Imette St. Guillen was tortured and sexually assaulted, and then her body dumped beside a highway in Brooklyn, New York, on Saturday. The last time that her friends saw her was at the establishment called the Pioneer bar in New York City during the wee hours of the morning on Saturday morning. On Wednesday, it was discovered that St. Guillen went to another bar called The Falls after her friend left her alone.
Carol D'Aurio, a reporter for 1010 WINS radio who lives outside The Falls bar in NYC, joined Rita Cosby on ‘Live and Direct’ to explain the area surrounding the bars as well as the details concerning Imette’s last phone call with her best friend Claire Higgins.
To read an excerpt from their conversation, continue to the text below. To watch the video, click on the "Launch" button to the right.
RITA COSBY, HOST, ‘LIVE AND DIRECT’: Carol, give us a sense of where that bar is—this is the second bar now we're hearing about—in relation to the other bar, the Pioneer, where we know she was at earlier.
CAROL D'AURIO, 1010 WINS RADIO: Right. She goes to the Pioneer bar first. Then four blocks away, she comes to The Falls. Now, here's the timeline. She leaves the Pioneer bar approximately 3:30 in the morning and arrives here, I'm told, at approximately 10 minutes to 4:00 in the morning, and she stays only 10 minutes. And I'm told that she then leaves unaccompanied. You would think that would mean that she leaves by herself.
Does she really leave by herself? There are a couple of different scenarios you can have. It's possible that someone was going to meet her outside, he's going to have a smoke. She perhaps uses the bathroom and meets him outside. The witnesses don't see her leave with anyone, and it's possible that on the sidewalk, she is out here alone.
COSBY: Yes, we know that the last phone call to Imette was by her friend, Claire Higgins. And this was after Claire left Imette at the bar, at the Pioneer bar, just four blocks away, as you were saying. Let me play this. Claire asked her, Where are you? She said, I'm in another bar. When are you coming home? Later. I'll be home later.
Was there any sense that there was any sense of any concern that night from anybody you've talked to that she's expressed to friends or anyone?
D'AURIO: No, we haven't heard that. But do we know that her girlfriend, Claire, was very concerned about her. You know, she leaves her at, you know, sometime around 3:00 in the morning alone. And so she was concerned. She called her a half hour later. It's a very short phone call from as far as we can tell. And then of course, when they don't see her the next morning, then they were really worried, and that's when they started to make phone calls to try and find her.
COSBY: You bet. Carol, you talked to a lot of people in the area. What are they telling you about sort of the feeling in the neighborhood there?
D'AURIO: Well, you know, this is a really trendy spot. It's a hot place. It's different from what it was years ago—lots of cafes, bistros. This is a really popular bar. It's popular with people from NYU. Lots of artists live around here.
I spoke to some young people earlier today, and what they said was they walk around here all the time in the wee hours of the morning. A young woman I spoke to who lives right above bar said that she works at another bar two blocks from here, and she said she doesn't think anything of walking at 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning. In fact, she comes down to this bar here for a drink before she turns in.
COSBY: And what's the mood like there now, Carol? Yes, what's the mood now?
D'AURIO: Well, she was really concerned. In fact, what she explained was that her friends won't let her walk home from her other job alone. Now they're all either dropping her off in a cab or somebody accompanies her. So it really, really puts a fear in people when they hear this because she was somebody—she was their contemporary. And remember, don't forget, tomorrow would have been her 25th birthday.
Watch 'Rita Cosby Live & Direct' each night at 9 p.m. ET on MSNBC.