This is a partial transcript from "On the Record," March 18, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.


SHERIFF JEFF DAWSY, CITRUS COUNTY, FLORIDA: John Couey admitted to abducting Jessica Lunsford and subsequently taking her life...

We've talked about building a case, and this is not a time to sing anybody's praises, but I will tell you that we have built a case, a very methodical case. And I've got my man.


GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: Our next guest employed John Couey for a few years at a restaurant nearby. Let's bring Couey's former boss, George Kanaris. George, welcome back to the program. Thursday night, your former employee was a person of interest. Tonight he is more than that. What are your thoughts?

GEORGE KANARIS, JOHN COUEY'S FORMER BOSS: Well, I think, first, we're all deeply saddened. It was very difficult to even come out tonight. It's a very tight community. We all care about each other. We're shocked. I received the news at the restaurant, and the restaurant was full and everybody was crying and gasping and nobody could believe it, you know? It was our great hope that we were going to find Jessica.

VAN SUSTEREN: When was John Couey last seen in the community, if you know?

KANARIS: Last seen in the community? He's been around. He was a roguish-type individual, you know, didn't live anywhere. He rode a bicycle. And when he worked for me, he slept in my shed sometimes.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. You fired him for inappropriate conduct. What was the conduct that you fired him for?

KANARIS: While he was under my employ, he give a love letter to a bus girl that was probably between the age of 14 and 15 years old, and I fired him for inappropriate behavior.

VAN SUSTEREN: Was there ever any indication that it would be beyond, you know, writing a letter, something much more devious and criminal?

KANARIS: Looking back now, I wish perhaps I would have said something to somebody about it. Up until then, he had only been incarcerated for burglary charges, and I wasn't aware of any, you know, previously sexual misconduct things, or perhaps I would have said something to somebody. But he was violent and short-tempered and, you know, just the kind of person that, you know, society kind of skips over, a career felon. And I gave him a chance, and looking back now, I wish I hadn't.

VAN SUSTEREN: So tonight, how's the community? I imagine the community is devastated by this news, although I suppose everyone was thinking that Jessica would not be returning home. But what are your thoughts? And what are people saying?

KANARIS: Everybody's very disappointed. Everybody honestly believed that she was still alive out there somewhere, that perhaps, you know, maybe one of these sexual predators had taken her, but she's alive, maybe change her appearance, like the other case out in Iowa or Utah or whatever. And there was just, you know, hope that she was still alive. That's why everybody engaged. That's why I engaged. You know, everybody was doing what they could.

The important thing is to send the message that these sexual predators are in our neighborhood. And to be a responsible parent nowadays, you have to be on the Internet. You must know where these people are. You must know their potentiality. This is the message. If any good can come from this, people have to have a heightened awareness of these guys, these people, and where they are.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, George, thank you very much.

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