Preventing an Abduction: How to Keep Your Kids Safe From Predators

America's Most Wanted's John Walsh Joins Montel and Gets a Special Thanks

From Ed and Elizabeth Smart

Airdate: Monday, April 30, 2007

Apr 27, 2007, 01:00 ET from THE MONTEL WILLIAMS SHOW

    NEW YORK, April 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Over three quarters of a million
 children under the age of 18 years old are reported missing each year. Most
 stories of abducted children end in tragedy, but on Monday, April 30, THE
 MONTEL WILLIAMS SHOW features the stories of abducted children who have
 been reunited with their families.
     Through the stories of families who have experienced a kidnapping and
 child safety experts and advocates, including America's Most Wanted's John
 Walsh, Montel discusses how to prevent your child from being kidnapped.
     Guests who will share their stories include:
     * Sabrina Gonzalez, who is back home because her mother, Jessica
       Sanmiguel, searched for her relentlessly.  Jessica claims her
       ex-husband's mother, Martha Hernandez, snatched Sabrina when Martha
       realized Jessica would not be reconciling with her ex-husband.  When
       police were unable to find her daughter, Jessica says she stalked her
       estranged husband's family members, certain it would lead her to Martha
       and, ultimately, Sabrina.  Her hunch paid off, she says, when she
       finally spotted Martha after two years and called police, who
       successfully recovered Sabrina and arrested Martha, who is now awaiting
     * Ed Smart and his daughter Elizabeth, who surprise Walsh with a special
       videotaped message of thanks for all he did to aid in Elizabeth's safe
       return several years ago, after she was abducted from her family's home.
     Ed tells Walsh, "I wish we could be there with you. It's a great honor
 to be on the show with you today. We appreciate so much everything that you
 did, bringing Elizabeth home, and all that you've done for so many children
 out there. I remember talking to you on the phone -- I'd just gotten off my
 knees thanking God for Elizabeth coming home. You know that was a day I
 will never forget, and our family just is so grateful to you."
     Elizabeth had words of gratitude for Walsh, as well, saying, "Thanks
 John for all you've done, not just for my family, 'cause you've helped so
 much, but for all the effort that you've put into helping every child whose
 gone missing. I just want everybody out there to know that bad things do
 happen, but you should never live your life in fear. Yes, you should take
 precautions. From all this, I've learned that each one of us has so much
 potential, and I know we all go through hardships, and certainly they may
 not all be the same, but they all do impact our lives. We can make a
 difference in the world if we just don't live in the past and if we go
     * Jessyca Mullenberg, from Stevens Point, Wis., who was kidnapped and held
       for more than three months over a decade ago.  Her captor, Steven
       Oliver, was a friend of her father's who beat her and abused her
       sexually and emotionally.  During her imprisonment, Jessyca says, Oliver
       moved them from motel to motel to avoid arousing suspicion and forced
       Jessyca to call him 'Dad' when they were out in public.
     After John Walsh's America's Most Wanted aired a segment about
 Jessyca's abduction, a tipster at their motel recognized Oliver and he was
 arrested and taken into custody.
     * Heather Kangas, from Middleburg, Fla., who was 13 years old when she was
       abducted by Timothy Oberlander, while waiting at her school bus stop.
       Oberlander threw her in the back of his car and handcuffed her.
       Eventually, Kangas managed to free one hand from the cuffs, leapt from
       the car while it was still moving and ran screaming towards the car
       behind her, explaining she didn't even wait for Oberlander to slow the
       vehicle down.
     Kangas, now 18 years old, credits her presence of mind to the constant
 drilling instilled in her by her mother, Paula Holcom, who'd repeatedly
 warned Kangas to get away at all costs should she ever be abducted.
     * Carol Wilson, a deputy in the local police department in Hammond, La.,
       who traced a suspicious abandoned vehicle back to a wanted child
       molester and sex offender David Sprong, who she had just seen featured
       on America's Most Wanted.  She says the story stuck with her because
       she'd been fascinated with Sprong's ability to repeatedly elude law
       enforcement in a number of states.  Her hunch and quick thinking
       resulted in the car being searched and, as a result, evidence found in
       the vehicle led to Sprong's capture three days later.
     THE MONTEL WILLIAMS SHOW is a Mountain Movers production in association
 with CBS Television Distribution. Montel Williams is Executive Producer and
 Melanie McLaughlin is Executive Producer. Susan Henry and Kim
 Forman-Brechka are Co-Executive Producers. CBS Television Distribution is a
 division of CBS Corp.