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Southeastern Pennsylvania Hit by Extreme Weather; Missing Teen Found After 10 Years; Dying While Waiting; Arizona Wildfire Raging Out Of Control, Thousands Preparing To Flee; Kristin Hopkins Survived Five Days In Her Crashed Car; New Clues In World's Greatest Art Heist

Aired May 22, 2014 - 20:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. Thanks for joining us. If you're one of the tens of millions of people now facing very dangerous weather take a look at what some are now already dealing with.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Holy cow, look at that golf ball hail.


COOPER: Home video of the hail storm that ripped through southeastern Pennsylvania, some places got an inch of it. And in conditions all across the mid-Atlantic and beyond are ripe at this hour for a lot more mayhem.

Let's get the latest from Chad Myers, who's following it all at the Weather Center.

So what's what latest? Where is this thing?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: It has been just an unbelievable day. The good news is a lot of it has calmed down. There are no more tornadoes out there, the warnings are called or did expire. But this started up near (INAUDIBLE), and it rolled down towards the southeast, and then up here just to the north of Scranton, another big one right through Burkes County. That area got pummeled with that hail that you saw there. And all of these storms are going in a very curious direction. A direction we never see from the northeast to the southeast.

Now they're still moving to the southeast and a few of them towards Hampton Roads. There is the bridge tunnel there on the way up to the Delmar, but finally, things have calmed down. The head of tornado, I believe it's on the ground because I looked at this video. It's not that far from Dover, Delaware, right there, to your -- just to your southwest there almost near River View. We had a helicopter shot flown over from WBAL, our affiliate there, during the hour there with Wolf Blitzer.

And I could tell, the tops of the trees, there's the video right there. That house is damaged. But the trees around it really indicate what happened. Some fell to the east, some fell to the north, some fell to the south. When that happens it's not a straight line wind. It is definitely some kind of twisting and the tops of the trees were twisted off as well and the stump is still sticking there, even 10 feet, 20 feet high. But all the tops of the trees completely ripped away. Obviously a tornado there.

Now this isn't the same kind of tornado even we get in Oklahoma and Texas and Colorado, but there are so many millions of people in the way of weather like this. And obviously so many cars damaged, homes damaged.

COOPER: Right.

MYERS: Trees down, power lines down, because the population density is just so great.

COOPER: Chad, appreciate the update, thanks very much.

Now the story of a teenager reportedly a 15-year-old, who vanished then resurfaced 10 years later with a story of drugging, abduction, sexual and physical assault in captivity, all of it happening within a half hour's drive. The mother who thought she would never see her daughter again.

Now it's hard to imagine being this woman, as you'll see. Some including her alleged captor's attorney, say her story is impossible to believe. He joins us shortly. So does an advocate for exploited. First, the facts as we know them and allegations from Kyung Lah.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm so happy and -- God bless to be with my family.

KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A woman, now 25, who says she spent 10 years as a captive, telling CNN affiliate KABC she was sexually assaulted then kidnapped at age 15 by her mother's boyfriend, Isidro Garcia, and could not escape.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I tried two times but I can't do it. I can't do it. He always --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, hit me again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bail in your case is set at $1 million.

LAH: Garcia, appearing via close circuit at his hearing, faces five felony counts including rape and kidnapping. Prosecutors say there were no physical chains but the mental torment bound the young girl to her alleged assaulter.

FARRAH EMAMI, DISTRICT ATTORNEY SPOKESPERSON: Convinced her that her family was no longer looking for her and didn't care about her and that she had nowhere to go. And over the course of the decade he continued to physically, emotionally and sexually abuse her so that she felt like she had nowhere to go.

LAH: She spent the next decade less than 30 minutes away from her mother and sisters. In 2004, the girl's mother filed a missing person's report and did television interviews with local reporters about her missing child. With the fake identity the girl eventually married Isidro Garcia, they had a child together, and a Facebook page, all the signs of a young, happy family.

It was through Facebook that police say the victim first found her sister and got the courage to get in touch with her mother and eventually the authorities.

(On camera): The missing person's case started to unravel here at the Bell Gardens Police Department. The victim walked into the police station carrying her own child. She spoke with officers here inside the lobby. She told police that she was a victim of a domestic violence case. She reported her assailant as Isidro Garcia, also having the alias of Tomas Medrano.

While she spoke with officers she got on her cell phone, she called her mother who was presumably in Santa Ana, and then she told officers that she was also the victim in a 10-year-old missing person's case in Santa Ana. She even gave police her own missing person's case number.

(Voice-over): And now the happy reunion.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my goodness, God is everything. Happy, happy, happy.

LAH: But for some, something just doesn't add up. We spoke to several friends and neighbors who tell us the story isn't just shocking, they don't believe it's true.

Maria Sanchez is more than just a neighbor. She's a close friend of babysitter of the victim's child. She even attended the child's baptism ceremony.


LAH: In five years she never said anything, says Sanchez, he was a loving husband and she lived freely. Sanchez says she had a job, her own car, even her own cell phone. Garcia's defense attorney believes his client is being railroaded because the couple is splitting up.

CHARLES FRISCO, ATTORNEY FOR ISIDRO GARCIA: Every couple going through a divorce may say things and oftentimes say things that simply are not true. It appears that's probably what happened in this case. Ten years have gone by and she never ever told one person that something was afoul, whether it'd be a neighbor? Why is it that she never said anything?


COOPER: We're going to hear more from that lawyer in a moment. Kyung Lah joins us now from Bell Gardens, California.

So you talked to a lot of people in the neighborhood. Is there really widespread doubt about her story among her neighbors?

LAH: Very widespread. And we were very surprised by that because normally when you come to a story like this, there's somebody, there's somebody who says yes, yes, there may have been some suspicions. Nobody, when you run across anyone, they say all that they saw was a guy who was a nice dad who seemed to give this woman everything she wanted. She had a nice apartment, a nice car, a nice cell phone.

They doted on their daughter. They say he was somebody who was always there and always providing -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right, Kyung Lah, appreciate the update.

Whatever the neighbors may think about what they say, the fact remains this began 10 years ago, reportedly when the woman in question was 15. It is both legally and otherwise a very awkward fact for the accused. His attorney, Charles Frisco, who you saw just a moment ago in Kyung's report is going to be back in court early next month dealing with it. He join us tonight.

So, Charles, I know you said your client has done nothing wrong. What is your client's defense against these charges?

FRISCO: That he didn't do this. It's that simple. Anybody who has come in contact with this couple has seen that they have had an ideal marriage. They have -- you could talk to the neighbors. You could talk to the employers. You could talk to the employees. You could talk to friends. You could talk to anybody who has come in contact with this couple.

COOPER: This woman, though, says that she was afraid to report your client or get help from neighbors because he was so popular. Everybody thought he was a good husband to her, that basically she was afraid that she wouldn't be believed.

FRISCO: No, Anderson, that is the way the man lived his life. He had no criminal record. He was a hard worker. He held two jobs. He is modest. He is pleasantly simple. He is religious. There is -- there is nothing to substantiate anything of her claim. He is -- there is nothing there. It is just what she is saying. And think about what she is saying. She is coming forward 10 years after the fact? Ten years, Anderson?

COOPER: So what do you think was happening? What are you saying was happening? Why would she suddenly say these things?

FRISCO: Evidently they were having marital problems. She has her own motives, perhaps. We all know what happens when people break up. The marriage falls apart. People get angry, people say things that aren't necessarily true. One of the people that -- were interviewed said that he treated her like a queen.

COOPER: That was one of the neighbors. But I mean, when she first was with your client, wasn't she just 15 years old? I mean, California law says there can be no consensual relationship at that age. I mean, he was allegedly the boyfriend of her mother, and she was 15 years old.

FRISCO: From what we understand she was not getting along with her mother.

Anderson, I have to say --

COOPER: But wasn't that statutory rape?

FRISCO: Anderson, we don't know the facts. I don't know the facts. I've been asking for discovery. I was supposed to get discovery this morning from the Orange County District Attorney. It has nothing to do with the Orange County District Attorney. They've always been stellar with me.


COOPER: But if you don't know the facts, how can you say that your client is completely innocent?

FRISCO: Because I have listened to what the investigating officer has said. I've gone on the Internet and we've conducted our own investigation. I've spoken to my client --

COOPER: So you're conducting your own investigation but you don't know if she was 15 years old when their relationship started?

FRISCO: I wasn't there. I need to find out what they have on him. I haven't gotten to discovery.

COOPER: It's a little hard to say on the one hand that you've done an investigation, that you've talked to the investigating officers, and you've gone on the Internet and yet you can't say for sure if that woman was 15 years old when your client began whatever there was.


FRISCO: Anderson, I have not talked to the investigating officer. Evidently the investigating officer has spoken to everybody else.

COOPER: So you really don't know anything about their relationship other than what you've heard neighbors have said?

FRISCO: Other than what my client has told me, other than what law enforcement has orally. Other than what I have read in a number of news media sources. That type thing.

COOPER: OK, but you've read also news media sources that she was 15 years old. So -- if she was 15 years old that would be statutory rape, correct?

FRISCO: Theoretically, if that were to case, and if that's what he did and if that's what they can prove, then that would be the case, yes.

COOPER: All right, Charles Frisco, appreciate you being on. Thank you. FRISCO: My pleasure.

COOPER: Well, that's certainly one view over the last 10 years for this woman from the attorney for the man who's accused of kidnapping her.

Joining us now is Ernie Allen, president and CEO of the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

So, Ernie, this attorney is saying everyone who came in contact with his client and this woman saw a happy couple, neighbors, saw -- saw that they kissed, they had parties. That she was on her own a lot, that she could have escaped or could have said something. Does that mean to you that she was not held against her will?

ERNIE ALLEN, INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR MISSING AND EXPLOITED CHILDREN: Not at all. The taking of kids under these circumstances are more psychological than physical. There've been lots of examples. Jaycee Dugard in northern California was kept for 18 years. She went out in public, was seen in public with the abductor. Shawn Hornbeck in Missouri was abducted when he was 10 years old, kept for four years, rode around the neighborhood on his bicycle.

The human brain can only tolerate so much trauma. And what these kids do in these circumstances is adapt. They figure out how to survive. So it is not unusual that a kid would not attempt to get away from a situation like this.

COOPER: Compounded with that is the situation with this young woman at the time. She recently had just come from Mexico. She'd only been in the United States I believe for six months at that point. So she really didn't know much about the United States or where to go or anything like that, correct?

ALLEN: Well, exactly, and reports indicate that part of the threats that were used against her was the threats of deportation for her family. So how aggressive is a family going to be under circumstances like that. Plus, the fact that the abductor was someone known, someone who lived in the home and she was 15 years old. In this country we still deal with the runaway presumption.

Nobody looks very hard if they assume that the kid left voluntarily. So all of these factors combined to make it very unlikely that she was going to be found.

COOPER: You know, it's really amazing when you think about this case assuming this is as she says it is. If she was in fact held captive, you know, basically for the past 10 years, kidnapped by this man, and yet she was only some 30 minutes from her mother's house. I think back to the situation in Cleveland of the three women held for some -- for some 10 to even 11 years in the case of the first woman who was held.

Relatively close to where they were kidnapped from. Relatively close to their families' homes. I mean, do we -- when people go missing do we know the right places to look? It just seems like an awful lot of times people are held very close or the perpetrator is very close to where that person lived.

ALLEN: Anderson, the world forgets. We've done a great job in this country in emphasizing the importance of speed. We have Amber Alerts, we rapid distribution of images and information. But because there is so much emphasis on rapid response there are a lot of people who assume if you don't find a child quickly they're not going to be recoverable.

And there are so many examples from Elizabeth Smart and Jaycee Duggard to the Cleveland girls to so many other cases in which the kids are relatively close by. So we hope the message that comes from this is that there is hope of for long-term missing children and the public really needs to be alert and aware and pay attention to these kinds of cases.

COOPER: And so often the kidnapper, the captor, the abuser is somebody they knew. Somebody the family knew in some capacity.

Ernie Allen, we appreciate you being on. We'll obviously continue to follow this story.

A quick reminder, make sure you set your DVRs so you can always watch 360 whenever you'd like.

Coming up next, Eric Shinseki makes a new promise to veterans in saying he's not quitting. I'll ask a passionate advocate from America's troops whether he should.

Later, what it's like trying to hold the line on a fire that is zero percent contained right now and still growing. Look at those flames. We'll be right back.


COOPER: "Keeping Them Honest" tonight on the VA scandal. Signs the adminsitraiton gets it and signs it still does not. Late today, I should say, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki sent out a message to veterans, in it he praised what he called the vast majority of hard-working employees. He pointed to a nationwide audit of every VA facility, in addition to the inspector general investigations going on in Phoenix and elsewhere.

His statement went on to say, quote, if any allegations under review are substantiated we will act. He goes on, quote, "As President Obama said veterans have done their duty and they ask nothing more than this country, does ours, that we uphold our sacred trust to all who have served, and we will."

Now that said, any support he's got appears to be, well, eroding. Republican Congressman Jeff Miller who appeared last night on the program says to expect serious new developments that will make what we now know look like kindergarten stuff.

This coming on a day when the president's new point man on this whole mess, Rob Nabors, arrived at the VA hospital in Phoenix which has become the sort of ground zero of the story. And that is of course where Drew Griffin has spent the day. He broke the story.

Drew, as we mentioned the White House now official put in charge on the scandal arriving in Phoenix. What do we know about his visit?

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Well, we can tell you he arrived a little bit before 9:00 a.m., and he was supposed to be leaving right about now, Anderson. This was to be a one-day fact- finding trip in which Rob Nabors met with the executive staff, met with the Veterans Services Organizations. And I think most importantly if this -- if this happened, roamed that hospital and was able to ask anyone about health care, about health care delivery and hopefully he did get some honest answers.

We don't know. I reached out to the White House and to the VA to find out if there was any reaction or statements coming out and we have not gotten anything yet -- Anderson.

COOPER: In Washington, the House Committee on Veterans Affairs called on VA officials to appear before the committee this morning. Did they show up?

GRIFFIN: No, they did not. They stumped Congress again, especially that House Veterans Affairs Committee. Congressman Jeff Miller who you had on last night is chairman of that committee. He tried to explain to what happened to Wolf Blitzer today. But listen to this answer because it just shows the frustration he is having with the VA.


REP. JEFF MILLER (R), VETERANS AFFAIRS CHAIRMAN: Last night at 2:30 in the morning, we got 3,000 e-mails from them in the dark of night. We had asked earlier in the evening if they would please come and explain to us why it is taking so long. We got a letter back that said we can't come because you have asked us 15 hours ahead of time.

The general counsel said he would come to the hill today at 4:00, and so I cancelled my flight home so that I could be here for a brief. We called him and said you're welcome to come up for the brief but only if it's open to the public and the press can be there. We waited all day long. We called nine times for them to tell us whether or not they were going to come. And he never came.

We got a call at a quarter to 4:00 from three low-level staffers that basically said he didn't want to brief members of Congress. He wanted to brief the staff and not in front of the press.


COOPER: So what is next? I mean, are they going to appear in front of this committee?

GRIFFIN: They have given them until Wednesday to show up. And if not, Anderson, I am told there is going to be a subpoena to force them to show up by Friday.

COOPER: So Drew, stay right there. I want to bring in Paul Rykoff, CEO and founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. Paul served as a first lieutenant in the infantry rifle platoon leader in the Iraq war.

Paul, you've had some tough words for the president saying he did the ring on the scandal, that there needs to be bold change. You don't want to see, though, Shinseki resign, correct?

PAUL RIECKHOFF, CEO, IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN VETERAN OF AMERICA: Well, our members right now are furious. And we're talking to them all weekend, and they're going to tell us where we go. Members of organization, we've been spending the last couple of days to get a really good sense of where they are. And they're going to drive our decision.

But right now one thing I can tell you is they're universally outraged. They're upset. They're disappointed. And also notice this is nothing new. CNN has done a great job of breaking this latest scandal but VA has had problems for the last six years under Shinseki's leadership. And has had problem for decades. But if anybody like you and others have been tracking on this, the problems at the VA are not new.

So that's what our members know. And they're actually somewhat happy about the fact that the country is finally paying attention to what we have been struggling through for years.

COOPER: Paul, do you feel like the veterans are being heard in this? That their voice is being heard?

RIECKHOFF: No. You know, the White House hasn't reached out aggressively enough. We haven't met with the president. I finally got a call from Mr. Nabors just a few minutes ago but we haven't heard from the president for four weeks and we only recently heard from the secretary. So it's really about understanding the full scope of this, understanding the depth of it, and frankly understanding that this is not new.

I mean, if you weren't outraged before, it's only because you weren't paying attention. I mean, this goes back to late GI bill checks, this goes back to the backlog, this goes back to the scandal around a conference in Orlando, there's been hearing after hearing, IG reports, GAO reports, so, you know, maybe much of America is just finding out about this but our veterans have known about it for years.

COOPER: Drew, what are you hearing from veterans?

GRIFFIN: I'm hearing the same thing, and maybe I'll articulate it just a little differently. What I'm hearing is that the president doesn't understand that this is not a political issue. This is not a political crisis. The vets I'm talking to see this as a health care crisis and nothing the president has been doing so far is going to make these lines for doctors' appointments any shorter. I just talked with a vet who waited two and a half years to get a biopsy. He's now got half of his nose. He can't even pronounce Shinseki's name, let alone care if Shinseki stays or goes. What they want is somebody to address the needs at the VA, not handle a political crisis. COOPER: Well, so, Paul, I mean, is the bottom line, I mean, beyond the phony lists, beyond the way people have been trying to, you know, cover themselves for not being able to get care and time for vets in this two-week window, what is the core reason for these delays? Is it mismanagement? Is it not -- is that the VA is under-funded, that they're -- they can't get good doctors and personnel because they're not paying as well? The people gaming the system. What do you think, Paul?

RIECKHOFF: Here's the core issue. It is not well documented that the Bush administration didn't plan well for what happened after the Iraq war. Well, now it's apparent to everyone in the world that the Obama administration didn't plan well for what was going to happen afterward.

This goes back from the beginning of his term. Funding has been in place. There hasn't been leadership, there has been accountability, there's not a national strategy on veterans. So it's really lately in the last couple of weeks been spin. It's a miracle these issues weren't politicized earlier. We tried to make it a top priority issue during the presidential campaigns and nobody was particularly interested.

So it's really a miracle that it hasn't become political sooner. And the president hasn't addressed it sooner. He hasn't addressed this sooner either because he doesn't understand or because he wasn't listening because veterans have been trying to tell him for years.

COOPER: Well, and Paul, we had -- Drew had interviewed a doctor last night from a hospital who's talking about 10 -month waits for vets from Iraq, from Afghanistan with, you know, severe PTSD, with traumatic brain injuries, with IED blast wounds. I mean, that is unbelievable that a vet who has recently returned has to wait 10 months?

RIECKHOFF: Well, what our members want is a system that works. They don't care about the politics in Washington, they don't care about the chest thumping in front of government hearings. When they step forward and ask for care they want to get it and they want to get it in a timely way with high quality. And unfortunately it hasn't been the case universally enough and you have been hearing it for years.

You've done stories. You've had me on your program over the last few years, numerous times to talk about problems at the VA. So now it's finally come to a boil. Now the country finally understands and maybe now we can finally get the reform and change that we deserve years ago. And especially we need to get it now as Afghanistan winds down because it's not going to get better any time soon. Demand is going to continue to climb as vets come home week after week.

COOPER: Yes, Drew, appreciate it. Paul, good to have you on again. Thanks, Paul.

RIECKHOFF: Thanks, Anderson.

COOPER: Well, as always, you can find out more on the story at

Up next, the high stakes battle tonight in bone-dry northern Arizona where a wildfire is raging out of control in a popular resort area. We'll take you to the frontlines.

Plus, a Colorado mom trapped inside the wreckage of her car for nearly a week. Her car crashed. She was broken, bloodied, all alone, no food, no water, no intention of dying, though. Kristin Hopkins joins me ahead with her incredible story of survival.


COOPER: Tonight, firefighters in Northern Arizona are battling a fire that already consumed close to 5,000 acres started on Tuesday just north of Sedona near Slide Rock State Park. Since then it has become an inferno. Hundreds of homes and cabins are at risk in the popular resort area. Evacuations have begun. I mean, the flames, look at them, just crazy, out of control.

Thousands have been put on notice that they could be forced to flee and just like in Southern California the fierce wildfire is getting a jump on the fire season threatening lives and property. Ana Cabrera has the latest.


ANA CABRERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Zero percent contained, ominous words from fire officials battling a wildfire that's spreading rapidly. Dubbed the slide fire the blaze near Sedona, Arizona has already scorched nearly 5,000 acres, the tender dry region is textbook for fires to burn out of control.

CAPT. BILL MORSE, FLAGSTAFF, ARIZONA FIRE DEPARTMENT: Fire gets into that steep terrain with heavy fuels and it is wind-driven, it is a bad combination and the potential for a catastrophic wildfire.

CABRERA: Planes and choppers swoop in, spraying water where hundreds of firefighters are on the front lines battling the fire that is threatening over 3,000 residents.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is my home, property and livelihood, everything.

CABRERA: Frank Garrison owns 20 rental cabins in the area, a popular tourist destination.

FRANK GARRISON, RESIDENT: We were able to get all of our employees out. My family out and guests out.

CABRERA: Residents are bracing for the worst.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm getting ready to get the hell out of here.

CABRERA: Rushing to grab whatever belongings they can before evacuating.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I hear it is close, coming, zero percent contained at this point so we have some -- trying to be ahead of the game.

CABRERA: One woman desperately trying to find all of her cats.

AMY REESE, RESIDENT: We're just trying to round them up and get them to a safer place. So I have three right now and we're looking for about six.

CABRERA: Authorities say the cause of the fire is under investigation, but that it was probably started by a person.

MORSE: It is a big fire, a bit of a beast.

CABRERA: A beast at the beginning of a fire season that authorities fear could be long and destructive.


COOPER: Ana Cabrera joining us from Flagstaff, so what is the latest, have any structures been damaged?

CABRERA: The good news is no homes damaged. So far no injuries and at last check the fire was some three, three and a half miles from those homes. The side where the firefighters are concentrating their efforts. The northwest flank of the area where they're doing dropouts or burnouts, dropping the fire retardant, we're not out of the woods yet, Anderson.

We are told, you know, the next three hours will be crucial. Mother Mature is the big x factor and the winds are still not predictable. You see the huge plume of smoke that is really magnified because the sun is setting, here behind me showing the fire activity is still burning very hot. We're told if we can get through today then fire crews will feel a lot more confident about getting the fire under control -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right, well, we wish them well. Thanks very much. There is a lot more happening tonight. Susan Hendricks is here with the 360 Bulletin -- Susan.

SUSAN HENDRICKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, actor, Michael Jace who played a police officer on "The Shield" has been formally charged with one count of murder in the shooting death of his wife. April Jace was found dead at the couple's home on Monday after her husband called 911 to report that she had been shot.

The U.S. agency that investigates air crashes is calling for better testing of lithium ion batteries on the Boeing 787 Dreamliners. The NTSB also says the FAA needs to revise its 2008 battery standards for all aircraft. Here is why, this is what can happen when lithium-ion batteries short circuit and overheat, which led to a fire on a Boeing Dreamliner a year ago.

And look here, a baby in China falling from a window ledge. Wow, do you believe that? He catches the baby. He was a street vendor, Anderson. He was just standing there and was able to catch the baby. That is amazing to see. COOPER: And how is the camera right there?

HENDRICKS: I know. It looks like maybe surveillance video. It is moving a little bit. But he said look, it was human instinct, I'm not a hero. I say he is.

COOPER: Wow. Susan, thanks very much. Up next, one woman's incredible story of survival.


COOPER: Did doctors tell you how much longer you could have survived?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What my parents told me that they were told was probably another eight hours.

COOPER: Eight hours.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And then I would have passed.


COOPER: Her name is Kristin Hopkins. She survived a terrible car crash. That is how her car ended up. She was stuck in that car for five days. Her body was broken, her will to live could not be beaten.

Also ahead, new information about the greatest art heist the world has ever seen. We'll look back at how the thieves pulled it off and where the paintings may now be.


COOPER: A Colorado woman has an incredible tale of survival to tell for the rest of her life. Last month, Kristin Hopkins was traveling from Denver, her car ended up in a ravine, she not only survived the crash. She was trapped inside the mangled wreck for nearly a week, with no food or water until she was found. Her injuries were severe, both feet were broken, had to be amputated.

She suffered five broken ribs and broken cheek bone, lacerated liver. Despite of her broken body, Kristin says she never thought she would die. She was not about to leave her kids. Kristin Hopkins is recovering at a Denver hospitals where she joins us tonight.


COOPER: Kristin, I'm so happy to have the chance to talk to you, first and foremost, how are you doing?

KRISTIN HOPKINS: Well, I'm doing great, thank you.

COOPER: Now, I understand you don't have the memory of the actual crash, so at the end of last month you were driving just outside of Denver, your car skidded off the road. Investigators said you went airborne 120 feet before rolling for some 200 feet. Does it surprise you? You were able to survive that kind of crash? HOPKINS: Yes, I'm very amazed that I survived the crash.

COOPER: What is the first memory you have?

HOPKINS: I just remember waking up in the car. It was daylight and you know, I realized the car had flipped over and I was in some sort of accident because you know first the car was upside down. And all the windows were smashed and broken. And I was kind of hurt.

COOPER: So what did you do?

HOPKINS: I just -- tried to survive. I tried to you know, find some how to get out of the car. I tried to you know, with my -- thinking and everything, flag down somebody. And I had a red and white umbrella in the car. And I found a Sharpee, and I kind of tried to write some notes of please come help me. I need help, 911, you know, jaws of life. And I was able to open one of the doors a little bit so where I could push it out the door and I opened it up and set it outside the car. Hoping somehow -- I didn't know where I was but I hoped somebody would see me and come help me.

COOPER: But you yourself were trapped in the car.

HOPKINS: I was able to move around, I was not stuck in the seat belt. I was able to move around from the front to the back.

COOPER: I heard at one point you tried to start the car?

HOPKINS: Yes, I didn't know where I was going to go with the car being upside down, but yes, I saw the keys in the ignition and tried to start the car.

COOPER: It is one thing to go on for hours, but this went on five days. Nobody had seen you or your car. Did you start to lose hope?

HOPKINS: No, no, I didn't. I never had the doubt in my head that nobody would find me. I just figured that it would be OK, tomorrow, somebody would find me or later today somebody would find me. I never you know had the woe is me, I'm going to die at all, never had.

COOPER: How would you pass the time?

HOPKINS: I took a lot of naps. I went unconscious quite a bit and you know, I don't know -- just from the few memories that I have of what I did do during that time I think I was only awake maybe three or four hours. The rest, I was sleeping.

COOPER: And finally, Andy and Hope Lumbard spotted your car from the highway. Do you remember when they found you?

HOPKINS: No, I don't remember anything of that at all. I don't remember the flight for life. The next memory I have from the car to you know, the next one, was waking up in the hospital. But I was -- still kind of semi-unconscious. I could hear the nurses talking and they were warming up my body because it was so cold.

COOPER: Gosh, did doctors tell you how much longer you could have survived?

HOPKINS: What my parents told me that they were told was probably another eight hours.

COOPER: Eight hours?

HOPKINS: And then I would have passed.

COOPER: Wow, to have survived something like that and come so close. I mean, what is the feeling?

HOPKINS: I am very, very thankful for my angels, Andy and Hope Lumbard for finding me. And I'm very thankful that I'm able to see my kids, you know, grow up, and you know, move on with their lives and stuff.

COOPER: You had to have both feet amputated. How is your recovery going so far?

HOPKINS: It is going really good. I -- you know, going through physical therapy and everything every day. And it is going really good. My therapists are very happy with my progress. And I'm very happy with my progress, so. All that matters.

COOPER: I know on Facebook you have a page, Kristin Hopkins recovery, for anybody who would like to contribute to your recovery because this will be very expensive and costly. I wish you the best.

HOPKINS: Thank you very much.


COOPER: And it only took 81 minutes for thieves to commit the greatest art heist in history. Now two decades later the FBI says they may know who did it. The museum's former night watchman on duty the night of the heist speaks out in an interview you will only see it on 360 next.


COOPER: There is new information about the theft of 13 priceless working of art back in Boston. Back in 1990, it took thieves just moments to commit the greatest art heist in history. Twenty years later the trail has not gone cold. The FBI is releasing names that may know something about it, and that the art may have been sighted. Randi Kaye has more on the television interview given with one of the guards that night. Here's her report.


RANDI KAYE, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It is a beautiful and priceless collection. Hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of art housed inside these walls. The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. Visitors from all over the world come to see these masterpieces. But that is not all they're looking at. They're also looking at a crime scene. In fact, a crime scene from the biggest art heist in history still unsolved. And this is all that is left.

RICH ABATH, FORMER ISABELLA GARDNER MUSEUM GUARD: Come in, clock in. There would be two guards.

KAYE: Rick Abbott was one of the night watchmen on duty the night of the crime.

ABATH: They say Boston Police, we have a report of disturbance on the premises. So I buzzed them in. The cop that was dealing with me said don't I know you? Don't I recognize you? I think there is a warrant out for your arrest. Can you step out from behind the desk?

KAYE: He steps away from the security desk and away from the panic button, his only way to contact the outside world. His only way to prevent what was about to happen. In a matter of minutes the two thieves had both night watchmen completely under their control.

ABATH: Finished cuffing me and he cuffed my partner. And very dramatically said Gentlemen, this is a robbery.

KAYE: The thieves lead Rick and his partner down to the basement to different areas. It all happened so fast he never had a chance to hit the one panic button by the guard desk. He knew no one was coming to help. Did the thieves know that, as well? It appears they did. Since they were in no rush to get out.

ANTHONY AMORE: Half as interesting, they took the guards after they handcuffed them and taped them and brought them into the basement. About 24 minutes elapse, though, before we see them again.

KAYE: Motion detectors placed throughout the building picked up their trail for nearly an hour and a half. But that didn't matter. Those motion detectors were nor connected to police outside. They only alert the guard sitting at the computer by the entrance. A computer that was now unmanned.

AMORE: It is in this hallway where you see the first motion detectors go off so that is how we know it was 24 minutes. So it is about 1:48 and they're walking down this hallway together and they enter the Dutch room.

KAYE (on camera): Which is right there?

AMORE: Exactly. And from the Dutch room they took six pieces including the Rembrants and the Chinese vessel.

KAYE (voice-over): The real work had begun for the thieves, but as they get ready to take Rembrandts "Storm on the Sea of Gallilee" is only seascape, a high pitched alarm sounds. Pulitzer Prize winning reporter, Steven Girkgin has investigated this case for "The Boston Globe" for decades. He says this alarm was designed to keep visitors from getting too close to the Rembrandt.

AMORE: That seascape, even if you look at it now you will see a vision of him himself. The art specialists, common folk knew that, and they would come up and put their finger close to, to point out the image of Rembrandt. And if they got too close the alarm would sound.

KAYE: Like the motion detector, this alarm was not connected to the outside world but did the thieves know that, as well because they didn't pack up and leave at that point. They continued on with their crime and they took their time.

AMORE: Same path backwards goes to the early Italian room, the Raphael room. All the while passing incredibly priceless art.

KAYE: At 2:41 a.m., the door to the museum opens and closes. The thieves were gone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Once they leave, they're never heard from again.


COOPER: Randi joins us now, this is really one of the biggest mysteries in the history of the art world. They finally have a lead on what happened?

KAYE: That is what they're saying now. Investigators are saying they have seen the art work and have confirmed sightings of the artwork and this is a really big deal, as you said because this art work is at least $500 million. And for years, they feared some people who took it put it in the attic or basement and it was never to be found so this is a really big break.

COOPER: I remember last year that investigators had said there was a break. They had identified the suspects. They didn't actually name them. What are they saying now?

KAYE: They are naming them now, three suspects, two of which are dead. One of them is Carmello Marlino, he died in prison and what investigators are saying is that he talked with undercover FBI agents many, many years ago and told that he had some of this art work including the Rembrandt that we just there. And that he was going to return it and ask for a reward. Well, that never happened.

Another person is Robert Gentile. He is actually alive, imprisoned on another charge. He has always said that he had nothing to do with it. But Anderson, they searched his home regarding drug charges and say that they found items that linked him, hand cuff scanners, two-way radios. Things that might have been used because remember --

COOPER: Was there a third name?

KAYE: There was a third name, but that person is also dead, yes.

COOPER: Fascinating stuff. Randi, we'll keep on it. Thanks very much. "The Ridiculist" is next. We'll be right back.


COOPER: Time now for "The Ridiculist." Tonight, we have a story about a high school senior in Georgia, who used her year book to go out with a bang. The caption reads, "When the going gets tough, just remember to barium, carbon, potassium, thorium, Astatine, arsenic, sulphur, uranium, phosphorus," which doesn't seem like a lot until you write them out with these symbols to get this. A much more meaningful way to sum up one's high school years, "Back that ass up."

It is a true Bunsen burn to a time-honored yearbook tradition. Everybody thinks it is a gas, the metal, Paris' mom had this to say.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My first reaction was you are such a nerd.


COOPER: Well, when the high school administrators found out it really got a reaction. Paris received an in-school suspension and was told she was not allowed to give the speech that she as supposed to give at graduation, which really meant only a giant Fu, she blinded them with science. So what?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think their reaction was beyond what it should have been because nobody understood it. Basically that was just me saying start all over again.


COOPER: See, it was just a message about backing that arsenic sulphur up and starting all over again. And as Paris' mom points out she is a great young lady.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She is not a class cutter or a gang banger, drug-free, she was truly an inspiration.


COOPER: I agree, any high school student who finds a way to use the periodic table of elements to make a joke shows true metal. And after the story made the local news, school officials met with Paris and came up with a solution.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We looked at the totality of her high school experience. She is a member of the National Honor Society, the Beta Club, vice president of the senior class, and I think she was deserving of another opportunity.


COOPER: So the story has a happy ending. Paris will be allowed to give a graduation speech and she's heading off to college with a valuable lesson learned.


PARIS, HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT: What I've learned was never give up, strive for what I want, and just be more careful next time in the future.


COOPER: Well, congratulations, Class of 2014, especially to Paris, whom I sure has a wonderful, bright future. Thank you for definitely supplying all the elements for tonight's "Ridiculist".

That does it for us. Thanks for watching. The CNN film documentary, "BLACKFISH," starts now.