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Yale Lab Technician Named Person of Interest in Le Murder
Aired September 16, 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. Live to Connecticut and the sudden disappearance of a gorgeous young Ivy League doctoral student just before she`s set to walk down the aisle, the 24-year-old`s beauty last spotted on grainy surveillance video walking into a Yale research building. A false fire alarm mysteriously goes off in the building. People rush out. Annie Le is never seen again. At nearly the exact hour Le set to walk down the aisle -- wedding dress on a hanger in the closet, flowers ordered -- the girl`s body found stuffed in a wall there in a Yale University research building, bloody clothes found high over investigators` heads, hidden behind ceiling tiles.
Bombshell tonight. In the last hours, police storm the tiny apartment of a 24-year-old Yale lab technician, Raymond Clark. Clark, in handcuffs escorted to police headquarters for questioning, spends his workdays in the research basement cleaning cages, cages that house experimental mice. Multiple search warrants, 250 pieces of evidence, DNA samples, Clark`s Ford Mustang, all seized as evidence.
As we go to air, we learn Le`s official cause of death, traumatic asphyxiation due to neck compression, Le brutally strangled to death. But tonight, 24-year-old Raymond Clark walks free from police headquarters. That`s right, he is free, free to go back to the tiny apartment he shares with his fiancee and three cats. Why? With a community and a university reeling, a family grieving and a young groom left at the altar with a broken heart, we want justice for 24-year-old bride-to-be Annie Le.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A judge did sign a search warrant for the resident of 40 Ferry Street, Apartment 1-A, in Middletown. That`s the residence of a Raymond Clark, who`s an employee at Yale University.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He cleaned the cages, the mice -- the mouse cages, did custodial type work, a variety of that type of work.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A Yale lab technician in custody today in connection with the murder of Yale grad student Annie Le.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is a person of interest. We`ll take samples of his hair and we`ll take a saliva sample from him, scrape his fingernails.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We saw Raymond Clark being led out of his home in Middletown, Connecticut, in handcuffs, this as police issued a search warrant on his apartment. And also, police offered (ph) a search warrant on him, essentially, to take that DNA evidence, evidence that was taken from saliva, from hair, from fingernails.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have, at this point, looked at about 700 hours` worth of video. We`ve interviewed over 150 people. Some we`ve interviewed a second time. We have approximately 250 seized items now. If we have one match on a person that we know was at that location, we will be going for an arrest warrant.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The medical examiner says she was strangled, traumatic asphyxia.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: And breaking news tonight, Satsuma, Florida. A 5-year-old little girl tucked into bed. Five hours later, she is gone, vanished, the back door propped wide open. Daddy comes home from the night shift to find not a trace of little Haleigh. Tonight, the brother of girlfriend-turned- new stepmother Misty Croslin behind bars.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
911 OPERATOR: 911. What is your emergency?
MISTY CROSLIN, HALEIGH`S BABY-SITTER/STEPMOTHER: I just -- I just woke up, and our back door was all open, and I can`t find my daughter.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: New details emerge in the case of missing Florida girl Haleigh Cummings. The brother of stepmom-slash-baby-sitter Misty Croslin has been arrested for theft. Tommy Croslin was arrested Tuesday, accused of stealing a neighbor`s handgun. Tommy Croslin met with investigators last month after his sister, Misty Croslin, reportedly failed a polygraph and voice stress test.
CROSLIN: If people think that I had something to do with it -- if I had something to do with it, I knew where she was, we wouldn`t be sitting here today. We would have her!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Meanwhile, Misty Croslin`s sister-in-law, Chelsea Croslin, says she doesn`t believe Misty has enough book smarts to fool investigators. Chelsea Croslin told Fox affiliate WAWS...
CHELSEA CROSLIN, MISTY`S SISTER-IN-LAW: She doesn`t have that much of book smarts to be able to fool the FBI and the FDLE and every other person that came there and talked to her and interrogated her for hours and hours.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Misty Croslin`s own mother says she believes her daughter, Misty, knows more about what happened to Haleigh than she`s admitting. Lisa (ph) Croslin told Fox affiliate WOFL...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Deep down in my heart, yes, I think my daughter is holding something back. I think they both are holding something back. That`s just in my heart.
GRACE: Now that you have been told, whether you accept it or not, that your wife has flunked a poly, have you asked her what happened?
RONALD CUMMINGS, HALEIGH`S FATHER: I asked her, but I don`t get any answers from her.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Good evening. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us. At almost the exact hour gorgeous young Ivy League graduate student Annie Le set to walk down the aisle -- wedding dress on the hanger in the closet, flowers ordered -- the girl`s body found stuffed in a wall there at a Yale University research building. In the last hours, police storm the tiny apartment of a 24-year-old Yale lab technician, Raymond Clark. But tonight, Clark walks free.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Police are calling this man that you see here, Raymond Clark, a lab technician at the university, a person of interest, and he is being forced to give DNA samples to investigators. Clark was taken from his apartment in handcuffs.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The basis of the investigation now is really on the physical evidence.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We know where Mr. Clark is at, at all times.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Police are taking Clark`s saliva, fingernail samples, as well as hair samples for DNA testing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Le`s body was found stuffed inside a wall panel on Sunday, the day that she was supposed to be married.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Investigators are trying to look to see whether any of that evidence, that DNA evidence, can be matched to the 100 pieces of evidence they say they have already. And police say, by the end of the week, they should be able to determine whether Clark is, in fact, linked to this murder.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They said they`ve been aware of where he was all along, and he is indeed a person of interest.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re also making sure that there`s not other potential suspects, and so we`re avoiding the issue of tunnel vision. We`re looking at everyone that had access to that building and could have been there during that time period.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The medical examiner`s office in New Haven, Connecticut, says 24-year-old Annie Le was strangled to death.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He cleaned the cages, the mice -- the mouse cages, did custodial type work.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Straight out to Susan Raff with CNN affiliate WFSB. Susan Raff, what can you tell me about lab technician Raymond Clark being taken into custody and giving DNA samples?
SUSAN RAFF, WFSB: Nancy, we heard yesterday probably around 9:00 o`clock that a search warrant had been obtained. They went into his apartment. First they took him out, as you mentioned, in handcuffs, and then they went into his apartment and began searching for evidence.
We were told, actually, when he left his apartment on Ferry Street in Middletown, he was actually taken to the state crime lab, which is in Meriden. It`s not usually open at that hour. They opened it, and actually, a team of forensic scientists were there at that hour, all hours of the night until probably about 3:00 AM, taking all types of samples, blood, we`re told, hair, fingernails. And that`s exactly what they did last night.
GRACE: To Paul Bass, editor with "The New Haven Independent," joining us also at the police station. Paul Bass, thank you for being with us, along with you, Susan, Raff. Paul, a lot of questions -- I`ve asked them myself -- about why DNA is taking so long to be returned. And now I`m starting to think that -- first of all, we know police had staked out Clark`s place for a couple of days now. Their presence has been very obvious.
I`m wondering if they were hoping to get his DNA on their own, such as out of his trash, on a Coca-Cola bottle or some manner, from his toothbrush, I don`t know, somehow get it independently. And ultimately, they took him in with a warrant to get his DNA.
PAUL BASS, "NEW HAVEN INDEPENDENT": That could be, Nancy. Unlike you, I`m not skeptical about the extra days. The police department has been very methodical. They`ve collected over 250 pieces of evidence. And they`ve learned from cases that have been have botched here in the past, one including Yale student who was murdered. I`m very impressed with how the investigation is going, and I think that you`re not going to be, in the end, concerned about the length of time for the DNA. We`re only talking a couple of days. And they said tonight that they have had this man in their sights at every minute. He`s not going anywhere. And when they make an arrest, which they`re expecting to make, it`s going to be a solid arrest.
GRACE: Well, put. Paul Bass, joining us from "The New Haven Independent."
Let`s unleash the lawyers. We are talking your calls live. Robin Sax, prosecutor and author of "Predators and Child Molesters: What Parents Need to Know, How to Keep Kids Safe," Mickey Sherman joining us out of Vegas, and Hugo Rodriguez.
Hugo, I don`t know about you, but I have never known of the crime lab to open up after hours to process DNA. Just -- I know it`s going to be hard, but yes, no, have you ever seen that happen?
HUGO RODRIGUEZ, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: No, I haven`t.
GRACE: What about it, Robin Sax?
ROBIN SAX, PROSECUTOR: No, I have not.
GRACE: As soon as we get Sherman`s satellite up from Vegas, we`ll go to him. Everyone, we`re taking your calls live, but I want to go now to Thomas Kaplan, who`s been with us from the get-go, the editor-in-chief of "The Yale Daily News."
Now, Paul Bass tells me that I`m going to be very happy with the job the police have done. But I`m still wondering how to explain why the known crime scene -- this woman`s body was stuffed into a two-foot hole for cable -- two feet. Her whole body was crammed into a two-foot opening for cable boxes. And the basement was not cordoned off. It was not kept pristine for five full days. In fact, Thomas Kaplan, you told me yourself that some of your co-workers there on "The Yale Daily News" managed to go down there and take photos.
THOMAS KAPLAN, "YALE DAILY NEWS": Yes. Last Friday, two of our reporters actually went into the basement, swiped their Yale ID and looked around. They couldn`t get to the whole basement, but they did take some pictures.
But what the police have said is, I guess -- you know, what they say is you can`t shut a building down every time a person goes missing, and that`s sort of been their explanation for why they did not close the building at first.
GRACE: Well, that`s good to know that the police don`t believe they can shut a building down.
Paul Bass, where is Raymond Clark tonight?
BASS: I don`t know where Raymond Clark is right now, but the police do know where he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The breaking news out of New Haven, the Connecticut medical examiner does confirm that the Yale graduate student Annie Le was strangled to death. Her body was found Sunday in the wall of that basement lab.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Breaking news in the murder investigation of Yale student Annie Le. Her body was found stuffed inside a wall at a campus medical research lab, the discovery made on what would have been her wedding day. She was just 24 years old.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Police have been focusing their investigation on Raymond Clark, someone they call a person of interest, a 24-year-old lab technician at Yale University.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The physical evidence we`re looking for is DNA, and so we`ll be looking for those types of physical evidence that could be, you know (INAUDIBLE) We`ll take samples of his hair and we`ll take a saliva sample from him, scrape his fingernails.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Police say they`re analyzing DNA samples. They also went through his apartment with a search warrant. They`re trying to see if any of that evidence matches what they say is about 150 pieces of evidence they have seized.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have a lot of evidence from the crime scene, and we`ll be looking at that to see what matches and what doesn`t.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Police say they should know by the end of this week whether or not Clark will be arrested or be cleared.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Straight back out to Susan Raff with WFSB. Correct me if I`m wrong, but haven`t there been 250 pieces of evidence seized by police?
RAFF: You`re exactly right. At first, it was about 150, and today they released about 250 pieces of evidence. They say they collected that not only at the scene of the crime, but I believe a lot of that comes from his apartment. They tell us they`ve interviewed over 100 people.
But we want to point out something that came out of this press conference today. And while Clark is certainly not being called a suspect at this time, he is also a person of interest. And right now, they say they have no other person who is a person of interest. So I think that was very clear at today`s press conference. He`s not a suspect. They say they`ve interviewed lots of people, but at this point, he is the only person who they are focusing on in this investigation.
GRACE: Susan, what can you tell me about the manner in which he was taken in for the DNA samples? What happened?
RAFF: Well, when they took him into custody with his handcuffs -- and it`s very unusual, as we should point out, with handcuffs because he`s not a suspect. He has not been charged. But there`s something that I`m told because they want to preserve evidence under his fingernails, that`s why they take him in handcuffs. He was taken to the state crime lab. He spent several hours there. In fact, we`re told that he left about 3:00 o`clock in the morning. They took blood, hair samples, saliva. They actually swabbed the inside of the mouth so that they can get DNA testing or samples that way.
You would have thought that he would go home at that point, but he did not. At 3:00 o`clock in the morning, he did not want to go back to his apartment in Middletown. We`re told that he`s in Cromwell right now. Apparently, he has family in the area. Cromwell is actually a neighboring town to Middletown. So that`s where he`s staying. And we know that police are keeping a very close eye on him because they don`t want him out of their sight. They don`t want him to leave. And he`s waiting right now, obviously, until all of this DNA evidence is processed.
GRACE: Back to Thomas Kaplan, editor-in-chief of "The Yale Daily News." Thomas, what was his connection to Annie Le? I know that he worked in the basement where her body was found. He had access to that. And it`s my understanding that he tended the lab rats, the laboratory mice, some of which Le used in her experiments.
KAPLAN: Well, that`s what we think, Nancy. It`s unclear, the exact tie. But we do know that Annie did work with lab animals, did work with mice in her experiments, so it`s logical to think that they worked together in that setting.
GRACE: And what can you tell me about the building now? Is it now released to the public? Can anybody go back in there?
KAPLAN: It has been reopened, but with extra security. There are officers patrolling at all hours and -- but as of today, the building has begun to reopen and get back up to speed.
GRACE: Paul Bass of "The New Haven Independent," what can you tell me about Raymond Clark? What do we know? I know that he was engaged, that there was an alleged date for a wedding, that he lives with his fiancee and their three cats, that she also works at Yale. What more do we know?
BASS: Mr. Clark grew up in the suburban town of Branford (ph). It`s a middle class town about 10 miles from here. He eventually moved to New Haven, and now, as you know, he lives in Middletown. He played high school sports. He got in a little trouble with the law. You can read about that in "The New Haven Independent"...
GRACE: What do you mean, "a little trouble with the law"?
BASS: We have reported about some previous incidents in that town.
GRACE: I`m sorry. I can`t hear you. What specifically is "a little trouble with the law"?
BASS: There was -- the police went to his high school one time on a complaint about -- of a sexual nature with a girlfriend.
GRACE: And what became of that complaint?
BASS: In the end, she decided not to press charges, but he was ordered to stay away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: While Ray Clark has not been officially named a suspect, he is a person of interest. He is listed in the Yale directory as a lab technician for the Animal Resources Center. It`s believed some of the animals used for research are kept in the basement of 10 Amistad Street. Annie Le was working in that same building as a graduate student in pharmacology. After she was missing for five days, Le`s body was found Sunday in the basement. Police say her body was hidden behind a wall.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Straight back out to the lawyers, Robin Sax, Mickey Sherman, Hugo Rodriguez. Mickey Sherman, what do you make of them taking him in? He`s in handcuffs. They take him, they -- OK, I`m glad to see that you managed to jury-rig being with us tonight. Thank you, Mickey.
MICKEY SHERMAN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I blew your budget for the studio here on the crap table last night, so we`re just going to have to do with this. By the way...
SHERMAN: I don`t know how he gets handcuffed. He`s a subject of a search warrant for his body and fluids and whatever. I don`t get why he is handcuffed. He is not in custody.
GRACE: OK. Well, Mickey, what we learned earlier is that they`re trying to preserve possible evidence under his fingernails. Hold on before you answer that.
Susan Raff, what can you tell me about the state of his arms and hands? Were there scratches on them? Susan Raff, are you with me? I`ve lost audio with Susan.
Paul Bass, what do we know? I think I`ve got Paul Bass. OK, satellite down. Back to you, Mickey Sherman. There are reports that his arms have scratches on them. Now, friends and family explained that away by saying that one of the three cats did that to him. We know that they found bloody clothes in the building, hidden up in the ceiling tiles. So if they were looking under his fingernails, if they were observing the scratches on his arms, that may have explained why they handcuffed him. I`ve never seen that done before with anybody but a suspect.
SHERMAN: No. And obviously, he`s under close surveillance now. I assume they`ve got a 24/7 guard or surveillance group at his home or wherever he`s staying. But you know, Nancy, it`s not his fingertips that are going to count, it`s hers, because that`s where the scratches obviously most likely came from. And this is a forensics case. This is -- whatever`s under her fingernails, if it`s his skin, game over.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Twenty-four-year-old Raymond Clark, a technician who worked in the same Yale lab building as Annie Le, was taken from his apartment in handcuffs last night. The police obtained warrants for DNA and other evidence to determine if Clark is connected to the murder.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: One of the other top ranking police officers here told me one of the problems is because this is an animal lab, there`s a tremendous amount of DNA evidence from these mice that they experimented with there.
So they collected a lot of things and they have to have a lot of tests done and that`s going to take time. They do not want to have the case foiled by pulling someone in and then having contradictory DNA evidence.
NANCY GRACE, HOST: Please tell me I`m wrong. Please tell me that this murder scene was not left unsecured, uncordoned off, no yellow tape, nothing, for five days. Please tell me I`m wrong. I want to be wrong. I wanted to be corrected on air.
THOMAS KAPLAN, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, YALE DAILY NEWS, NEWSPAPER BROKE STORY OF MISSING YALE STUDENT: No, Nancy, you`re right about that. We actually have two of our reporters on Friday go into the basement, at 10 Amistad Street, and looked around.
Two of our reporters went down there, Yale students swiped their ID and went down into the basement on Friday. This was 72 hours after Annie first went missing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: We are taking your lines, out to Elizabeth in Pennsylvania. Hi, Elizabeth.
ELIZABETH, CALLER FROM PENNSYLVANIA: Hello, Nancy, my question is in regards to the fire alarm, I know they said it was activated due to steam. But I wonder if perhaps Annie herself activated it in an attempt to draw attention to her situation.
GRACE: Excellent question, Elizabeth in Pennsylvania. Let`s go to Susan Raff with WFSB.
Susan, what do we know about that fire alarm activation? We know it was false. We know there was not a fire in the building and we have been told through numerous sources that one of the laboratory hoods were apparently was released, releasing steam that caused the fire alarm to go off.
What more do you know? Because that could be a crucial moment in the timeline. Either she, as Elizabeth in Pennsylvania has pointed out, did it for attention, to call attention to what was happening, or he, the killer, whoever it may be, did it to clear the building, giving him a chance to hide the body, or escape the building.
What do we know about how that fire alarm was activated?
SUSAN RAFF, REPORTER, CNN AFFILIATE WFSB, COVERING STORY: You know, I don`t know if we know 100 percent, but I think at the time it seemed a little odd and a little curious why that alarm went off and there are some concerns and that woman raises a very good question, you know, who set it off?
Police on the record have said that it seems like it was an accident, it had nothing to do with the incident. So they`re downplaying perhaps that whole incident and the alarm.
GRACE: Thomas Kaplan, I don`t believe that. I do not believe when you were talking about a murder and a murder scene, that there is a coincidence in criminal law, I don`t believe it.
Thomas Kaplan, do we know where the hood was that activated the fire alarm? Where in the building?
KAPLAN: No, Nancy, that`s a great question. It`s something we`re trying to figure out now, again, you know, the police are downplaying that this alarm had anything to do with it. But we don`t know. We don`t know if it was in the basement or from somewhere else in the building.
GRACE: Thomas, Thomas. The police are downplaying it, that means absolutely nothing to me because those were the same people that said there`s no foul play when she disappeared. Her pocketbook, her cell phone, everything left behind and she disappears? No, it was clearly foul play.
Back to the calls to Brianna in Iowa, hi, Brianna.
BRIANNA, CALLER FROM IOWA: Hi Nancy, me and my mom thankfully watch your show and she thinks you`re an absolute angel.
GRACE: Brianna, thank you and thank you to your mother and thank you for calling in. What is your question, dear?
BRIANNA: My question is, do we have any footage of Raymond Clark coming out -- of the building?
GRACE: Coming out of the building. Good question.
Paul Bass, was he caught on the video -- there`s 75 security cameras - - leaving the building?
PAUL BASS, EDITOR, NEW HAVEN INDEPENDENT, COVERING STORY: I have absolutely no idea, Nancy. I know that they`ve reviewed all those security cameras, all the footage, they even re-reviewed the footage and slowed it down and brought in experts from the state crime lab. So we do not know -- there`s no way that guy left the building without being caught on tape.
GRACE: Susan Raff, do we know if he left the building during the fire alarm?
RAFF: We don`t and it`s a question that we`ve asked and we don`t know perhaps.
RAFF: Because he`s a person of interest that they`re not discussing it. But no, we have not seen any tape. The only tape that we have seen is Annie Le who obviously went into the building but didn`t leave.
GRACE: Exactly correct. And joining me right now is a special guest, renowned forensic scientist, distinguished professor at University of New Haven. Dr. Henry Lee.
Dr. Lee, thank you for being with us. I want to speak to you about your expertise and in your experience, in all the years that you have done experiments, have you ever known the state crime lab to open up in the middle of the night for DNA testing?
HENRY LEE, PH.D., FORENSIC SCIENTIST, DISTINGUISHED PROFESSOR, UNIV. OF NEW HAVEN: Yes. In the past we did numerous times. Not only open up in the middle of the night, sometimes we work on the New Year`s eve and Christmas and just like a law enforcement officer, police officer, every day they seek just working 9:00 to 5:00 shift. No, it`s not. We work all hours.
GRACE: Good to know. Dr. Henry Lee, when they say that they took DNA from him, would that only be a buccal swab, an oral swab that you do with a Q-tip like object?
LEE: Actually -- yes. Actually we have three different types of applicator to collect buccal swab evidence. You`re absolutely right, and they`re right, some of the media report saliva sample. We are actually not looking at the saliva, we`re looking at the cheek cell, looking for nuclear DNA, try to extract the DNA as a known control.
Then we have to compare those samples. You know there are reports that 250 items of evidence, actually that`s 250 items, not necessarily have evidential value. The crime laboratory people have to -- scientists have to go through those 250 items, item by item, separate them, any have evidential value such as, hair, fibers which can provide a linkage to the victim and try to solve the case.
GRACE: Dr. Henry Lee, if the buccal swab, which of course you`re absolutely correct, it is not the saliva that the scientist is trying to obtain, it`s the cells off the inside of the gum.
LEE: Right. Yes.
GRACE: If you obtain DNA from an oral swab, why would you also take blood?
LEE: Well, sometimes you want a control just in case the oral swab may have contaminations. I`m sure they probably also take the fingernail scraping and also take the hair sample.
GRACE: Yes, and Dr. Lee, as far as clipping his nails, do you really believe that this many days later that there would still be evidence under his nails or the killer`s nails, not necessarily him, he`s not a suspect, he`s a person of interest, but the killer, would he still have evidence under his nails, do you believe?
LEE: You know, as time goes by, the chances to recover the victim`s DNA under fingernail has become less and become very remote. However, you cannot just say five days go by, we don`t take the fingernail. You still have to try.
GRACE: Yes, you still have to try.
LEE: Maybe not necessarily finding anything, but definitely have to try.
GRACE: Right. You must try because that`s the first thing they`ll say at trial as a defense, you didn`t take his fingernails. You`re absolutely right, Dr. Lee.
Joining men now, Dr. Kent E. Harshbarger, medical examiner, forensic pathologist, joining us out of Dayton, Ohio. Esteemed in his field.
Dr. Harshbarger, thank you for being with us. Dr. Harshbarger, what do you make of the official cause of death?
DR. KENT E. HARSHBARGER, M.D., MEDICAL EXAMINER, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: It`s kind of a long stretch to get to strangulation, they have used a lot of generic terms. Asphyxia really just means a lack of oxygen of the cell. And then neck abrasion is very broad. So it tells me it`s one, it`s convention that the office uses or two, they`re hiding something from the public record. Now that typically becomes public. So neck compression could be from a ligature. Maybe they`re looking for something. Maybe they know it`s manual strangulation.
GRACE: It said traumatic. It said traumatic asphyxiation. Of course every strangulation is going to be traumatic. Why do they add that?
HARSHBARGER: Yes. I assume it`s office convention. Traumatic asphyxia can also be -- some people use the same term as mechanical asphyxiation, they`re interchangeable.
HARSHBARGER: It really applies more to a mechanism that the chest not being able to expand. So traumatic asphyxia is really just putting in to a category that do, too, is the key part, due to neck compression.
GRACE: We`re going to a break. But when we get back I want to ask Dr. Harshbarger about how an entire human body could be folded into a two- foot cable box space, which is what happened in this case.
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(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Annie Le here was strangled to death, that is according to Connecticut Medical Examiner`s Office. Her body was found this weekend stuffed behind a wall in the lab where she worked.
And here`s a name. Raymond Clark. That`s a technician at the same lab. He was released yesterday from police custody after police took samples of his DNA. Important to point out here, he has not been identified by police as a suspect.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: They did say that they had been watching him from the start, because there were questions last night, did he try to get away? In their words, we have been with him since they took this case over.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There`s not like video cameras down there, and it`s dark and there`s like all (INAUDIBLE) -- pipings along there, so there`s place where people can hide. So a lot of.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Joining me right now, Pat Brown, criminal profiler, author of "Killing for Sport."
Pat Brown, what do you think about motive?
PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER, AUTHOR OF "KILLING FOR SPORT": Well, I think it`s one of those kind of obsessive stalkers. When you talk about that, remember that thing happened back in his high school where he had that little incident with his girlfriend?
I`m thinking that`s the same kind of thing. He has power and control issues, he likes to control women, he`s a date rapist kind, if he`s guilty. And that`s what he wants. He wanted this girl, she didn`t want him, he got angry about it and he took it out on her.
GRACE: And he`s got a fiancee with the wedding date.
BROWN: Well, you know, one woman is necessarily enough. It`s not the one necessarily that you want at that moment and the woman who is dissing you, maybe the woman who hasn`t given you the time of day and it`s not enough respect. And you know, it`s a psychopath`s mind and we can`t think just because you got woman, you got -- you know you got what you want.
GRACE: To Dr. Joseph Deltito, professor of psychiatry, what do you make of a possible motive?
DR. JOSEPH DELTITO, PROFESSOR OF PSYCHIATRY: I think we don`t know enough to put a motive together. I think that your previous guest is doing wild speculation and we don`t know enough about what`s going on here and I don`t think we should outstrip the data source.
We don`t know the nature of the relationship, even if it was this guy. And it could be something as simple as he was stealing something out of the lab. And she caught him.
GRACE: To Lou Palumbo, former Nassau County police investigator, now private investigator. Lou, weigh in on why this guy is walking free tonight, they`re saying he`s just a person of interest. If the DNA doesn`t match, and they`ve named a suspect, when they go to trial with the actual suspect, this would come back to haunt them if they named the wrong person as the perp to start with.
LOU PALUMBO, FORMER NASSAU COUNTY POLICE INVESTIGATOR, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR: Absolutely. It`s going to destroy their credibility and could harm their case going forward. Why he`s walking free tonight is because I don`t think they`re comfortable in the gathering of all the information that they feel that they`re going to need to charge him.
And the fact that they put a surveillance on him, and I`m listening to all this exchange of terminology, like person of interest versus a suspect. I think part of that is driven by the fact that we`re now a little more politically correct in how we address these people because there`s a stigma when you attach -- that you attach to someone when you say suspect versus a person of interest. And we learned that.
GRACE: You know, Lou Palumbo -- put Palumbo up on the screen.
You know, Lou, I appreciate your sentiment, but you haul me in in a police car and they open up the crime lab in the middle of the night to take my DNA, stigma has attached. OK? Stigma has attached.
To Ebonita Summers, a very dear friend of Annie Le. Ebonita, tell me about her. You two were both in the scholarship program together. What kind of a person was Annie?
I think, OK, somehow I have lost Ebonita, but I`m going to go back to Susan Raff.
Susan Raff, what are the police waiting on, the DNA results?
RAFF: The DNA results and something that you would -- you were asking earlier about the blood and why that`s important. Keep in mind, that a piece of clothing was found at the crime scene. We`re told a piece of bloody clothing and at first people thought or investigators thought it may have belonged to Annie Le.
But it`s leading more to the fact that it may in fact belonged to the suspect or someone who was there. So they`re very interested in looking at the blood on that piece of clothing. Now we don`t know if it was t-shirt, a pair of pants, a jacket, not even sure why anyone would leave something at the scene, but apparently a piece of clothing was left at the scene with blood on it so they`re very interested in looking at blood from Clark to see if there`s a match.
GRACE: Very quickly, everyone, we`re going to Satsuma, Florida. I want to give you the latest in the disappearance of 5-year-old Haleigh Cummings.
Straight out to Art Harris, investigative reporter. You can find him at www.artharris.com. I understand the brother of girlfriend-turned- stepmother, Misty Croslin, has been taken into custody. For what?
ART HARRIS, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST, ARTHARRIS.COM: Nancy, Hank Jr., Hank Tommy Croslin, was arrested and has been charged with grand theft for allegedly stealing a Colt pistol from a neighbor. And you wouldn`t think that was a, quote,. "serious crime,` but the bond is set at $50,000.
GRACE: Do you believe, Art, that they`ve taken him into custody on this argument over a pistol in order to try to get him to talk about Haleigh`s disappearance?
HARRIS: Well, they have wanted anyone, Nancy, close to the family to tell them what they know about Misty, about anything related to the crime. So I do.
GRACE: To Ronald Cummings, joining us tonight. He is Haleigh`s father, he`s joining us exclusively since this arrest.
Ronald, what do you make of it?
RONALD CUMMINGS, FATHER OF MISSING 5-YR-OLD HALEIGH CUMMINGS: Miss Nancy, I don`t know what to make of it. I just don`t -- I don`t know what to think.
GRACE: Well, what is the brother-in-law telling you? What are you hearing from Misty`s people?
CUMMINGS: Miss Nancy, we don`t have much contact with the family. Misty has an injunction against Thomas, so we don`t have any contact with them.
GRACE: To Terry Shoemaker, the attorney for Ronald Cummings, do you think they arrested him to put pressure on him to find out what he may or may not know about Haleigh`s disappearance?
TERRY SHOEMAKER, ATTORNEY FOR RONALD CUMMINGS: Well, you know, like what just said, $50,000 is very high bond for a grand left. You know, so I would imagine they`re looking at every angle they can and if they think that they can put a little weight on him and get him to talk about anything he might know, I`m sure they`re going to do that.
GRACE: Now, let me ask you. Back to you, Ronald Cummings. You say that no more communications with Misty Croslin`s family. What is Misty Croslin telling you? Is there any possibility that she left the home that evening and hasn`t told you?
CUMMINGS: If there is a possibility of it, I don`t know anything about it.
GRACE: Do you believe that she will try again to undergo hypnosis in order to clear her mind regarding that evening?
CUMMINGS: I`m not sure. I don`t think so.
CUMMINGS: Because I don`t believe that it`s necessary.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Investigators maintain Misty Croslin is the key to finding Haleigh, saying she has never given them a detailed account of her movements the night Haleigh went missing.
MISTY CROSLIN, RONALD CUMMING`S WIFE, LAST SEEN HALEIGH: I`ve been trying to do everything to find her, you know, I will answer any questions I have to.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Back out to Ronald Cummings. Ronald, you said that -- you just told us that her going under hypnosis is not necessary. Since she has flunked polygraphs don`t you want to get to the bottom of what happened.
CUMMINGS: Of course I want to get to the bottom of what happened, Miss Nancy. But I don`t know if hypnosis is going to do it. They`ve already tried to hypnotize.
GRACE: Are you of the mind that you should try anything?
CUMMINGS: Absolutely. If that`s what we need to do, then that`s what we can do.
GRACE: Art Harris, wrap it up for me. What do you make of all of this?
HARRIS: Nancy, I think that you`re going to see a major turn in the investigation here. Pressure is mounting. And Ronald and Misty are going to have to sit down and have some real heart to heart about what may be coming out from her brother and from other members of the family.
Today they visited a cousin, Joe Overstreet, in Tennessee interviewed by investigators and a lot of people are being interviewed and re- interviewed.
GRACE: Well, Ronald, as we say good night, I want you to know regardless, our thoughts and prayers are still with you and with Haleigh.
Everyone, let`s stop and remember Army Captain Mark Garner, 30 years old, Elkin, North Carolina. A West Point grad, on third tour, also served Afghanistan. Received a Good Citizenship Award from Daughters of the American Revolution.
Had a smile that lit up a room. Loved running, sports, traveling with his wife. Visited 52 countries. Leaves behind parents, Beth and Don, sisters Rachel and Jo, widow Michaela.
Mark Garner, American hero.
Thanks to our guests but especially you for being with us. And a special good night from friends of the show, Ann Mercer University law students, Riza, Jennifer, Lee, Courtney, Brittany, Charles, John, David and Eric.
Aren`t they a beautiful bunch?
And happy birthday to South Carolina friend, Lieutenant Matthew Reese. Happy birthday, Matthew.
Everyone, I`ll see you tomorrow night, 8:00 sharp Eastern. And until then, good night, friend.