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article imageCole Puffinburger's Father Gains Custody Following His Abduction And Safe Release

By Nikki Weingartner     Oct 30, 2008 in Lifestyle
In frightening case involving drugs and kidnapping, the finding of little Cole Puffinburger alive earlier this month was a relief to many. Now, for reasons of safety, the courts have awarded custody of the little boy to his father, Robert Puffinburger.
Earlier this month, an Amber Alert was issued following an early morning break-in and kidnapping of 6-year-old Cole Puffinburger from a Las Vegas residence. The perps were allegedly looking for drugs and money, as later reported.
Three days following his abduction, little Cole was found by a bus driver walking alone in a residential area. He was safe and healthy.
His grandfather was found to be somehow linked to the little boy's abduction in that he was said to be trafficking drugs for the Mexican Drug Cartel and owed them a lot of money. Clemens Tinnemeyer was arrested a day before Cole was found.
In a news report on Las Vegas Now, it was explained how the parents of Cole decided to fight for custody over the little boy:
"The one thing we do know is that dad is not under investigation and it is believed, not only by the law enforcement authorities but also by the Victim's Services Unit, that Cole is best protected by and safe in dad's care," said attorney Bryce Duckworth.
The lieutenant also told the court that during the real kidnapping the perpetrators called Cole's mother by name, "Why would you think that the boy is safer with the father when everybody knows who he is and nobody knows who the mother is? Because I know when the abductors came into the residence looking for her father or cash or drugs or whatever it was they were looking for, they spoke to Julie by name."
There was also testimony that the mother had previously attempted to fake a kidnapping of Cole in an attempt to get the grandfather to come out of hiding. The judge ultimately awarded custody to Cole's father, Robert Puffinburger, who many will remember as the only parent on camera showing emotion and concern during the horrible ordeal.
The mother and grandfather are both under investigation for their alleged roles in what led up to Cole's abduction.
Julie Puffinburger will be allowed weekend supervised visits, although they had no comment on that decision as they were reported to have "ran from the building without comment."
The physical and emotional safety of children is of key concern and the judge in this case obviously looked at both sides and has placed Cole where he can be safe and heal from the traumatic experience caused by the actions of his grandfather and possibly mother.
There is another custody hearing next week.
Police also say they are closer to Jesus Gastelum, one of the known persons of interest in the kidnapping case. Another person involved in the case was arrested earlier this week on weapon's violation charges. FBI agents had also been looking at Tinnemeyer before the kidnapping took place.
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