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xx Trenton Duckett - August 27, 2006 - FL
« Thread started on: Sep 8th, 2006, 7:59pm »

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Trenton Duckett was last seen on Sunday, August 27, 2006 when he was put to bed. His mother claims she checked on him two hours later and he was gone from his bed. There was a sliced window screen but that was it.
On Sept. 8th, Melinda Duckett's (Trenton's mother) body was found at her grandparent's house. Trenton remains missing without a trace. Foul play is suspected due to the circumstances involved. If you have ANY information regarding the whereabouts of this child, you are asked to contact the FBI immediately!

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xx 'Serious development' in case of missing toddler
« Reply #1 on: Sep 8th, 2006, 8:00pm »

Christine Dellert | Sentinel Staff Writer


LEESBURG -- Nearly two weeks after toddler Trenton Duckett disappeared, police found the body of his 21-year-old mother today in her grandparents' home in The Villages, family members said.

Melinda Duckett did not die of "natural causes," police said, but provided few other details about the death. Trenton has not been found.

"We're getting bits and pieces," said Don Jordan, uncle of Trenton's father, Joshua Duckett. "Until they [the police] track more down or get anything, we're just fearing for the worst."

Family members were told that Melinda did not leave a suicide note, Jordan said.

Melinda Duckett's grandmother, Nancy Eubank, who lives on Rainbow Boulevard, refused to comment today.

Trenton was reportedly taken on Aug. 27 from his bedroom through a window in the Windemere Villas apartment complex where he lived with his mother, Melinda Duckett.

Police have spent the past few days trying to confirm the whereabouts of Trenton and his mother 48 hours before the toddler's reported disappearance.

Eubank has told the Orlando Sentinel that she spent all day Aug. 26 with her granddaughter, Melinda Duckett and Trenton.

http://tinyurl.com/ldtk8
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xx Police's focus shifts to Melinda Duckett
« Reply #2 on: Sep 11th, 2006, 09:46am »

BY MILLARD K. IVES
STAR-BANNER



LEESBURG - Police have shifted their investigation into the case of a missing 2-year-old boy away from the idea of an outside abduction after the mother shot herself to death Friday.

Leesburg police Capt. Steve Rockefeller said in a telephone interview Sunday that, while the department still believes the suspect could be anyone with any motive, investigators are now focusing on Melinda Duckett in the Aug. 27 disappearance of her son, Trenton Duckett.

He said they will concentrate on various pieces of evidence removed from her Windermere Villas home.

"With her suicide, common sense kind of dictates we look at her connection," Rockefeller said. On Friday, Melinda was found shot in a closet of her grandparents' home, dead from what officials believe was a self-inflicted wound.

Rockefeller added that Melinda is not considered a suspect and that the focus of the investigation could change again. But, he added, investigators will try to determine if they can eliminate her as a potential suspect.

She reported Trenton missing from his bedroom in their Leesburg home at Windermere Villas at about 9 p.m. on Aug. 27. Signs of a possible forced entry were noted by Leesburg police - a screen that was cut on an open bedroom window. That led officials to believe foul play was involved and a thorough ground search was initiated.

Joshua Duckett - Melinda's ex-husband and the child's father - and one of the boy's grandparents were given polygraph examinations. But Melinda Duckett wouldn't take the examination, reportedly on the advice of her lawyer.

Her grandfather Bill Eubanks said in an earlier interview that she was fearful of losing the child custody she had won in a bitter court fight with her ex-husband.

Police have held daily press conferences in the disappearance, which has attracted national attention. Police announced Sunday the department is continuing its effort to determine a timeline for the whereabouts of Trenton and Melinda Duckett during the day leading to the child's reported disappearance.

Rockefeller said the Trenton's maternal great-grandparents reported seeing the child last on the previous afternoon, Saturday, Aug. 26. He said no one else has reported seeing the child since then.

Two men were visiting Melinda Duckett at her home at the time of the reported disappearance, but the men told officials they never saw Trenton.

Eubanks has blamed pressure from the police and news media for his granddaughter's suicide, comparing her to a "wild animal in a cage poked with a stick."

He was convinced she had nothing to do with the disappearance.

If Melinda Duckett was connected with the disappearance, Rockefeller said, he would be less optimistic about Trenton's safety. However, he added, police will try to determine if the child is staying with friends of hers.

"We want to let people know they are not doing any favor by holding him from authorities," Rockefeller said.

Police have scaled by their ground search for Trenton but do make routine efforts and are looking at leads. On Sunday, Rockefeller said nearby property owners and managers should conduct thorough searches of their property for any signs of Trenton.

He said the department is holding out hope that Trenton is still alive.

"We want to bring him home," Rockefeller said.

Anyone with information on Trenton's whereabouts or his mother's whereabouts on Aug. 26 or Aug. 27 is asked to call (800) CALL FBI.
http://www.ocala.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060911/NEWS/209110343/1001/NEWS01
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xx Nancy Grace fires back after Duckett interview
« Reply #3 on: Sep 16th, 2006, 5:35pm »

by Hal Boedeker


In her self-assured and opinionated way, Nancy Grace became part of the Trenton Duckett story again Friday. The CNN Headline News talk-show host defended her tough questioning of the boy's mother, Melinda, shortly before the Leesburg woman killed herself on Sept. 8.

"I think it happened because Melinda Duckett may very well know where her son was," Grace said in an interview with Chris Cuomo on ABC's Good Morning America. "She even told her mother, just before she killed herself, 'Trenton's not coming home, Mom. He's not coming home.' How, Chris, would she have known that? If anything, I would suggest guilt caused her to commit suicide."

Jerry Eubank, Melinda's father, told the Sentinel on Thursday that the Grace interview "destroyed" his daughter. Melinda was tricked into appearing on the show by producers who told her they just wanted to help find the child, he said. Her funeral was Friday.

"She disintegrated. The show absolutely destroyed her," Eubank said. "No question.

"You don't destroy somebody's life to get ratings."

On Good Morning America, Grace told Cuomo:

"Today the family is blaming me. And I hate what they're going through, but I would suggest their efforts go towards finding this baby."

Trenton, a 2-year-old who was reported missing Aug. 27, has been a frequent topic for Grace. The former prosecutor first covered the story Aug. 30. Her show featuring Melinda Duckett was taped Sept. 7 and aired the next night, hours after the mother killed herself. Grace returned to the story every night this week.

On Friday, Grace spent the bulk of her show on the missing boy. She questioned his father, Joshua Duckett, who was attending a prayer vigil in Leesburg.

"She covers a case until it's solved," Headline News spokeswoman Janine Iamunno said.

And what of the media attention? "It's not her focus," Iamunno said.

But Grace has drawn sharp criticism for her style.

"I call her insufferable," said Jeff Cohen, author of Cable News Confidential: My Misadventures in Corporate Media. "I don't want to point fingers, but she's quick to do it."

Cohen has appeared as a pundit on MSNBC, Fox News Channel and CNN. He said Grace reflected broadcast news' troubling slide into entertainment.

"We don't know what role the interview played, if any," Cohen said of the suicide. "This isn't entertainment. These are two people [Trenton's parents] who lost a kid. Their lives aren't a TV show. Nancy Grace can't help by interviewing these distraught people. Police and counselors talking to this woman, and the people around her, can do it with sensitivity. Nancy Grace, by remote from TV land, can't see that."

With prosecutorial flair in the Sept. 7 interview, Grace repeatedly pressed Melinda Duckett about not taking a polygraph test. The host sought details about the mother's whereabouts before the kidnapping. When Duckett refused, Grace showed frustration.

"Ms. Duckett, you are not telling us for a reason. What is the reason?" Grace asked. "You refuse to give even the simplest facts of where you were with your son before he went missing."

Grace has made no apologies for her emotional style.

"It's not something you can control," she has said. "I can't help the way that I feel."

She has scoffed at suggestions she dial back her style.

"This is not just TV," she has said. "These are real cases we're commenting on. It's not just about a show or a program."

Yet many talk shows on cable news have a show-business quality, said Tom Rosenstiel, director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism, a research institute.

"The hosts are playing a character of their creation. People tune in to see that character interact with the news," Rosenstiel said.

"We're into a new phase. Stories that are local and tell us nothing new or significant about ourselves as a society are covered as if they're major national stories. This happens every day. They've found it's a genre of news that will fill time and get some ratings."

Grace defended herself on Good Morning America with the fierceness she displays on her show.

"I did not go after Melinda Duckett," Grace told Cuomo. "Correction, Melinda Duckett refused to answer questions to either myself or police about her child's whereabouts. It is highly likely he is dead now because of that."

http://tinyurl.com/qydcj
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xx Lake search yields no clues to missing boy's locat
« Reply #4 on: Sep 18th, 2006, 12:04pm »

By Erin Cox
Sentinel Staff Writer


OCALA NATIONAL FOREST -- Dive teams from the Lake and Marion County sheriff's offices searched Farles Lake on Sunday, but found no signs of missing 2-year-old Trenton Duckett.
Sunday's hunt for the toddler was smaller than the day before, and most investigators involved with the case are resting, debriefing and choosing their next move, Leesburg police Capt. Steve Rockefeller said.

The forest search is the largest yet for the Leesburg boy reportedly snatched from his bed three weeks ago.

About 160 searchers, plus 17 dogs, all-terrain vehicles and dive teams, turned up nothing in the forest on Saturday. Investigators scoured 11 miles of desolate roadway, the thick underbrush beside it and nearby lakes inside the forest. They said a tipster had a conversation there with Trenton's mother Melinda Duckett on the day she reported the boy missing.

Melinda Duckett, 21, committed suicide at her grandparent's home in The Villages 12 days after she said Trenton disappeared from his bed.

Investigators said her death shifted suspicion onto her. Detectives could not verify her alibi for the day of Aug. 27, specifically the eight hours before she called police to say her baby had been taken through a slit in a window screen.

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xx Suicide Notes Offer Hope Missing Boy Is Alive
« Reply #5 on: Sep 27th, 2006, 07:41am »

New suicide notes released in the search for a missing 2-year-old Leesburg boy offered some hope that the boy may be alive, according to WKMG-TV in Orlando.

In the two notes, addressed to her parents and grandparents, Melinda Duckett offered no clues into the whereabouts of her son, Trenton.

However, Duckett wrote about Trenton being found alive
"The main reason I'm doing this is because even after my baby is found, I would not be a good mother," Duckett wrote. "Trenton should have had my full attention at all times. I'm sorry. Please understand that I have to do this. It is a release from stress and frustration and I'll be happier in the end."

Duckett shot herself to death inside of her grandparent's closet less than two weeks after reporting Trenton missing.

Police recently named Duckett the prime suspect in her son's disappearance.

42 Leads Checked
Meanwhile, the Marion County Sheriff's Office have followed up on 42 leads, including four possible grave site locations in the Ocala National Forest in the search for Trenton.

One of the burial sites was dug up and it was discovered that an animal was buried at the location.

At another location in the forest, some toys that were collected but quickly ruled out in the investigation by the Leesburg Police Department.

The other leads in the case revealed nothing that would help bring this case to any conclusion, police said in a news release.

http://www.news4jax.com/news/9944151/detail.html
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xx Father of missing Leesburg boy accused his wife of
« Reply #6 on: Sep 28th, 2006, 3:04pm »

By TRAVIS REED

Missing 2-year-old Trenton Duckett shuttled between two feuding parents and even into foster care in the months before he went missing and his mother committed suicide, newly released documents show.

A five-page chronology of the Florida Department of Child & Families' involvement between Josh and Melinda Duckett is wrought with serious criminal allegations the two lobbed against one another. Few are substantiated, and some are followed shortly by notes of reconciliation.

Melinda Duckett committed suicide almost two weeks after reporting the boy missing Aug. 27 from his bedroom at her Leesburg home. She has since been named the primary suspect after investigators found some of Trenton's toys, photographs and a sonogram photo in a trash bin in her apartment complex.

The case has drawn national attention from a spot on America's Most Wanted and several nights' coverage on CNN Headline News' Nancy Grace program. Some blamed Duckett's suicide on Grace's aggressive questioning of her in an interview the day before she shot herself. Grace accused Melinda Duckett of hiding something because she refused to take a polygraph test after her divorce attorney advised her not to.

The documents released Wednesday begin in April 2005, before the Ducketts married and when Trenton was just 8 months old. Josh Duckett told authorities Melinda threatened to harm the boy if he didn't come to her home and talk.

"Melinda is alleged to have scars on her arms due to cutting herself. She is also alleged to squeeze Trenton so tight that he screams," according to document.

A review that day by DCF agents found no concerns for the boy's safety and that the case "does not meet High Risk criteria."

Later that month, Josh alleged Melinda was "despondent and making threats against herself and the child." She may also have been held under Florida's Baker Act, which allows authorities to commit people for up to 36 hours for psychological evaluations if they appear to be a danger to themselves or others, the document says.

Melinda denied she tried to hurt the child, and investigators found no evidence to support Josh's allegations.

The two married on July 3, 2005 - just three months after Josh's first call to report abuse. Directly before, when Josh had custody, he violated a court order by living with Melinda and the boy. He also authorized the dismissal of his allegations - an authorization he now says was coerced by Melinda and her attorney.

"Me and Melinda had gotten back together. We asked the attorney how to solve the DCF case, how to get everything taken care of. They told us to sign it," he said Thursday.

Duckett still maintains those allegations are true, along with at least three others involving severe threats Melinda allegedly made against the boy.

They include a June 2005 report that Melinda dangled Trenton over water to provoke Josh and squeezed the boy's chest so hard it left marks. Four months later Duckett reported his wife held a knife to Trenton's leg and threatened to kill him.

DCF investigators determined only one of the allegations could be verified: that Melinda Duckett threatened family violence in the knife incident. In several others, there were "some indicators" for possible child neglect, but little evidence to support abuse, documents said.

The chronology also reveals Melinda Duckett was diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, later amended to add "perfectionist personality features." However, evaluations determined "there is no psychological reason that would preclude Melinda from being a capable and loving parent."

Melinda regained custody of Trenton in November.

Josh Duckett has repeatedly criticized DCF for allowing Melinda custody, saying he had a better home for the boy. But the court documents show he didn't complete the agency's requirements to keep the boy, like taking several counseling classes.

Duckett told The Associated Press he finished all but one, and couldn't complete that because he didn't have the money.

"It was $800 for initial visit, $170 or something for each additional visit. And they required so many classes," he said.

DCF spokesman Tim Bottcher said there were "never really any clear-cut indicators that Trenton was abused."

"A lot's been made since this came out about the allegations, but someone calling the hot line and making these allegations does not make it true," he said.

According to the court document, the last volley between Josh and Melinda fired July 5, when she told authorities she received a threatening e-mail from him.

Detectives investigating Trenton's case have since found Melinda sent that letter to herself. Before she killed herself, they prepared charging documents based on that fraudulent threat so they could arrest her if she tried to flee before they completed their investigation into the disappearance.

Then they waited and watched, hoping Melinda would lead them to the boy.

She did not. Repeated searches of woods and remote areas near her home have failed to find him.

http://www.theledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060928/APN/609281947
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xx Missing Boy's Father Opens Central Fla. Headquarte
« Reply #7 on: Oct 19th, 2006, 11:59am »

The father of missing toddler Trenton Duckett is opening the official "Team Trenton" headquarters Wednesday.

A marketing company donated office space for the headquarters in Leesburg, Fla.

Authorities continue to search for the 2-year-old, who has been missing since Aug. 27.

Trenton's mother was named the prime suspect days after she killed herself.

The boy's father, Josh, is holding out hope that someone might know what happened to his son, according to the report.

For more information, please click Helpfindtrenton.com

http://www.local6.com/news/10101961/detail.html
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xx Officials Say Missing Boy May Be Alive
« Reply #8 on: Nov 15th, 2006, 09:12am »

By Jennifer Kay

MIAMI - Investigators have renewed their search for a 2-year-old boy whose mother committed suicide days after reporting him missing, saying he may still be alive, authorities said Tuesday.

A witness said she saw Trenton Duckett with his mother, Melinda Duckett, hours before his reported disappearance, said Capt. Jimmy Pogue of the Marion County Sheriff's Office. Investigators have not clearly determined the mother's whereabouts in the 24 hours or so before the boy went missing.

Melinda Duckett reported her son missing Aug. 27, telling police she found a cut in his bedroom window screen when she checked on him around 9:20 p.m. Melinda Duckett committed suicide Sept. 8.

Melinda Duckett remains the primary suspect, Pogue said.

"He could still be alive, and we need people to start looking for him and stop assuming he's passed away and that we're not looking for him," Pogue said.

The witness reported seeing Melinda Duckett with the boy at a restaurant in Belleview on Aug. 27, Pogue said.

"She believes she saw Melinda and the baby during the time that Trenton is unaccounted for," he said.

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More details will be released Wednesday, Pogue said.

Trenton's father, Joshua Duckett, said investigators now share his belief that his son is alive. He also declined Tuesday to release new information about the investigation.

"They're just going on the same theory I've been going on," he said. "I'm still 100 percent confident he's alive and well. It's just a matter of finding him."

http://www.lompocrecord.com/articles/2006/11/15/ap/us/d8ldff9g1.txt
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xx Nancy Grace’s Unmanageable Crisis
« Reply #9 on: Nov 29th, 2006, 3:06pm »

On Sept. 8, a lithe and comely South Korean orphan named Melinda Duckett—21 years old and known to friends as Mindy—went to her grandparents’ retirement home and shot herself in the head.

That was fewer than 24 hours after she had taped an interview for Nancy Grace’s prime-time Headline News show to talk about the Aug. 27 disappearance of her 2-year-old son, Trenton.

In the days after Melinda Duckett’s suicide, Ms. Grace utilized the services of Anna Cordasco, who is the managing director of the New York firm Citigate Sard Verbinnen, which specializes in below-the-radar corporate-image resuscitation.

Ms. Cordasco, who has Martha Stewart as another high-profile TV client, is old friends with Ms. Grace’s executive producer at Headline News, Dean Sicoli. Ms. Cordasco and her colleagues immediately set to work restoring the fire-breathing former prosecutor to her pre-Duckett level of dignity and national esteem.

Except, according to three sources close to Ms. Grace, once the crisis manager stepped in, the crisis just got worse.

In mid-October, six weeks after Duckett’s suicide, Ms. Cordasco e-mailed out a letter to producers of TV entertainment and news shows, pitching them on an upbeat story about Ms. Grace’s dogged pursuit of little Trenton and, if applicable, his killer.

The letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Observer, proposed a story on Ms. Grace’s upcoming trip to Florida, where she would join the boy’s father, Joshua Duckett, at an outpost called Team Trenton Headquarters. From there, Ms. Grace would broadcast her show each night, confer intimately with the police and continue to shine her national klieg light on the case of the missing 2-year-old—undaunted by the tragic fate of his mother, who, the letter noted, “committed suicide after appearing on her show.”

Ms. Cordasco mentioned parenthetically that Ms. Grace might even “go diving” in search of Trenton. CNN could provide footage, or Ms. Grace would happily do a “video diary.”

As near as can be ascertained, no one bit.
Meanwhile, privately, to reporters, Ms. Cordasco was touting the close relationship between Ms. Grace and the local police.

Ms. Cordasco sent an e-mail to print reporters in the Florida region, a copy of which was read to The Observer over the phone. In it, she wrote that Ms. Grace “will be going to Leesburg to search for Trenton Duckett with his father Josh …. Josh and the local police have asked Nancy to come down in order to bring the national spotlight back on the case. In addition, the police want to give Nancy special access to their helicopters, etc. Nancy has already made two trips to Florida to investigate the missing-child case and assist in the search efforts on her own.”

“A lot of the media feels like we coordinated our efforts around Nancy Grace and her show coming to Florida,” said Capt. James Pogue of the Marion County Sheriff’s Department. “And honestly, that is not the truth. What happened, it had nothing to do with Nancy Grace coming to town and doing all that. Our objective was to get Trenton Duckett’s face back on national TV so that the world would know who Trenton Duckett was, what he looked like, so they would start looking for him again.”

On Nov. 22, Lauren Ritchie, a columnist for the Orlando Sentinel, pounced on Ms. Cordasco’s talking point. “Just so the truth is known, Leesburg police did not invite Grace to come here, and when questioned about it, the public-relations firm backed away from that claim,” she wrote.

Ms. Ritchie also noted that there were no police helicopters to borrow anyway.

The piece caused an uproar at CNN and Headline News. “There were certainly some people pretty upset over here,” said one high-level network source.

http://www.observer.com/20061204/20061204_Rebecca_Dana_media_nytv.asp
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xx Police: Trenton Duckett's Mom May Have Handed Him
« Reply #10 on: Dec 1st, 2006, 07:00am »

OCALA, Fla. -- Investigators searching for a missing Lake County boy said they think they know where a deal went down during which someone took 2-year old Trenton Duckett and possibly handed him off to somebody else.

That was three months ago, and Trenton hasn't been seen since. The new development has investigators thinking Trenton is still alive, WESH 2 News reported.

Marion County investigators said they believe the boy's mother, Melinda Duckett, conspired to give him to someone

They said they are focused on a Belleview shopping area straddling both sides of U.S. Highway 441.

"We believe that it was an original location where there was a drop-off," said Maj. Chris Blair of the Marion County Sheriff's Office.

On Aug. 27, the day Melinda Duckett reported her son missing, just before noon, two workers at a Belleview Wendy's reported seeing her with the boy. Minutes later, at 12:08 p.m., authorities confirm that she made a phone call to close friend, Chai Chen, 25.

He works across the highway from the Wendy's at a Rent-A-Center.

"With that new development, with him working across the street, him being the last one to speak to her in Marion County in that 12:08 telephone call, with the connection to the two witnesses at Wendy's, yeah, we're going to go down different avenues," Blair said.

Marion County investigators call Chen a person of interest but not a suspect. He voluntarily answered investigators' questions this week and took an FBI polygraph last week.

According to law enforcement officials, the only thing that Melinda Duckett told him during that critical 12:08 p.m. phone call was that she invited him over to her Leesburg apartment to watch videos that night.

Law enforcement wants to know if that's all they talked about. Melinda Duckett killed herself on Sept. 8 in her grandparents' Lake County home.

"It all points somewhere," said Josh Duckett, the missing boy's father.

Marion County investigators believe Melinda Duckett conspired to get their son away from him. He said the new Belleview connections are a big step toward finding his son alive.

"I think Melinda has passed him off to someone, and it's just a matter of finding him," Josh Duckett said. "It's pieces to a puzzle."

Marion County detectives have been in the process of contacting and interviewing as many people as possible from the shopping area, including Chen.

Anyone with any information about Trenton Duckett is urged to call 888-FL MISSING or call Team Trenton, a group set up by the missing boy's father, at 877-TRENT65.

http://www.wesh.com/news/10435367/detail.html
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xx LOCKPORT: Duckett’s family defends suit
« Reply #11 on: Dec 6th, 2006, 07:05am »

By April Amadon
Niagara Gazette

The lawyer for the parents of Melinda Duckett is defending their decision to file a lawsuit against CNN’s Nancy Grace, just as a new witness has come forward in the case of missing 2-year-old Trenton Duckett.

Lockport residents Beth and William Eubank are suing to stop Grace from re-airing an interview that their attorney Kara Skorupa said caused emotional distress that led their daughter to commit suicide. The Eubanks have directed reporter questions to Skorupa and would not comment.

Skorupa, based in North Palm Beach, Fla., said the lawsuit is seeking three things: An injunction to stop the interview from airing again, potential financial damages and an apology from Grace and CNN.

“(The Eubanks) believe what CNN and Nancy Grace did contributed to (Melinda’s) death, and it was wrong,” Skorupa said. “They feel they need to be held accountable.”

Duckett, 21, who attended Lockport High School, committed suicide Sept. 8 at her grandparents’ home in The Villages of Lady Lake, Fla. The suicide came a day after Grace’s show on CNN Headline News aired a segment in which Grace grilled Duckett about her whereabouts Aug. 27 — the day Trenton was reported missing.

Duckett reportedly told police in Leesburg, Fla., she went to check on her son after watching a movie and discovered a 10-inch cut in the window screen above his empty crib.

Authorities in Florida, who said in November they believe the boy is alive, named Duckett as the prime suspect in his disappearance.

Employees at a Wendy’s in Belleview, Fla., have come forward to say they saw Melinda Duckett on the date in question — once with her son, and then 20 minutes later without him in the drive-thru lane.

Skorupa said the Eubanks have faced “frustrating” criticism from people who argue the Lockport couple should be working to find their grandson, not filing lawsuits.

“Their primary focus has been and remains in finding Trenton,” she said. “That’s their grandchild. I don’t feel like that’s a fair criticism. They absolutely remain focused on that.”

Skorupa said Melinda Duckett was lured into the interview by Grace and her producers and was not prepared for Grace’s aggressive line of questioning.

“Nancy Grace and her producers purposefully misled Melinda as to the nature of the interview and the purpose of the interview,” she said. “Maybe (Melinda) wasn’t aware of who Nancy Grace is and how she operates, but to trick somebody into coming on is unconscionable.”

Skorupa said the Eubanks and other family members have been distressed by re-airings of the interview and want to stop them as soon as possible.

“They’ve suffered a double tragedy,” she said. “It’s been extremely, unimaginably difficult for them to deal with.”

CNN released a statement supporting Grace, saying, “While we do not comment on pending litigation, we stand by Nancy Grace and fully support her, as we have from the beginning of this matter.

Grace’s publicist, New York-based Janine Iamunno, could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Skorupa added the lawsuit against Grace is completely separate from the search for Trenton.

“This isn’t diverting any money, any time or any effort on their part,” Skorupa said, adding the Eubanks have been doing everything they can to help the investigation. “We’ve gone to great lengths to not participate in any conjecture as to anyone’s guilt or innocence. It’s very important to let the authorities do their job.”

Meanwhile, the most important thing is finding Trenton alive, she added.

“It’s very sad that Trenton hasn’t been located. I think everybody is pulling for that to happen sooner rather than later,” she said. “(The Eubanks) really want people to know this is their grandchild, this is a baby that’s part of their family. To suggest that somehow the timing of (the lawsuit) is wrong is incorrect.”

http://www.lockportjournal.com/local/gnnlocalnews_story_339223409.html
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xx Investigators: Was Trenton Duckett Shipped To Kore
« Reply #12 on: Jan 25th, 2007, 08:14am »

Detectives in the search for missing Trenton Duckett are now poring over international airline records trying to determine whether the toddler was whisked out of the country, WKMG-TV has reported.

Trenton was last seen in late August after his mother, Melinda, reported him missing from their apartment in Leesburg, Fla.

Melinda Duckett then committed suicide days later

Now, investigators are looking into the possibility that Duckett sent her son to Korea.

"We do have certain individuals who stated that Melinda had talked about her roots and possibly sending little Trenton back to his roots," Marion County Sheriff's Office Maj. Chris Blair said. "We are working with customs and issuing some subpoenas. They are aiding us in trying to obtain information on people who were located on certain flights."

Detectives have no solid proof that the boy was shipped to Asia, the report said.

However, Marion County investigators said they believe Duckett, who was born in Korea but was adopted by a New York family when she was a baby, may have handed off her son to someone near a Belleview restaurant last year.

"We are doing a complete and thorough investigation," Blair said. "And we will be able to say when we complete this, whether we find Trenton or don't, is that we made every available effort to locate him."

Belleview restaurant last year.

"We are doing a complete and thorough investigation," Blair said. "And we will be able to say when we complete this, whether we find Trenton or don't, is that we made every available effort to locate him."


Detectives are continuing to talk with people in Florida and other states concerning the case.

Anyone with information concerning the whereabouts of Trenton is urged to call Crimeline at 800-423-TIPS.

http://www.news4jax.com/news/10833743/detail.html
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xx Why did Melinda Duckett become a notary?
« Reply #13 on: Feb 13th, 2007, 08:42am »

OCALA - Investigators have discovered that Melinda Duckett became a notary public three weeks before she reported her 2-year-old son, Trenton, missing from her Leesburg apartment, and they want to know why.

"Did she need it for a job? Why at that time?" asked Detective Rhonda Stroup with the Marion County Sheriff's Office.

Stroup said Duckett became a notary public on Aug. 1. Duckett reported her son missing from her Leesburg home on Aug. 27 and committed suicide 12 days later, on Sept. 8, at the home of her grandparents in The Villages.

According to the state's Web site, "A notary public is a public officer appointed and commissioned by the Governor whose function is to administer oaths; to take acknowledgments of deeds and other instruments; to attest to or certify photocopies of certain documents; and to perform other duties specified by law."

Maj. Chris Blair, head of the Sheriff's Office Major Crimes Bureau, said "it's too early" to say if she used her position as a notary to falsify any documents in relation to her son's disappearance.

"It's something we've got to examine," Blair said.

Last week, deputies said they were checking passenger lists for flights to South Korea to see if the 21-year-old mother, who was born in Korea, shipped her son back to her native land.

Contacted by phone Tuesday at her home in New York, Beth Eubank - who adopted Melinda at the age of 4 months from South Korea - said she does not think her daughter would have done anything sinister to Trenton.

"She wouldn't do anything to harm him," Eubank said.

Eubank said last week the possibility her grandson may have been taken out of the country is "far-fetched." She said she hopes investigators will find Trenton, and pleads with the public to assist law enforcement officials in their search.

"Whoever has him out there, just please come forward. Just bring him back," she said.

Officials from multiple agencies, including the Leesburg Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, have devoted time and manpower to the case. Investigators have encountered many twist and turns, including last week's announcement about the South Korean angle and that Duckett had requested a visit on the weekend of Aug. 27 with her ex-husband's father, James Duckett, who is on death row, convicted in the rape and killing of an 11-year-old girl in Lake County.

Anyone with information about this case can call the Marion County Sheriff's Office at 732-9111, the Leesburg Police Department at 787-2121 or Team Trenton, an effort started by Trenton's father, Joshua Duckett, at 728-5970.

http://www.ocala.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070131/NEWS/201310361/1001/NEWS01
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xx Authorities looking for different SUV in Duckett c
« Reply #14 on: Apr 15th, 2007, 4:50pm »

OCALA, Fla. (AP) — Authorities investigating the disappearance of a missing 2-year-old said they released wrong information about a vehicle they're looking for in connection with the case.

Earlier this week, Marion Sheriff's detectives said they wanted information about the owners of a light silver or gold Cadillac Escalade who may have information about missing Trenton Duckett.

Now detectives say they want to find the owners of a Cadillac E-X-T pickup. It may have had a New York license tag.

A witness told authorities they saw a couple with Melinda Duckett, the boy's mother, at a construction site off Florida's Turnpike in the week before he disappeared on August 27.

The couple is described as an Asian or Hispanic man and woman in their late 50s to early 60s.

http://www.tampabays10.com/news/local/article.aspx?storyid=51887
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