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Reported Sighting of Bret Michael Edmunds in Texas

Aired June 14, 2002 - 12:49   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Now this breaking news story we would like to try and flush out for you: Just moments ago, we reported to you that, in the Texas Panhandle, that Bret Michael Edmunds, who is being looked for in the Salt Lake City area in connection with Elizabeth Smart, we reported that there may be a possible sighting of him in the Panhandle of Texas.

Well, now we're trying to get a little bit more information for you to update you on that. "The Hereford Brand" newspaper reported this possible sighting of Bret Michael Edmunds, as well as a possible sighting of his vehicle, the 1997 green Saturn, that is believed to have been the vehicle that he was last seen in.

We've got on the telephone with us now Becky Thorn. She is a reporter for "The Hereford Brand" newspaper.

Becky, why don't you give us a little bit more about why you all felt that it was important go with these details? What kind of information did you have that substantiated this possible sighting of Bret Michael Edmunds?

BECKY THORN, "THE HEREFORD BRAND": To begin with, there was a car left in a residential neighborhood that aroused suspicion. And the police department was called out to investigate that.

And then later, there was a report that a clerk in a convenience store here -- a man had attempted to buy a bottle of water with a credit card. And when the credit card could not be used, the man left the store. So, when this was reported to the police, they kind of tied all this together and took a picture of Bret Michael Edmunds to the convenience store. And the clerk identified him as the person who had tried to make the purchase.

WHITFIELD: So, that clerk felt pretty definitively that the person he saw is certainly that of the photograph that was brought in by the police.

THORN: That's the way it was reported to us. And that's what we have put in the paper today.

WHITFIELD: And did he describe what kind of condition he appeared to be in, what he was wearing, any kind of information like that that might help people in their continued search for Mr. Edmunds? THORN: They did not report anything of that nature to us in what was reported today. However, there has been another vehicle reportedly stolen locally that they think he might be connected with.

WHITFIELD: So, A, the vehicle that was spotted was the green 1997 Saturn, and now, in addition to that, a reported car theft?

THORN: Yes, ma'am. Another one has been reported stolen here locally.

WHITFIELD: OK. Can you describe what that vehicle is like?

THORN: All that I have on it is, it is a Mitsubishi Montero. And I don't know the year or the color.

WHITFIELD: OK. And where was that vehicle stolen from, do you believe? How far from the location, the convenience store where perhaps Mr. Edmunds may have been spotted?

THORN: Probably about five blocks. One was in the 1300 block of First Street. And the other was in the 1800 block of First Street.

WHITFIELD: OK, do you get a sense that people in that community have gotten obviously a good enough look at Mr. Edmunds, given that this is an investigation that is thinking place in Salt Lake City, but of course getting an awful lot of national attention, that people are fairly cognizant or have been fairly aware of what to look for? Is this evidence of that?

THORN: Well, I hope it is. We hope that they are making a positive identification on the right person here.

WHITFIELD: The convenience store clerk, have you had a chance to talk to him?

THORN: No, I have not. We don't even have a name of that clerk at this point.

WHITFIELD: Do you know whether Mr. Edmunds has spoken to anybody else in the town? Has anyone else come forward now suddenly after hearing about this convenience store clerk's alleged interaction with him, that perhaps they may have seen Mr. Edmunds or anything suspicious?

THORN: Nothing else that has been reported to us at this point.

WHITFIELD: OK. And this vehicle, a Mitsubishi Montero, you don't know what color or license plates or anything like that that may now be also associated with Mr. Edmunds now that there is a reported -- that that vehicle has reportedly been stolen in that area?

THORN: No, they did not give us any further information on that particular vehicle.

WHITFIELD: OK, all right, Becky Thorn, thank you very much for joining us from "The Hereford Brand" newspaper. "The Hereford Brand" newspaper is reporting that a convenience store clerk in that area believes that they had interaction with Bret Michael Edmunds, the man that you are looking at right now, who Salt Lake City police want to talk to. They are not calling him a suspect, but they say they want to talk to him as it relates to the missing- persons case of 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart.

And, thus far, what we are able to report to you via the help of Becky Thorn at "The Hereford Brand" newspaper: that another vehicle has been reportedly stolen in the Hereford area, after the 1997 green Saturn that Mr. Edmunds was believed to have been in, has reportedly now been stolen, a Mitsubishi Montero. And they are still looking for information on that vehicle to help people in their continued search, now a nationwide search of Mr. Edmunds.

We will be keeping tabs on that story.

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