Nancy Grace’s goal: Find 50 people in 50 days
January 17th, 2011
08:46 PM ET

Nancy Grace’s goal: Find 50 people in 50 days

Nancy Grace's new show, "Nancy Grace: America's Missing," debuts tonight on HLN.

Nancy is dedicated to finding missing persons in the United States.  The program, which relies heavily upon audience participation, urges viewers to find people as well as bring attention to victims whose stories never made it to the airwaves.

Nancy and her team are utilizing social media, CNN iReport, phone lines and their show to achieve the goal of finding 50 people in 50 days.

Tonight’s debut program will feature the case of  Lindsey Baum, a 10-year-old girl from Washington state who went missing in 2009 as she walked home from a friend’s house.

CNN spoke to Nancy just prior to the show’s live premiere.

CNN: What inspired you to focus your show solely on missing persons?

Nancy Grace: Well, you’re in the news business just like us - although I don’t really think of myself that way, I think of myself more as a prosecutor - and our news cycle chews somebody and spits them out every 24 hours. And I get it. I’m not trashing that because there’s more news to report that people want to know, need to know and should know.

I understand that you can’t stay with a case forever. You’ve got to pick up and move on to the next group of people that need your help. But this is a real chance to go back and pick up those pieces and put them back together again.

When I was prosecuting, I got the satisfaction of being called in on a crime scene, helping to analyze and process the scene, investigate it, take it to the grand jury… after conviction, take it myself to an appeals court and argue it. I could see the end. I would take the case to fruition.

We don’t get to do that. We cover cases as long as there’s news, and when there’s not news anymore, we move on to cases that have news, more people that need to be found. Many of them stick in my mind and in my heart; and my EP [Executive Producer], Dean Sicoli, same way. And my staff, same way. We saw this as an opportunity to try and go back and look at the cases that remain unsolved and try again.

CNN: Does each installment of "America's Missing" focus on one missing person?

Grace: Yes, exactly. 50 people in 50 nights.

CNN: Are you featuring both missing children and adults, male and female?

Grace: Oh yes. We’re across the board.

CNN: Did the missing persons have to have gone missing recently, or is there no timeframe?

Grace: Absolutely no timeframe. In fact, tonight we may lead off with the case of a female child who’s just gone missing and then go into the main story that we’re covering just so we can get it out there.

CNN: Do you think the show's "beat the clock" sort of mentality will stir up a sense of urgency regarding cases that otherwise may have gone forgotten?

Grace: We hope so. That’s our goal.

CNN: If someone has a loved one who is missing, what can they do to get their story out there?

Grace: They can contact us. That’s actually how we found out about many of these cases. Just e-mail me or call the show [1-877-NANCY-01]. If people have cases, or know of cases, that no one’s covering - we’ll cover them.

CNN: What would you say to someone with a missing friend or family member who has lost all hope of finding their loved one either because too much time has passed or due to grim statistics?

Grace: I always use examples; for instance, Elizabeth Smart. Also, in a case that we covered recently, a little girl got taken along the eastern seaboard but a viewer saw her in California with her abductor who was panhandling in front of a 7-11. A woman called in and sure enough it was her [the missing girl]. She was found alive! It does happen!

And I would also tell anyone: Don’t just rely on law enforcement. They’re just as overloaded as everybody else in this world. They’re just as swamped. You get out there, you make the difference.

And, frankly, what’s more important than that is what you do up front when it comes to letting your children play outside or letting your children play unsupervised. Avoid a missing child incident before it happens. For instance, we did the HLN digital fingerprinting. Have information on file and ready for police if they need it. To this day, in my own neighborhood, I see children walking around from one place to the next by themselves. That’s not okay. Also, be careful at pick-ups and drop-off locations at school and after school activities.

Of course there’s always the aberration. Remember the Erin Runnion case? Her daughter, [5-year-old] Samantha Runnion, was right there in the front yard with the grandmother inside looking out the window and she got taken out of the front yard. It does happen, but a lot of this is avoidable. There are ways to protect, and that’s the message I want to get out.

"Nancy Grace: America's Missing" airs at 9 p.m. ET immediately following Grace's other program, "Nancy Grace" on HLN.

Watch Nancy Grace Monday through Sunday starting at 8 p.m. ET on HLN. For the latest from Nancy Grace click here.

soundoff (122 Responses)
  1. Don Austen

    So, how many of the 50 did Nancy Grace find in 50 days? Hmmm. Well, take away the 5 and there you have it. Great publicity stunt NG. I'm sure your using missing persons and children upped your ratings for a while... your TV ratings that is, not your ratings as a caring human being. For myself, I intend to find a million missing people in a million days (that's 2740 years for those of you who don't want to stay up and wait). Yep, a million missing people. They'll all turn up on the last day. Mark my word.

    March 11, 2011 at 12:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Gee

      Quite frankly I’m glad she was acquitted, if for nothing else than to shut-up Nancy Grace! That Barracuda…! She all but had Casey tried, convicted and hung in the court of public opinion. Not to mention the fact that she even dubbed Casey as (TOT MOM) Shame on you Nancy…! Actually I honestly thought the prosecution’s case was weak, they never proved the case beyond a shadow of doubt. And there was a lot of doubt, at best the prosecution tried this case on emotion.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Stephie

    Hey Don: Understand where you are coming from but it did bring about 11 tips for Jacob Wetterling and it takes time. And you can't always be so verbal about it or it will mess up the case. You can't just go around accusing people of this kind of thing, it's a pretty heavy thing these cases. Stephie

    March 12, 2011 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Erin Beedle

    i was woundering is there any new in fo on haley dunn

    March 14, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  4. David

    I am in a desperate search to find someone who can get justice in a court case where I was wrongfully arrested(with dvd proof) and then former lawyer did not call my Dr. to the stands so I ended up doing jail time for a so called resisting arrest charge because I am unable to do community service because I am a liability due to narcolepsy and a few other medical issues I have.
    I know to most people this may seem like a very minor thing to cover but imagine living in a town nearly your whole life and to have someone move in across the street from you who allows their 11 year old to be in charge of her two younger brothers while he and his wife( former babysitter) work in another town some 40 plus hours a week on third shift. Much to your surprise the police are repeatedly called in the night claiming that your husband is on their property and is causing them problems when in all reality there is nothing going on but the kids are obviously to young to be left unattended when they live next door to a bar.
    The second oldest child has actually tried raping your 10 year old daughter but the police refuse to do anything because they feel you are only trying to get retaliation against the people because they have spread lies throughout your town concerning your family and now their father actually has surveillance cameras pointed directly on your front porch and swimming pool deck.
    After the police being called multiple times with absolutely no evidence or proof other than the word of these 3 children an officer is caught on tape responding to your home at midnight and then goes to speak to the children but instead of checking the bar or any where else he immediately returns to your house and wakes up the family only to humiliate and disrespect you and then to ultimately tase and arrest your husband because he doesn't get the cooperation he feels he deserves.
    After 18 months in court where nearly every step taken there is some mistake on the states part but since the DA frustrates your husband to the point he is less than cooperative on the stand then the jury finds him guilty when the DVD proves everything that is needed to throw the case out.....but since he gets frustrated the case is once agin given a wrongful outcome......
    During this time the school was everything but cooperative when trying to get help concerning the fact that the children all attend the same school. Ours an there's.
    These children were home alone for at least a few months and after trying to get multiple people to report it to DCFS who are supposedly required by law to report it and yet noone di it led to the sad outcome of the wrongful arrest of my husband.
    We have tried to get help from everyone you can imagine due to the fact that I am disabled due to Multiple Sclerosis but noone seems to care obviously. The town board even pretends to be helpless when I have lived in this town all but maybe 2 yrs of 37 out of my life. My father passed away Valentine's Day of 2005 so he naturally cannot help and my husbands grandfather passed away not even a month and a half before he was arrested so he cannot help either.
    We are still being harassed by these people and they have managed to get two more of our neighbors to constantly make rude comments or discriminating remarks towards my husband when he is outside. We have had to take one of our daughters to the hospital because one guy thought it funny to throw fireworks at my husband and daughters when they were getting out of the car on Sunday after church and yet the police still did nothing. Another time there was over $1000 worth of plants poisoned but the neighbors lied to the police and said it must have been over spray but could the police tell my husband to stay off their property? He has not been on their property except once to install a slide for their daughter and once to help one of her former boyfriends install a screen door on the back of the house but for some reason this young lady thinks my husbands green house is only there to spy on her.
    We have over 20 emails from the former lawyer, the school and even the original neighbor who started the problems with derogatory remarks and lies about my husband supposedly being crazy and you name it....
    I know this is probably one of the hardest stories to believe but please if you have never had any problems like this then do not judge before taking the time to look into it.....problem now is getting the whole mess straightened out when we live on a fixed income and not even our church seems to know how to help????

    March 17, 2011 at 4:42 am | Report abuse |
  5. Sherrieo

    Great idea..will believe it when i see it..sorry but with all the tragedy in this world..and people going missing will you find them..

    March 22, 2011 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
  6. T

    When Nancy Grace mentions that over 2300 people go missing each day, what does she really mean? THis seems like an inflated and false number. We lose over 3000 troops per year in combat and we lose over 30,000 motor vehicle deaths per year and if her number of missing people is really over 2000 per day?!?!? then that is ?!!?!?700,000 or more per year?!?! make some sense of this malarky, ok....delineate this number into varioius how many are found, well, injured, dead, how many court "failures to appear" or other quirky sub groups...does any one else doubt this statistic? T

    March 27, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
  7. natalie blanchard

    I am outraged and disgusted that at the very least Casey Anthony did not at least get charged for child abuse or manslaughter!!!!!!!! All I can think about is that poor dead child – this is not justice.

    July 5, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Chief

    Nancy didn't do too well with her attempt to try and convict Casey Anthony. Maybe she could do better if she tried to prosecute less and investigate more...

    July 5, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gee

      Ditto Chief, ditto!!

      July 5, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  9. dan

    I think nancy grace is not very good at what she does. she is judgemental and misses the real human perspeective. Nancy looks for fault like she has none. Someday Nancy grace will find herself in a situation and no syphathy from people . I do beleive Casie contributed to her daughters passing but When everyone (channel 43) is out to bash you cant get to the truth. Watch channel 41 for more realistic analysis.

    July 5, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mike

    Nancy Grace: If you are not down with what happened in Florida today, I have two words for you: Suck it!

    Shawn Michaels

    July 5, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mike

    Please note: the above was a parody. I'm not Shawn Michaels.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Debbie

    I do not understand HOW Casey Anthony got relieved from murdering HER child. I am not reading all the information correctly appearantly and want to know the scoop, Nancy, can you help me with that?
    My prayers go to that family for they will be tormented by those around the world and even family members will never be able to trust her again.
    If she truyt did this terrrbile act she will have to answer to God in the end. My heart hurts!!!!!!

    July 5, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Keith

    I think Nancy Grace is VERY o[pinionated and thinks that whatever she says everyone should agree to. I haven't seen any negative comments about Nany Grace shown on tv... only the ones SHE wantsd shown agrreeing to hert opinion. She go go back to school and then go back to a real, live courtroom and get off tv

    July 5, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Keith

    I also believe the jury did their honest duty.. to agree that the prosecution did NOT prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Casey MURDERED Caylee. Was it an accident.. I believe so

    July 5, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Keith

    ditto Chief.. she should leave t.v. and rejoin the REAL world

    July 5, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
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