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Nancy Grace

An Infant in Kidnapped; Olivia Newton-John`s Missing Boyfriend Sighted

Aired June 05, 2006 - 20:00   ET


NANCY GRACE, HOST: Tonight, breaking news, Lubbock, Texas, a newborn baby girl kidnapped by a woman posing as a nurse. And tonight, pop icon Olivia Newton-John`s long-time love, who vanished 11 months ago fishing off the California coast, reportedly seen alive -- repeat, seen alive -- in Mexico. Did Patrick McDermott fake his own death? And if so, why?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some of the passengers saw him get off the boat. They were with him when he got off the boat.


GRACE: Good evening, everybody. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us tonight. Tonight, breaking news. Eyewitnesses claim music superstar Olivia Newton-John`s long-time love, who seemingly went missing at sea nearly a year ago, has been sighted alive and well in Mexico. Is Patrick McDermott living large south of the border?

But first tonight, kidnap! A five day old baby girl stolen from her own mom. Tonight, police say a woman posing as a nurse befriends a new mother at a hospital, then steals the baby. Tonight, we are taking your calls.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) take my baby on the next bus (ph) (INAUDIBLE) I didn`t want to leave my baby alone with her. (INAUDIBLE) went walking, and then we turned the corner and then we stopped between the alleys, and she pointed to a pink outfit, and it was a really cute outfit. So we kept walking, and we stopped at the corner of 47th (INAUDIBLE) And she -- she (INAUDIBLE) the opposite way from (INAUDIBLE) She says that -- and she said that they weren`t home. But (INAUDIBLE) Well, let`s go back to my house. And we were walking back towards my house, and then my son ran ahead of us. So I ran, grabbed him real quick. And when I turned around, my baby was gone.


GRACE: How was this baby stolen? Was this baby stolen? Let`s go out to KJTV reporter Christal Bennett. Christal, explain to me again how this went down. Something about the scenario is not gelling for me.

CHRISTAL BENNETT, KJTV: Well, I`ll tell you, from the beginning, Nancy, from the time the baby was born on May 31, the family says this woman came in and befriended them. She was dressed in scrubs, appeared as a nurse, talked like a nurse, and came in and was extremely friendly to this family.

They had a sick baby. This baby has jaundice. So they were looking for someone to be friendly with them, a nurse with medical knowledge. She talked with them, and when the baby was released from the hospital on Friday, she stayed in touch.

On Sunday, she said she was going to come by with gifts for the baby. When she showed up, she wanted to take the baby to show it to a relative, who supposedly lived down the street. Now, the mother was a little uncomfortable with this, obviously. So she said no at first. The woman said, Hey, you can trust me. I`m going to leave you some collateral. She left a few things, a driver`s license number, a Social Security number, a ring and some keys. She said, Is that enough? You know, Can I take the baby and go see this family member?

The mother was still not comfortable with it. So the mother finally agreed to go with her down the street with the baby to see this family member. But as you heard that mother say, as they were walking down the street, they never made it to this house. And at some point, the mother`s other son -- he`s about 2 years old -- distracted her. She looked down to take care of him, and when she looked up...

GRACE: OK, wa-wa-wa-wait! Wa-wait!

BENNETT: ... the baby...

GRACE: Right there, Christal! Right there! That`s where I`m having the problem with this story. OK, let me get this straight with a series of yes/no answers. With me, Christal Bennett, KJTV reporter. She`s been on the case from the very beginning. Allegedly, a newborn baby, a five day old little girl, stolen by a woman posing as a nurse.

Now, Christal, this is where you lose me. She`s walking with the impostor nurse down the street. Who`s got the baby, the nurse?

BENNETT: The nurse has the baby, the mother has the younger son. He`s about 2 years old, and I have to tell you, a live wire. He really is.

GRACE: Now, when you say he distracted the mom, what did he do?

BENNETT: He started to run off, and she went after him. And as she turned around to go after him, according to her, she looked up, and the mother -- excuse me, the nurse impostor was gone with the baby. And at that point, all the mother saw -- of course, the first thing you do, you scan the perimeter. She saw two cars, a white van and red Grand Am, both taking off. And that`s where the vehicle description comes in in this case.

GRACE: OK, Christal, you`re telling me that the mom says she turned her back for one moment to get her 2-year-old, and turned around, and suddenly, the baby and the nurse had vanished?

BENNETT: That`s exactly what I said.

GRACE: OK. Tell me something, Christal. Was there another baby girl that this mom had last summer that died?

BENNETT: Yes, Nancy, there was. There was a baby who was born in 2005 that was a preemie, very low birth weight, and it died. According to police, they said it was a carbon monoxide issue. The family said it was more of an asphyxiation issue, where it choked on its own milk.

GRACE: Wait a minute. Whoa, whoa, whoa, wait, wait. Carbon monoxide is what the police say killed the baby? Christal, how did carbon monoxide kill the baby?

BENNETT: I don`t know, Nancy. We`d have to follow up on that for you. Obviously, at this point, that`s not what`s at issue here. They`re concerned about finding this baby. And at this point, there hasn`t been any suspicion on the family, from what we`ve been told. Police say they`ve been the utmost cooperative.


BENNETT: And the family tells us they`ve agreed to take polygraph tests and actually did so this evening.

GRACE: Well, that`s good to know, Christal. Did they pass the polygraph?

BENNETT: We don`t have those results yet. We haven`t even talked to police to get confirmation that they`ve taken the polygraph. We asked Lieutenant Bassett (ph), who has been the public information officer on this case, and he didn`t confirm that, but family members did say that the parents were going to take a polygraph test.

GRACE: OK, with me, Christal Bennett with KJTV. Hey, Christal, did anybody else see these two cars scratch off and leave? Was it a red Grand Am, you said?

BENNETT: A red Grand Am four-door, and initially, it was just a white van. but they actually took Erica Esensada (ph), the mother, out this afternoon to sort of look at other vans and kind of get a better description, and now they`re calling the white van a newer-model Dodge Ram Caravan.

GRACE: Interesting. All right. One other question, Christal, before I go to the hospital administrator with the University Medical Center. Christal Bennett with us, KJTV reporter. Christal, did anyone else there in the maternity ward, other than the mother and father, see this nurse impostor?

BENNETT: You know, we actually talked to a witness today who police brought in to help with a composite sketch. Now, she was a grandmother who had a grandbaby born the day after Baby Priscilla. And she says, when she came off the elevator just to go down to the lobby, she saw this woman in the scrubs and immediately to her, it clicked that these weren`t UNC scrubs. It obviously didn`t click to this family, it clicked with her.

She said she made eye contact with the woman, and there was just something strange about it. She said it was that gut instinct where your radar just kind of goes off. And so she watched this woman holding a baby in the hallway. But the strange part there is that the family said this woman was never -- had never taken the baby out in the hallway.

But to go on with that, she left and came back, saw the woman again standing by the window, says the woman smiled at her, and she kind of went on about her business and didn`t think anything of it, obviously, until she heard all of this.

GRACE: So this is an unrelated witness that also saw the nurse impostor.

BENNETT: Yes, Nancy, exactly.


BENNETT: She was there for the birth of her grandbaby.

GRACE: I see. OK. Take a listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) bring my baby back. She`s sick and I don`t want nothing to happen to my baby. Just please, (INAUDIBLE) have my baby. And she (INAUDIBLE) I`ll give it to her as long as she gives back my baby. It`s not the my baby`s fault.

She wanted to stick my baby in a pageant at a church and that I would win $100 and that my baby would get some stuff. And I said, No, my baby can`t be on (INAUDIBLE). She`s little and she`s sick and (INAUDIBLE). So I`m not going to chance it.


GRACE: To psychotherapist Dr. Robi Ludwig. There`s a lot of detail, a lot of detail that this new mother was giving about the alleged abductor of her baby girl. And as a trial lawyer, you really test someone`s -- the accuracy of their story and the level of detail in their story. The more detail they have, very often, the more likely that story is true, Robi. When you take a look at this couple, what do you think?

ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: Well, it`s not -- I mean, this is obviously not a common thing, thank God. But when women who steal babies - - they usually go into maternity wards, nurseries, private homes, and they`re looking for the right kind of baby. And it`s usually between newborns and 6 months of age that these women are looking for babies in that age range, very often to hold onto a relationship.

GRACE: Let`s go out to Greg Bruce, a special guest joining us from Lubbock, Texas. He is the hospital spokesperson with University Medical Center. Mr. Bruce, thank you for being with us. Tell me, what kind of security do you guys have at the hospital to avoid people like this nurse impersonator coming into the hospital?

GREG BRUCE, SPOKESMAN, UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER: Good evening, Nancy. We have a number of steps in place. We have -- all of our hospital employees have photo identification that`s hospital-issued, and they wear it at all times. We also have a set scrub color and set scrub style that our nursing staff uses. And we explain that to our patients, that all hospital staff should be in royal blue scrubs and should have a picture ID displayed when they`re in the room.

GRACE: Do you guys have videocameras, Greg, that could have caught this woman?

BRUCE: Nancy, we do. In fact, when we became aware of the situation, we made our staff available to work very closely with the FBI and the Lubbock Police Department, who are pouring over the tapes right now to determine if they can find any picture of this woman anywhere in our facility.

GRACE: Have they found anything yet?

BRUCE: At this point, I have not heard that we have uncovered anyone on tape that matches the description of this suspect.

GRACE: Take a listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I noticed a woman in the hallway wearing scrubs with an infant in her arms, which was unusual because anytime we saw the nurses with infants, they were in the little carts, being transported. And they always had ID tags on, and this woman had no ID badges or anything showing.

So I watched her for a while, and she went back in the room and came out without the baby. So I felt better about it and went on downstairs to get my drink. And when I came back up, she was standing by the nursery windows. The blinds were closed, but she was just standing over there watching me. And I got up and watched her for a minute, and she smiled and I went on back down to the room. But I just thought it was very odd.

She was wearing scrubs, but they were different than the other nurses were wearing. Hers -- she had on a print top, which none of the others had on. And she had on -- I can`t remember if they were blue or green pants, solid pants. And she had no ID of any kind on her, which was unusual, also.


GRACE: And there you`re hearing yet another witness that claims to have seen this lady. This is all we have right now, a sketch of this woman there roaming the hospital halls. And a lot of people are going to try to blame the hospital, but the reality is -- think about it. How often do you go in and out of a hospital to visit, for whatever reason, nobody asks for your ID.

Let`s go to the lines, Elizabeth. Let`s go out to Shawna in New Mexico. Hi, Shawna.


GRACE: Hi, dear. What`s your question.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My question is, when this Amber Alert went out for this baby so soon, do they automatically start checking the borders, being so close to Mexico? And we know what happens to babies there.

GRACE: Excellent question. What about it, Christal Bennett? Do we know if the alert goes as far as Mexico?

BENNETT: It does, Nancy. We`ve actually been told by El Paso police that they were called by the Lubbock police to put that alert out there to the border, so that any car coming through gets extra scrutiny, that they doublecheck, and that El Paso police, every in Texas, nationwide be on the lookout for this person.

GRACE: Let`s go back to the lines. Chrissy in Pennsylvania. Hi, Chrissy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. I was wondering, I had a baby three months ago, and our hospital, as well as many other hospitals, are using the bar code system in which they actually scan the baby to the mother and the father at all times. And I`m wondering if this hospital uses the same technology. Is it a lower...

GRACE: Chrissy, interesting. We were just talking about that in our staff meeting. Let`s go to Greg Bruce. Our EP -- everybody, remember we announced on the show, just had a baby, his wife did. And he was explaining how, Greg, a chip is actually put in the baby`s belly button, and it`s monitored, where it goes throughout the hospital, and the mom and dad are also monitored. How does that work, Greg?

BRUCE: We have a similar system at UNC. We have a (INAUDIBLE) security system, where a chip is put into the umbilical clip, and that prohibits the baby from being removed from the maternity ward unauthorized. Basically, if an individual is trying to remove an infant from the maternity ward without authorization, doors are mag-locked and they have no route of exit.

GRACE: And back to Christal Bennett with KJTV. Everyone, we are also taking your calls, your questions and you tips. To Christal Bennett. Christal, when was the last time the baby had been seen by anyone other than the mother and dad?

BENNETT: That`s the last time, as far as we know from police. And that`s the thing. Their crime line here has been ringing off the hook, but no concrete tips like that, where someone can say, I actually saw this baby or, you know, actually saw this woman.

GRACE: I mean before she was taken...


GRACE: I mean, but who, other than the mother and dad, saw the baby last, before she was kidnapped?

BENNETT: I couldn`t tell you that, Nancy. I can tell you, though, there`s a lot of family at that house. And I`m not going to speculate, but there are several family members around that house that were likely there around that time, as well.

GRACE: I`m just trying to think of more eyewitnesses that could help us find this kidnapper.

Very quickly, everyone, let`s go to tonight`s "Case Alert," Amber Alert for a 1-year-old Illinois girl, her mom, 29-year-old Marie Delasario Medina (ph), found dead in her children apartment last night. Police believe the little girl is with her father, 40-year-old Daniel Medina (ph), last known to be driving a green Pontiac. It`s a Grand Am. Guadalupe Medina, just 2 feet tall, brown hair, brown eyes. If you have information, please contact Chicago police, 312-746-8252.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If she has a heart, she would bring my baby back. She`s sick, and I don`t want nothing to happen to my baby. (INAUDIBLE) please (INAUDIBLE) have my baby. (INAUDIBLE) wants anything else, I`ll give it to her, as long as she gives back my baby. It`s not my baby`s fault.


GRACE: According to police, this brand-new mother is befriended in the hospital with a woman posing as a nurse. She comes every single day. After the couple takes the baby home, she comes to visit, to bring gifts, ends up taking the baby, according to the mother.

Straight back out to Christal Bennett with KJTV. Christal, I was thinking about the gifts, the gifts that the nurse impostor brought to the mom. Did she actually bring some gifts?

BENNETT: Yes, we understand there were some baby clothes that she was telling the mother she had for her, that she was going to bring by and offer to this baby. And it was just this strange relationship. She was going to offer these gifts. and then when she goes to take this baby down the street to this supposed relative, she has this collateral to offer, these rings, these keys, the Social Security number and driver`s license.

GRACE: Well, does the mom say that the picture on the driver`s license matches the woman?

BENNETT: And that`s a question that we couldn`t get an answer to just yet. When we asked police about that, they weren`t sure if it was a physical -- or couldn`t tell us if it was a physical driver`s license or a driver`s license number because remember, this woman is giving the name Lisa Stewart, which police believe is an alias. Now, when we talked about this driver`s license number with police, they weren`t able to tell us whether they could match it back to a Lisa Stewart or not. But at the time, they did say they believed it was an alias.

GRACE: Christal, is there any way of police taking these items for prints, for fingerprints?

BENNETT: They did say they were looking for some forensic evidence. I know when we were at the house earlier today, there were detectives there, even when the parents weren`t there, looking for some forensic evidence.

GRACE: Let`s go out to Marc Klaas, president of Beyondmissing. Marc what do you think about the case so far?

MARC KLAAS, PRES., BEYONDMISSING: Well, here`s what I can tell you right now, that as this show started, there was another issuance of the flyer, including the sketch of the woman. So they`re taking this very seriously. It sounds to me like it`s a typical kind of a non-traditional abduction, which means it`s an abduction by a woman who feigned a pregnancy, figured she couldn`t take the child from the hospital, which I think speaks very well for the security in the hospital, and came up with this other scenario whereby which she would be able steal the child from the home.

So I think that what happens in these kinds of cases is the mothers or these women get very desperate as the ninth month approaches, and then they have to put their plan into action. So you know, the best thing that can be done in a case like this is a lot of public awareness so that people know, so that somebody`s going to be able to figure out that this woman who`s been acting strangely...

GRACE: Right.

KLAAS: ... who`s been feigning this pregnancy is hopefully going to be...

GRACE: Right.

KLAAS: ... turned in and this child can be recovered.

GRACE: Well, of course, every time there is a missing person, especially a missing child, the first place you look are the parents. Once they`re ruled out...

KLAAS: Right.

GRACE: ... then you begin fanning out. Let`s go to our producer, Phil Rosenbaum. Phil, how common is infant snatching?

PHIL ROSENBAUM, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER: It`s not very common, but not rare at the same time. Hundreds of infants stolen in the past two decades, most found unharmed. A few cases. A 4-day-old boy abducted at a Macon, Georgia, hospital by a 16-year-old posing as a hospital worker. Also, a 2- month-old boy stolen from his Chicago home in a scheme allegedly hatched by a woman who claimed she was pregnant. Then there`s the 3-day-old boy snatched at a Utah hospital by a woman prosecutors say was wearing scrubs and a makeshift badge.

And Nancy, most gruesome of all, a case you write about in your book, "Objection!," after a miscarriage, 36-year-old Lisa Montgomery (ph) tracks down 8-months-pregnant Bobby Joe Sinnett (ph) on the Internet, goes to her Missouri home, allegedly strangles Sinnett, cuts the live fetus from the womb to steal the baby. Miraculously, the baby survives. And Nancy, these are just a few of the many examples.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The reason it was at the University Medical Center is because the suspect used a ruse there at the hospital to establish contact with the family. We have nothing to indicate that there University Medical Center staff is involved in this in any way, shape, or fashion.


GRACE: Welcome back, everyone. A 5-day-old infant stolen from her mother -- here is the little girl -- and stolen by a woman, apparently, who had been roaming the halls of the hospital there in Lubbock, Texas, posing as a nurse, who befriended the child`s mother, even following them after they went home.

To Pat Lalama, investigative reporter. The whole thing about scrubs, it gives the patients the idea that this is legitimate. Hey, I went out and got two pair today, pink and blue. Long story short, anybody can get a pair of scrubs and walk around like they`re a nurse. Throw a stethoscope on, you could do an examination, for Pete`s sake!

PAT LALAMA, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Absolutely, and probably do a whole lot more.

GRACE: I mean, how is this mother supposed to know any different?

LALAMA: Well, that`s the thing, Nancy, the world is full of con artists. And what this woman had to have besides just wearing her scrubs was the amazing ability to fool everyone around her. Hospitals are very, very careful, especially these days, and especially in maternity wards. And so this woman had to have some sort of amazing ability to charm her way and get out and then eventually get the child.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Being a missing person`s case, this is not a normal case that I`ve seen that has been handled by the Coast Guard investigation service. I know they handle these kind of things, but it`s the first time that one`s gotten this much attention.


NANCY GRACE, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back everybody. Pop icon Olivia Newton-John back in the news again. No, it`s not a brand new release. It`s an ex-boyfriend, a long-time love, as a matter of fact, Patrick McDermott, her long-time boyfriend. Remember, he went missing about - there he is, thanks Liz, not a bad looking fellow. He goes missing about 11 months ago. Well, you know, let`s go out to Christine Spiteri, with channel 9 in Australia. Christine, explain to the viewers how he mysteriously went missing and now mysteriously seemingly has reappeared.

CHRISTINE SPITERI, CHANNEL 9 AUSTRALIA: Yes, when Patrick McDermott vanished on the 30th of June last year. He went out on an overnight fishing trip off Los Angeles. About an hour before the boat was to return to dock in Los Angeles again, he simply vanished. He had paid his -- his bill for food and drinks and that was the last that anyone saw of him. Now, investigators are stumped. They don`t know whether this was an accident, a suicide, a faked disappearance, even a murder. Now, the very latest is that we are hearing that there have been three, possibly four reported sightings of Patrick McDermott in Mexico on the Baja peninsula.

GRACE: Whoa, whoa, whoa four sightings?

SPITERI: Up to four separate sightings, that`s what we are hearing. Now two people in a bar and a third person who was working in a surf camp.

GRACE: Whoa, whoa, whoa, working in a what?

SPITERI: A surf camp, he runs surf safaris.

GRACE: Surf camp, got it, OK, go ahead.

SPITERI: Right. So they have all identified McDermott from a photograph and they`ve looked at it and they have said yes, they believe they have seen him, some as recently as 10 days ago. But the problem here is that these are unsubstantiated reports. And what seems to have happened is that there is a reporter who has gone down to Cabo San Lucas with a photograph of Patrick McDermott and he`s asking the locals have you seen this man? Three or four people have said, yes, we think we have seen him, but there may have been 300 who have said no. So it appears that this is turning into a bit of case of Chinese whispers. I spoke to one of the.

GRACE: I`m sorry. What`s a "Chinese whisper?"

SPITERI: Well, he says, essentially, a story that gets bigger and bigger each time it`s told and sort of grows legs and seems to have more credibility when, really, these leads appear to be going nowhere. I spoke to one of the supposed witnesses and he said that, no, actually, he hadn`t seen Patrick McDermott himself, but he knew of someone who thought he may have. So, there are some pretty serious credibility issues with these reported sightings.

GRACE: But you know, Pat Louama (ph), investigative reporter, that could explain one, maybe two but now when you start adding on witness number three, witness number four, who are these witnesses? Where are they coming from and why are they automatically deemed incredible?

SPITERI: One of them even said that he was around the guy and spent some time listening to him speak and he seemed very quiet. I don`t know, this time around, it just doesn`t seem like voodoo. The Coast Guard will not say, with any certainty that they believe this is true or not. But you know what, Nancy, you`re right. It does have a certain feel to it. There`s also talk that he has found himself a woman, allegedly a northern European woman, blondish, 30ish. One of the witnesses said that he actually believed that he had gone to see her and stayed with her for a night and that they may be traveling together. Look, Nancy, you know, I`ve kind of been on top of this case from the beginning. The bottom line is if anybody had a reason to create this sort of dramatic scenario, it would be Patrick. He was far, far in debt. He had child support payments. His ex-wife was about to take him to court. He had an insurance policy on his son. His child support was a thousand a month, oftentimes, more than he even made. I mean, he was a lighting technician, some say. Others say he was a video -- a cameraman and he was way behind. And so, you never know. It might just be easier for him to get lost than to pay up.

GRACE: Let`s go out to Tom O`Neil, senior editor with "In Touch Weekly" Welcome back tom-tom.


GRACE: I told you. I told you.

O`NEIL: You told me what? You told me that he was alive?

GRACE: I told you something stunk.

O`NEIL: Yeah, something stunk. I spoke earlier today.

GRACE: Of course not anything you can really take to court, unfortunately.

O`NEIL: -- the one who was breaking this story and the way he links it is interesting. It makes this whole chain of witnesses a little more believable. He got a tip in Los Angeles that McDermott had been seen in Cabo San Lucas and in this little town called Todos Santos. He went to Todos Santos first, blitzed the town with these pictures and then that`s when this bar owner came forward and said about three months ago he was sitting down on the end of the bar here and somebody on the edge of town said, yeah, he stopped here and asked for directions three months ago. The dates lined up. Then he went down to -- the reporter did, to Cabo San Lucas and that`s when he found this San Diego businessman, about May 26th or so, who described a similar bar scene that we had seen up north about 60 miles. So, all of these things do have things in common.

GRACE: So, you`re saying he`s a barfly.

O`NEIL: Oh, he`s an alleged alcoholic and that`s why the jumping off the boat scenario seemed so credible. Some accounts say that up to 80 percent of suicides are committed under the influence of alcohol. By the way this fourth account, there`s something that really fishy about this one, this fourth sighting. He`s described as having darker hair. He`s got kind of salt and pepper hair now and so I`m not sure we should believe this one.

GRACE: Maybe, Tom, you are not quite as familiar with the hair- coloring aspect as some other people. Let`s go to Pat Brown, criminal profiler. Pat Brown, based on these reports, what`s your take? Ooh wait, Elizabeth, please, take that -- that`s heinous. No, no, absolute - I`m sure they would remember that one, Elizabeth, thanks for the scary picture. OK, Pat Brown, go ahead.

PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER: I`m with you, Nancy, something stinks and it stunk a long time ago. If you just want to kill yourself and have your son for example get the insurance money you can just drive into a tree. It`s over with. It`s done with and there`s no question. But what we had after he disappeared was a very odd downtime by Olivia Newton-John. She didn`t seem to have a response to the missing ex-boyfriends. Where was he? For a long time, she didn`t say a thing and that`s pretty weird because you would think, she says how much she loved him and still loves him and is worried about him but, yet, there was this quiet time. My guess is -- and I can`t say that she said this -- or this actually happened -- but sometimes when people want to disappear, they go to the one closest to them and say, look, I can`t handle this anymore and my life is going down the toilet.

GRACE: Wait, wait, wait. Let me get this straight, Pat Brown, veteran criminal profiler, you are trying to drag Olivia Newton-John into the big scam? I`m not buying that.

BROWN: I`m just saying.

GRACE: I hear what you`re saying.

BROWN: That`s why she would -- if somebody`s told you they want to disappear, you don`t want to get in their way. You`re just going to keep quiet about it. I think that`s what happened. I can`t prove it but I think that`s what happened.

GRACE: I can tell you what I think about Olivia Newton- John. I think she is very famous lady and this is an ex-boyfriend and she said I`m distancing myself from this whole ball of wax there.

BROWN: (INAUDIBLE) somebody. She hires in somebody to go look for him, remember that? Eventually she hired someone to come in and go find him. It took an awful long time. I think she knew exactly what happened to him.

GRACE: Let`s go to Brian Neary, defense attorney, Brian, for faking your own death, if that`s the case here, if that`s the scenario, can he be prosecuted?

BRIAN NEARY, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: If they can show that there was some fraud involved here, that it was being done for some merit. Of course he had that insurance policy. So if they could show that he was fraudulently faking his death so that somebody could benefit from the money, that`s one possible way. Now Mr. McDermott has his own problem here. He`s got non -- he`s got support payments he`s got to make. There`s a lot of non -- there`s willful non-support of people. So, but beyond that, let me see, unless law enforcement has invested too much time in looking for him, he may not have committed a crime.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On the 30th of June, 10:00, Patrick McDermott went on the boat "Freedom." The "Freedom" went to San Clemente Island. They got to San Clemente Island about 5:00 in the morning. They fished all day at San Clemente Island. Can`t get on or off the boat at San Clemente Island. It doesn`t touch shore.


CATHERINE CALLAWAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I`m Catherine Callaway with your headline prime newsbreak. U.S. stocks took a tumble today. The Dow Jones Industrials lost nearly 200 points. The Nasdaq dropped two percent. The market was reacting to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke`s comments on inflation and the slowing economy.

Two elderly southern California women suspected in the hit-and-run deaths of two homeless men pleaded not guilty to fraud charges today. They are accused of taking out numerous life insurance policies on the victims. So far, no homicide charges have been filed in the deaths.

Doctors in Shanghai plan to remove an unusually well formed third arm from a two-month old boy tomorrow. They`re hoping Gigi (ph) will adapt well since he`s so young.

Duke University`s men`s lacrosse team will take the field again next year with new behavior standards for players. The 2006 season was canceled after a dancer hired by team members filed rape charges. That`s the news. I`m Catherine Callaway.


GRACE: Everybody in the control room may be rocking out to Olivia Newton-John, but police aren`t so happy tonight. Her long-time love, Patrick McDermott disappeared after a fishing trip, a day trip about 11 months ago off the California coast. Many believed he committed suicide. Well, his body was never found. Nothing really fit together, a lot of unusual questions at the time. Now, not one, not two, not three, but four witnesses out of Mexico have identified photos of Patrick McDermott saying, oh, no, he didn`t wash ashore. He was sitting at the end of the bar having a drinkie. Is Patrick McDermott alive and well? To Michelle Suskauer. Michelle, recall when McDermott went missing, you were on the show. We analyzed everything there was to analyze. A lot of facts don`t fit together. Why is everyone so suspicious of these witnesses in Mexico? Everybody hides out in Mexico.

MICHELLE SUSKAUER, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Oh, OK. But, you know, we are asking people who are sitting at a bar drinking tequila if they saw another guy at a bar three months ago or a year ago drinking tequila.

GRACE: Point well taken. Michelle Suskauer, you just burst my bubble of wrongdoing. I`m so happy.

SUSKAUER: I`m sorry. Showing a blurry picture going back, does this guy look familiar to you? Sure, he does and is there insurance money?

GRACE: OK. OK. Go ahead.

SUSKAUER: I want to see Olivia Newton John`s cell phone records. That`s what I want to see.

GRACE: Why is everybody trying to pin this on Olivia Newton John? The woman knows -- you and Pat Brown have it out for her.

SUSKAUER: You know what, if she`s -- if he`s actually still around and they find him, I want to see her cell phone records because, you know, if she had some downtime there, maybe he did contact her. But I think he, you know, he pretty much had everything to live for. He had a rich girlfriend, who could have paid his bills that he owed. He has a son that he loved and he didn`t take his driver`s license with him, his money with him, his passport with him. He left it all on the boat. I don`t know.

GRACE: Let`s go to Julie in Alabama. Hi, Julie.

CALLER: How are you?

GRACE: Good. What`s your question?

CALLER: I was wondering if Olivia Newton John has commented on this and has she made any recent trips to Mexico?

GRACE: Good question. As I recall, to Pat Louama, she did post a statement on her website. She gave a comment at the time. As to her traveling to Mexico, this woman travels all over the world, right, Pat?

BROWN: She does and Nancy, let`s just go over a couple of quick things. I think that she has said recently, well, I hope they still find him. But let`s remember just a few things. Shortly after this happened, there were some discussion about how close they really were. It seemed almost, the feeling I got, was that the Newton-John camp was trying to say, well, you know, maybe it`s not so much a love affair. Secondly, I remember being awe struck by the fact that many days went by before anyone said, gee, Patrick didn`t come home. He missed a family event but it never became a big issue. To me, if I`m expecting someone home, I want to talk to them within 24 hours. Now, as for hair color, I remind you, if you are watching that video that you keep putting up, his hair is much darker. He has salt and pepper hair. It is very possible that when he decided to go where he was going, if, in fact it is him he wanted it make his hair dark just like our pal Scott Peterson did. I`m not accusing them of the same crimes. But remember, this is a man who faced jail time. And Olivia clearly wasn`t paying for anything because he lived in a dump in north -- or, excuse me in Studio City, California. Not all of Studio City is a dump. Where he lived was a dump.

GRACE: Pat, I think you are being a little judgmental.

BROWN: Sorry.

GRACE: Let`s go to Melanie in Florida. Hi, Melanie.

CALLER: Nancy, how are you?

GRACE: I`m good, dear what`s your question?

CALLER: I was wondering did they have a search or like a dive team looking for him and, if so, how long did they search for him?

GRACE: Good question. Let`s go out to Tom O`Neil, senior editor with "In Touch Weekly." Tom, as I recall, they searched the area thoroughly at the time and it was very odd. There were a lot of circumstances that didn`t fit together. Remember the way this cruise, I guess, fishing trip was a day trip. You`d go out, you`d fish, you`d have lunch, as you come back, you settle up your bill and then, about between one and three miles from shore, as the day was all over, no one saw him after that. Now, some reports say they saw him getting off the boat, if I recall there were conflicting reports, Tom.

O`NEIL: Oh, all over the place, Nancy. There are two people claim that he walked off the boat. The last confirmed, agreed upon sighting of him was at 1:45 a.m. But, this paying up of the food bill is the biggest mystery of all. Because, it gets back to the caller`s question. That was about an hour before the boat got to shore. He had had two hotdogs, two Cokes, the bill came to $10. Somebody paid that because the bill was checked off. But they don`t remember specifically if it was him. Nobody else has stepped forward to say it was. One hour before that boat came to shore would be roughly three to four miles out. A body, if it goes overboard on a boat washes to shore, in that case. If it`s say, 20 miles out, it goes out to sea. So this body, if it did go over the edge of this boat, should have come to shore and it never did. By the way, there`s one other bit of breaking news in this case we haven`t gotten to yet. That is, it has just been disclosed that this boat stopped for a fueling - a refueling about an hour before it got back to San Pedro and it`s believed that that is where Patrick McDermott got off the boat.

GRACE: What do you mean that it`s believed that`s where he got off. Did somebody see him at that juncture get off?

O`NEIL: No, nobody saw him.

GRACE: But they didn`t see him afterwards.

O`NEIL: Yes. It has previously not been reported, this refueling stop. So, that`s where he either could have jumped off and swam to shore or actually could have gotten off.

GRACE: To Brian Neary, Brian is a veteran defense attorney, like Michelle Suskauer. Brian, what about any jurisdictional issues we`ve got here, as far as enforcing a possible violation of the law?

NEARY: Well, if he`s broken some laws in the United States, countries like Canada and Mexico will have extradition treaties. So they`ll be able to get him back. The real question is going to be here, what can they say that he did that was fraudulent in the United States that would justify being brought back for a crime?

GRACE: Right. It`s not a crime to walk off into the sunset, Dr. Robi Ludwig. So why would somebody fake their death?

When you think about it, a lot of kids fantasize what would happen if I died and they fantasize about all the family members that would be sad and so sorry for all the wrongdoings committed to them. So, in some cases, it might be, I`ll show you or it could be sociapathy (ph). I`m going to follow my own rules in life. I`m going to try to get away with murder basically. I`m going to create my own murder and perhaps my family will be better off.


GRACE: Right on. If he faked his own death, hey, there should be a law against that and, guess what, there is if any fraud is associated with it. We`re talking about the long-time love of Olivia Newton-John who seemingly vanished into thin air after a fishing trip. Let`s go out to Karen in Arizona. Hi, Karen.

CALLER: Hi, Nancy. My statement is I don`t know McDermott`s racial background or ethnic background is but I think he looks like a lot of Mexicans mixed with an Indian background and putting that weathered look and that salt and pepper hair. I don`t know that you`ve got him at all. I think he just has a bone structure that looks like the people who live there.

GRACE: OK. I guess the big question, in my mind, would be regardless of his heritage or ethnicity, has anybody seen him alive? I really don`t care where he came from or what his ancestry is. I care did he fake his own death and did he do it for fraudulent reasons? Back out to Christine Spiteri, Channel 9 from Australia. Christine, have there been issues regarding the reporter who actually found these witnesses?

SPITERI: Well, no, not at this stage. But, the U.S. Coast guard, who is handling this case, I`ve spoken to the investigators and they`re in a fairly difficult position. Of course, they cannot discount any sighting in case it may be the real thing but they are are pretty skeptical about what they are hearing. They haven`t been contacted by any of the witnesses themselves to say --

GRACE: Well, I think Michelle Suskaur put it best and I believe she agrees with you, Christine. You ask one guy that`s been sitting at the bar drinking tequila to identify another guy sitting at the bar drinking tequila, you got a little credibility problem, Christine, you may be right about that.

Everyone, let`s just stop for a moment and remember Marine Corporal David A. Bass, just 20 years old, Nashville, Tennessee, killed Iraq. He is remembered as having a big, big heart. David Bass, an American hero. Thank you to all of our guests. Our biggest thank you to you, for being with us. Especially to you, happy birthday, Myrtle Page, 78 years old today. And happy anniversary to our technical production manager, our dear Stacey and her husband, Mike. Tomorrow night, 8:00 sharp. I hope I see you right here. And until then, good night, friend.