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NANCY GRACE

Laurean`s Wife May Have Known of Murder a Day Before Contacting Police

Aired January 17, 2008 - 20:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


NANCY GRACE, HOST: Tonight, a gorgeous young Marine vanishes into thin air, Camp Lejeune. Kicker? She`s eight months pregnant when she goes missing. The burned remains of 20-year-old Maria Lauterbach and her unborn child found in the backyard of the suspect, Corporal Cesar Laurean. Bombshell developments tonight. The murder weapon, reportedly a crowbar, used in the brutal killing of Lauterbach has been recovered. It is consistent with the COD -- the cause of death -- blunt force trauma to the head.
And tonight, we learn the suspect`s wife knew about the murder at least a full day before calling police. Did she give her husband, Laurean, a head start? Plus, what did Laurean tell his wife about the rape investigation? What did he say about the day Lauterbach and her unborn child were murdered? Tonight, the manhunt across the U.S. and south of the border for rape and murder suspect Cesar Laurean.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The day before a fugitive Marine`s wife went to the police about her husband, she went with him to see a lawyer. We`re just learning this detail from an affidavit in the murder investigation of Lance Corporal Maria Lauterbach. It says the wife of Corporal Cesar Laurean knew about Lauterbach`s murder for a whole day before she reported it to police.

There`s a new clue in the pregnant Marine`s killing, as well. Authorities say a witness gave investigators a weapon that could have been used to kill her. They are not saying specifically what that weapon is, but an autopsy concluded she died of blunt force trauma to the head.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: And tonight: The search for missing young mom Stacy Peterson, vanishing from upscale Chicago suburbs. Husband/suspect Drew Peterson says new evidence proves his fourth wife left with another man. The evidence? A highly explicit sex message left on Stacy`s cell phone. But once again, Peterson himself discovers the evidence but doesn`t call police until two months after 23-year-old Stacy Peterson goes missing.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stacy Peterson, missing almost three months. Her husband, Drew Peterson, still remains the only suspect. But now Drew claims he has a cell phone text message, evidence that proves Stacy was having an affair.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... and reads in part, "You, my love, are the hottest (DELETED) in the world," and then goes to thank her in some very explicit language for basically some wild physical activity.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This as reports claim a grand jury investigating the death of Peterson third wife wants to review their handwritten will, a will in which Peterson received all Kathleen Savio`s money. Drew Peterson also hiring a publicist, looking to cash in on his days as a police officer.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: Good evening. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us. Bombshell developments tonight in the brutal deaths of 20-year- old Maria Lauterbach and her unborn child.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Police in North Carolina say they may have found the weapon used to kill a pregnant Marine. A North Carolina sheriff`s captain says a witness gave investigators an item that could have been used to kill Lance Corporal Maria Lauterbach.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We do have an instrument that we believe may be the cause of death. We`re also waiting, of course, to hear from the medical examiner. And when he said that he believed it was blunt force trauma, and this piece of evidence is consistent with that, we feel more comfortable that it may be the murder weapon.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is this -- is it a crowbar?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re not confirming anything about what it is specifically.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Meanwhile, a friend of the man charged with murdering Lauterbach compares him to TV`s MacGyver. The former Marine, who asks not to be identified, tells CNN that Corporal Cesar Laurean has the skills to avoid getting captured. The FBI says it thinks he may be in Mexico. They say he told colleagues he`d run there to get out of a possible rape conviction.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: Well, forget about the rape conviction possibilities, he`s looking right down the barrel at a death penalty prosecution. Is he in Mexico? Today, stunning developments in the death of Maria Lauterbach, the 20-year-old corporal there at Camp Lejeune, and her unborn baby.

Straight out to Susan Candiotti, CNN national correspondent joining us. Susan, what is the latest?

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Nancy. Well, you`ve given the headlines, but we also have some additional information. This is coming from a search warrant that -- we also received an affidavit that went along with it -- from a sheriff`s deputy there in Onslow County about his interview with Cesar Laurean`s wife back on January 11. That`s just last Friday. And these are some of the things that she told police.

She told police that last May, her husband said, Hey, I`ve been accused of rape, and he denied it. And then in July, he said that this Marine who accused him of rape was pregnant, and again to his wife he denied that he was the father.

Now we fast-forward. The affidavit goes back to what happened recently. It doesn`t specify what. But he tells his wife that this accuser is on an unauthorized absence. She says, What does that mean? And she said he told her he didn`t know what it meant. Then he said the cops wanted to talk with him and that he`d hired a lawyer.

And here`s what happened next. She says they`re on their way to the lawyer`s office, and her husband says to her, quote, "He wants to know if she`s with him on this." And she says to him, I don`t know. Is there anything that you haven`t told me? This is a direct quote from the court documents. This is when her husband tells her that Maria Lauterbach came to their home on December 15. Now, Nancy, a discrepancy here because we understand that it was the 14th when she went to the bus station, according to witnesses. He said that on the 15th, he took her to the bus station after she said she was going to leave town, and she was demanding money.

Then, evidently, that plan fell through because Cesar Laurean tells his wife, according to her, that Maria went back to their home, that they have an argument. And she says then, quote, that Maria was, quote, "disoriented, agitated and acting differently." Then her husband tells her that Maria took out a knife and slit her throat. He said to his wife he got scared and he took her outside in the back and he buried her in that firepit.

Then he hired a lawyer. He said that the lawyer told him he faced the death penalty. And the next morning, he left their house at about 4:00 AM. It was that next day that she said that she found notes in which he described his involvement to the police, and then she took the notes to the police.

GRACE: To Susan Candiotti, joining us on the Lauterbach story. What, if any, significance does this have in relation to her possibly be charged?

CANDIOTTI: Oh, gee, Nancy, we don`t know. Of course, we`ll have to see how this develops. We don`t know about the relationship between Cesar`s wife and the police. She, police have said repeatedly, has been cooperating with them. But there is a question that we can`t answer right now, is why did she wait until the next day to come forward?

GRACE: Out to the lines. Donna in Indiana. Hi, Donna.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. I`m calling regarding the firepit aspect of this.

GRACE: OK.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I understand that they were having parties around the firepit with other Marines after she was in there.

GRACE: Out to Larry Sutton, senior editor with "People" magazine. His magazine peopled (ph) story on this. An in-depth story is hitting the newsstands tomorrow. Larry Sutton, I`ve been thinking about that, the fact that Maria Lauterbach and her unborn baby were beneath the firepit, and they`re having a barbecue on top of it?

LARRY SUTTON, "PEOPLE" MAGAZINE: They are having a barbecue. It leads to questions about how many people in the Marines were together, were in on this crime. Did they know? Did they help Cesar bury the body? That`s a question that the cops are asking right now. And yes, they did build a firepit over where they buried her body, and it burned there. And it`s unconscionable. It`s just a terrible thing.

GRACE: Well, Larry, were they having some sort of a barbecue or a party or a bonfire or something?

SUTTON: I wouldn`t classify it as a party. I would classify it as a bonfire, where they were cooking, doing barbecuing, things like that. It doesn`t look like they were celebrating her death. That`d be putting it one step too far.

GRACE: They were having a barbecue.

SUTTON: Right. I`m not (INAUDIBLE) one bit of it.

GRACE: On top of the bodies!

SUTTON: Yes. Well, perhaps. I don`t know. I don`t know what goes in your mind when you do something like this.

GRACE: OK. I`ll tell you what goes through my mind when I hear it. It`s called DP, death penalty.

Let`s unleash the lawyers. Joining us tonight, Paul Batista out of New York, Joey Jackson out of New York, both veteran defense attorneys. Paul Batista, right when you think you`ve heard it all, a barbecue on top of the body.

PAUL BATISTA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, it`s grotesque, Nancy. There really is nothing else to say about it.

GRACE: Talk about aggravating circumstances. That`s what I`ve got to say about it.

BATISTA: It certainly is a death penalty kind of case.

GRACE: Well, to you, Joey Jackson. Larry Sutton was discussing, Did the other Marines know that a body was underneath this ongoing fire?

JOEY JACKSON, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Right.

GRACE: I doubt that.

JACKSON: You know what...

GRACE: I doubt that because no way could that many people keep a secret for that long. Forget about it.

JACKSON: No. You know what, Nancy? At this point, it`s premature to tell. We don`t know what other Marines know. Ultimately, that will be developed. I`m sure there`ll be an extensive investigation. Those Marines will be questioned.

Focusing on the wife, however, you know, the issue is going to come to her and what knowledge she might have had. This apparently took place at the residence. It goes into other issues, the murder itself, blood all around, issues as to whether it was cleaned up, it was painted over. So a major focus, Nancy, is going to be placed upon her in terms of what her knowledge was. Was she hindering prosecution? Was she obstructing justice?

GRACE: Exactly.

JACKSON: In any way, was she aiding and abetting this conduct?

GRACE: Out to Dr. Bethany Marshall, psychoanalyst and author. It reminds me a great deal of not only Scott Peterson, but a lot of other domestic homicides, where suddenly, the husband becomes quite the neatnik, quite the fixer upper. Here he is, painting the inside of the house, borrowing a shovel from the neighbor. And it always happens around the time of a murder.

BETHANY MARSHALL, PSYCHOANALYST: Well, first of all, I have a hard time believing this, that this is the first that she heard of this because he was telling her and other people, from reports I`ve read, that if he was fingered for this rape, he would take off to Mexico.

Also, I was thinking about something called shared paranoia, where the perpetrator makes the wife believe that they`re both equally in trouble, it`s them against the authorities, and that somehow she is complicit in the crime. And then if there`s a sliver of truth, that perhaps she did cover with him, they both get paranoid together and then she begins to aid and abet him in the commission or the cover-up of the crime.

GRACE: Well, isn`t paranoia an unreasonable fear, for instance, that you`re being persecuted? In this case, it was reasonable that he was afraid authorities were onto him.

MARSHALL: Well, but the shared paranoia used to be in the DSM 4 as actually a diagnosis you could apply to couples, and it was in one case of the attorney that killed the little girl, do you remember, in New York a number of years ago?

GRACE: Yes.

MARSHALL: He developed a paranoid idea that the little girl was bad and needed to be beaten, and ostensibly convinced the wife that the little girl was bad. And then there was questions if she was complicit in the abuse. So paranoia works in very strange ways. Sometimes there`s both a reality and a fantasy component to it.

GRACE: Back to Susan Candiotti, CNN correspondent, joining us. Susan, the firepit, the fire, the barbecue, what day was that?

CANDIOTTI: That was on Christmas Day, when a neighbor reports seeing the Marines having a barbecue at the firepit on Christmas Day.

GRACE: So 10 days, 10 days after we believe she`s murdered.

Out to the lines. Denise in Pennsylvania. Hi, Denise.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. I want to say that I love your show very much, and I want to thank you for giving such a strong voice to victims.

GRACE: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You`re very welcome.

GRACE: What`s your question, dear?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My question is, I understand there`s been some talk, and I know that there are FBI profilers studying him -- but I was wondering, what are the chances of him not being all this grandiose and maybe having committed suicide?

GRACE: You know what? A lot of people have been bandying that about. Bethany, it seems to me he`s way too in love with himself to commit suicide.

MARSHALL: Well, I mean, and the fact is, he has kind of a glib, charming part of his personality because he got a lot of people to cover up for him along the way, especially his superiors. And that`s not a depressed, helpless type of person. That speaks to more grandiosity, which is a part of a sociopathic personality disorder. They rarely commit suicide.

GRACE: Joining us tonight is Major General Tim Haake, former military JAG, retired major general. Sir, thank you for being with us. It`s a real pleasure to have you with us tonight. I wanted to ask you, regarding Laurean being considered AWOL, is there any way the military could extradite him from Mexico on their own, as opposed to a civilian extradition on murder?

MAJ. GEN. TIM HAAKE, U.S. ARMY (RET.), FORMER JAG: Yes, Nancy. And thank you for allowing me to be on your program. The way these things work is that we have here a situation called concurrent jurisdiction, where basically, several entities are involved. You would have the FBI, of course, the military, the Naval investigative services, and maybe even the State Department. If he`s in a foreign country, then he needs to be extradited. And we would have a convention with all foreign countries where American troops are, or he could just be extradited as a common criminal.

But what will happen is the FBI will sit down with a -- the military and the Department of Justice and decide who is going to take the lead on that action.

GRACE: If the military extradites him, could he then be turned over to civilian police? What I`m trying to get at is Mexico doesn`t extradite if you`re seeking the death penalty. Could the military extradite him without seeking the death penalty and then civilian law enforcement seek the death penalty?

HAAKE: Well, I think the lead agency would be the State Department in -- because they are representative for all things with a foreign country. And they would be assisted by the legat, which is an FBI agent, basically, in residence in Mexico City, with the advice and counsel of the military. But to answer your question, I think that they`re anxious to get this guy back, and they`re going to do it in such a way that will allow them to get him back, but they may have to compromise on the death penalty issue in the process. That`s an excellent point you`re raising.

GRACE: Out to Mike Brooks, former fed with the FBI. Mike, what about the recovery of the reported murder weapon? Sources says it is a crowbar. We haven`t been able to confirm that. Can it be matched up to the wounds?

MIKE BROOKS, FORMER D.C. POLICE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Absolutely. The medical examiner should be able to, Nancy, to match up the wounds -- you know, she died of blunt force trauma to the head. So whatever mark that particular crowbar made into her skull would make some kind of depression. There are also most likely would be some kind of physical evidence on that crowbar, whether it be brain matter, whether it be skull fragments, or possibly some tissue and possibly even blood.

GRACE: To Dr. William Morrone, medical examiner, forensic pathologist and expert in his field, joining us in Michigan. It`s great to have you, Doctor.

DR. WILLIAM MORRONE, MEDICAL EXAMINER, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: Thank you.

GRACE: Doctor, if Lauterbach`s skin had been burned -- we don`t know the extent to which her body was charred. If her skin had been burned badly about the head and face, will they still be able to match up the crowbar, if that is, in fact, the murder weapon, to the injuries without the skin, without the imprint on the skin? Can you go specifically on the skull?

MORRONE: The skin is very important, but it`s also very resilient. The problem is perpetrators think that they can char or burn bodies and destroy evidence. Blunt force trauma puts deep wounds and breaks vessels in subcutaneous tissue that survives the charring, and there will be not just in the bone in the skull, but in deep tissues, there will be signs of blunt force trauma they can match to the weapon.

GRACE: To CNN`s Susan Candiotti. Susan, where did they get the murder weapon? Where did they find it? Who turned it over?

CANDIOTTI: All police will tell us about that is that a witness -- a witness, we want to know more about that -- is the one that saw news reports about the apparent murder last weekend, saw the stories on television, and then brought this over to police, turned it over to them last Saturday.

GRACE: Everybody, quick break.

First to tonight`s "Case Alert." As of now, two suspects behind bars in the brutal shooting deaths of two police officers, DeKalb County, Georgia, 26-year-old Officer Ricky Bryant, Jr., 33-year-old Officer Eric Barker gunned down Wednesday in an early-morning ambush at an Atlanta apartment complex. Both suspects facing murder charges. Bryant and Barker leave behind grieving widows, and each one leaves behind four little children. Meanwhile, the manhunt goes on for more suspects. There`s a $60,000 reward. If you have information, please call Crimestoppers, 404- 577-TIPS.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think that Corporal Cesar Laurean is capable of murder?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I guess everybody`s capable of anything, depending on how far they`re pushed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She says he has the skills to survive on the run. Like the TV star MacGyver, she says, he can rig anything. He could shoot an M-16 and he`s a fast runner. The military teaches skills to adapt and overcome. No doubt, she says, he`s banking on doing just that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: Bombshell developments in the case in the last 24 hours. Number one, the murder weapon -- reportedly the murder weapon, a crowbar -- has been recovered, according to Susan Candiotti, her sources say from a witness. Also, we have learned more of what Cesar Laurean told his wife. Did she know about the murder a full 24 hours before going to police? She and her husband went to lawyer up before he absconded.

Out to the lines. Jennifer in Pennsylvania. Hi, Jennifer.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Congratulations, Nancy, on your new blessings.

GRACE: Thank you, dear.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Me question is, last week you mentioned about a Western Union money order being sent.

GRACE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do we know where it was sent to? Maybe he sent money ahead of time?

GRACE: You know what, Jennifer? That stuck in my mind, too. And I believe we`ve learned a little more about it. Susan Candiotti, were the transfers from Western Union to the defendant?

CANDIOTTI: Well, let`s see. What we know is this. According to the search warrant, they`re seeking information on wire transfers sent to Laurean -- to Laurean, rather -- and to his wife for a period of time -- this is what they`re seeking -- from December 10 all the way to January 12. So obviously, they`re covering a lot of territory during that time, but wire transfers from Western Union to both Cesar Laurean and to his wife over the course of that time.

GRACE: What do you make of it, Mike Brooks?

BROOKS: ... got search warrants. Also, you know, first of all, who`s sending this money? You should be able to -- we should be able to find that out from that search warrant. They also have search warrants for his mom, Elvira`s (ph) phone, area 702, and that is South Nevada, Clark County. And also, they`ve got search warrants for both Christina`s phone and Cesar`s phone. We shall see.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We do have an instrument that we believe may be the cause of death. We`re also waiting, of course, to hear from the medical examiner. And when he said that he believed it was blunt force trauma, and this piece of evidence is consistent with that, we feel more comfortable that it may be the murder weapon.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is this -- is it a crowbar?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re not confirming anything about what it is specifically.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: That murder weapon a crowbar. A sworn affidavit shows that Laurean`s wife knew of the murder at least a full 24 hours before she reported it to police. The two went to consult a lawyer before he vanished.

Back out to Susan Candiotti. We are taking your calls live, everyone. Susan, where was she, the wife, on the evening we believe the murder occurred, December 15?

CANDIOTTI: Well, that`s a good question, isn`t it? We understand that she was at a Christmas party. We wanted to know that today. We asked police, and that`s what they told us, that she was at a Christmas party. She expected her husband to show up. He never did.

But the question is, of course, when she got back, remember, eventually, did she in the days to come -- did she smell that fresh paint? What about the fresh blood that was said to be covering the living room walls and ceiling? And he covered that up. What did she think about that? And what was she told?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, the day before a fugitive Marine`s wife went to the police about her husband, she went with him to see a lawyer. We`re just learning this detail from an affidavit in the murder investigation in the death of Lance Corporal Marine Maria Lauterbach. It says the wife of Corporal Cesar Laurean knew about Lauterbach`s murder for a whole day before she reported it to police.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From what we know from what preliminarily the medical examiner has said about the blunt force trauma, this certainly is consistent with his finding so far. Any other evidence by DNA evidence or latents or anything else that might provide forensic value from this item will have to be determined by the crime laboratory.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: Did prime suspect Cesar Laurean`s wife know a full 24 hours at least before she reported the murder to police giving him a full day head start? Is he in Mexico? What`s the latest on the search? And what can police learn from the murder weapon? Reportedly, a very heavy blunt object, a crowbar.

Let`s go straight back out to Larry Sutton, senior editor with "People" magazine. Their in depth article on the story hits newsstands tomorrow.

To Larry Sutton, do you know any more about where the crowbar came from? Who gave it to police?

SUTTON: Well, they`re only saying a witness as was mentioned earlier. How many witnesses do they have in this case? I mean his wife is the primary witness right there. Maybe it`s something that they found in the house.

GRACE: Well, another thing about the wife, if she is not charged and she`s brought to trial, Larry, she can always claim husband/wife marital privilege and not testify.

SUTTON: Yes, she can. But I think the fact they haven`t charged her with anything indicates she`s telling them all that she knows. I think that she`s giving a full rundown of what went on those past few days.

GRACE: Unleash the lawyers. Paul Batista, Joey Jackson.

To you, Joey, no wonder she`s cooperating. She knew far in advance. She was probably launching on the sofa eating bon-bons while her husband was painting over the blood on the wall. I don`t know how he attempted to, or if he did attempt to, cover the backsplash when you pull back on a weapon, it spatters blood up on the ceiling or higher up on the walls.

JOEY JACKSON, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Right, right.

GRACE: So she actually has a lot to be concerned about.

JACKSON: She does, Nancy. But here`s the issue also. Now remember, there are oftentimes, OK, where a husband may be do something, as you know, that a wife is not aware of. Now, of course, there`ll be evidence that contradicts that. Didn`t you smell the paint? Was there blood? Didn`t you see a ditch in the backyard? But, you know, we have to first analyze not only what she didn`t do but what she did do. Fine. She did speak to a lawyer. Many people do that because she wanted to protect her interest.

But remember, Nancy, this investigation has been furthered by her cooperation. In speaking with the sheriff`s department, when she went and appearing with a lawyer and a sergeant from her former command, she gave them notes and in those notes it was revealed, of course, that it was a lie, we`ve come to learn based upon how the murder was actually committed, but we did learn that at least Laurean admitted, OK, "She committed suicide and I burned her and buried her."

So she has taken steps, Nancy, despite the fact that there`s something amiss regarding what she knew and when she knew it to help in this investigation and that certainly has to be looked at, evaluated and she needs to be commended for that.

GRACE: Well, you know, you said that with a straight face. And they may need your help in the death penalty phase of this trial.

To you, Paul Batista, what is she looking at? What could she possibly be charged with? And very quickly, if she`s already told police certain pieces of evidence, she can`t claim privilege on that. She`s already broken the privilege on that.

PAUL BATISTA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY, AUTHOR OF "DEATH`S WITNESS": She waived the privilege. She can be accused of obstruction of justice. The delay itself is very problematic. She can be accused of perhaps participation in the murder. She has a lot of information to provide. This case is filled with mysteries. And she`s one of the key pieces of the mystery here. She needs to tell all she knows in order to protect herself if that`s possible.

GRACE: What, what, Joey?

JACKSON: But we don`t know that she`s not. I mean, listen. She`s talking to police. She certainly is revealing information and evidence, she`s not staying mum, and, of course, you know, the marital privilege is shattered by virtue of her having given the publication to a third party, but she is cooperating and that needs to be considered.

GRACE: She`s staying mum now but she gave him a 24-hour head start.

To Lisa in South Carolina. Hi, Lisa.

LISA, FROM SOUTH CAROLINA: Hi, Nancy. Welcome back.

GRACE: Thank you, dear. What`s your question?

LISA: Well, I was just wondering, have they determined the sex of the baby that she was carrying?

GRACE: I was wondering that.

Doctor Morrone, certainly, they know the sex. Wouldn`t you agree at this juncture? She was eight months pregnant.

DR. WILLIAM R. MORRONE, MEDICAL EXAMINER, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: Physical exam and DNA analysis of chromosomes will reveal the sex of the baby, yes.

GRACE: Dr. Morrone.

MORRONE: Yes.

GRACE: .how badly does a body have to be burned in order to be unable to get DNA?

MORRONE: This is what perpetrators also don`t understand. At optimum temperatures with optimum fuel and optimum oxygen, it takes three to five hours to cremate a body by professionals. So somebody thinking that they can just put a body in a place with wood and gasoline -- this is a very salvageable autopsy and a salvageable body. It`s very much.

GRACE: Dr. Morrone.

MORRONE: Yes.

GRACE: .we all know what a crowbar looks like. They`re actually very heavy.

MORRONE: Yes.

GRACE: Would she have been out on the first blow? Now, before you answer, let me remind you that according to the reports that we have, documents we have, there was blood all over the home, which to me says she tried to get away.

MORRONE: I agree. There`s only one that a crowbar could take something out -- decapitation. Take them off at her vertebrae. But multiple strikes would be necessary.

GRACE: So this woman experienced intense pain before her death.

MORRONE: Yes. Absolutely.

GRACE: Out to the lines, Connie in California. Hi, Connie.

CONNIE, FROM CALIFORNIA: Hi, Nancy. Congratulations on your beautiful babies.

GRACE: Thank you.

CONNIE: And I just wondered, after the conviction of Peterson, didn`t they make it a law that it would be a double homicide if the lady was pregnant?

GRACE: In California, that`s the law, not in North Carolina. And Connie, you probably remember, Sharon Rocha, the mother of Laci Peterson, going to Washington and lobbying for Laci and Connor`s bill, which is a federal law that makes it a double homicide. That is not in effect in North Carolina to my understanding.

Susan Candiotti, is that correct?

SUSAN CANDIOTTI: That`s my understanding also, Nancy.

GRACE: So she`d have to be charged under some type of federal charge. I don`t see it happening. The rape apparently occurred, allegedly occurred on the military base. The murder did not. I don`t know how you can rope in a federal law on that, Connie.

I want to go out to Mike Brooks.

Mike Brooks, right now, let`s take a look at the search. Is there any way, do you think, he planted this evidence? The ID card, at the bus station, you know, her going in to a different bus station and buying a ticket, parking his car near the airport. For all we know, he could have walked across the Canadian border and we`re all focused on Mexico.

MIKE BROOKS: He could have, Nancy. And that`s why the search warrants especially on the phones, especially on the phone to his mother is going to be very, very important because people who are on the run, they usually call a relative. For some reason, they always -- and as you always say, Nancy, they always run home to mama.

But we don`t know exactly where he is right now. Did he do this? And the other question is, you know, was he smart enough to do this? Did he do it by himself? That is the big question. But you know, this whole thing about calling him MacGyver.

Nancy, we talked -- if he was MacGyver, he`s not going to be strapped to a typewriter. He`s going to be force recon Marine. But I`m thinking that he probably did not do this by himself.

GRACE: Why?

BROOKS: I just don`t think that he -- he probably has the wherewithal. You know, maybe he`s on the run. Did he have, you know, did he have someone drop that ATM card at the bus station in Durham? Did he have someone park that truck at that hotel between Raleigh and Durham? You know -- and then there was this alleged sighting which we haven`t heard anything more of at a bus station in Shreveport, Louisiana last weekend. You know, I`m just thinking.

GRACE: I got another question for you.

BROOKS: Sure.

GRACE: What genius would hand over the murder weapon, a crowbar, to somebody else? To let somebody else, a witness, then come forward and give it to the police.

BROOKS: Or, you know, unless he was trying to working with this crowbar somewhere else and left it somewhere, with one of his friends. And then, he said -- they said, well, we know, whoa, what is this thing over here? Oh maybe this is the murder weapon. You know? Who knows? And the other question is: who knows how many other people knew about this? You know, and the whole thing with the barbecue in the backyard, with the Marines, ah, just -- it`s disgusting.

GRACE: You know, they are talking to witnesses even now. I guarantee you that those witnesses are some of these Marines that came over that day, probably unwittingly having no idea that they were being pulled into a murder plot.

Everybody, when we come back, does a text message prove young mom Stacy Peterson is alive and well off with another man? Leaving her children behind? That`s what her husband-slash-suspect Drew Peterson claims.

And tonight, APB, all points bulletin for special moms and dads. If you know a parent who`s an inspiration to others, get your camcorder. Go to CNN.com/Nancygrace and click on "i-Report." Enter them in the "Extraordinary Parent Contest."

And tonight, I want to share with you some brand new pictures of the twins -- Lucy and John David. I`m posting these and a few others online tonight on the show`s Web site baby blog. I hope you like it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWSBREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Drew Peterson claims he`s got proof his wife was cheating and has run away with another man. Peterson`s lawyer says his client found a text message from Stacy`s alleged lover. That message purported to be from a mystery lover thanking say Stacy for a wild night. Peterson`s attorney claims this may finally clear his client`s name.

But some are questioning just why was Drew Peterson the one to uncover the alleged message.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: It`s amazing how the husband-slash-defendant always finds the evidence and then brings it to police.

Out to Mary Francis Bragiel, reporter with WBBM Newsradio 780.

Mary, thank you for being us. What`s the latest?

MARY FRANCIS BRAGIEL, REPORTER, WBBM NEWSRADIO 780: Well, basically, everyone is just taking about this test message. According to Drew Peterson`s attorney, Joel Brodsky, he turned over this Nextel text message to the police who executed a search warrant on January 3rd, and where at this point they`re just trying to figure out if they can find out where this text message came from.

Now, I tried to contact Nextel today to get a response from them. They didn`t answer my request. But at this point this is where it stands and Drew Peterson, of course, is sticking by his story, as he always have, that she disappeared, that Stacy ran off with another man and this proves it.

GRACE: Well, to me, Kathy Cheney, it doesn`t prove anything -- Kathy is a reporter with the "Chicago Defender" - because, correct me if I`m wrong, but this cell, it`s a text message to her cell phone. It is about a month before she goes missing and it is to apparently a cell phone that belonged to the child and they had swapped the SIM card, basically swapped cell phones in effect.

KATHY CHENEY, REPORTER, CHICAGO DEFENDER: Correct.

GRACE: And it`s just -- it`s a sex message. It sounds like some old guy made it up. Nobody talks like that for Pete`s sake. Have you read the text?

CHENEY: I have read the text. It basically says, you know, "Thank you for the intimate relationship last night." I don`t want to go in certain details.

GRACE: Well, that`s certainly making it -- that`s a euphemism for what this message said.

CHENEY: Exactly.

GRACE: But I have never met anybody, and I`m talking about defendants charged with rape, murder, drugs, you name it, anybody that talks like that. It sounds like it`s from some pukey (ph), wacky `70s romance novel written by some old man. I mean, who would say that, number one?

CHENEY: Well, that is.

GRACE: Nobody would say that.

CHENEY: I don`t know.

GRACE: OK. True.

CHENEY: I don`t know who would say it.

GRACE: Yes.

CHENEY: But it was sent. Right.

GRACE: I`ve got a pretty good idea who might say it. OK, go ahead.

So is it -- to her phone, is to the kid`s phone, whose phone did it go to?

CHENEY: It went to Stacy`s phone when she had it and it came from the Web site from my understanding. You can just -- anyone can go to the Sprint Nextel Web site and send a message. There are no restrictions. You don`t have to have a user login or anything like that, and they sent it to her phone.

GRACE: OK. Wait a minute, wait a minute.

Mike Brooks, let`s translate. Cathy`s saying it came from a Web site. It wasn`t even from another cell phone. Who logs on to www.verizontextmessage.com/sendamessage, and write a text message? Why don`t just pick up the cell and text it in.

BROOKS: I have to agree with you.

GRACE: Unless you don`t want to be traced.

BROOKS: Well, true, but people, you know, are they thinking, oh (INAUDIBLE), are they going to go back and trace this? No. They`re not thinking about that when they write messages such as this. And - but the other question is, Nancy, now that they have a warrant to go back and get the records, the problem is and the question is, how long do -- does this particular company archive their cell -- their text messages? Now most places, sometimes will archive anywhere from two weeks to 30 days and some maybe up to four months. But we`re talking back to September now.

And the other little twist that I have a question about, Nancy, Mr. Peterson says that his son, his 15-year-old son, didn`t know how to get text messages out of his new phone? Find me a 15-year-old that doesn`t know how to text message.

GRACE: Listen. When my cell phone, when I don`t know how to do something, I call in to my little nephews, long distance, and they explain to me how to make it work. So I`m with you.

But let`s go and hear it from the horse`s mouth. Joining us tonight, Joel Brodsky, the attorney for husband-slash-suspect Drew Peterson.

Mr. Brodsky is a veteran trial lawyer in his jurisdiction there in Chicago.

JOEL BRODSKY, SUSPECT DREW PETERSON`S ATTORNEY: Hello.

GRACE: Joel, welcome. Thank you for being with us.

BRODSKY: My pleasure.

GRACE: What took your client so long to turn this over to the cops?

BRODSKY: Well, he turned it -- we turned it over to the police within a day of discovering it. The question, I think, you`re asking is what took it so -- what took him so long to discover it. This cell phone was in the possession of his teenage son and it wasn`t until he started going through the messages and the -- apparently you can on this phone and a lot of these Nextel phones you can actually lock or save certain text messages to a certain, like, a file area. And that`s where this text message was archived and he went into that section apparently his son had never done it before.

He had gone into that section before and found this message there and we immediately turned it over to the Illinois state police.

GRACE: Why was Stacy Peterson have her son`s cell phone?

BRODSKY: Well, if you recall about -- this has already been out obviously -- about a week or two weeks before Stacy disappeared or ran off, she got a new cell phone, a new cell phone number and a new cell phone, and she gave her old cell phone to Drew`s and her -- because she adopted the son -- her son, the teenager.

GRACE: Now, Mr. Brodsky -- everyone, with us is Drew Peterson`s attorney. We are taking your calls live.

Mr. Brodsky, if she were -- to me all this proves is, if unless your client sent the text message himself, I`m not saying he did, but if she received this text message from a lover.

BRODSKY: OK.

GRACE: .how does that prove she ran off with him? You know, in this country, you can get a divorce and just leave your husband. You don`t have to -- you know, go radio silent and leave your children behind to get a divorce.

BRODSKY: Nor is it unusual for a woman to have a, you know, to have an affair. That happens all the time, also. You know? It`s not unusual. All we`re saying is that who -- given that she disappeared, we certainly like to talk to whoever gave this message, whoever sent her this message a month prior to her disappearance and if that person is missing and also took off, that would be an interesting fact.

GRACE: OK.

BRODSKY: .for us to know because perhaps this is the person she ran off with and Drew`s proved to be right. If this person isn`t missing and is sitting in his house or somewhere, we would like to know where they were on October 28th and what the nature of their relationship with Stacy was.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GRACE: Does a text message, a highly suggestive sex text message, prove that Stacy Peterson left town with another man?

Back out to the lines, Karen in Michigan. Hi, Karen.

KAREN, FROM MICHIGAN: Hi, how are you tonight?

GRACE: I`m good, dear.

KAREN: Oh and your babies are beautiful.

GRACE: Thank you.

KAREN: I have a question. Has anyone seen her children? And in regards to this new, old text message?

GRACE: Yes.

KAREN: What was the date and from where did it -- was it sent? They should be able to find that out.

GRACE: To Kathy Cheney, what was the date and it was sent from a Verizon Web site, Karen in Michigan, not from another phone. But what was the date, Kathy Cheney?

CHENEY: September 20th.

GRACE: And she went missing on.

CHENEY: October 28th.

GRACE: Out to Erica in Indiana. Hi, Erica.

ERICA, FROM INDIANA: Hi, Nancy. I just want to say you`re the best.

GRACE: Thank you.

ERICA: my question is, this text message, I think it doesn`t take the spotlight off of him. Doesn`t it give him more of a motive and prove exactly from his past relationships how he was jealous and the way he acted.

GRACE: You know, that is an interesting point. Joel, I don`t know what it really proves and while I`ve got you, Joel Brodsky, this is Drew Peterson`s attorney, why did your client hire a PR, a public relations person?

BRODSKY: Well, which question first? The motive?

GRACE: The PR question. I`ve only got 20 seconds, yes.

BRODSKY: The PR question? Well, we didn`t hire a PR person. We consulted with them after somebody expressed an interest in doing a life story.

GRACE: OK. Why did you consult with a PR person?

BRODSKY: Because we had some people express interest in doing Drew`s life story. And so we thought we can (INAUDIBLE).

GRACE: His life story. About him getting thrown off the police force for consorting with that drug dealer?

BRODSKY: He was 25 years -- his 25 years -- 29 years he wasn`t thrown off the police force and did some undercover narcotics work (INAUDIBLE).

GRACE: OK.

BRODSKY: It`s actually fascinating.

GRACE: With me, veteran trial lawyer, Joel Brodsky, from Chicago.

Let`s stop and remember Army Private Cody Carver, 19, Pasco, Oklahoma, killed only one month into service of Iraq. Loved church, time with friends, racing cars, motorcycles, skateboarding, dreamed of a college degree, leaves behind parents Darryl and Pam, brothers Lee and Jake.

Cody Carver, American hero.

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

END

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