BOSTON – An attorney for a mysterious father accused of kidnapping his 7-year-old daughter during a custodial visit in Boston claims the man is supplying authorities his true identity.
The man known as Clark Rockefeller — and by several other aliases — was arraigned in Boston Municipal Court on Tuesday on charges related to the July 27 disappearance of his daughter, Reigh Boss.
Rockefeller's attorney, Stephen Hrones, said Clark Rockefeller was his client's legal name.
"I have asked him what he name is, he says Clark Rockefeller," Hrones told FOX News. "We do not know that is not his name."
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department confirmed it was sending two homicide detectives to Boston to interview Rockefeller in Boston. Rockefeller is a "person of interest" in the case of Jonathan and Linda Sohus, a San Marino, California, couple reported missing in 1985, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department spokesman Steve Whitmore said.
While Hrones denies his client had any link to the California case, authorities say they have been stymied in their efforts to figure out exactly who Rockefeller is. Suffolk District Attorney Dan Conley said they have no record of him before 1993 and said Rockefeller has claimed he doesn't remember details ranging from where he is from, where his parents are and even whether he is from the United States.
"At this point he provided essentially no biographical data about himself before 1993," Assistant District Attorney David Deakin said in court. He said that after thousands of hours of collaboration — by the FBI, local and state officials and even Homeland Security — authorities are still unsure of the details of Rockefeller's real identity.
A man named Christopher Chichester, who lived on the Sohus' property, also disappeared, according to media reports.
"We want to find out if he is indeed Christopher Chichester," Whitmore said. "And if so, if there's anything he can tell us about the disappearance and possible homicide of the Sohuses."
Whitmore said Chichester was not interviewed by San Marino police as part of the original missing-persons case.
In 1994, three plastic bags containing human remains, found by workers digging a swimming pool in San Marino, were linked to the Sohus case but never identified.
Ellen Sohus, John Sohus' sister, told FOX News that the remains were believed to be that of her brother.
"They have found almost the entire skeleton found in the yard," Ellen Sohus said.
The Boston Globe, citing two unnamed sources, reported Thursday that Rockefeller's fingerprints were linked to an out-of-state license application under a different name. The Globe said that name is on a list of people wanted in a homicide case in California.
Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis said police believe Rockefeller had been in the Los Angeles area at some point in the 1980s.
Police have said Rockefeller, 48, snatched his daughter from a Boston street on July 27 in an elaborately planned kidnapping in which he hired two people to drive them to New York. He was caught Saturday in Baltimore, where he had bought a home and boat. Deakin said 300 one-ounce gold coins and $12,000 in cash also were found in Rockefeller's apartment following his arrest.
In court Tuesday, an unkempt-looking Rockefeller — wearing the same wrinkled Lacoste shirt and dark-framed glasses he was arrested in — stood still and looked down as the charges against him were read: felony parental kidnapping, assault and battery and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, the getaway car.
Prosecutors allege in the assault charges that a male social worker monitoring the father-daughter visit was shoved by Rockefeller and suffered minor injuries when he tried to grab the moving getaway car.
Rockefeller 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 attributed to him.
Rockefeller was flown to Logan International Airport earlier Tuesday, accompanied by law enforcement. Passengers said he smiled, drank coffee and read The New York Times on the short flight.
"Our experience tells us he's more of a schemer than someone who has lost his memory," Conley said.
Hrones said Rockefeller did not kidnap his daughter.
"How could you kidnap your own daughter?" Hrones asked. "He loves his daughter. Kidnapping doesn't apply, it was his own kid."
Hrones continued, "That girl meant everything in the world to him. And it is his own child. He raised the child, he was a parent at home. The wife was never around, she worked long hours. She did not come home every weekend. Here is a father who dearly loves his children. He was willing to do anything to be sure he had the child with him."
But Conley noted Massachusetts has a law against parental kidnapping.
"Just because he's Reigh's natural father, it doesn't absolve him," he said.
Hrones said he knew Rockefeller socially before Rockefeller hired him Tuesday, but he wouldn't say how they knew each other.
Hrones complained that police have been leaking information to the news media that have already painted Rockefeller as guilty.
Rockefeller served as a 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.
Conley would not comment on whether Boss and her daughter were back in England or still in Boston. He said Boss is in contact with authorities and has been cooperative.
A pre-trial hearing for Rockefeller is set for Sept. 3.