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California Boy Likely Specifically Targeted

Aired August 28, 2002 - 13:50   ET


KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: We are going to take it now to another story that's happening in Southern California. That is the missing 9-year-old Nicholas Farber.
Our Charles Feldman is working this story in our Los Angeles bureau, and brings us some new developments in this case -- Charles, what can you tell us?

CHARLES FELDMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi Kyra, yes. Well, what we can tell you is the following. This is based on sources that we have been talking with this morning.

At the moment, and I emphasize all of this is at the moment, this is obviously an ongoing story, and it could change and the details will change, I am sure as the day progresses. At the moment, the sources say this does not appear to be a random act. They mean by that, that it appears as if the young boy was specifically targeted. The sources say they do not at the moment believe that this is a case of a stranger abduction, or that the motivation here has anything to do with molesting children.

They are, I am told, very interested in talking much more to both the boy's father and mother, because there is an issue potentially, potentially, of a custody dispute here. The sources say that it is believed there is an ongoing court dispute about custody of the child. The father, of course, living here in California, the mother apparently resides in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The mother has not yet been located, although authorities say they very much want to talk with her, as they are at the moment, even as we speak, Kyra, talking with the father.

But again, they emphasize that it is too early to tell whether or not this indeed is going to turn out to be some sort of horrible custody dispute, but it is something that is being looked at very actively, and is something that they are not at all ruling out. Nor, Kyra, are they ruling out the possibility that this may, may have something to do with debt owed by one or both of the parents. Debt to whom? We do not know, but this is an avenue that sources say is being very actively explored.

But again, the emphasis here at the moment, at this hour, is that they are not, not thinking that this is the case of strangers going in and selecting a house at random and making off with this 9-year-old boy. They think that it was specifically targeted for a very specific reason. The big question mark, of course, what that reason is. The two areas being looked at very actively: custody, debt, and whether or not these people were hired, and if so, by whom -- Kyra. PHILLIPS: So there has been no connection made between these abductors, possibly being friends of the mother?

FELDMAN: There is no connection being made at the moment in any of those areas, that's correct. You know, there is a possibility that this is -- you know, it is natural, of course, when have you a situation where a child is abducted and the parents are separate, the very first thing that comes to mind is that it is a custody dispute, but it doesn't necessarily mean that. But there are some reasons, I'm told, why law enforcement officials are very much interested in looking at that custody issue, because of the background of the parents, because of what appears to be an ongoing court dispute about custody of the child. I'm told the child lived with the mother for about five years, and then fairly recently went and lived with the father. So this is an area that is being looked at, and this can all change, as I said before. Sometimes, you know, law enforcement officials go down one road, only to find out as the day progresses and the facts become clearer, that the road they are going down is the wrong one, and it may turn out at the end of the day that this is something that no one is really looking at, and something so out of the blue that we can't even figure out now as we're talking, what it is.

All I can tell you is at the moment, this is what the thinking is, that it does not appear to be a random act. It doesn't appear to be that they want to molest the child. Whether or not the child is in danger, that of course, is the key question. Even if it turns out to be a custody dispute, of course, it does not mean that child may not be in danger. We don't know the stability of the suspects who took the child, we don't know whether the child knows who these people are. I have been told by sources that it does not appear as if the child knew who these people are. So these are the issues that have to be explored -- Kyra.

PHILLIPS: Charles Feldman now in Los Angeles. Thanks, Charles.




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