Return to Transcripts main page
THE SITUATION ROOM
4 People Quarantined in U.S. Ebola Scare; Thousands Flee as ISIS Closes In; Investigators Search for ISIS Supporters on Social Media; State to Test UVA Suspect's DNA in 2013 Murder; Hong Kong Protests Expected to Grow
Aired October 2, 2014 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now, breaking news. Ebola quarantine, residents locked down in the Texas apartment where the man with the first case of the disease diagnosed in the United States was staying. So what is the risk to the dozens of other people he came into contact with?
Also, ISIS at the gate. Militant forces are said to be just hundreds of yards from a city near the Turkish border. Thousands of people are right now fleeing for their lives. Will the town fall to the terrorists?
And twist in the case. A convicted murderer seeks freedom, saying officials need to look instead at the suspect in the disappearance of Hannah Graham. Will DNA link Jess Matthew to still another crime?
I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
BLITZER: We're following the breaking news this hour. Four people quarantined, up to 100 others being contacted by health officials right now as concern grows over the first case of Ebola diagnosed in the United States. Some Dallas schools are now being disinfected by people in hazmat gear after it was revealed that patient Thomas Eric Duncan came into contact with at least five children.
And there are now new allegations Duncan may have lied about his contact with Ebola victims as he left Liberia for the United States.
We're covering all angles of the breaking news with our correspondents and our guests. CNN's Martin Savidge begins our coverage. He's at the Dallas hospital where Thomas Eric Duncan is now being treated. What's the latest there, Martin?
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, authorities here are assuring people once again that there is no indication that the Ebola disease has spread beyond the one patient that is currently being treated here, and that's Thomas Duncan.
They do say that they've now expanded the number of people that they're talking to to about 100, and they're merely trying to see if they had any kind of physical contact with Mr. Duncan.
But an indication of just how seriously they are taking the case here, Dallas today activated its emergency operations center. That is usually not done unless there is some kind of natural or major disaster. That's how serious they are here.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): The patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, remains in serious but stable condition tonight in isolation at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. Health officials are taking every precaution, reaching out to as many as 100 people who may have come in contact with Duncan, including the ambulance medics who transported him to the E.R., hospital staff, family, friends and their children.
According to Dallas's mayor, Duncan came into contact with up to 20 people. His girlfriend and her children are under quarantine in her Dallas apartment. She told CNN's Anderson Cooper she has no symptoms at this point but is very worried.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have delivered several days of food to that apartment. Those people in the apartment and they are going to be treated with the utmost respect and dignity in this unusual situation.
SAVIDGE: Authorities at Liberia's airport say Duncan was screened three times before he boarded his flight to Brussels and each time showed no temperature and no other symptoms. The airport official also says Duncan answered "no" to questions about whether he had cared for an Ebola patient or touched the body of someone who had died in an area affected by Ebola.
However, people in the community he was visiting say he helped lead a pregnant woman to the hospital who later died of the disease. His half-brother says Duncan was unaware she had Ebola.
WILIFRED SMALLWOOD, THOMAS ERIC DUNCAN'S HALF-BROTHER: This pregnant woman were walking and we're pulling up. And then he ran to help her, and helped her up (ph).
SAVIDGE: Back in Dallas, Duncan's girlfriend told Anderson Cooper the sheets Duncan used in her apartment have yet to be removed.
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: Although all of the contacts will be monitored, when you quarantine somebody, you feel that the risk is high enough. You want to make sure that you don't miss the development of symptoms and have them have contact with somebody else.
SAVIDGE: Dallas Independent School District superintendent Mike Miles said Duncan came in contact with five students who attended four different schools in the area. Dallas area schools, however, remain open.
MAYOR MIKE RAWLINGS, DALLAS (via phone): There's no reason to close the schools down. These students have not exhibited any signs of contracting the disease. Furthermore, the time and the incubation time couldn't have mathematically happened.
SAVIDGE: Although schools that might have been exposed have been disinfected, parents are taking every precaution.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't think I'm going to bring him until, you know, I go to the doctor, check him and then see if he's OK.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm worried for my son and my daughter and me.
SAVIDGE: The CDC is now giving out information cards to everyone arriving from West Africa, the epicenter of the outbreak.
DR. ALEXANDER VAN TULLEKEN, SENIOR FELLOW, FORDHAM UNIVERSITY: This is very likely to happen again so we have to be prepared to react here and contain this in West Africa. That's the only way of stopping it from happening.
SAVIDGE: As health and government officials scramble to contain the virus and inform the public, questions remain about how this could have happened. When Duncan began feeling sick, the hospital in Dallas didn't isolate or admit him. Even though he told a nurse he had just traveled from Africa.
FAUCI: This was just a simple, you know, fault of human nature. It was a mistake. They dropped the ball.
SAVIDGE: Getting back to the Dallas schools, Wolf, there is new numbers now that are saying that attendance at a few of the schools was down slightly today. That's probably no surprise.
And another piece of information that might surprise you. You would expect perhaps with all of this news of Ebola people would be flocking to emergency rooms and medical clinics. Health officials say that has not happened, at least so far -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Martin Savidge, thanks very much.
A Dallas official says sheets from the apartment where Duncan was staying are being removed, along with his personal items and that contractors have now been hired to go ahead and finally clean the apartment and appropriately dispose of those sheets and other material there.
Earlier, I spoke to Duncan's half-brother. He expressed deep concern about the way this quarantine was being handled.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SMALLWOOD: Everybody is spectacle and he was sweating all along and the quarantine there to everybody. That worries me now, yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP) BLITZER: Let's go to our chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay
Gupta. He's at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
So this quarantine, has it been done over the past few days properly, Sanjay? I think the answer is no.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, clearly, the situation that this family is in of being quarantined is -- it's not humane. I mean, you've got a situation where you have contaminated sheets and towels and all of that. And we do know the Ebola virus can live outside the body and can live on objects like those sheets and towels.
To be fair, it's unlikely that someone else would get infected by touching those sheets and towels, but the fact that it's still there in that apartment for so many days now, it's just -- it's just not dignified at all and it's a bit of a fumble. This is something that should have been addressed.
Now, I will say that the goal of the quarantine, we understand with this particular family, was to make sure they stay in one place if they can be monitored. Apparently, health officials have some concern that they might not -- they would not be compliant, is what they told us and therefore would not be easily monitored.
There is no sickness among these people who are being quarantined, these four people. So it's not like they are actually at risk to the general public if they left their apartment. It was more so that they could actually be kept an eye on.
But it hasn't gone smoothly, I would say, Wolf, really at all. We hear it's going to get better. We hear there wasn't any medical contracting companies they could find to actually clean up the sheets and towels. Nobody would volunteer for that sort of position, but now, apparently, they're getting it done, Wolf.
BLITZER: Jane, take a look at this video I'm going to show our viewers. It's a man with absolutely no protective clothing, housing down the sidewalk right outside the apartment where the Liberian man is said to have vomited on his way to the hospital. Is this safe, to just hose it down into the gutter the way they're doing it over there?
GUPTA: That doesn't -- there's two concerns, really. One is to the individual, the man who's actually doing the hosing down without any protective gear. What you'll read from the guidelines from the CDC, is that any time you're dealing with contaminated bodily fluids, which is what this is in this case, you should have somebody who's trained to do this. They should probably be wearing droplet protection so that none of the virus would actually spray back onto their bodies, and it doesn't look like that's the case here. So I don't know how much risk he's at, but that's not the way it should have been done.
Again, this is something that should have been coordinated and handled in a very specific way, which is known. That is not something that's being created now. They know how to actually clean up this sort of mess.
The second question is, how much of a risk is it to the public? We've asked about that a few times now, and it really seems to be that once this virus, which is not a particularly hearty virus, meaning that it's fragile. It sort of deactivates pretty easily. Once it gets into a water treatment system, which it sounds like this sewer is, it's going to be deactivated, so it's not a threat to the water supply and the general public of Dallas or anything like that.
But you can see how that exact same situation in West Africa, where there are open sewers and not a sewer system like they have in Dallas, could be a much bigger problem, Wolf.
BLITZER: Hey, Sanjay, we'll get back to you with the breaking news. Stand by.
Expert disinfection is being ordered at the Dallas school attended by those students who may have been in direct contact with the Ebola patient, Thomas Eric Duncan.
Let's get some more now with Mike Miles. He's the superintendent of the Dallas Independent School District.
Mr. Miles, thanks very much for joining us. I wish we were discussing matters under different circumstances. But you said that Duncan came into contact with his girlfriend's five children, who attended four different public schools in the Dallas area. First of all, what do you know about the condition of these five kids?
MIKE MILES, SUPERINTENDENT, DALLAS INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT: I'm not sure of the relationship of the children, but we know that five Dallas students have come into contract -- contact with patient zero. Those students don't have any symptoms of being ill, of having the Ebola virus. And so there's zero chance that the school system is not safe. The school system is safe, and the schools are safe. These five children are at home.
BLITZER: And here's what worries all of us. The mother, the girlfriend of Duncan says the sheets that he slept in, where he was sweating all night, where he was vomiting in the bathroom, no one really came over to disinfect or to clean up that area. Those sheets, those pillow cases, they're still there, and those kids are still in that apartment, as well. That's pretty alarming, isn't it?
MILES: Well, I can't speak to what's going on at the apartment. I know that in the school system we have put additional custodial staff on, and they are doing an extra cleaning. The Ebola virus is not a hearty virus. And so if you use regular disinfectant or hospital-grade disinfectant, you're going to -- you're going to do what you need to do to protect that environment. So we had additional custodians yesterday, today, and they'll keep going through the weekend.
BLITZER: How many days did these kids wind up going to school after they came into contact with Mr. Duncan? MILES: We believe they have been in school earlier this week.
And so I believe Mr. Duncan was admitted on Monday, and the children have been in school Monday and Tuesday.
BLITZER: And have you been monitoring those kids with whom the other children were in contact with?
MILES: No. We're working closely with the Dallas County Health and Human Services Department and the CDC. They are monitoring the students and people who came into contact with patient zero.
For our part, we have additional nurses on staff, and they are, of course, monitoring students like they always do. They're doing additional rounds, though, not just to see how it kids are doing but also to have explain what this virus is and whether kids can contract it or not and just to make sense for the parents in the community and to reassure them that it's safe to come to school.
BLITZER: Let's hope it is. I know the schools are still open for the kids right now. Mr. Miles, thanks very much for joining us. Good luck to you.
MILES: You're welcome. Thank you.
BLITZER: We'll have more of the breaking news coming up, including other important stories we're following. Fear of an ISIS massacre as terrorist forces close in on a town right near the Syrian Turkish border.
And police make a surprise announcement about the suspect in the disappearance of Virginia college student Hannah Graham. We have new details of new DNA tests.
BLITZER: Breaking news. A dire situation along the Turkey/Syrian border right now where thousands of Kurds are fleeing ISIS terrorists, said to be only a few hundred yards away from the city of Kobani. It's the terrorists' latest goal in a northward sweep through Syria that's reportedly already displaced, only in the last few days, 300,000 people. Over the last few weeks, to be more specific.
Our chief national security correspondent, Jim Sciutto, is following all of these horrific developments for us.
Jim, what else is going on?
SCIUTTO: Wolf, the U.S.-led air campaign against ISIS settling into a familiar if not particularly rapid pace. Eleven strikes over the last 48 hours, seven in Iraq, four inside Syria, one around the embattled town of Kobani, but still not yet measurably changing the situation on the ground.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) SCIUTTO (voice-over): Even U.S. warplanes cannot keep them at
bay. ISIS fighters now a little more than a mile away from a key town on the Turkish border. The militants proudly posting this video showing Kobani's welcome sign.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We've won this position, and we'll go all the way to their homes.
SCIUTTO: Fearing they'll be massacred if ISIS overruns the town, Kobani's residents are now fleeing by the thousands.
Helping fight back against ISIS, at least one American. British commanders tell CNN that Jordan Maxson (ph), a 28-year-old Army veteran from Wisconsin, believed shown here, has joined the fight along the Iraq/Syria border. They call him a good fighter and say he was injured in combat.
For days, the fighting has been playing out like a war game, visible from just across the border in Turkey. And now Turkey may join the fight.
With ISIS on its doorstep and tens of thousands of Syrian refugees flooding across its border, Turkey's parliament voted to authorize military action in ISIS in both Syria and Iraq.
Turkey, with the second largest military in NATO after only the U.S., could provide both its air power and ground troops. U.S. and coalition forces may also fly strike missions from Turkish air bases.
LT. COL. RICK FRANCONA, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: If the Turks decide to conduct operations in Syria, they are far, far stronger than anything that they're going to face. So they could move into northern Syria, set up a security buffer south of the border. And that would put a lot of pressure on ISIS. It would also create a safe haven for the Kurds.
SCIUTTO: Today, the architect of the 2007 U.S. troop surge in Iraq, General David Petraeus, said he believes the war against ISIS is winnable.
GEN. DAVID PETRAEUS (RET.), FORMER CENTCOMM COMMANDER: It comes down to Prime Minister Abadi performing tasks and the Iraqi security forces performing tasks that we had to do in 2007 because of places literally on fire. We should not underestimate the ability of this new government to reach out to the Sunni/Arab community and to make them part of the fabric of society of Iraq again.
SCIUTTO: The Turkish parliamentary motion allows the Turkish military to conduct cross-border operations. It also allows foreign troops to conduct operations from Turkey.
But Wolf, what it does not mention is any immediate military action of any kind. It also does not -- it only mentions ISIS once in there. It talks about a lot of different groups in Syria, so it allows some wiggle room for Turkey to decide to take action in Syria or not to.
BLITZER: They're taking action in Syria, but there's no decision as far as taking action against ISIS and Iraq?
SCIUTTO: Well, actually, the parliament's motion mentions both those countries but, of course, it doesn't require them that they actually use it.
BLITZER: We'll see what they do, Jim. Thanks very much.
There's growing concern, meanwhile, about ISIS supporters right here in the United States and looking for any further way to social media to find them.
CNN's Brian Todd is working this part of the story. What are you finding out, Brian?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, these images behind me are all posted by ISIS followers in America, people who have praised and glorified the terror group on social media and made threats. They're proving to be a growing challenge for law enforcement officials, who tonight are trying to figure out just how many ISIS supporters like these there are in the U.S.
TODD (voice-over): The pictures aren't hard to find on social media. This man, whose Facebook profile says he's from Chicago, posts a picture of himself wearing an ISIS logo on his shirt. He also posts a map showing ISIS conquering the Middle East.
PHILIP SMYTH, JIHADOLOGY.NET: The posts on social media certainly demonstrates that there are certainly growing levels of support for ISIS in the United States.
TODD: Dozens of Americans who openly support ISIS online were recently profiled by the new site vocative. No names were revealed. But a college student in Texas has a webpage filled with ISIS banners, propaganda videos and portraits of ISIS leader Abu Badr al-Baghdadi. He posted this picture of the ISIS banner next to a Koran and an American flag.
An FBI spokeswoman tells CNN the bureau is aware of this case and looking into it.
Then there's this supporter, who displayed an ISIS logo on a phone, just feet from the White House, with a tweet, "We are here, America, near our target."
SMYTH: It's done to kind of play off of that ISIS is everywhere. They can reach their enemies.
TODD: But analyst Philip Smyth points out many of these people could be posers.
SMYTH: Just because one is posting, it doesn't mean that they're going to go and launch an attack. It could just mean that they are what are referred to in people who follow social media circles. We kind of call them fan boys.
TODD: But there are serious social media connections. The most popular Facebook page for foreign jihadists in Syria is this one, run by an imam in Dearborn, Michigan. That's according to a report from Kings College, London.
Sheikh Ahmad Musa Jibril, giving a sermon on YouTube. The Kings College report says that Jibril is not an ISIS member, doesn't encourage his followers to pursue jihad, but he has spoken in highly charged anti-American sermons. We could not reach Jibril for comment. Law enforcement officials tell CNN they're grappling with how to pursue ISIS social media connections in America.
ALI SOUFAN, FORMER FBI SPECIAL AGENT: It's very difficult. I mean, you have to monitor every account. You have to monitor every social media post, every treat, and then you have to basically investigate and see, is this for real or is it not?
TODD: Analyst Philip Smyth says the online ISIS supporters in America who he's worried about are not the ones posting messages and pictures online but the ones remaining quiet, who are quietly contacting recruiters and clerics who they may have social access to on the media. This, by the way, has also hit the radar of U.S. intelligence officials, who tell me they're continuing to examine ISIS propaganda efforts and messaging they're sending out and the potential for those messages to inspire some kind of attack inside America -- Wolf.
BLITZER: What's the latest, Brian, that you're hearing about potential ISIS cells, cells inside the United States?
TODD: The continuing worry, Wolf, among U.S. intelligence officials -- I spoke with them recently on this -- they tell me they have no indications right now of any ISIS cells inside America. They have told us recently of ISIS cells inside Europe, but it is something that they are constantly watching for.
BLITZER: Brian Todd, thank you. Let's dig deeper now with David Ignatius, the "Washington Post" columnist and associate editor. He's just back from the Turkish-Syrian border.
First of all, Dave, what do you make of ISIS supporters on social media here in the United States?
DAVID IGNATIUS, COLUMNIST/ASSOCIATED EDITOR, "WASHINGTON POST": Wolf, we know that ISIS has been a magnet for jihadists or would-be jihadists around the world. It's not surprising that it gets some traction on social media in the U.S. The question is, as your correspondent rightly said, it's the people you don't know about, the people who don't surface who should be most worrying. And the only protection here is the FBI, other law enforcement intelligence collection agencies around the world. BLITZER: So they're not advertising their activities, they may
be a lot more dangerous, clearly, than those who are on Twitter or Facebook or whatever.
IGNATIUS: The sleeper cells that really are invisible, they're asleep, are the ones that are dangerous.
BLITZER: You're just back from the border, the Syrian-Turkish border. The Turkish parliament said that they're going to help militarily. Not exactly clear what they're going to do. Did you get a sense of what's going on over there as far as Turkey and on the ground, boots on the ground, as they say, activity in Syria? Will they go in?
IGNATIUS: To be honest, it's still unclear exactly what Turkey will do.
I was further west of the area around Kobani where the heavy fighting is going on now. I was in a border town called Rohamli (ph), where I spoke with one of the leading Syrian rebel commanders who described a situation of some disorganization within the opposition inside Syria.
That's the worry for me. There really isn't a strong Free Syrian Army that can do the fighting there. It's going to come down to bombing by the U.S., yes. Whatever action Turkey takes. But there need to be some Syrians better organized to fight this fight.
BLITZER: What worried me is that we saw those demonstrations last week, some supporters of the Free Syrian Army, the opposition to Bashar al-Assad's regime, who was actually shouting "Death to America" because the U.S. was bombing ISIS positions but not Bashar al-Assad's positions.
IGNATIUS: You point out exactly what these Syrian rebel commanders warn me about. The people who are killing their friends and relatives, by and large, are Assad regime army elements, not ISIS. And so although they recognize that ISIS is a threat, if the U.S. policy is only to attack ISIS, I fear that we're going to lose the support of the people we most want as allies in Syria.
BLITZER: And when retired Marine General John Allen told CNN yesterday, this is going to take years to train that opposition army, if you will. This is -- this is a long, drawn-out process. They're not ready to battle these guys.
IGNATIUS: They're not ready. They're not ready to hold the ground that they take. And the problem with U.S. bombing is that there is not a force yet to come in and fill the vacuum, and that's why it's urgent to get this training started so you have a force that can go in and stabilize northern Syria.
BLITZER: An awful situation. David Ignatius, thanks for coming in.
Coming up, breaking news. In a surprising new twist in the University of Virginia student missing case, will DNA link the suspect to a 2013 murder?
BLITZER: There is new and surprising breaking news in the case of the missing University of Virginia student Hannah Graham. Officials have just announced the suspect's DNA will, in fact, be tested to see if he's connected to a 2013 murder.
Let's get the latest. CNN's Athena Jones is joining us from Charlottesville.
What is the latest, Athena?
ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right, Wolf. The lawyer in that murder case asked for and is getting this review all because of the investigation into the disappearance of Hannah Graham. And this comes as one of the men leading the search for Graham called it extraordinary. Probably one of the biggest search efforts in Virginia history.
MICHEL HALLAHAN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: There are many unanswered questions in the Alexis Murphy case.
JONES (voice-over): A lawyer for a man serving two life sentences for killing 17-year-old Alexis Murphy who went missing in a neighboring county last year wants the Commonwealth's attorney to re- examine that case in light of the Jesse Matthew investigation. He wants unidentified DNA samples found in Murphy's car compared to Matthew's DNA. He hopes it will lead to freedom for his client.
HALLAHAN: They don't have to do any more forensic. All they have to do is take the samples already at the lab and compare it.
JONES: Matthew faces charges in the disappearance of University of Virginia 2nd year student Hannah Graham. Michael Hallahan's client, Randy Taylor, was convicted with the help of forensic and video evidence in Murphy's murder, but her body was never found. Taylor has always maintained his innocence. Hallahan now wants the prosecutor to review Murphy's social media activity to determine if there was any contact with Matthew.
HALLAHAN: Maybe it's him, maybe it's not. Doesn't hurt to check.
JONES: The Nelson County Commonwealth's attorney, Anthony Martin, said in a statement, there is no credible evidence linking Matthew to the murder case but said the Commonwealth will make sure that scientific testing is done in order to bring closure to the speculation.
Hallahan's request comes as police in Newport News, Virginia, take another look at two unsolved missing women cases there for possible connections to Matthew. 24-year-old Autumn Wind Day was last seen July 24th, 2003, 31-year-old Sophie May Rivera was last seen September 7th, 2003.
A police spokesman told CNN, "While there is no indication that Jesse Matthew has anything to do with these two missing girl cases in our city, both cases will be reviewed."
Matthew attended Christopher Newport University in Newport News from January to October 2003, and in a new development the school now says he was accused of sexual assault on campus there in September 2003. No charges were filed and Matthew left the school a few weeks later.
Still it was the second time in about a year that Matthew faced such allegations. He was accused of rape in October 2002 while attending Liberty University in Lynchburg. Matthew told authorities the woman consented. Case was closed due to lack of evidence because the woman refused to cooperate.
Meanwhile, the search for Graham continues on the ground and in the air.
MARK EGGMAN, VIRGINIA SEARCH AND RESCUE: Most of what we have found has been discounted. I think the greatest thing that we have done is determine a whole lot of areas where she's not.
JONES: Flyers some now tattered still dot UVA's campus. Jesse Matthew's attorney did not return CNN's calls for comment. Graham has been missing now for nearly three weeks.
JONES: Now keep in mind that the lawyer in the Randy Taylor case says in this letter asking for this review that this is not a fishing expedition but the fact of the matter is he sees the Jesse Matthew case as a potential opening for his client -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Athena, thanks very much. Athena Jones in Charlottesville for us, appreciate it.
Let's get some more perspective on this new DNA testing, the latest clues in the overall investigation. Joining us here in THE SITUATION ROOM is our law enforcement analyst, Tom Fuentes, he's former assistant director of the FBI, and also joining us the investigative journalist Coy Barefoot. He's joining us from Charlottesville, in Virginia.
Tom, let's talk about this new development. All of a sudden, all these other cases are being reopened. They are going to try to check to see if there's any forensic or DNA evidence linking this individual to any of those other cases. How unusual is that?
TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, it's not always unusual. You have a situation where you have a number of open cases where a suspect wasn't developed where they could do a comparison, whether it be for fingerprints, DNA or any other forensic physical evidence. Once you develop a possible suspect that may be could have been involved in it, now you -- you have something to compare, so they can go back to the evidence that was obtained at the time of those investigations and if they obtained DNA evidence. They now have a possible suspect to compare it to.
And especially in the case where someone is incarcerated and would like it to be verified as is the case here, would ask the Commonwealth of Virginia, please look at this case and see if it's possible that Matthew was involved.
BLITZER: Coy, what's been the reaction there in Charlottesville and the area to this latest development, the reopening of this one case?
COY BAREFOOT, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: Wolf, I think most people here believe that it is smart and it is responsible and it is good police work to take everything that we are learning in the search for Hannah Graham and use that new information to explore some of the critical unknowns in the cases of Morgan Harrington, Alexis Murphy, and any of the other cases of missing young women who had gone missing here in central Virginia in the last few years.
I mean, we're right here in Charlottesville. Thomas Jefferson lived here. The University of Virginia is less than a mile from where I'm standing and Jefferson was the one who wrote, "Here we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead." So, yes, do the tests and let the science speak.
BLITZER: I want both of you to stand by. We've got to take a quick commercial break. Much more on the latest developments in Charlottesville as they are searching for this missing woman. Stay with us.
BLITZER: We're following the breaking news in the case of the missing University of Virginia student Hannah Graham. The state will test the suspect's DNA to see if he's connected to a 2013 murder.
We're back with CNN law enforcement analyst, the former assistant FBI director, Tom Fuentes, and our investigative journalist Coy Barefoot who's joining us from Charlottesville.
What do you make of this bond hearing being delayed for Jesse Matthews -- for Jesse Matthew, the reckless driving charge being now continues, as they say, until December 1st, Coy?
BAREFOOT: He's not going to get bond. He already took flight and went to Texas. And in Virginia, you can't get bond if you've been charged with abduction with intent to defile. Unless you have really extenuating circumstances which he does not have. This time it's going to buy everyone involved -- the lawyers, police, investigators -- nearly two months, just over two months to spend more time with this.
This kind of police work is slow, it's meticulous, it's methodical, it's deliberate. That's how good police work and investigation works. And I think they will make good use of that time on both sides.
BLITZER: Tom, as you know, he could potentially face the death penalty. If prosecutors were to take the death penalty off the table, offer him some sort of plea deal, he pleads guilty, he cooperates if he's involved with the disappearance or killing of other women, or whatever, he has to share all of that information. He comes clean but he gets life without the possibility of parole.
Is that something you think the prosecutors are considering even as early as right now?
FUENTES: Oh, of course. They are considering it. But what they want to do is resolve these issues with the other earlier cases because if he's facing multiple murder charges rather than just one in another case, that gives them so much leverage for him to want to make that deal. And the deal would include probably -- and I'm going to speculate here -- but probably would include you please tell us what happened to Hannah Graham that night and then maybe we'll take the death penalty off the table.
BLITZER: How will the community there in Charlottesville, Coy, react to such a plea deal, if you will?
BAREFOOT: I know right now, Wolf, that this entire community is taking the abduction and the disappearance of Hannah Graham personally. We're outraged. Hannah was stolen from this community and we bring to every day the hope that today's the day. That today will be the day. We will find her and we'll bring her home and we're absolutely committed to doing everything that we can to find her and bring her home and we will keep looking and we will allow the justice system to do what it does despite its faults. There are ideals in that justice system that we believe in and we will let this process move forward.
BLITZER: Yesterday we spoke about drones now being used, Coy, to look for her. Anything come of that?
BAREFOOT: Not that I'm aware of. The very latest, of course, is the two drones continue to be used. There's also a plane taking high resolution pictures of the terrain. You know, so much of central Virginia is incredibly rural. Especially the places down in Nelson County, which is southwest of Charlottesville along the Blue Ridge Mountains.
They were down there yesterday and today with multiple search warrants. Those warrants are sealed so I don't know if that's residences or land parcels but this plane can take pictures up to three inches resolution. And so that is the latest and also the guys are out on ATVs. I was with them this morning, searching the roads and the roadsides going in and out of Charlottesville.
We will keep looking, Wolf. She's out there and we're going to find her.
BLITZER: We'll check back with you tomorrow, Coy. Thanks very much. Coy Barefoot, Tom Fuentes, guys, thanks very much.
Coming up in the next hour of THE SITUATION ROOM, we're live in Dallas where members of an Ebola patient's family are now quarantined. Health authorities say up to 100 people may have been exposed to the infected man.
Up next, a live report from the tense streets of Hong Kong, where deadlines have passed. Pro-democracy protests are expected to grow even larger.
BLITZER: More breaking news. Tensions rising right now in Hong Kong as another deadline passes and the standoff between police and pro-democracy demonstrators. The protesters demanding Hong Kong's top official step down. He refused. Now police are warning the demonstrators not to surround government buildings and the protests are expected to grow with daylight, which is now approaching.
Our senior international correspondent Ivan Watson is joining us in Hong Kong right now.
Approaching 6:00 a.m. over there. Friday morning. What's the latest, Ivan?
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, right now we have a potential confrontation building here. As you can see demonstrators who are blocking the entrance to the top official in Hong Kong, to his office. Police right here who are urging the demonstrators to get out of the way to allow two trucks through that the police say are carrying food and water, breakfast essentially. It's before dawn here.
And the protesters are worried or suspicious that the police have been moving in tear gas and rubber bullets and anti-riot supplies. So they're not letting the trucks through right now. And here we have this tension continually repeating here to let the people through. So there is a little bit of tension here right now as both sides face off.
Now the bigger picture, there have been some developments just in the last six, eight hours where, after more than five days of this pro-democracy sit-in, the Hong Kong government has agreed to a meeting with student leaders.
Now this is a request that's been in now for a week and a half, and the government, until today, has called the protesters illegal and now finally -- you can hear the chanting here. It is getting a little bit more tense. Finally the government has agreed to hold talks. It's with student leaders.
Again, it's taken shutting down the downtown of this city and occupying it for five days to get that agreement to at least sit down and hold talks -- Wolf.
BLITZER: No signs of water cannon or anything like that, right?
WATSON: At this stage no. And what happened is over the last weekend, the police around places used pepper spray against the demonstrators and that swung a lot of sympathy here in Hong Kong behind the demonstrators who weren't armed at the time.
Now these demonstrators clearly engaged in more provocative acts. They've been barricading the entrance to the chief executive's office. That's the number one man here for more than 24 hours. There have been two days of public holidays so there's been no real government work here.
The question is, will the number one man in Hong Kong be able to come to his office today? The hundreds of young protesters here, they don't seem to want to let that man get to his office.
BLITZER: All right.
WATSON: As you can see right here. And they're not even letting two trucks in that the police say are carrying breakfast for the police officers.
BLITZER: All right. Ivan, we're going to stay obviously on top of this story together with you. Be careful over there. And thanks very much.
Other breaking news coming up. An Ebola quarantine in Dallas. Family members of the first patient diagnosed in the United States are under a lockdown right now as health officials look for dozens of people he may have had contact with in the United States.
Plus, the new claim of misconduct in the Michael Brown police shooting case. Did a grand juror discuss evidence with a friend? The woman at the center of the controversy speaks exclusively to CNN.