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Home  >  Topics  >  Investigations

August 28, 2002
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California Boy, 9, Abducted from Calif. Home

PALM DESERT, California (CNN) -- Two men abducted a 9-year-old boy from his Southern California home Wednesday after assaulting his father and then sped away in a white sport utility vehicle, authorities said.

The missing boy is Nicholas Michael Farber, who is 4 feet, 4 inches tall and has brown hair with blond highlights. He was last seen wearing only Fruit of the Loom underwear.

"The boy was taken by force" after two men forced their way into the Palm Desert home south of Palm Springs, said Dennis Gutierrez of the Riverside County Sheriff's Department. There were weapons left at the scene, but Gutierrez had no details.

Gutierrez said the sheriff's department received a phone call reporting the incident about 2 a.m. PDT. The motive for the abduction is unknown.

The boy's father, who told authorities he didn't know the men, said he saw several other men in a vehicle parked outside the home.

Mary Kay Plock, a spokeswoman for Eisenhower Medical Center in nearby Rancho Mirage, said the father, Michael Farber, 47, was brought to the emergency room at 2:56 a.m. with bruises on his face, head and chest. He was treated and released about two hours later.

An "Amber Alert" has not been issued to notify the public about the kidnapping, said Jim Harris of the California Highway Patrol. However, the Riverside County Sheriff's Department said it had posted a modified alert.

The highway patrol is responsible for issuing Amber alerts, which put agencies on the lookout for a missing child and inform the public about the abduction through electronic billboards along major roads.

"It's very early in the process, and we don't have enough information," Harris said.

Authorities describe one of the suspects as 20 to 30 years old. He is 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighs 175 pounds and has short, dark slicked-back hair and a goatee. He was last seen wearing dark clothes and carrying a black backpack.

The authorities described the second suspect as a 6-foot-3-inch male weighing 250 pounds. He was last seen wearing dark sweats and a brown nylon stocking over his head and face.

Their vehicle is possibly a white GMC Yukon. The license plate is unknown.

Nicholas Michael Farber is 9 years old and has brown hair with blond highlights. Anyone with information is being asked to contact the Riverside County Sheriff's Department at 760-836-3215.

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