Was Smart Spotted?

This partial transcript from Hannity & Colmes, July 16, 2002 was provided by the Federal Document Clearing House.

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HANNITY: And coming up tonight, are you keeping a watchful eye on your neighbor? Well now, they may be watching you, too. Is a new federal program turning us all into peeping Toms? We'll debate that.

And are police acting recklessly when they chase down suspected criminals? Should they stop the practice, or are they just doing their jobs?

But, first, authorities are investigating a report that a young girl matching Elizabeth Smart's description was spotted last week under suspicious circumstances in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Joining us now to tell us exactly what they saw are Andrea and Billie Jo who have asked that we not to use their last names tonight.

Ladies, welcome aboard. Welcome to the program. Why is there a reason you don't want your last names out?


know. Just to be safe, I guess. We have a family of our own.

HANNITY: Yeah. Because it was in a number of reports, but we'll respect your wishes, if that's what you want.


HANNITY: OK. Now, Billie Jo, you work in a Texaco station food mart and you're a manager there.


HANNITY: And why don't you tell us what you saw on this day last week.

BILLIE JO: Actually, I saw it starting about 10 'til 11:00. I came in to work.

Actually, Andrea was there in the morning when they got there, when one guy came over about 9:00 in the morning. She would have to start to tell that story because I was not there.

I got there probably about 10 to 11:00 to start the day. I walked in to the station to start my day. Andrea's first words to me were, "There are two weird men on pump one."

So I went around the counter, started doing my daily routine. As I was doing that, I was watching on pump one because it's right outside the window where I do all my work. I saw,   I  looked outside, and I saw a van with a blonde girl in the back, in the middle of the back behind, right directly behind the passenger, and she was crying.

She was crying in her hands and had them up to her face, and then she would like look inside the window at us for a couple of seconds, and then she would turn away and start crying again. She looked at us probably three or four times.

I continued to do my work and happened to look out there again or still looking out there, and there was a guy in the back and was trying like to rub her was rubbing her back, and I'm assuming it was maybe to comfort her, maybe to have her stop crying.


BILLIE JO: And all of a sudden, we seen the guy that was in the back seat with her pull -- like grab her and pull her over the back seat towards the back of the van where you cannot see it, so she was out of view.

And then, from there, as that was happening, we had a regular customer come into the store and said, when he first walked in, "Do you see what's going on in the parking lot out there? We need to call the cops." And I said, "Did you get a plate number?"

And he said, "No, but I'll get one," and so he proceeded out to his vehicle and got the plate number, wrote it down, came back in the store, called the...

COLMES: I just want to bring in Andrea here for a second as well.


COLMES: And, Andrea, anything that helped you believe this could be Elizabeth Smart?

ANDREA, MAY HAVE SEEN ELIZABETH SMART: Well, the customer that was in there actually brought it to our attention. We didn't get a really good look at her. We knew she had blonde hair, and she was probably between the ages of 12 to 14. But she kept covering her face, so we didn't get a

really good look at her face.

COLMES: Did you get a look at the people in the car? Did you get a chance to get any description of them?

ANDREA: Well, the passenger had been in there earlier that same morning. He had came in and got cigarettes, and he was really weird then. That's why I told Billie Jo that they were weird because he had opened the door a crack and asked if he could come in to buy cigarettes because he didn't have shoes on.

So I was like, "Sure." So he came in, bought cigarettes, and then he told me that him and his friend had fallen into a swamp at a rest area, and that's why they didn't have shoes on. So they went in the hotel bathroom next door from us and washed their shoes off.

COLMES: You felt there was something suspicious about this person, he acted in an odd manner, and did he act like he was trying to hide something?

ANDREA: Not really the first time he came in. That was about 9:00. And then when they came back to get gas, that's when they had the van with them, and they didn't really say much to us then.

COLMES: Billie Jo, the interesting part is how you saw Elizabeth Smart or someone who you thought might be Elizabeth Smart, rather, crying and then saw her being pulled back, pulled away once there was perhaps recognition?

BILLIE JO: I mean, actually, at first, I didn't really think about Elizabeth Smart. I just knew that there was a young female in the car very upset, and it was weird that she was not getting out or she was in this van with three men traveling. That seemed odd to me, and then...

HANNITY: But was she more up set than anyone else, more upset than any other girl crying?

BILLIE JO: Yeah, she was upset.

HANNITY: Yeah, all right. Girls, thank you for being with us, and I hope it's helpful to the Smart family. I appreciate you being with us tonight. Thank you.

BILLIE JO: Thank you.

HANNITY: And coming up, have these alert young women given new hope to the Smart family? When we get back, we're going to ask David and Angela Smart. We'll get their take on it.

And then, could some alert Americans help us in the war on terror just by keeping an eye on their fellow citizens? The Justice Department hopes so.

And should cops continue the high-speed chases? We'll debate that coming up.


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