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Nancy Grace for November 23, 2005, CNNHN
Aired November 23, 2005 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NANCY GRACE, HOST: Tonight, we desperately need your help. As so many head home for Thanksgiving, we know that there will be empty places as families gather together. Help us find three women, all three in the prime of their lives, all three disappeared without a trace. School teacher, former beauty queen Tara Grinstead now missing a full month after going to a beauty pageant. As Thanksgiving approaches, police call off the search for Tara. Leslie Adams, a gorgeous hairstylist missing since last month, now with a connection to the Natalee Holloway`s case. And Sueann Ray missing, her car found in a mall parking lot full of people.
Good evening, everybody. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us tonight. Tonight, as we all look forward to Thanksgiving with friends and our families, we want to bring home three young women absent from their family tables. Sueann Ray disappeared into thin air, her little girl waiting for her to pick her up. Leslie Adams vanished last month under suspicious circumstances. And now the chief PI in the Natalee Holloway case on the Adams case.
But first tonight, to the Tara Grinstead case -- high school teacher, beauty queen, vanished after attending a pageant.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s tough knowing that someone in your family is missing. You see all the stuff on the news about other people missing, and then it`s really strange just to see someone of your own family`s gone missing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Let`s go straight out to the reporter with "The Macon Telegraph, Tim Sturrock. Tim, bring us up to date, friend.
TIM STURROCK, "MACON TELEGRAPH": Well, Nancy, they stopped the search -- authorities stopped searching about two weeks ago. That was the time when they were searching every day with probably 50, 60 public safety officials. There have been some civilian searches since then, but not on the same scale. And this week, they began a search -- a group of equestrians from, I believe it`s Texas, they searched in Aruba -- they`re in town. They`re in the county. They`re looking at some of the same places, seeing if anything was missed.
GRACE: I want to straight out to Anita Gattis. This is Tara`s sister. Why have police called off the formal search?
ANITA GATTIS, SISTER OF TARA GRINSTEAD: When they started the formal search, they had very specific grid lines that they were following that Homeland Security set up. When they completed that phase of the search, it was just ended, it was not called off. Civilians searched for the past two weeks, and now Equusearch from Texas are here, and they`re not just here with horses, as Tim said, they are here with airplanes and helicopters.
GRACE: Well, are you telling me police have not called of the search, Anita?
ANITA GATTIS: Equusearch was brought in by the Irwin County sheriff`s department and not by the Oscilla (ph) police.
GRACE: So Tim Sturrock, why you telling me the police have called off the search?
STURROCK: I never said that they called off the search. I said they stopped -- they ended a land search (INAUDIBLE)
GRACE: OK. All right. You say ending the search is not the same as calling off the search. Please explain to me the difference, Tim Sturrock.
STURROCK: Well, they had a -- they had certain parameters. They were going to search the entire county, and then -- and now that they`ve stopped searching the county -- they`re going to search if they have any more tips. At this point, they don`t know where she is. And they`ve already searched a certain area of land. There are still civilian searches, but...
GRACE: OK, let me ask you a question. Yes, no, Tim. Are authorities searching for Tara today?
GRACE: OK. Thank you.
STURROCK: There are searches...
GRACE: There are search what? Go ahead.
STURROCK: There are searches. They`re still investigating. They`re still looking for her, but they`re not scouring the county as they were before.
GRACE: Take a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TARA GRINSTEAD, PAGEANT CONTESTANT: A senior at (INAUDIBLE) Southwestern State University. My platform promotes recycling. Preserve the future, recycle the past. I am Tara Grinstead.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANITA GATTIS: She had already gotten her master`s degree in history. She had gotten a specialist degree in administration, and she was about to start her doctoral program to get a Ph.D. in history and administration. That`s how driven and determined that she was. So that should tell everyone she did not just drop off the face of the earth.
GRACE: There is no way that this girl just disappeared into thin air without telling her sister. They were in touch by e-mail. They talked on the phone.
Very quickly, to Jane Velez-Mitchell, investigative reporter. Tell me this -- oh, what a beauty! And just as beautiful on the inside as the out. Jane, tell me the circumstances surrounding her disappearance -- very unusual.
JANE-VELEZ-MITCHELL, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: It is so unusual. This is really a total, total mystery. What happened is on October 22, she had a very busy day. Predictably, characteristically, she started out by helping people. She helped these contestants in this Sweet Potato beauty contest with their hair and make-up. And then later that day, she went to a cookout with some friends, and she watched a football game. She was last seen at about 11:00 PM, and she apparently went home.
Now, when police -- a couple of days later, when didn`t show up for school at her high school, where she was a very popular teacher, and police went into her home, they found her car was unlocked, something she would never do, her friends say. Her cell phone was there, plugged in, something her friends say she would never leave without her cell phone. Her pocketbook was missing.
But there was no clear sign of a struggle. What there was was a broken lamp in her bedroom, which was very odd because this was a very neat, meticulous woman, and her alarm clock was under her bed. So people are very worried.
One of the very interesting things -- they found a latex glove outside her home, which they are testing, apparently, for DNA and fingerprints. But it is a total mystery. Usually, in cases like this, they have some leads, they have some potential suspects. But nothing here, really.
GRACE: To Vito Colucci, private investigator. Vito, in this case, wouldn`t you take a long, hard look at who she was with last? She was at a party that evening. I think they were watching a football game. It was the school superintendent and his wife`s home. There were a lot of people there.
On the other hand, Vito, she also, according to her sister, who is with us tonight, everyone, Anita and Larry Gattis -- she was going to school at night, Vito. I don`t know if you knew that. She was going to classes three or four nights a week. And Vito, from where she lives, she would travel to Valdosta, Georgia, to Waycross, Georgia. That is on interstate, alone, at night, in the car. I mean, there`s so many ways to go, Vito!
VITO COLUCCI, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR: Yes. You know, there`s some troubling things on this, Nancy. There`s a lot of troubling things. You know, this is a town of only 3,000 people. I don`t know their background. We talked about, Is the search going on? I don`t even know if the investigation is going on or what they`re involved in. There can`t be a lot of crime going on in this town, OK? They missed a necklace that was on the floor of her house. They did several searches, and they found it on the third or fourth search. I know that GBI, the Georgia Bureau, was involved in this for a little while, but I`m a little concerned about what they`re actually doing on this case, Nancy.
GRACE: Anita, tell me, what are they doing? I`m getting conflicting reports between you and Tim Sturrock.
ANITA GATTIS: Well, Tim has not been down here in a couple of days. But at least every other day, I talk with a member of the Irwin County sheriff`s department, either Deputy Pauk (ph) or Deputy Morgan (ph). And they are actively working with Equusearch at this time.
As far as the GBI goes, I mean, we have not a clue. I`ve not talked with anyone from GBI in approximately, three weeks, nor has anyone else in my family. We`re told they are continuing the investigation, but they have not let us know anything they have found or where they are headed with this search.
GRACE: Anita, do you know if they dusted Tara`s home for fingerprints?
ANITA GATTIS: Yes, they did, her home and her car. And of course, we have not been given the results of any of that.
GRACE: And Anita, do you know if they tested around the doors on the outside of the home?
ANITA GATTIS: Yes, they did. They fingerprinted the doorknobs.
GRACE: What about the dogs? Have they given up on the dog search? Is that over with?
ANITA GATTIS: The search dogs and the cadaver dogs that here with the Homeland Security left about two weeks ago. Now, I`m not sure if Equusearch will have a dog team in. We`ve had a private dog team from Atlanta that contacted us and said they would be happy to come down any weekend and help with the civilian searches.
GRACE: Well, wouldn`t it be great to have them in sooner than later, before all the scent is dead, Anita?
ANITA GATTIS: Absolutely. I certainly agree.
GRACE: Well, what are they doing this weekend?
ANITA GATTIS: This weekend, I got an e-mail from a group at Robbins (ph) Air Force Base that wants to come down and help with civilian searches. Equusearch will still be here. With it being Thanksgiving, I`m not sure if the dog team from Atlanta will be available, but there will be civilian searching. Absolutely.
GRACE: You know, Vito Colucci, I don`t understand the holdup here, why the dog team hasn`t come down. And let me get this straight, Anita. Isn`t Equusearch a private search team?
COLUCCI: Yes, they are. They were contacted by the Irwin County sheriff`s department. They have been in Aruba on the Natalee Holloway case.
GRACE: That`s right. They sure have.
I want to go back to Renee. Renee Rockwell is with us. She`s handled so many missing people, homicide cases. Renee, the fact that this town is only 3,000 people, that is very significant.
RENEE ROCKWELL, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Nancy, it`s not very big, but you to understand that they did a search in the county. The county is 358 square miles. Resources, resources.
I`ll tell you one thing, even though they may have called off the search or are just waiting for private individuals to come forward, they have raised $90,000 for a reward. And that is significant because you never know when a girlfriend gets mad at a potential suspect, or somebody that may have been involved, even years can go by and somebody will make a phone call and say, Hey, go to this spot, you may find this girl, and here`s who you need to look at. So $90,000 is a lot of money.
GRACE: That`s right, everybody. The reward up to $90,000. Tip line, 912-386-2564.
Take a listen to what one of the neighbors had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
Could you tell whether she was at home in the evenings or not by looking at her house?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nancy, we couldn`t see her car from our house. It was under the carport. But her signal to us that she was home safely was her bedroom light, a little lamp light by her bedside table. She would turn it on, and that was kind of a signal to my wife that she was home and safe. My wife would go to that window several times until she saw that light and knew that Tara was home safely.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Back to Anita Gattis. Anita, you told me about a long-term relationship she had for about six years that had been broken off, all right? You told me about a young student that had been bamming on her door, in love with her. Also now there are rumors flying that a married cop may have been interested in Tara Grinstead. Truth or false?
ANITA GATTIS: She was friends with a police officer. We`ve been friends with his family for years. His dad was best man in my wedding. They went to high school together. As far as I know, they were just really good friends.
GRACE: Is he married?
ANITA GATTIS: Yes, he is.
GRACE: So is it your belief, Anita, that tabloids and others are taking the truth and twisting it for salacious reasons?
ANITA GATTIS: Well, you know how that story goes. And yes, I really try to stay away from tabloids. I`m so focused on finding my sister. I really don`t care, you know, to read all the garbage in the tabloids or on any of the blog sites. I just stay away from that. I`ve got to stay focused on finding Tara.
GRACE: Everybody, as many of us head into the Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends, Tara Grinstead will be missing from the Thanksgiving table. Please help us bring her home.
Very quickly, to "Trial Tracking." Eighteen-year-old Iowa girl Tracy Dyess (ph) sentenced to 45 years behind bars after pleading guilty to five felonies. Dyess admits she torched her home so her stepfather, Brian Dyess (ph), would never molest her again. But instead, her 13-year-old little sister, Jessica (ph), 6-year-old cousin, Caleb (ph), died in that blaze. With the plea bargain, Dyess avoids life behind bars, no parole.
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SHERIFF DONNIE YOUGHN, IRWIN COUNTY: We`re still -- we`re following up on calls we get and stuff. We`re not leaving anything unattended, no matter how small. We`re still checking out everything that anybody calls in for us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: According to the sheriff, they have followed up all leads in the case of Tara Grinstead, a missing beauty queen.
But I want to straight out to her brother-in-law, Larry Gattis. Larry, is it true police not questioned the people in her study groups at her schools?
LARRY GATTIS, TARA GRINSTEAD`S BROTHER-IN-LAW: That`s right, Nancy. I thought it might be helpful to find something out about things she did when she was outside of Oscilla, especially in class, and places she liked to go and some of her friends. So I made a trip there Monday night to Tifton (ph), at Abraham Baldwin College, where she had a class with Dr. Ronnie Green (ph).
And I had called him and spoke with him and the other professors earlier, and they invited me to the class and I went there Monday night. They were all really receptive, and I found to my surprise that they hadn`t talked to any law enforcement at all, the professors or the students.
So they sort of turned the class over to me, and we had a roundtable discussion about Tara. And they had a lot of questions and I had questions, and I found out some restaurants that she liked to go to and whether she went right home from the class. And I was asking about maybe any other friends she had met in the town of Tifton. And I did get some interesting leads. I really can`t go into details on those or give any names, but we`ll be following those up.
GRACE: Well, Anita Gattis, why haven`t the cops done that? This is their job, not your husband`s.
ANITA GATTIS: Well, I know. He`s a medical doctor, not a detective, but he has become very good at this. We have no idea why they have not done this, and it is very, very frustrating, especially when you hear them say, We have no tips, no clues, no leads. But there are so many things they have not checked out. It seems like they`ve got a lot of extra spare time on their hands that they could be using to benefit in the efforts to find my sister.
GRACE: We are reaching out tonight to the local police there in Oscilla. Please help us find Tara. Her family not in the position to be the police. The sheriff has stated they`re following up every lead. Well, I`ve got news for you, Sheriff. Don`t mean to ruffle your feathers, but she was going to school on two different campuses. None of those people have been spoken to by police. Why, Sheriff?
And we invite you cordially to come onto the show and explain to us why your investigation -- let me be blunt -- is lacking tonight. I bet all the police are going to be going home to their family tonight for Thanksgiving, but not Tara Grinstead.
To Vito Colucci. This does not sound good.
COLUCCI: Not good at all. There`s no reason -- this lady has a big circle of friends and contacts. You got a laundry list of possible suspects or persons of interest. To say that nobody at that college has been talked to after one month is ridiculous. You know, the family may have to go out and get a private detective. They have it on these other two cases we`re talking about today. The town, they`re probably going to say the manpower, they only have so many hours, whatever. That`s no excuse, Nancy. They have to talk to everyone connected.
GRACE: Do you know how many nights I was out tromping through housing projects, delivering subpoenas, when -- law enforcement has to make time for it!
Quick break, everyone. Very quickly, to "Trial Tracking." The Georgia supreme court rules that a Palm Beach, Florida, multi-millionaire, James Vincent "Jim" Sullivan, will stand trial again for murdering his estranged wife, Sullivan charged with hiring a hit man, who traveled to his wife, Lita Sullivan`s, Atlanta home the day of the divorce settlement -- at least, supposed divorce settlement -- carrying a dozen roses and a .9- millimeter weapon, the federal murder case against Sullivan thrown out in 1992.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUINTON RAY, SUEANN RAY`S ESTRANGED HUSBAND: I`m one of the few that still do believe she`s still alive, but as the days pass on, I don`t know. We wasn`t together, you know, a lot. She had her own living, her own life and doing her own stuff. I don`t know what went on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: That is the estranged husband of 26-year-old Sueann Ray, now missing over a month. Her car -- hey, Elizabeth (ph), could you show me where her car was parked? Her car found parked in a mall full of cars. Why didn`t anyone see anything?
I want to go straight out to Don Plummer. He`s been on the case from the get-go. He is a chief reporter with "The Atlanta Journal Constitution." Don, did we ever get video from inside that -- what was it, a Wal-Mart?
DON PLUMMER, "ATLANTA JOURNAL CONSTITUTION": Well, the police have it, but we have not seen it. This is day 90 since Sueann Ray disappeared.
GRACE: Good Lord! I didn`t realize 90 full days had passed, Don.
PLUMMER: That`s right. That`s right, 90 days, and so far, no suspects, no arrests, $106,000 reward. But there is no way to know where she may be because, so far, there`s been no trace of her, no signs, no physical evidence at all.
GRACE: To Jane Velez-Mitchell, investigative reporter. Bring our viewers up to date on the case of Sueann Ray.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, this is such a difficult case. This is a mother, 26 years old. Now, according to the estranged husband, she went over to his property to get her minivan fixed. Now, Sueann Ray`s dad has questions about that explanation, saying that he believes that Sueann was possibly upset that their 6-year-old daughter was taken out of school and that she actually went over to visit the estranged husband to have a word with him about that. So you have two conflicting stories right there.
That was the last time that anybody saw her, when she went, supposedly, if you believe the estranged husband, to get that minivan fixed. Now, that minivan showed up three days later parked in this Wal- Mart in a very unusual fashion. It was backed up, something that her relatives say she would never do, she didn`t even know how to back up a minivan. It was also suspiciously clean as a whistle, something that her friends and family say does not jibe with Sueann.
So what happened to her? Where did she go? According to the estranged husband, he said that she had planned to visit her father in a neighboring town. The dad says, well, when she didn`t show up, he assumed that she had made other plans. And then a couple of days later, she is missing. So this is again another mystery...
GRACE: Look at this. The spot where the van was backed in is the very last spot in a huge Wal-Mart parking lot. There you see, at the very, very end. Thanks, Chris (ph). That was where her van was found.
Speaking of Sueann`s father, Danny Jenkins is with us. Danny, I know tomorrow is going to be horrible for you, on Thanksgiving day.
DANNY JENKINS, SUEANN RAY`S FATHER: Yes, it`s going to be terrible, Nancy.
GRACE: What do you think police are doing now to find your girl?
JENKINS: Well, since I hired a private investigator, they`re doing a whole lot. They don`t want to -- they don`t want one man to solve this case when the GBI has multitudes.
GRACE: You know, Danny, I noticed in other cases, they have horses looking, dogs looking, helicopters. They did none of that in the Sueann Ray case.
JENKINS: I`ve asked many, many questions. I would love to sit down with the governor and the director of GBI and just find out what`s their motive.
GRACE: As to the way the search is being conducted?
JENKINS: The whole investigation, Nancy. Nancy, there was evidence found on that van the very day that they should have arrested him the first day.
GRACE: And he`s still not named as an official suspect.
We`ll all be right back. With us, Sueann Ray`s father, Danny Jenkins, and Don Plummer of "The Atlanta Journal Constitution."
As you know, we at NANCY GRACE want very much to help, help solve unsolved homicides, find missing people. Take a look at 16-year-old Elizabeth Johnson -- 16! She disappeared August 29, 2005, Chicago. If you have info on Elizabeth Johnson, contact Chicago Police, 312-747-8274, or go on line to Beyondmissing.com. Please help us.
SUSAN HENDRICKS, CNN HEADLINE NEWS ANCHOR: Hi, everyone. I`m Susan Hendricks. Here`s your "Headline Prime Newsbreak" now.
A tragic accident in Chicago during the busy holiday rush hour tonight. Authorities say at least 13 people were hurt, at least three critically, when a metro commuter train crossed a suburban intersection and plowed into at least a dozen vehicles. An eyewitness says several cars went around the crossing gates before the train arrived.
In Las Vegas now, authorities had their hands full trying to remove a car left dangling outside of a parking deck. Witnesses say the car crashed through the wall on the third level of the Golden Nugget hotel. As you can see, the car is wedged against the telephone pole that may have kept it from plunging to the pavement.
In New Jersey, authorities say they`re setting aside a special area at Giants Stadium for people who want to pray. In September, several Muslim fans were detained and questioned by the FBI. The men say they were singled out because of their religion.
And that is the news for now. I`m Susan Hendricks. Back to NANCY GRACE.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDY CHASM, SISTER OF SUEANN RAY: It`s been horrible. It`s been a nightmare. It`s like it`s a bad dream and you just don`t wake up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Welcome back. SueAnn Ray now missing nearly 90 days. What are police doing to try to find her?
Straight out to her father, Danny Jenkins. You brought in a private eye. Why?
DANNY JENKINS, SUEANN RAY`S FATHER: Well, because I went 44 days without anyone telling me anything, nothing, I mean, not zero, zilch. You call them five times, they won`t call you back. You call them 10 times, they won`t call you back.
GRACE: Who exactly is "they"?
JENKINS: The GBI. I`ve called Vernon Keenan`s office time and time again. In fact, I called on day 69 headed up here to see you. And a lady by the name of Janet Olivia called me back and she says, "Well, honey, have you reported her missing?" This is the GBI calling a dad back.
GRACE: For once, I`m speechless. They said, "Have you reported her missing?"
JENKINS: Yes, ma`am. Her name is Janet Olivia. "Honey, have you reported her missing?"
GRACE: Danny, I am so sorry. I can`t even imagine what you`re going through. What are they telling you?
JENKINS: Nothing. They`re working on it.
GRACE: But what specifically are they doing?
JENKINS: Nothing. They`re working on it. They won`t go into specifics. They will admit nothing.
GRACE: I want to go back to Don Plummer with the "Atlanta Journal Constitution." Don, if this is true, it`s horrific. It`s inexcusable.
DON PLUMMER, REPORTER, "ATLANTA JOURNAL CONSTITUTION": Yes. It`s certainly been a nightmare for the family. It`s the kind of case that you`d like to say we could solve immediately.
The problem has been that they have been delayed in getting searches done. They`ve had problems with getting search warrants. What searches have been conducted, the officials have had sealed by the court. So there`s really no way of saying what evidence they have.
We know they had a videotape from that parking lot. But we don`t know whether they actually saw anything on it.
There was a video inside of the Wal-Mart store of her shopping prior to going to her estranged husband`s house. There`s no contact after that. And, because there was no physical evidence of any violence within the van, I believe that they were a little bit stymied to begin with.
It was a city police department. They didn`t have jurisdiction outside of their area. It`s a multi-jurisdictional crime. I believe it would have been very helpful if they had gone this way before, but it took them almost two months before the GBI actually was made the lead investigative agency.
GRACE: And now they don`t even know there`s a missing persons report.
Danny Jenkins, isn`t it true that tracker dogs led authorities to the home of her estranged husband`s parents?
JENKINS: Yes, ma`am, on day 21. We had nine teams of dogs come in and her scent was led to their driveway.
GRACE: Is this private investigator expensive?
GRACE: How are you going to pay him?
JENKINS: I`m (INAUDIBLE) part-time job.
GRACE: Are you serious?
JENKINS: Yes, ma`am. I`ve got to. I`ve got to get my daughter back. I can`t depend on the GBI. I can`t depend -- John See (ph) will solve this case. And then, when he does, maybe he`ll be the head of the GBI.
GRACE: What kind of second job are you going to get?
JENKINS: I have no idea. I guess I`ll go to Wal-Mart and sack groceries or something.
GRACE: And speaking of Wal-Mart, Dr. Jeff Gardere, psychologist, you know she`s not on that video. She was there earlier in the day. She was last seen at her estranged husband`s auto garage -- it was near his home -- to get an oil change. That takes about 15 minutes.
The two got into an argument because he had taken their little girl out of school that day and taken her to his parents` house. He was not authorized to do that. She missed a 7:30 p.m. appointment.
Between 6:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., she`s gone, Jeff. She`s not shopping in the Wal-Mart at 7:00 at night when she`s supposed to be out for cheerleading practice tryout for her little girl, Jeff. She`s not on that video.
JEFF GARDERE, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Absolutely. And I think...
GRACE: Somebody took her car there.
GARDERE: Yes. I think we have to look at the evidence, which is that, in fact, they have had an explosive history, these two people. And I think Danny Jenkins, as the dad, knows something. He`s telling as much as he can.
But he knows that there is a history between SueAnn Ray and between Quinton Ray, that Quinton, in fact, may be a suspect and may have the motive. I`m not saying he did it, of course, but he may, in fact, have the motive more than anyone else.
GRACE: And, of course, Quinton Ray has not been named as a suspect by police.
As a matter of fact, to John Patrick Dolan, a veteran defense attorney, right now Quinton Ray, the estranged husband, could leave the country. There are no restrictions on him at all.
JOHN PATRICK DOLAN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, you`re absolutely right about that. And we have to remember this: We want to get to the bottom of each of the cases that we`re talking about. But we want to make sure that we don`t encourage law enforcement to become overzealous and ruin a case. We want to make sure that we don`t reveal facts that are unique to the case...
GRACE: Overzealous? Overzealous?
DOLAN: Yes, well, they`re not yet, that`s for sure.
GRACE: Hello? They didn`t even know there was a missing persons report. I don`t think we have to worry about them going too far.
DOLAN: Well, you don`t now, but they might, based on the fact that you`re bringing this attention to the case. And you just want to make sure that you don`t cause problems. You want to make sure you don`t release...
GRACE: You mean, you don`t want the police to work too hard?
DOLAN: ... information.
GRACE: That`s just what you want, isn`t it, Dolan, as a defense lawyer? You don`t want the police to work too hard.
DOLAN: No, no. I don`t want them to work so hard that they start beating confessions out of people rather than getting them properly. That`s what I`m referring to.
GRACE: Hey, you know what? John, I don`t think we have to worry about this. I guarantee you all non-suspects are going to be at their Thanksgiving tables tomorrow having a nice big piece of turkey while Danny Jenkins is trying to figure out what second job he`s going to take to hire a private investigator.
To "Atlanta Journal Constitution" reporter Don Plummer. Don, you`ve been on the case from the very beginning. Didn`t you think it would be solved by now?
PLUMMER: Well, it looked like at first that there was a good bit of activity. They did do several searches. It looked like there was a lot of activity when they raised the reward to $105,000. That trailed off after a while.
In October, the Woodstock police, which had been the lead agency, stopped talking at all. They said all of their evidence had been given to the GBI. They actually have now said, "Please, if you have any tips, don`t call us, call the GBI."
After that, there was one incident in which Quinton Ray, the estranged husband, was involved in an altercation with a man that he believed had been having an affair with SueAnn Ray. There were several points in this case when it looked like it may be solved. But 90 days have passed, and so far nothing.
GRACE: And, of course, today no comment from Quinton Ray, the estranged husband. He actually went on air a couple of days ago to declare his innocence. Elizabeth, let me see if you can pull that up.
And in the meantime, to Danny Jenkins, where did the $106,000 come from?
JENKINS: Five thousand came from the Carol fund foundation; $1,000 came from Governor Perdue, and I`ve got a personal friend that put up $100,000.
GRACE: You know what? Everybody, we are at our wits end trying to help find SueAnn Ray. She`s now been missing 90 full days. It`s going to be awfully hard for us here, along with her family, to sit down at Thanksgiving, knowing that there`s that empty plate where SueAnn Ray should be with her little girl there at the table.
If you have any information on SueAnn Ray, please dial 800-597-TIPS. The reward is up to $106,000. Please help us.
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CHASM: I just basically just keep hope that she is alive. And that little bit of hope`s what keeps me going. It keeps me from breaking down every day. I mean, it just -- it keeps me strong.
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ROBERTA ADAMS, SISTER OF MISSING LESLIE ADAMS: I`m not going to give up. Every day, I`m going to work that much harder to try to bring her home.
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GRACE: This beautiful girl, Leslie Adams, still missing. If you have information, contact the Gwinnett County police, 770-513-5300.
Let`s go straight out to "Atlanta Journal Constitution" reporter, Ken Sugiura. What`s the latest on Leslie?
KEN SUGIURA, REPORTER, "ATLANTA JOURNAL CONSTITUTION": Well, the latest is they`re still looking. I think that they`re trying to -- they`ve been going through searches, looking around the Gwinnett County area. And the reward now is up to $25,000, as you`ve said, after Roberta (ph) has his visit here last week. And that`s about it. And also, the family has obtained a private investigator to aid in the search.
GRACE: So the update is, they`re still looking. That`s not really grabbing me, Ken.
SUGIURA: Unfortunately, it isn`t. I know they`re getting information and trying to solve this case. I know they were yesterday in Oakwood, which is north of Gwinnett County, which is north of Atlanta. And they had, I think, a 27-man search, but they couldn`t find anything.
And so, yes, it`s not great news. But they`re still trying to solve this case.
GRACE: To Jane Velez-Mitchell, explain to us the circumstances of Leslie`s disappearance.
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Well, she is a very, very popular hairstylist. She is a mom, very well-loved. They believe -- her friends do -- that she went to a trendy Atlanta nightclub the night before.
She then, the next day, spoke with her mother and her brother. They reminded her she had a relative`s birthday coming up in about three days. She says she would be there. That`s the last anybody has heard from her.
Now, we do know that, when police went into her apartment, they found suspicious evidence but they`re not saying what it is. They have turned that evidence over to the GBI, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, for testing.
We do know that a former boyfriend was someone that she was very, very troubled with in her life. In fact, just a couple of days before she disappeared, she went and tried to get a temporary restraining order against this individual. She did get the TRO.
And in the document that she filed to get that temporary restraining order, she said she feared for her life for more than a year. This guy was stalking her, threatening her, she claimed. And that she said, in the document, "I fear for my life. I`m tired of being manipulated and controlled by this man and when I don`t let him in my life, he gets angry." And she was afraid of what he was going to do next.
But he`s not considered a suspect.
GRACE: Jane Velez-Mitchell, is he the same one that had a drug arrest?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. This is a man with a criminal history. He has said he had nothing to do with this. But, once again, I mean, this is just days before she disappears, she goes to court and says she is fearful of what this guy is going to do next, because he keeps coming around. And every time she tries to get him out of his life, he gets angry.
GRACE: Ken Sugiura, is it correct he is still not even a person of interest, not a formal suspect?
SUGIURA: The last we know of, they talked with him and interviewed him. And he`s not necessarily cleared, but he`s not necessarily a person of interest, either. He`s not a suspect at this time.
GRACE: I want to go out to Alayne Adams. This is Leslie`s cousin joining us today begging for your help.
Alayne, you had to be at your wit`s end to go out and hire a private investigator.
ALAYNE ADAMS, COUSIN OF MISSING LESLIE ADAMS: We are. And, Nancy, we`re just looking for answers. We need anything that we can get.
You know, each day that goes by, it gets more numb. And days go by in a blur. We need some answers. And we`re hoping that T.J. Ward will be able to assist the police in getting those answers to us, the family.
GRACE: Now, Alayne, he is the private eye that went down to Aruba to get answers in the Natalee Holloway case, correct?
ADAMS: Yes, that`s correct.
GRACE: Made a lot of waves down there. Alayne Adams, also, what do you expect T.J. Ward to do that the police have not done?
ADAMS: Well, we just expect that, with his investigative skills, that he`ll be able to dig up anything that he can. We want him to interview everyone, every place that Leslie had been to in the days leading up to her disappearance and forward.
We just want T.J. to be very aggressive. And he`s already begun that process.
GRACE: You know, Renee Rockwell, I`m looking already ahead -- I can`t help but do it as a trial lawyer -- to what this may mean at trial time. Normally, witnesses are police, detectives, investigators, FBI, GBI. All right. Here you`re going to have a private eye uncovering the evidence that could convict someone on kidnapping or murder. Now, what will that mean at trial?
RENEE ROCKWELL, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Nancy, his testimony can come in as long as it`s credible. But what has the nation come to when you have to go out and hire an investigator?
My understanding is that he`s going to go be canvassing the neighborhood, a lot of Spanish-speaking neighbors. And these people need to be revisited, Nancy, because sometimes you may have something that you know about, but you don`t think it`s necessarily important.
I understand that he has an interpreter and he`s going to be revisiting possible leads, trying to find out what the neighbors may know that they don`t even think is important.
GRACE: And, you know, Vito Colucci, it`s stunning to me that cops went around to neighbors that really do not speak English and investigated them and went, "Oh, we don`t have any leads."
VITO COLUCCI, PRIVATE DETECTIVE: You know, it`s amazing. Usually when I do TV, I`m able to heap praise on a lot of the police cases. I`m having a lot of trouble tonight with these cases, Nancy. I`ll tell you that much.
I`d like to know if this individual...
GRACE: I know. You were defending the authorities in the missing groom case. Hello? Where, who was it -- who was it, Ellie -- "A Current Affair" would get to all the witnesses before the FBI.
COLUCCI: Yes, you know, I`d like to know if the...
GRACE: The FBI wrote to "A Current Affair," "Back off."
COLUCCI: ... if this individual had a polygraph yet. You know, I haven`t read any place where they asked him to do a polygraph. Are they interviewing him with the hard questions and going back a week later and giving them the same questions to see discrepancies?
That`s how you do a case like that. T.J. Ward will get this accomplished that way.
GRACE: But, on the other hand, to John Patrick Dolan, a private investigator, as good as he may be, doesn`t have the same authority as a cop. When you or an investigator, you go to door. When I would go question witnesses, I had a badge. I would say, "I`m with the government. I want to talk to you."
When a detective goes to the door, citizens don`t feel the same compulsion to speak to them.
DOLAN: Well, you`re absolutely right. And it can compromise the evidence that they collect, because they don`t have the color of law. And so sometimes that`s fertile ground for defense lawyers. It`s a very touchy subject matter.
GRACE: OK, can you break that down, "very fertile ground for a defense lawyer"? I know what you mean. But lay it out.
DOLAN: Well, sure. There`s no official chain of evidence. There`s an argument that it was biased because the person is on the payroll of the family looking for answers. There`s premature accusations sometimes.
All of those come out of private investigators getting involved. Although, let`s face it, in every one of these cases, we do want to find out what happened.
GRACE: To Dr. Jeff Gardere, advice to these families for tomorrow, for Thanksgiving?
GARDERE: To pray. To pray for Leslie Adams, and keep doing what you`re doing, Alayne. Keep working with your family to get the answers. Stay proactive. Stay empowered. That`s the way to keep her alive and keep her spirit alive. That`s all you can do; just keep working on this.
GRACE: You know what, Alayne? He`s right. The moment that you give up, it`s all over.
ADAMS: We won`t give up, Nancy.
GRACE: With us tonight, Alayne Adams. This is Leslie`s cousin. Again, everyone, take a look.
Elizabeth, could you put up Leslie Marva Adams. She`s been missing since 10/24. Gwinnett County police, 770-513-5300. The reward up to $25,000.
Very quickly to tonight`s "All-Points Bulletin." FBI and law enforcement across the country on the lookout for Edgardo Luis Perez, wanted in connection with the 2001 Michigan murder of 56-year-old Gordon Machek (ph). Perez, 23, 5`6", 150 pounds, black hair, brown eyes. If you have info on Edgardo Luis Perez, call the FBI, 313-965-2323.
Local news next for some of you. But please stay with us tonight, as we remember Corporal Jeffry Rogers, just 21, an American hero.
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ROBERTA ADAMS, SISTER OF LESLIE ADAMS: My sister, she really is just an outgoing person. As far as her disappearance, if she was going away, she would have called me and she would have told me. Or she would have called someone in the family and let them know.
She`s the type of person, when she`s on her way somewhere or going somewhere, she always calls. And she always calls when she gets there.
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GRACE: Another empty seat tomorrow at Thanksgiving. Leslie Adams now missing since October. Please help us find her.
Vito Colucci, it is a sad day when one family after the next has to bring in a private eye, some even taking second jobs to help solve missing people cases.
COLUCCI: It definitely is, Nancy. It`s really horrible. But what T.J. could bring to this -- he could go to those people. A hairdresser has a big circle of people, a lot of people there. You need to interview them. The college situation. She`s a student. Same thing.
If the police department`s not going to do it, Nancy, you have no other choice. You have to do this.
GRACE: To Leslie`s cousin, Alayne Adams. If you could speak out to her tonight, what would you say?
ADAMS: Leslie, we`re all worried about you. We`re going to find you. We`re not going to stop until we find you. We need you home with us. We need your spirit. Your children miss you. Your family misses you. We love you. We`re not going to stop until we find you.
GRACE: Alayne, how old are her children?
ADAMS: Thirteen and 16.
GRACE: And, Alayne, what will they be doing tomorrow for Thanksgiving?
ADAMS: They`ll be spending Thanksgiving in Pennsylvania with their grandmother. We have a large support system up there, and we`re going to try to make the holidays as normal as possible for them.
GRACE: And we`ll continue our prayers, Alayne.
ADAMS: Thank you.
GRACE: Thanks, Alayne.
But I want to thank all of my guests tonight. Our biggest thank you is to you, for being with all of us, inviting us into your homes.
Tomorrow night, Thanksgiving, psychic detectives take on cold cases to help crack the cases and solve the mysteries.
Coming up, headlines from all around the world. We`re all saying good night. Stay tuned to Headline News.
We here at NANCY GRACE are all very thankful. We have so much to be grateful for. Thank you for being with us.
I`m Nancy Grace, signing off for tonight. See you right here tomorrow night, 8:00 sharp Eastern. Until then, good night, friend.