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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

Search Continues for Haleigh Cummings; Does New Evidence Spell Trouble for Amanda Knox?

Aired February 16, 2009 - 19:00:00   ET

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


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, stunning new twists in the frantic search for little Haleigh Cummings. It`s day seven since the 5-year-old disappeared from her Florida home. Today, 60 cop cars descend on a grassy area ten miles away.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is not "CSI." We can`t wrap this up in an hour. We wish we could.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What exactly brought them there? Could it be a break in the case?

And a child molester from a nearby county is reported missing. Could there be a connection to little Haleigh?

Plus, more fall-out from Octomom, Nadya Suleman. As the unemployed single mom pleads for donations, reports flood in about her spending on manicures and video games. Now Octograndma tells the media how her eight new grandchildren are melting her heart and her wallet.

And I`ll examine the strange Angelina Jolie connection. Now even Brad Pitt is weighing in.

Then new testimony in the case against the suspected co-ed killer known as Foxy Knoxy. A housemate claims Knox had scratches on her neck hours Meredith Kercher`s body was found dead after what prosecutors are calling a drug-fueled sex game. I`ll have the latest on Italy`s sensational trial of the century.

ISSUES starts now.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: A flurry of brand-new developments tonight in the desperate search for missing Florida girl Haleigh Cummings. The sheriff`s department expressing the frustration everyone is feeling. Quote, "This is not `CSI.` We can`t wrap this up in an hour."

But authorities today were wrapping up their ground search after almost a week of systematic grid searches for the 5-year-old known to her family as Doodlebug. The sheriff`s department says it has turned up, quote, "nothing of significance."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHERIFF JEFF HARDY, PUTNAM COUNTY, FLORIDA: I explained it to them with my staff. We`ve not abandoned this search. And as you`re aware, we had a contingency of officers out there again searching the location today that we received a tip on.

The fact is, is that we will be recovering some areas that we`ve already covered. And, you know, the family knows that we had to move logistically. We had to move our operations to a facility that better suited our needs to find Haleigh.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Officers will now focus their time on a tactical search, meaning they will follow up on more than 500 leads that have poured in this past week.

Meantime, we are learning that a local sex offender is also missing. Twenty-five-year-old Chad Eugene Reynolds went missing about a week before Haleigh vanished. There is no evidence that Reynolds is involved in little Haleigh`s disappearance, but authorities do want to talk to him.

Also tonight, inconsistent stories about the night of Haleigh`s disappearance are under close scrutiny. What exactly happened that evening? And where was little Haleigh actually sleeping?

Do you have a thought or question? Call me at 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297.

But first, I want to turn to a very important guest, Crystal Sheffield, the mother of missing Haleigh Cummings.

Crystal, thank you so much for joining us. I cannot imagine what you are going through right now. And we hope by focusing on your daughter`s case we had somehow help out, help find her and get her home safely. That`s our hope.

As we approach the week anniversary of your daughter`s disappearance, what concerns you most about what you`ve heard? What are your most nagging questions about everything that you`ve been told?

Can you hear me?

CRYSTAL SHEFFIELD, MOTHER OF HALEIGH CUMMINGS: I`ve just been -- yes. I`ve been told so many things. I just -- I don`t know what to think. My mind`s just blank. I don`t know what could have happened.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I can understand that. And you`re holding up, and you`re maintaining your strength, and I think we all applaud you for -- for having the gumption to -- to do these interviews and to stay out there. I know it`s got to be -- it`s unimaginable what you`re going through.

You know, your family and Haleigh`s father held separate vigils this past week. But both families put aside their differences Saturday night, and you held one vigil for young Haleigh together. I understand another prayer service is scheduled for tonight.

Now some people have described a riff between you and the father`s family. Is that accurate, or have you gotten some new piece of information or something that has healed that reported rift?

SHEFFIELD: No, we just -- I just feel like we should all be together for Haleigh.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: There are a lot of discrepancies that your mother was concerned about, and one particularly the sleeping arrangements. The latest that we`ve heard was that in the home at the time of little Haleigh`s disappearance, Misty, the father -- your ex`s girlfriend, was sleeping in bed with Junior, your son, and that Haleigh was in another bed in the same room. But originally, we heard all three were sleeping in the same bed.

Do you know why we`re hearing these different stories, Crystal? I mean, do you know why the story keeps changing?

SHEFFIELD: No, I don`t. I`ve wondered myself, because I -- I was told that at first they was all three in the same room. And then I heard that Haleigh and Junior were both in their own room. And then I heard it was Misty and Junior in Misty and Ronald`s room. I mean, I -- I`ve heard so many different things, I -- I don`t know.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Have you talked to the authorities about it and said, "Hey, I want to straighten this out?" Who`s changing the story? Is it the reporters getting it wrong, is it you getting it wrong, or is it Misty changing her story? Have you had that conversation with authorities?

SHEFFIELD: No, actually, I haven`t. I haven`t even thought about that. I`m just worried about my daughter.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: How do you regard Misty? I mean, as -- you`re the biological mother of this precious child who is missing, and you hear that this 17-year-old girl was in the bed with your -- your youngest -- the son, Junior. And she was also the sole caretaker while Ron, the father, was at work. What are your feelings about this 17-year-old being in charge of your children?

SHEFFIELD: I didn`t really approve of it, but there was really nothing I could do about it. I mean, that was his girlfriend and, I mean, I would not prefer a 17-year-old -- I don`t know. I know I`m young, and I don`t want to put her down for being 17, because I was that young when I got pregnant. But those are my children. And I don`t feel comfortable with them being with a 17-year-old. Just -- that`s just me. I mean...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I understand. I think you answered that very well. Now, the authorities talked today about re-interviewing the family and doing polygraphs. What can you tell us about that? How many times have the authorities interviewed you? And have you volunteered to take a polygraph just to help the investigation proceed and to -- to help the authorities do their job?

SHEFFIELD: Yes, I have. Me and my whole family have agreed to take one. But they have not come got us or anything.

I`ve -- I`ve talked to everyone who`s come up to me here lately, the past -- yesterday I didn`t talk to nobody because I was just -- I couldn`t. And it`s -- it`s hard for me right now to do it. I`m trying to hold myself together the best I can. And it...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: How are you doing that? Through prayer? Prayer?

SHEFFIELD: Yes. And I have my other two children I`ve got to be strong for, too. And I`ve got to be strong for Haleigh for when she comes home.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I just -- I honestly -- my heart goes out to you. I know al of our viewers feel the same way. Everyone here, we just feel your pain. And it`s impossible for us to really feel your pain, but we -- we want to do what we can, Crystal, to help find your child.

And we really do pray that little Haleigh comes back safe and sound. And I thought it was very encouraging that the authorities today said that they still had hope that your daughter is alive.

SHEFFIELD: I do, too.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you so much.

SHEFFIELD: I feel -- I feel she`s out there.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s pray we find her. Thank you so much, Crystal. And please come back...

SHEFFIELD: Thank you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... as we continue to focus on your child.

Wow. That`s tough. What that mother is going through.

I want to bring in my panel of experts to analyze the latest in this really, really heart-wrenching case. Brenda Wade, clinical psychologist; Stacy Honowitz, Florida prosecutor; plus Steve Cardian, former criminal investigator; and James Fox, a criminologist at Northeastern University; as well as Jennifer Bauer, a reporter with CNN affiliate WJXT-TV.

Jennifer, what`s the very latest?

JENNIFER BAUER, REPORTER, WJXT-TV: Well, today, Jane, police told us they spent the afternoon following up on leads, more than 500 of them.

They were taken to an area near the family`s home, but an area that hadn`t really been extensively searched before. They tell us they went through that area today. They went through it again. It turned up nothing.

They`ve gotten some other leads, they tell us. They will be taking them tomorrow to another area here in Putnam County to be searched. But again, investigators tell us more than 500 leads. They are following up on them. They are continuing to search, they say, and they are continuing to interview family, friends, people who know the little girl, even people who don`t know the little girl.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to talk about the 44 sex offenders who live in this area where little Haleigh lived. You know, authorities are now saying that they finished questioning all of them, but one sex offender has not been found. He is 25-year-old Chad Reynolds. He disappeared on February 1.

Now, one reporter actually asked about him earlier today. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`d like to find him like any other predator. Today, he is not a person of interest in this case today. But he, like any other unknown predator in our community, we want to find him. And if your TV viewers know where he`s at and can give us lead, we`ll take those, too.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Stacy Honowitz, there`s a warrant out for Reynolds. He`s not listed as a person of interest, but how worrisome is his disappearance and the timing with Haleigh`s disappearance?

STACY HONOWITZ, FLORIDA PROSECUTOR: I think everybody is going to try to put two and two together, because he is a sexual offender or predator, and this little girl is missing, but I don`t think we can jump to that conclusion right now.

There`s probably a warrant out for his arrest because he failed to re- register. When you`re a sexual predator or an offender down in Florida, you have an obligation to register four times: once during your birth month and then three other times during the year. Obviously, they see he`s missing. He`s failed to re-register. So it will be extremely important to talk to him, but first they have to find him.

STEVE CARDIAN, FORMER CRIMINAL INVESTIGATOR: Do we know the details on what kind of sex offender he is? Because there`s all kinds of sex offenders who have done all sorts of things.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, it was lewd and lascivious molestation of a child under 12.

CARDIAN: Pardon?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Lewd and lascivious molestation of a child under 12. And there was also armed burglary. So it was a combination. And that`s kind of scary, because -- and I`m not saying -- he`s not a person of interest, but it`s kind of scary because somebody got into that house, too.

CARDIAN: Right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Everybody stay right there.

Just a quick reminder: Nancy Grace is up immediately following this program at 8 p.m. Eastern. She will have a special presentation on the Caylee Anthony case tonight.

And right here on ISSUES, we have much more to cover in the disappearance of Haleigh Cummings. Has the search gone cold, or are cops building a case against somebody? Call 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586- 7297. And tell me what you think.

But first, here is Haleigh`s dad begging for his daughter`s safe return.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RON CUMMINGS, FATHER OF HALEIGH: Bring her back anonymous, give her to someone else to bring back. However, she gets back, we want her back safe. If you`ve done something with her, tell us where she`s at. If she`s OK. Something. We just -- I want my daughter back. That`s it. That`s all I want. I want my daughter back. I`m not out for revenge.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HARDY: I say don`t lose hope. In fact, right now, hope is -- is probably the best thing that we have. And all the people that you see working and searching, and the people you see standing in this room, don`t give up hope. We`re asking the family, do not give up hope. And we need to have hope if we`re going to find Haleigh, and we hope to bring her home alive.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was the local sheriff, Jeff Hardy, at today`s news conference, emphasizing the power of hope for Haleigh`s safe return.

I`m back taking your phone calls on all of the latest developments in the missing Haleigh Cummings case. Give me a ring to join the discussion: 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-685-7297. The phone lines totally jam- packed. This is such a heart-wrenching case.

Doreen in New Jersey, your question or thought, ma`am.

CALLER: Hi, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hey.

CALLER: Love your show.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you.

CALLER: My question is they reported seeing a child`s footprints on a dirt path. So if this is little Haleigh, then obviously, she`s walking of her own accord. Were there any adult prints around those child`s footprints?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me go to Jennifer Bauer. But obviously, child`s prints, there were kids playing in that area, other kids. So I don`t know the significance, necessarily. And I hadn`t heard anything about child`s prints. Bring us up to date.

BAUER: Jane, those prints were reported in the initial incident report, the night that the Cummings called 911 and called police out to their home, when the investigators came and wrote their report. They reported seeing some child`s footprints. The canine unit picked up Haleigh`s scent behind the home, along with the footprints.

But keep in mind, this is the home where the little girl lived. This is the back yard where the little girl played. So police said don`t read too much into it. It`s probably just a footprint that was there from days before.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Got it.

Pam, North Carolina, question or thought, ma`am.

CALLER: Yes. I just wanted to say I`m just so proud of George Anthony. And my heart goes out to the Cummings family, as well. But I wanted to know if it was possible that, after Ronald went to work, that somebody came by to visit Misty and was able to unlock the door without her seeing it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we want to get to the rest of our panel, but Jennifer, I do understand that there was an air conditioning repairman who was there earlier in the day, as well as some kind of relative of Misty`s.

BAUER: That`s right. What we`ve heard from police is earlier in the afternoon, there was an air-conditioning repairman who was in the home there to fix the family`s air conditioning. He had asked Misty about that earlier. And she said that she let the air conditioner man in the home, and then the family went outside to sort of let the kids play and socialize and let the air-conditioner man do his work.

We talked to police about this man. He said that the person has been identified and he has been cleared.

JAMES FOX, CRIMINOLOGIST: Can I say here that part of the problem is that there`s so many leads. And that`s a blessing and a curse. With a very high-profile case like this, all sorts of information will come forward in the investigation.

The problem is trying to figure out what is -- what are the really useful leads, to pursue those, and what`s the dead ends? And a lot of times can be wasted with trying to follow up on leads that are worthless.

And so it`s a whole problem of managing this investigation. There`s lots of people involved. There`s lots of information. Trying to stay on top of every piece of detail is incredibly difficult.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes.

FOX: But incredibly important.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re absolutely right.

Brenda Wade, you`re the psychologist. I heard that the authorities said some of the 500 leads were women who wanted to get their ex-husbands in trouble. In other words, using this as an excuse to kind of implicate them, to create problems for their ex-husbands. That struck me as absolutely mind-boggling.

BRENDA WADE, PSYCHOLOGIST: It`s shocking. And it`s sad because, at the end of the day, the one thing that anyone who really cares about other people would want to do is to see this little girl get home safely. So what a terrible time to try to wreak vengeance on someone you`re angry with.

And I do want to emphasize that hope is an important element, because it`s hope that keeps people energized. It keeps them trying. It keeps them wanting to move forward. So I do hope the family doesn`t give up hope. Nor do those who are searching for the child give up hope.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What do you make, James Fox, of the idea that the authorities now are scaling back the grid search and going to a tactical search, meaning following up on the leads? What does that tell you in terms of where the direction of this case is headed?

FOX: Well, with seven days gone by, it is very unlikely that the abductor would be in the close neighborhood of -- of the house. The grid search would perhaps show if a body was found. And obviously, there was no body found. That`s a good thing.

At this point, if she is still alive, she`s miles and miles away.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Let me jump in.

FOX: With whom, we don`t know. And that`s the problem. A grid search will only be good for a certain area. We need to go far and wide to try to identify where she is.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Steve Cardian, in terms of where this direction is headed, the fact that they -- the authorities said today they have hope that little Haleigh is still alive, what does that tell you in terms of the forensic evidence that they`ve gathered?

CARDIAN: Well, Jane, they`ve exhausted their search -- or not exhausted. They`re still going to maintain a presence at the crime scene, but they have to categorize the leads that they have and put them in a venue of importance, with the hot topics, the highly probable -- high- probability evidence or leads that they have. And they`re going to have to file them right through.

The fact that they have evidence that they`re believing that she`s still alive, I`m not quite sure what they mean by that. But that would be a good -- a good indication that they have something that they`re not leading us on with.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Stacy, James, Brenda, thanks so much.

Steve, Jennifer, stick around.

Coming up, shocking new testimony in Italy`s trial of the century points the finger at Amanda Knox. Did she kill her roommate in a drug- fueled sex game as prosecutors contend?

And Casey Anthony`s legal team shifts their focus to Zanny the nanny and that lawsuit. The very latest on that controversy coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Testimony about a fresh bloody wound stunned the courtroom in the town of Perugia, Italy, on Valentine`s Day. That`s where 21-year-old American co-ed Amanda Knox is on trial, accused of murdering her housemate. Prosecutors say Amanda and her then-boyfriend killed British student Meredith Kercher when she allegedly refused to participate in a drug-fueled sex game in November of 2007.

And now it seems that a scratch on Amanda`s neck similar to the one found on the victim could spell big trouble for her.

Meantime, Amanda`s dad is furious about the way his daughter is being portrayed. Quote, "She has been painted as a black angel, a devil woman, whatever the hell you want to call it, and she is none of those things."

Let`s go straight out to Steve Huff from TrueCrimeReporter.com, a "Village Voice" media blog.

Steve, what is the very latest?

STEVE HUFF, TRUECRIMEREPORTER.COM: The very latest is the scratch on the cheek, reported by Amanda and Meredith`s roommate, Laura Mezzetti. Ms. Mezzetti said that Amanda had the scratch and it was noticeable shortly after Meredith`s body was discovered. And Mezzetti noticed it because she was concerned that Amanda had somehow been injured, as well.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me say this. Obviously, Amanda`s family feels that things are being twisted over there. She`s big portrayed as an extremely promiscuous woman. There is this best-selling book that`s supposedly filled with her diary notes that they`re suing over, because they say it`s filled with lies.

How do we have any independent confirmation of this scratch? Is there a photograph? Is there a medical record?

HUFF: To my knowledge, it hasn`t been corroborated yet. If it is, it`s going to be very damaging.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, sure. Now what about that T-shirt? Apparently, she showed up wearing a T-shirt in court that had the Beatles lyric "All you Need is Love" in pink letters. That`s certainly not a good idea, given that the prosecution is trying to portray her as a sex fiend.

HUFF: She showed up on Saturday, on Valentine`s Day, wearing that T- shirt, looking like a college girl taking out the laundry. Had her hair in a ponytail, too, I believe. And she had "All You Need is Love" in giant red letters on the T-shirt. The -- the British press at least interpreted that as, yes, a Valentine message, I guess, to the courtroom. Everybody else watching as well.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, Amanda`s then-boyfriend, who was also on trial, made two calls to police shortly after noon the day after the murder. They were played in court.

In the first one, his tone is described as flat. Quote, "Somebody has gone into the house by breaking the window. The door is locked. There are blood stains in the bathroom."

But in the second call, made just minutes later, he sounds alarmed. "The door of the bedroom of one of the housemates is closed and there are traces of blood in the bathroom."

First of all, according to prosecutors, the boyfriend reportedly made these calls after police arrived at the murder scene. That doesn`t make any sense.

HUFF: Doesn`t make a lick of sense. And it sounds like it was a -- a pretty poor attempt to maybe cover his tracks, if he is, indeed, guilty.

It was a bad week overall for the defense in this case. Even issues like that and then character issues.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: How does -- how do they do a trial where they meet once every couple of weeks? How do they ever get these trials finished? And how does anybody keep track of what`s happening? It`s a very strange system over there.

HUFF: It is a very strange system, and it`s one that`s pretty unfamiliar to most Americans. They -- the trial could last as long as five or six months at this rate.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I mean, it`s not funny, but it`s just bizarre that they would meet every couple of weeks to have a session. Hey, you know, let`s meet -- OK, Steve, thank you so much. Please come back soon.

HUFF: Sure.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re great at analysis.

Outrage against Octomom grows. New reports claim she is asking for donations while spending money on video games and manicures. And just wait until you hear what Octograndma is now saying.

What do you have to say about all this? Call 1-877-JVM-SAYS.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Octo-mom, Nadya Suleman, continues to outrage as she asks for donations one day and buys video games and gets manicures the next.

Plus, I`ll examine the strange Angelina Jolie angle that keeps getting stranger as Brad Pitt now weighs in. You won`t believe what he said.

And an update on the Caylee Anthony case. Casey Anthony`s defense is using the kitchen sink approach, and it may be working. New reports say it could be more than a year before mom Casey faces trial. So now the focus moves to her legal battle in the Zanny the nanny lawsuit. I`ll have the very latest developments.

The latest developments in the Caylee Anthony murder investigation in just moments. But first, the desperate search going on just a couple of hours drive from where little Caylee was found for another little girl, five-year-old Haleigh Cummings.

Authorities today, scaling back the search for the young girl, switching to a more tactical approach. They will focus on the 500 leads they`ve gotten in the past week. Also, a local sex offender reported missing. And authorities want to talk to him.

To discuss this and much more, I`m back with my guests: Steve Kardian, former criminal investigator as well as Jennifer Bauer, a reporter with CNN affiliate WJXT-TV.

Phone lines still lit up. Linda in Texas, question or thought, ma`am.

LINDA IN TEXAS: Yes, hi, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hey.

LINDA: I was just wondering if the police had checked under all of the trailers that are in this area. Because I live in Texas, and there was a little girl years ago that was missing and they found her under a trailer like about four or five trailers from where she lived.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh that`s --

LINDA: I was just wondering if they`d checked.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s an excellent idea. Jennifer Bauer, any thoughts?

JENNIFER BAUER, WJXT-TV, JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA: Well, all week I know there has been a very strong police presence there. I myself have seen investigators go from mobile home to mobile home, search mobile homes. They of course, even have the bloodhounds out, search dogs, recovery dogs.

So I would say, yes, they have searched the homes even more than once, under and inside.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Gwen in Ohio, question or thought, ma`am?

GWEN IN OHIO: My question is, is Leonard Padilla the bounty hunter who helped put the Caylee Anthony search, is he still in Florida helping to find Haleigh Cummings at this time?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jennifer?

BAUER: Last check was that he still was in town; we spoke with him I believe yesterday.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, I want to go to some other big issues in this case. The father says the home`s back door, which was discovered open with no sign of forced entry, was a dead bolt lock, too high for little Haleigh to reach.

That would have to mean that either somebody opened the door from the inside or had the key and opened it from the outside. Listen to Haleigh`s maternal grandmother talk about that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARIA GRIFFIS, HALEIGH`S GRANDMOTHER: And as for Misty, I mean, who knows. I don`t know the girl. I only saw the girl. I`ve never spoke with the girl. I know she has family that lives right on this same street. And maybe she could have given some of her family members a key.

Maybe she could have given some of her friends some keys. It`s just - - it`s question upon question, question upon question. And we`d like to have some answers.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Steve Kardian, this is perplexing. There were no signs of forced entry. So how did this individual get inside this house and then leave the door open on the way out?

STEVE KARDIAN, CRIMINAL INVESTIGATOR: Well, Nancy, there`s two possibilities. One being that it is a non-custodial abduction, which is a very rare instance in this country. Or it was made to look like one.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Let me -- there`s another big issue. And I, Jane, will focus on that now. On Friday, I spoke to the maternal grandmother of little Haleigh.

Now, she is not 100 percent certain about Monday night`s events and the specifics of the case. Listen to this because this is crucial.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GRIFFIS: Just the fact that there are so many conflicting stories about where the children were sleeping at that night. Once they`re all three in the bed together. Then once junior is in a bedroom by himself and Haleigh is in her room.

And now both of them was in their bedroom and she was in her room. And it just makes me more suspicious.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. I`ve got to pose this to you, Jennifer. Authorities are being very tight-lipped. We don`t know where these conflicting stories are coming from. Do we get a sense that Misty is changing her story or could it be shifting reports from the police or media?

BAUER: Well, you know, we keep asking and we`ve asked detectives over and over again. And all they tell us is that they can only base their information on the interviews that they conducted with the people themselves.

So the information that they have is the information that they got hours after the little girl was reported missing. That of course is the information that we got. I don`t know why the story keeps changing.

I`ve only heard two versions. We heard originally that they were all sleeping in one bed. And then we heard a couple of days later that maybe little Haleigh was in the same room but in a different bed. Now we`re hearing maybe --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That would be such a terrible -- what are you hearing now?

BAUER: That they were in the same bed again maybe.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Really? Oh my gosh, it`s shifted back again? Well, that`s kind of perplexing. And I`m sure that that`s going to be a focus. And we`re going to stay, obviously, on top of this story every single day in the hopes that little Haleigh is found alive and brought back to the mother we interviewed tonight who is obviously in tremendous emotional agony.

Steve, Jennifer, thank you so much.

And don`t forget Nancy Grace, up next at 8:00 p.m. She will have a special presentation on the Caylee Anthony case.

And breaking developments in the Caylee Anthony murder case: right now we have just learned that more than 1,100 pages of evidence were turned over to the defense. Among the evidence, test results from the duct tape that was attached to Caylee`s skull.

This is extremely significant because if Casey`s fingerprints were found on that tape, it could mean a huge change in defense strategy. And it could even, according to some, put the death penalty back into play. According to a source who spoke to the "Orlando Sentinel," it is not going to be good news for the defense.

Meantime, George, Cindy, and Lee Anthony are set to be deposed by the attorney for Zenaida Gonzalez in the civil case against Casey. Gonzalez, of course, suing Casey Anthony because she says Casey ruined her name and her life by blaming someone who has the same name for taking Caylee.

Let`s turn right now to my very special guest, John Morgan, the attorney for Zenaida Gonzalez. Mr. Morgan, some people are wondering why not just postpone your civil case against Casey Anthony until after the criminal trial?

JOHN MORGAN, ATTORNEY FOR ZENAIDA GONZALEZ: Well, that could be a year and Zenaida Gonzalez` name is still being thrown around. Everybody seems to be worried about Casey Anthony, but we`re more worried about Zenaida Gonzalez and her reputation.

Remember, we can end this thing tonight. We`ve propounded interrogatories to Casey Anthony. All she needs to do is look at the interrogatories, look at the picture of Zenaida Gonzalez and say, I don`t know her. This is not the person. Our case is over.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why do you think she won`t do it?

MORGAN: Because she`s a pathological liar and she feels that -- every time she gives one answer, it opens up another set of problems for her, another can of worms. And she says it was not this Zenaida, it was another Zenaida and then another Zenaida. So I think that`s the reason.

I think we all know what happened. I mean, you don`t wait 30 days to report your child missing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me ask you about the scheduled depositions that are coming up the end of next week of Cindy, George, and Lee.

MORGAN: Okay.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Of course we know that George apparently tried -- took steps to take his own life not so long ago. Now he`s on the mend. Are you going to be careful how you question George given the despondency that he`s recently experienced?

MORGAN: Yes. And I wouldn`t mind postponing George. He seemed at the -- at the memorial service, I just saw a clip of it, but he seems to have rallied remarkably well. He was, you know, lucid and strong and speaking and singing songs. And so -- but I wouldn`t mind postponing George.

I really want to take his wife`s deposition. I want to take Lee`s deposition. And, remember, Casey`s interrogatories, we weren`t allowed to take her depositions personally.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: She pleaded the fifth. You sent her 29 questions or you planned on sending 29 questions. We heard she was going to take the fifth. What happened with that? Did you get the piece of paper back that said, "I refuse to answer on the grounds that this may incriminate me," 29 times?

MORGAN: She`s got about ten to nine days to answer that, and we`ll see what happens. What`s happened recently is last week they filed a motion to dismiss our lawsuit. Now, remember this -- that motion should have come before they even filed an answer. They filed an answer.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, yes. That`s inside baseball. But let me ask you this. Are you still planning on bringing the media to the deposition of Cindy? They said they won`t show up if you do that.

MORGAN: Well, I can`t stop the media from coming. What I would recommend that they do is to get a protective order from the court to stop the media from coming. It`s not my intention to bring the media.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to thank you so much, John. I hope you come back soon.

MORGAN: I will.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: This case is not going anywhere. Appreciate it.

Coming up, more bizarre and I mean bizarre twists in the story of octo-mom, Nadya Suleman. The strange Angelina Jolie connection intensifies as Brad Pitt weighs in on camera. We will show it to you. I want to hear what you have to say in all of this. 1-877-JVM-SAYS. 1-877-586-7297; sound off on octo-mom.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Octo mom outrage continues. Even Brad Pitt is weighing in. I`ll have the details.

But first, "Top of the Block" tonight: A strange update in the Jessica Lunsford case, the nine-year-old Florida girl raped and murdered four years ago. A suspicious fire has burned down the mobile home where John Couey, the man convicted of those horrific acts, kept young Jessica. Couey confessed after locking her in a closet in that trailer. He later -- it`s hard to even say this -- buried her alive in the grounds outside. He was convicted of murder in 2007 and got the death penalty.

Whether it turns out to be arson or not, it is a fitting fate for that mobile home -- a cleansing of the unspeakable acts that occurred at that site.

Turning now to Nadya Suleman and the outrage surrounding the birth of her octuplets nearly one month ago as questions still swirl as to how octo mom will pay for her brood. Octo-grandma was on the CBS early show this morning. She admits she`s had a change of heart toward her daughter, and she says she is helping to foot the bill.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANGELA SULEMAN, OCTUPLET GRANDMOTHER: I was actually very upset with my daughter, had gone and done this in vitro. But after I saw them, you know, I thought, my goodness, these are my grandchildren.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When she had just the six, were there days when you felt, this is too much? I`m overwhelmed?

SULEMAN: Every day.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can`t do this.

SULEMAN: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Every day.

SULEMAN: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How do you handle these kids financially?

SULEMAN: Well, my -- my retirement check goes every month. It`s just gone.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Is that the same woman who last week called her daughter`s actions unconscionable? Meantime, a California psychiatrist has filed a complaint with Child Protective Services. Dr. Carole Lieberman says these babies are in danger and should not go home. Also, there`s a growing consensus that Suleman had plastic surgery to look like Angelina Jolie even though she vigorously denies it.

Now the "Chicago Sun Times" reports octo-mom has been writing letters to Jolie. Do you want to know what Brad and Angelina think? Tmz.com has this amazing scoop.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you guys in competition with the octo-mom?

BRAD PITT, ACTOR: Yes, we sure are.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Short but sweet. This story just keeps getting stranger and stranger.

I want to hear what you think. Give us a call. 1-877-JVM-SAYS. 1- 877-586-7297.

Right now, let me bring in my fantastic panel: Brenda Wade, clinical psychologist; Pete Demetriou, a reporter for KFWB News 980 in Los Angeles; and Mike Walters, the assignment manager at TMZ.

Mike, how did you get this amazing scoop of Brad Pitt reacting to octo-mom? And tell us -- translate. What was Brad saying in his brief cryptic comment?

MIKE WALTERS, ASSIGNMENT MANAGER, TMZ: Well, I think basically Brad was saying, like everyone who has seen this, you know Brad and Angelina have seen this on the news, they have to have. Everyone thinks right away when you see her, she looks like Angelina Jolie and then when you see that she had six kids and then she had eight, everyone wants to know, are you trying to be Angelina Jolie?

I think Brad just kind of laughed it off, but he answered. He said, yes, I guess we`re competing with her. It was kind of a funny, brush-off answer. But what a great comment from the person who it looks like she`s trying to be like and that they have all these kids and Brad and Angelina obviously have a lot of kids also.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: They have, what, half a dozen?

WALTER: Yes, six.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But the difference is three are adopted. So if she really wanted to imitate Angelina Jolie, what she should have done, Pete Demetriou, is adopt a couple of kids and, you know, thousands of children around the world, millions, need desperately need homes. There are many, many orphans in this world.

What do you make of this whole Angelina Jolie angle, Pete, in that she was caught in a lie, apparently. She told Ann Curry, I don`t think about Angelina Jolie. I haven`t thought about her since I saw her movie several years ago. Now we find out she`s been writing to the star for more than a year.

PETE DEMETRIOU, KFWB NEWS 980: Sounds to me like somebody is self- destructing on live TV and on taped interviews. Not only what she`s saying in the network interviews, but also the image and the marketing of this woman is being destructive as well, if you will because all of a sudden after 19 days, we have a charge in heart and a change in tone from the mother of this woman.

Now, where did this come from all of a sudden? Just because she saw the kids? Or is there any coincidence to the fact that all of a sudden there`s a new PR firm that is involved in representing Nadya Suleman on this.

Maybe somebody got a word or some kind of message was passed, why don`t we get on the same page here as to not damage or client`s marketability or her future or the future of this kids.

That`s not to say we have any proof of it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s right. In fact, she`s got an agent. The PR lady resigned because of all the death threats. People saying, we`re going to put you in a wood chipper and horrible things like that.

DEMETRIOU: It`s probably -- I would say, Jane, it`s probably a combination of things. One, it was the idea that all of the negative publicity with the death threats and everything else like that were basically detracting from the actual story they wanted to sell. So a clean break on this thing might very well lead to better chances or opportunities for Nadya Suleman.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here`s the thing, Pete. She now has an agent; the very same agent who represented multiple births a few years ago got a book and music deals. And also represents the very controversial Pastor Rick Warren, who made a stir at the invocation at President Obama`s inauguration.

So the -- the six degrees of separation of this case is absolutely out of control.

As the outrage continues to mount against octo-mom, Nadya Suleman, a California psychiatrist has filed a complaint with child protective services. Let`s listen to her.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CAROLE LIEBERMAN, FILED COMPLAINT WITH CHILD SERVICES: It`s my opinion that her children that she already has have been abused emotionally and by neglect.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. One of the charges the doctor leveled against Suleman is, "Animals have litters. They don`t exert conscious control over the number of babies they have. It is not psychologically or physically possible to provide sufficient love and attention to the litter that Ms. Suleman has chosen to deliver."

Brenda Wade, does she have a point? Should Child Protective Services step in and at least begin investigating this situation?

BRENDA WADE, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Absolutely, without question. There is clearly something, let`s just say, odd and disturbing about Ms. Suleman. This is not behavior that anyone in any stretch of their imagination can say falls within normal parameters. And the real potential victims here if not real victims are her children.

So, yes, Child Protective Services should investigate. Is she making bad decisions? That seems pretty clear.

I know one of the comments she made is that she`s holding the children 45 minutes a day each. That adds up to about 14 hours a day, somewhere close to that. It`s not true and it`s not possible.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. You know, it just doesn`t add up.

Mike Walters, I have to ask you about the "I haven`t had sex in eight years" comment that came out of octo-mom`s mouth. I know that you`re TMZ; is this TMI -- too much information?

WALTER: It`s never too much information for us. I think it puts it in a real perspective. When someone has babies, you automatically think, who`s the dad, who is she having sex with? And she says she hasn`t had sex.

But I have to say one thing real quick, Jane. I was listening to you guys talk. First of all, she needs an agent, TLC has already contacted her. And this is who has "John and Kate Plus Eight" with the multiple TV show. She needs it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hang tight, you all, we have got more viewer calls on octo-mom and a lot more after a quick, quick break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We have got some breaking news in on the octo-mom`s story. Let`s go back to Mike Walters, assignment manager at TMZ.

WALTERS: Yes. This is just in, Jane. This is so great. You`re not going to believe this.

We just got video of the octo-mom going into the hospital. And the best question, the one we`ve been talking about, we asked her, are you going to have a reality TV show with your kids after is? You know what her answer was?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What.

WALTER: "That`s exploitation of my children." Excuse me when I fall out of my chair as I`m talking to you right now. This is the same woman that`s costing the state almost $800,000 or will for Medicaid for the kids that are in the hospital and that has a Website set up where you can send via Visa money to her. Give me a break. I can`t believe it.

I mean, I can`t wait for the TV show to come on so we can come back and play that clip and then talk about it. Give me a break.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right.

We`re going to play that clip tomorrow if we can. We`ll have you back, Mike. And we`re also going to have the doctor who wants child services to come in, Dr. Carole Lieberman. She`s going to be here weighing in on why she thinks these kids should be taken away.

Yvonne in California, you`re very patient. Question or thought?

YVONNE, CALIFORNI: I`m glad to hear that somebody has decided to have an investigation. I want to find out, is this woman a citizen of the United States? Or is she just another welfare person, an illegal that`s taking our tax dollars and using it like this?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What is her story?

DEMETRIOU: As far as I know, she`s a U.S. citizen. And even if she wasn`t but the fact that she`s here, she has residency, she`s entitled to state services under the law of the state of California.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And what was it about her dad. There was something about her dad perhaps traveling --

DEMETRIOU: Her dad apparently has contracts or is a contractor and works in Iraq itself. So as to what that actually is, he hasn`t said what the contracting is.

One thing you might want to point out, Jane, though on the idea of the investigation by DCFS, the Department of Children and Family Services, the doctor can file a complaint. But the actual investigation is going to be, for the most part, very close-hold because, again, it`s confidential.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Lucy, Oregon, very quickly; I only have a couple of seconds

LUCY, OREGON: Hi, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hey.

LUCY: Thanks for having me on. I just wanted to comment, I haven`t heard anybody speak about the video that the grandmother Angela made when she was lashing out at her daughter. In the video, they`re showing footage of their small three bedroom house. Not only is it small, it`s filthy. There were clothes piled everywhere in the bedroom, it just looked dirty. There`s obviously not enough beds for 14 children.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you know what, Lucy, you make great points. It did look like a total mess and it`s going to be even more of a mess when you add ten more newborns to it. We`re going to stay on top of that story.

Brenda, Mike, Pete, thanks for joining me tonight.

I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, you`re watching "ISSUES" on HLN.

END

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