This is a rush transcript from "On the Record ," August 21, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Tonight, Casey Anthony is free. The most infamous jailed mother in America walks out of the slammer after a bail bondsman and a bounty hunter post her $500,000 bond.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEONARD PADILLA, BOUNTY HUNTER: Hey! Back off, you guys! Let her through! You'll get your chance. Back up. Get out of the way. Come on, give her a break, you guys!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: Casey's been locked up since July 16 and remains the only person of interest in her toddler, Caylee's, disappearance. Bounty hunter Leonard Padilla and his bail bondsman nephew posted Casey's $500,000 bond. Bounty hunter Leonard Padilla joins us live. Leonard, so what time did your day start this morning?
PADILLA: Herding cats at about 10:28.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Now, did you go over to the jail?
PADILLA: Yes. That was me hollering at the media there to get back.
VAN SUSTEREN: What -- when was the -- is that the first time that you met the woman for whom you posted bail? I guess she's not your client, but...
PADILLA: That's the first -- that's the first time I saw her in person, yes.
VAN SUSTEREN: What did she say to you when she met you?
PADILLA: We just exchanged pleasantries. And I was too busy making sure that there was no traffic alongside of us or in back of us or ahead of us that would cause a problem because we've received a tremendous amount of threats.
VAN SUSTEREN: When you came out, I mean, it looks like it's -- it looks like chaos. And did the police and the sheriff's department not sort of help do any crowd control, and did the media rush you and...
PADILLA: No. They were supposed to -- they had told the attorney they were going to form a cordon on both sides, with half a dozen officers on each side walking down to the van. They told us to wait at the van and they would walk the attorney and their client down. They put her outside the door, and then she was on her own.
VAN SUSTEREN: Did she say anything to you about the crowd as you got into the car?
PADILLA: It wasn't discussed at all. There was no mention of it, no. I mean, it was kind of like -- she was like a deer in the headlights, you know? I mean, it was, like, Wow, what happened?
VAN SUSTEREN: Where was her lawyer at this point?
PADILLA: He was with her. He's the one carrying the umbrella. And in the van, he was on one side and his partner was on the other side.
VAN SUSTEREN: What did she say in the van as you drove her home?
PADILLA: You know, nothing, really. She exchanged some pleasantries, said some thank yous. But like I said, she was in back, so I was focused on the windshield and the side window. I wasn't paying much attention to the discussions.
VAN SUSTEREN: What was your impression of her? Because this is the first time you're meeting her and you just posted a $500,000 bond for her. What was your impression?
PADILLA: You know, it's the same as I've been watching her -- scared, confused, and obviously, like, What's going on?
VAN SUSTEREN: Once you drive into the driveway and you go into the garage, the door comes down and you enter the house...
VAN SUSTEREN: ... Through the garage door, did her parents come out into the garage and meet her? Was there -- you know, were there tears? Was there joy? How do you describe it?
PADILLA: The dad -- the father immediately came to the side door where she was sitting on, opened the door. She got out. She says, I love you, Dad. They hugged. She then came around quickly to her mom. By that time, there was tears in her mother's eyes, in her eyes. They hugged. I said, You better get her inside. She might need a shower. And her mother says, Oh, my God, I think I will," and they were off into the house.
VAN SUSTEREN: And between the time you met her at the jail and the time that she walked into the home through the garage door, did she ever mention Caylee?
VAN SUSTEREN: How long were you inside that...
PADILLA: I say that -- - let me -- let me -- let me say that with a caveat. I could hear discussions in the back, but I was not intent on listening to that as much as I was with the windows and the media that was trying to get alongside of us or in back of us in their vehicles.
VAN SUSTEREN: So it's fair to say that you never heard her mention Caylee.
PADILLA: No, I did not.
VAN SUSTEREN: Did she -- how long were you with her, or how long were you at the house today?
PADILLA: On the way to the house, it was about 30 minutes, and then I probably spent another hour at the house.
VAN SUSTEREN: In that 90-minute period, did she ever mention Caylee to you?
PADILLA: Other than when she was in the van, she wasn't really in my presence in the house. Her and her mother was off in the bathroom showering and in the bedroom, and the attorney was over there talking to her. So it wasn't like I had her in my presence. I saw her fleetingly a couple times when she walked across the doorway, and that was about it.
VAN SUSTEREN: So -- but she did thank you for bailing her out.
PADILLA: Yes, yes.
VAN SUSTEREN: What's the plan now? She stays at the house. She has some monitoring. Do you expect to see her again?
PADILLA: I'm not looking to see her until maybe Sunday.
VAN SUSTEREN: Why Sunday?
PADILLA: Well, I've got some work to do between now and then and some stuff that I have to take care of. So I have no reason to see her before Sunday. And they'll have a vigil, and I'll go to the vigil.
VAN SUSTEREN: When you have been on this show before, you have mentioned that you thought that once she got out, she would help the police, give them information or cooperate. Do you still believe that?
PADILLA: Yes, I do. Yes.
VAN SUSTEREN: Did she mention -- in your presence at all did she say, Now I can talk to the police, or, I look forward to talking to the sheriff's office, anything like that to suggest...
VAN SUSTEREN: ... She's interested in doing that now?
PADILLA: No. I didn't -- I did not have -- no, I was not aware of anything like that.
VAN SUSTEREN: Is there anything that surprised you today about her demeanor in the 90 minutes that you were in the area of -- you know, in the house, or on the way to the house?
PADILLA: No. She's like a young mother, without experience in these type of matters, and much the same as I thought of her when I first saw her on television, in -- you know, in the scenes in the jail and things of that nature. I have not changed my awareness of her or my thinking about her. I still think the child is out there. I still think she did something stupid as far as handing her to somebody, and now it's a matter of getting the child back.
Now, let me say this. There's a $225,000 reward out there. Let's get her back, drop her off at a drug store, go away for two days, call and get your $225,000 reward. We ourselves are not interested in that. This is about Caylee and getting her back. It hasn't got a thing to do...
VAN SUSTEREN: Is there anything that -- here's where you and I lock horns every night because I'm really having a hard time...
VAN SUSTEREN: ... Understanding that...
PADILLA: Tell me.
VAN SUSTEREN: ... All right -- is that I don't understand where you get this theory that she handed someone -- you're rather specific that she handed her off to someone. Where do you come up with that? Where is it anywhere grounded in any fact or any fact with a reasonable inference that you can draw from it? Where do you get that?
PADILLA: Here's where I get it, OK? There's a situation where these people that are fugitives or liars that I've dealt with over 33 years, they tell half-truths. They'll tell a story -- I handed her Zenaida Hernandez or Fernandez Gonzalez, OK? I don't think she did. I think it was somebody else. We just don't know who...
VAN SUSTEREN: Let me stop you right here...
PADILLA: ... The somebody else is.
VAN SUSTEREN: Why couldn't it be a half-truth -- let me say hypothetically that she did that. A half truth is that she didn't hand her to someone, but that the half-truth being is that she didn't hand her to someone but that she did something to her. That's a half-truth.
PADILLA: That's the law enforcement's job, and so far, they haven't come up with enough to arrest her on anything like that. So that's their job. I'm looking for her alive. They're looking for her dead. That's the difference.
VAN SUSTEREN: I think they'd love to find her alive, but I think what they're finding is that they're not...
VAN SUSTEREN: They're not getting cooperation from her. And unfortunately, everyone would like to have the faith that you have, but it's really hard to have the faith that you have when you've got a mother who won't cooperate and you don't have any sort of corresponding facts. Even this Zenaida -- if Zenaida Gonzalez came forward and said, you know, She brought the child to me, we'd feel better about it, or it would seem more reasonable to have that inference drawn...
PADILLA: That's why -- I don't believe there's a Zenaida Gonzalez. I think she handed it off to one of her friends that she was in that little clique with. Could even be the...
VAN SUSTEREN: But why?
PADILLA: ... Poor child's father.
VAN SUSTEREN: But I mean...
VAN SUSTEREN: Look, Leonard, I'd love to have that thought. I would absolutely love to have that thought. There's nothing more than anything I'd love to see that little girl alive. And you know, I want to be so wrong on this. I just don't have anything that I can sort of, you know, sink my teeth into that makes me think, like, yes, in fact, she did that, when her behavior has been one to not cooperate with the police and to tell a web of lies, and to go out partying with her daughter missing. I mean, there's just nothing that's rather -- that gives me any comfort in sort of believing what you believe.
PADILLA: Now, when the DNA, 30 pieces of evidence that they're investigating, comes back and you're right, then I'm wrong. But until then, I'm going to pursue the fact that the child is alive. I really -- now, four days ago, you know, as some of these critics say, Oh, they're not going to get her out of jail. I mean, is the man going to buy us all a steak dinner tonight? She's out of jail.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, we'll get him to -- we'll make sure that we get that dinner, but -- and I -- and I must say...
PADILLA: Are we going to get that dinner?
VAN SUSTEREN: And I must say one thing, Leonard, is that under the law, she is presumed innocent. And should she ever be charged, then she should -- you know, she should have that constitutional right, presumption of innocence. It's just very difficult when her behavior is such to be able to -- at least for me -- to develop that presumption of innocence, although I'm certainly not sitting on a jury in which she is facing charges. But nonetheless...
PADILLA: We today are looking at her charged with the same charges that the gentleman in Massachusetts, when his wife came back and said, Where's the baby, or the 7-year-old, and he says, I don't know, they arrested him for child neglect, and he's got half a million dollar bond also.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, Leonard, like I say every night, that this is a case where I so want to be wrong, but I'm having a hard time. That's why I grill you for the basis of your view because I'd like to be able to have -- I'd like to be able to think like you do on this, but you and I just don't -- you know, I can't get there.
PADILLA: And believe me, I understand. All I'm saying is the law enforcement has not charged her with any more than what she's charged right now, and it's been better than 30 days since they collected most of that evidence.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. So what's the plan, is that she's going to stay in this house for the next -- or she basically -- or she goes to the court on the neglect and the lying allegations, right?
PADILLA: Obviously, right now, there's a trial set in November. And unless law enforcement does something different, that's -- you know, that's where she's at. She's got a 10-page booklet that she has to follow regulations. And we're providing security. We increased it because of the threats. I mean, it's just crazy. It's just crazy and insane.
VAN SUSTEREN: Are the threats to you or to her?
PADILLA: Threats to us, threats to her and threats to the family.
VAN SUSTEREN: Like, can you be specific? Like -- you know, like what kind of threats?
PADILLA: Well, to us, it's because, you know, If you're going to do this, we're going to make sure you pay for this in the ultimate way. To her, it's, We're going to kill the bitch as soon as she gets home. And to the family...
VAN SUSTEREN: Are these -- are...
PADILLA: ... We're going to burn the house down.
VAN SUSTEREN: How are the threats coming in? Are they coming in by e-mail, by telephone?
PADILLA: Some come e-mail -- some come e-mail, some come on the phone, some come on -- you know, just all over the place. All over the place.
VAN SUSTEREN: Has that been turned over to law enforcement?
PADILLA: And they come in -- and they come in from all over. Yes, I've contacted the FBI regarding the threats, yes.
VAN SUSTEREN: Leonard, thank you, and I hope you'll come back as the case develops. Thank you, Leonard.
PADILLA: You're welcome. You're welcome. Thank you very much.
VAN SUSTEREN: "On the Record" producer Justin Wells spent a large part of his day at the home of Casey's parents, and not surprisingly, Justin was not alone.
JUSTIN WELLS, FOX PRODUCER: We're outside the Anthony home right now, and the media is completely camped out. So inside, you've got her brother, you've got her parents, you've got the bounty-hunting team. This truck just pulled up late this afternoon. This truck is part of the bounty hunting team. We saw Rob Dick, who's heading of security. It's a pretty big trailer here, and their team is basically monitoring what's going on inside of the house, talking to the female that's inside handling security.
Up here, you can see that one of the cars is in the driveway. Usually, they have their two cars in the driveway. That's because they've left one spot open so people can get in and out of the house rather quickly. And back here, the media -- you see the trucks just strewn all along, all the way down. You see a satellite truck. That's one of the networks. The local media is here. They're doing live shots here.
Over here is our FOX News crew and the FOX News tent. We lost one tent today. It blew right over because Fay is still hitting us, band after band after band. Now we've had about six, seven, at one point, twelve people were holding down the tent while they were preparing to do a live shot at 6:00 PM. Now they're getting ready for "The Fox Report" at 7:00 o'clock. And still, the winds just keep coming in band by band by band.
Media is all around. That's the FOX News sat truck. The other media organizations just pulled out just a few minutes ago because the weather was just too bad, but these trucks and cars all up and down the street are the photographers. They're all sticking around, just in case something happens. But it's very difficult to go live right now in these conditions.
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