Missing Money for Brianna

This is a rush transcript from "The Big Story With John Gibson and Heather Nauert," February 6, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


MIKE HALEY, WASHOE COUNTRY SHERIFF (on the phone): Well, we have a backlog of samples of offenders, felony offenders in this northern Nevada region that have not been processed, and we hope that upon processing them, we may come up with a sample that matches the one left at the scene.

DOUGLAS KENNEDY, BIG STORY CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Washoe County sheriff, Mike Haley says, DNA found at the house where Brianna Denison was abducted matches DNA from another sexual assault in Reno weeks earlier. The first victim was also a college student was able to give a description of the man to police, she was able to give them a trace of his DNA and Haley says, he wants to tap that trace against samples of already convicted sexual felons.

KENNEDY (on the phone): So, the problem is you don't have the money to do all the testing?

HALEY: That's correct. We don't have the funds in order to process the samples to compare against any offenders in this particular case.

KENNEDY (voice over): The total cost is $150,000, and Haley says he's already got a commitment from their crime lab to complete the test within a month, if they get the funding. Meanwhile, police say they're following any and all leads, and continue to search the area around Reno for Brianna, a massive effort that has attracted volunteers from across the country.

SHERRI LONG, VOLUNTEER: I have been following the case closely. I have a 19-year-old and 22-year-old girls, and it's just been on my mind 24/7 and I just wanted to do whatever I could to help.

KENNEDY: And the idea of a serial rapist trolling the streets around the University of Nevada is unnerving both residents and college students alike. The owner of Scotland Yard in Reno for instance says, sales of pepper spray and stun guns spiked particularly after Brianna's disappearance was linked to the earlier rape.

ALYSHA CARPENTER, "SCOTLAND YARD" STORE: Unfortunately, (INAUDIBLE) is the majority of the business, we are seeing and hearing phone calls about, so, they are referencing both instances -- the rape and Brianna.


KENNEDY: If you want to contribute, the sheriff says you can call his office at 775-328-3010. At this point, they say they've raised around $60,000, so they need, John and Heather, about 90 grand more.

GIBSON: Douglas, why don't these labs just do these tests as a public service?

KENNEDY: Well, the lab that they're going to is a private company. And so, you can't expect them to just jump in every time there is a crime. They're a crime lab. The real request question is why doesn't the state provide the money? The state usually provides the money for this. The state says, they don't have the money, so the sheriff is asking the public to contribute.

GIBSON: All right. A bake sale to help find Brianna. Douglas Kennedy, Douglas, thank you very much.

NAUERT: Thanks, Douglas.

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