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Nancy Grace

Search Continues for Missing West Virginia College Student

Aired December 20, 2007 - 20:00   ET


MIKE BROOKS, GUEST HOST: Tonight, the desperate search for a 21-year- old West Virginia coed who vanishes without a trace, Marshall University student Leah Hickman last seen at the apartment she shares with her older sister. Hickman never makes it to her part-time job at a clothing store. Then she`s never heard from again, her car left behind at an apartment, along with her keys and purse. The only thing missing, her cell phone and a winter coat. What happened to 21-year-old Leah Hickman?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Police in West Virginia are searching for a Marshall University journalism student who`s been missing now since last week.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Detectives and state troopers spent the morning combing through the 400 block of 8th Avenue. That`s where 21-year-old Leah Hickman was last seen. Detectives searched alleys, yards and abandoned homes for any clues. Police say time is of the essence with a missing persons case.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, moreso because, you know, any evidence you have is dwindling away. People`s memories fade with time.


BROOKS: And tonight, after weeks of pulling up debris and abandoned cars from an Illinois canal, the search moves elsewhere for 23-year-old Stacy Peterson, the young mom of two vanishing October 28 in the Chicago suburbs. Former police sergeant and suspect Drew Peterson reportedly hires a private investigator in the search. And will phone records discredit Drew Peterson`s alibi in the death of his third wife, the mysterious bathtub death of wife number three, Kathleen Savio, back under investigation.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The search at an Illinois canal for any sign of 23-year-old Stacy Peterson turns up empty, and now investigators say they will move on. For weeks, divers have been braving freezing temperatures, combing the Chicago sanitary and ship canal. The only thing they were able to pull from the frigid waters, cars and debris. Police will not confirm reports that cell phone pings led them to search that canal or what evidence they have been looking for.

Mom of two Stacy Peterson has been missing since October 28, her former police sergeant husband a suspect in her disappearance. But Drew Peterson has not been charged, and reports reveal Peterson hires a private investigator in the search for his fourth wife.


BROOKS: Good evening. I`m Mike Brooks, in for Nancy Grace. First tonight: Where is 21-year-old coed Leah Hickman?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Katie Hay (ph) is on a mission to find her friend. Leah Hickman disappeared sometime between Friday and Saturday. Her car keys and purse were inside her locked apartment on the 400 block of 8th Avenue, her car parked outside. Hickman`s college friends say they`re determined to find Leah.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to make sure we get flyers out on the street. We pretty much got by with (INAUDIBLE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They`re hitting local businesses.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just want to know if we can place her flyer in the window.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They`re also using Web pages to drum up support for national media coverage.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) Nancy Grace, Anderson Cooper (INAUDIBLE) the "Today" show, any of those national shows, because the more prominence (ph) you put, the more likely they are to put the story on the news.


BROOKS: I`m Mike Brooks, in for Nancy Grace. Where is 21-year-old coed Leah Hickman? There`s the question tonight. She vanishes without a trace from her apartment right outside Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia.

For the latest, joining us by phone from Charleston, West Virginia, is Kelly Holleran, reporter for "The Charleston Daily Mail." Kelly, what`s the latest in this mysterious disappearance?

KELLY HOLLERAN, "CHARLESTON DAILY MAIL": Well, police don`t really know. They say that she has missing since Friday at 6:00 PM, was the last time that anybody`s heard anything from her. They`ve been searching 8th Avenue in Huntington, and they can`t find anything. They don`t really know. They don`t know what`s going on.

BROOKS: Now, describe the area where she`s missing from, this 8th Avenue area. Is it all residential or is this commercial? Tell me a little bit about that.

HOLLERAN: No, it`s all residential. There`s a bunch of homes there. It`s right across -- it`s right by railroad tracks. One side of it is railroad, the other side is houses. Marshall University is on the opposite side of the railroad tracks.

BROOKS: So is it just adjacent to Marshall University, within walking distance?

HOLLERAN: No, it`s not in walking distance. It`s about a mile, two miles away from Marshall.

BROOKS: Also joining us by phone tonight from Huntington, West Virginia, a very special guest, Sergeant John Williams of the Huntington Police Department, who`s investigating the missing student. Sergeant, thanks for being with us.


BROOKS: Can you tell me, Sergeant, where is the investigation right now?

WILLIAMS: Right now, we`ve done the basic things of gathering all the information we could pertaining to the scene, and now we`ve entered a phase to just interviewing the immediate family and friends to try and ascertain if there might be something or someone that might have, you know, come in contact with her that we might be concerned about, things of that nature.

BROOKS: Now, in the apartment, when they -- when the people went in - - first of all, who discovered she was missing?

WILLIAMS: Actually, the last person to see her was actually her sister at 4:00 PM on the 14th. She returned home 24 hours later and found her not there.

BROOKS: Now, was there any -- when you all were called there, was there any sign of a struggle inside the apartment, in the hallway? Was the door locked?

WILLIAMS: No, sir. The back door to the apartment was open, but there was no apparent signs of any struggle.

BROOKS: Now, tell me also, this area -- now, here`s some abandoned homes, abandoned apartments. Describe the area and tell me, how is the crime in this particular neighborhood?

WILLIAMS: Basically, it`s about average, nothing really major here in the last several years, as far as that immediate area of the house. But it is located, as was said, alongside a railroad track, an industrial section of town.

BROOKS: So what you`re telling me, Sergeant, is that, basically, there has been assaults. There have been no sexual assaults in this particular area, any other part (ph), what offense (ph), you know, burglaries, robberies, these kind of things?

WILLIAMS: Yes, we have those sporadically throughout the neighborhood, but no more than anywhere else in town.

BROOKS: But none any time -- any -- within the recent week or so.

WILLIAMS: No, sir. We`ve checked into that.

BROOKS: What about surveillance cameras? You know, as a former investigator, one of the things we always used to do is go out to the scene and take a look, look around and see if there`s any buildings in the neighborhood with any surveillance cameras that may have pointed to the front or rear of this building where she lived. Anything at all like that?

WILLIAMS: No, sir. The closest place that had any type of cameras was a convenience store about four blocks away.

BROOKS: And have you all checked that?

WILLIAMS: Yes, sir.

BROOKS: Now, from the time she was last heard on her cell phone -- she was apparently at a McDonald`s drive-in. From that time until the time she was reported missing, have you been able to put together any kind of timeline on where she went? Did she come back home? Anything at all?

WILLIAMS: Best we can tell, she was (ph) spoke to just prior to 6:00 PM that night. And judging by being at the apartment, she had brought her food there, so we can assume she was there after 6:00 PM.

BROOKS: Now, her cell phone -- her cell phone is missing. People would try to call her. Apparently, it`s going right to voice-mail now. Have investigators subpoenaed records to try to find out if she has made any calls, if anyone`s made any calls in to her?

WILLIAMS: Yes, sir. With the assistance of the FBI, we tried to locate the phone without any results. It`s apparently either turned off or went dead.

BROOKS: So -- so what you`re saying, Sergeant, no pings whatsoever coming from any -- from her phone at all.

WILLIAMS: No, sir, no activity after that one -- that last call.

BROOKS: Very -- that`s -- that`s unfortunate. It`s very interesting. Now, any activity at all on her ATM, any bank activity, withdrawing of money, anything at all like that which would, as you know, lead to a robbery motive possibly?

WILLIAMS: No, sir. There was no activity on any of her financial accounts, and in fact, everything was left in her purse, as far as credit cards and debit cards.

BROOKS: Now, I want to go back out to Kelly Holleran. Kelly, there was a vigil tonight. What is everyone saying? I mean, what is the -- what is the mood there on campus?

HOLLERAN: You know, everyone`s really concerned. Her family and her sister have told us that, you know, they just want her home. Everybody`s just really concerned. Everybody says this is not like her at all, they`re -- that she`s the most kind-hearted person, they can`t imagine her leaving. And they just want her back, basically.

BROOKS: And that footage we just saw was from a vigil tonight, held for Leah Hickman there at Marshall University. It happened within the last couple of hours. So Kelly, right now, I mean, is the campus police -- what are they telling people right now, to take any particular precautions, anything at all?

HOLLERAN: No, I haven`t -- I don`t have that information right now. I`ve not talked to campus police, so...

BROOKS: Sergeant Williams -- again, from -- he`s from the Huntington Police Department, investigating the missing student -- you know, with no pings, with no activity at all on the ATM, who are you -- have you looked at any sex offenders in the area at all?

WILLIAMS: Yes, sir. In fact, today the West Virginia State Police were out in numbers, tracking down any possible offenders that are in this area and interviewing them.

BROOKS: Well, you know, I looked myself today on the West Virginia -- on the West Virginia sex offender registry, and within Huntington, it -- within the city of Huntington, there are 100 registered sex offenders who are wanted right now for not complying with the West Virginia law.

I want to go out to the phones. Rhonda from West Virginia, thanks for calling.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. I`m wondering if search dogs have been used to track maybe if she left the apartment walking, or as they did in the Laci Peterson case, whether she was put into a car?

BROOKS: You know, Rhonda, that is a fantastic question. Sergeant Williams from the Huntington police, were any dogs come in to see if they could find any scent evidence?

WILLIAMS: Yes, sir. West Virginia State Police brought down a bloodhound. And we attempted -- we got a scent in the house, but it ended in the driveway of the home, and we could not pick up a scent in the perimeter of the area.

BROOKS: Interesting. Who brought -- who brought in the bloodhound, Sergeant?

WILLIAMS: The West Virginia State Police, sir.

BROOKS: They did. And I can tell you, folks, bloodhounds -- if you`re looking for scent evidence, the bloodhounds are the best dogs to find any kind of scent evidence. You heard what the sergeant just said. They picked a scent in the house, and it ended in the driveway. To me, that`s not a good sign. That`s not a good sign.

Let`s unleash the attorneys, Doug Burns, defense attorney, and Midwin Charles, defense attorney, both joining us here in New York. Doug, what scenarios are the police likely considering right now?

DOUG BURNS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, as you point out, Mike, and you`re 100 percent right, my God, there`s very little financial activity, her cell phone not in play whatsoever, her car, her keys and her wallet there in the house. So I got to tell you, this is one of the more difficult scenarios. But of course, they`re going to have to interview everybody and micromanage exactly what she was doing for the 24 hours before that.

BROOKS: That`s a great -- that`s a great thing. Sergeant Williams have you done a canvass of this neighborhood, as Doug was talking about, talking about to everyone?

WILLIAMS: Yes, sir. And in fact, it`s still in progress, catching up with people who we haven`t talked to. And we`ve searched abandoned buildings there already. And we`re going door to door, just asking for information.

BROOKS: Now, going back to the surveillance footage -- were there any surveillance cameras -- I know many McDonald`s and many drive-ins have surveillance cameras. Were there any there that showed her possibly there with anyone else?

WILLIAMS: Well, unfortunately, they erase after a very short period of time. And us receiving the case a day-and-a-half later, they had already been erased.

BROOKS: Oh, that`s too bad because a lot of -- a lot of businesses will usually keep them for 30 days, but a lot of fast food restaurants, they will not.

I want to go back out to Midwin Charles, defense attorney. Midwin, does this sound to you like the kind of girl that would just walk away?

MIDWIN CHARLES, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: It really doesn`t. I mean, from what I can tell, she`s a very independent person. This is someone who was really smart and would not necessarily do this. But one thing I do want to mention, Mike, is that I`m surprised that I haven`t heard anything yet about looking into any ex-boyfriends or any problems she may have had with a girl on campus or anything to that effect.

BROOKS: Sergeant -- Sergeant Williams, anything, anything at all that you`re finding so far during the interviews, in the canvass, talking to other students and her family, that would lead you to say, Oh, maybe she had a couple enemies?

WILLIAMS: We`re still looking into that, but thus far, we haven`t had any. And yes, boyfriends have already been interviewed.

BROOKS: And how many have you -- how many people have you interviewed so far? And the other big question, Sarge, are there any leads that keep coming in?

WILLIAMS: We`ve interviewed about 12 people so far, possibly a few more by some other agencies, and we`re just gathering all that information. And nothing really to give us a big lead thus far.

BROOKS: Well, I tell you, I hope you continue the work. And you said the FBI is involved with some things, so that`s a good sign. I know it`s West Virginia State Police, Huntington police, Huntington extremely well- respected law enforcement agency. Me coming from the Washington area and knowing that area, I can tell you you`re an extremely well-respected police department.

Let`s go out to the phones. Tim from Massachusetts, thanks for joining us. Tim, are you with us?


BROOKS: You have a question?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. I just was wondering if she was on special medications or if she has a history of mental illness.

BROOKS: You know, I`m going to ask Sergeant Williams if he knows that. We probably can answer that a little bit later on when we have her sister, Jessica Vickers. But Sarge, any -- any history of depression, mental illness at all that you`re finding right now?

WILLIAMS: No, sir. According to the family, there was no psychological problems whatsoever.

BROOKS: Now, going back to Sergeant Williams -- the campus police right now -- when was the last time she was seen on campus?

WILLIAMS: Last time she was seen on campus was just last week. And in fact, she was -- just got her grades from her finals.

BROOKS: Now, any interstate roads, any toll booths, anything at all that might lend -- you know, with some video footage? And I`m a big proponent of video evidence. Anything at all like that that they`ve looked into so far, maybe West Virginia State Police?

WILLIAMS: Not at this time, but we haven`t collected any but just from other area stores, we`ve just collected the 24-hour footage from each one of them, just in hopes that something (ph) might be pertinent.

BROOKS: OK, quickly, Sergeant, any evidence so far you`re able to glean off her computer or out of her car so far?

WILLIAMS: No, sir. She`s just a regular college girl. Nothing -- nothing really to lead on there.

BROOKS: Well, you keep up the good work. Good luck in your investigation. I`m sure we`ll be talking to you soon.

To tonight`s "Case Alert." Aruban prosecutors reveal a key piece of evidence in the Natalee Holloway investigation, this after announcing they will not file charges against three suspects, Joran Van Der Sloot and brothers Deepak and Satish Kalpoe, allegedly the last people to see Holloway alive. Prosecutors say right after the disappearance of Holloway, one of the men said she was dead during an Internet chat session. That communication was one piece of evidence used to rearrest the three men. Still, prosecutors say there`s insufficient evidence to charge Van Der Sloot or the Kalpoe brothers.

And on a lighter note, tonight check out the latest message from Nancy and the twins. And coming soon, video of the twins will make its debut on Nancy`s baby blog. That`s at And remember to mark your calendars. Nancy returns to the airwaves January 7, 8:00 PM sharp Eastern. Be sure to join us right here on Headline News.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Police in West Virginia are searching for a Marshall University journalism student who`s been missing now since last week.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Leah`s stepfather says the family is holding onto hope.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s all I got. That`s all I got is hope, hope and pray, you know? What else can you do?


BROOKS: I`m Mike Brooks, in for Nancy Grace. A mysterious disappearance of a 21-year-old coed from Marshall University, Leah Hickman. Please help us find Leah Hickman. We need to get her back before the holidays. Where is she?

Joining us by phone, a very special guest from Huntington, West Virginia, Jessica Vickers. She`s the sister of the missing student, Leah Hickman. Ms. Vickers, thank you for joining us.


BROOKS: Tell us -- tell us what`s going on right now in Huntington. Did you just go to the -- were you at the vigil tonight?

VICKERS: Yes, I was. It was actually pretty great. I was surprised at how many people showed up and showed their support us and for Leah.

BROOKS: Now, when was the last time you saw Leah?

VICKERS: I had come home for my lunch break on Friday. It was between 3:30 and 4:00 o`clock. And she was at the house just doing dishes. And after I left, that was the last time I`ve seen her.

BROOKS: So she was doing dishes at 4:00 o`clock, and then we hear that she may have gone to McDonald`s...


BROOKS: ... and then came back. And Sergeant Williams from the Huntington police said the back door was open. Is that normal, for the back door of the apartment to be open?

VICKERS: Actually, we leave it unlocked if we`re doing laundry. And I have two cats and they`re kind of ornery, and they`re able to open the back door, so...


VICKERS: ... it`s not completely unusual...


VICKERS: ... but of course, in light of the circumstances...

BROOKS: Yes. Now, again, it`s something I have to ask. And we had a caller call in, and Sergeant Williams said that there`s no history. But how was -- right now, what was her mental state? Was there any depression? Had she ever been treated for depression, anything at all like that?

VICKERS: Nothing recently. I mean, she`s been pretty happy. We had gone to the mall earlier that day and just hung out and did sister things...

BROOKS: Now, you said "nothing recently." Had she been treated for depression in the past?

VICKERS: In her high school days, but I think it was just, you know, high school blues.

BROOKS: This was just a phase you think she was going through?




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to thank all of Leah`s friends for all the hard work they`ve done. And I want to thank everyone that`s calling me and -- and (INAUDIBLE) their prayer chains and just thank everyone that`s praying for us for strength.


BROOKS: I`m Mike Brooks, in for Nancy Grace. Where is Leah Hickman? I want to go right back out, joining us by phone, a very special guest, Jessica Vickers. She`s the sister of the missing student, Leah. Jessica, again, do you know anyone that she was having any problems with, anything at all like that?

VICKERS: No, honestly, everybody loved Leah. She`s a great, great girl.

BROOKS: Yes. And what about any relationships? Any problems with any relationships, any men at all?

VICKERS: No, she had just been dating -- dating around, just going on a few dates with some people, nothing really serious yet. So...

BROOKS: And this was totally out of character for her, it sounds like.

VICKERS: Yes, completely.

BROOKS: I want to go out tonight to Bethany Marshall, joining us from California. She`s a psychoanalyst and author of "Deal Breakers." Bethany, from what you`re hearing, it doesn`t sound like this is the kind of woman that would have just walked away.

BETHANY MARSHALL, PSYCHOANALYST: Oh, no. No, not at all. You know, sadly, women between the ages of 18 -- or 16 and 21 are often at the greatest risk for kidnapping or abduction, and it`s because of their youth and sexual attractiveness. And you were talking about searching the sex offender registries. What we know from research is that the perpetrators of these types of crimes, which, again, are usually sexually motivated, are most often white males living with a family, own a family van, have a normal job and have been observing the victim.

BROOKS: Jessica, what is the family doing at this time?

VICKERS: We`re making as many phone calls to as many places as we can, participating in as many interviews and that sort of thing as we possibly can. We had the candlelight vigil this evening. A lot of Leah`s family came in from Spencer, West Virginia...

BROOKS: Right.

VICKERS: ... about an hour-and-a-half away, to be here tonight. We`re doing a benefit concert tomorrow evening with some local bands.

BROOKS: OK. Well, I`ll tell, our -- your -- everyone here at the NANCY GRACE show, your thoughts -- our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

When we come back...



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Illinois state police say they`re pulling their divers off the search for 23-year-old Stacy Peterson. State police moving on to other areas, after searching a canal for weeks. Their hope, to find evidence in the investigation. Peterson missing since October 28 from the Chicago suburbs. Her two young kids now likely to spend Christmas without their mom.

Drew Peterson remains a suspect in his fourth wife`s disappearance.


BROOKS: I`m Mike Brooks, in for Nancy Grace. Stacy Peterson is still missing. Where is she? Let`s go out to the latest with Kathy Chaney, reporter for the "Chicago Defender." Kathy, what`s going on out in Bolling Brook right now?

KATHY CHANEY, "CHICAGO DEFENDER": Right now the divers are not going to search the canal that they have been searching for a few weeks now. They`re going to search some other water ways, but the canal they have been in is a no go for right now. Nothing fruitful has come up with that. Rick Mimms (ph) has appeared for the Grand Jury for the second time. He appeared today and gave a small account. He said they asked him about the children, how the children`s demeanor was within the last few days or the week before Stacy disappeared. And he`s scheduled to appear again before the Grand Jury in late January.

BROOKS: Is Rick Mimms talking about what he said in the Grand Jury?

CHANEY: Well, he gave a very brief overview that, you know, he was asked about the kids, about the demeanor. He didn`t go into specifics, but he did divulge that she was asked those questions.

BROOKS: I want to go out to the attorneys, Doug Burns, defense attorney and Midwin Charles, defense attorney, both here in New York. Doug, if you`re in a Grand Jury, aren`t you supposed to just keep your mouth shut.

DOUG BURNS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Under federal law, all of the Grand Jurors, the stenographer, everybody in the room must keep Grand Jury secrecy. It`s a felony not to, as you know. But a witness actually can discuss their testimony, with the caveat that I`m a New York lawyer; I would assume that under the Illinois scheme, a witness can discuss it. But I agree with you, Michael, 100 percent they shouldn`t do it.

BROOKS: Midwin, do you agree with Doug? I find it -- if you`re going in, it`s an investigation. That`s why they have a Grand Jury. Keep your yapper shut?

MIDWIN CHARLES, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Absolutely, and I always have to put on that defense hat, and what it does is it could have horrible ramifications for the defendant. What this person is doing is absolutely ridiculous.

BROOKS: I have to totally agree with you. Joining us from Chicago, a very, very special guest, Joel Brodsky. He is Drew Peterson`s attorney. Joel, are you with us?


BROOKS: Thank you Mr. Brodsky for being with us again. We just heard Rick Mimms.

BRODSKY: Rick Mimms has been shopping various stories to the "National Enquirer" and is trying to sell pictures to various news operations. Rick Mimms is looking at this as a profit making opportunity. That`s probably why he`s throwing little things out after his Grand Jury testimony, to try to get different medias interested in talking to him and paying him money.

But he is simply not credible. Ever since he went to the Enquirer, he lost any credibility. I don`t even know why they`re bothering to call him before the Grand Jury.

BROOKS: He said -- he`s been on this show. He sat right here in this studio with me and said he was a friend of Drew`s. Was he ever a friend of Drew`s?

BRODSKY: No, he wasn`t. He was a kid from the neighborhood -- there`s a great age difference, obviously -- that drew, you know, took under his wing after he came back, I think, from Mississippi, where he had got a slip and fall settlement and lost the money in some investments. Drew was just being a nice guy, trying to help him out. But they were never friends.

BROOKS: There`s been a lot of talk today, Mr. Brodsky, about private investigators being hired by Drew to conduct your own investigation. Has he now hired two private investigators?

BRODSKY: We have two investigators that are starting to follow what I would call electronic media leads. That`s where they`re going to start, with cell phones, text messages through their various abilities that they don`t -- you know, there are tricks of the trade, are trying to follow those leads and see where they go.

They`re also looking at this Cales (ph) -- Kelton Cales, who was a friend of him. He`s in prison right now on sex offender charges. And that was the place where Stacy was supposedly heading, to paint his apartment. And we`re taking a look at seeing who his friends were and where they were during the time that Stacy disappeared. So we`re trying to follow up these leads. Of course, we don`t have the resources the police do. But here are trying.

BROOKS: When you`re dealing with electronic media, a lot of times it takes subpoenas to get those particular records. How are you going about this?

BRODSKY: The private investigators tell me they have their little tricks of the trade to get the information.

BROOKS: All legal, I`m sure.

BRODSKY: I`m sure they are.

BROOKS: I hope they are.


BROOKS: I`m sure you do. What are you reactions on the reports that Peterson came in -- when Kathleen Savio (ph) died, night before that, came in with -- in the middle of the night, dressed in black, took off his clothes, had some women`s clothes, said something to Stacy about the police may be here; what is your reaction to that?

BRODSKY: That -- I think Mark Fuhrman reported that, if I`m not incorrect. And that story`s about as credible as Mark Fuhrman`s sworn testimony. It`s absolutely ridiculous. It has no basis in fact whatsoever. I have no idea where he made that up.

BROOKS: Now, the teenaged sons, have they spoken to the Grand Jury or was there a court mediator that they spoke with?

BRODSKY: It wasn`t a court mediator. They were subpoenaed before the Grand Jury, but in Will County when they`re dealing with minors of that age, instead of taking them before the Grand Jury, they take them to a child advocacy center, and they`re questioned in a little more of a less threatening atmosphere by the state`s attorney. That`s probably the best way to do it when you`re dealing with young children.

BROOKS: But everything they say is still admissible, correct?

BRODSKY: It`s sworn testimony and it counts as before the Grand Jury, absolutely.

BROOKS: That`s what I wanted to make sure; was still sworn testimony, just out of the Grand Jury atmosphere, if you will.

BRODSKY: There`s a transcript and a reporter and all that.

BROOKS: Gotcha. Now, you have said that you want a special prosecutor because of leaks from the Grand Jury. This Rick Mimms is a perfect example. But do you really feel that there have been leaks out of that Grand Jury?

BRODSKY: We know there`s been leaks.

BROOKS: How do you know that for sure?

BRODSKY: Take a look at an example. For example, the cell phone records that they supposedly used to triangulate where Drew was supposedly at a certain time -- you know, the cell phone companies are bound by the -- I think they call it the Electronic Stored Information Act. They cannot divulge it. The only person that got those records were the Grand Jury. And yet they`re out in public.

So obviously they came out -- somehow got out from the Grand Jury. I know it`s not the state`s attorney that`s doing it. But there`s a lot of different police officers -- hundreds, I believe, involved. And to think that one of them may be talking is not improbable. I hope that it`s not, but, you know, I think that`s more likely than not where it`s coming from.

BROOKS: I can guarantee you, I`m sure it`s not coming from any of the FBI investigators, because they`re always, as I was -- working investigations, they`re always under the threat of polygraph.

BRODSKY: No, I doubt it would be any FBI agent either. But, like I said, there`s hundreds of other Illinois state police and other local, you know, police agencies involved, and all you need is one guy to start talking out of hundreds, and there`s your leek.

BROOKS: And, as you said, it just snowballs and snowballs and snowballs.

BRODSKY: Absolutely.

BROOKS: More on the Lacy Peterson investigation when we come back. But first, check out the latest message from Nancy about the twins. Coming soon, video of the twins will make its debut on the Baby Blog. That`s all at Remember to mark your calendars, Nancy`s back January 7, 8:00 p.m. sharp Eastern. Be sure to join us right here on Headline News.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There may be no resolution. This thing may become what they call either a cold case or a -- I mean as far as Kathy Savio, it already was a closed case. You know, they have reopened it, and if they don`t come to any other conclusion, then it just continues as a closed case. As far as Stacy goes, we hope that she shows herself alive at some point in time. And if not, we`ll continue searching and I`m sure everybody else will too.


BROOKS: I`m Mike Brooks, in for Nancy Grace. Stacy Peterson is still missing as we move closer to Christmas and the holiday season. It makes it harder on her family to deal with her missing, with the kids. We`re going to talk all about that. First I want to go right out to Bolling Brook, Illinois. Joining us is a very special guest, Pam Bosko, Stacy Peterson family friend and spokesperson for the family.

Pam, thank you again for being with us.


BROOKS: So what is the latest in the search that you know of?

BOSKO: The Illinois State Police are conducted now water way searches in other areas. They were initially focusing on the canal. They have cleared that one up and now they are going to other areas that were pointed out to them in leads and tips that came in. So that`s what they`re doing.

BROOKS: Now, did they tell you why -- did they tell you at all why they`re now abandoning the canal and looking in other water ways?

BOSKO: They always have other tips and leads coming in, other areas that they had to investigate along the way. Because they first clearing out the canal, which was, of course, one of the primary interests, they had to clear one before you can move the resources to another location. That`s what they were doing. It`s just procedure.

BROOKS: Right now, I think they`re trying to take advantage of some sonar equipment, some high resolution sonar equipment that came from the Minneapolis area from one of the counties outside there, when they had the bridge collapse. They`re trying to utilize that while they still can and before the water totally freezes over.

BOSKO: Exactly.

BROOKS: What is your reaction to Drew Peterson hiring two private investigators?

BOSKO: I would fist like to know from Mr. Brodsky if they are any relation to Drew, if they`re friends of Drew, and if they are, in fact, working with the Illinois state police and do the police know who they are?

BROOKS: Mr. Brodsky, that`s a great question.

BRODSKY: I can tell you, there`s certainly no relation to Drew. That`s certain. They`re just professional licensed investigators. And this is their professional and that`s what we have retained them to do.

BROOKS: And they are licensed investigators?

BRODSKY: Absolutely.

BROOKS: Now I want to go back out to Pam Bosko, Stacy Peterson`s family friend and spokesperson. Have you spoken with anyone, with Drew or any of his friends about possibly seeing the children during Christmas time?

BOSKO: We were told initially, even at Thanksgiving, that he said no to us having the children or doing anything with the children. So we expect probably the same thing.

BROOKS: I want to go out to Dr. Bethany Marshall, psychoanalyst and author of "Deal Breakers, When to Work on a Relationship and When to Walk Away." It`s the Christmas season. We`ve heard Drew Peterson was on a radio show recently talking about trying to make the best of Christmas without her around and the kids. What do you makes of is that, Bethany?

BETHANY MARSHALL, PSYCHOANALYST: I`m extremely concerned about what Pam said just now, that these children are going to be cut off from their extended family at Christmas time, when they just lost their mom? He said that he was hanging out with the kids all the time, he`s having a Santa coming over; he talks about himself like he`s a great dad. But then he says that the kids are oblivious to the loss of their mom.

Oblivious? It sounds like the person who`s oblivious is Drew Peterson. What these kids need is a father who`s attuned and hooks them up with the larger family. What he should be observing in the kids are temper tantrums, clinging, whining, distancing behavior, behavior problems in the little ones, and probably the older ones are either blaming themselves or frantically looking for their money mother to come home; and they need their dad to make meaning out of what`s happening right now.

BROOKS: I want to go out to Joel Brodsky, Drew Peterson`s attorney. Mr. Brodsky, you heard what she said. Are there any plans at all to let Stacy`s family see the kids at all during Christmas?

BRODSKY: You know, that`s not my cup of tea to get involved in the family dynamics. I understand that there`s a long history, a dynamic history between Stacy`s family and Drew and even Stacy. But, I mean, that`s strictly up to Drew. He`s the father. I know that his two older boys, the 13 and the 14-year-old, are doing absolutely great. The freshman in high school was the number one in his class. He plays in the senior jazz band, the trumpet.

They`re all doing very well, very good kids. And Drew is a good father.

BROOKS: But the pressure`s still got to be tough on those kids, though, Mr. Brodsky.

BRODSKY: I assume so. But it`s a sad situation that they`re going to have to go through this Christmas, and he`s going to do the best he can. I know they`re going to be with Drew`s family for some time and they`re going to try to spend Christmas as quietly as possible.

BROOKS: Have you seen the young kids yourself?

BRODSKY: The two little ones?


BRODSKY: Yes, once.

BROOKS: How are they? Tell me about them.

BRODSKY: They`re happy. They play. The little Lacy loves to -- she made a little tea party. They`re doing -- they`re happy and they`re well adjusted and they`re doing good. But --

BROOKS: It`s still got to be tough during the Christmas time, even for the kids.

BRODSKY: I`m sure it is.

BROOKS: I want to get back to talking about the case again. Now evidence, you have asked for the evidence, the cars and his 11 guns to be returned. The court said no, you`re not getting it.

BRODSKY: Not until -- the court said we`re not getting it now. But he did continue it until January 25th to review it again. In other words, sending a message to the state that there`s going to be a limit. We`re going to give you enough time to do what you need to do, but it`s not going to be indefinite, and when you come back on the 25th, if you want more time, you got to have a reason.

BROOKS: I want to go out to defense attorneys Doug Burns and Midwin Charles, joining us here in New York. These alleged leaks coming out of the Grand Jury. Midwin, could it taint the jury pool?

CHARLES: It can. The jury pool comes from the public and these are people who are listening to what this guy is saying and can be forming opinions that could be detrimental to the defendant. So, of course, it`s going to harm the jury pool.

BROOKS: Doug, if and when this ever goes to trial, do you think -- again, he`s not charged. I just want to remind our viewers, he`s not charged; he`s not indicted. But if it does go to trial, can he get a fair trial in that venue?

BURNS: We got to clear something up; everybody often gives the opinion how can you find someone who hasn`t heard about the case and participated in taking in information about it. That`s not the legal test. The test is not withstanding the fact that you watched shows, read newspapers, you can put that out of your mind and be fair. That`s the test. So we`ll see what happens.


BROOKS: I`m Mike Brooks, in for Nancy Grace. With the holidays almost here, Stacy Peterson is still missing from her home in Bolling Brook, Illinois. I want to go right back out, joining us by phone from Bolling Brook is Pam Bosko, Stacy Peterson`s family friend and spokesperson. Pam, you had something you wanted to add?

BOSKO: Yes, actually, I wanted to go back to the original statement that Brodsky said about a sexual offender on the family side. I find it ironic that he feels he has the right to cast that stone, since it seems his client has the taste for sweet 16-year-olds and 17-year-olds, since that`s what the age that Stacy was when Drew Peterson met her and started dating her.

BROOKS: Mr. Brodsky, your response.

BRODSKY: That`s different from a sexual assault that Mr. Cales was convicted of. There`s a difference between a consensual relationship and aggravated criminal sexual assault.

BOSKO: A 16-year-old is consensual at 46?

BRODSKY: By law, yes it is.

BOSKO: Sixteen?

BRODSKY: If you have a problem with that, you need to talk to the state legislature.

BOSKO: I never knew 16 was the law in Illinois. That should be looked into, because I don`t believe it was 16.

BROOKS: OK, Pam, thank you. But I know 16 is the age of consent in Illinois. I want to go right out to the phones. Amanda from Oregon, quickly you have a question?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, did Stacy Peterson ever call 911 for domestic abuse.

BROOKS: That`s a good question. Doug Burns, do you recall if she ever called 9/11 for domestic abuse?

BURNS: I really do not, Michael. I apologize.

BROOKS: I`m not sure either. But we`ll try to find out for you for the next show. But tonight, let`s stop the remember Army Staff Sergeant Lilian Clamens, just 35, from Lawton, Oklahoma. Serving in the Army Reserve for 17 years and a full-time postal worker, she lost her life just days from returning home to her family. She`s also served in Germany and Korea.

Devoted to family and taking care of other soldiers and their families; remembered her for radiant smile, confident strength and warming the hearts of everyone. She leaves behind mom Dorothy, sister Dena (ph), grieving husband Raymond, and three children. Lilian Clamens, an American hero.

Thank you to all of our guests. Thank you at home for being was. Remember to visit Nancy`s Baby Blog at See you tomorrow night, 8:00 p.m. Eastern. Until then, stay safe.