Clark Rockefeller -- the moneyed puzzle of a man who allegedly snatched his 7-year-old daughter off a Boston street last week in an elaborate kidnapping plot – was arraigned today in Baltimore two days after he was captured outside a carriage house he had purchased, purportedly to start a new life for himself and his little girl.
Investigators nabbed Rockefeller, 48, Saturday afternoon after receiving a tip from a local realtor who helped negotiate the sale of the house, authorities said. He is facing felony charges of custodial kidnapping, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. A task force of Boston police detectives and FBI agents formed to determine Rockefeller's identity appeared not to have confirmed his real name by this morning -- the suspect apparently has no social security card; no driver's license; no wedding certificate to note his marriage to Sandra Boss on the island of Nantucket and no work or educational history.
Rockefeller, handcuffed in khaki pants and a blue polo shirt, waived his right to challenge extradition to Massachusetts and can now be handed over to the Boston Police Department. Boston police have one week to pick Rockefeller up from a Baltimore jail.
Rockefeller will be prosecuted by the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office. The FBI will pull out of the case unless they can prove that Rockefeller committed a crime using fake identities, according to an investigator with knowledge of the case.
Rockefeller, an enigmatic man with a plethora of aliases, purchased a three-bedroom carriage house at 618 Ploy Street in the Mount Vernon neighborhood of Baltimore with $450,000 in cash two weeks ago using the name "Chip Smith," said John Day, the realtor whose company made the sale, in an interview with ABC News.
Smith did not present any identification during the sale, but told the realtor that he planned to move to Baltimore with his daughter and enroll her in school. Day said he did not ask for ID because the sale was negotiated through a second party that told him Rockefeller was in Switzerland and could not attend the closing. Renovations that were ongoing in the house were swiftly halted because Rockefeller wanted to move in immediately, Day said.
Rockefeller did ask about property lines and indicated that he wanted to build a fence to shield his home from an abutting property.
"He was a weird but worldly guy,'' Day said, adding that Smith spoke with a strange British accent and boasted of spending time sailing and traveling abroad to countries like Japan.
Law enforcement officials theorize that the mystery man wanted a fresh start in a new city.
"It looks like he was gonna start all over again,'' Thomas Lee, Boston deputy police superintendent, told the Boston Herald."The way he operates, I'm sure he would have started a new life in high-society circles, and probably become an upstanding Baltimore citizen."
"The case is far from over,'' Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley told the newspaper Sunday. "In many ways, it has just begun."
Rockefeller's only tangible tie to the area was a dilapidated 26-foot catamaran he had moored in slip F-2 at Baltimore's Anchorage Marina for nine years, registering under the name Chip Smith. The vessel was not far from the Ploy Street home he purchased last month but was a wreck that had never sailed free from the slip, said the manager of the marina, Jim Roscoe, 43.