tv The Hunt With John Walsh CNN August 28, 2016 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT
girl." 10:00 "declassified -- red storm rising." and at 10:00, the taliban's double agent. i'm jim sciutto. thanks for joining me this weekend, and you have a great week. 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 to be there waiting for some answers. and over those years, i learned how to do one thing really well.
had four girls. >> gemeka, danielle, rosalyn and the baby was moriah. born in november 5th, 1996. >> we always were just a family. we always were at each other's homes. out of all of the girls, moriah was just like the leader. even though she was the baby. >> we talked about everything. talked about boys and what car we would want to drive, what jobse would want to do. she was my best friend. >> moriah read the bible a lot. and she would be reading it to sabrina. she's the one that got me going to church. i went to church with her and her mom n her dad on sundays. >> you know, with the church we
were involved, we weren't allowed to wear makeup, but moriah, she would wear it, and she did such a good job when she would do it. she looked so pretty. >> fashionista is what i would call her. she would dye her hair any color she felt. one day it was black. one day it was red. but it worked so perfect for her. >> i don't know why she loved tattoos so much. the first tattoo was the hello kitty one. i was like, why did you get a tattoo? she's like, because i love hello kitty and it's my body. i can do what i want. >> she acted older than she was. she did. we drank sometimes. we smoked some pot. that's what we did. we smoked bud. >> she grew up faster than -- well, i did, but if she didn't, it wouldn't be the moriah we had. >> she was a -- she would pick a
fight with anybody that started a fight with anybody that she loved. >> moriah was like her dad. used to love boxing. >> she always said, i want my dad to train me. he's going to train me how to fight. >> i would always say, no, baby. i want you to grow up and when you are fully developed and strong muscles and stuff like that, then you can do -- i'll show you. >> she came up with this name, mea jee out of nowhere, and it just stuck with her. i asked her what does mia mean? >> she said missing in action, just in case i have to go missing in action, plus i'm a g. >> she was moriah to family. she was moriah to me. but to a lot of other people, she was a g.
>> but underneath all of that mia g, she was moriah. just a little sweet moriah who always helped everybody. >> in september 2011, our whole world just changed. jemeka was going through some rough times kind of feeling depressed. >> moriah called me and says janikka is in the hospital. she had overdosed. when she was drinking, she was mix with her anxiety depression pills n that's how it all happened. >> then she goes into a coma. we spent almost two weeks there at the hospital with her. >> moriah stayed by her side day and night. she wouldn't leave her.
>> janikka passed on september 17th, 2011. >> i lost janikka, i thought it was the end of the world. >> that's their oldest daughter. they were just devastated. >> moriah went through a very drastic stage. i can just see it in her eyes. she wasn't the same. >> when a child dies, that always seems to affect the siblings so deeply, i could see where moriah would be rudderless. she was just looking for an out to dull that pain. >> i just wanted to move away and start somewhere else. and so we decided to move to ennis. i shouldn't have ever made that
move. >> we all went our little separate ways because we were all hurting. moriah, she was gone. she was hanging out with friends -- so-called friends. i believe that moriah hung around with the older crowd because she missed her sister. and i guess jennifer gave her that. >> jennifer puente was kind of on my radar. tough young girl. used to getting her way. alpha female, i guess. >> jennifer puente has or had some tattoos. the one that stood out the most to me is the one that said -- everybody on her shoulder, indicative of her mentality. >> moriah had meant jennifer
back in january 2012. this young girl is 18. my daughter is only 15. >> i met jennifer once. and she came to pick up moriah. like every young mexican little girl looks like to me. nothing unusual. >> but one thing i notice about jennifer that she never gave me the face. just gave me this look like, okay, well, i'm jennifer. >> me and moriah never did no bad drugs. whenever she started hanging out with this girl, i kind of had the sense she was doing some drugs like cocaine or meth because she was more kind of like angry. things that would not really
piss her off as much pissed her the [ bleep ] off. i know she was going through a hard time. but she is only 15. she thinks she's invincible, but nobody really is. >> she gravitated to somebody that she thought would look out for her. terrible choice. the worst choice. >> jennifer was making threats. you know, wanting to kill people, burn bodies.
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high school. she was asking, let's hook up. that's when i was getting to know her and going to her house constantly. she told me short after, i've known her for a short period of time, she was pregnantz. having a child, it was a big responsibility that i was willing to take and go ahead on and be the father. after jennifer had the baby, i was finding out that my child was at parties, around drugs, being left alone, being neglected. i don't think anybody would want a regular child to witness or see certain things taking place in that household. you know what i mean? >> they were having a custody battle over their son. disputes over child support.
>> when the custody battle was going on, certain immature things took place. people breaking windshields, flattening tires, making threats. i was like, no, i already know this is going to turn ugly. >> jennifer had slashed his tires so i arrested her for criminal mischief, but she was bonded out. >> jennifer was making threats. wanting to kill people, burn bodies and so forth. and i was thinking in my head, this stuff must be serious. >> accusations were being thrown on each side. there was not any written proof or physical evidence so we didn't let it hold a lot of validity. >> but a murder took place due to nobody listening.
guess what happened? >> nobody did anything about jennifer puente, even when she went around and said i'd like to kill people. not only would i like to kill people, i'd like to burn their bodies. that would be a red flag to me, but the problem was, what could you do? what could you really, really do? >> moriah had came out from the shower. went to the room. she had looked at me and said, mom, i love you. and she had gave me a hug. i had told her, well, i'm going to go to sleep already because i would always wake up at 3:00 because i had to be to work at 5:00. i was working here in the doughnut shop. >> you should try to come back tonight. we can kick it. i told her around 10:00 something, they'll not let me come back tonight. i'm sorry. what are you doing? and she never messaged me back.
>> i get up and i go to the kitchen, grab me a glass of water, come back out. she's inside her room. i say, okay, baby. i'll see you tomorrow. she says, okay, dad. i love you. i said i love you, too, baby. >> i woke up at 3:00. and i always go to her room. and i saw that she was not there. i had texted her. i said, hey, where you at? no response. 3:30, i text, call. nothing. >> 911, what's your emergency? >> i was on my way to work and on the road here, there's a body that looks like a human body on
fire. >> you're pretty sure that's what it is? >> i can't tell if it's a doll or a person. i can't see a face. >> the lieutenant called me up and said we had a deceased person locateod the side of the road and it had been burned. >> who would do that to somebody that young? ♪ there's no one road out there. no one surface... no one speed... no one way of driving on each and every road. but there is one car that can conquer them all. the mercedes-benz c-class. five driving modes let you customize the steering, shift points, and suspension
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of a young person, or a child. that's pretty -- who would do that to somebody that young? the dallas medical examiner's office had cleaned the body where they could see it better. she had several tattoos but the main one was a crown tattooed on her chest that said royalty above it. she'd been asphyxiated. there were several bones broken in her neck, where there was a lot of pressure. postmortem cuts on the body. probably made with a sharp instrument like a razor blade. across the chest it said [ muted" n then a five-pointed star had been cut into her abdomen and k, a and v were deside it, too. we had no idea who this person was. we had no missing people in
ennis that matched that description. >> a phone call from detective asby of the ennis police department asking for some resources that we had in order to attempt to identify an unidentified person. >> so for the first three or four days it was just trying to figure out who she was. they sent dna to austin. maybe there's a codis hit to figure out if she was in the system. >> we got no hits. i guess it's because it turned out to be a person that hadn't been reported missing yet. >> i didn't want to call the police because, to me, i thought she was with somebody else. >> you knew she hanged around kendall, her best friend here in waxahachie. . so i said, okay, try and get a hold of kendall. >> is moriah with me?
we can't find her. >> no, i thought she was with you. >> i didn't want to believe that nothing could happen to her, and in small ennis or small waxahachie. >> something popped up in the newspapers. they found a body burning. >> i said that's it, robert. i know it's her. no, no, don't be saying that. >> so i said, okay, i'm going to stop at the police department. when i tell them i'm missing. >> the police officer asked him, does she have any distinguishing marks or tattoos or anything? and they advised she had the tattoo of a crown on her chest that said royalty above it. >> here we were having to explain to this family that just lost one daughter a year before that now your youngest daughter
is deceased also. >> and mom broke down. i just couldn't help it. just broke -- >> you don't expect to lose your sisters like that. >> i have nothing but empathy for that family. it's just beyond a greek tragedy. it's two parents of very humble means trying to raise their daughters, and now they've lost two of their daughters. it's just the worst ending. >> the next step at that point once the victim had been identified was to learn who she had been with, where she had been. >> they were able to get her cell phone records, and then 2 was discovered the last person that moriah had called or called
her was this jennifer puente. >> another ennis detective went to speak with moriah's friends and acquaintances, people at the school. >> several of them gave the name of jennifer puente and that she had a hit list to take people out. they said that one of her fantasies was to stab or choke somebody and then take their body out on a gravel road, dump it on the side of the road and set it on fire. >> we spoke to jennifer's sister jocelyn puente. >> jocelyn told the police that jennifer had gone to work with joe alvarado on march 16th. and at that point, that was the first time joe alvarado's name came up. >> i've never heard the name joe
alvarado before. not out of her mouth. >> joe is the boyfriend or was the boyfriend of jennifer puente. >> they had worked together at the sterileite corporation, a manufacturing corporation in ennis. >> jocelyn mentioned she had a conversation with jennifer on march 17th at about 9:00 in the morning. she tells her sister that her and joe killed moriah. >> several days later, jennifer had called her and said that her and joe alvarado were leaving town. >> how can this little person, this young kid, being a kid herself, do such a heinous crime? >> joe didn't seem scared.
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when you're on the run, you need money to stay out there. bad guys usually steal something or pawn something. so the first thing cops do is they search their database for pawn shops in the area. >> we found out jennifer puente had pawned a television and a sony playstation in grand prairie, texas. >> we started looking in the grand prairie area for jennifer puente and j alvarado. joe was fromhere. >> grand prairie police department dealt with joe alvarado multiple times over the course of years. there was some fraudulent use of identifying information charges but i don't believe he had a
violent history in grand prairie. >> we received a call in the early morning hours from one of the grand prairie officers. they located joe alvarado's vehicle at the cvs parking lot. the doors were unlocked. the car was dusty. it appears to have been plain and simply abandoned there. >> joe alvarado tended to frequent the area of north grand prairie off main street. it's known for drug trafficking, drug sales, prostitution. grand prairie dispatchers received an unknown 911 call from a pay phone outside a gas station up off main street. the caller wanted to remain anonymous. stated that the people we were looking for, joe alvarado and jennifer puente were staying at a hotel off main street. i'm driving main street. and that's when i saw our suspect walking east towards the
pay phone that matched his description. he gave me an i.d. belonging to somebody else, an andrew lopez. i looked at the picture on the i.d. and it just didn't look like him. i asked him, what's your real name? he just says, i'm the guy you're looking for and then he told me his name was joe. he didn't seem scared or shocked. he just seemed numb. we put him in handcuffs and when we were searching him, we found a hotel key in his pocket. we said which hotel? he said maybe i have something in there i don't want you to see. on the way to the detention facility he said it's for the relax hotel in grand prairie. we immediately sent three officers over there. jennifer was not in the hotel room.
>> everything was in disarray. retts, empty beer bottles, drug pa paraphernalia. she had left everything. her pulse, wallet, i.d., social security card. >> inside the room there was hair dye. joe's hair color was the same, so we believe it was jennifer who was attempting to change her appearance. >> i think she got caught by surprise. i think she saw the lights. maybe she might have seen them pick joe up because it was just a block or two away from the hotel. we transported him back to ennis. didn't look right the first time i saw him. he kind of had that look, like the lights were on but there wasn't anybody home. but he was very forthcoming in his confession. we recorded it, and joe
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that morning, she told me she didn't want to go to work. we pretty much just chilled and smoked some k2 and stuff. >> k2 is a synthetic legal form of marijuana. k2 is made different ways by different people and has different effects. >> later on that night, she wanted to go to moriah's house. so. >> so joe gave her a ride over there. >> i never met moriah before that night. >> they witness back ent back t mother's house on smith street. >> we were just kind of hanging out. we started smoking k2. and jennifer was doing some cocaine. moriah and i were talking and stuff on the bed, and jennifer
kind of like just put the knife under moriah's chin and asked her, what is that you said about not being afraid to die? moriah told her she wasn't afraid. that jennifer didn't have the balls to do it. jennifer was telling her that she was going to die. like shut up, bitch. that's when i told her she shouldn't do it. it's just the drugs and stuff. that's when she turned the knife on me. told me i was a pussen always up in her ass. there was somewhat of a struggle. seemed like jennifer had stabbed her in the abdomen. kind of just let them be. left them alone. and i went and sat in the chair in the middle of the room.
moriah was telling her like you're [ bleep ] crazy. get off me. i was under the influence. i really didn't want to be involved. i mean, i don't want to sound like i just -- i did absolutely nothing, which was almost the case. i was more listening than anything else. it got real quiet after that. i just turned around, and i seen moriah just laying there pretty still, and jennifer was still on top of her. jennifer seemed kind of out of breath, but yet she was like pretty satisfied with herself.
>> jennifer fits right in that path of that remorseless sociopath who says, i'm going to kill another human being. i'm going to take their life right in front of my eyes. that's a very deeply disturbed, violent, dangerous sociopath. >> i asked her, what the hell? what did you do? why did you do it? she'd like, she got a sense of power. now that she'd done it, she knew she could do it again. >> from that point, he decides he's very distraught at what he saw. not enough to where he tried to stop any of this, by the way, but he was very distraught. he had to go smoke a cigarette. >> the first thing that went through my mind was, i'm going to go to jail for this. whenever i came back into the room, moriah was no longer on the bed. now she was on the floor like spread eagle. jennifer had carved a pentogram
and some other stuff on moriah's body. i picked up moriah. it's not like picking up somebody that's sleeping. it was very, very, very strange feeling. we agreed to dump the body on this one road that we had taken to and from work. i instructed jennifer how to pour the gas. she just kind of did it carelessly. and then we set fire to her.
didn't feel any remorse over it. she was proud of what she had done. jennifer continued to go to work. me, i just, you know, had to kind of numb myself from the experience, i just got high every day. a couple days later, looking on the internet, we seen that they had found a body. that's when we decided to leave town. we went to grand prairie because i know people that work in the pawn shop. we got stuck in grand prairie, and we ended up staying in a hotel. it was my intent to fess up to what transpired that night. i had called the police and told them where they could find the murder suspects from ennis.
>> i don't believe joe made that phone call. when i found joe, he was walking towards the pay phone where the phone call was made. i felt like he was still trying to elude officers. >> i called the hotel room just to be sure that jennifer was still there, and if she was, i can't say how or why she got away, but she ended up getting away. >> there was a towel in the hotel room that was over the dresser mirror. and i asked him, what was that about? he said he put it there. >> i was seeing in the mirror whenever i would look at myself. so glancing up at it, i could see her there. >> this was probably the worst homicide case i've ever been on. and i just wanted it closed. i want it finished.
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i prosecuted joe alvarado for the murder of moriah gonzales. we also charged him with tamper with the body by physically moving her, setting her on fire. >> we were sitting in the front of the court, and they brought him in. he had no remorse. >> seeing him, it was like, how could you? >> how desensitized and zombie-like can you be when your girlfriend tells you to turn your head while she is brutally murdering an innocent 15-year-old girl? what the hell kind of man is that? >> i mean, you know, it is what it is. everybody es. i guess somewhere inside me
there's a regret of not doing something. i mean, i could have done something. i could have done something. i know that i could have. >> i just looked at him. i said, you know what? you have broke us, you have broke my family. but all i'm going to say to you, i will forgive you. the reason that i said that because i had to let go of my anger. i had to. i couldn't hold it all. i just couldn't. >> in the end, based upon plea negotiations between us and his attorneys, we agree that he would plea to the murder for 34 years and that he plead to 20 years on the tampering case to run concurrent. >> i get to have at least one be accountable for what happened to moriah.
>> the case isn't closed until she's apprehended and gets her jail sentence. >> they're still tracking down every lead that they had to see if they could find out where she was. >> this is probably the worst homicide case i've ever been on, and i just want it -- i want it closed. i want it finished. we were following up leads that went to houston and laredo, mexico, but no sign of her. nothing was panning out. >> it became pretty frustrating. we were getting pretty close to her, it seems. within hours of her and sometimes within, you know, 30 minutes of her, people claiming she was nearby and had been seen. my full belief is jennifer puente is most likely living under an alias name. at this point, no traces of jennifer have been determined. >> i thought a mother's instinct would want to let her come back to try to visit her child but evidentlies there been no contact because we're in contact
with the father and he would surely let us know. >> jennifer being out, that's very concerning. concerned about my child but at the end of the day, i wanted custody of my son. i really have high hopes for him. he's a smart kid. a lot smarter than i was when i was 5, you know? >> that really broke my heart. i'm not the same person. i'm not. >> it's hard at times, but we're trying to keep our family because that's all we have. that's all we have. >> so much i would tell them that i love them.
and i will never stop loving you. i would tell them i'd make something for you to eat. tell her to walk to the store. and, yes, i'll teach you how to fight. let's do whatever you want to do. whatever it is. jennifer puente has several tattoos, including one that reads "baby john" on the back of her neck. she has family across texas and
in huevo laredo, texas. they believe she could be armed and dangerous. if you've seen jennifer puente or have any information as to her whereabouts, don't take any action yourself. please, call 1-866-the-hunt, or go online at cnn.com/thehunt. you can remain anonymous. we'll pass your tip on to the proper authorities and, if requested, will not reveal your name. >> it's crazy because she often talks about that she would die young. >> she said, whenever i die and you all see a butterfly, i'm going to be flying around everywhere. >> i remember when we were putting her in the grave, there was a butterfly that kept flying around. i told mom, there's moriah. she's that little butterfly. >> that was my first tattoo was a butterfly for moriah.
>> i put mia g rip on my foot. it's my first tattoo and it's about her. she would love it. as a former fbi agent and chairman of the house intelligence committee, i had oversight of all 16 of our nation's intelligence agencies. my name is mike rogers. i had access to classified information gathered by our operatives. people who risked everything for the united states and our families. you don't know their faces or their names. you don't know the real stories from the people who lived the fear and the pressure, until now. it's not a fear as in petrified.