State kidnaping charges were filed Tuesday against a New Jersey couple and the man they allegedly hired to abduct their 13-month-old son from the infant's adoptive parents in Pacific Palisades.
Francis Kiefer, 41, and his wife, Bonnie, 42, were charged by the Los Angeles County district attorney's office a day after federal authorities in New Jersey declined to prosecute the couple because of a legal technicality.
The couple remained in custody in New Jersey pending an extradition hearing. The man they allegedly hired, Jonathan H. Cosby, 27, was being held in Los Angeles without bail pending arraignment today.
Police said that the Kiefers, the natural parents of 13-month-old Brian Smith, arranged for Cosby to kidnap the toddler at gunpoint Friday evening. Police said Cosby rifled through the possessions of the adoptive parents, Kenneth and Barbara Smith, in order to fake a robbery, then took the boy to the Kiefers in New Jersey, where the couple was arrested Sunday.
Federal charges were not filed against the Kiefers because the California adoption order was not final, an FBI spokesman said.
"The federal statute for kidnaping prohibits the charging of natural parents with kidnaping for obvious reasons," the spokesman said.