A Kidnapping or Abandonment?

Joining Dr. Phil is Lynn, who is Cressi's father's ex-girlfriend, and also Darby's grandmother, and who chose to appear on Darby's behalf. Lynn does not believe that Cressi has done everything she can to find Darby, and Dr. Phil wants to know why.

Lynn says, "Darby lived with me for approximately two years, maybe a little bit longer. Cressenda had my phone number for work and home. When Darby was about 14 months old, 15 months old, I got a call at work from Cressenda wanting to see Darby. And I said to her, 'You need to clear it with Don, because I'm not going to do anything that would violate " or [lead to] me losing my granddaughter. I'm not going to do that. I'm not going to go against his wishes. You need to work it out between the two of you.' She said, 'OK, fine.' That was the last conversation I had with her until about four years later, maybe five years later." Lynn connected with Cressi next by phone. She explains, "We talked a couple of times. She never once asked me about Darby. She didn't ask me how Darby was. She didn't ask me what Darby was doing."

 

"What do you say about that?" Dr. Phil asks Cressi. "You call her and say, 'I want to see Darby.' So you must have known that that was a contact place, or you wouldn't have been calling there about Darby. She says, 'Oh, yeah. You just need to clear it with Don,' and then they don't hear from you for four years? I don't understand a mother who would be that close and in contact with somebody who knows where the child is and not call back for four years. I'm just sorry " I have to tell you " if I was talking to this woman and she knew where my child was, I would be on her front porch the next morning, and I would be there until I found that child. Listen, I'm sorry. What could have happened did, and you can't change that, but you've got to be able to answer these questions or she is not going to feel comfortable with seeing you and " trust me " she's watching this show. How did you go four years and not follow up? Even if you didn't know that she was there? If you knew this is somebody who knew something about it " what did you do, hang up the phone and say, 'Well, I'll check back in four years'?"

"You had somebody who you know knew where your daughter was," Dr. Phil continues. 

"But she didn't tell me that she had my daughter, and she wouldn't tell me where my ex-husband was to talk to him," Lynn explains. "She would tell me, 'You have to clear it with Don,' but she wouldn't tell me where Don was. She had information and she was using that information to her benefit."

Lynn says, "She never asked me for the information. She never called my house, she never talked to any of the kids at the house, she only called me at work that one time."

"And when you got the number and called her, you never asked where Darby was?"

"I always asked where Darby was," Cressi insists.

"So, she's lying?" Dr. Phil asks, gesturing toward Lynn.

Cressi says, "She never told me that she had Darby. She only told me that she had seen Darby recently, that Darby was safe, that Darby was healthy, that Darby was growing."

"Well, did you say, 'Where is she? Where did you see her? When was it? Where was it? How do I get on the trail? Give me the information.' Did you get the police to go to her house and say, 'This woman has knowledge of where my missing child is. I want her interrogated. I want her talked to. I want something going on.' Did you do anything to say, 'My child is missing'?"

Dr. Phil says that members of his staff have talked to Darby and reiterates that she doesn't believe Cressi has looked for her at all. Gesturing to a camera, Dr. Phil tells Cresssi, "That's your daughter. She's on the other side of that lens, right now. This is your chance to talk to her face to face."

Cressi looks square into the camera and says, "Darby, I just want you to know, I do think about you every day. I have always thought about you every day. I tried what I feel is my very best to try and find you when you were younger. As you got older, I tried different methods to find you. I have talked to your Grandma Lynn several times, even under the pretense of her arranging meetings with you in the last couple years. I don't want to take you away from the only family that you know. I don't want to do that at all. I just want you to know that there are other family that you have who do love you."

"Why do you want to see her?" Dr. Phil asks.

"Because she's my baby girl," says Cressi.

"If you talk to her, you're going to have to answer some hard questions," says Dr. Phil, "and I've just got to tell you you're going to have to have better answers than you've had today. You need to understand, you either didn't do enough, or you don't describe it very well. One of the two. And I think you're in denial about that."