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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
What Happened to Nevaeh Buchanan?; Octomom: "I Screwed Up"
Aired June 4, 2009 - 19:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, jaw-dropping news in the frantic search for missing Michigan 5-year-old Nevaeh Buchanan. Convicted sex offender George Kennedy, a friend of the little girl`s mom, tries to clear his name. Locked up on a parole violation, this person of interest said he had nothing to do with the child`s disappearance. This, as the missing girl`s mom continues to defend Kennedy. I will speak to Nevaeh`s distraught and outraged father to get his take.
And another frantic search rages on, this one in Florida. Beautiful 27-year-old Tracy Ocasio vanished after leaving a bar with a man cops say is James Hataway. Now Hataway`s ex said he would never do anything like this. She must be forgetting Hataway was once convicted of kidnapping, and now two other women have come forward saying he was violent towards them.
Then a global custody battle barrels ahead for a New Jersey dad trying to get his son back. Five years ago his wife said she was going on a little vacation with the boy to Brazil. She never came back. Now the fate of the son is in the hands of Brazil`s Supreme Court. I`ll tell you if the little boy will be reunited with his American father.
Plus, Octomom makes a stunning admission. In an interview with -- who else -- Radar Online.
NADYA SULEMAN, MOTHER OF OCTUPLETS: Screwed up my life, screwed up my kids` life.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You think? So, with Octomom`s epiphany, will she still move ahead with her reality show plans?
ISSUES starts now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Explosive developments in the search for 5-year-old Nevaeh Buchanan. Investigators, friends, family, intensify their search for this precious child.
But now, one of the persons of interest in this case fighting back, insisting, quote, "I didn`t take her, and I definitely didn`t kill her," end quote. And George Kennedy insists he was actually a father figure to the little girl. That, even though he is a convicted sex offender, who is not supposed to be getting up close and personal with kids.
The missing child`s own mom hotly defends Kennedy as not being involved. The question is, was Kennedy just a friend of little Nevaeh`s mom, or was he at one point her boyfriend? He was arrested on the very night Nevaeh went missing, on a parole violation. A bloody towel found in his motel room made him seem very suspicious, until cops found out the blood was not a match to little Nevaeh`s. Kennedy said the blood was from him shaving, and his new girlfriend`s tattoo. Whatever.
So why haven`t cops cleared him as a person of interest?
Again, Jennifer Buchanan, little Nevaeh`s mom, standing by her sex- offender friend.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JENNIFER BUCHANAN, MOTHER OF NEVAEH: I did not whatsoever feel like he had anything to do with it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But is Jennifer telling the truth about that day? Some wonder.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARLA ELLIOTTE, PATERNAL GRANDMOTHER OF NEVAEH: Jennifer, if you know anything, you know, please, come on. This has been long enough. We need Nevaeh home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s from the child`s grandmother on the father`s side. And it`s quite an accusation. We will talk to Nevaeh`s biological dad about what he thinks at the moment.
Straight to my expert panel: Stacey Honowitz, Florida prosecutor; Mike Gaynor, retired NYPD detective and president of East Coast detectives; Curtis Sliwa, founder of the Guardian Angels; and Michelle Sidona, national correspondent for "America`s Most Wanted."
Michelle, you have been tracking this case from the start. What is the very latest?
MICHELLE SIDONA, NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, "AMERICA`S MOST WANTED": The very latest at this point is that the Monroe County sheriff`s office says that, as of 11 this morning, they`ve received 945 leads in on this case. And that`s a lot, considering it`s been just a little under two weeks.
At this point they are not going out and doing searches, but if they do get in information that will lead them to a particular area, they will send out a search team.
In addition what the sheriff told me this morning was that, if they get in information on specific suspects or persons of interest in general, that they will go out there, they will execute a search warrant. They will do whatever is possible to try to dig up more clues and information on this particular case.
And you mentioned George Kennedy. He is still a person of interest at this time. He`s being held on a parole violation, along with his friend, Roy Smith. They`re still both behind bars. And what the sheriff says is that, within the next day or two, that they will probably be shipped back to prison and facing those charges for the parole violation, not for Nevaeh`s disappearance.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Well, Nevaeh`s mom, Jennifer, she`s come under really intense criticism for befriending not one, but two sex offenders. George Kennedy is one of them. He, of course, as we`ve been discussing, says he has had absolutely nothing to do with this. In fact he helped look for little Nevaeh.
Now, he is a convicted sex offender, Stacey Honowitz. His crime was fourth-degree sexual assault or rape of a 15-year-old girl behind a gas station in 1998. That is a heinous crime. But it is quite different than, let`s say, a predator who goes after a 5-year-old girl.
One of the problems with this labeling of sex offenders is it`s often hard to parch out the child sex predators from the average sexual offender.
STACEY HONOWITZ, PROSECUTOR: That`s true, Jane. The bottom line is, he is a convicted sex offender. And so it goes back to everything we`ve been talking about.
Did she knowingly put her child in danger by associating with this person? And he just really messed himself up by admitting that he had contact with her, because that`s the parole violation. As a convicted sex offender, he`s not permitted to have contact with this child.
He wants his name to be cleared. He`s claiming he`s never been with her. This is what the police are going to be investigating. But now he has an alibi. I believe he said he was fishing at the time with the new girlfriend. So just because the blood didn`t match in the apartment, thank God, now they`re going to investigate this alibi. So he`s certainly not in the clear as of yet. And now he`s going to have to answer to the parole violation.
But I agree that they`re all grouped together. Until the legislature decides to break them all down, they all have to be looked at.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, panel. Hold tight. I want to bring in a very special guest, Nevaeh`s biological father, Shane Hinojosa.
Shane, thank you so much for joining us during what has got to be a horrific, hellish time for you. We`ve heard conflicting reports about your ex`s lie detector test. What did Nevaeh`s mom tell you about whether or not she passed?
SHANE HINOJOSA, NEVAEH`S FATHER: Well, the only thing that she told me was she did fail one question, and the question was, are you still involved with George Kennedy? And I guess the needle started bouncing outrageous. So that`s the only thing she told me.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: How do you feel about the fact that not only is she friends, or possibly at one point boyfriend and girlfriend with this George Kennedy, and you can clarify that, but that she`s defending him?
HINOJOSA: I don`t like that she`s defending him. And I feel that -- well, I feel upset about, you know, Jenny taking my daughter around a sex offender. She should have never did it. And I asked her, you know, "Why did you take her around him?" And the only response I got from her was she looked down and shrugged her shoulders.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, this guy is saying he is a father figure to the child who is now missing. You are the biological father. How does that strike you?
Hello? Well, obviously, it must have upset him a lot. And we`re going to go back to our panel.
Curtis Sliwa, you`re hearing all this. You`re hearing the biological father saying that he`s really upset that the mother of his child was allowing -- or the child to be with convicted sex offenders.
CURTIS SLIWA, FOUNDER, GUARDIAN ANGELS: You know, Kennedy comes in and bogarts the situation and says, "I`m going to be the father figure."
And I must tell you, Jane, I must disagree with you. He raped a 15- year-old behind a gas station; does not mean he is not capable of lowering the age level and raping either girls younger or girls older. He`s a rapist. He did it once. He can do it again and again and again. He`s a danger to society. He should have been kicked out of that house.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Curtis, I was just saying that sexual predators that focus on children from a psychological perspective are often aroused by totally different things. And they`re not the same type to go after a 15- or even a 13-year-old.
I mean, I`m not saying they can`t change and become child sexual predators. But I think that there`s a slight difference there.
I mean, Michelle Sigona, you`ve covered so many of these cases. What`s your insight into that?
SIGONA: At this particular point, from what he said, from what George Kennedy said when he spoke out, was that, "Look, I may have been convicted of a crime in the past. But I`m not -- I have no intentions on hurting Nevaeh, of hurting her friends, of going down that route at all. I am a father figure to her."
And what Jennifer says is that, "Look, he was only around my child 85 percent -- or excuse me, 15 percent of the time. The other 85 percent I spent with him."
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But Mike Gaynor, that doesn`t make a difference. And that`s usually people that affiliate with sex offenders. That`s the thing they`re going to say; they`ve never been alone with my child. If you had a fear to begin with leaving them alone, why would you even let your child go around them? So that makes no sense.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mike Gaynor, this guy George Kennedy, this is the weirdest thing. He`s a father himself of a 12-year-old girl and an 18- year-old boy. He`s a father of two teenage kids himself.
MIKE GAYNOR, RETIRED NYPD DETECTIVE: Well, we already know by now, Jane, anybody can make a baby. Kennedy is a creep. He`s going back to prison where he belongs. If he was convicted of raping a 15-year-old, he`s capable of doing anything.
Now, of course, they`re still calling him a person of interest and they`re going to have to check out his alibi once again. Whether he was actually physically present during any time that something happened, it doesn`t mean he didn`t have something to do with it. These guys sometimes work in teams.
Look at his buddy Smith. He`s driving his van. And ironically, they`ve got this guy Easter, who likes to flash himself around town. So we`ve got some people over here of interest, or suspects -- suspects, if you will.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re right, there`s three persons of interest. This past weekend, cops questioned another man, James Easter, about Nevaeh. He was arrested on unrelated charges. And a judge said he`s no longer a person of interest.
However, Easter told the Detroit news that during his 12 hours of questioning, he mistakenly answered the question, "How do you think they did it," by saying, if he had abducted the child, he would have taken, quote, "my vehicle behind the nail salon nearby and called to her with a Kit Kat," end quote.
Curtis Sliwa, what a bizarre thing to say when you`re trying to convince cops that you`re not an abductor. Why would anybody answer a question like that?
SLIWA: Oh, what a first-class sickola. This guy has all the furniture upstairs rearranged in the wrong rooms. He thinks he`s being helpful? This gives us insight into the thought process. Now, this is the weenie waver. My God. How far would this guy go? He`s already thinking, "Gee, if I was in that position, this is how I would lure the child in."
What a bunch of first-class sickolas, all of them.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, but Stacey, the chance of these men being involved is highly remote, and they`re dragging all these people in. And as James Easter said, you know, "They basically ruined my life. They upset my apartment. They accused me of all sorts of things. Now my name is mud."
I mean, when are they going to eliminate these people as persons of interest if they`re not involved?
HONOWITZ: They`ll eliminate them when they have the right person. Because imagine if they never called these people in, Jane. You`d have outrage. They`ve all convicted sex offenders who had contact with this woman. They had no choice but to interview all of them.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. We`re going to continue this debate in a moment.
Why do you think Nevaeh`s mom keeps defending her sex offender friend: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297. Let me know.
Then a New Jersey man fights to get his son back from Brazil. We`ll tell you why the boy is now living in legal limbo and his dad is in a living hell.
First, cops desperately follow leads to find 5-year-old Nevaeh Buchanan. She vanished playing outside with her scooter. Here`s the missing girl`s mom recounting the last time she saw her baby.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUCHANAN: The little girl came in, and she said, "Nevaeh is playing outside in the road on her scooter." So I go outside, and I go to tell her not to play in the road, to stay on the sidewalk. And I couldn`t find her.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUCHANAN: We were friends. And we`ve had contact with each other. But the last time I seen him was like four days ago.
He`s had contact with her. She knows who he is. I mean, I`ve known him for two years. Of course, he`s going to come across her one day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jennifer Buchanan, mother of missing 5-year-old Nevaeh, talking about her friend, George Kennedy, a convicted sex offender. Kennedy says, "I didn`t do it." He`s a person of interest. He said he was actually a father figure to the little girl.
And we`re talking to Shane Hinojosa, the actual father of the missing child. We`re going to get to the phone lines in just a second. They`re jam-packed.
But Shane, what is your reaction? How do you feel when you hear a convicted sex offender saying he was the father figure to your child who is now missing?
HINOJOSA: It upsets me really -- really bad, you know. That, you know, he could, you know, step up and be a father to my daughter. Well, this means nothing. I`m the real father, and the mother should have gave me a chance to prove that I was the father.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, why were you not involved in the child`s life? I know that the child`s mom, you just heard from, Jennifer Buchanan, went to jail. She was in the slammer for 11 months for home invasion. Why didn`t you get the child?
HINOJOSA: I have no idea. You can ask Monroe County that. You know, I went in there, you know, representing myself. I thought I had a good case. And the judge looked at me and said that, you know, "You have no rights to your daughter." So they gave the custody to the grandmother.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: The last question, why weren`t you involved before that? I mean, why weren`t you just there with -- did you break up with Jennifer? What happened?
HINOJOSA: Yes, we broke up. And the girl I`m with now, she was dating Vinnie`s brother, so we took off together. And they held me a grudge for the longest time. That`s the reason why they would not let me see my daughter.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. So you wanted to see your daughter, but you`re saying you couldn`t see her?
HINOJOSA: Oh, yes, I got a stack of phone records, you know, calling to see her. They say, well, I`ll meet you out at your mom`s house at the time, you know. And I`d sit there and wait for hours and hours and hours, and they would never show up.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. I want to thank you. I pray that your little girl is found OK, safe and sound. We`re going to do everything we can on this part. Hopefully, somebody out there knows something.
Phone lines, again, jam-packed.
Shirley in Florida, your question or thought.
CALLER: Yes, ma`am. If the mother, Nevaeh`s mother knowingly subjected that child to the presence of a registered sex offender, I was wanting to know, is there any possible way that she could be charged with child endangerment?
HONOWITZ: Yes, we`ve talked about this before. The neglect statute, sometimes a little overbroad. But certainly it needs to encompass women like this that purposely put their children in harm`s way. If she knowingly had the information that he was a convicted sex offender, and not only allowed him to be, you know, to associate with her child, but knowing that he was breaking his parole violation, she could be charged with neglect.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: George Kennedy...
HONOWITZ: It`s a lesson in futility at this point. We want to find the child first. That`s the most important thing.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: George Kennedy told his (UNINTELLIGIBLE) of late he was a father figure to this little girl. Listen to what Nevaeh`s mom said about that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUCHANAN: In 85 percent of the time, my daughter wouldn`t even be around.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought, though -- weren`t you quoted as saying that George Kennedy was -- served as a father figure?
BUCHANAN: Yes, yes but there`s also a lot of times that I knew that he wasn`t allowed to be around her. I wouldn`t have her around. But there`s a few times that he has seen her, interacted with her, but I was there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So he was never alone with her that you know of?
BUCHANAN: No. Never alone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Curtis Sliwa, he knew that he was violating the terms of his parole by being with the child. You`re required to stay 1,000 feet away from parks and playgrounds. There`s a playground right outside where Nevaeh and her mom lived.
SLIWA: Remember, Jane, this whole Love Boat connection between Kennedy and the mom took place. Where? At the parole board. That`s where they developed that urge to merge.
And the mother, the justification in her mind that most times he wasn`t around, how could she possibly even bring this guy anywhere near her child, knowing what she knew about him, and that he was on parole as a sexual offender? And then the guy himself, he knew he`d go right into the slammer. So I feel no empathy, no sympathy for him, because it didn`t turn out that he was the person responsible.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Liz, Florida, your question or thought, ma`am?
CALLER: Yes. I was just wondering, did they put cadaver dogs out for her?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Michelle Sigona, what do we know about the hunt for the actual child?
SIGONA: Well, the actual hunt, there have been many searches that have taken place. Not just within the apartment complex itself, and every single unit, but also around with dogs, with searchers on the ground, through waterways, whatever way possible.
As I mentioned earlier, today, there have not been any searches as of yet. But if they get a call in the middle of the night that says that Nevaeh may be, you know, two miles away in this particular area of the woods, they will send searchers out there with dogs to search for her.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mike Gaynor -- I`m sorry to interrupt. Mike Gaynor, what do they need to do now? Let`s assume for a second that these three persons of interest aren`t involved. How do they find somebody else with 900 tips?
GAYNOR: Well, they`ve got to go through all those 900 tips and filter them out to see if they come up with and look at the ones that look logical to follow up on. But they have to continue doing what they`re doing. They`re going to following up on the tips. They`re going to keep interviewing these three guys and others. They`re going to canvas the neighborhood. And one way or the other, they`re going to find this little girl. That will be solved.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you, excellent panel. Beautiful.
Tracy Ocasio still missing in Florida. Last seen with James Hataway. Two women come forward saying Hataway attacked them in the past. I`ll tell you why one woman is now coming to his defense.
Plus, more octo craziness. You won`t believe what she says now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: In the "Spotlight" tonight, Octomom Nadya Suleman makes a shocking admission to her best friend, and it was all captured by Radar Online. Listen up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SULEMAN: I screwed myself. I screwed up my life. I screwed up my kids` lives. What do I -- what the heck am I going to do?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did I hear her right? Is the Octomom saying she`s wr-wr-wr-wr-wrong? Having second thoughts? Maybe it has something to do with her older kids wanting to know who their father is?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SULEMAN: They`re asking every day, a couple times a day. It`s good and bad. Just because they think kids at school are starting to talk about it. I told them that when they`re old enough, they can find out where they came from.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What the heck is she doing with that napkin wiping up the table?
News flash, Nadya. Who`s the daddy? That`s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what your kids will want to know about their bizarre situation as they grow older.
With me, Judy Kuriansky, clinical psychologist, Dr. Judy.
Octomom admits she took a man`s sperm and, after having six kids with it, then without his consent, used that sperm inside the frozen embryos to create another eight kids. And now she`s feeling guilty? Now? Too little too late?
DR. JUDY KURIANSKY, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, she is, Jane, a master manipulator. And we`re getting to see it. And I am very concerned about how she said she screwed up her kids. Yes! Those kids are demanding a daddy.
But here`s what I think. She, I think, is goading them to want to know about the daddy, because I think she secretly wants him to come to her. She has wanted her nails in him for a long time. She admitted even some of that. And this is her way to get the kids to be public about demanding it so that she can corner him. And that`s what I think is going on here.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I agree. I agree. She`s absolutely -- you just hit the nail on the head. Octomom, in fact, said she`s, quote, "The ghost that`s haunting the sperm donor`s life."
TMZ reporting the older kids` donor is a man named David Solomon. But then there was Dennis Bodin (ph), seen here on the Web site BrokenCountry.com. He claimed to be the dad. He wanted to take a DNA test.
As for Nadya, she`s not naming names, but she is coming clean about one thing. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SULEMAN: I coerced him into helping me every year.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nadya.
SULEMAN: I coerced him. He was upset when he found out they were frozen. He didn`t give consent for that, and then I went behind his back and used them all. He didn`t want any kids (ph). I feel so much -- I feel so much guilt for that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. She told Radar Online she secretly wanted donor dad to be in her life. I`m starting to wonder if all of this isn`t some kind of octo crash -- crush, crush, and crash -- on donor dad.
KURIANSKY: Yes. Exactly. She wants that man. And this is the way that she can get him. There`s no better way to get a guy than, first of all to get pregnant, and second of all, then to have the kids say, "I want my daddy," which melts the men`s hearts and has to.
So I`m very concerned about how these kids are being manipulated and used in this situation. And then how that is going to affect them later on. Much less the poor guy.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I just can`t imagine. If she had a crush on this man, and managed to get his sperm, and then created all these babies, all because she had an obsession with him, oh, my God, he must be freaking out.
Five seconds, Dr. Judy.
KURIANSKY: Absolutely, he is. And if he`s smart, he won`t fall into the trap.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Got it. Dr. Judy, thank you.
Stunning developments in the disappearance of Tracy Ocasio. Cops focus in on James Hataway. We`ll tell you some shocking details just coming in.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Beautiful 27-year-old Tracy Ocasio vanished after leaving a bar with a man cops say is James Hataway. Now, Hataway`s ex says he would never do anything like this. She must be forgetting Hataway was once convicted of kidnapping. And now, two other women have come forward saying he was violent towards them.
Plus, a global custody battle barrels ahead for a New Jersey dad trying to get his American son back from Brazil. The fate of that boy now in the hands of Brazil`s Supreme Court. I`ll tell you if the boy will be reunited with his American father.
More on the Brazilian custody battle in just moments.
But first, heart-wrenching new developments tonight in the case of missing Florida woman Tracy Ocasio, the beautiful 27-year-old was last seen leaving a bar more than a week ago with a man cops say is James Hataway.
Hataway, the lone person of interest in this case has a lengthy and very disturbing criminal record. He is now being investigated in six cases total: two missing persons cases, four assaults.
Today he sits behind bars on a drug charge. Hataway insists he is innocent, didn`t do it. But he`s not alone. One more person has come out in his defense. An ex-girlfriend and the mother of his only child insists Hataway would never do anything like this.
However, another ex-girlfriend tells a totally, and I mean totally, different story.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JODI WHITE, HATAWAY`S EX-GIRLFRIEND: It freaks me out just to think about it. Because he would jokingly, I mean, choke me and stuff. And ha ha, funny and it really wasn`t funny.
But, you know, with my personality, I just kind of took it as like, he`s joking. This is a joke. I`m still alive. Nothing happened. And I pretty much am thankful now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So happy that beautiful young woman is alive. News flash, when somebody tries to choke you that has ceases to be a fun game. But I applaud that woman for having the courage to come out and tell the world what happened to her.
I also talked to Tracy`s devastated parents last night about this man who was the last person to see their precious daughter.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE OCASIO, FATHER OF TRACY OCASIO: We`re losing hope in a way, but we`re hoping that that something else happened. But we also are -- we really realize that there`s more to it, and this guy knows something. Either he`s done something to her, or he knows something about her that can help us solve this problem and get our daughter back.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: They are going through total hell. It has now been almost ten days, still no sign of their daughter. So much to get to tonight.
Straight to my fantastic expert panel: Stacey Honowitz, Florida prosecutor; Judy Kuriansky, a.k.a. Dr. Judy, noted psychologist; and Curtis Sliwa, founder of the Guardian Angels; plus, by phone, reporter Rozzie Franco with WFLA in Orlando.
Rozzie, you`re tracking this case, what is the very latest?
ROZZIE FRANCO, WFLA, ORLANDO (via telephone): Well, Jane, you touched on it. There are six more cases that have surfaced since his arrest.
Two women have spoken out, I think most importantly, and told authorities they feared for their lives. Both eerie similarities, both women had given Hataway an actual ride home from the local bar. And also, one of Hataway`s closest friends is also missing.
The bottom line here, things don`t look good for Hataway. Despite the assault charges, he`s now front and center as a person of interest in the Jennifer Kesse case, which is unsolved. And we know she went missing three years ago.
Now, what`s interesting about this is Kesse`s home was right next to the Tarpoon Bar where he actually picked up Tracy that night.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, this is absolutely unbelievable. There you`re looking at a picture of Jennifer Kesse. She`s been missing for more than three years and just vanished, never seen again. But there was this photo of a suspect who had parked the car, and unfortunately at the time that the photo was taken, the man`s face was blocked by -- there you see it. See, the man`s face is blocked by some kind of barricade.
You know, a fence, a wrought iron fence.
And as soon as, Rozzie, as soon as this case broke, my understanding is that Jennifer Kesse`s dad, who`s been trying to find out who this man is, immediately thought, "I`m going to call the cops to see if this man is the person of interest in Tracy Ocasio`s disappearance."
FRANCO: More than that, Jane, he showed up there at the Maitland Police Department and when he was mauled by reporters, he simply said, "I`m here to find out what`s going on in Jennifer`s investigation. And I want to know why my daughter`s home was right beside the bar that he seems to hang out in." And also, she worked in Okoe where his home was.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Curtis Sliwa, it boggles my mind that this guy was out on the street. It was a neighboring county where he allegedly got a ride home with another woman less than a year ago, and according to that woman, she has said that she was in Seminole County, gave him a ride home from a bar.
He allegedly, according to her, tried to strangle her when she got out of the car. He chased her down and allegedly slammed her head against the ground. But it was never prosecuted. And the explanation was he vanished.
But he only vanished to the neighboring county. That`s like we commute from county to county for a job.
CURTIS SLIWA, GUARDIAN ANGELS: Jane, Jane, I`ve been down in Florida. I have Guardian Angels in Florida. Everyone has their own little fiefdoms -- everyone`s a sheriff, everyone is in charge of their own police department. They don`t share information. They don`t have like super task force agencies that cover whole regions.
And that`s how a lot of these cretins end up slipping through the cracks. But wait, what a piece of work. The baby mama claiming, hey, did you know that he was into poetry? Barbecue? And outdoor living? I thought this was like the dating game. You know, pick bachelor one, two, or three, he`s such a great guy. Maybe she`ll go to jail and offer him a conjugal visit. This gets crazier by the moment.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: James Hataway, says Tracy asked to come to his house to smoke pot but left because she didn`t like the drugs. Unfortunately Tracy is not around to defend herself against those claims by this person of interest.
Let`s listen to Hataway claim he is innocent.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tracy...
JAMES HATAWAY, LAST PERSON SEEN WITH OCASIO: I`m innocent.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What happened the last night with her?
HATAWAY: She left. I hung out with my father.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And what did you guys do that night?
HATAWAY: We just hung out. She gave me a ride home.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What did she say to you where she was going? Did she tell anything to you about where she was going?
HATAWAY: No, nothing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, Debbie Magids, do you see how blaze and nonchalant he is. What is your analysis of this character?
All right, ok, Stacey, you`re the Florida prosecutor, what is your analysis of this character?
STACEY HONOWITZ, FLORIDA PROSECUTOR: Well, listen Jane, I mean, you know, these reporters are asking him questions. He`s certainly not going to stand up there and say I`m the one that did it. He`s not going to answer in the way in which we want him to answer. He`s very blaze. What concerns me is that fact that these other reports are coming out now.
How many of these other women did go to a state attorney, did do the police report and did actually file charges. Because what happens, unfortunately, when a case like this breaks, when a girl goes missing, that`s when everyone comes out of the woodwork. And that`s why it`s so important for women who find themselves in this position to follow through.
If there`s an attack on you, go to the police, go to the state attorney and don`t turn around five days later and say, I don`t want to prosecute. Because what happens is, a guy like this ends up out there.
Why he was never prosecuted in the first case, why there wasn`t a warrant in the computer after she made this complaint, because the fugitive squad can go and try to look for him. So I don`t know why the neighboring counties never got involved. But it should be a message out there to women who are too frightened to come forward, this is ultimately what happens.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Judy, what do you see when you see this guy, what he does, the way he acts, his nonchalance?
DR. JUDY KURIANSKY, PSYCHOLOGIST: I see that he`s a suspicious character, and there`s no way that he can`t cover up. Why would he admit it? Of course he`s going to deny it.
What even worries me worse, Jane, is there were women who fall for this kind of character. The women who go for him, who think he`s attractive, who think he`s cool. I`m sure he acts really kind of tough.
That nonchalance that you were mentioning, or the blaze, gets girls sometimes. And what I would like is for women not to fall for these rats and have their rat antenna up so that they can tell this is not a guy for them to be flirting around with.
HONOWITZ: You`ll never be able to tell, Judy.
KURIANSKY: Oh that`s not -- you are so wrong. You are so wrong.
HONOWITZ: I`m not wrong about that.
KURIANSKY: Yes, you are. Girl you are not giving women enough credit to be able to...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Wait a second. Somebody gave me a gavel and I finally got a chance to use it. This was...
HONOWITZ: All I`m saying is...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s have one person talk at a time.
HONOWITZ: All I`m saying, Judy, is you know sometimes it`s very easy to blame the woman and to say, how stupid were you to fall for this kind of stuff. I see a lot of these cases all the time. On the outside, sometimes you just never know.
Listen, you have people that are going to say, he`s fabulous, he`s this, he reads poetry. You can`t always say women should have their radar up. You should be very cautious, you should be cautious, but you don`t always know what you`re getting yourself into.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we certainly don`t want to blame the women...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: ...for the behavior of the men.
Let`s face it, the Ann Pressly case, that beautiful anchor woman who was in her home minding her own business when a guy went in and brutally raped and killed her. You can be at home minding your own business and still be a victim of violence.
Let`s not blame women for being at bars, and let`s not blame woman for even giving somebody a ride home out of perhaps the goodness of their hearts, Dr. Judy.
HONOWITZ: Well, that I think is stupid. I hate to say it, but that I think is stupid. You got a stranger and you let the stranger in -- that is a dumb move.
KURIANSKY: Jane, in this day and age, letting somebody into your car when you don`t know his character is maybe sweet and you`re a kind person and most do it, but I wouldn`t recommend it for anybody else.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, all right. Well, thank you all for your incredible insight.
More sick sex-crimes care of Craigslist: cops hunting for a man who was hired through Craigslist to rape another man`s wife. You won`t believe the stomach-churning details.
And the global battle over David Goldman`s son heats up. Brazil Supreme Court is set to decide if the American boy will be reunited with his New Jersey dad.
1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297. Sound off on this frustrating, international global mess.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Will a young American boy living in legal limbo in Brazil be reunited with his American dad? I will analyze that nightmare in a moment.
But first, "Top of the Block" tonight.
This one really takes the cake. I`ve never seen anything or heard anything like this before. Sick, twisted sexual violence care of Craigslist -- North Carolina cops hunting for a man they say was hired to rape a woman.
Investigators say the woman`s husband, Travis, hired the man on Craigslist to rape his wife, specifying that he wanted the man to use scare tactics. So early Sunday morning, the hired man allegedly woke up the 28- year-old mother of two and raped her at knife point while her husband watched. And the kids were asleep right down the hall.
Thanks to computer tracking, cops have a good lead on a suspect. The husband, already charged with rape, behind bars.
Now, after the infamous Craigslist killer case, the popular Web site promised to clean up it`s erotic services section and rename it adult services. Whatever, call it whatever you want, that`s not going to stop nut jobs from fulfilling their sick fantasies.
Tomorrow here on ISSUES, we will have full complete coverage and analysis of that extraordinarily sick, sick, sick case.
That is tonight`s "Top of the Block."
Turning now to a heart-breaking story we`ve been following: the New Jersey dad, desperately trying to get his son back from Brazil. Five years ago David Goldman`s wife said, "Bye-bye, honey, I`m going on vacation to Brazil with our son Sean. I`m going to see you in two weeks." Never came back.
Not only that, she divorces him, remarries in Brazil and then dies giving birth to her new hubby`s child. Dad recalled the fateful day he lost his son to CNN`s Larry King.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID GOLDMAN, FIGHTING FOR CUSTODY OF SON: June 16th, 2004, my son was abducted. I drove them to the airport, with blessings to go on a healthy, happy, safe, two-week vacation. And they say that because I allowed that, that`s not an abduction.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Then this. The Brazilian step-dad was given custody of Goldman`s son. Well, dad never gave up fighting for his little boy. On Monday, a Brazilian court finally ruled that Goldman would get his son back.
But then he flies all the way to Brazil, only to learn that ruling suspended; bait and switch. Brazil`s Supreme Court will take up the case, but not until June 10th. Meantime, dad, left in legal limbo once again, flying home depressed.
Call me to weigh in with your thoughts on this global custody battle; a total mess.
Straight to my fabulous expert panel: Vikki Ziegler, family law attorney; Debbie Magids, psychologist; Curtis Sliwa, founder of the "Guardian Angel;" and Mark DeAngelis, founder of BringSeanhome.org and a close friend of the Goldman family.
Mark, I know you`ve been talking to David. What is his emotional state like? I can`t imagine flying all the way to Brazil thinking you`re going to get your son, and then once you`re there, told, "Never mind. We`ve got a whole bunch of stuff that we`ve got to do before we decide that. We`re going to take it to the Supreme Court of Brazil. You can go home. And we`re going to have a decision possibly on June 10th."
MARK DEANGELIS, BRINGSEANHOME.ORG: Well, you`re right. I`m almost speechless. I think from David`s point of view, this has happened so many times, he`s been down there more than ten times since the abduction took place.
I hate to say it, but he`s actually used to it. He`s very good at keeping his emotions in check. And he`s strong, I spoke to him on the phone this morning.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: How is the kid? How is the kid? How`s the son?
DEANGELIS: Sean is doing well. David, even though he wasn`t able to bring Sean home this time, he did have a number of successful visitations. He saw Sean yesterday. And he saw him again today.
And despite everything that`s being -- despite how this child is being poisoned by the people who -- who are surrounding him down in Brazil, their bond hasn`t been broken. And that`s the most important thing. He`s -- under the circumstances, he has had unbelievably good visitations with Sean. So we`re encouraged by that.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Vikki Ziegler, you`re the divorce attorney. This is all based on the notion well -- the kid has been in Brazil for years, therefore, he`s used to it, therefore it`s better for him. And they`re arguing that it could harm him psychologically to be abruptly quote, unquote "moved from that location, brought back to New Jersey to live with his dad."
What is your thought on that? Because I mean, I think that there`s so many other ways to handle it. If that`s what they are really concerned about, if that`s a real concern, then why not create some kind of situation where over the course of three months, dad gets to spend time with the son before ultimately taking him back with him to New Jersey?
VIKKI ZIEGLER, FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY: Absolutely, Jane. I mean, first of all, why wasn`t this child returned in 2004 when the child was actually abducted by the birth mother. I mean, the question becomes they are a signatory, Brazil to the Hague Convention. They have not complied with this treaty, whatsoever.
And the question now becomes, they`re using an exception, a very narrow exception to the Hague Convention that says if this child will be psychologically harmed if returned to the biological father, then Brazil has jurisdiction and can maintain custody over this child.
This is outrageous. They have created the psychological harm, if there is any, with this new -- the step-parent. So at this point, I mean, I am in shock, and enraged that this child has not been returned to Mr. Goldman.
But be that as it may, there is no reason why the stepfather can`t down the road perhaps have a visitation schedule and say listen, maybe I can visit the child when I come to the United States. However, it`s reversed. The custodial parent -- the parent, Mr. Goldman has had his rights struck from him; have been taken from Brazil and improperly. It`s outrageous.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, David Goldman obviously very worried about his son`s mental and emotional well-being as this custody battle drags on. Listen to what he told CNN`s "Larry King Live."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID GOLDMAN, FATHER OF SEAN GOLDMAN: According to the reports from the psychologists and the judges and the prosecutors that they`re saying some pretty bad things and doing some serious emotional damage.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Debbie Magids, psychologist, what is this kid going through? He`s got to know at the age of that he`s the subject of this tug- of-war and has conflicting loyalties. Also, he`s lost his mom, she died and it`s got to be very, very emotionally challenging for this kid.
DEBBIE MAGIDS, PSYCHOLOGIST: This child is suffering more than anyone else and I have great respect for David Goldman because he`s putting the best interest of his child where nobody else is. He`s not telling him everything that they`re doing, keeping certain information because he wants to keep his son happy.
This son was dragged away from his father, he went through abandonment there. He just lost his mother. He`s being kept in a home where it`s not really his original home. He needs to be with his biological father.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I agree with you. We`ll be back in just a moment with more debate.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: The "Big Tease" tonight: rape for hire. A woman in North Carolina raped after her own husband allegedly hired another man to do it while he watched. The husband has been charged with rape himself, but cops are still searching for the actual perpetrator of the rape.
Tomorrow on ISSUES we will analyze this sick, sick case in-depth with the very, very latest.
Now back to the custody battle that has become an international tug- of-war. Even Hillary Clinton and President Obama weighing in, but what we have here, two very different cultures with two sets of laws. Both of these countries signatories of the Hague Abduction Convention, a treaty that is supposed to resolve this kind of case.
You know, Vikki Zeigler, I`ve been to Rio, it`s a wonderful place. A great place, wonderful people, for the most part, but there are international laws. Why aren`t the international laws working here?
VIKKI ZIEGLER, DIVORCE ATTORNEY: Well, they say that Brazil in a non- compliance report is rarely complying with the Hague Convention. So it behooves me to think that they voluntarily signed on to the Hague Convention, stating that they would promptly return children that were abducted and are not. And that`s what`s so questionable. I mean, really no one knows why.
There are also 50 children from the U.S. that are still in limbo and living in Brazil.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, this is only one of 50 cases.
Joan, Nevada. Your question or thought, ma`am?
JOAN, NEVADA (via telephone): Yes, I called to find out if they checked the citizenship laws because as they apply to children the mother`s a Brazilian citizen and had the child out of the country and that child has dual citizenship. When she takes that child back to Brazil, that child becomes a Brazilian citizen.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I don`t know if I buy that, Curtis Sliwa.
SLIWA: Look, I`ve been in Brazil and I have Guardian Angels in Rio de Janeiro. There is a strong anti-American feeling there as we have towards Castro and Cuba. But when we faced that dilemma during the Clinton administration we took the young boy from Dade County and we gave him back to his father which was the right thing in Cuba each though we didn`t like Cuba and we didn`t like Castro. He belonged with the father.
This father, David Goodman (sic), good man, not a degenerate, not a dope fiend and not an alcoholic and cares about his son. Brazil and its President Lula who does not like America as many of the officials need to put aside their differences with us, take care of this family and give the child back to the father. And arrange it so that the stepfather and his second family have visitation rights.
VELEZ-MTICHELL: Well, listen, I don`t want to attack all of Brazil for the stupid decisions of a few people in power, but I really do hope and pray that this American dad gets his child back.
Thanks for joining us. You`re watching ISSUES.