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Jane Velez-Mitchell

Did Jealous Wife Commit Murder?

Aired February 01, 2012 - 19:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Good evening. Jane Velez-Mitchell coming to you live from New York City.

Closing arguments are just ending in that deadly love triangle in San Diego. We will have reaction from the court in just a moment. Stay tuned.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight a bitter wife accused of stabbing her Navy doctor husband to death faces her final moments in court. She caught her husband having a secret affair with a blond bombshell. Will her eight-page e-mail to that mistress seal this wife`s fate? I`ve got all the details.

Plus, police search a lake behind an abandoned nightclub for missing "People`s Court" mom Michelle Parker. Cops say they got a solid tip. Could it lead to a big break in this beautiful woman`s disappearance? I`ll talk live to her brother tonight.

Also, a disturbing medical mystery terrifies upstate New York. More people come forward with twitching, seizures, uncontrollable verbal outbursts. Could a 40-year-old toxic spill be behind all this? We`re talking to the investigator who`s literally digging up the dirt.

And we`re taking your calls.



VELEZ-MITCHELL (voice-over): Stunning new developments in a love triangle that ended with a brutal death. A face-off in court. Two women fighting over the very same man.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now, she lunged at him with a butcher knife. She, you know, stuck it in his heart.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He definitely said that there were issues. That he had been unhappy for a long time.

JENNIFER TRAYERS, ON TRIAL FOR MURDERING HUSBAND: I thought I was going to kill myself, and I thought that he would be so upset that I wasn`t around that he wouldn`t be able to be with anybody else.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You knew he was married?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You knew he had been married for 18 years, as well.


TRAYERS: I was so angry and mad, and I didn`t know what was going on.

I stabbed him in the back of the neck. It was the first place I saw skin.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, the fate of a woman who brutally stabbed her husband to death about to be handed to a jury in just a moment. Breaking news out of San Diego. Closing arguments moments away from ending in the deadly love triangle case.

A woman accused of kill her husband by stabbing him ten times, including once through the heart. Get this. She is not denying that. She said, "Yes, I stabbed him." She`s a woman scorned.

Her husband, a popular Navy doctor, having an affair with a much younger, beautiful blond med student. OK. That`s why she`s a woman scorned. The affair taking place on the Navy ship they worked on, his own personal love boat. And believe me, from the testimony, I can tell they were rocking that boat.

The wife found out and secretly tracked their affair for months by getting a spyware program that allowed her to read the e-mails and texts between her husband and his mistress. Suddenly, in sunny San Diego, this wife`s seemingly perfect suburban life came crashing down around her.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was stabbed, I believe, a total of ten times in the chest and back area plus some wounds on his hands. Is that right?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you recall inflicting any of those other wounds, besides the one in the back of the head?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any memory whatsoever?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In looking at all the evidence over the past 13 months, do you think that you were the one who inflicted the other wounds besides the one on the back of the head?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why do you think that?

TRAYERS: Because I was the only one there.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The defense says the wife wanted to kill herself and her husband`s death was a crime of passion. A desperate woman caught in a moment of blind rage. But prosecutors say, "Unh-uh, this was no accident." That this was planned and plotted for weeks, if not months, and that she knew exactly what she was doing.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Look at this butcher knife. It is in between the folds of the comforter. The defendant brought it there to attack her husband, aimed for the heart, aimed for the lung, and then she stabbed him nine more times.

She went into the bedroom. She went in with knives. She knew that Frederick Trayers had taken Zolpidem, and she attacked him.

Many significant others are unfaithful to each other. It`s a common occurrence. But they do not kill.


VELEZ-MITCHEL: I want to hear from you. Should she get murder one or the much lighter voluntary manslaughter, which could have her out in just a few years? Call me: 1-877-JVM-SAYS; 1-877-586-7297.

Straight out to our producer, extraordinary Selin Darkalstanian, who was in the courtroom all day. Selin, take us into that courtroom for these closing arguments.

SELIN DARKALSTANIAN, HLN PRODUCER: Just moments ago, I literally just came down from the courtroom, and Jen Trayers, we`ve seen the most emotion out of her in this entire trial just today. She was sobbing. She started crying. She was looking down as the defense wrapped up their case.

The closing arguments are finished now, and the case is going to the jury. And essentially, her attorneys were arguing that this was not a calculated murder, that this was in a moment of rage. And if you look at the photos of the comforter and you see all the slash marks, the knife slashes in the comforter, you see that this was someone who lost control, and there was a fight and they started fighting. And that is what happened. This was not a calculated murder. And that is what her attorneys are trying to get across to the jury.

Now, I was looking at the jury today, and they were -- you have to understand that there`s a lot of women on the jury. And when her attorney was speaking, he was specifically addressing the females in the audience. He was saying, "Now I know there`s a lot of women on this jury, and I know that you guys can understand, if you were married to a man for 18 years and he cheated on you."

So he`s really trying to get the sympathy of the female jurors on that jury to try to help his client not get life in prison.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And let me tell you, Selin, a lot of the people who were calling about this case are women who have been cheated on, and they have a lot of sympathy for this woman.

Look at her. She`s got glasses and gray hair. And look at her competition, this beautiful blond bombshell. How can you compete? But does it justify killing?

The prosecution certainly not buying this "Oh, I just snapped because I was so jealous, and I wanted to kill myself. And I don`t remember what happened" defense. Check out this exchange from moments ago.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You made the decision to end his life.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You were successful at ending his life, weren`t you?

TRAYERS: Yes, I guess so.


TRAYERS: I didn`t do it on purpose.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You plunged that knife into his chest, two and a half to three and a half inches. You intended to do that, didn`t you?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You stabbed him eight times in the back. You intended to do that, didn`t you?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But you did, Mrs. Trayers, didn`t you?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And you did it after he took Zolpidem, didn`t you?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And you did it when he couldn`t defend himself. Didn`t you? Isn`t that true? He could not defend himself against you.

TRAYERS: I don`t know.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to go out to famed prosecutor Marcia Clark, author of the extraordinary book, "Guilt by Degrees." You were a former prosecutor famous for the O.J. Simpson case, which of course, was all about jealous rage. Just because you`re in a jealous rage doesn`t mean you don`t premeditate. In fact, murderous brooding and a desire for revenge is what premeditation is all about, right, Marcia?

MARCIA CLARK, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Yes, it is. Except the premeditation can be proven in as little as 10 seconds. Premeditation simply means that you have thought about it ahead of time and that you didn`t act in a rash impulse. So you don`t measure premeditation in units of time. And it`s a jury instruction actually says that.

So the fact that she didn`t plot it for days ahead of time or may even have just come up with the plan minutes before she did it, that is sufficient to prove premeditation.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But there is a wrinkle here that is extraordinary. This wife admits that she`s, yes, smaller, obviously, weaker than her military husband. So how did she manage to overpower him and stab him ten times? Listen to this crucial testimony that she gave.


TRAYERS: He decided that maybe we should take Ambien to fall asleep. He put -- crunches it up and puts it in orange juice. I drank, like, half of it, and he drank the other half.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. Was Ambien used as a weapon? This wife admits both of them, they crushed it up, they put in it O.J. and they drank it. Was that enough to incapacitate him? Maybe slow him down?

And Howard Samuels, you`re an addiction specialist, founder and CEO of the Hills Treatment Center. We just heard a little while ago that 10 Ambien were taken. Ten Ambien. Back in the `80s before I got sober, I took one Ambien. I was knocked out between Fiji and L.A. And when I woke up, everybody was off the plane already. Ten Ambien?

HOWARD SAMUELS, ADDICTION SPECIALIST: You know what, Jane? Yes, I mean, that`s a huge amount of Ambien. Ambien is a highly addictive -- I`m sorry, sedative.


SAMUELS: Very addictive drug, yes. Sedative, thank you, Jane. That, you know, people take for sleep. Now, the problem with Ambien is that it has very dangerous side effects. Suicidal ideation, aggressive behavior, depression. And when you take 10 Ambien, you`re looking for trouble. I mean, no wonder this woman was able to overpower him, because he was out of it. He couldn`t move; he couldn`t be coordinated. He was definitely out of it on that drug. No question.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, but here`s what I don`t understand. If they split ten Ambien or took ten Ambien, I mean, both of them would have been probably, like, completely knocked out immediately before any of this could happen. And also, Ambien causes memory loss.

So Pat Brown, criminal profiler, I`m wondering if she can use the Ambien defense. They keep raising this Ambien. I literally have the story of that one time I took Ambien many years ago. I then ordered some food, and I didn`t know what a radish was. And I asked the waiter. I said, "What is this?"

He said, "It`s a radish, lady."

That`s how my memory was affected by this drug.

Is it possible the Ambien caused her to go into the blackout that she claimed she has experienced, Pat Brown?

PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER: I don`t think so at all, Jane. I find her entire story a complete crock. And we`ve heard this type of story before. It`s the blame the victim story. She says he decided they should do the Ambien. Then she tried to kill herself, and he got in the way. He wanted to stab her. It`s always him, him, him. It`s a bunch of garbage and, you know, she`s got absolutely zero excuse for this. Premeditated. She should get -- she should get murder one.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, and additionally she had also cheated on her husband. We`re going to get to that right after the break. We`ve got the callers lining up on this love triangle murder trial. 1-877-JVM-SAYS. Call me.

Also head, could it be the big break in the search for missing mom Michelle Parker from "People`s Court" fame? What led cops to the lake that they examined today?

But first, the scorned wife accused of stabbing her cheating husband to death in a love triangle could soon learn her fate.


TRAYERS: I was just so angry and mad, and I didn`t know what was going on, what was happening, why he was acting the way he was acting. I just -- I didn`t know what was going to happen.





UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Look at this butcher knife. It is in between the folds of the comforter. The defendant brought it there to attack her husband, aimed for the heart, aimed for the lung, and then she stabbed him nine more times.

She went into the bedroom. She went in with knives. She knew that Frederick Trayers had taken Zolpidem, and she attacked him.

Many significant others are unfaithful to each other. It`s a common occurrence. But they do not kill.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Closing arguments wrapping up as we speak in the love triangle murder case. And we`re going to show you the principles, the participants in this drama.

And that is the mistress, the mistress who was having an affair with a man who was married to a woman for 18 years. And that woman says she became so enraged with her husband, who was a military officer and a doctor, that she stabbed him ten times.

Now, moments ago, we got video of the defense team`s closing argument. They claimed the knife wounds will show that their client, the defendant, the wife, is not guilty of murder one. Listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If they were inflicted post mortem, if they were, what does that show? Does that show someone who`s a cold-blooded, calculated murderer? Or does that show someone who`s in a total uncontrollable rage? She`s not thinking about what they`re doing. Who`s still stabbing after their husband is dead.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here`s the problem. Shortly before she killed him, she wrote an eight-page e-mail that she sent to the mistress, saying, basically, "Oh, you know, you don`t know my husband. He likes to look at teenage girls on porn Web sites." And using all sorts of sexual references, claiming that the husband liked three-way sex. And then refers to the husband in the past tense, saying, "I was the last person he was with." Almost as if she knew he was going to be gone any minute now.

Marcia Clark, former prosecutor, is this eight-page e-mail the smoking gun for the prosecution?

CLARK: Well, that, Jane, and of course the fact that she stabbed him so many times. It`s one thing to say, one lucky stab, you know, and you go, "Oh, my God, I didn`t mean to get him. I didn`t know that I would. I just lashed out." But she kept lashing out again and again.

And I think that, had I been cross-examining here, I`d say, "OK, how about the first time? You had to hit this hard to penetrate three inches, two and a half inches. But then you did it again. OK. Did you mean to kill him then? How about this time? How about the fifth time? How about the sixth time?" You get to the ninth time. She had so much time to stop, pull back and think, "Wait, hold it, hold it." But she kept going and she kept going.

Not to mention also the fact, as you brought out, he was under the influence of Ambien, which looks like there was a premeditated effort to disable him, to put him in a situation where she could get the jump on him.

You have so much here. And then you have so much distance between time she found out about the affair and the time she acted out. That the actual event that precipitated the attack occurred so long ago. It`s not something that actually, you can say caused a rash impulse to occur. I don`t see the defense succeeding in this case at all.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, well, we`ll have to see, though. Those women who have been scorned, if they`re on the jury, they may sympathize. Who knows?

Let`s go out to the phone lines. Tyler in Texas. Thanks for your patience. Your question or thought, Tyler?

CALLER: Hi, Jane.


CALLER: Thanks for taking my call.


CALLER: You know, it seems like she has put on a good show for the jury and everything, but I mean, come on. You know, I mean, I think the jury`s decision in this case will go way beyond, you know, just this case. Because if the jury finds her not guilty of murder, they`re sending a message to women and men everywhere that some circumstances, murder is justified. It`s OK. Even murder that, you know, is clearly premeditated in this case, simply because she got angry or snapped. So I`m sorry. But unless you...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I mean, listen, the worst things we do, and I`m speaking for myself, is when I feel like I`m justified, and I`m suffering from righteous indignation. That`s when I`m really dangerous. And that`s why I try to remember never do anything when I`m angry. I often forget, but it`s no excuse. Everybody who commits crimes thinks they`re the victims on some level, because they`ve -- they`ve got it wrong. They`re self-obsessed.

Now, to your point, though, Selin Darkalstanian, as I`m watching this. And you are in the courtroom. I`m looking at this bun and this gray hair of the defendant. And I`m thinking, "Hmmm." Is she imitating another famous defendant? And we know who we`re talking about. Casey Anthony, also with the bun. You know how she looked so prim and proper. And then once she was acquitted of murder, she let that hair down and looked like she was going to a rock concert, Selin.

DARKALSTANIAN: Exactly. That is not the way she looked the day of the murder. That is not the woman that Trayers married. And actually, like the caller just mentioned, you know, they don`t want -- she is admitting murder. She is admitting that she killed her husband.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Up next, our viral video of the day. One minute away. Check it out.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here`s your viral video of the day.






UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We would exchange at least a couple of text messages daily and then have phone conversations. I was the only active duty medical student on the ship. The other medical students were civilian, and being a little bit older and prior officer military, just the age and the group that I most assimilated with were the residents.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: What that mistress didn`t know was that the wife had gotten a spyware program that allowed her to check out and monitor her husband`s e-mails and texts to that mistress. And that`s why the wife said she told her husband she wanted to kill herself and then became enraged when he laughed at her and said, "Let me help you do it." Listen to this.


TRAYERS: Kind of like, "Are you kidding me?" And he started laughing at me. Just like, "Are you joking?" Like he didn`t think I was serious. Then he told me that that knife was not sharp enough. I couldn`t believe what I was hearing. I`m like, "Are you kidding me?" I`m expecting him to stop me and -- not want to -- I couldn`t believe what I was hearing.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Norma, Nebraska. Your question or thought, Norma.

CALLER: Jane, first of all, I`m happy you took my call. I love your show. I love you, and I love your energy.


CALLER: First of all, I want to say that that eight-page letter or e- mail that the wife sent, I think that was just probably just kind of scared this mistress away so she could try to fix her marriage.

But I do want to tell you that I went through the same thing pretty much. However, there wasn`t a knife. I could have gotten one. When I found out that my husband was cheating on me, I kid you not, I punched him and punched him and punched him, and he let me punch him, because he knew he had done wrong. But it was like, I would punch him, and then a few -- 30 minutes would pass and I would calm down. And then I would think about the situation again, and I would go back and attack him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow! Well, Norma, I want to say thank you for your honesty in sharing your story.

Pat Brown, this isn`t the first caller who said this stuff. There are a lot of women on this jury.

BROWN: Yes, well, you know, I agree with what Norma is saying. I see or understand how she was enraged. But what she didn`t do was go into the kitchen and pick up a knife and come back and stab him nine times. What she did was, when she found out she was just so furious, she punched out. That I can go with. That`s not homicide.

And what we have here is, it`s not against the law, unfortunately, in most places in this country to commit adultery. You can break your vows, and nothing really happens to you. Not even in civil court anymore. So yes, there are a lot of people who do this. It`s not breaking the law. It`s nasty and wrong but you can`t kill. That`s breaking the law.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here`s the problem. We`re going to show you video of the man that this defendant wife was having an affair with. She also had cheated on her husband. So how can she, Marcia, say that she`s the victim?

And here`s the video we`re going to show you. She had an affair with this man. He took the stand, Marcia. Ten seconds.

CLARK: I just -- you know, she really can`t. All these things are very harmful to her case. She`s not going to make it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, but gosh, those women callers every night when we cover the story. Women have tremendous sympathy because so many women have been cheated on. Cautionary tale. If you fall in love with somebody else, be honest with your spouse or your lover.

All right. Brand-new information. Michelle Parker.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, breaking news in the disappearance of a woman who vanished right after battling it out on "The People`s Court" with her ex.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you kill her?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The mother of three, Michelle Parker, has been missing for two long months.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The family needs to have Michelle home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re being relentless in this investigation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is killing me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The question remains, where could Michelle be?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The children`s father was the last person to see her.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: A, they know he`s violent. And B, police are calling him the prime suspect in Michelle`s disappearance.

BRAD PARKER, FATHER OF MICHELLE PARKER: From day one, I thought it was Dale.

Day one I thought he did it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She doesn`t deserve this. Let her go. I am begging you to let her go. We want her home. Ok?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight breaking news in the mysterious disappearance in the mother of three, a beautiful woman. Police say a credible tip prompted them to search a lake in Orlando today about 11 miles from where Michelle Parker was last seen November 17th. That very same day, she had appeared on a pre-taped episode of "The People`s Court" where she battled with her ex-fiance over a $5,000 engagement ring.


MICHELLE PARKER, MISSING WOMAN: I was talking to a friend. And I was like, maybe I should just move out. This isn`t going to work. We keep doing this. We`re in and out, in and out. It`s clearly not going to work.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: By the way, this is not for the sake of the kids. This is because you`re like drugs to each other.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Police say Michelle`s ex, Dale Smith, seen right there, is the prime suspect in her disappearance but so far he has not been charged. Michelle dropped off their twin toddlers at Dale`s house the very day she vanished. After that, the trail goes cold.

Here`s Michelle`s ex performing in a hot body contest. This guy has a violent criminal past and a very short temper. Exhibit A: this clip from ABC.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Smith, do you have anything to say about this?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On the way into Wednesday`s emergency custody hearing, Smith shoved our photographer.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So what tip led police to this lake today? Did a witness see something back in November and keep quiet al this time?

Straight out to my exclusive guest tonight, Michelle, the missing woman`s brother, Dustin Erickson. Dustin, thank you so much for joining us. Our hearts break for you and your family. We want to be helpful. We want to keep your sister`s photograph out there.

I imagine this was an excruciating day for you. Tell us what happened at the lake of -- give us an inside into what brought cops there and what they found?

DUSTIN ERICKSON, BROTHER OF MICHELLE PARKER: Today we -- we got a call from the Orlando Police Department saying that they had some viable tips to go check out this lake. And they wanted us to come, watch. And they actually thought it was going to take about a week longer to check it out but the dive team was ready and they said let`s do it.

And we went out there. The dive team was searching the pond -- lake. And they just pretty much showed us what they were doing, that they weren`t slowing down at all. Even from the lake, we went and talked to some people at FPLE (ph). And basically, we talked to all the detectives and other people in the department at the Orlando Police Department. And we`re just --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Dustin --

ERICKSON: -- we`re just not slowing down on this.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dustin, can I ask you, they say a credible tip led to that. It would seem to me that either it is somebody who is responsible or somebody who has had some kind of communication from whoever is responsible. Do you get that sense, that there is somebody out there who knows what happened and is trying to maybe help cops?

ERICKSON: I think unfortunately, it was kind of through the grapevine. But from the way that it went from mouth to mouth is that actually, I guess it came from a really -- not a credible source but a --


ERICKSON: Someone close to the investigation, yes.


ERICKSON: That they had heard it through someone that they worked with. And the person that worked there told it to their father and their father said that it came from this person. So we searched it in full force.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. Well, at this point, obviously, you found nothing or we would have heard. That`s correct, right?

ERICKSON: We have not had any real new leads as far as what Crime Line has been giving us. We haven`t had any concrete evidence in quite a while.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Dive teams searched this lake today. It`s about 11 miles from Dale Smith`s home which is where Michelle left her kids before disappearing. That lake is also right off a main road with shops and restaurants. Get this. It is about five miles away from where Michelle`s SUV was discovered shortly after she was reported missing. You`re looking at Google Street Maps there.

Her phone was found, her cell phone found under a bridge in east Orlando. And that was a few weeks later. So I guess my question, to Matt Morgan, you`re the attorney for Michelle Parker`s family. It seems like there is a perpetrator scattering evidence all over Orlando, Matt.

MATT MORGAN, ATTORNEY FOR MICHELLE PARKER`S FAMILY: That`s what it appears, Jane. And you know, ultimately, the police have a time line that they developed at the beginning of this thing. And all the evidence that they found up to this point kind of fits that time line and so they keep hammering away, using the tips that they`ve received from Crime Line and from various sources around the Orlando area and beyond. And ultimately, they`re getting close; they`re getting very close.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, I pray that they have a break. And by the way, legally, we always say, we do invite the other side, you know. For example, authorities have named the ex-fiance a suspect, the prime suspect. If he wants to appear or his attorney wants to appear on the show, we would like to have him on and hear his side of the story.

Michelle has an 11-year-old son from another relationship. That child claims Dale Smith attacked his mother right in front of her three children. Now, let`s take a look at his criminal record: attempted aggravated battery, domestic violence, drug possession, drug and battery convictions, dishonorable discharge from the military.

Michelle Sigona, what do you know? Has he taken a polygraph?

MICHELLE SIGONA, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: That`s something that we aren`t sure as of yet. But of course I`m sure that he was asked to take a polygraph. It is generally normal in these types of cases. And it definitely points investigators in one direction or another, although they cannot use it. But it does definitely point them in one way or another.

What I can tell about this lead and I did hear from Orlando police within the last 40 minutes is that they didn`t gain any more evidence from today`s search. That doesn`t mean that they`re not going to continue moving forward. This is just a very good sign, especially after someone goes missing two and a half months later; that they did have information come in that they believed warranted enough resources to be able to move forward in something like this.

I can tell you a lot of times in these investigations, pretty much in all investigations, there are golden nuggets. There`s things that they hold back from the public. When some of those golden nuggets are put forward through the Crime Line and through the tip line, they key in on them and say, you know what? This is something we need to go out on.

That`s why I`m sure they rallied the troops and got out there. We can only hope and pray that someone will be able to come forward with some more concrete information in --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Michelle, that`s why we`re doing this story because quite often when people see things on the television, it jogs their memory or they say, you know what? We`ve got to do something.

Now child welfare workers gave Michelle`s kids to Dale. They`re also his kids. But the judge decided he could keep the kids even though he has this rap sheet. And all the stuff we`ve talked about.

Marcia Clark, a lot of people find that disturbing. And then the mother of the missing woman is there hugging Dale Smith. Well, she is in a very tricky situation because he has her grandkids.

MARCIA CLARK, FORMER PROSECUTOR IN O.J. SIMPSON CASE: Right. It is a very difficult situation. Here the grandmother, you`re worried about what he`s saying to these children. In what way is he undermining their relationship, trying to say you shouldn`t go stay with your grandparents and your mother did this or that? You don`t know what he might be saying to these children.

It is not unusual that the father at this point, at this stage with nothing proven gets to have custody of the kids although it is a very big worry. I don`t like it; frankly, I don`t like any part of it. But I`m not surprised legally speaking that he has the custody. I certainly do understand the grandparents being very concerned about what`s going on over there.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, especially when he pushes a camera man over on the way into the hearing. Oh, my gosh.

CLARK: Right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I mean Exhibit A of I`ve got a temper problem.

CLARK: Right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s go to our phones. And we`ve got a Skype phone caller. Jason, Canada; your question or thought Jason. Hi, Jason, your question or thought?

JASON, CANADA: Hi, Jane. How are you tonight?


JASON: I have two quick questions.


JASON: I just wanted to know where the ex-boyfriend is now and how long did it take them to search the lake today?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. Excellent questions. And we`re going to throw it out to Dustin Erickson, Michelle Parker`s brother. We`re talking to him exclusively tonight. Dustin?

ERICKSON: As far as where he`s at, I know he is still in the Orlando area. Of course, I don`t have GPS on him so I`m not sure exactly where he is at the moment. I would imagine at home, or his house.

And I got to the lake today at about 9:00 and they were actually on break from their initial search. And then they searched it all the way to about 4:00 this afternoon. And it is a lake about the size of three acres. They had probably somewhere around two dozen men out there in suits working on it. And I think they got quite a bit of area covered today with the sonars and just visual dive team.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And they`re going back tomorrow?

ERICKSON: I`m not absolutely sure on that one.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I just want you to know, Dustin that our hearts go out to you again. We`re going to keep on this story. We want to make sure it doesn`t become a cold case, absolutely not.

ERICKSON: Thank you very much.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We want justice and we want to get answers for you and your family.

Coming up, why are these teens twitching? The latest on that truly bizarre unexplained medical mystery in a New York town; we`ve got breaking news on that.

And we`re taking your calls, 1-877-JVM-SAYS.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: As a recovering alcoholic I gave up alcohol 16 years ago and I became what is known as a tea-totaller. I drink a lot of tea. When I want something to drink, I go get some green tea which is filled with antioxidants. Do you know that it takes well over an hour to walk off one can of sugary soda? But green tea? It has zero calories. So it is health in a cup.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A New York school district has hired its own experts to investigate the mysterious twitching illness affecting at least a dozen students.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You didn`t do a study from the water that was in the building. Did you do a ground study?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It makes them look like they`re trying to hide something.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t think this is in my head. I don`t think I can wake up from a nap and this just happened.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We cannot exclude that this spill occurred.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My body is sore. Sometimes it gets me to a point that I want to cry from twitching so much.

ERIN BROCKOVICH, ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVIST: It begs of you to go do water testing, soil testing and vapor testing and no one has done that.

DR. DREW PINSKY, HLN HOST, "DR. DREW": You guys have uncovered a disaster.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: A medical mystery: more than a dozen teens from the same high school in upstate New York all suddenly suffering from uncontrollable twitching, flailing, outbursts. What the hell is going on?


LYDIA PARKER, SUFFERS FROM MYSTERIOUS ILLNESS: I fell and hit my head on my bed set. And then I ended up punching myself in the face with my phone. I got better for a while, actually. I didn`t have any vocal problems. It was basically just a little facial tick. And then I ended up blacking out at one point.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now some doctors are insisting these girls are suffering from conversion disorder caused by stress. That`s a fancy word for mass hysteria.

But world famous investigator Erin Brockovich is now on the case. She went to the girls` school and she discovered -- get this -- it was just four miles from a toxic spill caused by a train crash in the 1970s. Erin and her team digging through the dirt and what they`re uncovering is shocking. She told HLN`s Dr. Drew she is getting flooded with frightening e-mail from people in the area claiming they, too, have these strange symptoms.


PINSKY: How many cases do you think you`ve heard about?


PINSKY: Hundreds? Dozens? A thousand?

BROCKOVICH: Well, I can tell you I`ve gotten thousands.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Unbelievable. Straight out to Bob Bowcock, who is working with Erin; he is the managing director at Integrated Resource Management. Bob, here`s the thing. There is this toxic crash back in the `70s. But the kind of material that was released causes the very kinds of symptoms that these girls are experiencing, and they`re living four miles away.

And yet the school district and environmentalists, the experts, anyway, that represent the government, the EPA, I guess they`re saying at this point, nothing to see here. No connection. Is that true, Bob?

BOB BOWCOCK, MANAGING DIRECTOR INTEGRATED RESOURCE MANAGEMENT (via telephone): They`re not so much saying that there is no connection. They`ve absolutely just been absent from the process. They were charged with investigating this. They were charged with the clean-up. And they simply just basically, they let the polluter take over and about 2008 with his contractor. The EPA never came back. And they`ve actually made the problem probably worse.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I`ve got to say it doesn`t shock me at all of when I was doing my book "Addict Nation" and I was talking about our addiction to chemicals. I came upon some shocking stories. That`s one of the reasons why, for my personal cleanliness, my body and my home, I use soap and water and vinegar and almond oil. And I do not use any to toxic chemical or any chemicals that are tested on animals, for example because I`m not going to clean my house and my body and make a dirty world.

It is not just these teens. The first adults recently came forward. Here`s one. She wants to know if what she is suffering is a psychological problem or if it is something from the ground? Listen to this one.


MARGE FITZSIMMONS, DIAGNOSED WITH CONVERSION DISORDER: At this point I have to have faith in my doctors. All the lab work and CAT scans and MRIs that I`ve had done have come back within range, within the normal range limits. So if it ends up being environmental, then does that mean that I don`t have hope of getting better?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Marcia Clark, she swam in a pond that was near the crash site as a girl.

CLARK: Yes. Yes. And so if these, if you can prove causation, if you can prove that the water she was swimming in was polluted as you`ve indicated, then you would have to show that that form of pollution would cause the symptoms you`re seeing. And that link has not been made.

Two points that I`ve heard made about this. Number one, one point that was made is that if it was indeed this pollution that was the cause of these problems, then more people would be suffering from them than just these few teenagers.

The other thing is the possibility, as you`ve said about --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Got to leave it right there. Thanks Marcia.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Demi in a moment, but first your laugh break.






UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We need an ambulance here as soon as possible, please.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Demi Moore has been rushed to the hospital.

DEMI MOORE, ACTRESS: It`s a harsh look at reality that has affected us all.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Demi Moore is apparently getting treated for health issues. Her rep said it is related to stress.

MOORE: I`m looking forward to an evening of good stories and good laughs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She overdosed on --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She`s convulsing.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The secrets behind Demi Moore`s downward spiral days after being raced to the hospital for seizures. New reports claim Demi has been desperate to stay young and thin for a long time. Listen to the frightening 911 call.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We need an ambulance here as soon as possible please.

Why is an ambulance not on its way right now?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, well, semi-conscious, barely.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ok. Is she breathing?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is she breathing? Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ok. And she overdosed on --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She`s convulsing.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: "People" magazine says Demi, quote, "needed reassurance all the time that she was hot and sexy", end quote. It`s obvious, Demi might have been having some insecurities -- it happens to the best of us. We always wish her the very best.

RadarOnline claiming she has had a lot of struggles. We`re going to go out to Alexis Tereszcuk, senior reporter, RadarOnline to outline a little bit of what you say you have found, Alexis.

ALEXIS TERESZCUK, SENIOR REPORTER, RADARONLINE: What we have learned about Demi is that she`s absolutely adamant that she doesn`t have any problems, despite being rushed to the hospital, despite taking Adderall, despite being anorexic. She feels that she doesn`t have a problem.

I think this has become the normal for Demi. She`s been struggling with staying in a happy relationship. She wasn`t able to do that last year. She hasn`t been getting the roles that she really wants. Although her career really isn`t that bad, but she`s definitely struggling with Hollywood insecurities and she`s absolutely adamant that she doesn`t need help, despite what doctors are telling her, friends and family, she doesn`t think she has a problem. But everyone else around her says she does.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I just want to say that we don`t have any independent confirmation that she`s doing Adderall. We did know from the 911 call there was a reference to smoking incense; and incense that is often what is marketed is actually some kind of herb that`s sprayed with synthetic marijuana. That`s one possibility. But we don`t know independently.

But we know that her friends on the 911 call said she was smoking incense. And we`ve seen her drinking a lot of Red Bull. And we see that she`s extremely thin, very thin. There`s no denying Demi`s Hollywood bombshell status, nonetheless.

Check out this clip from Columbia Pictures and YouTube.


MOORE: What`s up Angel?


MOORE: Natalie.

DIAZ: Oh, my god. How did you know?

MOORE: I get the newsletter.

DIAZ: Of course.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. You know, we have to discuss this issue about how people age in Hollywood. "US" magazine reporting Demi, quote tracked down her daughter`s friend who`s a 24-year-old Hollywood hunk, Zac Ephron -- we all know him -- at a party.

Do you get the sense, Alexis, that she`s having trouble coping with her biological age? I mean let`s face it. We`re all getting old, that`s the one thing we all have in common.

TERESZCUK: Absolutely. I like that I have one thing in common with Demi Moore because she`s gorgeous.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: She`s gorgeous.

TERESZCUK: Yes. She`s trying to stay young. She had a husband who is many years younger than her. Her daughters are really enjoying their lives. She`s hanging out a lot with them and she`s just trying to stay young. Who doesn`t want to be young?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And you know, we sympathize with her; there`s a way out and we`re going to discuss that right on the other side of the break. But, boy, you`ve got so much going for you, Demi.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ok, tell me exactly what happened there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ok, she smoked something, it`s not marijuana, but it`s similar to incense. And she seems to be having convulsions of some sort.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was this an accident or intentional?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, it was -- she smoked something, you know, but the reaction was accidental.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Alexis, what do you know?

TERESZCUK: I spoke with an expert who said he believes this is called K25 (ph) it`s a chemical marijuana and it`s laced with something and when you smoke it, it looks like incense. It gives you convulsions, heart racing, everything that wound up that put Demi in the hospital. So this is definitely something that she could have smoked and it was a really bad time for her.

So hopefully she`s going to get help and be able to pull out from this.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We absolutely hope so. She`s a beautiful woman. She has everything going for her. And she`s also a very kind-hearted person who does so much work for children around the world who have suffered from sexual slavery. Those kids need you, Demi.

"NANCY GRACE" up next.