'Rockefeller' is wanted German
Tuesday 12 August 2008
A man charged with kidnapping his daughter in Boston is a German who lived in the guesthouse of a Los Angeles-area couple who disappeared in 1985, a sheriff's spokesman said.
Los Angeles County sheriff's investigators have identified Christian Gerhartsreiter as the same man who used the aliases Clark Rockefeller and Christopher Chichester, spokesman Steve Whitmore said.
Homicide detectives "are confident that Rockefeller is Christian Gerhartsreiter and the person named Christopher Chichester who was living in the Los Angeles area in 1985," Mr Whitmore said.
Gerhartsreiter has been identified as a "person of interest" in the 1985 disappearances of Jonathan and Linda Sohus. Under the Chichester name, Gerhartsreiter rented a guesthouse at the couple's home in San Marino, a wealthy Los Angeles suburb.
Investigators were able to confirm Gerhartsreiter's identity after interviews with people who knew him in California in the 1980s, Mr Whitmore said.
At the time of his 2 August arrest in Baltimore, Gerhartsreiter had been living under the Rockefeller name.
Police have said he snatched his daughter from a Boston street on 27 July in an elaborately planned kidnapping in which he hired two people to drive them to New York.
The district attorney's office and FBI in Boston said today they were not ready to declare that Rockefeller and Gerhartsreiter are the same person.
"One thing we are certain of: This defendant's true name is not Clark Rockefeller," said Jake Wark, a spokesman for the Suffolk prosecutor's office in Massachusetts.
Rockefeller's Boston attorney, Stephen Hrones, said for the first time at a news conference that his client acknowledged using the name Christopher Chichester while living in California, and that he remembers the Sohuses but barely knew the couple and had nothing to do with their disappearance.
Skeletal remains were unearthed at the Sohus property in 1994 when new owners were putting in a swimming pool. Investigators at the time were unable to identify the bones but believed they probably belonged to Jonathan Sohus. Investigators have requested a new round of forensic tests, Mr Whitmore said.
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