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Police confirm German identity of fake Rockefeller
Photo: DPA

Police confirm German identity of fake Rockefeller

Published: 12 Aug 2008 10:57 GMT+02:00
Updated: 12 Aug 2008 10:57 GMT+02:00

Police in Los Angeles have confirmed a man being held in Boston for kidnapping his seven-year-old daughter is a German citizen sought in connection with the 1985 disappearance of a California couple.

Los Angeles County Sheriff's office deputy Derrick Thompson said "Clark Rockefeller," who triggered a manhunt in July after allegedly abducting his daughter, was in fact Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter.

Gerhartsreiter is wanted for questioning in the disappearance of Jonathan and Linda Sohus, who vanished 23 years ago around when the German was living in the guest house of their home in San Marino, California, under an alias.

"They are confident this is the same person," Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department detective Paul Becker told the Boston Herald. "Detectives have learned the male arrested in Boston using the name Clark Rockefeller is the same person known as Christian Gerhartsreiter and used Christopher Chichester in Los Angeles in 1985."

Gerhartsreiter is described as a "person of interest" in the Sohus case. Human remains were found on the Sohus' property nine years after they vanished, but police have never been able to identify them.

Positive identification of Gerhartsreiter was made after around 10 people came forward after seeing his photo in reports of the kidnapping case. Mystery had surrounded the identity of Gerhartsreiter since his arrest in Baltimore on August 2, one week after he allegedly absconded with his daughter.

The week-long hunt for the man known as "Rockefeller" and his blue-eyed daughter, Reigh Storrow Boss, had gripped the US public's imagination. The girl was later reunited with her mother.

The Rockefeller dynasty, which originally made its fortune in oil, denied links to the suspect, who now faces kidnapping charges in Boston.

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