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Nancy Grace

Misty`s Mother Sought on Forgery Charge

Aired September 24, 2009 - 20:00   ET


NANCY GRACE, HOST: Breaking news tonight, Satsuma, Florida. A 5- year-old little girl tucked into bed. Five hours later, she`s gone, vanished, the back door propped wide open. Daddy comes home from the night shift to find not a trace of little Haleigh.

Bombshell tonight. Police issue a warrant for the arrest of Croslin`s mother. Charge, felony forgery. Is this a police try to get the truth about Haleigh from Misty Croslin`s own mother? She`s already publicly stated her daughter hasn`t come clean about the night Haleigh vanishes.

And a letter emerges in the search for Haleigh, outlining details of a party the night Haleigh goes missing, a party fueled by drugs. At the party, Misty Croslin. With her, little Haleigh. Reports that night little Haleigh accidentally ingested a heavy-duty painkiller, oxycontin, and died. We have the letter.

This as new stepmother Misty Croslin skips town after a bitter fight with Haleigh`s father, Ronald Cummings. Croslin`s brother thrown behind bars on a gun charge, leading to another break in the case. In a late- night jailhouse interrogation, the brother finally confesses he goes to Haleigh`s house the night she goes missing, pounds on the door repeatedly. Nobody home.

Phone records confirm Ronald Cummings tries desperately to reach Croslin that night. No answer. Where was girlfriend-turned-stepmother Misty Croslin during those crucial hours when Haleigh goes missing? Investigators focus on a heavily wooded area, draining a local pond in connection with Haleigh. As girlfriend-turned-stepmother Misty Croslin flunks another polygraph, tonight, where is Haleigh?


MISTY CROSLIN, HALEIGH`S BABY-SITTER/STEPMOTHER: I just want everybody to know that I didn`t do anything with that little girl. I love her like she`s my own, and I`ll do anything to get her back!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did Haleigh Cummings die from an overdose of oxycontin? A letter obtained allegedly from a friend of Misty Croslin claims that Haleigh got her hands on the powerful narcotic while at a party with Misty and her friends the night of the disappearance.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is not anything that someone from the jail is trying to go to the police with and make a deal with and get a free pass out of jail. This is a letter that has arisen and has emerged and was not necessarily for the eyes of the police.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The letter claims police were given a sworn affidavit by a friend of Misty`s that states Misty, Haleigh and a group of friends were partying at one of the friends` homes the night of Haleigh`s disappearance. When Haleigh overdosed, the friends panicked, shoved Haleigh`s body in a black bag and tossed her in a nearby pond.

GRACE: Ronald, has the theory that Misty left the home sometime during the night been disproved?

RONALD CUMMINGS, HALEIGH`S FATHER: I`m not sure. I believe that it has, Nancy. I`m almost 100 percent sure, but I wouldn`t tell you that and lie to you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Police are denying any friend have come forward making these allegations and are said to be completely ignoring the letter. All of Misty`s friends have reportedly been cleared, and there are still no suspects in the case.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hopefully, this will rattle the cage that Misty`s in right now since she took off from home because I think she is still holding the key to where little Haleigh is.

CRYSTAL SHEFFIELD, HALEIGH`S MOTHER: I have faith in God to take care of my baby girl and find her. And I don`t care who had something to do with it. Those are the people who need to be put away.


GRACE: And tonight, live to Connecticut and the sudden disappearance of a gorgeous young Ivy League doctoral student just as she`s set to walk down the aisle, the 24-year-old 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 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 two-foot wall cable space there at Yale`s research building. Early-morning hours, police storm a Super 8 motel to arrest 24-year-old lab tech Raymond Clark on murder one.

Tonight, police close down the Yale research building again. New evidence discovered. Plumbers -- plumbers -- not the police, the plumber discovers evidence shoved down a washroom drain there in the basement where mice cages cleaned by murder suspect Raymond Clark.

And Clark`s alleged history of stalking, threatening, harassing women resurfaces. Former girlfriend reveals Clark`s a control freak, lashing out, dictating what she says, where she goes, even what she wears. We have the video. Was this senseless and brutal murder over laboratory mice cages?

In another twist, was suspect Raymond Clark fueled by steroids? With a community and a university reeling, a family grieving, a young groom left at the altar with a broken heart, tonight, we want justice for 24-year-old bride-to-be Annie Le.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This was not a street crime. It was not a domestic crime. It was a workplace crime.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... police looking into whether Clark`s attitude may have lead to a deadly confrontation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Annie Le was strangled to death in the lab where he worked. Clark, who also worked there, is charged with doing it and then trying to hide her body behind a wall in the lab`s basement.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Reports surface that DNA from accused murderer Raymond Clark III was found in both the ceiling and the tiny crawl space where Le`s body was uncovered Sunday. According to reports, police observed Clark trying to hide lab cleaning equipment containing blood spatters. A law enforcement official told "The Hartford Courant" that Clark was spotted cleaning up areas Le was in shortly before she was reported missing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Co-workers tell police he was a control freak. He`s also territorial when it came to the lab and the mice that he took care of.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s being reported that he, who maintained the cages and the animals, was upset at her, Annie Le, because she was leaving her cage in disorder or dirty.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s being reported that there was a text message the morning of the day she went missing, asking her to meet with him at the lab.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Arrested and brought into court facing a murder charge at just 24, the police chief makes it clear the lab where they both worked is where the violence was born.


GRACE: Good evening. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us. Police issue a warrant for the arrest of girlfriend-turned- stepmother Misty Croslin`s mother. Charge, felony forgery. Is this a police try to get the truth about Haleigh from Croslin`s mom? Well, will the whole Croslin family end up behind bars, everybody except, of course, for Misty Croslin?


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




911 OPERATOR: Can I talk to her?



CUMMINGS: How the (DELETED) can you let my daughter get stole (DELETED)?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was Haleigh Cummings a victim of a drug overdose? According to a letter allegedly from one of stepmom-slash-baby-sitter Misty Croslin`s friend, Haleigh died of an overdose of oxycontin, and then her body was thrown into a pond.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Probably from one or two pills, she could have died. And it`s possible that children sometimes think that that`s candy, and we see sometimes accidental death.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The letter states that cops were given a sworn affidavit from a friend of Misty`s who claims everyone at the party, quote, "freaked out" when the toddler overdosed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can use this as a great source, as long as you can corroborate it. So they -- the police can go through every little detail, and hopefully, there`ll be kernels of information in there that lead to an additional roads.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Police say they are completely ignoring the letter and are denying any existence of this alleged sworn affidavit from Misty`s friend. Reports are all of the friends were cleared.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We would love to have a break in this case, and we really would not care who it implicates.

GRACE: You have made an accusation that Croslin was on a drug binge. Do you have any evidence to support that claim?


GRACE: Then why did you say it?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was just a thought. I mean, maybe she was, maybe she wasn`t.

GRACE: It was just a thought. So you have nothing to support the claim that she was on a drug binge around the time that Haleigh goes missing?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, there`s been people that have been questioned that said she was on a drug binge before Haleigh went missing.


GRACE: Straight out to Marlaina Schiavo, our producer on the story. A mother being thrown behind bars on a forgery count? You know, very often, a forgery`s the type of a case that`s considered usually to be fairly light. We save jail beds for child molesters, murderers, rapists, arsonists, drug lords. A forgery? Is this a police attempt to get the truth out of Misty Croslin`s mother? Tell me what`s happening.

MARLAINA SCHIAVO, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER: That`s what we`re thinking, Nancy. There`s a nationwide pick-up warrant for Misty`s mother on a forgery charge. The bond is set at $10,000. Now, she can pay that bond in Tennessee, where she`s currently living, or they`re going to extradite her back to Florida.

GRACE: To T.J. Hart, program and news director, WSKY 97.3. What more do we know? When you say forgery, what are we talking about? On a check? Was it a home mortgage? What was it? Was it trying to get money from the government? Was it a sale of a house? What was the document she allegedly forged?

T.J. HART, WSKY 97.3 FM: That is the information I`ve been trying to glean from law enforcement since I found out about this this morning and passed it on to our staff here at HLN. But it appears that they want her. They want her back in Florida, and they want her back in a hurry.

GRACE: You know, now, this is highly unusual. Let`s unleash the lawyers. Everybody, you are seeing just obtained new family photos of little Haleigh in our attempt to try to jog somebody`s memory. These are from grandmother Teresa Neves, a friend of our show. She is the paternal grandmother of little Haleigh.

Let`s unleash the lawyers -- Susan Moss, New York, Joe Lawless, Philadelphia, lawyer, author of "Prosecutorial Misconduct," and out of Miami, Bradford Cohen. Sue Moss, Mommy behind bars. Weigh in.

SUSAN MOSS, FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY: Well, this mother, remember, came out against Misty and said that she believed that her (SIC) son was telling the truth and that Misty was not with regard to whether she was home alone -- home with the kids that night. Maybe they want to put her in jail so they can ask tough questions about why she came to such a conclusion. There has to be a reason...


MOSS: ... why she turned against Misty.

GRACE: Come on, Joe Lawless, I know you`re on the other side of the fence from me, but I would not use the state`s resources to extradite somebody, spend $15,000 to bring somebody home on a $10,000 bond -- charge. Sorry. That doesn`t make sense to me. So this has got to be a play to get the truth out of her.

JOE LAWLESS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, we`re on the other side of the fence, but remember, I was a former prosecutor. And where you have a child that`s missing and you don`t know what`s happening, you got to bring the witnesses back. And it`s not a question of how much you spend...

GRACE: Right.

LAWLESS: ... it`s what result you can get.

GRACE: Bradford Cohen?

BRADFORD COHEN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I don`t know if that`s true. In Florida -- I`ve practiced in Florida for 14 years. I`ve seen them do all kinds of things like this.

GRACE: So you`re not surprised.

COHEN: They`d pull people back for $2,500 bond.

GRACE: All the way from another state, they will extradite on a forgery?

COHEN: Absolutely. I just had one that they took some guy from New York on a third-degree felony and extradited him down to Florida.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A new bombshell to tell you about in the disappearance of Florida girl Haleigh Cummings. A letter allegedly from a friend of Haleigh`s stepmother claims the little girl died after ingesting oxycontin. Misty Croslin Cummings was apparently baby-sitting Haleigh the night the girl disappeared. She claims it was after Haleigh was put to bed, but the letter claims Misty and Haleigh were actually at a party when tragedy struck.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This letter is a little far-fetched, I think, because Haleigh didn`t like medicine. And oxycontin -- I`ve had to take it. I think it`s a very nasty taste, and I can`t imagine Haleigh taking it.


911 OPERATOR: What`s her date of birth?

RONALD CUMMINGS, FATHER: Y`all are (DELETED) playing games, man! I`m going to (DELETED) kill somebody!

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

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What`s her date of birth?

CUMMINGS: (DELETED) her birthday! We need to find her!


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Misty Croslin`s brother, Tommy Croslin, told authorities that he went to Haleigh`s home around 10:00 PM that night, and no answer when he knocked on the door.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The bedroom is in the front the house, maybe 10 feet away from that room.

This is a trailer. It`s not a big place. It`s not soundproof. And if he`s banging away like the cops say he was, there`s no way she couldn`t have heard that.

CROSLIN: They haven`t left me alone for six months. I`ve been the one, the main focus. They just need to move on and look for the right person.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We would love to have a break in this case, and we really would not care who it implicates as long as it brings Haleigh back to us.


GRACE: Straight out to Terry Shoemaker. This is the attorney for Ronald Cummings, Haleigh`s biological father. He`s joining us from St. Augustine, Florida, a well-known attorney in the Florida region. Terry Shoemaker, thank you for being with us.

Terry, with all of this swirling around Ronald Cummings, every time I speak to him, he is staunch in his support of Misty Croslin`s story. But with her brother behind bars, saying he came to the home that evening and she wasn`t there -- this is when Haleigh`s going missing, that evening, and now the mom`s going behind bars, she`s said she thinks her daughter is not telling the truth -- this certainly had to affect him.

TERRY SHOEMAKER, RONALD CUMMINGS`S ATTORNEY (via telephone): Well, it definitely does affect the way he thinks about what`s going on. But you have to remember, you know, the phone call to Hank, Jr., was, you know, at about 9:00 o`clock, and he never asked him to go check on -- check on Misty and the kids. He just called to see if Misty was at their house.

As far as, you know, Misty`s mom and the conversations -- or what she`s told law enforcement, you know, she has told him in the past that she believes what Misty said, doesn`t think that she has anything to do with it. And so he`s really kind of -- he`s more concerned with why they`re changing their stories now as to what they were saying previously.

GRACE: OK. OK. Understood. Ellie Jostad, I want to talk to you about the brother, Tommy Croslin, who it`s my understanding lives in the same area where police have just conducted an investigation of sorts, when there was a, we believe, false sighting of little Haleigh. What can you tell me? Is he about to get out of jail? And is that a little bit of a coincidence, that he stayed behind bars on a $10,000 bond on a gun argument with a neighbor, and now that he talks to police and is interrogated and gives this information, now his bond has been cut in half?

ELLIE JOSTAD, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER: Yes, right, his bond has been lowered. Tommy Croslin actually got out of jail today. We don`t know who posted that bond for him, but he is walking out of jail as his mother could be walking into jail.

GRACE: Take a listen to what Misty Croslin`s mother, the mom who now has a felony forgery arrest warrant on her head, had to say about Misty Croslin`s story regarding the night Haleigh vanishes.


MARIE GRIFFIS, CROSLIN`S MOTHER: Deep down in my heart, yes, I think my daughter`s holding something back. I think they`re both holding something back. That`s just in my heart.

I`m going to tell her I love her. And if you know anything at all, please tell me. We can work it through. I`ll be -- I`ll be right there by your side. We`ll get through it. Just please tell me whatever you`re holding back.


GRACE: That was from WOFL, and that is Misty Croslin`s mother hoping that she will tell everything she knows about the night this little girl vanishes, a 5-year-old lying allegedly asleep in her own bed when the girlfriend wakes up. She says the back door`s propped wide open. She doesn`t call 911 -- 911 only called when the dad gets home from the night shift.

To Dr. Bethany Marshall, psychoanalyst, author of "Deal Breakers." What do you think, Bethany?

BETHANY MARSHALL, PSYCHOANALYST: Well, there are so many twisted undercurrents in this family. Is this the kind of dysfunctional family where the mother liked one child, the brother, and didn`t like the daughter? Did she have an axe to grind against her own daughter? Did she think the daughter had a drug abuse problem? It`s like one small brush stroke and a big picture that needs to be filled in.




GRACE: What is her story about what happened that night?

CUMMINGS: She went to bed -- she put Haleigh to bed, done some laundry and went to bed, and woke up to the door propped open.

CROSLIN: There was a brick, like a cinderblock. It was holding the screen door open. And that door, that door is always closed. You know, that brick -- I`ve never seen a brick even around there.

GRACE: Why are you so sure Haleigh is still with us?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because I`ve stayed on God`s promise that if you pray and believe, that he will give you what you pray for!


GRACE: That is paternal grandmother Teresa Neves, who joined us and still very staunchly, firmly believing that this little girl is alive. I hope she`s right.

Joining me right now, T.J. Ward. He is the president of Investigative Consultants International, and he gave that voice analysis to the new stepmother, Misty Croslin, the last person to see little Haleigh alive.

T.J. Ward, thank you for being with us. Explain to us what you learned from -- I call it a voice stress test. You call it a layered voice analysis. Potato, potato. What did you learn?

T.J. WARD, INVESTIGATIVE CONSULTANTS INTERNATIONAL (via telephone): Well, thank you, Nancy. After running the test completely, I can tell you, in fact, that Misty knows directly what happened to Haleigh. Misty knows. I mean, it`s very much there.

Her thinking level is abnormal. She`s having to think about what she was talking to me about. I went through all the way through the day that Misty -- before she said she laid Misty (SIC) down in the bed, which she didn`t do. And I believe that she knows direct -- directly where this child is. I really do, in the course of this test.

And of course, she flunked two polygraphs prior to that, so she flunked our test also, I can tell you. But there`s extreme stress in this test. And this is not voice stress. I will tell you that. It picks up stress, but not only that, but I can see that she`s hiding information and she`s not talking about everything and she`s...

GRACE: T.J., I know you`re still working on the case. What are you working on now?

WARD: Well, I`m trying to, right now, to see if law enforcement will allow me to come to Florida and interview the individuals that are involved in this letter.

GRACE: Right.

WARD: I`ve contacted Tim Miller with Equusearch and...

GRACE: Well, hold on just a moment. Let`s back up. Ellie, explain what we`re talking about when we refer to this letter. I`ve got a copy right here and police have confirmed to us that this is a legitimate theory that they are vetting.

JOSTAD: Right. This is a letter that was written by a friend of Misty`s who is in jail. She wrote this letter to her boyfriend saying, You won`t believe what police told me. They say they have a witness who claims we were all at a party the night Haleigh went missing, she took some oxycontin and died.


CUMMINGS: Her and Junior were sleeping in my queen-size bed, and she was sleeping in the tot bed beside her, three or four feet from her or whatever.




RONALD CUMMINGS, FATHER OF MISSING 5-YR-OLD HALEIGH CUMMINGS: I just got home from work, my 5-year-old daughter is gone.


R. CUMMINGS: I need somebody to be here now.

MISTY CROSLIN-CUMMINGS, RONALD CUMMING`S WIFE, LAST SEEN HALEIGH: 3:00 in the morning, I got up and -- I got up because I had to use the bathroom but I didn`t make it to the bathroom. I see the kitchen light on. And I walked in kitchen and the back door is wide open.

MARLAINA SCHIAVO, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER: Right beside me on my left is the bed where Misty Croslin was sleeping. And here on the right we had the bed where little Haleigh was sleeping. And you can see it is all but about 3 1/2 feet from each other. And this is right where Misty said she got up and she had to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

R. CUMMINGS: If I find whoever has my daughter before you all do, I am killing them. I don`t care.


R. CUMMINGS: I don`t care if I spend the rest of my life in prison. I am 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?


M. CUMMINGS: People think that I have something to do with it. If I had something to do with it, if I knew where she was we wouldn`t be sitting here today. We would have her.


M. CUMMINGS: I don`t know where she is.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Misty can relieve this pressure by telling her attorney that, you know, we need to go down to the sheriff`s office and really lay out in clear terms what I was doing from 8:0 p.m. until 3:00 a.m. What we need is for Misty to come down here and tell us the truth.

TERESA NEVES, GRANDMOTHER OF MISSING 5-YR-OLD, HALEIGH CUMMINGS: I have leave the investigative part of this to law enforcement. Because you know, if I go on every whim and on every accusation, then I`m going to be flipping back and forth in my life. And you know what we stand, you know - - we just stand for Haleigh here.

We just want Haleigh to come home. And I want them to find whoever this is. And I don`t care who it is. But we want Haleigh to come home.


NANCY GRACE, HOST: Back to the lawyers. Susan Moss, Joe Lawless, Bradford Cohen.

Apparently, Joe Lawless, the last time she spoke to cops -- and I`m talking about Misty Croslin. The girlfriend turned stepmother. The last person to see Haleigh alive. She spoke to cops without a lawyer. She voluntarily spoke to cops without a lawyer. What do you make of it?

JOE LAWLESS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY, AUTHOR OF "PROSECUTORIAL MISCONDUCT": Well, it`s either someone who didn`t do anything or someone who thinks they`re smart enough to fool the authorities. I don`t know. If she were my client I wouldn`t have let her speak to the police until I had a better grip of what was going on here and it`s just not clear.

GRACE: And Susan Moss, the reality is, although T.J. Ward believes firmly in his voice analysis test to Misty Croslin, it`s not allowed in court. We get calls every night, she`s flunked two polys. Why can`t she have an arrest warrant? It`s not enough.

SUSAN MOSS, FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY & CHILD ADVOCATE: Unfortunately it doesn`t. It is not allowed in court because it doesn`t pass we call either the doubler (ph) or the fry hearing. Meaning that it has not gained enough reliability within the expert`s community to be reliable. So it`s not going in.

GRACE: Bradford Cohen, defense attorney joining us out of Miami. You know, every time I -- well, almost every time -- I every try a felony, the defendant`s mother will be sitting front and center right at behind him or her, probably crying. Holding up a bible in the courtroom.

In this case, Misty Croslin`s mother has already come out and publicly stated that she believes her daughter is withholding. As a matter of fact, before I get your comment, Bradford Cohen, take a listen to Misty Croslin`s own mother.


LISA CROSLIN, MISTY`S MOTHER: Deep down my heart, yes, I think that my daughter is holding something back. I think they both are holding something back. That`s just in my heart. I`m going to tell her I love her and if you know anything at all, please tell me. We can work it through it. I`ll be right there by your side. We`ll get through it. Just please tell me whatever you`re holding back.


GRACE: OK. Bradford Cohen, I don`t think that she`s going to be sitting right behind Misty Croslin if she ever gets into a courtroom or waving the bible around. Of course I`d always get out my own bible and wave it right back at the mother. But long story short, that`s not going to help when your own mother is not on your side.

BRADFORD COHEN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: No. This is like dial "d" for dysfunction. I mean the whole family`s -- there`s something wrong with the whole family.

GRACE: Did you ever think about "t" for truth?

COHEN: That`s true, too. I mean, it`s amazing that everyone in this family has something in terms of some legality going on that the police are arresting the brother, the police are arresting the mother. Anybody who listens to her story doesn`t think it makes sense. I don`t think that the mom is taking a huge.

GRACE: Well.

COHEN: . leap by saying.

GRACE: Everybody but Ronald Cummings.

COHEN: I`m shocked. I mean it`s amazing that -- you know, maybe it`s the love of this woman that is controlling him in terms of not seeing the light, but this story does not make sense. I think everybody except for him understands it doesn`t make sense.

I don`t even know. Maybe the mother will be supporting the daughter at a possible trial. Who knows what`s going on here? But certainly.

GRACE: To Dr. Bethany Marshall.

COHEN: . she doesn`t believe the story.

GRACE: Psychoanalyst, author of "Dealbreakers." What do you think about the divide within the family?

BETHANY MARSHALL, PSYCHOANALYST, AUTHOR OF "DEALBREAKERS": Well, it`s very typical in dysfunctional families that the parent chooses one child to love and one child to be unsupportive of. So the mother may support their son but not the daughter.

GRACE: But hasn`t it crossed your -- Marshall or Cohen, the attorney`s minds, that maybe she doesn`t believe the daughter`s story and it has nothing to do with tangled up snakes in their heads, as you would suggest that she really doesn`t believe her story?

MARSHALL: Nancy, could I suggest that the mother says, I think she`s hiding something, then she says, I think they`re hiding something? And maybe the mother has some culpability in this case. And because of that, she`s trying to distance herself from both of them. In a sense, saving her own skin at her daughter`s expense. Not that she has overt culpability but that she`s been contributing to a pattern of neglect and she does not want that exposed.

GRACE: OK, we are talking about the mother of Misty Croslin who spoke to local affiliate WOFL. And in that interview she states very clearly she believes her own daughter is hiding something. Take a listen. This is what we`re talking about.


L. CROSLIN: Deep down in my heart, yes, I think that my daughter was holding something back. I think they both are holding something back. That`s just in my heart. I`m going to tell her I love her and if you know anything at all, please tell me. I mean, we can work through it. I`ll be right there by your side. We`ll get through it. But just please tell me, whatever you`re holding back.


GRACE: That is from WOFL. To Tom Shamshak, former police chief, now private investigator and instructor at BU, Boston University. Is this a police ploy? The brother has been thrown behind bars. His bond was cut in half once he spoke to police in the late-night interrogation. And now Croslin`s mother has a warrant for her arrest on her head.

TOM SHAMSHAK, FMR. POLICE CHIEF, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR, INSTRUCTOR AT BOSTON UNIVERSITY: Good evening, Nancy. Nancy, this is a typical police investigative measure. To bring people in. They`re a captive audience. And now they can be confronted with inconsistencies and really drilled about the matter at hand.

And here, I`m not surprised whatsoever that law enforcement is reaching out and using every opportunity to isolate this family and to, again, drill them for information.

GRACE: And very quickly, to Dr. Jennifer Shu, pediatrician and editor of "Baby Child Health." Would one Oxycontin kill a 39-pound little girl or two Oxycontin pills?

DR. JENNIFER SHU, PEDIATRICIAN, CO-AUTHOR OF "HEADING HOME W/YOUR NEWBORN": Yes, actually it could, Nancy. Oxycontin is 7.5 times stronger than codeine. So even the smallest tablet that`s 10 milligrams could cause a child like that to stop breathing and die.

GRACE: Joining us, Dr. Jennifer Shu, pediatrician and editor of "Baby and Child Help."

Right now as we go to break, a big welcome to Joy Behar coming to HLN. This is last night`s launch party for Joy`s show. President Ken Jautz is there with us. Don`t worry. I`d already bathe the twins and put on their PJ`s. They were at home asleep with daddy while mommy celebrated with Joy and her new show. Kickoff, this Tuesday, September 29, 9:00 p.m., sharp.

Welcome, friend.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know the only person who really truly knows the motive in this crime is the suspect. What made him do what he did? And we may not know until trial or we may never know.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Police began to follow Raymond Clark III just days after Yale graduate student Annie Le went missing.

According to the detectives` documentation, on Saturday, four days after Le went missing, Clark spent time with his family in Cromwell. On Sunday he went down to New Haven to play softball, and detectives watched from the stands.

On Monday detectives decided to be more overt. That`s when Clark seemed to realize he was being watched and began to turn off his lights and pull down his apartment shades. The next night police took him from his Middleton apartment to Meriddon where he submitted DNA.

Wednesday he spent time in a Cromwell motel with family. Then the morning of the 17th Clark was arrested and arraigned in New Haven Superior Court then transferred to MacDougal Walker Correctional Institution.


GRACE: Right now, straight out to Jean Casarez, legal correspondent with "In Session." Jean, the plumber? The plumber? Rosy the plumber is back and she`s down there in the washroom at Yale`s university -- Yale University`s research building and she, the plumber, finds evidence in a murder case? What happened to the police?

JEAN CASAREZ, CORRESPONDENT, "IN SESSION" (via phone): Well, it sounds like they had to have a plumber go to that lab room. That`s right, Nancy, the investigation continues in New Haven. New Haven police were back at the lab building.

And a plumber had to go in with them and including forensic technicians to find what they are not saying on the record as evidence, but employees at the lab building are telling the "New Haven Register" that it may be medical scrubs that were found shoved down and inside a drain in the wash basin area.

GRACE: Well, Jean Casarez, I can guarantee you this. It`s not just medical scrubs. Those scrubs have got to have something on them, something incriminating on them. Because why else would someone shove them down a drain?

CASAREZ: Definitely. And, Nancy, can medical scrubs even be shoved down a drain? I think that`s a question, too. And another question, Nancy, there could be a murder weapon in this case. She died from traumatic asphyxiation by neck compression. We don`t know if that was manual, by hand, or by some ligature or something else that could possibly be found somewhere.

GRACE: Are you suggesting that this could be a ligature for the strangulation of 24-year-old Annie Le?

CASAREZ: I think anything is possible but it`s something that physically had to be able to get down a drain which can be quite narrow.

GRACE: OK, let me ask you this. Let me go to Rupa Mikillineni, our producer on the story from the very beginning.

Rupa, did police call the plumber? Or did the plumber come because they were having a problem with the drain?

RUPA MIKKILINENI, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER: Nancy, it isn`t very clear why or how -- who called police to come but they were there all day long, according to employees of the Amistad Building and when I spoke with police yesterday they made it very clear that it was considered a crime scene area that they were searching and this is the washroom of the basement where the animals were kept, where Annie Le`s body was found.

GRACE: Back to Jean Casarez, legal correspondent with "In Session." OK, Jean, help me visualize this. This is the bathroom where the washroom where, and, what do you know, Jean, did the police call the plumber? Can I give them credit for that? Or was the plumber called because they had a problem with the drain?

CASAREZ: Well, let`s look at the facts. You know we reported yesterday that the forensic investigators and the New Haven Police were there at the lab in the wash basin area. We didn`t hear anything about a plumber. But today we`re hearing about a plumber. So common sense tells me, Nancy, they had to call the plumber.

GRACE: Well, what about this, Jean? Didn`t police close it in, in the crime scene investigation before yesterday and then they came back?

CASAREZ: Yes, they did. They did and when they came back.

GRACE: So, hey.

CASAREZ: . Nancy, it was open.

GRACE: I trumped you, Jean. Because I get what you`re saying. But police had already finished the crime scene investigation.

CASAREZ: That`s what they said.

GRACE: They packed up. They left. Everything back to normal. People could go in and out of the building. That tells me somebody had a problem with the drain in the washroom where this murder may have taken place. And -- and that led police and plumber back out. Police missed it. That`s what it says to me.

CASAREZ: Possibly, but what if someone had trouble with the drain and was smart enough to call police instead of a plumber and the police and investigators came out first?

GRACE: Well, I agree. But my point, Jean Casarez, is you`d think in every murder investigation, and, Jean, you`ve covered so many. When there is a bathroom around, you check the drains, you check the shower. You check the sinks. You check the commode.

If there is a washing machine, you check the washing machines. Why? Because if you flush, dispose, shove bloody evidence down a drain, blood can be obtained. DNA can be obtained out of a drain. Jean?

CASAREZ: That is very true, Nancy. But, Nancy, how long was that basement open for people to go in and out? It was not designated a crime scene. When it finally was designated a crime scene, it was reopened very quickly, Nancy. How long would it take to check all those things you`re saying? I don`t think it was done.

GRACE: I don`t think it was done either, Rupa Mikkilineni. What can you tell me?

MIKKILINENI: Well, basically what we know, Nancy, is that when Annie Le first went missing, we know that people were going in and out of this area that was later named a crime scene for five or six days. Now they were still able to pull out evidence, amazing evidence that -- DNA evidence that allowed them to make an arrest.

So the police have always said that this investigation has been ongoing and open and they are continuing even after the arrests.

GRACE: Rupa, I appreciate that. However, that`s not my question.

Susan Moss, Joe Lawless, Bradford Cohen.

Susan Moss, do you get where I`m going? They finished the investigation. They left. The crime lab techs, the crime scene tech, the police, they left. They open the building back up for general use.

Then suddenly, evidence is found by somebody shoved down a drain in the room, in the washroom where the mice cages were cleaned. That`s what the suspect did for a living in that washroom.

MOSS: They missed it. Just like as soon as they knew that this woman was gone and the last place she was this was lab, they didn`t immediately close down the lab and search every inch of that huge building.

Once again they made a mistake, but this guy, there`s nothing dumber than leaving evidence that could be found by a plumber. I mean this guy may work at Yale but he`s no genius. He is going to convict himself because of all of the clues he`s leaving behind.

GRACE: Listen, Joe Lawless, I am the police, the sheriff`s biggest supporter. They are the ones that found the evidence that led to an arrest in this case, OK? However, what I`m worried about -- this is what I`m worried about. The crime scene was closed down. It was reopened.

Now they find evidence shoved down a drain? At trial the defense can argue the scene was so contaminated, so open to the general public, anybody could have done that. It may not be able to be linked back to the defendant.

LAWLESS: And that`s precisely what`s going to happen. They`re going to argue one of two things. Either the real killer tried to plant evidence that is in some way related to Clark to try to frame him, or the police took evidence that links Clark to the scene and planted it to try to bolster.

GRACE: Right.

LAWLESS: . an otherwise weak case.

GRACE: OK. Bradford Cohen, weigh in.

COHEN: Yes, 100 percent. He`s 100 percent correct. The problem is that they missed this. And it`s very obvious to me that they missed it and that`s the one place that they should go look immediately is the drains, the bathrooms, everything you said. I actually agree with you for this one time. But don`t take advantage of it.


GRACE: I will not take it as a compliment. Dr. Bethany Marshal, what do you make of the frantic cleanup the suspect apparently did?

MARSHALL: Well, it tells me that he may have been contemplating at some unconscious level killing this girl but it wasn`t really thought of consciously, so after he had this rage attack he had to cover up. But you know, he has four of the major risk factors for violence in the workplace. Substance abuse, steroid use, history of violence against women, the perception of loss of control, and the perception of financial inequity. Those are the four risk factors and based on your reporting, it seems like he has all four.



JAMES LEWIS, NEW HAVEN POLICE CHIEF: This was not a street crime. It was not a domestic crime. It was a workplace crime.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Police looking into whether Clark`s attitude may have led to a deadly confrontation.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Annie Le was strangled to death in the lab where she worked. Clark, who also worked there, is charged with doing it and then trying to hide her body behind a wall in the lab`s basement.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: New Haven Police chief says his detectives had eyes on 24-year-old Raymond Clark as soon as Yale police turned over Annie Le`s investigation to them. He`s accused of strangling Le then stuffing her 90-pound body into a basement wall.


GRACE: Back to Jean Casarez, legal correspondent, "In Session." About the allegations he was using steroids, what do you know?

CASAREZ: Well, it is being reported -- the "National Enquirer" is reporting that he allegedly was taking steroids at the time that he committed this crime, allegedly.

GRACE: Right.

CASAREZ: Roid rage would be the effect of that, and we`ve seen that before and it`s where there`s outbursts of violence. No confirmation of it. The defense is not responding to it. But when you look at him in court.

GRACE: Got it.

CASAREZ: . the first thing we noticed was muscles.

GRACE: To Dr. Jennifer Shu, physician joining us out of the Atlanta jurisdiction. Dr. Shu, what effect does steroids have on someone if, in fact, he was taking them?

SHU: Well, the first thing that Jean mentioned was that it can increase your muscle mass. There can also be an increase in body hair as well as growth of the vocal cords so the voice may become deeper. Also things like acne, hormonal changes.

And what she mentioned was roid rage. In some people steroids can cause things like violence, aggression, suicidal behavior, manic behavior. And that`s especially true if they`re on high doses of steroids and suddenly stop them.

GRACE: What about it, Dr. Bethany?

MARSHALL: Also, obsessional paranoia, which is the persistent belief that someone`s very existence on this planet is threatening your well being. They`re messing up the mouse cages, they`re going to get married, that they`re doing you wrong, so you`re going to have to wipe them out.

GRACE: Everyone, let`s stop and remember Army Private First Class Caleb Lufkin, 24, Knoxville, Illinois, killed Iraq. Awarded Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Overseas Service Ribbon, Combat Action Badge.

A volunteer back home. Had a smile that lit up a room. Loved banjo, fishing, hunting, motorcycles. Wanted to be a firefighter. Leaves behind parents Tammy and Marcy, brothers Lance and Taylor.

Caleb Lufkin, American hero.

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