Vegas Kidnap Case Turns to Mexican Drug Probe

6-year-old safe after abduction linked to theft from cartel
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 20, 2008 2:45 AM CDT
Vegas Kidnap Case Turns to Mexican Drug Probe
Las Vegas police have identified Jesus Gastelum as a "person of interest" in the kidnapping of Cole Puffinburger.   (AP Photo/Las Vegas Metropolitan Police via the Review-Journal, John Locher)

Investigators intensified their search yesterday for the drug-cartel kidnappers of a 6-year-old Las Vegas boy who was found safe on a city street. Detectives have distributed flyers of suspects they believe are linked to Mexican drug kingpins who likely ordered young Cole Puffenburger kidnapped to get even with his grandfather for stealing from them.

The FBI planned to talk today to the boy, who was found safe by a bus driver late Saturday, four days after he was snatched from his home by gunmen. The kidnapping alarmed authorities because it so closely resembled abductions in Mexico, where drug gangs grab kids, civilians and rivals. "It's a blessing this child has been found," said a Las Vegas police captain, who noted that Cole seemed to be "in extremely good condition."
(Read more abduction stories.)

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