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tv   The Hunt With John Walsh  CNN  September 12, 2015 7:00pm-8:01pm PDT

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he may be right here in oregon. vance always said if you want to hide from the police hide in plain sight. they never find you. back in 1981, i had the american dream, the beautiful wife, the house in the suburbs and a beautiful 6-year-old son. and one day i went to work, kissed my son good-bye, never saw him again. in two weeks, i became the parent of a murdered child. and i'll always be the parent of a murdered child. i still have the heartache. i still have the rage. i wait the years for justice. i know what it's like to be there waiting for some answers. and over those years, i learned how to do one thing really well. and that's how to catch these bastards and bring them back to justice. i've become a man hunter.
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i'm out there looking for bad guys. we don't like calling each other brothers and sisters. we just go based on nephews and uncles. we're trying to put everything behind us. we're trying to live away from that situation. the only way you could understand is to be part of this family.
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♪ i was born at el salvador. and i was about 3 years, i was brought here with my sister to the states, to reunite with our mom after she came here looking for something better for us.
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my sister ana, she was about 6 years old at the time. my mom, lydia, got into a relationship with tomas around 1986. >> tomas had met her. and then a relationship blossomed where in they ultimately lived together. >> he was the father image for me. and everybody at the family, he basically raised us. i mean, him as a person, it was an average person at that time, it was really nothing that would say, you know, this person's going to be a monster. >> immigrants come to this country with stars in their
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eyes. they're looking for a better way of life. but it puts them at risk because they just may grab that first opportunity for stability. >> when i was 8 years old, my mom was sick in the hospital. we all slept in one room. i couldn't sleep at night, so i was actually awake. i witnessed tomas walk in, woke my sister up and told her to follow him. they did not know i was watching.
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i got scared, walked back into the room and waited for my sister to return. i told her i just saw you guys
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on the sofa doing it. she said, well, it's something i have to do. because if i don't do what he says then he's going to leave my mom. she told me, i want you to promise me that you will never say anything. so i just, you know, went with it and not said anything because i didn't want anything like that to actually happen. >> that threat is used by pedophiles on many, many occasions. usually they're children of divorce to begin with. so this huge burden of guilt is that we're going to be abandoned the we'll poor again or less fortunate again, but most of all, it will break mommy's heart. it's disgusting.
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>> tomas forced her. he forced himself on her at the age of 9. during those intervening years, tomas sexually molested her continually. >> it was about 1994, and i was about 16 years old. my mom went out to work. so that day she called him to let him know that she was getting off later. but it wasn't true. she was already on her way home.
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tomas saw an opportunity. and my mom showed up to the house. when i see my mom come in, and i automatically think, oh, this is it. this is where everybody's going to, you know, everything's going to explode. he put her at gunpoint, and he told her, you ever leave me for any other guy, i will kill you. discover card hey! so i'm looking at my bill and my fico credit score's on here. yeah! we give you your fico credit score. for free! awesomesauce! the only person i know that says that is... lisa?
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after a dvt blood clot.mind when i got out of the hospital what about my family? my li'l buddy? and what if this happened again? i was given warfarin in the hospital but i wondered if this was the right treatment for me. then my doctor told me about eliquis. eliquis treats dvt and pe blood clots and reduces the risk of them happening again. not only does eliquis treat dvt and pe blood clots, but eliquis also had significantly less major bleeding than the standard treatment. knowing eliquis had both... turned around my thinking. don't stop eliquis unless your doctor tells you to. eliquis can cause serious and in rare cases fatal bleeding.
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don't take eliquis if you have an artificial heart valve or abnormal bleeding. if you had a spinal injection while on eliquis call your doctor right away if you have tingling, numbness, or muscle weakness. while taking eliquis, you may bruise more easily... and it may take longer than usual for bleeding to stop. seek immediate medical care for sudden signs of bleeding, like unusual bruising. eliquis may increase your bleeding risk if you take certain medicines. tell your doctor about all planned medical or dental procedures. eliquis treats dvt & pe blood clots. plus had less major bleeding. both made switching to eliquis right for me. ask your doctor if it's right for you.
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my mom caught tomas and ana. she started screaming. they went at it for a while. tomas takes off. my mom and my sister were not talking to each other for a while. two weeks later, ana picks up her stuff and leaves. she ended up taking off with tomas to an apartment in long beach. >> when ana runs off with tomas, 15 years old. she has absolutely no family in this country. she has no friends, and she has this man who has his own place and has his own job. and so that's why she went ahead and ultimately ended up living with him.
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>> one day she came in to the house, and she was carrying a little baby. and i said who's this? she said this is my son, this is moises. >> every time i would ask who my dad because she'd say he passed away. so i never knew who my dad was. >> tomas came to the house to speak to my mom. i guess he went with the intentions of convincing her to move back. so she ended up accepting him. about a year later my mom has my sister gabby. and now he has a kid with my mom and a kid with my sister at the same time.
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and they're only about a year difference. and now we're all living together. >> they were under the impression that they were cousins. unbeknownst to them, they were actually brother and sister. >> it was about 2001. my mom starts getting sick. it was concentrated in her lungs, so she was struggling to breathe. all i remember is, you know, my mom, you know, walking past us and saying, you know, take care of yourselves. she said, said take care of yourselves. and, you know, i'll see you guys.
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>> when lydia died of cancer, ana now becomes the mother figure for both gabriela and moises. and becomes the surrogate wife, if you will, of tomas. >> i can't imagine going to my mother's funeral and knowing that if she was going through that tortuous death process that she knew the devil incarnate was going to take over her family. >> in 2003, my sister was pregnant again. bringing to life rachel. and i asked her, who's the dad? and she looked at me and said in the eye, and said who else do you think? in may 2007, she gets into a
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relationship outside tomas. >> no one had ever known ana to have a relationship. that's what enraged tomas the most. and the fact that because she was going on her own he was now losing complete control. >> he put her at gunpoint. and he told her, you ever leave me for any other guy, i will kill you. >> tomas had taken advantage of her since she was 9 years old. and he wasn't going tole allow her to be with anybody else, to have any happiness in her life. >> my dad told me he wanted to confess something. he said i loved her, and i loved her for so long.
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and everything he was saying, like it was an obsession, it was, like, creepy. >> he said he was, like, i need to tell you something. he kept like wanting to cry and finally, he just kind of said it, like one final blow, like i'm your real father, i'm your dad. and i was just, like, i finally know who my dad is, and once he left and i analyzed it all, i was like, so i guess my life is a lie. >> so ana calls me and she's very happy. she says guess what, a miracle's going to happen. i said why? she says he said he's leaving me alone now. and that he's leaving to mexico. and he wants nothing to do with us.
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i said oh? yeah? so is he really leaving? i spoke to him man-to-man. he said once you clear the kids from the apartment, call me.
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september 12, 2008, i get a phone call saying hey, have you heard from ana? ana should have been at work at 12:00. i'm like, what's going on? well, we're doing a barbecue for the employees and ana was the one purchasing everything that was supposed to be cooked. so everybody's wondering where she's at. called her about five times, left her a message.
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never called back. she was very good at calling back. but she never called me back. we're just sitting in the living room, waiting to see if ana will call back. >> i had seen ana's purse and shoes. and i was like, where's ana. >> this was about 8:00. i said, if it comes to 9:00, i'm calling the cops, because this is very weird. so i get a phone call. it was tomas's brother. asking me if i was in the
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apartment. are the kids there? i said yeah, we're all here. i said what's going on? he said once you clear the kids from the apartment, call me. i spoke to him man-to-man. what do you do? what did you do to her? and then he started crying. >> tomas's brother had told him that tomas told him that he had done something stupid and that they would find ana under some blankets. >> we were all there. just waiting for a phone call. not knowing that my sister was, you know, her body was right behind the sofas. i decided to call the police. because there was no more point of waiting. they spoke to me, they told me,
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you know, we found the body. there's a dead woman up there. and gave me one of her little bracelets with elephants. and that kind of did it for me, because i knew that was her. >> my dad had killed her. we were, like, what? like, are you serious? this really happening? >> it was just hard to believe, hard to wraparound my head that, you know, she's gone and she's goon forever and my dad's probably going to be gone forever as well.
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>> tomas flew out to guadalajara, mexico. he took about $40,000 from my mom's social security. so he kind of had everything planned out. >> i always thought that by me carrying ana's big secret, maybe it made me an accomplice of what was going on. what would have happened if we wouldn't have waited so long? maybe i would still have my sister. >> i don't think i could or anybody could feel the feelings that hugo had. when he says that he feels that if he had spoken up he might have saved ana's life, i think
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that was a course that he couldn't have changed. he couldn't help his beautiful sister, but he could save the rest of of the family. instead of let them be split up and spread out all over in social services and foster care and make their life a continuing nightmare, he stepped up to the plate and said this is what ana would want me to do. this is what i'm going to do. i'm going to be the patriarch now. i'm going to save this family, and he did. >> the fact is, tomas is still out there, and tomas needs to be apprehended. >> it's not over until he's caught. none of this is over until he's actually caught. >> tomas gonzalez has two l-shaped scars, one on each elbow. he's a native of mexico and was last seen there. his last-known job was as a roofer. if you've seen tomas gonzalez or
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know anything about his whereabouts, please call 1-866-the hunt, or go to our website at cnn.com/the hunt. you can remain anonymous. we'll pass your tip on to the proper authorities. and if requested, we'll not reveal your name. he would park, tell me to take my clothes off and touch me. >> because it's a police officer, yeah, there is a desire to get him off of the streets. >> he never said anything about him having a wife. he was living a double life. >> i have been looking for dan hiers for over ten years. i had the john walsh personal most wanted. and dan hiers is still on that list.
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i've worked cases against pastors and preachers and schoolteachers. but it being closer to home is because it's a police officer. there is a desire to get him off of the streets. to bring him in and bring him to justice, having been one of us. >> he crossed that line. he gives cops a bad name. he's cunning. he's smart, former cop and lucky. and some day his luck's going to run out. >> dan is from the town of hampton, south carolina. he grew up there. he was raised there. >> it's a lot more rural, country setting. >> he has very brilliant, blue
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eyes, very blond hair. athletic build. but his voice was very, was more of a high pitch and had a very southern drawl to it. >> people don't want to see your hand, people want to see your face, look at the camera. >> dan hiers first met her in miami. she was approximately 15 years of age at the time. dan hiers was 23. mila is brazilian. she is in rio de janeiro. mila thought he was in love. and she started imagining a lot of things. including she asked him if he had courage to come to brazil. things were very fast. very strange. mila liked him very much.
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and she asks high father to allow her to get married. and after a lot of conversations, my father allowed her. >> mila was 16 years old when she married him. she was very happy that day. >> the wedding certificate is inaccurate. it's not 1998 when they're married. that was falsified, because i don't think he wanted people at his work knowing that he married a minor. >> dan pursued and received the job offer with the charleston
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police department. they moved to the charleston area and took up residency in a suburb of charleston. >> mila, her relationship with dan from almost the beginning had been difficult. mila was saying how dan did not show her attention or affection. it was very difficult for her having her family so far away, being in brazil, and her being alone. >> we used to talk a lot. and once she told me she was having some problems about, concerning her sexual life,
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because dan seemed to lose interest in her. >> dan was very much into martial arts. and he would frequent a dojo in a part of charleston. when his session would be over and he would be leaving, another session would be starting where it was a much younger class. >> i was 9 years old. wanted to pick up something new. do something different, so karate. made a few friends of the one of
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them, you know, was my age. and then the other was dan hiers. well, it all started. we were playing, i think it was like a game of tag going on between me and two other kids. dan started running around, playing tag with us. he was like a big kid. >> dan became friends with the child's mother and offered to be some sort of role model, because the girl's biological father was not in her life at the time. >> he offered to start taking me to karate classes, actually. anything that was really going on around town, we would be a part of that, going to the fair, beak rides, going fishing. showed me how to shoot a gun. >> mila did question dan's affection to this young girl and
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was reassured multiple times that it was just a friendship, that he was trying to be a role model and a father figure. >> he never said anything about him having a wife or even a girlfriend or anything. it was like he was just living by his self. just him. >> the juvenile and mother actually came to dan and mila's residence in goose creek where dan cooked dinner for the two. he also had pictures of the little girl hanging up in the home and had taken down pictures of he and his wife mila. >> he only let us know what he wanted us to know about him. he was living a double life.
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contact with the girl she was 9 years old. >> after four or five months of knowing him, and then all, you know, it started happening. sometimes it would just be an empty parking lot. he would park, tell me to take my clothes off. and touch me. touch my chest area, my crotch area. i was like, what's going on? what are you doing, like? and he just, and he wouldn't even say anything.
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♪ one time we actually got a hotel room. i would hide on the floorboard of his truck so the surveillance cameras wouldn't see a child in the car. he would make sure that it would be a hotel with the doors on the outside. i had an idea, i already knew what was going to happen.
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the hotel, i mean, it was a little more, for the most part i would just try not to remember and just try to black it all out. but it was starting to get harder, so i just, just came out and told. >> on november 23, 2004, i was contacted by the lieutenant and requested to go with him to try to intervene at dan hier's residence. he was going to be arrested for charges of lewd act on a minor. >> dan ultimately turned himself in. i believe that had some bearing
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or impact on whether or not he was provided a bond, which he was granted. >> during this time frame, he did lose his job at the city of charleston police department. >> mila thought it was a big mistake, a big mess. she didn't believe. i think she was protecting her heart of that situation. because it was very difficult to her to face what was going on. >> one of the saddest elements of this case is the phenomenal loving quality of mila. that she wanted to be such a good wife to dan hiers. she felt guilty that somehow she wasn't meeting his needs. she had no idea what his needs were. his needs were to rape little girls. >> in march 2005 mila called me
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from myrtle beach. she called me to say she was there for her second honeymoon. and she was very, very happy. because dan was very romantic that day. >> you are crazy. taping yourself. >> and she told me she wished he was like that every day. >> it is possible that dan wanted to spend one last weekend with mila before executing the plan that he may have premeditated. >> 911. what is your emergency? >> i have a big problem, a big crisis here. at&t and directv are now one.
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on march 15 of 2005, dan was supposed to turn himself in to the dorchester county sheriff's office, he was supposed to meet his attorney there at the magistrate's court. he failed to show. >> when dan's attorney could not reach dan, he began calling linda hiers. >> dan's mother and sister-in-law arrived at the residence later that evening at the request of dan's attorney to try to make contact with him.
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>> linda hiers later states that she knew that something was wrong with the situation. and then goes out to a neighbor's house and says that she needs a man to see what's going on. when they walked down the hallway, they saw that the master bedroom door had been closed. >> 911, what is your emergency? >> we've got a big problem, big crisis here. she's lying in the bed. and she's very stiff, very cold. and she's not breathing. >> okay. >> not at all. hiers. >> that's his name? danny hiers. >> dan hier, mila. >> and he's not at the residence
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anywhere? >> i don't see him anywhere. this is going to be homicide. >> it just appeared she was lying there, most likely in her sleep when she was shot one time in the back of the head. we contacted the federal police in brazil and requested they make contact with mila's parents. >> i received a phone call. someone said mila is dead. in portuguese. i think it was the only thing the person could speak in portuguese. it's very hard. i never thought to see my sister dead. it was horrible.
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>> there were two neighbors that observed dan hiers coming and going from his residence the morning of the homicide. one neighbor observed him in a blue and white windbreaker-type outfit. >> roughly about an hour and 45 minutes after that, he was seen withdrawing money from an atm machine in walter borough, south carolina, which is halfway between goose creek and hampton. the image at the atm machine is the last-known photograph of dan. >> i think he killed her because he didn't want her to find out what was going on.
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he didn't want her to know the truth he didn't want her to know, you know, what had been going on the whole time. >> he had been doing quite a bit of research the evening before mila's death on rat poison, how to commit suicide, the effects of cyanide. our belief was maybe he was contemplating a homicide/suicide situation. however, dan hiers' body was not at the scene and has yet to be found. so. >> at the time, i was, like, oh, my gosh, this is my fault, like, you know? i didn't know what to think. i don't know. it was just a lot for a little girl to go through. to have, you know, you come out and tell what happened. you know, about how he was touching me, molesting me, and then his wife is dead. you know?
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just a lot. it was very, i didn't, i blamed myself for a long time. i didn't tell anyone that, but i did, i blamed myself for a long time. >> the murder occurred march 15, 2005. i think it's time to try to find closure for mila's family, to bring dan hiers to justice and be able to resolve this case. >> this is a coward, a child molester and a brutal murderer of a woman who loved him so much, and how did he pay her back for all her loyalty and love and passion for him? he shot her in the back of the head. this is one guy i want to see caught and pay for what he did. >> i want him caught, because he killed his wife. and because of what, you know, he did to me, but more for what he did to mila. you know, i want him caught.
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>> dan hiers is an ex-policeman trained in martial arts and known to maintain a high level of physical fitness. he enjoys basketball, plays the piano and speaks in a distinctive high-pitched southern drawl. if you've seen dan hiers or know anything about his whereabouts, remember he may be armed and dangerous, so please make that call, 1-866-the hunt, or go to our website at cnn.com/the hunt. you can remain anonymous. we'll pass your tip on to the proper authorities, and if requested, we'll not reveal your name. >> after many years of not doing an interview, i'm grown-up now. i want, you know, just justice for not only me but mila as well. >> it always strikes me the common decency, the kindness,
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the courage of child victims. it makes you madder. and you say, that girl deserves justice. back in 1981, i had the american dream, the beautiful wife, the house in the suburbs and a beautiful 6-year-old son. and one day i went to work, kissed my son good-bye and never saw him again. in two weeks i became the parent of a murdered child, and i'll always be the parent of a murdered child. i still have the heartache. i still have the rage. i waited years for justice. i know what it's like doing there waiting for justice, and over those years i learned how to do one thing really well, and that's to catch these bastards and bring them b

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