Return to Transcripts main page
Mother Kidnaps Twins From Adoptive Family
Aired January 03, 2007 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NANCY GRACE, HOST: Tonight: Twin infants snatched away, the kidnapper eluding cops in a cat-and-mouse game until the twins end up hidden outside the U.S. That`s right, beyond the reach of U.S. law enforcement. But tonight, the kidnapper heads to court, facing life behind bars. PS, the perp is the twins` own mother.
And tonight: A 3-year-old toddler in just a diaper and a T-shirt found wandering alone on an eight-lane high-speed Indiana freeway. Where`s Mommy? At home asleep, another child found on the floor trying to feed itself out of the garbage. Can you say foster care?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was no Amber Alert. There was never a hint that this woman was in any way, shape or form anything but a nurturing, caring, loving mother.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nothing was decided in the case of a biological mother accused of taking her twins, Holly and Tyler, from their adoptive parents. Outside though, critics of the adoption process offered empathy to (INAUDIBLE) someone they see as a desperate mother.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you do when you`re at the end of your rope and you`ve done everything that the legal system has asked you to do? At that point, do you just give up and do you walk away? Like I say, I`m not condoning what she`s done, but I can certainly as a mother understand.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, we`re talking about a woman, a professional, 48 years old, master in computer science, who decided to bear children, who went through a lengthy and painful and expensive process of artificial insemination, a horrific pregnancy.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In a perfect world, I`d love to see her get home to her kids, but that`s up to the justice system to decide now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Good evening, everybody. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us tonight. How can a mom be charged with kidnapping her own two infant twins? That`s exactly what`s going on.
Let`s go out to the reporter with "The Ottawa Citizen," Andrew Thompson. Andrew, where is the defendant tonight?
ANDREW THOMPSON, "OTTAWA CITIZEN": Tonight, Nancy, she`s still in custody, in jail here in Ottawa. She was arrested here Friday night, was brought into court yesterday for a bail hearing. That`s been delayed until tomorrow morning, at which point she will go before a judge here in Ontario. And of course, the next step is for authorities here waiting to see if she will, in fact, be extradited to the United States. They`re waiting to see if American authorities in North Carolina want to go ahead with that extradition request. They have 60 days from the time of her arrest, which was last Friday night here.
GRACE: To Court TV`s Jean Casarez. She`s been on the case from the very beginning. Jean, explain to me how this mom is now facing life behind bars for taking her own biological twins.
JEAN CASAREZ, COURT TV: Well, first of all, she had been terminated of her parental rights. The children were adopted, being adopted by their parents. The alleged kidnapping took place the weekend of Christmas. Because it was an open adoption, she had visitation rights, she took the children Friday night with her visitation rights. She was supposed to return them Sunday night, which was Christmas Eve. She didn`t return them. The adoptive parents called authorities.
GRACE: How did it happen? How did she have visitation rights?
CASAREZ: This was an open adoption, and it began just with both parties that she would see them several times a year. But that became three times a month that she would see the children. So it was an extremely open adoption.
GRACE: Let`s go out to a friend of Allison Quets. That is the biological mom now facing a possible life behind bars, if she is charged under North Carolina kidnap law. Joining us is Nancy McLeod, a friend of the biological mom`s. Let me get this straight, Nancy. The mom had put her own twins up for adoption after going through the in vitro process? That`s very difficult.
HOLLY MCLEOD, FRIEND OF BIOLOGICAL MOTHER: Yes. She became very ill to the point of death twice during the process, and at those points, she began to think of the children`s welfare. And those were the only two times she considered the adoption seriously.
GRACE: So it`s my understanding that at least four months before the twins were born, she began looking into the adoption possibility, and finally gave these two children up for adoption. So what happened?
MCLEOD: As I said, in May -- and the children were born July 6 -- she was entered into the hospital with the idea that she was near death, as she was vomiting blood and her esophagus had problems. And then in July, when she delivered them, she had a hematoma on her uterus, and that was near fatal. They had to give her four pints of blood. And so in the best interests of the children, she considered what she would do in case she did not live.
GRACE: OK. So after she had given birth and she lived, and the twins were healthy and she is healthy, she still pursues the adoption.
MCLEOD: Well, she had a former boyfriend, who had asked her to take care of his daughter and granddaughter. And he saw these twins as interfering with that arrangement, which has been ongoing until recently. And he recommended his cousin`s children, who wanted to adopt a child, to Allison, and that is how it began. Once the Needhams, Denise and Kevin, heard of the children, they began to hound Allison in her very sick state. She was being fed through a tube this entire time.
GRACE: Wa-wa-wa-wa-wa-wait! I`m talking about after the children were born. She`s -- what is her degree in, is it architecture?
MCLEOD: She has three degrees. She has a bachelor of psychology, a master of social work and a master of computer science.
GRACE: And she is how old?
MCLEOD: She is now 49.
GRACE: OK. And the toddlers are 18 months, correct?
MCLEOD: Seventeen, I heard.
GRACE: Seventeen months. All right. So after they`re born, she is no longer sick. So it`s not as if she`s on her deathbed.
MCLEOD: No, she is sick.
GRACE: She is sick? What was her illness after the birth?
MCLEOD: Well, first of all, she was malnourished the entire time. She delivered the twins with only a weight gain of 10 pounds. And she weighed 10 pounds less than her normal weight after they were delivered. And so she was in a position where she could decide to fill a bottle with milk and change diapers but she could not make any better decisions.
MCLEOD: And the Needhams were very avariciously pursuing her for these children.
GRACE: Now, it`s my understanding that the Needhams finally -- these are the adoptive parents -- finally just gave up and went, You know, what, forget it, because your friend, the woman behind bars tonight, wanted them to pay the $30,000 it cost for in vitro. And they walked away from that, not really having that much money. Then she came back to them. They got reconnected. And she gave away her two babies and then went off for a getaway to a riverside city, Savannah, Georgia, with her boyfriend. Isn`t that true?
MCLEOD: No, that is not true. She only mentioned the cost of the in vitro to them to try to get them to stop hounding her. She had no wish to be reimbursed for it. In fact, she offered to help them with the financial side of adopting other babies than hers. She also offered to help them financially to use her embryos that she had gathered to make this procedure possible.
GRACE: OK. Didn`t she also pursue other adoption possibilities other than this kind couple, the Needhams?
MCLEOD: No. I`m told that she made some phone calls in an investigatory manner...
GRACE: Well, that`s what I meant.
MCLEOD: ... as anyone would.
GRACE: I mean, she`s going to -- let`s go out to Ellie (ph). Ellie, your information`s a little bit different.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right. Well, I`m actually looking at the judge`s order back in June of this past year when he denied her rights to get...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. He listened to testimony from another adoption agency, who says, Yes, she met with this other attorney, last name Stowbridge (ph). They arranged to have this other couple pay for the in vitro, which was about $32,000. They later backed out. It`s all laid out in this agreement here that she had met with other potential adoptive parents.
GRACE: And Ellie, to your knowledge, what was her illness after the birth?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I wasn`t aware of an illness after the birth.
GRACE: Back out to Nancy McLeod. Were you aware of the judge`s finding, based on sworn testimony, that Ms. Quets, your friend, tried many other adoption avenues and finally settled on the Needhams?
MCLEOD: No, that is not anything I`m aware of. And I was not in the courtroom...
MCLEOD: ... and Allison never mentioned that to me.
GRACE: Let`s go out to the lines...
MCLEOD: And I...
GRACE: Yes? Go ahead.
MCLEOD: I`m not positive that that`s accurate information, but...
GRACE: Out to Kari in Oklahoma. Hi, Kari.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. Love your show.
GRACE: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just was wondering, as presented at the beginning of the show, this woman is obviously a very educated woman, and at her age, to go through that, as you said, painful process of in vitro fertilization, what -- in my mind, I just can`t imagine going through all of that at her age. Why did she give her children up for adoption?
GRACE: Well, there are a lot of theories on that. Jean Casarez?
CASAREZ: Well, according to the court order -- and this is by a judge after a trial -- that when she found out that she was going to have twins, that was the first time that she called the Needhams up to see if they were interested in possibly adopting the children. Also, according to court documents, she wanted to travel. She didn`t have a spouse. And then also, her health wasn`t up to par.
GRACE: Out to the Needhams` attorney, who is a specialist in adoption and this area of the law, Pat Kilbane (ph). Pat, thank you for being with us. What is the Needhams` position?
PAT KILBANE, ADOPTIVE PARENTS` ATTORNEY: Good evening, Nancy. On behalf of the Needhams, Chapter 63 of the Florida statutes requires that adoption proceedings are confidential, and I understand that court records have -- and court orders have been discussed this evening...
GRACE: Yes. What`s their position?
KILBANE: Their position is they -- they adopted the children. They went through a trial, and the judge upheld their adoption.
GRACE: Pat, did Ms. Quets approach them, ask them to pay for the cost of in vitro?
KILBANE: Nancy, I can`t get into that. I can`t get into the specifics of this case.
GRACE: OK. Jean Casarez, did Ms. Quets approach the Needhams, asking them for the $30,000?
CASAREZ: Yes. We`ve got a 26-page legal document, and yes, they did.
GRACE: Take a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was no Amber Alert. There was never a hint that this woman was in any way, shape or form anything but a nurturing caring, loving mother. There was never a hint that these children were in any danger.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am an adult adoptee who`s experienced the system firsthand. And I can tell you, if I got the chance to choose where I would have been raised, it would have definitely been with my mother. And I think her children would feel the same.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you do when you`re at the end of your rope and you`ve done everything that the legal system has asked you to do? At that point, do you just give up and do you walk away? Like I said, I`m not condoning what she`s done, but certainly as a mother understand it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Not in a hint of danger. These kids were taken all the way from North Carolina to out of country in Canada, two twins. Can you imagine what the adoptive parents went through?
And back to you, Ellie. This back and forth and back and forth when the mom was trying to decide if she wanted these two twins -- I mean, take a look at these children. Who wouldn`t want them? It went on and on. It`s excruciating, all the meetings with the adoption lawyer. And PS, everybody, that adoption lawyer is not on one side or the other. The court demands a lawyer in that jurisdiction of Florida to be right down the middle of the adoption proceeding. What did they all go through trying to make this thing happen?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right. Right. Well, they had originally agreed that they were all going to sign the papers on August 12. They all met at the lawyer`s office. They were planning to sign the papers then. Allison Quets says, No, I need a good night`s sleep before I sign this. So they all go home for the night...
GRACE: Wait a minute. Wait a minute. In my office, you told me there was a wigging-out episode.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That`s coming the next day.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She goes back the next day, August 13. She`s planning to sign the papers that day. She decides not to. And she later in a voice-mail to the Needhams, according to these documents, says, I`m sorry, I flipped out. But you know what? I`m going to go back next week and I`m going to sign the papers. So she goes back a couple days later -- I believe this is August 16 by this point -- and then she finally signs the papers.
GRACE: Out to a special guest joining us tonight, Dr. Maureen Moomjy from NYU and New York Presbyterian, a fertility specialist. Doctor, thank you for being with us. The procedure of having in vitro fertilization is not only difficult on a woman`s body, it`s very expensive, correct?
DR. MAUREEN MOOMJY, NYU AND NY PRESBYTERIAN FERTILITY SPECIALIST: It is an expensive procedure, but it is within the realm of the high technology that is being utilized for that month of treatment. It is many visits, many blood tests, many ultrasounds, egg retrieval and embryo transfer. So it is reasonable...
GRACE: Don`t you have to shoot yourself up with hormones?
MOOMJY: The patients are given instructions on...
GRACE: Up to four shots a day?
MOOMJY: It can be one shot, it can be two, it can be four, for about two weeks. It`s different for everybody.
GRACE: And so after -- the likelihood that a woman this age -- I mean, it`s not like she`s fresh off the turnip truck. She`s -- how old is she now, Ellie?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She`s 49.
GRACE: She`s 49 now. That puts her at 47 when the children were born. She`s gotten multiple degrees, clearly knew what she was doing. How long is the in vitro process, Doctor?
MOOMJY: As far as the month of treatment?
MOOMJY: Well, for a standard IVF cycle, there`s two very busy weeks and then there`s essentially two weeks of waiting for the outcome of the pregnancy, to see if pregnancy has occurred.
GRACE: How often do twins occur?
MOOMJY: Well, twins occur according to the age of the woman. So they`re relatively common in IVF pregnancies that might occur under the age of 34 and they`re far less common as the woman`s age progresses.
GRACE: Well, I mean, in vitro -- the reality is, you put multiple eggs into the woman`s uterus, having been fertilized, hoping that one of them sticks, correct, Doctor?
GRACE: So the reality is -- back out to Nancy McLeod, the friend of Allison Quets, now behind bars facing life in North Carolina -- you put multiple, say, five, seven eggs fertilized in a womb, and then shock, you have twins? She didn`t know she was going to have twins, that there was a possibility?
MOOMJY: Well, I can speak for myself that there is a lot of discussions regarding what is an appropriate number of embryos for transfer for the given couple or patient, and with a clear intent to reduce the possibility of multiples for each different couple. But of course, she would be aware that twins are a true possibility in this setting.
GRACE: That was to you, Nancy McLeod. Did she not realize, with all of her degrees in education, that twins were a possibility?
MCLEOD: I am told that she only fertilized two eggs. The doctor asked her, One or two, and she said, Let`s do two because they don`t always take. And she said, If it turns out to be twins, they will have each other.
GRACE: Let`s go out to Kim in Canada. Hi, Kim.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey, Nancy. How are you? Happy New Year.
GRACE: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thanks for taking my call. My question is, since 9/11, they have tightened up on crossing the border. Now, my husband and I -- I kept my married name and my son has my husband`s name now. I`ve taken my son or tried to take him over to Buffalo for shopping. So how did this woman get those twins across the border without, I`m assuming, their birth certificates?
GRACE: Out to Andrew Thompson with "The Ottawa Citizen." How did it happen?
THOMPSON: I`m told by American and Canadian police she crossed the border on December 23 with the two children, and apparently was able to provide enough documentation identification and I guess court documents so that she was allowed to pass through. We really haven`t been given any more specific details what those exact documents were.
GRACE: Very quickly, let`s unleash the lawyers. Join us, Renee Rockwell and Rikki Klieman. Renee in Atlanta, Rikki out in LA. Rikki Klieman, she`s up against it. Now, right now, she`s only charged with U.S. federal charges of kidnapping, parental kidnapping. But there`s going to be an argument by the state, Rikki, that she is not the parent, and there`s North Carolina law up to life behind bars for kidnap, Rikki.
RIKKI KLIEMAN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY AND COURT TV ANCHOR: Yes, she`s up against it, but it`s preposterous to put her in prison. It`s just preposterous. This is a woman who has now spent her life`s savings trying to get her children back. This is a woman who cares for these children. There are witnesses who saw her with these twins, who saw what a wonderful mother she was.
GRACE: Rikki, Rikki...
KLIEMAN: She`s going through the process, Nancy, and then she gets frightened and she gives up.
GRACE: Wait a minute.
KLIEMAN: I`m not saying what she did was right, Nancy.
GRACE: The boyfriend did not want her to have children.
KLIEMAN: Right, but the boyfriend is the one who also gets the adoptive parents involved.
GRACE: That`s right. He certainly does. So long story short, in order to hold onto this on-and-off lover, she decides to adopt the kids. Now they`re happily adopted with the Needhams, and ruh-roh, she wants them back and they all end up in Canada.
KLIEMAN: No, she wants them back a lot faster than that, Nancy.
GRACE: ... kidnapper.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Gene Scott (ph) was silent as he packed his son Evan`s (ph) belongings into the car, preparing him for a trip Evan thinks is only a visit. No matter what the Scotts tell him, Gene says the 3-year- old does not understand he`s never coming back.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How can they do this to a little boy~!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because they`re evil.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How can they do this to him!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because they`re evil.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nobody will listen to me!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When Evan left, she fell to her knees and cried.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is the home Jessica left in tears Monday, the home she shared with Roberta and Jan DeBoer (ph) on Fair (ph) Street in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She will now share this home on Cedar Street with biological parents Dan and Kara Schmidt (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s just kind of a sad situation. The poor girl`s the one that`s going to suffer through the whole thing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: They are called parental kidnaps, but the reality is, adoptive parents are left twisting their hands, wondering where their infants are. This mom made it all the way to Canada with her two twin babies, the adoptive parents hanging in the wind.
Special guest joining us tonight, Mary Jo Formosa. She`s the owner of the B&B where this biological mom came with her two children. Mary Jo Formosa, welcome to the show. Isn`t it true that this mom made the reservation back around December 8 or 9?
MARY JO FORMOSA, BED & BREAKFAST OWNER: Yes, Nancy, she did. We got an e-mail from her just asking what our availability was from December 23 through the 31st. And we said we had a room for her and...
GRACE: Did she ask about toddlers, as well?
GRACE: Didn`t she ask if you could accommodate toddlers?
FORMOSA: Yes, that was the next day. We got another e-mail if we would accept toddlers.
GRACE: OK. Hold on one moment, Ms. Formosa. Out to Renee Rockwell, defense attorney. So bottom line, this biological mom had this thing planned for almost a month.
RENEE ROCKWELL, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Nancy, but I don`t think she had a kidnapping planned. I think what happened is that this is a young lady that found herself at the end...
GRACE: She`s not young, and according to prosecutors, she is no lady!
ROCKWELL: Well, Nancy, she`s educated. She made the decision and she couldn`t live with it.
GRACE: So she broke the law and stole the kids. Is that what you`re saying, Renee?
ROCKWELL: She did what she had to do. She wanted to hold onto her children.
GRACE: That`s a defense. That`s going to work in court!
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Snatching two little infant twins is definitely a felony, but it turns out the felon is the biological mom.
Out to the lines. John in Indiana. Hi, John.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi. How`re you doing?
GRACE: I`m good, dear. What`s your question?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I`d like to know, do they do, like, a background check on people that get the in vitro? Do they check on, you know, their physical health or their mental health.
GRACE: To Dr. Moomjy. Do they? Don`t they get a full screening?
MOOMJY: Well, I can say our routine is definitely to provide a psychological evaluation for anybody contemplating donor egg or donor sperm, and that clearly was the case here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She needs time to collect her thoughts, to digest what`s happened to her children. And hopefully -- and I know that she has supporters here with whom she`s available to live with them. So her thoughts are obviously with her children. And right now, she needs this period of time, as well, to come to terms with what`s happened.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: She`ll have plenty of time to think about her felony kidnap charges behind bars. That`s right: It`s at least a 12- to 15-hour drive from Raleigh, North Carolina, all the way to Canada, where this biological mom took her two twin infants after they had been adopted.
Let`s go out to the lines. Sharon in Wisconsin, hi, Sharon.
CALLER: Hi, Nancy. I love your program.
GRACE: Bless you.
CALLER: What I`d like to know is, how long is the waiting period in that state?
GRACE: Good question. You mean, once someone is put up for adoption, how long do they have to get the kids back if they want them?
CALLER: Here in Wisconsin, it`s one year.
GRACE: You know, I don`t think there`s that window at all in Florida. Let`s go out to Pat Kilbane, the Needhams` attorney. What is the so-called waiting period?
KILBANE: That`s correct. There`s no waiting period in this type of case, Nancy.
GRACE: And, you know, and when you think about it, to psychotherapist Dr. Leslie Austin, if you`re thinking about and willing to sign away your children, I think Florida has the right idea.
Why do you want these parents to have a chance to reconsider, if that`s what you think of your children, you want to sign them away? Why should you get to come back a year later, like in Wisconsin, and take the kids away from the adoptive parents, parents that really want them?
LESLIE AUSTIN, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: Exactly. There are a lot of the reasons why you might want to put your kids up for an adoption, but hopefully you`d consider it very, very carefully before you sign the papers.
GRACE: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, wait...
AUSTIN: And you`ve got to put the kids first.
GRACE: I don`t think you`re hearing me, Leslie!
AUSTIN: Pardon me?
GRACE: This isn`t like returning your Cuisinart to target.
AUSTIN: Exactly. Exactly.
GRACE: You don`t have a 90-day grace period. These are children.
AUSTIN: I`m agreeing with you. Once you sign...
GRACE: So why should there be a grace period at all?
AUSTIN: Once you sign the papers, there should not be a return period, as it were, in any way. I`m saying consider very carefully before you sign the papers so that, once you sign the papers, it`s final. And you need to be putting the benefit of the children first, as painful as it may be for you. If you sign up for adoption, let them go.
GRACE: Out to Brenda in Texas, hi, Brenda.
CALLER: Hi, Nancy, I love your show.
GRACE: Thank you.
CALLER: I want to comment on the adoptive parents. All I`ve heard about are the biological parents. I`m an adoptive mother of two. We go through so much, and we put and invest so much time, and it tears me apart. And I understand the lady`s point of view, but I just want to comment on the adoptive parents, what they go through.
GRACE: Can you imagine, Brenda in Texas, going all through this back and forth, and back and forth with this lady? They go to the lawyer. She backs out. They go back and forth. This goes on for months on end. Finally, she signs the papers and goes on a romantic getaway with her on- and-off lover boyfriend.
And on the way to Savannah, goes, "Uh-oh. I think I made a mistake. I think I want them back." Like I said, this is not a coffee pot you`re taking back to K-Mart. These are two infant children. And all the times the adoptive parents sitting on pins and needles, worried?
I`m, frankly, surprised, Jean Casarez, that the parents agreed to this open agreement, where the biological mom could just waltz back into their life and have visitation whenever she wanted unsupervised.
JEAN CASAREZ, COURT TV: And I`m sure they`re probably questioning that right now. But I think that was a big part of the judge`s decision, because the judge looked at this four-month period where Allison Quets was making all of these demands, that she wanted to name the baby, she wanted to give them continual gifts, she wanted to talk with them, she wanted visitation, she wanted the visitation increased. And that showed the intent that she wanted to adopt them with this demands and all the demands that she made. And that`s one reason he did finally terminate her parental rights.
GRACE: And the judge was very, very clear about this. Out to Trenny Stovall, child advocate and attorney, Trenny, I know you have kids of your own, and you also deal with abused children all the time.
TRENNY STOVALL, CHILD CUSTODY ADVOCATE: Yes.
GRACE: Nobody`s talking about the children.
GRACE: Such as the psychological issue of, who is mommy?
STOVALL: That`s exactly right. The idea of an open adoption is to really continue that bond, give an opportunity for all the love and care that a child can have. But nobody looks at the psychological effect on these children.
The idea of having a grace period where a parent can come back, all of that has an effect on these children. And this biological mother showed increased intent to interfere in the proper care of these children. And I don`t think she was thinking about them.
GRACE: What happened was, the Needhams, the adoptive parents, had the babies for a while. And then that is when it kicked in that they started fighting for them. They fell in love with the infants and became caring for them.
GRACE: On a continual basis. And where this boyfriend fits in, I don`t know, but that had been an on-and-off relationship for, I think -- Nancy McLeod, how long had they been dating?
NANCY MCLEOD, FRIEND OF BIOLOGICAL MOM, ALLISON QUETS: I`ve been told that they knew each other for 20 years and that they had had no romantic involvement for the past 10 years. And the reason that Allison was still continuing her relationship with him was this sickness. You really need to get an expert in from the Hyperemesis Foundation, because they can`t...
GRACE: Doesn`t that occur during the pregnancy?
MCLEOD: Yes, and it leaves you with an inability to sleep.
MCLEOD: Hold on. So we`re talking about the arrangement right there with him concerning the adoption time. She had no sleep. You tend to isolate yourself. You cannot make choices. And he was the only one who she knew that could come and help her.
He had moved from Tampa to the very subdivision that she lived in to try to get her to help his daughter and granddaughter, as I said.
GRACE: OK, question.
MCLEOD: And she had them living in his townhouse. Yes?
GRACE: Question. What about after she gave birth, Nancy, she no longer had the illness after she gave birth. That is peculiar to pregnancy.
MCLEOD: She had the effects of the illness even when I was talking to her, at four to six weeks after the birth.
GRACE: And that effect was?
MCLEOD: It was like watching water being poured over metal. Nothing sank in. I gave her all kinds of offers and help. I offered for the children to come and live with my husband and I in Arizona.
GRACE: Isn`t it true that the boyfriend did not want her to have children, in fact, she used a sperm donor?
MCLEOD: No, that is not true.
GRACE: She did not use a sperm donor?
MCLEOD: I thought you said he was the sperm donor. She did use a sperm...
GRACE: No, she used a sperm donor. And isn`t it true...
MCLEOD: Yes, she did.
GRACE: ... the boyfriend did not want her to have children?
MCLEOD: I don`t think he was a part of that consideration, because he was not her boyfriend any longer.
GRACE: OK. The reality is, according to the sworn testimony, that he did not want her to have children, and he is the one that she went on her getaway to Savannah with when she changed her mind on the adoption.
And no offense, Ms. McLeod, because I know you`re a very true friend of the defendant, Allison Quets, but the judge bases his opinion on sworn testimony that says, while her illness during pregnancy may have been one of the factors that influenced her desire to place her twins up for adoption, it did not affect her ability to understand freely and voluntarily consent to the adoption and understand she was making an irrevocable decision.
Out to Trenny Stovall, you know what? You want to give your kids away, fine, but don`t come crying back...
GRACE: ... and put everybody`s life in upheaval. I mean, what does that do to a child?
STOVALL: The effect on those children -- they have bonded for 17, 16, 15 months. They have been with their adoptive parents. They are bonding with those parents. And nobody`s thinking about the long-term effects. If she were to be allowed to come in their lives, she increases her contact and intruded in their lives. And regardless of how loving and sweet she was, she committed a crime...
GRACE: A felony.
STOVALL: ... and she took them out of the country.
GRACE: A felony. To Renee Rockwell and Rikki Klieman, Rickie, the welfare of the child, let`s -- you and I are always -- and Renee, too -- always on different sides of the fence. But the welfare of the child, Rikki.
KLIEMAN: Yes, the welfare of the child, Nancy. How about when she these two twins are 5 years old, 10 years old, 15 years old, and they`re going to hear the story about how their mother thought from 10 hours after she gave them up for adoption, spent her life savings, $400,000, trying to get them back, went and nurtured them, took them with her in desperation because the appeals process didn`t seem to be giving her justice, and then they`re going to hear that the adoptive parents said, "Uh-uh-uh, Mom, you can`t have your kids."
So let`s think about the welfare of the children and their psychological well-being later on.
GRACE: And you know, Renee Rockwell, Rikki Klieman could charm a bird out of a tree, and that was a beautiful sermon. But, Renee, let`s say they`re 15 or 16 years old and they realize that their biological mom couldn`t make up her mind as to whether she wanted them -- gave them away, took them back, gave them away, took them back -- because her boyfriend didn`t want her to have children and ultimately ripped out the hearts of the adoptive parents by hijacking them to Canada?
RENEE ROCKWELL, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Nancy, but this was a recipe for disaster. And can you say "heart break"? From the beginning, when she started waffling, those adoptive parents should have made a decision: It`s either going to be a closed adoption or an open...
GRACE: Oh, right, now it`s their fault because they took the children when she didn`t want them.
ROCKWELL: Nancy, they should have known there were going to be problems from the beginning when she started back and forth.
GRACE: Yes, well, you know what? I think the problem is solved now that will Ms. Quets is in jail?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Saturday morning, Troy Crady says his ride to work was his wildest yet.
TROY CRADY, TRUCK DRIVER: I looked over to my right and I seen this little 2-year-old boy running down the middle of the slow lane in the interstate. I just could not believe what I was seeing. I dove to the shoulder and jumped out of my truck.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He and two other motorists ran to help the boy and called police. State troopers believe 3-year-old Damon made it around a fence out on to I-465 to play in traffic.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: A 3-year-old toddler found out in the elements, the weather down in the 40s, wearing nothing but this. Can you imagine how you`d feel outside in the cold wearing nothing but a baby diap and a Superman t-shirt, a little cotton t-shirt? Not only that, this 3-year-old toddler was on an eight-lane Indiana high-speed freeway.
Where was Mommy? Mommy is at home taking a little beauty nap. And when the cops get there, they find another baby trying to feed itself on the floor from the garbage can. Can you say "foster care"? There`s mother of the year, Nancy Dyer.
Out to WIBC 1070 AM reporter Devon Scott, Devon, what happened?
DEVON SCOTT, REPORTER: Basically, this happened the weekend before New Year`s. And as you just heard the eyewitness say, several people saw this toddler walking along the interstate. And this is a very high-speed, high-traveled interstate. There`s a lot of traffic out there.
And he was walking in the slow lane, and a state trooper also saw him. And one of the leasing agents from Nancy Dyer`s apartment complex saw Damon Dyer standing out on the interstate, just kind of walking around. And he was wearing a diaper and a t-shirt.
And so, you know, they got him away, and he was just a little bit cold, but he was OK. And then when they went to talk to the mother, state police described Dyer as being kind of nonchalant, like there wasn`t a problem. And she even went as far as to say, "Oh, he got out again?"
GRACE: Devon, is it true that, when they got to the apartment, the mom was asleep, did not seem disturbed whatsoever by what police told her. Police observed another baby, a younger baby in the floor trying to eat garbage, and there was feces on the wall?
SCOTT: Yes, officials are describing it as "filthy." When they walked into the apartment, Nancy Dyer`s 2-year-old daughter, Gabriel, she was sitting on the floor, basically eating spaghetti off the floor. She was kind of covered in it. And they just described the apartment as filthy.
And what Nancy Dyer told them was the reason the apartment was in such disarray is because she had just moved from Florida and wasn`t finished unpacking.
GRACE: Right. Out to a special guest joining us tonight, along with the truck driver that saved this child`s life, Cedric Merritt. He is a trooper out of the Indiana State Police. Also with us, Troy Crady, the truck driver that helped rescue baby Damon.
To you, Trooper Merritt, thank you to both of you. What did you observe when you got into the home? What did you see on the highway?
CEDRIC MERRITT, TROOPER: Prior to my arrival, along with Trooper Don Howard, what we observed is -- we had to partially assist the mother in opening the resident door because she had boxes behind the doorway which she utilized to keep the children inside the residence.
GRACE: Whoa, whoa, whoa, how did the baby get out? Wasn`t it a second-story apartment?
MERRITT: It was. There was only one entrance to the residence, which was by that door. And, as I state before, she utilized boxes to keep the baby inside. The baby, as we do believe, partially pushed some boxes out just enough that he could open the door and exit the residence.
GRACE: Boy, that was some nap Mommy was taking.
MERRITT: She was asleep when we arrived at the scene. We did awake her by knocking on the residence door.
GRACE: I want to go to Troy Crady. Mr. Crady, you very well may have saved this little boy`s life. I can`t imagine a barefoot, little 3-year- old out on the interstate. You are certainly an angel on Earth. What did you observe?
CRADY: I was on my way to work at Garage Doors Indianapolis. And when I was coming up on the interstate, everybody started diving to the middle lane. And I couldn`t understand why everybody was swerving. And as I got up there, I looked over to my right-hand side, and there`s this little boy running down the middle of the slow lane on 465.
GRACE: It`s kind of hard to imagine a "slow lane" on 465. What did you do?
CRADY: I dove to the left-hand shoulder against the abutment wall, throwed my truck in park, and jumped out, and started running back across the interstate towards him.
GRACE: You ran across the interstate?
GRACE: And when you got to the child, what did you do?
CRADY: Well, just before I got to him, another motorist that had stopped with her husband, she had jumped out and grabbed him, and pulled him to the shoulder. And as I was coming up on him, they were saying they needed a cell phone, they needed 911. And I had already, you know, pulled my cell phone off my hip, and I was already dialing 911.
GRACE: How easily it would have been for that child to have been run over out on that interstate while the mom was asleep.
To Judge James Payne, the director of the Indiana Department of Child Services, Judge, I know you`ve seen so many cases, as have I, of child neglect, but this one really takes the cake.
JUDGE JAMES PAYNE, INDIANA DEPARTMENT OF CHILD SERVICES: Well, it certainly is unusual. And imagine the horror of that child if anything had happened. This is very unusual and frustrating to know that some parents really are not watching their children at all.
GRACE: Well, let`s go out to the lawyers, Renee and Rikki, Rikki, the other baby at home eating garbage, food out of the garbage. How can you defend that?
KLIEMAN: Well, this is not a pretty picture. This is a place where the Department of Social Services does need to intervene. But it`s not necessarily a picture where this woman should go to prison or a picture where this woman should never, ever in her life have her children back.
KLIEMAN: She ran away from an abusive relationship in Florida, according to reports.
GRACE: According to her.
KLIEMAN: And we`ll find out. And if I were defending her, what I would do is do a thorough investigation about that abusive relationship. If it, in fact, occurred, this is the kind of woman who scooped her children out of an abusive relationship in Florida, took them away, and wanted to put them in some kind of safe haven. The problem is, the woman, if she was abused, was also someone who did not know how to care for these children. That`s abundantly clear.
GRACE: How old is she, Devon? Devon, how old is she, 30?
GRACE: Oh, good lord. Renee, take them to a safe environment? They`re eating garbage, sitting in feces. The mom`s 30 years old. What`s safe about that?
ROCKWELL: Well, Nancy, but, still, here`s a situation where this was not an intentional act. And it`s all about resources. There`s so much intentional abuse of children that we can`t just hang the mother that`s being totally negligent.
GRACE: To tonight`s "Case Alert." Two Chicago police officers, heroes, catch a baby boy and his pregnant mom in their arms after they fall from a burning building. Officers Steven McNichols and Ryan Arnold on a routine traffic stop, they spot the child dangling from an apartment window, filling with smoke. The mom, on good faith, drops the boy safely into the arms of Officer McNichols. Then, she herself jumps into the arms of Officer Arnold.
Congratulations to those two heroes.
And very quickly, back to our story. Out to the lines, Shannon in Indiana. Hi, Shannon.
CALLER: Hi. The local media here is reporting that she`s pregnant currently. What will happen to that baby?
GRACE: Now, with her behind bars, Jean Casarez, her initial court appearance is tomorrow, right?
CASAREZ: That`s right. It`s tomorrow. She`s been charged with four counts of felony child neglect, maximum six years.
GRACE: And the reality is, like Mary Kay Letourneau, if she`s being bars, she`ll give birth there. It will probably become a ward of the state.
And very quickly, Officer Merritt, when you went into the apartment, what did you see?
MERRITT: We observed a lot of the trash, which was disbursed throughout the whole household, along with trash which -- the youngest child was currently sitting on the floor eating spaghetti off the floor. And then on the walls, the children`s bedroom was feces-covered walls, which the infants were utilizing the feces, which was in their diapers, to go ahead and paint drawings on the walls itself.
GRACE: You know what? That`s the safe home that Rikki Klieman and Renee Rockwell are talking about. No offense, ladies. I know you`re just doing your job.
Very quickly, let`s stop to remember Army Specialist Joe Strong, 21, Lebanon, Indiana. He loved baseball, starting as a Little League pitcher. He wanted to be a cop. He loved fishing, three-wheeling. Leaving behind a family, Joseph Strong, American hero.
Thank you to our guests and our heroes, Officer Merritt and Troy Crady. Until tomorrow night, good night, friend.