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Nancy Grace

Search for Florida 5-Year-Old Missing From Own Bed

Aired February 11, 2009 - 20:00   ET


NANCY GRACE, HOST: Breaking news tonight, Satsuma, Florida. A 5- year-old girl tucked into bed, five hours later, she vanishes into thin air, gone, the back door propped wide open. Tonight, the search by land, by air, by water for 5-year-old Haleigh Cummings. And just released, the stunning 911 call. We have the call, that call from the father hysterical. He comes home from the night shift to find his little girl gone.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just woke up, and my back door was all open and I can`t find our daughter.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This pastor and these friends and family are afraid this is just the beginning, praying it`s not, but preparing for if it is. Haleigh`s dad, Ronald Cummings, says he was working the night shift early this morning and came home around 3:00 AM to this house on Green (ph) Lane in the Hermit`s (ph) Cove area of Satsuma. He tell us the back door was open and Haleigh was missing from her bed, so he called 911.


RONALD CUMMINGS, FATHER: I just got home from work, my 5-year-old daughter is gone. I need somebody to be here now, I`m telling you.


911 OPERATOR: Listen to me. Listen to me. We`ve got two officers...

CUMMINGS: If I find whoever has my daughter before y`all do, I`m killing him. I don`t care. I`ll spend the rest of my life in prison, I`m telling you. You can put it on the report, and I don`t care.

911 OPERATOR: OK. It`s OK, sir. We`ve got them on the way. OK, can you give me any -- what kind of description of her pajamas that she was wearing?

CUMMINGS: I don`t (DELETED) know! I was at work!

911 OPERATOR: OK, sir, we`ve got them coming, OK?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just want whoever`s got her to bring her home. That`s all I want is my baby home!

CUMMINGS: I think we got four or five counties` police officers looking for her now, dogs, bloodhounds, K-9s. We can`t find her nowhere. Helicopters. Somebody has her. They have her hidden. I just want my daughter back. That`s it. That`s all I want.


GRACE: Tonight, every minute counts in the search for Haleigh. Her father is joining us live.

Breaking news tonight in the desperate search for a beautiful 2-year- old Florida girl, Caylee. Six months of searching culminates when skeletal remains found in a heavily wooded area just 15 houses from the Anthonys` confirmed to be Caylee, manner of death homicide, the little girl`s remains completely skeletonized. This after a utility meter reader stumbles on a garbage bag containing a tiny human skeleton, including a skull covered in light-colored hair. The killer duct tapes the child`s mouth, then finishes off by placing a child`s heart-shaped sticker over the duct tape, little Caylee`s tiny skeleton double-bagged like she`s trash.

Bombshell tonight. As we go to air, local WKMG confirms Caylee has been cremated. This is after the Anthonys` lawyer denied it. Why? Little Caylee`s cremation in direct opposition to the tot mom`s wishes, Caylee`s ashes reportedly not even kept at the Anthony home because of safety concerns.

And have fingerprints been identified on duct tape over Caylee`s mouth? Will duct tape fingerprints be the direct link to tot mom? And how can her team defend against fingerprints? This after tot mom chooses not to watch Caylee`s memorial on TV, instead meeting with her lawyer. And what do investigators make of brother Lee`s secret coded message to tot mom from the memorial pulpit? The sheriff orders all jailhouse visits recorded of the tot mom, but is a private jailhouse memorial out of the camera`s eye in the works?



CASEY ANTHONY, CAYLEE`S MOTHER: Oh, man. I don`t want to start crying.

LEE ANTHONY: No, I don`t, either.

CMA, I miss you! I love you. I need you to know this. I will never forget the promise that I made to you!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lee Anthony, at yesterday`s public memorial for little Caylee, and at this point, using the initials CMA. And we believe he`s -- well, he could be referring to Casey.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Anthony family attorney, Brad Conway, is telling us for the first time tonight confirming that Caylee was cremated within the last few days. He tells us, quote, "Casey made it clear that she did not want Caylee`s remains to be cremated. This is a decision the family made to protect Caylee. This was a hard choice for them."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some day, I want to go and visit her grave and tell her how much I miss her.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re hearing there likely won`t be a marked headstone, like Casey wants, because George and Cindy are afraid someone may vandalize it.

CASEY ANTHONY: Come on! I`m so beyond frustrated with all of this that I can`t even swallow right now, it hurts.


GRACE: Good evening. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us. How -- how -- could a 5-year-old Florida girl vanish from her own bed, a bed she was sharing that night with her baby-sitter and her 4-year- old brother?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Haleigh`s dad, Ronald Cummings, says he was working the night shift early Tuesday morning and he came home to find his daughter missing.

CUMMINGS: Gave me a hug and a kiss (INAUDIBLE) told me she loved me, she`d see me when I got home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She`s a daddy`s girl.

CUMMINGS: She wasn`t there when I got home!


911 OPERATOR: OK. When did you last see her?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We just, like -- you know, it was about 10:00 o`clock. She was sleeping (INAUDIBLE)

911 OPERATOR: OK. How old is your daughter?



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Haleigh was sleeping in the bedroom with her 2- year-old brother and her dad`s 17-year-old girlfriend, who says she didn`t wake up or hear anything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s not like that baby just disappeared out of thin air.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why is why Putnam County deputies are combing the area. Even though there was no sign of forced entry, investigators believe Haleigh`s disappearance is an abduction.


911 OPERATOR: All right. You said your back door was wide open?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, with a brick. Like, there was a brick on the floor. Like, when I went to sleep, the door was not like that.


CUMMINGS: I know somebody took my little girl! I`m sorry! Piece of trash that will be wasted when it`s all over!


GRACE: How could this little girl just vanish into thin air out of her own bed? The father, working the night shift, comes home to find his baby girl is gone.

I want to go straight to him, everyone. The tip line, 386-329-0808 -- 386-329-386-329-0808. Let me remind you that every minute counts. Every minute that she has been gone counts. One minute could save her life.

With me right now, the father of little Haleigh, Ronald Cummings, is with us. Mr. Cummings, you and your family are in so many prayers across the country right now. Please tell us what happened when you got home from work that night. I believe it was around 3:00 AM.

CUMMINGS: Actually, it was about 3:25, 3:27.


CUMMINGS: And I pulled into the yard, and my girlfriend opened the front door, and I already knew something was wrong because she`s not up at this time. She told me -- I said, What are you doing up at this time? She said, Your back door`s wide open and your daughter`s gone.

GRACE: What is her description -- what scenario took place?

CUMMINGS: She got out of bed and went to use the restroom and came back to find that my daughter was not in bed with her.

GRACE: OK, what time did...

CUMMINGS: And the back door was wide open and she was -- and she was gone.

GRACE: Ronald, what time did she put Haleigh to bed?

CUMMINGS: She puts them to bed every night at 8:00 o`clock.

GRACE: At 8:00 o`clock. When she put...


GRACE: When she put her to bed at 8:00 o`clock, did she also put to bed the little 4-year-old boy?

CUMMINGS: Yes, she did.

GRACE: OK. What time did she go to bed?

CUMMINGS: Approximately 10:30, 11:00.

GRACE: At 10:30, 11:00. At that time, was little Haleigh in the bed asleep with the brother?


GRACE: And they all slept together in the same bed, correct?


GRACE: So sometime between 11:00 PM and 3:30 AM, Haleigh goes missing. Now, did she call 911?

CUMMINGS: No, she did not, not until after I was there. She tried to call me, but I was pulling in the driveway. So I asked her how come she was trying to call me, she needed to call 911. So she immediately called them then.

GRACE: And where does the biological mother live, Ronald? Ronald, where does the mom live? OK, I think somehow -- I think I`ve lost his connection. Liz, see if you can bring Ronald back up. Ronald, where does the mother...

CUMMINGS: I got you. I got you.

GRACE: OK. Good. Everyone, Ronald Cummings is joining us there at the command center in Satsuma, Florida. Mr. Cummings, where does Haleigh`s mother live?

CUMMINGS: In Baker County, in Glenn St. Mary (ph).

GRACE: What is that, about 150 miles away?

CUMMINGS: I would say approximately 90 to 100.

GRACE: Now, have you and your girlfriend both taken a polygraph, right?

CUMMINGS: Yes, I have. Passed it with flying colors. Yes, she has. Passed hers.

GRACE: And you volunteered to do that and you`ve been cooperating with police, right?

CUMMINGS: Yes. Why not? I don`t have anything to hide. I just want my daughter back. Anything that`s going to help them eliminate more people, that`s the best thing.

GRACE: Exactly. Mr. Cummings, you said the door was propped open. Describe to me what you saw when you got home.

CUMMINGS: I came in the house and immediately checked all the bedrooms, the bathroom, everywhere, just to be sure, and walked to the back door, it was wide open. As I walked out the back door, the screen door was propped open with a cinderblock.

GRACE: Everyone, joining me from Satsuma, Florida, is Mr. Ronald Cummings. He was at work as usual when his daughter goes missing. Take a listen to this 911 call.


911 OPERATOR: What does she look like? How tall is she? Give me some description of her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She has, like -- like, long hair, curly, like, curls.

911 OPERATOR: Long curled. What color?


911 OPERATOR: OK. What color hair?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She`s got brown hair.

911 OPERATOR: OK. Brown hair?


911 OPERATOR: OK. How tall is she, about? Or how much does she weigh? Do you know that?





UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And if anybody around here that knows me has got my granddaughter, bring her home. Just bring her to my house and drop her off. You know where I live. Just bring her home. Just bring her back to us. She`s my sixth generation grandchild, grandbaby, and we want her back. Just bring her back to us. She`s our heart. She`s my first baby from my first baby. I want her back. Please bring her home. Bring her to somebody. Drop her off somewhere and call 911. Somebody`ll pick her up.



911 OPERATOR: OK, listen to me. I`m getting this information. I`m not the officer driving out there, OK?


911 OPERATOR: They`re coming out there to handle that situation. I need to gather all her information from you over the phone.


911 OPERATOR: It has nothing to do with me driving out there. The officers are taking care of that, OK? They`re coming out there, OK?


911 OPERATOR: OK. I`m going to stay on the phone with you, OK...


911 OPERATOR: ... until they get there, all right? Tell him we`ve got them coming. He needs to try to calm down a little bit, OK? The officers are going to come out there and do what they can. We can`t have him screaming and yelling at the officers whenever they get there, OK?

911 OPERATOR: OK, was your back door locked do you know?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. The back door always stays locked.

FATHER: I need somebody (INAUDIBLE)

911 OPERATOR: OK, let me speak to her (INAUDIBLE)

CUMMINGS: I just got home from work, my 5-year-old daughter is gone. I need somebody to be here now, I`m telling you.

911 OPERATOR: Listen to me. Listen to me. We`ve got two officers...

CUMMINGS: If I find whoever has my daughter before y`all do, I`m killing him. I don`t care. I`ll spend the rest of my life in prison, I`m telling you. You can put it on the report, and I don`t care.

911 OPERATOR: OK. It`s OK, sir. We`ve got them on the way. OK, can you give me any -- what kind of description of her pajamas that she was wearing?

CUMMINGS: I don`t (DELETED) know! I was at work!

911 OPERATOR: OK, sir, we`ve got them coming, OK?


GRACE: A 5-year-old Satsuma, Florida, girl vanishes out of the bed she was sharing with her baby-sitter and her 4-year-old brother. Tonight, the father is with us -- he has just passed a polygraph test -- begging for your help. We are taking your calls live.

Back to Ronald Cummings, the father of 5-year-old Haleigh. Mr. Cummings, was the bedroom door open when they went to sleep?

CUMMINGS: Yes, it was.

GRACE: And what kind of a...

CUMMINGS: Yes, it was.

GRACE: OK. And what kind of a lock do you have on your door, the one that was propped open with a cinder block?

CUMMINGS: It`s just a little plastic lock on a -- just a regular screen door plastic lock.

GRACE: Do you know where the cinderblock came from that was propping the door open?

CUMMINGS: Don`t have a clue. I don`t mess with none of that, so I don`t know. I very rarely am in the back yard at all unless I`m washing my car. So it could have came from around my shed. I`m renting. I don`t know if the previous renters had it or what, but I`ve never seen it, I don`t believe.

GRACE: So to your knowledge, you`ve never seen it.

CUMMINGS: Not that I believe. I mean, I may be mistaken and have seen it before, but I know it wasn`t where it`s at now.

GRACE: Joining me right now, Natisha Lance. She`s standing by there at the Satsuma command center. Natisha, what can you tell me?

NATISHA LANCE, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER: Well, Nancy, just as you said, this started late Monday morning. At 3:00 o`clock in the morning, this little girl goes missing. Now, law enforcement has been very heavily involved from the very beginning since the time this little girl went missing. They`ve had helicopters up in the air. They`ve had boats in the water using sonar equipment to look for her. There was a scent that was found that was at the edge of this waterway, which is not too far away from the home.

Now, police have been looking in that waterway. They also have had helicopters up in the air. Eight agencies are involved. A hundred and fifty law enforcement officers were out there the first day. Fifty law enforcement officers are out there today. And these officers are saying that they are pledged to finding this little girl and bringing her home.

GRACE: Back to the father of 5-year-old Haleigh, Ronald Cummings, joining us from the command center. Ronald, the dogs picked up some sort of scent near the water. How far away is that from your home?

CUMMINGS: I don`t know, five or six, eight blocks, somewhere in there. Between five and eight blocks.

GRACE: And has Haleigh ever sleepwalked or left the home in the night before?

CUMMINGS: No way, never. She`s afraid of the dark.

GRACE: And Ronald, I don`t see a 5-year-old little girl picking up a cinderblock and propping the door open. That`s just not going to happen.


GRACE: To Joy Purdy standing by there at the command center, reporter with WTLV. Joy, what more can you tell me about her disappearance? I`ve confirmed with Ronald Cummings that he has volunteered and passed a polygraph. What about the girlfriend that was in the bed with the little girl when she goes missing?

JOY PURDY, WTLV: It`s very interesting, Nancy. We have not seen the girlfriend at all today. Police tell us they did interview her thoroughly and that she`s now with family and friends recovering. Look, she`s 17 years old and has been through this traumatic experience. They say that she`s doing fine, under the circumstances.

There are a couple of other interesting points that came out today from the police. One is that -- and you`ll be interested to hear this -- in this five-mile radius of the home, there are 44 registered sex offenders in the area. There`s only 5,300 people in this town of Satsuma, 44 registered sex offenders. So you can imagine police have gone to them or are planning to go to them and find out their whereabouts when little Haleigh disappeared.

Also, you talked about it a little while ago with Ron, the polygraph - - they`re using them on many different people, not just him, other family members, other members of the community. They`re using them at will. The FBI is assisting.

GRACE: And listen, Joy, it ain`t over yet. Remember Jessie Lunsford, not far from there, Homosassa, Florida? She was taken by a registered sex offender. The family came under suspicion, of course, because she was taken from the home in the middle of the night, very similar to this. She was alive for quite a period of time after her abduction.

Out to Marc Klaas, president and founder of Klaas Kids Foundation. Marc, help me.

MARC KLAAS, KLAAS KIDS FOUNDATION: Well, the comparisons to the Lunsford case are absolutely eerie and very well made. And one would hope that they have learned the lessons of the Lunsford case. And from everything that I`ve heard, law enforcement has responded rather magnificently in this by bringing in a multi-jurisdictional task force that absolutely knows what they do, by bringing in the various -- the various search teams that are professionally trained, know exactly what they`re doing.

I think the father, Ron -- I think you`re doing a marvelous job by cooperating with law enforcement, by giving them all the information they need, by taking the polygraph and passing it and eliminating yourself. And you understand now that the important thing is to keep eliminating the various possibilities until law enforcement can hone in on exactly that happened.

So, my brother, I would ask you to stay strong and continue to do what you`re doing.

GRACE: With me, a special guest, Sheriff Jeff Hardy with the Putnam County sheriff`s office. Sheriff, thank you for being with us. Sheriff, what`s your plan how to deal with these registered sex offenders in the area? It is a tall order, Sheriff.

SHERIFF JEFF HARDY, PUTNAM COUNTY: Nancy, thank you for letting us be here. It is a tall order. We do have 44 registered sex offenders within a five-air-mile radius, and we`re in the process now of making contact with all of them. We have agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the FBI and our investigators are making contact with all of them.

GRACE: And Sheriff, remember, the dirtbag in the Lunsford case was just visiting and he was a sex offender.



911 OPERATOR: OK, sir, let me talk to your wife. Let me get some information from her.


911 OPERATOR: Can I talk to her?



GRACE: A little 5-year-old Florida girl needs your help. She vanishes out of her own bed she was sharing with the baby-sitter and 4- year-old brother, her father at work on the night shift. He`s with us tonight.

Very quickly, back to the sheriff in Putnam County, Sheriff Jeff Hardy. Sheriff, you are even doing an infrared search. Explain.

HARDY: Well, ma`am, we have done infrared searches using aircraft to look at all our wooded areas, our waterways. We`ve actually brought some equipment in to do sonar searches in our river. It`s been pretty extensive.

GRACE: And what did they find on the sonar search?

HARDY That`s the problem, Nancy. We haven`t come up with anything right yet.


CUMMINGS: Somebody stole my child out of my bed. I come home from work and my child was not there.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, the back door always stays locked.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need somebody to get here now.

UNIDENTIFIED 911 DISPATCHER: OK, let me to speak to him so.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, yes, yes, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just got home from work, my 5-year-old daughter is gone.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I need somebody to be here now. I`m telling you.

UNIDENTIFIED 911 DISPATCHER: Listen to me, listen to me. We got two officers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If I find whoever has my daughter before you all do I`m killing him. I don`t care. I`ll spend the rest of my life in prison.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m telling you. You can put it on recording, I don`t care.

UNIDENTIFIED 911 DISPATCHER: OK. It`s OK, sir. We`ve got them on the way. OK? Can you give me any -- what kind of description of her pajamas that she was wearing?


UNIDENTIFIED 911 DISPATCHER: OK, sir. We got them coming, OK?


UNIDENTIFIED 911 DISPATCHER: OK, sir, let me talk to you wife. Let me get some information from her.




UNIDENTIFIED 911 DISPATCHER: OK, listen to me. I need you to answer some questions. Does the door look like it was pried open?


UNIDENTIFIED 911 DISPATCHER: Does it look like you had some sort of someone try to enter into your house?


UNIDENTIFIED 911 DISPATCHER: And another thing, make sure you and your husband don`t touch the door anymore. Don`t mess with the door or anything.


UNIDENTIFIED 911 DISPATCHER: It doesn`t look like it is?


UNIDENTIFIED 911 DISPATCHER: OK. Now listen, tell your husband not to touch anything, make sure.


UNIDENTIFIED 911 DISPATCHER: Because we`re going to try and get a canine out there, OK?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. She said don`t touch anything because they are bringing a canine out here.


NANCY GRACE, HOST: I can`t even imagine going home tonight, after this show, and finding my children gone. When Ronald Cummings got home from the night shift, 3:27, 3:30 a.m., his 5-year-old girl Haleigh, there she is on the screen, gone. She was put to bed around 8:00 p.m., everything was fine. She was seen in bed around 11:00 p.m. By 3:30, totally vanished. The 4-year-old brother still asleep in the bed where he had been beside her.

With me is Ronald Cummings, Haleigh`s father.

Mr. Cummings, about the back door, am I correct that you never -- you rarely used the back door that was propped open?

RONALD CUMMINGS, FATHER OF MISSING 5-YR-OLD HALEIGH CUMMINGS: Yes, you are correct. I`ve used it twice to pull the vacuum cleaner down the handicap ramp and vacuum my car with it. And, yes, I did relock the door when I came in. And I checked to be sure that it is still locked every afternoon before I go to work.

GRACE: I want to go back to the sheriff, Sheriff Jeff Hardy.

Sheriff Hardy, I`m sure that you`ve already canvassed the neighborhood, spoken to the neighbors. What did they have to say?

SHERIFF JEFF HARDY, PUTNAM CO. SHERIFF`S OFFICE, ON LOCATION AT COMMAND CENTER: Nancy, we have canvassed this area considerably, again, by ground, by air and by water. And this community has been extremely helpful in wanting to, of course, to find Haleigh. And as you can see, probably behind me, this community has actually opened up their homes and their doors to help feed the numerous law enforcement personnel that we have out here. And this community has had -- been very responsive to trying to locate her.

GRACE: Well, Sheriff, I`m glad to hear that because I keep thinking about the Jessie Lunsford case and she was being held alive catty cornered from her grandparent`s home and police did a cursory search, didn`t see her, little did they know the registered sex offender on the run had her hidden in the bedroom closet, alive. Alive when the cops came there.

Sheriff Hardy, you stated that dogs had hit near water. Has the child ever been down to the water with adult supervision? What do you make of them hitting near the water?

HARDY: Nancy, the -- we had several bloodhounds that went ahead and did several different tracks. They did track down towards the water area. We don`t know, you know. These bloodhounds can track scent for several days. Their noses are very astute. And so as far as tracking Haleigh all the way down to the water, that -- we`re uncertain about whether or not that Haleigh ended up in the water.

GRACE: You know, that would be a very, very unlikely scenario.

Sergeant Scott Haines -- also joining us from Pensacola, Florida, for her to -- on her own walk out the back door, stick a cinder block to prop it open and go all eight blocks down to the water`s edge. I don`t see it. I don`t think that`s what happened.

SGT. SCOTT HAINES, SHERIFF`S OFFICER, SANTA ROSA COUNTY, FL.: I don`t see it either, especially when the father said his young child is afraid of the dark. No girl is going to leave that secure zone of her home in the middle of the night, walk out that door into darkness without the comfort of the girlfriend that was there with her. She`s just not going to do it. It`s not going to happen.

GRACE: Back to WTLV`s Joy Purdy. Joy, I assume everything has been fingerprinted and processed already. That`s done, right?

JOY PURDY, REPORTER, CNN AFFILIATE WTLV, COVERING STORY: It is. But police tell us they are going to retrace their steps two and three times just to be sure. And it`s very interesting. I`m listening to the conversation that you`re having with the sheriff, a lot of our sources out here are telling us they spent quite a bit of time at the water, that there were divers in the water, boats out there.

I`m very interested to know why so much attention there, number one. Number two, Caylee, according to the family members, told us that -- I`m sorry, Haleigh`s family members told me that she was very afraid of the water because there was a scare a couple of years ago where she fell into a nearby creek. She had to be rescued, resuscitated. So she doesn`t even want to go anywhere near the water.

GRACE: We`re taking your calls live. Out to Linda in Florida, hi, Linda.

LINDA, FROM FLORIDA: Hi there, Nancy. First of all, I want to say your twins are the greatest little gift from God and you`re just a wonderful, wonderful person.

GRACE: Thank you.

LINDA: Thanks for being our champion and our hero. I want to tell you that.

GRACE: I don`t deserve that but the twins are a miracle. They`re a miracle. And just listening to Ronald Cummings on his 911 call is just heart breaking. I can`t imagine going home and finding -- you know, because they`re asleep by the time I get home, finding their cribs empty? I just can`t imagine.

What was your question, dear?

LINDA: My question is, all three of them were in the bed together. It just amazes me to think that -- I know being a mother myself, if someone comes into the room, I sense this. And -- but on the child`s part, if a child is picked up when they are dead asleep, they normally have a reaction. It`s a gasp, a whatever, unless they know the person.

GRACE: To Dr. Caryn Stark, psychologist, I -- understand where Linda is coming from, but I think it would depend on the child. Sometimes when you wake a child up, they sleep straight through it. I have fed John David a bottle, and I think he slept through the whole thing before. He ate a whole bottle asleep.

CARYN STARK, PSYCHOLOGIST: And there`s no doubt that she could have been sleeping and also perhaps maybe she was even -- you know, he held his hand over her mouth. You never know what really happened in that situation. But she could have been sleeping. It is, however, Nancy, highly unlikely that she just wandered off, not at 5 years old.

GRACE: No. No. Unleash the lawyers, John Burris, high profile lawyer out of San Francisco, Michael Mazzariello, defense attorney and host of "Closing Arguments," WGNY here in New York.

Thank you, gentlemen, for being with us.

John Burris, I know that you always look at the family first. Why? Because statistically they`re usually responsible for disappearances and even deaths, much less, you know, physical injury. But this dad has passed a polygraph. It could be verified where he was. After that Jessie Lunsford case, never say never. It is entirely possible for someone to come into the home, undetected and leave.

JOHN BURRIS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Obviously, that`s true. And I think you`re right about the dad. I mean everything I hear about him certainly seems very sincere. I don`t want to throw water on any of this, but I will tell you that it`s so improbable that it could have happened that way. You do must rule out his girlfriend. You have to rule that out.

Now if she passed a polygraph, that`s fine. But until she does, it seems to me that the police have to focus in on her and ask her questions to find out -- because this is so difficult to happen, given all that we know, that -- so I just think that you still have to be suspicious of family members for now.

GRACE: I think you`re right. Michael Mazzariello, Maz, I don`t want to project that especially -- I`m always a light sleeper, but especially since I had the twins, I can hear them down the hall when they cough. So it`s hard for me to imagine not noticing a child gets picked up out of the bed and taken out. But it`s not impossible.

MICHAEL MAZZARIELLO, DEFENSE ATTORNEY, HOST OF "CLOSING ARGUMENTS": Absolutely not. We know it`s not impossible. Look at that little girl in Florida, like you mentioned before, Jessica. They came into her house, took her in the middle of the night, it`s not impossible. They ruled out the girlfriend, they`re ruling out -- they ruled out the father. They took tests. Let`s get on with it and look for the.

GRACE: Everyone.

MAZZARIELLO: . perverts and pedophile houses and check them out.

GRACE: Tip line, 386-329-0808. A $25,000 reward from Leonard Padilla, a $1,000 reward from CrimeStoppers.

We`re going to break. We`ll be back, taking your calls live. And as we go to break, a special happy birthday and thank you to a star Orlando cameraman, Ric.

Ric, happy birthday.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m going to (EXPLETIVE DELETED) kill somebody.

UNIDENTIFIED 911 DISPATCHER: OK. Well, tell him we understand. We need to get her date of birth.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What`s her date of birth?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (EXPLETIVE DELETED) we need to find her. What`s her date of birth?




GEORGE ANTHONY, CAYLEE ANTHONY`S GRANDFATHER: I hope that I am the one that actually taught her "You are My Sunshine." She was my sunshine. I have a locket right now with me and it has "My Sunshine, My Caylee" on it. And when that was placed on me just a few days ago, the warmth inside of me, I felt her, not only every day, but I really felt her more and more.


GRACE: On the heels of yesterday`s memorial, nearly 2,000 people in attendance, we learn that little Caylee`s remains have been cremated for several days. This after the Anthony lawyer denies that.

Out to Adam Longo with WKMG, Adam, what`s the latest?

ADAM LONGO, REPORTER, CNN AFFILIATE WKMG, COVERING STORY: Right, Nancy. Well, we have confirmed through two different sources tonight that little Caylee was, in fact, cremated just within the past several days. The Anthony family attorney confirming that to me tonight and also we were the first to get our hands on little Caylee`s death certificate.

Apparently the authorization to have her cremated came down on the 31st of December. Basically in order to perform a cremation in Florida, the medical examiner has to give their permission. That`s what happened at the end of December.

Now we talked about the statement from Jose Baez -- Casey Anthony`s statement through Jose Baez on Monday where it was clear -- made clear that Casey did not want her daughter to be cremated. And I asked the Anthony family attorney that, I said was the family just ignoring her wishes and that -- was certainly, according to him, something that was not done to spite Casey.

The reason this was done, according to him, was to keep the remains safe. They are telling us the remains are not in the East Orange County home. They feel like that they want to keep Caylee safe and that the remains would be a target for vandals. And they felt like if there was a tombstone in a graveyard that that might be subject to vandalism and they`re saying that if the remains, the cremated remains were actually in the Anthony home, they`re afraid that somebody would try to break into the house, Nancy, and steal them.

GRACE: Adam -- with us is WKMG`s Adam Longo. So you`re telling me the medical examiner released the remains for cremation back in December.

LONGO: Actually before that because the remains were at the funeral home when they had to ask permission to have the remains cremated. They got that permission on the 31st. The remains were cleared from the medical examiner`s office sometime prior to December 31st.

GRACE: OK. Adam, it`s my understanding that since the mother, although she`s charged with a murder, is still the closest relative, she would have to be the one to make that decision.

LONGO: Yes. But what we also learned tonight, Nancy, is that she signed a limited power of attorney, giving her parents the rights to be able to deal with -- I know that`s not the best choice of words -- but to deal with, to manage the remains of that funeral home.

GRACE: To Drew Petrimoulx with WDBO -- Drew, what can you tell me about the sheriff giving the jail an order to videotape every one of the tot mom`s visits with friend and family and now the family or the tot mom wants to get out from the camera`s eye to have a jailhouse memorial? Is that happening?

DREW PETRIMOULX, REPORTER, WDBO RADIO, COVERING STORY: It`s still in the works. We`ve heard from the attorney for the Anthony family, for George and Cindy, Brad Conway. He said this is something that he`s looking into.

Normally video visitations aren`t something that are recorded and then released to the public. The only reason why these are released to the public and recorded is because it`s such a high profile case and that they are still collecting evidence. And they -- when these video visitations take place, they want to see what they`re talking about.

The sheriff`s office is the one who makes this decision. And they said that they are considering and they would may -- possibly entertain the idea of letting them have one private meeting. Of course, it would still be over video. It wouldn`t be something where they can meet face to face.

GRACE: To Leonard Padilla, the bounty hunter who helped look exhaustively for Caylee -- Leonard, what are your sources telling you?


GRACE: I can hear you. Do we have Padilla?

PADILLA: You can hear me?

GRACE: Yes, I got you. Leonard.

PADILLA: I can hear you. I can hear you.

GRACE: Good to know.

Leonard, what do you know, if anything, about sources reporting fingerprints were lifted off the duct tape?

PADILLA: I heard this morning that there were fingerprints and that the prints are Casey`s on the duct tape.

GRACE: To Adam -- to Adam Longo with WKMG, Adam, we`re, of course, referring to the duct tape across Caylee`s mouth. Her hair had to be cut to get the duct tape from around her face. Do you know anything about fingerprints off the duct tape?

LONGO: Yes, I`ve got to be honest with you, Nancy, that is not something that I have delved into today at all. You`ve had my colleague on, Jessica D`Onofrio, before and she`s the one who really has her hands in a lot of these forensic instances in this case, but that is not something that I`ve dealt with at all today.

GRACE: So, Adam that tells me it hasn`t been made public yet if you don`t know about it.

LONGO: Yes, there are many things that haven`t been made public. I mean we know that there are forensic reports that have been completed but we haven`t seen them because they haven`t been turned over in the course of discovery.

GRACE: To Dr. Joshua Perper, renowned medical examiner out of Broward County, author of "When to Call the doctor." Dr. Perper, who has the right to authorize a cremation?

DR. JOSHUA PERPER, MEDICAL EXAMINER, AUTHOR OF "WHEN TO CALL THE DOCTOR": Well, first the family has to request the cremation to the funeral director. The medical examiner then has to make a determination whether all the evidence has been taken from the body and there is no need for additional investigation. And if he`s making such determination, then the body is released for cremation.

GRACE: Dr. Perper, since this case has not gone to trial yet, do you believe it`s a mistake to cremate the body?

PERPER: No, because in this particular case there were a small number of bones and they didn`t show any evidence of damage. So there was no reason, no reasonable explanation why those bones should be maintained by the medical examiner.

GRACE: Caryn Stark, we know gravesites such as JonBenet Ramsey, even Anna Nicole Smith, have not been violated in any way.

Why are the Anthonys afraid Caylee`s gravesite would be desecrated?

STARK: It doesn`t make a lot of sense, Nancy. I really don`t understand it.

GRACE: But they did get 150 death threats, though, Caryn.

STARK: Yes, well, they`re right there making sure also that they`re right in the public`s attention so -- I don`t know, Nancy. I just can`t imagine that that would happen.

GRACE: Out to the lines, Sheila, Ohio. Hi, Sheila.

SHEILA, FROM OHIO: Hi, how are you, Nancy?

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

SHEILA: I wanted to know -- I have another question, but I think I`m going to ask this one instead about Lee. Do you think maybe when Casey was out on bond, the way her and Lee were inseparable like they were that maybe she told him something and that`s what all that CMA and the promise and call out was about?

GRACE: Good question.

Leonard Padilla, you watched both of them interact. What do you think?

PADILLA: I believe so. I believe there could have been conversations about the child as far back as July the 3rd when Cindy had Lee go looking for Casey.

GRACE: Got it.

PADILLA: And definitely, there was lots of conversations in the home while she was out on those 10 days with bail. There`s.

GRACE: To Michael -- go ahead.

PADILLA: No, no, that`s OK. I`d be sticking my neck out.


LEE ANTHONY, CASEY ANTHONY`S BROTHER: Today is the day for this family to unite and display their solidarity and strength. I`ve got to tell you, it is hard to stand up here and be the pillar of strength.


GRACE: We are taking your calls. Out to Ana in Texas, hi, Ana.

ANA, FROM TEXAS: Hi, Nancy, I love your show.

GRACE: Thank you.

ANA: I had a question about the fingerprints on the duct tape.


ANA: If they are Casey Anthony`s, is there any way that her lawyers can defend that?

GRACE: To John Burris and Michael Mazzariello -- what about it, Burris?

BURRIS: I think you can defend it. It means, obviously, she had some contact, but it doesn`t go to the question of what level of homicide this is. Because this -- the tape and all could happen after the homicide, it doesn`t mean.

GRACE: Put Burris up, I`ve got to see his face when he said that.

BURRIS: No, no, I`m telling you that the issue here is still what degree of homicide this is. The fact that it was covered up later, that`s a different question.

GRACE: OK, got it.

BURRIS: But that doesn`t go to the.

GRACE: Got it. So, Maz, Burris` theory would be, yes, I duct taped my child`s mouth, but it was after she died accidentally. How far do you think that will fly?

MAZZARIELLO: Not far at all. But the -- the only thing you have with that, Nancy, is whether or not she had access and touched that duct tape before. But.

GRACE: No, Maz. No, you don`t touch the inside of duct tape and wrap it back up.

MAZZARIELLO: That`s exactly what I was.


MAZZARIELLO: That`s exactly what I was going to say, Nancy.

GRACE: Yes, it didn`t sound like.

MAZZARIELLO: The criminal defense attorney, the top would be OK, but now how do you explain opening it and having your fingerprints on the adhesive side?

GRACE: Yes, that`s my question to you, Maz. You`re the defense lawyer, not me.

MAZZARIELLO: Well, that`s a tough one, Nancy. Would have to say that she had access to it, she used it before.


MAZZARIELLO: She cut it and her fingerprint was at the end where she finished cutting it. That`s what you got, Nancy.

GRACE: Yes, you know what, you`re right, that`s what they got.

Everybody, I want to stop and remember Army Staff Sergeant Kennith Mayne, 29, Arvada, Colorado, killed Iraq on a second tour. Lost his life two hours after speaking with his mom. Requested everyone wear Hawaiian shirts to his funeral.

Loved golfing, fishing, handing out hot wheels, soccer balls, coloring books to Iraqi children, favorite song, "Cheeseburger in Paradise." Dreamed of going to Jamaica with parents. Leaves behind mom Michelle, step-dad Dan, five sisters, two brothers.

Kennith Mayne, American hero.

Thanks to our guests, but especially to you for being with us. I`ll see you tomorrow 8:00 sharp Eastern. And until then, good night, friend.