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Riverside County Press Conference on Nicholas Farber

Aired August 30, 2002 - 16:20   ET


JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: As we have been telling you, Nicholas Farber, the 9-year old California boy who was abducted a few days ago, has been found. He's safe and sound. This is a news conference in Riverside County, California. Bob Doyle, the sheriff elect.
BOB DOYLE, RIVERSIDE CO. SHERIFF ELECT: -- with our people in San Diego and he will be in route back to the Cachilla (ph) valley shortly.

QUESTION: Is there anything about is demeanor, about the boy. Was he happy to see you? Was he fearful of his mother?

DOYLE: We don't know that yet. He has not been talked to at this point.

QUESTION: Where is Michael Bender? Is he still here or excuse me, Nicholas's father, Michael Farber, is he still here?

DOYLE: We're going to make contact with him wherever he may be, in order to reunite him with his son.

QUESTION: How many deputies took part in the arrest? Did he wait for back up? They have a lot of...

DOYLE: He did, the deputy sheriff waited for backup. They responded with 10 deputy sheriffs, surrounded the motor home and then continued to talk to them. CHP responded as backup to the deputy sheriffs. And fortunately they did the right thing and they came out upon several requests and were taken into custody.

QUESTION: Sheriff, is there any other indication that the motor home might be in San Diego County?

DOYLE: Seriously, we did not know where the motor home was at. Again, the Amber alert and the information put out by the media, really helped because we -- they could have been anywhere in the United States, up to 12:25, we did not know where that vehicle was at.

QUESTION: Do you believe they were trying to cross the border?

DOYLE: We don't know. Certainly we will be continuing tying up loose ends with the investigation even though they are in custody.

QUESTION: Where was the RV park and what's the name of the RV park?

DOYLE: Don't know the name of it. It is in San Diego. QUESTION: Carla Bender, how serious is the search for her now?

DOYLE: We need to talk to her because we believe that she was involved in this abduction and that she has some culpability. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ladies and gentlemen, that concludes the conference. Thank you very much and we'll come back...

WOODRUFF: We've been listening to Bob Doyle, the sheriff elect out in California in Riverside County, in essence saying that Nicholas Farber, a 9-year old boy abducted just a few days ago is safe but clearly now a lot of questions for his mother who is under arrest and another man who was with her t the time of the -- that the boy was found. Questions about what happened, how the boy -- how she was involved apparently because she has been -- has not turned up since her son was turned up missing just earlier this week just three days ago.

I'm told that we have some pictures that we can show you right now. This is the RV - the recreational -- or I guess this is a number of recreational vehicles. This is an aerial view of the area where the -- the RV was found, where Nicholas Farber and his mother were. Charles Feldman, are you with us again?

FELDMAN: Oh, I'm still here Judy.

WOODRUFF: What exactly are we looking at here?

FELDMAN: Well, it appears to be an RV park. And as you heard them say at the news conference, until oh, about an hour ago, they really didn't know where they were. In fact, about two hours ago, I was told by some people that they thought it was very possible they were on their way to Florida because the mother apparently has some relatives in Florida and the RV, I believe, the motor home, has Florida plates.

So they thought it was likely that they were either in the state of Florida, or on the way there. So they were very much surprised apparently that it showed up, still in southern California, in San Diego, not too far from the Mexican border. So that's what we are looking at is the area where it is parked. As we have said to recap, they now found the 9-year-old Nicholas Michael Farber. He is safe. His mother, Debra Rose is under arrest, as is, a unidentified as yet, unidentified male, who is believed to be one of two men who abducted Nicholas Michael Farber from the home of his father, who of course is divorced from his mother, Debra Rose. So a custody dispute at the root of this -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Charles, I know police often have to deal with custody disputes. This obviously is not the first time and won't be the last when parents and -- both of whom want custody of a child, one of them chooses to take very extreme measures to get the child away from the other parent.

FELDMAN: Yeah, this was, you know, one of the more extreme examples to say the least, of how to settle a custody dispute. And of course, you know, what's interesting. We report on this earlier this week, that it isn't the only case involving Debra Rose and a custody dispute with children.

She has been married five times and she has two other children, a 5-year-old and a 6-year-old and she has them with another one of her husbands who she is divorced from, and there is an ongoing custody dispute now between her and Stanley Rose, who was, I believe, her third, maybe it was fourth husband. And he has currently custody of those two children and was very much concerned, this past week, that something may happen to them that she may come and try to take them, because that has not been settled yet.

So it's in many ways it's a tragic case. Here's a woman that's been married five times. She has, as far as we know, three children. In all three cases, courts have at least temporarily granted custody to her husbands or former husbands. And here was apparently an attempt to at least regain custody of one child, her oldest as far as we can determine, 9-year-old Nicholas Michael Farber.

So it is a sad story and a bizarre story, and an unusual case of custody battle turned very, very bad, a very bizarre case. But it ended, fortunately, very well. I mean, you know, the child seems to be healthy and well, and his dad is OK, a little beaten up, but otherwise OK. His mother appears to be OK although facing some very serious charges. Not yet sure what those charges will actually be. But she will be prosecuted for it. But interesting.

WOODRUFF: Charles Feldman, reporting from California. As he said, the news is good. 9-year-old Nicholas Farber found safe and sound with his mother, who is now in custody.




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