Vanished with Beth Holloway (2011): Season 1, Episode 9 - Desir/Smart - full transcript

Set in Omakalee, FL and San Louis Obispo, CA. Beth meets with one family desperately searching for their special needs child, and another family trying to find a daughter who disappeared more than 15 years ago.

Are you wondering how healthy the food you are eating is? Check it -
-In southern Florida,
a six-year-old boy

goes out to play and
is never seen again.

-Every minute counts.

With an individual
that's six years old,

obviously that
raises the stakes.

Narrator: The race to
find him leads investigators

unfamiliar territory and
to a terrifying theory.

-One of the rumors
floating around out there

is that adji was a sacrifice
of a voodoo doctor.

Narrator: Then a California
co-ed vanishes on campus.

-Her roommate came
back from the long weekend.

And that was when the
alarm bell was finally sounded.

Narrator: The primary
eyewitness is also

a potential prime suspect.

[Music playing]

Narrator: But first, breaking
news about another young woman

who went missing not far
from her college campus.

-On June 3, 2011, Lauren
spierer vanished after a night out

on the town.

-Our officers and detectives
have been out looking around.

Robert spierer:
We'd like anyone who

has seen her to please
contact the Wilmington

police immediately.

Narrator: The
details surrounding

the Indiana university
sophomore's disappearance

are slim, but telling.

Just before 1:00 am
on June 3rd, Lauren

leaves her apartment
in bloomington

and heads to nearby
kilroy's sports bar

with friend and fellow
student, Corey rossman.

At 2:48 am, surveillance
cameras capture the pair

heading toward rossman's
apartment, a block away.

After assisting a visibly
intoxicated rossman home,

spierer is believed
to have visited

the apartment of another
friend, rossman's neighbor

and fellow iu student,
Jason Rosenbaum.

Then at 4:30 am, cameras near
rossman's apartment complex

catch Lauren
exiting the building,

presumably headed home.

But Lauren spierer
never makes it home.

In fact, she is never
heard from again.

Capt. Joe qualters:
As we are here today,

again pretty much
at the two-week Mark,

the... the bottom
line is at this point,

we still have a missing person.

Narrator: Question
several eye witnesses

who saw Lauren
that evening including

Corey rossman and
Jason Rosenbaum.

But none are formally
identified as suspects.

And six weeks into
the search for Lauren,

investigators are no
closer to solving the case.

Charlene spierer: I'd just
like to say that um Sunday is

father's day as anybody...
Everybody knows.

And the greatest gift
that Rodney could have

is information about Lauren.

Rodney spierer: And
so let let your parents

know that... how
much you love them.

And the parents
out there, on Sunday,

make sure that you
let your children know

how much you love... love them.

[Music playing]

Beth holloway: In 2005,
I got the call telling me

that my daughter
Natalie had vanished.

Every parents worst
nightmare became my reality.

[Beth holloway - broadcast]:
I asked the world to help me.

Beth holloway: I found
myself in an unimaginable fight.

But my search for answers
gave me a new mission in life.

Bring the missing home
and criminals to justice.

[Music playing]

Narrator: Nearly
two decades before

Lauren spierer vanished
from the streets of bloomington,

Indiana, another
young co-ed vanished

under similar circumstances,
though the investigations

into these
disappearances couldn't

have been more different.

In the spring of 1995
stockton, California native,

Kristin smart graduates
from Lincoln high school,

and sets her
sights on a life filled

with new people and new places.

Denise smart: Kristin was
our families' adventure seeker.

Any time there was an adventure
to be had, she was on the page

and ready to jump in.

Lindsey smart: She
wasn't a follower.

She was a leader.

She did what she
loved, you know.

And she was passionate
about whatever she did.

Narrator: That
fall Kristin enrolls

at Cal poly state university
in San Luis obispo.

Beth holloway: What what
Kristin's hopes and dreams

for the future?

Denise smart: Kristin's
always been interested

in architecture.

But in another breath,
she might tell you

that she wanted
to be Joan London

and have the
opportunity to interview

a lot of interesting
people and travel world.

No one could tell her that
anything less was impossible.

Narrator: Even with
a heavy course load,

and a full social
calendar, Kristin never

forgets to call home.

Denise smart: She called
home every Sunday night.

It wasn't in the cell phone
era where you could just

did that easily, but she
wanted to talk to everybody.

Narrator: The same
is true of may 24th,

the Friday before Memorial Day.

That night, while
getting ready to go out,

Kristin calls home and leaves
a message for her parents.

Denise smart: It was before
she went out to the party.

And the message was,
good news, good news,

I'll call you Sunday.

Narrator: Kristin
offers no further details

about her good news which
makes her parents even more

excited to talk to her.

But Sunday evening
comes and goes.

And Kristin never calls.

Denise smart: On any other
Sunday, you would have called,

but because it was
a long weekend,

made the assumption that
she would call me on Monday.

Narrator: But by
noon on Memorial Day,

there's still no
word from Kristin.

That afternoon her
roommate returns

from a weekend trip and
notices something strange.

All of Kristin's personal
belongings are there,

but Kristin is
nowhere to be found.

When her roommate
starts asking around,

she discovers that no one
has seen Kristin since Friday.

She decides to
contact campus police.

Later that day,
the phone finally

rings at the smart household.

But it's not the call Kristin's
parents have been waiting for.

Denise smart: It was a police
officer from Cal poly police,

who called to say that they
had some concerns about Kristin

and had she come
home for the weekend.

And that's when your
mother's instinct kicks in.

And you say this is not right.

Narrator: It appears
Kristin smart has vanished.

But despite her
mother's concerns,

campus police are reluctant
to file a missing person's report

or start a formal
search for Kristin.

Mark connely: The
campus police believe

that she may of
simply taken a holiday.

And they thought that she
was just travelling somewhere.

Narrator: By Tuesday
morning, there's

still no word from Kristin.

So Kristen's father, Stan,
makes the 250 mile drive

from the smart's
home in stockton

to the Cal poly campus.

Once there, he
persuades campus police

to put up missing
persons fliers.

Officers also began
collecting eyewitness accounts

from the night
Kristin disappeared.

Nearly all of them place Kristin
on her way to fraternity row.

Denise smart: Kristin
suggested that they

go to one of the
fraternity parties.

Well, a couple of
the girls had a test

they needed to study
for, and another girl

almost went with
her, but opted out.

And they left Kristin
at the fraternity house.

Beth holloway: So she's
quite familiar with all

of these people, right?

Denise smart: She knew
people that were going to be there.

And she would feel very
confident and very comfortable

about going there by
yourself and getting home.

Narrator: Even though
Kristin is underage,

she is openly served
alcohol at the party.

Lindsey smart: I don't know
many college students that

don't have a drink
their freshman

year in college and
especially at a frat party.

You know, most
probably are drinking.

Do... was she a heavy drinker?


Narrator: But according
to eyewitness accounts,

by 1 am Kristin is
so intoxicated that 3

of her fellow students had to
help her get back to her dorm.

Mark connely: Kristin was
found in this grass area.

Apparent, from
this point is where

they helped her up and started
to walk her back to her dorm.

[Music playing]

Narrator: Campus
police bring all 3 students

in for questioning.

They all tell the same story.

Shortly after 2 am,
they dropped Kristin off

just a few yards
from her dormitory

before heading home themselves.

Mark connely:
And that's the last

than anyone's ever seen Kristin
is walking towards their dorm.

Narrator: But it appears Kristin
never made it back to her room.


With no evidence of foul play
on the part of the 3 students

who walked Kristen home,
police posed the theory

that an intoxicated Kristin
may have simply wandered off.

But there are no eyewitness
reports to confirm that theory.

Days pass without a single
clue to Kristin's whereabouts.

Matthew smart: 1 day
goes by, 2 days go by.

Before you know
it, you have a map

up on the wall in
the kitchen to where

you're marking locations
of her last being sighted.

Narrator: Not that the smarts
are giving up on their crusade

to find Kristen.

Denise smart:
Your heart is broken.

But you can't let
your will break.

Because you have
to be on your toes.

And you have to
look for resources

that can help you
find your daughter.

Narrator: The smarts'
efforts finally start paying off.

News of Kristin's
disappearance has

spread throughout the region
and leads are pouring in.

Denise smart: They
would get all these reports

that she was seen
in a drug store.

She was seen in another city.

Wherever people said they saw
her, my husband was in the car.

And he just drove
to wherever that was.

And it was all over
California and Nevada.

Narrator: Has Kristin
simply run away?

1 sighting places her
as far away as Canada.

But like many
others, it turns out

to be a case of
mistaken identity.

Denise smart: If you're
a tall blonde, it's either,

you know, a curse or a cure.

Because everybody's seen you.

Narrator: The search for
Kristin is back to square 1.

And the smarts are
beginning to believe

something terrible has happened.

Beth holloway: What is
your initial instinct as to what

has transpired to your daughter?

Denise smart: Well,
something is just not right.

She'd been harmed in some way.

Narrator: In San Luis obispo,
California, Cal poly student,

Kristin smart, leaves
a fraternity party

and vanishes without a single
sign of struggle or foul play.

At the urging of
the smart family,

campus police enlist the help
of the local district attorney's


The da's investigators start
by reexamining transcripts

from the initial
eyewitness interviews.

They quickly discover that
one of the three fellow party

goers, who escorted Kristin
home, a 19-year-old food

science major named Paul
flores, actually lingered with Kristin

a little longer
than her friends.

James Murphy: He
promised the individual

that was walking
with them, that he

was going to get
her home safely.

Narrator: This
new detail creates

a gap in the timeline
the night Kristin vanished.

And means Paul flores was
the last one to see Kristin alive.

This raises a huge red
flag with investigators.

And it's not the only one.

James Murphy:
He had a black eye.

He had scratches, which
is not particularly compelling

unless you're contacted
by the police with regard

to a disappearance.

Narrator: Investigators
grow even more suspicious

when they learned many of
Paul flores' fellow students

first noticed his injuries the
day after Kristin vanished.

They also tell investigators
that multiple times flores

changed his story about
how he got the injuries.

James Murphy: If he got
them drunk falling into a bush,

why didn't he say, gosh,
I got drunk last night.

I fell into a bush.

It's the lying about
the physical injuries

that makes the physical
injuries far more compelling.

Paul flores: Cause I
didn't think it would matter.

Narrator: On June
19th, investigators

bring flores in for
further questioning

and confront him
about his injuries.

Detective: How do we
know that everything

that you've told us so
far isn't really the truth?

How do we know now,
that you've lied [inaudible]

Paul flores: Well, well that
wasn't important though.

Detective: Sure it is.

Narrator: Flores
now tells investigators

that he sustained
the injuries when

he hit his eye on
his steering wheel

while installing a car stereo.

One aspect of flores'
story that doesn't change

is the account of his
last moments with Kristin.

Paul flores: I... I walked
with her to the driveway was

and then I went off to my
dorm 'cause the walkway

goes that way towards my dorm.

And then she started
walking that way.

Narrator: Investigators
have their doubts.

They offer flores
a lie detector test.

But he refuses.

Still it's not enough
for investigators

to charge flores with any crime.

James Murphy: If they
go forward without the best

possible evidence, on
a thin or weaker case,

and he's acquitted, then he
walks for the rest of his life.

He can never be retried.

You want to have some
compelling physical evidence.

Narrator: But processing
a potential kidnapping case

isn't something either the
da's investigators or campus

police are accustomed to doing.

And on June 26th,
the case is officially

handed over to the San
Luis obispo sheriff's office.

Denise smart: We got the
call that the sheriff's department

would be taking over, which
was just such a huge relief to us.

Because our feeling
was that professionals,

who knew how to deal
with this type of situation,

were going to be on board.

Narrator: Once on
board sheriff's officers

bring a new urgency to the case.

Sheriff Ian Parkinson:
The more time that goes by,

the more potential
loss of evidence,

the more loss um loss of
memory or remembrance

of specific information.

So as time transpires, you're
potentially losing information.

Narrator: Within hours, deputies
are coming the Cal poly campus

with cadaver dogs hoping to
uncover some trace of Kristin.

They soon make a
shocking discovery.

One that seems to
indelibly link Paul flores

to Kristin's disappearance.

Denise smart: There was
only one room on campus

where the dogs alerted and
that was in Paul flores' room.

Beth holloway: Cadaver
dogs hit on the scent

of human remains in
Paul flores' dorm room.

Denise smart: Right.

So it has to be
someone in the room who

has touched or been
near that scent of death.

Lindsey smart: Out
of all the dorm rooms,

all the bedrooms,
all the beds, they

went to the corner of
his bed in the trash can.

Narrator: The smarts
believe the odds

that a cadaver dog would
have incorrectly picked up

a sense of Kristin's
remains is slim, and suggest

that either Kristen died in
that particular location, or died

at the hands of someone
who had recently

been in that dorm room.

James Murphy: Paul's roommate,
on the weekend she disappeared,

was gone.

And therefore Paul
would know that he

would have unfettered
access to use his room.

And therefore, Paul
had an opportunity

to get a girl that was under
the influence back to his room.

Narrator: It seems
to be the break

investigators have
been looking for.

But CSI's are unable
to find any other clues

in Paul flores' dorm room.

That's because, as the
semester at Cal poly tech

was coming to a
close, campus police

allowed the room to be
cleaned and sanitized.

James Murphy: It's
pathetic police work.

It's terrible police work.

They should have been in
there with their forensic team

vacuuming the
room for the fibers.

And instead, they send in a
maid service to clean room up

and that destroyed evidence.

Narrator: With no
additional evidence,

it is impossible
for investigators

to charge Paul
flores with any crime.

So the sheriff's office
obtains a search warrant

for the flores home in
nearby arroyo grande.

And they make another
bizarre discovery.

They found multiple
newspaper articles about Kristin

under the mattresses.

James Murphy: One could
argue that Paul kept those

because he was directly
or indirectly involved.

Narrator: Still it's
not enough for police

to charge Paul
flores with any crime.

Beth holloway: What are the
reasons investigators give you

that Paul flores has
has not been arrested?

Denise smart: We're told that
the case can't move forward

because a, there's no Kristin,
and b, there's no weapon.

Narrator: The
smart family believes

they have all the
proof they need.

On November 26th,
they file a civil suit

against Paul flores for
the wrongful death of Kristin

hoping their case will
bring the truth to light.

James Murphy: No one has
any expectation that she is alive.

She didn't disappear that night.

She was killed that night.

Narrator: But at his
preliminary deposition,

flores refuses to confirm,
or deny, the simplest of facts.

James Murphy: Did
you attend a party uh

at or near the Cal poly
campus in may of 1996?

Paul flores: On the
advice of my attorney,

I refuse to answer
that question.

Mark connely: Whenever
he was asked questions

about what happened,
what led up to that evening,

he asserted his fifth amendment.

Paul flores: I refuse to
answer that question based

on the fifth amendment of
the United States constitution.

Narrator: With
flores now silent,

the civil suit comes
to a standstill.

James Murphy: We don't
have any DNA evidence.

And we don't have a weapon.

And we don't have any marks.

And we don't have any witnesses.

That's a festering ground
for reasonable doubt.

Denise smart: That he's
made the conscious decision not

to share that information
is like stabbing someone

in the heart.

It's indescribable,
just indescribable.

Narrator: But investigators
haven't given up.

More than 6 months after
Kristin's disappearance,

they initiate a search of
a nearby rental property

that's owned by
the flores family.

During the search the
woman renting a house

hands investigators something
she found in the driveway.

Something that's been
missing as long as Kristin smart.

A turquoise earring.

James Murphy: The earrings
were her favorite earrings.

There were never found
in her personal effects,

even though none
of her personal effects

were gone from her room.

That's a very compelling
piece of evidence.

That's damaging evidence.

Narrator: But no sooner are
the earrings tagged as evidence,

then the investigation
suffers another,

in what seems to be a growing
list, of catastrophic setbacks.

James Murphy: It
was subsequently

placed in a desk drawer,
misplaced, and lost forever.

Narrator: Without this crucial
piece of physical evidence,

authorities still have no
case against Paul flores.

James Murphy: Sometimes
the smallest piece of evidence

can be the clinching
piece of evidence.

In-in this case, it could
have well been the earring.

Narrator: The critical
loss of time and evidence

seemed to have done
irreparable damage to the case.

15 years later, the
smart family is no closer

to understanding what
happened the night

their daughter vanished.

But like Lawrence
spierer in 2011

and Natalie holloway in
2005, Kristin's disappearance

serves as a harrowing
reminder of just how quickly

a young woman's
night out with friends

can become a parent's
worst nightmare.

Beth holloway:
Denise, there's so

many similarities
between Kristin's case

and Natalie's case.

What do you think happened?

Denise smart: She
was taken advantage of.

And I hope she
accidentally lost her life.

And... and that we can find her.

We can't hope for what happened.

But we can hope for the
opportunity to, you know,

bring her home
and lie her to rest.

Narrator: Kristin
smart was last seen

in San Luis obispo,
California, on may 25, 1996.

She is 6 feet 1 inch
tall with dark blonde hair

and brown eyes.

Today, she would
be 34 years old.

If you have information
about Kristen smart or Lauren

spierer, please go to
mylifetime. Com/vanished

and click on the tips button.

Beth holloway: Every
year, thousands of people

immigrate to america in search
of a better life for themselves

and for their children.

But one family's American
dream became a nightmare

when their six-year-old son
vanished in broad daylight.

And the race to
find him unearthed

a string of chilling

[Music playing]

Narrator: The small township
of farm worker's village,

just outside of
immokalee, Florida

is one of the most unique
communities in america.


Brian clervoix: The
community there is... consists

of a lot of different
nationalities, everything

from Mexicans,
Guatemalans, hispanics,

and also some Haitians.

Narrator: Fellow
immigrant, Brian clervoix

arrive from Haiti with dreams
of becoming a police officer.

Now, a detective
with Collier county,

he protects and serves
farm worker's village

whose residents work the
produce fields and citrus

groves of south
Florida in pursuit

of their own American dream.

Beth holloway: What are
some of the challenges working

in a community that represents
so many different cultures.


Brian clervoix: One
of the difficulties

that we have is basically
the language barrier

[speaking foreign language] Det.

Brian clervoix:
But the fact that I

speak creole and I speak
a little Spanish, ah kind

of give me the advantage.

Beth holloway: Would
you say the farm village

is a very tight community,
very close knit?


Brian clervoix: Without
a doubt, yet it is.

Whether you hispanic or
Haitian, it doesn't matter.

Everybody pretty
much know each other.

Narrator: It's that
togetherness that

makes farm worker's
village one of the safest

communities in the area.

Sgt. Ken Becker: Kids: Play
with each other and run around.

But, you know, everybody
is watching over the kids.

[Music playing]

Narrator: But that all
changes on January 10, 2009.

It starts that morning at the
home of a Haitian immigrant

named Marie neida.

While Marie gets ready
for work, her boyfriend antal

is preparing to spend the
day with Marie' son, adji.

Antal is not adji's
biological father.

Adji's dad lives 700
miles away in Haiti.

And adji has a
developmental delay

that limits his vocabulary
to less than 30 words.

Still he and antal
are inseparable.

Sgt. Ken Becker: The
relationship was very close.

And when his mother
was working, then adji

would stay with antal.

[Speaking creole]

Narrator: Antal and
adji spent the morning

of the 10th running
errands together.

That afternoon, the
two of them pay a visit

to adji's grandmother, jesula.

[Speaking creole]

Narrator: After
antal leaves, adji

heads back outside
to play in the front yard.

Sgt. Ken Becker:
Adji was playing

in the front yard at the
end of the cul-De-sac

with bunch of the kids.

And grandma would check
on him every 15, 20 minutes,

just to make sure that
he was still out there

and everything was ok.

Narrator: At 5:30,
adji's grandmother

checks on him again, but
this time, adji's not there.

[Speaking creole]

Narrator: A few minutes
later, antal returns

from the laundromat.

Jesula informs him
that adji is missing.

The two decide to
split up and search

the neighborhood for adji.

[Speaking creole]

John kuchta: They
looked between buildings.

They went down
to the playground.

It was dusk.

And other children
are being called

in by their parents to go home.

Narrator: With each
passing moment,

antal and jesula become
more and more anxious.

But they hesitate
to call the police.


Brian clervoix: Back
in Haiti, the people

just never had really much
trust in the police for anything.

So even when they come
here to the United States,

they still have
the same mentality

thinking that the police
is out to hurt them.

Narrator: But by 7:30 pm,
there's still no sign of adji,

so his grandmother,
jesula, finally gives in.

[Speaking creole]

Narrator: Moments
later, deputies

from the Collier county
sheriff's department

arrive at the scene.

Sgt. Ken Becker: Deputies
were on scene probably

within about three
or four minutes.

We had a small child missing.

So they got everybody
that was available to respond

and started looking for adji.

Narrator: Local EMT's
and even the FBI

are called in to assist.

Sgt. Ken Becker:
Every minute comes.

With an individual
that's six years old

and has a lower mental
capacity, obviously, that

raises the stake
a little bit higher.

Narrator: Complicating
the search for adji

is the language barrier.

Not one of the
hundreds of families

living in farm
worker's village speak

English as their
native tongue. Det.

Ellen kastner: Although
somebody may speak fluent English,

if their primary language
is something different,

there may be a
word that I'm going

to use that they're not
going to understand.

Narrator: Investigators
call in deputy clervoix

to bridge the
communication gap. Det.

Brian clervoix:
A lot of what I did

was explain to
them that if you give

a little bit of
information to the police,

you just give
him little bit more

Avenue to do his
investigative work.

Narrator: And thanks to a
conversation officer clervoix

has with one of
adji's neighbors,

discover adji might not

be missing, just hiding.

Sgt. Ken Becker:
We found out that adji

would hide if he got scared.

So we made it a point to check
all the houses, any residence

that was vacant, check the
attics, and the apartments,

anywhere that the
child could hide.

Beth holloway:
Were you still thinking,

maybe he's just hiding.

I'm just going to find
him any moment?

[Speaking creole] Oui.

-After an hour
went by, the police

were still looking for him.

And they did not find him.

Then at that time
on, antal believed

that this could be a
very serious situation.

Narrator: Just before
midnight, adji's mother, Marie,

returns home after
16 hours at work.

Her family informs
her that adji is missing.

[Speaking creole]

Narrator: In the Florida
community of farm worker's

village, six-year-old
adji desir has

vanished from his
grandmother's front yard.

But despite an extensive
search by friends, family,

and several branches
of law enforcement,

adji is still missing.

By 7:30 the following
morning, investigators

have brought in bloodhounds
to aid in the search.

Sgt. Ken Becker: The
scent dogs, bloodhounds,

they picked up
a scent that night

at three different locations.

The first one they
got was right down

along the fence line from the
house here, all the way down

the fence line.

It went down about
a quarter mile.

The second track that they
had came down, back out here,

to bell's circle.

And the dogs tracked over to
that area into the marshy area.

They then got a track
straight across the street

where the kids were
playing in the park

and in a basketball court.

Narrator: It's the second
of the three scent tracks,

the one leading to
the marshes, that

has investigators
the most worried.

John kuchta: There is
natural predators in that area.

I've seen as big as, you know,
10-foot foot alligators back

in that area.

There's Florida panthers.

There's bobcats,
various poisonous snakes.

Narrator: If adji
is in the marsh,

there's not a moment to lose.

Search and rescue
efforts kick into high gear.

[Music playing]

John kuchta: This is probably
one of the largest ground

searches in Collier
county sheriff's history.

Sgt. Ken Becker: We
had swamp buggies.

We had canine out there...
Specialty dogs, cadaver dogs,

floating over the water and
walking through the words.

We were pulling the
manhole covers off.

We also did roadblocks.

We stopped every car
coming in and going out

of farm worker's village.

Narrator: As the
search unfolds, it

begins to draw
national attention.

-He is going to be scared.

Ah he is going to be hungry.

Josh mills: This
was a big story.

Adji's case was featured on
national cable news shows.

His face was on the cover
of a national magazine.

Narrator: The media
attention triggers

a wave of sightings
from Miami to Canada.

Sgt. Ken Becker: We
were tracking anything

from adji being seen
at some church event

or on an airline flight.

Narrator: But after
a week of searching

and more than
200 reported leads,

no real headway has been made.

So investigators
ultimately turned

to the last people known
to have seen adji alive.

His family, but questioning
them proves difficult.


Ellen kastner: The grandmother
was sobbing on her knees.

It was hard to do
an interview with her.

She was choked up.

Antal was more in disbelief.

The mother, I think she was
more in a daze, um in shock

would be a better
way to describe it.

Narrator: All three
members of adji's family

are given lie detector tests.

All three passed
with flying colors.

But one theory circulating
through farm worker's village

suggests that even
though adji's family had

no direct role in
his disappearance,

they might be
indirectly responsible.

But not just for his
disappearance, for his death.


Ellen kastner: There
was some concern

that adji was taken
to a voodoo doctor

to rid him of evil
spirits that were causing

him to have this special needs.

And somehow conjured
up in some of their minds

that maybe something went wrong.

And he inadvertently
passed away.

Narrator: With no other
leads, investigators

began looking into
the voodoo angle.

And a community
that has been receptive

to their previous search
efforts, immediately

closes ranks. Det.

Ellen kastner: They were
afraid of the repercussion

that the voodoo doctor
in the neighborhood

would put a course
on their family.

And then they would get sick or
they would have money troubles.

Narrator: It's not
just locals that

are fearful of the
power of voodoo.


Ellen kastner: We
had a student clerk

that worked with
us that did not want

to go into some of the homes.

Because she recognized
some of the voodoo statues.

Narrator: Could adji have
died at the hands of a voodoo


And could his family
be lying to police

in an effort to cover it up?

While voodoo is clearly
practiced in the community,

there is no concrete
evidence linking it

to adji's disappearance.

Determined to get to
the bottom of this theory,

police ask mari,
jesula, and antal

to undergo two additional
rounds of polygraph tests.


Ellen kastner: I think I did
each one of the three times.

I can't imagine, as a mother, I
cannot imagine having my child

go missing, and then
being looked at I suspect.

Narrator: Adji's
family passes each

and every one of
their polygraphs.

And on January
13th, they are officially

eliminated as suspects.

And the rumors of voodoo
rituals and human sacrifice

are put to rest
once and for all.

But there is one other member
of adji's family police need

to clear as a suspect.

His birth father, Eve
desir, who still lives in Haiti.

Josh mills: You
got to ask yourself,

could the parent uh
living in the other country

want his son back?

Narrator: Making the
theory even more plausible

is a close proximity of farm
worker's village to the port

of Miami, a known
hotbed of human trafficking.


Brian clervoix:
It's a possibility

that he could have gone
to Haiti on a cargo ship.

Because we all know that
chances of him going on an airplane

is super slim because
of all the security.

But it's not impossible
to go through a cargo.

It's not hard at all.

[Speaking creole]

Narrator: Based
on the conversation,

Marie is convinced
adji's father has nothing

to do with their
son's disappearance.

Investigators aren't so sure.

The FBI sends agents
to Haiti and sets up

surveillance on adji's father.

John kuchta: We had our
agents, who travels over

to Haiti frequently, work
with the Haitian authorities,

and actually uh interviewed
him, and identified the area

where he was living in.

And witnesses were
interviewed over there

and were confident that
adji didn't end up in Haiti.

Narrator: But if adji's
father doesn't have

him, then who does?

Josh mills: There are about
18 to 20 registered sex offenders

that were living in
immokalee proper.

There was one registered sex
offender living in farm worker


Narrator: Police questioned
farm worker's village lone:

Registered sex
offender, only to learn

he was gambling a casino
at the time adji disappeared.

But in a community
like farm worker's village,

it's more likely
adji was taken by

an unregistered
sexual predator. Det.

Ellen kastner: One
of the problems

with the migrant community
is that they move state to state.

So if you are a migrant worker,
who commits a sex crime,

we don't know that
you are a sex offender.

So you are threat that
we don't know about.

[Music playing]

Narrator: It's now
been four days

since six-year-old, special
needs child, adji desir,

vanished from his
grandmother's front yard.

After exhausting every
resource at their disposal,

investigators are no
closer to finding him.

But if adji was kidnapped,
where is he now?

John kuchta: We still
have not found the lead

that we're looking
for that would

bring us closer to finding adji.

Narrator: Then on
January 13th, authorities

received their most
promising lead yet.

A clerk at a nearby
convenience store

tells police they have
surveillance video

on adji in the company
of a grown man.


Ellen kastner: I
looked at the videotape.

Ah ah I was convinced
that it was adji.

Narrator: Not only does the
guy in the surveillance video

resemble adji, the man he's with
bears an uncanny resemblance

to a neighbor.

And when investigators dig
into the man's alibi the day

adji disappeared, it raises
even more questions.

Sgt. Ken Becker: He had
gone into work late the day

that adji went missing.

He was sweaty and real nervous.

I mean, he was doing
stuff that was certainly

what we thought was
suspicious at the time.

So we didn't know if adji
maybe had slipped out

with him at some point
and was with him at a store.

Narrator: Is the neighbor
in the video adji's captor?

Police put together a lineup
and asked the store's clerk

to pick out the suspect.

Sgt. Ken Becker: The
clerk picked out the person

that we were looking into.

Narrator: Investigators
appeared to be

on the verge of
cracking the case.

But while they are
questioning the clerk,

there's a bizarre
turn of events.

Sgt. Ken Becker: While
they were talking to the clerk,

the individual just happened
to come back into the store.

And she identified
the individual.

That's that's the guy i'm
talking about right there.

Det. Ellen kastner:
But it wasn't.

It was the man
who was with a child

who looked very much
like adji, but it..., you know,

it wasn't him.

Narrator: Left with
no other viable leads,

investigators call off the
massive search for adji.

But a team of state
and federal officers

remains dedicated
to solving the case,


Ellen kastner: The
search has never stopped.

It continues to this day.

And the case will never
close until we find him.

John kuchta: That's
what keeps you going.

Finding him.

Bringing him
back to his parents.

Reuniting him with his parents.

Locating him and finding
what happened to him

provides the drive
to continue on.

[Music playing]

[Speaking creole]

Beth holloway: Though no
one can say for sure what

happened the day adji
vanished, investigators

believe he was most likely
abducted by someone living

in or around farm
worker's village.

But by now adji
could be anywhere.

And so could the tip that
finally brings him home.

Let's work together to
bring the missing home

and criminals to justice.

Because someone out
there knows something.

Narrator: Adji desir was
last seen in January of 2009.

At the time, he was 3 feet
tall and weighed 45 pounds.

Adji has black
hair and dark eyes.

He understands creole and
English, but rarely speaks.

Adji would be 8 years old.

If you have information
about the missing people seen

tonight, please go to
mylifetime. Com/vanished

and click on the tips button.

Beth holloway: I I'll know

but what do you miss
most about Kristin?

Denise smart: Well,
I'm sure like you

would say you miss
Natalie, I miss Kristin.

Everyone in our
family misses Kristin.

We just miss her
as a whole being.

We can say we miss her smile.

We miss her hugs,
but mostly what

we miss is just the spirit
and the... and the presence

of someone who
unconditionally loved her family.

She was our cheerleader.