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Mother of 9-Year-Old Is Charged With Abduction

The Region

September 01, 2002|SCOTT GOLD | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Riverside County authorities said Saturday that they had charged Debra Rose, the mother of the 9-year-old boy abducted from his father's Palm Desert home by two gunmen, with felony child abduction and had set her bond at $1 million.

Sheriff's Deputy Lisa McConnell said more charges were pending against Rose, 38, of Colorado Springs, Colo., who is suspected of having orchestrated the violent abduction of the boy from the house he shares with his father. Federal authorities also were expected to file charges against Rose.

Investigators also said Saturday that they had identified the male companion found with Rose on Friday at a campground in Jamul, 20 miles east of San Diego.

The man, 48-year-old Michael James Riley, was not believed to be one of the men who had abducted Nicholas Michael Farber about 2 a.m. Wednesday and beaten his father, said sheriff's Sgt. Mike Alcorn. "There is nothing to my knowledge that puts him inside the house," Alcorn said.

Riley, who apparently is Rose's companion, was booked on suspicion of conspiracy to commit kidnapping, conspiracy to commit assault with a deadly weapon and conspiracy to commit residential burglary, Alcorn said. His bond also was set at $1 million.

Riley is wanted on a felony warrant in Lincoln, Neb., that charges him with financial crimes. He also is accused of felony violation of probation in Tucson, Ariz., in connection with another financial crime, Riverside County officials said. No further information on those allegations was available.

Nicholas was reunited Friday night with his father, Michael Farber, 47, a restaurant manager. "The boy was happy to see his father again," McConnell said. "They left together ... and are in seclusion."

Investigators were looking for the gunmen who had carried out the abduction and for Carla Bender, Rose's former roommate in Colorado.

"Bender has been conspicuously absent," Alcorn said. "We really have not heard from her. Obviously, we want to interview her to see what her involvement is on this."

Nicholas' parents were married in 1991 and divorced in 1995. He is the subject of a custody dispute. He had lived with his mother in Colorado until earlier this month, when she was briefly jailed for violating a temporary restraining order in an unrelated case involving another former husband. She and Michael Farber had a court date Thursday in Orange County to resolve the custody issue.

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