Return to Transcripts main page
Haleigh`s Mother Accuses the Dad of Physical Abuse to the Children
Aired March 18, 2009 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NANCY GRACE, HOST: Breaking news tonight, Satsuma, Florida. A 5-year- old girl tucked into bed, five hours later, she`s gone, vanished into thin air, the back door propped wide open. Dad comes home from the night to find not a single trace of little Haleigh.
Bombshell. A custody battle brewing over Haleigh`s 4-year-old little brother, Haleigh`s mother hiring a lawyer, and now her own private investigator called in to investigate the mother`s allegations of physical abuse and neglect against the father. Then why -- why -- did not one but two judges grant father Ronald Cummings custody of both children on three separate occasions? Why did DFACS come to investigate recently and go away empty-handed? Now, nearly four years later, the mom alleges abuse? Tonight, with us live, Haleigh`s mother. At this hour, police still insisting no one -- no one -- cleared as a suspect. Where is 5-year-old Florida girl Haleigh?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Haleigh has already been abducted. We`re not going to allow Junior to get hurt, no.
RONALD CUMMINGS, HALEIGH`S FATHER: I`ve been slandered into a sorry (ph) father. I took good care of my kids for three years. I had them by myself. This is not a custody battle, this is about finding my 5- year-old daughter.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are we trying to gain some unfair advantage? Is Crystal being opportunistic? No. Is she supposed to allow her other child, who has not been taken under the nose of the 17-year-old child, to be abducted or to be abused in that household?
CRYSTAL SHEFFIELD, HALEIGH`S MOTHER: I don`t feel safe with him there. I mean, my daughter`s missing. He has a 17-year-old that he is married to now. She`s a child.
MISTY CUMMINGS, RONALD`S WIFE: I would never hurt any little kid. I love Haleigh more than anything in this world. That was like my baby. They used to call me stepmom.
GRACE: Police confirm no one, including Misty Croslin, the last person to see Haleigh alive, is cleared as a suspect.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: And tonight, the desperate search for a 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` home confirmed to be Caylee, manner of death homicide. A utility meter reader stumbles on a tiny human skeleton, including a skull covered in light-colored hair, the killer duct taping and placing a heart-shaped sticker directly over the mouth, then triple-bagging little Caylee like she`s trash.
Bombshell tonight. Have cops recovered a smoking gun? Reports surface tot mom`s personal diary entries include a sideways confession to killing her own 2-year-old girl, the private entries reportedly so damming, even calling Caylee`s murder a, quote, "mercy killing," and chock full of notes on chloroform and pesticides, prosecutors now being forced to reconsider the death penalty. But will these hand-written diary and notes be admissible in tot mom`s murder one trial?
And tonight, videos from a private eye and e-mails between renowned Oak Ridge laboratory and local detectives set to go public. What do they reveal? And tonight, the owner of that heavily wooded area where Caylee`s body found bagged and discarded puts the memorial up for sale.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
GEORGE ANTHONY, CAYLEE`S GRANDFATHER: I believe that there`s -- something was dead back there. And I smell and I`m, like, Oh, my God. I think I whispered out to myself, Please don`t let this be my Caylee.
CINDY ANTHONY, CAYLEE`S GRANDMOTHER: I found my daughter`s car today, and it smells like there`s been dead body in the damn car!
(END AUDIO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And the FBI says it found, quote, "an unusually large concentration of chloroform" in the carpet sample from Casey`s trunk, where investigators found a mysterious stain.
GEORGE ANTHONY: Maybe my daughter ran over something.
CINDY ANTHONY: There was a bag of pizza for what, 12 days, in the back the car, full of maggots.
GEORGE ANTHONY: There was an overpowering smell.
CINDY ANTHONY: That smell was terrible.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There`s a man with a videocamera. That man is Jim Hoover, and that is the man saying, I have that video from the crime scene, but there was no body.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How would somebody know to go out there?
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
GEORGE ANTHONY: When I first went there to pick up that vehicle, I got within three feet of it, I could smell something.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The smell that I smelled inside that car was a smell of decomposition.
CINDY ANTHONY: I don`t know what your involvement is, sweetheart. You`re not telling me where she`s at.
CASEY ANTHONY, CAYLEE`S MOTHER: Because I don`t (DELETED) know where she`s at. Are you kidding me?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Also tonight, alert, the search for two Michigan boys believed to be in extreme danger. Does a suspicious note reveal an elaborate plot?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: An Amber Alert has been issued for a 15-year-old boy who police believe was abducted and is in serious danger. Authorities are on the lookout for Justin Wainwright and his alleged abductor, 18- year-old Joshua Zohr. Police say Wainwright was abducted sometime between Sunday night and Monday morning. Writings discovered by authorities lead them to believe the end result of the abduction could possibly be murder-suicide.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Joshua`s parents say Justin left a note behind indicating they both needed a break, to not worry for they were safe.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: According to police, Wainwright and his abductor are in a red or burgundy Pontiac Grand Prix with Michigan plates. The car was spotted early Monday morning in Dayton, Ohio, at a local rest stop. Reports say the teens may be headed to either Florida or South Carolina.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Both families say they`re gripped by worry and urge the boys to come home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Good evening. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us. Bombshell. A custody battle brewing over Haleigh`s 4-year-old little brother, Haleigh`s mother hiring a lawyer and now her own private investigator. Why are her allegations of drugs and abuse just now surfacing?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: What is your day like now, Ronald? How do you start it? How do you end it?
RONALD CUMMINGS: Kissing my son good night in the bed with me.
GRACE: Is a custody battle brewing over Haleigh`s 4-year-old little brother? Haleigh`s mother hiring a lawyer.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When a parent beats a child until the child is bloodied, that is a crime.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Haleigh`s dad`s grandma says any claims of abuse are absolute lies.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It enrages me. It really does. I`ve been around these children all their life. They`re happy. They`re loved.
SHEFFIELD: I have no reason to lie. I want my daughter back.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The father of Haleigh Cummings is defending his new wife, even though she has not kept her story straight.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One thing that has been inconsistent is, like, all right, who was with who? Who was sleeping with who? Were you with Junior? Were you with Haleigh?
GRACE: Did she tell police at any time that she was in the bed with little Haleigh?
RONALD CUMMINGS: I wasn`t there when she was questioned by police, Miss Nancy.
MISTY CUMMINGS: I didn`t do anything to that little girl. I would never hurt her. They love me. They love me. They look at me like their mom, you know? You ask little Junior, he`ll tell you.
RONALD CUMMINGS: It ain`t nothing to do with her, man. She can`t help that. She can`t help she was the last one to see her.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody`s a suspect in this case.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
RONALD CUMMINGS: Hello?
911 OPERATOR: OK, sir, let me talk to your wife. Let me just (INAUDIBLE)
RONALD CUMMINGS: (INAUDIBLE)
911 OPERATOR: Can I talk to her?
RONALD CUMMINGS: (INAUDIBLE)
911 OPERATOR: OK.
RONALD CUMMINGS: How the (DELETED) can you let my daughter get stole, (DELETED)?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Now allegations of drugs and physical abuse on the children surfacing. Why now? Why a custody battle now?
Straight out to T.J. Hart, news director at WSKY 97.3. T.J., what are the allegations? Who`s leveling them?
T.J. HART, WSKY 97.3 FM: The allegations have been made, apparently, by Crystal, that Ronald, Jr....
GRACE: Who would Crystal be? Are you referring to Crystal Sheffield...
HART: Crystal Sheffield.
GRACE: ... Haleigh`s biological mom?
HART: Yes, the biological mom.
HART: Yes, ma`am -- that Ronald, Jr., would be in a state of danger, especially since her (SIC) sister has been taken from, quote, under the nose of the caretakers, and also being in a tent (ph), and a few other allegations, as well, doesn`t believe that right now, he`s in a safe place.
GRACE: OK, I want to go to two very special guests joining us tonight on these allegations. Haleigh`s mother, Crystal Sheffield, is with us live there in Satsuma, along with her attorney, a very experienced attorney who graduated summa cum laude from Florida University. Kim Picazio is her attorney.
Straight to Ms. Sheffield. Ms. Sheffield, thank you for being with us. Where were you the night...
CRYSTAL SHEFFIELD, HALEIGH`S MOTHER: Thank you.
GRACE: ... that Haleigh went missing?
SHEFFIELD: I was in Baker County, at my home.
GRACE: How far away is that from Haleigh?
SHEFFIELD: From Haleigh`s house, an hour and 45 minutes to two hours.
GRACE: Two hours. Why did you choose to live two hours away from your daughter?
SHEFFIELD: Because when I left Ronald, I got as far as -- as far away from him as I can.
GRACE: Now, I know that you said you were unemployed at that time, so you didn`t move away for a job. Did you not feel it incumbent or necessary to stay close to your children, if you thought your children were in danger?
SHEFFIELD: At the time, I didn`t know they was in danger.
GRACE: How long did you live in the home with Ronald Cummings and the children?
SHEFFIELD: Haleigh was born in `03. Junior was born in `05. I was 19 when I left. So three years -- three years? Three or four years.
GRACE: So in four years, you did not observe any physical abuse on the children?
SHEFFIELD: No, ma`am, because when we were -- when me and Ronald was together, he had nothing to do with the children. I took -- I took care of them. I did everything. He had nothing to do with them. And then when I left, he decided he wanted to take them from me.
GRACE: So in four years, there was no physical abuse. And what year did you leave?
SHEFFIELD: In `05.
GRACE: You left in `05. That was the year that Ronald, Jr., was born?
SHEFFIELD: Yes. He was 6 months old when Ronald took the kids from me.
GRACE: When you left the home, did you take the children with you?
SHEFFIELD: Yes, I did.
GRACE: And when did Ronald get them back?
SHEFFIELD: I had the children with me. And I`m really kind-hearted person, and I didn`t have the heart to keep them from him. And I let him come pick them up, and he didn`t bring them back to me.
GRACE: When we come back, we`ll hear from Crystal Sheffield, Haleigh`s mother`s lawyer, Kim Picazio, to find out exactly what are these allegations and what, if any, is the proof backing them up, this while the search goes on for 5-year-old Haleigh.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MISTY CUMMINGS: I put her to bed at 8:00 o`clock. That`s her bedtime because she has school. She was asleep -- she was probably asleep in about 30 minutes. I was washing her blankets. I went in to her, laid her blanket over top of her, she was sleeping. And then I made my bed and got into bed. And then I woke up at about 3:00 o`clock, and I was going to the bathroom but I didn`t make to the bathroom. I noticed the kitchen light was on. And when I walked to kitchen, the back door was open.
So I run back to my bedroom to get my cell phone to call Ronald, and I noticed -- that`s when I noticed Haleigh was gone. I didn`t know what to do. I`ve never gone through anything like that before. I was very, very scared. And I just called my mom to let her know what was going on. I was just really terrified, scared.
SHEFFIELD: Her story`s changed several times. And I know my kids did love her. They told me that. And I just hope she would not have nothing to do with this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: You are seeing an exclusive interview with the girlfriend/baby- sitter-turned-teenage bride of Ronald Cummings. That`s Misty Croslin. It`s exclusive to Art Harris at Artharris.com. You can see the interview in its entirety there. Art is with us tonight.
But first, I want to go back to the attorney for the mother, the biological mother of little Haleigh, now missing over a month, who is leveling abuse charges against the biological father, Ronald Cummings. It was in his home from which the child was snatched in the middle of the night, according to the girlfriend, now wife.
To Kim Picazio, the attorney for the mother, Crystal Sheffield. Ms. Picazio, thank you for being with us. What exactly are the nature of the charges that your client is leveling against the child`s father?
KIM PICAZIO, ATTORNEY FOR HALEIGH`S MOTHER: That would be physical abuse of both children, as well as an unfit home. We have also gone to DCF and explained all of the facts that we`ve gotten from the community members who have come to us. We have checked and double-checked these facts. We felt that it has risen to the level where we needed to go to the Department of Children and Families because we felt that the welfare of the child, Junior, who remains in the Cummings household, is in danger.
GRACE: Ms. Picazio, what exactly is the nature of the alleged abuse you are claiming against Ronald Cummings on Haleigh and Junior, Ronald, Jr.?
PICAZIO: Physical abuse, child abuse.
GRACE: What, spanking, slapping, beating, locking in a closet, burning with cigarettes, what? What are you alleging? What is the specific act that Ronald Cummings allegedly did?
PICAZIO: We have, again, gone to DCF and given the specific incidents of abuse. It would be hitting, hitting in the face until bloody, hitting with sticks, hitting with belts. I could go on and on -- throwing down stairs, living in tents.
GRACE: Now -- OK, hold on. Your client has not had custody and has had very little dealings with the children ever since about 2005. Two judges on three occasions heard your client`s allegations. Never once during those times did she in a court of law, when she had the chance, tell a judge about physical abuse on the children. Why?
PICAZIO: Well, as you just heard from my client, there was not physical abuse witnessed by her during their relationship. And at the time of the hearings, she was a very young girl. She had been living in a household with Mr. Cummings, who regularly beat her. She had been given drugs by Mr. Cummings since she was a very little girl. She was alienated, the entire relationship, from her family. This person has turned her into someone who was controlled.
And at the court hearing -- I`ve gone over it again and again with Ms. Sheffield. She was sitting there with her attorney and facing Ronald Cummings, who would be gleaming (ph) at her. She felt scared. She was intimidated. And that`s essentially why she was -- she felt unable to defend herself, out of fear.
GRACE: OK. All right.
PICAZIO: She (INAUDIBLE)
GRACE: I get it. I get it. I get it. I just find it very unusual that at this juncture, when we`re in a search for little Haleigh, after all these years of living in the home -- she tells me on TV tonight that she never observed any abuse on the children. She`s waited until this time, when she has a framework in place to accept donations, that she`s now claiming abuse against the father. She had three opportunities to tell a judge. Never told them.
And Ms. Picazio, is it true that DFACS was at home in the last month and found no substantiated to these claims? They have not moved forward on these claims.
PICAZIO: Well, first of all, I don`t know why this is so confusing. We`ve just said...
GRACE: Well, because she`s just coming up with this now and she`s the one that lost custody.
PICAZIO: You didn`t let me finish. She`s just coming up with it now because she`s just stated that it had never happened, to her knowledge, before now.
SHEFFIELD: Because I took care of the children.
PICAZIO: She took care of the children...
SHEFFIELD: He had nothing to do with them.
PICAZIO: ... and the household. Hang on. And after little Haleigh went missing, we -- people came out of the woodwork to call me and my law office and to talk to people that were here with me in this town.
PICAZIO: And I`ve been here since Thursday to give us...
GRACE: Well, you know, Ms. Picazio...
PICAZIO: ... eyewitnesses...
GRACE: ... we only have a brief window for you to state your case. So you know, if you could get to the point, I would appreciate that. Isn`t it true that your client has a record for filing false reports to police? Didn`t she accuse a co-worker once of stealing her car and then admit it was just a big, fat lie?
PICAZIO: No, I don`t think that she admitted it was a big, fat lie. I think that...
GRACE: I believe police asked her...
PICAZIO: ... nothing to do with this case.
GRACE: Well, the fact that she`s already lied to police on one occasion, and if you read the police report, in a supplemental report, it states that police say, Look, did they really steal your car? She said, No. That`s charging somebody with a felony.
GRACE: I mean, that`s very disturbing.
PICAZIO: We -- and that was a crime that has already been disposed of. It has nothing to do with her household or how she treated the children. And also, I think that you`re giving a different rendition of events that actually occurred.
GRACE: Well, you know what, Ms. Picazio? You may be right. So when we come back, we`ll hear your client`s side of the story and find out. Did she lie to police, charging somebody else with a felony?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: What do you make of the potential custody battle that you`re facing on top of everything else?
RONALD CUMMINGS: I think that it`s absolutely and utterly ridiculous. All it does is take the focus off of my daughter being gone and put the focus on, Oh, let`s see who can get custody.
August the 17th, her second, birthday, is when I took physical custody of the children. And I was granted custody of the children in December of `05. And I do have the court paperwork to prove it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHEFFIELD: Haleigh, if you`re out there, Mommy loves you and your daddy loves you!
GRACE: The biological mother is now considering a custody battle.
RONALD CUMMINGS: It`s absolutely and utterly ridiculous. All it does is take the focus off of my daughter being gone and put the focus on, Oh, let`s see who can get custody.
She missed her first court date. The judge gave her "wah wah" story another try. She showed up (INAUDIBLE) up. The truth is, I was...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Tonight, with us live, Haleigh`s biological mother. Also with her, her attorney, a veteran trial lawyer, Kim Picazio. Ms. Picazio, as to the earlier incident, I have the police report in my hand. And she states to police, " Crystal then said she had, in fact, lied about the entire incident." All right, let`s hear your side, Ms. Picazio.
PICAZIO: Well, and I think that Crystal can tell it best because she was there. But I would like to preface (ph) and say I -- I can`t believe we`re talking about this when we`ve got a child missing.
GRACE: Well, I can`t believe that these allegations are just coming up now. The timing is very unusual. But if you don`t want to talk about that, I understand it.
Everybody, we are taking your calls live. With us, Kim Picazio, the attorney for the bio mom, biological mother, of little Haleigh and Ronald, Jr. We`ll be taking your calls live when we come...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MISTY CROSLIN, RONALD CUMMING`S WIFE, LAST SEEN HALEIGH: I put her to bed at 8:00. That`s her bedtime because she has school. She didn`t go to sleep. She was probably sleeping about 30 minutes. I was washing our blankets. I went to her, laid her blanket over top of her. She was sleeping. And then I made my bed and got into bed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NANCY GRACE, HOST: With us tonight, live, two very special guests. The mother of little Haleigh and Ronald Jr, Crystal Sheffield, and her attorney, a veteran trial lawyer, a family law expert in the Florida area, Kim Picazio.
Ladies, please, do not misinterpret me. I`m being harsh because I`m concerned about the timing of your allegations. However, if your allegations are, in fact, true and these children have been abused in the home of Ronald Cummings, then he should answer up to the full, the full treatment the law can provide to him.
I`m taking your calls live. Out to Ellen in New York, hi, Ellen.
ELLEN, CALLER FROM NEW YORK: Hi, Nancy, how are you?
GRACE: I`m good, dear. What`s your question?
ELLEN: I`m still loving your jewelry, by way. It looks really cute on Lucy also. I want to know why this -- the mom lost custody of the kids in the first place. And do they have anything to back up the allegations of abuse? Any pictures? Any reports from child family services?
GRACE: I got you. Ellen, I`ve asked Miss Picazio the very same question and I`m going to put it in a nutshell and she can correct me if I`m wrong. I`m totally open to correction on this. You`re the expert in this. Not me.
The mother says she missed several court dates. She did not have a lawyer. When she did have a lawyer, that lawyer failed her. She did not have transportation at that time. Says she didn`t have a driver`s license, and in a nutshell, the judge says, OK, Dad, you`ve got a job. Mom, you don`t. Your home is more unstable, so dad gets custody.
That is the story they are telling me. We also know that the child missed 12 doctor`s appointments while with the mother. Now the mother has now said that was when she was with the dad. But I`ve read the documents and in court, she admits it was when she was with the mother.
Miss Picazio, is there any other reason that we know of she lost custody originally?
KIM PICAZIO, ATTORNEY FOR HALEIGH`S MOM, ACCUSING HALEIGH`S FATHER OF ABUSE: No, I think that, you know, the doctor`s appointments were mentioned. And she did not a driver`s license, not permitted to get a driver`s license, and Ronald kept her from doing that. And as soon as she left the home, that`s when she got the driver`s license. However, she was unable to drive the children because she didn`t have a license.
GRACE: OK, now, that`s an interesting point because I thought the reason she didn`t visit the children more often is because she didn`t have a driver`s license but you`re telling me she got a driver`s license immediately upon leaving the home?
PICAZIO: It wasn`t immediately. I don`t know the exact period.
CRYSTAL SHEFFIELD, MOM OF MISSING 5-YR-OLD HALEIGH CUMMINGS: I was 20 when I got my license.
PICAZIO: 20 years old.
GRACE: OK, I want to go to the lawyers. Renee Rockwell, Alan Ripka, Alan in New York. Renee Rockwell in Atlanta.
Renee, weigh in.
RENEE ROCKWELL, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, Nancy, you know, first of all, that custody is never chiseled in stone. It can change, yearly, monthly, daily, weekly. We have a situation here where if she`s just now getting the resources to put her story forward, then she needs to go for it.
ALAN RIPKA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: At the end of the day, the question is going to be, if she knew about this abuse prior to this kidnapping, why she never came forward? Why didn`t she alert the authorities? Because child services would have went to that house and they would have done their own investigation. So the timing looks very suspicious, Nancy.
GRACE: Well, in addition, Ellen in New York wants to know what is the corroboration they`ve got. Miss Picazio, Kim Picazio, tells us that they have people coming out of woodwork, in her words, describing incidents of abuse, physical abuse, by the father on the children.
Now the mother says she never observed any of that when she lived in the home. That it only started after she left.
I want to go to Art Harris, investigative journalist who interviewed Misty Croslin in depth. You can see that full interview at www.artharris.com.
Art, I want to hear your opinion. Weigh in.
ART HARRIS, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST, ARTHARRIS.COM, INTERVIEWED MISTY CROSLIN, HALEIGH`S NEW STEPMOM: Well, Nancy, I have actually seen some photographs that, you know, were taken of the children that purport to show physical abuse and I`m going to put them up on the Web site as soon as I can get them formatted.
GRACE: When did you get those are the children?
HARRIS: Well, these are photos that Kim -- Kim was given by her client that were taken over the years after -- or during visits in her home following.
GRACE: OK. OK.
HARRIS: . with her husband.
GRACE: Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. Back to Kim Picazio. Kim Picazio, if that is true with Art Harris, and he is a well-respected journalist, if that`s true, then your client knew about this alleged abuse before now?
PICAZIO: No. She knew about the alleged abuse and she had called DCF, which is the Department of Children of Families, on numerous occasions. They were investigated. But because it`s a he said/she said, or a small bruise on the leg, for instance, they were not able to take action. And it`s a very deep burden to the Department of Children and Families have to take children in this state. Thank goodness.
GRACE: Well, they took them away from her.
PICAZIO: And so in those occasions she had called Department -- no, the Department of Children and Families did not take children away from her.
GRACE: The court did. The court did.
PICAZIO: It was a court battle.
GRACE: Yes, the court.
PICAZIO: The court showed.
GRACE: Two judges made that ruling.
PICAZIO: The court shows a better -- the court shows the most suitable environment for the children at that time. She has shared parental responsibilities of the children. At that time the court gave that to her.
PICAZIO: However, the court gave her a time-sharing plan as it does with usually fathers.
GRACE: Miss Picazio, the photos, what do they depict?
PICAZIO: They depict Haleigh with a black eye, laceration to the nose, scrapes from the cheek. They depict Junior with bruises that look like they were from a stick. Grab marks and the more heinous allegations were the ones that we have learned that Miss Sheffield did not know until this case began.
GRACE: Now when did she obtain the photo of the bruises, Miss Picazio?
PICAZIO: That was throughout the years. Each incident that she saw bruises, she had reported them to the Department of Children and Family.
GRACE: So are you telling me that she has gone to DFACS before now?
PICAZIO: Yes. Yes, on numerous occasions. So has her mother and so has Ronald, the next girlfriend that followed Miss Sheffield also called Department of Children and Families on Mr. Cummings regarding his maltreatment of the children.
GRACE: Art Harris, what else can you tell me?
HARRIS: Well, I can tell you that, certainly, Ronald would dispute that, but as far as one of the incidents, it looks like when she was -- was hit by a stick on the leg, I know that DFACS, I`m told did investigate that and found it to rise the level of natural discipline, a discipline that was, you know, within the law.
I cannot confirm other than that one incident. The other picture of Haleigh with the bruised nose and eyes, it doesn`t look good. And I don`t -- I know that that is what they have in their possession right now and plan to give DFACS.
GRACE: Marc Klaas, president and founder of KlaasKids Foundation. If these photos exist, Marc, we`ve got a big problem. This puts an entirely different light on the investigation.
MARC KLAAS, PRESIDENT AND FOUNDER, KLAASKIDS FOUNDATION: Well, yes, but what are we talking about here? You know, my heart is sinking as I listen to all of this. And what`s left of my heart, Crystal, goes out to you. Because I understand what it`s like to lose a child. And I understand the fear and the pain that one goes through during the investigation.
But this path that you`re headed upon now is a complete distraction from the point at hand. And this is something that Ron continually reminds people. Find Haleigh. Don`t take the focus off of Haleigh. And what you`re doing now, if it`s true, has a place. But that place is not to be prosecuting this guy on national TV. This is something that should be done in private.
GRACE: But wait a minute. Hold on, Marc Klaas.
GRACE: If there was physical abuse in the home, if.
GRACE: That`s a big if.
KLAAS: It sure is.
GRACE: But if there was.
KLAAS: Yes, it is.
GRACE: . doesn`t that put the disappearance of Haleigh in a different light to you?
KLAAS: I`m not going to go there. I mean, this little girl`s gone. And there`s no -- I have -- I have no expectation that Ron is involved in the disappearance of his little girl. I mean he`s been awfully consistent.
GRACE: You know what, you`re absolutely correct, Marc.
KLAAS: He`s been awfully consistent.
GRACE: You`re absolutely correct. He was at work that evening. Police have confirmed and double confirmed it. You`re right, Marc Klaas.
Mike Brooks, weigh in.
MIKE BROOKS, FMR. DC POLICE DETECTIVE SERVED ON FBI TERRORISM TASK FORCE: One of the things that still bothers me, Nancy, are the inconsistencies of Misty Croslin. The police have not -- still have not been able to put together a timeline on exactly what happened that night because of her inconsistencies. That what bothers me the most.
GRACE: You know, Mike Brooks, I don`t want to cut you off but I want to go quickly back to Art Harris before we`ve got to go to break. What was your impression after your interview with Misty Croslin, as Brooks just brought up?
HARRIS: Well, you know, when I -- I basically called (INAUDIBLE), Nancy, outside the (INAUDIBLE). She was very forthcoming. I just let her talk and she laid out this little timeline that explained a couple of, you know, details about who was in what bed, which you can see on the Web site, Artharris.com.
But you know my impression was she was forthcoming and she had some compassion, you know, inside. So I think people need to see it and compare her story there with other stories she`s told.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Casey seemingly didn`t want this child from the beginning. One of her friends told investigators that even a -- recently, she talked a lot about the fact that it was -- life was sort of a drag, having this kid.
MARK WILLIAMS, NEWS DIRECTOR, WNDB NEWSTALK 1150: There`s a friend by the name of Ryan. One day, he got a call, or at least talked to Cindy Anthony, Casey`s mother, who said stay away from her, she`s a psychopath.
LEONARD PADILLA, BOUNTY HUNTER, HELPED LOOK FOR CAYLEE & SPENT TIME WITH CASEY ANTHONY: She`s unconcerned, not because she`s a wacko, but because she knows exactly where her child is.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Court documents also quoted one of Anthony`s friends as saying, "I think something accidentally happened. Casey freaked out. I don`t know how she solved that problem but then created this story in her head."
DREW PETRIMOULX, REPORTER, WDBO RADIO: They`re actually grilling her really hard saying, look, it`s one of two things. You either killed this little girl or something bad happened to her and you`re hiding.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Straight out to Kathi Belich with WFTV. Kathi, what can you tell me about diary entries in a diary that apparently spans years? Reports surfacing that tot mom described why Caylee was killed and also detailed notes on chloroform and pesticides?
KATHI BELICH, REPORTER, WFTV, COVERING STORY: That`s right. There is a report out about those things that supposed missing pages in Casey`s diary have surfaced and that these things that you just mentioned are in those pages.
What I can tell you is, when that part of the diary was released, if there was more to be released, it probably would have been released at that time. Prosecutors wouldn`t play games with evidence and pick and choose part of the book to be released now and part of the book to be released later.
From what we understood back then, those pages were missing when investigators found that book. And that`s what they have.
GRACE: So you`re saying that there were actually pages removed from her diary?
BELICH: There were pages. You could see that pages were removed from the diary when that -- the pictures of that diary was -- were first released. You can see that pages were missing in between. And everybody was debating about whether this diary was coming from 2003 or recently because the page to the left, which seems like the earlier pages, said 2003. But there was a whole chunk of pages missing in between -- before you got.
GRACE: To Natisha Lance, our producer standing by there in Florida.
Natisha, what can you tell me? What is allegedly in the diary? What are these notes about, chloroform and pesticides, and reportedly a motive for murder? What does tot mom say about why little Caylee was murdered, if these allegations are true?
NATISHA LANCE, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER: Well, reportedly, Nancy, they are saying that this was a mercy killing. So that Casey could save Caylee from her mother, Cindy Anthony. Now none of these reports have been substantiated. But this is what this report is saying, saying that she had planned to kill Caylee and it was to save her from Cindy Anthony.
GRACE: To Dr. Joseph Deltito, professor of psychiatry. We are taking your calls live.
Dr. Deltito, is that a way to justify a murder, call it a mercy killing, that the child would be better off dead and in heaven than to live with the grandmother?
DR. JOSEPH DELTITO, PROFESSOR OF PSYCHIATRY: It wouldn`t be the first time it happened. I mean that type of story is one I`ve heard before that people convince themselves that it`s better for the kid if this happened to them.
Of course, underlyingly, psychologically in such a case, one has to have great animosity towards the grandmother and be willing to kill the child as punishment to the grandmother, not only as salvation for the child even in a perverted mind. So I think at a certain perverted logic, it does hold together and it`s a story that I`ve heard before and others like me have heard before. Variations of it.
GRACE: To Drew Petrimoulx, what more can you tell me about the diary? When was it uncovered? Where was it uncovered? And what about these reports?
PETRIMOULX: It was actually found in the Anthony home. It was released as part of discovery. It was recovered from the home when they went back to the home to serve search warrants after the remains had been found.
And there were some interesting things that were found in there that we did see. It said that she was looking to move on. And she was concerned about what had happened, hoping for a brighter future but from what we see, from the page dated, it says 2003.
Now there are some pages removed. So as Kathi was saying earlier, it sparked a whole controversy over when that was written. And it also looks like there are those pages that were cut out. So where those pages are now it`s very interesting especially since this new report comes out saying that they go all the way to the day that -- the day before and the day after Caylee was actually killed.
GRACE: To Dr. Marty Makary, physician and professor of public health at Johns Hopkins. Question, we`ve had a lot of discussion in the past few days about a paternity test, paternity test for Caylee that was taken on tot mom`s own brother Lee Anthony. How is it done?
DR. MARTY MAKARY, PHYSICIAN, PROF. OF PUBLIC HEALTH, JOHNS HOPKINS: So basically, there`s DNA from both the -- from Caylee and the potential person. And a match is performed. And you can either tell that the person is a perfect match for being the father or some distant relative. And there`s really nothing in between.
GRACE: Unleash the lawyers. Renee Rockwell, Alan Ripka. Back to the diary, if we see that swaths of the diary have been cut out, Renee, around the time the child goes missing and is murdered, not a good look for the defendant.
ROCKWELL: No, it`s not. Because as long as they can prove that it is her diary, and you have to think, first of all, Nancy, why would anybody write this down? Secondly, knowing that the investigation looms, why would she keep it? But the fact that part of it is torn out and the rest of it remains does not look good.
GRACE: OK, a couple of very plain and rudimentary observations, Alan Ripka. Why does somebody keep it? Well, if you take a look at many serial killers of the past, you see that they keep mementos of their killings. This is not unusual at all. In fact, it is predictable.
So the fact that she would keep a diary or document the killing in some way is not surprising at all. It is predictable, just like you and I might take a photo of our senior prom and keep it. Same thing here.
So Alan Ripka, why people write it down and keep these mementos, I`m not surprised at all, if it`s true. But tell me, in a nutshell, how you get this into evidence and prove that it`s her diary.
RIPKA: Well, once you prove that it`s her handwriting, Nancy, through an expert, you can get it into as an admission by her own handwriting and her own conduct. And the judge will allow it in as long as it`s probative of what went on.
He may not let things in regarding other boyfriends and other things that don`t pertain to this case. But anything that may pertain to this murder or Caylee he`s going to let in as probative information.
GRACE: Out to the lines, Kathy in Florida. Hi, Kathy.
KATHY, CALLER FROM FLORIDA: Yes, hi, Nancy, how are you?
GRACE: I`m good, dear. What`s your question?
KATHY: The twins looked like leprechauns last night.
GRACE: Thank you.
KATHY: And my question is when Casey was younger did anybody check to see if she had any psychological problems?
GRACE: OK, to Natisha Lance, any history of mental illness at all that we know of?
LANCE: None that has been substantiated but we do have reports from some of her friends who said that Casey had asked to be committed before. Also George Anthony mentioned in an interview that he did have a sister who had had some mental issues, so possibly it had skipped a generation and it had possibly affected Casey.
GRACE: Thank you for the armchair psychiatric evaluation.
Mike Brooks, what are your thoughts on the diary?
BROOKS: Well, Nancy, again, you know, is it her writing? We`ve -- that`s going to be easy to do with a handwriting expert, get exemplars from her via subpoena, and they should be able to tell, that`s important, is it hers or not.
GRACE: Two boys, possibly in extreme danger. Please help us. I want to go straight to Crystal Knight with WWJ Newsradio 950, joining us from Detroit. What happened?
CRYSTAL KNIGHT, REPORTER, WWJ NEWSRADIO 950, COVERING STORY: Well, Nancy, it started Sunday, late Sunday night or early Monday morning. That`s when the boy was discovered missing. The 15-year-old`s name is Justin Wainwright. Police believe that he was taken from his home by an 18-year-old by the name of Joshua Zohr.
The interesting thing about this, Nancy, is the parents on both sides are giving different viewpoints. The parents of Justin Wainwright, the 15-year-old, are saying that they believe his son, their son may have been manipulated into leaving with Joshua, but Joshua`s parents are saying no, their son`s a good kid, him and Justin have been friends for about four years, he would never hurt him.
So that`s where we`re standing right now. They were last seen in Ohio right around Dayton. And it`s believed that they may be headed to Florida.
GRACE: Everyone, please go to www.findjoshandjustin.com. It`s a red or burgundy Pontiac Grand Prix, Michigan license B, brother, Y, yellow, P, Peter, 1180. Last spotted 5:43 a.m. Monday at a rest stop Dayton, Ohio.
Matt Zarrell, fill me in. What happened?
MATTHEW ZARRELL, NANCY GRACE STAFFER, COVERING STORY: Well, Nancy, they believe that Justin, the 15-year-old, left a note for his parents telling them that he was going away, he needed to get away for a week. That he wasn`t taking his phone and he wasn`t going to communicate.
However, the family is concerned because he`s a minor and because he`s with the 18-year-old that he could be in serious danger.
GRACE: Everyone, I think that there`s a lot police are not telling us. These young boys considered to be in extreme danger. The tip line is 734-354-3232.
Let`s stop and remember Army Sergeant Michael Clark, 24, Sacramento, California, killed Iraq on a second tour. Lost his life days before his fifth wedding anniversary. Awarded two Army Commendation medals, Army Service ribbon, Combat Action badge.
Loved snowboarding, mountain biking. His custom victory 8 ball motorcycle and Ford Mustang. Leaves behind parents Sherry and Bradley, widow Nalini, and 4-year-old son Lucas.
Michael Clark, American hero.
Thanks to our guests, but especially to you for being with us. I`ll see you tomorrow night, 8:00 sharp Eastern, and until then, good night, friend.