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Mom Accused of Selling Daughter into Sex Slavery
Aired November 16, 2009 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, heart-wrenching, fast-breaking developments in the case of a missing angel. Tragically, it appears likely this is the little girl found killed and dumped on the side of the highway. And that`s just part of this nightmare.
Cops say 5-year-old Shaniya Davis was sold as a sex slave, allegedly by her own mother. This beautiful little girl was reported missing last week, but cops say she wasn`t abducted. She was actually sold as a prostitute, and cops say this man was seen carrying the little girl into a hotel. Who could do this to a little girl?
And a story so evil, it defies comprehension. A sixth family member has now been arrested on charges he sexually assaulted and raped younger members of his own family. Last week, this very same guy called the abuse allegations against other family members repulsive. Well, now he`s sitting next to his brother and four nephews in jail.
Cops say these men forced kids to have sex and made them watch as the other children were raped right in front of their eyes. And that`s not the half of it. Could there be more suspects and more victims? Dead or alive?
Plus, breaking news in the search for Morgan Harrington. The beautiful Virginia Tech student vanished during a crowded rock concert. Now police say Harrington was last seen hitchhiking and getting into a car. Meanwhile, eye-witnesses are coming forward, claiming they crossed paths with Morgan right outside the concert walls. Could these new developments lead cops to Morgan? We`ll have the very latest from family members.
ISSUES starts now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Crushing news tonight in the fast-breaking story of adorable 5-year-old Shaniya Davis. A child`s body has been found, and while cops are awaiting positive I.D., it`s believed likely that child is little Shaniya.
This North Carolina child was last seen in the early morning hours last Tuesday. Her mother told cops she put Shaniya on a couch at 5:30 a.m., but when she checked on her an hour later, little Shaniya had vanished.
However, at 6:11 that same morning, surveillance video taken at a motel about 37 miles away shows the innocent and trusting child seeming to cling to the man holding her. Cops say that is Mario McNeill, reportedly the ex-boyfriend`s of Shaniya`s sister. They arrested him Friday on charges of first-degree kidnapping. But little Shaniya was nowhere to be found.
A frantic search was launched. Then at about 2 p.m. Eastern today, devastating news.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THERESA CHANCE, FAYETTEVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT: We have located a body. Based on some information we obtained, we can confirm that that body is the child, and it was located off of Walker Road.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Police told us stand by for more information, but at 4:30 p.m., not much else.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHANCE: We`re going to wait until we exhume that body, get it to the medical examiner`s office, get a positive identification on it, and then we`ll go forward from there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Meantime, Shaniya`s mother is behind bars. She is charged with a litany of nauseating crimes, including -- get this -- human trafficking. That`s right. Antoinette Davis is accused of forcing her 5- year-old daughter into sexual servitude and prostitution.
So many unanswered questions, but a ton of information about the suspects and possible motive. Tonight`s big issue: selling a child. Hypothetically, what would possess a woman to allegedly completely abandon her maternal instincts? Let me know what you think: 1-877-586-7827.
Straight out to my outstanding expert panel: Mike Eiglarsh, criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor; Don Clark, former special agent in charge of the Houston, Texas, FBI; Dr. Dale Archer, clinical psychiatrist; and Barbara Davenport, manager of the Sleepy Hollow Mobile Home Park, joins me by phone.
But first, Angie Crouch, investigative reporter, she has been on top of this story. Angie, what is the very latest?
ANGIE CROUCH, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Well, Jane, this story appears to be just about as twisted as it gets. The mother now being charged today, accused of selling her daughter into prostitution.
And, of course, Mario McNeill, who authorities say originally confessed to kidnapping this little girl, but apparently now is being extremely uncooperative. They`re saying that he`s now being charged with kidnapping.
They got information about where they could find a body of a child. Of course, they went there today. They did find the body of a child, but so far, they have not positively identified it. But it is, of course, presumed to be that of Shaniya Davis. They`re not saying how she died at this point, Jane.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: The suspect allegedly seen with the child at the hotel, as Angie just mentioned, 25-year-old Mario McNeill. You see him right there. He`s reportedly the ex-boyfriend of Antoinette`s sister, the mom`s sister, and here he is in court after his arrest.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID HASTY, DISTRICT COURT JUDGE: You`re charged on November the 10th of 2009 with first-degree kidnapping. It`s alleged you did unlawfully, willfully and pointlessly (ph) kidnap Shaniya Davis, a person under the age of 16.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: McNeill`s rap sheet includes fleeing to elude arrest, assault on a female, and drug possession. Cops say he confessed to abducting Shaniya. His lawyer says he will plead not guilty.
To me, the key in his past is the drug possession. Cops also say they served a search warrant on the Davis home, where the little girl was living this past summer. They found a variety of drugs.
So Mark Eiglarsh, hypothetically, could drugs be at the very heart of this case?
MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: It could be, Jane. But I know a lot of drug addicts who would never go to these lengths to be so evil. That might be something that they used as an excuse. I don`t think that that`s going to carry any weight whatsoever. This is a level of evil that really leaves me almost speechless. I can`t imagine, allegedly, what these two have done.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight`s big issue, selling a child. It seems incomprehensible. We`ll talk about that horrific criminal practice.
But first, Shaniya`s devastated father, who talked about the little girl on CBS`s "The Early Show." Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRADLEY LOCKHART, SHANIYA DAVIS`S FATHER: She`s a precious little angel. She`s full of joy. A little reserved when she first meets you, but once she gets to know you, she just runs around and plays and won`t leave you alone. She`s just a happy little angel.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But now cops say that`s the very 5-year-old child who was allegedly sold for sex, allegedly by her own mother, and is now believed to be dead, although the body of a child found about seven miles from the hotel has not been positively identified as little Shaniya.
You know, it sounds, Dr. Dale Archer, astounding. But this is more common than you think. Right now, about 300,000 kids are at risk for commercial sexual exploitation in the United States. That`s according to the Department of Justice. The average predator can reportedly make over 200 grand a year off of one girl.
Doctor Dale, we think of sex trafficking as something involving these international crime syndicates, tens of thousands of girls to the U.S. and then hold them as sex slaves. That`s true. But there`s also a huge crisis with the home-grown selling of children for sex. Google it. Because that`s what I did today. You will see an astounding number of stories all across the country.
DR. DALE ARCHER, CLINICAL PSYCHIATRIST: And I`m so glad you`re bringing it up, Jane, because you`re absolutely right. And the average American has no idea that this is not just an international problem. This happens in America every single day.
And I will say that when we analyze the mother`s motives here, three things are possible. One, pure greed. Two, she had a psychotic condition. And three, and by far the most likely, is that she was a drug addict.
And I will disagree with Mark on this. I will say that addiction can be so overpowering due to the brain chemical phenomenon, that they crave the drugs so much, that it`s more important than family, friends, loved ones, job, anything.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, yes, you think of one...
EIGLARSH: I don`t disagree with you, Dale -- Dale, I don`t disagree with you. I`m just saying that argument will play no role whatsoever in convincing any prosecutor, judge or jury to let them go with a pass on this one.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: No, but I understand what Dr. Dale is saying, though. It`s that what could destroy the maternal instinct? It`s supposed to be the most powerful of instinct of a mother, to protect her child.
And remember, this woman is just accused; she hasn`t been convicted of anything. But hypothetically speaking, it has been shown over time that one of the things that can destroy a maternal instinct, Dr. Dale, is -- and let me throw this at Don Clark -- drugs.
Drugs can really turn a person into a zombie, where they essentially lose their maternal instinct, and the reason why drugs is legitimate to talk about here is that the suspect has a rap sheet that includes drugs. And cops say they raided and served a search warrant on this house where this little child was living, and they found drugs this summer, even though she hadn`t been living there at the time.
DON CLARK, FORMER SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE, HOUSTON, TEXAS, FBI: You know, Jane, drugs are involved in this case. There`s no question about that. And I`m not going to argue the psychology of what drugs will do.
But I can tell you right now, is that when the DNA test comes back from this little body that`s been found out there, then that`s going to really tell the tale as to what really happened during the course of this little girl`s abduction. So that`s what I`m banking on is the DNA. And if the DNA comes back that the person in custody, the male that`s in custody, that that`s his DNA, that`s not going to be any pity there at all.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But let me ask you this, Don. Would they do a drug test at the time of arresting the mother to see if she was high on something? Because I would think that would be a very smart move, because it could lead to possible motive.
CLARK: Well, you know, it`s possible that they could do a drug test. But I don`t know why they would want to do a drug test. If she has sold her little kid, you know, maybe somewhere...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Because it would go to motive.
CLARK: I understand.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It would go to motive.
CLARK: I understand, but maybe somewhere along the line that her defense lawyers may want to bring in and make sure that she had a drug test or something like that.
But I`m concerned with the fact that she gave away or sold or whatever this kid. So I`m going to be looking at all the elements that I can find to make sure that justice is served with regard to this mother.
EIGLARSH: Jane -- Jane...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And that`s what we`re talking about, the possibility of why would you do something this incomprehensible that she`s accused, only accused of doing. And the only thing I can think of is to get drugs, or money for drugs, because what else could be so important that you would have such a craving to have that you would sell your own child? I can`t think of anything else on the planet, unless you were needing a fix, needing something. Needing a drug that you`re craving, because you`re an addict.
I don`t have any proof of that. It`s just that that`s usually what comes up in cases like this. We`ll have to wait and see.
More on little Shaniya in just a bit. We`re also taking your calls on this: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-2987.
The nightmare escalates. A sixth family member has now been arrested for allegedly abusing young members of his family. The details are almost too revolting to repeat on television. And then there`s the other issue. Could there be more victims?
Plus, an 8-year-old girl allegedly sold as a sex slave? Actually, she`s 5 years old. Even worse. Five years old! Cops have found this little child, and they found a body on the side of the highway. They are wondering, could it be the body of this little girl?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP )
CHANCE: We have located a body, based on some information that we obtained. We can`t confirm that that body is the child, and it was located off of Walker Road.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANN SUMMERS, MOTHER OF ANTOINETTE DAVIS: She`s a good mother. My daughter is a good mother. She`s a straight, good-up mother.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was Antoinette`s mother, defending her daughter. And once again, we have to repeat: this woman is just charged and accused of selling her 5-year-old daughter for sex. She has not been convicted of anything.
I`m delighted to have with me on the phone Barbara Davenport, who is not only the Sleepy Hollow Mobile Home Park manager -- and this is where the Davis sisters, Antoinette and her sister, lived -- but she`s also a retired sheriff`s deputy, so she knows what she`s talking about, with the major crimes unit.
Barbara, you`ve been looking at all of this. Give us your analysis, and I know you want to weigh in.
BARBARA DAVENPORT, MANAGER, SLEEPY HOLLOW MOBILE HOME PARK (via phone): OK. Well, yes, I`d like to correct the issue of the drugs found at the residence.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Go ahead.
DAVENPORT: There was not a drug raid at their residence in Sleepy Hollow. This alleged rape took place July 25, when the sisters were residing on Wall Street.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. But they did raid a home where these two were staying, and the police had said that. And you also looked at the police report and, being a retired sheriff`s deputy from the major crimes unit, tell us what you found there.
DAVENPORT: What I found there was no indication of any drugs found or drugs seized. What was seized was a lot of evidence of manufacturing drugs for sale. But little baggies, razor blades, that type of thing.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And what kind of drug would that point to, did you get any indication in...?
DAVENPORT: Just based on the facts they were using razor blades, I would surmise crack cocaine.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Don Clark, what do you make of it?
CLARK: Well, you know, Jane, I understand what the deputy is saying, and the fact of what they found there. But, you know, let`s face it. If it looks like a duck and it walks like a duck, it probably is. Drugs had a lot to do with what took place here. I don`t -- I don`t agree with it, I`m not going to give this mother any excuses whatsoever that she was getting money from...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s not about giving -- it`s not about giving excuses. It`s about understanding so we can prevent it from happening again.
Justin Moss, reporter, WNCN. Bring us up to date on what you are learning.
JUSTIN MOSS, REPORTER, WNCN: Sure, Jane. We just got a briefing from Fayetteville police just a short time ago.
The latest is that they are now working with the state authorities to exhume the body at this point, and then they will work to get a positive I.D. As we said, we don`t know at this point that it is Shaniya Davis, but police have called off the search.
And they`re not saying specifically what led them to that area where they found the body. It is, though, about six miles away from the area -- the hotel, rather, where Shaniya was last seen. Police also telling us that, assuming the body is Shaniya Davis, an autopsy should take a few days to complete, and it will need to figure out how and where the child died before any new charges could be filed in the case -- Jane.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you know, Shaniya`s father had raised the child up until very recently. He told "The Early Show" he wanted to give her mom a chance to raise her. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LOCKHART: Of course, you know, I had some reserves. However, you know, she had been trying, and I know that she had been working for at least six months. And she had been trying to get her life back on track, and she said she had just recently got her own place, so I was wanting to give her a chance. She had asked if she could be a mother, and I felt that she was sincere in asking, and figured to give her a chance.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So Justin, he says he wanted to give her another chance because she was getting her life together. Getting her life together from what? What was her rocky situation that she was recovering from?
MOSS: Well, that`s a good question. Up until this point, she has not been arrested on anything, as far as we can tell from the Department of Corrections. We have heard from family members that she did have some drug problems in the past, but as you said, the father was looking to give her another chance by giving her Shaniya, just custody a few weeks ago.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And apparently, the Department of Social Services had been visiting one of the homes where the Davis family was located, correct?
MOSS: Yes, we`re not clear on which home, whether it was at the mobile home park where Shaniya was when she was kidnapped, but we do know at this point that the Department of Social Services has been involved.
EIGLARSH: Jane, the good news for prosecutors is they don`t have to prove a motive. I know it always helps in the criminal arena, but it`s going to almost be extraordinarily challenging to ever, unless she admits it to law enforcement, to figure out exactly, assuming she`s guilty, why she did this. They just need to prove that she did it. Motive always helps, but it`s not necessary, legally.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. We`re not trying to determine motive so that they can convict her. We`re trying to determine motive for a different reason, so that we can understand how something this horrific could allegedly occur so that we as a society can say, "Whoa, this is a big problem that leads to that."
Dr. Dale Archer, if we don`t start connecting the dots, we`re just going to see more and more of these horrific crimes day in and day out. I personally am getting nauseated by this litany of horror that I have to recite every day.
ARCHER: And I think that`s a huge and important point there, Jane, is that drugs can take a mother and turn her into the seller of her child because of her drug habit. That is what needs to be pounded into America that, look, these are evil because the craving for these drugs is more powerful than any other force in an addict.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Got to leave it right there. Everybody stay right where you are. We`re going to have more on this horrific case. Who could do this to a 5-year-old child?
Plus, fast-breaking developments in the search for Morgan Harrington. last seen outside a Metallica concert. We`ve got breaking news on this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SGT. JOHN SOMERINDYKE, FAYETTEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA, POLICE DEPARTMENT: The initial statement Ms. Davis gave to police led to the arrest of Clarence Coe, and when that was deemed to be untruth, those charges were dropped.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Police on Saturday explaining why they released the man who`s reportedly the boyfriend of little Shaniya`s mother. Angie Crouch, investigative reporter, speaking of the little child`s mother, you have some new information?
CROUCH: Well, this Clarence Coe, who`s reportedly the boyfriend of the mother, first was arrested, then released. All charges have been dropped. And he reportedly told local reporters there that the mother is currently pregnant with his child. Police have not confirmed that for us, but that is another kind of scary fact, if this woman is indeed pregnant again. Just lots more trouble coming.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, Jenna, Connecticut, your question or thought, ma`am.
CALLER: Yes. Good evening, Jane. I`m calling, because I don`t think I heard this question answered. If the mother was allegedly involved in a human trafficking plot, which it sounds kind of like it was, why did she call the police and report the child missing?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s an interesting question. Barbara Davenport, do you want to take a shot at that?
DAVENPORT: She called and reported the child missing because the father was due back in town that very day to pick her up. And she had to come up with a cover story.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I also heard, Barbara, that there was some kind of a commotion at their trailer?
DAVENPORT: No, no, no. I don`t know how that`s gotten blown out of proportion. What the neighbor heard was a -- was like a scrubbing sound against the side of her mobile home. And she realized in hindsight that it was somebody opening the lid to her garbage can, because that`s where Shaniya`s blanket was found.
EIGLARSH: By the way, Jane, just an observation. Even Casey Anthony allegedly called law enforcement when her child went missing. Just an observation.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, Barbara, what about the residence? You`re the manager of the mobile home park. These two sisters, Shaniya`s mother and her sister, are living there. They`ve got other kids, and what were they like? Were they good tenants or good homeowners, renters?
DAVENPORT: Well, the only two people that were supposed to be in that residence were Brenda Davis and her 2-year-old child. Those are the only two people that were supposed to be occupying that mobile home.
I started noticing a lot of traffic going back and forth to that residence. I asked Brenda repeatedly who else was living there besides her. She told me that Antoinette was there periodically, because she needed Antoinette to watch her child while she was at work.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And what`s really interesting about that, Angie, is that Antoinette reportedly told the father of little Shaniya, "Oh, got my own place. I deserve a chance to have my child back." But she didn`t really have her own place. She was living with her sister.
CROUCH: That`s exactly right. Now, apparently, she was working in the kitchen of an assisted living facility, and that was the new job that she had as part of getting her life back together. But apparently, she wasn`t telling the father the whole truth to this story, because if she didn`t have her own place and was staying at this trailer park, clearly there was some discrepancy in what she was saying.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, this is such a horrific story. We will stay on top of it. Thank you to my fantastic guests.
This story doesn`t get any worse. I mean, a horrific story of alleged child abuse, rape, forced abortions. Cops say little kids sexually abused by their own family members. Six men in custody tonight. But could there be more victims and could there be more arrests?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: A story so evil, it defies comprehension. A sixth family member has now been arrested on charges he sexually assaulted and raped younger members of his own family. Cops say these men forced kids to have sex and made them watch as the other children were raped. And that`s not the half of it; could there be more suspects and more victims?
Plus, big breaking news in the search for beautiful Morgan Harrington, the Virginia Tech student vanished during a crowded rock concert. Now police say Harrington was last seen hitchhiking and getting into a car. Could this be the Morgan Harrington? We`ll get the very latest from family members.
Tonight, growing evidence of a family`s alleged child sex ring. Police say new statements from the alleged victims led them to arrest a sixth man, Darrell Mohler. He, along with his brother and four adult nephews are accused of the unimaginable, really, of children in their own family. We`re talking about rape, sodomy, even bestiality. Those are the charges.
This investigation stretches all the way from Missouri to Florida. Mark Young believes Burrell Moehler Jr. raped his son years ago. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK YOUNG, FATHER OF ALLEGED VICTIM: Junior was quite fond of my son, and quite frankly, liked to sleep with him. It finally came to light. There is finally going to be justice, and, you know, I just hope and pray that, you know, these kids can get the help that they need.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, boy. A neighbor of suspect Burrell Mohler senior appeared on our show, ISSUES in shadow to protect her identity. She told me she never saw anything suspicious in the many years she lived next door to senior`s farm.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DEBORAH BURRIS, SUSPECT`S NEIGHBOR: He seemed like a normal grandfatherly type. He used to walk his little dog up and down the street; he would be in his little Bermuda shorts with white knee socks. He just looked like a little grandfather.
He was soft-spoken, he was friendly, he was helpful.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
And she is talking about the granddad, the patriarch of this family. Police say he was hiding a hideous secret, and they believe there are even more victims out there. Could this alleged child sex ring be more horrific? I don`t know how.
I want to welcome back my fantastic expert panel: also joining me on the phone, Bill Grady, reporter for KMBZ. Bill dare we ask, what is the latest?
BILL GRADY, REPORTER KMBZ (via telephone): Well, Jane as a matter of fact, about an hour and a half ago, we got word from the prosecutor in Lafayette County, Kellie Ritchie, that another layer of charges has been filed against the five Mohler suspects who are now in custody.
Now, this involves a third victim who would have been a little girl between the time of 1998 and 1995. And what the best guess is from an investigator I spoke with in the case is that tomorrow, when the Mohlers have a status hearing, he fully expects that Miss Ritchie is going to ask that the bond be increased substantially.
You know last week it came up in one of your shows why are these guys held under such a small bond and it looks like tomorrow that could increase substantially.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, that`s good news. It was absurd what they were being -- because as the gentleman said on our show, ISSUES last week, they are the worst flight risks on earth. You can`t imagine being accused of anything more horrific than bestiality and with a child.
Look at these guys, they`re all bearded, they`re all -- oh, my God, just to think about it just makes my stomach churn.
However, the latest suspect, all right, Darrell Mohler, his son is saying tonight that there is absolutely no way the allegations against his dad are true. Listen to what he thinks about the case against his family.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have my ideas as to why these allegations were leveled against him -- my uncle. And what I don`t understand is why my dad was brought into it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: He would not elaborate on his theory. What could possibly be the motive for leveling these heinous allegations, if they`re not true? I think that it was only a matter of time, because Dr. Dale Archer, the crimes are so horrific, if true, they are almost unimaginable that some would say, hey, it`s somebody`s imagination.
DR. DALE ARCHER, CLINICAL PSYCHIATRIST: Yes. And typically, you have to understand that pedophiles are loners. They act alone and they`re secretive and they don`t tell anyone.
Here we have a vastly and very atypical case where you have a leader, a patriarch of the family, who is probably very charismatic and was able to convince others that hey, this is ok, this is normal.
I am going to predict right now that this is the tip of the iceberg. Because typically when you have a scenario like this, you have a large support group that`s involved. And I`m going to predict that either other members of the community or members of that church or somewhere, some place, there are other people that know about this, and were involved in this going forward.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Dale, I have to ask you a follow-up. This seems to be the multigenerational. So I was actually just talking with some of my producers, and we were talking about, well, where would they have learned -- if they, in fact, did these horrific things -- where would they have learned it? Could this be something that`s some sick family behavior that`s been handed down generation to generation? In other words, the grandpa did it to the sons and then the sons grew up and did it to somebody else? That`s usually how it works.
ARCHER: Yes. And I think you`re absolutely right. And that`s what I was saying. I don`t think this is the typical pedophile case at all. This is a culture. This has been there for years and years.
It would not surprise me at all that there were generation after generation where this occurred, and it`s just now come to light. But I think that there are going to be more people involved in this as we uncover more.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: The latest suspect, suspect number six, arrested is Darrell Mohler. He`s accused of having sex with two girls between the ages of 5 and 9 inside an abandoned house. He denies it. He says he has had very little contact with his accused brother and nephews in the last few years.
He is, I believe, in Florida and they`re in Missouri. So there`s the geography there. Mohler told reporters he was on suicide watch after being arrested Friday.
Now, when he was originally contacted by media, long before he was arrested, he told reporters, Mark Eiglarsh, that he thought the charges against his relatives were repulsive. And it struck me that that was sort of an odd reaction from somebody who knows nothing about a crime against -- in other words, this is a guy who is reacting to something that his relatives are accused of, and he says it`s repulsive.
Wouldn`t you normally say, well, I can`t imagine my relatives being responsible for something? You wouldn`t just say it`s repulsive.
MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I`m going to disagree with you, my friend with three names, and I`ll tell you why. He knew, at least at that point, that there were allegations involving sexual conduct with children. That`s enough for him to say that`s reprehensible, that`s repulsive.
That means either he`s formulating his denial and defense, or, you know, he didn`t do it. And we`ll give him the benefit of the doubt, because he is innocent until proven guilty at this point.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here`s my big issue. Why are these victims speaking up now, decades after these alleged crimes?
Police say a 26-year-old woman was the very first to come forward. She told them the Mohler men repeatedly raped her as a child and forced her into -- get this -- mock weddings. Abused victims sometimes blame themselves; they may deny it ever happened. Do we know, Bill Grady, what happened in this woman`s life to prompt her to come forward after so long and then what happened with her siblings or others that say that they were also abused as children?
GRADY: The information I`m getting, Jane -- and a lot of it is widely speculative, please understand -- but we did talk within the last week with some folks from SNAP, a support group that primarily dealt with the sexual abuse case in the Catholic Church. They said it`s not at all unusual for people to wait until they`re even senior citizens to report these kinds of things. And usually, it will be something in their adulthood that triggers this trauma that brings it all back.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, I understand that. But what I`m trying to figure out is, why -- what was the trigger now? We don`t know it.
But I have to ask you this question, Don Clark. According to the police reports, one of the victims said that she became pregnant, and was made to have an abortion at age 11 1/2. So if that`s true, the first thing you think of is who performed an abortion? If a doctor was called to perform an abortion on an 11 1/2-year-old, that doctor would immediately call cops.
So that raises the question, did they do some kind of horrific home-made abortion? And if so, are they looking for fetuses possibly when they`re digging up these grounds?
DON CLARK, FORMER SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE, HOUSTON FBI: Yes, you know, Jane, I think they`re going to look for all of that. And they certainly are going to be looking to see if there was some type of home- grown abortion, which very likely that it could have been.
But I can tell you, there are going to be a group people like I used to be that`s going to form a task force, and they`re going to look at this from bottom to top. And they`re not going to just stop at just what`s taken place now, because it`s too much out there now. And they`re going to have to really develop this evidence, because as one of your guests just said, a lot of these people, they don`t want to talk, and they don`t want to give it up. But that`s what the law enforcement has got to do, that they have got to bring this all out now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Got to leave right there. But obviously, we`re tracking this one. Thank you gentlemen.
Janet Jackson breaks her silence. She is not mincing words. She is going right after MJ`s doctor, blaming him for Michael`s death.
Plus, huge developments in the search for Morgan Harrington: now eye- witnesses coming forward saying they crossed paths with Morgan just minutes before she vanished. We are going to talk to Morgan`s frantic father and get the very latest in the hopes of finding this beautiful lady. We`re taking your calls; 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297. Call me.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAN HARRINGTON, MORGAN HARRINGTON`S FATHER: I would like to say, if Morgan is out there and hears us, please come home. If someone has Morgan, please let her come home safely.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s meet today`s winner, Jackie (ph) from Bedford, Texas. Jackie says, by the time she turned 26, she was drinking 365 days a year. She worked at a strip club, surrounded by alcohol.
Jackie joined a support group and was able to stay sober when she finally removed herself from that toxic work environment. Get this -- her 17-year-old son was born while she was in recovery. He has never seen her have a drink. How wonderful is that?
Jackie, for sharing your story, you`re getting an autographed copy of my new book, "I Want," plus a chance to visit New York City and visit me right here on the set of ISSUES.
If you`re struggling with addiction or know somebody who is, please check out my book, "I Want" at cnn.com/Jane. It could help. It`s my story of recovery.
Coming up, the latest developments in the search for missing Morgan Harrington: has she been spotted?
But first, "Top of the Block" tonight: Janet Jackson breaks her silence about her famous brother`s death, and she is pointing the finger right at Michael`s doctor. In a new interview, Janet holds Dr. Conrad Murray responsible for killing her brother, saying, quote, "he was the one administering" end quote.
Dr. Murray has admitted giving Michael the powerful anesthesia Propofol to help him sleep and is still under investigation for manslaughter in the case. So far, no charges have been filed.
But Janet believes Dr. Murray should not be allowed to continue practicing medicine. Michael`s younger sister also goes into a lot of detail describing the scene surrounding news of the King of Pop`s death saying the entire family was in state of disbelief. Of course, the world was in a state of disbelief.
Even now five months later, she says there isn`t a day that goes by that she doesn`t think about Michael. I think that holds true for a lot of us. That is tonight`s "Top of the Block".
Explosive new clues in the mysterious disappearance of Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington: Morgan vanished during a Metallica concert on the University of Virginia campus. Now a new lead: police say she was spotted hitchhiking, that`s right, thumbing a ride the night she went missing. Cops are asking anyone who saw a vehicle stopped on nearby roads, please call police immediately. They`re also looking for anyone who may have let her use their cell phone that night.
Witnesses saw Morgan on this bridge, you`re going to see in a second, trying to hitch a ride. But her mom says she wouldn`t hitchhike. No, she is saying her daughter just wouldn`t do that -- we`ll show you that bridge in a minute.
The mother begged for her daughter`s safe return. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GILL HARRINGTON, MORGAN HARRINGTON`S MOTHER: We are trying, honey. Hang on. And to the person who has taken Morgan from us, please, just let her go. She has so much more to live, and so much more to give.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That poor woman; the hell she is going through right now. Oh, my gosh. Shocking new details.
Here is a video police believe could be Morgan. This is a breakthrough. It was taken at the Metallica concert and posted on YouTube. Look carefully. Is it her? Boy, I wish they could use some kind of video enhancement to get a sharper picture on that.
Virginia newspaper, "The Hook" reports several witnesses saw Morgan upset and bloody the night she vanished. Another witness reportedly spotted a wobbly blonde near an empty parking lot with four young men.
We called police to try and confirm these reports. They say they believe Morgan did indeed have a cut. They told us the injury was probably due from a slip or a fall, not from an assault. They have also said they have no reason to believe Morgan was in the company of anyone in particular when she vanished.
Morgan is profiled in the latest issue of "People" magazine, asking where is she. Will these new leads help bring Morgan home? We certainly hope so.
This case has been aching at all of us since we found out that this poor girl vanished.
Straight out to my expert panel: also joining me tonight on the phone, Dan Harrington, Morgan`s distraught father.
Dan, thank you so much. I can`t imagine what you`ve been going through day in and day out, waiting to hear something about your daughter. Our thoughts are with you. We hope that something we do or say tonight might trigger some information to help find your precious child.
What is the latest as far as you know in this investigation, sir?
D. HARRINGTON (via telephone): The latest we know is that there were reports that Morgan was seen, or someone that they think is Morgan was hitchhiking on the bridge. But again, after 9:30, there is no -- there are no further clues, and so this is the important piece, is that does someone have any information. Maybe they saw Morgan get into a car with someone.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And Dan, we have a picture now of the bridge where she was last seen.
But I want to clarify, because there are so many different reports and things sort of -- it`s a game of telephone. Was she seen getting into a car, or was she seen looking for a ride?
D. HARRINGTON: No, she was seen -- she was seen on the bridge, but, again, there is no report that she was getting into a car. And that`s the piece that the police hope that someone will be able to give information that they saw Morgan maybe getting into a car and they would be able to give a description.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, and if we could get a description of that vehicle, that would be, wow, a great breakthrough.
D. HARRINGTON: Yes, it would.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Cops have released a time line of where they believe Morgan was the hour before she vanished. 8:20 p.m., Morgan tries to reenter the Arena from outside. Apparently she can`t get back in because she doesn`t have her ticket stub. 8:48 she calls her friends who are inside at the concert, tells them she can`t get back and is going to try to get a ride home from some friends.
9:00 p.m. Morgan spotted outside the arena walking through a parking lot towards a field. 9:10 p.m. Witnesses see Morgan walking in a grassy overflow parking lot at Lanigan Field (ph). The lot is often used for RV parking. 9:20 p.m. Morgan is seen walking on Coakley Road Railroad Bridge.
We just discussed that investigators believe this is where she was hitchhiking. And she may have gotten into a car.
Don Clark, cops say multiple witnesses saw her hitchhiking. What do you do with that information?
CLARK: Well, Jane, you`ve got to take all this information and put it into a pool here. And here`s what -- what has to take place. Law enforcement has to continually keep going back over these leads time and time again because as I hear all this information it`s a little a bit here and a little bit there and all they can do is keep going back. And invariably you will find something every time you go back that you didn`t find the first time.
VELEZA-MITCHELL: Everyone, stay right there. We`re just getting to this case. We`re going to have a lot more details on the desperate search for Morgan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
G. HARRINGTON: As you can tell, we`re pretty distraught, with her absence. And I want her back home as soon as we can, in time to take it nap (ph) just would be fine because we miss our little baby. She is our precious daughter. And we hope that this attention can help bring her back to our home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That poor mother. Oh, I can`t even imagine. Police say Morgan was wearing a black t-shirt with the word "Pantera" spelled on it in tan letters, a black mini-skirt, black tights, black knee- high boots. Cops have now released this photo of a necklace she was wearing. It`s a Swarovski crystal necklace made up of large crystal chain links. It was a gift from her brother.
So this is important information because if, for example, somebody was trying to sell that piece of jewelry, hawk it at a pawn shop, call police immediately.
Phone lines lighting up. Kathy, New York, your question or thought?
KATHY, NEW YORK (via telephone): Yes. How are you?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hi, how are you doing tonight?
KATHY: Good. If she was hitchhiking, why did they find her cell phone in the parking lot with the battery out of it?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Angie Crouch.
ANGIE CROUCH, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Yes, that`s what`s particularly troubling about this. They found her purse and her cell phone without the battery at nearby Lanigan Field. This was the day after she disappeared.
Police say they`ve gotten more than 400 tips in this case. And one of the problems is the outfit she was wearing, a tall blond girl wearing boots and a black outfit, matches the description of hundreds of other girls that were at that concert. So they`re trying to run down all of these leads and in many cases it`s leading them nowhere.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, what about the cut on the chin and the wobbly blond with four men?
CROUCH: Some witnesses say -- I`m sorry, go ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I just want to say I think that`s hugely important because that`s new information. What we could be looking at if she slipped and fell is that she could have had a head injury and we know in certain cases a blow to the head can cause a behavioral change. And by all accounts her behavior was very different that night than would be expected for her.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dan Harrington, we really appreciate you coming on. I`m only asking this question in a sense of trying to help find your daughter. Did she have any history of alcohol or drug use at all? Because if she cut herself falling, which police say yes, she may have had a cut from a fall and there was a report of a wobbly woman, is it possible somebody slipped something into her drink or that she would have been drinking alcohol?
D. HARRINGTON: You know, the -- Morgan`s history is not one where she was a heavy drinker or using drugs. And so the thing I think we need to focus on is the information that`s been verified by the police. You know, there`s lots of -- you know, in the blogs and other kinds of things lots of information that, you know, is rumor and innuendo, so to speak.
And I think the important thing is the information that we do know. And the information that we need now is either someone seeing Morgan or even knowing of someone after the event that maybe had some behavioral changes or acted strange that they could report to the police.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And sir, let me go back to the photo, the video we have of the actual -- if we can see that one more time. The actual -- there`s a circle and we see her outside the concert and but we`re not sure it`s her.
I mean, are they trying to make that sharper so that -- there it is. What are cops doing to try to zoom in on that to see who she was hanging with and what was going on there, sir?
HARRINGTON: I don`t know the information of that.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. All right.
We only have a couple of seconds. Don Clark, can they sharpen that image up?
CLARK: They can, Jane. They can do a lot with photographs there and they can expand it, go out. Thanks.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And we`ve got to leave it right there. Thank you, fabulous panel. You`re watching ISSUES on HLN.