updated 6/30/2005 8:23:15 AM ET 2005-06-30T12:23:15

Guest: Kay Godfrey, Don Pectol, Ed Smart, Mariaine Croes, Robin Holloway, Lincoln Gomez, Dr. Edward Clark

DAN ABRAMS, HOST:  Hi everybody.  What a story we are covering out of Utah.  This boy, 11 years old, goes missing on Friday and that is the picture in the last hour of him arriving at the hospital.  A small wave as he arrives there.  He was dehydrated.  He was hungry, but now that he's at the hospital, he is far better.  He was given granola bars as soon as they found him.  Unbelievable.  This is a Boy Scout who may have used his knowledge in the wilderness of—all right let me do this.  Let me go to sound from his mother overcome with emotion from only moments ago. 


JODY HAWKINS, MISSING BOY'S MOTHER:  We have never known men of such integrity and faith and honor in our lives.  The Bardsley family, we love you.  People say that the heavens are closed and God no longer answers prayers.  We are here to unequivocally tell you that the heavens are not closed, prayers are answered and children come home.  We love you.  We thank you. 


ABRAMS:  Can you imagine her relief?  She has been looking, searching, hoping, praying for her son's return and there he is, arriving at the hospital seemingly OK after four days out in the wilderness alone. 

NBC's Michelle Kosinski is live in Summit County Utah following this story.  All right, Michelle, we've been sort of getting caught up here in the hospital arrival of this boy...


ABRAMS:  ... and of the announcement from the person in charge of the hospital there as to his condition, et cetera.  Let's take a step back.  Take us back to how this whole story unfolded. 

KOSINSKI:  From the beginning, it was Friday evening and Brennan Hawkins was a guest at a boy-scouting event here in Summit County, Utah.  It is a large place.  There were 1,500 kids there.  He was last seen climbing a climbing wall, getting rid of some of his gear and he just vanished without a trace.  Other kids in the area, I'm hearing most of that crowd was down at a dining hall, so nobody really saw what happened. 

One guy said he saw Brennan taking off his pack.  He turned around for a few minutes, he turned around again and he was just gone.  After that, the search started and it was days and days of absolutely no sign of this child.  No word whatsoever.  As the days wore on you know the mood really changed.  It was frustrating for a time that there was no sign, but by today, there really was a sense of doom.

Now you can talk about it because of the happy ending.  It had really become all but a recovery effort.  The focus was right here on the Bear River.  You can probably see how fast it's rushing behind me.  We had people searching with sticks and you know what that means.  People didn't think this was going to end well at all.  And then suddenly this afternoon, this buzz—you could almost taste the energy in the air—started happening.

All these searchers, hundreds of them who have been in this wilderness started converging on headquarters from all points.  We saw dozens of ATVs go speeding toward headquarters.  Men on horseback came down this steep cliff rushing, giving a thumbs up, yelling, but still you couldn't quite tell what was up.  Then we got word that something had been found and that something obviously made the family very excited and happy. 

Soon, the rescuers just couldn't contain themselves.  They started spreading that word that he was found alive.  Cheers went up.  Cars were honking their horns.  People just celebrating and in disbelief.  I think the first you hear of it, you're stunned and you sort of have to step back and say hey, you know, there is a good chance this might just be a rumor or a false report. 

And then sure enough, this kid is alive.  Not just alive, but well and uninjured and smiling and eating granola bars and asking if he could borrow a searcher's phone to play videogames.  So, what an incredible story.

ABRAMS:  It is so nice to be able to cover this kind of story with a wonderful lovely end.  Let me—the searchers and the sheriff there seemed a little surprised about how far he had strayed from the initial place where he'd been seen. 

KOSINSKI:  Yes, absolutely.  It's really a change of pace, too, because our story for the past couple of days has been this wilderness is vast, but the target area is very small.  The target area is a valley between these large ridges, because it was sort of common sense, if you are lost and scared the last thing you're going to do is start climbing the mountains and getting further and further away from your camp. 

But apparently that's exactly what happened.  The place where he was found was near a lake several miles and up a high ridge away from that Boy Scout camp.  That was in one of the areas considered the least likely to find this boy, but sure enough that's how it went down.  And the sheriff is just saying you know anything is possible. 

And that tells you that you can't really stick to your own rules so much.  You can't stick to the obvious area and ignore the ones that aren't obvious because look what happened.  If they had ignored those ridges and what's on the other side of the ridge, maybe that boy wouldn't have been found alive. 

ABRAMS:  Yes.  Wow!  All right, Michelle Kosinski, this has been quite a day for you.  Thanks a lot.  We appreciate it.  

What a story.  What a story.  They find him.  Here is more from Summit County, Utah, Sheriff Dave Edmunds.


SHERIFF DAVE EDMUNDS, SUMMIT COUNTY, UT SHERIFF'S DEPT.:  His family is with him and just a lot of exuberance down there.  When they found him, he said he had seen the horses before and he was scared to approach them.  And he was in—very disoriented obviously and he didn't know what to do. 

He hadn't had anything to drink.  We specifically asked him about that. 

He hadn't had much to drink at all.  As soon as they got there, he ate all the food that they had on them, all of the granola bars and everything, obviously extremely hungry, downed a bunch of water, just great to see that happen.  And the searchers were beside themselves with joy by the time I got up there. 

He immediately wanted after he got a couple of drinks in him, water and some food, he immediately wanted to play a videogame on one of the searcher's cell phone, so obviously not in too bad of shape at all, so we're all very pleased and very happy.  He didn't talk much at all.  He just wanted something to eat. 

He wanted some water and obviously in the next couple of days, the next couple of weeks we're going to sit down with him and chat with him and ask him what exactly happened, but he was in no mood to give us a lot of details.  He just wanted something to eat and wanted to see his mom.  He walked a good distance.  It's, you know suffice it to say it was several miles. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  How did he survive? 

EDMUNDS:  You know the weather has held and I've said that from the onset.  If the weather hadn't have been so good I don't know that this would have been as positive as it has been.  We are very fortunate in the weather.  And you know if it would have got much colder, this could have been a tragedy.  It is so nice to find him. 

I mean you know when you make the finds, it just—you forget about all the terrible things that have happened over the last few days and all of the demoralized attitudes and the things that have gone on.  But I'll tell you, you know, everyone that went into the woods believed they were going to make a find.  Both the volunteers and the search and rescue operators and they always do it and this is a testament to them and their diligence and their faith and getting out there and doing it. 

Even when it seems dismal, even when it seems like there's not going to be a find, these people show up.  They neglect their own families.  They neglect their jobs.  They drop everything and they come out here and they do what they are trained to do.  It was unbelievable.  It was something to see.  It's one of the most touching moments I think I've ever seen in my life. 

You know mom and dad, obviously they had prepared themselves for the worst and then they found their son to be alive.  I'm sure that's a feeling that none of us could imagine unless we'd gone through it ourselves, so it was something to witness.  We just kind of stood there for a minute and couldn't believe our eyes. 

We had all pretty much prepared ourselves for the worst.  We've had too many that have gone bad in the last few years and this is kind of a redeeming search for us and the folks that were involved in this, so just a lot of joy and exuberance.  He just did not want to talk about any of that.  He wanted food, water and his mom, which I think any 11-year-old boy would want. 

It was one of the volunteer searchers that came up.  I believe the individual, he did not want to be named.  He doesn't consider himself a hero.  I begged him to come down to the news conference with me and talk, but he absolutely said he wasn't going to do that.  He did not want to be identified as a hero.  He doesn't see himself as a hero, but I see him as a hero.  And I think the Hawkins family does as well. 


ABRAMS:  Gosh, I love covering this story.  You know when you're covering trials and murders and this and that all the time, oh boy this is lovely. 

Joining me my phone, the director of development with the Great Salt Lake Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Kay Godfrey.  Thanks very much for coming on the program.  Appreciate it.

KAY GODFREY, BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA (via phone):  My pleasure, Dan. 

ABRAMS:  All right, so give us a sense of what someone at his level in the Boy Scouts would know.  What would you know how to do?  What would you know what to do in this kind of situation? 

GODFREY:  He's as an 11-year-old scout kind of in that transition phase from Cub Scouting to Boy Scouting would have had some knowledge and some understanding of the outdoors, some discussion no doubt of how to deal with inclement weather perhaps, perhaps some discussion on nature, and food resource perhaps, some of those kind of things.  Maybe even shelter building. 

I understand that this young man, though, had a father that was extremely outgoing and loved the outdoors, and I know that he has spent a considerable amount of time with his son and family in discussions on how to deal with wilderness and wilderness-related activities.  So he probably got a good chunk of his training from his father, but we like to think that we added a little bit as far as scouting is concerned. 

ABRAMS:  What might he have learned from the Scouts in terms of food gathering? 

GODFREY:  Some of our—the activities that we involve our Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts in, in dealing with merit badges and those kinds of things, identify edible plants versus non-edible and poisonous plants.  Perhaps he'd had a little bit of some knowledge or understanding of those kinds of things.  I think this would be a real trying thing for a weathered season scout, an ordeal for them...


GODFREY:  ... let alone an 11-year-old. 

ABRAMS:  Yes. 

GODFREY:  But we're just really elated and just absolutely walking on air here at our office as we have heard this news and what a grand way to start a summer. 

ABRAMS:  Let me ask you something...


ABRAMS:  ... because you may know the area a little bit.  He was found near a lake. 


ABRAMS:  Is there something to be said for that?  I mean is it standard procedure if you're in that kind of situation to try and find water and stay there? 

GODFREY:  I think generally that's the case.  He was found near Lily Lake, a beautiful little lake in the Uintas, a fresh water lake, so yes, there's certainly something to be thought of there. 

ABRAMS:  Wow.  Kay Godfrey, thanks a lot.  Let me read this...


ABRAMS:  ... statement from the—this is the Boy Scouts of America national spokesperson.  We are thrilled.  This is a happy day and a great ending to a tense story.  We are thrilled to have Brennan back and we are sure his family is, too. 

Coming up, Brennan is not first scout to go missing in Utah's mountains.  This is a less fortunate story, at least so far.  We're going to talk to one Utah father who lost his 12-year-old son in the same area last summer during a Boy Scout fishing trip, still doesn't know what happened to him. 

And what goes through your mind when you find out your missing child has been found and he or she is alive and OK?  We'll talk to someone who knows, Ed Smart, father of Elizabeth who was kidnapped for almost nine months. 

And the investigation into the disappearance of Natalee Holloway continues in Aruba.  But Natalee's family now taking matters into their own hands.  They've hired an attorney and their own search team. 

Your e-mails abramsreport@msnbc.com.  Please include your name and where you're writing from.  I respond at the end of the show.




Brennan appears in remarkably good shape given the ordeal that he's been through for the last four days.  He is sunburned.  He is bumped and scraped and bruised and he is dehydrated and our team is currently evaluating him for other potential injuries or medical conditions. 

He will have blood drawn.  He'll have x-rays taken over the next few minutes, and we'll be waiting for those results.  We are concerned about a young man who has been though an ordeal like this, and so we will be watching him at least overnight.  We are optimistic and we will as our team evaluates him and begins treatment, carefully watch him as he starts feeding and starts eating again. 


ABRAMS:  Wow!  Dr. Edward Clark, the medical director there talking about Brennan's condition.  This is an amazing story.  I mean this is, you know, talk about movie of the week, talk about feel-good story, it really is nice to be able to cover this story, this boy, Brennan Hawkins, missing for more than four days.  He was a Boy Scout, turned up alive this afternoon in an area that the searchers never thought that he'd be able to make it to. 

They had searched in a much more confined area and there he was.  He had gone over a valley.  He was over at a lake.  Thousands of volunteers had joined the search for him for nearly four days.  And do we have sound from the friends of the family here?  OK, let's go to the friends of the family who were part of the search effort.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  We were hiking the river bottom, continuing the search just like Toby wanted us to do.  The sheriff or the search and rescue team leader, Shawn, had us hold for a minute—there is some information coming over the radio.  When after about 10 minutes, actually we saw some sheriff's vehicles and an ambulance go down the road. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  And we (INAUDIBLE) talked and said good or bad? 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  A couple of minutes later, it was confirmed on the radio and Toby was on a dead run through the marsh to the sheriff's vehicle that was waiting.  It was sent down the road and it was waiting for him. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  And tell us, you guys say you are his best friends, the first one called. 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes, we came up—he called us about 8:30 Friday night and we got up and started the search at about 1:30...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Searched through the night...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  ... Friday night, through the night, Saturday, Sunday.


ABRAMS:  We told you before the break that we were going to be joined by the father of another boy who had gone missing in the area and he'd actually helped in this search for Brennan.  But after listening to our coverage, et cetera, he just became too emotional and we didn't want to put him through that.  He didn't want to put himself through that and so we thought it was better if we move on and I can understand. 

I mean I can completely understand why he feels that way.  So we're joined now by Don Pectol, a searcher and neighbor of Brennan's uncle, Bob Hawkins.  Thanks very much for coming on the program.  We appreciate it.  All right, so tell me how you found out.

DON PECTOL, SEARCHED FOR BRENNAN HAWKINS:  Oh, my daughter actually called me on the phone at work and said have you heard the latest news?  There is happiness in the camp.  They are not sure what it means, but there is happiness, so I immediately went out to my truck and got on KSL and started listening and it started sounding better every minute. 

ABRAMS:  Tell me about...

PECTOL:  Then I drove to...

ABRAMS:  I'm sorry.  I'm sorry.  Please, go ahead. 

PECTOL:  Then after that I drove down to Bob Hawkins' home where his mother-in-law, Susan's mother and father were there.  And by then it was starting to look better and we just hugged and watched the news. 

ABRAMS:  So tell me about the search itself.  I mean you were helping out in the search effort.  Was there a sense at this point of doom and gloom? 

PECTOL:  I believed that little valley was filled with faith.  I really do.  I believe there was a obvious realism that we knew that there was a possibility that it could not end as well as we had liked, but I think people showed their faith by their action and pressed on and kept searching and searching.  I think I represent thousands who honestly believed that they would be the one to find him. 

ABRAMS:  You know, Don, I didn't even know Brennan.  I've been following this case this weekend and I want to stand up and scream hooray.  I'm sure it's hard for you to restrain your joy. 

ABRAMS:  It's—I'm elated.  I can hardly stand it.  I'm so elated.  I didn't know him, but I know—I have known a lot of Boy Scouts.  I am a Boy Scout leader myself and this means a lot when this type of thing does happen positively and our hearts are broken when it doesn't.  So yes, I'm in seventh heaven. 

ABRAMS:  You think his Boy Scout training helped him out there? 

PECTOL:  I think his Boy Scout training and I don't know his dad, but him being alive tells me a lot about a great dad.  I believe he had a great dad who was probably with him in the outdoors a lot and he learned a lot from a great father.  I think that's—that was crucial. 

ABRAMS:  Oh Don, good news and I'm sure they appreciate the fact that you were out there searching all this time as well. 

PECTOL:  It was honestly a privilege to go.  It really, really was and I'd do it again. 

ABRAMS:  Thanks again for coming on the program.  Appreciate it.  Good to see you. 

PECTOL:  Thank you. 

ABRAMS:  Another man who is all too familiar with being the father of a missing child joins me now.  For nine months, Elizabeth Smart's family feared the worst, but they were the ones always maintaining hope, saying she's going to come home, she's going to come home, after she disappeared from her bedroom.  Our friend Ed Smart joins us now by phone.  Ed, thanks for coming back on the program.  Appreciate it.

ED SMART, ELIZABETH SMART'S FATHER (via phone):  You bet Dan.

ABRAMS:  So I can only imagine what that feels like, that moment when you find out in your case, I was right.  I knew it! I knew she was going to come back. 

SMART:  Well you know I just had listened to his mother, Jody, and she has been so positive.  And she said I just feel like I know this is going to have a good outcome, and I just, you know, when I've heard her on the radio and actually the fellow that found her happens to be a friend of mine, Forest Nunley (ph), I was just so thrilled.  It's kind of like getting your life back and you just rejoice, and you know hallelujah.

ABRAMS:  Ed, how do you know the person who found him? 

SMART:  He is someone that I have known over the past 10 or 12 years. 

He has done a lot of painting for me and just a great guy.

ABRAMS:  Tell me a little bit about him.  What does he do, et cetera? 

SMART:  He is a painting contractor.  Just you know a great outdoorsman.  He is a good guy.  I was thrilled to hear that it was him. 

ABRAMS:  Yes.  How is Elizabeth doing? 

SMART:  Great.  You know we just—we were all just thrilled to hear the outcome of this.  And you know, it just does your heart good.  And just, you know—you just, as his mother said you know there is someone there answering prayers. 

ABRAMS:  Did you talk to Elizabeth about this at all since Brennan was found? 

SMART:  I haven't.  She's been working today, so—but I'm sure she is thrilled to hear about it. 

ABRAMS:  Wow.  Did you get to see the picture of him leaving the hospital, waving? 

SMART:  I haven't seen that...

ABRAMS:  Ed, I'm showing it right now.  Knowing you, I've got to tell you this shot would warm your heart.  I mean there he is, coming out on this stretcher, et cetera, but looking pretty good.  I mean looking healthy and waving and it's just—it's so exciting. 

SMART:  That is just phenomenal. 

ABRAMS:  Ed, good to see you.  Good to hear from you.  Thanks for coming back on the program.  Our regards to your family. 

SMART:  Thanks, Dan. 

ABRAMS:  Coming up...

SMART:  Bye-bye.

ABRAMS:  All right.  Alabama teen Natalee Holloway now been missing for more than three weeks, her family getting frustrated.  They've hired their own lawyer, brought in an American search team to look for her.  We'll talk to her stepmother and to an official from the prosecutor's office in Aruba.

Your e-mails abramsreport@msnbc.com.  Please include your name and where you're writing from.  I respond at the end of the show.


ABRAMS:  Coming up, the parents of the missing teenager in Aruba hire a lawyer and join in an effort to get more information from the Aruban government on the investigation into what happened to their daughter.  We're live in Aruba next, first the headlines.


ABRAMS:  We are back.  The family of the Alabama missing teen, Natalee Holloway, missing in Aruba for over three weeks, has had enough.  Natalee's family is taking matters into their own hands.  They've hired an Aruban attorney and filed a request that would give them access to all the information and evidence the police and prosecutor's office see every day.  The family has also hired a private search company, Texas EquuSearch, mounted search and recovery team to carry out their own search of the island.

The group made up of 17 volunteers on their way to the island equipped with search dogs and sonar equipment.  And Dutch teen, Joran Van Der Sloot, is expected to be moved to Aruba's maximum-security prison later today when his interrogation is finished.  Overnight, suspect Deepak Kalpoe was transferred there joining his brother, Satish, who was moved there over the weekend.

Party boat D.J. Steve Croes remains at the police station for further questioning.  Natalee was last seen in the early morning hours of May 30 over three weeks ago.  Joining me now is Mariaine Croes, spokesperson for Aruba's prosecutor's office.  Thank you so much for coming back on the program.  We appreciate it. 

All right, let me ask you about this effort by the family and others to get access to more information.  How does your office feel about that? 

MARIAINE CROES, ARUBA PROSECUTOR'S OFFICE SPOKESPERSON:  We do—we understand their feelings that at this point they need and they want more information.  It's not that we do not want to give the information.  But some part of the investigation is at this point cannot be given still.  But it's very good they have taken an Aruban attorney who can then explain everything to them, how we work and why we make certain decisions during an investigation. 

ABRAMS:  What do you think of the fact that the family has hired its own firm to begin doing a search?  Is that going to be a problem, a conflict with the investigators who are working on the island already? 

CROES:  As far as they only search for Miss Holloway it's not a problem.  They cannot do investigations.  That's something that Aruban police has to do.  But they—if they are willing to come here and help with their equipment and their dogs to find Miss Holloway that help is surely most welcome. 

ABRAMS:  But does it say to you that maybe people are losing faith in the investigation? 

CROES:  We hope not, because every day we are working very hard to solve this case as soon as possible. 

ABRAMS:  What does it mean that Joran Van Der Sloot and these other suspects have been transferred to the prison?  Does it mean that their interrogation is over? 

CROES:  No, it does not mean that.  If they still need to be interrogated they will be again brought over to the police station for interrogation.  It's something that is written in our laws.  At the moment that a person goes into this phase of detention, he has to be brought to KIA.

ABRAMS:  What does it mean, this phase of detention? 

CROES:  You have the first 10 days, it's being decided upon by a prosecutor, but after that when the judge of instruction decides that a suspect still has to remain in detention, it is written in our laws that this part of detention the suspect will be transferred to a department in our prison, and that's the KIA prison. 

ABRAMS:  And right now all four of the people under arrests are considered suspects?

CROES:  Yes, they are all four considered suspects. 

ABRAMS:  And is it expected that over time one or more of them will be released or is it expected that one or more of them or all of them will be eventually tried? 

CROES:  At this point, I cannot speculate about that.  It depends on where the investigation leads us.  But we do—what we can say is that at this point, they are suspects and that's why our investigation is focusing on them. 

ABRAMS:  Can you confirm that a lie detector was brought in? 

CROES:  That I cannot confirm.  What I can say is that the results of a lie detector test in the Aruban system are not allowed to be presented as evidence before a judge. 

ABRAMS:  But could they be used in the context of an investigation as they are in the United States?

CROES:  Theoretically it is possible. 

ABRAMS:  Can you say anything about whether—because we know that there hadn't been the technology from what I understand, to conduct a lie detector test, and we've been hearing reports that that technology is now available at least in Aruba.  Is that true? 

CROES:  Yes, that is true, because we normally—because we cannot use it, that's why we do our investigation.  We find our information from other sources and we do other investigations. 

ABRAMS:  And Joran Van Der Sloot's father was questioned over the weekend.  In what context? 

CROES:  I cannot confirm who is being questioned.  I can just say that if a person is being questioned at this point, that they're not the four suspects, it is that they are being questioned as witnesses. 

ABRAMS:  Are you—is it possible that more people will be arrested or considered suspects in the near future? 

CROES:  Of course, if that's where the investigation leads us, then more suspects will be arrested. 

ABRAMS:  And Mariaine, give us a sense what is the timeframe that we are talking about?  I mean you now have these people who are now going to this maximum-security prison.  You are saying that they are suspects.  What would be the timeframe from now until there would be some other decision or a trial or whatever the next step would be? 

CROES:  In—before Monday, the 27th of June, if the prosecutor thinks that the first three suspects still have to remain in custody, she has to again file a motion with the judge of instruction to ask to keep these three suspects in custody.  So that is what will be happening sometime this week if the prosecutor makes that decision. 

ABRAMS:  All right, Mariaine Croes, thanks very much for coming back on the program.  We appreciate it. 

CROES:  You're welcome. 

ABRAMS:  Natalee's family has played an active role in the search for her.  Many heading to Aruba upon the first word of Natalee's disappearance.  They were circulating pictures of her across the island.  They were motivating locals and tourists in the search.  And there has been discussion about them joining actually in a lawsuit, in an effort to get more information. 

Natalee's stepmother, Robin Holloway, joins us now.  Thank you so much for coming back on the program.  We appreciate it.


ABRAMS:  So let me ask you about this.  Do you know anything about this effort to join in a lawsuit to simply get more information about what's happening in the context of the investigation? 

R. HOLLOWAY:  That was more in a different country, with different laws and we don't understand.  We hope that she can gather more information to explain to us the process and hopefully some more evidence.  (INAUDIBLE)  

ABRAMS:  So it's not...

R. HOLLOWAY:  I'm sorry.

ABRAMS:  That's OK.  So the family isn't saying in effect we're angry with the Aruban government, we don't think they are doing things right...


ABRAMS:  ... we need move information. 


ABRAMS:  You're simply saying look we just want to know as much as we possibly can. 

R. HOLLOWAY:  That's correct and what are Natalee's rights and you know what's going on because we don't understand...

ABRAMS:  Fair enough...

R. HOLLOWAY:  ... laws.

ABRAMS:  Look, I'm a lawyer here, I don't understand exactly how they work...


R. HOLLOWAY:  I know. 

ABRAMS:  So let me ask you the search team.  Apparently, there's going to be a search time coming in hired by the family to help out? 

R. HOLLOWAY:  Now as far as I know they were not hired by the family.  They volunteered.  They're like everybody else.  They just want to do something to help and we need all the help we can get so we said come on. 

ABRAMS:  Yes...

R. HOLLOWAY:  Beth did—excuse—Beth did call Nelson Oduber and he said you know if that will help I mean that's fine.  He said it's OK to bring them in and we will do nothing to jeopardize their investigation.  But just areas that we'd like to look.  I mean we would like (INAUDIBLE) help that they're bringing in...

ABRAMS:  How is Beth doing?  Have you gotten a chance to talk to her at all? 

R. HOLLOWAY:  We talk every day and she is determined to find her

daughter.  She is angry, you know, ups and downs, but she wants to find

Natalee.  So, I mean as well as can be expected she is doing OK, but just -

·         she just wants to find her daughter like we all do, so...

ABRAMS:  And just so we're clear, the authorities there have not expressed any concern, have they, about this additional search team coming in to help? 

R. HOLLOWAY:  No, we're going through the attorney hired for Natalee.  We don't want to do anything we're not supposed to do and they don't.  We want to make everything coordinated with officials, so nothing will be done without that being cleared, so...

ABRAMS:  Without disclosing what it is that they may be telling you, are the authorities giving you more information than, for example, Ms.  Croes just gave us.  I mean they have to be very careful about what they say publicly about the investigation.  That's the way it is here and I'm sure it's the way—that's the way it is there.  Are they providing you with just a little bit more information than they are saying publicly? 

R. HOLLOWAY:  We get information usually about once a day and as far as like details of the interrogation, no, we don't know the details.  We're sure—we know they're doing everything that they can.  But as far as it being 23 days, why no answers, I mean that's strictly with the boys that are being interrogated.  I mean when they tell the truth then we'll have our answers. 

ABRAMS:  How are you holding up? 

R. HOLLOWAY:  We've been watching the news, and Brennan Hawkins, we—

I don't know.  I'm glad they got their happy ending.  I know four days for them I know it seemed endless.  And yes I was like (INAUDIBLE) they're going through what we did and I just felt so much for the family.  And we're just—even today we're just I mean so glad that they found him today, so...

ABRAMS:  You've been able...

R. HOLLOWAY:  ... we want that happy ending too, but I'm glad they got theirs. 

ABRAMS:  Yes.  You've been able to follow that case of that Utah Boy Scout. 

R. HOLLOWAY:  Yes.  Yes...

ABRAMS:  What a great, it's you know...

R. HOLLOWAY:  I'm glad he's home. 

ABRAMS:  Yes.  Yes and you know and as I was doing that story I just kept thinking maybe Natalee's case will end up this way.  Maybe...

R. HOLLOWAY:  I know.  I know.  I just hope we have that happy ending, too.

ABRAMS:  Yes.  Good luck.  Robin, thanks...

R. HOLLOWAY:  It's still possible.  Thank you.

ABRAMS:  Good to see you.

R. HOLLOWAY:  Appreciate it.

ABRAMS:  All right.  Coming up, they keep talking about the law in Aruba.  It's different.  It's this.  They hired this lawyer.  I'm going to check in with an Aruban lawyer to figure out exactly what the differences are. 

Your e-mails abramsreport@msnbc.com.  Please include your name and where you're writing from.  I respond at the end of the show.


ABRAMS:  Continuing with our coverage of Natalee Holloway in Aruba.  Got to talk to an Aruban attorney.  We keep hearing about the family hiring an attorney to help them get access to information to this investigation.  What exactly can they do, can't they do?  Coming up.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I think we all are (INAUDIBLE) frustrated because nothing is going on really.  There's a lot of things going on but we don't know what is going on. 


ABRAMS:  That is Anita Van Der Sloot, the mother of the Dutch suspect being held in the disappeared of Alabama teen Natalee Holloway.  Obviously, she says she's frustrated a little bit with the investigation. 

Before we go—let me just let you know that coming up in a few moments we're going to be talking to the medical director of the hospital where that 11-year-old boy is now resting comfortably after being found four days in the wilderness, a Boy Scout, seems to be doing well.  We'll get a live conversation with the head of the hospital there and figure out exactly what his medical condition is. 

But back to the story that we were covering in Aruba.  We learned today that Natalee's family hired an Aruban attorney to help them better understand the legal system.  They've also joined a request asking for access to more of the information and evidence the police and prosecutor's office see every day. 

Joining me now is Lincoln Gomez, an attorney in Aruba.  Lincoln, thanks for coming back on the program.  We appreciate it.

All right, so I would assume that there are a lot of people both in Aruba and the United States who want to see more information about investigations that are ongoing.  In this country, you are not going to be able to see it.  Is there a real chance that the family us going to be able to see a lot more about what's happening in the investigation? 

LINCOLN GOMEZ, ARUBAN ATTORNEY:  I don't think so at this point and time.  The prosecutor is going to do their best to protect the integrity of the investigation.  One key benefit of having now (INAUDIBLE) presentation is that their counsel will be able to act as a sort of a liaison between the family and the prosecution's office, so whenever there is an exchange of information it can go through that channel.  Another big benefit I think is that local counsel will be able to better explain the specifics of Aruba law to the family so they have a better understanding of that. 

ABRAMS:  What is the argument that they can make to try to get more access to information? 

GOMEZ:  It will be a difficult argument to pursue at this point.  I would leave it up to creativity of the lawyer.  But in this process, in this stage of the process, I don't think the law gives any room at all for the families to get access to any information by—through a joint or perhaps some other means. 

ABRAMS:  All right, Lincoln Gomez, I'm sorry to cut this short, but we've got to talk to this doctor on the other side.  Thanks so much for coming back on the program.  We appreciate it. 

Want to talk to the head of the medical center where little Brennan Hawkins, 11 years old, survived four days in the Utah wilderness.  They found him today alive and well.  He wanted granola bars and eventually wanted to play a videogame, see exactly how he's doing in the hospital, coming up. 


ABRAMS:  Back now to the amazing rescue in Utah.  An 11-year-old boy found alive after spending four days alone in the wilderness.  He was taken to an area hospital about an hour ago. 

Joining me now on the phone is Dr. Edward Clark, medical director for the Primary Children's Medical Care Center in Salt Lake City where Brennan Hawkins is being treated.  Doctor, thanks very much for taking the time.  All right, so how's he doing? 

CLARK (via phone):  Well he's doing remarkably well.  You know for a young man who has been in the wilderness here in Utah, which is not a backyard.  He is sun burnt.  He's dehydrated.  He's scratched and he's bruised, but he is communicating and we're delighted to see how well he is now.  But we're also cautious and we are taking him through a comprehensive medical evaluation to make sure that there's not anything else going wrong. 

ABRAMS:  Has he talked to you or any of the other doctors there about his ordeal? 

CLARK:  Well he's not talked about his ordeal.  He's really focusing right now on his family who is with him.  He is answering questions.  We're getting some information from him.  And we're really very pleased that he is oriented and his neurological function really appears quite normal at this point.

ABRAMS:  Did he ask for anything in particular to eat? 

CLARK:  He's asked for everything to eat.  You know that's one of the things we have to watch for because we don't want to give him too much too quickly.  We can really upset his G.I. tract and he is dehydrated.  We're giving him fluids.  He's been pretty dry over the last few days and so we have to gradually bring him back into a state of hydration and balance.

ABRAMS:  But you would expect a full recovery, right?

CLARK:  We are certainly very optimistic at this point and we haven't completed our evaluation yet, so that's still ongoing.  So we have to just be a little bit cautious here, but for a child to come out of the ordeal that he's had and to look as good as he does right now, we're very grateful. 

ABRAMS:  Oh, it's a great story.  It's a great ending.  Dr. Clark, thanks very much for taking the time. 

CLARK:  Thanks for your interest.

ABRAMS:  Coming up, even months after Terri Schiavo's very public death, governor of Florida seems to refuse the—refuse to accept the medical findings.  It was my “Closing Argument” and tonight you respond.  Your e-mails are next.


ABRAMS:  We're back.  I've had my say, now it's time for “Your Rebuttal”.  On Friday in my “Closing Argument” Florida Governor Jeb Bush's misguided push for an investigation into what caused Terri Schiavo to fall into a coma 15 years ago.  I said Governor Bush was wasting tax dollars trying to change the subject that he was proven wrong about Terri's condition.  An autopsy showed her husband was right, that therapy would have done nothing to help her condition. 

Sherry in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, “Good for you Dan.  Terri's family will not be satisfied until her husband is jailed or executed.  Jeb Bush should be ashamed of himself.”

From Niceville, Florida, Becky Holloway.  “Why are you so concerned about what Florida residents' tax dollars are spent on?  Are you a resident of Florida?  I am by the way.”

Well because people like Judy Rathmann of Ocala, Florida and many others deserve to have their money spent wisely.  She says, “As a Florida resident I'm disgusted that Governor Bush got involved in the first case.  I guess Governor Bush won't ever say it's over.”

Last week a viewer who said he was an attorney and law professor tried to put me in my place with a correction on the presumption of innocence.  I corrected him reminding him that a presumption of innocence is just that, a courtroom presumption.  I said there's a difference between not guilty and factual innocence. 

Norman Lum in Windham, Maine, “I have to comment on your Michael Jackson piece and particular that pompous law professor.  You'd think Mr.  Professor would know that the presumption of innocence is exactly that, a presumption.  Once again, even if you're acquitted it doesn't make you innocent.”  Right-o Norman.

But attorney Dennis Lods, “To insist the defense must prove innocence, creates a burden which tortures the Constitution, hearkens back to the practices of the inquisition and star chamber and thankfully in this democracy doesn't exist.”

Again, Dennis, I'm assuming that maybe you're just not listening to what I'm saying.  No one is suggesting the defense must prove innocence.  What I was saying is that the legal fiction designed for courtrooms are designed for courtrooms when the government has the power to take away someone's freedom and only then.  Michael Jackson was found not guilty. 

I said I thought it was the right verdict based on what the jurors saw.  That does not mean the jury has found Michael Jackson is innocent as some claim, nor does it mean that when he settled for 20-something million after that 1993 case that he did nothing wrong.  No, it just means in this case the prosecution could not prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.  I have to tell you, I am surprised so many lawyers are having trouble with such a basic concept. 

Your e-mails—one word—abramsreport@msnbc.com.  Why do I get the feeling I'm going to hear from some more lawyers?  We go through them at the end of the show. 

That does it for us tonight.  Thanks for watching.  See you tomorrow. 

Coming up next, “HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews.  Good night.



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