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Nancy Grace

Mom Says Missing 20-month-old Ayla Reynolds Still Alive; Young Model Guilty of Murder Rich Boyfriend; Search Continues for Missing Maine 20- Month-Ol

Aired January 24, 2012 - 20:00   ET


NANCY GRACE, HLN HOST: Breaking news tonight, live. Maine, 8:00 PM, a 20- month-old baby girl goes to sleep in her own bed, 9:00 AM she`s gone, snatched from her own home. Just hours before she disappears, Mommy secretly goes to court fighting for full custody, never sees her baby again.

Bombshell tonight. As divers scour the bottom of freezing cold Kennebec River, family swears baby Ayla is alive, and quote, "holding on." And after public pressure to take a poly, does Daddy fail his lie detector test? He says the test is, quote, "irrelevant." And tonight, is the family changing their story about how the toddler girl goes missing? As Mommy`s poly is halted midstream, tonight, where is baby Ayla?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- one second for my daughter to ever think that I wasn`t doing everything that I could to get her home.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Twenty-month-old Ayla Reynolds.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Last seen tucked into her bed in pajamas.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For a 20-month-old to go missing in our area --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ayla Reynolds` dad reported her missing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If there was something solid that I knew, I mean, I would be sharing that, but again, you know, I cannot go out there and speculate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I will not accept that he did not know. No, I want answers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s not about me. It`s not about Trista. It`s not (ph) a "he said, she said" thing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Despite accusations from Ayla`s mother, Trista, that he was not a good caregiver, he refuses to engage in finger pointing or placing blame.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is about Ayla.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think she`s alive and she`s holding in there. She`s being a strong little girl right now. I love her so much and I want her home.


GRACE: And tonight, we have a verdict. A rich and lonely businessman divorces his wife of 24 years to find love through an ad, an ad placed by a 25-year-old blonde. The two play house in his beach home until it all goes sideways, 55-year-old William McLaughlin standing in his kitchen in a bathrobe, a male intruder enters the home and opens fire. But it`s the 25- year-old girlfriend that goes on trial for murder. Tonight, the verdict.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nanette Johnston seemingly had it all -- looks, brains, and after meeting millionaire businessman Bill McLaughlin, money.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She`s a greedy thief who committed this murder for money.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Authorities say Johnston also had a man on the side, a former NFL linebacker. Prosecutors say Johnston gave the ex- football player a key to the millionaire`s home to murder him. For a while, it looked like Nanette Packard had gotten away with it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, she did get away with it for 15 years.

911 OPERATOR: Your father or your dog?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We the jury find the defendant, Nanette Anne (ph) Packard --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was $700,000 in that bank account right before McLaughlin was murdered.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Authorities say Nanette Johnston stood to gain a million-dollar life insurance policy.

911 OPERATOR: Emergency, police, fire (INAUDIBLE)


GRACE: This is all about money.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She lied to, cheated on and stole from the millionaire businessman she was living with.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was $700,000 in that bank account.


GRACE: Good evening. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us. Bombshell tonight. 8:00 PM, a 20-month-old baby girl goes to sleep in her own bed. 9:00 AM, she`s gone. After public pressure to take a poly, does Daddy fail his lie detector?

We are taking your calls. Straight out to Christopher Cousins, reporter with "The Bangor Daily News." What is this we are hearing about the father failing his polygraph?

CHRISTOPHER COUSINS, "BANGOR DAILY NEWS" (via telephone): Well, neither the police nor Justin have said whether he has failed a polygraph or not. He took a polygraph in the days following Ayla`s disappearance and told reporters here that he had smoked (ph) the test and that he told the truth, but declined to say whether or not he failed the test. And police won`t confirm that, either.

GRACE: Christopher Cousins joining us from "The Bangor Daily News."

To John DePetro, WPRO, host there. John, thanks for being with us. Now, wait a minute. Wait a minute. After a lot of public pressure, Daddy finally takes a polygraph, a lie detector. But after he takes a lie detector and gets his results, he goes into a fit and demands to see the test itself. And when you look at a lie detector test, John DePetro, it looks like an EKG. You can`t make heads or tails of it. And now he won`t tell us whether he passed it or failed it and says the test is, quote, "irrelevant." What do you know, John DePetro?

JOHN DEPETRO, WPRO HOST: Nancy, Justin says that he, quote, "smoked" the lie detector test. I don`t know if that would be my response if that was my missing child. But make this very clear. The police say they told him what the results of the test were. He won`t say what they were. He says that they haven`t shown him the results, but the police say Justin knows the results of that lie detector test.

GRACE: To Ellie Jostad on the story. What do you know, El?

ELLIE JOSTAD, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER: Well, Nancy, the police say, yes, they have not shown him actually the printout from the polygraph test. They say they wouldn`t do that. It looks like an electrocardiogram. It`s not something that a layperson -- a layperson like Justin DiPietro could interrupt. They say he knows how he did on the test.

GRACE: But here`s the deal. Emily Barsh, who has spoken with Ayla`s father, who, according to a lot of reports, has failed his polygraph. As you all know the story by now, 23-month-old Ayla is there in her home, asleep in her bed, in the same room as another relative baby, also an infant. They both apparently sleep the entire night. Nobody wants a bottle. Nobody wets the bed. Nobody has a bad dream or tries to get out of the crib, nothing. The next morning, Ayla is gone. She was there with her father that night.

Emily Barsh, a lot has happened over the last 72 hours in this case. But from what we are hearing, he fails the polygraph. When you spoke to him, what was his demeanor?

EMILY BARSH, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER (via telephone): Nancy, he sounded very sincere. And you know, I tried to be open-minded as a reporter, producer, journalist, but -- and he was very calm. He wasn`t freaking out. And you know who freaks out --

GRACE: What he did say, Emily?

BARSH: Say that again?

GRACE: What did he say?

BARSH: Oh. Well, he was telling me -- first of all, what he said about our show is that, You know what? Bring it on, basically. If I have to be the brunt of media attacks -- and I`m quoting him here -- so it helps bring my daughter home, so be it. To be honest -- and get this, Nancy -- I would like to thank Nancy Grace. If she thinks that what she`s doing by coming at me will bring Ayla home, then so be it.

So that`s what he said to me. And I thought that was a very bold statement.

GRACE: We are taking your calls. Out to Woody Tripp, former police commander, polygraph expert. We know tonight the father is insisting, demanding that he sees the actual polygraph test. Police are telling us, Oh, he knows how he did on the test. But when we ask him point-blank, he says the test was irrelevant and will not tell us that he passed or failed. What about it, Woodrow Tripp?

WOODROW TRIPP, FMR. POLICE COMMANDER, POLYGRAPH EXPERT (via telephone): Well, Nancy, it`s interesting. It sounds like Justin smoked something, I`m just not sure if it was the polygraph test. In fact, I`m sure it wasn`t, based upon his answers.

First of all, if they told him, then he would certainly proclaim from the highest tower that he passed it, if, in fact, he did. So his statement that he smoked it, and he knows how he did, is certainly contradictory to what is actually going on.

Secondly, his part about wanting to view it -- well, Nancy, let me say this. The polygraph course or school is on a master`s level of education. And it`s pretty like any normal person, including myself, if a doctor showed me certain tests, I would probably not understand them. So with it being on a master`s level, they could show him all day, he`s still not going to understand it. That`s not anything indicative to his mental capabilities, it`s the fact that it`s a very, very high-tech kind of level of education.

So all this is really a bunch of bunk. If he passed it, he would be certainly proclaiming that. By them telling him his results, he knows what they are, and that`s why he`s avoiding this issue.

GRACE: We are taking your calls. Out to Stacy in Virginia. Hi, Stacy. What`s your question?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. I love you and I want to thank you for all you do. But my question is if they`ve submitted to drug testing, especially the mother after, you know, having to stop her lie detector test.

GRACE: Good question. To John DePetro, WPRO host. John, what do you know about drug tests?

DEPETRO: Well, Nancy, that she claims -- Trista claims that she has been clean. But there was definitely some medical issue with her that when she was going to take the test, she was unable to complete it. But we don`t know that she has failed any recent drug test.

GRACE: And also tonight, the family is saying they are convinced baby Ayla is alive. To Ellie Jostad. On what are they basing that assertion?

JOSTAD: Well, Nancy, it`s not clear. But Ayla`s mother, Trista Reynolds, appeared on the "Today" show and she said that she does believe that her daughter is still alive. She said she thinks that she is out there somewhere hanging on, and that she just needs to be a very brave girl.

GRACE: Everyone, baby Ayla goes missing from her crib. She`s there at the father`s home that night, several other adults there, other children there, as well, no forced entry whatsoever.

Let`s go back over the facts as we know them, Ellie. What happened the night baby Ayla goes missing?

JOSTAD: Well, Nancy, Justin DiPietro, Ayla`s father, says that he put her to bed at about 8:00 PM. The next morning, they discovered she was missing. And this is at about 8:00 AM in the morning, 12 hours or so later.

There`s some controversy, based on a blog post, over who it was, exactly, that discovered Ayla missing. Now, the dad has not spoken publicly about it, but this blog that`s written by a friend of his says that it`s actually the -- let me make sure I get this right because it is confusing. It is the aunt that discovered Ayla was missing. The aunt told the dad`s girlfriend, and then the girlfriend told the dad.

GRACE: Unleash the lawyers. Pilar Prinz, defense attorney, Atlanta, Dwane Cates, defense attorney LA. To you, Pilar. It`s never good when the witnesses, the family begins to change their story. At the outset, the story was, I believe, that the -- who was it, Ellie? That the girlfriend, Daddy`s girlfriend, finds the baby. It changes to the aunt finds the baby. It`s gone through three changes as to who finds the baby missing and what exactly went down that night.

What about it, Pilar?

PILAR PRINZ, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, Nancy, as Ellie just said, it wasn`t the father himself who changed the story, it`s a friend of his. I`ve looked at her blog, too. This is a woman -- she`s a mother. She`s a stay-at-home mother. She`s a blogger. And she lives about 600 miles away. And if you read her blog, what she says is that she just got it wrong. So I don`t think we`re hearing it directly from the source. We`re simply hearing it from a friend.

GRACE: Dwane Cates, she obviously is getting the information from the family. And to have to revise the story three separate times as to who discovered the baby missing -- first of all, raising two children, they`ve just turned 4, I find it hard to believe that these two slept through the entire night. Nobody wanted a bottle. Nobody wet the bed. Nobody had a bad dream or wanted Mommy or Daddy or crawled out of the crib, nothing the whole night, from 8:00 PM to 9:00 AM?

That`s a pretty tough sell, Dwane Cates. And now the story`s changing as to who went into the room to find the baby missing?

DWANE CATES, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, again -- and it isn`t the parents that are changing the story, it`s some random blogger that`s a friend of the family --

GRACE: It`s not a random blogger.

CATES: -- that posts something and she says --

GRACE: This is a friend of the family.

CATES: Well, I understand, but she -- but she got the story wrong. She put the story up, she --

GRACE: Well, then why did you say --

CATES: -- changed the story --

GRACE: -- it was a random blogger?

CATES: -- she took the story down. Well, she is a random blogger.

GRACE: No, she`s not a random blogger.

CATES: She`s a friend of the family. But --

GRACE: She is in touch with the family.

CATES: -- we don`t -- we don`t know where --

GRACE: She`s getting her info --

CATES: -- the information came from.

GRACE: -- from them. OK, let`s follow up on that.

CATES: We don`t know.

GRACE: John DePetro, WPRO, it`s our understanding she is getting her information from the family. What do you know, John?

DEPETRO: She is, Nancy. She`s a longtime friend of the father, Justin DiPietro. And make no mistake, that was a crucial element to get wrong, as far as who discovered that Ayla was missing.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She`s amazing. I mean, she`s very funny, very outgoing. I mean, she dances around the room. I mean, she`s just -- I mean, she`s a -- she loves dancing.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He knows something.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People don`t have to care about me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Her father says he put her to bed, only to discover her missing the next morning.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He has done something with my daughter.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Police suspect foul play.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Come out and just say it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The father, Justin DiPietro, spoke out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t want for one second for my daughter to ever think that I wasn`t doing everything that I could to get her home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He knows that same public he is asking to help find his daughter also has many questions for him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How can you not know where your child is?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re looking at every angle and will continue to do so until we find Ayla.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want her poster, her face on every corner in America.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Her story front and center until she is found and comes home.


GRACE: We are taking your calls. A lot of breaking news in the case of missing toddler, baby Ayla -- Ayla 2 feet, 9 inches, 30 pounds, 20 months old, short blond hair, left arm in a sling at the time she goes missing.

Out to the lines. Jennifer in Texas. Hi, Jennifer. What`s your question?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. How are you?

GRACE: I`m good, dear.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just want to say I love your show and I think you`re such a great person.

GRACE: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My question is, and it may have been asked a long time ago, but the mom was always saying that when baby Ayla would come home, she would have bruises and other stuff, like the dad was abusing her. And it`s our job as parents to protect our kids. So why was she allowing the baby to go over to his house anyway?

GRACE: You know, good question. It`s my understanding that she was fighting for full custody, which suggests to me that the father had some type of a visitation arrangement.

To John DePetro, WPRO. What do we know? She was letting the father see the baby, but it seems as if everything time baby Ayla was with the father, something bad happened. For instance, on one occasion, he fell on her as she was going on the stairs and broke her arm. There was another occasion she came home covered in black and blue. He said she was, quote, "mauled" by a group of children, older children, at a Chuck E. Cheese. There was some other incident.

Why did he keep getting a chance to see the baby, John?

DEPETRO: Well, Nancy, the mother was, in fact, in rehab. So Justin then was taking care of her. And she did have the soft cast that he claims he slipped and fell on top of her when he was bringing groceries into the house. However, police do not think that in any way the soft cast of the arm come into play in this case with (ph) missing (ph).


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She`s quiet and very sweet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She`s amazing. I mean, she`s very funny, very outgoing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Her eyes -- she`s got the bluest eyes and the longest eyelashes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As the days go on, our concern grows.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The search for Ayla Reynolds.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We continue on in this investigation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Praying for her safe return.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whoever has Ayla right now, please bring her home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Police suspect foul play.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My biggest fear is that she`s all alone and she`s scared!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want her poster, her face on every corner in America.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What happened to this little girl?


GRACE: Tonight, baby Ayla`s family insists they believe she is alive. To Ellie Jostad. But we understand divers scouring the bottom of freezing cold Kennebec River nearby. Explain.

JOSTAD: Right, Nancy. It seems as though at the -- at least in this investigation, they`ve been focused on bodies of water and that they were trying to eliminate the possibility that Ayla could be in one of these rivers that are very close to the father`s home.

GRACE: This seemingly at odds with the family`s belief that the child is still alive -- little Ayla, 20 months old.

Back to Emily Barsh. She spoke recently with Ayla`s father, reports that he failed his polygraph. Emily, I want to go back to what the father said to you. What did he say about the night Ayla goes missing, how she was discovered, any conditions surrounding the disappearance?

BARSH: Well, interestingly, Nancy, I asked him about that and got very specific about who was in the home and who he knew might have been in the home, including his niece. And he said to me he didn`t want to talk about the investigation or the evidence.

GRACE: Did you say he didn`t want to comment on what happened that night? Why?

BARSH: Well, that`s the funny thing. He didn`t say, Because cops told me not to. He just said, I`m just not going to do that right now with you.

GRACE: Well, I don`t understand. You`re asking information about the baby`s disappearance so you can help find the baby. What were as your questions, and what were his answers verbatim, as you recall it?

BARSH: I said to Justin, We understand that there was another child in the room with your daughter, Gabby (ph). Is that true? Was she in there? And did she wake up when you went in to check? And would you have thought that she would have woken up? And I asked him, Who else was in the home?

I mean, these were just very factual, straightforward questions. And he -- he just -- he said he didn`t want to answer those questions. Now, earlier when I spoke to him, and earlier in that conversation, I asked him several other questions, and he sort of stuck to that, I don`t want to hinder the investigation.

GRACE: But how would telling you the true facts as to what happened that night -- who was there, who found the baby, if she cried during the night, did anybody go in and check on her -- how would that hinder the investigation, Emily?

BARSH: Exactly.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a beautiful little girl that I hold in my arms and that I love so much. She`s my granddaughter. I want her home. I want her home, I want her safe, and I hope and pray to God that no one has hurt her.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t want for one second for my daughter to ever think that I wasn`t doing everything I could to get her home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m really starting to believe that he has done something with my daughter.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Twenty-month-old Ayla Reynolds.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Last seen tucked into her bed in pajamas.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The 20-month-old still missing in our area.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Described as about two feet, nine inches tall.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Ayla Reynold`s dad reported her missing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If there was something solid that I knew, I mean, I would be sharing that. But, again, you know, I cannot go out there and speculate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I will not accept that he did not know. No. I want answers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s not about me. It`s not about Trista. It`s not a he said/she said thing.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Despite accusations from Ayla`s mother, Trista, that he was not a good caregiver, he refuses to engage in finger-pointing or placing blame.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is about Ayla.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think she`s alive and she`s holding in and she`s being a strong little girl right now. I love her so much and I want her home.


GRACE: Tonight, where is 20-month-old baby Ayla? In the oddest set of circumstances, the father has baby Ayla that night in his home. His girlfriend is sleeping over with her baby. His sister is sleeping over with her baby. There`s a total of three adults -- the father, the girlfriend, and his sister -- and three children.

According to them, none of the infants make a peep the entire night. These two, two of the little children, in one room together, nobody cries, nobody wants a bottle, nobody wets their diaper, crawls out of their crib, nothing. And, apparently, nobody goes to check on them the entire night. They`re in there from about 8:00 p.m. until about 9:00 a.m., and nobody peeks in.

If my children are still in bed at 9:00 a.m., I think they must have quit breathing. It`s crazy.

Long story short, now apparently there`s been a shift in the story as to who found the baby missing that morning. We also learn daddy says his lie detector results were, quote, "irrelevant," and in the middle of all this, we learn that the mom takes a polygraph and the polygraph has to be halted midstream because of some medical condition.

We don`t know what that`s all about.

To John DePetro, WPRO, joining us from Providence, what happened with the mom? What`s the medical condition that stops her, that precludes her from finishing her polygraph?

JOHN DEPETRO, HOST, WPRO AM RADIO: Nancy, we don`t know that. All she claimed was it was some mental condition. She has has offered to retake the test, but authorities feel comfortable she answered enough questions and they don`t feel that that is necessary.

GRACE: You know what, she actually reveals to us what the questions were and what happened during that polygraph. Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think she`s alive and she`s holding in and she`s being a strong little girl right now. I love her so much, and I want her home. If I had taken Ayla or if I know who could have gone and taken Ayla, and obviously, no, I have no idea who took her or where she is or anything like -- and I never took her. Like, I have no reason to hide any of that. Like, I would never do that.


GRACE: That`s Ayla`s mom on NBC`s "Today" show. She was referring to the specific questions that were asked of her during her polygraph. Cops say they got enough information, they`re satisfied with her answers, and they don`t even want to complete another polygraph.

OK, Woodrow Tripp, you`re the expert polygrapher, that says to me that they believe mommy, they don`t have any desire in polygraphing her again. And also, Woody, you and I know the facts, she was about 50 or 60 miles away at the time the baby goes missing.

WOODROW TRIPP, FORMER POLICE COMMANDER, POLYGRAPH EXPERT: Well, Nancy, one thing that I have to point out here, this is all coming from her. She is saying that the police are happy. We`re not hearing that from law enforcement, we`re not hearing that from the polygraph examiner. So, you know, it`s her story and that`s what she`s telling.

GRACE: Well, hold on. Hold on just a moment.

To Christopher Cousins, "Bangor Daily News," it`s my understanding police were happy with the answers that they got from her and they have no intention of asking her any further questions, hooked up to a lie detector.

CHRISTOPHER COUSINS, REPORTER, BANGOR DAILY NEWS: I have to agree with your other guest, Nancy, all the information we know about the polygraph test is coming from Trista herself. The police investigators have not disclosed anything about either polygraph test, citing the ongoing investigation.

GRACE: I`m glad to hear that, Christopher Cousins. Is that your understanding, John DePetro?

DEPETRO: It is, Nancy. What`s interesting, though, is they certainly don`t seem to focus on her. And from day one, if you remember, she just stayed away from the scene. She so far has not seemed to be a focus in any way of the investigation.

GRACE: Well, you know what, you guys are right. I stand corrected. Police have not stated they were happy with the results of her lie detector.

Ellie Jostad, have they made any plans to re-perform the tests?

ELLIE JOSTAD, NANCY GRACE CHIEF EDITORIAL PRODUCER: Nancy, they wouldn`t tell us anything about polygraphs, planned polygraphs, taken polygraphs in regards to Trista Reynolds, the mom. They just would not comment.

GRACE: And what we`ve learned about the father, basically, is what he himself has blurted out.

Out to the lines, John in Massachusetts. Hi, John, what`s your question?

JOHN, CALLER FROM MASSACHUSETTS: Hi, Nancy, how you doing today?

GRACE: Good.

JOHN: All right. Well, I have two questions for you, and first of all, I think she needs to have the polygraph done again. That`s baloney. But my two questions are, why do you think she didn`t finish the polygraph? And is there any documented proof of this medical condition that she supposedly has?

GRACE: Good question. What do we know about it, John DePetro?

DEPETRO: We don`t, Nancy. Just that she said there was a medical condition and that she was unable to finish the polygraph.

GRACE: OK, Woody, what type of medical condition would arise midstream in a poly that would cause cops to stop the test?

TRIPP: Well, that`s just it, Nancy. When we start a polygraph, pre- interview, we get those questions answered. That`s the whole point of the pre-test interview. We discuss mental conditions, we discuss physical conditions, we discuss medical conditions before we ever get started.

And let me also point this out. We don`t render a verdict on a polygraph examination midway through it. There is a series of tests that we conduct, a minimum of three, as part of the examination. So saying that they stopped it in the middle, but that they`re OK and everything`s hunky-dory is absolutely bull. We don`t do that. We don`t render a verdict midway through an exam. It just doesn`t happen. So, again, it`s her story, she`s telling it. But it is her story.

GRACE: To Greg Kading, former LAPD, author of "Murder Rap," what does it say to you, Gregg, that the mom says, fine, I`ll take it again, strap me up?

GREG KADING, FMR. LAPD DETECTIVE, AUTHOR OF "MURDER RAP": Well, (INAUDIBLE) it works in her favor. Obviously her statements are self- serving until we hear from law enforcement what actually occurred there, and you know we`ll obviously know more. I`ve taken polygraphs before and have -- they`ve been rendered inconclusive because I have a heart murmur. So there are these physiological conditions that may affect the results of these polygraph, or if there are medications that she`s on, as a result of some medical condition.

Until those questions are answered, we really can`t draw a conclusion as to how much emphasis we should put on this poly.

GRACE: Joining us out of Sacramento, Dr. Bill Lloyd, a board-certified surgeon and pathologist.

Dr. Lloyd, as always, thank you for being with us. While the family is saying publicly, they believe Ayla is alive tonight, we know that police have been scouring the banks and the bottom of the Kennebec River in freezing cold temperatures. If the child`s body was underwater, what would we be able to learn from it, for instance, as to cause of death?

DR. BILL LLOYD, BOARD-CERTIFIED SURGEON AND PATHOLOGIST: Good evening, Nancy. Given the cold temperatures, it`s very likely that much of this young girl`s body would be preserved. That means we`d be able to visualize bruises, other injuries to the soft the tissues, and again, go back and look at x-rays and compare with old injuries or maybe new injuries that were found when you repeat the x-ray once the body is removed from the river.

GRACE: So are you suggesting that, Dr. Lloyd, that if she is underwater, which I think is a very likely scenario, that the cold temps actually serve to preserve the body?

LLOYD: They can, particularly in fresh water, they will prevent decomposition. You get the body temperature down low enough, and the cells will hold together. It`s remarkable how well some human remains can be kept underwater for weeks or months and look wonderful when they`re retrieved from the water.

GRACE: The police mean business. I can`t tell you how difficult it is to dive in freezing temperatures like that. There`s a whole apparatus that has to be worn, a hood over your body, it almost looks like a chain link mail-type of covering, to actually dive, to do an investigative dive in that type of atmosphere.

Very quickly, to Dr. Leslie Austin, psychotherapist, New York. Ayla`s mom insisting that she is alive tonight. Does she have a basis for that or is it wishful thinking? The hope that the mom needs to get through this.

DR. LESLIE AUSTIN, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: Families almost always live on hope until there`s conclusive proof that the negative result has come out. She has to do that in order to keep strong and to keep participating in the search for the child. They have to do that.

GRACE: To Gaetane Borders, missing child advocate, president of Peas in Their Pods, weigh in, Gaetane.

GAETANE BORDERS, PRESIDENT, PEAS IN THEIR PODS, ADVOCATE FOR MISSING MINORITY CHILDREN: You know, Nancy, here`s the thing. There`s so many red flags here. The quote from the dad is he never wants Ayla to think that he didn`t do everything in his power to bring her home.

Well, the first thing to do, Justin, is to stop calling anything irrelevant in this case.

GRACE: Well put.

Everyone, the family album is back, showcasing your photos in the iReport. New York friends the Barrets, mom Beth, daughter, Tessa, art, photography, traveling, visiting Tessa`s grandparents and Colorado`s hot springs.

Share your photos with us through our "iReport Family Album." Go to and click on "Nancy`s Family Album."



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She had a $1 million life insurance policy on Bill McLaughlin, payable only upon his death.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Shot six times in the chest --

GRACE: This is all about money.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Anything to say, Nannette?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Find the defendant, Nannette Ann Packard.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Saying Johnston masterminded the murder plot, hoping to collect more than $1 million in life insurance.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: She was advertising for a wealthy man.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You take care of me and I`ll take care of you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This woman immediately started scamming him.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Conspired with her secret lover to kill her millionaire boyfriend.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Prosecutors say Johnston gave the ex-football player a key to the millionaire`s home to murder him.

JOHNSTON: Innocent.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Find the defendant, Nannette Ann Packard --

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Nannette Johnston seemingly had it all. Looks, brains, and after meeting millionaire businessman Bill McLaughlin, money. But authorities say Johnston also had a man on the side, a former NFL linebacker from the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts.

Prosecutors say Johnston gave the ex-football player a key to the millionaire`s home to murder him. Authorities say Nannette Johnston stood to gain a $1 million life insurance policy.


GRACE: A verdict comes down in the case of a 25-year-old girl who places an ad for love. Who answers? A lonely and wealthy businessman. But according to the facts, an armed male intruder enters the home while McLaughlin is standing in the kitchen in his bathrobe making a sandwich and guns him down, shooting him six times in the chest. But who goes on trial? The girlfriend. Well, a jury has spoken.

To Jean Casarez, correspondent, "In Session," what happened?

JEAN CASAREZ, LEGAL CORRESPONDENT, "IN SESSION": Well, the jury found that she was the mastermind and that she had actually given the key to the house and to the pedestrian access gate that the boyfriend used to kill this multi-millionaire in cold blood in his kitchen as he was making a sandwich.

GRACE: To Caitlin Rother, true crime author. Working on the book regarding this case, you attended the murder trial every day.

Caitlin, weigh in.

CAITLIN ROTHER, TRUE CRIME AUTHOR, WORKING ON BOOK ABOUT MILLIONAIRE MURDER CASE: Good evening, Nancy. Thanks for having me on. Kevin`s son -- sorry, Bill`s son, Kevin, wasn`t even supposed to be home that night, and he heard these shots from downstairs and tried to come down as fast as he could, but with a brain injury, it took him almost a full minute, and imagine his shock to see his father lying on the floor with blood and bullets and his glasses lying there.

And even more tragic, he tried to call 911, and he did, and the dispatcher could not understand what he was saying. It was heartbreaking.

GRACE: You know, Caitlin, what do you think was the single most damning evidence against the girlfriend, Nannette Johnson, aka, Nannette Packard. She`s got quite a list of AKAs, but what`s the most damn evidence? She did not pull the trigger and the boyfriend, the former NFLer did not testify against her, did he?

ROTHER: No. But she was a manipulator of men and she had a pattern of lying and cheating and stealing. And even though her defense attorney said, you know, you can`t convict her for being a thief, everything that she did proved in court, according to this jury, that she had aided and abetted and manipulated Naposky into killing this man.

GRACE: To Alexis Tereszcuk, senior reporter,, true, a thief does not a murderer make. But Alexis, the timing of the stealing -- for instance, she writes a check for $250,000 on his account, she forges it, the day before he is murdered. And as a matter of fact, the bank goes ahead and clears it.

I wonder who that bank was, Alexis? The day after he`s shot down dead, they clear the check. According to the family, she ripped him off for about $500,000 plus this $250,000 check, plus she was in his will. She got to live in that Newport Beach beach house for a year after his death, rent free. She got his, I believe it was, an infinity vehicle, plus she got money in the will. She also had, I think it was a $1 million life insurance policy on him, Alexis. That`s a pretty good haul.

ALEXIS TERESZCUK, REPORTER, RADAROLINE.COM: You`re exactly right, $1 million. And she had everything she could have wanted living with him. You know, they met in apparently ad. She moved in with him almost immediately. She had full rein of all of his money, his luxurious lifestyle, and it wasn`t enough. She wanted more money and she was cheating on him and wanted to provide a fancy lifestyle for herself and the boyfriend that she was cheating on, so she arranged for his murder so she could get the million-dollar life insurance and all the other perks that came with it. It didn`t work if her because she ended up in jail convicted of his murder.

GRACE: With us, the lead detective on the case, Tom Voth. Tom Voth joining us, just off the guilty verdict just handed down by the jury in the Nannette Johnston case.

Tom, thanks again for being with us. Tom, when you first saw Nannette Johnston and was listening to her, you told me that within the first four or five questions, you found multiple inconsistencies. How did she strike you? What was her demeanor? And did she have that same demeanor in front of the jury?

TOM VOTH, LEAD DETECTIVE ON MILLIONAIRE MURDER CASE, FIRST INTERVIEW SINCE VERDICT: Well, she seemed confident when we were interviewing her, and there were reasons for -- potential reasons for omissions or for lies, because of the boyfriend on the side and so forth, so we had to work through those things. And from the jury, she was quiet, much different than during her fraud case, where she was -- seemed like she was trying to hide more from the jury, where she change her demeanor between the two trials.

GRACE: Did she really? And when you say she changed her demeanor between the two trials, she`s referring to the first trial where she had written a gigantic $250,000 check on his account and the murder trial. Her demeanor changed how?

VOTH: She -- it was only a prelim in the first one. They`ve struck a deal after that, but she seemed to be hiding from the press, from TV and so forth, from any photographers in that portion. Here she was able to control herself, she would control herself much better.

GRACE: And in this case did the two lovers end up blaming each other? They had their trials severed, they were not tried together. Does she end up blaming Naposky and he ended up blaming her at his trial?

VOTH: Their attorneys did. Neither one took the stand.


GRACE: Joining me right now, special guest Tom Voth, he is the lead detective on this case.

Thank you for being with us. Tom, what a case, and a longtime coming. Congratulations on a job well done.

The defense attorneys on with me today are claiming the prosecution threw a racial slur at the defense lawyer by saying that he spoke with an Irish accent. I don`t think that qualifies as race, since I`m Irish. I didn`t take any offense at it. What was this case really about, Tom Voth?

VOTH: Well, obviously the homicide and (INAUDIBLE). And the basis of it was -- what it came down to was the key being at the scene when we arrived. That narrows the suspect group down immensely.

GRACE: And what he`s saying, everyone, is that when the cops got there, the key to the door was still in the lock. So in your mind, Tom Voth, the lead detective on this case, who did it narrow down the murderers to?

VOTH: Well, obviously all those that had access to keys. That included the family members, of course, Nannette, a maid, and some workers, and anyone else we could locate that may have access to those keys.

GRACE: Tom, at the time when you first interviewed her, Nannette Johnston, did you believe her story?

VOTH: Well, the first interview was done by two other detectives. Of course, I was privy to it, I was able to listen to it. Then we re- interviewed her the next day and she basically said the same thing. And we found lies and omissions within the first three, four, five questions of the interview.

GRACE: Wow. Jury hands down a guilty verdict in the murder case against Nannette Johnston.

Let`s stop and remember Army Staff Sergeant Joseph Fuerst III, 26, Tampa, Florida, killed Afghanistan. Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Expert Marksmanship Badge. A police academy grad, loved the outdoors, airboating, parachuting, dancing the two step with his wife. Dream of settling in on new property the couple purchased before his death.

Leaves behind parents Joe and Barbara, brother Brian, widow Tara, also served the army and Afghanistan.

Joseph Fuerst, III, American hero.

Thanks to our guests and especially to you, and special good night for Maryland and Pennsylvania friends, Bonnie and Devon, winners of Gabriel`s Angel Foundation auction. Aren`t they beautiful?

And happy birthday to Georgia friend Jack, involved in so many charities, including Wesley (e Glenn, providing homes for mentally handicapped.

Jack (INAUDIBLE), happy birthday.

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