possible.

BRUCE EDELMAN, QUEENSBORO TOYOTA: We're not paying $10,000 more for a car no matter how great the car is. But there are some individuals who really want the car, and -- well, they're like on a quest that they want to get that car and they'll pay. They'll pay a high, high premium over the sticker price of what the customer paid for it, all right, probably he will get it.

CHERNOFF: If Ken Ruck gets his price, he says he'll buy another Prius to turn a quick buck. But perhaps only he sees green when looking at his silver car. At the very least, he'll save money on gas as he shows off his Prius.

Allan Chernoff, CNN, New York.


LIN: Of course, that's in a town where people pay $500 a month for parking.

All right, so if you want to save gas, that really is the bottom line, save some money, joining us to talk all about that is Lauren Fix. She's an automotive expert and co-host of a so on the Do-It- Yourself Network. She joins me now from Buffalo, New York where hopefully parking and gas may be a little cheaper, Lauren.

LAUREN FIX, AUTOMOTIVE EXPERT: It's pretty pricey here. We live in New York, so we have all those taxes to deal with.

LIN: You bet. All right. Well, let's talk about how we can save some money maybe on some gas or whether we should even buy a hybrid car. I mean when does it make sense to buy a hybrid car when really you're just trying to save fuel?

FIX: Right, well, the cost of hybrid cars are usually about four to $6,000 over what your regular vehicle is. So you have to keep that in mind. So with that additional expense, how long will it take you to make that money back? And that's one of the things that people are overlooking. If you were to buy, for example, a Honda Civic or an Accord, you pay $4,000 more for the premium to have that hybrid engine. Now, once you've paid that fee, the one thing that you need to keep in mind, how do you make that money back? Well, the good news is there's a 2000 clean fuel tax deduction but if you're in that 35 percentile bracket, Carol, it's going to -- it's only going to be $700 off your taxes. So if you take that 700 and the $350 you're going to save in fuel because of the cost of gasoline and getting better fuel economy, that's only $1,000.

LIN: Right.

FIX: It's going to take you five to seven years to earn that back.

LIN: Yes, not worth it. I mean it's a nice, maybe conscientious thing to do if you want to buy a hybrid car. You -- it's kind of a feel-good thing to do but what about -- I mean what are your recommendations? If people are buying hybrid cars, what are the best ones, the most reliable ones and the ones that maintain their resale value?

FIX: Well, there's a couple choices. There are also some zero emission gas engines such as the Ford Focus which you can pick up for around $17,000 or less. So it's one of the things you need to consider. There are pickup trucks that do not get that clean fuel deduction, like Chevy Silverado. There's the Toyota Highlander coming out. The Insight, the Toyota Insight -- I'm sorry, the Honda Insight gets, believe it or not, around 100 miles to the gallon.

It's reported from some customers, but they're not claiming it. They're claiming around 50. So I mean there's some really great choices out there. Hondas are on the lot. For some reason the Toyota Prius, even at the local dealers here in buffalo, New York, have eight people on the waiting list -- eight to 10. So I mean it's about a month and if you really want to pay over sticker, sure there's something -- always something available.

LIN: Well, do you recommend -- I mean are there people that you think -- who should get a hybrid vehicle? Who are the most likely candidates?

FIX: I would think the most likely candidates are people that are living in like New York City and L.A., where you have a lot of that stop and go traffic. I mean if you think about it, it's point a to point b car so why not have the best fuel economy you can get and not affect the environment at all? So that's something you need to consider.

LIN: All right. What about the car that we already have? I mean is there anything we can do to, you know, achieve a similar fuel efficiency?

FIX: Absolutely. April is National Car Care Month so you want to be car care aware. And one of the things you can do, it doesn't cost anything, and that is check your tire pressure once a month. Now, Carol, the secret is never to use that number that's on the side wall because that tire fits 20 or 30 different cars. So you want to use the number that's in your doorjamb, in your glove box, or in your owner's manual. That can improve your fuel economy by one to two miles to the gallon.

And the other thing to do is change your air filter. If you change your air filter every six months, that's two to three miles to the gallon. That's the lungs of your car where the air goes into your vehicle. If it's not clean and it's not coming through as much as it needs, it'll use more gasoline. So all of that basic maintenance that's in that owner's manual and that book in your glove box underneath all of those napkins...

LIN: Right.

FIX: I've been this your glove box, Carol.

LIN: There are a few other things in there too but we won't discuss that.

FIX: Yes, ketchup packs. We all do.

LIN: Yes. Oh, you've nailed me.

FIX: But in the back is a service schedule. You really need to follow that, whether you do it yourself or go to an independence service garage or the dealer. Getting that done, keeping your vehicle running in its optimal performance is just like yourself. When you work out and eat right, you'll feel better and your car runs its best. And really, if you're going to keep your vehicle, it makes a lot of sense. And the other tip is if you're going to buy a hybrid car or you buy a used one, when they're eight years old, they're going to need to have that battery changed and that's about $3,000.

LIN: Ouch!

FIX: So that's another thing to think about when you go to purchase these cars. You say I'm keeping it forever.

LIN: Maintenance, maintenance, maintenance.

FIX: Yes, maintenance is key.

LIN: Lauren, thank you so much. I think I'll stick with what I have. But those are good tips. Thanks.

FIX: Thanks, Carol.

LIN: In the meantime, in health news, samples of a deadly flu strain are accidentally sent around the world to 5,000 different labs. Have they been tracked down and destroyed? Today was the deadline. And how can something like this happen? Well, I'm going to talk to the person who -- at least one of the people who's in charge of tracking those vials and making sure they get destroyed.


LIN: More than 2,000 down and hundreds to go, maybe. We're going to get an update. The World Health Organization says two-thirds of the samples of the killer flu virus mistakenly sent around the world have been destroyed. The flu strain samples were sent as part of routine testing kits to thousands of labs. That particular strain of the flu killed more than a million people back in 1957, sparking fears of another global pandemic, should the virus somehow be released.

So how could a flu strain as deadly as this be sent around the world and what's being done to be sure that these vials are destroyed? Dr. Jared Schwartz of the College of American Pathologists is on a team that is tracking down these vials.

Dr. Schwartz, good evening to you.


LIN: Are those numbers accurate because I think you were on a recent conference call...


LIN: ...within the last hour.

SCHWARTZ: Yes. I just got off a recent conference call. Basically, 83 percent of all the vials that were sent out by one of the proficiency testing groups has been documented in writing, destroyed. Probably about 90 percent of all have been documented destroyed. All of the ones sent to overseas have been identified and found and either destroyed or they're impounded, except one in Canada, and they know where it's at. They have the FedEx tracking number and they believe it's in Customs in Canada. And they are, at this very moment, trying to get to the package to impound it and destroy the virus.

LIN: Let's say I'm a member of a terrorist organization. I somehow get a hold of this vial. What can I do with it?

SCHWARTZ: Well, I think it's very important to understand that this virus has been identified as a virus of the same sub-type that was associated with an outbreak in 1957, and operates even before that. What is yet to be determined is whether or not this particular virus that was sent out is actually pathogenic. It's been stated over and over that this is a killer virus and it's true.

LIN: And a lot of virus in these tubes.

SCHWARTZ: Absolutely. Live viruses are sent out as part of the routine proficiency testing. But the viruses that are sent out as far as the routine proficiency testing, Carol, are all viruses that have been processed in a way to make them non pathogenic, which means they cannot cause infection.

LIN: Right.

SCHWARTZ: And even this particular virus, it has not yet been determined whether or not it is pathogenic. In other words, it has yet to be determined whether this virus could cause infection...

LIN: Right.

SCHWARTZ: ...could someone...

LIN: All right. So, Doctor, here's what I'm hearing...


LIN: was mistakenly sent out by the lab to various testing facilities, which routinely get samples so it helps to determine whether they're geared up to actually detect these pathogens if they ever are -- you know there is disease spreading, right, kind of like a -- I don't know, like a little test drill, you know...


LIN: ...emergency test drill.

SCHWARTZ: Well, actually, it's a federally required regulation that laboratories performing tests have these samples on an ongoing basis.

LIN: Right. But this was -- these samples were never supposed to go out. So what I'm hearing from you is all right, since they were never supposed to go out, we really don't know if they were synthesized or processed as other test samples would be for the purposes of this kind of drill. That's what I'm hearing. It may be dangerous. It may not be.

SCHWARTZ: Well, yes. What happened is is that the provider went to their inventory, took out an influenza virus that they believed was the same as all the other viruses they typically send out, a virus that had been attenuated or made safe, not pathogenic, and it was sent out. And then, several months later, a laboratory in Canada identified it as a...

LIN: Right.

SCHWARTZ: ...particular virus that had the potential if it was pathogenic to cause disease.

LIN: Yes, if. All right, so frankly, I'm more worried now. I mean I know you're gathering up -- you don't have 100 percent compliance with -- I think today was the deadline. Yesterday or today was the deadline to account for and destroy these vials. So do we have something to worry about?

SCHWARTZ: No, I think actually -- and if you --- the Centers for Disease and Control, the WHO, remember, these were sent out the beginning of September. There's not been a single case reported. These viruses, if in fact they were pathogenic and had been spread, would have caused disease by now.


SCHWARTZ: And there's not been a single case. The Centers for Disease and Control, as well as the other organizations and experts, believe that in all likelihood, after all the studies are done, it will turn out that these viruses that were sent out, in fact, were inactivated viruses that are not pathogenic. We will simply have to wait to find out.

LIN: We're going to have to leave it at that. I'm going to try to take your assurance and feel good about it. Thank you very much.

SCHWARTZ: Thank you for having me.

LIN: In the meantime, is it possible to capture the scent of Jesus in my candle? You heard me. One couple thinks they have; why they are now catching a lot of flack for it.


LIN: The essence of Jesus. Candles, supposedly capturing his scent, are on sale in some 350 stores. CNN's Jeanne Moos reports.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These days, they can make candles smell like anything, from wet garden to new baby, but get a whiff of this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's nice, whatever it is.

MOOS (on camera): The scent of Jesus.

MOOS: Go ahead, look at me like I'm nuts.

(on camera): It's the scent of Jesus.


MOOS (voice-over): They don't call this candle His Essence for nothing. In movies, we see what Jesus might have looked like.


MOOS: And although bathing back then wasn't so thorough, now we experience his smell?


MOOS: Some were reminded of the "What Would Jesus Eat?" diet, not to mention the Bible Bar, made out of seven foods the Lord calls good in the bible. Now comes the His Essence candle based on the 45th Psalm, which speaks of Jesus' return, saying "all your robes are fragrant with myrrh, and aloes and cassia." Karen Tosterud read that and decided to turn those exact ingredients into a candle.

KAREN TOSTERUD, HISESSENCE.COM: This is from God. I have no doubt that it is and I need to do for him.

MOOS: Karen's husband teaches business at South Dakota University. The couple sold over 20,000 candles in four months.

BOB TOSTERUD, HISESSENCE.COM: It's been absolutely a miracle.

MOOS: Sure, there are skeptics.

(on camera): This is the scent of Jesus.


MOOS (voice-over): Ye laugh, beware.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Like, to make fun? I don't think it's a good idea.

MOOS (on camera): Yes, he got me back.

(voice-over): So what does his essence smell like?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Like the woods or something like that, like the outdoors.


MOOS: The candle has ignited controversy on the web. His Essence has been mocked and poked fun at. Though 10 percent of the profits will go to churches, the Tostarudes get messages accusing them of being more interested in greed than God.

(on camera): They even got a message saying they'd burn in hell for putting Jesus in a jar. (voice-over): One sure sign of success, His Essence, has already been knocked off, copied at a website that uses a similar name. And talk about marketing...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want you all to know this is the scent of Jesus right here in front of the Cafe Metro. Jesus has been here. That's right.

MOOS: What's next, critics ask, Noah's holy spring water, His Essence deodorant?

(on camera): Well, actually, what's next is His Essence hand lotion. It goes perfectly with prayer.

(voice-over): Remember that other scent, of a woman?



PACINO: Well, I'm in the amazing business.

MOOS: But even Al Pacino couldn't have guessed His Essence, a candle that really does smell to high heaven.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my goodness me, they're putting Jesus everywhere.

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


LIN: Yes, that's all the time we have for this hour but coming up next "THE CAPITAL GANG" and then at 8:00 eastern, "CNN PRESENTS." At 9:00, Larry King sits down with Lowe's hotel chairman, Jonathan Tish. And I'll be back at 10:00 Eastern. We are going to be live in Florida for the latest on the apparent death of 13-year-old Sarah Michelle Lunde.

A check of the day's headlines straight ahead.



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