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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
Body of Missing Actor Found; Mom Accused of Selling Daughter Released from Jail
Aired February 25, 2010 - 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, infuriating new developments in the horrifying rape and murder of Shaniya Davis. Cops say this little girl was sold into prostitution by her mother, all to settle a drug debt. Tonight, the ultimate shocker. This woman has been freed from jail. And she`s pregnant again. Her 5-year-old daughter is dead. She`s accused of selling her into hell. Why on earth was she released from jail?
And terror at Seaworld. A trainer killed by a killer whale, all in front of a live audience. What provoked this attack? Critics say these powerful animals are kept in the human equivalent of a bathtub. Could this tragic death have been avoided? Should all these whales now be set free? We`ll debate it.
Plus, the mystery escalates. Where are the McStays? It`s now been three weeks since anyone laid eyes on this missing California family. Tonight, a stunning new clue. Reports claim the missing mom changed her name just days before she vanished, and cops say she could have as many as six aliases. Could this be connected to their disappearance?
ISSUES starts now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: First, we have some fast-breaking and very tragic news just coming into ISSUES. Police are investigating the discovery of a body found in Vancouver. It is believed to be that of former "Growing Pains" star Andrew Koenig.
The actor vanished on February 14. Family members said he was suffering from depression, and they had feared for his safety.
A police news conference is planned for less than an hour from now, 8 p.m. tonight. Andrew`s parents are reportedly going to be there.
The body was reportedly found at Stanley Park, a park in Vancouver, that Andrew loved, and a spot he frequently visited. His parents and sister have been totally frantic, begging for the actor to return home. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUDY LEVITT KOENIG, ANDREW`S MOTHER: With somebody who is depressed and not on medication, as parents, we always look for -- there`s things that -- a pattern that you look for. And we`re always concerned.
As it is, the experiences that he -- things that he`d been going through that -- that didn`t form a whole picture, because people who had observed certain things did not know us. There was a certain pattern of, you know, closing out things, giving away things. That -- there is not the network that could have put all this together.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Early this week, cops had held out hope. They had gotten several reported sightings of the star and announced they were still looking for a living human being. Andrew`s friends hoped desperately that he just wanted a fresh start. He had cleaned out his apartment in Venice, California. He had talked about moving back to Vancouver, a place he called his place of solace.
Just yesterday, search and rescue teams scoured this very same park and found no signs of Andrew.
He was a very good friend of mine. I worked with him in the past on this program you see this right here, VegTV. He was a wonderful, caring, sensitive soul. And if this body is that of Andrew, as it appears, and I don`t believe law enforcement would announce that in a press release if they didn`t know for a fact that that was true, but we`ll hear in less than an hour, what a tragic loss. What a tragic, tragic loss.
Joining me now, Marie Oser, a friend of mine, who worked with Andrew and me, and she is the host of VegTV. Marie, I find this almost surreal and incomprehensible, that vibrant young man that you and I worked with, who was such a great editor and photographer and sometimes appeared on camera, and was so caring and such a wonderful environmentalist and activist, dead. It -- I have no words, Marie.
MARIE OSER, VEGTV (via phone): I free. Incomprehensible. I am -- I am just so shocked and saddened. I hope that -- I hope it`s not him. I really do.
And, you know, Andrew, yes, caring and compassionate. He was a wonderful human being. And, yes, a great editor and a photographer. And so kind to me. You know, Jane, in the early years of VegTV, I was an on- camera rookie, you know, and he never told me how badly I sucked. He was very kind to me, and he was good in the edit bay. He made me look good.
So I`m really shocked and devastated, and I hope -- I hope that it`s not so.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, again, I`m reading from a press release issued by the Vancouver police. Vancouver police investigating the discovery of a body found in Stanley Park around noon today. The body is believed to be that of Andrew Koenig. So I really don`t think that cops would say that unless they -- and obviously, he hasn`t been missing that long that it would be impossible to identify. So it looks really, really grim.
Stay there, Marie. I want to get back to you. But Dr. Dale Archer, clinical psychiatrist. His parents said that he suffered from depression all his life and that he had gone off his meds something like a year ago. That is always very dangerous.
DALE ARCHER, CLINICAL PSYCHIATRIST: Yes, it`s very dangerous. And clinical depression is caused by a chemical imbalance of the brain. We know now that in many cases it`s a lifetime illness.
And what often happens is a person will take the meds. They`ll start feeling better. They`ll feel like they`re well, and then they`ll stop the meds. But it can take months for the relapse to occur.
Our thinking now is that, if you relapse one time from a severe major depressive episode and have to go back on meds again, you probably need to be on meds for life.
And so I think that when we hear the story here that he wanted to make a new start, and he was cleaning things out, and preparing to move, on the one hand, it could have been a new start. Unfortunately, on the other hand, it could have been that he was actually preparing for something worse.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, his life story is so fascinating, because I worked with him for more than two years. And Marie, I think you can back me up on this. He never told us his father was Walter Koenig, who played Chekov on the original "Star Trek."
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Never. And apparently when people did reveal this, people who knew it, he got upset with them, and said, "Don`t -- don`t say that." And a friend of his actually -- there you have -- there`s our dear friend, Andrew, talking about saving living Christmas trees. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDREW KOENIG, ACTOR: Grow and continue to be live trees.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. That was just a taste of Andrew, so you could get to see what he looked and sounded like.
He never told us that he was a son of this famous actor. He wanted to keep that a secret, apparently, and got upset with people when they mentioned it. And he also didn`t tell me for two long years that he was a star on "Growing Pains." And I know we have some video of "Growing Pains," where he played Boner. He apparently was not too happy about that experience.
And we all know, Dr. Dale Archer, that child stars, when they grow up, often have a very traumatic time of it. They get this adulation at a very young age, and then Hollywood kind of discards them. And even though he was a very, very talented editor and photographer, and we worked with him, Marie and I did, he obviously wanted to be an actor. And it`s hard to go from being on "Growing Pains" and stuck with the name Boner to perhaps serious roles in film, and that had to be very depressing for him.
ARCHER: Well, I think that you have a combination. What you have is the fact that he was a child star and had that adulation, but from what it sounds like, with his level of depression and how long it was going on, I think that this was a separate episode, and this was biologic in nature.
But the hallmark of depression, of course, is low self esteem. And oftentimes, these people feel like they`re a fraud. They feel like they`re really never good enough. And even when they make great accomplishments, they don`t believe that it was really them, that it was somehow luck.
So this would explain, in many cases, why he would not want to talk about the things he had done, why he wouldn`t want to talk about who his father was. I mean, it just all really dovetails together. And I think at the ends of the day, it`s just a message, a wake-up call for America, that depression can be fatal. You have to -- have to understand that this is a serious and often life-long illness.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And, again, up until we got this announcement just before air time, we were all hoping and praying that Andrew was alive. In fact, yesterday, his father, Walter, Koenig, who played Chekov on "Star Trek" issued a tearful plea and desperate to Andrew, "Hey, you don`t have to come home if you don`t want to."
Listen to what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WALTER KOENIG, ANDREW`S FATHER: We just want to know that you`re OK. And if that means want to stay here, you to -- you know, change your life and stay here, and -- fine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Kim Serafin, you have been tracking this story. This is such a tragedy. I don`t know if I mentioned to you that I`m a personal friend of Andrew`s. One of the most compassionate, caring, kind, ethical human beings I have ever met. One of the most clean-cut. Never saw him pick up a drop of alcohol. Forget about drugs. Wouldn`t ever touch that. Was very careful about what he ate.
And yet now we`re hearing that he may have done something to himself, because Vancouver police say that they discovered the body they believe to be him, and the obvious -- the obvious thing that you`re looking at here is suicide.
KIM SERAFIN, REPORTER (via phone): Yes. I mean, it`s really terrible. And, of course, you cover a lot of people in Hollywood, as do I. And Hollywood is a tough town. Because your career can be up one day and down the next, and you cannot work for five years and then work again. You could maybe not work ever again. It`s a really tough town.
And as you mentioned, a lot of actors turn to drugs, turn to alcohol. We hear this numerous times. So to hear you say this about him, that he was so clean-cut, even though he did suffer from depression, obviously, maybe people wouldn`t have expected this from him. But it is a tough town.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I have to say, it`s very sad for me to say that the police have just confirmed that it is him. So Andrew Koenig is -- is dead. Forty-one years old. A wonderful guy. A caring guy. Marie...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to go back to you. You know, the world is really tough on people who are sensitive. This guy was sensitive. He cared about everything, even -- even Christmas trees. He didn`t want us to kill them. He said, just plant a living one so you don`t have to kill a tree. He cared about animals. He didn`t eat them. And he cared about the environment, was very careful. Just drank water. I never saw him drink anything but water.
This guy was so pure. And yet it appears he took his own life. This just kills me, Marie.
OSER: It`s heartbreaking, Jane. It`s just heartbreaking. And I think about -- I think about Andrew. I remember him as being, you know, introspective, quiet. You know, there`s a fine line, maybe, between -- between when you try and recognize this in a person. It`s a tough business. It`s hard on all of us. We all get beat up a lot, you know?
And if you`re sensitive, and you absorb -- I remember -- or I think of Andrew -- I should say, I think of Andrew as someone who actually took the injustices of the world to heart. He actually absorbed it. And, you know, many of us who fight animal, you know -- who fight for the rights of animals, who care compassionately about -- about what goes on in the world, what happens to people and animals and -- we try not to absorb it. And sometimes it just becomes too much. And I am so, so sad. I`m heartbroken. I really am.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. He -- it`s like he didn`t have a denial mechanism. It wasn`t so much that he ever seemed sad for himself. He seemed sad for what was happening around him in the world: the destruction of the environment, the cruelty to animals. These were his passions, and this is what hurt him.
And that`s why I say he was such a pure soul, because he didn`t really care for himself. He never took anything for himself. He lived simply. And yet I think that the cruelty of the world just overwhelmed him.
I know that they say that depression is a chemical imbalance, but I really feel that philosophically he was tortured, because he really felt the world`s pain.
Stand by. We have more on this breaking story. Once again, the body of "Growing Pains" star Andrew Koenig has been found in Vancouver. He was a child star who struggled in Hollywood, and it appears he has taken his own life.
More in a moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
W. KOENIG: He went up there to see his friends. He has some very close friends up there, and Vancouver is the place that he really felt most comfortable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, very sad news, breaking news to report. Andrew Koenig, the star of "Growing Pains," that hit show in the `80s, found dead in Vancouver. He had been missing since Valentine`s Day.
There he is on "Growing Pains," a child star, another child star in Hollywood, suffering a very sad ending. It would appear that he took his own life. We do not have that information officially confirmed. But he was reported missing by his parents after he missed a flight back to Los Angeles from Vancouver. He lived in Venice, California.
And Vancouver police have confirmed they found a body in Stanley Park today around noon. And that was the area that he was last seen at his favorite bakery, and a park that he enjoyed visiting.
Jim Moret, you have covered show business for long. This is, unfortunately, a story we see over and over again with these child stars who grow up and are discarded by Hollywood and end up struggling and becoming despondent.
JIM MORET, CHIEF CORRESPONDENT, "INSIDE EDITION" (via phone): Well, I think, Jane, this is a little bit different. I talked to Andrew`s sister this week, and she wanted to make a point very clear. And that`s when he was simply missing, and they were hoping to find him alive.
She said, this is not a typical child star who is involved with drugs or alcohol or got into trouble with the law. He was a good guy. He was a wonderful brother, a terrific uncle and a great son. But he did battle depression for years.
And I do know that, you know, there are many child stars that do feel as you say, discarded. But I don`t know that it was Hollywood specifically that made Andrew upset. I think it was -- it was a different issue with him. And I think that he simply -- he, as you were talking about, had a tremendous amount of empathy. He`s -- and he was very depressed. And it was something that he battled for a long, long time.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Jim, I agree with you. Having worked with him for a couple years, and we became quite friendly, I can tell you, he was the most clean-cut guy. He did -- never saw him take a sip of alcohol. He would always drink water, never did drugs. Very clean-cut. Never used a curse word. He absolutely shunned vulgarity.
He was really almost like an old-fashioned young man, and is I say young because he`s younger than me. And he had that sort of gentlemanly quality about him and a sensitivity that now I can look back and say maybe that sensitivity that I saw was depression.
But what I saw was a person who really cared. Cared about not just his own self interests, but cared about the state of the world. And I especially think it`s a combination of things. Yes, there could have been a chemical imbalance. He suffered from depression all his life.
But I do know, Jim, he never told me his father was Walter Koenig, who played Chekov on "Star Trek." Never mentioned it. His friends say he didn`t want that to be mentioned.
And he also -- took him two-and-a-half years to tell me he was on "Growing Pains." And I remember we were driving around in Venice Circle on day. And he said something about, "Yes, when I was on Growing Pains."
I said, "You were on Growing Pains?"
So I think there was a sense of not -- sort of wanting to distance himself from the showbiz aspect. What do you think, Jim?
MORET: I think you may be right. But, you know, look, you and I have known many people who have battled depression. I battle depression. It`s the kind of thing where you can`t say to someone, everything is going to be OK. Don`t worry about it. Because, frankly, you feel alone.
And I think -- you know, talking to his sister, he went to Vancouver because that`s where he felt comfortable. That`s where he had friends. That`s where he wanted to be.
I know that one of his neighbors found in the trash can his SAG card, which he threw away.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. I know. We`ll leave it right there. Thank you, Jim. So sad. So very sad.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, a new wave of outrage in the sickening case of little Shaniya Davis. Her mom, Antoinette, is accused of selling her precious 5-year-old into prostitution. The man who allegedly bought Shaniya is accused of raping and murdering her by strangling her.
And now this 25-year-old mom is free on bond. That`s right. Antoinette Davis walked out of a North Carolina jail on Sunday. A relative helped post the $51,000 bail. Fifty-one grand? Seriously? Does that bail amount really reflect the incomprehensible crime she is accused of? This is a woman who allegedly prostituted her own child and had the nerve to report this bogus 911 call to report the child missing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTOINETTE DAVIS, ACCUSED OF SELLING DAUGHTER: I woke up this morning, and my daughter was not in the house. I don`t know if she walked out or -- I don`t know what`s going on. But she`s not here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Police say Antoinette sold her daughter to Mario McNeill in November to settle a drug debt. Less than a week later, little Shaniya`s body found off a country road. This little girl suffered an unthinkable death, and her mom tonight is relaxing at her aunt`s house? Are police even monitoring her?
We have with us tonight Bradley Lockhart, little Shaniya`s father. Before we get to the rest of our fantastic panel, I have to ask Bradley, what is your reaction to this -- it kind of amounts to a get-out-of-jail- cheap card, Bradley.
BRADLEY LOCKHART, SHANIYA`S FATHER (via phone): Very unsettled with it all. Extremely unsettled. People are getting higher bonds for robbing somebody. She literally killed her daughter, and for her to get out on $51,000. I said at the beginning of all this that I would let the justice system and God to handle it. Apparently, the justice system`s telling me I`ve just got God to believe in.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And Bradley, your precious daughter is dead, and we find out that this woman is pregnant again. She is carrying another child. What is your reaction to her being released on bail as a pregnant woman? Because some might say, hey, that`s an incentive to flee. Who wants to have -- give birth to a child behind bars?
LOCKHART: Personally, I don`t feel she deserves to have another kid. And I don`t -- I don`t know if they`re letting her out because of the pregnancy. I just hope that she does better by it if she`s given the opportunity than she did by Shaniya.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What do you know? Did law enforcement inform you that she was going to get out? Do we know if she`s got a GPS device attached to her ankle or she`s under house arrest, or is she just free to come and go as she pleases?
LOCKHART: I learned of her being released on bond yesterday afternoon, pretty much when the public was aware. I got a call from a local news station. So, no, I haven`t been in contact with the district attorney. They did not contact me. The police department didn`t contact me. Nobody has contacted me. I`m a little upset about that, as well.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do you think you should have been contacted?
LOCKHART: Yes. Just like the Department of Social Services. They`re withholding information. They should have come to me and told me something. I`m trying to stay positive in this whole thing. And they make it easy to turn negative real quick.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We have so many questions and a fantastic panel. And in a moment, we`re going to talk about the bail. She only had to possibly put up 5 clams to get out. This woman, who allegedly sold her precious daughter into prostitution.
Up next, a team of experts to analyze what is wrong with our broken criminal justice system?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel robbed. And I feel Shaniya was robbed. She was very intelligent, and she had such a wonderful, kind soul.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was little Shaniya`s aunt, devastated, after finding out that her niece had been sold by the child`s own mother, allegedly, to pay off a drug debt. The child was then raped and murdered.
Lisa Bloom, why isn`t this mother charged with accessory to murder? And I`ll direct that at Judge David Young.
JUDGE DAVID YOUNG, FORMER MIAMI-DADE COUNTY JUDGE: Well, I don`t -- I am, like, completely flabbergasted with this whole case. The entire -- entire justice system in that county went down the toilet, as far as I`m concerned.
YOUNG: She should have been charged and she should never have been given the bail, the bond that she was given. What the judge did was outrageous. What the prosecution did was outrageous. What the Department of Children and Family in that area has done is outrageous. This little girl never received justice and that is a crime in itself, Jane.
MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I disagree, Jane.
EIGLARSH: Jane, I disagree. I loved David Young. He is a wonderful person, and he was a phenomenal judge. But even he when I came before him would consider the facts and circumstances.
What she did, allegedly was deplorable and reprehensible. But a bond is specifically for two purposes. They analyze to make sure that she is not a risk of flight or a danger to the community.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Isn`t she a risk of flight? She is pregnant. I mean, would you want --
EIGLARSH: Jane, Jane -- she doesn`t own a private jet. Probably doesn`t own a passport. Might have not traveled in the last 50 -- you know, however long she has been on this earth.
In other words, there are specific factors that you and I are not aware of, nor is Judge David Young to make comments that the system is just deplorable and everybody dropped the ball.
EIGLARSH: If she comes back to court and answers for the charges, then justice has been served for that component.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me --
EIGLARSH: If she gets a slap on the wrist then something is wrong.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you, Mark.
Well let me get to my big issue, because here is my big issue. $51,000, really? Seriously? What is 10 percent of $50,000? 5 clams?
EIGLARSH: For her, a lot of money.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Five clams?
YOUNG: The thing is that the psychological effect of some crimes is much more significant than the criminal act. I mean, this is as bad as you can imagine. This is a woman who sold her child into sex slavery. I mean, this can be a million-dollar bond. This is unbelievable.
EIGLARSH: But you`re not -- again --
YOUNG: Let`s see what we know. We know she was pregnant. We know that she gave her child up to the father to raise the child. We know that when she was arrested, she was pregnant. And she obviously did not care about the -- her baby if she is selling drugs to live and she gave her 5- year-old daughter up.
EIGLARSH: David --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, listen --
YOUNG: Hold on. She gave her -- she gave her 5-year-old daughter up in a sex trade for drugs. And then you leave her pregnant and leave her out of jail? Are you kidding?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hold it, guys.
EIGLARSH: All that is deplorable and reprehensible. But what does that have to do with whether she is going to flee the jurisdiction, whether she has the means. Obviously, as you know, judges have to consider certain criteria. What is her risk assessment here?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Listen. I want to read something because we did -- we did a little compilation here of the bail for some other people.
All right? Let`s take a look at, for example, Doctor Conrad Murray. Doctor Conrad Murray. You remember him?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok, the doctor who treated Michael Jackson?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: He is accused of involuntary manslaughter. His bond was set at $75,000.
Now, let`s go to Ronald Cummings, the father of missing Haleigh Cummings. He is in jail on drug charges. And his bond was set at $900,000 for drug charges. His ex-wife, Misty Croslin, is in jail on drug charges. Her bond is at $1.35 million. And the piece de resistance, Casey Anthony, accused of killing her daughter Caylee, her bond is half a million dollars.
So once again, I have to say, Judge David Young, really? Seriously? $51,000? And 10 percent of that is approximately 5 grand? And you sold, allegedly, your daughter into prostitution? And she was raped and murdered?
YOUNG: I agree with Mark. Everyone is presumed innocent, but there are so many red flags in this case. I would have done an evaluation, a mental evaluation. She is obviously an addict.
$51,000, never in God green`s earth would that ever happen in Judge David Young`s even for Mark Eiglarsh. Never.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Bradley, you`re upset that -- you know, your precious daughter has been lost. And yet they didn`t inform you that they were doing this. Are you going to stay on top of the rest of this to make sure that justice is done?
BRADLEY LOCKHART, SHANIYA DAVIS` FATHER: Well, absolutely. Working hand-in-hand with my attorney, and he is actually checking on it today. But we`re going to be vigilant and ensuring that her name doesn`t get forgotten. And that Antoinette sees justice, along with this Mr. McNeill (ph) fellow.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And is she a flight risk in your opinion, Bradley?
LOCKHART: She is unstable, so she is a risk in general -- she`s a risk to society. She should have never been released. In worst case -- she just better hope that someone is protecting her because there`s a lot of people that reached out that want to hurt her. And I just hope that doesn`t happen. She might have been better off staying behind bars.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow, you raise an important point that maybe behind bars would have been safer because of the extraordinarily controversial nature of her alleged actions.
Thank you, fantastic panel, for that lively debate. We`re going to stay on top of that story.
Next, a SeaWorld trainer attacked and killed by a killer whale. But could this have been avoided? Why are these massive, beautiful animals being used as entertainment? A debate next.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: An all-out debate has erupted in the wake of the death of a beautiful veteran whale trainer at SeaWorld. Did this tragedy happen because a wild animal was kept in captivity?
These images were captured just moments before the deadly attack yesterday at the Orlando Amusement Park. Witnesses horrified when 40-year- old Dawn Brancheau was yanked underwater and held there by a 12,300-pound killer whale named Tilikum.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAULA GILLESPIE, SHE & HER DAUGHTER SAW ATTACK: And within like five minutes, she was down in the tank and we saw all the thrashing and the bubbles, and him pushing her with his nose. And it was just so, so traumatic and all the people around and of course I`m with my daughter and she saw it. And I tried to shelter her eyes from it, but it was too late.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Critics say this didn`t have to happen. Tilly, the killer whale, is a wild animal. His natural habitat is the ocean not a tank. Discovery.com says Tilly`s attack on Dawn may have been caused by stress and raging hormones.
Hey, some say if you were kept in the equivalent of a bathtub, wouldn`t you be stressed out, too? Tilly is 30 years old and was removed, captured from the ocean when she was just -- he was just what, three or four years old? 28 years swimming around in circles?
To debate all this right now, wow, we`ve got quite a team: Ingrid Newkirk, the president of PETA is here with us tonight; and on the other side Grey Stafford, Director of Conservation at Wildlife World Zoo and Aquarium.
Ingrid, what is your take on this tragedy?
INGRID NEWKIRK, PRESIDENT, PETA: Well, first Jane, thank you for always sticking up for the victims, whatever their species. And we have two tonight. We have the poor trainer and we have this Orca, who has been a victim since he was two actually, captured in Iceland and kept in something that to him is the size of a jar.
He actually had to beg in order to be fed for his whole life. That`s a quarter of a century in a cement pit, swimming in his own diluted urines.
And when you take these animals from the wild and you put them in a tank like this, deprive them of their pod, their family, their ocean- going life, all life, really, just so they can amuse us, that`s something outlawed (ph) many years ago. That`s not something we should be doing in the 21st century. It`s over, close SeaWorld.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Grey Stafford, your side of the story.
GREY STAFFORD, WILDLIFE WORLD ZOO & AQUARIUM: Well, Jane, I couldn`t disagree more with Miss Newkirk. Obviously what happened yesterday was an awful tragedy. And I happen to know some of the mentors of this woman and some of the people she has mentored in her long career. And I know they`re great quality people and they are devastated by what happened.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But she`s not talking about the people. She`s talking about the idea of captivity.
STAFFORD: Well, it goes to my point which is these people spend their lives dedicated to these animals. These animals want for nothing. And with all due respect to Miss Newkirk, without having animals like Tilikum and other animals in human care, we wouldn`t know much about these animals, because they spend most of their time at sea under the water.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, wait, watching an animal go around in circles for 25 years, I mean, what does that teach you? How many thousands or millions of times do you have to watch them go around in circles to learn about them?
STAFFORD: Well, Jane, they don`t just go around in circles, they spend 24 hours a day working with those animals and like they do at most zoos and aquariums. But the most important thing we learn from these animals being on display and interacting with their trainers is we learn to care about them. I`m old enough to remember --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Care about them? We`re decimating them around the world.
STAFFORD: That -- well --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I mean, they`re practically going extinct. And the word science is often used for example --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- the Japanese are killing them and they are saying, oh, it`s a scientific whaling program and they go out and they just kill the whales --
STAFFORD: That`s right.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- and they use science as an excuse.
STAFFORD: Well, but without having those animals in close contact with human beings where we can learn about them and empathize with them, we wouldn`t have things like dolphin-safe tuna. I`m old enough to remember when that didn`t exist.
But because of people taking their children and their families and learning about these wonderful creatures, we actually changed how an entire fishing industry collected their tuna --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re --
STAFFORD: -- to save animals.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- we`re depleting the oceans of all of the fish entirely.
But Ingrid, what`s your response?
NEWKIRK: I mean this is such rubbish. This is a money-making amusement park and that`s what he`s standing up for. He wants them to continue with their very ugly business.
Time has moved on. You`re from the old school. And this is no longer what people believe. People have seen animals -- it`s Jacques Cousteau and not your amusement park.
It`s things like polls that show its ethologist (ph) going out and studying them respectfully in the wild.
You say they want for nothing? They want for everything. All they have and that you`ve given them to turn a buck, it`s frustration, stress. Yes, they`re raging with hormones. That`s a male animal who weighs 1,200 pounds who is kept in this tiny pool and he wants for nothing? He has no family, he has no life.
STAFFORD: Well, actually, actually that`s not correct, Ingrid.
NEWKIRK: You need to really -- no please --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wait, wait, let me get to my next issue.
NEWKIRK: Yes --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But here is my big issue.
STAFFORD: And by the way, he`s 12,000 pounds.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here`s my big issue, 12,000 pounds.
NEWKIRK: 12,000 pounds, yes.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Does confinement equal torture?
Confinement is one of the primary issues when it comes to almost every animal controversy. I mean, take a look at these videos, cows packed liked sardines; pigs, one of the most intelligent creatures on the planet kept in gestation crates. Billy the Elephant in the L.A. Zoo who basically critics say went psychotic from isolation.
And then you have Tilly and so, again, Grey, it`s the issue of the confinement. This animal in the wild can travel 100 miles a day. And look at the -- the little container that he`s kept in.
STAFFORD: Well, well first of all, Jane, that container that you talk about is probably one of the largest human-made saltwater facilities anywhere in the world. It`s state of the art.
STAFFORD: But -- but I think we have to kind of check our passion a little bit, because animals in the wild don`t have this kind of nirvana view of the world if you will. Life in the wild is very difficult and while they may swim --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me ask you this question. PETA, aren`t there sanctuaries, Ingrid?
NEWKIRK: What they need to do is Jane, they`ve made millions off these Orcas and what they need to do -- and they`ve also hurt a lot of children who have seen these hideous things happen. And it`s a disservice to children to show them this is what the animals are like. This is not what the animals are like. They`re not wind-up toys.
What they need to do is take some of that money and make coastal sanctuaries and put these whales and dolphins in them and let them be themselves. Stop this. Close the SeaWorld. Get out of the business.
STAFFORD: Well, without animals in display we wouldn`t care.
NEWKIRK: You are a money-maker. That`s all you are.
STAFFORD: You know what, the last time I checked, this was America. And making money and contributing to basic science --
NEWKIRK: Yes, it`s America and we`ve moved on from keeping animals in captivity. No chains for elephants, no orcas in little jars. Thank you.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. We`re going to continue --
STAFFORD: People in glass houses, Ingrid.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: People in glass houses. We`re talking about whales in tubs. That`s not what we`re talking about. Not people. We`re talking about whales in tubs.
And we`re trying to figure out as a society, is that what we really want to do?
STAFFORD: That`s true.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you both.
STAFFORD: And as a society, we want to have children without experience with animals.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s what they have video for. We can see videos of those animals.
Mind-blowing new developments in the case of a missing family of four, Joseph and Summer McStay and their two kids vanished from their California home without a trace. They have been missing for three weeks.
Tonight, the mystery deepens: shocking new revelations about this mom. Who is Summer McStay? Police say she has as many as six aliases. In a very bizarre twist, she reportedly changed her name from Virginia to Summer, just days before she disappeared. Why?
Take a look at this new flier, featuring the missing family. It reveals Summer didn`t just change her name. Sometimes she used a fake birth certificate, as well. And it`s not like she was shaving off just a couple years. There is a 12-year difference between the two.
So what`s going on? By every account, the McStays are normal, loving family. Check out this home video they posted on YouTube.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSEPH MCSTAY: All right. Gee, come on, let`s go.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, it can`t get any worse.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And look, who is this? Whew, our new Cadillac bike.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Does this seemingly, happy, caring mom of two have something to hide, or is she hiding from someone? Family members fear the McStays were kidnapped.
Investigators still considering that theory, but they do find it odd that there were no signs of struggle in the family`s home or their car, which was found abandoned two blocks from the Mexican border.
Cops sifting through hours of surveillance tape from the border. Also tonight, police searching airports and bus stations.
Straight out to my fantastic panel: joining me, Director of Texas EquuSearch, Tim Miller. Tim, they are now assisting in this case; you are. Tell us why you have decided to step into this.
All right. We lost him. So we`re going to go to Jim Moret, chief correspondent "Inside Edition" and also the author of this fantastic book, "The Last Day of My Life".
You have been looking into this very bizarre story. What have you found, Jim?
JIM MORET, CHIEF CORRESPONDENT, "INSIDE EDITION": Well, I mean, as you say it`s interesting that the mom had six aliases and she just changed her name recently to Summer. When the police went to the house and the family has been missing since February 4th, they went to the house around the 15th and they went in and they noticed that the dogs were outside, no food, no water. No apparent packing for any long vacation.
Summer`s prescription eyeglasses were still there. She needs those to see. There were eggs on the counter. By every indication, there was no foul play and no packing for a vacation.
But their car -- their -- Isuzu Trooper was found just about four miles from the Mexico-U.S. border and the car seats were still in the car. They have two small children, 3 and 4. The family simply vanished and they don`t know why.
And we talked with Summer`s mom and she is obviously distraught; she is fearing the worst. She doesn`t understand why they would go missing. There was no indication they wanted to be on the run for any reason. The husband`s brother --
MORET: -- they talk once a week, they`re just gone.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What is in a name? Summer McStay was born Virginia Lisa Aranda and local reporters caught up with summer`s ex-husband. He says he knew her as Lisa when they were married back in 1994 and she was also previously known as Lisa Aranda, Lisa Aranda-Martelli and Lisa Martelli. She basically used 5 or 6 variations of the same few names.
What does that tell you, Tim Miller, director, Texas Equusearch? Is that a disturbing sign?
TIM MILLER, DIRECTOR, TEXAS EQUUSEARCH: Well, you know there`s been some new information coming out that`s a little bit disturbing. But you know what, we`ve got one fact Jane and the fact is that they are missing. We know that -- you know the family business was successful business.
You`re right, there`s no sign of any foul play. There`s no indication they`ve planned on going, neither. So we`ve got to --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hang in there, Tim. We`re going to be back in a moment with more analysis of this total mystery.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BLANCHE ARANDA, SUMMER MCSTAY`S MOTHER: Just a beautiful, wonderful mother, wife, daughter. I love her. And I hope my whole family is safe. I want them to come home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was the mother of missing woman, Summer McStay.
Tonight the McStays and their two beautiful young children, ages 3 and 4, have been missing for three weeks. And we want to say that whatever we`re speculating about or asking about, it`s not to cast any aspersions on this family. It`s to try to find them. And we have to ask the tough questions, because that could lead to them. So that`s where we`re coming from. Our heart`s in the right place.
Dr. Dale Archer, clinical psychiatrist, what do you make of all of these names? What does that tell you?
DR. DALE ARCHER, CLINICAL PSYCHIATRIST: Well, Jane, you change your name for one reason only and that`s to hide something. And I will predict that if you can answer the question why here that would be the key to this entire mystery.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Investigators are now talking to Joey McStay`s business partner, a metal worker and welder, a 50-year-old gentleman. The two apparently worked together making indoor fountains and we`re going to show you the Web site that they have, these beautiful indoor fountains.
This business partner allegedly served time in prison for burglary in `78 but he`s not considered a suspect, Jim Moret.
MORET: That`s right. 1978 and then again in 1987 for receiving stolen property; the police say he was one of the first people to notice absence of his business partner but he`s not considered a suspect and there`s no indication he`s done anything.
But you know, there are all of these different things that bother you. What`s wrong with this picture? Clearly something happened.
You don`t just leave your house. You are don`t dump your car near the border and then vanish with two small kids. They`re either on the run or they`ve been kidnapped which is what the family fears but there`s no indication of any foul play so far and police are stumped.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, and Tim Miller, volunteers for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children are reviewing hundreds of hours of border-crossing footage but what I hear is that 100,000 people cross the border between U.S. and Mexico daily so that`s like really looking for a needle in a haystack.
MILLER: Well, you know, they`ve got a lot of work cut out for them. I spent a long time on the phone with the detectives yesterday and of course they are scratching their head. They don`t have any indication foul play or anything.
And you know we`ve got 60-plus miles from their house to where their vehicle was found down by the border, with 40 miles of that being just extremely isolated. And so these are the areas we`re going to start in first.
We`re actually going to be doing a lot of stuff by air, with the drone airplanes again and starting the process of elimination. You know, Jane, we hope that phone call comes in next week.
Listen, we had some problems. We had to get away and things are going to end up safely.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, absolutely.
MILLER: But if something has happened, we need to get out there, start eliminating these areas, if it`s possible for them to be found. We know the sooner they`re found, if something happened --
MILLER: -- better chance for us to determine the cause of death.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I hear you.
Jim Moret, 30 seconds. The car was found in a crowded parking lot two blocks from the Mexican border. And you know experts are saying, that wouldn`t be a place where you would leave a car if you were kidnapping, forcibly -- forcing somebody out of the car because it was very crowded.
MORET: When there`s no indication in the car of any foul play and the car seats. The children`s car seats were in the car. You`ve got kids 3 and 4 years old.
You know, there`s just so many questions. Everything is out of character and that`s the big mystery.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Got to leave it right there. Thank you, fantastic panel for joining me tonight.
I want to send out my thoughts and prayers for Andrew Koenig`s family. This incredible actor, activist, man found dead tonight. He was a close friend and he will be missed.