Pastor Recalls Seeing Suspect with Kidnapped Baby
This is a partial transcript from "On the Record," December 20, 2004, that has been edited for clarity.
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GRETA VAN SUSTEREN: Joining us by phone from Kansas is the suspect, Lisa Montgomery’s pastor, Mike Wheatly. Welcome, Pastor.
PASTOR MIKE WHEATLY, SAW SUSPECT WITH STOLEN BABY: Thank you.
VAN SUSTEREN: Pastor, how long have you known Lisa Montgomery (search)?
WHEATLY: Since I’ve been here, three years and two months that I’ve been here.
VAN SUSTEREN: What’s been your impression of Lisa Montgomery?
WHEATLY: She’s pretty much a working woman who goes home and raises her kids.
VAN SUSTEREN: And her husband? Do you know him?
WHEATLY: Yes, I do.
VAN SUSTEREN: How would you describe him?
WHEATLY: He’s pretty much into his family and a working husband and just keeps to himself pretty much, except for doing things with his family and coming to church.
VAN SUSTEREN: When did you first hear that Lisa had been arrested?
WHEATLY: I heard about it on Friday evening, right about 10 minutes before the news came on here.
VAN SUSTEREN: How did you hear about it?
WHEATLY: One of the people in my church called and asked me if I was in the middle of it because they knew that Lisa and Kevin had been at the house that morning with the baby.
VAN SUSTEREN: And has anyone — at the time that you spoke to them, did you know that Lisa had thought perhaps that she was pregnant or had made any statements about that beforehand?
WHEATLY: She was here at our house about a month-and-a-half before — prior to all of this and was appearing to be pregnant at the time. And I even commented and asked her if she was due to have that baby any time soon, and she said. No, she wasn’t due until December. I said, You’re kind of small to be having a baby in December, and she said her babies were always small. It turns out her oldest daughter was only four pounds, two ounces, when she was born, so I didn’t think any more about it.
VAN SUSTEREN: Pastor, what do you make of Lisa Montgomery now and what’s happened?
WHEATLY: What do I make of her?
VAN SUSTEREN: Yes. I mean, why did this happen, do you think?
WHEATLY: I think she’s a very troubled person who’s wanting to — wanted to please her husband, wanted to have a child with him, and that was first and foremost on her mind.
VAN SUSTEREN: Were there problems in the marriage, Pastor, that you were privy to that suggest maybe Lisa felt she couldn’t be candid with her husband about issues of pregnancy?
WHEATLY: I can’t say one way or the other if there were because they didn’t divulge that to me. But I do know that Kevin had told me that he felt her belly and felt the baby kick and knew there was one there.
VAN SUSTEREN: Was there ever any indication to you, Pastor, that Lisa was troubled before she was arrested?
WHEATLY: No. She was a pretty self-centered person, except for how much she cared about her family, her kids. So you know, beyond that, I don’t know a whole lot more about her personality except that because that’s the one thing my wife and I always noticed about her was that Lisa talked about Lisa.
VAN SUSTEREN: In terms of — give me an example.
WHEATLY: I mean, when she would come to our house with the kids and we would try to interject a conversation about something that was going on with somebody else in the community, or whatever, usually it was avoided and she would just continue to talk about herself or her kids.
VAN SUSTEREN: Do you know, Pastor, right now, you know, how her husband is doing?
WHEATLY: Well, you can probably imagine that he’s pretty shook up about it. The morning he was here with Victoria Jo (search), who was then at the time Abigail, he had a smile on his face from ear to ear. And it wasn’t, like I’ve said to many people, that smile wasn’t coming off his face for a month. He was a very proud papa. As far as he knew, everything was kosher.
VAN SUSTEREN: And how did — how did Lisa appear with the baby?
WHEATLY: Quiet, as you might imagine for a woman that’s just had a baby the day before. She acted like she was sore, and was moving a little slow and all of those things, so neither my wife nor I thought anything about that.
VAN SUSTEREN: So when she showed up with the baby that day, there was nothing peculiar, or no red flags, at least that you saw at the time.
WHEATLY: None other than the fact that we were a little concerned why she’d have the baby out so soon after its birth. But other than that, the baby was beautiful. It’s still beautiful. It’s a very special little baby. And we just really didn’t think anything about it, except we wanted to have the opportunity to hold it. And it’s touched everybody’s lives here in some way or another.
VAN SUSTEREN: Pastor, thank you very much for joining us.
WHEATLY: You’re welcome.
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