Abducted boy's grandfather faces court

Other News Materials 20 October 2008 22:55 (UTC +04:00)

The grandfather of a boy abducted in Las Vegas, Nevada, is scheduled to appear in court Monday, reports CNN.

Clemens F. Tinnemeyer was arrested in Riverside, California, late Friday after the 6-year-old boy had been missing for more than two days.

He was being held on a material witness warrant, according to police and the FBI, and had been questioned about the kidnapping along with a second, unnamed person.

Tinnemeyer, the 51-year-old maternal grandfather of Cole Puffinburger, is set to appear in front of a magistrate in federal court in Riverside in connection to the warrant issued in Las Vegas, where police are focusing on any drug link to Cole's abduction.

Citing sources and police, the Las Vegas Review-Journal has reported Tinnemeyer may have stolen millions from a Mexican drug cartel, although police have not said what role he may have played in the drug operation or whether the child's abductors were seeking a ransom. Officer Cris Johnson told the newspaper authorities believe methamphetamine was involved.

Cole was found late Saturday, wandering alone on a sidewalk in Las Vegas' east side. He was reunited with his family after medical checks.

"The remainder of the investigation now shifts, the focus now goes on to the drug dealing and potential extortion," Capt. Vince Cannito of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said Sunday.

Before his arrest, police said Tinnemeyer was involved in "significant drug dealing" involving millions of dollars.

Cannito had said earlier that Cole was kidnapped by drug dealers attempting to recover lost money and property.

Three armed men, some posing as police, snatched the boy Wednesday after they tied up his mother and her fiance and ransacked the home, officers have said.

Cole's father, Robert Puffinburger, said the emotion he felt after being informed that his son was safe was "indescribable."

"I'm just glad he's safe," Puffinburger said at Sunday's news conference, his voice breaking. "I can't wait to see him!"

The boy's disappearance sparked a mass hunt around Las Vegas, Nevada, and a nationwide Amber Alert.

Action connected to the case in several jurisdictions resulted in a large amount of cash and evidence recovered, Cannito said. He gave no further details.

Also, authorities are seeking a man for questioning called Jesus Gastelum, Cannito said Saturday.