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Massachusetts Woman Reported Missing by Employer; Ex-GOP Candidate Arrested in New Mexico; China's Population Shrank in 2022; Risks of COVID During Pregnancy; Video from Nepali Crash. Aired 9:30- 10a ET

Aired January 17, 2023 - 09:30   ET



MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They were out there evening. They stopped to get something to eat.

While she was eating, Jamea says a - her mother says the suspect came up to her and began trying to flirt with her, trying to talk with her. Jamea wanted nothing to do with it. She was with her boyfriend.

They eventually decided to just leave. They got into the vehicle and Jamea's mother says that one of the suspects came up and fired a gun into that vehicle, killing Jamea.

Eventually, police, talking to eyewitnesses, and looking at surveillance video, were able to ID the suspects in the case, Darius Miles, 21-year-old third-year forward for the University of Alabama men's basketball team, I should say former member of the team, and Michael Davis, a 20-year-old. Both have been charged with murder.

Since that time, though, Darius' attorney has put out a statement. It reads as this, Darius Miles and his family are heartbroken tonight over the death of Jamea Jonae Harris. While Darius has been accused of being involved in this tragedy, he maintains his innocence and looks forward to his day in court.

Authorities have not said who actually pulled the trigger here.

Meanwhile, the coach of the University of Alabama's basketball team, men's team, had this comment about the whole tragedy.


NATE OATS, HEAD COACH, UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA MEN'S BASKETBALL TEAM: I've got three daughters. Went through my mind how easily it could have been one of mine. Tough situation. Talked to Darius' mother multiple times yesterday. Very hard situation on both accounts. So, you know, just continue to pray for Jamea and her family, although I didn't know them, but they're certainly in our thoughts and prayers.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SAVIDGE: Jamea Harris is 23 years of age. And she was the mother of a five-year-old. Capital murder, by the way, is the most serious charge in the state of Alabama.

Bianna and John.

BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN ANCHOR: Such a senseless tragic murder.

Martin Savidge, thank you.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: So, authorities are now seeking blood tests from the children of a missing Massachusetts woman. They're hoping to use it to test against blood stains found in the basement of Ana and Brian Walshe's home.

GOLODRYGA: Ana hasn't been seen since New Year's Day. Now, her husband has not been indicted in her disappearance, but he has been charged with misleading authorities.

Jason Carroll joins us now from Cohasset, Massachusetts.

So, Jason, police logs now confirming that Ana Walshe's employer was the first one to report her missing, not her husband.

What more are we learning?

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Right. And that's something that prosecutors had said during Walshe's arraignment last week. And now it has been confirmed, we actually took a look at those police logs dated January 4th, and it does show that her place of employment in Washington, D.C., was the one that actually called Cohasset police and said that she was missing, which begs the question -- and there have been so many questions, as you know, Bianna, in this particular case, why didn't Brian Walshe -- why wasn't he the one who called police and reported her missing.

So, that is something that investigators are going to be taking a look at, in addition to what they already have. You know, test results on things such as the hacksaw that was found at that trash facility. They're going to be looking for test results on the blood stains that were found in the basement of the home. And so once they get all that in -- and they certainly already have enough circumstantial evidence in this particular case, right? So, they're also going to be looking to get back some of those forensic results.

Once they have all of that, then you have to ask yourself, what will the prosecutors' next move will be. Well, it could be a couple of things. One, they could file a formal complaint to the district court on various charges. They could have a grand jury indict. But right now, Bianna, basically we are in a holding pattern waiting to see what the prosecutors' next move will be.

GOLODRYGA: All right, Jason Carroll, thank you.

Overnight, a former Republican state house candidate in New Mexico was arrested for allegedly orchestrating several shootings at the homes of multiple Democrats. We'll have more details up next.



GOLODRYGA: In New Mexico, an Albuquerque SWAT team arresting a former Republican statehouse candidate in connection with a string of recent shootings at the homes of local Democratic leaders. Police say Solomon Pena, who lost his 2022 election bid, claimed election fraud after his loss and is now accused of paying and conspiring with four men to shoot at Democrats' homes.

BERMAN: One of those targeted, County Commissioner Adriann Barboa, spoke to CNN earlier.


ADRIANN BARBOA (D), BERNALILLO COUNTY COMMISSIONER: Politicians at our highest level of government continue to make threats and violence a regular part of public discourse. It has real impacts on our democracy and our real lives. I was -- shots came through my home right where I had, just hours before, been playing with my granddaughter.



CNN's Josh Campbell has been digging here.

Josh, what have you learned about what happened exactly in the background of Pena?

JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, you know, this is a terrifying case. This Republican former New Mexico house of representative candidate who had claimed election fraud after his landslide defeat was arrested by the Albuquerque SWAT team yesterday.

Now, police, to your question, say that Solomon Pena paid and conspired with four men to shoot at the homes of four Democratic- elected officials. Now, CNN has attempted to reach Pena for comment. These shootings, according to police, occurred between December 4th and January 3rd. And in the latest shooting, police say that Pena himself actually pulled the trigger.

Now, no one was physically injured in the shooting, but they did cause damage to the four homes. One of those elected officials who was allegedly targeted, who we just heard from a short time ago, she said she had an encounter with Pena right after the election.


Have a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ADRIANN BARBOA (D), BERNALILLO COUNTY COMMISSIONER: He came to my house after the election. And he's an election denier. He weaponized those dangerous thoughts to threaten me and others causing serious trauma. Yes, he was saying that the elections were fake, that -- really speaking erratically. I didn't feel threatened at the time, but I did feel like he was, you know, erratic.


Now, as far as those four alleged accomplices, police say that they're still investigating whether they actually knew who they were shooting at or whether they were just paid to open fire. But authorities say it was a host of evidence that they used to actually try to help uncover this conspiracy, including firearms evidence, surveillance footage and witnesses, guys.

GOLODRYGA: So, Josh, clearly this is a complicated investigation. As you noted, officials are now connecting five people to what they call a conspiracy.

Help us walk through where this investigation leads next.

CAMPBELL: Yes, you know, police have described Pena as the mastermind. I think that's generous in this situation because, you know, looking at past investigations, anytime you have more than one person who's involved in a crime, that opens up a window for law enforcement to find a weak link, to try to gather evidence.

And all you have to do in this case is really look at what's called the victimology. And in criminal justice what that means is the relationship between the victim and the offender. In this case, all of the victims were Democrats. So police would be able to quickly make that assumption that this could be politically motivated. You couple that with the fact that Pena, according to some of these witnesses, actually went to the homes of these officials after the election, berating them. One person calling him very erratic.

Again, it really points to, OK, this could be someone who would then be predisposed to act with violence and then commit some kind of attack like this. But one thing that I think is so key is, you look at what police say is that firearm evidence. You know, anytime you shoot a gun it ejects a spent shell casing. It also fires a bullet into, in this case, the homes. Those are all key pieces of evidence that investigators would use to try to track back who actually owned that weapon.

We also know, in this day and age, so many people have doorbell cameras. We're told that video surveillance was key here, as well as cellphone technology, which in so many of these cases police, they look at cellphone towers to try to determine what numbers were pinging these towers at this time of day.

Again, you know, this appears somewhat ham-handed but no less serious because we've been reported for the last few years that this heated political rhetoric in this country really has troubled investigators and law enforcement because they are afraid of just this very act, someone out there who may be predisposed to act with violence, politically motivated, and then tried to conduct some kind of attack. A very, very serious case.

BERMAN: Yes, it may be ham-handed, but all those bullet holes in those houses --



GOLODRYGA: Very real.

BERMAN: I mean very real and very dangerous.


CAMPBELL: Absolutely.

BERMAN: Great point.

Josh Campbell, thank you very much.

CAMPBELL: You bet.

BERMAN: So, for the first time in 60 years, China's population, shrinking. What that now means, what this milestone means for the entire world.



BERMAN: So new numbers, they're numbers -


BERMAN: Just released this morning.

GOLODRYGA: They're new.

BERMAN: That will have a huge impact on the economy and security situations around the world. For the first time in six decades, China's population has actually decreased. Its gone down. It fell by about 850,000 last year.

GOLODRYGA: Yes, that means more people died than were born last year alone.


GOLODRYGA: Now, the new data came alongside the announcement of one of China's worst annual economic performances in nearly half a century.

CNN's Marc Stewart is live in Hong Kong to break this down for us.

So, Marc, first the population decline. That has been a trend that predated Covid and going back to China's long-standing one-child policy. This is now the impact from that. How is the government responding?

MARC STEWART, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Right, Bianna. Until 2015 Chinese families could only have one child. Well, because of a gradual population decline, that was reversed. In fact, in 2021, the government now said you can have three children, but that doesn't seem to be moving forward so well.

So there are a number of things at play. First of all, people are getting married older. That impacts fertility. Some families are saying, no, we don't want to have children at all. So that's something that contributes to this population decline.

And then China, like in many parts of the world, having a child is very expensive. We're not just talking about food and the basics. A lot of Chinese families spend additional money on education, things like after school tutoring programs. That has contributed to the decline.

So, there isn't just one single reason. And it's something that the government is having to grapple with. They're trying to create even more incentives, such as maybe extended maternity care, tax breaks, tax benefits to encourage people to have children.

But this is very -- this is very tough. And it looks like, according to U.N. projections, India will top China in 2023 as far as total population.

BERMAN: It has huge implications going forward for China and therefore the entire world because then they start to have to take care of an aging population. Do they have the numbers to do that. What does it mean for their economic, you know, output, their manufacturing. It really is a giant deal.

In so far as what we're seeing economically in China right now, Marc, the zero Covid policy, they're trying to go back on that. Where do people see things headed?

STEWART: Well, the zero Covid policy, without question, has had an impact on China's ability to be an economic might in the world. I mean, for two years or so everything was in lockdown. That meant that ports were not operating as efficiently as possible. Think about all of the products we get from China. Manufacturing was impacted. And then people got sick. So that also slowed things down.

So, what China is doing right now is basically saying to the world in bold terms, you know, we are open for business. And one thing in which they are doing that is getting a lot of attention, especially here in Hong Kong, China's loosening some of its regulations on things like tech, the housing sector, which was under strict limits. The hope by kind of laying off some of that will encourage business, especially from the west, to do business with China.

[09:50:05] GOLODRYGA: Yes, and we also should take any data coming out of China with a grain of salt. They, historically, have always, I guess, rounded up when it came to their economic number. So, one can assume possibly that's what they're doing this time around as well.

Marc Stewart, thank you.

BERMAN: Maybe a saltshaker, not just a grain.

GOLODRYGA: Yes, exactly. Exactly, a whole shaker.

BERMAN: All right, a new warning about the devastating effects of Covid for pregnant women. A study finds that pregnant women who get Covid at any point during the pregnancy are at high risk of dying or having severe outcomes.

GOLODRYGA: So, let's bring in CNN medical correspondent Dr. Tara Narula.

So, Tara, this is frightening. What more are we learning?

DR. TARA NARULA, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, well, this is really more literature to support the idea that getting Covid during pregnancy increases the risk of morbidity and mortality for mom and baby.

This was a very large study. About 13,000 pregnant women, 12 countries, 12 studies all put together that they reviewed. And they looked at the 2,000 women who got Covid at some time during the pregnancy and compared them to the 11,000 who didn't. They found that those who are Covid had a four times more likely chance of getting admitted to an ICU, 15 times increased risk of getting put on a ventilator, seven times more likely to die.


NARULA: And then increased risk of conditions, like pre-eclampsia, hypertensive disorders of pregnancy and clotting.

And then when you look at the baby, the babies were at risk - there was an increased risk of pre-term birth, low birth weight and getting admitted to a neonatal ICU. So, really a lot more data to support the idea of getting vaccinated.


BERMAN: Well, I was going to say, I mean, what can women do to protect themselves?


BERMAN: And I think we all know the answer.

NARULA: Yes. And, interestingly, about 80 countries still don't really have any recommendations for pregnant women to get vaccinated. But, yes, the CDC, the American College of OBGYNs, Society of Material Fetal Medicine all support the safety and the benefits of guesting vaccinated during pregnancy, at any point, getting your booster, if you're eligible, and also if you're conceiving or planning on getting pregnant and then getting treated for Covid for pregnant women who may develop Covid during pregnancy.

And let's not forget that, when women get vaccinated, they also protect their babies by passing on those antibodies at delivery because the babies can't get vaccinated till six months.

So, as of now, about 72 percent of pregnant women in the United States have had their first series of Covid vaccines. Only 19 percent have gotten their updated boosters.

GOLODRYGA: Have to bring that number up.


GOLODRYGA: I mean this is the new normal. Covid's going to be with us for the foreseeable future.

NARULA: Exactly.

GOLODRYGA: People, especially pregnant women, do need to get vaccinated.


GOLODRYGA: Dr. Narula, thank you.

Well, it looked like a normal descent until it didn't. The video taken inside that Nepal airplane just before the crash, and the latest there as investigators are searching for the final victim. That's next.



GOLODRYGA: Search crews in Nepal have recovered the remains of all but one victim of Sunday's deadly plane crash. We are now seeing video purportedly from inside - from a passenger inside the plane just moments before that crash.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking in Foreign Language).


BERMAN: Now we've edited the video so you cannot identify anyone who was on the plane. We're also not showing you the moment it crashes. But this video could help authorities determine what led to the crash.

There were 72 people on board, including four crew members, when it crashed into a gorge.

CNN's Vedika Sud joins us now. You've been covering this Vedika.

Nepali authorities, they dispute this video. Why?

VEDIKA SUD, CNN REPORTER: John, before I get to that, I think it's important for our audience to know that CNN has corroborated this video based on a flight manifest. We've looked into information on the website of the Yeti Airlines and also we've used geo-location.

Now, the Nepal authorities, and we're talking about the spokesperson of the civil aviation authority in Nepal, has said, hey, this video is not from inside the plane that crashed. But when we pressed further, he said he has no technical evidence to support his claim.

However, CNN has also spoken to aviation experts and they say that this could be a crucial piece of evidence for the investigators who have about 45 days to submit their report to the Nepal government.

CNN has also spoken to the passenger' friend. The passenger was from India. And we've also spoken to state officials from the state he belonged to in India.

Now, coming to the latest on ground from the crash site, all but one body has been recovered. Search ops have been called off for the day and will resume tomorrow morning. There was a problem early morning in Pokhara where the crash site is because of the fog. But that cleared away and drones were used to find the missing passengers.

Also another update that we've got is that more than 40 bodies have reached Kathmandu. Family members will be identifying these bodies over the next few days and then these bodies will be handed over to them. Another 20 plus bodies have been handed over to family members in Pokhara itself.

Now, the black boxes were recovered on Monday, and that should throw -- and will throw light on what really happened inside the cockpit in the last few moments, John.

GOLODRYGA: All right, Vedika Sud, thank you so much.

Top of the hour. Good morning, everybody, I'm Bianna Golodryga.

BERMAN: And I'm John Berman. Great to see you this morning.

Two big meetings this morning on Ukraine. Next hour, President Biden will host the Dutch prime minister at the White House to discuss support for Ukraine. And then later Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets his U.K. counterpart.

GOLODRYGA: It comes as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is expected to address world leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos tomorrow. His wife, first lady Olena Zelenska, speaking there this morning and warning the west that Ukraine is, quote, facing the collapse of the world as we know it.