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Husband Suspected in Mother`s Murder, 3-Year-Old`s Abduction

Aired September 12, 2007 - 20:00:00   ET


NANCY GRACE, HOST: Breaking news tonight, a 3-year-old little boy missing, his young mom`s body discovered by local hotel staff, Irving, Texas, Irene Franco`s 3-year-old gone. Tonight, where is little Daniel? And why is -- where is the man police believe left with the little boy?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Police searching for 29-year-old Ernesto Orona, the husband of a young Texas mom found strangled at a Motel 6 in Irving, their 3-year-old son now missing. Motel housekeepers on their routine cleaning rounds find the body of 26-year-old Irene Franco. Police reveal an item left behind indicates a child was in that motel room. Tonight, where is 3-year-old Daniel Orona?


GRACE: And tonight, a beautiful 3-year-old little girl, baby Maddy, reportedly snatched during a luxury resort vacation, her parents party at dinner 100 yards away at the time, leaving baby Maddy and twin siblings home alone. Police named Maddy`s own mom and dad prime suspects. Headlines tonight, more developments in the last hours. Police turn over not 1 but 4,000 pages of evidence to a top judge, while prosecutors file emergency motions to seize the diary of baby Maddy`s mother, her dad`s laptop, and reportedly, baby toys, that judge set to make a final charging decision within days. All the while, a second senior prosecutor named to tackle the baby Maddy mystery.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is the man who will decide the fate of Gerry and Kate McCann. Portugal`s main prosecutor, Magalhaes e Meneses, was handed 10 piece (ph) files Tuesday, filled with evidence the police believe implicates the McCanns in the disappearance of their daughter, Madeleine, a fast referral by the prosecutor, which could mean one of two things, according to legal experts in Portugal. The prosecutor may ask the judge for permission to further searches of properties or phone taps, or else he may want to alter the alguido (ph), or suspect status of Kate and Gerry. The judge has 10 days to decide on a course of action. McCann`s spokesman says that the ball is firmly in the court of Portugal`s police, and all the McCann family can do is sit and wait for a decision.


GRACE: Good evening. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us. Tonight, police on high alert for a man wanted in the death of a young Texas mom, her 3-year-old little boy missing. Where is 3-year-old Daniel?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A 3-year-old boy is missing tonight after police find his young mom strangled at Motel 6 in Irving, Texas, an arrest warrant issued for 29-year-old Ernesto Orona, who police say is a person of interest in Irene Franco`s death.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On Sunday, when the cleaning crew came to that hotel room, they found Irene Franco dead in that hotel room, Ernesto Orona and their 3-year-old son, Daniel, nowhere to be found. They are still on the run.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Evidence inside the motel room, where housekeepers find Franco`s body, suggest at some point a child was in the room. Tonight, police concerned for the safety of little Daniel Orona.


GRACE: Where is the 3-year-old little boy, his mom`s remains found there in a local hotel room by hotel cleaning staff?

Out to Michael Board with WOAI Newsradio. Welcome, Michael. What can you tell us? What happened?

MICHAEL BOARD, WOAI NEWSRADIO: We don`t know exactly what happened in that hotel room, but what we do know is that they found the body of Irene Franco strangled to death in that hotel room, her common-law husband, Ernesto, nowhere to be found, as well as their 3-year-old son, Daniel, all missing. A statewide search on to find the pair. They don`t know where they could be at this point.

GRACE: Michael, is the 3-year-old his biological son?

BOARD: Yes, he is.

GRACE: And have they placed a time of death on the body?

BOARD: That we don`t know yet. The cleaning crew in that hotel -- it`s a Motel 6 in Irving Texas -- clean rooms about 12:30 each day. So it was sometime between 12:30 on Saturday and 12:30 on Sunday. It`s quite a long frame of time when the strangulation could have happened. Also, a lot of time for whoever did the strangulation to get out of there and go somewhere else.

GRACE: To medical examiner and consultant to the famous "CSI" program, Dr. Gary Telgenoff, joining us out of Las Vegas. Doctor, thank you for being with us. How can they determine the time of death in a strangulation or asphyxiation case? We don`t know, was she strangled, was she smothered, was it ligature, was it manual? How can they tell the time of death when they find the body?

DR. GARY TELGENOFF, MEDICAL EXAMINER: Well, you can`t. You can on television, but you can`t in real life, especially if you`re going to narrow it down to an hour or two. Just not possible.

GRACE: Well, how about the digestion in the stomach, if you can place the last meal?

TELGENOFF: That would be even less reliable. Everybody`s digestive tract is different, and everybody`s digestive tract varies with the individual. Depends on the meal. Depends on a lot of things.

GRACE: How about temperature of the body?

TELGENOFF: Temperature of the body is somewhat useful sometimes. The thing is, is we don`t know what the temperature is at the time of death. So there`s no way to use...

GRACE: Well, I`m assuming, Doctor, that she had normal temperature and she wasn`t running a fever. Would the temperature of the corpse suggest the time of death? And if so, how?

TELGENOFF: Well, myself, I don`t use time -- I don`t use temperature, especially out here in Vegas, because everything`s very hot anyway. But the temperature is very unreliable, as are most indicators of time of death.

GRACE: How about lividity?

TELGENOFF: Lividity only helps you really with position of the body. Lividity is probably the least dependable when it comes to time of death.

GRACE: So depending on the progress, knowing (ph) the temperature, rigor mortis or lividity in the corpse, you`re telling me that for all these years I`ve been told and relied on medical examiners that try to place the time of death, that all of that is total Basically.

TELGENOFF: Well, you can give predictions as to four to six hours, six to twelve, twelve to twenty-four, if you have a very good findings. But if you`re going to try to narrow it down to an hour or two, no, it`s totally unbelievable.

GRACE: Well, I will be happy to pass this on to all the medical examiners that believe they can place an approximate cause (SIC) of death.

Out to the lines. Terry in West Virginia. Hi, Terry.

GRACE: Hi, Nancy. How`re you doing?

GRACE: I`m good. What`s your question, dear?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was wondering, did the hotel by any chance have security cameras where they could see if the boy and the father went out or when they came in?

GRACE: Excellent question. Let`s go to a special guest joining us, the public information officer in the Irving Police Department. David Tull is with us. Sir, thank you for being with us. Were there security cameras there at the hotel?

DAVID TULL, PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER, IRVING POLICE DEPARTMENT: Well, first, I want to thank you for helping to get this story out and help us find this boy.

GRACE: Yes, sir.

TULL: To your question, as far as -- we have placed the boy and the father together at a location away from the hotel after they left. There`s a little town, a city called Willow -- Willow Park, to the west of...

GRACE: Hold on just a second. Let me get this down. Willow Park to the left (SIC) of Fort Worth. Everybody, take a look at this little boy. He`s only 3 years old, Daniel, now missing, originally from Irving, Texas, last seen, according to the Irving Police Department, in Willow Point (SIC), Texas. His mom found strangled to death in a local hotel. Please help us.

With us, Officer David Tull. Continue, sir, please.

TULL: Sure. What it was, we recovered the vehicle, the only known vehicle that they had, which is another point that we have a problem with, is we don`t know what type vehicle they`re in. But we do have witnesses that place them in Willow Park together. I don`t remember exactly what time, but it was after they had left the motel itself. So again, that`s the reason we know they`re together, is we know that the boy is with him.

We`re not concerned -- we are concerned for the boy`s welfare, but this relationship that -- common-law marriage that they had, has been described to me as off and on at times, and periodically, there were rocky points. But my understanding is that the -- any animosity was between the adults, not involving the child

So what I think our biggest concern is that maybe the child might not be getting the proper care in the custody of just one parent that may have other things on his mind.

GRACE: You know, Officer Tull -- with us, Officer David Tull, the public information officer for the Irving Police Department, Texas -- I agree with you that they are (INAUDIBLE) between each other, but if there is an arrest warrant for murder, how do we know what this guy`s going to do?

TULL: We don`t. And that`s why, again, we`ve enlisted the help of everybody possible. We put as much information as we could out to people. They can`t just completely lay low and disappear. Somewhere, somebody`s going to recognize them. That boy`s got a very recognizable face, a good- looking kid. His father`s very recognizable, Ernesto Orona. And I think that the public will key on that and keep that in their minds.

GRACE: Officer, question. The cause of death -- we understand it`s strangulation. Was it asphyxiation? Was it manual? Was it ligature?

TULL: Unfortunately, Nancy, I can`t go into those details with you.


TULL: Again, we`re focusing, you know, more toward trying to get them identified and recovered. So I apologize for that, but I just -- I can`t do it.

GRACE: And Officer, you say they were sighted in Willow Park, Texas. About what time?

TULL: Let`s see. I`m wanting to say it was either Saturday or Sunday morning, Saturday night or Sunday morning.

GRACE: Whew!

TULL: Again, I don`t have the exact time on that in front of me right now. I don`t recall what it was.

GRACE: Man, he`s got a head start. Officer, where were they? Were they at a diner, a truck stop? Where were they?

TULL: Well, the information we have from the witnesses, that they were at a gas station, but that`s where we recovered their vehicle at. Apparently, the vehicle either was disabled or they got a ride with somebody or something. But that`s why we don`t have a vehicle description, because we don`t know what they got into or how -- what they may be using at this time.

That in itself goes into the mystery part of it. We don`t know if they`re by themselves or if they`re with friends that don`t know what`s going on. I don`t know how that could possibly be at this point, as much video and news coverage as we`ve had on it.

GRACE: Now -- to Michael Board with WOAI Newsradio -- is this guy being termed a suspect, a person of interest, what?

BOARD: I believe there is a murder warrant out for his arrest. They do believe that he was involved with this. To the extent of, you know, was he the one who strangled them? (SIC) You know, they wouldn`t have a murder warrant out for his arrest if they didn`t think he was the one who actually did it.

GRACE: So he`s been identified as the target. Back to David Tull with the Irving Police Department. Were there security cameras there at the hotel?

TULL: I don`t believe there were, no, at least not in the locations where it would assist us in what we`re doing. And yes, there is a murder warrant out for the -- for Ernesto.

GRACE: Out to the lines. Keisha in Texas. Hi, Keisha.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. I love you. I love your show. And congratulations on the babies.

GRACE: I tell you what, they must be little crime fighters because they really go crazy during this show. They sleep all day, but the minute we start talking about crime, they go berserk, Keisha, berserk.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because they love you so much. Nancy, you`re so great. I just love you so much. I`ve been watching you. I`m a Court TV fan. I`m still watching you every day.

GRACE: What`s happening in Spector? Never mind. Don`t tell me. What`s your question?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. I`m right down the street from them. I`m wondering, listen, why were they at the hotel? Do they live there? I mean, why were they there?

GRACE: Good question. I think they were away from the weekend. What about it, Michael Board, WOAI Newsradio? Why were they in Irving, Texas? This is not where they`re from, is it?

BOARD: No, they are from outside of Fort Worth, and they had gone to Dallas for the weekend, just a vacation weekend. The three of them had gone and they`d gotten a hotel room -- a motel room at the Motel 6 in Irving, Texas, which is in the Dallas area. And they`d just gone there for the weekend. Why they decided to go for the weekend, probably just a vacation.

GRACE: Everyone, before we take you to the latest in the missing baby Maddy case and the developments on that, we want you to be on the lookout for this little 3-year-old boy. Little Daniel has been missing since before the weekend, Daniel Gabriel (ph) Orona, his mother found dead by local hotel staff strangled in their hotel apartment. Now police are looking for her husband, Ernesto Orona, age 29. What a beautiful kid. A murder warrant on Ernesto Orona. Please help us. The tip line, 972-721- 2518.

Tracy in South Carolina. Hi, Tracy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. I love you! I`m your biggest defender. You know there are haters out there.

GRACE: Yes, well, there are always haters. What`s your question, sweet?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Two questions. Does he have a criminal record?

GRACE: Oh, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m assuming domestic violence?

GRACE: Let me get my mitts on it. I`ve got it right here. And what`s your second question, in case I lose you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What chance is he here illegally?

GRACE: Good question. Number one, May -- Elizabeth, do we have that arrest record to show Tracy in South Carolina? May 1997, forgery to defraud or harm another. Got straight probation. December `97, unauthorized use of a vehicle, 18 months suspended. October 2001, probation violation, finally goes to the pokey, 15 months. February 2004, unlawful possession of a weapon, 45 days in jail. July 2007, assault with bodily injury to a family member.

Assault with bodily injury to a family member, Tracy. So yes, he has a record, and the most disturbing entry on that record is assault on a family member.

To David Tull with the Irving Police Department. What do we know about his citizenship status?

TULL: As far as I know -- well, one thing, that`s -- as far as the law enforcement end of it, we`re -- we don`t -- we`re not doing the immigration part. He is a legal...

GRACE: Oh, good Lord in heaven! With all of these arrests -- Officer Tull, with all of these arrests, nobody thought to send him home packing where he came from?

TULL: Oh, you missed what I said. He is a legal citizen.

GRACE: Oh, I thought you said he is an illegal citizen. OK. Well, I can`t get mad about that. All right.

TULL: One thing that might help that I wanted to interject before I go, but I didn`t want to interrupt, if people -- where this Motel 6 in Irving is approximately two-and-a-half miles from Texas Stadium. Where his vehicle was found is in a direct line to Mineral Wells, Texas, which is where he and his estranged wife and -- I mean, excuse me his deceased wife and child are from. They also are from the Corpus Christi area of Texas.

So because of what I just told you, you see the area that we`re trying to spread out and look in. We don`t know what part. He could pretty much be anywhere in Texas or other places. OK. I`m sorry. I had to interject that and get...

GRACE: No, I want you to. Because you know -- out to Jeff Gardere, Dr. Jeff Gardere, psychologist and author -- the cop, the officer -- excuse me, Officer -- says that any dispute was always between husband and wife. But when you kill, clearly, that child is not safe.

JEFF GARDERE, PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, the child is not safe. And this is what I`m concerned about. As a psychologist, we see that there is a very violent history with this individual and perhaps with this particular woman. But this could be -- if he did this, could be the beginning of a murder-suicide. If he is threatened in any way in losing this particular child, then he may do something very drastic. So I am very, very -- we should all be concerned for this little boy.

GRACE: Mike Brooks, what do we do now?

MIKE BROOKS, FORMER D.C. POLICE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Nancy, my question is -- my question for Officer Tull would be, number one, did he have a cell phone? And secondly, is the FBI involved? Because if there`s an interstate nexus, they would be involved. They could get a UFAP warrant, which is unlawful flight to avoid prosecution. And that could be a federal charge that he could also be charged with if he does cross state lines.

GRACE: Officer Tull, does he have a cell phone?

TULL: I`m not sure on that particular point. I believe I heard mention of that. That angle is being looked at, as well. As far as the interstate part and getting the feds involved, I got a pretty good education on that during our hunt for the Texas seven, and we worked very closely with the other agencies. The federal agencies have national headquarters in Irving, or regional headquarters in Irving and Dallas, as well. I have to ask you all to trust us on this, that we are exploring every possible avenue on this to get this boy found and back safe.

And again, we really appreciate this exposure to get it out there. We`ve got him listed on That way, it`s nationwide accessible. If it hasn`t been listed, I know it`s in process to get him on the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

GRACE: Right now, Officer Tull with us, David Tull from the Irving Police Department. A 3-year-old baby boy gone, his mom`s body found strangled in a local hotel. We`ll come back with that and the latest on the baby Maddy mystery.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Irving police were called to the DFW location of Motel 6 at about 12:30 Sunday. A maid found an unresponsive woman. She`s been identified as 29-year-old Irene Franco. After investigating, authorities determined she was dead, possibly after being strangled.


GRACE: Where is 3-year-old little Daniel? His mom found in a local hotel by the house cleaning staff.

I want to go back out to Mike Brooks. Mike, at this juncture, let`s just say he doesn`t have a cell phone. How are you going to track this guy who`s got this 3-year-old baby boy, we believe?

BROOKS: Well, as we heard from officer Tull from Irving police, apparently, they have friends and associates in Irving, Texas, Mineral Wells, Texas, and other places around the state. That would be a starting point for the fugitive task force to go and try to interview any friends and associates. I know they have a great fugitive task force there that work well together. And that would be the first place to start, Nancy. You know, and then if they do have a cell phone, that`s just icing on the cake.

GRACE: Let`s unleash the lawyers. Joining us, Randi Karmel, child advocate out of New York, Renee Rockwell out of the Atlanta jurisdiction, and Julia Morrow (ph), defense attorney out of the Philadelphia jurisdiction.

Renee, you`ve had a lot of clients that you personally arranged a surrender. How do you go about that?

RENEE ROCKWELL, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Nancy, the first thing do you is make sure that this guy goes in there not prepared to give a statement, and for the safety of the child, to go in there with hands up, saying, Here I am, let me turn myself in. That way, nobody gets hurt, and you can guarantee he`s not giving a statement.

GRACE: Out to Julia Morrow. Agree, disagree?

JULIA MORROW, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Absolutely agree, 100 percent.

GRACE: What`s in it for him to surrender?

MORROW: He needs to turn himself in because he`s only making the case worse. If he stays out there on the lam with a 3-year-old, he`s going to be looking at more time and more charges being racked up against him.

GRACE: Randi Karmel, agree?

RANDI KARMEL, FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY: Absolutely. The fact that he is with a 3-year-old, and in my opinion, running from the law, absolutely. It`s better if he turned himself in and take care of the best interests of this child.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Irving police were called to the DFW location of Motel 6 at about 12:30 Sunday. A maid found an unresponsive woman. She`s been identified as 29-year-old Irene Franco. After investigating, authorities determined she was dead, possibly after being strangled.


GRACE: Out to the lines. Amy in Texas. Hi, Amy.


GRACE: What`s your question, dear?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I wanted to know if the family, his family, has heard anything from him.

GRACE: That`s a good question. To Michael Board, WOAI Newsradio. Has he been in touch with anyone?

BOARD: No, he hasn`t. He has family in Corpus Christi, which is down on the Texas Gulf Coast. Investigators have talked with his family. They have not heard from him. Her family is also from Corpus Christi, Texas. Investigators have talked with them. They haven`t heard from either him or the 3-year-old, either. So nowhere to be found. It`s not like he came down and dropped the kid off with his family or anything like that. They haven`t heard a word from him.

GRACE: Very quickly to Dr. Gary Telgenoff, medical examiner. There were no security cameras. What type of forensic evidence do you believe they can get from the scene of a strangulation?

TELGENOFF: Well, there may be transfer, hairs, fibers, possibly blood. The perpetrator may have actually been...


TELGENOFF: The perpetrator may have...

GRACE: May have been what?

TELGENOFF: Actually injured and transferred blood.

GRACE: Everybody, when we come back, to the baby Maddy mystery. Police want Mom`s private diary.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They`ve been sitting house-bound since they got there. You can imagine, the international media is camped out outside their house in a very small little -- small town, small roads. They are continuing to protest their innocence. This is all they can say. They can`t comment on the investigation. But they are saying when people put all the pieces of the jigsaw together, they will realize we would never harm our daughter. And they are also saying that they`re very worried that as they`re formal suspects now, they`re very concerned that the search for their daughter is actually over and all that the police are doing now is trying to se if they themselves are responsible and looking for a body rather than a live child.


GRACE: More major developments in the last hours in the baby Maddie mystery. Number one, we learned that not one but 4,000 pages of evidence have been handed over to a top judge, who will make the final charging decision. We also learned that mystery item that police want is baby Maddie`s mom`s diary, among other things.

Out to Paula Hancocks, standing by at Praia da Luz, Portugal. That`s the location of that luxury resort where they were on vacation when Maddie went missing. Paula, what`s the latest?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Nancy, well, we know the judge is looking through those 10 files of documents at this point, trying to discover whether or not it is appropriate to allow the prosecutor to have his request. Now, we have these reports, unconfirmed at this point, that it is Kate McCann`s diary they are after. No idea why it would be a diary. It could be other personal effects as well. And certainly that`s the latest at this point. We`re hoping that maybe tomorrow, maybe the next couple of days we`ll hear a little bit more.

GRACE: To Dr. Jeff Gardere. What could the diary reveal? This is not the first time we have seen people keep diaries.

JEFF GARDERE, PSYCHOLOGIST: Absolutely. And the type of people who keep diaries, really it`s a form of self-therapy, to be able to work out conflicts and issues, and most importantly, to be able to discuss some of their deepest thoughts, their deepest concerns.

And so what I think we may find in this particular case is what was going through her mind before or after the disappearance and what kind of person she is. We can find out all of those things from the diary because we do find out about the deepest, sometimes darkest thoughts.

GRACE: Back to Paula Hancocks, CNN correspondent, joining us from Portugal. Paula, in the wires, in the research it suggests they want to see the diary to shed light on the relationship between Mrs. -- Dr. McCann and her husband.

HANCOCKS: Well, that`s certainly something that is possible. But you know, the problem with this is no one actually knows what is in the evidence except for the police themselves. Even Kate and Gerry McCann don`t know all the evidence that the prosecutor and now the judge has. So everyone else is trying to second-guess it. And it`s difficult to try and divide the fact from the fiction.

Certainly we know that Kate McCann had been writing in her diary before this had been reported right from the beginning. As your guest just said, it could have been a self-therapy, as she went to church quite a lot with her husband. That also was very comforting to her.

So certainly it`s something that is interesting. The prosecutor, according to these reports -- and they have pushed through this request reportedly to try to get hold of this diary. So certainly they believe it could be pertinent to this case.

GRACE: To Jerry Lawton, chief reporter with The Daily Star. Jerry, what else do they want and why an emergency motion?

JERRY LAWTON, THE DAILY STAR: Well, Nancy, we`ve discovered tonight something quite dramatic, to be honest with you. We`ve discovered tonight that the police as well as the diary of Kate McCann, they are attempting to seize a laptop computer -- a white laptop computer that is owned by the couple that they believe may well contain vital information about this case.

This is a breaking story. It`s a story that`s breaking in England right now. It`s an extremely interesting development. And it follows speculation that the police may well have been monitoring e-mail traffic between the McCanns and possibly some of their friends on holiday with them at the time that Madeleine went missing on May 3.

GRACE: What friends were with them? How many friends were with them, Jerry?

LAWTON: There were nine friends on holiday with them at the time. And those friends have all given statements, sworn statements to the Portuguese police. But in light of the recent developments and the dramatic change in the police inquiry, the police may well want to interview some of those friends once again to try to re-establish more details about what happened on the fateful night.

GRACE: To Larry Sutton, editor with People magazine, their issue on this hits the stands September 14, this Friday. Larry, OK, so we`ve got the diary, mom`s diary, Kate McCann`s diary, the dad`s laptop. What else is in this emergency motion that prosecutors want?

LARRY SUTTON, STAFF EDITOR, PEOPLE: Well, you know, there`s speculation that the cops have already seen this diary, let her -- gave it back to her, and now they want to get it back in their possession because they think there`s something in there that might help them crack the case. Those are the most important things they`re looking for at the moment.

GRACE: Don`t they want toys as well?

SUTTON: Well, yes. There`s the infamous cuddle doll there, a little doll that if you`re on the side of the family, they say that when they came back to that apartment that doll was up on a high shelf, indicating that someone must have come into the apartment because their little daughter could not put it up on that shelf.

If you`re the cops, you say, well, we think there`s evidence on there, there might be some of that DNA that we`ve been looking for. It`s also one of the botched areas of the investigation. It`s something that the police -- Portuguese police, knew was in the room, let the family take it with them.

The mother has been holding that stuffed doll ever since for days and days and days. Washed it, let other kids play with it. So if there was evidence on it, if in fact an intruder did come in, take the doll, put it up on a shelf, well, that evidence is pretty much gone.

GRACE: To Renee Rockwell (ph), it has been washed repeatedly. It`s no good forensically now, I would think. So what`s the holdup? This happened on May 3.

RENEE ROCKWELL, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Nancy, it`s hard to tell what they`re doing, but I know what they`re going to do as far as seizing toys. They want to know if these toys, if placed in the trunk of that car, could provide enough DNA because how is this family going to explain the DNA found in the trunk of a car of this baby, the car wasn`t rented until 25 days later. Somebody is going to have to explain that.

GRACE: Back to Mike Brooks, explain.

MIKE BROOKS, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, Nancy, I`ll tell you, there`s a lot of things. First of all, the Portuguese police should have seized this laptop a long time ago if they were looking for evidence.

GRACE: But Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike...

BROOKS: They`ve bungled this whole crime scene from the beginning, Nancy.

GRACE: Come on. I agree with you on the other evidence. But the reality is unless you take a laptop, take it outside, and beat it with a sledgehammer, you never really delete anything.


GRACE: So they can get whatever they want. In fact, you know, if he has been yakking online and revealing stuff, the more the better. But as far as the other evidence, that I agree with you. And why bother to get a phone tap now for pete`s sake, if they hadn`t already done it?

BROOKS: Well, they should have done that a long time ago. And apparently there, part of this 4,000-page dossier, you`ve got statements, you`ve got videos of the cadaver dogs and their reactions to a number of different things. You`ve got background reports. You`ve got the friends` statements in there. You`ve got now, we`ve heard, 16 hours of interrogation of Kate McCann over two days. So they had to glean something out of that 16 hours, Nancy.

GRACE: Out to the lines. Cindy in South Carolina. Hi, Cindy.


GRACE: What`s your question, dear?

CALLER: Well, I kind of have two. First of all, why did they let them leave the country if they were still under investigation? And my second question is, how can I get two missing teens on television, they`re 16 years old, they`ve been missing from Tennessee since August 30th.

GRACE: You know what, Cindy from South Carolina? Stay on the line, and I`ll have my phone producer get that information from you right now.

In the meantime, back to the question. Paula Hancocks, CNN correspondent, how is it that they fled the country?

HANCOCKS: Well, they were allowed to because they`re formal suspects at this point. They haven`t been charged. They haven`t been arrested. They said there was no bail restrictions on them. So basically, their main residence is in Britain. The police over here know that. They know how to get hold of them.

And we know, we spoke to the Leicestershire police a little earlier on. That`s the district where they live in northern England. And they said they are assisting the Portuguese police. So if the Portuguese police want them back, they have five days to get back to this country. So they know where they are.

GRACE: Out to the lines, Nicky in Georgia. Hi, Nicky.

CALLER: Hi, Nancy. Congratulations. I hope you have one boy and one girl.

GRACE: You know what? I just want them to be healthy. But I do know statistically boys are more likely to end up in juvenile detention. So I`m concerned about that. But you know what? I`ll burn that bridge when I get there. Nicky, what`s your question?

CALLER: OK. I have a question. Where could the McCanns have stored Madeleine`s body if she is dead for 25 days? And the other is, I`ve never heard of any surveillance from the resort.

GRACE: That`s because they didn`t have surveillance trained on that particular area, it`s my understanding. But out to you, Jerry Lawton, chief reporter with The Daily Star. Number one, surveillance video. And number two, what`s the police theory on where they could have hidden the body for all this time?

LAWTON: Well, number one, Nancy, in terms of surveillance, we`ve discovered today in fact that the Portuguese police may indeed have had a high level of surveillance on this family than we`ve ever realized before. Again, quite dramatic information breaking. But we understand that they may well have had the family under 24-hour surveillance for a considerable period of time, far longer than the family were aware of.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The report in front of the judge is said to run to 4,000 pages. So it may well take him some time to go through it. But it`s reported that he has been asked for one decision within 24 hours, and already Kate and Gerry McCann have appointed experienced lawyers to represent them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because they are preparing a defense against the allegations contained in a report handed to the prosecutor, Ashalaish Imenzush (ph). The report was immediately passed to a judge at the courthouse in Portimao yesterday. One reason, according to a Portuguese newspaper, is the police seizure of diaries and correspondence belonging to Kate and Gerry McCann.


GRACE: Tonight we learn more developments in the hours before we go to air. Number one, prosecutors filing emergency motions to get their mitts on baby Maddie`s mom`s personal diary as well as dad`s laptop. They also want certain toys. And we keep showing you the mom, Kate McCann, holding that little cuddle cat thing that police want.

Hey, word to the wise, police, FYI, it has been washed and handled by many other children since May the 3rd. But according to Jerry Lawton with The Daily Star, there`s a chance that police have had the parents under surveillance for quite a long time.

Jerry, I want to go back to Nicky from Georgia`s question. What is their theory about where the couple possibly hid the child for 25 days?

LAWTON: Well, Nancy, at the moment the theory appears to be that the child unfortunately was hidden very close to the family`s holiday apartment. They are searching an area. They are following apparently rather grimly described in the Portuguese newspapers a trail of death basically scented out by British sniffer dogs.

GRACE: A trail of death sniffed out by cadaver dogs. Explain.

LAWTON: Right. The dogs in England who have been brought in on this inquiry are incredibly specialized. They`re some of the best in the world and indeed have been used by your FBI in many investigations. These dogs are able to detect the smell of death. And apparently, they have followed and detected a trail of death that leads apparently from the apartment in Praia da Luz where Madeleine disappeared to an area close to the hillside church in that resort.

And that is the area at the moment where the police believe Maddie`s body was at least initially kept, until, on their allegation, the couple took that -- released out a hired car 25 days later and then moved that body to its effectual final resting place.

GRACE: CNN has not been able to confirm this trail of death sniffed out by cadaver dogs. I want to go to Mike Brooks. It is true about the Brit cadaver dog corps. They are highly sensitive. They`ve been brought over here to the U.S. to be used.

BROOKS: They are very, very good, Nancy. I can tell you that from my sources talking about this particular group of dogs. Also, apparently, they also had -- were able to pick up some scent evidence, if you will, from the apartment, from the rental car, and off of Kate McCann`s clothes.

Now, we`ve heard that Dr. McCann has said that she had been with some patients prior to this and that would be the reason that there would be such evidence on her clothes.

GRACE: Dead patients.

BROOKS: Exactly. But apparently, we`ve heard that that might not so be true. And also, Nancy, during the 16 hours -- during the 16 hours of interrogation, there were some questions that were asked of her that she refused to answer.

GRACE: Mike Brooks, how do you know that?

BROOKS: This is what we`ve been hearing from the research we`ve been doing, from The Telegraph.

GRACE: Wow. OK. That`s a problem, Julia Morrow. Of course, everyone has, in this country, a fundamental right to remain silent. But when you get a mom that refuses to answer questions about the disappearance of her child, that never looks good.

JULIA MORROW, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I would agree with you if it happened right off the bat. However, when she has been browbeaten by authorities who clearly believe she`s guilty at this point and are trying to railroad her for hours, I can see her getting to a point where she says.

GRACE: Why do you think they are trying to railroad her, Julia?

MORROW: . no more -- I`m sorry?

GRACE: Why do you believe she`s being railroaded?

MORROW: Because look at the entire course of this investigation, Nancy. When the abduction first happened, clearly the Portuguese police didn`t think that the McCanns had anything to do with it.


GRACE: . she is being railroaded, that doesn`t even make any sense, your theory that she`s being railroaded. They weren`t even suspects to start with.

MORROW: That`s right. And now only after they`ve explored everything else.


GRACE: Only after a cadaver dog hits on the mom.

MORROW: I`m sorry, Nancy. I didn`t hear you.

GRACE: Only after a cadaver dog hits on the mom. Wouldn`t that raise a red flag to you? Whether it`s valid in this case or not, wouldn`t that suggest to you, ding ding, there`s a problem?

MORROW: Nancy, if these cadaver dogs are all that, why haven`t they found the spot where Maddie`s body was rotting for 25 days before it was allegedly removed and reburied by the parents? How good are the cadaver dogs?

GRACE: Julia, that was beautiful. I liked it. The way you totally avoided the question I asked you about the dogs hitting on the.

MORROW: She has an explanation for it.

GRACE: . mom. And in the apartment?

MORROW: She`s a doctor.

GRACE: Paula Hancocks from CNN.

MORROW: Nancy, I`m not convinced about the reliability of the cadaver dogs.

GRACE: . standing by at the Praia da Luz, tell me about the cadaver dog hits.

HANCOCKS: Well, the cadaver dogs, as one of your earlier guests was saying, are incredibly well-trained. They are the best in the world. And there was one Portuguese newspaper which we haven`t been able to confirm, nobody has, so it`s not necessarily completely true, but this is what they`re saying, that there was a trail, that the cadaver dogs picked up this scent and then went down to the church. All of the journalists of course went straight to the church to see if this was true.

We`ve been sitting outside there on and off for about two days now, and there`s no activity there at this point. We`ve been asking the police, are they intending to go down there? We have people watching out. And at this point they`re not searching the church at all.

GRACE: Well, you know, Randi Karmel, child advocate, if it were anybody but the Portuguese police, I have to agree with Renee and Julia on this, I would give it more stock. But what about the theory that the local child custody authorities are looking into their custody of the twins -- the twin siblings, Randi?

RANDI KARMEL, CHILD ADVOCATE: They absolutely should. You can`t kill one and keep two. You absolutely should have the child protective services look into whether they are abusive or neglectful, and as suspects they pretty much are.


GRACE: To HEADLINE PRIME`s Glenn Beck. Hi, friend.

GLENN BECK, HOST, "GLENN BECK": With insurgents and terrorists around every corner, American soldiers have plenty to worry about. The last thing they need is a bunch of politicians, activists, and Hollywood weasels spreading lies and calling them rapists. I`ll have more on this shameful truth in just a bit.

And I`m warning you, America, wake up and buckle up because bad stuff is coming our way. Then, talk show host Keith Olbermann says that the FOX network is more dangerous than al Qaeda. Really?

And I`ll have another installment of my "Perfect Day" series with author Brad Thor and talk one on one with pedophile Jack McClellan. Don`t miss it, next.

GRACE: Tonight we learned that prosecutors want baby Maddie`s mom`s diary, dad`s laptop, and they filed emergency motions to get them. Out to the lines, Patty in Massachusetts. Hi, Patty. Hi, Patty. OK. I think I`ve lost Patty. How about Marvel (ph) in Georgia? Hi, Marvel. OK. Somehow I`ve lost the callers. Let`s try to get them back, Liz.

In the meantime, to Larry Sutton with People magazine. Their article coming out Friday on the stands September 14th. Where do we go from here?

SUTTON: Well, you know, another piece of evidence that`s just so puzzling is an upstairs neighbor at the time that this disappearance took place. Well, she tells our reporters that the couple came home, the wife screamed, where`s my child? They`ve taken her. And she says, do you want me to call the cops? And she says no, no, we`ve already done that. Forty minutes go by before the police show up. That`s a big, big mystery.

GRACE: You know what? You`re right. We are on top of the baby Maddie mystery as well as the missing boy out of Texas. Go online to get the latest to find that little boy. Please help the Texas police.

Let`s stop to remember Army Specialist Christopher Neiberger, 22, Gainesville, Florida, killed, Iraq. Leaving studies at FSU to enlist. Dreamed of going to West Point. An Eagle Scout, loved one-liners, traveling on church missions to Guatemala and Mexico. Leaves behind parents Richard and Mary, widow Elizabeth, brothers Robert and Eric, sister Amy. Christopher Neiberger, American hero.

Thank you to our guests. Thank you for inviting us into your home. See you tomorrow night, 8:00 sharp Eastern. And until then, good night, friend.