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Search for Idaho Toddler; Search for Crystal Rogers. Aired 8-9:00p ET
Aired July 15, 2015 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JEAN CASAREZ, GUEST HOST: We begin tonight with breaking news in the desperate search for an Idaho toddler who vanishes on a family camping
trip. Two-year-old Deorr Kunz at the Timber Creek campground with his father, his mother -- even his great-grandpa was there when he disappears.
Tonight, the parents are convinced that their toddler boy has been kidnapped. As we search for clues, what happened to 2-year-old Deorr?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JESSICA MITCHELL, MOTHER: My 2-year-old son -- we can`t find him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They believe their son was abducted as the family camped in Leadore, Idaho.
MITCHELL: (INAUDIBLE) where we were camping at, and we can`t find him at all.
Does somebody have him? Please don`t hurt him. Just bring him home safely.
DEORR KUNZ, SR., FATHER: We`re looking for you, son, and we will find you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CASAREZ: And the mystery of a missing Kentucky mother of five, Crystal Rogers, gets even stranger. Her maroon Chevy found abandoned on
the side of a highway with a flat tire, her keys, her purse, her cell phone -- they`re all left behind right in the car. Now, in a heartbreaking
twist, we learn that Crystal`s children are asking for their mother. Tonight, we uncover new details about how Rogers seemed to disappear into
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Scouring farmland and wooded areas for any sign of a missing Kentucky mother of five.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Rogers was last seen at her boyfriend`s house.
NANCY GRACE, HOST: Did you report her missing?
BROOKS HOUCK, BOYFRIEND: No, ma`am.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: None of his family`s been out to help us find her.
HOUCK: I was not in the least little bit alarmed.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She`s got little kids, you know, and they miss their ma.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CASAREZ: And a brutal, vicious attack on a family pet. And we want to warn you the images you`re going to see might be very disturbing, the
tiny Chihuahua, Snow (ph), found bludgeoned to death in the yard. Tonight, the search for the suspect.
Good evening. I`m Jean Casarez, in for Nancy Grace. Thank you so much for joining us.
We begin tonight with the search for a toddler boy who goes missing from a remote Idaho campsite.
Reporter Nate Eaton joins us from Eastidahonews. Now, you have been at the search area all day today. What`s happening?
NATE EATON, EASTIDAHONEWS.COM (via telephone): Well, Jean, they`re currently trying to find any sign of this little boy. They`re scouring the
reservoir and (INAUDIBLE) creek. This is a little kid who was camping with his mom and dad and great-grandfather and a friend of the great-
grandfather. On Friday afternoon, the parents went for a little walk in the woods. They came back. The boy was gone. There has been no sign of
CASAREZ: Now, he was all around adults, and this is happening right now. This little boy needs to be found, and there are searchers by the
air, on land, ATVs, horseback. They`re searching a water area right now.
But Nate, I want you to tell me about the timeline, OK? It starts Friday afternoon, right?
EATON: Friday afternoon, the family arrives at the campground. They`re settled in, setting up their tent, having a good afternoon. The
parents decide to go on a walk. They leave the boy with his grandfather and the grandfather`s friend.
The parents said they came back about 10 to 15 minutes later. No sign of the boy. Grandpa didn`t know where the boy was. He had assumed the boy
was with the parents. The parents thought he was with Grandpa.
They do their own little search for about 20 minutes. They can`t find him. They immediately call 911 for search and rescue. Now, this is a
remote area. Not a lot of people come out here. It took search and rescue crews quite a while, about an hour, to get out here and begin the intensive
And since then, they have been searching every inch of this campground, every spot around this area. And the grandmother (ph) says
it`s like he just vanished.
CASAREZ: And Nate, the family is saying right now they believe that this little boy was kidnapped, that he was abducted, because law
enforcement searched 2.5 miles, every trace of the area around where that family was. They say they have found no sign of him at all.
And we do have the 911 call, the family calling authorities shortly after they discovered this little boy was missing. Let`s listen.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
911 OPERATOR: What`s the address of your emergency?
JESSICA MITCHELL, MOTHER: I`m actually camping in Leadore, just outside of Leadore. My 2-year-old son -- we can`t find him.
911 OPERATOR: How long has he been missing?
MITCHELL: About an hour.
911 OPERATOR: An hour?
911 OPERATOR: Are you by water?
911 OPERATOR: Do you know which campground you`re in?
MITCHELL: It`s Stone Reservoir, Timber Creek.
911 OPERATOR: Stone Reservoir?
MITCHELL: Yes, or Timber Creek.
911 OPERATOR: Hold on. We need search and rescue. Jessica? Jessica?
[20:05:00]911 OPERATOR: What`s your son`s name?
911 OPERATOR: OK. What was he wearing?
MITCHELL: He was wearing cowboy boots, a blue pair of, like, pajama pants, and a camo jacket. And he`s got shaggy blond hair.
911 OPERATOR: Is your husband calling, too?
MITCHELL: (INAUDIBLE) like, all down where we`re camping at, and we can`t find him at all.
911 OPERATOR: OK. We need you to stay within cell service. We have people going on the way.
MITCHELL: Thank you.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
CASAREZ: I mean, Matt Zarrell, this just doesn`t make sense because this little boy was with adults, and it was a matter of 10 minutes. They
immediately call authorities. Any sign, Matt Zarrell, of any clothing or any item that he would hold near and dear to him?
MATT ZARRELL, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER (via telephone): No, actually, they`re haven`t been any signs of him, and that`s what`s making searchers
so concerned. They`re frantically trying to look. They`ve looked in about a three-mile area around the campground, and there has been no sign of the
boy at all.
CASAREZ: What`s the weather like, Matt Zarrell, there?
ZARRELL: Well, the weather has been -- it`s been warm, in the 70s. But at night is where it`s important, Jean, because it`s gotten below 50 at
night. If the boy is out wandering by himself, it could be very, very cold for a 2-year-old child.
CASAREZ: All right, I do want to go to Lisa Lockwood, former police detective, who is joining us from Los Angeles. The fact that this family
called so quickly law enforcement, and they have spent the last few days with every means possible to search for this little boy -- no sign of him
at all -- what does that tell you?
LISA LOCKWOOD, FMR. POLICE DETECTIVE: And I would also imagine that they would have sniffing dogs there, as well, because a lot of times with
cases like this, when you have a quick response, they get the K9 unit out there, and they can track using a garment, a piece of clothing, to find out
where that last -- the last sighting of that child was, where the aroma was picked up.
And I hadn`t heard anything regarding that because that`s crucial. That`s not to say that it still cannot happen, where they can track and try
to find out if the trail had stopped near a roadway possibly where that child was put into a car.
CASAREZ: And Lisa, law enforcement is saying they are not discounting an abduction. The family believes this little boy was kidnapped, but law
enforcement is saying, We`re not discounting it. What does that tell you as law enforcement?
LOCKWOOD: Yes, and I`m in agreement with them right now because, obviously, they`ve done an investigation. They`ve looked at a timeline.
They wanted to determine when the child was last seen, when the phone call was made. And certainly, they can do that by looking at the pings of the
cell phone, looking at the activity of the parents for that day, and the grandparents, doing individual interviews to try and find out how long that
child had been gone.
CASAREZ: You know, Deorr Kunz`s family actually spoke out. Now they are just helping searchers, but they did speak out in regard to that
timeline. Let`s listen to, from Deorr Kunz`s father.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DEORR KUNZ, SR., FATHER: He was playing with grandpa. He was over -- he was getting ready for a nap. I want to say it was almost -- by that
time, it was almost 2:00, and he usually takes his nap.
We were just -- yes, we decided we were going to go a little exploring. He was going to be good with Grandpa by the campfire. We
weren`t more than probably 50...
MITCHELL: Ten minutes.
KUNZ: ... 50 yards away and 10 minutes. By the time we -- I seen him to the point I figured out he was gone, and I come back up from the creek
and I had actually seen -- there was some things down by the -- a little minnow that I thought he would just love.
So when I come back up to get him, and I yelled over to Grandpa, Where is -- you know, where`s little Deorr? He immediately (INAUDIBLE) He says,
I thought he came up to you, because it`s such a small area. That`s what a lot of people, they don`t understand, is they just assume, How could you
let your kid out of your sight?
This area is pretty well blocked in, and you can see -- you could -- there`s no way you couldn`t not see him, in what we thought. And in just
in a split second, your whole world is upside down and vanished.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CASAREZ: Dr. Michelle Dupre, forensic pathologist -- it`s such a small area, but it`s a forested area. I mean, it`s in Idaho. It goes for
miles and miles and miles. But when you have a forested area, you have wild animals, and that`s what I`m concerned about because we`ve learned
there`s bear there. That`s mountain lion. There`s cougar.
With your experience, does a mountain lion smell human scent at all, and that could be an issue?
DR. MICHELLE DUPRE, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: Certainly, Jean. Any type of wild animal could be an issue at this point. But I would think that
there would still be some type of trace evidence or physical evidence that the child was in the area.
CASAREZ: Exactly. Exactly. So the fact that there is nothing -- except, Dr. Dupre, let me tell you this -- his monkey, his cup, and his
blanket that he never left behind, he carried it with him everywhere -- that was left very close to where his grandpa was. What does that tell
DUPRE: Jean, that does make me think that it may have been an abduction. The child would likely not wander off without that. So that
does give me reason to believe that that could be an abduction.
CASAREZ: Defense attorney Shah, who is joining us from Atlanta -- you know, I have to ask you -- they always question those that last saw the
child. I don`t care where you are. Is it important for authorities to question the parents, the grandpa, the grandpa`s friend?
[20:10:15]PARAG SHAH, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, it`s important for them to do a thorough investigation, but to make it widespread. They don`t want
to just focus on the parents and the grandfather because that`s not going to lead to anything.
Like you said, there`s no forensic evidence or anything suggesting that the child was there. And what`s the motive? They haven`t -- that`s -
- that`s the thing. What`s the motive for them to do this?
But like they said, it`s a small area. I think we would have saw if somebody would have came in and took the kid, so the whole situation is
CASAREZ: Joining us now, someone who has been through this, knows these emotions, Marc Klaas, his beautiful daughter, Polly, president and
founder of Klaas Kids. Thank you for joining us, Marc, out of San Francisco.
You`ve heard the show. You see what people are saying, the questions without any answers at all. What do you think?
MARC KLAAS, KLAAS KIDS FOUNDATION: Well, I think that the kidnap scenario -- I agree with your other guest that that`s highly unlikely. I
think more likely would be the fact that he -- or the possibility that he might have wandered into the water, that he might have fallen down some
kind of an abandoned mineshaft and/or wellshaft, and/or that an animal picked it up in its jaw and walked off with it.
And I would say the animal would probably be a bear. That would be the one that would be able to do that without drawing blood on the child.
I believe that this whole idea as was put forth on Sunday that they`re going to scale back the search makes absolutely no sense. And I also
believe that they need to stay within the 2.5 mile radius that they initially developed because just the thought of a little toddler walking
beyond a 2.5 mile radius is rather absurd in itself.
CASAREZ: And we`re...
KLAAS: So I think that they have to -- they have to keep focusing on that area. And they can`t say, as they have said, that they have covered
every inch of that area because that`s utterly impossible. You have to do it again and again and again.
CASAREZ: You are so right. And on Sunday, they said they were going to scale back, which they did. And now today, they are actively searching
again. We`re going to talk about that in just a second.
But first to tonight`s "Case Alert," the search for a missing 11-year- old schoolgirl, Yanrea Duncan (ph), last seen in southwest D.C. On Sunday, she was wearing a white shirt and burgundy overalls. If you have any tips
at all, please call the D.C. police at 202-727-9099.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[20:16:45]KUNZ: Vanished. There is not a trace of my son found.
911 OPERATOR: How long has he been missing, an hour?
911 OPERATOR: Are you by water?
KUNZ: They have torn that creek upside down and in and out.
MITCHELL: (INAUDIBLE) out there screaming his name. We have nicknames for him.
KUNZ: There is a good chance that he is alive and with somebody.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CASAREZ: I`m Jean Casarez, in for Nancy Grace. And that is what the family is saying. They believe that he could have been kidnapped and they
want to find him.
I want to show you the picture of him, Deorr Kunz, 2-and-a-half years old, shaggy blond hair. He had his pajama bottoms on. But here is the
saving grace, possibly. He had his cowboy boots on. And if you`re going to be in the forest and you`re going to be lost, I think those cowboy boots
could be absolutely invaluable to save you.
I want to go back to Dr. Michelle Dupre, forensic pathologist. Out in the woods, the conditions and the insects and the weather, and it`s cold at
night. It gets down into the 50s. I think I even saw a 40 degree at night. But those cowboy boots could really insulate at least his feet.
DUPRE: That`s true, Jean. The important thing here is he can`t do without water for very long. Food, we can do without for several days,
weeks even, but water`s very important. He needs to be able to get that. I don`t know that a 2-year-old can do that.
CASAREZ: To Seth Meyers, clinical psychologist. He needs water. And he never left anywhere without his animal, his cup and his blanket. Does
that make sense to you, that little boy left them behind, even if he wandered off?
SETH MEYERS, PSYCHOLOGIST: It doesn`t make any sense at all. You know, this little kid obviously would have extreme separation anxiety if he
were separated from his cup, from his little stuffed animal. So the other thing I think is important is, I would think if he saw any -- any adult
that he was with moving away from him, that he would be inclined to follow them. So I wonder, why didn`t he follow, you know, anyone at that moment?
CASAREZ: And Matt Zarrell, who`s to say he didn`t? Because Matt Zarrell, the timeline that we`re hearing is that Mom and Dad went down to
the creek, if I call that -- it`s a creek?
ZARRELL: Yes, about 50 yards away from the main campsite, yes.
CASAREZ: And now they`re searching in the area of the creek for some reason today. That little boy could have followed his parents. If so, why
didn`t they see him, Matt?
ZARRELL: Yes, we`re trying to figure that out, too, because what we hear on the 911 call is that the boy was missing for an hour. But what the
parents are saying is that they searched for him for 20 minutes before they called police. So we`re just trying to figure out where in that timeline
is actually true (ph)? How long did they really look before calling the cops?
CASAREZ: And there`s an inconsistency there either on the part of the operator that wrote down the amount of time they said that they`d been
looking for them (ph), or obviously, with this distraught family.
We`ve got some more of an interview with the family that is searching right now for their son. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITCHELL: This is his blanket. He doesn`t go anywhere without his blanket, his cup or his monkey. And all three of them were left at the
KUNZ: Now, he...
KUNZ: All three has to be with him.
KUNZ: He will trip over them, if he has to, but they`re going with him. And this is the first time since he`s been born pretty much that he`s
been without these things.
[20:20:06]UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And that`s why you -- another reason...
KUNZ: Another reason why we`re wondering.
MITCHELL: Yes, because...
KUNZ: And that may seem...
MITCHELL: ... this was the blanket that we brought him home in from the hospital. This is his -- this is what comforts him any and all times.
KUNZ: This is an exact replica of a security blanket. For everybody, this is actual blanket. He does not go anywhere without it. That`s our
other -- our other concern why.
He`s pretty small for his age, but he moves pretty good, and that was our concern. He was right with us. Where it`s at is -- I mean, I thought
it would be perfect to go camping there because it`s enclosed by walls of mountains, and there`s not much space around that he could go.
And our biggest concern was the creek, which was knee-deep, a few feet wide. But he`s a little guy. They assured me there is 100 percent chance
that he is not anywhere in that water, around that water. The have torn that creek upside down and in and out. The divers have gone through,
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CASAREZ: To tonight`s "Case Alert." Shocking dashcam video shows an Orlando police officer run down in a hit-and-run, Officer William Anderson
(ph) hit by a suspect`s car as it drives away from a traffic stop on Monday. One suspect has been arrested. Two suspects are still at large.
If you have any tips, call Crime Line at 1-800-423-TIPS.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[20:25:25]MITCHELL: My 2-year-old son, we can`t find him.
KUNZ: He does not go away from his parents.
MITCHELL: This is his blanket. He doesn`t go anywhere without his blanket, his cup or his monkey.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CASAREZ: I`m Jean Casarez, in for Nancy Grace.
It`s the summer, right? You want to go camping as a family. You live in Idaho. You go to an area in Idaho where there is camping -- mother,
father, grandpa, grandpa`s friend. And all of a sudden, your child is gone. And that is what`s happened, and that is why this family is saying,
Where is he? Where is this little boy, because they believe that he has been abducted. So that virtually means he could be anywhere at this point.
Look at this little boy. Deorr Kunz is his name. That`s the name he would answer to, 2-and-a-half years old, shaggy blond hair, blond hair,
camouflage jacket, blue pajama pants. And he vanished. Just from beginning to end, it is a mystery. and those are his cowboy boots right
there. Obviously, those should be cowboy boots that could be found.
To Nate Eaton, the father described this area as a small area. Is it a small area? I envision it as a huge area.
EATON: Well, it is a huge area. We`re actually here at the campsite. The actual campsite where they were is pretty small. It`s close to a
creek. And then on the other side, there`s a large mountain. So it`s remote. (INAUDIBLE) in our SUV. The road is very, very, very rocky. It`s
about a 30-minute rocky drive to get to this remote area. It`s remote. It`s large, in a sense, but the campsite itself is actually pretty small.
CASAREZ: You know, Lisa Lockwood, you are a law enforcement officer joining us tonight. The search was called off virtually Sunday night. Why
would you do that?
LOCKWOOD: They`ve been searching Friday, Saturday, Sunday...
CASAREZ: But why call it off?
LOCKWOOD: ... and trying to determine whether or not it was an abduction. So something about the case called them -- made them believe
that the possibility is that he`s no longer in that area.
I`ll tell you, a lot of times -- we have a 24-hour window. You know, a 12-hour window is very crucial. So they had already gotten past that
without finding a body, not finding him alive anywhere. Now they`re looking at the case of, was this an actual abduction? So I think that`s
what they did when they decided to pull back.
In addition to that, I think, obviously, an abduction is not an ideal scenario, but the fact that they didn`t find any blood remnants, they
didn`t find any clothing articles in the area is definitely a plus. And that`s why I don`t agree 100 percent that wildlife had gotten this child,
and I`m gearing towards, in my police experience, that it was an abduction.
CASAREZ: All right. Well, let`s listen to Deorr Kunz`s family. They`re pleading for help across the country.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KUNZ: After 20 minutes of up and down the creek and up and around the camp, and he wasn`t there, that`s when I got in my pickup truck and drove
down the road, trying to get some service.
MITCHELL: Yes, especially after screaming his name. We have nicknames for him, no sound of (INAUDIBLE)
KUNZ: This little boy is not...
MITCHELL: ... no crying.
KUNZ: He`s a -- he`s a goer and a mover, but he`s not -- he does not go away from his parents. He does not...
MITCHELL: Yes, he`s very attached to us.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So this is very unusual.
KUNZ: Very, very unusual, sir.
MITCHELL: And we didn`t hear people around us. We didn`t see anybody.
KUNZ: There`s not a single trace of him. This child loses stuff. He`s 2, almost 3. Anybody who has a child in that age range knows. He
leaves -- they leave trails. They lose stuff. They...
KUNZ: Nothing. There`s just nothing. And that`s where we`re starting to move, is there`s might -- there`s a possibility that he may be
with somebody, he is no longer up the mountain anymore. The searching advances (ph) they used and -- was just very thorough for miles. Not every
-- it wasn`t a stone left unturned. There still isn`t.
And he`s still -- we`re going to continue to search, but being his father, also, that`s what my heart and my gut tell me, but I`m not sure.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CASAREZ: We go now to the mystery of the missing Kentucky mother of five, Crystal Rogers. Her maroon Chevy found abandoned on the side of the
highway with a flat tire. Her keys, her purse, her cell phone all left behind, right in the car. Tonight we uncover new details about how Rogers
seemed to disappear in thin air.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mother of five`s car was found abandoned on the Bluegrass Parkway with a flat tire.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Her keys were in it. It was unlocked. Her purse was in the passenger seat with her phone beside it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Houck`s family farm, one of the last places he told authorities he reportedly saw Rogers.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Their farm is out this road. They would have traveled this road if they were coming out here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CASAREZ: I want to go straight out to Bardstown, Kentucky, because that is where Crystal Rogers is from. Matthew Fogle, you`re the anchor,
reporter for PLG 13. What`s the latest?
MATTHEW FOGLE, PLG 13: Well, the latest is they are doing a 20-mile radius from a spot centered away -- centered close to where the family farm
is that was the last place that Crystal was seen with her boyfriend. The person who is coordinating that search, Sam Johnson, has plotted out 20
miles and is sending people to different areas. Today he and Crystal`s father Tommy told me they were searching, double checking areas along
Kentucky 49, that is the road that is near that family farm.
CASAREZ: Now the weather is really impacting this search, isn`t it? Tell me about conditions.
FOGLE: Yes, it`s been quite rainy. There`s a lot of thunderstorms that have come through here. We had some flooding in Nilsson County
yesterday morning. Most of the flash flooding was actually in the northern port of Nilsson County, not where the search is centralized. The flash
flooding didn`t really affect things, but obviously the water is rising. There were some boating and canoeing efforts that are hampered a little
bit. But family and friends -- I talked to Tommy last week when we had a thunderstorm, and it was a time when there were microbursts going through
our county. And he said he was out searching for her during the middle of the thunderstorm. So it`s not really hampering--
CASAREZ: When there`s a passion and there`s a will, there is a way. We do have the parents, Tommy and Sherri Ballard, with us. We`re going to
join them in just a minute, but Stacy Newman, I just want to go back to Friday afternoon. I want you to give me that timeline again, because
Crystal Rogers shows rental properties. That`s what she does, and she did that on Friday. What happened after that?
NEWMAN: After she showed this rental property, which is about 5:00, the boyfriend -- I want to specify, this timeline is according to him --
she went back to their home, the family ate dinner, and at about 7:00 p.m. to 7:30 that night, Jean, they were supposed to go out to the boyfriend`s
family`s farm. After the farm, we now don`t know where she was or who was the last person to see her, so that`s one of the reasons the search is
focusing on highway 49, because that`s the route that she would have driven from the farm to their home.
CASAREZ: And joining us tonight, Tommy and Sherry Ballard, the mother and father of Crystal Rogers. We cannot imagine what you are going
through. When you wake up in the morning, what thoughts run through your mind instantaneously? I`m sure it`s taking the strength of every bone in
your body to keep going, but we want to get the message out there. And we want to find your daughter almost as much as you do.
What I want to ask you, on that Friday afternoon, what I want to know to your knowledge, who was the last person that saw her? And I want to
exclude the boyfriend for a moment. I know she went to Walmart. Didn`t she drop off one of her sons with his father? So who, excluding the
boyfriend, was the last person and maybe it`s surveillance tape from Walmart, to actually see her?
SHERRY BALLARD, MOTHER: My aunt and my cousin actually saw her in Walmart. Her -- the dad that she dropped the two kids off to, he said he
went down to the car and spoke to her, and she was kind of in a rush because she had to hurry, but he said she acted fine. He said I wish I had
talked to her a little bit longer, but that`s the last people that I know, excluding the boyfriend, that would have been saw her.
CASAREZ: On Friday afternoon. Now, she has five children, and I know you have a couple of them. They have to be asking questions at this point.
S. BALLARD: I don`t think it`s sunk in that she`s not coming back, because earlier one of the granddaughters was with me, and we were talking
about something. I said I just had a bad morning. The mornings are real hard. I said, I`m probably going to have a whole lot more, and she said,
what do you mean by a whole lot more? She`s not realizing what`s going on. She`s 14. I`m going to have to tell her, you know. That`s real hard to
CASAREZ: Oh, I`m sure it is. Tommy, school is starting in the next month in August and it`s back to routine, and it`s anything but routine.
What`s the latest that you know about on the investigation front?
TOMMY BALLARD, FATHER: I haven`t heard from the sheriff`s department. They haven`t still told us nothing. I mean, we just keep searching. We
haven`t found nothing. That`s all I know.
CASAREZ: Have you heard if they executed a search warrant on the farm, the farm that the boyfriend said she was last at?
T. BALLARD: They did this past Friday. They was on that farm for, I think, seven or eight hours.
CASAREZ: Was anybody around that you spoke to? Did they take anything? Did they take bags of things?
T. BALLARD: Nobody`s told us nothing. I mean, we`re not allowed to go around it, so I mean -- so we really don`t know. They haven`t told us
if they took anything.
CASAREZ: Right. We want to make sure everyone realizes it is your contention that the boyfriend is not allowing you at his family`s home,
farm, where your daughter last was. It`s not law enforcement, correct?
T. BALLARD: Correct. Well, they said we can`t go because he told us he didn`t want us on that farm. So correct. The only person he wanted on
there is law enforcement.
CASAREZ: Right. And Brooks, who is the boyfriend, has been talking with law enforcement. Law enforcement says they are helping him. He`s not
a suspect. He`s not a person of interest, but this is a divided family.
You mentioned last night, Mr. Ballard, that you didn`t understand why, why, when something like this happens, that you couldn`t just set aside
your differences and come together. And that`s a question. Why do you think that he won`t help you or doesn`t help you in the search or even talk
to you about your daughter missing?
T. BALLARD: I don`t know. I`ve told the police when we reported her missing, I said, we can set aside our differences, him and his family can
come out and help. We just want to find her. Still nothing.
CASAREZ: We`re going to have more on this in just a minute, with the mother and father of Crystal Rogers.
First an update in the search for a missing 6-month-old California baby. Ember Graham reported missing from her crib. Investigators say 24-
year-old Matthew Graham, kept changing his story about the baby`s disappearance. Graham, just released on a probation violation, fleeing
from police in a suspected carjacking on Monday, Graham shot and killed in a police shootout, but there`s still no sign of Ember. If you have any
information, call the Shasta County sheriff`s hotline, 530-229-8209 and go to Nancy`s Facebook page, facebook.com/nancygracehln, to share baby Ember`s
photo and tip line. Help spread the word.
CASAREZ: I`m Jean Casarez in for Nancy Grace. Crystal Rogers, 35 years old. She`s a mother of five and she`s just gone. Just missing. Her
car on the side of the road, a flat tire. Keys in the ignition, and all of her personal belongings are on the front seat. Where is she? Her family
wants to find her. They want to find her alive. I want to ask Seth Meyers, who is joining us. Seth, I`m going to join you in a second. Rene
Sandler, defense lawyer out of Washington. They just executed a search warrant on the family farm of the boyfriend`s family. They did a
consensual search to begin with. Now they execute a search warrant. You know and I know you have to go before a judge, probable cause that a crime
has been committed in order for a judge to sign on that search warrant. What does that tell you?
SANDLER: What that tells me is that that was a place that she was connected to and a place where she was probably seen in recent history.
Now, the boyfriend`s not a suspect here. He took a polygraph. He has cooperated fully, but he is not a suspect.
CASAREZ: All right. And there are reports that they executed a search warrant at that home. That is what local media is saying. Lisa
Lockwood, as a police detective, do you want the family -- her boyfriend, who is a father of her child, he`s not searching as we know of, but law
enforcement says he`s helping behind the scenes with them. Do you want someone so close to her front and center and searching along with the
LOCKWOOD: That`s a great question. Because he is cooperating with the police, you don`t know if the police had told him -- the police want to
surveil him. They want to keep him close. He`s the last person who was with her allegedly, so they want to keep him in good relations. And it`s
very possible that he said, you know, go ahead and search, go ahead and get a search warrant. I didn`t do anything. I`m not involved. That kind of
cooperation is so key for police. So because he`s got a disempowering relationship with the family members, it does not surprise me that he
doesn`t want them on the scene to agitate the situation.
CASAREZ: But Seth Meyers, clinical psychologist, a lot of us would say, come on. She`s gone. She`s missing. Talk to the parents, at least.
Are you surprised?
MEYERS: Well, I think in situations like this, the emotionality is so high. I mean, it`s really hard for any of us to imagine the mix of
emotions, the anger, the desperation, the panic, the guilt these people are going through. So you know, there`s really no playbook in terms of how to
CASAREZ: That`s true. Tommy and Sherry Ballard, you know all that too well. You are the parents of Crystal Rogers. Does she have any
enemies? I mean, when you think about the people she knew, associated with, had business dealings with, anybody?
S. BALLARD: She has no enemies that we know of. And you know, you`ve got to think what we`re going through. Mr. Brooks is telling us events
that happened that night. We`re not totally saying we think he did something. We`re not coming out saying, hey, I know you did something to
my daughter. We`re confused. We don`t know what to think. Some of the stuff he`s told us happened is not coinciding with everything that we`re
hearing. I mean, come to us. Sit down. Talk to us. Tell us, hey, Crystal was here, there.
You know, we tried to see the baby. He wouldn`t let us see it. I offered to leave just so my grandkids could spend time with their little
brother. He agreed to that. I left. He still didn`t come.
CASAREZ: A brutal, vicious attack on a family`s pet, a tiny chihuahua Snow bludgeoned to death in the yard. Tonight, the search for the suspect.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: While Zurawski loves his dogs, it appears not everyone in the neighborhood felt the same affection. In an investigator`s
report, one neighbor was quoted as saying his dogs bark all day and that she is not surprised this happened.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CASAREZ: You`re going to see some graphic images. We want to let everybody know that there are very, very graphic images, because this dog
was bludgeoned to death. It was murdered, Joel Malcolm, news director of News Radio 1290 WGNO joining us from West Palm Beach, Florida, where it all
happened. Give us the facts.
JOEL MALCOLM, NEWS RADIO 1290 WGNO: Well, Frank Zurawski had his five dogs outside, to do their business, as he puts it, at his home. He was
inside the house, called the dogs in as he normally does. Four of them came. And the chihuahua, 5-year-old female named Snow, didn`t come. He
went outside looking for her. Found her dead. Looked like massive head injuries and covered in blood on the side of the house.
CASAREZ: And we have the owner of Snow. That is Snow that you`re looking at right there. What a beautiful, sweet little dog, and the name
Snow and you find him, Frank, owner of Snow, bludgeoned and covered in blood. Describe for me. This just happened. You have five chihuahuas and
they`re house dogs and you let them out in the yard. Why?
FRANK ZURAWSKI, DOG OWNER: Yes, ma`am. I let them out as usual. They go out and do their business. They did like every other day, except
for about 15, 20 minutes, we called Snow to come back and she never came back in.
CASAREZ: So ten to 15 minutes they`re out there. Okay? Including Snow. And I understand you walked to the side of your house -- and I know
this is graphic but this is important because this will be evidence in court. What did you find?
ZURAWSKI: What did I find?
ZURAWSKI: Just found her, she was there lifeless. She -- her head was crushed. Her skull was crushed. She had an eyeball popping out of her
head. There was blood on the wall. When I grabbed her, (inaudible), it was like her heart stopped. That`s all I can say about that.
CASAREZ: That is horrible. That is absolutely horrible to hear. So, who did this? Because this is a criminal issue right now. And we`re going
to talk about the lead investigator from the sheriff`s department. But who do you think could have done this to Snow?
ZURAWSKI: That I don`t know, ma`am. I really don`t know. I have suspicions, but I don`t know. I mean, it was so quick and how it happened.
I looked up and down the street. And I didn`t see anybody. But it just had happened. So I don`t know. I don`t know.
CASAREZ: Well, and that is part of the investigation. This is an active investigation right now, and joining us from Martin County Sheriff`s
Department in Stewart, Florida, is the chief deputy Glen Theobald. Thank you for joining us. First of all, what criminal charges are you looking at
once you find your suspect?
CHIEF DEPUTY GLENN THEOBALD, MARTIN CO. SHERIFF`S OFFICE: Well, we`re looking at a couple of criminal charges. No. 1, of course, the animal
cruelty that caused the death to Snow. No. 2, that somebody had to enter the property of Mr. Zurawski to commit that crime. And that would be a
burglary of an occupied dwelling where the crime occurred. So they are felonies. They are serious offenses, and we are taking this serious.
CASAREZ: I am so glad. I know our audience is glad, too. When I hear felonies, I think of prison time. Can there be incarceration for
THEOBALD: You darn right. After you see the photos and after you see the pain of the victim, they`ve lost a family member. Although it was a
dog, an animal, they are family members, and we are treating this as we would any other crime. We take it serious, and the investigators are
hunting down every lead that we possibly can to try to bring the criminal to justice.
CASAREZ: That`s great. It was an intentional act. Dr. Michelle Dupre, forensic pathologist, and I know you have conducted autopsies on
animals, as well. How much force does it take to bash in the skull of this little dog so its eyeball is out?
DUPRE: Jane, that`s a lot of force. It is a small animal. And the skull is still a skull. It`s a hard bone. It would take a lot of force
and a lot of anger to do that.
CASAREZ: That little animal went through agony because they feel things. We`re going to keep you updated on this case to let you know
exactly what happens and what charges are filed, but at this point, we have to remember American hero, Pennsylvania Officer John Wilding, 29 years old.
He was killed in the line of duty. Wilding was a rookie officer for the Scranton police department, and he had only served one year. He loved
Irish and punk rock music, martial defense fighting. He was killed this weekend in Pennsylvania. He leaves behind his mother Mary, his sister
Patrice, grieving widow Kristen and his children Lola and Sydney. John Wilding, an American hero. Dr. Drew is coming up next.