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Drew Peterson Wants 11 Seized Guns Returned
Aired December 10, 2007 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAT LALAMA, GUEST HOST: Tonight, as the clock ticks, the results from that second autopsy of Drew Peterson`s third wife, Peterson`s attorney says there`s just no evidence to arrest him in her bathtub death or to arrest him in the disappearance of his fourth wife. Plus, Peterson due in court this week to get back his evidence, including two cars and 11 guns police grabbed from his house during a search last month.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Drew Peterson`s Denali SUV and Pontiac Grand Am have been in the possession of the Illinois State Police since November 1. Investigators are now interested in examining materials in the vehicle that may contain traces of blue plastic, lead weights, plastic shavings and any other indication of the carrying, placing, movement or collision of a plastic or barrel-like object or large storage container.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Police did a search at Drew Peterson`s home. They took ammunition. They too guns. They took some computers. And they took two vehicles. Joel Brodsky, who is Drew Peterson`s attorney, says that he believes this expanded search warrant for the vehicles is a response to his motion to get the vehicles and some of the other stuff that was taken out of Drew Peterson`s house back. In fact, there`s a hearing for just that this week.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LALAMA: Also tonight: Where is 25-year-old IRS agent Veronica Ruiz? Ruiz went missing last Monday after a very difficult break-up with her long-time boyfriend. She told a friend she was going to a California state park for a hike to clear her head, and she hasn`t been seen since. Her government-issued firearm among some of her missing thing. Tonight, we need your help in the search for Veronica Ruiz.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s been one week since Veronica Ruiz went missing, but friends and family aren`t giving up hope. The 25-year-old IRS special agent is believed to have been hiking on Mount Tam (ph), reportedly telling a friend she wanted to, quote, "clear her mind" after a tough breakup with her boyfriend. That`s where the trail runs cold. Despite a multi-agency search, there`s been no sign of the woman affectionately known as Nikki, Veronica believed to be carrying her government-issued gun and a cell phone, but no trace of either tonight.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LALAMA: Good evening. I`m Pat Lalama, in for Nancy Grace. Now, before we get to our top story, if you haven`t seen them yet, the very first exclusive pictures of Nancy and the twins are now up on her baby blog. Plus, we`re going to have exclusive video any day now of Nancy at home with her babies. So be sure to keep checking CNN.com/nancygrace to see beautiful Lucy Elizabeth and young handsome John David.
And remember, Nancy makes her much anticipated return right here to Headline News on January 7, 8:00 PM. We sure miss you.
And you know what? Before we go on, I just got to show you, "US Weekly," ladies and gentlemen -- there`s Nancy in all her glory with her bambinis. So make sure you check that out, too.
All right, now to serious stuff. Drew Peterson due in court on Wednesday. The issue is a controversial one, guns. Mary Frances Bragiel from WBBM Newsradio, he wants his guns back. What do you think`s going to happen?
MARY FRANCES BRAGIEL, WBBM NEWSRADIO 780: Well, I`ve talked to several prominent defense attorneys out here in Chicago today about this, and all of them said the same thing. They would be highly shocked if, in fact, a judge allowed those guns and his vehicles to be returned to him, only because this investigation is not over. I mean, only a week ago, we had this fourth search warrant that was sent to his home, specifically focused on the vehicles, looking for traces, anything traceable leading towards murder. So they believe it would be highly unlikely that a judge would allow -- would grant Drew Peterson`s attorney his request.
LALAMA: Kathy Chaney, reporter for "Chicago Defender," will he be there, do you know?
KATHY CHANEY, "CHICAGO DEFENDER": He`s expected to be there, but who knows? And since the media has pretty much left him alone outside his house, he just may show up.
LALAMA: Pam Bosco, you`re a Peterson family spokesperson. Drew says -- now, look -- I mean, this issue of guns is an important one because people have the legitimate right to legally own a gun. This could be a different situation if people deem him dangerous. The flip side of that is he says he`s the one under attack. As a person speaking on behalf of the family, do you get the feeling in his neighborhood he is being ostracized and he should have something to fear?
PAM BOSCO, FAMILY SPOKESPERSON: We know -- we know this is a really big investigation. Obviously, it`s been going on for a little bit now. So I -- you know, like you said, the media is not there right now. I think there is some question (ph) around his house, and yes, there is a lot of action going on around the house, but it`s not right now. No, I don`t think he has the right to say that right now. It`s a very important investigation. And obviously, he knows the routine. He knows what`s expected. And it shouldn`t be a shock to him, the way this is proceeding.
LALAMA: Sharon Bychowski, also a family friend, do you think he`s really -- he`s crying like he`s really in danger here. Do you buy it?
SHARON BYCHOWSKI, STACY PETERSON BEST FRIEND AND NEIGHBOR: Absolutely not. You know, he invited the media in from the beginning. And be careful what you wish for, Drew, because they`re sticking to the story. You know, Stacy would not leave her children. She would not run away. She loves her babies. She loves her family. And she would not do this. And since he brought the media in, I would say to him, Be careful what you wish for.
LALAMA: All right, we`re going to go right to the callers. You know, everyone`s interested in this subject. Patricia in Florida, how are you tonight?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fine. How are you?
LALAMA: Good. What`s your question?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to know if they have ever found Stacy Peterson`s cell phone.
LALAMA: Well, that`s a good question. Mary Frances Bragiel, did they ever find her cell phone? But I believe -- well, you answer that question because there`s a lot of controversy about that, as well.
BRAGIEL: I have never heard that they found the cell phone at this point. But again, that`s all part of the investigation, and Illinois State Police has said virtually nothing about this investigation. Most of the stuff that`s coming out is coming out through sources, and I have not heard that, at this point.
LALAMA: Right. OK. Now, before we go on to this issue of guns, which is probably going to take up a lot of time because it is important, let`s go back to the issue of the search and find out what`s new there. Kathy Chaney what can you tell us about the continuing search for Stacy?
CHANEY: The divers are going back in there tomorrow. People are still searching the land areas, but nothing fruitful has come up. I mean, they aren`t finding anything, which I`m pretty sure that`s frustrating to the family, but they`re remaining hopeful.
LALAMA: All right. Pat Brown, criminal profiler, let`s get back to the issue of guns. He has not been charged. He has legal possession of those guns. He can argue that he needs protection. My understanding of the law is that a judge can say, Too bad, there`s reasonable suspicion, and you ain`t getting them back. What do you say abut that?
PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER: Well, that is true. That`s possible because they`re saying, you know, he could have used one of these guns in the crime. Now, personally, I don`t believe that because then I think there`d be more evidence in the home that they would be able to focus right on. And as far as him owning the guns so he can protect himself -- Hey, Drew, you know, why don`t you invite the media back because, you know, if you have the media set up in your yard 24 hours a day, I think you`re pretty protected. You don`t need those guns.
LALAMA: Well, we`ve got two of my favorite defense attorneys on tonight. Joey Jackson, let`s hit you first on this one. Would you go in there and argue he has every right to have his guns?
JOEY JACKSON, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Absolutely, Pat. Good to see you. Listen...
LALAMA: Oh, good to see you.
JACKSON: ... the reality is, is this, all right? The police need to be applauded because, certainly, they have left no stone unturned. They are conducted an absolutely exhaustive investigation in this matter. But when is enough? The reality is, is that, certainly, there`s going to be an exploration of whether they need the guns, whether they need to take possession of them, whether they need to retain them. But at what point should he get them back? Look, either charge him or move forward. How long does it take to analyze the guns to make a determination as to whether or not they were used in the commission of the crime? Give him his guns back, give him his property back, or charge him. That`s it.
LALAMA: Julia Morrow, what if -- if he wanted to, could he just go buy another one tomorrow?
JULIA MORROW, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes. There`s absolutely no prohibition against him going and buying...
LALAMA: He could legally...
MORROW: ... a gun.
LALAMA: ... go into a store and say, Hey, I`m under this cloud of suspicion and they`ve got 11 of my guns, but I`m entitled to own one, and he could get another one?
MORROW: Yes, because he still has a valid permit to carry. Of course. He hasn`t been stripped of that yet. He could walk into a gun shop and buy himself a handgun tomorrow, if he wants to. Absolutely.
LALAMA: Well, Pat Brown, are people -- isn`t it a little kind of creepy to think -- and again, he has not been charged, but you know, a judge has to decide what kind of circumstances exist here and what could possibly happen. Should he have his guns?
PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER: Well, I don`t -- I think, as they say, you can go right into a store and buy one. So since he can get a gun anyway, I don`t necessarily think this is protecting the public in any way, shape or form. I think it`s more of an evidence issue.
LALAMA: All right, we got another caller, Terri in Texas. Hello, Terri.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hello?
LALAMA: What have you got for us?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, my question is, if Drew Peterson really thinks that his wife has left him for another man, why hasn`t he started divorce proceedings?
LALAMA: Why hasn`t he started divorce proceedings?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That`s correct.
LALAMA: Well, you know, there`s a whole psychology to a lot of this. Robi Ludwig, one of our favorite psychotherapists, you know, this guy has had a string of wives. He`s had four women he`s convinced to marry him. And you know, is there a psychology into his behavior and the fact that he was allegedly going to get thrown out? I mean, what do you read into him, what -- his state of mind about his wife wanting to dump him, allegedly?
ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: Well, that could be very humiliating for the person who is a homicidal spouse, if you will. But it is a question that we get a lot. Why do these men kill, instead of just divorce? First of all, it sounds like he didn`t want to get divorced. It sounds like she wanted the divorce. And so very often, with these men, they kill women in order to hold onto them, which is actually the opposite of why women kill their husbands. They often kill their husbands to get rid of them, so -- and divorce takes a long time. You have kind of be thoughtful if you move forward with a divorce.
LALAMA: So it`s just easier to get rid of them perhaps?
LUDWIG: It is. The anger is so intense that, really, they`re not thinking things through. They`re thinking in the moment and very impulsively, and this is what you have happen when you`re angry and impulsive. It can lead to homicide.
LALAMA: Sharon Bychowski, something that`s come out recently that perhaps you can speak to, that allegedly, one of his teenaged stepsons, his son -- or Kathleen Savio`s son, told family members or told friends that he heard Drew and Stacy fighting. Can you speak to that at all?
BYCHOWSKI: You know, I can. I know that he shared with Cassandra, Stacy`s sister, at 11:00 PM that Sunday evening that mom and dad had a big fight, Mom`s still not home and dad`s out looking for her.
LALAMA: Wow. Joey Jackson, as a defense attorney, that doesn`t smell very good, does it?
BYCHOWSKI: No, it really doesn`t.
JACKSON: Listen -- listen, because -- we`re going to make the assumption that because there`s a marital issue and because there`s a fight in the marriage that it might lead to murder or some other thing? I think it`s a huge leap to suggest that. Further, it`s also a huge leap to have the suggestion that he killed her. I mean, the reality is, is this, is we don`t know that yet. The police are exploring various avenues. And simply because there was an argument there does not, in my mind, convince me that he disposed of his wife in any way, shape or form.
LALAMA: Pat Brown, criminal profiler, do you want to get in there on that one?
BROWN: Well, I think it`s kind of like saying, well, you know, you can`t say because you`re going to drive a car today you`re going to have an accident, but after you have the accident, could it be because you were driving the car that day? So that`s kind of the way I look at it. You know, in retrospect, you say, Wait a minute, there might be a reason that this woman went missing, because there was a fight.
LALAMA: Mary Frances Bragiel, let`s talk a little bit about what`s been going on in the neighborhood -- and I think it`s called Pheasant Chase Court -- where Peterson resides. Now, the media has gone away. And that could be out of respect for the children at Christmastime, around the holidays. It`s certainly not for lack of interest. I was just at a party on Saturday. It`s all anybody wanted to talk about, was the Peterson case. Why is the media not surrounding the house right now?
BRAGIEL: Because, you know, what? There`s not as much going on at this point. But don`t forget, I mean, the media may not be in front of the house, but trust me, they`re around. They`re nearby. They`re still talking to people. They`re still trying to dig stuff up, including myself. So I mean, they will venture back there in -- you know, probably they`ll be there by Wednesday, when he`s supposed to be due in court again.
LALAMA: Oh, that`s going to be -- that`ll be a huge event, I`m sure.
BRAGIEL: Especially -- exactly. Especially if he shows up. It`s unclear if he`s going to even show up. But trust me, they will be back there again.
LALAMA: Well, Robi Ludwig, my question is -- you know, first he was the entertainer, you know, out on the street with the videocamera, cracking jokes about how, I`m not probably going to be in "Playgirl" any time soon, and you know, I can`t -- I`m not going to be getting dates soon. Even if you don`t feel any concern for your missing wife, wouldn`t you at least be smart enough to act like you care? There are potential jurors watching, if he should get charged.
LUDWIG: Well, I think that`s what`s so fascinating about Drew Peterson. He`s so out there with who he is that it`s almost odd. He loves the idea of media attention. He`ll take infamy, if he can`t get fame. And if "Playgirl" were to call, hell, he`d be right there. So he loves being out and about and considered, and maybe that`s his problem in life. He has such a strong need to be considered, he doesn`t know how to handle the opposite.
LALAMA: Right. Yes. And I`m going to bet -- if I were a betting woman, I`d say he`ll be in court on Wednesday for the sheer attention of it all.
Amy in Nevada, hello. And what`s your question?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Pat.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) you took my call.
LALAMA: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I wondered if anyone has interviewed the children and asked them if they heard or saw anything.
LALAMA: Well, my belief, Kathy Chaney, is that the children, at least the older ones, have been interviewed by authorities in a neutral setting, so as to cause the least amount of trauma emotionally to them. Isn`t that true?
CHANEY: That`s correct, they have been.
LALAMA: Do we know what -- I know this is all very secret stuff. Do you have any inkling of what they may have told authorities?
CHANEY: No, not really. They don`t really want to let that out. And as Mary Frances says earlier, Illinois State Police, they`re mum on pretty much everything when it comes to talking to the media.
LALAMA: Pam Bosco, family spokesperson, do you have any idea if the children were able to shed any light to further this investigation?
BOSCO: Well, I do believe they`re important enough that that`s why the ones (ph) were pulled before the grand jury. But of course, that information is so important to this case that it`s not going to be let out.
LALAMA: Yes. It`s probably best it`s not because I`m sure nobody wants to wreck this investigation for the sake of everyone, including Drew Peterson. He deserves justice. Sharon Bychowski, I understand that -- was it Cassandra who asked to see the children just a couple of days ago and he said no, he`s really not letting anybody see the kids, correct?
BYCHOWSKI: No, that`s really not correct. Thanksgiving, she asked to have the children for Thanksgiving, and he said no, he`d rather prefer the kids stay home. But she did get a visitation day on one of the search days. She just went over there and said, I want to see the kids, and he opened the door and let her in.
LALAMA: Julia Morrow, should he be letting those kids -- if you were his attorney, would you say, Uh-uh, no, you keep those kids in close range?
MORROW: Well, if I was his attorney, I`d tell him to definitely let the family members see the children, but under his supervision. I don`t know if I would advise him to let, you know, one of her sisters or one of her family members actually leave their house and take the children away. That I would put a lid on. But I would definitely have an open door -- tell him to have an open door policy in terms of letting those people come visit with the children.
LALAMA: Pam Bosco, do you worry about the welfare of the kids? And again, he hasn`t been charged, but I mean, this is such a precarious situation for young people. Are you worried about them?
BOSCO: You know, just to add on that, I know Cassandra had actually called him yesterday, the day before, to take the children out, and he did tell her no. As she -- as I just said, I think he prefers to have them in around the house. I`m not sure if it`s a control issue or if it`s because it`s an involving the case issue. But he did say no to Cassandra as of yesterday, a day ago.
LALAMA: And he just may want to protect them from being out there anywhere in the environment right now.
To tonight`s "Case Alert." A U.S. district judge sentence disgraced Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick to 23 months behind bars for running a dog-fighting ring and lying about it. The judge in Richmond, Virginia, told Vick he was instrumental in promoting, funding and facilitating dog fighting, which the judge called cruel and inhumane. Vick pleaded guilty in August, admitting he financed a dog-fighting operation and helped kill as many as eight dogs. Court papers about Vick`s dog- fighting business included details on underperforming dogs being executed, drowned and hanged.
And on a much lighter note, tonight, the first exclusive pictures of Nancy and the twins now up on her baby blog. Go there. Plus, be sure to check for exclusive video of Nancy at home with her tiny babies any day now. Head over to CNN.com/nancygrace to see Lucy Elizabeth and John David. Please check out the latest messages from Nancy. And remember, Nancy Grace makes her much anticipated return right here in this very seat on Headline News January 7, 8:00 PM Eastern.
LALAMA: I`m Pat Lalama, in for Nancy Grace. Let`s find out what`s going on with the Kathleen Savio case. Mary Frances Bragiel, what`s new on that? Do we know any kind of ruling? Will we ever know?
BRAGIEL: Nothing`s new, at this point. The Will County state`s attorney, a spokesperson, I should say, for the Will County state`s attorney said it`s unclear at this point if they`re ever going to release the autopsy results from a couple of weeks ago, the second autopsy on Kathleen Savio. I mean, we had the independent pathologist that was hired by another network conduct his, saying it was murder, but it`s unclear. He said they just don`t know, at this point, if they`re going to release them publicly.
LALAMA: Kathy Chaney, are you hearing that, as well, we may never know?
CHANEY: Right. And they did say that initially, that the results will not be made public, so maybe they`re making good on what they said.
LALAMA: Interesting. Julia Morrow, let me ask you this. If, hypothetically, Drew Peterson is charged with the murder of wife number four, if, in fact, she`s murdered and not just missing, how open are the courts to, let`s say the prosecution, to bring in any mention of Kathleen Savio?
MORROW: Well, I`ll tell you, if I`m representing in the trial for Stacy Peterson, if, in fact, she is and he`s charged with her murder, I`m going to fight like heck to keep any mention of Savio from seeping into that trial. It is far too prejudicial. It`s more prejudicial than it is probative. Unless he was actually -- even if he was convicted on Savio before he went to trial on Peterson -- and of course, I`m getting way ahead of myself here -- it still could not possibly come in because it has no probative value.
LALAMA: But Joey Jackson, wouldn`t that be what they consider prior bad acts?
LALAMA: I mean, it`s, like, you can`t -- you can`t keep them separate, if he were to be connected and convicted with number three.
JACKSON: Absolutely, Pat. And there`s a couple of arguments here. I mean, one, of course, is you can argue that it`s pure propensity evidence. And when we say propensity evidence, simply because someone did something in one instance doesn`t mean that they`re going to do it in another incident. Trials need to be about what they`re about. At the same time, however, you could establish that it could be used against him for that purpose.
LALAMA: I`m Pat Lalama, in for Nancy Grace. Now, the latest, if you didn`t hear it already, is that Drew will probably be in court, at least his attorney, on Wednesday, asking for his guns and his cars back.
Let`s take some calls. This is a very interesting issue. Susan in New York. Hi, Susan.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi. Thanks for taking my call.
LALAMA: My pleasure.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m just wondering if there`s any other suspects besides Drew Peterson.
LALAMA: Oh, interesting. Kathy Chaney, you hearing about any other suspects?
CHANEY: Not one. Only Drew.
LALAMA: Not a thing. Mary Frances, how about you?
BRAGIEL: ... on just Drew, at this point.
LALAMA: Oh, the reporters say all roads lead to, allegedly, Drew, at this point. Tommie in Georgia. Hi, Tommie.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi.
LALAMA: What have you got for us?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have a legal question.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Since Drew Peterson has not been charged with a crime, but his weapons -- but the police are reluctant to return his weapons back to him, can he possibly buy a weapon?
LALAMA: Well, we were just talking about that, and according to -- well, Joey, let`s go to you. He could go buy a weapon, apparently?
JACKSON: ... this is that understand that he`s a suspect, at this point. And based on him being a suspect and not technically charged, you know, he would certainly have freedom to live his life. I mean, all of us, you know, can be under a cloud of suspicion, but unless that suspicion is corroborated with actual proof and results in an indictment and a charge, that will have pause (ph) in terms of getting him a weapon. But right now, he`s simply a suspect.
LALAMA: But Pat Brown, I mean, it`s safe to say that a gun seller who might recognize him would be just a little leery or wary of selling him a gun, just in case, because you wouldn`t want that hanging over your head in case something happened, right?
BROWN: I don`t think so. I think you just want the sales.
BROWN: Personally, I don`t think it`s going to be a problem for anybody.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANSWERING MACHINE: Wednesday, October 17 at 12:37 p.m.
STACY PETERSON, MISSING WOMAN: Hey, dad, it`s me, Stacy. I just wanted to call you to tell you I love you, I also wanted to give you my new phone number.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m sure that voice mail is hard on Stacy`s family. It`s very hard to imagine what they`re going through. But as evidentiary value or what it means, it`s meaningless. People might sound upbeat to one person and be depressed to another, it really has no evidentiary value whatsoever.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LALAMA: That was a voicemail left by Stacy Peterson on her dad`s answering machine. The message is to find Stacy -- you can it on findstacypeterson.com. A Web site set up by her family and Pam Bosco, family spokesperson, evidence or not evidence, it gives me the chills to hear her voice. How about you?
PAM BOSCO, STACY PETERSON FAMILY SPOKESPERSON: It blew me apart the first time I had heard it. That`s something that Cassandra was holding very close to her heart. And it took a lot out of her to put it out there. I think it`s a good think. I think people then can understand that you can hear the sweetness in Stacy`s voice, she was just a darling and I think you can actually hear that in her voice. She was not someone who was crazy, depressed at that time, she was in touch with her dad, her sister, she was not leaving them.
LALAMA: And Sharon Bychowski, it strikes me how light hearted she did sound. Now of course, if you`re going through a tough time, life is peaks and valleys, we know that. But it just seems like, hey, here`s my number and how are you and I love you.
SHARON BYCHOWSKI, STACY PETERSON`S BEST FRIEND AND NEIGHBOR: Yeah, She was holding on to her family and her friends, and mostly her babies which are Anthony and Lacy. So she would not leave them at this difficult time for her that she had contemplated, really had just decided, this was it, she was going to move on with her divorce. She had every intention of making a new life for her and Anthony and Lacy, and also Tom and Chris if they had wanted to go with her but she had no desire to leave her children behind in any way.
Nor would she ever do that to Cassandra.
LALAMA: Dr. Marty Makary forgive me for neglecting you thus far. You are equally important here in the game. Physician and professor of public health at Johns Hopkins. The longer time goes by, the tougher it is, right? If they did find a body, let`s hope by some shred of luck that she`s still alive. But if not, it`s kind of hard to figure anything out based on a long time that`s happened since this whole thing started.
DR. MARTY MAKARY, PHYSICIAN, PROFESSOR, JOHNS HOPKINS: That`s right, Pat, from a medical standpoint, police are going to be looking for any small and very subtle sources of biological evidence, hairs, single cells, blood samples, anything that can help put the case together. Now certain injuries like scratches, bruises, those are like tattoos and they will stay for years.
LALAMA: So there`s some things that can be helpful but in terms of solving a potential crime it gets more difficult, does it not?
MAKARY: In terms of the hard biologic evidence. Now there`s also behavioral evidence, if you look at his psychiatric response, the flat affect. The inappropriate grieving response, those are also things that will also be raised.
LALAMA: And that brings me to Robi Ludwig. I don`t know how families go through things like this and it`s the holidays and it just breaks my heart. But the friends and family of Stacy Peterson and I have to say Kathleen Savio too, these are strong people, it seems like, who are really standing up to this and not letting them guest the best of them. Painful .
ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOLOGIST: I`m sure too the fact that they have each other, and that they`re loving and supporting one another during this tough time can be very healing and helpful. In fact, sometimes it`s tougher when all the fanfare is not around the family. When people tend to forget and move on to their daily life. So actually the family clinging together in support of one another can be tremendously helpful and healing in a way.
LALAMA: Well, I`ve got an issue for the lawyers and I want to duke this one out. All right, you ready for this? Now, Drew`s attorney says that the first search warrant on the vehicles may be null and void because it talked about search but not seizure so when they took the vehicles, anything that they might potentially find in those cars is out the window, and I think I don`t agree with that, but go ahead, Joey what do you think?
I have to tell you that implicit in an actual search, Pat, is a seizure .
JACKSON: Because when you`re searching for something, you have to obtain at least temporary position of it in order to evaluate and do the things that you have to do. In addition to that, there`s a lot of law that would suggest that simply because you seize the item and search for it in a different location, it doesn`t make it moot.
I don`t know if I was his lawyer here I would be splitting hairs on legal issues. I should also say, Pat, in order for there to be a suppression issue, there has to be a defendant. He is not yet a defendant in a criminal action, I would be moving not towards really looking at suppressing the evidence but explaining the evidence that they`ve obtained.
LALAMA: Julia Morrow, I`m going to try to pretend like I`m a smart lawyer here. I`m going to talk legalese.
MORROW: You are very smart, Pat.
JACKSON: I agree.
LALAMA: Thank you very much.
Just from covering you guys for so many years .
MORROW: You are an honorary lawyer, Pat.
LALAMA: Thank you. You gave me chills here. Inevitable discovery. That`s a term that I know we use in California because I stole it from a lawyer I know today. My understanding is that you can just assume that they would have gotten to this anyway. So come on, it`s a fair mistake, right?
MORROW: This is how it actually works, Pat. I actually agree with a lot of what Joey said, but the reality is they didn`t sort of gear their focus towards the blue plastic shreds, etc, etc, until after they got this information from the stepbrother Thomas Morphy. So let`s assume the initial search warrant on November 1 is defective. They get the car and take it into custody, but they actually don`t start searching for the blue plastic shreds, chemicals, blood, blood tissue, et cetera, until after they get the information from Morphy.
Well the information from Morphy would purge the taint from the original search warrant because it was gained from a different source. Therefore whatever they found in that car after the Morphy information would arguably, you know, pass or get past the suppression motion.
LALAMA: And you rest your case, right?
MORROW: I rest my case.
LALAMA: Pat Brown, I`m looking at the list of al the things that authorities asked for, traces of plastic, chemical links, electronic gear, biological evidence. Now this is -- When you read it, and we don`t have time to get into all the specifics. It doesn`t look like a boiler plate request. It sounds like they have got some sort of a theory whether it`s based on witness testimony, it doesn`t sound like they`re just stabbing into the dark here.
BROWN: I think, Pat, at this point they`re thinking that her body was moved in that vehicle, and there`s a couple of different possibilities, how was it moved? Was the body just in the vehicle, or was it placed in a big container? And I think they`re looking towards a big container because they`re thinking Drew`s pretty smart because he doesn`t want those body fluids rolling around in his vehicle. So it`s better to put her in a container and then move the container and you don`t have so much evidence left.
And that`s why they`re looking for little blue evidence because that might be the only thing there is.
LALAMA: Well, Dr. Marty Makary. You got to be very good to hide every shred of any forensic evidence, I mean it`s hard to hide stuff like that, isn`t it?
MAKARY: Absolutely. And the fact that they`re looking for bleach, chloroform, chloride from the swimming pool, and weights to take a body to the bottom of a body of water. Those are signs that he is a highly advanced potential killer.
LALAMA: But the question is and people keep asking me this, can you try a case without a body? And, yeah, I think it`s called a no body murder, I think. But the fact of the matter is, if you -- does it look like, Joey, that they might just be -- they might be just waiting to se if they can find a body or this is a pretty strong circumstantial case, some would argue.
JACKSON: You know what, Pat? There comes a point in time and they have -- you know, listen, they have searched and they have searched and there`s been volunteers and there`s been a major public outcry. And they`re coming up empty, the trails have run cold. And there comes a time when you can prosecute a case certainly.
So the answer to the question, Pat, is you absolutely can prosecute a case, even in the absence of a body. It is not necessary that the body be produced for purposes of securing a charge and subsequently even getting a conviction.
LALAMA: And Julia Morrow, a lot of people say that oftentimes a circumstantial case can be incredibly winnable even without a body, if you`ve got direct evidence, let`s say you`ve got an eyewitness you can impeach that person or just simply not believe him. But if you`ve got all these great pieces of a circumstantial case that fit together, you`re like, whoa, that`s a strong case, right?
MORROW: And in fact the perfect example of that, Pat, is the Tom Capano (ph) Anne Marie Fahey (ph) murder trial that came out of Delaware several years ago. They never found Anne Marie Fahey`s body in that case. But they had incredible circumstantial evidence. They had his brothers testifying about him reaching out to them for help to dispose of what might have been Anne Marie Fahey`s body although they were never able to identify it and they also found the cooler floating in the ocean. Fishermen found the cooler that perhaps held her body. There was a bullet hole in it and he was convicted and sentenced to death although I think his death sentence was overturned.
But he was convicted.
LALAMA: But Pat Brown, just a few seconds, how long do they wait before they say, we`re not going to find a body, we`re going to go forward? Pat Brown?
BROWN: You`ve got to have a homicide to prove -- you have to prove homicide even if there`s not a body. You got to have that first.
LALAMA: Well, it`s very interesting. We`ll have to wait and see. And when we come back, a 25-year-old criminal investigator with the IRS, Nicky Ruiz disappears and so does her government-issued handgun.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): The official search for Veronica Ruiz ended Wednesday night. But the volunteer effort drew hundreds this weekend to Mount Tam in the hopes of finding the 25 year old woman missing since Monday.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right now we`re looking in places that aren`t as necessarily visible. Most hikers just coming back into the woods here so to speak.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mary Chris Ruiz (ph) says her sister was spotted here at the entrance to the Blythedale Trail (ph) in Mill Valley at 11:00 Monday morning. A second sighting put her at the West Point Inn, a popular spot on the trail an hour later.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: West Point is actually further than she has ever gone. But I believe she was trying to get somewhere, just to kind of push herself.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LALAMA: I`m Pat Lalama in for Nancy Grace. Before we get to the Veronica Ruiz story, if you haven`t seen them yet, the first exclusive pictures of Nancy and the twins are now up on her baby blog. Plus coming up any day now, exclusive video of Nancy at home, that`s video, folks, with her babies, be sure to check cnn.com/nancygrace to see Lucy, Elizabeth and John David. And remember Nancy makes her very much anticipated return right here in this chair, Headline News, January 7, 8:00 p.m. Eastern. We are all missing you so much, Nancy. So can`t wait for you to get back here. I`m just keeping it warm.
I hate having to make this transition to such a sad story. But now to Veronica Ruiz. And the first person we`re going to go to is Sebastian Kunz, news anchor KNEW Radio. This is really a mystery, this beautiful young girl, IRS agent, and she`s just -- there`s just no clue at this point, am I right?
SEBASTIAN KUNZ, KNEW RADIO (on phone): You`re right, Pat, they thought they had a clue earlier today, they thought they had seen a hydro- pack, sort of a backpack containing water, this is a real hilly mountainous area, redwood, oak forest, they`re pouring through and they`re up on a mountainside, someone yesterday thought they say a backpack matching the colors of Veronica`s backpack way, way down in a ravine.
They tried to get to it today and the result of that is nothing, they ended up finding nothing resembling a backpack, nothing of those colors and there`s a lot of searchers who are now a bit more broken hearted than they had been at the beginning of today.
LALAMA: Just heartbreaking. Let me read a quote from one of the search officials, "If she was alive and responsive in the search area we would have detected her." That doesn`t bode very well.
And Maricris Ruiz, I`m so sorry about this, but you and your family and friends are not giving up. Tell us what you`re doing in the continued search for your sister?
MARICRIS RUIZ, SISTER OF MISSING IRS AGENT: We currently have a Web site up, www.helpfindveronicaruiz.com. And basically we have the flyers there. People -- You can print out the flyers and you can distribute them from whatever city you`re living in. Especially activities stories, sports stores, we want to get the word out as much as possible. Because we found out this weekend, even with our 300 people up there, a lot of the weekend hikers and bikers did not know about it.
LALAMA: Here`s the flyer and we`re going to try to keep this going publicly as much as possible. You know, Dr. Marty Makary, we`re talking about some rough terrain. Even though it`s a popular hiking area, that fire authority may be right that she is not detected yet. She is not showing any signs. This, it doesn`t look so good at this point.
MAKARY: Well, Pat, it is early in the larger scheme of things. The average person can live without water for three or four days and without food for about four to six weeks so most rescue efforts continue until about one month.
LALAMA: Oh, gosh and it`s going to get down to about 33 degrees, what kind of a role will that play in any of this?
MAKARY: Typically you have actually have less water loss in colder temperatures so it can be a favorable condition unless there is some sort of inability to move and hypothermia can set in.
LALAMA: Well, we`re waiting for her to walk out of there alive. We hope so. Robi Ludwig, there are interesting circumstances, boyfriend of two years, she was allegedly despondent, they had just broken up, he was a live in boyfriend, they had moved together to this area outside of San Francisco. She took her gun with her, we think. She took her cell phone and she took her I-Pod and a hydration vessel of some sort. That doesn`t sound like somebody who may want to do damage to herself, does it.
LUDWIG: Well, it`s not clear and what we would need to know is this typical for her? So you can identify somebody who`s potentially suicidal if their behavior drastically changes and shifts. So the question is did she typically go running with a gun or was this something that happened as a result of the breakup, was she feeling profoundly depressed? Was she feeling undecided what to do with her life?
She took her I-Pod, took water and took her gun to make that decision, it`s just not clear at this point. We don`t have enough information.
LALAMA: Maricris, did you talk to her in those last couple of days? Did she seem like she was going to be able to pull through this breakup? Do you have any reason to believe that something like this might happen where she would hurt herself?
RUIZ: I don`t believe she would hurt herself. When I saw her Saturday afternoon and we had lunch with our mom. It was before the breakup but she seemed OK. When she goes on a hike, she does carry her badge and her gun. And she did have her badge with her.
LALAMA: She was a hiker, this was not a person unfamiliar with that area?
RUIZ: You know what? She was a trail runner and she hiked a couple of times but she`s not an expert at that hill. She`s only been out here for six months, so ...
LALAMA: Pat Brown, very quickly, you`re a criminal profiler, and we have no reason to believe any crime was committed at all. Anything stand out in this case to you?
BROWN: I would be looking into avenues, if I were with the police, I would be looking at the possibility that she never actually got into the park, that she met with someone and they took her off. Also they would have to look at the ex-boyfriend and find out about what his alibi was.
And the other possibility is that she went on that hike to clear her mind and to think about things but somewhere along the way she did get despondent and go find a very, very far off place where she took her life and it would be horrible but a woman who uses a gun in her business as an investigator, it`s rare for women who kill themselves with a gun, but a whom who works around a lot of men and uses a gun, it is possibility she might have used that as a tool.
LALAMA: Joey Jackson, she sent text messages to family members thanking them for their support. Does that sound odd to you?
JACKSON: Yeah, it certainly does, Pat. When you do that, it would seem to suggest some despondency. I think the third thing we need to look at is potentially there was some nut out there who could have been some nut out there that might have caused her harm. I hope not.
LALAMA: All right, I want to go back to Maricris Ruiz who was the sister of Veronica. Do you know the circumstances of the breakup with her boyfriend?
RUIZ: I believe it was mutual. I heard it was very, you know, they weren`t yelling or anything, it was just, that`s it, it was a talk and they felt .
LALAMA: They decided to go their separate ways?
LALAMA: Let`s take a caller. Sheba in Illinois. Hello, Sheba.
CALLER: Hi. My question is when are we going to be able to educate these young women not to go any place by theirselves and to always tell someone where they`re going?
LALAMA: Well, OK, Robi Ludwig, you want to take that one?
LUDWIG: That`s a great question. That`s the problem with youth, sometimes there`s this feeling of invincibility and I think through just education and repetition we can send that message. Because it`s a really good one.
LALAMA: Well, we are so, so praying for Veronica`s safe return. Our hearts go out to all these families suffering this time of the year, at any time of the year.
Tonight, let`s stop to remember Army Sergeant Ricardo Rodriguez, 23 of Puerto Rico. Killed in Iraq by an improvised explosive device during combat operations, Rodriguez joined the Army in 2004 and the 82nd Airborne Division the following year. Fellow soldiers remember Rodriguez as a leader and a teacher. His awards, listen to this, they include the Bronze Star, Purple Heart and the Army Commendation Medal.
He leaves behind a son and parents, Ricardo Rodriguez, American hero.
And do not forget, if you haven`t seen them yet, the very first exclusive pictures of Nancy and the twins are now up on the baby blog. Plus coming any day now, real, exclusive video, folks, video. I can`t wait to see this. Of Nancy at home with her two babies. Be sure to keep checking c cnn.com/nancygrace to see Lucy, Elizabeth and John David.
Now thank you to everyone of our guests and the biggest thank you of all for you to came from your homes into our TV screen right here at this desk. See you tomorrow night at 8:00 p.m. sharp Eastern. Until then have a wonderful, wonderful night.