Rockefeller Recalls Chichester, Hazy on Bavaria

Lawyer denies involvement in 1985 cold case as authorities confirm German roots.

ByABC News
August 11, 2008, 5:02 PM

BOSTON, Aug. 11, 2008 — -- Accused kidnapper Clark Rockefeller lived as an aspiring actor by the name of Charles Chichester with two California newlyweds who vanished in 1985, but he had nothing to do with their disappearance and has no memory of a childhood in Germany, his attorney said at a news conference today.

"He remembers that he did use the name Chichester in California and that he knew those people," Stephen Hrones said, referring to Jonathan and Linda Sohus.

Rockefeller faces custodial abduction and assault charges tied to the July 27 kidnapping of his 7-year-old daughter Reigh, but now has also been called a person of interest by California authorities in the Sohus cold case.

"He's not a violent person," Hrones said outside the Nashua Street Jail in Boston, Mass., after a meeting with his client. "There's no evidence of violence in his life, absolutely no record."

Authorities today said they believe that Rockefeller, 48, came to the United States from Germany using the name Christian Gerhartsreiter, and later became a person of interest in the disappearance of California newlyweds he lived with under the alias Charles Chichester.

An FBI official with knowledge of the investigation confirmed to ABC News that records and fingerprint matches have tied the man -- who now sits in a Boston jail cell on custodial kidnapping and assault charges -- to the California cold case and a childhood in Bavaria, where agents traveled last week in an attempt to confirm the mystery man's true identity.

ABC News first reported last Tuesday that Rockefeller's freshly taken fingerprints matched the print from a stockbroker's license application for Charles Chichester, as well as a print for a German man named Christian Gerhartsreiter. A spokesman for the Los Angeles Sheriff's Office said today that they have confirmed the Rockefeller matches.

Jake Wark, a spokesman for the Suffolk County District Attorney's office, which will prosecute Rockefeller on the kidnap charge, said he is "eager to review the evidence Los Angeles has used to positively connect Clark Rockefeller to Christian Gerhartsreiter.

"We are working with Los Angeles investigators to make the most conclusive indentification possible, because, as we know, in this case, appearances can be deceiving," said Wark.