Return to Transcripts main page

Nancy Grace

Missing Pregnant Marine`s Male Roommate Called in for Questioning

Aired January 10, 2008 - 20:00   ET


NANCY GRACE, HOST: Tonight, the search is on for a gorgeous young Marine specializing in combat logistics, Camp Lejeune. Kicker? She`s eight months pregnant when she vanishes into thin air. So far, police find Meredith (SIC) Lauterbach`s cell phone and her blue Hyundai Sonata. Bank records reveal suspicious activity, but still no sign of the young and pregnant Marine.
Tonight, we learn Lauterbach`s roommate flying back to Camp Lejeune as we speak to help police nail down a timeline. And tonight, bombshell court documents that Lauterbach claimed she was sexually assaulted by a superior officer and set to testify when she disappeared. Where is 20-year-old Meredith (SIC) Lauterbach?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The roommate of a missing pregnant Marine is being recalled from California. Maria Lauterbach disappeared from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, last month. Authorities say her roommate, Marine Sergeant Daniel Durham, may have been the last person to see her alive.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This roommate is a police sergeant. Now, mysterious circumstances, of course, surround Lance Corporal Maria Lauterbach`s disappearance. According to a police affidavit, she has made charges with the military at Camp Lejeune that she was sexually assaulted by, as the affidavit states, a superior military person.


GRACE: And tonight, Florida school teacher Debra Lafave. Remember her lawyer argued she`s too pretty for jail? Lafave confessing to sex assault on a minor, her own student. Just hours ago, Lafave back in court on probation violation.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, a judge says a former teacher and confessed sex offender did, indeed, violate her parole, but he`s not going to send her to prison. Debra Lafave, now Debra Beasley (ph), pleaded guilty to having sex with one of her students in 2004. She was sentenced to probation and house arrest. The judge determined Lafave had violated terms of her probation by discussing her private life with a teenage co-worker in a restaurant.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ms. Lafave, the court finds that you are in violation of the community control. The court finds that the violation is neither willful nor substantial, and the court will not revoke the community control but will continue on same. Please don`t come back, OK? You need to (INAUDIBLE) before you leave the courtroom.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Excuse me. My GPS monitor is going off. I`m sorry.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lafave is serving three years house arrest and then seven years probation.


GRACE: Good evening. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us tonight. First, the search for a young Marine vanishing Jacksonville, North Carolina. That investigation lunches into high gear. Where is 26-year-old Maria Lauterbach?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Still no sign of a Marine who`s missing and eight months pregnant. Lance Corporal Maria Lauterbach was last seen December 14 at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. Sergeant Daniel Durham is believed to be the last person to speak with Lance Corporal Maria Lauterbach before she vanished. Now the missing pregnant Marine`s roommate has been ordered to return to Camp Lejeune from training in California to answer questions about this case.

Lauterbach is eight months pregnant. She was last seen December 14. The Associated Press, citing search warrants, is reporting Lauterbach told her stepmother she`d quote, "been raped by a senior officer at her command and that the investigation had gone sour," unquote. The woman`s stepmother says Lauterbach is bipolar and has a history of compulsive lying. Authorities say the woman`s roommate may hold the key to her disappearance.


GRACE: The roommate may hold a key to her disappearance? Then why are local authorities sitting on their thumbs? Or are they? What does the military role have to play in the disappearance of this young 20-year-old Marine, now nine months pregnant? According to some due dates, she may have even already delivered.

Straight out to Mandi Sheridan with CNN affiliate WDTN. Mandi, explain to me what went down today in that press release.

MANDI SHERIDAN, WDTN: Well, Nancy, really, what we heard from the sheriff down in North Carolina today was just that they were going to bring Sergeant Daniel Durham back from California. They believe that he has some important information. They want to talk to him.

Now, I am here in Dayton, Ohio, and I have spoken with the family. I spoke to them yesterday. I spoke with a family spokesperson today. He told me that the family is staying to themselves at this point, but they do have a message for Maria. They wanted to make sure that they could tell her they love her, they miss her and they want her back unconditionally. And he stressed the word "unconditionally." And that is what the family is saying at this point.

GRACE: OK. You know, you just opened up a whole Pandora`s box by saying the family`s statement is, We`ll take her back unconditionally. Were there conditions before? What are you talking about?

SHERIDAN: Nancy, I`m not sure exactly what that "unconditionally" means because, as I said, the family spokesperson is the only one that was saying anything, and he had a very short statement that he wanted out there, and that was it. Now, when I spoke with Maria`s mother yesterday, she told me that her daughter was very close to the family and that she would call several times a day. But she also told me that she had had some struggles in the past and they believed she was probably bipolar. So you know, there are both sides here. But they said they absolutely love her, they miss her and they want her home.

GRACE: Is it true that certain members of the family wanted her to give the baby up for adoption?

SHERIDAN: According to the court documents, it does show in the incident report that Maria`s mother spoke with her on December 14, which she did tell me about that conversation -- but in the court documents it states that she told Maria -- she suggested she should give the baby up for adoption, saying that she was not sure Maria could take care of the baby.

GRACE: Out to the lines. Linda in Indiana. Hi, Linda.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. I`m glad you`re back.

GRACE: Thank you. I`m glad to be back.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And your babies are just little angels.

GRACE: Can you imagine someone calling -- thank you, number one. And Linda, number two, can you imagine someone calling you and telling you they want you to give up your baby for adoption?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. I don`t have any kids, but I can`t -- I just -- I can`t fathom it. I really can`t.

GRACE: And this whole statement by the family, We want her back unconditionally -- that`s got a whole other meaning. Anyway, what`s your question, Linda in Indiana?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. I was wondering -- they said her car was found at a bus station. I was wondering if perhaps there was surveillance cameras around the parking lot that would show who drove the car up there, and also if they got into another vehicle when they left the scene.

GRACE: Another thing I`ve learned overnight, Linda, is that the car was actually parked in a Checker`s (ph) -- it`s a fast food restaurant -- parking lot next to the bus station. But still, it`s right there at the bus station, suggesting either she took a bus out of town or someone put it there to stage it being there.

What do we know about surveillance, Mandi Sheridan? And also, Mandi Sheridan, her cell phone was found near the entrance there at Camp Lejeune. How about surveillance cameras there?

SHERIDAN: Well, Nancy, I don`t have any information as far as the surveillance down in North Carolina. I`m not sure if there was surveillance there around that Checker`s or if there was surveillance around Camp Lejeune. I would think that, you know, there could be, but as far as what`s going on in North Carolina, I`m not sure on that.

GRACE: I want to go out to a special guest, Christine Hansen, executive director with the Miles Foundation. Christine, thank you for being with us. How is sex assault handled in the military? We now know that just as this young woman, Lance Corporal Maria Lauterbach, 20 years old, nine months pregnant as of right now -- at the time she disappeared, she was set to testify in a sex assault case in which she is the alleged victim and a superior officer is the alleged perpetrator.

CHRISTINE HANSEN, EXEC. DIR., MILES FOUNDATION: Well, in regards to how the military handles sexual assault, when you talk about prevention, Nancy, you`re talking about predominantly training. And the curriculum for training within the military focuses also on risk reduction for the victim, as opposed to sex offender behavior, if you will.

Then when you speak about intervention or how the military responds to sexual assault, over the last couple of years, we`ve had several mandates from Congress, everything from changing the definition of sexual assault within the Department of Defense, changing the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which is their...

GRACE: Well, what does that have to do with this case?

HANSEN: Well, I think what it has to do with this case is this young woman was said to be a victim witness in a criminal justice proceeding, apparently, alleging that she herself had been sexually assaulted.

GRACE: Right.

HANSEN: We don`t know the disposition of that case, but I`m certain that you know as a former prosecutor, you would be concerned as to the disappearance of a victim witness in a case.

GRACE: Right. What I`m asking you is how sex assault is handled in the military.

HANSEN: Well, I think predominantly, the response in the military is that it is handled as a personnel matter, rather than a criminal justice proceeding. But from the information that you and I both have, there appears to be a criminal justice proceeding pending and would require, you know, a court process, et cetera.

GRACE: How do you believe the military is handling this particular situation? I noticed that the sheriff deferred to the military today.

HANSEN: Well, I think that it`s incumbent upon the military to do an enormous amount of collaboration with the local sheriff`s department. You know, as I said, particularly as prosecutors and law enforcement individuals, you look to ensure that a victim witness is safe in any type of proceeding, to determine where they are, et cetera. I have not heard to date that the military has issued any AWOL or UA findings.

GRACE: Yes, I find that very, very unusual. I want to go to Jamie BRASSARD, a former Marine and the director of the National Honor Society of Women Legionnaires. Jamie, it`s pleasure to have both you and Christine with us tonight. She has not been declared AWOL, not even unauthorized leave of -- unauthorized absence. Why?

JAMIE BRASSARD, FMR. MARINE, NATIONAL HONOR SOCIETY OF WOMEN LEGIONNAIRES: Well, from what I can tell, they have put off even saying that she was missing for almost three weeks. And I think they are trying to figure out exactly what has happened, and nobody knows and nobody...

GRACE: Well, when somebody in the military doesn`t show up for their post or doesn`t show up for their job, aren`t they automatically declared AWOL or at least unauthorized absence?

BRASSARD: Usually, it takes about seven to ten days before they declare them AWOL.

GRACE: OK. So this has been 10 days, well over 10 days.


GRACE: So what`s the hold-up?

BRASSARD: That`s a good question.

GRACE: Well, since you are a former Marine, what is the typical -- what`s SOP for the Marines?

BRASSARD: Well, when I was in, if you were without leave for 30 days, they went looking for you. You could be arrested. They sent warrants (ph) out to local police and outside agencies. But from what I`ve seen on this, they haven`t done any of that until now.

GRACE: None of it. None whatsoever.

Out to the Lines. Caroline in Michigan. Hi, Caroline.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. Welcome back.

GRACE: Thank you, Miss Caroline. It`s good to be back, although it`s awfully hard leaving the twins. I was trying to rock both of them before I left.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have beautiful babies, and you`ve been sorely missed.

GRACE: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Back to this case.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The sex assault. There`s been no mention of the father. Could this sex assault be the creator of this unborn child?

GRACE: That has been the question many people have asked. We just don`t have enough information right now. But we know she`s claiming sex assault by a superior officer. We know she was set to testify, Caroline. We know around the time she was set to testify, she disappears.

Another intriguing piece of information has come to light, Mandi Sheridan, information held by the Western Union. Is somebody sending her money? Is that the suspicion?

SHERIDAN: At this point, what I do know about her financial situation is just that there was a withdrawal made on the 14th from her bank account. And also, according to the sheriff`s office, there was an ATM camera footage of what appeared to be a man trying to make a withdrawal with her ATM card 10 days later. So that would have been Christmas Eve. But he was, according to the sheriff`s office, putting -- trying to put a rag over the camera so you could not see him. That is the only information that I have as far as her financial report goes.

GRACE: To Lindell Kay, crime reporter with "The Jacksonville Daily News." Welcome back, Lindell. Question. Have we learned any more about these withdrawals, these ATM withdrawals? Is it willing? Has she given someone her ATM to send her money, or has someone taken the ATM card away from her?

LINDELL KAY, "JACKSONVILLE DAILY NEWS": The sheriff`s department`s not saying that right now. We do know, like was said, there was a withdrawal made the day she disappeared and there was a withdrawal made on Christmas Eve that they said was suspicious, and that`s because someone tried to make sure they weren`t identified when they took the money out. That`s all that we`re reporting. That`s what we`ve heard from the sheriff`s department.

GRACE: To Lindell Kay. When did the roommate leave town? It`s a male roommate, correct?

KAY: Yes. Sergeant Durham, he left toward the end of December. He was on official assignment with the Marines. They won`t specify if it was a temporary duty assignment or a transfer or whatever, but I mean, he was in California, where he was supposed to be. That`s where he`s on the way back from now.

GRACE: OK. What I`m getting at, Lindell, is was he -- the roommate, the male roommate -- in town on the day that the ATM withdrawal occurred, where the male held a rag up to the camera at the ATM to try to conceal himself?

KAY: Sergeant Durham apparently was in town at that time. I`m not -- I`m not saying that he was -- that was who did that. I mean, the sheriff`s department does not know at this time or is not saying at this time who that person was.

GRACE: Lindell, do we know if that person was successful in getting money out? Did they have her code to her ATM?

KAY: There was money removed, definitely, on the 14th.

GRACE: Ah. Somebody that had her code. Got you.

To Bethany Marshall, psychoanalyst and author. The mother has come out and made statements, very revealing statements about her daughter. How is this going to help bring the daughter home?

BETHANY MARSHALL, PSYCHOANALYST: Well, it`s very revealing to me and hopeful (ph) because she said she`s probably bipolar and they want her back no matter what, unconditionally. That means that if she was bipolar, the doctors took her off the meds while she was pregnant, which could mean she could have becoming manic. And in mania, there`s paranoia and psychosis, which could have put her in risky situations or at risk of flight or risk that she had to leave because she was afraid of the baby being taken away.

GRACE: To Mike Brooks, former fed with the FBI. Mike, we`ve learned a lot more overnight about the facts. Weigh in.

MIKE BROOKS, FORMER D.C. POLICE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, Nancy, the sexual assault is being investigated by the local authorities and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, NCIS. According to the police report, she is listed at the time of that report as UA, unauthorized absence, but not as AWOL as of yet.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: According to this incident report filed by one of his deputies, Lauterbach`s stepmother says Lauterbach`s pregnancy may be the result of a rape by one of the 20-year-old`s superior officers. Apparently, Marine authorities are looking into those allegations, but the report also indicates Lauterbach`s stepmother says the Marine corporal is bipolar and a compulsive liar.


GRACE: Welcome back. A 20-year-old Marine is missing. She is nine months pregnant. In fact, according to some reports, her due date has already passed. Her Hyundai has been found, her cell phone has been found, but no trace of Maria Lauterbach.

I want to go back out to Mike Brooks, former fed with the FBI. What about the evidence that we have fleshed out overnight and at this press conference today strikes you the most, Mike?

BROOKS: I`ll tell you, Nancy, the report of the inconsistencies on the sexual assault case is (ph) apparently she is giving (ph) to the Naval Criminal Investigative Service -- that really bothers me a lot. The other things, too -- they found her cell phone. Was there any other fingerprints besides her on that cell phone? Also, the car that was found, possibly was staged, possibly was left there by her. We don`t know. What was the forensic evidence they got from that, also? Was her -- is she`s the only one to drive the car? Was there someone else to drive the car? There`s a lot holes right now in both evidence and timeline in this particular case.

GRACE: Well, I really believe, Mike Brooks, that when this roommate, who took her in because she was apparently in a very bad situation -- he says she was bedridden there at the end of her pregnancy. It`s very difficult for me to imagine, after what I just went through, at that juncture and nine months pregnant, that you hop out of bed and go on the run, OK? That`s kind of hard to take in.

But he`s flying in right now. We`re expecting him to touch down near Camp Lejeune and meet with police willingly, voluntarily, to help them nail down a timeline. Mike, he was in town when she went missing, all right? He didn`t ship out until the 28th or the 29th, according to documents. And long story short she was last heard from by her mom on the 14th. He knows a lot.

BROOKS: I think he does know a lot. He probably knows a lot about lot of other things, possibly this case, this alleged sexual assault. You know, did she withdraw the allegations? Did she not withdraw the allegations? There was apparently some reporting in "The Marine Corps Times" on Thursday citing unnamed sources that says Lauterbach may have fled her post after she withdrew the sexual assault case. And then, apparently, the newspaper also said the allegations were lodged with Marine Corps officials last year and also withdrawn.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One of the key witnesses in this case is a sergeant in the Marine Corps who has been deployed to California in some training, that is the roommate of this missing female. At this time, he is just the closest person with possibly the last information of communications with the missing person, Maria Lauterbach.


GRACE: Where is the 20-year-old Marine? She is now set to deliver at any moment, if she hasn`t already delivered. Maria Lauterbach went missing back in December. December 14 was the day her mother last spoke to her.

Back out to the lines. Stephanie in Oklahoma. Hi, Stephanie.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. I have a -- actually, I have a question and some insight. I was a victim of a pretty graphic crime on a military base several years ago, and I was put on the VWAP program, which is the Victim Witness Assistance Program. Any time that there`s an abuse case with an active duty member or with a spouse or dependents, they put these people on this program until they go to, like, non-judicial punishment or judicial punishment, OK?

At her level, if she was testifying, she would have been at the judicial level, which meant that she would have gone probably to court- martial. She would have been put on this program. It`s strictly for military members and their dependents.

Why wasn`t she on this program? This program is there to protect them. They are isolated from their superiors. They are completely watched all the time. Why didn`t this happen? That`s what it`s strictly there for.

GRACE: Stephanie, what did you say about court-martial?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... here because (INAUDIBLE) it starts off at the MP level. Any time there`s a crime, it goes to military police. After it goes to the military police, it`ll go to CID, which is the Criminal Investigation Division. At that point -- they say, at that point, it`s met the level that there has been an offense that has occurred. After that, it will go up to a judge advocate general`s office for non-judicial punishment or judicial punishment.


GRACE: The police affidavit also states that they`re seeking more information from Western Union about transferring money to her from December 10th to January the 8th. Police say money was with drawn from her bank account on December the 14th. That`s the same day that her stepmother last had a conversation with Lance Corporal Lauterbach.

Lance Corporal Lauterbach`s cell phone was found near the base on December 20th and her car was found just a few days -- ago rather not far from the base.

So was she a run away? Was she kidnapped? The sheriff says, "Right now I don`t know. I`m playing the middle of the road," as he put it on these questions as our investigation continues.

Welcome back. The search is on for a 20-year-old Marine, nine months pregnant as of January according to court documents. Those documents extremely revealing. This young lady has been called everything from a compulsive liar to having a bipolar disorder.

What is the truth? Why did she disappear just before she was set to testify against a superior officer in a sex assault case? And what about the baby? The baby that would have been born just a few days ago, where is Maria Lauterbach?

Let`s unleash the lawyers. Joining us tonight John Burris out of San Francisco and Richard Herman out of New York.

To you Richard Herman, why is the victim -- we believe she`s a victim -- already being trashed? We haven`t even gotten to court and she`s called a compulsive liar and that she has a bipolar disorder?

RICHARD HERMAN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I don`t know, Nancy. But first, welcome back and just so you know the twins signed letters of intent to join my defense firm so I just want you to know that.

GRACE: Right. OK. Goodbye college fund if that`s going to happen. OK. Tell me, tell me.


GRACE: Why is this already started and coming from within her own family?

HERMAN: And Nancy, that conversation that took place on December 14th with the stepmother that bothered you and it absolutely bothered me.

GRACE: It`s her -- it`s not her stepmother. It`s her mother.

HERMAN: Her mother. They`ve got to go talk to that family and find out why the mother said to her, "Unconditionally we`ll take you back." What did they do to her that day to drive her out? That`s the last thing she was found -- she was around.

GRACE: So now you`re pointing the finger at the mother who`s living in another state. OK, Richard Herman, I see your defense shaping up.

John Burris, weigh in.

JOHN BURRIS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, also welcome back. We missed you.

GRACE: Thank you.

BURRIS: But I would say it is very troubling -- and what I see here is a real credibility questions that seem to be circulating around her. Obviously, you don`t want a young lady to be missing and all this confusion around it, but I`m going the tell you, you know, given what we see here, she very well may be missing on her own.

GRACE: But one thing is making me perked on that point, John Burris, and that is the Western Union.

BURRIS: Right.

GRACE: The fact that her ATM card was used, that happens all the time. But the fact that there`s a suspicion that funds are being wired to her, that`s a whole different ballpark.

BURRIS: Right. She very well may just have decided that this is too much for her. You know, all these comments about her being bipolar and not credible, they`re very disturbing and it may be that it`s all very much -- too much for her, had been too much, particularly she`s made complaints in the past and been determined not to have been credible.

GRACE: I want to clear that up. I think that is incorrect.


GRACE: I believe there was a complaint in 2007 and it is referring to this complaint.


GRACE: I don`t think there`s another complaint that was dismissed. Go ahead.

HERMAN: And Nancy, she`s a Marine, too, Nancy. (INAUDIBLE).

BURRIS: I want to give her the benefit of the doubt.


GRACE: So what do you mean she`s a Marine?

HERMAN: She`s a Marine. She knows how to take care of herself, Nancy. It`s going to be the few, the proud, the Marines. I mean it would have been very difficult for people to take her away. I don`t know. I mean they have to investigate this. It`s still so early but.

GRACE: OK. You know, Richard, do you have children?

BURRIS: She is nine -- she is eight months pregnant so she`s not as strong.


BURRIS: .as powerful as she once would be. She would have, I don`t know, training for it.

GRACE: Richard, do you have children?

HERMAN: Yes, I do.

GRACE: OK. I don`t know if you remember the night -- months or not, but you`re not about to jump out of bed.

BURRIS: Right.

GRACE: .and pack your bags.

BURRIS: Right.

GRACE: .and take off under cover, and not -- unless she had help.

Let`s go to Stephanie from Oklahoma.

Stephanie, the whole issue of her being gone so long, she was reported UA, unauthorized absence, but not AWOL. So where do you see this going, Stephanie, with your knowledge of the military?

STEPHANIE, FROM OKLAHOMA: I think that she -- there was -- there`s judicial punishment going on with whoever the -- perpetrator is which means it`s a met -- it`s rose to the level that the military is going to prosecute. So in order for her to testify, she would never testify at the MP level or CID level. She`d be testifying at a court-martial only. OK? I think that she`s probably either got herself into a situation where she falsely accused somebody or she was not protected and either -- it was another person in the unit or company has taken action against her to get revenge from maybe -- you know, she`s getting reading to have the baby, right? If she gets ready to have the baby, there`s DNA, right? If they take DNA from her on this baby, well then if it matches the guy that`s supposedly the perpetrator, well, there you are. So.

GRACE: You`re right. So much swirling in that arena but in my mind, the fact that she is nine months pregnant is the kicker. How far can she go without help? Someone knows where she is.

Out to Howard Oliver, former deputy medical examiner and forensic pathologist.

Thank you for being with us. Howard, what will they be looking for in the car and what about the cell phone?

HOWARD OLIVER, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST, FMR. DEPUTY MEDICAL EXAMINER: Good evening. The things they would be looking for are trace evidence like DNA, fiber evidence and fingerprints.

GRACE: And what would you believe would be found in her home to indicate any type of foul play?

OLIVER: Well, you would be looking for mostly fluid evidence with her. You`d be looking for blood evidence or evidence that she had had the baby. There should be some evidence, you know, fluid from the baby, from the delivery or if there`s foul play, there should be blood evidence.

GRACE: Back to Mandi Sheridan with CNN affiliate WDTN.

Mandi, what do we know? What can we nail down about these Western Union transfers? In my mind the case is going to be cracked by two things: the Western Union transfers, was money being funneled to her after she disappeared? And two, what this roommate has to say.

SHERIDAN: Well, Nancy, as far as the Western Union transfers go, there are still a lot of unanswered questions surrounding those. We don`t have a lot of information. As far as the roommate, according to the incident report, they did talk to Durham -- Sergeant Durham on the 20th, I believe. They interviewed him. At that point, he said he last spoke to her on the 14th. He says that she seemed to be mostly bedridden. Did not seem like she would be leaving any time soon. But he does says that she had a phone conversation with her mother that day.

GRACE: Right.

SHERIDAN: And that she seemed a little upset over that. However, when I spoke with her mother, her mother told me that that phone conversation went very well and that she was excited for her mother to come visit. So there is little discrepancy there. Also, I think it`s important to point out that according to the incident report, it says that her mother was aware that she was being threatened as far as her career as a Marine by the person that she was accusing of this sexual assault.

GRACE: Interesting.

To Lindell Kay with the "Jacksonville Daily News." Anything more that you believe sheds light on whether she left voluntarily?

LINDELL KAY, CRIME REPORTER, JACKSONVILLE DAILY NEWS: Well, the -- I think the most important thing is that the sheriff`s department is continuing to say that they`re 50/50. They -- you know, this is the sheriff`s department investigates a lot of missing persons. I have been involved in them. I have seen them investigate a lot of missing person cases here, given the nature of Jacksonville and for them to say that they don`t know one way or another yet and they`re not willing to say.

I think that that it`s still 50/50. She could be out there where she wants to be or something bad could have happened. I don`t think either -- I think it`s premature to say either way. I know that the witnesses coming in from California according to the paper work we got from the courthouse today, he reported her missing to the Marine Corps so you know.

GRACE: Interesting.

KAY: Yes. He reported her to the Marine Corps and the sheriff`s department confirmed that according to the paper work we got today.

GRACE: Out to the lines. Jeff in North Carolina. Hi, Jeff.

JEFF, FROM NORTH CAROLINA: Hi, Nancy. How are you doing?

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

JEFF: I`m curious as to whether the authorities have contacted her cell phone provider? Whether or not they have obtained the records that when her cell phone was last used? Which towers were last hit? And if so, are they conducting any searches around the areas of the towers?

GRACE: Mike Brooks, what do we know about that?

MIKE BROOKS, FMR. DC POLICE DETECTIVE, SERVED ON FBI TERRORISM TASK FORCE: We know that her cell phone was apparently -- they don`t know if it was tossed out of the window, if she did it or someone else did it near the entrance of Camp Lejeune. Now they should be able to go back and find out whether or not there had been any pings as of late. But there`s not going to be if she doesn`t have any cell phone.

But they can also go on and take a look if the cell phone had its battery had not run out on before this happened, on who she was in contact with, any text messages, these kind of things. So again, it can lead to a lot of good evidence.

GRACE: Everybody, when we come back, Florida teacher Deb Lafave confesses to molesting her own student. Remember her? Well, she`s back in court today.

And tonight, APB, "All Points Bulletin," for special moms and dads. If you know a parent who is an inspiration to others and deserves to be recognized, get your camcorder. Go to Click on i- Report and enter that person in the "Nancy Grace Extraordinary Parent Contest."



GRACE: A former teacher who admitted having sex with her 14-year-old student in 2004 back in court today, this time it was for probation violation.

Debra Lafave`s relationship or friendship, rather, with a 17-year-old female co-worker violated conditions of her house arrest and probation.


UNIDENTIFIED JUDGE: Miss Lafave, the court finds that you are in violation of the community control. The court finds that the violation is neither willful nor substantial and the court will not revoke the community control but will continue you on the same. Please don`t come back. OK? You need to stop this before you leave the courtroom.


GRACE: Former Florida schoolteacher Deb Lafave back in court today on a probation violation. Remember, Deb Lafave, her lawyer actually argued to the court she couldn`t go to jail because she was too pretty? After she confessed to molesting a 14-year-old boy repeatedly. Out to Eben Brown, investigative reporter in court today.

Eben, what happened? Why was she back in court? What was the alleged probation violation?

EBEN BROWN, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Good evening, Nancy. Welcome back.

What happened a couple -- well, probably a couple of months ago, Debra Lafave was cited for a probation violation. Part of her term of her plea agreement when she did not go to the prison for admitting to having sex with a 14-year-old student was that she was not to come into contact with minors. However, part of her deal was that she must go find employment. She found a job as a waitress and at the restaurant where she had been working, there were two minors working, these two 17-year-old girls.

She had, according to law enforcement, conversations which were inappropriate, contact which was inappropriate. They decided to cite her for a violation of her probation and bring this back to court. The judge had a chance to put her in prison today but decided that that was not going to be necessary.

GRACE: OK. Wait, wait, wait. This woman got off from jail. She had a no-jail pass. Walked free. And now we`ve got a probation violation. You say inappropriate contact. Inappropriate conversation. What exactly was it? Let`s decide for ourselves was it worth a probation violation. What did she do?

BROWN: Well, Debra Lafave contends that she was present for conversations among many co-workers and a group of co-workers. This 17 -- or one of these 17-year-old girls was present in these conversations where they discussed family matters, boyfriend issues, things that girls would -- as her lawyer called it, girl talk.

GRACE: What? What? What are you talking about? What, sex?

BROWN: Relationship issues.

GRACE: It took you that long to spit out one word -- sex?

BROWN: OK, fine, sex. But she also talked about family matters, school problems. This was something that.

GRACE: I don`t find.

BROWN: .her probation officer decided was inappropriate and decided to cite her for a violation.

GRACE: OK. Bethany Marshall, I don`t find family problems or school problems inappropriate. If Debra Lafave is talking about sex to anybody under 21, she needs to go back to jail.

BETHANY MARSHALL, PSYCHOANALYST, AUTHOR, "DEALBREAKERS": Sex is sex. Sex talk is sex talk. If she has such poor behavioral controls that she violates a condition of her probation, why is she getting the jail - get- out-of-jail-free card? The problem is because she`s hot, everybody`s colluding with her. It seems, in this case, perhaps even the judge.

GRACE: I`m on the fence, though. If they`re talking -- Eben Brown, let me clear this up. I got to nail you down on this.

BROWN: Sure.

GRACE: What does she allegedly say to the 17-year-old and what was the inappropriate contact?

BROWN: Well, it`s all a bit vague. She was allegedly have involved in discussions where the 17-year-old was discussing problems with her boyfriend, possibly the loss of her virginity. This is all -- you know she -- Debra Lafave was not actively involved. Debra Lafave or Debra Beasly, as we`re now calling her, is saying, you know, "I was present for these conversations. They were group conversations among co-workers and friends, people I was comfortable with, But I did not actively ask her about this. I did not actively involve myself. I never expressed an opinion."

GRACE: OK. Got it.

BROWN: "I never used my own life as an example." Anything than that.

GRACE: What about the contact? Is that the contact?

BROWN: Well, there was also some -- what`s called horseplay in the workplace according to her lawyer where some people were slapping each other on their rear ends. Debra was apparently involved in that, too.

GRACE: You know, you sure know how to sugar-coat something, Eben Brown. I think you`re on her side, too. What`s funny about being on Debra Lafave`s side? OK, you know what? That`s too deep to go into in the remaining few moments.

Let`s unleash the lawyers, Richard Herman, John Burris.

John, I don`t know if it rises to a probation violation that you throw her in jail. A probation violation in my mind is somebody -- her going out with a kid again, soliciting a kid, sex messages on the phone or text messages, dating a young guy. To me, that would be a probation violation. What do you say, Burris?

BURRIS: Well, frankly, I agree with you on this. I think that she didn`t do anything that would justify bringing this matter back to the court. This may very well be a technical violation. I think the judge was absolutely right. But really, you can`t say that she did anything that would require the court to bring her back into custody and throw her into jail. I think that the judge was right.

GRACE: Yes. That was last time that she should have gone to jail, Richard Herman.

BURRIS: Well, but good lawyer worked this the last time.

GRACE: I mean the court essentially had one swing at the ball and they missed.

HERMAN: Right. And Nancy, they didn`t bring their victim, didn`t testify and wouldn`t testify. So they couldn`t have won the case last time. And here.

GRACE: If they had gone for it where the jury had subpoenaed him, he may have testified on the stand. We don`t know. But long story short, is this a violation or not?

BURRIS: Not a violation.

HERMAN: This is not willful, it`s not substantial, and the judge gave a flash decision. He had it written before they even had the hearing today. It`s a slap in the face of the D.A. It`s ridiculous. It`s outrageous to even have this thing today.

GRACE: On the other hand, to Owen Lafave, this is Lafave`s ex-husband and author of "Gorgeous Disaster." The fact that Debra Lafave can talk about sex or losing one`s virginity to anybody under 21 is a big no-no.

OWEN LAFAVE, DEBRA LAFAVE`S EX-HUSBAND, AUTHOR "GORGEOUS DISASTER": Oh, it`s absolutely absurd. Look, she is the world`s most famous sex offender. She has to know that she`s going to be scrutinized. Her every move is going to be looked over. She knew better. She had 48 counts that she had to adhere by under her probation. She knew what she was doing was wrong and she shouldn`t have been in that situation to begin with.

GRACE: Out to the lines, Elana in Connecticut. Hi, Elana.

ELANA, FROM CONNECTICUT: Hi, Nancy. Congratulations. I`m so glad you`re back. God bless the twins.

GRACE: Thank you.

ELANA: I was just wondering, did the parents of the victim in this case -- did they, or if they haven`t why didn`t they, ever file a suit for civil damages against her?

GRACE: You mean in the original case?


GRACE: Eben Brown, was there a civil suit?

BROWN: There was not a civil suit if you`re talking about the original case. It`s from a couple of years ago. There was no civil suit. There was no complaining witness in the case, which is one of the reasons why Debra did not go to prison because the mother would not let the boy testify. She wanted her son to move on and wanted nothing to do with this anymore.

GRACE: To Owen Lafave, Owen, do you think that there is going to be another incident like this or more serious? It seems to me Deb Lafave just can`t help herself.

LAFAVE: No, you`re absolutely right, Nancy, and it wouldn`t surprise me at all. This is someone who historically has had poor judgment and I wouldn`t be surprised to see her on, you know, on TV again.


GRACE: Sex offender Deb Lafave back in court today.

Out to the lines, Kelly in South Carolina. Hi, Kelly.

KELLY, FROM SOUTH CAROLINA: Hi, Nancy. It`s so wonderful to have you back. Your twins are gorgeous just like you.

GRACE: Thank you, love. Thank you very much. What`s your question, dear?

KELLY: Well, my question is this. It seems to me that in the past, maybe five to seven years, I don`t know, but it seems that so many of these cases like this with the woman, you know.

GRACE: Sex offender, right.

KELLY: Exactly. That`s intelligent, has gone to college, teaching, you know, and then they become involved with a teenager and in all of your years, I would ask you, you know, have you seen this? It just seems like I`m just now seeing this. And it`s just -- it`s very -- it worries me.

GRACE: Let`s throw it to Dr. Bethany Marshall.

Do you think there are more female sex offenders or are we just hearing about it more? Is it coming to light more?

MARSHALL: We`re hearing about it more. You know, sex crimes are vastly underreported and women tend to molest in care giver situations and I think it`s just that the schools and the students and the parents have more access to exposing these crimes.

GRACE: You know, it seems like we hear about them more and more in a teacher-student setting. Many schools have now enacted policy where they must report if sex assault is suspected and it is working in this case. That`s one of the ways this was discovered.

Let`s stop and remember Army Private First Class Adam Chitjian, 38, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, killed, Iraq. A combat engineer on a second tour, dreamed of working in private security, loved barbecue and dirt biking. Leaves behind dad Martin, sister Keira, brother Martin and grieving widow Shirley. Adam Chitjian, American hero.

Thank you to our guests and especially to you for inviting us into your home. I want to send a special thank you out to Bonnie in upstate New York for "I don`t do mornings," this is for Lucy, and "I don`t sleep, nobody sleeps" for John David. It couldn`t be truer. They wake up at 1:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m. and want to be fed. Thank you, Bonnie.

Again, thank you for joining us tonight. See you tomorrow night 8:00 sharp Eastern. And until then, good night, friend.