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Missing California boy found safe

Nicholas Farber and his mother, Debra Rose, in a police car on Friday.
Nicholas Farber and his mother, Debra Rose, in a police car on Friday.  

SAN DIEGO, California (CNN) -- A 9-year-old boy kidnapped from his father's California home Wednesday amid a custody dispute was found unharmed Friday afternoon with his mother and an unidentified man, both of whom were taken into custody.

Police found Nicholas Farber and the two adults at a motor home park outside San Diego after a two-day search, authorities said. The boy's mother, Debra Rose, and the man taken into custody with her are suspects in the abduction, officials said.

"Obviously, we are elated that Nicholas is safe," said Riverside County Sheriff-elect Bob Doyle.

Nicholas was reunited with his father Friday night. His mother was charged with one count of felony child abduction and was being held on $1 million bond at the Indio Jail in Riverside County, police said.

Asked why she took Nicholas, Rose, being led into a police car in handcuffs, replied, "He's my son. He was taken from me."

Investigators in Riverside County had said earlier the adults could be traveling with the boy in a tan Fleetwood Bounder motor home with a Florida license plate. A caller from the motor home park in Jamul, California, near the Mexican border, tipped police off to the vehicle's whereabouts early Friday afternoon, Doyle said.

Once police learned the boy and the two adults were at the motor home park, several sheriff's deputies and state Highway Patrol officers surrounded the vehicle.

"At 12:55 [p.m.], we were able to take Nicholas into our custody and arrest two individuals, Debra Rose and the male suspect," Doyle said.

Rose had cut and dyed both her hair and her son's hair.

Friday evening, police were searching for three more people, sources said. One of them is Carla Bender, Rose's roommate in Colorado, who is a suspect in the case; the two others are unidentified men who may have broken into Nicholas' home and abducted him.

Authorities are also talking to five other people who are either Rose's relatives or friends, sources said. Police believe all of them had some role in the kidnapping scheme by providing money or helping the kidnappers acquire weapons, the sources said.

Nicholas has been at the center of a custody dispute between Rose and her ex-husband, Michael Farber. Early Wednesday, two armed men smashed a door at the father's Palm Desert, California, home, assaulted the elder Farber, and fled with the boy.

The two men took Nicholas in a white SUV, possibly a GMC Yukon, Farber told police. Later, police said they were looking for a gray GMC pickup truck with a temporary Colorado license plate. Rose, a resident of Colorado, had recently bought a similar truck.

The boy's mother, Debra Rose, is a suspect in the abduction, officials said.
The boy's mother, Debra Rose, is a suspect in the abduction, officials said.  

The truck was later found in Nevada near the California state line.

A California judge granted Farber temporary custody of the boy last week pending a hearing on Farber's request for permanent custody. Farber alleged in court documents his ex-wife is a drug addict incapable of caring for their son, and said he believed Nicholas would be in danger in his mother's custody.

Rose is also involved in a custody dispute with another ex-husband in Colorado, and on Thursday failed to appear in court for a hearing on restraining orders the two have filed against each other.

Rose has been married five times. Farber was her third husband.




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