Oprah re-airs episode based on St. Pete Times' Pulitzer-winning report, The Girl in the Window, today
You can see the episode locally at 4 p.m. on NBC affiliate WFLA-Ch. 8. see the Times array of reports by clicking here.
The episode was actually filmed last year, featuring Times reporter Lane DeGregory, who authored an in-depth look at a 6-year-old named Danielle found living in squalor in plant city, unable to talk, wearing dirty diapers and living in a cockroach-infested home. See Winfrey's online material by clicking here.
Winfrey's cameras visited the Plant City home in which Danielle was found in 2005 with the officer who discovered her, describing how animal feces lined the walls, how her mattress was moldy and falling apart, and the child herself was covered in insect bites, fleas and mites, wearing only a soiled diaper.
Footage from Tampa Bay area cable newschannel Bay News 9's 2008 interview with Danielle's biological mother, Michelle Crockett, was shown during the episode, with Crockett's face blurred out. Winfrey never mentioned Crockett by name, quizzing DeGregory on the mother's mental state; DeGregory appeared from the Times newsroom via the video conferencing service Skype.
"She seemed very much in denial," DeGregory said of Crockett. "She felt very much like a victim . . . Her only regret was moving (to Florida)." Winfrey noted that the show attempted to get a statement from Crockett through her attorney, who did not return their calls.
Times photographer Melissa Lyttle's intimate, revealing photographs were added to footage gathered by Winfrey's producers and other sources to show Danielle's integration into her adoptive family, including parents Diane and Bernie Lierow.
Clips of Danielle spending time with the Lierows revealed what Danielle looks like during frequent fits and while she was learning new ways to eat, walk and use the bathroom. The Lierows appeared in Winfrey's studio for the story, but Danielle remained off camera in the show's "green room" for guests, seen there only in a brief video clip of the host meeting with the family backstage.