Detectives are investigating whether the man charged with kidnapping his 7-year-old daughter is hiding a criminal past, one that might involve murder.
Authorities were looking at a bizarre and as-yet unconfirmed link between the fingerprints of Clark Rockefeller and a killing in California dating back to the 1990s, The Boston Globe reported Tuesday.
Rockefeller, 48, was extradited Tuesday morning to Boston, where he was arraigned on kidnapping and other charges in the afternoon. He did not enter a plea, and was ordered held without bail.
The father's prints were taken after he was caught in Baltimore on Saturday with his little girl, Reigh Boss, and revealed a connection to an out-of-state license application under another name. That name is among those in a list of people wanted in the California homicide case, according to the Globe, citing two unnamed law enforcement officials.
Rockefeller is said to have used numerous aliases and been extremely secretive about his background.
"A fingerprint connected him to a license application, and an alias on the application connected him to a murder in California," one of the two officials, who requested anonymity, told the Globe Monday.
But police haven't confirmed that Rockefeller is indeed one of those sought in the killing and have disclosed no specifics about the murder, other than to say it was committed more than 10 years ago.
Rockefeller, through his attorney, is denying the allegations that he might be involved in an old murder case.
Authorities have been feverishly trying to piece together details about Rockefeller's past, with great difficulty.
Rockefeller was flown to Logan Airport Tuesday morning, accompanied by law enforcement. Passengers said he smiled, drank coffee and read The New York Times on the short flight.
Suffolk District Attorney's Office spokesman Jake Wark said he was booked and processed. He was then arraigned Tuesday afternoon at Boston Municipal Court on charges of felony custodial kidnapping; assault and battery; and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon in connection with the abduction of his daughter.
At the hearing, he retained his own attorney, Stephen Hrones, to represent him; didn't enter a plea and was denied bail.
Rockefeller stood still and looked down as the charges against him were read. He didn't speak to the judge during the hearing, though a court microphone caught him muttering, "That's not me," when a prosecutor mentioned an alias they attributed to him.
Hrones said his client will not be interviewed in light of the fact that he is being held on several charges.
Just before the arraignment began, Hrones denied that his client is guilty of kidnapping, saying that Rockefeller had the right to travel with Reigh since she is his own daughter.
"How could you kidnap your own daughter?" Hrones asked. "He loves his daughter. Kidnapping doesn't apply, it was his own kid."
Suffolk District Attorney Dan Conley noted that Massachusetts has a law against parental kidnapping.
"Just because he's Reigh's natural father, it doesn't absolve him," he said.
Rockefeller has refused to provide information about his true identity or his background in hours-long jail interviews with FBI agents and Baltimore detectives, the Globe reported. He has claimed that he "doesn't remember" details including who his parents are and where he was born, according to the paper.
Rockefeller's secrets led him to lose custody of Reigh when he would not provide proof of his identity in his 2007 divorce.
Conley said investigators have been "stymied" in their attempts to figure out Rockefeller's true identity. He has at least a half dozen aliases and has told authorities he doesn't remember his history. Authorities have no record of anything related to Rockefeller before 1993.
"Our experience tells us he's more of a schemer than someone who has lost his memory," Conley said after Rockefeller was ordered held without bail. "We're a little stymied right now, but that doesn’t mean we’ll give up." He said DNA might come into play in the case.
Hrones denied the Globe report alleging that Rockefeller's fingerprints may have been linked to a California slaying.
Conley refused to comment on the fingerprint report, saying it was out of his jurisdiction.
Hrones also said Clark Rockefeller is his client's legal name. He said he knew Rockefeller socially before Rockefeller hired him Tuesday, but he wouldn't elaborate on how they knew each other. He described him as a good guy who loves his daughter.
Rockefeller served as director of Boston's exclusive Algonquin Club, but resigned about three months ago.
There is no indication Rockefeller is related to the famous family descended from Standard Oil billionaire John D. Rockefeller Sr., family members said.
Reigh, known to family and friends as "Snooks," was found in good condition in Baltimore and has been reunited with her mother, Sandra Boss. The two live together in London, where Boss is a senior partner in the London office of the management consulting firm McKinsey & Co.
Rockefeller appeared before a Baltimore district judge on Monday to face a fugitive charge of abduction of a minor child and waived his right to a governor's warrant in the state of Maryland.
He was arrested Saturday in Baltimore, where he had bought a house and a boat, after a week-long hunt.
The staff of a Baltimore real estate company recognized Rockefeller from reports about his daughter's abduction in Massachusetts and called police to say he'd bought a home in the city.
Rockefeller disappeared with Reigh on July 27 after a supervised visit in Boston.
The two were walking with a social worker near Boston's Public Gardens when a black sport utility vehicle with a Red Sox license plate pulled up to the curb and Rockefeller pulled the girl inside, authorities said. The social worker attempted to grab the SUV door and was dragged a short distance, suffering minor injuries.
Sandra Boss, a graduate of Harvard Business School, married Rockefeller on Nantucket in 1995 and filed for divorce in January 2007.
During their 12-year marriage, the couple lived a lavish lifestyle. They owned a brownstone in Boston's tony Beacon Hill near Sen. John Kerry's home there and a mansion in Cornish, N.H., a summer resort favored by artists and writers.
Boston police said it appears Rockefeller was setting up a new life in Maryland. The seller of a Baltimore home said he bought it for $450,000 in cash a month ago and said his name was Chip Smith. He mentioned his daughter was coming to live with him.
At Monday's hearing, Baltimore District Court Associate Judge Norman Braverman set an Aug. 15 date for a status hearing.
Rockefeller's unnamed 26-foot yacht was found docked at a marina nearby, though police say they concluded he didn't leave the country while on the run.
Out of concern for Reigh's safety, police lured Rockefeller out of the apartment by calling him on the phone and claiming that the yacht was taking on water.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.