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Roommate Films Mother Abusing Baby

Aired September 2, 2011 - 20:00:00   ET


NANCY GRACE, HOST: Breaking news tonight, live, Arizona. A 10-month- old baby girl sits in a dirty diaper, crying for Mommy. But instead of changing the diaper or giving her love, Mommy holds the baby upside down by the feet, beating the baby`s legs and face, curses the baby out, and then takes a big toke of marijuana and blows pot directly into the baby`s mouth. Why? Mommy says she`s, quote, "having a bad day," quote, "can`t get the baby to stop crying," and quote, "can`t find an outfit to wear out to a bar that night."

Bombshell tonight. In Mommy`s pot-smoking haze, she doesn`t notice one thing. Hey, Mommy, the cell phone camera is rolling. Mommy, you busted!


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We want to warn you...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The details are sick. They`re cruel.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These images are disturbing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jessica Callaway abusing her 10-month-old daughter.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cell phone video of the incident.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s a horrible situation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because it wasn`t the first time she would actually hit the baby. I`d seen it before.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There`s no maternal instinct there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jessica even blew marijuana smoke in the baby`s mouth.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A mother charged with a horrible crime.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) you`re such a fake (ph). I hate you. You`re (EXPLETIVE DELETED)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What on earth? This is unbelievable!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Her excuse for the abuse, she was having a bad day, unable to find an outfit to wear out.


GRACE: And tonight, live, Laguna Beach. A wealthy entrepreneur surfer heads overseas for an African safari and never returns. Friends and family finally report him missing. Breaking tonight. The family is stunned to discover he never left town. In fact, all those cards and e- mails were fake. He`s dead! Tonight, who killed Chris Smith?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Authorities say handsome surfer and businessman Christopher Ryan Smith murdered. Breaking news. Authorities arrest Edward Shin (ph), Smith`s business partner, and say he murdered Christopher in the company`s office.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Blood evidence confirmed through DNA the...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The office then cleaned and repainted.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... to be that of Christopher Smith.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Smith`s business partner, Edward Shin.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Then allegedly forged documents to take control of the company. Smith wanted to sell his share of an Internet business to his partner for $1 million, but Smith disappears.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fake e-mails allegedly sent by Edward Shin.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He doesn`t care about anybody but himself.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A million dollars.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Smith`s family became suspicious.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Something in those e-mails just didn`t seem like the Christopher they knew.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A missing persons report was then filed. That led investigators to what turned out to be the crime scene.


GRACE: Good evening. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us. Bombshell tonight, live Arizona. A 10-month-old baby girl sits in a dirty diaper, crying for Mommy. But instead of changing the diaper or giving the baby love, Mommy holds the baby upside down by the feet, beats the baby`s legs and face, curses the baby out, and then takes a big toke of marijuana and blows pot directly into the baby`s mouth. But in Mommy`s pot-smoking haze, she doesn`t notice one thing. Hey, Mommy, that cell phone camera is rolling! Mommy`s busted!


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The cell phone video is pretty hard to watch. It shows a woman smacking a 10-month-old baby girl in the leg and in the face. It gets worse.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jessica even blew marijuana smoke in the baby`s mouth.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shockingly, this isn`t the first time parents accused of abusing their children is caught on tape.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A cell phone captured video of her teaching her 2-year-old how to smoke pot.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The people behind the camera seemed determined to give the baby the drug. She shakes her head no.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This home video shows a 2 and a 4-year-old boy smoking pot.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Heart-wrenching to think an innocent child could be endangered by her own parent.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This isn`t the first time.


GRACE: Oh, if only I could get my hands on this Mommy! Out to you, Joe Gomez, KTRH. What happened?

JOE GOMEZ, KTRH: Oh, Nancy, this is a disgusting case! Apparently, 21-year-old Jessica Callaway was frustrated one Friday night because she couldn`t decide on an outfit to wear out. So she took her frustrations out on her 10-month-old baby girl by allegedly violently beating her, then blowing marijuana smoke into her mouth to make her calm down! What she didn`t know, though, was that Jessica`s roommate was videotaping the whole thing on her cell phone!

In this tape, Nancy, you can see Jessica lifting up her baby by the leg like she`s some kind of rag doll, spanking her, cursing at the little girl and then hitting her in the face! Then afterwards, reportedly, Jessica blew marijuana smoke into her baby`s face, Nancy, to get her to calm down!

Right now, police are still investigating this case. But as we speak tonight, Jessica`s out there a free woman!

GRACE: You know, that`s what I don`t understand, why she`s walking free. For Pete`s sake, it`s on video. Unleash the lawyers. Joining us tonight, Lorna Owens, defense attorney, Miami, Peter Odom, defense attorney, Atlanta, Bill Sheaffer, former prosecutor, Orlando.

What about it, Bill Sheaffer?

BILL SHEAFFER, WFTV LEGAL ANALYST: She`s out? She`s not in custody? This woman needs to be in jail! She needs to be sentenced to the maximum! She needs to lose custody of this child! She shouldn`t be allowed to have a child! We should give her an earthworm. Let`s see how she does raising an earthworm in jail wearing orange where she doesn`t have to worry about what outfit she`s going to wear!

GRACE: Odom, it sounds like aggravated child abuse to me.

PETER ODOM, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, it always strikes me...

GRACE: Uh-uh-uh-uh what?

ODOM: ... humorous that every prosecutor thinks every problem can be solved by just throwing someone in jail. And of course, that`s not going to solve this problem. This is a young mother who obviously has no idea how to parent a child and needs intervention. This child is likely to go back to this mother. Let`s at least make sure that the child goes back to a mother that`s had some education, that`s had some counseling, that`s had some treatment.

OK, she`s going to lose custody of the child, but this family is going to be reunited...

GRACE: Wa-wait! Wa-wait!

ODOM: ... and jail`s not going to help in that effort.

GRACE: That doesn`t make sense! What you`ve just said is two different scenarios. You said...

ODOM: What I just said is what is likely to happen.

GRACE: I was speaking! And I`ll be happy to cut your mike off if you have no manners, Peter Odom! I let you finish your monologue, your dissertation. You said, first of all, she`s going to get the baby back. OK, I disagree. And then at the end, you said she`s going to lose custody. So you want your cake. You want to eat it, too.

And you also say jail`s not the answer to help heal the mommy. I`m not worried about healing the mommy! I`m worried, Bethany Marshall, about healing the baby. And I don`t have time to hear some defense attorney go around and around and around, changing his reasoning three times within one 45-second period. Help me out, Bethany.

BETHANY MARSHALL, PSYCHOANALYST: Oh, yes, and this whole thing about healing the mom -- parenting education classes do not heal hatred. This woman has primary hatred towards this child. And what other forms of abuse...

GRACE: Whoa! What`s that? Whoa! Wait, wait, wait!

MARSHALL: ... have been going on? Was this child being...

GRACE: Wait! What`s primary hatred versus secondary and tertiary hatred? What`s primary hatred?

MARSHALL: Primary means that this is the sole attachment that this mother has towards the child. There are no other feelings. There`s no ambivalence. She doesn`t vacillate between love and hatred. She doesn`t enjoy the child at certain times and then she loses her temper at other times.

She is primarily motivated towards hatred in a very infantile, primitive way. So we`re going to see that there are other forms of abuse, possibly starvation, maybe kicking the child at other times. I mean, this is the tip of the iceberg what has been caught on camera.

And you talked about the mental health of the child. This child is now predisposed throughout the lifespan to health problems, psychiatric issues such as depression, post-traumatic stress, insecure attachment styles (ph), drug and alcohol abuse. The best thing for this baby is that it gets placed with somebody who can form a secure attachment so that, hopefully, some of these wounds can be healed. But it`s going to be hard. It`s going to be a tough road for this infant.

GRACE: You know, I was just thinking, Bethany, in the middle of the night, when my twins call out -- they`re 3-and-a-half now -- they call out, Mommy. Mommy. They will get out of their crib and come running to my room, calling out, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy. What is this baby going to call out? I mean, what is -- can -- is there any hope for the baby to be normal, to be happy?

MARSHALL: You know, I think that, first of all, this baby doesn`t cry, Mommy, Mommy. This baby is probably lethargic and depressed. And we have something called reactive attachment disorder. Reactive attachment disorder is when you have a child with form of traumatic, intrusive abuse, they grow into young people and adults who, in a reactive way, cannot form attachments with other people.

Sometimes because they can`t form attachments, they`re withdrawn. They`re depressed. They`re the ones who kind of have the dead eyes, low affect. They don`t laugh at other people`s jokes. That`s what this child could turn into.

GRACE: Well, let me ask you, Peter Odom, going back to Sheaffer, Odom and Owens. Why are you so worried about healing pot mom?

ODOM: Because this family will be reunited after this mother loses custody temporarily, and we need to make sure that that baby goes back into a home that is safe. Obviously, it`s not now, and I will grant you that. But you know, this is not serious enough behavior that she`s going to lose custody permanently.

GRACE: OK, so I guess, Lorna Owens, it`s going to be second verse same as the first with you. And you`re going to tell me how holding a baby upside down by the feet, beating it in the face and the legs, making it inhale pot and cursing it out -- where`s my police report? Hold on, Lorna. Just a few more facts you might like to know.

Here we go. She says, "I`m going to" -- immediately picks up the baby. The baby continues to cry. And she says, Shut the "F" up before I kick you in the mouth. Yes. What`s not serious about that? I guess if Peter Odom was held upside down by the foot and was beaten in the face and told, Shut the "F" up, what would that be, a simple battery? Lorna, what about it? Why is that not serious, Lorna?

LORNA OWENS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: It is serious, Nancy, but...

GRACE: Because it`s a baby?

OWENS: It is serious to the baby. It is very, very serious. But what`s going to happen, she will be punished. She will lose temporary custody. She`ll be given a plan to follow.


OWENS: She will get treatment.


OWENS: She will get parenting. And there will be reunification.

GRACE: Please tell me, Paul Penzone, that she`s going to lose custody for good. Paul, please don`t let them put this baby back with this mother, Paul. Please tell me there`s hope.

PAUL PENZONE, FMR. SGT., PHOENIX PD: I`m with you on this because I`ve been in those homes. I`ve seen the people who are using drugs and abusing their child, and it`s just -- it`s not a healthy environment. I don`t have the luxury of defense attorneys to find justification for the bad behavior.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Police say when they asked her why she did it, she said she was having a bad day and was having trouble finding an outfit for the night. Well, her only outfit now, a jail jumpsuit.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jessica Callaway was arrested. Alexandrea had compiled a long list of terrible things done to Laura in the last couple weeks, even blew marijuana smoke in the baby`s mouth.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Her excuse for the abuse, she was having a bad day, unable to find an outfit to wear out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is not the first time, and tragically, not the last of tots allegedly forced by parents to smoke marijuana.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: See what looks like a toddler trying to get away, but she was held down while the man puffs on the pipe. Here he puts the pipe to her mouth. Then a short time later, the little girl was seen coughing and trying to sleep.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... by this video of Gamble`s (ph) child and upset by how at ease the child seems to be with the joint.


GRACE: We are taking your calls. Joining me right now is a special guest, Alexandrea Kingsley. This is the pot mom`s roommate who recorded the video, obviously showing the baby`s own mother beating the baby.

Alexandrea Kingsley, you know what? If it hadn`t been for you, we would never have even known this happened. And this kind of violence, Alexandrea, only escalates. That child could`ve ended up dead. And so I`m so grateful for what you did.


GRACE: Tell me what you observed there in the apartment with baby Laura and Jessica.

KINGSLEY: I have, you know, seen her hit the baby. And there was other times she did it and I told her something. And this time, she was upset that night because me and her had gotten in an argument about an outfit to wear. And I happened to be wearing a shirt that she wanted. And she got mad and I told her (INAUDIBLE) not going to deal with this. And then she started yelling at Laura because Laura became cranky, and you know, was in a dirty diaper. And Jessica started yelling at her. And that`s when I decided, you know, I have a bad feeling, I`m just going to take out this -- take my phone out and videotape.

GRACE: What was she yelling at the baby?

KINGSLEY: She was just yelling, you know, things like, Shut up. Why are you crying? Stop crying. You`re perfectly fine. I hate you. You make my life miserable. I wish I never had you.

GRACE: Let me ask you something, Alexandrea. Why didn`t she just put the baby up for adoption?

KINGSLEY: I honestly don`t know. It probably would have been the best thing she could have done because she`s not fit to be a mother, obviously. But I have no idea why she didn`t.

GRACE: I wish I could have the baby. She`s so beautiful! Did she feed the baby? Did she take care of the baby at all?

KINGSLEY: Sometimes. For the most part, I mean, yes. But when the baby would cry, it was always put her to bed with a bottle. She would always put her to bed and try to get her to sleep. And she constantly had that baby trying to sleep so she could go out and smoke and she could go out. And you know, when it came time for a bottle, she didn`t even wash the bottles. It was just rinse it real quick and refill it.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I wanted (INAUDIBLE) about her. (INAUDIBLE) At that same time (INAUDIBLE) was to put her in (INAUDIBLE) because without that video, I`d have no proof because it wasn`t the first time she actually hit the baby. I`d seen it before.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The cell phone video is pretty hard to watch. It shows a woman smacking a 10-month-old baby girl in the leg and in the face, blowing marijuana smoke into the kid`s mouth. Police say the abuser is the baby`s own mother, 21-year-old Jessica Callaway.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This case similar to other disturbing video allegedly showing toddlers forced to smoke pot.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This little boy is just 2 years old, and yes, he is smoking a cigar. Not just any cigar, police say it`s pot.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A cell phone captured video.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The little girl is only 2!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She would leave her baby in dirty diapers until they were so heavy that they were falling off of her. (INAUDIBLE) times where`d she`d yell (ph), I wish I`d never had you. Maybe I should give you away. You`re such a mistake. I hate you. You`re (INAUDIBLE) And she always wanted the baby to be sleeping.


GRACE: We are taking your calls. And special guest joining us tonight is the woman who took the video, catching the crime, in my mind, aggravated child abuse on this baby, a beautiful 10-month-old baby girl being held up by the leg, repeatedly beaten in the face, on the legs, told to shut the "F" up, or she would kick -- the Mommy would kick the baby in the mouth. And then mom taking a big toke of marijuana and blowing it directly into the baby`s mouth.

Tell me something, Alexandrea Kingsley -- again, I want to thank you because without your cell phone video, nobody would`ve ever even believed this. But where is -- where is Jessica Callaway tonight?

KINGSLEY: I don`t know where she is. As far as I know...

GRACE: Not in jail.

KINGSLEY: ... the other day, she was released. No, she`s not in jail. She was released yesterday, I guess on bond or something. And I don`t know where she is.

GRACE: Does she know that you took the cell phone video?

KINGSLEY: She might have heard about it by now. At the time, she did not know.

GRACE: And explain to me -- she was angry over not being able to have what she wanted to wear out that night? Where was she going?

KINGSLEY: Correct. She was going to a party. We were both going to go. And you know, I wasn`t fond (ph) on going. She was just, like, Come on, let`s go. And I was like, Oh -- and yes, she was upset over an outfit.

GRACE: So what was her reaction when she`s finally arrested? Even though she`s walked free tonight -- thanks, judge! -- does she believe somebody`s finally stopped her from beating this baby?

KINGSLEY: She -- I don`t know. I honestly -- I don`t know.

GRACE: Everyone, tip line, 480-503-6500. Tonight, the baby in foster care, and I pray she`s not ever put back in the home with this mother from hell!



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We want to warn you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Details are sick, they`re cruel.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These images are disturbing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jessica Callaway abusing her 10-month-old daughter.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cell phone video of the incident.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s a horrible situation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It wasn`t the first time she had actually hit the baby. I`ve seen it before.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There`s no maternal instinct there.


GRACE: We are taking your calls straight out Kempry (ph), in Kentucky. Hi, dear, what`s your question?

TEMPHRA, CALLER, KENTUCKY: are you talking to me?


TEMPHRA: OK. My name`s Temphra. I`m sorry.

GRACE: Good to know.

TEMPHRA: How can she be out of jail? This is insane. And I think Alexandria deserves wings, she`s an angel sent from god to save this child.

GRACE: You`re absolutely correct. To Christina Estes of KFYI, can you answer the viewer from Kentucky? How is this woman out?

CHRISTINA ESTES, REPORTER, KFYI: Well, I talked with a representative from the county attorney`s office. The prosecutor here in phoenix and he tells me right now they are not pressing charges. And the key words are right now. Does not mean that this woman is going out and never going to have to deal with cops or the court system again. But the county attorney said to the police was go out, gather some more evidence and come back to us.

Now, we do know that allegedly when she spoke with police, according to police she admitted to hitting the baby but never leaving marks and also police say she admitted to blowing marijuana smoke in the baby`s mouth because she wanted the baby to quit crying. But just saying that alone is not something that can lead directly to a conviction. Because that`s not the way our justice system works. If I say I beat someone or killed someone, that`s not enough for me to end up in prison for the rest of my life.

GRACE: You know what, Christina Estes? You are referring to a point of law that says that someone may not be convicted based on their confession alone. But you`ve got an eyewitness and a videotape! What more do they want, Christina?

ESTES: No doubt.

GRACE: What other evidence will they want to uncover?

ESTES: No doubt they want to talk with some other people. Keep in mind that baby and mom in this case live with Alexandria for less than a month. The baby`s 10 months old and they get police out there talking with other people, finding out what maybe what other people saw , what other people heard, you don`t know what more charges could come or what sort of case they are able to develop. Their goal if they press charges is to make sure that there`s a conviction. They don`t want to arrest somebody and take them to court unless they`ve got a bunch of evidence and -

GRACE: You know what? Call me crazy, and I`ve certainly been wrong twice that I know of, that would be the O.J. Simpson double murder and the tot mom Casey Anthony murder. But Bill Schaeffer, typically you look for similar transactions - you don`t let the perp out of jail while you dig up similar transactions. That`s what you do while you`re preparing for trial. I mean, we`ve got enough right now on aggravated child abuse.

BILL SCHAEFFER, DEFENSE ATTORNEY, WFTV LEGAL ANALYST: Yes. Right now she belongs in jail. The bottom line is there`s enough evidence to hold her. The court should, well, can set bond, the court did set bond, but the court could`ve set a very high enough bond where she couldn`t have gotten out.

And I want to say something. I don`t care about rehabilitating the mom. This wasn`t one instance of child abuse. This was a pattern of child abuse. Again, this woman needs not to be rehabilitated. She needs to be punished to the fullest extent of the law. And I hope she never gets that child back. If this isn`t enough out there in Arizona to take that child away permanently, I don`t know what it is. And I feel sorry for the children of, in Arizona.

GRACE: To Paul Penzone, you`re from the phoenix P.D. You`re the child advocate, what the hay is going on in Arizona? Why is this woman out walking? Let me just refresh your recollection, Paul Penzone. She picks the baby up by the feet, beats it in the face, beats it in the legs, tell it to shut the "f" up and she`s going to kick it in the mouth. Then she takes a big toke from a big fat Dobie and blows directly into the baby`s mouth. Now, what judge in his or her right mind would let this woman walk?

PAUL PENZONE, FMR. SERGEANT, PHOENIX PD, CHILD ADVOCATE: We`ve seen other places also, but this is not a reflection of Arizona. This is an individual circumstance.

GRACE: Yes, it is. It t happened in Arizona.

PENZONE: That judge in the prosecutor`s office need to be more aggressive. Do you know how damaging it can be for a young child to ingest a drug in a developing brain? I give all the credit in the world to the young lady who had the courage to videotape this and make a difference. Yes, that mom should be incarcerated.

GRACE: Hey, hey, hey. Don`t try to get me off my question. My question is why did an Arizona judge give her a bond?

PENZONE: From my perspective, it`s inexcusable. I don`t see why that occurred and it shouldn`t have occurred. It`s not a reflection of law enforcement in Arizona. Arizona is very serious about crimes against kids. This is very disappointing and she should still be incarcerated and it should send a message that you can`t treat children in this fashion. It`s not acceptable anywhere in this country.

GRACE: This is from the Gilbert county, the Gilbert Police Department, Paul Penzone. And so it would have gone to what? A municipal court judge? What judge would`ve done this?

PENZONE: It sounds more like it`s a county court, which is the lower level for the felony charges in the county. It`s not really a Gilbert. It`s a Gilbert justice court which would be referred down -

GRACE: It says state of Arizona, county of Maricopa, so it had to go to the Highland justice court.

PENZONE: Correct. And it was a justice of the peace it sounds like that was the preliminary judge in this and she should`ve been retained and kept in jail. There`s no excuse in it.

GRACE: Men, you`re not kidding. To the Doctor Bill Manion, medical examiner, Burlington county, DNA consultant. Again, Doctor Manion, thank you for being with us. Explain to me the damage that can be done by a child who is 10 months old being forced to ingest pot.

DOCTOR BILL MANION, MEDICAL EXAMINER, BURLINGTON COUNTY, DNA CONSULTANT: Well, hopefully she was just blowing the smoke and the child would not absorb that much. Now, some people -

GRACE: She blew it directly into her mouth.

MANION: OK. You know, but sometimes people make marijuana cookies and could feed marijuana to the baby and get higher levels of marijuana. I`m hoping I`m sure they`re going to do blood test and see how much THC is there. But I don`t think occasionally blowing some smoke would cause a significant level in the child.

GRACE: You know I pray that you`re right. And to Dr. Bethany Marshall, psychoanalyst author of "deal breakers," the added -- let me put the icing on the cake of not only beating the child in the face, in the legs, but holding it upside down while you beat it. What does that mean? I`ve never heard of that before.

DR. BETHANY MARSHALL, PSYCHOANALYST, AUTHOR, DEAL BREAKERS: You know what? It`s hard to imagine. It tells me she didn`t even think of this baby as a human being. This baby was like a rag doll or a thing or an object. And you said earlier that violence towards children escalates and this child might die eventually, and that tells me there was no good ending in this case.

GRACE: Very quickly to Heather in Georgia. Hi, Heather, what`s your question?

HEATHER, CALLER, GEORGIA: I`ve got a comment. I think it`s really crappy for people to have babies when there are people out here like me who can`t have babies when they just abuse them.

GRACE: You know, Heather, and you know what? We heard of a case just recently in New York trying to sell a baby on the black market for $180,000. You`re right, Heather in Georgia.

A very special happy birthday to Fayetteville, Georgia, friend of the show Aunt Ruth. A loving wife. Her family loves her for her big heart, always caring for others. She`s a proud mother, grandmother, and she`s so brave. Happy birthday, Aunt Ruth.

As we go to break, again, I want to thank you for your outpouring of cards, e-mails, phone calls, texts after the announcement that I`m the lucky one getting to be on season 13 "Dancing with the Stars." tonight, exclusive video with me and one of my new dance partners. But here we`re dueling. For more, go to Oops!



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Handsome, successful, athletic. 32-year-old Lagoon-a-Beach surfer and businessman Christopher Ryan Smith had it all. But he suddenly fell off the face of the earth.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The alleged motive for murder -

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For purposes of financial gain.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Money, $1 million. Christopher had recently gone into a business partnership.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Smith wanted to separate from the company.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And allegedly wanted to sell his share for $1 million.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mister Shin had to pay him $1 million.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His business partner Edward Shin, who would been out of surveillance, authorities claim instead of working out a financial deal, smith is murdered by his business partner at the office and then allegedly hides the body.


GRACE: A young entrepreneur, the world in front of him, handsome, healthy, great business, education decides to go on an African safari, but his family never hears from him again. When they finally report him missing, turns out all those cards and e-mails were all faked. He`s been dead for months. Straight out to Alexis Tereszcuk, the reporter What happened, Alexis?

ALEXIS TERESZCUK, REPORTER, RADARONLINE.COM: This is a terrible story, Nancy. This man was a in a business partnership, the man`s name Edward Shin, Christopher Smith was. Edward killed him. He was supposed to be buying him out of the business but the price tag was too high, $1 million, he didn`t want to pay it. So, instead of going to a bank, getting a loan, he killed him. He`s hidden the body. No one knows where the body is.

Shin has apparently confessed to the police he did kill his business partner, but he still won`t tell them where the body is. And he faked that he was alive for almost a year. He was sending e-mails to his family saying "I`m having a wonderful time in Africa." "I am going on trips. I`m doing really neat things." Nope, he was dead and he was pretending to be him. He was in his home. It seems like he was even paying his rent on his condo that he lived in. It was a terrible tragedy this man was able to pretend he was someone else for almost a year.

GRACE: Well, two special guest Tony Rackauckas joining us from orange county. He is the orange county-elect district attorney. Tony, I guess this is one where you can`t say you can`t prove intent. I mean the trail of e-mails, contact with friends and family, paying rent on the victim`s place so it would not be discovered that he was gone? You`ve got a lot of evidence in this case.

TONY RACKAUCKAS, DISTRICT ATTORNEY, ORANGE COUNTY (via telephone): Yes. I`d say we do. It`s pretty substantial at this point. And like you say, I don`t think that intent is going to be the question. This is, it`s a murder for financial gain, and we`ve filed it that way, and of course, that`s a special circumstance that gives rise to the possibility of a death penalty. And we`ll see down the road, we`ll institute some procedures to determine whether we decide to seek a death penalty or not. It`s either life without possibility of parole or death penalty in this case.

GRACE: And you`ve got this guy, the suspect in this case as he was just about to leave to cross the border to Canada. How did you catch him?

RACKAUCKAS: Well, he`d been on surveillance, under surveillance by our investigators and sheriffs investigators for a time. And we learned that he had purchased that ticket. And so we went, we went to arrest him before he left and left the country.

GRACE: Well, tell me this, what type of pretense did the suspect create to create the illusion the victim was still alive all these months?

RACKAUCKAS: Oh, just that he was traveling the world, that he was going to live his dream and, you know, go off to Africa and go surfing in exotic places and things of that nature. And he was sending e-mails to the family saying that he`s having a great time in these other places.

GRACE: You know Natisha Lance; I can`t wait to get my mitts on the content of all of these communications with his family describing Africa and his pretend trip to Africa. Natisha Lance, what more can you tells me about the story?

NATISHA LANCE, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER: Well Nancy, the family became suspicious of these e-mails after a certain period of time because it didn`t sound like their son whose writing these messages. They were curt at certain points and didn`t have the same description that he would usually give in his accounts of his trips.

Now it was around December of 2010 when the family became suspicious enough to hire a private investigator, but it wasn`t until April of 2011 when the family reported their son missing, and that is when the whole thing kicked off. It only took a few months before investigators were able to determine that this was a homicide case.

GRACE: Tony Rackauckas, Orange County elected D.A., what was found in the car?

RACKAUCKAS: Well, it`s, it`s, I can`t give you the details, but I can tell you there was a good deal of forensic evidence leading us to know that there was a body in the car and that it belonged to the victim.

GRACE: Out to the lines, Sara in Texas. What`s your question?

SARA, CALLER, TEXAS: Hi, I was just wanting to know when this person went missing, did the family like did they ever you know, have any question as to where he might be? Or did they have any idea that any of this was going on that he was that anybody was actually had him missing? Because obviously there were e-mails going out, and I guess I`m just wondering if they had been looking for him diligently through all of this or not?

GRACE: Good question. To Alexis, what do you know?

TERESZCUK: Unfortunately they were not looking for him in the beginning. He takes trips all the time, they had said. He was a world traveler, always going on some exciting adventure. So, they thought this was another one of those adventures. However, they realized about six months into it that e-mails he`d been sending were just out of character for him. They didn`t have the details, the flair. He apparently was a great story teller and they loved getting the e-mails about his adventures. They realized these were not the same and they started to get very worried about him.

GRACE: Tony Rackauckas, what kind of business did they have together?

RACKAUCKAS: Well, it`s an advertising business that places advertisements online and on the radio. And we`re trying to get more details about it. I don`t know, for example, whether or not they created the ads, but I know they placed ads.

GRACE: So Peter Odom, if it can be proved that the suspect sent all of these e-mails and communications to the family, how do you get out of that one?

PETER ODOM, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Right now, there`s nothing to get out of, Nancy. When the police describe these cases and when the D.A. describes these cases, they always sound so airtight, you know, as a defense attorney, I want to take a look at them and see what`s really behind them. I want to see if there really is a confession that they keep talking about. So there`s really nothing now.

GRACE: Uh-huh, so there`s nothing. OK, thanks Peter Odom. Right now, CNN heroes.


WILMA MELVILLE, COMMUNITY CRUSADER: When the Oklahoma city bombing happened; I saw the size of that building on television. I had a hobby of learning to train a disaster search dog. I was deployed to Oklahoma city. I did wonder can we really do this. Can we really find live people? But when I got home, I said what is this nation doing? With approximately 15 FEMA certified dogs, this one building alone requires far more than 15.

My name is Wilma Melville. Our organization trains rescue dogs and firefighter handlers to save lives after a disaster.

Right turn.

We like to use shelter dogs. It`s a humane thing to do. There is nothing better than a dog`s nose to find a live human.

We`ve been to the world trade center, Japan, Joplin, Missouri, and Haiti.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In Haiti on our fourth day there, we made contact with a 10-year-old girl. We would ask her to acknowledge us with a tap. Around the sixth or seventh hour she stopped tapping.

MELVILLE: Finding live people is our goal. But providing hope for the onlooker and a place to begin work for the firefighter, those are many fold, many fold objectives.



GRACE: What a week in America`s courtrooms. Let`s look at the stories and more important the people that touched our lives.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where is Amy Patterson?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A beloved middle school teacher.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She didn`t show up for work.

GRACE: Police believe she is dead.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Her ex-husband who is her current boyfriend, they reconciled, is their chief suspect.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Record flooding.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can see the maroon house over there, that`s collapsed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Moments ago the lighthouse -


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These pictures are dramatic. Raging water.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Raging waters ripping through the streets of Brattleboro.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She traveled to her boyfriend`s house because she had no power at her house. She got caught in the flash flood. The current swept her away.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Shocking discovery at a grocery store.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Henderson County, 911?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Out bag boy just found a baby in the trash can.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The bathroom turned into a dumping ground for a tiny newborn baby girl.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ladies bathroom in a trash can.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is it outside or inside?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s inside. It`s in our bathroom.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is the baby alive?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t know. They told me to call the cops. I don`t know.

GRACE: The perp is mommy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That does not mean that she killed anybody.

GRACE: Tonight, mommy walks free.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why are we talking about homicide?

GRACE: Because she comes in, takes the baby to the trash, changes clothes. She doesn`t want to be identified as the same person going in there to dump her baby.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Caitlin, I miss you very much.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I called her at 12:00 last night.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No forced entry. No obvious foul play.

GRACE: Where`s 22-year-old bride?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The only thing missing, her red cell phone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My fiance is missing. I can`t find her anywhere.

GRACE: Katelyn Markham.


GRACE: Let`s stop and remember Marine Staff Sergeant Jason Whitehouse, 27, Phoenix, killed Iraq. Awarded purple heart. Pre- deployment ribbon. Iraq campaign medal. Loved music, paschal guitar, being a father, dreamed of being in the medical profession. Leaves behind grieving widow Lindsay, son Aaron, daughter Kelly (ph). Jason Whitehouse, American hero.

Thanks to our guest but especially to you for being with us. And a special good night from the New York control room. Good night Bret, Liz, there you are, Ben, Dana.

And happy birthday to one of our stars Beth Carrie with the voice of an angel. She loves husband, Bill and little girl, Katelyn. Happy birthday, Beth.

And to another star, Minashi (ph). Oh, beautiful. Happy birthday. Everyone, I`ll see you Sunday night 8:00 sharp Eastern. Until then, good night, friend.