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CNN BREAKING NEWS

Interview with Brian Lendman

Aired August 1, 2002 - 11:28   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.
DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: And we return to our breaking news story out of Southern California, at Lancaster, California. The search for two teenage girls taken at gunpoint as they were just hanging out with their boyfriends in an area that is considered a safe part of Lancaster. The search on for Jacqueline Marris, 17 years old, and Tamera brooks, 16.

Want to bring back in Deputy Sheriff Brian Lendman from the L.A. County Sheriff's Department to bring us more on this search, and actually what took place about -- I think, deputy, you were saying about 1:00 a.m. California time.

BRIAN LENDMAN, DEPUTY SHERIFF, L.A. COUNTY: That is correct, about 1:00 a.m. California time, a lone male suspect believed to be possessing a Hispanic accent, and to be about 30 to 40 years old, approached two parked vehicles in the area of Avenue M and 47th Street West in Quartz Hill, which is an unincorporated area of L.A. County near Lancaster. He exited that car, which was believed to be taken in a carjacking earlier in the Las Vegas area. He approached the first vehicle, occupied by Tamera Brooks, a female black 16-year-old, and a male companion, and the suspect forced that couple from the car at gunpoint, and forced them to walk with him to the second vehicle, which was occupied by Jaqueline Marris, a female white 17-year-old, and her male companion, who were also forced from their vehicle at gunpoint.

He then tied up at least one of the males, and kidnapped the two females in a vehicle that belonged to one of the male companions who was identified as Joshua Brown (ph). The vehicle in question is a 1980 white and brown Ford Bronco with a gray shell with a California license plate of 1 AIZ 962.

The suspect fled the location with the two female victims in that vehicle, and the two victims, the suspect, and the vehicle are still outstanding at this time.

KAGAN: And deputy, as I understand it, it is really unclear as to even which direction they took off in.

LENDMAN: That is correct, This is a semi-remote area, and because of the situation that the males were in, at least one of them being tied up, they were unable to tell exactly what direction that he was fleeing in.

KAGAN: So how do you even begin to conduct a search like that?

LENDMAN: Well, all of this information, the descriptions of the victims, the picture -- we have a picture of the vehicle, and all of the information has been disseminated state-wide, via the Amber network, the kidnapping alert system. All law enforcement agencies in California have been made aware of this, as well as all media outlets, both in California and obviously nationwide are broadcasting this information via their respective networks, and we're hoping that someone can spot this vehicle, the victims, and/or the suspect, and get that information to their local law enforcement agency as quickly as possible.

KAGAN: So I guess at this point, your best information coming from the two young men who were left behind. I know we have sound from them. Deputy, stick with me. We are going to go ahead and play that sound and then I have some more questions for you.

LENDMAN: OK.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After he taped my hands to the steering wheel, he -- actually, with a tie-down, then he went around and then he made her get out, and then he tried to -- he tried tie us both with the same tie-down, and then it wouldn't work, so then he walked back down and made her walk down, he told me that I couldn't move, I couldn't do anything or else he would hurt her.

QUESTION: Did he do anything with the gun? Did he point it at you? Did he ever point it? What did he do?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, he put it right to the back of my head while he was asking me questions.

QUESTION: Was it just one guy?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, just one guy. He told me he was going to kill me, but he didn't want to. He actually just wanted to tie me up. He just wanted the truck.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KAGAN: Those are the two young men left behind as this apparent gunman took off with the two young women.

We have with us Deputy Sheriff Brian Lendman, who is listening to that sound and is giving us the latest information as we look at live pictures. I believe this is the scene -- Deputy, for people -- of course, we are showing these stories and giving this information to people across the country here on CNN, this Quartz Hill area, it seems, as you mentioned, it is remote, it seems dry, arid, and we see two big water, I guess, water tanks or something that says Courts Hill. What is this area?

LENDMAN: This area is a desert area. The Mohave Desert is a high desert area. It is known as the Antelope (ph) Valley, and the city nearest by is an incorporated city known as Lancaster, and Quartz Hill is an unincorporated area of that, Lancaster.

KAGAN: And as I understand it, this is an teenagers kind of go and hang out, considered relatively safe until what happened last night.

LENDMAN: Yes, that is my understanding that this area is kind of an inspiration point or Lover's Lane, if you will, where young people frequent.

KAGAN: And it is just kind of odd, it being so remote. What could have possibly -- how could this gunman have even known -- it seems like you would have to be familiar with the area to know to go there.

LENDMAN: I couldn't comment on that. The investigation is unfolding as we speak. He have several investigators at the scene. We have representatives from the L.A. Sheriff's Department crime lab out there examining the vehicle that was left there by the suspect, the vehicle that had been taken in the carjacking, searching for any evidence or any indication of -- that would help them in finding these two girls.

KAGAN: And just quickly, Deputy, you mentioned using this Amber kidnapping network. Is this a new system, and how does it work, and how does it help?

LENDMAN: It is a -- from my understanding, a fairly new system. And it is an alert network in that it is a cooperation between the media and law enforcement, which would quickly disseminate information of this nature state-wide. So all law enforcement agencies, the media outlets would be made aware of breaking event such as this, and we can get the information out to the public as soon as possible.

KAGAN: Well, we are more than happy to extend that past the state of California and put it across the country. Once again, we are giving our viewers a good look at the two young women, who were abducted from right there at gunpoint early this morning. Deputy Sheriff Brian Lendman from the L.A. County Sheriff's Department. Sir, thank you again...

LENDMAN: You are welcome.

KAGAN: ... for that information.

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