New Developments

This is a rush transcript from "The Big Story With John Gibson and Heather Nauert," January 23, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

HEATHER NAUERT, CO-HOST: In the search for a missing college student who vanished after a night of partying in Reno, Nevada. She was at a casino on Sunday.

JOHN GIBSON, CO-HOST: The person of interest in the Brianna Denison case is no longer a person of interest. And investigators are taking a close look at text messages Brianna sent within minutes before she disappeared. We're going to talk live to the Reno Police in the moment. But first: We begin with "Big Story" correspondent, Douglas Kennedy with all the details. Douglas.

DOUGLAS KENNEDY, BIG STORY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, John and Heather. The SUV driver is no longer a suspect, nor is Brianna's boyfriend. They are both dead ends in the mystery that tonight is still causing a lot of heartache among Brianna's family and friends.


KENNEDY (voice over): K.T. Hunter last saw Brianna Denison at 4:00 a.m. Sunday morning on her living room couch at her home in Reno, Nevada. Police now say, the cute college co-ed was alive at 4:15 a.m. when she messaged her boyfriend to say they were breaking up. They can't say what happened between then and when Katie went downstairs later that day.

K.T. HUNTER, BRIANNA'S CLOSE FRIEND: She wasn't there and I noticed blood on the pillows. So, we called the cops and it's just been a nightmare.

KENNEDY: Particularly nightmarish to Reno Police is a series of leads that have led nowhere. The suspicious SUV driver who dropped one of Brianna's friends at the house turned himself in to cops and turned out to have an alibi as did Brianna's boyfriend. It's a mystery that today has more questions than answers for the 19-year-old's family.

RENA DENISON, BRIANNA'S AUNT: What scares me is like the dogs not barking. Did he know that person coming in? Did they sleep through the dog barking? Why did Brianna not scream?

BOB ZUNINO, BRIANNA'S GRANDFATHER: If she's with somebody right now, whoever it may be, we want her back.

KENNEDY: Lauren Denison is Brianna's aunt, she says, Brianna's family is particularly concerned because their petite sweetheart was only wearing sweatpants and a tank top with no shoes or socks.

LAUREN DENISON, BRIANNA'S AUNT: The reason why we know Brianna was taken against her will is that her clothing, her purse, her cellphone, all of her personal belongings were left behind.

KENNEDY: Police say, they've taken DNA from family members and are testing it against the blood on the pillow. They're also looking into other text messages Brianna sent early Saturday night, but unfortunately, police dogs could not pick up her scent anywhere outside the house.

L. DENISON: We are focusing that Brianna is out there. She's alive. We're going to get her back.


KENNEDY: And they are asking anyone who has any information to call the Brianna Tipline. That number is 775-745-3521. They say, John and Heather, they need a lot of help on this one.

GIBSON: Douglas Kennedy. Douglas, thanks very much.

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