Friday, May 13, 2011
Sarah Townsend: Where is Sarah? Jane Velez-Mitchell transcript (video)
Sarah is missing from Burlignton Township in New Jersey and her family has offered a reward of $10,000 dollars. She has been missing since May 9, 2011. If you have any information regarding the whereabouts of Sarah Townsend you are asked to contact the Burlington Township Police Department at 1-609-386-2019.
Here is the transcript from last night's Jane Velez-Mitchell where she discussed the case and search for Sarah Townsend.
May 12, 2011: Transcript from Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight.
MONICA MAKOVICZ, COUSIN OF SARAH TOWNSEND: I miss you so much, Sarah. Please come home.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: A desperate plea from cousins of beautiful missing teen Sarah Townsend. Cops say her boyfriend found her car still running, with her wallet and cell phone still inside. Tonight, everyone is asking, "Where is Sarah?"
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s like a nightmare.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: A devastated mom cries for her murdered little girl. Cops say a man admits to raping and strangling the precious 9-year-old, and then going home to shower and eat dinner with his fiancee. Should cops have arrested him three weeks ago after they say this little girl ended up in his home.
Also, more drama in the Casey Anthony trial. Has the defense revealed their secret strategy to get Casey off the hook? I`ll have all the shocking details, and I`m taking your call.
Plus, an ISSUES exclusive in the Long Island serial killer case. I`ll talk with the sister of one of the victims of this cold-blooded killer. You will not believe her story.
ISSUES starts now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDREA MAKOVICZ, COUSIN OF SARAH TOWNSEND: We know that the car was running and that we just -- we just want her to come home safe.
M. MAKOVICZ: I miss you so much, Sarah. Please come home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, a stomach-churning nightmare for the family of a beautiful 18-year-old girl missing since Monday. What happened to Sarah Townsend? Why would she abandon her car in a park with the motor running and just disappear? And why does her family keep saying, "Don`t worry, Sarah, we`re not mad at you?" Is there something we don`t know?
Sarah left for school Monday morning and never arrived at school. Tonight, a New Jersey newspaper called "The Examiner" is reporting claims that that very morning, Sarah called a family she babysat for and told them she would not be able to do so that afternoon. If true, was she planning to disappear?
Also, the paper claims, instead of going to school, Sarah called her boyfriend and asked him to meet her at the park. But according to this newspaper, the boyfriend says when he got there, Sarah was gone. The car was running. Her purse was inside. So was her cell phone.
Now, she left for school at about 7 in the morning. Police were called three hours later at about 10 a.m. Sarah`s car, again, running, her cell phone, her purse on the seat. The cops say there was no sign of foul play. They`re treating this like a missing persons case for now, but her family is not convinced.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s OK, honey. It`s OK. Come home. I know something`s holding you, and it`s all right. Please come home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hundreds of people turned out for a vigil last night for Sarah, but affiliate KYW says one person was noticeably absent, Sarah`s boyfriend. Why? Cops say he is cooperating and that nobody has been named a suspect in this case.
Cops also said they have every reason to believe that Sarah is still alive. So where is she?
Straight out to our exclusive live guest, Colleen Makovicz, Sarah`s aunt.
Colleen, thank you so much for joining us. We know this has to be an extremely difficult time for your family, and we want to do what we can to bring Sarah back home safe and sound.
Now what do you know about these claims by a local New Jersey newspaper, "The Examiner," that she didn`t intend to go straight to school but rather asked her boyfriend to meet her at the park, which is not on the way to school, and that is precisely where her car was found, running with the door open, her purse and cell phone inside -- Colleen.
COLLEEN MAKOVICZ, AUNT OF SARAH TOWNSEND (via phone): Thank you, Jane, for being so kind to my daughters last night and for keeping Sarah`s face and information out there
C. MAKOVICZ: I do not know anything about what the newspaper is saying. This is news to me. We are doing our best to get Sarah back here, try to keep her face out there and her information.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I thought the most significant thing in the article, and we just spoke to the reporter of the article, because we don`t just publish anything.
C. MAKOVICZ: I know that.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And this reporter told us that she spoke with law enforcement sources and so she`s sticking by her story. She says that Sarah called a family that she always babysits for and says, "I`m not going to be able to make it this afternoon." Do you know about that?
C. MAKOVICZ: I don`t know about that. I`m hearing it from you for the first time. I haven`t been able to keep up with all the newspapers. But anything is possible. We`re keeping a very open mind on this. We don`t care what the reason is. We want her home, and we want her safe.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. Now, there`s one strange detail we keep hearing over and over in this case. We`ve heard it on the news reports and interviews, right here on our show last night. Sarah`s family keeps repeating the same refrain. Listen closely to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LAURA TOWNSEND, MOTHER OF MISSING TEEN: We just want to tell Sarah that we want -- we love her. She`s not in trouble.
M. MAKOVICZ: Sarah, we love you so much. And please come home. We`re not mad at you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s OK, honey, it`s OK. Come home.
A. MAKOVICZ: I`m just saying we`re not mad...
M. MAKOVICZ: For running away, or if anything happened if that`s what happened.
TOWNSEND: We want you to know that we love you. You`re not in trouble.
A. MAKOVICZ: We`re not -- we`re not mad at her.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, take a look at this article from the local New Jersey paper, "The Examiner." One thing popped out at me. It says here that a school official says that Sarah Townsend had made plans to attend the prom with an Allentown High School student.
When asked if the boyfriend, who went to her car, is that Allentown High School student, the official said there are two boyfriends involved. She had a friend that she was going to the prom with and another friend, meaning the boyfriend, who went to her car.
What do you know about that, because we understand -- correct me if I`m wrong -- that the boyfriend who went to the car is 20, so he`s not in high school, presumably, any more.
What do you know, Colleen?
C. MAKOVICZ: That`s correct. He is 20 years old, and he does not go to high school.
I`m not certain of who she was going to the prom with. I believe it was a friend. She was going to two proms. She was going to the Florence High School prom. She was going to the Allentown prom. She purchased two dresses. She was excited to be going to these proms.
The morning that she disappeared, she was discussing hair dos, what she -- how she should wear her hair to each one of the proms. So we don`t believe that sounds like a girl who would hurt herself or disappear. And we don`t understand, if her car is found running, and she wanted to run away, why would she leave her cash behind? You can`t trace cash.
Why isn`t there some scent being picked up outside of the car if she was going to go off and hurt herself? It just doesn`t make sense to us.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Dr. Dale Archer, I have to ask you. Colleen, thank you so much. I want to ask Dr. Dale Archer, does this show signs of anybody -- like this girl wanted to hurt herself?
DR. DALE ARCHER, PSYCHIATRIST: No Jane, absolutely not. The thing about suicide is when you start thinking about suicide, you want to be found. You don`t do it in secret where no one can find where you are.
And typically, it`s for one of two reasons. Either, A, you`re mad at someone. You want to get back at them. Or, B, you feel that people would be better off without you around and paradoxically, you don`t want them to worry about you. You want them to know that you`re dead. So I would say suicide is absolutely not in the equation now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What about Sarah`s boyfriend? Now, we first saw him side by side with Sarah`s parents. Listen and look at him. He`s off on the side.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sarah, baby, I know you`re out there. Just come back, please.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, one point, he walked hand in hand with Sarah`s mother, but at last night`s vigil, the boyfriend was reportedly a no-show. Casey Jordan, criminologist, in missing persons cases like, the intimate partner, the boyfriend, a husband, is always the first person the cops talk to unless there`s another person who`s obviously responsible, because they have to eliminate him. And again, they`re not even saying that this is necessarily a crime. They consider her alive. This guy is not a suspect.
So, we have to be very, very careful here. ISSUES contacted Burlington P.D., and they say they`ve talked with this boyfriend, and he`s cooperating and they stress he is not considered a suspect. What are your thoughts?
CASEY JORDAN, CRIMINOLOGIST: Well, my first thought is that if nobody is a suspect, that means everyone is a suspect. It means they haven`t ruled anybody out. They`re going to look very carefully at the boyfriend. They`re going to try to find out what -- details about the young man she`s going to go to the prom with.
But really, I think you picked up on it earlier, Jane. There is some kind of strange family dynamic about "we love you. We`re sorry. Please come home." There had to have been, in my estimation, some kind of blowup at the house that upset her.
And I don`t know whether she`s abducted or whether she is maybe attention seeking and staged her own disappearance. I think we all recall the runaway bride. But only the family knows what happened that would make them reach out to her and say repeatedly, "You`re not in trouble."
Did she say something to them that got them upset? Was there some kind of family squabble where she would want to teach them a lesson and scare them with a disappearance?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let`s take a look at the route that Sarah would have taken to get to school Monday morning. She reportedly left her home in Florence, New Jersey, Monday before 7 a.m. She was supposedly driving to her school located in Allentown, New Jersey, but her car was found in a park in Burlington, New Jersey, which is in the total opposite direction of her school.
Add to that claims that that very morning she called the family that she normally babysits for and said she would not be able to babysit later. You`ve got to wonder, could she have had some plan to run away? But her dad says she`s not a runaway. She`s a very active, popular, liked, well- respected. She`s not -- she doesn`t fit the profile of a runaway, Dr. Dale Archer. Very short.
ARCHER: She doesn`t fit the profile of a runaway. And not only that they could have just said, "You`re not in trouble for being gone. We want you to come back." Id doesn`t necessarily mean there had to be an argument that morning that triggered her to leave.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I think that she obviously had a plan to do something unusual, because she didn`t head to school, and she called this family to babysit and said, "I`m not coming today."
Then she goes to this park. Maybe she did want to speak to the boyfriend, but while she was waiting, somebody approached her and took her, a total stranger. I pray that`s not the case, but it does happen.
A 7-year-old -- an 18-year-old girl at 7 in the morning, sitting in a park, that`s a bad combo. And that is what I`m concerned about, that none of these people have anything to do with it and that there was some stranger lurking in a park. I pray that I`m wrong. I pray that I`m wrong. We want to find Sarah.
Thank you, Colleen Makovicz. We`re going to stay on top of this sorry.