AP

AUGUST 31, 20:02 ET

Kidnapped Boy Reunited With Father
By PAUL WILBORN
Associated Press Writer


AP/Krista Niles
A yellow happy-face balloon is seen in the driveway of Micheal Farber's home in Desert Palm, Calif., Saturday, Aug. 31, 2002. Farber's 9-year-old son Nicholas was kidnapped from the home early Wednesday morning. Nicholas Farber was found Friday at a campground in Jamul, about 20 miles east of San Diego. His mother and an unidentified man were arrested, authorities said.

LOS ANGELES (AP) A 9-year-old boy who was abducted from his father's home in the middle of the night by two men has been reunited with his father, authorities said Saturday.

``He's very exhausted from the whole ordeal,'' said Lisa McConnell, a spokeswoman for the Riverside County Sheriff's Department. ``He seemed very happy to be back with Dad last night.''

Nicholas Farber was found Friday at a campground in Jamul, about 20 miles east of San Diego. His mother, Debra Rose, and a man with her, Michael J. Riley, were taken into custody, authorities said.

Rose, 38, and Riley, 48, were both booked into the Riverside County Jail. Rose was being held on suspicion of felony child abduction. Riley was booked on suspicion of conspiracy to commit kidnapping. Bail for each was set at $1 million.

Authorities said Riley was wanted on warrants from Lincoln, Neb., and Tucson, Ariz., involving financial crimes, McConnell said. Authorities had no home town for him.

Riley was not one of the two assailants who abducted Nicholas at gunpoint from his Palm Desert home Wednesday after beating the boy's father, Michael Farber, authorities said.


AP/Steven K. Doi
Michael Farber, left, is assisted out of a sheriff vehicle at the Riverside County sheriff station in Palm Desert, Calif., to be reunited with his 9-year-old son, Nicholas, who was abducted three days ago. Nicholas, who was abducted by masked gunmen from his home Wednesday, was found safe Friday in San Diego County, and his mother and an unidentified man were arrested, authorities said.

A former roommate of the mother's, Carla Bender, of Colorado Springs, Colo., was still being sought for questioning Saturday, McConnell said.

Nicholas had been the subject of a custody dispute between Rose and Farber, 47, who married in 1991 and divorced in 1996.

The boy lived with Rose until she was arrested Aug. 15 in Colorado and held briefly for allegedly violating a restraining order involving another ex-husband. She has been married five times.

Farber was granted temporary custody by a California court. A hearing is scheduled Sept. 5 on his bid for permanent custody.

When Rose was hustled into jail in handcuffs, a reporter asked why she had allegedly taken Nicholas. She replied: ``He was taken from me.''

Nicholas and his mother were found at a recreational vehicle campground 80 miles southwest of Palm Desert after a security guard spotted a motor home with Florida license plates that police had been seeking.

Copyright 2002 Associated Press.