'Please, please bring her back,' pleads kidnap girl's mother
Saturday 02 August 2008
The mother of a seven-year-old girl who was allegedly kidnapped by her father during a supervised visit to the US has made an emotional televised appeal for her return.
Sandra Boss, 41, a director at the London-based management consulting firm McKinsey & Co, begged her ex-husband Clark Rockefeller to return their daughter Reigh Boss, whom he allegedly abducted in Boston last Sunday.
In the appeal, which was broadcast across the US yesterday, an exhausted Ms Boss stares directly at the camera and asks her ex-husband to bring back their child, who is nicknamed Snooks.
She said: "Clark, although many things have changed, you will always be Reigh's father and I will always be Reigh's mother. We both love her dearly and have only her best interests and well-being in our hearts. I ask you now, please, please bring Snooks back. There has to be a better way for us to solve our differences than this way."
In her first public appearance since her daughter's abduction almost a week ago, the American-born mother directly addressed her absent child, telling her: "Reigh, honey, I love you and miss you so much. Remember, you're always a princess."
The statement was broadcast shortly after the US Attorney's Office issued a federal kidnapping warrant for Mr Rockefeller, giving police officers from every state the right to arrest him on sight.
The pair were last seen being dropped outside Grand Central Station in New York City, although police have also been investigating another sighting in the town of Smyrna in Delaware. It had been believed the millionaire had planned to flee the country with his daughter aboard a recently purchased 72ft luxury yacht.
Mr Rockefeller, 48, was married to Ms Boss for 12 years before the couple finalised their divorce last December. During proceedings he lost custody of their daughter Reigh, who then moved to London to live with her mother. He is believed to have been planning the kidnapping ever since.
Mr Rockefeller is wanted by Boston police on charges of custodial kidnapping, assault and battery and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, after his daughter's social worker suffered minor injuries trying to prevent him from bundling her into a waiting car.
Yesterday, the vehicle's driver, 54-year-old Darryl Hopkins, described in an interview how Mr Rockefeller duped him into becoming an unwitting accessory in the kidnapping. Mr Hopkins said Mr Rockefeller offered him $1,000 (£500) to help him escape from a man who he claimed had been harassing him. In fact, this man was the social worker sent to supervise Reigh while she visited her father in Boston.
"I'm thinking, 'I'm trying to help my friend Clark, who's trying to help me out of financial straits, doing something as innocent as getting rid of somebody who is a pain in the butt'," he said.
Detectives in Boston have described Mr Rockefeller as a "ghost", after uncovering a trail of false clues he apparently left behind him to confuse authorities. So far they have been unable to locate his birth certificate, social security number or even a record of his marriage to Ms Boss. The most recent record of his existence apparently dates back to the early 1990s.
Former friends and acquaintances of the missing man have also given police conflicting views about his possible occupation. Some of them said he told them he was a physicist for an aeronautics company, while others said he claimed to be a mathematician or a financier.
Mr Rockefeller is also known to have used at least four aliases in the past, and the FBI – which has now taken up the search for the elusive millionaire – believe he may currently be using one of them, Michael Brown, to escape detection. It is also thought he might have cut his daughter's hair to make her look like a boy, and dyed his own hair orange.
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