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Sex Offense Ex-Teacher Back in Court; Interview with Nancy Grace; Investigators Continue to Look for Pregnant Marine Missing Since Before Christmas

Aired January 10, 2008 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, she's back. "HEADLINE NEWS'" Nancy Grace opens her heart about the high risk road to motherhood and marriage and the twin miracles who transformed her life. She'll also speak her mind about some of the day's headline grabbing crime and justice stories. And we'll show you a side of Nancy Grace you haven't seen until now.
And then schoolteacher turned sex-offender Debra Lafave returns to court on probation violation charges. We'll hear from her ex- husband Owen and from Mary Kay Letourneau, the former teacher, who did hard prison time for having sex with a student she later married.

Plus, the mystery of the missing and pregnant marine -- authorities think that her male roommate could be the key to unlocking the case.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We do know at this time that this young Marine is watching the unfolding of this investigation, which leads us to believe he has an interest in it.


KING: All that and more next on LARRY KING LIVE.

KING: Good evening.

Nancy Grace will be with us momentarily.

Let's start in Miami with Judge David Young. He presides over TV's "Judge David Young Show". His style on the bench has been described as justice with a snap.

All right, we're going to discuss the Debra Lafave story.

The -- she was in violation of her probation, but the judge said today that it wasn't willful and therefore he didn't re-jail her.

What do think of that?

JUDGE DAVID YOUNG, PRESIDES OVER TV'S "JUDGE DAVID YOUNG" SHOW: I think he made the right decision, Larry.

On these sex-offender type of cases, when people violate and it's something egregious like Miss. Letourneau did, when she had contact with the victim in the case, then you really have to, you know, put the person under the jailhouse.

But in this case, it was very -- it was not very serious and it was really -- she didn't violate the spirit of the community control, so I think the judge acted properly.

KING: Then what was all the fuss about?

I mean she was talking to a lady.

YOUNG: Well, the fuss was in Florida they take a zero tolerance when it comes to sex abuses. We had Jimmy Rice down here and the legislature enacted very tough laws, as they should have.

And she was in violation. The community control officer did what the community control officer should have done and violated her. But when you look at what the facts were, she was talking to someone in an open setting in a restaurant. She wasn't behind closed doors. She wasn't doing anything deceitful or anything wrong or anything that anyone could have a moral objection to. It was simple conversation.

And that -- the judge, in his opinion, said that it was not willful, it was not material, it was not a serious breech of her community control. And that's why this judge -- who is very tough judge -- decided to put her back on community control, because he thought that was the proper thing to do. And I, quite frankly, agree with him.

KING: How much leeway do judges in your state have when considering probation violations?

YOUNG: Well, the standard is does it shock the conscience of the court?

Can the state prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant, in fact, violated probation?

And, in this case, yes, it was proven she did violate probation or community control -- which is more stringent than probation. But you have to look at the act itself.

What was the allegation?

The allegation was a simple communication -- a verbal communication -- nothing more, nothing less. And so the judge has all the discretion in the world. This judge could have sentenced Miss. Lafave to the time she could have gotten -- 15 years in state prison -- when she was found guilty of the violation -- committing the violation.

KING: All right, judge, you hang with us.

We're going to talk with her husband, Owen Lafave. We're going to also talk with Mary Kay Letourneau, who was convicted did hard time for the same thing. So we'll come back to you.

But we have made a connection now with New York. We had a technical difficulties.

Nancy Grace now joins us, the host of "NANCY GRACE" on "HEADLINE NEWS".

You've been through a lot -- there she is. You look different. You look younger.

NANCY GRACE: Well, I've been hanging around with some pretty young kids lately, Larry. In fact, right before I came over to the set tonight, I was trying to hold both of them at the same time. When I hold one, I feel guilty about not holding the other one.

KING: Well, you've been through a lot of life changes. On November 4th, you deliver by C-section two months premature. A week later, you're hospitalized with life-threatening blood clots.

How are all of you doing?

GRACE: Well, the three of us are really doing well. I'm going to be on medication for a really long time regarding the blood clots, trying to make sure that they don't break loose and go to the heart or the head. There may be more. But that's being under constant surveillance, as I would put it, Larry.

The twins are doing great. They are the joy of my life. And, Larry, I mean, you know there's nothing like it.


GRACE: It completely changes everything.

KING: Is it more difficult being 47?

GRACE: Well, now I'm 48.

KING: Oh, 48?

GRACE: Although -- although I was cited in some of the tabs as being much, much older. I saw one headline during my pregnancy that says: "Woman, 68, Pregnant" and they had my picture under it. And that didn't look good.

But I really believe that it played a very big role in the difficult -- the difficult times of the pregnancy. I think it made it much, much harder. Now blood clots, of course, can happen to anyone. People much, much younger than me can get blood clots. But I think that that added to it. And the emergency C-section I think was clearly brought on by not only my age, but the fact that I was carrying twins and the edema. Apparently, my lungs were just swimming in fluid, Larry.

KING: You introduced John David and Lucy Elizabeth to TV viewers earlier this week.

Let's take a look.


GRACE: I want you to meet live two very, very special guests -- the tiniest crime fighters in my life. We are live in my New York apartment via the Internet. And there you see my mom and David.

Look at them. Now, John David is on the left in the green bassie (ph). And Lucy Elizabeth is on the right in the pink bassie.


KING: All right. You've got motherhood, you've got marriage.

What's -- what does it mean?

Are you glad you waited?

GRACE: Well, Larry, no. If I could do it all over again, I would have married and had a family a long, long time ago. And as you and I have discussed many, many times, that simply was not meant to be. And I feel I have such short time left now. I don't want to spend any of my time regretting.

But after the murder of my fiance many, many years ago, Larry, I just did not want to go out on a limb and give 200 percent of myself away again and risk everything blowing up. And my cases really became my life -- my prosecutions, the crime victim that as I represented in court. And, you know, I did that for many, many years.

So this was a huge leap of faith, for me to marry and have children. And I've got to say, I only regret one thing -- and that's not doing it 20 years ago.

KING: What was it like when they told you it was twins?

GRACE: Oh, gosh. Well, frankly, at first I was just floored. I was flabbergasted, because all of the love you want to pour into one child. I couldn't understand how I was going to split that 50/50 and give it to two children. And I was confounded by that all the way up until the time I laid eyes on John David and Lucy. And instead of having to split the love 50/50, Larry, I just grew more love.

KING: Why did you keep the marriage and the pregnancy a secret for a while?

GRACE: Well, Larry, it had taken me so long to make this decision to go forward with a marriage and starting a family, I didn't want to jinx it. I mean I had such horrible luck the first time I tried it. I just didn't want to jinx it. I was almost afraid to do it, but I did it -- thank God.

KING: Nancy Grace is our guest. A joyful time in her life.

We'll be back with more.

Don't go away.


GRACE: This is my little baby. She was born one minute after her brother. This is little Lucy. And I want you to see her face. She's just the most beautiful thing. This is her big brother, John David. He was born at 1:54 on November the 4th and he's beautiful.



KING: We're back with Nancy Grace.

We have an e-mail question from Rhea in Fairmont, West Virginia: "I know you have a lot of medi -- you had a lot of medical complications during the pregnancy. What was your favorite thing about expecting?"

GRACE: Oh, gosh. Gosh, there were so many problems the whole way through. But my favorite thing was dreaming. I had a lot of dreams during the pregnancy. In fact, I was at the hospital one time and I saw a sign up were they doing a study on pregnant ladies' dreams. But I would always dream -- this is before I knew I had twins. I would either dream I had a little girl and multicolored tights or I would dream I had twins.

Hey, Larry, look what I found in my pocketbook. It's a letter addressed to, Larry, King from the twins. I have no idea what it says, Larry. But let me just see here. It says: "With thanks and appreciation."

I don't know when they dashed out and got this. "Your thoughtfulness made the difference. Dear, Larry, thank you for giving our mommy her big chance on CNN. Love, the twins."

And, look -- how thoughtful. They enclosed a picture of themselves for you.


KING: Nancy...

GRACE: I'll give you when you get to New York next week.

KING: All right.

Nancy, other than losing your mind...


KING: Oh, that's very nice, though. But Nancy did get her start right here. And I will say this, she never ever forgets it.

We have an e-mail question from Lori in Seaford, New York: "What are the twins like in terms of their personalities?"

GRACE: Oh, gosh. It's so unusual. I had no idea this was going to happen. They go back and forth. At the beginning, John David, the little boy, was totally quiet, and Lucy extremely feisty.

And you know what?

Larry, in utero, she would actually try to kick him. I saw it myself on the ultrasounds. The doctor pointed it out to me. Larry, every time they would say look, there's the face and there's the legs, I couldn't see anything. I would go, yes. And I couldn't make out a thing.

But I did see the kick. After they were born, he kind of became more dominant. Now they have reversed again and she is much more feisty than he is. He's very laid back, Larry. He's happy all the time. He just wants to be fed.

KING: How serious was your illness?

GRACE: Well, Larry, at the time, I did not realize how serious it was. When I went into the emergency room the following Sunday, I had only been out for about 36 hours -- out of the hospital and I just couldn't breathe. I could not walk from the bedroom to the kitchen. I couldn't breathe. And when I got there and they told me I had blood clots that had ended up in my lungs, it really threw me for a loop.

My parents came up. They stayed with me the entire time, along with my husband, for many, many weeks -- until I was able to come back to work.

KING: And that was this week, right?

GRACE: Yes. I just came back on the 7th and I've been watching you. I've been watching my show the whole time I was gone, religiously. And a lot of times I would want to weigh in on various cases. But it's hard to think that way when you have Lucy and John David in your arms. It really becomes the single most important thing in your life.

A lot of people have asked me, Larry, are you going to be a softy now?

But now that I've held them in their arms, I thought I was a child advocate before -- but, frankly, anyone that could harm a child or kill a child needs to go straight to hell via the local jail.

KING: I don't think you're going to change.

GRACE: I hope not.


KING: What was it like coming back to work?

GRACE: It was great. I came back, Larry, and I couldn't find any of the staff. They were all gone. And I opened up my office. They had all crammed themselves in there and had a big cake to welcome me back.

You know, I thought I would bring the kids to work, but they're just so happy eating and sleeping, I don't want to dislodge them. So, you know, it's really hard saying good-bye to them. Right now, my parents are still here. They came up with me. And it's easier to leave them there.

KING: How is the father dealing with all this?


GRACE: Very, very happy. Very, very happy. In fact, I think they look like him. I think they look like him.

KING: Do they sleep well?

GRACE: Oh, Larry. Larry, no. They do not sleep well. They want to eat and be held all the time. I have fallen asleep many, many times with them right there beside me. And, no, I know that children are not supposed to sleep in your bed. But very often I will fall asleep on the sofa. I have them in two little car seats sitting right there. I'll be holding one asleep with them.

Then they want to eat -- all the time. They wake up around 1:00 a.m. And 4:00 a.m. They eat every three hours. And I want to feed them myself. I want to be with them all the time.

KING: A couple of other things.

How do you like or not like being the subject of tabloids?


Well, I guess I should be flattered that I make it into tabloids. But, you know, but I don't really pay it very much attention. You know, Larry, if we were to listen to everything that was written or said about us, we'd be at home hiding under the bed right now. Like I always say, I don't care what you say about me, just talk about me.

KING: As Frank Sinatra once said, if my -- if everything they said about my sex life were true, I'm in a test tube at Harvard.


GRACE: I'm going to keep that in mind. I'm going to keep that in mind.

But they keep saying that I'm 49 or 50, and that my husband is 31. I'm being accused of seeking out tadpoles. I'm very flattered, but that is not the case. A long story short, I really don't really pay it any attention.

KING: We'll be right back with some more moments with Nancy Grace.

It's good seeing her back. We'll be joining you on LARRY KING LIVE after this.


GRACE: Now, they're not identical twins, they're fraternal twins. But they look almost identical, except he is much bigger than her. He is a brick. This little baby was five pounds when he was born and he's right at eight pounds now. She was at about two pounds when she was born. And I'm proud to say she's almost six pounds now.



KING: We're with Nancy Grace, returning to LARRY KING LIVE.

She's in our studios in New York.

A couple of things that are current -- or maybe not so current.

The Drew Peterson case has gone kind of dormant. The wife is missing -- is still missing.

How do you feel on that?

GRACE: Well, Larry, I find it very, very unusual. There's been a very unusual chain of events. And I find the suspect, Drew Peterson -- her husband's behavior highly inappropriate. He recently went on the "Today Show". And when he was asked about his wife's disappearance, he said it was really throwing a wrench in his love life, that he could hardly get a date.

However, that's not enough a murder case to make. I feel that the case will be broken. But it's going to be on forensics, not on behavioral evidence. Like we saw in the Scott Peterson case, there's going to have to be more forensic evidence in this case.

KING: Debra Lafave broke her probation, but the judge in Florida said that it wasn't willful. She was talking to another young lady and he dismissed it.

What did you make?

GRACE: Well, Larry, I think that the court system -- the justice system failed miserably when Deb Lafave was not put in jail the first go around. That's when she should have gone to jail. This time, by talking to coworkers, I don't see that as a probation violation. I feel like it was a waste of taxpayers' money to bring up the probation violation.

But I think that there are a lot of hard feelings about her not going to jail when she should have.

And so this is basically would have, could have, should have in court today. The judge did the right thing.

KING: If she were a man, would she have gone to jail?

GRACE: Today, no. When she was charged with molesting a 14-year old child, yes. There was a complete double system. And her lawyer actually argued she was too pretty to go to prison. To me, that's grounds to bring him up on a disbarment action. It didn't happen. Once again, she didn't go to jail.

But this is the wrong time. The judge did the right thing. If she can be caught in a real probation violation, like sending text messages or inappropriate phone conversations or even dates with a minor -- getting in touch with the former victim -- that would be a violation. But taking part in a group conversation at her place of business, I don't see that as a violation.

KING: Nancy, this may not be a crime, but everybody's talking about it.

What's your read on Britney Spears?

GRACE: Oh, man. Larry, I don't think either one of them are fit to have those two children. I really don't. Right now, the microscope is on Britney Spears. And she's asked for it. Based on her behavior, I don't think that it's appropriate to have the children there.

But when you take look at other celebrities who still have their kids -- take a look at the Michael Jackson, for Pete's sake. He went to trial. He was acquitted on child molestation. He's got his kids. She shows up without her underwear and her kids are taken away from her.

On the other hand, she has apparently gotten a drug and alcohol problem that we cannot fathom.

The issue is what's Federline doing?

Just because he's not in front of the camera, how do we know he's a good parent?

I'd like to see him show up for random drug and urine screening.

KING: Oh, a story we're going to touch later -- I know you've delved into it -- is this missing pregnant marine...


KING: Camp Lejeune.

GRACE: Right.

KING: What do we make of this?

She was supposed to testify, right?

GRACE: Right. Apparently, she says -- she made a formal complaint that a superior officer had molested her. It was getting time for her to testify and she totally disappears -- a 20-year old marine. Right now, is the time for her to give birth. She will be nine months pregnant this month, according to reports. I find it very difficult to believe -- especially after my own experience -- that at nine months pregnant, she would jump out of bed one morning, pack her bags and leave town.

Here's the other side of the coin, Larry. Apparently, there are wire transfers that are being investigated right now that may be to her.

Does that mean that she is hiding out somewhere and someone is sending her money?

Is she alive?

Right now, the sheriffs are calling it 50/50, Larry. So right now, we don't have a crime.

KING: All right.

A couple of other things on motherhood.

Do you -- I know that you are -- you're strict and you can appear tough.

Are you going to be overly protective?

GRACE: I'm a complete pushover with these two twins. I do whatever I think they want. Overprotective, yes. I tell my own staff don't breathe. I told my family, when they first held them, don't breathe...

KING: Don't breathe?

GRACE: Don't breathe on them, for Pete's sake.

But, Larry, I've got to tell you -- oh, there's Lucy in the laundry basket. I had to set her down very quickly to go warm up a bottle and she looked so cute, I had to take her picture. I carry a fun camera with me at all times. There they are. That was in the neonatal unit. Look how tiny they are.

But I've got to tell you something, Larry. The day that I brought John David home -- I was in the hospital for a couple of weeks. They were in for about a month. John David came home before her. And that was such a happy day.

But the happiest day of my life to this point was the day I took Lucy home. Because leaving her at the hospital all alone was just heartbreaking.

KING: Yes.

GRACE: And that day, we were finally all a family together. On the way home, the trees were waving. They were gold and red and orange like a parade for her to come home and us finally be a family. KING: You know, you've had a lot of public support during this pregnancy. Your baby blog, your baby videos have attracted a lot of attention.


KING: So, anything you want to say to the public?

GRACE: Yes, there is. I want to thank everything -- everyone so much -- for their prayers, especially while I was in the hospital for the long stretch of time, the twins were in intensive care. Larry, there was a wire that went up Lucy's foot, all the way through her body and out her nose. I could hardly hold them. For the longest time, all I could do was stand outside their plastic cradle and sing to them or touch them, just stroke their head or their face. And the happiness was bittersweet because I couldn't take them home.

Now they're doing so much better. And I really believe with all of my heart, all of my mind, all of my soul, that it was because of those prayers. I believe God heard them.

KING: Thank you so much, Nancy.

We'll see you again real soon.

I'll see you in New York next week.

GRACE: Thank you, friend.

KING: Nancy Grace.

When we come back, the Florida teacher convicted of having sex with her 14-year old student was back in court today. Stick around. You'll hear what happened. We'll talk to her ex-husband.

That's next.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did it not occur to you that having physical contact with someone you knew was a minor was a clear violation of the conditions of your supervision?



KING: We spoke to Judge Young about this earlier. He thought the judge in Florida made a correct decision today, concerning Debra Lafave. She was back in court, accused of violating her probation by discussing her personal life and boyfriends and sex with a 17-year-old female co-worker. There was a possibility she could have been sent to prison. She was not. He said it was not willful.

Joining us is her husband, Owen Lafave. Owen, what did you make of that decision today? OWEN LAFAVE, EX-HUSBAND OF DEBRA LAFAVE: Well, you know, Larry, I'm a reasonable person, and I do think it was the correct decision today. It did seem to be just girl talk, so to speak, as her attorney referred to it as. However, I've been outspoken to say that she should have gone to jail the first time, and I will stand by that.

KING: Nancy Grace just said that, too. And the question would be why.

LAFAVE: Well, I think clearly there's a double standard here. There's a double standard, number one, because she is a woman. And let's be honest, there's a double standard because she's very attractive. She is an adult. She had a sexual relationship, and she was a sexual -- admitted to being a sexual offender, had a relationship with a 14-year-old boy. And, clearly, that's inappropriate.

And what makes it even worse is she's a teacher and she's in a position of authority.

KING: How much of it is, maybe -- it's hard to self-examine, deals with your own bitterness of what she did to you?

LAFAVE: I think, you know, I have been accused of that. I really wanted nothing to do with this. I didn't want to speak out. Once I started to hear people say, look, this boy is lucky. He's not a victim. I really wanted to dive into it and find out for myself, you know, are these boys victims or not?

So I started working on a documentary. Of course I wrote the book. I have talked to these boys. I have talked to these teachers. I do believe they are victims. I do believe these teachers and sexual offenders need to be punished and they need to be punished equally.

KING: What do you make of it? Why do you think there are -- and it's growing, apparently -- female teachers having relationships with underage male students?

LAFAVE: I think we do have a growing problem, and I think, quite frankly, it's just something that's being reported more. I think boys in the past, you know, were embarrassed or they were harassed for coming out and speaking, especially if they portrayed themselves as a victim. It's kind of almost been viewed as a right of passage, so to speak, in our society.

I think it's really unfortunate. I'm hoping by my speaking out that, you know, these boys do feel more comfortable coming forward, as well as, you know, that we do punish these teachers accordingly.

KING: She's so pretty. You appeared, the two of you, to be so happy. How shocked were you?

LAFAVE: Larry, to this day, I mean, I still can't even explain it. You know, when I hear the stories, it is still very vivid, and there's a part of me that's still -- it does still get you in the heart. I mean, it's a complete shock. And still, when I look at this, I can't believe it was my life.

KING: Do you think something is wrong with Debra?

LAFAVE: I think clearly there is something wrong with her. Whether or not she's bipolar -- of course, she made a public statement that she was -- I'm not privy to that information. She definitely has some emotional issues. When she had conversations with the boy, it clearly sounded like someone that was young.

Here, she's befriended someone that's ten years her minor, someone that's 17 years old. Really, there's no reason, or, there's -- there can't be a lot in common that a 27-year-old woman has with a 17-year-old girl. I think, in her mind, she's 14.

KING: What is life like for you now?

LAFAVE: Larry, I'll tell you, life could not be better. My wife just gave birth to our second child. And it's just -- you know, it's an amazing experience. And, you know, life is great.

KING: Do you have any questions of trust?

LAFAVE: You know, I thought I would. I really thought I would. And I had no intention of ever getting involved in a relationship, at least not for an extended period of time. I met a absolutely incredible woman. She's very courageous. She's just amazing. And, you know, any issues with trust, she's just been able to alleviate.

KING: Thanks Owen. Always good talking with you. Continued happiness.

LAFAVE: Thanks, Larry.

KING: When we come back, more on the Debra Lafave story. Another famous teacher who also had sex with an underage student, Mary Kay Letourneau joins us. Don't go away.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The court finds that the violation is neither willful nor substantial and the court will not revoke your community control, but will continue you on same. Please don't come back, OK?


KING: Before we talk to Mary Kay Letourneau, we spent some time with Judge Young at the beginning of the show. We want to spend a moment or so more. He presides over TV's "Judge David Young Show." He agreed with the judge's decision. And Owen Lafave also agreed with the judge's decision. Owen expressed the thought, though, that she should have gotten time initially. Do you think so?

YOUNG: Oh, absolutely. I think both of them should have gotten time. Any time a teacher betrays a trust, which happened in this case, and in the Letourneau case, you don't put them on community control. You don't rehabilitate. You have to send a message. And the act that they did was absolutely wrong. It's a bowl full of wrong, Larry. I would never, ever tolerate that as a judge.

KING: Do you think, if it were a male teacher with a female student under age, there would have been a different result?

YOUNG: I would like to think not. I think it should be -- I don't care if you are a male. I don't care if you're a female. I don't care if it's man on man, man on woman, woman on man, teachers are in a position of trust, and you do not violate that trust. If you violate that trust, you should be punished to the maximum extent that the judge can possibly do it. It is wrong. It is wrong. It is wrong.

KING: Thank you, judge. Always good seeing you. We'll have you back in another panel discussion.

YOUNG: Thank you, Larry. Pleasure's mine.

KING: Judge David Young. Now, we got on the phone to Mary Kay Letourneau, who served seven and a half years in prison for what was called the child rape of her former student, Villi Fulalo (ph). He, by the way, is now her husband. She is a registered sex offender, believe it or not. She and Villi have been married after her release from prison. They have two daughters. How are you doing?

MARY KAY LETOURNEAU, CONVICTED SEX OFFENDER: Fine, thank you. We're all doing fine.

KING: What did you make of the decision today for Debra?

LETOURNEAU: I thought it was fair. And I listened in live for a few minutes, and then later got the judge's decision. And I also listened to a later news recap, and I think the spokesperson -- I think that she commented well. She said the spirit of the court was right, and fair, and they kept the focus on what the intent of the original punishment was. It was -- you know, she -- it was a rule. It was violated. But I agree it didn't rise to the level of imprisonment.

KING: You got imprisonment initially. She did not. Do you think that's a double standard? Do you think she should have gotten prison? What do you think?

LETOURNEAU: I have some mixed feelings about that. I was -- I feel like in my case the message was sent out. It should have been a clear deterrent to any teacher, anyone in a position of trust, and I feel like she did know that, and any teacher after me knew clearly. But every state has a different ruling body.

Anyhow, I just -- part of it, I feel is, oh, my gosh, you know, any of these teacher, why would they take any risk after my case.

KING: Yes, you would think.

LETOURNEAU: With such -- you know, it sent out such a clear deterrent message. And -- so -- but I think as far as -- you know, they did rule that she should be in the community under probation, community custody, and, they did that. They gave her the rules. And, I do think today it was fair.

KING: Mary, do you think one of the essential differences in your case is, you were in love?

LETOURNEAU: I'm not sure -- I know that both Villi and I would have loved to have waited and not been in any position under the scope of the law. And, well, I don't think that any rule -- you know, in our case, if we knew the seriousness of the law, perhaps we could have, you know -- he could have been emancipated; we could have gone through the legal steps to be together.

And there are, even in Debra's case, with this rule, if she felt it was unfair, if she felt she couldn't keep that particular rule, there were steps to take, within the law, before it became such the attention of the Department of Corrections.

KING: Well-put. She could have prevented it. Much luck to you, Mary Kay. Congratulations on the success of your marriage and the children and everything. Give our best to Villi.

LETOURNEAU: Thank you, I will. And the last name is Fualaau (ph).


LETOURNEAU: Thank you, Larry.

KING: Mary Kay Letourneau. Let's check in with Anderson Cooper. He will host "AC 360" at the top of the hour. What's up, Anderson?

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Larry, thanks. Coming up at the top of the hour on 360, it happened again today, the race for president of this country offered yet another surprise, and this time from an unlikely source. Senator John Kerry, still a powerful voice in the Democratic party, decided it was time for him to back a horse in this race. Remember, this is a man who ran with John Edwards in '04 and worked closely with the Clintons on that same campaign.

So, who did he endorse and how much does it matter? We'll tell you tonight.

Also, the mystery of the missing Marine. The 20-year-old, based at Camp Lejeune, who is also pregnant, vanished more than a month ago. She claims she was sexually assaulted by a senior officer, and now investigators want to know what that might have had, if anything, to do with her disappearance. All that and more, Larry, at the top of the hour.

KING: Thanks, Anderson. That's at 10:00 Eastern, 7:00 Pacific. And we will also discuss that missing pregnant marine, right after this. Don't go away.


KING: The search for a pregnant Marine continues, Maria Lauderback (ph), continues. The 20-year-old lance corporal has been missing from Camp Lejeune since mid-December. Joining us, Randi Kaye, our CNN correspondent in Jacksonville, Florida. In Ohio, at WDTN is Mandi Sheridan, a reporter from our affiliate there. In San Francisco, Candice Delong, the former FBI profiler, a frequent guest. And in Jacksonville, North Carolina, Sheriff Ed Brown of the Onslow County Sheriff's Department.

Mandi Sheridan, you are in Ohio, because that's where the family is. What's the latest from your perspective?

MANDI SHERIDAN, WDTN: Well, Larry, I spoke with the mother yesterday, Mary, and she is very concerned about her daughter. She tells me that she last spoke with her daughter on the 14th, that she was supposed to go down and visit the next weekend, and her daughter seemed in good spirits, was very excited about that trip. And she says that night is when she heard from her daughter's house mate that she was gone.

She tried to immediately call her cell phone and could not get ahold of her. At this point, the family is obviously concerned. they want her back. I spoke with a spokesperson for the family today, and he said that they really have a message for Maria, they want to tell her that they love her, they miss her, and they want her home unconditionally.

KING: Randi Kaye, she was supposed to testify against whom about what?

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's what we've been trying to find out all day. We know that she was supposed to testify. There were some reports earlier that indicated that she might have been the victim of this crime on the base at Camp Lejeune that she was supposed to testify in. But the Marines are not talking about that. And the sheriff is unable to talk about that, as well.

So, there are some questions about why, if it is possible that she did run, that testimony possibly had something to do with why she might have run. She possibly did not want to testify. She also had made some allegations against a superior officer that she had been sexually assaulted, according to her mother. These documents were with the search warrants that we obtained. And then she later withdrew these allegations, according to the "Marine Times Newspaper."

So, there might have been some concern that because she withdrew the allegations, she might have been accused of making false statements, another reason why she might have run. But still, exactly what this crime was on the base, we're still trying to confirm.

KING: Sheriff Brown, who is looking at this, the Onslow County Sheriff, or the Camp Lejeune?

SHERIFF ED BROWN, ONSLOW COUNTY, NC: This is an investigation that's being conducted -- lead investigation by the Sheriff's Office. NCIS, Naval Criminal Investigative Service, and the State Bureau of Investigation are assisting with the investigation.

KING: Is foul play suspected? BROWN: At this time, Mr. King, we are staying in the middle of the road with any remarks about which way this investigation could go.

KING: Candice Delong, as former FBI profiler, what is your early read on this?

CANDICE DELONG, FORMER FBI PROFILER: Well, there's so many thing that could be going on. As a profiler, one of the thing that as concerns me is a missing pregnant woman, and murder is the leading cause of death among pregnant women in America. So that's a concern from a criminal standpoint.

I also used to be a psychiatric nurse, and it's my understanding -- reports from her mother that says she is bipolar. If she is bipolar and not taking medication, she could have run away. She's not making good decisions. She could have run away because she's manic or she could be hiding because she's severely depressed, the two opposite ends of the poles of that disease.

So, you know, I think, probably this thing is going to be resolved within a few days.

KING: Mandi, does the family suspect foul play -- I'm sorry, Mandi's gone. We'll take a break and come back with more of our panel of Randi Kaye, Candice Delong and Sheriff Ed Brown. First these words.


MARY LAUTERBACH, MOTHER OF MISSING MARINE: We have no idea what's happened. The one thing we do know is it's extremely out of character for her not to call.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have been investigating this full speed ahead, full board, since the 19th. We reached a point -- we reached a point that this begin to not look as just a missing person who over the Christmas holidays went home from her boyfriend, but could be something else involved, and we asked you to come help us, and you have, and I believe it's going to pay off.


KING: We're back. Randi Kaye in Jacksonville, North Carolina, do we know who the father of the child is?

KAYE: We have not been able to find out who the father of the child is. I spoke to the sheriff about that today. We also called the Marines at Camp Lejeune about that. I'm also told that she has not identified, this missing pregnant Marine, Maria Lauterbach, has not actually identified the father, Larry, to anyone.

KING: She has a male house mate, sheriff, Sergeant Daniel Robert Durham. What's his story?

BROWN: Our first story from Robert Durham was in the very initial beginning of this investigation. At that time, there was no suspicious circumstances in the missing of this young Marine female. We have developed information since the very beginning of this that we want to have Mr. Durham to clear up for us, and that's why it was urgent for us to solicit the military to have him brought back from his military training in California so that he could answer some questions that we believe he can answer.

KING: Candice, when authorities have -- when authorities, Candice, have a case like this, where do they go? Do they go with a presumption?

DELONG: Well, not necessarily. The very first thing that I always look at in a case like this is, I want the best victimology I can get. What I mean by that is I need to know everything there is to know about the victim, in this case Maria, the missing woman. And try to piece together what is the likelihood and, also, based on other things, other information that you have, or that is available, what is the likely thing that happened?

It's always distressing to me when I hear a parent or a close friend of somebody that's missing say that they routinely heard from the person three or four times a day or a week or whatever, and suddenly there's no contact. And then, of course, as we know, Maria's cell phone turned up.

The mental illness component to her personality, to her, is also very concerning. Bipolar disorder untreated can cause people to do very, very strange things. But, like I said, I really think this is probably going to be resolved in the next few days.

KING: Randi, what are they saying on the base?

KAYE: The base isn't talking, Larry. The Marines are not saying anything at all about this. They are certainly sorry that she's missing. They wish her safe return. But right now, it -- the focus is really on where she is, and what authorities are doing to find her. And there are so many strange clues in this case, Larry; the cell phone, which Candice just mentioned, which was found outside the base, and that was -- that was found the day after her disappearance was made public on December 20th.

Then, just this past Monday, this week, her car was discovered in this parking lot of this fast food restaurant, right next to the bus station. Authorities at first thought it was there, just parked there just that day, but now it turns out it's been there since December 15th, the day after she disappeared.

So there's a lot of questions about this. If she was really in harm's way, why would the cell phone have been found when it was and where it was? Why wouldn't the car be hidden in the woods some where, or the cell phone at the bottom of the river? Authorities have a lot of clues here and it's a real mystery for them to try and figure this one out.

KING: Sheriff, you think we're going to have some results in the next few days? BROWN: I like the positive comments that Mandi is making. I like the fact that she doesn't run off without giving some thought to what is all involved in the investigation. We at the sheriff's Office and NCIS and SBI have information from the investigation thus far that we are not ready to expose that I believe could support what Mandi is saying about resolving this in a couple days.

KING: Thank you very much. I think he's referring to what Candice has been saying. Thank you all very much.

Sad note before we close tonight. A Hollywood fixture for more than 50 years, Johnny Grant has died. Johnny was the honorary mayor of Hollywood. He was probably best known for inducting stars into the Hollywood Walk of Fame, 500 in all. He also played bit parts in movies and produced Hollywood's famous Christmas parade.

On personal note, he inducted me into the Hollywood Walk of Fame, one of the big thrills of my life. Actress Mamie Van Doren (ph), who once dated Johnny, called him simply, Mr. Hollywood. That he was.

We're going to miss you, Johnny.

Don't forget to head to our website, You can email upcoming guests, download our podcasts or check out our King of Politics section. We have quick votes, video clips and transcripts, too, all at Tomorrow night, Susanne Somers. Without further ado, Anderson Cooper and "AC 360."