Suicidal Interview?

This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," September 14, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Impact" segment tonight, a troubling story. A few weeks ago, a 2-year-old named Trenton Duckett vanished in Leesburg, Florida. His mother, Melinda Duckett, said he was kidnapped and went on "Nancy Grace" cable program to talk about it. Nancy Grace was tough on the woman.


NANCY GRACE, HOST, "NANCY GRACE": Were you? Why aren't you telling us where you were that day? You were the last person to be seen with him.

MELINDA DUCKETT, MOTHER: We have already gone out and distributed the flyers...

GRACE: Right. Why aren't you telling us, giving us a clear picture of where you were before your son was kidnapped?

M. DUCKETT: Because I am not going to put those kind of details out.


M. DUCKETT: Because I choose not to.

GRACE: Ms. Duckett, you are not telling us for a reason. What is the reason? You are refusing to give the simplest facts of where you were with your son before he went missing.


O'REILLY: The day after that interview, Melinda Duckett killed herself. Ms. Grace has issued a statement saying she does not believe she is responsible. Joining us now from Washington, Fox News criminal analyst Detective Rod Wheeler, and from Orlando, Josh Duckett, the father of 2- year-old Trenton, who is still missing. Any update on your son, sir?

JOSH DUCKETT, FATHER: The last update that I got was that they were searching an area in Ocala National Forest, and the last that I'd heard was that they had found a teddy bear there. I mean, it has not been confirmed yet if it was Trenton's bear or not.

O'REILLY: All right. Well, we're very, very sorry. You know, the missing of any child, death of any child is off the chart painful.

Now, you were estranged from your wife, not living in the home, didn't see your child, I understand, for a few months. What was the state of your wife? What was her psychological state when the little boy disappeared?

J. DUCKETT: I am not sure of her psychological state when Trenton become missing, due to the fact that I had not had contact with her in roughly eight months.

O'REILLY: Nancy Grace suggested that your wife may have been involved with this. Do you believe that?

J. DUCKETT: There is always that possibility. I mean, that is still an open possibility to me.

O'REILLY: All right. What I am asking, though, was your wife unstable enough, in your opinion, to do something like this?

J. DUCKETT: I don't feel she would have harmed Trenton, but there is the possibility she may have had someone take him, or something along those lines.


J. DUCKETT: Honestly, I have no idea why she would do that.

O'REILLY: But you say there is a possibility she may have had somebody take him. Why, what would lead you to even believe that at all?

J. DUCKETT: Because of the whole custody issue. I mean, her whole thing was she did not want me to have custody of him. So in a sense, she may have done something along those lines to keep me from gaining custody, possibly.

O'REILLY: Were you trying to get full custody of the little boy?

J. DUCKETT: Yes, I was trying to.

O'REILLY: Did you feel that she was a bad mother?

J. DUCKETT: There were things she could do better. I mean, she had a bad attitude. And she...

O'REILLY: You say she had a bad attitude. What does that mean?

J. DUCKETT: She had a really bad anger problem. I mean, just anything would make her angry. She had threatened to commit suicide before, and she had actually been Baker Acted for it.

O'REILLY: OK, now, why would she go on the "Nancy Grace" show? Now, why, you know, kid disappears. I guess, you know, you could say I want to get publicity and somebody sees it, but why would she subject herself to that?

J. DUCKETT: I'm not sure. I mean, in my eyes, I don't feel that Nancy Grace was overly harsh on her. I mean, she asked me the majority of the same questions, and all that Melinda would have had to have done was answer them and continued on.

O'REILLY: All right. So you don't blame Ms. Grace for anything here.

J. DUCKETT: Not at all.

O'REILLY: All right. OK, Detective, how do you see this case unfolding? I know you've been in touch with the authorities in Florida. How do you see this thing?

ROD WHEELER, FOX NEWS ANALYST: That's right, Bill. I spoke today with one of the police captains down there in the Leesburg Police Department, and I can tell you exactly where they are right now with this investigation.

Actually, they're doing everything that they possibly can to try to find this child alive. You know, we do not even know if this child has been murdered yet. So they are operating under the auspices that this child may still be alive.

What are they doing? They have collected cell phone records, they've gotten automobile records from her as far as when she got gas for her vehicle. And they're interviewing people who knew her.

Now, the interesting thing that came to light today was that there was two other gentlemen at the house the night in which Trenton supposedly disappeared. Now, right now they do not have any particular suspects, Bill, but what they have are peoples of interest. And I think Josh can even tell you that they even told him that he's a person of interest, and they're going to continue to go down that path, to try to put together a timeline exactly what she was doing, where she was at the time of this little boy coming up missing.

There was evidence at the home that possibly somebody could have come in through a window. They did find that open. So right now, I think the police are trying to put all this information together. And I think it's a possibility the kid may not even be murdered.

O'REILLY: Well, let's hope not. Let's pray.


O'REILLY: Now, do they think Melinda might have had anything to do with this?

WHEELER: Well, they don't know. They do believe that she was withholding information. Now, that does not necessarily mean that she had anything to do with the child missing...

O'REILLY: But she was not being up front about it. Now, when you're kid's missing...

WHEELER: She wasn't...

O'REILLY: ... you have got to be up front with the cops, when your kid is missing.

WHEELER: Absolutely.

O'REILLY: So right away...

WHEELER: That's right. But they do believe that she was withholding information. Unfortunately, they didn't get the chance to question her as much as they would have liked to.

O'REILLY: Yes, obviously. She's dead.

WHEELER: That's right.

O'REILLY: Josh, you took a lie detector test in this, right?


O'REILLY: And you passed it?

J. DUCKETT: They didn't say whether I passed or not, but they did say that the response was favorable.

O'REILLY: All right. OK. Let's hope the baby is still alive, and we appreciate you guys coming on the program tonight.

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