This is a rush transcript from "On the Record ," May 15, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: And tonight, overboard. What began as an exciting Mother's Day cruise to Bermuda turned tragic. Forty-six-year-old Mindy Jordan fell overboard on Sunday night as the cruise ship Norwegian Dawn made its journey down the New Jersey coast. What happened? Accident, suicide, crime? Norwegian Cruise Line representatives say they know. They say they have a surveillance tape showing Mindy falling from the ship.
And new tonight, the cruise line says the FBI has just seen that tape, and so far, according to the cruise line, the FBI does not believe a crime has been committed. But was this really an accident? The family was originally suspicious. Are they still? We'll ask Mindy Jordan's sister in a few moments.
Meanwhile, "Inside Edition" spoke to her boyfriend, Jorge Caputo, as he was getting off the cruise ship in Bermuda.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm very sorry for your loss. How did Mindy fall overboard? Did you guys happen to be drinking beforehand? Do you have any comment? Is there anything you can tell us, sir?
JORGE CAPUTO, MINDY JORDAN'S BOYFRIEND: I have no comment out of respect for Mindy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: Now, "Geraldo at Large" producer Greg Hart (ph) caught up with Jorge Caputo earlier today when he arrived back in the United States at Newark airport. Caputo was whisked away. But where was his luggage? Well, there was a bit of a commotion at the baggage carousel. Producer Greg Hart saw police officers escorting some passengers with their baggage to a squad car waiting outside the airport. Greg decided to follow them to see if they would lead him to Jorge, but instead, Greg ended up being punched in the face by someone in the group. No sign of Jorge. Geraldo, of course, will have more on this Saturday night at 8:00 PM Eastern.
But "Inside Edition" also has video of Jorge taken on the cruise ship. This video could change the investigation. Matt Meagher, senior investigative correspondent for "Inside Edition," joins us live from New York. Matt, what do you know?
MATT MEAGHER, "INSIDE EDITION": Well, it's very interesting. If you believe the cruise line, there was no crime and it's all over. The FBI did question Mr. Caputo most of yesterday and part of today. He left the ship early this morning. He returned to Newark airport this afternoon about 5:30 or 6:00 o'clock. As you saw, he wouldn't answer any of our questions in Bermuda, and it doesn't appear that he plans on talking about any of this any time soon.
The family is very, very leery of his explanation as to what happened. Mindy's mother says that she just doesn't buy any of it because the story has changed so many times from when he first called her. Fifteen hours after Mindy went overboard, the boyfriend calls the mother and says, she says very matter-of-factly, Your daughter fell overboard, and, Oh, yes, she's dead.
They're never going to believe it. It was a very strained relationship. The family has accused him of being abusive to Mindy over the two-and-a-half-year relationship they've had. And they're going to continue looking for answers, and they realize they probably aren't going to get them.
VAN SUSTEREN: It's interesting, Matt, that -- let me ask this question -- that she was reported having fallen quite quickly. Did Jorge actually see her fall?
MEAGHER: That is what we were trying to ask him. She was supposedly in -- according to the cruise line, surveillance cameras showed that she was in her stateroom. He left, went next door to their friends that they were traveling with, and then 20 minutes later, supposedly, she was trying to cross from the balcony of their stateroom to the balcony of their friends' stateroom.
The family says it makes no sense. It was stormy seas. She was not, they say, a foolish person. There were all sorts of rumors off the boat yesterday and today that there was drinking involved. So even someone who's not normally a foolish person, you know, may do something foolish if they have been drinking. There's been no confirmation of that from the cruise line at all.
VAN SUSTEREN: What about the friends? They would, I imagine, be a great source of information because if Jorge is with the friends when it happens and there's some question whether or not he saw her fall because of this whole balcony-to-balcony explanation -- what are the friends saying?
MEAGHER: No one has gotten to the friends. No one was aware of what they look like. We don't know if they stayed on the cruise or if they got off in Hamilton and flew back also. He was not traveling with anyone. I think if they were on the cruise, they may have been together.
But you know, like you point out, it's very important. Did he see her fall? He supposedly, according to the cruise line, notified the authorities on the ship right away, after it was reported that she was shown falling on the surveillance cameras. If he knew that she fell right away, then did he know that she was out on the balcony doing something foolish like that, and what was he doing at the time?
VAN SUSTEREN: I'd like to know if he -- is he on the surveillance tape himself? Because if she's trying to cross from one side to the other and if the surveillance camera -- I mean, I don't know at what point the surveillance camera picks her up, if it's right when she's about to fall or when she's actually fallen (INAUDIBLE) but, you know, he might on the surveillance camera.
MEAGHER: That's what we were trying to find out. We're trying to find out if the people on the balcony could be seen by the surveillance camera. And obviously, out of respect to the family, they're never going to release that video to the media, as they shouldn't. But I think it is very important to know, could you see the people other than Mindy on that surveillance camera?
VAN SUSTEREN: And I guess it's sort of weird. I mean, he says they were clowning around. I mean, he leaves for 20 minutes. He says they're clowning around. Why didn't she just go out in the hall? Maybe she was really stupid, you know, acting immature or whatever. But boy, that just seems weird that 20 minutes later, she decides to go balcony to balcony.
MEAGHER: What the family is most upset about is they say they've heard three different reports from him, you know, just one directly, that they were clowning around. And you know, they've heard reports that she supposedly was sitting on the railing, having a picture taken. And then they hear that he has told the cruise line, the Coast Guard and the FBI that this was a horrible accident that happened when she was foolishly climbing from one stateroom balcony to the other.
You know, we haven't heard from the FBI. I don't think we will directly because they typically don't comment on investigations that don't go somewhere. But I think that there's a chance -- and I know you, Greta, spent a great deal of time looking at the tragic Smith case, where the young newlywed fell overboard, and that all went back to the consumption of alcohol. Most often, these cases do.
One very interesting thing about this case, though, I think, and you would probably agree, is how different the cruise line's approach has been in the way of trying to get right to the bottom of the case right away. I mean, they're calling the news media. They're issuing press releases all the time. You know, they were anxious for the FBI to get on board. It was all in their best interests, and I think it took the cruise line -- the cruise industry a long time to learn that that might be in their best interest.
VAN SUSTEREN: Indeed. Matt, thank you.
MEAGHER: My pleasure.
VAN SUSTEREN: Does Mindy Jordan's family still have any doubt that her death was an accident? Mindy's sister, Julie August, joins us live on the phone. Julie, you know, I don't even know what to say. I always have such difficulty talking to family members. But we would like to try to figure out what happened here and maybe help you. Are you...
JULIE AUGUST, MINDY JORDAN'S SISTER: Well, we certainly appreciate that.
VAN SUSTEREN: Are you suspicious this was more than an accident?
AUGUST: Well, you know, they came out -- Norwegian Cruise Lines came out with a press statement saying that they do have video. And you know, now we are probably more confused than ever. Like I say, we are not out to vilify anybody. We just want answers. You know, was it a tragic accident? I mean, if the -- you know, all evidence proves that, we're certainly willing to accept that. What was most important, because my sister and her boyfriend did have a volatile relationship wherein he was physically abusing her, for that reason, we wanted to say, Hey, you know, we want you to investigate all angles, and this could be one of them.
VAN SUSTEREN: Julie, the cruise line says it has surveillance video. And I can't think of anything more difficult to watch, even for a non- family member, than the video that they claim that they have. But it might have an awful lot of clues. They say it's an accident. Would looking at the video by a family member or a representative of the family, would that help you, or are you willing to sort of accept the analysis by the cruise line?
AUGUST: Well, we're certainly not going to accept any analysis by the cruise line themselves. We don't really think that they could give an unbiased opinion. The FBI is said to be -- you know, have looked at that videotape, and they are going to be meeting with my mother tomorrow. And we have faith in the FBI that on the family's behalf, they'll be able to, you know, look at that videotape, talk to witnesses, again, on our behalf. It's not something that any of us really would like to watch, you know, our loved one falling to her death. We have no interest in that at all.
VAN SUSTEREN: And I can -- I certainly understand that. Julie, your mother spoke to Jorge on -- 15 hours after Sunday night, I guess, so sometime on Monday?
AUGUST: Yes. He called about 11:00 o'clock on Monday morning to let us know. So you know, this had happened, you know, Sunday evening, and we knew nothing about it, of course. We didn't hear anything from the cruise line, even though my mother was listed as my sister's next of kin. We heard nothing from them until he called us at 11:00 o'clock the next morning to say, basically, There's been an accident.
VAN SUSTEREN: Now, did you talk to your mother a short time after Jorge placed that call to her?
AUGUST: Yes, I did. Yes, I did.
VAN SUSTEREN: What did she say -- if you remember, what exactly did he say happened?
AUGUST: Well, actually, part of the conversation was captured on her answering machine. And he called and in a strikingly monotone way, said, Hi, Louise, this is Jorge. Just wanted to let you know that Mindy's had an accident. At that point, my mother picked up the phone, and he was still very vague about, Well, she kind of went over the railing. And my mom replied, Are you trying to say, you know, that my sister -- that my daughter, you know, jumped off the ship? He said, No, no, we were clowning around. She went over the railing. And his initial report was that she landed on a lower deck, and he ran down to try to save her -- that is his words -- but that she lost her grip and she fell into the water.
VAN SUSTEREN: Did he say why she was on the railing? Did he say anything about whether she'd been drinking or anything like that?
AUGUST: No, he never mentioned anything like that. The only thing he said was that they, you know, meaning he and she, were clowning around and that she went over the railing, so...
VAN SUSTEREN: Is she someone who liked to party, liked to drink? Did she ever do drugs? I mean, is this in character that she might be a little irresponsible?
AUGUST: Not at all. I mean, she might have had, you know, some beers with dinner or something like that, certainly not to the point where, you know, she would be acting recklessly. She was more of a very kind of laid back -- you know, would have a beer to relax, not to, you know, Hey, let's party, you know, and so I can put a lampshade on my head and climb up on this railing. Absolutely not.
VAN SUSTEREN: Have you spoken to the friends that they were traveling with? And if you haven't, I take it you'd like to, to get some information.
AUGUST: Oh, sure. No. We really don't know them. I had met them once several years ago, and we have not spoken to them as yet. I don't know if they stayed in Bermuda or if they came home. But sure, we would certainly like to talk to them.
VAN SUSTEREN: Julie, thank you. And I can only hope that your family gets all, you know, the answers, has all the information. There's nothing worse than always wondering. Thank you, Julie.
AUGUST: Thank you.
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