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Nancy Grace

Remains of Young White Female Found in Reno Field; Natalee Holloway Case Update

Aired February 15, 2008 - 20:00   ET


HOLLY HUGHES, GUEST HOST: Breaking news tonight, the body of a female discovered in a brush-covered field in south Reno, Nevada. Could this be the break in the case of 19-year-old college student Brianna Denison? Denison vanishes while sleeping on a friend`s couch. The only clues left behind, her cell phone, purse, clothing and blood evidence. DNA links Denison`s abduction to at least two other attacks on young college women in the same area.
As we go to air, dozens of law enforcement and the FBI are working hard to identify those remains. What does this mean in the Brianna Denison investigation?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Breaking news. A body has been found in Reno, Nevada, the same city where 19-year-old Brianna Denison was abducted by a possible serial rapist last month. Could it be Brianna? The body in a brush-covered field, police blocking off about two acres, treating the area as a crime scene, cops promising more details in moments.

STEVE FRADY, RENO POLICE DEPT.: ... a lot of officers to process a crime scene. At this point, we are obviously investigating it as a crime scene. But we simply won`t know until the autopsy is conducted whether or not this was a case of natural causes, foul play or an accident.

QUESTION: Can you tell us more about the body, the condition it was in, the age and...

FRADY: No, I don`t have any information on the body at this time.

QUESTION: Has the family of Brianna Denison been out here today?

FRADY: Not at all. Not that I`m aware of. There`s no reason to bring them out here at this point.

QUESTION: Tell us more about how this body was found.

FRADY: As far as I know, we received a call. Again, our officers responded to the area, patrol officers from the Reno Police Department, acting on the information they received. About six minutes after the call, discovered the body probably about 100 feet off the road.

QUESTION: Was there any other evidence found out here -- footprints, tire tracks, any items?

FRADY: No, I don`t have any of that information right now.


FRADY: I don`t have the specifics of who made the call or what the context of the call was.

QUESTION: This area had been searched by volunteers? If so, would that help you determine how long maybe it had be here?

FRADY: No, Joe, I don`t know if this area specifically has been searched. I know there`s been a tremendous outpouring of community support from throughout the country. We`ve had volunteers in this area. Obviously, there is a widespread area to search. Just in the city of Reno, we have over 107 square miles. But if you take in Washoe County and surrounding counties, it is a huge area. And obviously, all of those volunteers have played a very critical role in searching those areas and allowing law enforcement to follow up the leads if they need follow-up.

QUESTION: There are no obvious causes of death, or you`re just not saying what might have (INAUDIBLE)

FRADY: We don`t have any cause of death at this time. Again, that will be determined by the autopsy.

QUESTION: We saw that black SUV getting towed out of here. Is that evidence or it was just in the way or...

FRADY: That was a police officer`s vehicle, unfortunately, had a dead battery. You know, these things occur when you have emergency lights on. In the excitement of things, sometimes you leave the keys on, and that was all that was.

QUESTION: Steve, until a few days ago, this area was covered in snow. Is that being looked at all? I mean, how long do they think the body was there?

FRADY: Well, we won`t know how long the body has been here. Obviously, you know, if snow had covered the area, that may be a factor, and it may not. A lot of the information that will determine how long the body has been here will be determined...


HUGHES: That was Steve Frady of the Reno Police Department bringing us up to speed with the developments happening in the case of that body found in the field.

Tonight we also have breaking developments in the Natalee Holloway case. Long-time suspect Joran Van Der Sloot walks free again. A court of appeal ruling held that there is insufficient evidence to rearrest him? This is after a videotaped confession in which Van Der Sloot gives us gritty details about the night that Holloway disappears. He says Holloway was thrown overboard into the ocean, possibly while she was still alive. But Van Der Sloot now claims he was high on pot during the confession.

And tonight, a very special guest, Natalee Holloway`s stepfather, Jug Twitty, reacts to the bombshell developments.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Appeals court judges in Aruba will not allow prosecutors to re-arrest Joran Van Der Sloot again. That would have been his third time arrested in connection with the disappearance of Natalee Holloway. Aruban prosecutors wanted to question Van Der Sloot again, asking him about comments he`d made on a hidden camera recording. In the tape, the Dutch teen claimed he was with the Alabama teenager when she died in Aruba and that he had a friend dump her body at sea. A three-judge panel said there`s not enough new evidence to justify another arrest.


HUGHES: Good evening. I`m Holly Hughes, in for Nancy Grace. Breaking news tonight. Just moments ago, a female body was discovered in a field in Reno, Nevada. Is there a connection to the Brianna Denison investigation?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Breaking news. A woman`s body has been found in Reno, Nevada. Could it be 19-year-old missing college student Brianna Denison? Police say the body found in a remote brush-covered field on the city`s south side. Cops have been looking for Brianna since January 20. She was abducted by a possible serial rapist, still on the loose. Many worry he`ll strike again.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s been 27 days since she actually went missing. And there are a lot of people just out here in the community, and people that are -- they`re curious, you know? Is this Brianna Denison? There is a sketch of a man that has been released by police (INAUDIBLE) has been very involved with it. And he is believed to be accused of not only Brianna Denison`s disappearance but two other sexual assaults in that Unar (ph) neighborhood. So all of that is kind of coming to play when something like this happens.


HUGHES: Tonight, questions about whether this body found in that field are related to the Brianna Denison investigation. I`d like to go straight out to Ed Miller, who is a correspondent with "America`s Most Wanted," and ask him a couple of questions to bring us up to speed. Ed, where was this body found? Let`s start there.

ED MILLER, "AMERICA`S MOST WANTED": The body was found about eight to ten miles south of the house where she was staying, that is south of the airport. It`s sort of an industrial rural area. We can tell you that they don`t know or they`re not saying for sure whether or not it`s Brianna, but we know this for a fact. It is a white teenager, approximately the same height, weight and hair color as Brianna. Remember, Brianna is very petite. She`s only 98 pounds, 5 feet tall. So again, all the pieces seem to be fitting together that it could very possibly be Brianna, but we don`t know yet for sure.

HUGHES: Well, Ed, can you let us know if there was any identification found with the body or any clothing remains that we might be able to tie to Brianna?

MILLER: No, police are not saying that. The only thing we are saying that cops are saying that this reaffirms their belief that the attacker -- again, we`re not saying for sure whether or not this is Brianna, but the cops are saying that they believe that this reaffirms their belief that the attacker is from the Reno area.

He knows his way around because this is kind of a very difficult area to find. It`s kind of a rural area. This area may have been covered with snow for the past couple of weeks, but over the past couple of days, the snow has been melting. So again, that body could have been there a long time. We just don`t know yet.

The family is urging the people of Nevada, because of this latest development -- the family, we`ve talked to them, they`re saying, We want the people of Nevada to take another look at their friends and relatives, because they are convinced that somebody knows who this person is.

Let me tell you one very, very important clue. Forget the sketch. It`s a crummy sketch anyway. The most important clue that we have from an eyewitness that is connected to this by DNA is that this man shaves his private area. That`s a very unique clue and very important clue. Somebody knows who this man is.

HUGHES: Thank you, Ed. Do we have any indication when an autopsy will be performed on these remains?

MILLER: Very soon, we believe sometime between the next 12 and 36 hours.

HUGHES: OK. Thank you very much. I want to go next to local reporter on the scene Kelly Scott. She the a breaking news editor of "The Reno Gazette Journal. Kelly, what can you tell us is happening out there tonight?

KELLY SCOTT, "RENO GAZETTE JOURNAL": Well, my reporters are the ones who are on the scene, and I`m in touch with them.


SCOTT: There`s a lot of cops, and they`re trying to figure out the identity of this body that was found this afternoon.

HUGHES: OK. Now, when you say there`s a lot of cops, how many officers are we talking about? And what different agencies are involved in this investigation?

BROOKS: Well, so far, from what I`ve heard, we have about 45 police officers involved in the investigation. They have the police helicopters circling the area and taking aerial photos. And the FBI has been involved in the investigation, as well. And then there`s the county coroner`s office, you know, the sheriff`s department, things like that.

HUGHES: OK. Thank you very much. I want to go next to a very special guest, Pat Brown, who is a criminal profiler and author of the book, "Killing Sport. (ph)" Now, Pat, we were talking to Ed about an autopsy being performed. Can you tell us how long it should take to determine if these remains are, in fact, Brianna?

PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER: Well, I`m going to guess it`s not going to take all that long. We should know fairly rapidly, but it depends when they want to release the information. I do want to point out something interesting about the body dump site, that it was said that likely this man knew the area. And I agree entirely. Body dump sites are very interesting. You usually go where you`re comfortable.

In other words, if you`re going to go dump a body, you don`t want to suddenly be surprised by finding out it`s a teenage drinking place and you didn`t know that, and there are all these teenagers watching you get rid of a body. So you`ll go someplace you absolutely are sure that you can pull in and get rid of the body, and no one`s going to be around. So yes, this man is local, and he knows that area.

So everybody, do you know anybody (INAUDIBLE) tell you exactly where their area is? Think if you know a person who knows that area. You might be able to help the police.

HUGHES: Pat, that`s great advice, and I hope the viewers take you up on that.

We`re taking your calls live tonight. I want to go out to the lines, to Sheeba in Illinois.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi. My question is, apparently, he`s got to have a girlfriend. And it looks like this girlfriend would notify the police that his pubic area has been clean shaven because he`s going to itch (ph). I mean, there`s going to be something there.

HUGHES: Right. I think what you`re referring to, Sheeba, is the fact that this man is suspected, has a truck that was seen at one of the scenes, and inside of the scene were some baby items, a baby`s shoe. I think that`s probably why you`re saying he has a girlfriend.

Let`s go on out to Susan Moss, who is our family law attorney expert and child advocate. Susan, what can you tell us tonight about the fact of whether he has a girlfriend, and if she`s going to turn him in or not?

SUSAN MOSS, FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY: Well, this is very serious. You`ve got a serial killer who has now graduated to now becoming a murderer. Anyone who has any idea of men in the area with clean-shaven under area, as well as somebody who would know would have these items in their car, they must come forward. We have DNA. We can find this guy, and all we need is that one hint. He probably does have a girlfriend. Those are very strange items for a single man to carry around. And that woman must come forward.

HUGHES: Thank you very much, Susan.

This suspect vehicle -- let me tell you a little bit about what it`s described as. It is an extended cab pick-up truck or SUV, dome light above the windshield, and baby shoes on the front seat. Again, this man is described as having shaved his pubic hair, and it`s going to be very important that people in the community step up and help us out with that.

I`d like to go next to Robi Ludwig, who is a psychotherapist and author of the book "Till Death Do Us Part." Robi, let me ask you this. What is it like for Brianna`s family right now to get the news of whether or not this body is going to be hers?

ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: No, I mean, it`s probably so awful. But on another level, they probably want to hear, you know, some information. It`s so hard to be in limbo. It`s so hard to grieve and deal with the loss of a child when you don`t have all the information. So either way, getting information, although it`s horrible, then they can start, at least, the healing process, if it turns out to be here

HUGHES: OK. Now, let me ask you another question. The police have told us that this man is linked in as many as three attacks and possibly a fourth. But they`re also advising the community that the people who know him and are familiar with him might not even think he`s violent. How in the world is that possible?

LUDWIG: Well, you know, people who are violent don`t always present as violent because when they`re walking and living in their everyday life, they don`t present that side of themselves. And then something happens. There`s, like, a cut-off piece of themselves they reveal only during those crazy moments, if you will, for them.

I wonder if this man has some bizarre fascination and hatred with women. If he`s shaving his hair in the pubic area, does he want to be a woman? Is he angry about that? Is something about killing off women, killing off the part of him that wants to be feminine? It`s a very interesting way that he`s going about these murders.

HUGHES: OK. Thank you, Robi.

Next I want to go out to the defense attorneys. We`re going to unleash the lawyers, as my friend Nancy says. And I want to first talk to Daniel Horowitz, and then I`m going to talk to Allison Gilman. Daniel, if this is your client, he`s out there hearing all these news reports, hearing the description in his truck, what is your best advice to him right now?

DAN HOROWITZ, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, Of course, I don`t represent people like this any longer, but if I were, I would tell him to turn himself in because it`s wrong to kill, and he obviously has a compulsion. You know, Robi may be right about the reason he shaves himself, but another reason is that he`s planning to leave no evidence. So this man is changing his body, so to speak, in order to not leave a clue.

And I`ll tell you something else. Your profiler will agree with this. He`s probably soliciting prostitutes either on the street or in massage parlors because that goes with this weird persona of being a rapist and a killer. They`re out of the mainstream. And if I was a police officer, I`d be hitting those women who sell sex and saying, Do you know a guy like this? But bottom line is, there`s no real defense for the guy. Turn yourself in and get help and stop doing this.

HUGHES: Great advice, Daniel. Thank you. I don`t normally agree with defense attorneys, but I got to say, you hit that nail on the head.

I want to take another call. We`re going to go straight out to Jason in Florida. Jason, what`s your question?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My question is, I want to know how you guys can identify that`s not her by looking at her face.

HUGHES: OK, what I want to do is go out to our medical expert who`s with us tonight. That`s Dr. Marty Makary. Dr. Makary, did you hear the question from the caller? He wants to know why we can`t just look at her face and tell who it is.

DR. MARTY MAKARY, PHYSICIAN, PROF. OF PUBLIC HEALTH, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV.: Well, when there are bruises or scratches, oftentimes it can be difficult to distinguish. The DNA does not lie. DNA does not come out with a result that this is probably this individual, it is 100 percent accurate. So the DNA is perfect.

HUGHES: OK. And also, what we`re talking about, folks, is we don`t know the condition of this body, how long it`s been out there. If it was cold and the snow preserved it, you may have some soft tissue left. But this young lady disappeared on the 20th of January.

To tonight`s "Case Alert." Guilty. A jury finally hands down a verdict in the death of a young Ohio mom, 26-year-old Jessie Davis and her unborn baby girl. The baby`s biological dad, Bobby Cutts, was convicted of the aggravated murder in the unborn`s baby death and a lesser charge of murder in Davis`s death. Cutts, who cried, supposedly, on the stand, claiming it was an accident, is now facing the death penalty. The sentencing phase is set for February 25.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is just heart-breaking. Even just the fact to know it`s a body that was there, and I drive by there every day. You know, how long it`s been there, I don`t know. But just to know it`s been that close to me and my office -- it`s just horrible. It`s heart-breaking.




FRADY: There`s been a lot of speculation and a lot of rumor about possible connections with the disappearance of Brianna Denison. At this point, we have no information to link that case with this one. We won`t have a positive identification on this victim until the autopsy is conducted, which we anticipate will probably be tomorrow. That will be up to the coroner`s office. But again, until we have a positive identification, we simply do not know who this victim is.


HUGHES: Good evening. I`m Holly Hughes, in for Nancy Grace. For those of you just joining us, there is breaking news out of Reno, Nevada tonight. A female body has been discovered in an abandoned field, and police are on the scene, as well as representatives of the FBI, to collect evidence.

I want to go straight back out to Ed Miller. Ed is a correspondent with "America`s Most Wanted." What`s happening out there right now, Ed, as we speak?

MILLER: Well, first of all, we should remind people that there have been massive searches for Brianna Denison every single day since she`s been missing, including today. What happened today was a worker discovered the body around 12:00 noon today, and then, of course, the FBI and police swarmed in and sealed off the area. It`s a rather large area that they`ve sealed off, about eight to ten miles south of the house, south of Reno airport, sort of an industrial rural area. The body was found about 100 feet or so from the road, which obviously means it was not thrown from the car, but somebody actually had to get out of the car or truck to place the body there and police are looking...

HUGHES: Let me just ask you -- OK, I want to clarify one point. You said it`s a large area. About how large is the area that they`ve actually cordoned off as a crime scene?

MILLER: At least a mile-square area that they cordoned off, that they`re looking, perhaps larger than that. And they`re going -- you know, of course, it`s getting dark very quickly now, but they`re going through, looking for any possible clues.


UNIDENTIFIED: A body has been found in Reno, Nevada, the same city where 19-year-old Brianna Denison was abducted by a possible serial rapist last month. Could it be Brianna? The body in a brush-covered field, police blocking off about two acres and treating the area as a crime scene.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Police say they found a woman`s body in Reno, Nevada, the same city where 19-year-old college student Brianna Denison was abducted, police blocking off about two acres, treating the area as a crime scene, cops refusing to confirm whether or not the body is Brianna`s.


HUGHES: I`m Holly Hughes, in for Nancy Grace. As we went to air tonight, we are breaking news, developing story out of Reno, Nevada, body found in a field. And we are wondering, asking the question tonight, Is it related to the Brianna Denison investigation? Brianna was kidnapped back on January 20, and DNA evidence was found left at the scene.

I want to go out to Allison Gilman, who is a defense attorney on our panel tonight. Allison, if this DNA links this suspect to all four attacks, is it a home run for prosecutors in court?

ALLISON GILMAN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: No, there`s nothing home run about necessarily DNA, Holly. But it certainly -- jurors like DNA. They like to see physical evidence. It`s hard to get around. But it`s very confusing evidence, but they want to hear it. So it would be very, very helpful to them in order to link it up.

HUGHES: OK. And today with the ``CSI effect,`` what we like to call it, those of us practicing law, it`s very difficult to convince a jury that DNA isn`t telling the truth. How are you going to try to get around that, Allison?

GILMAN: Well, you try to get around DNA. You hire your own expert. You try and look to see what -- I mean, look at the field. We`re looking at where the evidence is coming from. Was it tampered with? Did the police take it properly? There`s a lot of ways to try and explain DNA away. But I`ll tell you, when you start hearing those numbers 1 in 360,000 chance that it`s not them or it`s 99.9 percent them, it is very difficult in order to get around DNA.

HUGHES: So it sounds like you`re going to have an uphill battle if you try to defend this fellow, if, in fact, the DNA links him. Am I right?

GILMAN: You are right.

HUGHES: It`s not unusual to have an uphill battle for a defense attorney, something you`re quite used to, isn`t it?

GILMAN: That is correct, Holly.


When we come back, suspect Joran Van Der Sloot walks free yet again in the Natalee Holloway mystery. What about his videotaped confession? Tonight, Natalee Holloway`s stepfather, Jug Twitty, reacts to these bombshell and heart-breaking developments.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A woman`s body has been found in Reno, Nevada. Could it be 19-year-old missing college student Brianna Denison? Police say the body found in a remote brush-covered field on the city`s south side.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It clearly seemed to me very strong evidence that he has committed some crime. What apparently the Aruban judicial system is concluding that whatever the crime is, it`s not a serious enough crime to arrest him while the criminal investigation is still ongoing. Remember, this criminal investigation is still ongoing, like a grand jury investigation is pending. Formal charges have not been brought yet.

Aruba has a system to arrest him, but even before formal charges are brought, if the evidence is strong enough, if the crimes are serious enough, but apparently they`re basically saying that the more serious crime that you might consider here, homicide, manslaughter, assault and battery contributing to death, are hitting a dead end. And that is certainly troubling for people who want to see justice for Natalee Holloway.


HUGHES: I`m Holly Hughes in tonight for Nancy Grace. We are discussing the fact that today an Aruban court of appeals handed down a decision saying that Joran van der Sloot cannot -- yes, you heard me, cannot be rearrested in the case of Natalee Holloway. This is outrageous. I cannot believe that this young man confessed on videotape in gritty detail, and yet the court of appeal says, oh well, you know, we`re not going to let you rearrest him. Let`s find out what`s going on. I want to go straight out to Tracy Sabo, who is a CNN senior producer.

Tracy, what in the world does the court of appeals base this decision on?

TRACY SABO, CNN SR. PRODUCER: Well, the court of appeals said today that the entire argument lacked any sufficient evidence to corroborate the prosecutor`s allegations that van der Sloot was actually involved in Natalee`s death. And he based that decision on what he said was contradictory statements, primarily by Joran van der Sloot which were not able to be sustained by any further investigative material.

They did look at all of the video, they listened to all of the audio and they came back and said the bar is very high. This is a suspect who has already been in pretrial detention multiple times already. And it didn`t reach that level, in their opinion.

HUGHES: Unbelievable. Now they listened to the video, right? They heard what was on that tape, is that correct, Tracy?

SABO: Yes, they not only heard what we`ve been reporting and what the Dutch television show has been reporting, but in theory, many other hours of investigative material that was recorded by De Vries and his team there in the Netherlands.

HUGHES: OK, I want our viewers to be able to hear exactly what he says on those tapes. Can we roll that, please?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): How were you so sure she was dead, Joran? You can`t. You know, people can also go into comas.

JORAN VAN DER SLOOT (through translator): Yes, I wasn`t sure about that, but it really scared me to death.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): No, but I understand that. I definitely understand that, that you were scared. Did you really prod her and stuff?

VAN DER SLOOT (through translator): No, no, but it didn`t look good.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): How didn`t it look good, then?

VAN DER SLOOT (through translator): Just, you know, she`d been shaking and stuff.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): What, really shaking?

VAN DER SLOOT (through translator): Yes, I don`t know, yes, pretty much.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I`m asking you. How were you so (expletive deleted) she was dead, man?

VAN DER SLOOT (through translator): I wasn`t sure.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): This guy really knows what he is doing. Did he weigh her down to make her sink?

VAN DER SLOOT (through translator): No, no, I don`t think so.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): You don`t even know that?

VAN DER SLOOT (through translator): No.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Did he ever tell you how he did it?

VAN DER SLOOT (through translator): Of course, he did.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): How did he do it, then?

VAN DER SLOOT (through translator): He just went out into the sea further and he just dumped her.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): He just threw her overboard just like that? You`ve been really lucky, you know? No (expletive deleted) you`ve really been lucky.

VAN DER SLOOT (through translator): That`s what I say, I`ve been very lucky.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Really lucky that he has been so stupid to do this, you know.

VAN DER SLOOT (through translator): I was even able to sleep that night. I just went home and went to bed.


HUGHES: That`s video from ABC`s "20/20" of the Joran van der Sloot, emotionless about 18-year-old Natalee Holloway likely dumped at sea. Now as outraged as I am, and furious, as I`m sure you all are, I want to go to a man whose heart is breaking over this.

Jug Twitty, tell me your reaction when you hear this.

JUG TWITTY, NATALEE HOLLOWAY`S STEPFATHER: Well, Holly, I`ll tell you, it`s very disappointing. But it doesn`t surprise me. I`ll tell you what really made me sick today to be honest with you is to see his U.S. attorney, Joe Tacopina, whoever, who has been kind of hiding for the last week because he didn`t know what was going to happen all of a sudden come on and he`s all over the TV now. And he is just saying, you know, with a smirk on his face, which just it makes me sick.

But, yes, ,hey I told you so, nothing was going to happen. When he knows Joran is a time bomb just waiting to -- you know, to blow up. He`s - - I know there are a lot of people, me included, that think the world would be a lot better off without Joran in it.

HUGHES: Well, Jug, let me ask you this, do you think that Joran van der Sloot will ever be arrested and brought to trial in Natalee`s case?

TWITTY: I`d like to hope that he would, but I doubt it. You know, I pray every night that something will happen, somebody will say something. But to be honest, Holly, there`s so many people involved in this, it was a huge cover-up from the beginning. And there are so many people protecting him that I don`t know if they`d ever bring him to trial. I just know that he has to live with it. He`ll be the one that`s looking over his shoulder the rest of his life. So we`ll see.

HUGHES: OK. Well, Jug, let me ask you this. What do you do next? I mean, what do you and Beth do next?

TWITTY: Well, I`ll tell you, Holly, one thing, you know, Beth -- and of course it`s heartbreaking for her too, I know. And -- but Beth has a ton of speaking engagements. You know, she travels across the country. And she`ll continue to do that. And I hate it for the Aruban people because they`re going to hear this every time she speaks to the high schools and the colleges in the civic organizations out there. It`s just going to be, you know, over and over again what happened down there.

And I just wish that they would step up, the Aruban government would try to give us an answer and put this thing to bed.

HUGHES: Well, Jug, my heart goes out to you and your family. I`m so sorry for this tragedy. You mentioned a little earlier that you think this has been a cover-up and a conspiracy from the very beginning. Can you just let our viewers know a couple of examples that makes you feel that way?

TWITTY: Well, I mean, I`ve said it several times, you know, to go over it again, but in the beginning, you know, they ask us questions about the epilepsy and everything, which you wouldn`t normally ask somebody that right out of the chute. So they knew like the second night that she probably wasn`t alive.

And then, just like all the stuff like when all the people that were there, all the people that came with me to help, they never even questioned us for two weeks. If they wanted an answer, they could have got a lot of the answers about the deal about the 4:00 in the morning when he said he picked him up at McDonald`s. There were a lot of those answers there that they could have had if they wanted them. And just I think they got in it early to, you know, cover up, and they just had to cover their tracks all the way through.

HUGHES: OK. Jug, thank you so much for being with us tonight. I want to take a couple more calls. There`s so many viewers who are concerned about even your family and have questions about this case. I want to go to Chris from California. What`s your question, Chris?

CALLER: Hi, Holly. I am -- I want to, first of all, say that my heart goes out to Jug and the Holloway family. And I just don`t understand why the Aruban people are not protesting in the streets. I mean, what does the Aruban government need to prosecute a killer? They have his confession that he murdered Natalee Holloway. And I just want to say that I am outraged at the despicable manner that Joran van der Sloot talked about Natalee Holloway. I have a list a mile long of all the great things Natalee Holloway did. And for him to speak about her in that manner is absolutely outrageous.

HUGHES: OK, Chris. Let me throw your question out to Art Harris, who is an investigative journalist on our panel tonight.

Art, did you hear the caller`s question?

ART HARRIS, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: I sure did. And he has got every reason to be outraged, Holly. And this is a court that is saying that one reason they decided that they`re going to leave him free is because he`s such a liar. He is such a liar that they do not believe this confession. They`re not looking at it as a confession, but as a statement of someone whose statements in the past have not been supported by the facts -- so-called facts that police have found.

HUGHES: OK. Art, let me just jump in here. Having prosecuted murders, rapists, myself, when a guy starts lying to you and has to change his story 26 times, isn`t that an indication that he`s guilty, not innocent?

HARRIS: Well, not just that, but he also admits to disposing of the body. Now, you`ve got to assume he has got something to hide. He doesn`t want police to see what was on the body, what was possibly done to the body. And so it`s gone. And, Holly, that to me would, in many cases -- and maybe they`ll argue that if it ever comes to trial, but that is evidence of guilt and not innocence or doubt, as this court is saying.

HUGHES: Absolutely. Couldn`t agree with you more on that, Art. When you start lying and you start disposing of bodies, you`ve done something wrong. That`s a pretty safe bet.

Now, tonight the NANCY GRACE show is searching for special moms and dads. If you know a parent who is an inspiration to others and deserves to be recognized, get your video cameras and go to Click on the I-Report and enter them in the "Extraordinary Parent Contest." And be sure to check out the new video of Nancy and the twins on Valentine`s Day, you`ll see Nancy, Lucy, and John David on the Baby Blog.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: His total lack of humanity of trying to get help for her instead of trying to dispose of her body. That`s all he had in his mind at that point was to get rid of her body instead of trying to get help. And then, just to hear his callous nature about him with no regrets and no remorse.





UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Swiss police say the heist could be the work of a criminal gang from Eastern Europe. Gone, four impressionist masterpieces worth more than $160 million. They took the paintings from this gallery in broad daylight. Police say the crooks knew exactly what they were after.

"The burglars acted in a very professional way," this Swiss police official said. "The whole robbery lasted only three minutes."


HUGHES: I`m Holly Hughes in for Nancy Grace. Tonight, we are talking about an art heist that happened over in Switzerland, paintings, only four of them worth $163 million, stolen in broad daylight. I`m going to go out to Robi Ludwig.

Robi, what can you tell us about the latest art heist? How did it happen?

ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: Well, you had three robbers going in with ski masks and dark clothes at the end of a Sunday afternoon in broad daylight. One actually held employees and visitors by handgun, and the other two stole the rest of the artwork. They actually put it in a van, sped off, it only took three minutes and they haven`t been seen since.

HUGHES: Now, Robi, do you know which of the four paintings were taken from that museum?

LUDWIG: It looks like there was a Monet, Cezanne, Degas, and also a Van Gogh. So priceless works of art.

HUGHES: And have police been able to discover if this is an isolated incident or if it is related to others in the area?

LUDWIG: It appears to be isolated at this point. But it definitely seems like a professional undertaking. I mean, this is not -- this is just not a street theft going on. This is something that was planned, and these people definitely knew what they were doing.

HUGHES: OK. Thank you so much, Robi. I want to go next to Tod Volpe, who has a little insider information on this very topic. Tod is a former art dealer and author of the book "Framed." He served two years for fraud.

And, Tod, what happened to you in the art market that actually led to your fraud convictions?

TOD VOLPE, AUTHOR, "FRAMED": Well, Holly, you know, we`re in a world now where there is a lot of greed, a lot of power. People get all caught up in the facades and the financial upheavals of life. And I think that`s also one of the reasons why things like this take place, these thefts, because money is power. And we`re dealing with, as Robi said, pictures that are worth hundreds of millions of dollars. And this is nothing new in our world. It`s kind of runs like organized crime.

HUGHES: OK. But now, what specifically happened that led to your conviction? I know we`re talking in generalities here.

VOLPE: Well, my situation actually was more about my own personal finances, how I was living high on the hog in terms of my celebrity life. And I got caught up, you know, in my obsessions with, you know, living a very high life. And the art market crashed in the early `90s. And basically, I ended up working with people`s art and selling art, and you know, basically not paying my consigners, which ended up being a fraud case.

HUGHES: OK. So you are really sort of an inside expert in this. Let me ask you something. These are very distinct paintings, it`s not like you can just go down to the market and pawn them. What do people do with stuff like this?

VOLPE: Well, Holly, you know, these are crimes of passion. In the art world, most major art thefts are done this way. Not through drug money laundering deals or, you know, street robberies. This is, as Robi said, very, very serious stuff.

You`ve got organized crime syndicates coming out of the Balkans, out of Albania, Serbia, these art objects are trafficked underground, they end up in Russia, South America, where basically people can sell these things for a substantial amount of money, not just to collectors, but to dealers and people willing to pay for them and resell them because cash is king in our world.

So basically, you can move these things around the world without anybody really knowing about it. It can also be used as ransom or it could be used as a kind of a way of putting pressure on people to indemnify them for other crimes that they have committed, which is what happened with the Isabella Stewart Gardner case where they were trying to make a deal with the FBI.

HUGHES: OK. Thank you so much, Tod.

VOLPE: You`re welcome.

HUGHES: We appreciate you being with us. And now to tonight`s "CNN Heroes."



Children have just been a joy to me, that`s why I`m a nanny. They need to be surrounded by love, they need education, they need attention. If I can make that happen in Los Angeles, why can`t I do it for children elsewhere?

I was born and bred in Malawi, where we have hundreds and thousands of orphans, and most of them, of course, orphans by AIDS. They live in very bad conditions. It`s literally poverty.

I`m Marie Da Silva, and my mission is to educate AIDS orphans in Malawi.

AIDS is like a plague in Malawi. I have 14 members of my family who have died of AIDS. When I visit Malawi, I visit my family at the graveyard. When I heard that the AIDS orphans would have no school, it touched me to say, I need to help.

The Jacaranda School is in the house that I grew up in. They study in my bedroom, they study in the pantry, they study in the garage. We have a (INAUDIBLE) just about everything.

But we give them courage and they are doing amazingly well. This is their century.

Every month I sent in $1,000, about 30 percent of my monthly wages. I recently talked to my nanny friends. And today there are nannies that give me $10 a month. I do this because I know that the children there need it.

When my father was dying, there was this huge Jacaranda tree outside that brought in light. For me, the Jacaranda tree symbolizes hope. And that`s what I want to give the children at the Jacaranda School.



HUGHES: And now, a look back at the stories making the rest of the headlines this week.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How hard did she fall?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She fell pretty hard.

NANCY GRACE, HOST: Dear Cutts, have these, they`re all for you. You`re going to need them. No jury is going to buy that act on the stand.

So you`re telling me an Aruban investigator told you if you didn`t be quiet questioning the investigation that they would quit investigating, right?

TWITTY: Absolutely.

GRACE: . 23-year-old Mike Barbieri, missing, Breckenridge, Colorado.

With us is Chris Barbieri, this is Mike Barbieri`s mother.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mike is fantastic, having a good time. He loves his friends.

GRACE: The night crew made a gruesome discovery, a disturbing discovery, a brand new baby boy fighting for his life, thrown away in the garbage.

He came well-armed, including entering this luxury office suite with one of these, a meat cleaver.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There were screams and yells, and from what witnesses tell me, just a terribly bloody and violent scene inside that office.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A gunman opened fire at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois, this afternoon. At least five people are dead, witnesses say the shooter walked into a lecture hall and fired 20 to 30 shots.

GRACE: Can you believe this happened to me? It`s the greatest Valentine`s Day ever. It`s their very first Valentine`s. Look how good they`re being.


HUGHES: Tonight, let`s stop to remember Army Second Lieutenant Peter Burks, just 26 years old from Dallas, Texas. A graduate of Texas A&M. He also loved traveling, French culture, and exchanging love letters and e- mails with bride-to-be. He also loved God and country and had a smile and personality that lit up a room. He leaves behind grieving parents Jackie (ph) and Allen (ph), three sisters, Ali (ph), Sarah (ph), and Georgia (ph), brother Zack (ph), and fiancee Melissa (ph). Peter Burks, an American hero.

Thank you to all of our guests and to you at home. It has been my pleasure spending Friday night with you. We`ll see you tomorrow night, 8:00 p.m. sharp Eastern. And until then, good night, world.