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Nancy Grace

Judge Orders FLDS Nursing Mothers to Foster Care With Infants

Aired April 23, 2008 - 20:00   ET


NANCY GRACE, HOST: Tonight: The single biggest child protective bust in U.S. history after a secret and desperate phone call for help, the number of children rescued off an isolated Texas compound 437, plus 100 women hauled off by the busload from behind the walls of that remote desert compound. Headlines tonight: DNA testing complete on 400-plus children, now separated and heading to foster homes, a crime lab on wheels DNA testing every single one.
But what about all the moms and dads court-ordered to submit DNA? After more massive no-shows today, matching children to biological moms and dads looks impossible. Why are they refusing, leaving their own children in limbo? Tension mounting over fears the biological dads and moms skipping down rather than submit DNA. Tonight, the Lone Star State braces for legal battle. Was the call sparking the massive raid all a hoax? Was Sarah (ph) caught on tape?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Texas authorities raided the polygamists` compound in Eldorado after they received frantic calls from a 16-year-old girl named Sarah, who they still haven`t found. She said she was being abused and held against her will. Three days before the raid, Flora Jessop, a former member of the FLDS, who now works to rescue children of the sect, received a frantic call, too.

FLORA JESSOP, FORMER FLDS CHILD BRIDE: She told me her name was Sarah. She told me that she was beaten all the time, she was on medication, she was locked away in a basement.

How old are you now, 16?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Am I going to get in trouble?

FLORA JESSOP: No, you`re not going to get in trouble. Oh, well, if you get caught by your dad, you will, but we`ll just have to make sure you don`t get caught.


GRACE: And tonight, police on high alert for three small children kidnapped just outside their Chicago elementary school, the 6, 7 and 11- year-old in extreme danger, their mom found dead inside the family home.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Take a look at these three adorable kids, their lives shattered. We hope they`re still alive. The mother was brutally murdered. She was found in the closet of her home with a plastic bag over her head. Now, the same day, her former husband/boyfriend picked up the kids from school. They haven`t been seen since.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The latest on the search is that leads have come in to investigators, but the children, unfortunately, have not been located yet. What we know is that they were picked up from their school last Friday around 2:30 in the afternoon by their father, and they have not been seen since. There are reports they could have possibly crossed the border into Mexico.


GRACE: Good evening. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us. As we go to air, 437 children rescued from a remote Texas compound after a secret call reveals rampant child abuse and systematic forced marriage on girls as young as 13. Tonight, DNA testing complete on children now headed for foster homes. Matching children to moms and dads looks bleak after more massive no-shows today. Why are they refusing DNA tests? And tonight, a secretly recorded call from the woman who set of this massive raid, all a hoax.


FLORA JESSOP: How old are you now?


JESSOP: Sixteen? You`re never going to have to have sex with your dad again because that`s not right. You`re going to be safe.


FLORA JESSOP: I`m not going to trick you, baby. I promise I`m not going to trick you, I`m going to protect you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This young woman named Sarah who called in with the complaint -- does she exist? Do you know who this is?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We do not know who she is. I`ve never even heard of her in my entire life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you know what she is alleging, that her husband forced himself on her and beat her?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She is not alive. There is no such person.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where do you think this came from, if it did not come from someone who lived at this compound?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Someone that has once lived here and been mad and turned against. Traitor.


GRACE: Tonight, we actually have some of those phone calls on tape, the alleged Sarah that sparked this massive raid. Is it all a hoax? If so, who is this woman? Why would she do such a thing? And what does it mean for the entire case built up by the Lone Star State?

Out to Susan Roesgen, CNN correspondent standing by there at the Coliseum. First of all, Susan, tell me, did any more of the moms and dads show up to give DNA, to basically claim their children?

SUSAN ROESGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Nancy. We`ve learned that today, between 15 and 20 adults went to get that DNA testing. We don`t know the breakdown, though, Nancy, between men and women, and I would be very curious to know how many of that 15 to 20 or so that came were men because we know that 95 women who were in the Coliseum here behind me with their children, they got DNA tested when the kids did, but I don`t know yet how many men have been tested.

GRACE: So Susan, I mean, no offense to that number, 15 to 20, but 175 people were ordered to come give DNA to try to match up kids to parents. In addition to that 175 under court order, there have been newspaper ads and advertisements to say, Any of you that have had your children taken, come in and give DNA. So there are many, many more people that 15 to 20 that need to be coming in to give an oral swab.

ROESGEN: That`s what one would think, Nancy. Where they are, why they haven`t come, we just don`t know.

GRACE: We are taking your calls live tonight. Out to the lines. Brenda in Arkansas. Hi, Brenda.


GRACE: Hi, dear. What`s your...


GRACE: Thank you. What`s your question?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What I want to know, if the women leave the compound now and their husbands behind, will they get their children back, or have they lost them for good?

GRACE: Excellent question. To Paul Anthony, reporter with "The San Angelo Standard Times." Paul, if the women leave now, can they get their kids back now? And what`s to ensure they won`t take the kids and run off with them?

PAUL ANTHONY, "SAN ANGELO STANDARD TIMES": Well, Nancy, legally, you know, the mothers don`t have custody of their children now, even if they`re staying with them. So if they left, the legal status doesn`t really change. They`re still going to have to fight the courts, like everyone else.

What we learned today is that the mothers of the nursing infants up to 1 year old will get to stay with their children and be placed into foster care with their children. But other than that, all these other mothers, and you know, the fathers, obviously, are all going to be taken away from their children within the next few days.

GRACE: Out to a special guest joining us tonight. Stacey Brosnan is with us. She`s a lactation expert and also a certified nurse and midwife. And for those of you that are not familiar with CNMs, that means she has a nursing degree or more, plus a degree in normal spontaneous vaginal deliveries. She delivers babies and has gone to go to learn to do that.

Stacey, there have been legal motions, never seen anything like it, asking for mothers who are breast-feeding to be able to be with their children. Paul Anthony has just revealed that that has been allowed in certain cases. But the reality is, even if they`re not with their children, they can pump, right?

STACEY BROSNAN, LACTATION EXPERT: Yes. Yes. Absolutely, Nancy. And I`m glad, actually, that that decision to separate the mothers and the babies under 6 -- you know, over 6 weeks was reversed because it`s very important to keep those mothers and nursing babies together.


BROSNAN: Well, you know, you`d be interrupting a biological process that`s time-tested. Those babies need the immunological properties of breast milk. They need the nutritional...

GRACE: Are you referring...


GRACE: --colostrum?

BROSNAN: No, colostrum`s only in the first couple of days.

GRACE: Right.

BROSNAN: But breast milk, you know, continues to provide immunological benefits to a baby in the first year of life. And the American Academy of Pediatrics insists, actually, that mothers breast-feed their infants for the first year because of those nutritional and immunological benefits.

GRACE: Now, back to you, Paul Anthony, joining us, with "The San Angelo Standard Times." Paul, doesn`t this apply to children 1 year and under?

ANTHONY: Right, just the children 1 year and under. There`s 18 mothers who have children that are that young, that are potentially nursing. The judge today told Child Protective Services here that she did want those mothers to be placed with the children. That was not what CPS had planned to do. The judge kind of overruled them without making an official order, but basically said she wanted those children to be placed with their mothers.

GRACE: OK. Very quickly, Susan Roesgen, CNN correspondent also joining us there in San Angelo -- Susan, in a nutshell, why have the mothers been separated from the children to start with?

ROESGEN: Because child abuse investigators here in this case, Nancy, are afraid that the mothers might coach those children, might talk to them about this case, might encourage them to lie about the case. They just don`t believe that the mothers will be entirely honest with their children or will encourage their children to be honest, and that could affect the outcome of any child abuse criminal case.

GRACE: So the reality is, Susan Roesgen, allowing mothers who are breast-feeding to be around their children -- you don`t have to worry about a little baby being coached what to say in court. So this in no way is going to harm the state`s case.

And to Paul Anthony with "The San Angelo Standard Times." The fact is, the authorities had been given reason to believe the children are being coached to lie. The parents have lied. They won`t say who`s their kid, who`s not their kid. They won`t give their last name, birth certificates, specifics about who they are or which ones are their children. So obviously, they`ve got to be separated from the children.

ANTHONY: Well, that`s certainly the argument that CPS has used. Obviously, they also fear kind of the indoctrination angle. As long as these kids are together with their parents, there`s -- they believe that this, you know, pattern of abuse -- and obviously, in most normal cases, if this was one or two children in one family, those parents would have never -- you know, they wouldn`t have seen their children yet from when they were taken out of the household. So this is obviously an unusual situation all the way around.

GRACE: Let`s move over to the possibility that this phone call, this single and seemingly desperate secret phone call claiming abuse by an underage girl behind these compound walls -- was the call a hoax? We have obtained some phone calls secretly recorded that may be the so-called Sarah. Take a listen.


FLORA JESSOP: Well, how old are you now?



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Am I going to get in trouble?

FLORA JESSOP: No, you`re not going to get in trouble. Oh, well, if you get caught by your dad, you will, but we`ll just have to make sure you don`t get caught.

You`re never going to have to have sex with your dad again because that`s not right. I mean, you`re going to be safe.


FLORA JESSOP: I`m not going to trick you, baby. I promise, I`m not going to trick you. I`m going to protect you.

Remember how you told me that your dad hurt your mom, too, sometimes?


Did I say too much?

FLORA JESSOP: You didn`t say too much, baby. I know you`re scared. I know you`re scared. And I`m not going to trick you. I`m not going to trick you, OK?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Will anybody know about me?

FLORA JESSOP: No, baby, nobody will know. Just me and Jessica (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What about the picture?

FLORA JESSOP: Nobody has to even see the picture. We`ll just give it to the people at the shelter.


GRACE: Yes, the whole thing was a hoax. The state of Texas is in a lot of trouble. Will it be the end of the case? Probably not. I`ve got in my hand right here an arrest warrant for Rozita Swinton. In this case, Susan Roesgen -- this is out of Colorado -- she claimed to be a minor named Dana (ph), once again claiming that she was being beaten and sexually abused. Who is this woman, Susan?

BREMNER: Well, you know, detectives think that she is someone who`s possibly fascinated with the FLDS. That previous call that she was arrested on, this misdemeanor charge of making an erroneous phone call, was actually to the Colorado City compound of Warren Jeffs. So detectives believe she has a history of doing this. The Texas Rangers said they found some materials in her apartment linking her in some way to the FLDS.

So one wonders, Nancy, whether she`s just a person who`s fascinated with this culture and decided, for whatever reason, to pretend to be someone she wasn`t. We know that she works for an insurance company. She is not married. We don`t know where she is right now. We don`t know if she`s represented by a lawyer right now. We have CNN`s correspondent Gary Tuchman out in Colorado Springs, Colorado, looking for her, chasing down this case. So we may find out some more interesting details in the days to come.

GRACE: Were there any tips that she was not -- that Sarah was not a real FLDS member?

ROESGEN: You know, not that I`ve heard, Nancy. But you have to remember, she apparently made the first call 40 minutes long. How does a 33-year-old woman pretend to be a 16-year-old, if this is, indeed, what happened, for 40 minutes? And also, she`s an African-American woman and she`s pretending to be a white woman on a racist white compound. That`s pretty gutsy, if she pulled that off.

GRACE: Well, if it is her, she definitely deserves an Oscar nomination, Susan Roesgen.

I want to go out to Mike Brooks, former fed with the FBI. Do we know if her calls have been traced? Can we trace any of her calls to the shelter?

MIKE BROOKS, FORMER D.C. POLICE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Yes, they`ve been able to trace -- the FBI, along with the Colorado authorities, have traced 28 calls made to the Snohomish County shelter for battered women in Washington state, Nancy, as well as 16 calls to the New Bridge family shelter in San Angelo, Texas.

But Nancy, she has a history of making reports to the police going back to 2005. She just pled guilty in June of 2007 and was on a deferred 12-month sentence right now. I mean, this woman needs to find a new hobby, or she needs to get the help that she really does need.

GRACE: Wait. Pled guilty to what, Mike?

BROOKS: She pled guilty to making false -- to false reporting, just as she`s been doing here.

GRACE: The very same type of activity.

BROOKS: Absolutely.

GRACE: We are taking your calls live. Very quickly, to Caryn Stark. What kind of a nut job would do something like this?

CARYN STARK, PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, Nancy, I would suspect that this is a person that actually does feel trapped in her life, and so instead, she takes on this fantasy of being one of these kids and wants the attention of the police. Something is wrong and something has happened to her. That (INAUDIBLE) pretty sure of.

GRACE: Now, Caryn, I don`t have a degree in psychology like you do, but I know something is wrong. I can tell you something is very wrong.

And I`m going to go to the lawyers now, Renee Rockwell, Jason Oshins. What will this do to the case for the state of Texas? They have now taken 437 children, 100 women off by the busload. They`re DNA testing them. They`re in foster homes. And it all was sparked by this phone call. Renee?

RENEE ROCKWELL, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Nancy, it`s a hoax, but the case still stands because the law enforcement has the argument they were acting in good faith. So the case absolutely stands.

GRACE: And to you, Jason Oshins. What about the legal theory of inevitable discovery?

JASON OSHINS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, certainly, you have that, I mean, obviously. But what formed the basis of all this? Was it reasonable for them to believe that this woman was actually reporting on what actually -- you know, what was really going on, or could they reasonably come up with the idea that it was fabricated? That`s really the salient issue.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I became aware of an injustice of tearing my children from their mother, along with my friends, and come down to do all in my power to seek justice.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Will anybody know about me?

FLORA JESSOP: No, baby, nobody will know. Just me and Jessica.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What about the picture?

FLORA JESSOP: Nobody else will even see the picture. We`ll just give it to the people at the shelter.


GRACE: Was the call that sparked this massive raid all a hoax? What, if anything, will it mean to the case for the state of Texas?

Out to the lines. Angela in California. Hi, Angela.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. I love your show.

GRACE: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have a question. Can there be an arrest warrant for Mr. Jessop because he is the new leader of that compound that was assigned by Warren Jeffs?

GRACE: Let`s go straight to Carolyn Jessop joining us, former FLDS child bride and author of "Escape." What about a warrant on Jessop? Think it would work?

CAROLYN JESSOP, FORMER WIFE OF FLDS LEADER MERRILL JESSOP: Yes, Nancy, I think that it will work, if they can prove that he was responsible for these girls having, you know, relationships at an early age that they shouldn`t have been allowed to have.

GRACE: Any talk of a warrant on Jessop, Susan Roesgen?

ROESGEN: Not at the moment. We understand that they used to call him out here Uncle Merrill, Merrill Jessop, and that he is one of the Warren Jeffs lieutenants who has risen to power since Jeffs has been put away in prison. But no talk of any arrest warrant against him.

GRACE: To Carolyn Jessop. What do you know about him? What can you tell us?

CAROLYN JESSOP: Well, I know that he`s a very controlling man, down to minute details. He rewards people who will tell on others. I mean, when I lived in his home for 17 years, it was like living in a police state. He also has a very cruel side to him. He has a personality that can be quite charismatic, but underneath, he can be very evil.

GRACE: In what sense?

CAROLYN JESSOP: Just very cruel. I mean, he would pit his wives against each other until we were nearly ready to kill each other. He was very vicious with the children, with the different abuses that he did, emotional, psychological, physical, everything.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ma`am, could I have your name, please?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My name is Marie (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Could you give me your last name?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I won`t give you my last name.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t understand. Why won`t you tell me your last names?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) we just want our children back.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did I say too much?

FLORA JESSOP: You didn`t say too much, baby. I know you`re scared. I know you`re scared, and I`m not going to trick you. I`m not going to trick you, OK?


GRACE: Was the call that sparked the massive raid of a Texas compound taking off 437 children based on a hoax?

I want to go back to Carolyn Jessop, former FLDS child bride and now author. You said the children within the FLDS suffer physical and emotional abuse. Like what?

CAROLYN JESSOP: Well, it was just a way of life when I grew up. Violence was just as common as the sun coming up in the morning. And you know, for an infant, they would use water torture, holding of the infant face up under a tap of cold running water, to when a child gets older, it`s just a lot of spankings, whippings, not allowing them to eat, making them work excess hours, just a lot of...


CAROLYN JESSOP: ... violence as a way of life.

GRACE: Why? Why?

CAROLYN JESSOP: When you have a society that`s so controlling, the method that the FLDS used was to control with fear. And you create that fear with physical pain.

GRACE: Carolyn, what do they teach the cult members about outsiders, like me or our viewers?

CAROLYN JESSOP: I was taught as a child that anyone who was not a member of the work of God was what we called a gentile, or if they had left the work of God, they`re an apostate, and we looked at them as agents of the devil who wanted to destroy us because we were God`s children. And we were taught to be terrified of the outside world. If somebody drove into the community, we were sent to run and hide. We`d have to get off the streets or in the house. It was -- it was just -- we lived in fear.





F. JESSOP: 16?

UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: Am I going to get in trouble?

F. JESSOP: No, you`re not going to get in trouble. Oh, well, if you get caught by your dad, you will, but we`ll just have to make sure you don`t get caught. You`re never going to have to have sex with your dad again because that`s not right. You are going to be safe.


F. JESSOP: I`m not going to trick you, baby. I promise I`m not going to trick you. I`m going to protect you. Remember how you told me that your dad hurt your mom, too, sometimes?

UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: Yes. Did I say too much?

F. JESSOP: You didn`t say too much, baby. I know you`re scared. I know you`re scared, and I`m not going to trick you. I`m not going to trick you. OK?

UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: Will anybody else know about me?

F. JESSOP: No, baby. Nobody will know. Just me and Jessica.

UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: What about the picture?

F. JESSOP: Nobody has to even see the picture. We`ll just give it to the people at the shelter.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Texas authorities are done. They finished taking DNA samples from the children seized in a polygamous ranch. They`re still working to get samples from all the adults so they can identify biological parents of each child. State welfare workers are moving the kids to temporary foster care. All 437 are expected to be in group homes by the end of the week. Some members of the polygamous sect accused authorities of taking their children hostage.


GRACE: You know, it`s inconceivable to many of us that these moms and dads are not going in to give a DNA sample in order to reclaim, ultimately, their own biological children.

In fact, Dr. Lawrence Kobilinsky with us, forensic scientist, it`s a very simple procedure.

DR. LAWRENCE KOBILINSKY, FORENSIC SCIENTIST: It`s quite simple. Cheek swabs are taken, the DNA is extracted and submitted to DNA testing. And it`s quite simple to establish both maternity and paternity to establish the biological parents.

I think the one issue here that we have to worry about is what happens when one of the parents is missing. In other words, we don`t have the complete contingent of individuals involved. That could pose a real dilemma because this is a very big puzzle, and if you`re missing some of the pieces, you`ll never put it all together.

GRACE: But even if you`re missing, for instance, the dad, you can still figure out who`s the mom.

KOBILINSKY: Indeed you can. Maternity only requires the mother and the father, and enough testing will resolve that issue. There`s no question about that. The issue, I think, that`s very critical is: are some of the mothers determined to be under the age of 16, where consent can no longer be given. That would pose some real issues, legal issues, of course.

GRACE: Whoa, whoa, consent can no longer be given for what?

KOBILINSKY: Well, you know, you can`t have sex with somebody under the age of 16.


KOBILINSKY: And so rape charges may follow. There are legal aspects here.

GRACE: So, are you saying -- let me translate, that if they give this DNA to determine paternity, it can be used against them in criminal court?

KOBILINSKY: I believe so, yes.

GRACE: Yes, yes. That`s why many of the moms and dads, Susan Roesgen, are apparently skipping town. What do we know about that?

SUSAN ROESGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that`s what we`ve heard that that could be one reason, Nancy. But also we`ve heard from the attorneys that there are a couple other reasons why they may not be voluntarily obeying this order to go and be tested. And that`s, first of all, that they believe it`s invasive, it goes against their religion and they shouldn`t have to pay attention to the laws of the U.S. government or the state of Texas. So they basically they don`t want to do it.

GRACE: Oh, but they will certainly cash our welfare checks. Have you looked -- Susan, have you looked at your pay stub? Do you ever wonder where all that money is going to? Well, it`s going out to that compound.

OK. So they`ll take our money, but they don`t want to submit to our laws.

ROESGEN: That`s one reason, they say, Nancy. The other is that they believe that this test will not be done to reunite them with their children, as the Child Protective Services folks say, but instead they will be used to separate them. Now whether that means they`ll be separated because there`s some criminal activity going on or not, I don`t know, but they say that they`re afraid it`s going to be used against them.

So they`re terrified and some of them are going to be savvy, some of them are smart. I mean, Nancy, there are commuters on that ranch, there were telephones on that ranch, televisions, and yet you have to believe that some of the women, at least, didn`t get to see that stuff and they do believe this junk about the outside world is evil. So they could be very well afraid.

GRACE: Joining me is Jack Downey, the president and CEO of The Children`s Shelter where some of the FLDS children will be sent.

Mr. Downey, thank you for being with us.


GRACE: Mr. Downey, what, if any, special preparations have you made for these children? This is quite a culture shock.

DOWNEY: Well, the staff of The Children`s Shelter has trained very hard over the years to care for abused and neglected children. But in this special case, we anticipate these children have probably lived in even a higher state of anxiety than the normal children that we see being removed from their homes because of abuse and neglect.

So we`ve reviewed Dr. Bruce Perry`s book. He was the head psychiatrist with the Branch Davidian children. We have staff out at Eldorado helping care for the children. They have come back and have talked with all of our child care providers in the emergency shelters so that they are prepared to work with these children and provide them the safe care and serenity that they so obviously need.

GRACE: Need desperately, Mr. Downey. And isn`t it true, Jack Downey, that you have had your facility, not only change the menus for these children, but actually remove certain colors and toys from the facility. Why?

DOWNEY: The Child Protective Services has done a good job, in my estimation, of providing us with information that they have available to them about the children`s expectations, cultural expectations. One is that they eat a very healthy diet, healthier than any of us, probably. And so we had dietitians come in and help us revamp our menus to make them even more healthier and to meet the requirements of the children from Eldorado.

We also went through and took out the color red. That is a color that they associate with certain things. So rather than talk to them about that, we just removed the color so that we would not excite them.

GRACE: You removed the color red, is that what you said?

DOWNEY: I did, yes.

GRACE: And what do they associate with red?

DOWNEY: It`s not real clear. What they -- it`s either with their founder, Joseph Smith, or it`s with Satan. And we`re not real clear.

GRACE: I`m betting on Satan.

DOWNEY: I would too, yes.

GRACE: Because, you know, now that you mention that, Mr. Downey, if you look at all of these people, all this video, not one single person is wearing red.

DOWNEY: Well, that`s correct.

GRACE: Not one.

DOWNEY: And the Branch Dividians considered red a color that they had to be afraid of and not use. So I anticipate that it`s probably the same philosophy.

GRACE: Mr. Downey, you`ve really, really got your hands full and a lot of people are praying for, not only you, but all the other facilities and their supervisors that are taking these kids in. The children must be completely overwhelmed.

I want to go back to Carolyn Jessop, former FLDS child bride and now author. What are the children -- what were you forced to believe or told to believe about outsiders?

CAROLYN JESSOP, FMR. WIFE OF YFZ LEADER MERRILL JESSOP: Well, just that they were agents of the devil and that they wanted to hurt us. And that the devil would not be able to do his work in the last days if he was not able to destroy the children of God.

GRACE: And Carolyn, you were about 18, as I recall, at the time you married a man 38 years older than you. What -- did you ever think, I don`t have to do this, I can leave?

C. JESSOP: No. He was 32 years older than me, but, no, I did not think that I could leave, and I didn`t think that I didn`t have to do it. I mean, part of it is, where do I run to, who do I go to? I didn`t know anyone from the outside, and I was terrified of the outside world. And the other element was, it would have brought so much disgrace on my father`s family and subjected them to so much ridicule in the community if I would have rebelled against the prophet`s will that in many cases..

GRACE: Whoa, who`s the prophet?

C. JESSOP: At the time that I got married, it was Leroy Johnson. But -- very often, you submit to things to protect your family and to protect people you care about.

GRACE: OK. I`m so confused about something, Carolyn. And I`ve done a lot of study on it. The FLDS says they`re Christian, but they don`t celebrate or recognize Easter? How can that be?

C. JESSOP: Well, actually, they do. And it`s not really around Easter, but it`s around that time of year, and that`s actually their New Year`s. They believe that that is when God`s new year actually is, and it`s not the new year that the world celebrates. And that that was also the birth and the resurrection of Christ.


Everyone, to case alert. The search for a TV superstar reportedly vanishing into thin air. Twenty-year-old "That`s So Raven" star Orlando Brown last seen Tuesday leaving his manager`s home, headed to a 7/11 in Studio City, California. Brown missing a full day of meetings. His friends and family can`t find him. If you have information, contact 646- 330-900 or e-mail

And when we come back, Chicago Police, FBI on high alert, three small children kidnapped from their elementary school. Their mom found dead in the family home.

ANNOUNCER: NANCY GRACE brought to you by.




UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Chicago Police have issued an AMBER Alert for these three missing children. They say 6-year-old Oscar Casanova, 7-year- old Karla Casanova, and 11-year-old Fernando Casanova have not been seen since Friday. Their mother, Sofia Garcia, was found dead with a plastic bag over her head Monday on the northwest side of the Chicago in her home. Investigators say they`re looking for the father of the two of the children, 32-year-old Benito Casanova. They say he hasn`t been charged with any wrongdoing, but they`d like very much to speak with him.


GRACE: Three children apparently picked up from school after (INAUDIBLE). Their mom found dead in their home.

To Eben Brown, investigative reporter with Metro Networks, what`s the latest?

EBEN BROWN, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, METRO NETWORKS: We have a murdered mother, and three kids believed to be taken by their father and possibly en route or already in Mexico.

GRACE: Tell me the circumstances -- out to Ofelia Casillas. She`s a child welfare reporter with the "Chicago Tribune." How were these kids released to someone with a restraining order against him?

OFELIA CASILLAS, CHILD WELFARE REPORTER, THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE: School officials are telling us that they were not aware of the order of protection. However, child welfare officials say that it`s a regular part of their investigation to notify the school in cases such as this.

GRACE: You know, it`s really interesting, all day long, we tried to get in touch with the local de fact just before we go to air, we hear back, stating it`s part of our standard procedure, SOP, to contact the school. But we can`t tell you whether we did or we didn`t. We can tell you we were investigating the suspect on a previous child welfare case in 2007. We`ll definitely release that sensitive information. But we can`t tell you whether we alerted the school or not.

Now, something stinks, Ofelia.

CASILLAS: Well, what child welfare officials are telling us yesterday that as part of their regular procedure, they contact the school, they inform the school of their investigations, and they were investigating Mr. Benito -- Mr. Casanova for neglect. So it would have been a part of their investigation if they followed their protocol to notify the school. And they were able to confirm yesterday to us that they did in fact follow their procedure in this case.

GRACE: So they actually stated they did call the school because the school says they didn`t know about the restraining order. That basically means anybody can come pick your kids up from school.

CASILLAS: That`s correct.

GRACE: Well, that`s a fine kettle of fish.

To Dr. Joshua Perper. You know Dr. Perper, he is a chief medical examiner joining us out of Miami, Florida. Dr. Perper, thank you for being with us. I`ve got a couple of questions for you about the death of the mother. She was found hanged. She also had a plastic bag over her head. But the cause of death was massive blows to the head. Why?

DR. JOSHUA PERPER, MEDICAL EXAMINER, AUTHOR OF "WHEN TO CALL THE DOCTOR": Well, because, obviously, they found evidence of severe blunt force trauma, which means that the knife had been broken, the knife had been bleeding inside the head. But I don`t think that they could have excluded the possibility that the hanging was also a contributory cause of death. And there are signs of asphyxia, which may be recognized. Perhaps such signs were not present, because, obviously, the very crucial question whether the asphyxia due to hanging and the plastic bag contributed or not to the death.

GRACE: Or what it may boil down to, Caryn Stark, is that after these, and I quote, "cranial cerebral injuries," he then went to the trouble of hanging her and putting a plastic bag over her head. Thoughts?

CARYN STARK, PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, that`s extreme aggression, Nancy. Here`s somebody who really wanted to take it out on his victim, after all he had to do is kill her, just do anything to kill her and he didn`t have to continue. So when you have that kind of rage, it`s really a sign that you are incredibly angry.

GRACE: Out to Mark Klass, president of Beyond Missing. Mark, it`s been many, many hours now since the children went missing. What does that mean?

MARC KLAAS, PRES., BEYOND MISSING, DAUGHTER POLLY WAS ABDUCTED & KILLED: Well, you know, these statistics have been bandied around your show and many others many times, that within -- the children that are murdered as a result of any kind of abduction are dead within three hours. And this individual has indicated that he`s perfectly capable of murdering somebody close to him. So this is a very critical issue and all efforts have to be made to recover those children as quickly as is humanly possible, Nancy.

GRACE: This woman had a protective order against the suspect Fernando Casanova -- excuse me, Benito Casanova -- Fernando is one of the children. The three children, Fernando, Karla and Oscar, all three missing.

Out to the lines, Brett in Kansas. Hi, Brett.

BRETT, TEXAS RESIDENT: Hi, Nancy. (INAUDIBLE) and keep those pictures coming, OK?

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

BRETT: Well, I wanted to know, has he ever had a history, the father, of activity? Does he have a criminal record? And also, has CPS ever been involved with this family in the past?

GRACE: I know there`s a 2007 incidence of child welfare being involved. What do we know, Eben, does he have a criminal history?

BROWN: Don`t know about a criminal history. We do know about Child Protection Services or whatever it`s called in the state of Illinois being involved with this before. In fact, they did confirm that they were investigating certain complaints made against him, specifically to deal with neglect. But that is pretty much as far as they`ve disclosed anything.

GRACE: To Vivian in California. Hi, Vivian.

VIVIAN, CALIFORNIA RESIDENT: Hi, Nancy. We love you very much over here.

GRACE: Thank you.

VIVIAN: I am -- I`m a school secretary in California. And I`m very - - what is the law there in Chicago? Because we are so strict in our school district, if a woman comes to me and says, hey, you know what, I want my husband -- he can`t pick up the children anymore, I want to see -- I want to see everything. I want the paperwork, I want it from court, we flag a red flag on our emergency contact cards, only those people on the cards can pick up the children. We put it into the computer. We`re all over it. I don`t understand.

GRACE: What about it, Ofelia? What is the law there regarding schools, especially when they know there`s a temporary protective order?

CASILLAS: Well, I`m not sure what the law is, but I can tell you that the practice, at least from informally talking to different people around the newsroom is that, it depends on the school. There are some schools that are very careful and track where kids are leaving and there`s other schools that are not.


GRACE: Out to the lawyers. Renee Rockwell, Jason Oshins.

Renee Rockwell, if this guy is headed to Mexico, if he`s got family there, he`ll never face the death penalty, why?

RENEE ROCKWEELL, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You know why, Nancy, because they don`t believe in it there, and only will they extradite him if they agree to take the death penalty off the table.

GRACE: You know, Jason, my concern is that there`s really no Border Patrol for people going into Mexico. That`s not really recorded.

JASON OSHINS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, listen, those border agents are well prepared to look for bulletins, and they`re pretty accurate at it. They`ve done it in the past, so we have to have hope for them.

GRACE: Oh, like Cesar Laurean and the pregnant Marine.

Mike Brooks, weigh in.

MIKE BROOKS, FMR. DC POLICE DETECTIVE SERVED ON FBI TERRORISM TASK FORCE: You know, he picked up the kids on Friday, they found her dead on Monday, that`s a long -- that`s a lot of lead time, but when you`re dragging three kids state -- through all these states, 6, 7, 11 years old, that takes a long time. Maybe they all go to the bathroom at the same time, Nancy. Hopefully, they`re still in the United States, they will find these people, but there`s a very good possibility, a very good possibility, Nancy, they`re already in Mexico.

GRACE: You know what, though, Caryn Stark, remember Shasta and Dillon Groene? They were taken out of their home, the whole family wiped out, they were right there in town. They were there at a local Denny`s or something when they were caught on video, or 7/11. Do you really think people aren`t going to notice these three kids and do anything about it?

STARK: Not if they can spot them, Nancy, but the fear is that he`s taken them far away, or are they even alive. After all, he killed their mother.

GRACE: Everyone, let`s stop, let`s stop and remember Army Captain Thomas Casey, 32, Albuquerque, New Mexico, killed, Iraq. On a second tour, a grad of University of Mexico, loved foreign languages, soccer, working out, swimming, leaves behind parents, John and Patricia, widow Leslie, 3- year-old son Joseph and 1-year-old baby boy Michael.

Thomas Casey, American hero.

Thank you to our guests, but especially to you for being with us. And tonight, a special good night from Atlanta friend of the show, Linda.

Everyone, I`ll see you tomorrow night, 8:00 sharp, Eastern. And until then, good night, friend.