Kidnapped 9-Year-Old Palm Desert Boy Found Safe

SAN DIEGO (KFWB/AP) 8.30.02, 1:20p — A 9-year-old boy violently kidnapped this week from his home in Palm Desert was found safe in San Diego County, a law enforcement official said. San Diego County sheriff’s Lt. Lisa Miller said Nicholas Farber was found at a campground in Jamul east of San Diego.
“He’s alive,” she said.

The boy was abducted at 2 a.m. Wednesday in Palm Desert in Riverside County.

Authorities had been searching for a motor home with a Florida license plate believed to be carrying the boy. They found the vehicle at the campground, not far from the Mexican border, thanks to a tip from a private citizen. The boy’s mother, Debra Rose, was taken into custody. Rose and her former roommate, Carla Bender, have been named as suspects in the kidnapping carried out by two unidentified men.

Electronic highways signs in California had flashed the motor home’s Florida license plate number, HS702J. Authorities also had issued a description of the distinctive vehicle, a tan 1997 Bounder motor home with kangaroo decals and an orange stripe on each side.

“We have great news. We have Nicholas, he is safe,” Riverside County Sheriff-elect Bob Doyle told a news conference in Palm Desert.

Nicholas was the subject of a custody dispute between Rose, 38, and his father, Michael Farber, 47, who married in 1991 and divorced in 1996. The boy lived with Rose until she was arrested on Aug. 15 in Colorado and held briefly for allegedly violating a restraining order involving another ex-husband. Farber went to Colorado and got Nicholas, then was granted temporary custody by a California court, which scheduled a Sept. 5 hearing on the father’s bid for permanent custody.