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Interview with Dennis Gutierrez

Aired August 28, 2002 - 10:45   ET


LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: We want to give you the latest information we have on this case that we have been following out of Riverside County, this case of a child being abducted from his home at 2:00 a.m. local time out there. It is a boy this time around. We have been talking about girls being abducted all summer, this is the first case that we have been talking about now with a boy being taken out of his home.
His name is Nicholas Michael Farber. We want to show you his picture now, you see him there. He is, we hear, four feet, four inches tall, and he is 9-years-old, and he was last seen in his underwear.

Now we understand that the information that we have gotten to this point from the police there is that he was taken from his home. His father was beaten up in the process, and his father was actually taken to the hospital and he has since been released. We understand he suffered quite a few contusions to his face and his chest. We also understand that they are only on the lookout right now locally for a white GMC Yukon SUV. They don't have a license plate number, but they do have at least some eyewitness description of a vehicle in which these men who were in the home escaped from the scene.

We understand that the men are described as one of them being five feet, eight inches tall and the other one being 6-3. They are both about 20 to 30 years old, and Latinos or African-American, at least in the case of the six foot, three inch man.

Now, again, there has also been talk about their possibly being other people as well inside the vehicle that did leave the scene, but right now we understand that Riverside police are only looking for the white Yukon SUV. Now we had also understand that a local alert has been put out up this vehicle, but not necessarily a statewide Amber Alert. We don't know if that has been issued as of yet, or if one is going to be issued we will try to find out some more information about that.

As a matter of fact, let's see if we can find out about that right now. Dennis Gutierrez from the Riverside County police is joining us right now on the phone -- can you tell us any more about what has been going on right now with this search, and are you only looking for just this one vehicle?

DENNIS GUTIERREZ, RIVERSIDE SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: At this time, the way the investigation is going, that is correct, just like you gave out that information. A light colored or white Yukon SUV-type vehicle. Now, I appreciate your getting this information out to the public to be aware that there is this 9-year-old boy, just like you mentioned, Nicholas Michael Farber, who was unfortunately just wearing his white underwear and he was taken by force, so it is important that the public is aware that we are trying to find out and get this boy back to his family.

HARRIS: What have you learned about the kind of force that was used to take him from his home, I understand there were some reports that there were weapons found inside the home?

GUTIERREZ: Yes. At this time, the investigation is still ongoing, and you do have the updated information as far as the father was beat up a little bit, and he was taken to the hospital, and I know that once we get this information, any updated information, we are going to forward it to you and to the public to help us find Michael.

HARRIS: Can you give us any more information about those weapons that were inside, is it clear that those weapons belonged to the assailant and not Michael Farber?

GUTIERREZ: At this time, no, I do not have any other further information at this time. I know that the investigation is still ongoing, and as soon I get any type of update, I will call you right back and give you the information.

HARRIS: Now, was the father and the boy -- were the father and the boy the only people in the house? The mom was not there?

GUTIERREZ: As far as the information I received, that is correct.

HARRIS: How about the extent of Michael Farber's injuries?

GUTIERREZ: That I do not know. I apologize for that. I do not know that answer. I know that there is another officer, the other public information officer, John Kaiser (ph) at the location in Palm Desert, and the address -- it is not the address, but the location is Accatia (ph) and Gloriana (ph), and for the people who do not know where Palm Desert is, it is just right next door -- not next door, but in the vicinity of Palm Springs, and I'm sure everybody knows where Palm Springs is in Riverside County.

HARRIS: Can you clear up another piece -- a bit of confusing information. We know that you are looking for -- or you have only given out descriptions of two men, but I have also read somewhere where Michael Farber said that there may have been others involved in this as well, and may have been in vehicles outside. Can you clear that up for us?

GUTIERREZ: No, unfortunately, I can't. Again -- I hate to keep on repeating myself, but don't have any other further information. I know that there is a team of investigators looking into -- trying to find out any other leads that we can find out, again, to reunite Nicholas with his father.

HARRIS: Do you know at this point whether or not any of the other neighbors were awakened by any commotion or whether anyone may have seen something?

GUTIERREZ: No. The only thing is that at 2:08 this morning, the Riverside County Sheriff's Department received a telephone call -- a telephone call from the location in reference that two males had forced their way into the house, and had taken the child.

HARRIS: How about the breadth of the search right now. We had been hearing conflicting reports about Amber Alerts being issued in this case. What do we know about that?

GUTIERREZ: Yes. The information that I received from John Kaiser (ph) is that there has been a modified Amber Alert been given, and talking to other news organizations, I believe that is going to be a local, Riverside County -- because we have two major thoroughfares which is Interstate 10 and we also have Highway 60 that connects with Interstate 10. So there are other -- excuse me. The electronic signs put up by CalTrans are on those highways, and I am sure that information has already been posted up there for the public to be aware, and also to be looking out for any type of vehicle that resembles this one, they can call in.

HARRIS: Does that mean that the police believe that this vehicle may still be there in the immediate vicinity?

GUTIERREZ: Yes, that is the information I am receiving. Yes, sir.

HARRIS: OK. Understood. Dennis Gutierrez. Thank you very much.




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