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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

Interview With Jessica De La Rosa

Aired July 18, 2003 - 19:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: All right, some developments tonight in the ongoing search for missing Baylor University basketball player Patrick Dennehy. Police investigators in Waco, Texas, want to know if a handgun they found in an apartment where Dennehy lived is related to his disappearance.
Joining us now with an update on the search to find her boyfriend is Jessica De La Rosa.

Jessica, thank you so much for joining us.

First of all, how has this been for you? I mean, I can't even imagine.

JESSICA DE LA ROSA, DENNEHY'S GIRLFRIEND: You know, this has just been so difficult, so confusing. It's very exhausting.

COOPER: What do you make of this report now about this handgun being found?

DE LA ROSA: From what I understand, this handgun -- I've heard reports that it was found at Patrick's apartment complex. It was not found at Patrick's apartment complex. It was found at another apartment complex in Waco. And right now, they're not treating it as a key piece of evidence. They're -- it might be linked.

COOPER: Where, now where -- Excuse me to interrupt. But where are you getting this information? Is this what police are telling you?

DE LA ROSA: I did get this from police, and I have also had several other media people tell me this as well.

COOPER: There is, you know, this affidavit floating around in which apparently you told police that Patrick had told you about someone named Harvey who had threatened him. Do you still believe this may play a role somehow?

DE LA ROSA: You know, right now, I'm really not sure. Obviously, Harvey hasn't come forward with any information for us. With Carlton coming forward yesterday, I've not gotten any new news on that information that he gave to the police. I'm just hoping, however, that it will be instrumental in helping us to find Patrick soon.

COOPER: Were you surprised that Carlton Dotson showed up with the Maryland police yesterday without his attorney?

DE LA ROSA: That was somewhat surprising. You know, anything can happen at any time in this case. Everything is 100 percent unpredictable, and it was very surprising at first.

COOPER: What do you hope he tells police?

DE LA ROSA: You know, I just hope that he told them something that will help us find Patrick. That is our main goal right now, his parents' goal, my goal, his best friend. We want to find Patrick so badly right now. And even though all these other questions, like how did his car get to Virginia, and, you know, different questions like that, they're very interesting, and they might help us.

But the most important thing is finding Patrick right now.

COOPER: Well, I think investigators would certainly agree with you on that. Everyone who's been following this case would agree with you on that.

There are so many sort of pieces of, I guess, what can best be described as this puzzle still kind of floating out there. You talked now, the other day, I saw in the media about cell phone records, that two cell phone calls were actually made from Patrick's cell phone after he disappeared.

And yet, what really surprised me about it is, is, I heard from a report from Patrick's stepfather that he had told police this a long time ago, but police really hadn't actually even applied for these records until Wednesday.

DE LA ROSA: Right. Well, you know, we have had the cell phone records for a very long time, from the beginning of this, before any of it did break to the public. I did get this. I gave it to his father and to the detectives, and from what I understand, his father felt that there was not enough being done about that, so he did hand over some of this information to somebody else, who would hopefully follow up and trace these numbers.

COOPER: Do you have confidence in the police? I mean, do you have confidence in this investigation?

DE LA ROSA: You know, I think right now the Waco Police Department has way too much on their hands. I think that they do need much more help. This is just -- they have so much information, and so much investigating and questioning to do for their police department, and I think it would swamp almost any normal city-sized police department.

They need a ton of resources. I wish that they would use the FBI more, because the FBI is much larger. They have much more power and much better resources to use.

COOPER: Jessica De La Rosa, I appreciate you coming in. I mean, as I said, I can't imagine how difficult this is for you. You're incredibly composed, and I appreciate you just coming in, try to shed some light on this, and keep the spotlight on this case, trying to find Patrick Dennehy, your boyfriend. Thank you very much.

DE LA ROSA: Yes, thank you very much.

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