PALM DESERT, Calif., -- Authorities announced Thursday morning that
are seeking an additional person as they continue their
Wednesday's abduction of a 9-year-old boy in Palm
Nicholas Michael Farber was taken from his father's home by two
early Wednesday in another Southern California kidnapping.
Riverside County's Sheriff-elect Bob Doyle said in a press conference
morning that authorities are looking for Carla Bender
(pictured far left),
a roommate of Nicholas' mother, Debra Rose.
Doyle said that Bender is not a suspect. The woman is probably
with her 12-year-old son, Keenan, and may be traveling with
Doyle told reporters that Bender may have had access to a witness
that police are also searching for in connection with the
"We are looking everywhere" for Nicholas, Doyle told reporters at the
"We feel that possibly by locating these people they'll have
hopefully that can help lead us to where Nicholas is or
is traveling with one of these two," said John
Kaiser of Riverside Sheriff's
"This is still a kidnapping and we need to treat it as such," said
when discussing possible custody issues in the kidnapping
case. "We want
to bring Nicholas home quickly, safely and unharmed."
The men forced their way into a home around 2 a.m. and attacked
Farber, then hauled his son, Nicholas, away in a white sport
said Riverside County sheriff's Capt. Patrick
McManus, who serves as a
local police chief.
Investigators were trying to locate the boy's mother, Rose, 38, of
Springs, Colo., but she was not considered a suspect,
McManus told reporters.
The parents had a "bad relationship" and there was a dispute as to
had legal custody of the boy, but the father had physical
At an afternoon news conference on Wednesday, Doyle announced that
are searching for a witness vehicle. The vehicle was described
as a white,
GMC with temporary Colorado license plates and plate
number H12197. He
urged anyone who had seen that vehicle to call 911
Doyle also said he had a message for the boy's mother, who police
to look for.
"Please contact us, we need to talk to you. You are not a suspect at
time, but it is important that we talk to you, so please dial
Rose may have had access to the gray, witness vehicle, according to
Authorities in Colorado said Rose was arrested two weeks ago and held
one day for violating a restraining order there.
She was last seen in Colorado, according to police.
California Highway Patrol and Riverside County authorities initially
they were issuing an Amber Alert, notifying the media and the
the missing boy. But later in the morning, CHP Officer
Douglas Kondo said
they had instead posted a regional child abduction
Kondo said the case did not yet merit an Amber Alert because
did not have specific information such as the vehicle's
The alert system was adopted in California after the slaying earlier
year of 5-year-old Samantha Runnion in Orange County. The alerts
for a 9-year-old Texas girl kidnapped in 1996 and later
FBI spokesman Matt McLaughlin emphasized that the crime was being
as an abduction by strangers but that all avenues were
"Everything is still in play. We have not ruled anything out," McLaughlin
The California Highway Patrol and FBI joined Riverside deputies in
search for the boy, described as white, 53 inches tall and
pounds and has brown hair with blond highlights. He was
last seen wearing
Fruit of the Loom underwear.
"We will find you," McManus said at a televised news conference,
the kidnappers to leave the boy at a safe location, such as a
or a hospital.
"Our main concern is to get the kidnapped child back," McManus said.
The latest in a series of child abductions that has frightened
California this year occurred in a white, single-story home
in an upper
middle-class neighborhood near desert resorts 120 miles
east of Los Angeles.
Deputies arrived at the home two minutes after Michael Farber's 2:08
call but there was a delay in getting a description of the
the father was hurt and had to be treated at a
Neighbor Andy Larios said that he was awakened by Nicholas' father
He went to his window and saw a man running with the boy
in his arms. "(The
police) got there pretty fast," Larios said.
Nicholas' father was treated at Eisenhower Hospital for cuts and
and was released at 5:10 a.m., according to NBC4. Authorities
Farber to get more information about the incident.
"The father was injured and, quite rightly, in a state of shock," McManus
Investigators released a composite sketch (pictured below) of one
described as possibly Hispanic, 5 feet 8 inches tall, 175
pounds, in his
early 30s, with a medium build and a goatee, dressed
in a dark sweat suit
and carrying a dark-colored bag.
The second suspect is a black or Hispanic man who is 6 feet 3 inches
and 250 pounds. His age is not known. He was last seen wearing
and a brown nylon stocking over his head and face.
The boy's father told investigators he saw three or four people in
There was at least one other witness, a child who saw Nicholas being
to the vehicle, an FBI spokesman said.
Rose was arrested by Colorado Springs police on Aug. 15 for violating
temporary restraining order, said Lt. Melissa Hartmen of the El
According to records released by the 4th Judicial District Court in
Springs, the order was taken out against Rose on Aug. 5 by
Stanley Rose of Colorado Springs. She was ordered to
stay away from Stanley
Rose and two children, 6-year-old Winter Rose
and 5-year-old Dane Rose.
Debra Rose was arrested after Stanley Rose reported she called him
times in violation of the order. Stanley Rose also told
police that Debra
Rose's estranged husband called him twice. The
records did not identify
the estranged husband.
Rose was arraigned Aug. 16 and was set for an Oct. 9 trial on the misdemeanor.
"The FBI came over here earlier today and asked some questions," said
Springs resident Lucia Harrison, who lives next door to
where Rose lived
with four children for a few months until moving
away about two weeks ago.
In Orange County, an Aug. 23 filing in a family court case was set
a Sept. 5 hearing. Details of the case, which dates to 1995, were
Michael Farber was renting a room in the Palm Desert home where the
occurred, said Ralph Pierce, 72, of San Marcos, who is the
uncle of a Los
Angeles woman who owns the house. Pierce learned of
the abduction when
he arrived to do kitchen remodeling.
Pierce said Michael Farber, who works at a local restaurant, had told
he recently flew to Colorado and got his son after learning of
"Michael went after him two or three weeks ago," Pierce said.
called him about it."
Michael Farber traveled to Colorado Springs this summer to find
whom he tracked down through his ex-wife's fifth husband,
the Orange County Superior Court documents said.
When he found Nicholas, Farber wrote, his son was "tired, dirty,
and hungry," the documents claimed.
In a declaration filed with the court, Stanley Rose said the boy's
abuses morphine, Demerol and other drugs. She has no permanent
or job and survives on unemployment and child support,
Stanley Rose said.
The boy's mother has been married five times, according to court
and has used the names Debra Marie Landrum, Debra Marie
Rose and Debra
People in the neighborhood of homes with well-kept lawns and cactus
rock gardens awoke Wednesday to find deputies guarding the
"I'm a little scared," said Domenic Pomponio, 12, who was out riding his
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Domenic, who had never seen Nicholas, said his mother let him out to
but was keeping an eye on him. "She said be careful," he said.
Anyone with information is asked to call 911 or the Riverside County
Department at (760) 836-1632.