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Attorney: Rockefeller not linked to Calif. slaying

An attorney for the father accused of snatching his 7-year-old daughter from a Boston street said Tuesday the man did not kidnap his own child and has no link to a California slaying.
/ Source: staff and news service reports

An attorney for the father accused of snatching his 7-year-old daughter from a Boston street said Tuesday the man did not kidnap his own child and has no link to a California slaying.

Clark Rockefeller was arraigned Tuesday in Boston Municipal Court after being flown back from Baltimore, where he was captured Saturday. He is charged with felony parental kidnapping, assault and battery and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

He was ordered held without bail. 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.

Lawyer Stephen Hrones told reporters that Rockefeller is not guilty of abducting Reigh Boss during a supervised visit on July 27.

“How could you kidnap your own daughter?” Hrones said. “He loves his daughter. Kidnapping doesn’t apply, it was his own kid.”

Hrones also denied a report in The Boston Globe that Rockefeller’s fingerprints may be linked to a slaying investigation in California. The Globe, citing two unnamed sources, said his fingerprints were linked to an out-of-state license application under a different name. The Globe says that name is on a list of people wanted in a homicide case in California.

Suffolk District Attorney Dan Conley refused to comment on the fingerprint report, and said it was out of his jurisdiction.

''investigators are “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.

There is no indication Rockefeller is related to the famous family descended from Standard Oil billionaire John D. Rockefeller Sr., family members said.

Hrones said Clark Rockefeller was his client’s legal name. He said he knew Rockefeller socially before Rockefeller hired him Tuesday, but he wouldn’t say how.

Authorities have no record of anything involving Rockefeller before 1993. “Our experience tells us he’s more of a schemer than someone who has lost his memory,” Conley said after the arraignment.

Help from a real estate firm
Police say Rockefeller snatched his daughter during a supervised visit on July 27 in an elaborately planned kidnapping. He was caught Saturday in Baltimore, where he had bought a home and a boat.

Rockefeller planned to start a new life in a new city, but his purchase of a nearly half-million-dollar home helped lead to his arrest, authorities said Monday.

Rockefeller, 48, was arrested over the weekend when authorities lured him out of his new home in Baltimore by calling him and saying that his 26-foot catamaran at a nearby marina was taking on water. Rockefeller's daughter, Reigh Boss, was inside the home unharmed.

The real estate firm that sold Rockefeller his new home recognized him from news reports and tipped authorities to his whereabouts. But agents at the firm knew the man as Charles "Chip" Smith, one of several aliases the man used, said authorities, who are trying to determine his real identity.

Rockefeller approached Baltimore's Obsidian Realty in late 2007. He asked real estate agents to help him find a two- or three-bedroom home for him and his daughter while he relocated from Chile, said Julie Gochar, a managing partner in the firm.

The firm helped him find temporary housing and gave him access to its offices to use the Internet until agents arranged the purchase of his home in mid-July.

Then, "We saw a bulletin on morning news with several photos of a Mr. Clark Rockefeller — the man we knew as 'Chip,'" Gochar said.

Lavish lifestyle
Reigh lives with her mother, Sandra Boss, a graduate of the Harvard Business School who works in London. Boss married Rockefeller on Nantucket in 1995 and filed for divorce in January 2007, with the final decree coming in December.

During their 12-year marriage, the couple lived a lavish lifestyle. They owned a brownstone near Sen. John Kerry's home in Boston's posh Beacon Hill and a mansion in Cornish, N.H., a summer resort favored by artists and writers.

Rockefeller had served as a director at Boston's exclusive Algonquin Club, but resigned about three months ago.

Police had suspected Rockefeller was planning to flee to Bermuda or Peru on a 72-foot (22-meter) yacht docked in New York named "Serenity." But they later said Rockefeller may have planted false clues to throw off the investigation.

In addition to using the Smith name, Rockefeller called himself Chip MacLaughlin early this summer when he bought the catamaran from a North Baltimore man, The (Baltimore) Sun reported Monday. Rockefeller told the boat's former owner Bruce Boswell that he owned Obsidian Realty, and Boswell saw him punch in the entry code to the company's offices, The Sun reported.